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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect human health and the environment is accomplished, in large part, by the awarding of funds to other organizations to conduct environmental program or projects. When EPA transfers funds for a public purpose, it uses a legal instrument called an assistance agreement, which may be in the form of a grant or cooperative agreement. Every year, EPA awards more than $4 billion in funding for assistance agreements to state and local governments, tribes, universities, nonprofit recipients and other entities. EPA’s environmental statutes are the legal basis for funding assistance agreements.