Clean Water Section 319 Matching Grants

State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Feb 27, 2021

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Research

Location of project: Connecticut

Location of residency: Connecticut

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About this funder:

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Overview:

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is accepting proposals for fiscal year 2020 Clean Water Section 319 grants. Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act is a federal program to control nonpoint sources (NPS) of water pollution. Connecticut receives funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Section 319 grants that can be passed onto communities, local conservation groups, and other organizations for NPS implementation projects, plans, and statewide NPS management efforts. Proposals may be submitted by any interested public or private organization.

EPA defines NPS pollution as pollution that is “caused by diffuse sources that are not regulated as point sources, and are normally associated with land use and runoff from the land.” Common NPS pollutants include: bacteria, nutrients, sediment, salt, petroleum products, heavy metals, pesticides, and debris. These pollutants are typically carried by stormwater runoff into streams, lakes, and estuaries from diffuse land use and other activities that are not regulated as point source discharges (“end of pipe”). Projects intended to meet mandated requirements of stormwater permits are not eligible for Section 319 grants. However, proposals that provide stormwater mitigation above and beyond permit requirements may be considered.

  Applications that include financial or in kind contributions demonstrate a commitment to the project that is considered by DEEP when ranking applications. Starting with FY 2016, DEEP was able to cover the 40% match requirement for the Section 319 grant by using state dollars for other NPS projects. If EPA continues to accept this approach, the match requirements for FY 2020 applications will also be waived. Regardless, commitments of non-federal match are encouraged. Applicants should recognize that DEEP is interested in awarding project funding to 5-10 larger projects rather than many smaller projects. 

Project Priorities 

Watershed Based Plan Implementation Projects

Project priorities will continue to stress implementation projects in watersheds that have approved Watershed Based Plans (WBP) which lead to targeted pollutant load reductions and/or restoring impaired waters. Implementation projects should have a clear connection to the management goals and objectives of the WBP and show progress towards attaining water quality goals. Such implementation projects may include but are not limited to: habitat improvements, dam removal, improved stormwater runoff management, and improved agricultural practices. 

 

Implementation Projects Not Associated with WBPs

DEEP may consider implementation projects that are not connected to an existing WBP, but the project must target an impaired water(s). Applicants must be able to document benefits toward pollutant load reduction and attainment of water quality standards. For implementation projects not covered under a WBP, applicants may be required to document how the 9 Elements of the Watershed Based Planning process will be addressed.

WBP Development

DEEP will focus on WBP development for impaired waters which are prioritized in DEEP’s Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). WBP development is considered an Action Plan in the IWRM strategy. DEEP may consider WBP development for impaired waterbodies that are not identified by DEEP’s IWRM strategy (see 2018 State of Connecticut Integrated Water Quality Report ). DEEP may also consider a WBP proposal when the impairment is not specific to a pollutant, or when addressing a small scale water quality problem, or for development of a protection plan as a Healthy Watershed Based Plan (see DEEP Watershed Based Plans website). EPA has provided detailed guidance on WBP structure and content (see EPA requirements and guidance).

Project Duration

DEEP will generally limit project duration to a two year period, with rare options to extend to three or four years if justifiably needed for completion of larger, more complex projects. Funding for projects that are not promptly initiated or fall substantially behind schedule may be considered for reprogramming to other Section 319 priority projects. DEEP suggests that potential grantees examine their needs for permits and other factors that may cause delays as early as possible. 

If the proposed project is a multi-year or phased project, applicants should provide rough estimates of the complete cost of restoring the water body. DEEP is receptive to a phased approach, with each year’s funding allotment representing an individual phase. However, applicants should recognize that each year or phase of funding will be competitive. DEEP does not automatically agree to fund future phases by committing to the initial phase. Proponents shall establish a schedule for the additional phases and costs needed to complete the project, which will be considered in the evaluation of the FY 2020 portion.

Pollutant Load Reduction Reporting 

Grantees will be required to complete spreadsheet forms for the EPA Grant Reporting Tracking System (GRTS). GRTS assists grantees to provide pollutant load reduction estimates that are required, for all NPS implementation projects

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Grant Requirements
  • Projects that identify match with non-federal funds will score higher in the competitive review process. Match requirements will be waived if EPA accepts DEEP’s proposal to provide programmatic match with other state funds which are dedicated to NPS projects.