MA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Competitive Grants Program

Massachusetts Department of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA)

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $500,000

Next anticipated deadline: Mar 6, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: Jun 1, 2019 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Massachusetts

Location of residency: Massachusetts

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This grant program is authorized under Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act for implementation projects that address the prevention, control, and abatement of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. In general, eligible projects must:

  • implement measures that address the prevention, control, and abatement of NPS pollution
  • target the major source(s) of nonpoint source pollution within a watershed/subwatershed
  • contain an appropriate method for evaluating the project results
  • must address activities that are identified in the Massachusetts NPS Management Plan

FFY 2018 Project Types for 319 funding

The bulk of 319 funds are directed to Implementation Projects. A smaller but still substantial pool of funding is also available for projects of other types.

Implementation Projects in Impaired Waters

The most competitive applicants will propose a watershed-based strategy to implement a combination of structural and non-structural BMPs addressing all impairments and leading to restoration of impaired waters  (Impaired waters are those that don’t meet water quality standards as per the 2014 Section 303(d) list ). BMPs should be selected for optimal pollutant load removal, emphasizing source reduction. Proposed BMPs must be developed at least to the conceptual design stage and submitted with the proposal. Proposals must contain site specific information to demonstrate that the project is feasible and ready to be constructed within the project timeline. A Watershed-Based Plan will be required to be developed as part of each Implementation project. (Please note watershed-based plans can be developed with a new online tool that can greatly reduce time and complexity involved).

Healthy Watersheds and Protection of High-Quality Waters

Implementation projects for climate change adaptation and resiliency and projects that protect non-impaired and high quality waters from the effects of nonpoint source pollution are eligible for 319 program funds. This may include funding and support for a project with a substantial land conservation component as part of NPS prevention and remediation work. These proposals must be supported with documentation of the problem, conceptual or better plans to explain the strategy and approach, and all other information necessary to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed project. See a definition of and more information on healthy watersheds here.

Outreach and Education

Outreach and education is often recommended as an effective nonstructural BMP. Successful projects in this category will propose specific outreach and education activities and products, and will develop and implement an evaluation method to gauge the effectiveness of these activities. Projects should have regional or statewide relevance and should include a deliverable that can be made available in both print and electronic form, ensuring accessibility for disabled and non-English-speaking audiences if appropriate.

Development of Municipal and Regional Stormwater Collaboratives and Funding Mechanisms

A stormwater utility is a property assessment tool that provides a sustainable source of funding to construct, maintain, and repair stormwater infrastructure. Proposals may include initial research to see whether a stormwater utility is appropriate for a Town, quantifying the current and future cost of storm water management programs, development and distribution of educational materials, and development of regional agreements and funding structures. 

Notes on NPDES Stormwater regulated/MS4 areas

Implementation projects remain eligible for funding in NPDES regulated areas (Town by town maps of regulated areas are found here). The work must be completed by June 30, 2019 and before it is required by the NPDES Stormwater Management Plan. 319 funds cannot be used for work that addresses NPDES permit requirements. These projects will receive priority points in 2018.

All other types of projects are eligible in regulated or mixed regulated/unregulated areas, provided the work proposed is not required under the current or pending NPDES stormwater permit. 

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


  • Responses to the RFR may be submitted by any Massachusetts public or private organization.
  • Project eligibility criteria:
    • Projects from all basins are eligible and encouraged, excluding work covered under NPDES and MS4 stormwater permits.
    • Projects should be of manageable size, but should strive to be comprehensive projects addressing all major identified nonpoint sources affecting water quality in the watershed or subwatershed. 
  • A 40% non-federal match is required.