MT 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Project Grants

Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

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Anticipated deadline: Nov 1, 2020 12:00pm PST

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $300,000

Fields of work: Water Resource Management Freshwater Conservation

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit, Hospital / Clinic, Elementary / Secondary School, College / University

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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The state of Montana receives funding annually from EPA through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act to distribute throughout the state to groups interested in implementing projects to reduce nonpoint source pollution to our waters. These funds support a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, restoration projects, and protection projects. DEQ solicits project proposals from eligible applicants and funds are distributed competitively to support the most effective and highest priority projects. 

What is nonpoint source pollution?

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution comes from diffuse sources such as polluted runoff and streambank erosion, or from polluting conditions such as the temperature changes that result from a loss of streambank vegetation and shading. For the purposes of this call, discharges from abandoned mine lands are also considered nonpoint source pollution, provided they are not covered under a discharge permit.

Goal of the 319 Program

The goal of Montana’s NPS Management Program is to protect and restore water quality from the harmful effects of nonpoint source pollution. This goal can be accomplished by implementing Best Management Practices and conducting Education and Outreach activities. DEQ strongly encourages the development and implementation of science-based, locally-supported Watershed Restoration Plans to guide these efforts. The 2012 Montana Nonpoint Source Management Plan (NPS Plan) describes how DEQ plans to see this goal achieved. The NPS Plan contains specific program goals, priorities, and identified BMPs 

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


  • Project sponsors must:
    • Be either a governmental entity or a nonprofit organization.
      • A governmental entity is a local, state, or federal office that has been established and authorized by law.
      • Nonprofit organizations are identified as having a tax exempt declaration of 501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Have the necessary administrative and technical capacity to successfully manage a 319 contract.
    • As a general rule, project sponsors will not be allowed to have more than two open 319 contracts at any time. 
    • Have a current DUNS number
    • Be registered with SAM.
    • Be registered with the Montana Secretary of State.
      • All project sponsors must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State to do business in the state of Montana.
    • Have the necessary liability insurance and be in compliance with the Workers Compensation Act.
  • All restoration projects must:
    • Address nonpoint source pollution.
    • Implement actions identified in the current Montana Nonpoint Source Management Plan.
    • Implement goals and priorities identified in a DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP).
      • If you do not have a DEQ-accepted WRP by the Application deadline you must submit a draft prior to applying for funding. 
    • Address impairments identified on Montana’s most recent List of Impaired Waters. In some instances, projects on streams that are not listed as impaired may be acceptable, if they reduce pollutant loading to an impaired, downstream receiving water.
    • Be able to be completed within 3 years.
  • Project sponsors must be able to meet a 40% cost share (also known as match) for the project.


  • The goal of Montana’s NPS Program is to protect and restore water from the harmful effects of nonpoint source pollution.
    • The more efficient and effective a project is at achieving this goal, the more likely it is to be funded.
    • Addressing the following priorities will significantly increase the likelihood of receiving funding.
    • These priorities are reflected either directly or indirectly in the project scoring sheet used by the Agency Review Panel (Attachment A).
    • The considerations on the project score sheet should be addressed within the text of your application.
  • Project Goals and Objectives:
    • Some projects are of greater value in creating significant, sustainable reductions in nonpoint source pollution.
    • DEQ’s priorities are listed below.
      • Projects that address the most appropriate next step for making progress towards the removal of a pollutant/waterbody combination from Montana’s 2016 List of Impaired Waters.
      • Projects that address the land use practice that contributes to the problem (as opposed to only addressing the results of poor land use practices) to lead to long-lasting reductions in NPS pollution.
      • Projects for which water quality improvement goals are clearly defined, measurable, and attainable.
      • Extent to which the project reduces pollutant loading above a permitted point source in a manner that could contribute to future economic benefit for a downstream Montana community. This consideration is based on the positive impacts that upstream nonpoint source pollutant reductions can have on regulated downstream point sources, particularly wastewater treatment plants that must meet challenging nutrient discharge limits over time.
  • Project Methods:
    • The effectiveness and sustainability of individual methods of addressing nonpoint source pollution are highly variable.
    • Some methods lead to more lasting results, have a more favorable cost/benefit ratio, or may be better suited to certain situations.
    • When evaluating project methods, DEQ and the Agency Review Panel will consider the following:
      • Will the project promote self-maintaining, natural, ecological, and social processes?
      • Do outreach and education components target the most appropriate audience?
      • Are project costs reasonable as compared to anticipated results?
      • Has sufficient pre-project planning taken place to help ensure timely and successful completion of the project?
  • Project Management 
    • Project management is an important component of a successful project. It includes project planning, administrative skill, and completing projects on time and within budget, etc.
    • When evaluating project management, DEQ will consider performance on previous grants and contracts.


  • Funds will not be awarded to projects that do not have a DEQ-accepted WRP in place by January 31, 2017