MT Volunteer Monitoring Program: Lab Analysis Support Grant

Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

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Grant amount: Up to US $3,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 23, 2019 1:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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The Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Water Quality Monitoring and AssessmentProgram provides support to local groups that enlist volunteers to collect data for water quality monitoring projects related to nonpoint source pollution. DEQ has funding under the federal Clean Water Act Section 604b to fund the laboratory analysis of water quality samples collected through Volunteer Monitoring (VM) efforts. 


DEQ seeks applications for up to $3,000 from Volunteer Monitoring Programs seeking financial assistance with laboratory sample analysis costs associated with water quality monitoring projects related to nonpoint source pollution.  Applicants are required to develop and follow a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) to guidetheir efforts and a draft SAP is required to be submitted with the application. DEQ will review and provide comment on draft SAPs and funding will be competitively awarded to selected groups upon DEQ’s acceptance of a final SAP.

Energy Laboratories, Inc. is the service provider for lab analyses under this Call for Applications and all billing will be coordinated by DEQ with the lab. Upon SAP approval, groups shall contact Energy Laboratories with bottle order requests and the lab will ship coolers and sample supplies to the group. Groups will ship or hand-deliver samples to Energy Laboratories’ facilities in Billings or Helena. Analytical results will be sent directly from the lab to the group. All data that is collected using these funds must be uploaded by the group to DEQ’s water quality (eWQX) database. Groups are required to submit a final report at the completion of their project.

What is a Volunteer Monitoring Program?

To be considered a volunteer monitoring program, a program must incorporate volunteers that collect data. The term volunteer monitoring should not be used to describe efforts where paid professionals of an organization contribute in-kind donations of their organization’s resources to conduct monitoring while being paid their salary. A volunteer monitoring program must meet the following guidelines to be eligible:

  • Incorporate at least one person monitoring in a volunteer capacity (unpaid time); more than one volunteer is highly preferred,
  • Has some level of internal project oversight for administrative and reporting purposes,
  • Has a primary, paid or volunteer, contact that oversees the technical aspects of the program; a paid professional may be used for project organization, training, quality assurance review, and to meet project completeness goals

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


  • In order for an application to eligible, the following requirements must be met:
    • Applicant must be a Volunteer Monitoring Program as defined by DEQ (see Overview)
    • Applicant is a non-profit watershed group, conservation district, water quality district, school system, county extension service, or county government located in Montana
    • Project is located in Montana
  • This program is for laboratory analyses and sample shipping costs.


  • This program does not provide funding for any operational costs such as SAP development, travel, monitoring time, or purchasing/maintaining field equipment.