MT DEQ: Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program

Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

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Grant amount: Up to US $3,000

Deadline: Apr 5, 2019 4:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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DEQ’s Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Program supports entities that voluntarily participate in water quality monitoring projects in Montana. This competitive funding opportunity helps to offset costs associated with having water quality samples analyzed by an accredited analytical laboratory. This Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program is a component of DEQ’s Volunteer Monitoring Support Program


DEQ seeks applications for up to $3,000 from volunteer monitoring programs seeking financial assistance with laboratory sample analysis and shipping costs associated with water quality monitoring projects. Note: This program is for laboratory analysis and sample shipping costs only and does not include funding for Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) development, travel, monitoring time, purchasing and maintaining field equipment, or other operational costs.

Program Overview

Eligible volunteer monitoring programs must electronically submit the following application materials to DEQ’s Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program Manager (see Schedule and Resources):

  • An application,
  • A draft Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)
  • A lab analysis budget that matches the requests for funds on the application and aligns with the number and type of samples described in the draft SAP and the parameter price list.

DEQ confirms eligibility of applicants, reviews application materials, provides written feedback on application materials, and competitively awards funding to selected applicants, pending DEQ’s approval of a final SAP (see Selection Criteria).

To remain eligible for awarded funds, prior to their first sampling event awardees must:

  • Adjust draft SAPs and budgets to incorporate feedback from DEQ and resubmit their final SAP to the DEQ Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program Manager for approval,
  • Obtain confirmation of final SAP approval from DEQ, and
  • Sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DEQ. 

Throughout the sampling period, awardees submit approved samples and chain-of-custody forms to the approved laboratory. The laboratory analyzes the samples, DEQ receives and pays invoices from the lab for approved costs of analysis and shipping, and awardees receive electronic data deliverables (EDDs) (that is, electronic lab reports) from the lab.

Prior to the deadline (see Schedule), awardees must:

  • Upload all data to DEQ’s MT-eWQX database,
  • Submit confirmation of data upload to DEQ’s Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program Manager, and
  • Submit a final report to DEQ’s Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support Program Manager. 

See the complete RFP for full details. 

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


  • Eligible applicants may include not-for-profit non-governmental organizations, watershed groups, conservation districts, local water quality districts, academic institutions, county extension services, and county governments in Montana. To be eligible for DEQ’s Volunteer Monitoring Lab Analysis Support
  • Program funds, the following criteria must be met:
    • Project is located in Montana within the State’s jurisdictional areas
    • Monitoring pertains to water quality
    • Monitoring is not for profit
    • Monitoring is voluntary (i.e., is not driven by a regulatory or statutory requirement such as Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination system permit monitoring, superfund, public water supplies, and water quality enforcement cases)
    • Project preferably incorporates one or more person monitoring in a volunteer capacity (unpaid)
    • Project has broader, community benefit (i.e., project objectives produce information about Montana’s shared water resources and does not solely or primarily pertain to private water use such as individual wells or ditches)
    • Applicant demonstrates capacity for project administration and technical oversight (e.g, SAP development, training, monitoring, data management and submission, quality assurance review, data analysis, final reporting)
    • Project has clearly-defined monitoring objectives and a sampling and analysis plan that aligns with those objectives
    • Monitoring aims to produce high quality, credible data intended for objective-driven data analysis (i.e., beyond solely  or educational purposes)
    • Requests for funding are exclusively for costs of laboratory analysis and shipping


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