Connecticut DEEP is Accepting Proposals for Grants under Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act for Fiscal Year 2015
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is accepting proposals for Clean Water Section 319 matching grants. Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act (Section 319) is a Federal program to control nonpoint sources (NPS) of water pollution. Connecticut receives funds for matching grants, under Section 319 that can be passed on to communities, local conservation groups, and other organizations for NPS projects, plans, and statewide efforts. Proposals may be submitted by any interested public or private organization.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines NPS pollution as pollution that is “caused by diffuse sources that are not regulated as point sources, and are normally associated with precipitation 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 conditions of stormwater permits are not eligible for Section 319 grants. However, proposals that provide stormwater mitigation above and beyond permit requirements may be considered.
The Section 319 grant program primarily focuses on addressing NPS impacts in water bodies listed as impaired in Chapter 3 of the “State of Connecticut Integrated Water Quality Report
" (IWQR). This list of water bodies is also known as “Connecticut Water Bodies Not Meeting Water Quality Standards” or Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired waters. In 2015 Section 319 grants will prioritize projects that aim to restore waters on Connecticut Interim NPS Priority Watershed List to meet water quality standards. A list of these water bodies can be found in Appendix C of the Connecticut Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan 2014
. Appendix C includes the impaired waters from the IWQR, and also includes water bodies threatened by NPS but not listed as impaired. Water bodies listed as threatened are eligible for Section 319 grants that focus on protective measures such as creation of 9 element Watershed Based Plans. DEEP will prioritize projects to restore and protect water bodies listed in Appendix C, but other Connecticut water bodies may be considered for Section 319 grants.
Project Priorities for FY2015
Watershed Based Plan Implementation Projects
Project priorities for FY 2015 will continue to stress implementation projects in watersheds that have approved Watershed Based Plans (WBP) that lead to actual pollutant load reductions. Implementation projects should have a clear connection to the management goals and objectives of the WBP and show progress towards attaining water quality goals. Applicants are strongly urged to consult with DEEP Watershed Managers to ensure their proposals are consistent with WBPs.
Implementation Projects Not Associated with WBPs
DEEP may consider implementation projects that are not connected to an existing WBP. 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 should consider including development of a WBP as part of the project proposal where practical.
Watershed Based Plan Development
DEEP will also consider projects that develop WBPs. EPA has provided detailed guidance on WBP structure and content. See requirements for Watershed Based Plans
. For projects in unimpaired and healthy waters, or when the impairment is not specific to a pollutant, or when addressing a small scale water quality problem, DEEP will consider alternative watershed based plans.
Implementation of Non Structural Best Management Practices
DEEP intends to continue to support these lower priority activities as available funding allows; these projects will rank higher when they are paired with implementation projects. If projects can provide quantifiable pollutant load reductions, this will improve their likelihood for funding.
- Monitoring, Assessment, and Trackdown Projects DEEP will consider using Section 319 funds to support monitoring, modeling, assessment, and trackdown studies relevant to the control of nonpoint source pollution. Approved Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPP) may be required for these types of projects.
- Watershed or Statewide Education and Outreach Projects Demonstration, technical assistance, public outreach and education, and watershed management projects may also be funded. Pollution prevention outreach activities that promote better pet waste, lawncare, or reduce the pollution in runoff from impervious surfaces fit in this category. Projects that can demonstrate water quality improvements or have technical transfer capability rank higher.
- Land Use Planning Projects These projects may include municipal land use evaluations and modification to existing regulatory programs that promote green infrastructure and low impact development techniques, integrated pest and/or nutrient management planning, site plan reviews, education for municipal officials or land use boards, and other activities that benefit nonpoint source pollution control.
EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Grant Requirements
Pollutant Load Reduction Reporting
Grantees will be required to complete spreadsheet forms for the EPA Grant Reporting Tracking System (GRTS)
. This will assist Grantees to provide pollutant load reduction estimates that are required, for all NPS implementation projects.
DEEP will generally limit project duration to a two year period, with rare options to extend to three years if justifiably needed for completion. 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 FY2015 portion. All proposals submitted for these funds must identify a 40% non-federal cash or in-kind services match
. Project proposals must be submitted on the FY2015 DEEP Section 319 application.
Watershed Managers DEEP recommends that applicants consult with DEEP’s Watershed Manager before proposing any project. Please contact the appropriate manager listed below for your geographic area:
Proposals submitted in response to this FY2015 Request for Proposals must be received electronically by April 14, 2015
. Proposals received after that date will not be considered for FY2015 funding.
Proposals should be submitted by email to Charles Lee at Charles.Lee@ct.gov
. If special accommodations are required, please contact the above staff well ahead of the deadline.
Content Last Updated: March 3, 2015