DEEP: FY18 Request for Proposals for Nonpoint Source Management Grant Program

Connecticut DEEP is Accepting Proposals for Grants under Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act for Fiscal Year 2018

General Eligibility and Focus
 
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is accepting proposals for fiscal year 2018 Clean Water Section 319 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 from EPA for Section 319 grants that can be passed onto communities, local conservation groups, and other organizations for NPS implementation projects, plans, and statewide NPS management 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 land use 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 requirements of stormwater permits are not eligible for Section 319 grants.  However, proposals that provide stormwater mitigation above and beyond permit requirements may be considered.
 
In the past two fiscal years, DEEP was able to eliminate the need for applicants to provide a 40% match to the project.  DEEP hopes to again be able to cover this Section 319 grant requirement by using state dollars for other NPS projects that are not Section 319 funded. Applications that include financial or in kind contributions demonstrate a commitment to the project that is considered by DEEP when ranking applications.  Applicants should also recognize that DEEP is interested in awarding projects at greater dollar amounts than in past years.  
 

 
Project Priorities for FY2018
 
Watershed Based Plan Implementation Projects
Project priorities for FY 2018 will continue to stress implementation projects in watersheds that have approved Watershed Based Plans (WBP) and that lead to targeted pollutant load reductions, improved habitat conditions, or dam removal.  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 approved WBPs.
 
Implementation Projects Not Associated with WBPs
DEEP may consider implementation projects that are not connected to an existing WBP, but targeted to impaired waters.  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, or documenting how the 9 elements of Watershed based planning process are addressed. 
 
Watershed Based Plan Development
In 2018 DEEP will be focusing on selected waters for action plan development in DEEP’s Integrated Water Resource Management.  Applicants are encouraged to review DEEP’s Integrated Water Resources Management webpage for a list of these waterbodies.  DEEP may still consider WBP development for bodies listed as impaired that are not listed in DEEP Integrated Water Resources Management program, see Chapter 3 of the 2016 State of Connecticut Integrated Water Quality Report for a list of impaired waters.  EPA has provided detailed guidance on WBP structure and content.  See requirements for Watershed Based Plans.  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.  Projects that  provide quantifiable pollutant load reductions, 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 Management 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.
See the Connecticut Nonpoint Source Management Program Plan 2014 for more information on nonstructural Best Management practices.
 
Project Requirements
 
EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 Grant Requirements
The 2018 proposals must comply with the Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories issued on April 12, 2013.
 
Pollutant Load Reduction Reporting 
Grantees will be required to complete spreadsheet forms for the EPA Grant Reporting Tracking System (GRTS).  GRTS assists grantees to provide pollutant load reduction estimates that are required, for all NPS implementation projects.  The correct spreadsheet form can be found at the Nonpoint Source Program Main page.
 
Project Duration
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 FY2018 portion. 
 
All proposals submitted for these funds must identify a 40% non-federal cash or in-kind services match.   Match requirements maybe waived if EPA accepts DEEP’s proposal to use other state funds for other NPS projects as a match for the 2018 Section 319 grant.  However at this time, applicants should identify a match in case DEEP has to pass the 40% match requirement on to applicants as was done prior to 2016.

Project proposals must be submitted on the FY2018 DEEP Section 319 application by May 1, 2018.
 
DEEP Contacts
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:
  • Nonpoint Source Program Supervisor:  Chuck Lee (860) 424-3716 or charles.lee@ct.gov
  • Southwest Coastal, South Central Coastal, and Connecticut Mainstem Manager:  Chris Malik (860) 424-3959 or christopher.malik@ct.gov
  • Housatonic and Farmington Manager:  Susan Peterson (860) 424-3854 or susan.peterson@ct.gov
  • Eastern Coastal, Thames, Salmon, and Eight Mile Manager:  Eric Thomas (860) 424-3548 or eric.thomas@ct.gov
Proposals submitted in response to this FY2018 Request for Proposals must be received electronically by May 1, 2018.  Proposals received after that date will not be considered for FY2018 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: April 3, 2018