Supported activities and expenses

Supported activities

Lake condition monitoring. The MPCA is placing priority on lakes greater than 100 acres that are publically accessible. Lakes with a declining trend, or those that are near impairment or showing signs of improving water quality are considered high-priority waters.

Stream condition monitoring. The MPCA’s stream condition monitoring efforts focus largely on sampling key sites within each watershed for water chemistry and bacteria levels. Sampling also includes field measurements and observations. These results will be paired with biological and habitat data, collected by the MPCA, to assess stream reaches for aquatic life and aquatic recreation use support.

Volunteer recruitment. MPCA’s Citizen Monitoring Programs (CMP) are continually seeking local assistance and resources for volunteer recruitment. Local partners can work with lake and stream CMP staff to develop effective communication tools and coordinate promotional events. MPCA can provide existing MPCA promotional materials including displays, brochures, and electronic templates for use at recruitment events.

Eligible expenses

Only eligible expenses will be reimbursed. Eligible expenses are costs directly incurred through work activities that are solely related to and necessary for producing the deliverables as described below and in a subsequent approved work plan, and occur during the agreement period. Expenses are eligible only if incurred on or after the date the agreement is executed. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to the following.


  • Include hourly rates for staff providing assistance and management (including, but not limited to, data management, report preparation, volunteer recruitment and management, training, field planning and reconnaissance, and monitoring) of the project. Actual hourly rates shall be averaged over the entire term of the agreement,
  • Indirect costs, including employee taxes and insurance costs, and
  • Business support and direct rental, insurance, and supply costs. These are costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefiting more than one cost center or program area in the partnering organization, and are also referred to as shared or central services costs. These costs must be reflected in the hourly rate of those employees providing direct assistance and management of the agreement. The proposer may be requested to provide documentation in support of their administrative cost rate calculation. Local partners shall not duplicate costs already itemized as a direct expense within the indirect cost calculations for staff rates.


Subcontractor costs are actual costs for subcontractors as specifically approved by MPCA. Hourly rates, number of hours, unit cost, quantity, and direct subcontractor expenses must be itemized in the budget and be consistent with eligibility objectives. Mark up of subcontractor rates is not allowed. Hours for staff directly involved with the management or oversight of a subcontractor may be included.

Equipment and supplies

  • Approved equipment and supplies must be specific to the supported activities.
  • Itemized repair and service charges for water quality meters, probes, and displays.
  • The MPCA shall provide Secchi disks and/or Secchi tubes to awarded partners upon request at no charge.
  • Quantities and unit prices of equipment and supplies shall be included with the initial cost proposal. Eligible equipment and supplies include, but are not limited to:
    • Field meter and display
    • Field meter accessories (grease, cable, reel, storage container, etc.)
    • Replacement DO, pH and conductivity probes
    • Replacement DO caps
    • Calibration standards
    • Water collection sampling devices (Extended rod swing sampler, Van Dorn Sampler, Kemmerer sampler, Integrated sampler)*
    • Digital camera
    • Portable GPS (if applicable)
    • Personal floatation devices
    • Waders/knee-high boots
    • Gloves
    • Rain gear
    • ANSI Class 2 safety vest
    • Roadside safety cones
    • Vehicle safety 360-degree flashing light
    • AIS Sprayer and materials/detergents
    • Flash drive/digital disks
    • Consumable supplies (ice, distilled water, packing tape, batteries, permanent markers, coolers, etc.)

*Specific to SWAG


  • Laboratory analytical costs. Eligible labs include the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Environmental Laboratory, laboratories listed on the MPCA’s Sampling and Laboratory Analyses Services-Environmental Master Contract (LAS-EMS), Minnesota state laboratories, and university labs within Minnesota. Applicable lab rates shall not exceed the rates listed within the LAS-EMS. The chosen lab must be certified by MDH (for all certifiable parameters) to perform all the analyses listed above or sub-contract the analysis of uncertified parameters to one or more labs in the LAS-EMS which meet this requirement.
  • Mileage/travel. Billed at current Internal Revenue Service rate.
  • Costs associated with shipping/delivering water samples to the laboratory and equipment shipping fees
  • Volunteer recruitment activities
  • Watercraft rental/usage fees not to exceed $35 per day for canoe rental or $52 per day for watercraft use*,
  • Production and distribution of publications related to activities detailed within the work plan,
  • Lodging and meals** (per diem) of personnel approved in the work plan in the same manner and in no greater amount than provided for in the current Commissioner’s Plan

Volunteer recruitment activities and watercraft rental/usage applicable to SWAG work plans only

*Not applicable to volunteer-owned personal vehicles or watercraft.
**Reimbursement of meals can only be claimed when sampling over the normal meal period and sampling staff is located beyond a 35-mile radius of the permanent work station.

Ineligible expenses

  • Any expenses incurred before the contract is fully executed including proposer’s expense for preparing the draft work plan and cost proposal.
  • Any expenses incurred during work plan and budget negotiations.
  • Bad debts, late payment fees, finance charges or contingency funds, interest, and investment management fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Engineering/consultant fees
  • Employee worksite parking
  • Administrative expenses not directly related to or necessary to complete the work
  • Lobbying, lobbyists and political contributions
  • Mark-up on purchases and/or subcontracts
  • Taxes, except sales tax on eligible equipment and expenses
  • Activities addressing enforcement actions that involve a financial penalty
  • Memberships (including subscriptions and dues)
  • Reimbursement to non-staff stakeholders for their attendance at stakeholder participation meetings
  • Food (other than staff per diem)
  • Alcoholic refreshments
  • Entertainment, gifts, prizes and decorations
  • Merit awards and bonuses
  • Length of service or participation awards
  • Donations and fundraising
  • Computer(s) and software, unless unique to the project and specifically approved by the MPCA as a direct expense
  • Purchase or rental of mobile communication devices such as pagers, cell phones, and personal data assistants (PDAs), unless unique to the project and specifically approved by the MPCA as a direct expense.
  • Continuous flow monitoring equipment
  • Equipment for sample parameters not listed within the work plan
  • Laboratory analyses for parameters not listed within the work plan
  • Environmental monitoring equipment for compliance purposes
  • Boats, outboard motors, and/or trailers
  • Vehicles, unless unique to the project and specifically approved by the MPCA as a direct expense
  • Vehicle, boat, outboard motor, and trailer service fees.