The MPCA anticipates about $2.5 million will be available in the FFY2019 funding round for projects that will reduce nonpoint source pollution in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Funding for selected projects will be provided by Section 319 grant funds, contingent upon Congressional appropriation.
Application deadline: Proposals will be accepted through February 26, 2019 (4:30 p.m. Central Time)
Review the request for proposals for complete details.
This document describes the Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 (Section 319) grant, including information on who may apply for funding, the funding priorities for the Federal Fiscal Year 2019 grant round, match requirements, and other information that will help applicants plan their project and submit a competitive proposal. Proposals are due no later than February 26, 2019 (4:30 p.m. Central Time).
Questions and answers
Applicants with questions regarding this RFP must send an e-mail to 319.Grant.PCA@state.mn.us, subject line: “FFY 19 Section 319 Grant,” no later than February 19, 2019 (4:30 pm Central Time). Questions and answers will be posted on the MPCA website within two working days of receipt.
A final list of questions answered will be posted by Friday, February 22, 2019 (4:30 pm Central Time).
Q1. Can 319 funds be spent on in-lake alum treatment projects and/or projects designed to control the water quality impacts of rough fish/carp?
A1. Yes, in-lake treatments, including alum, and projects designed to control impact of carp and rough fish are eligible activities.
Q2. Does an approved TMDL report and implementation plan meet all of the requirements for EPA’s nine element planning?
A2. No watersheds in Minnesota currently have a stand-alone and completely approved nine-element plan, although it is considered an eligibility requirement per the Section 319 program guidance. For this funding round (FFY2019) Request for Proposals, the MPCA is working under an EPA waiver and will not require a stand-alone EPA-approved nine-element plan, but must acknowledge its importance in the scoring rubric. Grant awardees from FFY 2017 and FFY 2018 may have a partial or very minimally approved nine-element plan specific to the awarded grant project only, but do not have an entire EPA-approved nine element plan. After the funding round closes, proposals that are scored, selected, and recommended to the EPA for approval will work with their MPCA project manager and the EPA reviewer to review existing water plans, including TMDL studies, TMDL implementation plans, WRAPS, One Watershed One Plan documents, and/or local water plans to minimally meet the nine element requirements.
Q3. For a proposed project targeting a sub-watershed of a major watershed, being that the HUC-8 TMDL has been in draft stage for several years, are we eligible for Section 319 nonpoint funding if we operate under the a regional basin TMDL? (The only EPA-approved TMDL for our region.)
A3. Yes, a regional TMDL will meet the eligibility requirements.
Q4. Are non-structural land management practices eligible for funding? If so, are there any stipulations (e.g., incentives ineligible, must sign-up for multi-year contract)?
A4. Yes, non-structural land management practices are eligible for funding. These practices include, but are not limited to, cover crops, tilling practices, education and outreach costs. Grant-funded cost share is limited to 75%. Land acquisition or easement purchases are not eligible.
Q5. Are in-ditch channel modifications eligible for funding, more specifically targeted stream/ditch bank stabilization and two-stage ditch modification?
A5. Yes, in-ditch channel modifications are eligible, including, but not limited to, bank stabilization and two-stage ditches.
Q6. It states in the RFP Clean Water Partnership Loans are considered match for Section 319 grants. Would AgBMP loans also be considered eligible match if they are loaned out to address a water quality priority addressed in the grant application and identified in the budget?
A6. For the purposes of all state and federal match requirements and Farm Service Agency loans, the AgBMP structure is that these loans are considered personal contribution by the landowner since the landowner (or their guarantor) makes full repayment back to the program from private funds (personal or commercial revenues). Although the state facilitates the loan, ultimately the matching money is from private sources. 100% of the loan can be considered as match. Please note, the work must occur during the grant agreement period to be eligible to be used as match.
Q7. We notice that there is no Question 5 in the proposal project workplan. Is this a mistake?
A7. Yes, this is a clerical error. An updated form will be posted soon; however, if you have begun working on the original form, there is no need to change to the updated form. Both versions are acceptable.
Q8. Page 6 of the RFP states that the final report is due 30 days after the end date of the grant agreement, or no later than September 30, 2022. FY18 grants have an expiration date of August 31, 2022. Will the FY19 grants be one year shorter in duration than grants in the past?
A8. No, the due date of the final report is September 30, 2023. The RFP will be revised and updated.