Section 319 funding round

The MPCA anticipates about $1.4 million will be available this 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: Friday, March 2, 2018 (4:30 p.m. Central Time)

 

Posted application materials are subject to updates. Applicants should review posted questions and answers and look for addenda that may affect the process.

PDF icon 2018 Request for Proposals - Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 grant program (wq-cwp7-20c)

The RFP assists applicants in applying for and managing state grants. 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 2018 grant round, match requirements, and other information that will help applicants plan their project and submit a competitive application. (last update 1/26/2018)

Microsoft Office document icon 2018 application form - Federal Clean Water Act Section 319 grant program (wq-cwp7-20d)

Microsoft Office document icon Section 319 sample agreement (wq-cwp7-20i)

Sample agreement for federal Section 319 funding between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a project sponsor.

Background information

PDF icon Overview of MPCA nonpoint source funding (wq-cwp1-16a)

A presentation on funding available through MPCA for nonpoint source water pollution projects: Clean Water Partnership loans and Clean Water Act Section 319 grants.

PDF icon Federal Section 319 funding (wq-cwp1-16)

MPCA’s federal Clean Water Act Section 319 (Section 319) grant program provides funding and technical assistance to groups and individuals who work with citizens to develop locally based solutions to nonpoint source (NPS) pollution that reduce NPS and implement total maximum daily load (TMDL) solutions in critical source areas. (Last update 1/25/2018)

Grant application questions and answers

This is the agency’s most current list of questions and answers and addendums about the federal fiscal year 2018 Clean Water Act Section 319 grants. This is the only source of questions and answers and addendums. It is an applicant’s responsibility to check the MPCA website for the most current information regarding a grant, including questions and answers or addendums.

Applicants who have any questions regarding this RFP must email questions to 319.Grant.PCA@state.mn.us, subject line: “FFY 18 Section 319 Grant,” no later than 4:30 pm Central Time on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Questions and answers will be posted here within two working days of receipt.

A final list of all questions answered during the open Question and Answer period will be posted on the MPCA website by 4:30 pm Central Standard Time on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

MPCA personnel are not authorized to discuss this RFP with applicants. Contact regarding this RFP with any MPCA personnel may result in disqualification.

Q11. Are letters of support and/or board resolutions required to be submitted with the application?
A11. No, there is no requirement in the RFP for letters of support or board resolutions.

Q10. Would this be considered state or federal money if used as match to leverage other, non-MPCA, grant sources.
A10. The grants are considered federal dollars and can be used to leverage other state and local dollars. Other federal funds cannot be used as match for Section 319.

Q9. Is this considered a federal source or a state source of money since it comes from the federal government, but through state hands?
Q9. Section 319 grant dollars are considered federal dollars.

Q8. Are state loan dollars that are used for septic system upgrades in the project area eligible project match?
A8. No, match dollars must match projects that are eligible for the 319 funds and supplement the work of proposed project.

Q7. If we have a biotic impairment and the source of impairment are stressors that are not themselves impairments (yet), can you apply for 319 funding to address these stressors?  Examples of these stressors include lack of habitat/poor habitat, nitrate, turbidity/TSS, dissolved oxygen, temperature.
A7. Yes, the biotic impairment can be addressed through identified stressor pollutant(s) as described in the TMDL study. If the stressor is identified and a strategy is suggested in another water plan, such as a WRAPS or TMDL implementation plan, it may be addressed with Section 319 funds.

Q6. If you intercept non-point runoff before it enters a pipe, but it’s within an MS4 community with required reductions under a TMDL, is that project eligible?
A6. Yes. The stormwater runoff intercepted before entering a conveyance system of a regulated MS4 may be eligible.

Q5. If the answer to question Q4 is yes, then can you explain how non-point source runoff that is upstream of a pipe is different than the same runoff after it enters the pipe?
A5. Stormwater runoff before it enters a conveyance system of a regulated MS4 is nonpoint source. Once it enters a conveyance system of a regulated MS4, it becomes point source because it is governed under a permit.

Q4. If non-point source runoff enters a pipe within an MS4 community, is it no longer eligible for a grant to treat that water with a BMP?
A4. A BMP within the stormwater conveyance system of a regulated MS4 community is not eligible for Section 319 funding because the conveyance system is governed by a permit.

Q3. If an EPA-approved TMDL covers more than one water resource, are we allowed to address more than one HUC12 if these HUC12 are within the HUC8 we are trying to restore? For example, our TMDL covers 4 small streams that impact the River. The 4 small streams and the River are all listed for the same impairments.
A3. For this round, there is no limit to the area as long as the BMPs directly affect the TMDL. In Exhibit A, 2b. asks the applicant to describe the distance of the BMPs from the TMDL. Ideally, a shorter distance is preferred.

Q2. Question 1 on the application asks if the watershed has an “EPA-approved watershed based plan.” The EPA-approved TMDL is just for one lake, however, the implementation strategies, evaluation, monitoring etc.  are incorporated into the state-approved watershed plan that together with the TMDL meet the nine elements. Should I answer “Yes?”
A2. No. At this time, there are no EPA-approved watershed based plans in Minnesota. The EPA requires a specific plan that meets all nine-key elements and would be named an EPA watershed-based plan (full details can be found here https://www.epa.gov/nps/handbook-developing-watershed-plans-restore-and-protect-our-waters). Although there are no watershed-based plans in Minnesota at this time, the EPA required this question for this and future funding rounds.

Q1: Can you confirm the eligibility requirements for this round of 319 funding?  We are interested in working in watersheds that are identified as impaired, but do not yet have an approved TMDL plan or WRAPS completed.  Are these locations eligible for funding or not?
A1:  As per the request for proposal, “Eligible projects must be in an identified critical area of the watershed and have an EPA-approved total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the waterbody. The projects must have an EPA-approved TMDL by Friday, March 2, 2018.” (p. 2)