How to Apply for Nonpoint Source Grants
- Request for Grant Applications (RFGA)
- Application Form for the 2015 RFGA
- Grant Administration and Sources of Funding
- Who Is Eligible?
- What Activities Are Eligible?
- Watershed Planning Projects
- Quality Assurance Requirements
- Guidance for NPS Grants
- Tools for Documenting Pollutant Reductions
- Agricultural and Silvicultural Grants
- For More Information
Request for Grant Applications
On June 2, 2014, TCEQ posted its most recent Request for Grant Applications (RFGA,) for Fiscal Year 2015 nonpoint source projects under the Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grant Program. A set of projects selected under that solicitation have been approved by EPA for funding beginning September 1, 2015.
TCEQ will post an RFGA for Fiscal Year 2016 in the summer of 2015, and provide information here about how to prepare and submit an application. Applications will be accepted for approximately two months.
The official application form will be available at the RFGA posting on the ESBD web site. The application instructions are generally linked as "Package 1," and the application form itself is linked as "Package 2."
Templates for additional task language: The application form (Package 2) will contain a template for a project scope of work, including standard language in table format for the tasks "Project Administration," "Quality Assurance," and "Final Report," as well as a generic task table for additional tasks. To assist applicants with development of a comprehensive set of task descriptions, the NPS Program will also prepare a document containing suggested language for several additional tasks often associated with NPS projects, including "Watershed Characterization," "Watershed Stakeholder Coordination," and "BMP Effectiveness Monitoring." Applicants can copy and paste the language from the document directly into the Grant Application Form. It is important that applicants modify and/or expand the suggested language as needed to describe their projects accurately.
The TCEQ and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board administer federal grants for activities that prevent or reduce nonpoint source pollution. Grants are awarded annually and fund projects for up to three years. The TCEQ usually solicits grants in the summer of each year. Opportunities to apply are published on this Web page and Electronic State Business Daily .
The grants are made available through a federal program authorized under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. See descriptions of current and recent projects funded through the TCEQ’s Nonpoint Source Program.
All nonprofit organizations, and all state agencies or political subdivisions of the State of Texas—including cities, counties, school districts, state universities, and special districts—are eligible. Private organizations may participate in projects as partners or contractors but may not apply directly for funding.
Applicants are encouraged to partner with other local, state, and federal authorities to increase the impact of their activities. Participation offers the following benefits:
- More and better information is available for managing surface water resources.
- It ensures local perspectives are considered in decision making by government.
- Stakeholders gain insight into the nature of water quality problems and solutions.
- It promotes local stewardship of water resources through voluntary action.
To be eligible for funding, a project must address the objectives, goals and/or priorities identified in the 2012 State of Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program or nonpoint source elements in the 1998 Texas Coastal Management Program . Priority is given to funding development and implementation of watershed protection plans and alternative watershed-based plans.
Other eligible activities include:
- assessment of nonpoint sources of water pollution
- education and outreach
- implementation of both technology-based and water quality–based management measures
Projects that implement permit requirements for storm water are not eligible for funding. However, storm water management activities not required by permit might be eligible for assistance. Also, even in areas with storm water permits, low impact development practices and retrofits of storm water control structures are usually eligible for funding.
Refer to the Watershed Protection Plan page.
All project-related water quality data must be collected and analyzed in accordance with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).
The following Web pages provide guidance and information for Section 319 grant projects.
- 2014 (current) EPA Guidelines for Section 319 Grants
- Watershed Planning Guidance
- Public Education Resources
- Hydrography Maps and Data (see particularly under GIS Data Sets: Texas Stream Segments, 2012 - certified layer)
- Clean Water Act Section 319
- Cost Share/Match Guidelines for Universities and Nonprofits
- Cost Share/Match Guidelines for State and Local Government
The federal nonpoint source program uses the term "best management practices," or BMPs, to refer to any activity that has proven effective in preventing or reducing nonpoint source pollution. Every grant project that implements BMPs must include an estimate of the amount of pollution its activities will prevent or reduce, and an evaluation of the performance of the BMPS implemented.
Links to some of the BMPs that Texas has found effective are provided below. Information on those websites should prove useful for estimating pollutant reductions from the associated practices.
- BMP Efficiency Water Quality Monitoring
- Modeling to Estimate Pollutant Load Reductions
- BMP Efficiency Ratings
The TSSWCB 319(h) Grant Program administers the grant program for agricultural and silvicultural projects.
Contact the NPS Program by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512-239-6682.