How to Apply for Nonpoint Source Grants
- Request for Grant Applications (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
- Funding for Stormwater and Wastewater
- For More Information
The TCEQ released the 2017 Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) on July 1, 2016. Applications were accepted until September 1, 2016. The 2017 RFGA is now closed.
The following sections provide background on this grant program, applicants and activities eligible for funding, and other supporting information.
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
- Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL) and Region 5 Model
- Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)
- BMP Modeling Concepts and Simulation (EPA, 2006)
The TSSWCB 319(h) Grant Program administers the Section 319(h) grant program for agricultural and silvicultural projects in Texas.
The Texas Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Texas Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) , administered by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), provide low-interest loans and limited grants for a wide range of nonpoint source projects, as well as for stormwater and wastewater utility projects which are not eligible for Section 319(h) grant funds. Each of these funds includes a Green Project Reserve which provides a 15% loan forgiveness for qualifying activities (such as installing green stormwater infrastructure/low impact development).
Contact the NPS Program by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 512-239-6682.