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How to Apply for Nonpoint Source Grants

How to apply for grants to cleanup or prevent water pollution including eligibility, requirements, and guidelines

Request for Grant Applications

Hot Topic The TCEQ released the 2017 Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) on July 1, 2016.

Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm CT.

The RFGA can be accessed on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) web site. At that web site, in the "Browse Postings" section, in the line for "Agency Requisition Number," enter 582-16-64244, and click "GO" to access this RFGA. The RFGA web page contains links for "Package 1," the RFGA application kit, and "Package 2," the application form in Word format. Questions about this RFGA must be submitted in writing by July 22, 2016 to Adrian Kyle, by email at or by fax at 512-239-0823. Answers to these questions will be posted in an Addendum on the RFGA web page by August 1, 2016. A separate application form must be submitted for each individual project proposed. Completed applications should be concise, but also provide a sufficient level of detail to facilitate the evaluation of the proposed project. Applicants are urged to check the ESBD page for this RFGA throughout the application period for any additional information and/or requirements which may be posted via Addenda on that page.

The following sections provide background on this grant program, applicants and activities eligible for funding, and other supporting information.

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Grant Administration and Sources of Funding

The TCEQ and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board Exit the TCEQ 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 Exit the TCEQ.

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.

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Who Is Eligible?

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.

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What Activities Are Eligible?

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 Exit the TCEQ. 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.

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Watershed Planning Projects

Refer to the Watershed Protection Plan page.

Quality Assurance Requirements

All project-related water quality data must be collected and analyzed in accordance with an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP).

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Guidance for NPS Grants

The following Web pages provide guidance and information for Section 319 grant projects.

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Tools for Documenting Pollutant Reductions

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.

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Agricultural and Silvicultural Projects

The TSSWCB 319(h) Grant Program Exit the TCEQadministers the Section 319(h) grant program for agricultural and silvicultural projects in Texas.

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Funding for Stormwater and Wastewater

The Texas Clean Water State Revolving Fund Exit the TCEQ and Texas Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Exit the TCEQ, 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.

Hot Topic Through August 5, 2016, the TWDB is accepting public comments on the draft Intended Use Plans for both of these funds.Exit the TCEQ These documents are the proposed lists of projects for FY2017 funding.

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For More Information

Contact the NPS Program by e-mail at, or call 512-239-6682.

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