How to Apply for Nonpoint Source Grants
- Requests for Grant Applications (RFGA)
- Application Forms for the 2014 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
The most recent TCEQ annual request for grant applications (RFGA) closed on July 31, 2013. The next RFGA is scheduled for June 2, 2014.
The annual RFGA is posted on the Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD) web site.
The following application forms are posted for your reference. The forms for next year will be similar but not identical. The "General Projects" form is intended for all projects not involved in developing a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). The other forms are for components of the preparation of a WPP.
- Application Form for General Projects
- Application Form for Watershed Characterization - Monitoring (focus on gathering water quality and related data)
- Application Form for Watershed Characterization - Modeling (focus on modeling pollutant loadings together with potential measures to reduce loadings)
- Application Form for Developing a Watershed Protection Plan (final preparation of a WPP satisfying the nine key elements)
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 State of Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program or nonpoint source elements in the Texas Coastal Management Plan . 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.
The development of a Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) requires sufficient water quality data to characterize pollutant sources and determine whether there are obvious sources of pollution that can be addressed through means other than a WPP. To make this determination, and to allow adequate time for analysis of the data, the TCEQ NPS Program recommends a phased approach to watershed planning . This three-phase approach recommends that a monitoring (data collection and assessment) phase and a modeling (pollutant load estimation) phase be completed before proposing a project to develop a WPP.
Please note: TCEQ funding of a first or second phase project does not obligate the agency to fund additional phases of WPP development for that watershed.
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.
- 2004 (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.