HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking applications for approximately $1 million in funding for nonpoint source pollution reduction projects available under the Federal Clean Water Act. The application process is now open.
Nonpoint source water pollution stems from widespread sources and is often associated with specific land uses such as agriculture, forestry, urban and suburban development, and runoff from abandoned mine sites. Common pollutants include sediment, nutrients, pathogens and toxic metals.
The recommended range for contracts is $10,000 to $300,000 per project, and 40 percent of the total project cost must be matched with non-federal funds. Applicants must be a nonprofit organization or a government entity. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.
Approximately $500,000 of the available funding will be focused on projects in the Bitterroot watershed. DEQ focuses funding towards a specific watershed and rotates to a different watershed every two or three years. This targeted approach maximizes the cumulative impacts of water quality restoration projects to achieve measurable results.
The remaining $500,000, as well as any unspent amount from the Bitterroot, will be available for eligible projects throughout the rest of Montana.
“DEQ works closely with local watershed groups, conservation districts, and land owners to fund projects that address water quality issues such as grazing management, stream flow and riparian vegetation,” said DEQ Water Quality Division Administrator Tim Davis. “These projects protect and restore Montana’s waters and have a demonstrated ability to improve land management for producers, increase wildlife populations, and increase the community’s engagement with water quality issues.”
The application form and instructions are available at: http://deq.mt.gov/Water/SurfaceWater/NonpointSources All projects must address nonpoint source pollution and implement DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plans, which are locally developed plans for improving water quality. DEQ staff will be available, upon request, to provide feedback on project applications.