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Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grants

The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Section in the Office of Water Quality manages two federal pass-through grant programs aimed at improving water quality in the state: Section 319(h) and Section 205(j), each named after the portion of the Clean Water Act that authorizes the program.

The Federal Clean Water Act Section 319(h) provides funding for various types of projects that work to reduce nonpoint source water pollution. Funds may be used to conduct assessments, develop and implement TMDLs and watershed management plans, provide technical assistance, demonstrate new technology and provide education and outreach. Organizations eligible for funding include nonprofit organizations, universities, and local, State or Federal government agencies. A 40 percent (non-federal) in-kind or cash match of the total project cost must be provided.

Projects are administered through grant agreements that spell out the tasks, schedule, and budget for the project. Projects are normally two to three years long and work to reduce nonpoint source pollution and improve water quality in the watershed primarily through:

  • Education and outreach designed to bring about behavioral changes and best management practice (BMP) implementation that leads to reduced nonpoint source pollution;
  • The development of watershed management plans that meet U.S. EPA’s required nine elements; and,
  • The implementation of watershed management plans through a cost-share program focusing on BMP implementation that address water quality concerns.

IDEM project managers work closely with the project sponsors to help ensure that the project runs smoothly and the tasks of the grant agreement are fulfilled. Site visits are conducted at least quarterly to touch base on the project, provide guidance and technical assistance as needed, and to work with the grantee on any issues that arise to ensure a successful project closeout.

For more information about Section 319 funding, contact IDEM.

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