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319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Project Funding

Grants to Montana Nonprofits and Agencies to Mitigate
Nonpoint Source Pollution and Improve Water Quality

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Deadline Date:

09/10/18 2:00 PM Receipt


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Grants starting at $10,000 to Montana nonprofit organizations and government agencies to restore and protect water resources that have been affected by nonpoint source pollution. The majority of projects supported will be for on-the-ground restoration projects. Applications will also be considered for educational activities through the mini-grant funding stream.


The goal of Montana’s Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Program is to protect and restore water quality from the harmful effects of nonpoint source pollution. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing this Fiscal Year 2019 Call for Applications (Call) to solicit requests for funding for projects that design and implement best management practices (BMPs) and foster community and individual interest in addressing NPS pollution.

Project Eligibility:

All projects must:
-Address nonpoint source pollution.
-Implement actions consistent with recommendations in the 2017 Montana Nonpoint Source Management Plan
-Implement activities or practices identified in a DEQ-accepted Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP). If you do not have a DEQ-accepted WRP by the Application deadline you must submit a draft prior to applying for funding. DEQ staff will review the draft and estimate the likelihood of it being ready for DEQ acceptance prior to January 31, 2019. Funds will not be awarded to projects that are not articulated in a DEQ-accepted WRP in by January 31, 2019.
-Address impairments identified on Montana’s 2018 List of Impaired Waters. In some instances, projects on streams that are not listed as impaired may be acceptable, if they reduce pollutant loading to an impaired, downstream receiving water.

DEQ Priorities and Project Competitiveness:

The goal of Montana’s NPS Program is to protect and restore water quality from the harmful effects of nonpoint source pollution. Some projects create more significant, sustainable reductions in nonpoint source pollution. Where applicable, address the priorities described in the Project Scoring Sheet. In addition, consider the following DEQ recommendations and preferences.

-Projects should address the land use practice that contributes to the problem (as opposed to only addressing the results of poor land use practices).
-Preference will be given to projects that lead to long-lasting reductions in NPS pollution.
-Water quality improvement goals are clearly defined, measurable, and attainable.
-DEQ encourages development of projects that reduce pollutant loading above a permitted point source in a manner that could contribute to future economic benefit for a downstream Montana community. This consideration is based on the positive impacts that upstream nonpoint source pollutant reductions can have on regulated downstream point sources, particularly wastewater treatment plants that must meet challenging nutrient discharge limits over time.
-Project management is an important component of a successful project. It includes effective communication, project planning, administrative skill, and completing projects on time and within budget, etc. When evaluating project management, DEQ will consider performance on previous grants and contracts.
-Projects addressing stream flow through improved water use efficiency should include a mechanism that ensures unused water remains in the stream.

Project Tasks:

In general, the following tasks are required for each application:
-Contract Administration
-Education and Outreach Activities
-Project Effectiveness Evaluation
-Load Reduction Estimation (if the project will reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and/or sediment)
-Operation and Maintenance Plan/Landowner Agreement

For applications from groups willing to distribute funding as mini-grants for educational activities, contract administration and project effectiveness evaluations must be addressed within one or more tasks.

Education and Outreach:

Education and outreach activities should be related to the project. Example E&O activities may include a watershed tour that visits the project site, preparing news releases and newsletter articles covering the project, setting up a kiosk or sign display at the project site, organizing school field trips to the project site, or giving presentations to increase support for similar projects elsewhere in the watershed. The E&O task must identify the target audience, information to be disseminated, method of delivery, and method of evaluating E&O effectiveness.

Project Effectiveness Evaluation:

All projects must contain a task dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of the project. The evaluation will need to be focused on whether the tasks outlined in the project were successfully implemented and initial steps toward proper maintenance and operation are underway. Water quality sampling is normally not a requirement for project effectiveness evaluations. However, there may be exceptions and in those situations a DEQ approved SAP might be required.

Load Reduction Estimation:

For projects addressing nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, or metals pollution, the project sponsor will work with the DEQ project manager to lay out the appropriate data collection procedures and responsibilities to determine the annual load reductions achieved by the project. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment load reduction estimates are a requirement of EPA and will be submitted to EPA at the end of the project.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and Landowner Agreement:

An O&M plan is necessary for installation of on-the-ground practices. Operation includes the administration, management, and performance of non-maintenance actions needed to keep the completed practice(s) functioning as intended. Maintenance includes work to prevent deterioration of the practice(s) or repair of damage that may occur. These O&M activities are required by EPA, and are usually documented in a landowner agreement between the project sponsor and the landowner.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 125323

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

DEQ intends to fund one educational mini-grant application.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The recommended range for NPS funding requests is $10,000 - $300,000 per project.

DEQ intends to fund one educational mini-grant application at a maximum of $30,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be able to be completed within 3 years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All project sponsors must:

-Be either a governmental entity or a nonprofit organization. A governmental entity is a local, state, or federal organization that has been established and authorized by law. Nonprofit organizations are identified as having a tax exempt declaration of 501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service.

-Have a current DUNS number. Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers may be obtained from the following website:

-Be registered with the federal System for Award Management (SAM). The SAM registration website is

-Be registered with the Montana Secretary of State. All project sponsors must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State to do business in the state of Montana. Registration with the Secretary of State may be completed via the following website:

-Have the necessary liability insurance and be in compliance with the Workers Compensation Act. Awardees will be required to demonstrate proof of liability insurance and compliance with the Workers Compensation Act prior to being awarded funding.

The following activities are NOT eligible for funding:
-Development of a Watershed Restoration Plan (WRP).
-Activities required as a condition of a point source (MDPES) discharge permit.
-Watershed characterization studies.
-Pollutant source identification.
-Water quality monitoring, except for monitoring the effectiveness of funded projects.
-Statewide education and outreach campaigns.
-Projects whose primary purpose is to protect infrastructure from natural stream channel migration.

Pre-Application Information:

A 40% cost share (match) is required. The match must be from non-federal sources (state, local, private), and may include in-kind donations. Use the following formula to calculate the amount of non-federal match required for your project.

If you have any trouble with the form, have questions about required information, or would like staff to review and comment on draft versions of your application, contact one of the Nonpoint Source Program staff prior to September 1, 2018.

Signed applications and required materials must be received by DEQ by 2PM on 9/10/2018. After submitting an application, contact Brian Barnes to make sure that all documents were received.

-6/1/2018: Issue of FY2019 Call for Applications
-6/1/2018 through 8/31/2018: Project sponsors may contact DEQ to obtain input on project proposals and for review of draft applications
-9/10/2018, 2:00pm: Applications due to DEQ by 2:00 pm
-10/1/2018: Project Sponsor presentations and Evaluation by Agency Review Panel
-10/26/2018: Notice of Intent to Award is sent to Project Sponsors
-1/31/2019: Watershed Restoration Plans must be accepted by DEQ
-June/July/August 2019: Funding becomes available

Guidance Documents:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Electronic documents smaller than five megabytes (5 MB) may be delivered via email to:

Brian Barnes
406 444-4205

CDs and jump drives sent through the mail should be
mailed to:

Water Protection Bureau
Brian Barnes
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 200901
Helena, MT 59620-0901

NPS Program Staff Contacts:

Dean Yashan

Robert Ray

Mark Ockey

Eric Trum

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana