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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits, IHEs, Businesses, and Agencies to Evaluate the Quality of Local Water Resources

Baseline Water Quality Data Program (BWQDP)

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #142694

Grant Description

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Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, IHEs, for-profit businesses, government agencies, and watershed organizations to evaluate the quality of local water resources. Eligible projects must utilize accepted scientific practices and principles for the collection and analysis of water samples to document existing groundwater quality conditions on private water supplies.

Act 13 of 2012 establishes the Marcellus Legacy Fund and allocates funds to the Commonwealth Financing Authority to be used to fund statewide initiatives to establish baseline water quality data on private water supplies using the Baseline Water Quality Data Program (BWQDP). 

Funds may be used by the applicant to pay for any of the following project costs:

  1. Collection, monitoring, sampling water quality data on private water supplies. 
  2. Evaluation, interpretation, and analysis of collected data and the preparation of final reports. 

Specific Collection Requirements:

  1. Private well sampling will require permission from the property owner.
  2. The scope of work must be written by a licensed professional geologist with expertise in hydrogeology. The scope of work should include a description of the sampling protocol, a list of field parameters and analyses, identification of the lab being used for the project, and plans for data reporting, interpretation and storage.
  3. Water quality data should include the parameters contained in PA DEP’s Recommended Basic Oil and Gas Pre-Drill Parameters list.
  4. Sample collection and testing procedures must follow accepted standard practices. All samples shall be analyzed by a PA-accredited laboratory using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- approved/accepted drinking water methods.
  5. Attribute data, such as well depth, casing length, date of construction, and estimated yield, shall also be collected and recorded, if known by the private well owner.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any of the following entities may apply for a grant under the Baseline Water Quality Data Program (BWQDP):

1. Municipality – Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule municipality.

2. Councils of Governments – An entity organized by units of local government under an intergovernmental agreement, which provides cooperative planning, coordination and technical assistance to its member governments on issues of mutual concern that cross jurisdictional lines, and which does not act under the direction and control of any single member government.

3. Authorized Organization – An entity involved in research, restoration, rehabilitation, planning, acquisition, development, education or other activities, which furthers the protection, enhancement, conservation, preservation or enjoyment of this commonwealth's environmental, conservation, recreation or similar resources. The organization must be a tax-exempt institution under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c) (3)) and registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations or an educational institution involved in these authorized activities or a municipal authority.

4. Institution of Higher Education – An entity that is an accredited university, college, seminary college, community college or two-year college.

5. Watershed Organization – An entity recognized by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) or the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that was established to promote local watershed conservation efforts in an identified watershed.

6. For Profit Businesses – other than “producers” of natural gas as defined in Act 13.

Ineligible costs include but are not limited to public relations, outreach communications, lobbying, litigation, fees for securing other financing, interest on borrowed funds, application preparation fees and other costs incurred prior to the approval of grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted between February 1st and May 31st of each year. All applications and required supplemental information must be received by May 31st.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority charges a $100 non-refundable application fee for Baseline Water Quality Data Program applications. Payment of the application fee must be completed prior to the certification and submission of the Electronic Single Application.

For this grant program, a 15% cash match of the total project cost is required. Eligible match contributions will be permitted for up to one year prior to the grant submittal deadline date through the life of the grant agreement as long as the eligible match expenditures are directly related to the project.

To be eligible for reimbursement, project costs must be incurred within the time frame established by the grant agreement.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants shall not exceed $250,000.

Contact Information:

Apply online: https://www.esa.dced.state.pa.us/Login.aspx

For technical inquiries regarding the submission of the on-line application, contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 379-7448 or (717) 787-3405.

Program inquiries should be directed to:
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
Office of Business Finance and Workforce Development – CFA Programs Division
Baseline Water Quality Data Program
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225

Telephone: (717) 787-6245
Fax: (717) 772-3581
E-mail: ra-dcedsitedvpt@pa.gov

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