Category Archives: Water and Economics

Items related to government budgets, grants, user fees, costs, and other aspects of paying for water supplies, water quality, or aquatic habitats.

Grants for Dam Safety and Flood Protection Available from Va. DCR in 2018; Deadline to Apply is Mar. 30, 2018

On January 24, 2018, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced the availability of grants for 2018 to dam owners and local governments from the Virginia Dam Safety, Flood Prevention and Protection Assistance Fund.  The deadline to apply for grants in this cycle is 4 p.m., March 30, 2018.  The grant manual is available (as a Word document) online at www.dcr.virginia.gov/form/DCR199-219.docx.

Following is an excerpt from the DCR’s news release on the grants:

“The fund is managed by the Virginia Resources Authority on behalf of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

“All grants are reimbursements and require a 50 percent match. The maximum amount per grant will be determined based on amounts requested from eligible projects, application scores and available funds. …

“Grants are offered in two categories:
Dam safety grants are available to private dam owners and local governments for dams that have been under a regular or conditional certificate during the past 12 months.  If the applicant’s dam is not under a certificate, detailed documentation must be provided to demonstrate the steps being taken to bring the dam under certificate.  Grants may be used for dam break inundation zone analysis, mapping and digitization; probable maximum precipitation impact analysis and certification; hazard classification analysis; emergency action plan development; spillway capacity analysis; dam engineering and design activities; and other projects as specified in the grant manual.

Flood prevention and protection grants are available to local governments and can be used for hydrologic and hydraulic studies of floodplains to improve the accuracy of flood maps and better determine flood risk, development of flood hazard mitigation strategies and plans, development of flood prevention and protection studies, and other projects as specified in the grant manual.”

More information on th eDCR’s Dam Safety and Floodplains Program is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/; or phone (804) 371-6095.

Source: Grants Available for Dam and Floodplain Projects, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation News Release, 1/24/18.

DuPont Waynesboro Settlement Restoration Project Awards Announced in December 2017

On December 8, 2017, then-Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office announced the first restoration-project awards from the approximately $50-million DuPont Waynesboro Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement (announced in December 2016) of mercury pollution of the South River in the 1930s and 1940s from a chemical factory in Waynesboro.

Following is an excerpt from the Governor’s Office news release on the project awards, Governor McAuliffe Announces Awards from the Landmark DuPont Settlement; Projects will support land protection, water quality improvement, and recreational access that will directly benefit the City of Waynesboro and the Shenandoah Valley, 12/8/17:

“….[T]he approved projects, which will bolster both water quality and recreational opportunity by investing in projects within Waynesboro city limits as well as upstream.  Specifically, funds will support projects at the City’s South River Greenway Natural Area, at the South River Preserve North located in downtown Waynesboro, and at future sites along the City’s Greenway.  …In addition to the City of Waynesboro projects, the settlement will fund nine land conservation projects at a total of more than $13 million that will protect or restore nearly 3,000 acres of land in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watersheds.  The settlement will also provide more than $5 million in funding to the Headwaters and Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation Districts to expand their agricultural assistance programs, and three additional projects will address stream degradation and stormwater issues in Augusta County and the Town of Elkton.  One final project will include the development of a pilot incentive program to encourage establishment of riparian buffers in the region.”

The complete list of projects announced in December 2017, as well as more information, is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site at https://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/environmentalcontaminants/dupont_waynesboro.html.

For a previous News Grouper post on the settlement, please see $50-million Settlement Announced Dec. 15, 2016, for Decades-old Mercury Contamination of South River from DuPont Facility in Waynesboro.

GO Virginia Grants in December 2017 Include Funds for Shipbuilding Digital Manufacturing Training in Hampton Roads

On December 12, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the first round of economic development grants, collectively totaling $2.2 million, under the Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity for Virginia in Each Region, or GO Virginia program.  One of these first five grants was for $647,540 for the Digital Shipbuilding Workforce Program, intended to develop a training program for approximately 8,500 future workers in a digital manufacturing environment to support Hampton Roads’ existing manufacturing and shipbuilding operations.  The other four projects funded in this round were Hampton Roads Cyber Co-lab, Northern Virginia Tech Talent Pipeline, Strengthening Alexandria/Arlington’s Technology Workforce, and NOVA Fab Lab.

According to the governor’s office news release on these grants (Governor McAuliffe Announces $2.2 Million in First GO Virginia Grants; Five projects address strategic needs of regions in order to create higher paying jobs, 12/12/17), “The GO Virginia Board has $10.9 million available in FY 2018 for per capita grants for allocation to the nine regions.  Four of the nine GO Virginia Regions submitted applications in this first round of per capita funding set aside for every region.  All regions are expected to submit applications in the next round in January for their per capita share of funding.  All regions will also be eligible for competitive grants that are expected to be awarded in April 2018.”

GO Virginia, online at http://www.govirginia.org/, is a coalition of businesses, higher education, and community leaders seeking to stimulate economic growth and jobs across Virginia.  The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (Va. DHCD) GO Virginia Web page is http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/index.php/go-virginia.html.  An introduction to the program is available in the DHCD’s introductory packet for the April 2017 GO Virginia Orientation Conference, available online (as a PDF) at http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/images/GoVA/20170414-GOVA-SummitProgram(PROOF).pdf.  According to that document, “The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in Each Region (GO Virginia) was initiated in 2015 by Virginia’s senior business leadership to foster private-sector growth and job creation through state incentives for regional collaboration by business, education, and government.”

Virginia Land Conservation Foundation Grants from Dominion Surry-Skiffes Creek Mitigation Agreement Announced in December 2017

On December 7, 2017, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office announced nine Fiscal Year 2018 grants, worth a total of about $12.5 million, from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.  This set of grants was funded by Dominion Energy as part of the company’s $89.5 million mitigation agreement for impacts from the Surry-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line over the James River.  (For more on the Surry-Skiffes Creek line, please see this Water Central News Grouper item.)

This set of Foundation grants follows a set of 23 grants totaling $4.23 million, also for Fiscal Year 2018, announced in October 2017 in the Foundation’s regular annual funding round.

The Foundation was established in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly for the purpose of helping “fund the purchase of permanent conservation easements, open spaces and parklands, lands of historic or cultural significance, farmlands and forests, and natural areas,” according to the Foundation’s Web site, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia-land-conservation-foundation/.

More information on the December 2017 grants is available in a 12/7/17 news release from the Governor’s Office, Governor McAuliffe Announces Nearly $12.5 Million in Land Conservation Grants; Projects will protect and interpret at-risk historic sites benefitting the James and York Rivers.

More information on the October 2017 grants is available in a 10/3/17 news release from the Governor’s Office, Governor McAuliffe Announces $4.23 Million in Virginia Land Conservation Grants.

Va. DEQ Funding for TMDL Implementation in 2018-19 – Application Deadline February 9, 2018; Training Webinar on December 12, 2017

On November 17, 2017, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced its request for applications (RFA) for federal Section 319 grants to address nonpoint source pollution as part of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plans or watershed plans.

Section 319 refers to the section of the federal Clean Water Act that requires states to assess state waters and identify those affected by non-point source pollution.  (For more information on Section 319, see http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/NonpointSourcePollutionManagement.aspx.)

According to the DEQ’s RFA, “[t]he purpose of the 2018-2019 Virginia Section 319(h) Request for Applications (RFA) is to establish a priority list of implementation projects.  Projects on this list will be developed into sub-award agreements as funding becomes available.”

Applications for the 2018-19 funding are due February 9, 2018.  The complete RFA package can be downloaded from the DEQ NPS Grant Funding web page at: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/NonpointSourceFunding.aspx.

An application Webinar will be held Dec. 12, 2017, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Registration for the Webinar is available at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3025152698953308419.

Public Comment Opportunity on FY 2018 Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Priority List – Ends with Public Meeting on Oct. 26, 2017

The State Water Control Board’s draft priority list for Fiscal Year 2018 grants from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is undergoing public comment until a public meeting on October 26, 2017.  The meeting that day will be at 10 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  More details on the meeting is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=26560.

The draft list of loan recipients and projects is available from the DEQ online http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/FY2018AnnualSolicitation.aspx.  More information about the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance.aspx; or contact Walter Gills, Va. DEQ Clean Water Financing and Assistance Program, P. O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia  23218; phone (804) 698-4133; e-mail: walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov.

2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds Grant Availability Announced October 5, 2017; Deadline to Apply is November 6

On October 5, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Ooffice announced an upcoming grant round for 2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds, administered by the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.  According to the news release from the governor’s office, the grants are designed to support “projects that will conserve, protect, and benefit historically and culturally significant resources.  Eligible projects include landscape preservation along the James River watershed to benefit the Jamestown Island-Hog Island-Captain John Smith Trail Historic District (District), as well as landscape scale conservation that will preclude future river crossings in the area.  Projects may also include enhancement and preservation of sites associated with the Battle of Yorktown and Fort Crafford, as well as exhibits focused on the Peninsula Campaign. …The grant funds are made available pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by Dominion Energy, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in order to mitigate impacts from construction of Dominion Energy’s Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton 500-kV Transmission Line Project.  This grant round is one of five categories of projects that will be funded under the terms of the MOA.  Should all $12.5 million in grant funds not be obligated in 2017, a future grant round will be held in 2018.”

The deadline to apply for 2017 funds is November 6, 2017, at 4 p.m. Eastern.  Information about the Virginia Conservation Land Foundation, including the grant manual for the 2017 Surry-Skiffes Creek Restricted Funds, is available online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia-land-conservation-foundation/.

Source: Governor McAuliffe Announces $12.5 Million Grant Round for Historic Preservation and Landscape Conservation; Funds will support projects within the Jamestown Island-Hog Island- Captain John Smith Trail Historic District and related areas, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 10/5/17.

[For more information on the Surry-Skiffes Creek project, please see this Water Central News Grouper post: James River Transmission Line Proposal by Dominion Energy.]