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.

Drinking Water Funding in Va. – July 27, 2017, Public Comment Session on FY 2018 Intended Use Program

On July 27, 2017, 9 a.m., the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will hold a public-comment session on the Fiscal Year 2018 Intended Use Plan for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program.  The meeting will be at the VDH Office of Drinking Water, 109 Governor Street, 6th Floor, in Richmond.  Click this link for more information about the meeting.

The program provides assistance to public water systems for capital improvement projects to help meet public health protection objectives of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to the VDH’s Web site on the Intended Use Plan for 2017, online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/office-of-drinking-water/financial-construction/drinking-water-state-revolving-fund-program/: “Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress authorizes capitalization grants to the states through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program (DWSRF).  As part of the annual DWSRF grant application process Virginia seeks meaningful public involvement through input, review, and comments.  The VDH’s Office of Drinking Water (ODW) has prepared a draft Intended Use Plan (IUP) that explains the goals of the program, funding priorities, how VDH intends to use the grant funds, and other important information submitted from the funding requests and set-aside suggestions.”

More information about drinking water funding programs is available online at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/drinking-water/financial-construction-assistance-programs/.

VIMS Approved for $835,000 Coastal Resilience Grant from NOAA in July 2017

On July 14, 2017, Va. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) will receive an $834,991 Coastal Resilience Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  According to the governor’s office news release on the award, the funded project aims “to reduce the impacts of storm flooding through natural and nature-based infrastructure in the Commonwealth. …The VIMS project will address flooding issues across coastal Virginia by developing informative tools that allow local planners in 37 coastal counties to determine suitable areas to implement natural infrastructure solutions.  These funds will help support a $1.2 million project to improve flooding conditions in the region.”

The VIMS project was one of 19 proposals selected nationwide and the only one in the Middle Atlantic region.  Collaborators on the project will be the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at the College of William and Mary Law School; the non-profit organization Wetlands Watch, headquartered in Norfolk; the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, hosted by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality; and several state agencies.

Source: Virginia to Receive $834,991 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to Reduce Impacts of Storm Flooding, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 7/14/17.

Virginia Stormwater Local Assistance Fund Grants for 2017

In May 2017, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director David Paylor approved the recipients for Fiscal Year 2017 grants from Virginia’s Stormwater Local Assistance Fund.  Forty-one projects in 26 localities were authorized for a total of $19,855,948.  Activites funded included stream restoration and stabilization, wetlands construction, detention/retention pond construction or modification, swale modification, woodland restoration, and replacement of impervious surface with permeable pavers.

Localities authorized for FY 2017 grants were the following.
Counties
Albemarle, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Hanover, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Roanoke, Stafford.

Cities
Alexandria, Chesapeake, Hampton, Lynchburg, Manassas Park, Newport News, Portsmouth, Roanoke, Virginia Beach.

Towns (with county location)
Ashland (Hanover County), Broadway (Rockingham County), Christiansburg (Montgomery County), Dumfries (Prince William County), Elkton (Rockingham County), Vienna (Fairfax County), Warsaw (Richmond County).

More information on the fund and the funded projects is available from the DEQ online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/StormwaterFundingPrograms.aspx.

Stormwater Rain Garden planters UNDER CONSTRUCTION College Ave Blacksburg Jun13 2013

Stormwater rain-garden planters under construction in downtown Blacksburg, Va., June 13, 2013.

Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund – Applications for Fiscal Year 2018 Due by July 14, 2017

July 14, 2017, is the deadline to apply to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for financial assistance in Fiscal Year 2018 through the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF).  The DEQ’s Web site for the FY 2018 program is online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/CleanWaterFinancingAssistance/FY2017AnnualSolicitation.aspx.

Here is an excerpt from that Web site:

“VCWRLF applications are being solicited for projects that involve improvements to publicly-owned wastewater collection and treatment facilities, installation of publicly-owned stormwater best management practices, projects for the remediation of contaminated brownfield properties and land conservation projects.  Eligible Brownfield loan recipients are units of local government, public service authorities, partnerships or corporations, and eligible land conservation recipients are state and local governments, public service authorities, and registered nonprofit organizations.

“Special consideration may be give to projects that meet the Green Project Reserve guidelines (online as a PDF at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/ConstructionAssistanceProgram/Green_Project_Reserve_Info.pdf?ver=2014-03-07-182359-110).

“Finally, we are also accepting applications for Living Shoreline projects.  Local governments (which are the only eligible applicants for this program) can either apply for financial assistance in order to directly establish living shorelines themselves or establish a local government funding program for individual citizens to establish living shorelines on their properties to protect or improve water quality.  We anticipate that the [State Water Control Board] should have over $100 million in funds available for distribution during FY 2018.  Should demand for good water quality or public health related projects exceed availability, these funds may be leveraged in the municipal bond market to increase the amount of assistance available.”

The DEQ expects to present a proposed funding list to the Virginia State Water Control Board in September or October 2017.

Application details are available online at the Web site listed above.  For more information, contact Walter Gills, Va. DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; phone: (804) 698-4133; e-mail: walter.gills@deq.virginia.gov.

Lower Chickahominy River Watershed is Subject of Va. Coastal Zone Management Program Request for Proposals Due August 1, 2017

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program is seeking proposals from Virginia’s public academic institutions to conduct an analysis of costs and benefits of land conservation and natural resource protection in the lower Chickahominy River watershed.

For a detailed request for proposals document, contact Beth Polak, Coastal Planner, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, phone (804) 698-4260, e-mail: Beth.Polak@deq.virginia.gov.

Proposals are due by August 1, 2017.

Funding for the requested proposals is through Section 309 of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act.  Background on the Federal Section 309 Program is available online (as a PDF) at https://coast.noaa.gov/czm/enhancement/media/Sect-309_Guidance_June2014.pdf.

Virginia Environmental Endowment Grants; Proposals Due June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017, is the next deadline for grant proposals to the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE).  Information about the VEE grant process is available online at http://www.vee.org/grant-programs-application/.  VEE’s Virginia grant program accepts proposals twice a year (deadlines of June 15 and December 1) from nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organizations and institutions and governmental agencies for grants for specific projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment.  In the Virginia program, grant priorities are water quality, the Chesapeake Bay, land conservation and use, environmental education and awareness, and other emerging issues.

VEE also has a grant program for the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys of Kentucky and West Virginia, intended to support research, education, and community action on water quality and its connections to public health and the environment.  That program, which accepts proposals only once per year, also has a June 15 deadline.

Details on project requirements and the submission process are online at http://www.vee.org/grant-programs-application/proposal-requirements/.

Located in Richmond, VEE was started in 1977 with $8 million of the $13.2 million assessed on Allied Chemical Corporation for pollution of the James River with the pesticide Kepone from the company’s Hopewell, Va., plant.  The organization’s main Web site is http://www.vee.org/.

Some of the information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/; or contact Jane Walker at the janewalk@vt.edu or (540) 231-4159.

Virginia Environmental Endowment Awards of $277,000 for 14 Projects Announced May 9, 2017

On May 9, 2017, the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) announced grants of $277,000 to 14 organizations for projects related to water quality, land conservation, or environmental education.

Located in Richmond, the VEE was started in 1977 with $8 million of the $13.2 million assessed on Allied Chemical Corporation for pollution of the James River with the pesticide Kepone from the company’s Hopewell, Va., plant.  According to the organization’s Web site (http://www.vee.org/),  “[t]he mission of the Virginia Environmental Endowment is to improve the quality of the environment by using its capital, expertise and resources to encourage all sectors to work together to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and promote environmental literacy.  Although accorded a national scope by its charter, the Endowment currently limits awards to eligible nonprofit organizations for programs conducted in the state of Virginia and in the Kanawha and Ohio River Valleys of Kentucky and West Virginia.”

The VEE’s press release on the awards is available online at http://www.vee.org/about/latest-news/.  Following are the recently announced awards and recipients, according to the press release.

Charlottesville and Central Virginia
*Rivanna Conservation Alliance, $25,000 to “expand citizen water quality monitoring expertise and sites on the Rivanna and its tributaries.”
*Southern Environmental Law Center, $35,000 to “support core programs in land use and transportation solutions that promote sustainable development and conservation statewide and defend regulations and programs that aim to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”

Coastal Region/ Chesapeake Bay
*William & Mary Law School, Virginia Coastal Policy Center, $35,000 for “legal and policy research to assist local communities with resilience planning due to sea level rise, groundwater depletion, and recurrent flooding, and support for the Center’s annual conference.”
*Virginia Institute of Marine Science/Virginia Sea Grant, $10,000 per year for two years to “establish the Commonwealth Coastal and Marine Policy Fellowship program, which will provide one-year opportunities for recent post-graduate students to serve within host state natural resources agencies.”

 Richmond/James River Basin
*
James River Association, $30,000 to “produce an enhanced State of the James report, to provide a more comprehensive overview of the health of the James River in the fall of 2017.”
*VIRGINIAforever, $12,500 to “conduct an updated study regarding how natural resources funding in Virginia’s state budget compares to other states.”
*Virginia United Land Trusts, $20,000 to “strengthen Virginia’s land conservation community by enhancing the statewide umbrella organization’s support of the state’s local land trusts, including efforts to sustain long-term conservation funding and stable tax credits.”
*Virginia Association of Soil and Water Districts, $8000 for “continued support and expansion of the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute to mentor high school students who have shown an increased interest in conservation and serving their communities.”

Northern Virginia/Piedmont
*
Friends of the Rappahannock, $15,000 to “support the Headwaters Stream Initiative to expand the organization’s work throughout the Rappahannock watershed, [supporting] trout restoration projects and work with property owners in six headwater counties to restore riparian buffers along streams and rivers.
*Piedmont Environmental Council, $16,000, to “advance a targeted land and water quality initiative seeking to improve the Goose Creek watershed in Loudoun and Fauquier counties….”

 Shenandoah Valley
*
Shenandoah National Park Trust on behalf of Blue Ridge PRISM, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support…an innovative education program aimed at increasing landowner awareness about the damage caused by non-native plants and encouraging replacement with native species in a 10-county region.”

Southern and Southwest Virginia
*
Black Family Land Trust, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support the Virginia Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Program to retain African-American owned forestland in the seven counties…(Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Sussex).
*Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, $6000 to “advance projects to improve water quality, and to provide educational resources in the Clinch River watershed in Tazewell County in southwest Virginia.”
*Land Trust Alliance, $25,000 to “continue and expand upon work of a ‘circuit rider’ professional land trust coach to strengthen land trusts in southern Virginia, and, in addition, provide training and support for land trusts in the Shenandoah, Upper Potomac, Rappahannock, Rapidan watersheds and Eastern Shore about how to effectively support Chesapeake Bay land and water quality improvement goals.”