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.

DuPont Waynesboro Settlement Restoration Project Awards Announced in December 2017

On December 8, 2017, 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.]

$12.6 Million Granted in September 2017 by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Chesapeake Bay Watershed Projects

On September 19, 2017, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program announced 44 Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund grants worth a total of $12.6 million for habitat restoration, pollution reduction, shoreline protection, stormwater management, green infrastructure, and citizen involvement in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The NFWF administers the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, which provides grants under two EPA programs: the Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG) and the Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (ISNR).  For this funding cycle, $7.3 million was awarded to 13 projects under the Innovated Grants program, with recipients providing more than $13.7 million in matches; and $5.3 million was awarded to 31 projects under the Small Watershed Grants program, with recipients providing nearly $7.5 million in matches.

According to the NFWF’s news release of this year’s grants, “Since 2006, the INSR Program has provided more than $65 million to 153 projects that reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Since 1999, the SWG Program has provided more than $52 million to support 804 projects in the region and has further leveraged $143 million in local matching funds for a total conservation investment in on-the-ground restoration of nearly $200 million.”

Following are the 14 Virginia projects funded in the 2017 funding cycle, with the recipient and the NFWF grant amounts (not including the matching funds):
*Restoring Broad Creek While Advancing the Science of Urban Ditch “Re-Plumbing,” Elizabeth River Project, $500,000.
*Cost-share and Technical Assistance for Installation of Stormwater Best Management Practices, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, $750,000.
*Reducing Local Impacts on the Chesapeake Bay through Riverside Park’s Stream Restoration, City of Hopewell, $451,000.
*Strengthening the Impact of Riparian Forest Buffers on Water and Habitat Quality (in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), Maryland Department of Natural Resources, $325,274.
*Shore Protection Planning and Living Shoreline on Pamunkey River, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, $199,544.
*Oyster Restoration in the Lafayette River, Elizabeth River Project, $200,000.
*Eastern Oyster Restoration in the Lafayette River, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, $199,665.
*Linville Creek Stream Restoration: Reducing Sediment Transport, Town of Broadway, $200,000.
*Rappahannock Headwater Stream Buffer Implementation and Conservation Initiative, Friends of the Rappahanncok, $91,966.
*Restoring Eastern Brook Trout Habitat at Bolton Branch, Piedmont Environmental Council, $108,015.
*Town of Glasgow Stormwater Retrofit for Decreased Nutrient, Sediment, and Stormwater Volume, Town of Glasgow, $182,207.
*Rivanna River Renaissance: Abating the Impacts of Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation, Rivanna Conservation Alliance, $199,432.
*Advancing Green Infrastructure in Fauquier County for Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Gains, Center for Watershed Protection, $187,951.
*Women for the Land: Voices for Soil and Water Conservation in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (in Pennsylvania and Virginia), American Farmland Trust, $195,057.

More information on Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund is available at http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Pages/home.aspx, and information generally on the NFWF’s grant programs is available at http://www.nfwf.org/whatwedo/grants/Pages/home.aspx.

Sources:
NFWF Announces More Than $12.6 Million in Grants from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation News Release, 9/19/17.

List of all the grants in 2017, online (as a PDF) at http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Documents/2017grantslate.pdf.

For Water Central News Grouper items on grants in previous years, please see these links:
2012;
2013;
2016.

News media item about the 2017 grants:
Grants for oyster reefs will help Norfolk’s Lafayette claim status as a ‘restored’ river, Virginian-Pilot, 9/25/17.