By amendment to the federal Clean Water Act in 1987, the Section 319(h) Grant program was established to provide funding for efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution
. Each year DOW applies to US EPA to receive 319(h) funding. After receiving the federal award, DOW distributes a majority of the monies received through a competitive grant award process. Within this program, funds may be used to demonstrate innovative best management practices (BMPs), support education and outreach programs, develop Watershed Based Plans, and to implement Watershed Based Plans
. Funds can be used to pay for 60 percent of the total cost for each project; a 40 percent nonfederal match is required.
Applicants to the Commonwealth’s Nonpoint Source Grant Program must first submit a project proposal. Applicants may include communities, citizen groups, government agencies, colleges or universities and nonprofits. Each applicant group submits a short proposal. Proposals are then reviewed and ranked by DOW and their partners. The proposals that rank highest are invited to apply for a grant award.
The grant award application is substantially more detailed compared to the proposal. Applications include several pages of project summary and background, detailed objectives, a milestone schedule, a list of project partners with letters of support, and a comprehensive budget. DOW staff are available to work with applicants to ensure all parts of the application are completed sufficiently for submission. Complete applications that are received by the annual deadline are reviewed and ranked by DOW and an expanded group of invited partners. Awards are granted to those applications that rank the highest. The top applicants consistently build partnerships in their watershed that include stakeholders from all areas to achieve citizen and government support and maintain sustainable results. DOW strives to fund as many applications as possible in order to see the greatest positive impact on nonpoint source pollution in Kentucky.
To be considered for 2022 funding, project proposal forms must be submitted by December 3, 2021.