Clean Vessel Pumpout Grants, Deadline Sept. 15

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This MDNR program provides funding for new or upgraded marine sewage disposal facilities, pumpouts and dump stations. Approval is based on the type of marine sewage disposal facility proposed, geographic location, number of boats served and cost of the facility.  Greater priority will be given to projects which provide increased access to pumpouts and dump stations, taking into account cost considerations to provide the highest benefit for the monies spent.

Eligibility:
Grants are provided to both private and public boating facilities as long as they are open to the public.  Eligible projects primarily include dump stations, additional pumpouts at large boating facilities or those covered by a pumpout agreement, pumpouts for mooring facilities with a minimum of 15 slips, and upgrading of older pumpout systems.

Local Match: 25%, 75% by Reimbursement

Grants are limited to the cost of a pump out and holding tank hook up.

Source(s) of Funds:
The U.S. Sport Fish Restoration account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, commonly known as the Wallop-Breaux Fund is the source of funding.  The Michigan DNR has a limited amount of federal funds available for this program.  We will continue to accept applications, but the ability to award new grants is dependent upon future federal funds.

Clean Vessel Pumpout Grants, Deadline Sept. 15

Michigan Revolving Loan Fund Updates

As the SRF and SWQIF funds affect so many, the proposed changes to the SRF merit a post even though the changes are still in the discussion stage.  An advisory committee has submitted a report with recommended changes to the current program.

The recommendations in this report are premised on the need for a policy approach that emphasizes strategic investment of dollars in vital infrastructure to protect water quality as well as the creation of more long-term, self-sustained funding. There are two parts to this policy strategy.

Part 1: Creation of a state grant program and expanded use of a state loan program to stimulate investments that protect infrastructure assets and reduce long-term costs to the public.

Part 2: Institution of reforms to the existing SRF program to stimulate investments in large scale sewer system improvement projects that address chronic water quality problems.

Part 1 – Reducing the cost of infrastructure and increasing investment in critical water quality protection through creation of a state grant program and expanded use of a state loan program

Michigan needs to invest much more heavily in the management of its sewer infrastructure assets. This keeps systems in good condition rather than allowing them to deteriorate to the point where they become extremely costly to repair or replace.  The State also needs to facilitate the establishment of dedicated revenue streams that are based on the actual cost of services provided. Given the fiscal condition of local governments, incentivizing these actions through grant funding is critical.

Part 1 Recommendations

  • Remaining funds from Proposal 2 of 2002 (approximately $654 million) should be allocated over a five year period. This should be phased so that more of the funding is available in the later years.
  • In each funding cycle, 50% of the funds available should be targeted toward implementing projects in a grant program consistent with Part 1 of this report and 50% for a loan program. Both should be implemented under the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund (SWQIF), with provision to adjust this allocation in any given year based on demand.
  • The loan program created under the SWQIF should be as simple as possible. The DEQ and the legislature should take steps to ensure that the state’s loan program does not suffer the same ills as the federal program.
  • The State must ensure that federal capitalization grants to the SRF are fully captured so no available dollars are left on the table.  State match for these grants should be provided through the general fund. However, in the event that this funding source is unavailable in any given year, a portion of the Proposal 2 funds should be designated as match for the federal capitalization grant.
  • Bonds from Proposal 2 of 2002 should be used to provide grants to local governments for:
    • Design, development and implementation of asset management plans or capital improvement programs for sanitary sewer and storm sewer infrastructure,
    • Development of stormwater management plans or programs,
    • Development and implementation of stormwater utilities, or
    •  Planning and design of sewer projects (similar to the grant program previously authorized by the legislature using Proposal 2 bond funds).
  • The grant application process should be kept as simple as possible.  Projects that meet eligibility criteria should be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Legislation describing the acceptable manner for creation of a stormwater utility consistent with the Michigan Supreme Court’s Bolt vs. City of Lansing decision needs to be adopted.

Part 2 – Increasing use of the State Revolving Fund program by streamlining requirements in the existing SRF program

The goal of the recommendations in this category is to reduce the administrative burden on applicants and the DEQ so the process is easier and less costly to administer. This in turn will result in a greater number of projects being funded.

Part 2 Recommendations

Primary recommendation: DEQ should work with a committee of stakeholders to revise the SRF program, using a process improvement approach, to ensure that a thorough list of recommendations is developed and appropriately vetted.

Part 2 Recommendations for DEQ and its stakeholder group to consider:

  • Revise the pre-application meeting process to allow potential applicants to evaluate the likelihood of funding prior to incurring significant costs.
  • Evaluate and revise the criteria for selecting priority projects.
  • Develop a checklist to determine which elements need to be addressed in the Project Plan for a specific application.
  • Review the public participation requirements and consider options other than the mandatory requirement for a formal public hearing, with a transcript, prior to submitting the Project Plan.
  • To the maximum extent possible, eliminate requirements to provide information on other state and federal laws and regulations for conformity.
  •  Create special financial incentives for “economic hardship” applicants, similar to those currently provided in the Drinking Water Revolving Fund program.
  •  If funds available exceed demand in any given year, the Committee urges the DEQ Director to lower interest rates in the subsequent funding cycle.

These are highlights from the Executive Summary. You can view the entire document here:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-ess-mfs-CWSRF-advisorycomm-FinalReport_364766_7.pdf

Michigan Revolving Loan Fund Updates

S2 Update – From the Revolving Loan Office

No funding will be pursued in the current fiscal year for the S2 Grant Program.  This decision was made at the State Budget Office.  It has been recommended by the DNRE that $40 million be provided for the S2 Grant program in FY2012.  The State Budget Office will evaluate the request.  There is a 50 percent chance that the requested funds will be provided.

Given this information, I would encourage your SRF projects in the fundable range to continue to meet their milestone dates.  In my opinion, it would NOT be advantageous for a community to forgo funding in the current fiscal year in pursuit of an S2 Grant in FY2012.

Much time has gone into preparing the necessary documents for the S2 Grants.  We will finish those currently not complete.  The application for an S2 Grant will NOT be released to the public until the funding is available.

Previous S2 posts

S2 Update – From the Revolving Loan Office

S2 Grants – As Things Look Today

There is a lot of talk and information going around about the next round of S2 funding. We are providing the latest information available for you  here so that you may check the facts for yourself. This program applies to wastewater projects. As of this week the money has not yet been appropriated and therefore a grant application is not yet available.

This information was originally presented in this blog in early December, here.

Now the focus has moved towards implementation. Here is an FAQ published last week by the MDNRE (MDEQ).

 

 

S2 Grants – As Things Look Today

Great Lakes Water Protection Act

This was a bi-partisan sponsored bill presented to the US Senate January 26. The bill is SB 147 and is sponsored by Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

The text of the initial bill is provided below.

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Great Lakes Water Protection Act’.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON SEWAGE DUMPING INTO THE GREAT LAKES.

Section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(s) Prohibition on Sewage Dumping Into the Great Lakes-

`(1) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection:

`(A) BYPASS- The term `bypass’ means an intentional diversion of waste streams to bypass any portion of a treatment facility which results in a discharge into the Great Lakes.

`(B) GREAT LAKES- The term `Great Lakes’ has the meaning given the term in section 118(a)(3).

`(C) TREATMENT FACILITY- The term `treatment facility’ includes all wastewater treatment units used by a publicly owned treatment works to meet secondary treatment standards or higher, as required to attain water quality standards, under any operating conditions.

`(D) TREATMENT WORKS- The term `treatment works’ has the meaning given the term in section 212.

`(2) PROHIBITION- A publicly owned treatment works is prohibited from intentionally diverting waste streams to bypass any portion of a treatment facility at the treatment works if the diversion results in a discharge into the Great Lakes unless–

`(A)(i) the bypass is unavoidable to prevent loss of life, personal injury, or severe property damage;

`(ii) there is not a feasible alternative to the bypass, such as the use of auxiliary treatment facilities, retention of untreated wastes, or maintenance during normal periods of equipment downtime; and

`(iii) the treatment works provides notice of the bypass in accordance with this subsection; or

`(B) the bypass does not cause effluent limitations to be exceeded, and the bypass is for essential maintenance to ensure efficient operation of the treatment facility.

`(3) LIMITATION- The requirement of paragraph (2)(A)(ii) is not satisfied if–

`(A) adequate back-up equipment should have been installed in the exercise of reasonable engineering judgment to prevent the bypass; and

`(B) the bypass occurred during normal periods of equipment downtime or preventive maintenance.

`(4) NOTICE REQUIREMENTS- A publicly owned treatment works shall provide to the Administrator (or to the State, in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section)–

`(A) prior notice of an anticipated bypass; and

`(B) notice of an unanticipated bypass by not later than 24 hours after the time at which the treatment works first becomes aware of the bypass.

`(5) FOLLOW-UP NOTICE REQUIREMENTS- In the case of an unanticipated bypass for which a publicly owned treatment works provides notice under paragraph (4)(B), the treatment works shall provide to the Administrator (or to the State in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section), not later than 5 days following the date on which the treatment works first becomes aware of the bypass, a follow-up notice containing a description of–

`(A) the cause of the bypass;

`(B) the reason for the bypass;

`(C) the period of bypass, including the exact dates and times;

`(D) if the bypass has not been corrected, the anticipated time the bypass is expected to continue;

`(E) the volume of the discharge resulting from the bypass;

`(F) any public access areas that may be impacted by the bypass; and

`(G) steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent reoccurrence of the bypass.

`(6) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF NOTICES- A publicly owned treatment works providing a notice under this subsection, and the Administrator (or the State, in the case of a State that has a permit program approved under this section) receiving such a notice, shall each post the notice, by not later than 48 hours after providing or receiving the notice (as the case may be), in a searchable database accessible on the Internet.

`(7) SEWAGE BLENDING- Bypasses prohibited by this section include bypasses resulting in discharges from a publicly owned treatment works that consist of effluent routed around treatment units and thereafter blended together with effluent from treatment units prior to discharge.

`(8) IMPLEMENTATION- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall establish procedures to ensure that permits issued under this section (or under a State permit program approved under this section) to a publicly owned treatment works include requirements to implement this subsection.

`(9) INCREASE IN MAXIMUM CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS OCCURRING AFTER JANUARY 1, 2031- Notwithstanding section 309, in the case of a violation of this subsection occurring on or after January 1, 2031, or any violation of a permit limitation or condition implementing this subsection occurring after such date, the maximum civil penalty that shall be assessed for the violation shall be $100,000 per day for each day the violation occurs.

`(10) APPLICABILITY- This subsection shall apply to a bypass occurring after the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this subsection.’.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF GREAT LAKES CLEANUP FUND.

(a) In General- Title V of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) is amended–

(1) by redesignating section 519 (33 U.S.C. 1251 note) as section 520; and

(2) by inserting after section 518 (33 U.S.C. 1377) the following:

`SEC. 519. ESTABLISHMENT OF GREAT LAKES CLEANUP FUND.

`(a) Definitions- In this section:

`(1) FUND- The term `Fund’ means the Great Lakes Cleanup Fund established by subsection (b).

`(2) GREAT LAKES; GREAT LAKES STATES- The terms `Great Lakes’ and `Great Lakes States’ have the meanings given the terms in section 118(a)(3).

`(b) Establishment of Fund- There is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the `Great Lakes Cleanup Fund’ (in this section referred to as the `Fund’).

`(c) Transfers to Fund- Effective January 1, 2031, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Fund amounts equivalent to the penalties collected for violations of section 402(s).

`(d) Administration of Fund- The Administrator shall administer the Fund.

`(e) Use of Funds- The Administrator shall–

`(1) make the amounts in the Fund available to the Great Lakes States for use in carrying out programs and activities for improving wastewater discharges into the Great Lakes, including habitat protection and wetland restoration; and

`(2) allocate those amounts among the Great Lakes States based on the proportion that–

`(A) the amount attributable to a Great Lakes State for penalties collected for violations of section 402(s); bears to

`(B) the total amount of those penalties attributable to all Great Lakes States.

`(f) Priority- In selecting programs and activities to be funded using amounts made available under this section, a Great Lakes State shall give priority consideration to programs and activities that address violations of section 402(s) resulting in the collection of penalties.’.

(b) Conforming Amendment to State Revolving Fund Program- Section 607 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1387) is amended–

(1) by inserting `(a) In General- ‘ before `There is’; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

`(b) Treatment of Great Lakes Cleanup Fund- For purposes of this title, amounts made available from the Great Lakes Cleanup Fund under section 519 shall be treated as funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title and as funds made available under this title, except that the funds shall be made available to the Great Lakes States in accordance with section 519.’.

Great Lakes Water Protection Act

Senate Bill 1443, Wastewater Grants, Presented to the Governor 12.7.10

STATE OF MICHIGAN
95TH LEGISLATURE
REGULAR SESSION OF 2010
Introduced by Senator Gilbert
ENROLLED SENATE BILL No. 1443
AN ACT to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “An act to protect the environment and natural resources of the state; to codify, revise, consolidate, and classify laws relating to the environment and natural resources of the state; to regulate the discharge of certain substances into the environment; to regulate the use of certain lands, waters, and other natural resources of the state; to prescribe the powers and duties of certain state and local agencies and officials; to provide for certain charges, fees, assessments, and donations; to provide certain appropriations; to prescribe penalties and provide remedies; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,” by amending section 5204a (MCL 324.5204a), as added by 2005 PA 254, and by adding section 5317.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:Sec. 5204a.
(1) The authority, in conjunction with the department, shall establish a strategic water quality initiatives grant program that provides grants totaling not more than $80,000,000.00 to eligible municipalities. The grant program shall provide assistance to municipalities to complete the loan application requirements of section 5308 or to complete the loan application requirements for other sources of financing for sewage treatment works projects, storm water treatment projects, or nonpoint source projects.
(2) The grant program is subject to all of the following:
(a) The grant program shall provide grants to cover not more than 90% of the costs incurred by a municipality to complete an application for loan assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or to complete an application for loan assistance from another source of financing for a sewage treatment works project, a storm water treatment project, or a nonpoint source project.
(b) The 10% local match is not eligible for loan assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or other source of financing for the project.
(c) Grant funds shall not be used for general local government administrative activities or activities performed by municipal employees.
(d) A municipality shall not receive more than $1,000,000.00 in total grant assistance under this section.
(e) Grants under this section shall be available for projects seeking or intending to seek loan assistance after September 30, 2006.

Contact us for more information!

(3) The department shall establish an application and review process for considering grant applications under this section. The application shall contain the information required by the department and the authority. Within 60 days after receipt of an application, the department shall publish notice of the application on the department’s calendar. Within 60 days after receipt of an administratively complete grant application, the department shall, in writing, notify the applicant whether the application is approved or rejected. If the department approves a grant under this section, the department and the authority shall enter into a grant agreement with the recipient prior to transferring funds. The grant agreement shall contain terms established by the department and the authority and a requirement that the grant recipient repay the grant, within 90 days of being informed to do so, with interest at a rate not to exceed 8% per year, to the authority for deposit into the fund if any of the following occur:
(a) The applicant fails to submit an administratively complete loan application for assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund or other source of financing for the project within 3 years of the grant award.
(b) The project has been identified as being in the fundable range or is approved for funding from another source and the applicant declines the loan assistance for 2 consecutive fiscal years unless the applicant proceeds with funding from another source.
(c) The applicant is unable to, or decides not to, proceed with constructing the project.
(4) For each year in which the department receives grant applications under this section, the department shall report by July 1 of each year to the standing committees of the senate and the house of representatives with primary jurisdiction over issues pertaining to natural resources and the environment and to the senate and house of representatives appropriations committees on the utilization of funds under this part that were received from the Great Lakes water quality bond fund created in section 19706. The report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(a) The number of grant applications received under this section.
(b) The name of each municipality applying for a grant.
(c) The individual and annual cumulative amount of grant funds awarded, including an identification of whether each award was for the purpose of applying for assistance from the state water pollution control revolving fund or the fund.
(d) A summary of loan assistance, by year, tendered from the state water pollution control revolving fund and the fund.
(5) The senate and house appropriations committees shall annually review whether there is sufficient money in the fund to implement this section and section 5202.Sec. 5317.
(1) The state water pollution control revolving fund advisory committee is created within the department of natural resources and environment.
(2) The committee shall consist of a representative of the department of natural resources and environment and additional members appointed by the director of the department of natural resources and environment upon recommendation from at least the following organizations:
(a) The American council of engineering companies.
(b) The American waterworks association.
(c) The Michigan chamber of commerce.
(d) The Michigan association of counties.
(e) The Michigan townships association.
(f) The Michigan municipal league with regard to appointing members from the following:
(i) A rural municipality with a population of 10,000 or less that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(ii) A suburban municipality that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(iii) A city that operates a sewage treatment works system.
(g) A statewide association representing drain commissioners.
(h) The Michigan infrastructure and transportation association.
(i) The Michigan water and environment association.
(j) A statewide organization of regional planning authorities.
(k) A statewide environmental or conservation organization.
(3) The members first appointed to the committee shall be appointed within 60 days after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section.
(4) If a vacancy occurs on the committee, the director shall make an appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
(5) The director may remove a member of the committee for incompetency, dereliction of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or any other good cause.
(6) The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the director of the department of natural resources and environment.
(7) A majority of the members of the committee constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a meeting of the committee. A majority of the members present and serving are required for official action of the committee.
(8) The business that the committee may perform shall be conducted at a public meeting of the committee held in compliance with the open meetings act, 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 to 15.275.
(9) A writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by the committee in the performance of an official function is subject to the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.
(10) Members of the committee shall serve without compensation.
(11) Staff from the department of natural resources and environment shall assist with the administrative tasks of the committee, including meeting notices, minutes, and compilation of resource materials and reports.
(12) The committee shall evaluate this part and make recommendations on how this part could be amended to achieve the following outcomes:
(a) Increasing the level of investment in sewage collection and treatment systems.
(b) Providing incentives for actions that not only improve water quality but result in pollution prevention.
(c) Optimizing the cost benefit ratio of alternative designs of sewage collection and treatment systems.
(13) The committee shall review and make recommendations on revisions to this part related to at least all of the following:
(a) Revising procedures to accommodate concurrent design and build type procurement and other nontraditional contracting procedures.
(b) Allowing project planning and preconstruction as costs eligible for assistance from the fund.
(c) Reducing and streamlining the cost-effectiveness review requirements to be more consistent with local planning needs.
(d) Updating the scoring system to take into account infrastructure asset management.
(e) Simplifying application procedures.
(f) Reviewing options to provide grants to municipalities for timely and appropriate project planning, including disincentives for failure to demonstrate progress.
(g) Establishing protocols for a premeeting process for the department of natural resources and environment to provide informal feedback to review the application and determine the likelihood of receiving funding.
(h) Recommending a new model for establishing interest rates on a sliding scale based on the percentage of income paid in utility fees.
(i) Reviewing options to allow municipalities to be able to roll project plan expenses into the loans.
(j) Alternative financing mechanisms for funding sewage treatment works projects, storm water projects, and nonpoint source projects
(14) The committee shall review and make recommendations regarding the need for and design of a grant program for the purpose of funding specific wastewater treatment facility infrastructure improvements projects designed to prevent chronic discharges and projected to have significant regional benefits to Great Lakes water quality and recreational opportunities.
(15) Not later than August 1, 2011, the committee shall submit a report to the department of natural resources and environment and to the standing committees of the senate and house of representatives with jurisdiction over issues primarily pertaining to natural resources and the environment, containing the committee’s conclusions and recommendations.
(16) Effective 6 months after the committee submits its report under subsection (15), the committee is abolished.
(17) As used in this section, “committee” means the state water pollution control revolving fund advisory committee created in subsection (1).Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect unless all of the following bills of the 95th Legislature are enacted into law:(a) Senate Bill No. 1345.(b) Senate Bill No. 1346.(c) Senate Bill No. 1348.(d) House Bill No. 6359.(e) House Bill No. 6360.(f) House Bill No. 6363.(g) House Bill No. 6416.
This act is ordered to take immediate effect.
Secretary of the Senate
Clerk of the House of Representatives
Approved
Governor
Senate Bill 1443, Wastewater Grants, Presented to the Governor 12.7.10

Waterfront Wastewater Solutions

Over the years we’ve become accustomed to working in some pretty challenging terrain when it comes to waterfront wastewater treatment. Our rolling topography and miles of waterfront make this a great place to live, but are less than ideal when it comes to wastewater treatment.

The system shown at right (during installation) is a good example. The home sits below the road, on an inland lake. There is a relatively steep incline up to the road. Our tandem design-operations team devised a system that placed the collection portion of the system (the tank) by the home, and one of our specialty underground drip dispersal systems among the trees on the incline for the effluent dispersal. This takes the effluent away from the immediate shore of the lake while preserving the property’s look and feel.

However, it is not enough to just develop a good design. The system must be properly installed and operated if it is going to function as intended. So we’ve taken the next step and now provide all the services you need for systems such as these: site evaluations, design, permitting,
installation, and operations.
If the home
is a seasonal one, we also offer yearly
startup-shutdown services. The team includes NSF-accredited wastewater inspectors, operators experienced in both large plants and individual residential systems and close relationships with ATU manufacturers and suppliers. If you own waterfront property or your municipality includes waterfront areas with questionable septic system performance, contact us (jborchert@gourdiefraser.com) for a site assessment/evaluation. There are many options available to you!

Waterfront Wastewater Solutions