Stormwater News

Funding Opportunities

Opportunities for funding are as follows (See Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 66.818):

Brownfields Assessment Grants: (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; $1,000,000 for Assessment Coalitions) provide funding to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning (including area-wide planning and cleanup planning) and community involvement related to brownfield sites;

Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants: (each funded up to $1,000,000 over five years) provide funding to capitalize a revolving fund and to make loans and provide subgrants to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites;

Brownfields Cleanup Grants: (each funded up to $200,000 over three years) provide funding for a grant recipient to carry out cleanup activities at brownfield sites that are owned by the grant recipient.

Please note there is one significant change to the Proposal Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants in FY2012: Cleanup applicants must prepare a draft Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) as part of the community notification requirement and make it available for public review/comment prior to proposal submission and no later than November 14, 2011. A description of the information to include in the ABCA can be found at Frequently Asked Question #71 posted on the brownfields website. Since this is a threshold requirement, failure to comply will result in the proposal not being considered for award.EPA encourages applicants to read the guidelines carefully before applying.


EPA Announces the Healthy Watersheds Initiative National Framework and Action Plan, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the release of the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) National Framework and Action Plan. The HWI is intended to protect the nation’s remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate restoration successes. The HWI National Framework and Action Plan aims to provide a clear consistent framework for action, both internally among EPA’s own programs and externally in working with the Agency’s partners. EPA will work with states and other partners to identify healthy watersheds at the state scale and develop and implement comprehensive state healthy watersheds strategies that set priorities for protection and inform priorities for restoration.

Healthy watersheds provide many ecological services as well as economic benefits. If successfully implemented, the HWI promises to greatly enhance our nation’s ability to meet the Clean Water Act Section 101(a) objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.

USDA- Economic Research Service Report: Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture and assesses changes in nutrient management by farmers that may improve nitrogen use efficiency. It also reviews a number of policy approaches for improving nitrogen management and identifies issues affecting their potential performance. Findings reveal that about two-thirds of U.S. cropland is not meeting three criteria for good nitrogen management related to the rate, timing, and method of application. Several policy approaches, including financial incentives, nitrogen management as a condition of farm program eligibility, and regulation, could induce farmers to improve their nitrogen management and reduce nitrogen losses to the environment.

Watershed Tool of the Month

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Nutrient Reduction Decision Support Toolbox Exit EPA Disclaimer

The Nutrient Reduction Decision Support Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in reducing nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and other pollutants to our waterbodies. The toolbox originated from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Nutrient Reduction Priority Issue Team (PIT) and its initiatives to reduce the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico as well as occurrences of hypoxic events across Gulf of Mexico coastal and estuarine waters. Nutrient reduction efforts must be made throughout the five Gulf states, as well as the states within the upper and lower Mississippi and Ohio River Basins to be successful at reducing Gulf hypoxia.

The toolbox is based on a comprehensive and holistic framework for nutrient reduction developed through the collaborative interaction of local, state, and federal agencies; non-governmental organizations; agricultural producers; private businesses; and academic institutions. Each of the drawers in the toolbox represents one of the 10 key decision elements that are essential to reducing nutrients and their impacts within our waters.