Section 604b - Water Quality Management Planning
CSFA Number: 532-60-0376
Agency Name
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (532)
Agency Identification
C6995911xx
Agency Contact
Scott Ristau
217-782-3362
epa.bowgrants@illinois.gov
Short Description
Illinois EPA’s Section 604b Water Quality Management Planning grant program (a.k.a. Section 604b Grant Program) is designed to implement the Illinois Water Quality Management Plan and Illinois’ Nonpoint Source Management Program (Illinois EPA, 2013). Grant funds are used to determine the nature, extent, and causes of point and nonpoint source water pollution; develop water quality management plans; develop technical and administrative guidance tools for water pollution control; develop preliminary designs for best management practices (BMPs) to address water quality problems; implement administrative water pollution controls; and educate the public about the impact and importance of water pollution control.
Subject Area
Environment and Culture
Program Function
Environmental Quality
Enabling Legislation
The Illinois EPA receives federal funds under Section 604(b) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) to carry out water quality management planning activities under Sections 205(j) and 303 (e) of the CWA. The requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Guidance for Management of Section 205(j)(1) and Section 604(b) Funds apply to all recipients of grants made with funds appropriated by Congress under Section 604b of the CWA.
Objectives and Goals
Illinois EPA’s Section 604b Water Quality Management Planning grant program (a.k.a. Section 604b Grant Program) is designed to implement the Illinois Water Quality Management Plan and Illinois’ Nonpoint Source Management Program (Illinois EPA, 2013). Grants are available to carry out water quality management planning activities that protect water quality in Illinois.

Grant funds can be used to determine the nature, extent, and causes of point and nonpoint source water pollution; develop water quality management plans; develop technical and administrative guidance tools for water pollution control; develop preliminary designs for best management practices (BMPs) to address water quality problems; implement administrative water pollution controls; and educate the public about the impact and importance of water pollution control.
Types of Assistance
Project Grants
Uses and Restrictions
Illinois EPA’s Section 604b Water Quality Management Planning grant program (a.k.a. Section 604b Grant Program) is designed to implement the Illinois Water Quality Management Plan and Illinois’ Nonpoint Source Management Program (Illinois EPA, 2013). Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands and even our underground sources of drinking water.

Grant funds are used to determine the nature, extent, and causes of point and nonpoint source water pollution; develop water quality management plans; develop technical and administrative guidance tools for water pollution control; develop preliminary designs for best management practices (BMPs) to address water quality problems; implement administrative water pollution controls; and educate the public about the impact and importance of water pollution control. The requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Guidance for Management of Section 205(j)(1) and Section 604(b) Funds apply to all recipients of grants made with funds appropriated by Congress under Section 604b of the CWA.

This is a reimbursement program. Grant recipients must perform the work, pay project costs, and submit an invoice with supporting documentation before Illinois EPA will reimburse grant recipients for any approved costs. Illinois EPA will only make reimbursements to the grant recipient and will reimburse the grant recipient no more frequently than once per month.

There is no matching requirement for this grant program. However, local match is allowed. Local match may include money spent or in-kind services utilized to complete the approved project tasks but cannot be federal funds or funds used to match another federal program. Local match can be provided by the recipient, sub-contractor, or project partners (including state programs, private foundations, land owners, etc.).

The following are not eligible for Section 604b Grant Program funds: Activities that do not address water quality or water pollution control; Implementation activities such as the construction of best management practices for water pollution control; Ineligible activities based on current U.S. EPA guidelines for Section 604b grants.

An applicant's failure to meet an eligibility criterion will not result in the Illinois EPA returning the application without review but will preclude the Illinois EPA from making a Section 604b Grant Program award for that application.

There is no limit on the number of applications an applicant may submit under this announcement.

Applications for renewal or supplementation of existing projects are eligible to compete with applications for new grant awards.

Section 604(b) funds are awarded under Section 205(j)(2) by U.S. EPA to Illinois EPA to carry out water quality management planning. Pursuant to Section 205(j)(3) of the CWA, as amended, States are required to allocate at least 40 percent of funds awarded under 205(j)(2) to eligible Regional Public Comprehensive Planning Organizations (RPCPOs) and Interstate Organizations (IOs). U.S. EPA may approve a State's request to pass through less than 40 percent if, after consultation with its RPCPOs and IOs, the Governor determines that pass through of at least 40 percent will not: (1) result in significant participation by RPCPOs and IOs in WQM planning; and (2) significantly assist in development and implementation of the state's water quality management plan. In Illinois, RPCPOs include the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP - formerly Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission), the Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan and Regional Planning Commission (SIMRPC), and Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (GERPDC).

Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant agreement or after the grant agreement term ends are ineligible for reimbursement.
Eligibility Requirements
Section 604b Grant Program funds are available to any entity that has legal status to accept funds from the State of Illinois. This can include: local watershed groups; land conservancies or trusts; public and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; units of county, municipal, township, and state governments; universities and colleges; park districts and other local land managing agencies; soil and water conservation districts; conservation organizations; and others.

Section 604b Grant Program applicants must have the financial ability to initiate the project, pay expenses, and then request reimbursement from the Illinois EPA, while continuing to finance their normal operating expenses.

Applicants must have the authority and ability to implement the proposed project, or propose tosubcontract portions of the project to the appropriate entities for implementation.

Applicants may apply for a grant but will not be eligible for a grant award until the applicant has pre- qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal, www.grants.illinois.gov. During pre-qualification, Dun and Bradstreet verifications are performed including a check of Debarred and Suspended status and good standing with the Secretary of State. The pre-qualification process also includes a financial and administrative risk assessment utilizing an Internal Controls Questionnaire. If applicable, the applicant will be notified that it is ineligible for award as a result of the Dun and Bradstreet verification. The applicant will be informed of corrective action needed to become eligible for a grant award.

Pursuant to Section 205(j)(3) of the CWA, as amended, States are required to allocate at least 40 percent of funds awarded under 205(j)(2) to eligible Regional Public Comprehensive Planning Organizations (RPCPOs) and Interstate Organizations (IOs). U.S. EPA may approve a State's request to pass through less than 40 percent if, after consultation with its RPCPOs and IOs, the Governor determines that pass through of at least 40 percent will not: (1) result in significant participation by RPCPOs and IOs in WQM planning; and (2) significantly assist in development and implementation of the state's water quality management plan. In Illinois, RPCPOs include the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP - formerly Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission), the Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan and Regional Planning Commission (SIMRPC), and Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (GERPDC).
Eligible Applicants
Government Organizations; Education Organizations; Nonprofit Organizations; For-Profit Organizations; Small Businesses; Individuals; Other;
Application and Award Processing
Illinois EPA employs an electronic application that allows the applicant to download the files, enter and save data on their own computer, and return the completed documents to Illinois EPA in an electronic format (Adobe pdf and Microsoft Office compatible files).
A complete application includes the following: a. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance; b. Section 604b Application – Project Details Section; and c. Uniform Grant Budget Template

It is recommended that applications also include appropriate supporting documentation (i.e., photos, maps, Quality Assurance Project Plan, letters of support, etc.).

The Section 604b Grant Program application is available at Illinois EPA’s Water Quality Management Planning Grants web page. Paper copies of the Section 604b Grant Program application are available upon request by contacting the Nonpoint Source Unit at (217) 782-3362.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Electronic submissions can be submitted either:

a. on a CD or flash drive that is mailed or hand-delivered to
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water, Nonpoint Source Unit #15
1021 North Grand Avenue East, P.O. Box 19276
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276

or

b. sent by email to epa.bowgrants@illinois.gov. Use the Illinois.Gov File Transfer tool to send files that are up to 2 GB. Include the project title and applicant name in the “Message to Recipient” box. Contact the NPS Unit at (217) 782-3362 regarding any file size limitations or other firewall issues.

Section 604b Grant Program applications are accepted by Illinois EPA by December 31st of each year. The electronic copy of the application must be complete and be received at Illinois EPA’s Springfield office by 5:00 p.m. (CST) on December 31st to be considered for funding.

Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.

The Illinois EPA will use the date of the submittal email or the date-stamp applied by Illinois EPA to mailed or hand-delivered applications when received to determine whether an application has been submitted before the deadline.

Within approximately one month after the closing date for applications, the Illinois EPA will mail a letter to the applicant acknowledging receipt of the application.

Upon receipt, all Section 604b Grant Program applications will be reviewed for completeness, technical merit, and adherence to the Clean Water Act, U.S. EPA Section 604b program guidance, and the competitive grant evaluation criteria described in this Notice of Funding Opportunity. Applications found to be complete will undergo a comprehensive, merit-based review performed in compliance with Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Legislation 30 ILCS 708 and 2 CFR 200 Uniform Requirements. The merit-based review is designed to evaluate applications against the following criteria: Quality of Proposal; Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes; Cost effectiveness; Need and Environmental Significance; Financial Integrity; Programmatic Capability, Technical Experience, and Qualifications of the Applicant; Watershed-based planning; TMDL Implementation Planning; and Relationship to Illinois EPA Priority Watersheds.

Applications will be received by the Illinois EPA, Bureau of Water, Watershed Management Section, Nonpoint Source Unit.

Each application will be reviewed in-depth by at least one member of Illinois EPA’s Nonpoint Source Unit (Principal Reviewer).

An evaluation panel consisting of members of Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section will be convened to discuss the applications. Applications will be scored on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best) and ranked accordingly.

Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section will present a summary of all the applications to the Chief of the Bureau of Water and to the Director of the Illinois EPA. This summary will include the findings and recommendations of the evaluation panel.

Based on eligibility criteria, merit criteria, the evaluation panel’s scoring, and input from the Chief of the Bureau of Water and the Director of the Illinois EPA, Illinois’ Section 604b Water Quality Management Planning Work Plan (Work Plan) will be prepared and submitted to U.S. EPA for approval. The Work Plan identifies the selected applications (projects) proposed for funding by Illinois EPA. The Work Plan includes a budget spreadsheet, a short narrative summary of each selected project, and a copy of the selected project applications. Submittal of the Work Plan to U.S. EPA generally occurs by March 1st.

Generally by mid-April, U.S. EPA issues comments on the detailed Work Plan to the Illinois EPA. Illinois EPA will then respond to U.S. EPA’s comments to answer their concerns and questions.

Generally by early May, the Illinois EPA will send written notice to each applicant whose project was not included in the Work Plan informing them that their application was not selected for funding.

Once U.S. EPA has approved Illinois EPA’s Work Plan, the Illinois EPA will submit a grant application to U.S. EPA to request Section 604b funding to implement the Work Plan. The Illinois EPA will also provide a "Notice of State Award Finalist" to selected applicants.

In anticipation of U.S. EPA approval of the grant application, the Illinois EPA will provide a "Notice of State Award" to selected applicants and begin preparing draft agreements for selected projects.

Generally by September, U.S. EPA will award the grant to the Illinois EPA. Illinois EPA will then issue grant awards by sending agreements to the recipients for signature to formally initiate the projects.

The Illinois EPA will send a grant agreement to the grant recipient for signature and processing. The grant recipient must return the grant agreement, with the recipient’s signature, to the Illinois EPA. A copy of the grant agreement will be returned to the recipient once the grant agreement is fully executed by Illinois EPA and filed with the State of Illinois Comptroller. A fully executed grant agreement is authorization for the grant recipient to begin work on the project.
Assistance Consideration
There is no matching requirement for this grant program. However, local match is allowed. Local match may include money spent or in-kind services utilized to complete the approved project tasks but cannot be federal funds or funds used to match another federal program. Local match can be provided by the recipient, sub-contractor, or project partners (including state programs, private foundations, land owners, etc.).
Post Assistance Requirements
All projects require quarterly reporting of progress and a final project evaluation and report.

All projects that include an environmental or social indicator monitoring component will be required to have a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) approved by Illinois EPA. U.S. EPA guidance for QAPPs can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/quality/qapps.html.

Reports must be submitted to the Illinois EPA in both paper and electronic formats.

The Illinois EPA has the right to use (including, but not limited to, citing to, circulating, displaying, and reproducing) all products that result from the grant recipient receiving financial assistance under the grant agreement whether the product is developed by the recipient or a sub-recipient.
Regulations, Guidelines, Literature
In the grant agreement, the grant recipient will be required to certify that it does and will comply with all provisions of the Federal Internal Revenue Code (26 USC 1), the Illinois Revenue Act (35 ILCS 5), and all rules promulgated thereunder, including withholding provisions and timely deposits of employee taxes and unemployment insurance taxes.

In the grant agreement, the grant recipient will be required to certify that it does and will comply with the reporting requirements of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-282) (FFATA) with respect to Federal Awards greater than or equal to $25,000. A FFATA sub-award report must be filed by the end of the month following the month in which the award was made.

In the grant agreement, the grant recipient will be required to certify that it shall adhere to the applicable Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements, which are published in Title 2, Part 200 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and are incorporated herein by reference. See 44 Ill. Admin. Code 7000.30(b)(1)(A).

In the grant agreement, the grant recipient will be required to certify that it and its sub-grantees shall: (i) be registered with the Federal SAM if seeking an Award that is partially or fully paid by Federal funds, and registered with the State equivalent of SAM; (ii) be in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State; and (iii) have a valid DUNS number. It is Grantee’s responsibility to remain current with these registrations and requirements. If Grantee’s status with regard to any of these requirements change, or the certifications made in and information provided in the Uniform Grant Application changes, Grantee must notify the Grantor in accordance with ARTICLE XVIII.
Funding By Fiscal Year
FY 2015 : $637,000
FY 2016 : $610,000
FY 2017 : $606,000
FY 2018 : $797,944
FY 2019 : $726,000
Federal Funding
Notice of Funding Opportunities
Agency IDAward RangeApplication Range
Details2017 Section 604b WQMPNot Applicable11/01/2016 - 12/31/2016 : 5:00 pm
Details2018 Section 604b WQMPNot Applicable11/01/2017 - 12/31/2017 : 5:00 pm
Details2019 Section 604b WQMPNot Applicable11/01/2018 - 12/31/2018 : 5:00 pm
Details1$0 - $37500011/19/2019 - 01/15/2020 : 5:00 pm
Agency IDGrantee NameStart DateEnd DateAmount
604181Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission11/01/201806/30/2021423,000
604192Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning11/06/201912/31/2021258,915
604193DuPage, County of10/24/201912/31/2021244,010
604173Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)10/01/201806/30/2020210,201
604182HeartLands Conservancy11/01/201812/31/2020210,000