Section 319(h) – Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program
CSFA Number: 532-60-0378
Agency Name
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (532)
Agency Identification
C9995200xx
Agency Contact
Scott Ristau
217-782-3362
epa.bowgrants@illinois.gov
Short Description
Illinois EPA’s Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program (a.k.a. Section 319(h) Grant Program) is designed to provide grant funds for projects that prevent, eliminate, or reduce water quality impairments caused by nonpoint source pollution.
Subject Area
Environment and Culture
Program Function
Environmental Quality
Enabling Legislation
The Illinois EPA receives federal funds through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C 1329) to help implement Illinois’ Nonpoint Source Management Program (Illinois EPA, 2013). The requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories apply to all recipients of grants made with funds appropriated by Congress under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.
Objectives and Goals
Illinois EPA’s Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program (a.k.a. Section 319(h) Grant Program) is designed to provide grant funds for projects that prevent, eliminate, or reduce water quality impairments caused by nonpoint source pollution. Performance measures for the program are outlined in Chapter 7 (Short- and Medium-Term Objectives and Milestones) of Illinois’ Nonpoint Source Management Program (Illinois EPA, 2013).
Types of Assistance
Project Grants
Uses and Restrictions
Illinois EPA’s Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program (a.k.a. Section 319(h) Grant Program) is designed to provide grant funds for projects that prevent, eliminate, or reduce water quality impairments caused by nonpoint source pollution.

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.

NPS pollution control project types include: Implementation of an approved Watershed-Based Plan;
Development of a watershed-based plan; Development of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plan; Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation; Information and Outreach;
Technical Assistance; and Monitoring.

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 monthly.

The maximum funding award is 60 percent of the total project cost. The remaining 40 percent is the responsibility of the grant recipient and constitutes the local match. This 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 grant recipient, sub-contractor, or project partners (including state programs, private foundations, land owners, etc.). Greater than 40 percent local match is allowed.

The following are not eligible for Section 319(h) Grant Program funds: Activities that do not control, prevent, or address NPS pollution; Any activity or project required by state or federal law or state or federal permit, including activities required or anticipated to be required by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations, including Phase 1 and Phase 2 stormwater permit requirements; Routine maintenance or repair of existing on-site systems, such as culvert replacement, street sweeping, catch-basin cleaning; Projects to principally protect wildlife habitat, control flooding, or protect infrastructure; Ineligible activities based on current U.S. EPA guidelines for Section 319(h) 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 319(h) Grant Program award for that application.

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

Federal funding may not make up any part of the grant recipient’s share (match) of the total project cost and the grant recipient’s share must be used exclusively for the project. The grant recipient’s share for the project may not be used to match or financially qualify for any other federal grant.

Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant agreement or after the grant agreement term ends are ineligible for reimbursement. Costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant agreement or after the grant agreement term ends are ineligible as match unless otherwise approved as match by Illinois EPA.
Eligibility Requirements
Section 319(h) 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 319(h) 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 to subcontract 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.

The maximum funding award is 60 percent of the total project cost. The remaining 40 percent is the responsibility of the recipient and constitutes the local match. This 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.) Greater than 40 percent local match is allowed.
Eligible Applicants
Government Organizations; Education Organizations; Public Housing 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 319 Application – Project Details Section; and c. Uniform Grant Budget Template.

It is recommended that applications also include appropriate supporting documentation (i.e., photos, maps, pollutant reduction worksheets, designs, letters of support, etc.).

The Section 319(h) Grant Program Application is available at Illinois EPA’s website at www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/water-quality/watershed-management/nonpoint-sources/grants/index.
Paper copies of the Section 319(h) 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 319(h) Grant Program applications are accepted by Illinois EPA by August 1st 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 August 1st 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 319(h) Grant Program applications will be reviewed for completeness, technical merit, and adherence to the Clean Water Act, U.S. EPA Section 319(h) 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; Relationship to an approved watershed-based plan; Relationship to an approved TMDL Implementation Plan; and Relationship to Illinois EPA Priority Watersheds.

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

Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section will solicit comments on the applications from peers external to the Illinois EPA. A copy of each application along with a request for comments is sent to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service. Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section generally requests that these entities return their comments by September 1st.

Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section will solicit comments on the applications from peers within the Illinois EPA regional office (Des Plaines, Springfield, or Marion) in which the project is located. Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section generally requests that they return their comments by September 1st.

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

By mid to late September an evaluation panel consisting of members of Illinois EPA’s Watershed Management Section will be convened. The Principal Reviewer will present to the panel a description of the application, the findings and recommendations of the Principal Reviewer, peer review comments, and other relevant information. Applications will be discussed by the panel. Each member of the panel will individually score the application on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). These individual scores will be converted into a composite average score for each application and ranked accordingly.

By early to mid-October, 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 319 Nonpoint Source 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 November 1st.

Generally by early to mid-January, 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.

By early February, the Illinois EPA expects to 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 319 funding to implement the Work Plan. By early February, in anticipation of U.S. EPA approval of the grant application, the Illinois EPA expects to begin preparing draft agreements for selected projects.

By May, U.S. EPA should award the grant to the Illinois EPA and the Illinois EPA expects to send a "Notice of State Award" to the successful grant applicants for signature. The Notice of State Award (NOSA) will specify the funding terms and specific conditions resulting from the pre-award risk assessments. The NOSA must be signed and returned by an authorized representative of the grantee organization. The NOSA is not an authorization to begin performance or incur costs.

By June, Illinois EPA expects to send a grant agreement to the grant recipients for signature.

By July, Illinois EPA expects to provide a fully executed grant agreement to the grant recipients.
Assistance Consideration
The maximum funding award is 60 percent of the total project cost. The remaining 40 percent is the responsibility of the recipient and constitutes the local match. This 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.) Greater than 40 percent local match is allowed.
Post Assistance Requirements
All projects require quarterly reporting of progress and a final project evaluation and report.

All projects involving BMP implementation require the development of designs and “BMP Application Forms” for all BMPs to be implemented. Unless the grant recipient obtains a waiver of this certification requirement from Illinois EPA, the design must be certified by a registered or licensed professional engineer of Illinois, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff, or a NRCS certified Technical Service Provider (TSP). The designs must be approved by the Illinois EPA’s NPS Unit prior to the start of BMP construction or implementation. Costs associated with development of BMP designs are eligible for Section 319(h)grant funds as long as the costs are incurred within the term of the grant agreement and conform to the budget incorporated into the grant agreement.

All projects involving BMP implementation are required to obtain all applicable state and federal permits for all BMPs to be implemented.

Unless the grant recipient obtains a waiver of this requirement from Illinois EPA, all projects involving BMP implementation require the development and implementation of an operation and maintenance plan (O & M Plan) for all the BMPs installed during the project period. This includes BMPs installed with match funds or Section 319(h) funds. O & M Plans must be approved by the Illinois EPA’s NPS Unit and are for a minimum of ten (10) years starting from the completion of the implementation of the BMP, unless otherwise agreed to by Illinois EPA.

Environmental or social indicator monitoring is not required in order to qualify for Section 319(h) grant funds. However, all projects that include a 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 : $6,254,000
FY 2016 : $6,190,100
FY 2017 : $6,190,100
FY 2018 : $6,539,000
FY 2019 : $6,474,000
Federal Funding
Notice of Funding Opportunities
Agency IDAward RangeApplication Range
Details2017 Section 319 NPSNot Applicable06/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 : 5:00 pm
Details2018 Section 319 NPSNot Applicable06/01/2017 - 08/01/2017 : 5:00 pm
Details2019 Section 319 NPSNot Applicable06/01/2018 - 08/01/2018 : 5:00 pm
Details2020 Section 319 NPS$0 - $006/01/2019 - 08/01/2019 : 5:00 pm
Agency IDGrantee NameStart DateEnd DateAmount
3191915County of Lake11/04/201904/30/20221,269,488
3191810City of St. Charles12/01/201811/30/20211,210,600
3191904HeartLands Conservancy12/23/201907/15/2022953,628
3191610Nippersink Watershed Association08/15/201607/15/2020847,700
3191814Village of Carpentersville11/15/201811/14/2020649,507