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FAQs for WQIP

DEC has received the following questions about Round 13 of the WQIP grant program.

  1. Are applicants applying for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) funding required to complete comprehensive system mapping?
  2. Will the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) provide additional points for applications submitted to the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program that are located within an Opportunity Zone?
  3. Is the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process new?
  4. Is the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) not accepting paper applications?
  5. Is a private school eligible for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  6. Can a municipality apply for both the Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) and the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) through the Consolidated Funding Application?
  7. Does the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program give priority consideration to waterbodies with a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)?
  8. Is there a new category of eligible applicants for Round 13 of the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  9. Is an application for the development of hydroponically grown algae in a wastewater plant eligible for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  10. If my project is selected for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, how long does to grant recipient have to complete the project?
  11. Can the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program provide funding to multiple projects addressing the same property?
  12. Can a municipality submit an application for both the DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) Program and the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  13. I am applying for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program. What is the maximum amount that applicants can request for construction costs related to a wastewater treatment improvement project?
  14. For the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program is there a maximum grant amount?
  15. How much funding is available through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  16. Can the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program pay for costs not covered by FEMA?
  17. Is dredging an eligible activity for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  18. Is the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program funding available on a statewide basis or is the funding assigned to specific regions of the state?
  19. Does the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) require different information for Water Quality Improvement Projects now that the program is part of the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process?
  20. Is funding available through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) strictly limited to municipalities only?
  21. Does the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program have a Median Household Income requirement?
  22. Will there be future rounds of Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program funding next year or in the future if the 07/29/2016 deadline is missed?
  23. Can a municipality purchase equipment through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)?
  24. Is stream daylighting an eligible activity through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  25. Are not-for-profits eligible for any Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding?
  26. Can a municipality apply for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program for a pilot program assessing the effectiveness of alternative septic systems?
  27. Can an eligible applicant submit more than one application to the NYS Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  28. If an eligible applicant submits more than one application to the NYS Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, can the applicant receive more than one grant award?
  29. Can applicants provide additional documentation with the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) (i.e., engineering reports, plans, etc.)?
  30. Is a municipal resolution required with the submission of a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  31. If a municipality currently has an open WQIP grant, will that negatively affect their chances of getting awarded another grant in Round 12?
  32. To comply with the Department's Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE)/Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) goals, do each of the prime contractor's sub-contractors need to meet the 30% goal, or are only the prime contractors required to meet the 30% goal?
  33. If a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWT) is part of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), how many Priority Waterbodies List (PWL) segments need to be included an applicants NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
  34. Is a salt storage facility eligible for funding under WQIP?
  35. Are planning and design costs eligible costs under the Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control or Aquatic Habitat Restoration categories?
  36. Is an Engineering Report required for the Wastewater Treatment category and, if so, what are the requirements for the Engineering Report?

1. Are applicants applying for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) funding required to complete comprehensive system mapping?
No, mapping is not required for applicants applying for the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, it is one of two options that people can apply for. If an applicant is applying for Comprehensive System Mapping they should refer to the mapping requirements outlined in the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB)

2. Will the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) provide additional points for applications submitted to the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program that are located within an Opportunity Zone?
No. Applications for the WQIP program are evaluated by the Department based on their impact to the environment.

3. Is the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process new?
No, the CFA started in 2011. However, 2015 was the first year that the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program accepted applications through the CFA.

4. Is the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) not accepting paper applications?
Paper applications will not be accepted. All applications for WQIP Round 13 must be submitted electronically through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (link leaving DEC website).

5. Is a private school eligible for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
No. Applicants for the WQIP program must meet the definition of a Municipality, Municipal Corporation, Soil and Water Conservation District, or, for Aquatic Habitat Restoration projects only, a not-for-profit corporation.

6. Can a municipality apply for both the Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) and the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) through the Consolidated Funding Application?
Yes. A municipality may apply for funding for both the WQIP and GIGP programs through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application provided they meet the eligibility requirements for both programs.

7. Does the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program give priority consideration to waterbodies with a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)?
Yes. The WQIP Program focuses on projects with a strong connection to improving water quality.

8. Is there a new category of eligible applicants for Round 13 of the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
No, the group of eligible applicants for the WQIP program is the same as in previous rounds of funding. Eligible applicants for the WQIP program include: Municipalities, Municipal Corporations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Not-for-Profit Corporations.

9. Is an application for the development of hydroponically grown algae in a wastewater plant eligible for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
No. The proposed practice must meet the 10 States Standards. The WQIP program does not provide funding for demonstration projects.

10. If my project is selected for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, how long does the grant recipient have to complete the project?
Projects selected for funding through the WQIP program should expect to complete construction within 2-3 years of receiving the grant award. Some projects may extend to 5 years.

11. Can the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program provide funding to multiple projects addressing the same property?
Yes, the WQIP program may fund multiple projects located on the same property. Separate Consolidated Funding Applications must be submitted for each of the proposed projects. Also, the applications should clearly state how the projects coordinate and do not duplicate each other.

12. Can a municipality submit an application for both the DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) Program and the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
WQIP projects are supposed to be ready to be implemented (constructed). If a facility needs to have a preliminary engineering report completed under the EPG program, then the project is not ready to be built, and is therefore not ready for WQIP funding.

13. I am applying for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program. What is the maximum amount that applicants can request for construction costs related to a wastewater treatment improvement project?
The WQIP program will provide up to $2,500,000 for the construction costs of a wastewater treatment improvement project through the WQIP program.

14. For the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program is there a maximum grant amount?
The WQIP program in general does not have a maximum grant amount. However, for the non-agricultural nonpoint source abatement and control and wastewater treatment improvement categories we have set a maximum grant amount for specific project types. More detailed information on the WQIP program can be found in the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB).

15. How much funding is available through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
The WQIP program has a total of up to $25.9 million available for projects to improve water quality throughout New York State.

16. Can the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program pay for costs not covered by FEMA?
The WQIP program provides funding to projects that improve documented water quality impairments. Any projects meeting the eligibility requirements outlined in the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB) can apply.

17. Is dredging an eligible activity for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program.
Yes. Dredging is eligible through the WQIP program, however if the dredging is to "clean up" a spill or pollutants it is not eligible.

18. Is the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program funding available on a statewide basis or is the funding assigned to specific regions of the state?
The WQIP program is a statewide grant program.

19. Does the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) require different information for Water Quality Improvement Projects now that the program is part of the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process?
No. The Department requires that the same information be provided as in previous rounds of the Water Quality Improvement Projects (WQIP) Program.

20. Is funding available through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) strictly limited to municipalities only?
No, the eligible applicants for the programs administered by the Department include: municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts and not-for-profit corporations.

21. Does the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program have a Median Household Income requirement?
No. The WQIP program does not have an income requirement.

22. Will there be future rounds of Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program funding next year or in the future if the 07/29/2016 deadline is missed?
Yes. The Department anticipates that there will be future rounds of the WQIP Program.

23. Can a municipality purchase equipment through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)?
Yes. Please refer to the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB) for more detail on the MS4 category.

24. Is stream daylighting an eligible activity through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
Yes, stream daylighting is an eligible activity through the WQIP Program. For more detail on eligible WQIP activities please refer to the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB).

25. Are not-for-profits eligible for any Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) funding?
Yes, not-for-profits are eligible to apply for the Aquatic Habitat Restoration category for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program. For more details refer to the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB)

26. Can a municipality apply for funding through the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program for a pilot program assessing the effectiveness of alternative septic systems?
No, pilot or demonstration projects are not eligible activities through the WQIP program.

27. Can an eligible applicant submit more than one application to the NYS Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
Yes. Eligible applicants may submit more than one application for funding through the WQIP program, however, applicants may only submit one application per project. Applicants are limited to 5 applications per round.

28. If an eligible applicant submits more than one application to the NYS Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program, can the applicant receive more than one grant award?
Yes. Eligible applicants may receive more than one grant award.

29. Can applicants provide additional documentation with the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) (i.e., engineering reports, plans, etc.)?
Applicants should only submit the supporting documentation that is required by the CFA for their particular type of project.

30. Is a municipal resolution required with the submission of a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
No. A municipal resolution is not required to be submitted with applications for the WQIP program.

31. If a municipality currently has an open WQIP grant, will that negatively affect their chances of getting awarded another grant in Round 13?
Municipalities with open WQIP grants may receive a grant award in Round 13. Applicants should keep in mind that a municipality's "Experience and Ability" are considered during the application review process; therefore, municipalities are encouraged to make sure the existing WQIP grant is up to date with the Department. The Selection Criteria are outline in the WQIP Round 13 Program Overview (PDF, 279 KB).

32. To comply with the Department's Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE)/Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) goals, do each of the prime contractor's sub-contractors need to meet the 30% goal, or are only the prime contractors required to meet the 30% goal?
Only the prime contractor is required to comply with the 30% M/WBE-EEO goal. For more information, see the M/WBE Goals & Reporting Responsibilities web page.

33. If a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWT) is part of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), how many Priority Waterbodies List (PWL) segments need to be included in an applicants NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Program?
For WWT projects that are part of a TMDL, only the segment that the WWT discharges to needs to be identified and included in the WQIP CFA application.

34. Is a salt storage facility eligible for funding under WQIP?

Salt storage facilities are eligible as a non-agricultural nonpoint source project if they address a water quality issue. Applicants must provide documentation that runoff from the salt pile is impacting surface waterbodies and/or that the salt is leaching into the groundwater. Documentation can include information in the PWL showing salt impacts, Department of Health data showing salt contamination in nearby wells and/or digital photos showing dead vegetation and other signs that salt is running off the pile and into a nearby waterbody.

35. Are planning and design costs eligible costs under the Non-agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control or Aquatic Habitat Restoration categories?

For these categories, planning and design costs cannot exceed 20 percent of the project costs. if planning costs exceed 20 percent, the project will be ineligible to receive funding.

36. Is an Engineering Report required for the Wastewater Treatment category and, if so, what are the requirements for the Engineering Report?
Yes, an engineering report is a required submittal for the Wastewater Treatment category. The report can either be a full report or a preliminary report. Applicants can use the Engineering Report outline on the EFC website as a template, if they choose. The report does not need to be signed and stamped by a PE at the time of application.


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