Proposal due date: November 20, 2015
EPA’s Urban Waters Program helps local residents and their organizations, particularly those in underserved communities, restore their urban waters in ways that also benefit community and economic revitalization. One of the ways the Urban Waters Program is accomplishing this mission is through the Urban Waters Small Grants Program. This program recognizes that healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational, social, and employment opportunities in nearby communities. The total estimated funding available for awards under this competition is approximately $1.6 million. EPA expects each award to range from approximately $40,000 to no more than $60,000 in EPA funding. EPA Regional Offices will award the cooperative agreements resulting from this announcement. It is anticipated that each EPA Regional Office will award approximately two to three cooperative agreements. Funding is contingent upon Agency funding levels, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations.
Applicants may not request more than $60,000 in EPA funding – proposals requesting more than $60,000 in EPA funds are not eligible and will not be reviewed. While there is no minimum, EPA suggests that applicants request at least $40,000 in EPA funds. A minimum non-federal cost share/match of $4,000 is required (see Section III.B for information on the cost share/match requirement). It is anticipated that funded cooperative agreements will have a one- to two-year project period.
With the rapid growth of urbanization across the country, much of the natural landscape has been replaced by buildings, roads, and parking lots. When there are large amounts of rain or snowmelt, the water (called runoff or stormwater) runs off roofs and flows down streets. As the runoff moves, it picks up trash, fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, pet waste, and other pollutants. This polluted runoff may go into storm drains or ditches, enter pipes, and eventually flows into ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Some urban waterbodies such as reservoirs and urban lakes can also serve as a drinking water source for the community. In some urban areas, polluted runoff may also flow over land directly into the nearest urban waterbody. Urban runoff pollution is one of the greatest threats to urban waters in our nation. It diminishes the intrinsic value of urban waterways and their potential to be a treasured centerpiece of the
community. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses, and enhance educational, recreational, employment, and social opportunities for the community.
In general, projects should meet the following four program objectives (as described in Sections
I.B and IV.D):
- Address local water quality issues related to urban runoff pollution;
- Provide additional community benefits;
- Actively engage underserved communities; and
- Foster partnership.
For purposes of this announcement, the term “underserved communities” refers to communities with environmental justice concerns and/or susceptible populations. Communities with environmental justice concerns include minority, low-income, tribal, and indigenous populations or communities in the United States that potentially experience disproportionate environmental harms and risks as a result of greater vulnerability to environmental hazards. This increased vulnerability may be attributable to an accumulation of both negative and lack of positive environmental, health, economic, or social conditions within these populations or communities. Susceptible populations include groups that are at a high risk of suffering the adverse effects of environmental hazards such as, but not limited to, pregnant women, the elderly and young children.
The complexity and widespread impact of urban runoff pollution requires various levels of government and local stakeholders (e.g., community residents, local businesses, etc.) to work together in developing effective and long-term solutions with multiple benefits. EPA supports and empowers communities, especially underserved communities, that are working on solutions
to address multiple community needs, and fostering successful collaborative partnerships.
Eligible applicants include States, local governments, Indian Tribes, public and private universities and colleges, public or private nonprofit institutions/organizations, intertribal consortia, and interstate agencies.