DCR announces the 2013 Coal-based Acid Mine Drainage RFP (RFP), which is funded with WQIA money. DCR also issued a new version of the Grants Management Manual, a key grant resource for grant recipients, in April 2011.
The purpose of the 1997 Virginia Water Quality Improvement Act (WQIA) is to restore and improve the quality of state waters and to protect them from impairment and destruction for the benefit of current and future citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Section 10.1-2118 of the Code of Virginia). Because this is a shared responsibility among state and local governments and individuals, the Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF) was created. The purpose of the fund is to provide water quality improvement grants to local governments, soil and water conservation districts and individuals for point and nonpoint source pollution prevention, reduction and control programs (Section 10.1-2128.B. of the Code of Virginia).
Nonpoint source pollution is a significant cause of degradation of state waters, including the Chesapeake Bay, and is addressed in Water Quality Improvement Fund Guidelines for FY 2006. There are two distinct program regions. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is comprised of the Shenandoah-Potomac river basins and the lower bay tributaries, which include the James, York and Rappahannock rivers as well as the eastern and western coastal basins. All other river basins in the state comprise the Southern Rivers Watershed.
A primary objective of WQIF is to fund grants that will reduce the flow of excess nitrogen and phosphorus into the Chesapeake Bay through the implementation of the tributary strategies. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for administering point source grants, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) administers nonpoint source grants. WQIF funds are provided, in accordance with the guidelines, to help stimulate nonpoint source pollution reduction through the Virginia Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program and water quality improvement projects within the regions listed above.
DCR is responsible for soliciting grant applications and project proposals from interested parties through the distribution of a request for proposals package. A team of DCR and other agency or local government staff provides technical expertise in the review, scoring, prioritization and selection of grant applications and proposals. Final decisions for project selection are at the discretion of DCR’s director.
Those with questions about WQIF grants should contact the grant manager: email email@example.com. Those with specific questions about developing nonpoint source water quality improvement grant proposals should contact the regional manager in the appropriate DCR regional office.