CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION APPROVING ACCEPTANCE OF THE FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 319(h) GRANT AND PROJECT PRIORITY LIST AND AUTHORIZING EXECUTION AND AMENDMENT OF CONTRACTS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROJECTS
Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319(h) provides grants to states to implement Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Programs. It is anticipated that approximately $6,000,000 will be available to California under Section 319(h) for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1998. The funds will be used to implement NPS projects on the proposed priority list (Attachment) and support NPS activities performed by Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) staffs.
For this and future grant cycles, the Section 319(h) and Section 205(j) grant processes are being coordinated with the Watershed Management Initiative (WMI). On February 14, 1997, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was released to formally initiate the solicitation process. The RFP clearly described the coordinated Sections 205(j) and 319(h) grant allocation process. Project proponents were directed to work with the RWQCBs or Division of Water Quality (DWQ) (for statewide proposals) prior to submittal of the final proposals.
The deadline for submittal of proposed projects was April 18, 1997 to the appropriate RWQCB or DWQ. Subsequently, the respective RWQCB and DWQ organizations reviewed and ranked the proposals in accordance with the WMI Chapters and the grant criteria specified in the RFP.
The organizations' rankings were submitted to the WMI Committee for compilation of the recommended statewide priority list.
The WMI Committee consists of the Assistant Executive Officers of the RWQCBs, Chief of DWQ, Chief of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) Water Management Division, and is chaired by the SWRCB Deputy Director. The WMI Committee's priority list was reviewed and accepted by the Executive Committee prior to its submittal to the SWRCB for consideration of approval. As presently structured, the projects presented in the Attachment are listed in recommended priority order at their proposed cost. There are more projects on the list than can be funded from the anticipated grant.
In 1997 the WMI Committee delegated to the WMI Workgroup the task of developing an initial ranking of the CWA Section 319(h) grant proposals. This ranking process was developed to reflect the goals and objectives of the WMI, the priorities of the SWRCB and RWQCBs, and the objectives of the affected programs.
The WMI Workgroup met on June 17, 1997 to discuss the ranking procedures based on the following general rules:
1. Procedures in the RFP were followed.
2. Only proposals submitted by the due date in the RFP (April 18, 1997) were considered.
3. Neither the scope of proposals nor the total cost of proposals may be increased after the submittal due date.
4. Proposals may be reduced in cost and scope; however, matching share dollar values may be increased if agreed to by the proponent and the affected organization.
5. Organizations will submit a ranked list of their Section 319(h) proposals to the SWRCB by June 27, 1997.
6. Each organization will receive funding up to $130,000 to fund their top priority qualified proposals. Proposals funded this way are term "noncompetitive."
The procedures used by the WMI Workgroup meeting on July 9, 1997 included using the results of the July 8, 1997 straw poll that initially ranked the proposals. Straw poll procedures were as follows:
1. WMI Workgroup members reviewed and ranked the competitive proposal from all the organizations.
2. The SWRCB's WMI Coordinator compiled a single ranked list by combining the straw poll results from all the organizations.
At the July 9, 1997 Workgroup meeting, the proposals were discussed and a final consensus list was developed using the following procedures:
1. Each RWQCB, SWRCB, and U.S. EPA received one vote for a total of eleven.
2. All organizations were present and voted.
3. The criteria used to rank proposals included those specified in the RFP.
4. Workgroup participants had the opportunity to make arguments in favor of raising or lowering the rankings of proposals.
5. The Workgroup meeting went as follows:
A. Review and approve the list of "noncompetitive" proposals.
B. Review and approve the list of nonranked proposals. These proposals were not part of the straw poll and were identified at the June 17, 1997 WMI Workgroup meeting on the basis of either not being highly ranked or not being supported by the organization they originated from.
C. Discuss and approve a list of any unqualified proposals.
D. Determine what is on the list of "competitive" proposals (what is left after A, B, and C, above, are taken out). The group then went through the list of competitive proposals in order, as ranked in the straw poll, and either approved the straw poll rank or discussed the proposal further. Proposals that were discussed further were then voted on again by the group.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB adopt a resolution approving acceptance of a CWA Section 319(h) grant for FFY 1998 and project priority list and authorizing execution and amendment of contracts to implement the projects?
FISCAL IMPACT: Existing NPS Program budget authority is adequate to accommodate the anticipated grant.
RWQCB IMPACT: Yes. All RWQCBs
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB adopt a resolution approving acceptance of a CWA Section 319(h) grant for FFY 1998 and project priority list and authorizing execution and amendment of contracts to implement the projects.
Note: The Proposed CWA Section 319(h) Project Ranking FFY 1998 Grant list is not yet available electronically on the SWRCB's World Wide Web page (http://www.swrcb.ca.gov).
1. The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319(h) provides grant funds for states to implement Nonpoint Source (NPS) management programs.
2. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is the designated State agency in California to administer the NPS Program.
3. The SWRCB approved a NPS Management Plan on November 15, 1988 which includes activities that the SWRCB and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) will undertake to control NPS pollution.
4. On June 22, 1995, the SWRCB adopted its Strategic Plan which requires the implementation of a Watershed Management Initiative (WMI) and coordination of many SWRCB/RWQCB activities under the WMI.
5. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has notified the SWRCB that the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 1998 CWA Section 319(h) grant allocation will not exceed $6,000,000.
6. The SWRCB's NPS Section distributed a Request for Proposals on February 14, 1997 soliciting for grant-funded NPS projects.
7. An NPS project priority list (Attachment) was prepared by SWRCB and RWQCBs using the WMI process.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1. Approves the attached NPS project priority list. The project priority list will be submitted to U.S. EPA for funding with FFY 1998 CWA Section 319(h) resources.
2. Authorizes the Executive Director, or his designee, to apply for, accept, and amend if appropriate, FFY 1998 CWA Section 319(h) grant for an amount up to $6,000,000 for support of the NPS Program.
3. Authorizes the Executive Director to negotiate and approve program workplans not affecting the total grant amount.
4. Authorizes the Executive Director to negotiate and execute contracts and amendments in accordance with the program workplans.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on September 18, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board