Engineering Planning Grant Program

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Overview

Through the Governor's Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), offers grants to municipalities to help pay for the initial planning of eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) water quality projects. During the 2018 round, up to $3 million will be made available for the Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant (EPG) program.

The goal of the EPG program is to advance water quality projects to construction so successful applicants can use the engineering report funded by the grant to seek financing through the CWSRF program or other funding entities to further pursue the identified solution. Please follow the 2018 Engineering Report Outline as a template when building your report.

To view the 2018 EPG requirements, please refer to the EPG Program Overview.

Eligibility
  • Municipalities, including any county, city, town, village, district corporation, county or town improvement district, Indian reservation wholly within New York State, any public benefit corporation or public authority established pursuant to the laws of New York or any agency of New York State which is empowered to construct and operate a project, or any two or more of the foregoing which are acting jointly in connection with a project. In accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the CWSRF, projects defined in the federal Clean Water Act, Section 212 as treatment works must be publicly-owned.
  • Median household income (MHI) of the municipality must be:
    • Equal to or less than $65,000 according to the United State Census, 2015, American Community Survey for municipalities located in REDC regions of Capital District, Southern Tier, North County, Mohawk Valley, Central NY, Finger Lakes, or Western NY. 
    • Equal to or less than $85,000 according to the United States Census, 2015, American Community Survey for municipalities located in REDC regions of Long Island, New York City, and Mid-Hudson. 
    • For information regarding the Median Household Income and Population, click here.
  • Municipalities may have no more than two active EPG awards at the same time. An active EPG award includes a project that has been awarded funding and is awaiting an executed grant agreement or currently has an executed grant agreement with EFC. 

Funding may be used by municipalities for the preparation of an engineering report. This includes planning activities to determine the scope of water quality issues, evaluation of alternatives, and the recommendation of a capital improvement project. In addition, the costs to conduct an environmental review for the recommended alternative are eligible. 

The report funded by an EPG must follow EFC's current Engineering Report Outline. The report must contain a comprehensive analysis of the following alternatives, as applicable: 

  • No-action alternative required.
  • Green Infrastructure in combination with gray infrastructure or individually, required for projects involving stormwater, including stormwater inflow to sewer systems. A justification must be provided if a green infrastructure component is not part of the recommended alternative.
  • Repair or replacement versus new construction.
  • Regional consolidation opportunities. 
  • Centralized versus decentralized, required for new systems, or a combination thereof (small cluster of individual systems). 

Any alternatives considered technically infeasible should be identified as such and the rationale briefly discussed. 

Evaluation Criteria

Priority will be given to municipalities proposing planning projects that are:

  • Required by an executed Order on Consent.
  • Required by a draft of final State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit. 
  • Upgrading or replacing an existing wastewater system.
  • Constructing a wastewater treatment and/or collection system for an area with failing onsite septic systems.
  • Identified in a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) implementation plan. 
Award Requirements

EFC is committed to promoting participation opportunities for New York State ("State") certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises ("MWBEs") and federal disadvantaged business enterprises ("DBEs"), and equal employment opportunities ("EEO") for minority group members and women in the performance of EFC contracts as well as contracts that receive financial assistance through EFC's various programs.

More about MWBE/DBE/EEO

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Act, signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 12, 2014, allows eligible Veteran business owners to get certified as a New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB). The goal of the Act is to encourage and support eligible SDVOBs to play a greater role in the state’s economy by increasing their participation in New York State’s contracting opportunities.

MORE ABOUT SDVOB

  • SEQR: All applicants for EFC financial assistance are required to assess the environmental impacts of their projects pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Act.
  • SERP: Applicants seeking State Revolving Fund financing also must comply with the applicable requirements of the federal State Environmental Review Process (SERP), which may be more stringent than the requirements under SEQR. To comply with SERP, unless the project is a Type II Action exempt from SEQR, it generally must be treated as a Type I Action under SEQR. 

The project budget identifies all known and estimated costs for the preparation of an engineering report, as well as any in-kind or support services. Actual executed contract or agreement amounts should be used when available.

The project budget includes a plan of finance that identifies all sources of moneys expected to fund the total cost of the preparation of the engineering report, including the required local match. This includes the estimated amount of EFC grant and the municipal contribution. 

Project Budget and Plan of Finance Template

A board resolution is a motion or formal proposition adopted by an entity's governing body setting forth the intent of that body. An applicant seeking EFC financial assistance must submit a certified copy of a resolution that authorizes, among other things: undertaking of the project and the maximum total cost of the project; expenditures for the project, including identification of any non-municipal source of funds; obligation of funds necessary to meet any required local match, including any cash and/or in-kind services; and application to EFC for financial assistance. The resolution must also designate a representative of the applicant who is authorized to sign the funding agreement with EFC and any associated documents. If the applicant is issuing debt for the project and has adopted a bond resolutions, a separate board resolution may not be necessary. 

An engineering agreement is a contract with a professional engineering firm for planning, design, and/or construction management services. Planning services involve the development of an engineering report. Design services result in the production of plans and specifications for the project. 

An acceptable engineering report is a document that comprehensively describes a water quality related problem, assesses alternatives for addressing and resolving the problem, including the "no action" alternative, recommends a solution, and includes the costs and implementation schedule for that solution. Engineering reports are prepared by a professional engineer licensed and registered to practice in New York State.

The Engineering Report Outline must be followed to ensure the report meets the requirements of an acceptable engineering report for wastewater infrastructure projects in New York State. The report should detail the analysis undertaken to assess the problem, ensuring that: 1) acceptable engineering principles, including applicable design criteria, were utilized in the evaluation; 2) the data justifies and supports the conclusions; and 3) the proposed solution has reasonable expectations of solving the problem.

2018 Engineering Report Outline