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FDEP solicits new requests for water quality restoration grants

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TMDL grants help locals implement stormwater best management practices

TALLAHASSEE – Three times each year, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection solicits grant applications from local governments to fund urban stormwater best management practices. The solicitation for these “TMDL Grant” applications is being released today with requests due at 5 p.m. on March 1st.

The Department administers the grant program with annual appropriations from the Florida Legislature. Awards are targeted at projects designed to restore “impaired” springs, rivers, lakes, and estuaries—those waterbodies that do not meet Florida’s stringent water quality standards.

To qualify for TMDL grant funding, the local government project must be at least 60 percent designed and fully permitted. Construction is to be completed within three years and must include storm event monitoring to determine the actual pollutant load reductions the project will accomplish. Applicants are also encouraged to include public education elements in their requests, because spreading the word on keeping pollutants out of the stormwater system is a key to success.

The Department ranks projects for funding based on the level of pollution in the associated waterbody, the estimated pollutant load reductions the project is designed to achieve, the cost-effectiveness of the project, and the percentage of local matching funds. Another important consideration is whether the applicant has a stormwater utility fee or other dedicated revenue source to continue effective stormwater management in the future. Good urban stormwater practices keeps oil, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, pet waste, and other contaminants washed by rain from yards, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, roads, and fields from contaminating surface and ground waters.

For more information on the TMDL grant program and the application process, visit the link below. Information on the wide range of DEP’s restoration programs is available on its website under “Water Quality Assessment and Restoration.”