Planning grants of up to $20,000 are available to Nebraska’s publicly-owned wastewater treatment works in communities with populations of less than 10,000. The state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund established the Wastewater Facility Planning Grants program to help small public systems analyze their operations, and develop technically and financially effective strategies to ensure they continue to comply with regulations relating to proper treatment of wastewater.
Amount available – Grants of up to $20,000 are available for communities of populations of less than 10,000 that have been identified with a financial hardship.
How can the funds be used? Communities can use these funds to hire consultants to assess the current system and develop strategies for the future. The Facility Planning Grants can assess whether the current infrastructure is adequately addressing regulatory requirements, and provide recommendations for what actions should be taken in the future. An important focus of these assessments is to determine how a small community can make the most effective use of limited financial resources, while ensuring their community is providing adequately treated wastewater.
What communities are considered for these grants? The Wastewater Facility Planning Grants are available to publicly-owned wastewater treatment works (POTWs) and nonpoint source control systems, serving 10,000 or fewer people. This includes any city, town, village, sanitary improvement district, natural resource district, or other public body having jurisdiction over a wastewater treatment facility. Privately-owned wastewater treatment systems are not eligible for assistance.
The state determines which communities are eligible for these grants, based on information that communities send to the state in an annual Clean Water SRF Needs Survey. These surveys are sent to communities every fall, and are due to the state by December 31st each year. The state evaluates these Needs Surveys to establish communities’ rankings in the Intended Use Plan of the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund. Then, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality selects the most likely candidates that would be eligible, and sends them applications for the planning grants. It should be noted that the state awards planning grants to communities that intend to follow through with the plans’ recommendations, and will be seeking Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans to accomplish these goals.
Who to Contact: E-mail -- NDEQ.SRF@Nebraska.gov; phone – (402) 471-3193