State offering grants for agriculture industry wastewater infrastructure

LANSING–The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is seeking applications for a new Wastewater Infrastructure Fund Grant. As a reimbursement grant, this program will be assisting the food and agriculture industry to ensure compliance with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) wastewater regulations under the Groundwater Discharge Permit Program.

Applications are now being accepted continually until the funding is exhausted. The grant cycle is determined by funding awarded and distributed to approved projects.

An informational webinar will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

The following criteria will be used to determine applicant businesses and their wastewater infrastructure needs. Projects must meet the below requirements for consideration for the grant from a technical standpoint.

* The entity will be obtaining a permit or coming into compliance with EGLE’s Part 31, Groundwater Discharge Permit for food and beverage processing with a focus on fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, egg, and grain processing.
* The company is in good standing and compliance with the State of Michigan.
* The program is for existing companies.
* Only one proposal per applicant facility location or permit number will be awarded.
* Preference will be given to companies that fall within Tier 1 and Tier 2.
* Companies must be able to cover the full costs of their project, before being reimbursed based upon the tiered funding system.

The grant is open to existing agriculture and food processors located in Michigan who are under an Administrative Consent Order, compliance and enforcement action, or have a Schedule of Compliance found in a Certificate of Coverage or state Groundwater Discharge Permit from EGLE.

Eligible wastewater investment costs include:
* Prework – sampling and analysis, site review work,
* Engineering design,
* Installation and labor,
* Equipment,
* Construction materials,
* Land application equipment,
* Business Plans,
* Operation and Maintenance Manuals,
* Sampling Analysis Plans,
* Discharge Management Plans,
* Certified Operator Training, and,
* Construction and design – As-Builts stamped by a Professional Engineer (P.E.).

Ineligible wastewater investment costs include:
* Administrative and Consulting Fees
* Bid out documents: the actual receipts are required as proof of purchase/investment.

The following milestones will be required by the applicant if grant funds are awarded:

* As-Builts / Basis of Design, stamped by a Professional Engineer (P.E.),
* Issued EGLE Permit / Certificate of Coverage,
* Discharge Management Plan, approved by EGLE,
* Operation and Maintenance Manual, approved by EGLE, and,
* Confirmation of Compliance by EGLE.

Funding for this grant is based upon the daily flow in gallons per day of wastewater and overall project investment. The funding ranges are shown in the tiered table below. A grant to an individual system shall not exceed $2 million. This grant will cover 50% of the total eligible investment costs and, if a company is eligible for funding, project milestones listed above must be completed prior to receiving a disbursement of the performance-based grant. Selected companies are required to cover 50% of the total eligible investment costs from other funding sources.

Tier 1: Up to 750 gallons per day daily flow, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $225,000
Tier 2: 751 to 1,500 gallons per day, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $350,000
Tier 3: 1,501 to 3,000 gallons per day, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $500,000
Tier 4: 3,001 to 10,000 gallons per day, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $1,000,000
Tier 5: 10,001 to 20,000 gallons per day, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $1,500,000
Tier 6: 20,001 gallons per day and over, 50% of eligible investment, maximum grant award of $2,000,000

Interested applicants may complete the online Wastewater Infrastructure Fund Pre-Qualification Form at this link. This form will be used to determine a company and project’s eligibility for grant funding. Companies will be notified of eligibility and, if eligible, will be provided instructions via email, from MDARD-WIF@Michigan.gov, to complete a full application.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please contact the Agriculture Development Division at MDARD-WIF@Michigan.gov.

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