Private Projects that Support Estuary Programs

A portion of the loan funds available from the Delaware Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (also known as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund) are available for privately-owned water quality improvement projects that help meet the water quality goals of Delaware’s estuary management programs.

The federal Clean Water Act limits the eligibility of privately-owned wastewater treatment projects to those that support the implementation of Delaware’s Nonpoint Source Management Program under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, and Delaware’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan under Section 320 of the Act.

About two-thirds of the State is located within the watersheds of the two estuaries eligible for funding, the Delaware Bay and the Inland Bays. One-third is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which is ineligible for privately-owned wastewater treatment project assistance.

Loans for privately-owned water quality improvement projects are awarded through the Project Priority List process.

Eligible Projects

Privately owned water quality improvement projects focused on improving water quality in Delaware’s estuaries. Green infrastructure, water efficiency, energy efficiency, or environmentally innovative projects are also eligible.

Eligible Applicants

Private individuals, companies (profit and non-profit), and other entities.

Additional Information

CCMP goals for Section 212 (publicly owned treatment works) and Section 319 (non-point source pollution remediation) of the Clean Water Act overlap with Section 320. However, CCMPs include point sources of pollution and other estuarine zone goals previously not eligible under Section 212 Section 319. As a result, the Section 320 authority provides the opportunity to fund privately owned water quality improvement projects that may require environmental permits.

The principles that guide Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund funding decisions for Clean Water Act Section 320 projects are:

  • All Section 320 projects must be consistent with the relevant CCMPs and must be sanctioned by the Plan.
  • Section 320 projects can be either publicly or privately owned (although this section applies only to privately-owned projects).
  • Eligible costs are limited to capital costs. (Planting trees and shrubs, purchasing equipment, environmental cleanups and the development and initial delivery of education programs are eligible capital projects).
  • Projects must have a clear demonstrable net benefit to the water quality of the estuary zone. (This includes protection of public water supplies and the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife, and allows recreational activities, in and on water, and requires the control of point and nonpoint sources of pollution to supplement existing controls of pollution).
  • Only the portions of a project that remediate, mitigate the impacts of, or prevent water pollution in an estuary zone may be funded. In many cases, water quality protection is combined with other elements of an overall project. Where the water quality portion of a project is clearly distinct from other portions of the project, only the water quality portion can be funded by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Should an element of a project have multiple environmental benefits, including but not limited to water quality protection or improvement, that element shall be considered eligible.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund financial assistance opportunities under Section 320 for certain categories of eligibilities, in addition to eligibilities under Section 212 and Section 319, include :

  • Stormwater
  • Water Conservation and Reuse
  • Mining
  • Animal Feeding Operations
  • Landfills
  • Trading
  • Atmospheric Deposition
  • Privately-Owned Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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