2023 Request for Applications for Rhode Island Decentralized Wastewater Improvement Grant

Environmental Protection Agency

10 March 2023
United States of America
Energy, Climate and Environment
Research, Development and Innovation Social Sciences
Transport, Infrastructure and ICT

Broadly, the goal of this solicitation is to work towards achieving SNEP’s Strategic Plan goals of healthy waters and resilient communities and further SNEP’s priority actions regarding increasing available solutions and capacity around decentralized wastewater treatment (see Strategic Plan). Ultimately, projects selected under this solicitation should in some way improve, or work towards improving, regional coastal waters and/or build resilience to the impacts of climate change. It should be noted that projects do not necessarily need to be located near the coast to have an impact on coastal waters. Applicants should, however, be able to explain how their project has a nexus with coastal waters (e.g., by being upstream of them).

Within the above-mentioned broader goals, SNEP is seeking project proposals that address any, or multiple, of the following topics leading to the enhancement of decentralized wastewater treatment management.

  • Development, expansion, or improvement of Responsible Management Entities (either through a third party or by a municipality) to administer, operate, and/or manage decentralized systems on a community-wide scale.
  • Creation of or updates to data systems related to decentralized wastewater, such as performance monitoring, operation and maintenance monitoring, or location tracking.
  • Examples may include developing ways to use data to optimize inspection and oversight or increase data driven planning and decision making.
  • Creation or expansion of innovative financial mechanisms to upgrade old/failing traditional septic systems or cesspools, provide assistance to residents unable to replace old/failing systems, including planning/incentivizing upgrading to Alternative/Experimental (A/E) nitrogen reducing systems, especially, in nitrogen sensitive areas. This may include developing programs to assist non-residential wastewater treatment as well.
  • Commercial district decentralized wastewater planning.
  • Evaluation of climate change impacts on the performance of decentralized systems, impact timelines, and development of plans to act on that information. Potential impacts from climate change include, but are not limited to, changes in precipitation patterns, flooding, sea level rise, groundwater rise/ salt intrusion, and rising temperatures.
  • Evaluation of where sewering needs to replace decentralized systems in light of climate change.
  • Creation or updates of Onsite Wastewater Managements Plans.
  • Execution of decentralized wastewater aspects identified in existing Hazard Mitigation Plans.
  • Creation or updates to local ordinances regarding onsite wastewater management to reduce their impact on coastal water quality or withstand hazards projected by climate change.
  • Development of sustained direct municipal capacity to more effectively manage decentralized wastewater operations in their jurisdiction. Examples could include development of fee systems, fund raising mechanisms, staffing, education, and efficiency tools.
  • Evaluation of age, location, risk, and status of existing and planned decentralized systems.

See Section III of funding opportunity announcement for eligibility information.

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19 April 2023