Land Cover

Federal Funding Programs for Stormwater Mapping Data

February 21, 2023
Post by
Ecopia AI

As the US federal government works to foster a more sustainable, climate resilient future for Americans, various funding programs have been introduced that states, municipalities, and other jurisdictions can apply for to aid in stormwater infrastructure planning. Each program has different eligibility requirements and deadlines, but we’ve broken down the main funding opportunities here to simplify the application process and help state and local governments receive federal funds for geospatial mapping projects.

Federal Funding Opportunities for Stormwater & Climate Infrastructure Projects

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

Through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants to US states and territories to capitalize state CWSRF loans for water infrastructure projects. States contribute an additional 20% to match the federal grants, and loan repayments are recycled back into individual state CWSRF programs to fund future projects.

A sample of land cover data extracted by Ecopia in Oregon, showing different types of impervious and pervious features critical to infrastructure planning.
A sample of land cover data extracted by Ecopia in Oregon, showing different types of impervious and pervious features critical to infrastructure planning.

CWRF Eligibility

CWRF loans may be used for the following:

  • assistance to any public, private, or nonprofit entity for measures to manage, reduce, treat, or recapture stormwater or subsurface drainage water;
  • assistance to any municipality or inter-municipal, interstate, or state agency for measures to reduce the demand for publicly owned treatment works capacity through water conservation, efficiency, or reuse;
  • assistance to any public, private, or nonprofit entity for the development and implementation of watershed projects meeting the criteria in Clean Water Act section 122;
  • assistance to any public, private, or nonprofit entity for projects for reusing or recycling wastewater, stormwater, or subsurface drainage water.

How to Apply for CWSRF

Each state has a unique CWRF program, so interested applicants should reach out to their specific state program office for more information.

If you are considering applying for CWSRF funds to support a geospatial project, let us know. Ecopia’s dedicated stormwater team specializes in innovative applications of mapping technology to support climate resilience, and is here to help organizations determine the data they need to reach their project goals.

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act

The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) provides more than $6 billion in long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. A possible use for WIFIA loan funds is geospatial and mapping data to support water-related infrastructure planning, management, and development.

To qualify for WIFIA, projects must be found to be creditworthy sources of revenue during the application review and due diligence process. WIFIA funds may be used for up to 49% of a project’s cost, and total federal assistance may not exceed 80%. Large communities (population of 25,000 or more) can apply for a minimum of $20 million, while the minimum for small communities (population of less than 25,000) is $5 million. More information is available here.

A sample of impervious surfaces mapped by Ecopia in St. Louis, Missouri for stormwater management.
A sample of impervious surfaces mapped by Ecopia in St. Louis, Missouri for stormwater management.

WIFIA Eligibility

The following entities are eligible to borrow WIFIA funds:

  • Local, state, tribal, and federal government entities
  • Partnerships and joint ventures
  • Corporations and trusts
  • SRF programs

Projects eligible for WIFIA credit funding include:

  • projects that are eligible for the Clean Water SRF, notwithstanding the public ownership clause;
  • projects that are eligible for the Drinking Water SRF;
  • enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities;
  • brackish or seawater desalination, aquifer recharge, alternative water supply, and water recycling projects;
  • drought prevention, reduction, or mitigation projects;
  • acquisition of property if it is integral to the project or will mitigate the environmental impact of a project;
  • a combination of projects secured by a common security pledge or submitted under one application by an SRF program;
  • development phase activities, including planning, preliminary engineering, design, environmental review, revenue forecasting, and other pre-construction activities;
  • construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and replacement activities;
  • acquisition of real property or an interest in real property, environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, and acquisition of equipment;
  • capitalized interest necessary to meet market requirements, reasonably required reserve funds, capital issuance expenses and other carrying costs during construction.

How to Apply for WIFIA

The WIFIA application process typically takes about six months. There are two steps to apply for WIFIA funds:

  1. Prospective borrowers must submit a letter of interest which will be reviewed by EPA on a rolling basis.
  2. If EPA selects a project based on the letter of interest, the borrower is invited to submit an application. The borrower must submit the application within one year of the invitation. Once an application is submitted, EPA will conduct credit, legal, and technical due diligence and negotiate loan terms with the borrower. A breakdown of this process and application fees can be found here

Ecopia’s stormwater team can help you scope a stormwater infrastructure project using geospatial data. Get in touch here

Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program

The Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program (OSG), reauthorized by the 2018 America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) amendment to 221 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), has appropriated over $120 million in funds for states to provide municipalities for stormwater management projects. 

The OSG is intended to help municipalities manage urban stormwater issues, such as pollution, runoff, and other environmental or public health concerns. Geospatial data representing impervious surfaces and other critical land cover features may be acquired with OSG funds if used in an eligible project.

A sample of detailed land cover data extracted by Ecopia in Glendale, California, a valuable input to infrastructure development and planning.
A sample of detailed land cover data extracted by Ecopia in Glendale, California, a valuable input to infrastructure development and planning.

OSG Eligibility

States may apply for OSG funding to distribute to municipalities for use in the planning, design, and construction of treatment works to intercept, transport, control, treat, or reuse stormwater. Examples of OSG eligible projects include:

  • watershed management of wet weather discharges, including the management of municipal combined sewer overflows (CSOs), sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and stormwater discharges;
  • stormwater best management practices (BMPs), such as activities that manage, reduce, treat, recapture, or reuse municipal stormwater;
  • watershed partnerships efforts that demonstrate cooperative ways to address nonpoint sources of pollution to reduce adverse impacts on water quality;
  • Integrated water resource planning facilitating the coordinated management and protection of surface water, ground water, and stormwater resources on a watershed or subwatershed basis;
  • Municipality-wide stormwater management planning identifying the most effective placement of stormwater technologies and management approaches to reduce water quality impairments from stormwater on a municipality-wide basis;
  • increased resilience of treatment works to manmade or natural disasters, such as extreme weather events and sea-level rise.

States are required to prioritize funding to financially distressed communities, municipalities with a long-term municipal CSO or SSO control plan, and projects that have requested a grant on their CWSRF Intended Use Plan. A minimum of 20% of a state’s allocation of funds must be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements, and other environmentally innovative activities. At least 25% of a grant should be used for eligible projects in rural areas (with a population of 10,000 or less) or financially distressed communities. A maximum of 4% of state allotments may be used for administrative costs. 

How to Apply for OSG Funds

To receive allocated funds, states must submit an application package including the required application forms, work plan, and estimated project costs on grants.gov. A helpful resource explaining the entire application process can be found here. If your organization is not yet registered on grants.gov, you will need to create an account, which can take up to four weeks. Once an account is created, work through the following steps to apply:

  1. Applicants can access the grant application either through searching by the Funding Opportunity Number (EPA-CEP-02) on this page or directly through this link. Several funding opportunities will appear; make sure to select “Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program.” The following forms must be completed to apply: 
  • Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance);
  • Standard Form 424A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs);
  • EPA Form 4700-4 (Pre-award Compliance Review Report);
  • Project Narrative Attachment Form22 (Work Plan);
  • Budget Narrative Attachment Form21; 
  • EPA Form 6600-06 (Certification Regarding Lobbying), available at epa.gov. This will be requested by the EPA Project Officer after the application has been selected for an award. 

  1. Once the application is submitted, EPA’s Grant Management System will use the applicant's state to identify the region receiving the application package. An accompanying ‘lookup table’ will associate the region with an EPA point of contact in that region to receive the email notice and the link to the application in the pre-award module. 

  1. Following an award, the following forms must be completed: 
  • EPA Form 5700-52A (MBE/WBE Utilization Report), available at epa.gov;
  • Standard Form 425 (Federal Financial Report).

Unless otherwise stated above, all forms can be found here.

The closing date for OSG funding is October 4, 2030. If you have questions about applying for OSG funding to go towards geospatial data, reach out to Ecopia’s dedicated stormwater team. We are happy to help discuss the data needed for eligible projects.

American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides a combined $350 billion in assistance to eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Various water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects are eligible for ARPA funding without pre-approval from the US Treasury. All water, wastewater, stormwater, and infrastructure investments can now be classified as “general government services.” 

A sample of land cover data produced by Ecopia in King County Washington, detailing impervious and pervious features for use in climate resilience planning.
A sample of land cover data produced by Ecopia in King County Washington, detailing impervious and pervious features for use in climate resilience planning.

ARPA Stormwater Project Eligibility

To be eligible for ARPA funds, projects must be deemed “necessary” by being:

  1. responsive to an identified need to achieve or maintain an adequate minimum level of service, which may include a reasonable projection of increased need, whether due to population growth or otherwise;
  2. a cost-effective solution for meeting that need, taking into account available alternatives;
  3. for investments in infrastructure that supply drinking water in order to meet projected population growth, projected to be sustainable over its estimated useful life.

Local governments have the option to either use a default lost revenue growth amount (standard allowance) or use a lost revenue growth formula. The lost standard allowance is a much simpler option, and can provide up to $10 million of local fiscal recovery funds for general government services, including stormwater-related projects.

Award terms from the US Treasury still apply, such as the eligible use and federal procurement policies. Metropolitan cities (>50,000) can apply directly through the federal government while non-entitlement units of local government (<50,000) must receive their grants through their state government. To maximize benefits municipalities should look for ways to spend Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF) on costs that have fewer compliance and uniform guidance requirements, such as salaries and administration expenses. This will free up other general or enterprise fund money that can be used on projects with more complex requirements. 

How to Apply for ARPA Funds

A breakdown of ARPA allocations can be found here. To apply for funds, metropolitan areas can submit a request through the Treasury Department Portal. Metropolitan areas receiving funds will be required to submit one interim report and thereafter quarterly Project and Expenditure reports through the end of the award period on December 31, 2026. Templates and formats can be found here.

Each state has different grant opportunities through ARPA. To discuss how your mapping project can be funded through ARPA, get in touch with our stormwater team. The closing date for ARPA funds is December 31, 2024. 

Learn how Ecopia’s land cover maps are optimizing water and sewer planning with ARPA funds. 

Comprehensive Land Cover Data for Stormwater Infrastructure Management

Effectively planning, developing, and managing stormwater infrastructure requires reliable mapping data. At Ecopia, we leverage AI-based mapping systems to extract the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date land cover features from geospatial imagery. The resulting planimetric-level detail maps provide states, municipalities, and other organizations involved in stormwater management with a source of truth for land cover across their area of interest, fueling mission-critical applications of federal funding.

Examples of land cover features Ecopia provides for stormwater mapping include:

  • Buildings
  • Roads
  • Pavement
  • Tree canopy
  • Shrubs
  • Grass
  • Gravel
  • Bareland
  • Water
  • Swimming pools
  • Sports grounds

and any other feature visibly discernible in geospatial imagery from satellites, airplanes, drones, and street-view cars.

To see how one US municipality is leveraging Ecopia data in their stormwater workflows, check out this case study about the City of Detroit. When you’re ready to explore federal funding opportunities for Ecopia data, set up a meeting with our stormwater team.

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