Water Quality Management Planning Grants
Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act provides approximately 1% of Clean Water State Revolving Fund allotments (or $100,000 if greater) to support State water quality planning activities under 205(j) and 303(e) of the Act. The Water Quality Management process described in 40 CFR Part 130 and the CWA provide the authority for a consistent national approach for maintaining, improving, and protecting water quality while allowing States to implement the most effective individual programs. The process is implemented jointly by EPA, States, interstate agencies, and areawide, local, and regional planning organizations. Water Quality Management Planning grants (Federal Assistance listing 66.454) awarded under Section 604(b) assist States (including territories and the District of Columbia), Regional Public Comprehensive Planning Organizations (RPCPOs), and Interstate Organizations (IOs) to determine the nature and extent of point and non-point source water pollution and to develop water quality management plans.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, will infuse approximately $127 million of additional noncompetitive grant funding into states' and territories' Water Quality Management Planning programs between Fiscal Year 2022 - 2026, bringing programs to historically high funding levels. In Fiscal Year 2022, states and territories will receive over $30.6 million in total Section 604(b) funding - 82 percent more than they received in Fiscal Year 2021.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued interim implementation guidelines for states and territories, which provide information on how EPA will administer Section 604(b) grants for Fiscal Years 2022 - 2026. The guidelines will help states and territories build on their successes and more fully integrate equity, environmental justice (EJ), and climate considerations into water quality planning efforts.
Clean Water Act 604(b) Resources:
Clean Water Act 604(b) Guidance:
- Interim Implementation Guidelines for Clean Water Act Section 604(b) Water Quality Management Planning Grants for Fiscal Years 2022 through 2026 (pdf)
- Guidance for Management of Section 205(j)(1) and 604(b) Funds During Fiscal Years 1988-1990 (pdf)
- FY1995/96 Sections 106/604(b) Eligibility, Negotiation, Award, and Oversight Guidance (pdf)
- Award of Water Quality Management Planning Grants with Funds Appropriated by ARRA (2009) (pdf)