Grants again made to help counties raise SSTS compliance rates, assist low-income homeowners

 

grantsIn a continuing effort to assist county SSTS programs, the MPCA works with the Legislature to secure funding to support and enhance the work counties do to promote effective sewage treatment.

In July, the MPCA awarded grants to counties for the following related SSTS activities:  

  1. administration of local SSTS programs,
  2. special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates and
  3. assistance to low-income homeowners to upgrade their  systems.

The Legislature provided funds for county base grants of $18,600/year and incentive grants for counties that have adopted ‘triggers’ to promote SSTS compliance or are implementing special projects to improve compliance.

Funding was also made available for grants to low-income homeowners to help them bring their septic systems into compliance.

$195,000 awarded for adopting compliance triggers

Just under $195,000 was granted to counties that are working to improve compliance by adopting compliance inspection triggers when a property is sold or a property owner applies for any type of permit. Others are improving record-keeping, conducting septic system inventories and working with unsewered areas to improve compliance. Over $750,000 dollars was granted to counties to assist low-income homeowners with SSTS upgrades.

Sixty-seven of 86 eligible counties submitted grant applications this year. Of these, 50 qualified by requiring compliance inspections triggered by a property sale and 11 qualified by requiring inspections any time a home owner applies for a permit. Fifteen counties received money for having plans to improve compliance and 39 counties received low income fix-up funds.

Grants available for advanced inspector work on large systems

Another area where the MPCA is able to support county SSTS programs is by providing grants for work done by advanced inspectors on systems designed to handle more than 2,500 gallons per day. These grants reimburse the county for 75% of the cost of this work, whether it is done by county staff or licensed Advanced Inspectors hired by the county. Currently, there are 22 counties participating in this grant program. The application period for this grant is currently open. Contact Aaron Jensen for more information as well as the MPCA website.

The advanced inspector grants are distributed by the MPCA. All other grants flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources Natural Resources Block Grants. There will be additional funding available in FY17 for the add-on competitive grants.

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