Frequently Asked Proposal Questions and Answers by yyu17405


									                                                               Frequently Asked Proposal
                                                                  Questions and Answers
                                                                    Pertaining to CR2802
                                                                                                    Clean Water fund
                                                                                          Surface Water Assessment Grant

1.     When is the deadline for SWAG applications?
       The SWAG application must be received by either mail or by e-mail no later than 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time,
       Friday, November 6, 2009. E-mail applications should be sent to: (Subject line “CR2802 Surface”)
       Mailed applications send to:
       One (1) signed original and four (4) copies must be submitted to:
       First Floor Reception Area
       Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
       520 Lafayette Road North
       St. Paul, MN 55155
       Attn: Ron Schwartz
       Proposals cannot be submitted by fax.

2. Who is eligible?
     Eligible applicants include Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Watershed Districts, Watershed Management
     Organizations, Local Units of Government (i.e., counties, cities, townships, and Lake Improvement Districts),
     Minnesota colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, American Indian Tribal governments in Minnesota, and
     regional governmental groups (i.e., Metropolitan Council, Western Lake Superior Sanitation District).
     Federal agencies, state agencies (excluding the Minnesota State College and University System), consultants/for-profit
     organizations, and private individuals are ineligible to apply for funding.

3.     What can I use the money for?
       Money may be used for the monitoring of lakes and streams for physical, chemical, biological, and/or bacteriological
       data according to the monitoring requirements for Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) 303(d) Assessments
       (See Appendix D of the Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide).
       Eligible expenditures include:
         • salaries and fringe benefits
         • in-state travel (mileage, per diem)
         • certified laboratory analysis
         • monitoring equipment and supplies
         • shipping
         • data entering (STORET)
         • volunteer recognition event

wq-s1-08                                                                                                        October 2009
           Minnesota Pollution Control Agency • 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194 •
              651-296-6300 • 800-657-3864 • TTY 651-282-5332 or 800-657-3864 • Available in alternative formats
        Ineligible expenditures include:
          • food (other than per diem as found in the Commissioners Plan at:
          • vehicle and/or boat purchase
          • monitoring for compliance, source detection, or presence/absence of parameters
          • monitoring for pesticides
          • activities initiated prior to the executing of the grant agreement, including cost of preparing preliminary and final
          • general operating support not related to the grant project
          • non-sampling equipment (including continuous flow monitoring stations)

  4.    How much money is available?
        The Surface Water Assessment Grant is a competitive grant program. For the 2010 application cycle, we anticipate a
        funding level of up to $2 million for the Surface Water Assessment Monitoring Grant. To increase your odds of being
        funded, follow all instructions carefully. Applicants that fail to meet the minimum criteria will not be considered
        for funding.

  5.    How does the MPCA decide which applicants receive funds?
        The MPCA first determines which applicants are eligible. If the application is received after the deadline or is
        incomplete (missing one of the following: proposal form, budget, or map), it may not be considered for funding.
        Next, the applications are reviewed and scored by a MPCA review team. After scoring, applications are ranked to
        determine which projects can be funded, based on available funds. The successful applicants are then notified and
        provided with instructions regarding the next step.

  6.    When will I get the money and how long will I have to use it?
        Contracts are anticipated to be executed no later than April 1, 2010. The funds will be available until June 30, 2012.
        Surface Water Assessment funds are reimbursement payments made upon receipt and approval of detailed project

  7.    How do I get a copy of the Request for Proposal?
        For a copy of the Request for Proposal contact:
        Ron Schwartz
        Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
        520 Lafayette Road North
        St Paul, MN 55155-4194
        E-mail: Subject Line: “CR2802 Surface”
        Telephone: 651-757-2708
        Responders are encouraged to supply an e-mail address and to receive the Request for Proposals (RFP) electronically.

  8.    What are the reporting requirements?
        All projects must submit progress reports for the duration of the grant contract period. Progress report due dates will
        be addressed in the grant contract and progress report templates will be provided to awarded Grantees by the State’s
        Project Manager. A final report to the MPCA will be required no later than June 30, 2012. In addition, grantees will
        also maintain a meter calibration log and submit as part of the annual reporting. If the grant recipient has an active
        Web site, the recipient shall display the progress reports and final report on its Web site. Reports must be posted on
        the recipient’s Web site and available to the public. For recipients without active Web sites, the MPCA shall display
        these reports on its own Web site (

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  9.    When will I be notified of my application’s acceptance or rejection?
        It is anticipated that applications will be scored and ranked by the end of December, and the notifications will be sent
        out by the end of January. You will be notified of either your acceptance or rejection. All notifications will go out the
        same day.

  10. If my application is accepted, what do I do next?
        You will be asked to complete a detailed work plan (including a detailed budget). Final work plans will be due to the
        MPCA by March 2, 2010. Failure to submit the work plan by the due date may jeopardize your funds.

  11. How do I determine if a lake or stream is already assessed?
        There are three resources available to applicants to help determine if a lake or stream reach is assessed and for what
        parameters. Please refer to the following for more information.
           • To determine what lakes and stream reaches have already been assessed and deemed impaired, please refer to the
             most recent draft and finalized Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) 303(d) Impaired Waters Lists at:
           • To determine what data the MPCA has on a lake or stream, please refer to the Environmental Data Access Web
             page at: This page shows all data that is in STORET for
             Minnesota lakes and streams. For assessment purposes, please refer to the most recent ten years of data (i.e., for
             the 2009 draft list, data from 1998 to 2008 was used to compile the list).
           • To determine what parameters are used to determine impairments, proper monitoring techniques, and quality
             control/quality assurance requirements, please refer to the Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide. Appendix
             D of the guide refers specifically to surface water assessment. The guide is available on-line at:
    or a hard copy may be requested from the MPCA.

  12. How many samples should be collected? Can we collect more than the minimum
      required amount for assessments?
        A reasonable number of samples will be allowed to meet the minimum requirements for the parameters chosen (i.e.,
        lakes require eight samples of total phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, and Secchi for assessment) and to allow for possible
        lab or field error. For example, if a lake has no data, eight samples must be collected between June and September
        over a two year period. Additional samples could be collected to ensure that if one sample is lost, the group would still
        have collected enough data to assess.

  13. Do sites have to be chosen prior to submitting the application and should I fill out the
      table for each of the lakes, or would it be acceptable to address the lakes in one
      description with a list of the proposed lakes? The monitoring protocol and parameters
      will be the same for all of the lakes.
        Stream/river reaches and lakes must be chosen prior to submitting the application and detailed in Section III –
        Monitoring Site Table. It would be acceptable to provide the parameters, number of samples, and range of monitoring
        dates in one line and provide a list of lakes as an attachment.

  14. Can we talk to MPCA employees about priorities of the MPCA and future direction of
      citizen monitoring?
        Applicants can submit a question to the regarding their project. The question
        will be routed to the appropriate staff to put together an answer to return to all applicants.
        The MPCA priorities and direction of citizen monitoring can be found in several documents available on the MPCA
        Web page. The MPCA Strategic Plan (, the MPCA
        Water Monitoring Strategy (, and specific basin plan documents

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  15. If we are selected for funding this grant round is there a way to get paid
      “electronically” through electronic fund transfer (EFT) or direct deposit?
        Yes. The link to the EFT or direct deposit form and instructions is

  16. In Section III – Monitoring Site Table, you request a table for the water body, sites,
      number of samples, parameters and dates, yet you limit us to two pages for the entire
      summary. If we are going to monitor more than a few water bodies, that table will be
      around one page. How are we to include this table and still keep the summary to two
        It is acceptable to include an attachment or appendix with the application if the proposal entails monitoring a large
        number of lakes and streams; however, past applicants have been successful in limiting initial application to the six
        pages suggested.

  17. For Section IV - Project Budget, the last two rows under "Other" are not included in the
      column totals when values are entered and there does not appear to be a way to fix
        Use the first two rows under “Other” and expand accordingly to include multiple descriptions and one total under
        specific objective.

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