FY22 Interior, Environment - Community Project Funding Request

Please read before providing all requested information.

The following accounts are eligible for funding:

• Federal land acquisitions through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (Note: The Subcommittee will accept requests for these community projects after the release of the full President’s budget.).
• Environmental Protection Agency State and Tribal Assistance Grants for certain water infrastructure projects.
• Certain State and Private Forestry projects within the U.S. Forest Service.

The subcommittee will not accept project requests in any other account.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Land Acquisition Through the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Federal acquisition of lands and water and interests therein must be for the purpose of land and habitat conservation and the encouragement of outdoor recreation, as established by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act of 1965. Land acquisition project requests funded from the LWCF should be requested through the agency that would manage the land being acquired. The four land management agencies are: within the Department of the Interior, (1) the Bureau of Land Management, (2) the Fish and Wildlife Service, (3) the National Park Service; and within the Department of Agriculture, (4) the Forest Service.

Third party organizations (i.e. The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, etc.) frequently participate in the federal acquisition process by coordinating the negotiation and purchase of tracts. If the project you are
requesting involves a third-party organization, please be mindful that funding for a land acquisition project goes to the agency that will manage the land.

The Great American Outdoors Act of (Public Law 116-152) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260) mandates that the president submit, along with the upcoming fiscal year’s budget request, proposed and supplemental project lists. The Committee will look favorably upon requests for projects that appear in either of these lists. When submitting your request, please indicate whether the project is on these lists.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG)

The vast majority of requests made to the Interior Subcommittee are for STAG infrastructure grants. These grants fund local wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. This includes construction of and modifications to municipal sewage treatment plants and drinking water treatment plants. Similar to past practice, the Committee will be limiting STAG infrastructure grants only to projects that are publicly-owned or owned by a non-profit entity and that are otherwise eligible for the funding from that state’s Clean Water or Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRF) loan programs. Privately-owned projects are NOT eligible for
infrastructure grants, even if they are otherwise eligible for assistance under a SRF program. The Committee will look favorably upon requests for projects that are listed on a state’s most recent Intended Use Plan.

There is a minimum 20% cost share requirement for any portion of a project funded through a STAG infrastructure grant. For example, a $1 million project could receive a maximum of $800,000 from the Federal government, with the remaining $200,000 the responsibility of the grantee. In almost all cases, other federal funds cannot be used to meet this 20% cost share. Ability to fund the 20% cost share is required before EPA can award a STAG grant. Please note that only the non-federal portion of assistance provided by a SRF can be applied towards a project’s matching requirement.

STAG projects have very specific eligibility requirements, and the Committee will not consider
projects that do not meet those requirements. Please see the tables below for projects that are eligible/ineligible.

U.S. FOREST SERVICE

State and Private Forestry

The Forest Service is an agency within the Department of Agriculture. Requests that do not fit into the described categories below are unlikely to be eligible for funding under the Forest Service.

The State and Private Forestry account provides technical and financial assistance, usually through the network of State Foresters, to improve the management, protection, and utilization of the Nation’s forests. Community projects are usually limited and include various specific urban and community forestry projects and specific forest disease or pest treatment areas. Members may also request specific State fire assistance projects or specific forestry assistance projects in this account. The Committee will look favorably upon requests for
projects that are listed on any federal or state ordinal list or are clearly demonstrated to meet the goals of a State Forest Action Plan(s).

Questions for Community Projects
For each community project funding request, Member offices will need to submit the following information:
• Amount requested
• Total project cost
• FY 2022 President’s Budget Request (if applicable).
• FY 2021 enacted level (if applicable).
• Can the project obligate all of the appropriated funds within 12 months after enactment (yes/no)?
• Was this request submitted to another subcommittee this fiscal year, and if so, which one?
• Estimated start and completion dates for the project.
Additionally, depending on the type of community project funding request, Member offices
should be prepared to answer the additional supplemental questions:

[Land and Water Conservation Fund project for BLM/FWS/NPS/USFS]

1. Is the requested project on either the president’s proposed or supplemental LWCF project list submitted by the agency?

[Environmental Protection Agency, State and Tribal Assistance Grants, Clean Water/Drinking
Water infrastructure projects]

1. Please indicate whether this is a Clean Water SRF project or a Drinking Water SRF project.
2. Does the project have (or expects to have within 12 months) its 20 percent matching fund requirement?
3. Is the project on your state’s most recently finalized Clean Water/Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use Plan?
4. Has the project received federal funds previously? If so, please describe.

[Forest Service, State and Private Forestry]

1. Has the project received federal funds previously? If so, please describe.
2. Is the project ranked in a priority setting system/list? If so, please provide list name and rank.
3. (If landscape scale restoration) Does this project meet the eligibility requirements of the Landscape Scale Restoration program as listed in the instructions on the Forest Service website?
4. (If landscape scale restoration) How does this project meet the goals of the State Forest Action Plan(s)?
5. (If Forest Health Management) Is this project treating a specific insect, disease, or invasive plant infestation listed in the FY21 Forest Service Budget Justification?
6. (If Cooperative Fire Assistance) If a State project, how does this project meet the goals of the State Forest Action Plan? If a local project, how does this project support community mitigation efforts?
7. (If Forest Stewardship) How does this project meet the goals of the State Forest Action Plan?
8. (If Urban and Community Forestry) How does the project meet the goals outlined in the 2016-2026 Urban Forestry Action plan?
9. (If Urban and Community Forestry) Further, how does this project “Conserve working forest landscapes, protect forests from harm, and enhance benefits associated with trees and forests”?
10. (If Urban and Community Forestry) Does the project meet at least the 50-50 match requirement?

Important: see eligibility guidance for STAG grant project funding requests here.