The Department of Environmental Protection plans to hold a pre-RFR Informational Meeting to discuss potential projects before the FFY 14 604(b) RFR is issued in early 2014.  We recommend that potential respondents attend this meeting to discuss your ideas for new projects. The meeting will be held in the Commissioner’s Conference Room at MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from 10:00 AM to Noon. (Snow date is January 29th at the same location and time. See Central Regional Office for directions.)

For FFY 2014, the Department will continue to focus 604b grant funds towards watershed or subwatershed based nonpoint source assessment and planning projects leading to the: 1) determination of the nature, extent and causes of water quality problems; 2) assessment of impacts and determination of pollutant loads reductions necessary to meet water quality standards; 3) development of green infrastructure projects that manage wet weather to maintain or restore natural hydrology; and 4) development of assessments, preliminary designs and implementation plans that will address water quality impairments in impaired watersheds. Applicants considering development of designs and plans to be considered for 319 implementation funding are encouraged to discuss their proposals with Jane Peirce of the 319 program  at 508-767-2792, jane.peirce@state.ma.us.

Pursuant to Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act, eligible grant applicants must be either Regional Public Comprehensive Planning Organizations or Interstate Organizations.  Eligible entities include: regional planning agencies, council of governments, counties, conservation districts, cities and towns, and other substate public planning agencies and interstate agencies.  MassDEP encourages eligible respondents to propose water quality assessment/planning projects that will lead to direct actions by Municipalities and others to implement water quality improvements.

Respondents should note that MassDEP's Division of Watershed Management Watershed Planning Program (WPP) will concentrate sampling efforts in mid-west basins (Connecticut and Chicopee) during 2014 and in the Northeast basins (Charles, Ipswich, Merrimack, North Coastal, Parker, Shawsheen, Concord (SuAsCo)) in 2015. Further discussion of DWM’s new basin arrangement along with a map of the basin alignment can be found at: Adjustments to Surface Water Monitoring Program.

As the Commonwealth's procurement rules prohibit MassDEP or any other RFR issuer from consulting with potential applicants to develop project ideas once an RFR is issued, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact MassDEP before the RFR issue date to refine project ideas and obtain feedback. Contact Gary Gonyea (617-556-1152 or gary.gonyea@state.ma.us) for a discussion of ideas and program objectives.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Pre-RFR Informational Meeting: January 28, 2014
  • RFR release on Comm-PASS: February 7, 2014
  • Responses due to MassDEP: March 28, 2014
  • Evaluation of Responses: April 2014
  • Award Announcements: September 2014
  • Projects Initiated: Fall 2014