The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is issuing a Fiscal Year 2012 Call for Grant Applications under Section 319(h) of the Federal Clean Water Act.

Section 319(h) are funds for projects which are distributed competitively to support the most effective and highest priority projects that address Non Point Source (NPS) water pollution. There are three categories for competitive projects: Watershed Restoration, Groundwater Protection/Restoration, and Education and Outreach.

The DEQ is soliciting project proposals from eligible applicants to further Montana’s NPS Program. Montana’s goal is to protect clean water and restore waters that are impaired by NPS pollution and do not meet state water quality standards. Protection of water that meets or exceeds standards is through the use of Best Management Practices and education and outreach activities. Restoration of NPS-impaired waters is best accomplished by implementation of load reductions identified in “total maximum daily load” documents.

All applicants must complete and submit the project proposal form by Friday, July 29, 2011. The final application form is due on Friday, October 7, 2011. Successful applicants will be announced after the DEQ 319 Agency Review Panel meets on Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

The DEQ is also sponsoring a 319 grant writing workshop. The workshop is open to the public and anyone interested in submitting an application is encouraged to attend. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality-Metcalf Building (1520 East 6th Avenue, Helena, MT), Room 35, at 9 a.m.

For more information on the 319 Call for Grants Applications, contact: Robert Ray, Watershed Protection Section Manager, DEQ Planning, Prevention, and Assistance, at (406) 444-5319 or by e-mail at rray@mt.gov or visit the DEQ-NPS website at deq.mt.gov/wqinfo/nonpoint/319grants.mcpx.

For more information on the 319 grant writing workshop or for persons with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the workshop, contact Laura Andersen at the Montana DEQ at (406) 444-0549.