Personal tools

Return to Top
DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Questions? Email us

DNRC Seeks Public Comment Ahead of Infrastructure Advisory Commission Meeting


At the direction of the Infrastructure Advisory Commission (IAC), the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is seeking public comment on updates to the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Grant Guidelines which incorporate the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Final Rule for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program. The Final Rule is formally in effect starting April 1, 2022.

The Final Rule broadened the eligibility for how State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds may be used to fund additional types of projects — such as additional stormwater infrastructure, residential wells, lead remediation, and certain rehabilitations of dams and reservoirs — beyond what is currently eligible under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. They must continue to be “necessary” investments according to the definition provided in the Final Rule.

DNRC is also seeking public comment on updates to the competitive grant ranking guidelines for matching funds to include only committed match. The proposed changes would also apply to the ranking criteria for ARPA Irrigation Grants.

“Applications received in round two of the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Competitive Grants revealed that several local governments pledged matching funds from grant or loan sources that will not be awarded within the required timeline to meet startup conditions,” said Autumn Coleman, DNRC Resource Development Bureau Chief. “We want to ensure that local governments are set up for successful projects by awarding funds to those that have submitted a realistic and reasonable budget. ARPA funds have a compressed timeline required by the U.S. Department of Treasury and waiting until 2023 or longer to secure matching funds will delay or even prevent projects from being successful.” 

Public comments on the proposed updates to grant guidelines are due February 23, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. to be compiled by the DNRC and put forth for consideration by the IAC. Public comments and recommendations to the grant application guidelines will be reviewed at the February 24, 2022, IAC meeting. Updated American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) Water and Sewer Grant Application Guidelines can be viewed online at https://arpa-mtdnrc.hub.arcgis.com/pages/tools-resources

The ARPA IAC will meet on Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be streamed live at https://leg.mt.gov/audio-video/. Click the “Streaming For Today” button.  The meeting is also available on Zoom. Requests to join the meeting via Zoom should be made by noon, February 23 by emailing dnrarpa@mt.gov. 

During the February 24 meeting, the IAC will review Department of Administration State Capitol project 604 Applications; Regional Water Systems; Minimum Allocation Grant certified projects; and ARPA Water and Sewer Grant activities.

Public comments or letters of support regarding a specific project application can be e-mailed to dnrarpa@mt.gov or submitted in the Public Comment Form at https://arpa-mtdnrc.hub.arcgis.com/pages/commission-meetings.

The Infrastructure Advisory Commission is responsible for review of applications for water and sewer grants and state capital projects using ARPA funds. Commission members must certify that the projects are necessary investments in water and sewer infrastructure, or a qualifying capital project as defined in ARPA. Their recommendations are submitted to the governor for consideration.  

Infrastructure Commission members include: Chair Sue Vinton, R-Billings, Vice-Chair Amanda Kaster, Director, Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; Sen. Doug Kary, R-Billings; Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka; Sen. Ellie Boldman, D-Missoula; Rep. Jerry Schillinger, R-Circle; Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte; Chris Dorrington, Director, Department of Environmental Quality; and Rachel Meredith, Council to Governor Greg Gianforte. ARPA Director: Scott Mendenhall.