Annual Priority List
The CW and DW SRF programs both need to annually write an intended use plan (IUP) in order to obtain the "cap grant" from USEPA for the funding used for the programs. An integral part of the IUP is the Priority List (PList), which is a list of the projects that have requested funding that year and are prioritized according to the priority system for the program. To obtain funding for certain CWSRF final design activities and all construction activities, a project must either be included on the priority list, or be accepted as an "emergency" project, and meet readiness to proceed criteria.
The DWSRF maintains a priority list for each cap grant in order to ensure that all program requirements for an individual cap grant are met. CWSRF maintains a single priority list at any given time and the priorty list is replaced annually. For the CWSRF it is necessary to apply annually to assure a spot on the list at the time of your loan application. It is recommended to apply to the DWSRF annually, until your project is funded.
The CWSRF program prefers to track projects at all project development levels on the PList, because it ensures that funding is available for planning and design project needs as well as to track the needs for of the pollution control grants. It is not necessary to be on the PList for Planning or (most) Design loans, but it is helpful to assure that funding is available.
It is important to remember that your priority list application is NOT your loan application.
The current PList Applications are found below:
Each priority list ranks projects by their "priority" with respect to other projects on the list. Projects with the highest number of priority points are ranked towards the top of the list. All projects are added to the list but only the top projects are considered to be in the "fundable" range. However, there is a bypass process for "emergency projects" and when projects in the fundable range are not meeting readiness-to-proceed criteria.
CWSRF priority system is defined in the Vermont Environmental Protection Rules, Chapter 2. DWSRF priority system is defined in the annual IUP and included in the priority list application.
The DWSRF program uses an aggressive bypass process to ensure projects that are ready-to-proceed receive the funding they require to complete their project. The DWSRF PList ranking system does not take into account readiness-to-proceed deadlines, rather these deadlines are borne out during the year following PPL adoption. Major milestones for project progression include 1) submission of a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER), generally required by December 31st of the year the project is ranked fundable on the adopted PPL; 2) Voter authorization to incur debt, generally required by June the year after the project is ranked fundable on the adopted PPL; 3) submission of a Construction Loan Application, generally required by September 30 the year after the project is ranked fundable on the adopted PPL; and, 4) begin construction by the end of the year after project is ranked fundable on the adopted PPL. Some flexibility in these dates is possible but generally without a PER or voter authorization, the project will be bypassed in favor of the next ready-to-proceed project.
Please refer to DWSRF Guidance Document #4 for complete Project Bypass Procedures.
If the CWSRF has an emergency projects process and emergency project definition included in the annual IUP, then funding can be provided for emergency projects. This is intended to be added to the next IUP, FY 16.
The DWSRF has an emergency projects process. Systems either on or off the Priority List that experience an emergency resulting in an imminent and substantial threat to the public health may bypass all other projects and may be assigned top priority. Emergency additions to the Priority List will result in the lower priority projects identified as Anticipated Loan Recipients being bypassed. The number of projects bypassed will depend upon the amount of funds needed to cover the emergency. The determination of an imminent and substantial health risk for cases involving chemical contamination or a potential disease outbreak is the responsibility of the Department of Health in consultation with DEC. The determination of an emergency situation resulting from an unanticipated water system failure which requires immediate attention to protect the public health is the responsibility of DEC. Projects that may be required to address such a health risk could involve installation of treatment facilities, construction of a new water source, or replacement of a failed system element. For more information, please refer to Guidance Document #16.
Amendments to the Priority List
Each priority list may be amended annually. If your project may require that the PList is amended, please send a formal letter to the Department requesting the Priority List Amendment prior to the start of the annual legislative session in January.