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Clean Water Grants

Vermont waterways nurture ecosystem wellbeing, supply safe drinking water, strengthen tourism, buoy property values, and provide for recreational opportunities like fishing, swimming, and boating. For the benefit of current and future generations of Vermont people and wildlife, the state has made a long-term commitment to the Clean Water Initiative to provide the mechanisms, staffing, and financing necessary so that our waterways achieve and maintain compliance with the Vermont Water Quality Standards. To this end, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) coordinates with committed state and federal agencies and local partners to fund, develop, implement, and track clean water projects that protect and restore water quality.

Our grant programs are funded through a combination of state and federal funds. Mainly the Clean Water Fund, Capital Fund, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Lake Champlain Basin Program TMDL Implementation funds support these grant opportunities.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) TMDL Implementation funds are overseen by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through an agreement with the EPA. We work across sectors — agriculture, developed lands, natural resources, and stormwater — to execute clean water projects supported by federal dollars. EPA-LCBP funding opportunities are released via Requests for Proposals (RFPs) on the Vermont Business Registry website.

Vermont Clean Water Initiative Program Spending Plan

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program’s (CWIP) annual Spending Plan highlights which items from the Clean Water Budget are CWIP-administered, their funding source, and the types of funding programs and initiatives available in the coming State Fiscal Year to support clean water projects. The CWIP State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024 Spending Plan serves as a communication tool to clean water project proponents and prospective/current grant/contract recipients outlining current fiscal year funds available and anticipated funding opportunities. CWIP’s Spending Plan also serves as an internal planning tool to track annual progress implementing funding programs and initiatives.

Initiatives and funding levels are subject to change over the year based on demand and administrative capacity. The State Fiscal Year 2024 runs from July 2023 through June 2024. 

    Vermont Clean Water Initiative Program Funding Policy

     The CWIP Funding Policy serves as a communication tool to clean water project proponents and prospective funding recipients to clarify expectations on the division of roles and responsibilities related to CWIP-administered funding programs, and to provide clear guidelines on the appropriate use of CWIP-administered funds and expected outcomes from those investments.

    CWIP's Clean Water Workforce Capacity Development Initiative

    Implementation of clean water projects requires the technical expertise of a network of partners that are numerous, diverse, well-trained, well-resourced and who operate in an enabling environment. Vermont is fortunate to have a strong group of clean water partners assisting in these efforts, but obstacles to their success persist. With a relatively sudden increase in federal and state funds and changes in funding mechanisms, the Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) wants to ensure that the state and our valued partners can effectively and sustainably meet the upsized demand for more clean water projects. Thanks to investments from the Clean Water Board and the Lake Champlain Basin Program, CWIP's Clean Water Workforce Capacity Development Initiative will support and invest in the capacity of our partners to ensure a strong network that continues to efficiently deliver high quality and high priority clean water projects.

    In the summer of 2022, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Clean Water Initiative Program (CWIP) contracted with The Clark Group, LLC to conduct a Phase 1 assessment through outreach to current and potential clean water partners (i.e., Vermont’s “Clean Water Workforce”). The goals of the assessment were to uncover key Clean Water Workforce capacity challenges and to outline which investments in capacity would accelerate adoption and implementation of clean water projects statewide. A presentation in October 2022, provided a sneak peek into the preliminary findings from this assessment including what the interviewees said about capacity challenges and their suggested interventions.