General Program Requirements/Eligibility
Q: What types of projects are eligible for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) General Supplemental (GS) funding?
A: Projects must be SRF eligible and must benefit a disadvantaged community (i.e. eligible for Hardship financing) in order to receive BIL GS funding. Additionally, for the CWSRF, if the full scope of the project meets EPA’s Green Project Reserve (GPR) requirements, EFC, in its discretion, may qualify the project for interest-free BIL financing even though the project is not eligible for Hardship financing.
For the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF):
- Eligible applicants include: municipalities, school districts, Indian reservations wholly within NYS, and water authorities.
- Eligible projects include:
- Treatment Works Projects (Clean Water Act Section 212) - New, expanded, or rehabilitated wastewater treatment facilities, collection, trunk and interceptor sewers, combined/sanitary sewer overflows, permitted stormwater pollution abatement
- Non-point Source Projects (Clean Water Act Section 319) - Stormwater management facilities (including green infrastructure), capping and closure of solid waste landfills, remediation of contamination from underground storage tanks, water quality components of municipally owned brownfields, land acquisition or easements for water quality protection
- National Estuary Conservation and Management Plan Projects (Clean Water Act Section 320) - NY/NJ Harbor and Estuary; Long Island Sound; Peconic Bay
- Decentralized Systems - Cluster systems, septic systems
- Recycled Water and Water Reuse Projects - systems to treat and distribute wastewater for use as irrigation for agriculture, golf course irrigation, non-contact cooling water make-up, gray water treatment; Drinking water plants that use wastewater or stormwater as the source
For the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF):
- Eligible applicants: municipalities, school districts, Indian reservations wholly or partly within NYS, and water authorities.
- Eligible projects include:
- Upgrades or replacements to drinking water infrastructure
- Address non-compliance with federal or state health standards
- Prevent future violations of federal or state health standards
- Provide public with safe drinking water
Q: What project categories are eligible for the BIL funding?
A: The BIL funding categories and types of projects eligible for each are:
- CWSRF BIL GS - Municipal water pollution control projects including, but not limited to: wastewater treatment facilities, pumping stations and sewers, combined sewer overflow abatement; stormwater pollution abatement; and other municipally owned projects or portions of projects that maintain, protect, or improve water quality.
- CWSRF BIL Emerging Contaminants ( BIL EC) - this funding is available for construction costs on CWSRF eligible projects whose primary purpose is to address emerging contaminants that are manufactured or naturally occurring physical, chemical, biological radiological, or nuclear materials, which are known or anticipated in the environment, that may post newly identified or re-emerging risks to human health, aquatic life, or the environment, including but not limited to, groundwater or surface water contamination caused by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and micro/nanoplastics. Project scope not related to emerging contaminants may be funded through the CWSRF Base or BIL General Supplemental programs.
- DWSRF BIL GS - Municipally owned and NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) regulated privately-owned drinking water infrastructure projects including, but not limited to: construction, rehabilitation, and upgrading of water treatment plants; transmission and distribution mains; storage facilities; pump stations; rehabilitation or development of new drinking water sources; consolidation of water supply services; and capital investments to improve security of drinking water systems.
- DWSRF BIL EC - DWSRF eligible projects with the primary purpose of addressing emerging contaminants in drinking water, with a focus on PFAS.
- DWSRF BIL Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) - DWSRF eligible projects that replace or are associated with an LSLR project or associated activity directly connected to the identification, planning, design, and replacement of lead service lines. Any project funded under this category involving the replacement of lead service lines must replace the entire lead service line (public and privately owned portion), not just a portion.
Q: What is the difference between “eligible” and “qualify”?
A: For CWSRF projects: “Eligible” means that your project meets the requirements to receive funding. To “qualify” for the funding, the project must both be eligible and be listed above the applicable funding line in the CWSRF Intended Use Plan.
For DWSRF projects: “Eligible” means that your project meets the requirements to receive funding. To “qualify” for the funding, the project must both be eligible and be reachable on the Eligible Project List for a particular funding pot on the DWSRF Intended Use Plan.
Q: What else is required to make a project eligible for BIL funding?
A: All projects receiving CWSRF BIL GS, CWSRF BIL EC, or DWSRF BIL GS funding must benefit disadvantaged communities (i.e. eligible for Hardship financing). For CWSRF BIL projects, if the municipality’s population is 10,000 or more the project must comply with all federal equivalency requirements. Please see the CWSRF FFY 2023 Final Intended Use Plan for additional information.
Some municipalities that are not considered disadvantaged communities may receive DWSRF BIL LSLR and DWSRF BIL EC funding.
For a project to be considered eligible for CWSRF BIL GS, CWSRF BIL EC, DWSRF BIL GS, or DWSRF BIL LSLR additional subsidy, an applicant:
- Must be eligible for hardship financing (see EFC’s Hardship Policies for additional information);
- Must comply with all applicable federal requirements;
- Must not have closed an EFC financing;
- Must not have incurred SRF-eligible debt for the project before November 15, 2021;
- Must not have issued a Notice to Proceed to construction for the project dated before November 15, 2021; and
- Must not be substantially complete before the beginning of the FFY.
Please note that DWSRF BIL EC additional subsidy may be provided to municipalities that are not considered disadvantaged communities.
Q: My project is eligible for BIL funding. Will I receive BIL funding?
A: For CWSRF, a “BIL Funding Line” is established in Subcategory D1 of the FFY 2023 Final IUP to identify projects that qualify for BIL General Supplemental Additional Subsidy according to the Hardship Policy. If a project is above the BIL Funding Line with an amount in the BIL Grant (additional subsidy) or BIL Hardship Financing columns, the applicant will receive a BIL General Supplemental Additional Subsidy letter for the amounts listed under the BIL Grant and BIL Hardship Financing columns. If a project is below the BIL Funding Line, it will not receive BIL General Supplemental Additional Subsidy. However, a project may qualify for interest-free hardship financing through the CWSRF Base program if it is above the Category D Hardship Funding Line.
For CWSRF BIL Emerging Contaminants, a separate application is under development.
For DWSRF, projects eligible for BIL funding will be listed on the IUP on the BIL Eligible Project List for the specific BIL funding pot for which the project is eligible. Projects on each BIL Eligible Project List will be awarded BIL funding in project priority score order until the available funds are exhausted. The applicant will receive a notification letter from the NYSDOH if its project is awarded BIL funding.
Q: My project was on the BIL list but does not qualify for BIL because it does not meet the BIL criteria (e.g., SRF-eligible debt was incurred on the project before November 15, 2021). Can my project receive interest-free Hardship financing?
A: Your project is eligible for interest-free Hardship financing, but to qualify to receive Hardship financing, your project must be listed above the Hardship Funding Line.
Q: If a project receives a BIL letter, is there a time limit to enter into an assistance agreement with EFC?
A: Yes. This date is set forth in the letter. For example, to receive BIL funding during the 2023 IUP Period, notified applicants must submit a complete financing application, an Environmental Review (if applicable), and an A/E procurement form by June 16, 2023 and close on an assistance agreement by September 30, 2024.
Please note for CWSRF projects that received an award letter, if a complete application is not received by June 16, 2023, the project must recompete for funding in the 2024 IUP Period.
Q: My CWSRF project is below the “BIL Funding Line” in the IUP. Why does the project show BIL Grant and BIL Hardship Financing amounts if the project will not qualify to receive BIL funding?
A: Projects below the BIL Funding Line show BIL Grant and BIL Hardship Financing amounts to demonstrate the amount of BIL funding the project could potentially receive in future rounds of BIL funding years, based on the information previously provided to EFC. Please note: if a project is shown below the BIL Funding Line and closes on a financing, the project will not be eligible for BIL funding in future rounds.
Q: My DWSRF project is below the “BIL Funding Line” in the IUP. Will my project receive BIL funding?
A: Projects appearing on BIL Eligible Project Lists will be awarded funding in project priority score order until the available funds are exhausted. The funding line on the BIL-GS Eligible Project List is approximate and for reference purposes only (see DWSRF FFY 2023 IUP Section 12.2).
Q: How long will BIL funding be available?
A: New rounds of BIL funding will be available through FFY 2026, subject to Congressional appropriation. In the FFY 2023, projects above the BIL Funding Line in Category D1 qualify for BIL funding, subject to meeting all BIL criteria. EFC will continue to identify projects potentially eligible for BIL funding through the FFY 2026 IUPs.
Q: I received a BIL notification letter that indicates my project qualifies for a certain amount of BIL Grant funding and my project costs have now increased. Can the project receive additional BIL Grant funding?
A: No additional BIL Grant funding will be provided to account for increased costs. However, SRF financing may be made available to cover the increased costs.
Q: I received a BIL notification letter that indicates my project qualifies for a certain amount of BIL Grant funding and I also have a WIIA grant. Am I able to use both grants toward my project?
A: For CWSRF, municipalities may be eligible to receive BIL, WIIA/IMG, and CWSRF Base program grants on the same project. Grant funds from BIL will not impact the net project costs on which WIIA/IMG award amounts are calculated. Additionally, grant funds from WIIA/IMG will not impact the net project costs on which the BIL grant amounts are calculated. If a WIIA/IMG grant is awarded to a municipality, the WIIA/IMG grant may be used to pay down a portion of the project financing at long-term conversion.
For DWSRF, municipalities may be eligible to receive BIL, WIIA/IMG, and DWSRF Base program grants on the same project, subject to the maximum grant limits outlined in the IUP. For projects already awarded a WIIA/IMG grant, any BIL grant awarded will be a supplement to, and not reduce, the awarded WIIA/IMG grant.
Q: My CWSRF project has reached the BIL grant cap of $25 million. Am I still eligible for a WIIA/IMG grant?
A: Yes, even if you reach the $25 million cap for CWSRF BIL grants, a project may still receive a WIIA/IMG grant. Similarly, if you reach the cap for a WIIA grant, you can still receive BIL grant if all eligibility requirements are met.
Q: What is the definition of an “Equivalency Project”?
A: Please see EFC’s Equivalency Guidance Packet.
Q: Can you clarify the Architectural and Engineering (A/E) procurement requirements? When will these requirements be in place?
A: The following types of projects financed by the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) must follow A/E procurement requirements:
- Projects receiving Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) financing and/or grants from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (P.L. 117- 58), also known as BIL;
- Projects receiving Clean Water or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants;
- Projects receiving Base or BIL CWSRF financing; and
- Project receiving engineering planning grants (EPG).
Municipalities undertaking these projects must procure A/E services in accordance with certain qualifications-based requirements. Please see the Architecture / Engineering Procurement Guidance document. Any A/E services procured after 10/1/2022 must comply with these requirements.
If you cannot comply with the above requirements, EFC cannot fund the project’s engineering services.
Q: Can architects and engineers already selected using federal A/E procurement requirements be maintained or is a new solicitation required?
A: The contracts can be maintained. No new solicitation is required unless there is a significant contractual amendment.
Q: If an Engineering Agreement was procured according to federal A/E requirements, are amendments to the original agreement required to follow the federal A/E procurement process?
A: Significant contractual amendments are required to follow the federal A/E procurement process. For the SRF, significant contractual amendments are both greater than $100,000 and include new scope of work.
Q: If engineering services have already been acquired without conducting an RFQ/RFP, will a federal procurement process need to be completed before a project is considered eligible for BIL funding? Would they qualify for SRF Base funding instead of BIL?
A: If engineering services are procured through an alternate process, a municipality may fund these costs through alternate sources. The SRF will not fund the cost of A/E services procured outside of the federal procurement requirements highlighted above.
Q: Do federal A/E procurement requirements apply if engineering services are self-funded by a municipality and the construction contract is funded through the CWSRF?
Q: What is the definition of a disadvantaged community?
A: EFC/DOH use the terms “Disadvantaged” and “Hardship” interchangeably. Please see the CWSRF and DWSRF Hardship Policies for information related to disadvantaged communities.
Q: How is EFC/DOH planning on prioritizing disadvantaged communities?
A: Please see the CWSRF and DWSRF Hardship Policies for information related to disadvantaged communities.
Q: If a municipality as a whole is not considered a disadvantaged community, but the project serves an area that is considered a Potential Environmental Justice area, will the project be considered serving a disadvantaged community and therefore prioritized for BIL funding?
A: The municipality must complete and submit the Environmental Justice Questionnaire for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds which can be found in the CWSRF and DWSRF Hardship Policies. The project will be evaluated for consistency with Environmental Justice criteria and assigned a Value Engineering Review.
Listing a Project/Project Scoring
Q: If a municipality is interested in BIL funding, how should they notify EFC?
A: A municipality must complete and submit a new or updated Project Listing Form by June 16, 2023. All projects will be screened for BIL eligibility when the 2024 IUP is being prepared. Draft BIL eligible amounts will be included in the draft 2024 IUP, expected to be released in August 2023. For additional information, please visit EFC’s website. You may also contact EFC and DOH via email. Please include the project name, description, and, if applicable, relevant project number in your email.
Q: What documents are required to be ranked and listed on the IUP?
A: New project listings are accepted on a continuous basis. New projects must be submitted through PLUS for CWSRF or via a project listing form PDF for DWSRF by June 16, 2023 to be included in the 2024 draft IUP. Municipalities must submit an approvable engineering report meeting the Engineering Report Outline and a Smart Growth Assessment Form in order for the project to be included on the Annual List. Projects without these documents will be included on the Multi-Year list only, and will not be eligible to receive funding in that FFY. Projects must be included on the Annual List in order to receive funding during the IUP year.
Municipalities are strongly encouraged to submit as much documentation as possible to help EFC/DOH score their project(s). Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to:
- Approvable Engineering Report
- Completed Smart Growth Assessment Form
- SPDES Permit (final)
- Order on Consent (executed)
- Location Maps (if engineering report is not provided)
- Sanitary Surveys or other local DOH reports/letters citing issues
For further information, please see this page about listing your project.
Q: Can you expand on the CWSRF project priority score system?
Q: If a project was scored several years ago, can it be re-scored based on new information related to demographics and other data points?
A: Yes, projects will be re-scored based on the new or updated information provided to EFC.
Q: We’d like to talk about our specific project and how we may be able to best utilize this funding. Is there anyone we can talk to about this?
A: You can reach out to the contacts below depending on whether you are interested in funding related to the Clean Water or Drinking Water SRF.