Department of Agriculture

Supporting Arkansas farmers and ranchers while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of Arkansas, the nation, and across the globe

American Rescue Plan Funding

Water and Wastewater Grant Program

On September 16, 2022, the Arkansas Legislative Council approved $270 million in grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) specifically to address water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects across Arkansas.  Of the approved $270 million, $135 million will be allocated to eligible safe drinking water projects and $135 million will be allocated to eligible wastewater and stormwater projects.

This one-time grant funding will be administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.   Eligible applicants may complete an application for an award of up to $5 million for an eligible Drinking Water Project and an application for an award of up to $5 million for an eligible Wastewater/Stormwater Project. 

ELIGIBLE ENTITIES

The grants made available under this program may be obtained by any duly constituted and existing political subdivision of the State, including, but not limited to:

  • Counties, cities, towns, and municipalities
  • Any duly constituted special purpose improvement district, rural development authority, rural waterworks facilities board, public facilities board, regional water distribution district
  • Any duly qualified and existing public trust or authority, individually or as an agent, representative, or instrumentality of any political subdivision
  • Other eligible entity described above

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

Eligible projects include a broad range of water and sewer projects, including those eligible under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), and certain additional projects, including a wide set of lead remediation, stormwater infrastructure, and aid for private wells and septic units. To be eligible for funding under this grant program, each project must be determined by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) to be in compliance with the State Water Plan.

Projects will be determined for eligibility consistent with the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Final Rule. 

Eligible projects under the CWSRF, and the final rule, include but are not limited to:

  • Construction of publicly owned treatment works
  • Projects pursuant to the implementation of a nonpoint source pollution management program established under the Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment systems that treat municipal wastewater or domestic sewage
  • Management and treatment of stormwater or subsurface drainage water
  • Water conservation, efficiency, or reuse measures
  • Development and implementation of a conservation and management plan under the CWA
  • Watershed projects meeting the criteria set forth in the CWA
  • Energy consumption reduction for publicly owned treatment works
  • Reuse or recycling of wastewater, stormwater, or subsurface drainage water
  • Security of publicly owned treatment works

Eligible drinking water projects under the DWSRF, and the final rule, include, but are not limited to:

  • Facilities to improve drinking water quality
  • Transmission and distribution, including improvements of water pressure or prevention of contamination in infrastructure and lead service line replacements
  • New sources to replace contaminated drinking water or increase drought resilience, including aquifer storage and recovery system for water storage
  • Green infrastructure, including green roofs, rainwater harvesting collection, or permeable pavement
  • Storage of drinking water, such as to prevent contaminants or equalize water demands
  • Purchase of water systems and interconnection of systems
  • New community water systems

With broadened eligibility under the final rule, SLFRF 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 the CWSRF and DWSRF, if they are found to be “necessary” according to the definition provided in the final rule and outlined below.

  • Culvert repair, resizing and removal, replacement of storm sewers, and additional types of stormwater infrastructure
  • Infrastructure to improve access to safe drinking water for individuals served by residential wells, including testing initiatives, and treatment/remediation strategies that address contamination
  • Dam and reservoir rehabilitation if the primary purpose of the dam or reservoir is for drinking water supply and the project is necessary for the provision of drinking water
  • Broad set of lead remediation projects

MAXIMUM GRANT AMOUNTS

This grant program is limited to a maximum of $5 million per safe drinking water project per entity and $5 million per wastewater/stormwater project per entity.

COST SHARE REQUIREMENTS

The cost share required for eligible projects under this program will be subject to the following percentages based on the median household income (MHI) for the city(ies) and/or county(ies) served by the proposed project*and according to the following chart:

Median Household Income Level*Cost Share Percentage
<$30,0000%
$30,000 - $50,00025%
>$50,00050%

*Project area MHI is the average of the most recent three (3) years of available data on the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates provided by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Eligible entities may apply by completing and submitting the following applications for funding to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's – Natural Resources Division via email at ANRC.Applications@arkansas.gov by November 4, 2022, no later than 4:00 PM CST.  Applications that are deemed incomplete, not signed by an appropriate official representing the eligible entity and/or not submitted by November 4, 2022 will not be reviewed and are ineligible for funding under this grant program.

Click here - Safe Drinking Water Projects Application

Click here - Wastewater and Stormwater Projects Application

APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

All applications will be initially evaluated to determine if the entity and/or proposed project meets the eligibility for funding under the program as discussed above. Projects/entities determined to be eligible for funding will be evaluated by a review committee consisting of personnel from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Division, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment. Upon completion of the review committee, the submitted application with committee recommendations will be submitted to the ANRC for review, consideration, and final action. Final funding will be determined by the ANRC.

Click here to view Safe Drinking Water Projects Criteria
Click here to view Wastewater and Stormwater Projects Criteria

SCHEDULE

Each entity selected for funding under this program must meet the deadlines outlined below. If an applicant fails to meet the application submission or if they fail to submit a complete application by the deadline, they will be ineligible for funding under this program.  In addition, applicants must demonstrate that a proposed project can meet the deadlines listed below to receive funding.  Once approved for funding, any selected entity that fails to meet the deadline listed below may be required to return all unused funds. Unused or returned funds may be reallocated to additional eligible projects.

  • Application Period Opens                                         September 16, 2022
  • Application Deadline                                                 November 4, 2022(4:00 PM)
  • Application Review Complete                                  November 23, 2022
  • ANRC Commission Meeting (Tentative)                   December 2, 2022     
  • Entity Certification of Funds Approved                    May 31, 2023
  • Construction Start Date Deadline                              December 31, 2023
  • Construction Complete Deadline                              December 31, 2026

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE MEETINGS

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division will hold a series of virtual and in-person meetings across the State during the application period to assist entities in completing applications for funding under this program.  The meetings are currently scheduled for the following dates and times:

Meeting 1 – Northwest Arkansas  
September 21, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
The Jones Center  
Harvey Jones Conference Center 
922 E. Emma Avenue 
Springdale, Arkansas 72764 
Rooms 226/227 

Meeting 2 – Central Arkansas/Virtual Meeting 
September 29, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Arkansas Municipal League 
Assembly Hall 
301 West 2nd  
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115
Zoom Link - 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
https://arkansas-gov.zoom.us/j/86790865100?pwd=amovMFhFSHJoWWd6ZkdlQjBBT1NwQT09
Meeting ID: 867 9086 5100 
Passcode: 089530 

Meeting 3 – Central Arkansas 
September 29, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Arkansas Municipal League 
Assembly Hall 
301 West 2nd  
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115 

Meeting 4 – Southeast Arkansas
October 4, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 
Dumas Community Center 
18 Belmont Street 
Dumas, Arkansas 71639 
Rooms 226/227 

Meeting 5 – Northeast Arkansas
October 19, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center 
600 E. Lawson Road 
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72404

Meeting 6 – Southwest Arkansas
October 26, 2022, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Hope Community Center
800 S Mockingbird Ln
Hope, Arkansas 71801

Meeting 7 - Virtual Meeting
November 1, 2022, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
https://arkansas-gov.zoom.us/j/87479134520?pwd=SGpuVFFpOFo1MkliUzdwUHFlKzdQZz09
Meeting ID: 874 7913 4520 
Passcode: 050819

For more information contact:
Ryan Benefield, P.E., Deputy Director
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Division
10421 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone (501) 682-3962 Fax (501) 682-3991
Email: ryan.benefield@arkansas.gov

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