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CAP Implementation Block Grant

During the development of the Phase 3 WIP, a main challenge identified by county partners was the multiple application processes to receive state or federal funds. In an effort to support the rapid planning and implementation of the Countywide Action Plans (CAP), DEP developed the Chesapeake Bay CAP Implementation Block Grant. This grant program provides a mechanism to fund CAP implementation developed at the county level to maximize specified nutrient and sediment reduction goals established as part of Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 WIP.

The goal of this grant program is to streamline the funding process so monies for implementation can be awarded through the block grant, on an annual basis, based on a defined set of criteria and progress made on the prior year’s award. Utilizing their CAPs, county planning teams list, in order of priority, the projects that they intend to fund with this implementation block grant for the following year. The block grant is designed to be flexible; if the county is unable to accomplish the first CAP Priority Initiative project listed over the course of the year, they may move onto the second project, etc.

Available funding is allocated among the counties each year based on defined criteria below and added to the existing multi-year agreement. The following criteria for the allocation of available state and federal funds set-aside for this purpose on an annual basis are:

  • The Tier the county is in, as designated by Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 WIP, and the county’s relative nutrient pollution reduction impact to the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The number of stream miles in the county that do not meet water quality standards due to nutrient or sediment impairment.
  • The percent of the nutrient and sediment local planning goal assigned to the county in the Phase 3 WIP that their CAP addresses.
  • Amount of funding awarded to the county in the past year and their progress in getting that money spent. Future funding will be based on the county’s ability to spend the money allocated the previous year.
  • The level of detail provided regarding specific projects to be implemented within the next year.

Effective partnerships celebrate mutual successes and accept the mutual accountability that comes with the commitment to a common mission. DEP works, both internally and externally, to deliver funds annually through the block grant program so that counties can build on previous successes and implement more projects in the 12-18 month intended timeframe. To do this effectively, DEP must also justify additional funding for this program every year by showing that funding is continually spent down.

DEP’s Bureau of Watershed Restoration and Nonpoint Source Management’s Healthy Waters monthly newsletter and annual reports showcase the progress and successes made by our county partners:


2023 Grant Award