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Chapter 1 – Introduction:
Community’s Guide to the Utah Water Quality Project Assistance Program

The Utah Water Quality Project Assistance Program (WQPAP) was created by the State Legislature in 1983 to provide financial assistance and state participation with the needs and requirements associated with conserving, developing, treating, restoring and protecting the waters of the State. The Water Quality Board is the policy making board and the Division of Water Quality (DWQ), within the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, manages the WQPAP program.

In 1987, Congress replaced the Construction Grants program with the State Revolving Fund program. Rather than provide direct grants to communities, the federal government provides each state with a series of grants, then each state contributes a 20 percent state match. Grants from the federal government are combined with state funds in the WQPAP and are used to capitalize a perpetual source of funds to finance water quality construction control activities at below market interest rates.

To familiarize you with our program, we have developed this community guide. The guide is designed to give you an overall view of WQPAP program requirements, and guide you through the steps as we proceed through the WQPAP process together. At the end of each chapter, we have included a checklist to assure that important, but not always readily apparent, tasks are completed at the right time and in the right order.

To be considered for WQPAP financing, your proposed activity must result in a water quality benefit. Projects eligible for WQPAP financing include such traditional activities as construction of wastewater treatment plants and sewers. The program also will finance non-traditional water quality-related activities such as agricultural runoff control, landfill closures, contaminated industrial property (brownfield) remediation, stream bank restoration, and wellhead protection. Although this guide is focused on the general process for funding of traditional activities, the process for funding of non-traditional activities is similar. If you are considering a non-traditional activity, please contact DWQ as early as possible.

The WQPAP offers a variety of financing options at below-market interest rates to assist communities in meeting their specific needs. These include planning and design advances for communities which do not have the capability of financing the phases of a project prior to construction, grants for construction for “hardship communities” and construction loans at or below interest rates for communities which can afford to make repayments on a loan.

In addition to offering low interest financing for the planning, design and construction of water pollution control projects, the WQPAP also offers assistance for the wide variety of activities discussed in this community guide. DWQ staff members have expertise in planning, design, environmental sciences, civil and environmental engineering, local financing, and administration. We will assist you through each step of the process from your initial planning to project completion.

The planning, design, construction and operation of a wastewater project is not as formidable a task as it may sometimes seem. We trust that this guide will serve you well, and we encourage you to take advantage of the experience and expertise of DWQ staff. Our goal is to make your journey as easy and straightforward as it can be.

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