Funding for Watershed Erosion Control Projects
The 319 Program refers to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water Act grant program that funds work to reduce watershed erosion to improve water quality. Administered in Maine by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the program funds projects in watersheds that have EPA-approved management plans. In the Belgrade Lakes watershed, East Pond and Long Pond have EPA-approved management plans.
319 Program funding is available to homeowners, road associations, businesses, and towns for erosion control projects that improve water quality. Since 1999, 7 Lakes Alliance/BRCA has received 319 grant funding of $650,000 resulting in over $1.5 million in erosion control projects throughout the Belgrade Lakes watershed.
Road Improvement Projects
In 2016 and 2017, 7 Lakes Alliance/BRCA has a 319 grant to work on Long Pond and Great Pond. Most of the funding is for road improvement projects that reduce erosion to the lakes. Funding cannot be used for routine road maintenance. Typical projects involve ditching, culverts, and other major road improvements that add drainage capacity and that stabilize road surfaces and drainage systems.
Road Management Plans
This grant also funds Road Management Plans which assess road problems and provide technical advice. The plans are an important tool in capital budgeting and in contracting, and are used to plan many of the road improvement projects. Plans are provided by Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Road workshops are provided to road associations, homeowners, towns and contractors. At the July 2016 workshop, there were 80 attendees from throughout central Maine, many to listen to Attorney Cliff Goodall discuss road association legal issues. Workshops are provided bi-annually. Workshop partners include Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine DEP, Maine Department of Transportation, Maine Association for Road Associations, Friends of Cobbossee, and 30 Mile River Watershed Association.
Technical assistance for erosion problems is available to homeowners, road associations, businesses and towns, and is provided by 7 Lakes Alliance/BRCA, Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Maine DEP.
Funding is available through BRCA and is provided through a Cost-Share Agreement. Depending on the size of the project, up to 50% of project costs can be covered in the agreement. Interested parties should contact 7 Lakes Alliance/BRCA for more information.