Clean Vessel Grant Program
What is CVA?
The Clean Vessel Act (CVA) is intended to provide funding for construction of pumpout and dump station facilities that will help ensure proper disposal of human sewage from recreational boats. The CVA was initially authorized by Congress during 1992 to be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). This Act provides over $10 million of additional funds each year to keep alternatives available to disposal of recreational boater sewage.
Where Do Funds Come From?
The Sport Fishing and Boating Safety Act authorizes this competitive grant program. Funds come from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. The funds result from a Federal excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels. This is a "user pay - user benefit" program with boaters paying for the facilities they will utilize. This concept guides much of the philosophy of the program.
How Are Funds Awarded?
All funds are competitively awarded by the Service to an appropriate State Agency, typically a division of the DNR or similar environmental department States are encouraged to partner with local units of government and private facilities by sub-granting to them. All participating states in the upper Mid-West Region have been doing this.
Federal funds can be used to reimburse up to 75% of the approved project costs. The remaining "matching" funds must come from state or local sources. States typically expect the local facility to pay these costs. States sometimes receive additional ranking points if their overall proposal provides for a higher percentage of matching funds.
Since most costs incurred on a project prior to Federal approval are not eligible for reimbursement, it is imperative that no costs are incurred prior to written approval. This written approval will be in the form of a signed agreement with the State. Certain pre-agreement costs such as design and archeological surveys may be eligible for reimbursement if a project is selected for funding.
All Facilities Constructed Under This Program Must Be:
Typical Projects Could Include:
Activities that Are NOT Allowed Under CVA Would Include:
Can I Charge For the Use of the Facility?
There is a default maximum of $5.00 per pumpout that is allowed to be charged. Under special circumstances, a facility may apply through the State and receive written permission from the Service to exceed this rate if they can demonstrate that they would lose money at the default rate. The intent is that a facility should "break even" on pumpout charges.
What Restrictions Are Placed Upon Funded Facilities?
What should I do if I am interested in participating in CVA?
If you think that you might be interested in participating in the CVA program, the first step is to make contact with your State CVA Coordinator. You can obtain the name and telephone number of your State CVA Coordinator from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs at 612-713-5130.
One Final Caution
Each state has the right to place additional restrictions on this program beyond what has been presented here.
August 21, 2014