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Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program

1999 Wastewater Grant Solicitation

We have kept this outdated grant solicitation posted to illustrate an innovative strategy attempted to help municipalities deal with wastewater issues. For example, a grant under this solicitation was awarded to the Town of Falmouth, MA to identify the feasibility of a potential groundwater discharge site for a community wastewater facility at New Silver Beach.



Community On-Site Wastewater Disposal Solutions FISCAL YEAR 1999

Release date: August 14, 1998

CZM 99-03

The Buzzards Bay NEP has allocated $30,000 of federal National Estuary Program implementation funds to assist municipalities in developing community on-site wastewater disposal solutions for areas in the Buzzards Bay watershed(1) contributing to the degradation of water quality and coastal habitats as well as threatening public health. This funding is being made available, in part, to demonstrate that publicly owned community on-site wastewater systems can address water quality problems in coastal watersheds.

Proposals for funding requests will be considered for:
1) Field investigations and water quality analysis to identify sources of pollution as part of defining design requirements;
2) Soil evaluations to determine wastewater disposal capacity of a given area as part of defining design requirements;
3) Field surveys and engineering costs to design a community wastewater disposal system.

Funds can be used to hire consulting firms to perform the eligible activities. Funds can also be used to cover the new employees or interns to perform eligible activities. Proposals should identify the specific embayment or watershed of concern.

There is a minimum requirement of 33 percent of the federal National Estuary Program funds (25% of total project costs) being requested. This match can be satisfied with cash or in-kind services.

To facilitate the application process, attached is an application form. Municipalities should either use this form or follow its format when preparing proposals. If the existing application form does not provide adequate space, attach additional sheets as needed. Proposals will be evaluated and selected based on the following criteria:

- the proposal's likelihood to benefit or reopen closed shellfish harvest areas, or protect public beaches or public health and the environment;

- the commitment of the Board of Health, Selectmen, and Board of Public Works to translate the findings and community septic system designs into real wastewater solutions;

- the subwatershed watershed action priority ranking relative to nitrogen loading as listed in the February 1994 draft report, "A Buzzards Bay Embayment Subwatershed Evaluation: Establishing Priorities for Nitrogen Management Action(2);"

- the percent of local match provided above the required 33% minimum of funds requested (25% of total costs);

Six copies of the proposal which must be received at the Buzzards Bay NEP office by Friday, September 18, 1998 at 5:00 PM or postmarked by Friday September 18, 1998. Any proposals either not received after the deadline or not postmarked by the deadline will automatically be rejected and returned.
Proposals will be evaluated on a competitive basis by a Selection Committee composed of representatives of the Buzzards Bay NEP, Coastal Zone Management Office, and Division of Marine Fisheries, with additional Review Committee members composed of three Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities and the citizens organization the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Communities submitting requests are not eligible to be on the Review Committee. Communities may submit more than one proposal.

Communities should include a letter with their proposals stating that their municipality complies with State Executive Order 227 and the Affirmative Action Regulations 301 CMR 50.00 as administered by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Awards to the communities will be on a reimbursement basis and made through contracts with the Buzzards Bay NEP through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. The Selection Committee reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.

Questions about this RFR can be submitted by fax or mail to Joe Costa at the Buzzards Bay NEP until 5 PM September 2, 1998. All questions submitted in writing will be answered in writing and distributed to each Buzzards Bay drainage basin municipality by Tuesday, September 8.

A copy of this RFR is available by calling the Buzzards Bay NEP at (508) 291-3625. In addition, this RFR is available on the Internet through the Buzzards Bay NEP Home Page

In the Buzzards Bay drainage basin, approximately 43% of the population use on-site wastewater disposal systems. Moreover, most of the localized embayments are more affected by on-site septic systems rather than by wastes from treatment plants. Thus, on-site systems represent a significant source of contaminants to the bay itself as well as to other resource areas within the drainage basin. (Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, 1991)

The recently amended requirements of Title 5 of the state Sanitary Code - the Commonwealth's On-site Wastewater Disposal regulations - coupled with the often high costs and land use problems associated with conventional sewer extensions has communities throughout Massachusetts looking to community, decentralized wastewater disposal options to remediate chronic areas of failing septic systems. With the withdrawal of federal support for centralized wastewater collection and treatment plants and the fiscal realities associated with such, communities are now inquiring as to what options are available to actually treat wastewater near its source of generation.

In the Buzzards Bay watershed, many of the most densely developed beach communities, for example, remain serviced by inadequate individual on-site septic systems and cesspools. Ironically, these areas are often located in areas too far from sewer lines or too close to important coastal resources to make sewering viable. As these homes are sold, many systems are being upgraded to "maximum feasible compliance" with the requirements of Title 5. Unfortunately, poor soil conditions, elevated groundwater levels, and proximity to wetlands and surface waters continue make it difficult for onsite wastewater systems address all environmental concerns, even on these newly constructed systems. Such solutions may also be expensive for the individual homeowner. Finally, contaminants such as nitrogen and viruses, continue to receive little to no treatment in these conventional Title 5 systems. Moreover, solutions involving individual onsite wastewater systems often cannot address cumulative impacts. Title 5 setback requirements, financial burdens on homeowners, or the long time associated with waiting for real estate transfers for septic system upgrade as the mechanism to address an environmental or public health problem are issues that local officials are struggling to address. One solution to solve these problems that many municipalities are considering are innovative community-based wastewater facilities.

Municipalities interested in receiving grant assistance to design a community wastewater facility should use these standardized applications, or prepare their own proposal using the same format. (Please call the Buzzards Bay NEP office if you want this application on a floppy disk.)

Project Eligibility
Buzzards Bay drainage basin municipalities that submit applications for a project that meets the following eligibility criteria as determined by the Selection Committee:

1. Eligible municipalities include Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Acushnet, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Rochester, Marion, Wareham, Carver, Middleborough, Plymouth, Bourne, Falmouth, and Gosnold, but the proposed project must occur largely or exclusively within the Buzzards Bay watershed (see attached map).

. Eligible tasks include:
. Investigation and design of community-based, decentralized wastewater disposal systems.
. Water quality analysis to better identify sources of pollution and soil evaluations to determine wastewater disposal capacity as part of a larger evaluation for facility design.
. Design preparation including engineering and survey plans required to implement a community septic system solution.
3. Proposals should be submitted only for areas unlikely to be served by conventional sewer in the future and should contain a clear, documented source of pollution to the waters of Buzzards Bay, its embayments, or rivers.

4. Funding will be provided only for publicly owned treatment facilities

5. Projects must be feasible, practical, and cost-effective, and have measurable results;

Program Conditions

1. The applicant must agree to the fiscal requirements of the program by providing a statement from the Municipal Executive, Board of Selectmen, or their designee acknowledging and accepting the following: (I) a match commitment from the municipality for at least 25% of total project cost is required, and that the grant funding procedure is on a reimbursement basis; and (II) that the project must abide by State Executive Order 237 and the Affirmative Action Regulations 301 CMR 50.00, as administered by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

3. A commitment for the Operation and Maintenance of the facility must be provided.

Selection Criteria

It is expected that only one or two proposals will be funded with the available funds.

Preference will be given to proposals positively impacting shellfish beds, swimming beaches, or public drinking water supplies.

Project applicants, who submit a completed applications including all of the supporting materials, who agree to the program conditions, and whose projects meet the eligibility requirements, will be considered for a reimbursable grant award. The Selection Committee will use the following criteria to evaluate the applications. Those that most successfully meet the following, given the available budget, will be funded:

Demonstration that a community wastewater facility is an important solution to wastewater disposal problem.

Demonstration the wastewater disposal problem is adversely affecting shellfish beds, swimming beaches, important habitat or public drinking water supplies.
Demonstration that the proposed remediation will improve the water quality of the receiving waters and the health of natural resources.
Demonstration that the project is cost-effective.
Demonstration of broad support for the project among town departments, local interest groups, and the public at-large.
Amount of match provided.

Preference Criteria

If two proposals are equally ranked and one is a cooperative proposal between two or more municipalities, the cooperative proposal will be given preference.

In addition, projects that fit any of the following conditions may be given preference:
Illustrate that the proposed project is part of an overall plan developed by the town to address water quality problems related to wastewater disposal.
Complement other programs and/or leverage other funds for the control, prevention, and abatement of nonpoint pollution.
Buzzards Bay municipalities which have not received past funding.
Projects that will most directly after the closure status of shellfish beds or swimming beaches.

Mail your written questions and completed applications by the appropriate deadlines to: Joseph Costa Executive Director Buzzards Bay NEP 2870 Cranberry Highway Wareham, MA 02538

Grant Round Schedule

RFR Release Date: Friday, August 14, 1998

Question Submission Deadline: Wednesday, September 2, 1998, 5 PM

Responses to Questions faxed to towns: Tuesday, September 8, 1998

Application Deadline: Friday, September 18, 1998, 5 PM (or postmark)
(Submit 6 copies of a completed application along with any required or optional supporting materials as listed in section L. of the Application.

Grants Awarded: After October 1, 1998
Awards announced; each applicant will receive a written notification from the Buzzards Bay Project after October 1.

Contract Signed: Shortly after the grant announcement, a contract will be executed between the town and the state. A meeting will be convened between the Buzzards Bay NEP and the municipality to develop and agree upon a project schedule to be incorporated into the Scope of Services.

Project Completion: Before June 30, 1999.

The Buzzards Bay NEP is a unit of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and the following state's Standard Terms and Conditions for contracts therefore apply for awards to municipalities (which are defined as the "Contractor" or "bidder" below):

All materials, plans, maps, reports and other products produced in furtherance of the Contract and funded in whole or in part by this Contract shall be considered in the public domain and thus available at the cost of production. Upon termination of the Contract, all deliverables including copies of all finished and unfinished documents, data, engineering designs, reports, manuals, materials, software, maps, or other products produced in furtherance of the Contract and funded in whole or in part by this Contract shall be provided to MCZM.

During the project, title to any and all real and personal property, equipment and accessories purchased and used in furtherance of the scope of work and funded in whole or part by this Contract shall be in the name and control of the Contractor.

MCZM will retain ten percent (10%) of the total maximum obligation of until all contract provisions are satisfied and final reports and other products are delivered and accepted.

MCZM reserves the right to fund a portion, change the scope and/or add or delete tasks of any Response to more closely meet the purposes of the program. MCZM reserves the right to approve the selection of all consultants or subcontractors.

The terms of 801 CMR 21.00: Procurement of Commodities and Services is incorporated by Reference into this RFR. Words used in the RFR shall have the meanings defined in 801 CMR 21.00. Additional definitions may also be identified in this RFR. All terms, conditions, requirements and procedures included in this RFR must be met for a Response to be determined responsive. If a Bidder fails to meet any material term, condition, requirement or procedure, its Response may be deemed unresponsive and disqualified.

Bidders are prohibited from communicating directly with any employee of MCZM except as specified in this RFR, and no other individual Commonwealth employee or representative is authorized to provide any information or respond to any question or inquiry concerning this RFR. Bidders may contact the Contact Person identified in this RFR in the event this RFR is incomplete or the Bidder is having trouble obtaining any required attachments electronically through Comm-PASS.

MCZM may provide reasonable accommodations, including the provision of information/material in an alternative format, for qualified Bidders with disabilities or other hardships. Bidders requiring accommodation shall submit requests in writing to MCZM, with supporting documentation justifying the accommodation. MCZM reserves the right to grant or reject any request for accommodation.

All Responses and information submitted in response to this RFR are subject to the Massachusetts Freedom of Information Law, M.G.L., Chapter 66, Section 10, and to Chapter 4, Section 7, Subsection 26, regarding public access to such documents. Any statements reserving any confidentiality or privacy rights in submitted Responses or other inconsistent with these statutes will be voided and disregarded.

MCZM makes no guarantee that any Commodities or Services will be purchased from any Contract resulting from this RFR. MCZM may, at any time and without penalty, reject any or all Responses whenever it determines that such action is in the best interests of the Commonwealth.

If a Bidder is unable to meet any of the specifications required in this RFR, the Bidder's Response must include an alternative method for meeting such specification by identifying the specification, the proposed alternative and thoroughly describing how the alternative achieves substantially equivalent or better performance to that required in the RFR specification. MCZM will determine if a proposed alterative method of performance achieves substantially equivalent or better performance.

The goal of this RFR is to provide the best value of Commodities and Services to achieve the procurement goals of MCZM. Bidders proposing alternatives which provide substantially better or more cost effective performance than achievable under a stated RFR specification or Bidders that propose discounts, uncharged Commodities and Services or other benefits in addition to the RFR specifications may receive a preference or additional point under this RFR as specified.

Costs which are not specifically identified in the Bidder's Response and accepted by MCZM as part of a Contract, will not be compensated under any Contract awarded pursuant to this RFR. The Commonwealth will not be responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by Bidders responding to this RFR.

All selected bidders will be required to complete, execute and return the following two (2) documents:

a. All Bidders must complete, execute and return the Commonwealth Terms and Conditions attached to this RFR (available on-line) if they have not yet filed one with the state. If the Bidder has already executed and filed the Commonwealth Terms and Conditions, please indicate this in your Response. The Commonwealth Terms and Conditions shall be incorporated by reference into any Contract for Commodities and Services executed pursuant to this RFR. A Bidder is required to execute the Commonwealth Terms and Conditions only once.

b. All Bidders must also, upon selection for Contract negotiation and execution, complete, execute and return the Standard Contract Form.

By executing the Standard Contract Form, the Contractor certifies under the pains and penalties of perjury that it has submitted a Response to a Request for Response (RFR) issued by MCZM-BBP and that this Response is the Contractor's offer as evidenced by the execution by the Contractor's authorized signatory, that the Contractor's Response may be subject to negotiation by MCZM, and that the terms of the RFR, the Contractor's Response and any negotiated terms shall be deemed accepted by MCZM and included as part of the Contract upon execution of the Standard Contract Form by MCZM's authorized signatory.

Community On-site Wastewater Disposal Solutions
(available on floppy disk from the Buzzards Bay NEP upon request, or downloadable from the Buzzards Bay NEP Website at ....