Minnesota makes $35 million available for stormwater projects

January 24, 2024

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is making $35 million in grants available to modernize the state’s stormwater systems and prepare its aging infrastructure for climate change. The projects will protect water quantity and prevent localized flooding. Applications are due April 11, 2024.

The stormwater resilience grants program is the first part of a broader $100 million fund for climate-related projects Minnesota lawmakers created in 2023. Warmer weather and extreme storms have pushed aging stormwater systems to a breaking point statewide. Over the last two decades, Minnesota has experienced 10 “mega-rain” storms producing at least six inches of rainfall across an area exceeding 1,000 square miles.

“Investing in managing stormwater strengthens Minnesota communities by protecting our homes, schools, and hospitals from flooding,” Minnesota Climate Director Kate Knuth said. More than 155,000 homes and apartment buildings, 29,000 miles of roads and 13,000 commercial buildings in Minnesota are at risk of severe flooding, according to the state.

Eligible projects include stormwater retention/detention ponds, smart stormwater ponds, planting raingardens, improving street drainage and expanding stormwater pipe capacity. Multi-use storage projects that offer community amenities when not flooded will also be considered.

Eligible applicants include Tribal Nations and Local Governmental Units (LGUs) within the state. LGUs include cities, counties, towns, soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs), water management organizations (WMOs), watershed districts (WDs), regional development commissions (RDCs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). 

The MPCA has awarded grants to more than 30 communities for climate resilience planning over the last two years. The agency will host an online information session Feb. 12 to answer questions about the grant. Application materials can only be viewed through the MPCA’s online SWIFT portal. Parties interested in submitting questions to MPCA should do so by April 4.  

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Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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