Project Bypass Policy

Project Deletion/Bypass Policy

Project Priority List and Intended Use Plan

Purpose of the Policy

This policy is intended to clarify the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) procedures regarding bypassing of projects on both the Water Quality and the Drinking Water SRF Project Priority List (PPL) and Intended Use Plans (IUP). The policy must balance the need to fund those projects that have ranked highest in terms of public health and/or environmental need, against the need to expend Federal and State funds provided to MDE in a timely way. The timely expenditure of available funds is critical to avoid jeopardizing future funding from Congress and the Maryland General Assembly to address Maryland’s water supply and water quality problems.

"Bypassing" means an action by MDE to fund a lower raking project on a PPL or to fund a project currently not on the PPL. The "fundable" line is drawn below the last project on the PPL for which there are adequate federal and state matching funds to provide a SRF loan. Projects above this line fall into the "fundable range" and are included on the annual IUP submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval and federal grant award. Ranking of a project within the fundable range on the PPL and placement in the annual IUP does not represent an actual loan commitment from MDE, which occurs at the time of loan closing. However, these documents do reflect the way in which MDE intends to utilize its Federal and State funds for the purposes of the SRF loan programs, and also leads to the expectation that those projects within the fundable range will be the likely loan recipients. System owners may adjust their capital improvement program and project schedule on the basis of being within the fundable range.

A project identified on the IUP for funding may be deleted or bypassed to include another project for funding under the following situations:

  1. Emergency Project: Bypassing of project in order to address existing or potential hazardous emergency condition as determined by the Department.
     
    A project identified on an IUP may be bypassed to provide funding for an emergency project where a severe public health or water quality problem exists, that requires the immediate construction of facilities to eliminate an existing potentially hazardous condition. In this situation, a project may qualify for "Highest Priority" ranking based upon a decision by the Secretary or Director. A project not on the current PPL may be funded only if it meets the above emergency criteria.  A project receiving a Judicial or Departmental Order based on a failure to act expeditiously or to adequately operate and maintain a facility will not necessarily receive consideration for "Highest Priority" outside of the project priority ranking system.  Any project previously identified on an IUP that is bypassed because of the “emergency project” will be given priority for future SRF loan funding.
     
  2. Delayed Project:  For projects that are identified on the IUP and have been delayed by more than 15-months.
     
    MDE will notify the owner that the project is being deleted from the current funding list. The owner will have an opportunity to provide additional information within 30-days prior to MDE making the final decision. The owner will have an opportunity to reapply for funding in a future pre-application solicitation cycle.
     
  3. Owner Notification: The owner notifies MDE that it does not intend to use the SRF loan program at this time.

Note: Any project identified on a PPL that did not rank within the fundable range and thus was not included in the IUP will not be automatically included on the next years PPL unless specifically requested by the applicant or a pre-application is submitted during the annual project solicitation cycle.

For additional information, please call (410) 537-3119.​