DEQ receives state and federal funding to distribute in the form of grants and loans for a variety of environmental projects. DEQ awards millions in grant funding and other assistance each year to a variety of recipients, from local governments to businesses and non-profit organizations. Recurring and one-time funding sources provide opportunities for communities and governments across North Carolina to achieve their environmental stewardship goals.
Grant and loan opportunities are listed below with links to additional information from the Division in charge of administering each funding program. If you have questions or need assistance with applications, please contact the grant administrator listed for each program or reach out to a public information officer.
Current Grant Opportunities
- Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF): Provides low-interest loans to local government units to fund wastewater collection and treatment facilities as well as programs associated with estuary and non-point sources.
New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding:
- Emerging Contaminants Funding will provide financial assistance to address emerging contaminants, including PFAS, in wastewater, stormwater, and non-point source pollution.
- Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Provides low-interest loans to local government units and certain non-profit water corporations for projects to provide safe drinking water.
New Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding:
- Emerging Contaminants Funding will provide financial assistance to publicly owned and privately owned community water systems to address the public health concerns of emerging contaminants in drinking water, including PFAS.
- Lead Service Line Replacement Funding will provide financial assistance to publicly owned and privately owned community water systems to address the public health concerns of lead in drinking water. The funds may be used for complete replacement of lead service lines up to the point of, but not including premise piping.
- Community Development Block Grant - Infrastructure (CDBG-I): Provides grants to local government units to address water and wastewater infrastructure needs in HUD qualified low-to-moderate income communities.
- State Drinking Water and Wastewater Reserve Programs (DWSRP and WWSRP): Provides grants for technical assistance and for construction of critical needs for wastewater collection systems, wastewater treatment works, and public water system projects.
- Merger/Regionalization Feasibility Grant Program (MRF): Provides grants for studies to evaluate the potential consolidation of two or more systems into one system and the potential physical interconnection with another system for regional wastewater treatment or regional water supply.
- Asset Inventory and Assessment Grant Program (AIA): Provides grants for developing asset inventories, condition assessment of critical assets, and other components of a comprehensive asset management programs.
- Viable Utilities Program (Viable Utility Reserve) (VUR): Provides funding to build a path toward viable utility systems using long-term solutions for distressed water and wastewater units in North Carolina.
- Local Assistance for Stormwater Infrastructure Investments Program (LASII): Provides grants for construction and planning for stormwater projects to improve or create infrastructure for controlling stormwater quality and quantity.
- Section 319 Grant Program: established to provide funding for efforts to reduce nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, commonly referred to as stormwater runoff pollution.
- 205j Water Quality Planning Management Grant: federally funded program that offers competitive funding to regional Councils of Government (COGs) for water quality management planning efforts.
- Water Resources Development Grants Program: includes several programs designed to provide cost-share grants and technical assistance to local governments throughout the state. Applications for grants are accepted for seven purposes: General Navigation, Recreational Navigation, Water Management, Stream Restoration, Beach Protection, Land Acquisition and Facility Development for Water-Based Recreation, and Aquatic Weed Control.
- Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund: This state-funded program provides grants to coastal communities for beach nourishment, artificial dunes, and other projects to mitigate or remediate coastal storm damage to the ocean beaches and dune systems of the state.
- Shallow Draft Navigation Fund: Provides grants to local governments for dredging projects that maintain shallow draft navigation channels in the State's waters.
- NRCS-EQIP: This state-funded program provides matching funds for federally approved projects in the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
- State and Local Projects: Provides grants to local governments for stream restoration, water management, water-based recreation and engineering/feasibility studies to support the implementation of these projects.
- Aquatic Weed Control Program: provides units of local government and citizens of North Carolina with resources that will promote the prevention and management of noxious aquatic weed infestations.
- Planning and Management Grants: Helps local governments in the 20 coastal counties fund local planning and management projects.
- Beach and Waterfront Access Grants: Provides matching grants to local governments for projects to improve pedestrian access to the state's beaches and waterways.
- NC Pumpout Program: Provides financial assistance to marinas and other boat-docking facilities for the installation and renovation of pumpout and dump stations in North Carolina.
- NC Resilient Coastal Communities Program: Provides funding to local governments to help overcome barriers in coastal resilience and adaptation planning, boost local government capacity, and support a proactive, sustainable, and equitable approach to coastal resilience planning and project implementation.
- Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program: A grant program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that provides funding to states for the construction, renovation, and maintenance of boating infrastructure facilities for transient recreational vessels at least 26 feet long that are operated, leased, rented, or chartered primarily for pleasure.
- Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grant Program: Provides grants from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund, which receives proceeds from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses. By state law, proceeds from this fund must be used to help manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate, and enhance the state's marine resources.
- Commercial Fishing Resource Fund: Funded through an increase in commercial fishing license fees that took effect in 2015. The fund pays for observer coverage to fulfill the state's obligations under incidental take permits for sea turtles and Atlantic sturgeon under the federal Endangered Species Act. Any additional money left in the fund is to be used for projects to develop and support sustainable commercial fishing in the state.
- Economic Relief Grants: From time to time, the Division of Marine Fisheries is called on to assist in the administration of various state and federal economic relief programs. Most recently, the Division administered North Carolina's share of two federal fisheries relief programs:
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act Fisheries Relief Program (CARES Act II) meant to offset income losses in 2020 due to COVID-19. Checks were sent to eligible members of the fishing industries in February 2022.
- The Fishery Disaster Relief Program for Hurricane Florence. Checks were sent to eligible members of the fishing industries in September 2022.
- National Estuary Program Watersheds Grant Program: A nationally competitive grants program funded through the EPA and administered by Restore America's Estuaries. The program is designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the wellbeing of watersheds within congressionally designated estuaries of national significance.
- Weatherization Assistance Program: helps low-income North Carolinians save energy, reduce their utility bills, and stay safe in their homes with annual funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Community Solar Programs: fund qualified low-to-moderate income households’ participation in utility community solar programs statewide.
- New Inflation Reduction Act Programs: The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act appropriates nearly $200 million to North Carolina, creating new opportunities for residential energy consumers to save money and make their homes more energy efficient.
- Mobile Sources Emission Reduction Grant: Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. Funds may be supplemented with North Carolina Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funds.
- N.C. Volkswagen Settlement: This one-time series of grants and rebates has already awarded most of its funds. Remaining grant (rebate) opportunities available first-come, first-served until funds run out:
- Recycling Business Development Grant: Offers small grants to North Carolina recycling businesses wanting to start up or expand sustainable waste recovery efforts.
- Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant: Provides funding to local governments for projects that build lasting capacity to divert materials from the waste stream and/or increase public awareness of recycling.
- Abandoned Manufactured Housing Cleanup Grants: Assists counties with implementing abandoned manufactured home clean-up programs.
- Multifamily Recycling Grant: Offers funding to initiate or expand multifamily recycling programs within the state.
- Food Waste Reduction Grant: Offers funding to help local governments, non-profits, and businesses reduce the amount of wasted food being disposed in landfills.
- Glass Recycling Infrastructure Grant: Provides funding for single stream material recovery facilities to purchase glass recycling equipment or for local governments to establish or expand community drop-off glass collection.
Scrap Tire Disposal Account Fund Grant: The North Carolina Department of Revenue administers quarterly distributions of the Scrap Tire Disposal Act tax proceeds to counties. The Division of Waste Management administers grants from the scrap tire disposal account fund to qualifying counties that incur an overage charge for the proper management of their scrap tire disposal program.
Electronics Management Fund: Local governments may be eligible for annual allocation of funds if they include an electronics management component in their solid waste management plan and report the information requested as part of the annual statutory Local Government Solid Waste and Materials Management Annual Report.
A list of grant opportunities available across North Carolina's state agencies is available on NC.gov.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also offers funding opportunities directly to eligible applicants to achieve their environmental goals. For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/grants