Octa's transportation blog

$2.8 Million Available for Water Quality Improvement Projects

Making Orange County a better place to live is a key part of OC Go (also known as Measure M), our local half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

To reduce visible forms of pollutants such as litter and debris, OCTA is seeking water quality improvement projects from local agencies through the OC Go Environmental Cleanup Program. This program puts local tax dollars to work by dedicating 2 percent of gross revenue to reducing and cleaning transportation-generated pollution.

The Environmental Cleanup Program awards funds competitively to Orange County cities and the County of Orange in a two-tiered approach and projects must demonstrate a direct connection to a reduction of transportation-related pollution and meet Clean Water Act standards. Tier 1 funds equipment and upgrades to existing storm drains. Tier 2 consists of funding for regional, potential multi-jurisdictional, and capital-intensive projects.

The current call is for Tier 1 projects, funded by $2.8 million approved in March by the Board of Directors. Past projects include purchasing or upgrading screens, filters and inserts for catch basins, as well as other devices designed to remove pollutants such as litter and debris. Since the program began in 2011, more than 1 million cubic feet of trash have been captured as the result of these devices. This program has funded 166 projects, totaling approximately $22 million.

Third parties such as water and wastewater public entities, environmental resource organizations, nonprofit 501(c) environmental institutions, and homeowners’ associations cannot act as the lead agency for a proposed project. However, these agencies can jointly apply with a city and/or the County.

OCTA is offering a workshop on March 28, along with one-on-one meetings by request, to assist local agencies with the application process. Applications are due by May 9 and the funding is expected to be awarded by the Board late this summer.  To learn more, visit here.

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