House bill NO. 7
INTRODUCED BY M. Hopkins, J. Fitzpatrick
By Request of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Office of Budget and Program Planning
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS PROGRAM; APPROPRIATING MONEY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION FOR GRANTS UNDER THE RECLAMATION AND DEVELOPMENT GRANTS PROGRAM; PRIORITIZING PROJECT GRANTS AND AMOUNTS; ESTABLISHING CONDITIONS FOR GRANTS; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Appropriations for reclamation and development grants. (1) There is appropriated to the department of natural resources and conservation from the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302 up to $2,000,000 for grants for planning reclamation and development projects to be awarded by the department over the course of the biennium beginning July 1, 2023.
(2) The amount of $3,653,347 is appropriated to the department of natural resources and conservation from the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302 for grants to political subdivisions and local governments during the biennium beginning July 1, 2023. The funds in this subsection must be awarded by the department to the named entities for the described purposes and in the grant amounts set out in subsection (4) subject to the conditions set forth in [sections 2 and 3] and the contingencies described in the reclamation and development grants program report to the 68th legislature titled: "Governor's Executive Budget Fiscal Years 2023 - 2025 Volume 5".
(3) Funds must be awarded up to the amounts approved in this section in the order of priority listed in subsection (4) until available funds are expended. Funds not accepted or used by higher-ranked projects must be provided for projects farther down the priority list that would not otherwise receive funding. After all eligible projects are funded, remaining funds may be used for any reclamation and development project authorized under this section.
(4) The following are the prioritized grant projects:
Beaverhead Conservation District
Grasshopper Creek Mine Tailings Stream Bank Stabilization $419,180
DNRC - State Water Projects Bureau
Willow Creek Dam Rehabilitation Project $500,000
DNRC - State Water Projects Bureau
East Fork of Rock Creek Dam Rehabilitation $500,000
Chester, Town of
Chester Motors Petroleum Cleanup $300,000
Black Eagle-Cascade County Water and Sewer District
Black Eagle Sewer System Improvements 2023 $125,000
Harlowton, City of
Asbestos Removal, Cleanup, and Restoration of Contaminated Soils at Harlowton Roundhouse $500,000
Deer Lodge, City of
Milwaukee Roundhouse Site Passenger Refueling Area Remediation $342,500
Philipsburg, Town of
Philipsburg Wastewater Project $316,667
Cascade Conservation District
Muddy Creek Restoration and Resilience Project $500,000
DNRC - Water Management Bureau
Expansion of Water Resources Division Hydrology Data Portal $150,000
Section 2. Coordination of fund sources for grants to political subdivisions and local governments. A project sponsor listed under [section 1(4)] may not receive funds from both the reclamation and development grants program and the renewable resource grant and loan program for the same project during the same biennium.
Section 3. Conditions of grants. Disbursement of funds under [section 1] is subject to the following conditions that must be met by the project sponsor:
(1) A scope of work, schedule, and budget for the project must be approved by the department of natural resources and conservation. Any changes in scope of work or budget subsequent to legislative approval may not change project goals and objectives. Changes in activities that would reduce the public or natural resource benefits as presented in department of natural resources and conservation reports and applicant testimony to the 68th legislature may result in a proportional reduction in the grant amount.
(2) The project sponsor shall show satisfactory completion of conditions described in the recommendation section of the project narrative of the program report to the legislature for the biennium ending June 30, 2025, or, in the case of planning grants issued under [section 1(1)], completion of conditions specified at the time of written notification of approved grant authority.
(3) The project sponsor must have a fully executed grant agreement with the department.
(4) Any other specific requirements considered necessary by the department must be met to accomplish the purpose of the grant as evidenced from the application to the department or from the proposal as presented to the legislature.
Section 4. Other appropriations. There is appropriated to any entity of state government that receives a grant under [section 1] the amount of the grant upon award of the grant by the department of natural resources and conservation. Grants to entities from prior bienniums are reauthorized for completion of contract work.
Section 5. Approval of grants -- completion of biennial appropriation. The legislature, pursuant to 90-2-1111, approves the reclamation and development grants listed in [section 1]. The authorization of these grants constitutes a biennial appropriation from the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302.
Section 6. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each federally recognized tribal government in Montana.
Section 7. Coordination instruction. (1) If both [this act] and an act that provides additional funding for reclamation and development grants from a source other than the natural resources projects state special revenue account established in 15-38-302 are passed and approved, the projects listed in [section 1(4) of this act] that do not receive funding from the appropriations in [section 1(2) of this act] may receive funding from the appropriation in the other act designated for reclamation and development grants in the order of completion of the conditions of [section 3 of this act] and to the extent that there is appropriation authority available.
(2) If both [section 1(1) of this act] and [section 1(1)(b) of House Bill No. 6] are passed and approved and if all of the $2,000,000 in grant funds authorized in [section 1(1) of this act] are not expended for planning reclamation and development projects by the end of the biennium, then projects eligible for funding under [section 1(1)(b) of House Bill No. 6] are eligible to apply for funding under [section 1(1) of this act] for renewable resource project planning grants.
Section 8. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
Section 9. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2023.
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