ACWA Loan and Project Documentation Process
The following outline lists items required at the various stages of the project life
Alaska Clean Water Fund
This process must be completed prior to executing a Loan Agreement.
Environmental Review Process:
If a project qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion (CE), the Environmental Review process is complete once the CE has been completed, signed, and Public Noticed.
If the project does not qualify for a CE, an Environmental Information Document (EID) will need to be completed. Please contact the DEC environmental impact analyst for more information, if your project requires an EID.
To qualify for a CE, applicants must submit at least a CE Request that includes a description of the work to be done and a project figure that shows the location of the work to be done.
The project description and location figure will be used to determine what other permitting needs there are for the project.
Loans solely for planning and design do not require an environmental review for a funding agreement to be signed.
Other permitting needs:
- Historic Properties
- Unless the project only involves property acquisition (such as equipment purchases), the applicant will be required to obtain concurrence from the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). If impacts to historic sites are unavoidable the project may not qualify for a CE.
- A template letter for submittal to SHPO is available from the DEC environmental impact analyst. The letter has sections that the applicant will need to fill out and that DEC will need to fill out. Please contact the DEC environmental impact analyst for additional information.
- Presence of a National Historic Landmark will require additional consultation through the National Park Service (NPS).
- Threatened and Endangered Species and Habitat
- The project location must be checked for Threatened and Endangered (T&E) species and their habitats and anadromous waterbodies.
- If T&E species or their habitats are in the area, the applicant will need to consult with NOAA/NMFS or USFWS to confirm there will be no impacts. The following site allows you to check an area for T&E species, and offers some information on other impact areas as well: http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/
- If Anadromous waterbodies are present the applicant will need to confirm no work is taking place that will impact the waterbody or, if work is taking place that could impact the waterbody, a fish habitat permit may be required from ADFG to confirm that fish habitat will not be impacted. The following site allows you to check an area for anadromous waterbodies: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/SARR/AWC/index.cfm
- The project location must be checked for floodplains.
- If floodplains are present a floodplain permit may be required.
- Floodplains can be checked at the FEMA site.
- Some locations may not have FEMA mapping. Those projects may find information with their local community (see Additional resources, below) or here.
- The project location must be checked for wetlands.
- If wetlands are present a USACE permit may be required. Most projects will qualify for a Nationwide Permit (NWP).
- The following site allows you to check an area for wetlands: http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/Data/Mapper.html
- Not all locations will have current wetland mapping. See Additional resources, below, or contact the DEC environmental impact analyst.
- Additional resources
The assigned MG&L project engineer should be contacted on any environmental review along with the MG&L programs Environmental Impact Analyst whose information is as follows:
Adele Fetter, Environmental Impact Analyst
907-269-7428 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Capacity Assessment (FCA)
This process must be completed prior to executing a loan agreement. The FCA can be done at the time of application submission; however, to expedite the application processing, borrowers are encouraged to initiate this requirement before the entire application is submitted. The MG&L project engineer assigned to your community should be contacted to initiate the review process.
This is an online loan application form which can be accessed through the department's website. A complete application is required prior to executing an agreement.
Finance and interest rates may be referenced through the following link: Loan Fund Interest Rates
The following are key items needed for application submission
EPA Form 6600-06 / Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
Useful Life Certification
For loans with construction improvements and that are listed on the ACWF SFY16 Intended Use Plan (IUP) and thereafter, a minimum useful life of the improvements must be certified by an Alaska registered professional engineer.
Cost Effectiveness Certification
Cost and Effectiveness Form
(Certification must be provided by loan recipient before proceeding with final design and/or construction)
NRDC - Recommended Guidance for Assessing the Cost and Effectiveness of Efficiency, Reuse, and Recapture Projects
Fiscal Sustainability Plan
As part of Water Resources Reform and Develoopment Act of 2014, all publicly owned treatment works projects funded with a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan require the borrower to have a Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP). Borrowers will be required to develop the plan that covers the funded project and closely associated components placed by project completion or before the last loan disbursement is made.
Green Project Assessment Forms (if applicable)
If a project has an identified Green Project component, a Green Project Assessment form needs to be done at the submission of the application. Also, it may be necessary to provide additional documentation to support a necessary business case on the green improvement such as for energy or water savings.
Engineering Cost Estimate
This cost estimate supports the dollar amount requested for construction as part of the loan project cost summary.
Current User Rates/Ordinance
Provide current user rates and enacting ordinance for the utility receiving the loan funding.
Force Account Labor Worksheet
Required only for force account construction projects and/or administrative staff time that is charged to the loan.
If a community wants loan reimbursement for engineering planning or design costs, the procurement and accounting documents must be submitted for review and concurrence.
Professional Service Contract
Engineering and/or design contract is submitted for approval, including all amendments. MG&L approval is required prior to making any disbursements.
Submittal of Request for Proposal documents to MG&L before solicitiation is recommended, along with subsequent award and contract documents.
Planning Design Study
For a design/study loan to receive full funding, a final report / study or planning / design document(s) must be submitted for acceptance.
Plans & Specs
Plans and specifications must be submitted to ADEC for an Approval to Construct. Start of construction prior to receiving Plan & Spec review may jeopardize the loan funding.
Bid packet submission is required to MG&L for concurrence on all bids submitted including signed copies of all documents for selected contractor. Documents include but are not limited to, Invitation to Bid, Bid Form, Bid Bond, Performance Bond, Notice of Award and debarment check.
The US System for Award Management, SAM, should be used to check contractor debarrment at SAM.gov. However, EPA Debarrment Form 5700-49 may be accepted, but a check with the SAM site is still required.
Loan requirements noted below need to be included in the bid documents for the work to be loan eligible.
Davis Bacon Section 6 Insert / State and Federal Department of Labor (DOL) Rates
Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) Forms
For equivalency projects beginning with the SFY 14 Intended Use Plan and projects with the funding subsidy.
American Iron & Steel
Use of iron and steel products produced in the United States are required for all construction projects. Additional guidance and requirements can be referenced through the following links.
- ACWF/ADWF Certification Documentation
- ACWF/ADWF Loan Agreement Language
- EPA March 20, 2014 Final Guidance Memo
- EPA Q and A Part 1; Valves and Hydrants
- Construction Contract Language Example
- De Minimis Waiver (5% of total materials used) - Final 4/15/2014
- Plan and Specification Waiver (Plans and Specs submitted for review prior to January 17, 2014) - Final 4/15/2014
- EPA AIS Guidance Website
Contract and/or material procurements exceeding $50,000 must be awarded through a competitive bidding process, or an appropriate alternative method that has been approved by MG&L. Procurements $50,000 or less should be shown to be competitively quoted.
Approval to Construct / Plan & Specification Approval
Regulatory Approval to Construct
This form is provided for each project by the Wastewater Discharge Authorization Program for the Alaska Clean Water Fund upon completion of a successful plan review by the State of Alaska.
MG&L Plans & Spec Eligibility Approval
Plans & specifications are submitted to the assigned MG&L project engineer for approving eligibility of bid specifications and proposed work on plans.
Environmental Review and supporting documentation should be completed and submitted to ADEC. A determination and public notice must be issued before construction can commence. See "environmental review" under "Pre-Applications" for more details.
A fully signed copy of the construction contract, bid tabulations, and winning bid packet to be submitted to MG&L for review and concurrence. See "Bid Packet" section under "Pre-Construction" for more details.
Notice of Award and City Council/Assembly Resolution
Upon recieving notice of construction award, the local governing body must authorize an appropriate official to execute the loan document.
Note: This can be done by separate ordinances or resolutions to apply for and/or then accept a loan offer.
Notice to Proceed
Notice to Proceed must be given by community to contractor after Approval to Construct is issued, or the eligibility of the project could be jeopardized.
Executed change orders with supporting documentation must be submitted to MG&L for approval. If eligibility of the work is a concern, draft copies should be provided for pre determination of work for loan reimbuursement.
Project inspectors require submission of a resume or statement of qualifications for MG&L approval.
Criteria which are used to certify the successful completion of the project must be submitted after Plans & Specs approval for review to ensure they are sufficient for the project.
A one year project performance period is required once construction is complete to verify if a loan facility is operating according to the established performance criteria. The performance period begins on the date of Initiation of Operation, and ends exactly one year later. During the one year period the Community will verify the facility’s performance, and on or before the anniversary date complete a Performance Certificate for the project.
Project Performance Criteria
The Community must establish performance criteria and objectives. The criteria should be accepted prior to Initiation of Operation, and should at a minimum show that the project meets permit conditions (if applicable), and/or meets other performance standards found to satisfy this requirement. (example provided)
Initiation of Operation
A determination date of Initiation of Operation is typically issued when the project is considered Used and Useful, or in other words sufficiently complete to put into operation. (example provided)
Approval to Operate
Submission of either an Approval to Operate, or an Interim Approval to Operate is authorized to the project by the DEC Wastewater DIscharge Authorization Program upon completion of the project and subsequent to receiving the record drawings.
Invoices and proof of payment must be submitted along with disbursement requests which support all costs. Alternative methods for documenting costs might be considered but need approval by the MG&L project engineer.
All contract work must be approved by DEC.
Electronic copy of Record Drawings must be submitted to MG&L upon completion of the project. Additionally, drawings may be required for an Approval to Operate from the wastewater and/or drinking water permitting group.
Letter of Approval to Operate
Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Manual Docs
O&M documents must be submitted with a cover letter outlining the included manual or manual updates.
Final Disbursement Request
Loan Repayment Schedule
A project's loan repayment schedule is calculated once its final disbursement request is received and all project costs known, or prior to the first loan repayment date. Loan repayments must begin one year from the Initiation of operation date or earlier.
Project Performance Certification
Community representative affirms that following the warranty period the project either did/did not meet the project performance criteria
- Project Performance Certification Form
- Affirmative / Negative Project Performance Certification - Example 1
- Affirmative / Negative Project Performance Certification - Example 2
Form must be signed by the engineer with oversight during project construction.
All projects are subject to a DEC and EPA audit.
The MG&L program Municipal Administrative Team group needs to be notified for scheduling the project audit.