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Frequently Asked Questions
Maintenance of Effort Requirements

Note: Projects utilizing the Great Lakes Legacy Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law No: 110-365) do not have to meet this requirement.

1.  What is the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement?

Section 118(c)(12)(F) of the Clean Water Act states “The Administrator may not carry out a project under this paragraph unless the non-Federal sponsor enters into such agreements with the Administrator as the Administrator may require to ensure that the non-Federal sponsor will maintain its aggregate expenditures from all other sources for remediation programs in the area of concern in which the project is located at or above the average level of such expenditures in the 2 fiscal years preceding the date on which the project is initiated.” 

This means that the non-federal sponsor must calculate its average level of expenditures for sediment remediation programs in the area of concern (AOC) in which the project is located and maintain that level of expenditure during the term of the Project Agreement.

2. What types of expenditures do I need to look at to calculate my MOE? 

Sediment remediation program expenditures by the non-federal sponsor in the AOC in which the project which has been submitted for Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) funding is located.

3.  Do I include expenditures by entities other than the non-Federal sponsor?

No.

4.  Do I include expenditures of federal grant funds by the non-Federal sponsor for sediment remediation programs in the AOC in which the project for GLLA funding is located? 

No.  Legislative history indicates that the MOE requirement was included in the GLLA to “ensure that federal appropriations for sediment remediation do not displace existing funding from non-Federal sponsors.”   House Report 107-587, Part 1.

5.  Can I satisfy my MOE requirement with the minimum 35% cost share requirement of the GLLA?

No.  MOE and cost-share requirements are taken from federal grants law.  In federal grants law, these two concepts are separate and distinct.  E.g., Section 105 of the Clean Air Act.  The MOE requirement is in addition to the cost-share requirement.

6.  Whose fiscal year do I use to calculate my MOE requirement?

The federal fiscal year - October 1 - September 30.

7.  Can I satisfy my MOE requirement at the same location as my GLLA project?

Yes.  Congress did not indicate that the MOE requirement had to be satisfied in a different location than the GLLA project.  However, the MOE work should be segregable work from the GLLA project.

8.  I have completed a GLLA project and satisfied my MOE and cost-share requirements for that project.  I have proposed a new GLLA project in the same AOC.  Must I use my cost-share on my first GLLA project to calculate my MOE requirement for my new proposed GLLA project?

No.  The purpose of the MOE requirement is to make sure the non-Federal sponsor maintains a level of expenditure on sediment remediation programs in the AOC.  The receipt of GLLA monies is not in the non-Federal sponsor’s control and it was not an expenditure which would have occurred prior to passage of the GLLA so it would be unfair to require the non-Federal sponsor to maintain that heightened level of expenditure in future projects. 

Examples:

1) Non-federal sponsor A proposes a Legacy Act project in the Lake 1 AOC.  A has previously spent no funds in the Lake 1 AOC.  What is A’s MOE requirement for his Legacy Act project?

2) Non-federal sponsor B proposes a Legacy Act project in the Lake 1 AOC.   B has spent federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant funds in the past two years for $150,000 per year for sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC.  What is B’s MOE requirement for his Legacy Act project? 

3) Non-federal sponsor C proposes a Legacy Act project in the Lake 1 AOC.   C has spent a NOAA grant in the past two years for $150,000 per year for sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC and he has spent state grant funds of $50,000 per year for sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC.  What is C’s MOE requirement for his Legacy Act project? 

4a) Non-federal sponsor D proposes a Legacy Act project in the Lake 1 AOC.   D has spent a NOAA grant in the past two years for $150,000 per year for sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC and he has spent state grant funds of $50,000 per year for sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC.  Also, D has spent $100,000 per year on sediment remediation which was available to him from the Paper Packing consent decree settlement (a fund created in that settlement for this type of work).  Finally, E has spent $200,000 per year for the past five years on sediment remediation work in the Lake 1 AOC.  What is D’s MOE requirement for his Legacy Act project? 

4b) D has figured out his MOE of $150,000 per year for each year of the Legacy Act project agreement.  D has no other projects started in the Lake 1 AOC.  Does D have to start another project to satisfy his MOE requirement or can he spend the monies at the same location as his proposed Legacy Act project? 

5) Non-federal sponsor F proposes a Legacy Act project in the Bay 1 AOC.  He completed another Legacy Act project in the Bay 1 AOC within the last two years - he expended $250,000 per year on that project.  In addition, he has been satisfying the MOE calculated under that previous Legacy Act project of $200,000 per year at another area within the Bay 1 AOC.  F also spent DOI monies on sediment remediation work ($50,000 per year for the past year) and on sampling and analysis work ($25,000 per year for the past two years).  This project is in a different area of the AOC than F’s other projects in the Bay 1 AOC.  What is F’s MOE?  How can he satisfy his MOE? 

 


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