Abandoned Well Plugging Grant Application Criteria and Instructions for Form 780-2162

Water Protection Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Abandoned Well Plugging financial assistance program administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Public Drinking Water Branch.


Abandoned water wells provide a direct conduit for surficial contamination of groundwater aquifers and constitute a physical hazard.

§1452(g) and (k) of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to allocate a portion of the Missouri Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to promote wellhead protection awareness, education, and implementation. Safeguarding groundwater resources through proper plugging of abandoned water wells is a common-sense step communities can take to protect their raw water source. More than 1,200 community public water systems in Missouri (serving approximately 2.1 million Missourians) use groundwater as the sole or primary source of raw drinking water.


Promote awareness of the benefits of protecting groundwater aquifers through source water protection planning and proper plugging of abandoned drinking water wells. Provide financial assistance to groundwater-based community and noncommunity public water systems to identify and properly plug abandoned drinking water wells in accordance with all state and federal regulations and requirements.

Eligible Costs

Actual costs to plug abandoned domestic and public water wells are reimbursable through this program. A 25 percent local cost-share is required for plugging public water wells. No local cost-share is required to plug domestic or multiple family wells. Awards are limited to a maximum of $15,000. The cost-share applies to actual plugging costs (per well).

Applicant Eligibility

Community and non-profit noncommunity public water systems that use groundwater are eligible to apply for reimbursement funding through this program. Secondary systems (those that purchase water from a primary system) are only eligible to apply if they have an active or emergency groundwater well. Eligible public water systems must be compliant with all state and federal drinking water regulations or formally working towards compliance to qualify for assistance.

Project Eligibility

Projects must focus on proper plugging of abandoned drinking water wells that, if left unplugged, may present a contamination risk to groundwater resources used by a regulated public water system. Incentives and public information activities are not eligible for funding. Project costs incurred prior to full execution of a financial assistance agreement between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the awardee are not eligible for reimbursement.

Specific Requirements

All well plugging activities must comply with Missouri’s Well Construction Rules as described in 10 CSR 23-3.110. Plugging specifications for public water wells are required and available from the Missouri Geological Survey’s Well Installation Section. All well plugging registration records must be filed with the Well Installation Section. Well plugging costs are only reimbursable if a licensed well driller or pump installation contractor permitted to operate in Missouri performs the work (this applies to all wells plugged through this program).

Grant conditions and federal requirements apply to projects funded in part or in whole with funds made available. Full and complete grant terms and conditions will be provided upon notification of award; however, a summary of significant and new requirements are listed below. By applying for this award, the applicant verifies that it, its board of directors, and all principals are currently in compliance with all state and federal environmental laws and court orders issued pursuant to those laws, and that all environmental violations have been resolved at the time of this application. The Department will not make an award at any time to any party which is debarred or suspended, under federal or state authority, or is otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in federal assistance under Executive Order 12549, “Debarment and Suspension.”

For more details on the federal requirements related to costs, applicants can refer to the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements as it relates to applicant type below:

Institution                                           Cost Principals                      Audits

State and Local Governments             2 CFR 225                               2 CFR Subpart F

Nonprofit Organizations                     2 CFR 230                               2 CFR Subpart F

The circulars can be found and downloaded from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/circulars/.

The Departments’ Federal Subgrants General Terms and Conditions apply to all projects funded through this program. These general terms and conditions highlight requirements that are especially pertinent to federal subawards made by the Department. These programmatic, administrative, and national policy requirements do not set out all of the provisions of the applicable laws and regulations, nor do they represent an exhaustive list of all requirements applicable to this award. These terms and conditions are emphasized here because they are frequently invoked and their violation is of serious concern. In addition to these provisions, the subawardee must comply with all governing requirements of their subaward, including the federal Common Rule (adopted by federal agencies and contained in the specific Codes of Federal Regulation, for each federal agency, under the title “Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments”). The Common Rule is fully incorporated by reference into these terms and conditions.

All project applicants must complete and submit an affidavit of work authorization and documentation. The subawardee shall only employ personnel authorized to work in the United States in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. This includes but is not limited to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and INA Section 274A.

If the subawardee is found to be in violation of this requirement or the applicable state, federal, and local laws and regulations, and if the State of Missouri has reasonable cause to believe that the subawardee has knowingly employed individuals who are not eligible to work in the United States, the state shall have the right to cancel the contract immediately without penalty or recourse and suspend or debar the subawardee from doing business with the state.The state may also withhold up to 25% of the total amount due to the subawardee.

The subawardee shall agree to fully cooperate with any audit or investigation from federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies.

If the subawardee meets the definition of a business entity as defined in section 285.525, RSMo, pertaining to section 285.530, RSMo, the subawardee shall maintain enrollment and participation in the E-Verify federal work authorization program with respect to the employees hired after enrollment in the program who are proposed to work in connection with the contracted services included herein. If the sub awardee’s business status changes during the life of the contract to become a business entity as defined in section 285.525, RSMo, pertaining to section 285.530, RSMo, then the subawardee shall, prior to the performance of any services as a business entity under the contract:


Awards are limited to a maximum of $15,000. Only 75% of actual costs to plug public water wells are reimbursable. Only costs incurred during the project period are eligible for reimbursement. The project period extends from the date a fully executed financial assistance agreement between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the awardee is signed through July 31, 2021.

The following items are not eligible for funding but may be included as in-kind match:

Project Review and Selection

The Public Drinking Water Branch reviews and ranks all applications for funding priority based on the criteria in Table 1.

Table 1 - Evaluation and Priority Point Criteria

10 points

Per abandoned well within one-fourth mile of an active public water well*

5 points

Per abandoned well between one-half and one-fourth mile of an active public water well*

5 points

Application submitted by system with endorsed Wellhead or Source Water Protection Plan

10 points

Applying entity is a community public water system serving less than 1,000 individuals on an annual basis

5 points

Applying entity is a community public water system serving between 1,000 and 3,300 individuals on an annual basis

1 point

Per each abandoned domestic well

5 points

Local match (including cost-share for public water wells, if applicable) is 26 to 50 percent of total project costs

10 points

Local match (including cost-share for public water wells, if applicable) exceeds 50 percent of total project costs

5 points

Applicant submitted eligible project in state fiscal year 2020 that was not selected for funding

*A map must be provided with the application to receive project priority points based on proximity of an abandoned well to an active public water well.

Projects are awarded in descending order of priority point rank. If one or more projects receive an equal rank, but remaining allocated funds are insufficient to fund each, the projects will not be funded. If additional allocated funds become available prior to January 31, 2021, projects not initially selected for funding may still be awarded in order of priority rank.

Glossary of Selected Terms

Application Overview

All applications and related documentation must be submitted electronically through the Departments’ Funding Opportunities Portal (see below).

To be considered for funding, applications must be submitted from Nov. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020, and must include all required documentation (see below). Applicants that submit incomplete applications or are missing required documentation will be notified by the Public Drinking Water Branch no later than Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, and must provide the requested information by Jan. 31, 2021, to be considered for funding.

The following information provides a systematic guide for completing the application
(Form 780-2162) and lists other required documentation.

Section 1 - Applicant Information

Enter the public water system name, state-assigned public water supply supervision (PWSS) identification code, and contact information. Enter the unique entity identifier (formerly DUNS #). Organizations may obtain a unique entity identifier at no cost online at the System for Award Management (SAM) Website (https://www.sam.gov/SAM/) or calling the toll-free help desk at 1-866-606-8220. Enter the public water system’s primary address and indicate the primary United States Congressional District, the Missouri Senate District, and the Missouri House District.

Section 2 - Project Management Information

Enter the title of the proposed project and the project manager’s name, title, and contact information. Enter the estimated start and end dates for the project period. Note: All project periods extend from the time a fully executed agreement is signed through July 31, 2021. The Public Drinking Water Branch reserves the right to adjust the project period to accommodate administrative review, if necessary.

Section 3 - Project Description

Provide a brief summary of the project in the space provided and describe the general scope of work of the project. Check the appropriate box to indicate the endorsement status of the applicant’s source water or wellhead protection plan.

Section 4 - Project Budget

Include project budget information in this section of the application form. Itemize the projected budget costs using the spreadsheet provided (additional sheets may be added if necessary). The examples provided below are not all-inclusive and certain budget items may fit equally well in another budget class. Contact the Public Drinking Water Branch if you have any questions regarding the proposed project budget.

Section 5 - Signatures

The primary project sponsor must have an authorized organization representative sign and date the appropriate fields in Section 5.

Section 6 - Instructions for Submitting Grant Application

Applicants must register online with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Funding Opportunities Portal (https://dnr.mo.gov/fundingoppportal.htm) and submit completed applications, along with other required documentation (see below), electronically. Note: Applicants must allow one day from the time of successful registration before submitting applications and related materials.

In addition to Form 780-2162, a complete application package must also include the following documentation (available through the Funding Opportunities Portal):

Vendor Input Form

Submit application materials online at https://dnr.mo.gov/fundingoppportal.htm

Applicants may call the Public Drinking Water Branch at 573-526-0269 with any questions regarding this assistance program between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday or email ken.tomlin@dnr.mo.gov.

For questions or issues regarding online submission through the Funding Opportunities Portal, call 573-751-2994 or email misty.lange@dnr.mo.gov.