EPA Awards $2.6 Million Grant to Improve and Protect Tennessee’s Water Quality
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 7, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) $2,611,000 to address nonpoint source pollution. EPA will support implementation of activities intended to eliminate or prevent Tennessee’s water quality problems due to the discharge of pollutants from nonpoint sources.
“This grant directly supports our goal of preserving and protecting Tennessee’s vital water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “By working in partnership with Tennessee, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”
“Our number one goal with the Nonpoint Source Program grant is to clean up impaired waters in Tennessee,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. “The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will use these funds to support projects by local governments, educational institutions, and other organizations to ensure clean water for drinking, recreation, and wildlife. The Nonpoint Source Program is responsible for 40 documented success stories of improved waters in Tennessee, and we appreciate our long-term partnership with EPA to grow this number.”
While the program provides statewide coverage, funding will focus on preventing pollution in clean waterbodies, and reducing the number of polluted waterbodies. Types of activities to be funded with this grant include a variety of structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs), watershed planning, monitoring, technology demonstrations, and a variety of education/outreach programs.
Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall moving over the ground. This runoff picks up natural and man-made pollutants as it flows, eventually depositing the material into lakes, rivers, and groundwater. This type of pollution can be difficult to manage since it cannot be traced to a specific source. Controlling nonpoint source pollution is especially important since one in three Americans get their drinking water from public systems that rely on seasonal and rain-dependent streams.
The grant is part of EPA's 2020 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 to control nonpoint sources of water pollution.
For examples of how TDA has used Clean Water Act Section 319 grant funds to improve water quality visit: https://www.epa.gov/nps/success-stories-about-restoring-water-bodies-impaired-nonpoint-source-pollution