EPA Awards $3.8 Million Grant to Improve and Protect North Carolina’s Water Quality
RALEIGH, N.C. (July 9, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) grant funding totaling $3,837,500 to address nonpoint source pollution. The EPA will support implementation of activities intended to eliminate or prevent North Carolina’s water quality problems due to the discharge of pollutants from nonpoint sources.
“This grant directly supports our goal of preserving and protecting North Carolina’s vital water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “By working in partnership with North Carolina, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”
“One of the most basic government services our citizens rely on is clean water,” said Congressman Ted Budd. “I’m proud that our state will get a financial boost to help prevent pollution from endangering the water that comes out of our faucets. Keeping our citizens healthy is a top priority for me in Congress and this grant underscores EPA’s commitment as well.”
“Each year, this grant provides valuable funding for the state’s efforts to protect our natural resources and improve water quality for all North Carolinians,” said North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Director of the Division of Water Resources Danny Smith.
While the program provides statewide coverage, funding will focus on activities that address priority watersheds with water quality problems. The funds will also be used for local watershed planning and restoration, water quality monitoring, groundwater protection, education and outreach, best management practice demonstrations, compliance assistance and technology transfer.
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 North Carolina has used Clean Water Act Section 319 funding to improve water quality, visit: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/planning/nonpoint-source-management