EPA Awards More Than $2.5 Million to Improve and Protect South Carolina’s Water Quality
COLUMBIA, S.C. (July 9, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) grant funding totaling $2,583,500 to address nonpoint source pollution. EPA will support implementation of activities intended to eliminate or prevent South Carolina’s water quality problems due to the discharge of pollutants from nonpoint sources.
“This grant directly supports our goal of preserving and protecting South Carolina’s vital water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “By working in partnership with South Carolina, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”
"The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is pleased to have the support of the EPA as we safeguard South Carolina's waterways," said Myra Reece, DHEC Director of Environmental Affairs. "This grant helps us to continue the work of protecting the health of residents in our state, who rely on these waterways for drinking water, from environmental pollutants, while promoting a clean and healthy natural habitat."
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 South Carolina has used Clean Water Act Section 319 funding to improve water quality, visit: https://www.scdhec.gov/environment/your-water-coast/watersheds-program/section-319-nonpoint-source-program