EPA Awards nearly $1.4 Million Grant to Improve and Protect Nevada’s Water Quality
Approval of Nevada’s Nonpoint Source Management Plan leverages local partnerships
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) $1,395,000 to implement Nevada’s recently approved 2020-2024 Nonpoint Source State (NPS) Management Plan. Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall moving over the ground, leading to runoff which picks up natural and man-made pollutants as it flows.
This EPA financial assistance will support NDEP’s efforts to: protect Nevada’s surface water from NPS pollution by supporting and advancing existing watershed management efforts; establishing new partnerships with agencies, environmental organizations, and other groups; planning, implementing and assessing NPS controls; and expanding environmental education efforts throughout Nevada.
“This grant directly supports our shared goal of protecting Nevada’s critical water resources by providing funds to carry out NPS Plan activities,” said EPA Regional Administrator John Busterud. “Nevada’s five-year NPS plan will help employ necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in Nevada watersheds.”
“Nonpoint sources continue to contribute a significant amount of pollution to Nevada’s waterways,” said NDEP Administrator Greg Lovato. “Grants from EPA, leveraged with local funding sources, support the implementation of NDEP’s Nonpoint Source State Management Plan to reduce that pollution.”
In 2020, EPA approved Nevada’s updated Nonpoint Source State Management Plan. In addition to continued efforts to restore Lake Tahoe clarity and public education efforts and stormwater management work in the Las Vegas area, this plan commits to expand restoration work in the Truckee, Carson, Virgin and Walker River watersheds in the next five years. The plan also prioritizes continued partnerships with local entities and stakeholders.
Examples of partnerships include coordination with the Carson Water Subconservancy District, the Nature Conservancy, local Conservation Districts, and the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada to reduce erosion and control sediment and nutrient discharges to the Carson River.
Similarly, partnerships built with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, Nevada Land Trust and many others led to the creation of the One Truckee River plan. Identified as a priority, NDEP's NPS Program coordinated with NDEP's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water's Integrated Source Water Protection Program to develop a stakeholder-driven joint watershed/source water protection plan for the Truckee River. This effort was supported by and matched in funding by the Western Regional Water Commission. Other strong partnerships continue with stakeholder groups in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Las Vegas Wash, the Virgin River and the Walker River.
Nonpoint source pollution, which can impact lakes, rivers, and groundwater, can be difficult to manage since it cannot be traced to a specific source. Controlling nonpoint source pollution is especially important due to the harmful effects that the pollutants have on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.
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 NDEP 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.
Nevada’s five-year NPS plan is available at: https://ndep.nv.gov/uploads/water-nonpoint-docs/FINAL_2020-2024_NV_NPS_State_Management_Plan_9.20.pdf.
Learn more about the NPS program: https://www.epa.gov/nps.