EPA Awards State of Texas Over $3.7 Million to Manage Water Pollution
DALLAS – (Aug. 22, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a grant of $3,729,500 to the Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB). The funding will support management programs for nonpoint-source water pollution, which is caused when rainfall or snowmelt carries pollutants into rivers, lakes, and other waterbodies.
“Helping to protect valuable watersheds from pollution is vital to the health of Texas waterways and the communities that rely on them,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “EPA is pleased to continue funding the important work of the Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board.”
TSSWCB will use the funding to implement its nonpoint source management program, focusing on watersheds affected by nonpoint source pollution. Projects include implementing agricultural components of watershed protection plans for Plum Creek, Geronimo and Alligator Creeks, Attoyac Bayou, Arroyo Colorado and Mill Creek, and protecting waterways from feral hogs under the Lone Star Healthy Streams initiative.
Funding for this project is one part of EPA’s overall effort to ensure that America’s waters are clean and safe. This year, EPA is distributing more than $165 million in grants to states, territories, and tribes to reduce nonpoint runoff in urban and rural settings, including efforts to reduce excess nutrients that can enter our waters and cause public health and environmental challenges. Over the last two years, states restored over 80 waters and reduced over 17 million pounds of nitrogen, nearly 4 million pounds of phosphorus, and 3.5 million tons of excess sediment through projects funded by these grants. Nonpoint source grants to the state of Texas complement funding for other projects, such as revolving loan funds for infrastructure repair and grants for monitoring water quality at Gulf Coast beaches.
Unlike pollution from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source pollution does not come from a specific place. As precipitation moves over or through the ground, it picks up debris and pollutants and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground water. Nonpoint source pollution can include excess fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides; oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff; sediment; drainage from abandoned mines; and bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet waste and faulty septic systems. States report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems.
More about EPA’s work in Texas: https://www.epa.gov/tx
More about nonpoint source pollution: https://www.epa.gov/nps
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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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