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EPA awards Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality $859,000 grant to protect water quality

EPA partners with the state to protect and restore watersheds, streams and groundwater

07/24/2019
Contact Information: 
Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (mcclain-vanderpool.lisa@epa.gov)
303-312-6077

DENVER (July 24, 2019) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $859,000 to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) to help protect human health and the environment through a Nonpoint Source Program (NPS) Clean Water Act Section 319 grant. This grant is given to states to implement environmental programs that address nonpoint source pollution in surface and ground water to meet and maintain water quality standards. 

“EPA is partnering with WDEQ to restore water quality by focusing on one of the nation’s largest remaining causes of surface water impairment, contaminated runoff from nonpoint sources,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “Water quality across the West is a high priority and by working together on these projects, our impact is that much greater.”

"We are pleased to be able to support another great round of projects this year in priority watersheds with our local sponsor and partners,” said WDEQ Director Todd Parfitt. This continued partnership with EPA helps improve Wyoming's water quality."

Under this program, a total of eight proposals were selected for funding that will include watershed planning and implementation projects; stream restoration and livestock impact practices; sediment reduction and monitoring; aquatic habitat improvements; and information and education projects.  The program works through a set of overarching principles that emphasize voluntary and incentive-based participation, locally-led projects, partnerships, measurable water quality improvement, and effective and efficient program administration. For more information, on Wyoming’s NPS accomplishments for 2018 visit: https://arcg.is/18SG5S

Nonpoint sources of pollution continue to be recognized as the nation's largest remaining cause of surface water quality impairments. The effects of nonpoint source pollution can be seen within the lakes, streams and rivers of Wyoming.  The three pollutants causing the majority of Wyoming's surface water quality impairments are pathogens, sediment and selenium.

Nonpoint source pollution encompasses a wide range of sources that are not subject to federal or often state regulation. These sources include agricultural runoff, unpermitted urban runoff, abandoned mine drainage, failing onsite disposal systems, and pollution caused by changes to natural stream channels. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Through Section 319, the EPA provides states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and to support local watershed projects to improve water quality.  Hundreds of additional projects are underway across the country.  You can learn more about successful nonpoint source projects at https://www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories