North Carolina Receives $3,682,900 Million Grant to Support Efforts to Improve and Protect Water Quality
RALEIGH, N.C. (September 19, 2019) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $3,682,900 to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to support management of nonpoint sources of water pollution. The funding will be used for a variety of projects designed to improve water quality in priority watersheds across the state.
“This grant provides another example of the effective partnership between state and federal governments working to address unique environmental challenges,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This grant funds state-led programs that are working for communities throughout North Carolina.”
“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 Linda Culpepper.
Nonpoint-source pollution (NPS) is caused by rainfall or snowmelt 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.
North Carolina has identified more than 40 watersheds across the state as priorities for restoration using 319 grant funds. EPA’s grant will help North Carolina fund NPS management projects and programs including:
- Local watershed planning and restoration
- Water quality monitoring
- Ground water protection
- Forestry management
- Agricultural management
- Erosion and sediment control
- Septic tank management
- Nutrient reductions
- Permitting and enforcement
Nonpoint sources of pollution continue to be recognized as the nation’s largest remaining cause of surface water quality impairments. It can contribute to problems like harmful algal blooms, erosion, and bacteria contamination of surface and groundwater.
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 section 319 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 section 319 projects. The grants received by North Carolina will complement the $62 million State Revolving Funds announced in May 2019.
Learn more about successful nonpoint source reduction projects at: www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories and EPA’s nonpoint source program at https://www.epa.gov/nps
More information about nonpoint source pollution grants in North Carolina at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/planning/nonpoint-source-management/319-grant-program