Wednesday, November 25, 2020

EPA Grants Virginia $1.7 million for Stream Restoration

On Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1,693,000 grant to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to improve water quality of water bodies throughout the commonwealth.

The grant is part of EPA’s Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program, as outlined in Section 319 of the Clean Water Act to control water pollution. The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the Section 319 program to addresses nonpoint source pollution efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects and monitoring to assess the success of implemented projects.

“This grant supports preserving and protecting Virginia’s water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “By working in partnership with Virginia, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the commonwealth.”

Nonpoint source pollution is caused when water from rain or snowmelt moves over the ground picking up both natural and human-made pollutants, and carrying them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and groundwater. 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.

Virginia will use the funding to implement watershed improvement plans that reduce nutrients, bacteria, sediment, and other pollutants from direct sources and runoff. This funding will also support restoration of waterbodies, and improvement plans to support the delisting of stream segments that are currently designated as impaired.

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