The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has been awarded $4,665,700 in nonpoint source (NPS) pollution grant funds by EPA to assist state agencies and colleges, city and county governments and local authorities to protect and restore North Carolina watersheds. This Clean Water Act grant provides funding to help make water safe for drinking, swimming, boating and eating fish and shellfish.
This NPS pollution grant will help restore waters that are listed as impaired by NPS pollution and identify methods to control pollution from a variety of potential sources in North Carolina waters. Through a basin-wide management planning initiative, NC DENR identifies impaired waters and recommends watershed-based approaches to address NPS pollution. Specifically, the program seeks to address major categories of potential NPS pollution through a combination of education, technical and financial assistance and/or regulations. Implementation activities include urban storm water runoff controls, low impact development, agricultural best management practices, riparian buffers, ground water protection, solid waste management and control of NPS pollution from land disposal sites, agriculture and on-site wastewater disposal. NC DENR is also working with other agencies to implement pollution budgets known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).
NPS pollution, also known as polluted runoff, is the largest cause of water pollution in the U.S. and originates from many sources. As rainfall flows across the landscape, it accumulates contaminants on the ground and erodes exposed soil and deposits it into rivers, lakes, ground water, wetlands and coastal areas. EPA empowers states, tribes, organizations and stakeholders to work together in order to achieve better water quality through a watershed basis.
Since the establishment of the Nonpoint Source Management Program under the Clean Water Act in 1987, EPA has provided to state, territory and tribal partners more than $1.6 billion in federal funding alone to protect and restore our nation’s waters.