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The U.S. EPA plans to award $7 million in grants to eligible tribes for nonpoint source pollution programs. The grants, awarded under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, will help tribes implement their approved nonpoint source (NPS) management programs to control polluted runoff.
A portion of the funding will be distributed competitively to develop and implement watershed-based plans and other projects that result in a significant step towards solving NPS impairments. The remaining funds will be distributed to all eligible tribes for education programs, protection activities and implementing watershed projects. The agency is also releasing national guidelines for the award of this base-grant funding.
EPA expects funds will be similar to those distributed in FY 2006, which included approximately $3.8 million awarded to 28 tribes and $3.2 million in base grants awarded to 95 tribes.
Nonpoint source pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many sources and is caused by rainfall or snow melt moving over and through the ground. The runoff picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and even underground water sources.
Applications for the funding must be received by Dec. 19, 2006.