The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded US$1 004 260 to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) to help protect human health and the environment through a Nonpoint Source Program Clean Water Act Section cooperative agreement.
The UDEQ’s nonpoint source programme, targets a basin approach that is used to provide funding on a rotating basis to one of six basins throughout the state. This year’s basin is the Bear River Basin, from which the Logan River flows. The lower reach of the Logan River will be the focus of several projects designed to reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching the water, which can cause greatly adverse effects. "The nonpoint source program provides an important mechanism to work directly with landowners to improve water quality and local communities,” said Erica Gaddis, Director of UDEQ’s Division of Water Quality. “We appreciate EPA's annual support of this program since the early 1990s and we look forward to continuing this partnership into the future."
This kind of grant is only given to states in order to address nonpoint source pollution in surface and groundwater in order to improve and protect water quality, through a series of environmental programmes.
“EPA is partnering with states to protect and restore watersheds, streams and groundwater,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Investments like this grant, allow states to support local watershed projects, improving water quality while helping to grow the economy.”
Funding is also included for supporting local watershed coordinators in seven basins around the state, funds for volunteer monitoring efforts, and funding to educate teachers and students. The basic goal for all the projects is to improve water quality and restore the beneficial uses of water impacted by nonpoint source pollution. A set of overarching principles are applied to the programme to emphasise voluntary and incentive based participation, locally led projects, partnerships, measurable water quality improvement and effective and efficient programme administration.
Nonpoint source pollution encompasses a wide range of sources that are not always subject to federal or state regulation, including agricultural runoff, unpermitted urban runoff, abandoned mine drainage, failing onsite disposal systems and, pollution caused by changes to natural stream channels. Collectively this work has restored over 6 000 miles of streams and over 164 000 acres of lakes since 2006. Hundreds of additional projects are underway across the country.