ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Georgia Environmental Protection Division $3,855,500 to address nonpoint source pollution. EPA will support implementation of activities intended to eliminate or prevent Georgia’s water quality problems due to the discharge of pollutants from nonpoint sources.
“This grant directly supports our goal of preserving and protecting Georgia’s vital water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker said in a news release. “By working in partnership with Georgia, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”
Gov. Brian Kemp said the grant will be key to water quality projects across the state.
“This EPA grant will support water quality improvement projects across Georgia, ranging from agriculture best management practices to urban stormwater controls,” Kemp said. “We want to thank the EPA for this important grant, as well as the local communities providing matching funds and services to address nonpoint source pollution.”
“Nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States,” U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler said.
While the program provides statewide coverage, funding will focus on activities that address priority watersheds with water quality problems. The funds also will be used for local watershed planning and restoration, water quality monitoring, groundwater protection, education and outreach, best management practice demonstrations, compliance assistance and technology transfer.
Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall 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 gets their drinking water from public systems that rely on seasonal and rain-dependent streams.
The grant is part of EPA’s 2020 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 to control nonpoint sources of water pollution.
More information about nonpoint source pollution grants in Georgia is available at https://epd.georgia.gov/watershed-protection-branch/nonpoint-source-program