ATLANTA – (RealEstateRama) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has received a $2,536,800 EPA grant to reduce nonpoint source pollution as well as achieve and maintain beneficial use of water. The grant is part of EPA’s 2017 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program.
“EPA is providing funds directly to South Carolina so that the state may determine how best to address its unique and critical environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA grants to our partners like SCDHEC give states the flexibility to protect their resources and grow their economy while solving real environmental problems in local communities.”
“We are grateful for EPA’s commitment, which helps support the Department’s important work to protect and promote the health of the public and the environment in South Carolina,” said Acting Director David Wilson. “When it rains, the runoff causes various pollutants to flow into our state’s rivers and streams. These federal funds assist our efforts to reduce such nonpoint source pollutants and to restore and protect the waters of South Carolina.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Nonpoint Source Program aims to control nonpoint sources of pollution in order to help restore and maintain high quality fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters throughout the state. This grant will support South Carolina’s efforts to:
1. Accurately identify waterbodies affected by nonpoint source (NPS) pollution;
2. Better target NPS program resources to address watersheds impaired by NPS pollution;
3. Develop corrective action strategies for waterbodies impacted by NPS pollution;
4. Reduce NPS impacts through watershed implementation projects;
5. Evaluate the effectiveness of 319 implementation projects;
6. Provide compliance assistance, track and enforce permits;
7. Address and track responses to NPS incidents and complaints;
8. Promote awareness of NPS problems and build capacity for effective NPS outreach implementation in South Carolina communities;
9. Coordinate NPS reduction efforts with USDA agencies;
10. Increase collaboration with other state, federal and university partners to improve coastal management of nonpoint source pollution;
11. Establish and strengthen partnerships to address NPS pollution;
12. Leverage state revolving fund money to address waterbodies affected by NPS pollution;
13. Strengthen NPS program accountability through regular reporting on the state’s NPS activities and accomplishments; and
14. Provide efficient program management
The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source 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 specific nonpoint source implementation projects.
Clean Water Act Section 319(h) funds are provided to designated state and tribal agencies to implement their approved nonpoint source management programs. Each year, EPA awards Section 319(h) funds to states in accordance with a state-by-state allocation formula that EPA has developed in consultation with the states.
Section 319(h) expenditures are made by the states. States submit their proposed funding plans to EPA. If a state’s funding plan is consistent with grant eligibility requirements and procedures, EPA then awards the funds to the state.
For more information on South Carolina’s 319 grant program visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeandEnvironment/BusinessesandCommunities- GoGreen/EnvironmentalGrantsandLoans/319NonpointSourcePollutionGrants/.
For more information about the EPA’s 319 Grant Program for States and Territories, visit https://www.epa.gov/nps/319-grant-program-states-and-territories.
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James Pinkney ()