The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a grant of $3,887,500 to the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. The funding will support management programs for nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution, which is caused when rainfall or snowmelt carries pollutants into rivers, lakes, and other waterbodies.
“Protecting Texas’ valuable water resources from runoff pollution takes coordinated effort from many partners,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board continues to play a vital part in achieving this goal and keeping watersheds, rivers and lakes clean for communities and the environment.”
This funding supports the state of Texas’ NPS pollution management program, focusing on watersheds with water quality impairments caused by polluted runoff from nonpoint sources. NPS implementation projects include best management practice installations for animal wastes, sediment, pesticide and fertilizer control; other structural and non-structural practices; watershed planning, monitoring, technology demonstrations; and education and outreach programs.
Unlike pollution from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution does not come from a specific place. As precipitation moves over or through the ground, it picks up debris and pollutants and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground water. NPS pollution can include excess fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides; oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff; sediment; drainage from abandoned mines; and bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet waste and faulty septic systems. States report that NPS pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems.
More about EPA’s work in Texas: https://www.epa.gov/tx
More about nonpoint source pollution: https://www.epa.gov/nps
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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central