U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant totaling $6,474,000 to the Illinois EPA to manage nonpoint source pollution in impaired watersheds throughout the state.

“EPA continues to place a high priority on protecting lakes and streams from nonpoint source pollution, such as nutrient runoff,” Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “By working together with our state partners we are able to make an even greater impact in restoring water quality.”

“The Section 319 program is a mainstay in Illinois to help local partners to develop and implement nonpoint source pollution control projects and programs to protect surface and groundwater resources,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.  “Since 2006, rural and urban Section 319 projects planned and installed best management practices to keep 465,548 pounds of total nitrogen and 190,437 pounds of total phosphorus from reaching Illinois’ water resources.”

Section 319 grants are given to states to implement environmental programs that address various sources of pollution in surface and groundwater in order to meet and maintain water quality standards. This EPA funding will support nonpoint source implementation projects including a variety of structural and non-structural best management practices, watershed planning, monitoring, technology demonstrations and a variety of education and outreach programs.

Recently completed Section 319 projects in Illinois include:

  • The Copperas Creek Watershed Project, by the Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District and local landowners, installed 2,450 feet of streambank stabilization, 3.4 acres of waterways and a variety of other best management practices to keep nutrients and almost 1,700 tons of sediment from reaching Copperas Creek and the Mississippi River.
  • Watershed-based plans in four highly urbanized watersheds in the Chicagoland area, one plan for the Galena River watershed in Jo Daviess County and an update for the Otter Lake Watershed-based Plan in Macoupin County. These 6 plans document the vision of the local watershed stakeholders and the steps necessary to restore water quality through local voluntary adoption of best management practices.
  • The Village of Algonquin installed a two-stage ditch to stabilize 3,104 feet of Woods Creek, a tributary of Lake in the Hills. Local partners estimate the project will keep 376 pounds of phosphorus, 770 pounds of nitrogen and 375 tons of sediment from the creek and lake on an annual basis.

Source: Company Press Release