EPA awards South Dakota Department of the Environment and Natural Resources over $2.5M grant to protect water quality

July 27, 2017
EPA partners with the state to protect and restore watersheds, streams and groundwater.

SOUTH DAKOTA, JULY 27, 2017 -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $2,544,000 to the South Dakota Department of the Environment and Natural Resources to help protect human health and the environment through a Nonpoint Source Program Clean Water Act Section 319 grant. These grants are given to states to implement environmental programs that address nonpoint source pollution in surface and groundwater in order to meet and maintain water quality standards.

"Providing funds directly to South Dakota emphasizes the importance of partnering with states to help address their unique and critical environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Pruitt. "EPA is making investments like this grant to help empower states who know best how to protect their natural resources, and grow their economy while solving real environmental problems in local communities."

Under this program, a total of six proposals were selected this year for funding that include watershed planning and implementation projects. The program works through a set of overarching principles that emphasize voluntary and incentive-based participation, locally-led projects, partnerships, measurable water quality improvement, and effective and efficient program administration. For more information, visit http://denr.sd.gov/dfta/wp/ImplementationProjects.aspx.

Nonpoint sources of pollution continue to be recognized as one of the nation's largest remaining cause of surface water quality impairments. The effects of nonpoint source pollution can be seen within the lakes, streams, and rivers of South Dakota. Nonpoint source pollutants causing the majority of South Dakota's surface water quality impairments are pathogens, sediment, and nutrients.

Nonpoint source pollution encompasses a wide range of sources that are not always subject to federal or state regulation. These sources include agricultural runoff, unpermitted urban runoff, abandoned mine drainage, failing onsite disposal systems, and pollution caused by changes to natural stream channels. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Through Section 319, the EPA provides states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and to support local watershed projects to improve water quality. 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. You can learn more about successful nonpoint source projects at https://www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories