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Grant provided to improve water quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a $1,693,000 grant to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to improve water quality in rivers and streams throughout the state.

The grant is part of EPA’s Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 to control nonpoint sources of water pollution.

“This grant supports preserving and protecting Virginia’s water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio said. “By working in partnership with Virginia, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”

Nonpoint source pollution is caused when rainfall or snowmelt, moving over and through the ground, picks up and carries natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.

Controlling nonpoint source pollution is especially important since one in three Americans get their drinking water from public systems that rely on seasonal and rain-dependent streams.

While the program provides statewide coverage, funding will focus on priority watersheds with water quality problems. Funds will also be used for local watershed restoration, water quality monitoring, education and outreach, and best management practice demonstrations.