State and local governments, agencies, public and private nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and underserved communities have until midnight May 4 to apply for federal funds to help reduce polluted runoff into North Carolina’s waters.
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources officials anticipate having around $1.5 million to award for fiscal 2023 from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act-Section 319 (h) Nonpoint Source Grant program.
The funds will go to projects that implement a state-approved nine-element watershed restoration plan to restore water quality impaired by nonpoint source pollution or polluted runoff, which is contamination like fertilizer or pet waste collected by surface water and groundwater running off rooftops, roads, farm fields, parking lots and other surfaces carried into lakes, rivers and estuaries.
This year, the EPA revised its guidance to allow underserved communities to apply for 319 funds to develop a nine-element watershed restoration plan to focus on restoring impaired waters on watersheds that drain into underserved or disadvantaged areas of the state. Additionally, projects serving underserved communities may be eligible for a full or partial reduction in matching funds.
“The 319 grant promotes partnerships and leveraging of resources to strengthen local stewardship of our shared water resources. This funding provides an opportunity for non-profits and local governments to restore the habitat and quality of streams and other public trust waters across the state through voluntary local watershed initiatives,” Richard W. Gannon, Nonpoint Source Planning Branch supervisor with the Division of Water Resources. This branch implements the state’s nonpoint source pollution management program.
Availability of grant funds, amounts and award schedules depend on the EPA’s budget as approved by Congress and subsequent allocation of Section 319 funds to the state. Division of Water Resources reserves the right to wholly fund, partially fund, or not fund any proposal or any component of any Section 319 grant proposal.
For a full description of the program including requirements, eligibility, forms and scoring criteria, visit DEQ.nc.gov.
For additional questions contact Rishi Bastakoti at email@example.com.