Jackson, Miss. (July 13, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) grant funding totaling $3,146,000 to address nonpoint source pollution. EPA will support implementation of activities intended to eliminate or prevent Mississippi’s water quality problems due to the discharge of pollutants from nonpoint sources.

“This grant directly supports our goal of preserving and protecting Mississippi’s vital water resources and ensuring communities have clean water,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “By working in partnership with Mississippi, we can help implement necessary best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution in communities throughout the state.”

“We are truly grateful for our partnership with the EPA and this Administration, which prioritize protecting our state and our nation’s water quality,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “This $3.1 million grant will boost our efforts to ensure that Mississippians have access to clean water while preserving our precious water resources. I look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership and working together to improve the water quality for our great state.”

“These funds directly improve the state’s water quality by supporting a wide variety of activities that focus on the management and reduction of nonpoint source pollution in vital watersheds.  There is a direct impact on local economies and the environment through improved water quality that benefits all types of uses and activities,” said Chris Wells, Interim MDEQ Executive Director.  “We encourage the public to contact us with ideas for watershed projects that could be supported by future funding.”

While the program provides statewide coverage, funding will focus on activities that address priority watersheds with water quality problems. The funds will also be used for local watershed planning and restoration, water quality monitoring, groundwater protection, education and outreach, best management practice demonstrations, compliance assistance and technology transfer.

Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall moving over the ground. This runoff picks up natural and man-made pollutants as it flows, eventually depositing the material into lakes, rivers, and groundwater. This type of pollution can be difficult to manage since it cannot be traced to a specific source. 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.

The grant is part of EPA’s 2020 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program. Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987 to control nonpoint sources of water pollution.

Learn more about successful nonpoint source reduction projects at:  www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories and EPA’s nonpoint source program at: https://www.epa.gov/nps

More information about nonpoint source pollution grants in Mississippi at: www.mdeq.ms.gov/nonpoint-source-pollution-control-grants