Nonpoint Source Management §319 Subgrants
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act established a grant program under which states, territories, and tribes may receive funds to support a wide variety of nonpoint source pollution management activities, including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.
Grants are a critical element in turning Idaho's NPS control program into water quality protection realities in watersheds throughout the state. Each year, DEQ identifies programmatic and geographic targets, solicits project proposals, assembles a proposal package for EPA's review, develops contracts and agreements for disbursement of grant funds, oversees program implementation, and evaluates program accomplishments.
To be eligible for §319 grants, a state must first develop and obtain EPA approval of an NPS pollution assessment report. The assessment report identifies waters impacted or threatened by NPS pollution and describes the categories of NPS pollution, such as agriculture, urban runoff, or forestry, that are causing water quality problems. In addition, the state must develop and obtain EPA approval of an NPS pollution management program. This program becomes the framework for controlling NPS pollution described in the assessment report.
§319 Subgrants in Idaho
Idaho has fulfilled the requirements necessary to be eligible for §319 grants, and DEQ is the state agency responsible for administering the grant program. Grants are awarded annually on a competitive basis. A successful grant must focus primarily on improving the water quality of lakes, streams, rivers, and aquifers. Funds may be used to address a variety of NPS management and prevention activities, including:
- Agriculture (except those activities covered by a draft or final NPDES permit).
- Urban Stormwater Runoff (except instances covered by a draft or final NPDES permit).
- Transportation (except instances covered by a draft or final NPDES permit).
- Silvicultural or Forestry-related Activities.
- Mining (except those activities covered by a draft or final NPDES permit).
- Ground Water Activities (to the extent identified by the state’s NPS management program, including source water protection efforts that involve regional collaboration or have statewide application).
- Hydrologic and Habitat Modification and Related Activities (including wetlands reconstruction).
Idaho passes through the large majority of its §319 funds to the local level for on-the-ground TMDL implementation projects. Remaining funds are used to support administration and implementation of the NPS Management Program and regional office activities.