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$3 Million Awarded To Improve Water Quality Across Virginia
November 30, 2018

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded over $3 million in funding to localities to improve water quality across the state. This funding is dedicated to projects that will help reduce pollution related to stormwater, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage or hydrologic modification, also known as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution.

According to information, funding recipients include municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and other organizations that will implement projects designed to prevent and control NPS pollution. Available through the federal Clean Water Act’s Section 319, the funding will improve water quality through best management practices designed to reduce impacts on local streams and watersheds. DEQ is the commonwealth’s lead agency for implementing NPS pollution control programs and disburses federal, state and non-profit grant funds.

“Each of these projects is a small but measurable step towards cleaner, healthier watersheds,” said DEQ Water Planning Division Director Jutta Schneider. “These grants enable localities and environmental groups to accomplish critical improvements where they are most needed.”

NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. Runoff carries away natural and human-made pollutants, and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. With public participation, DEQ develops implementation plans for each watershed and includes best management practices such as excluding livestock from streams, repairing failing septic systems and planting vegetation buffers.

DEQ has been working on cleanup plans for local watersheds since 2001. Many similar projects have demonstrated significant water quality improvements. DEQ was recently recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for the progress Virginia’s NPS pollution program has made addressing pollution issues.

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