The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an active role to be part of the solution, not the pollution. Through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, a NPS pollution control project might be coming to a river or lake near you! So, what’s Section 319 all about?
Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control NPS pollution. Section 319 helps states address NPS pollution through the development of assessment reports; adoption of management programs to control NPS pollution; and implementation of those management programs. U.S. EPA awards grants to states to assist them in implementing NPS management programs. Under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, NPS pollution control is largely voluntary and promotes practices to protect watersheds (all of the land that drains into a body of water such as a river, lake, wetland, or groundwater).
The Illinois EPA is the designated state agency in Illinois to receive 319 federal funds from U.S. EPA. The purpose of Illinois EPA’s 319 program is to work cooperatively with units of local government and other organizations toward the mutual goal of protecting the water quality in Illinois through the control of NPS pollution. The program includes providing funding to these groups to implement projects that utilize cost-effective best management practices (BMPs) on a watershed scale. Projects may include structural BMPs such as detention basins and filter strips, non-structural BMPs such as construction erosion control ordinances and setback zones to protect community water supply wells. Technical assistance and information/education programs are also eligible.