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Annual EPA grant will be used for water projects

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced that $1 million in Clean Water Act grant funds provided by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency will be used to complete 11 projects to reduce “nonpoint source pollution” and improve water quality across the state.

Nonpoint source water pollution degrades Nevada’s water resources when rain, snowmelt and irrigation water flows over developed or disturbed land, carrying with it pollutants including oil, sediment, pesticides, bacteria and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which can contribute to excess algae growth. This polluted water makes its way into Nevada’s waterways either directly or through storm drains and can affect overall water quality conditions.

In Southern Nevada, projects selected for Clean Water Act grant funding include the implementation of education and outreach initiatives by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to help inform residents how to reduce nonpoint source pollution from entering their water sources and coordination and collaboration with the Virgin River Coalition to implement their restoration plan to improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Virgin River.

Projects to get grant funding in Northern Nevada include streambank stability restoration projects on the Carson River in the Carson Valley by the Carson Valley Conservation District and Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, construction of stormwater control measures in the Incline and lower Kingsbury areas by Washoe County and TRPA to decrease roadside sediment from entering Lake Tahoe and implementation of erosion control and stabilization measures by the city of Reno on Chalk Creek to improve the quality of stormwater conveyed to the Truckee River.

“The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection is excited to leverage Clean Water Act Section 319 grant funding to make important investments in community outreach and on-the-ground projects enhancing water quality for the benefit of all Nevadans,” said Birgit Widegren, supervisor of NDEP’s Nonpoint Source Program. “We look forward to engaging with communities to protect our precious water resources by reducing the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.

“Small steps can add up to big improvements to Nevada’s streams and rivers, and we thank the EPA for continuing to support NDEP’s Nonpoint Source Program with these critical annual grant funds to help ensure the long-term health and vibrancy of Nevada’s waterways.”

Each year, Nevada receives Clean Water Act grant funding from the EPA to administer the Nonpoint Source Program. NDEP releases an annual competitive grant funding opportunity to award funds to qualifying counties, conservation districts, regional agencies and nonprofit organizations for water quality improvement projects.

NDEP’s 2020 Annual Report for the Nonpoint Source Management Program highlights the accomplishments of the program during the previous year, as 24 ongoing and completed water quality improvement projects resulted in significant reduction of pollutants entering Nevada’s waterways. To view the annual report, visit https://ndep.nv.gov/uploads/water-nonpoint-docs/SFY_2020_NV_NPS_Annual_Report_(1).pdf

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