TEMPLE – The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) recently received a grant of $3,887,500 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant will support TSSWCB’s Texas Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Program which addresses water pollution caused by water runoff that carries pollutants into rivers, lakes and other waterbodies.
Projects include implementing agricultural components of watershed protection plans for Leon, Tres Palacios, Lampasas, Geronimo and Arroyo Colorado. In addition, the funds will provide educational and outreach opportunities for landowners through the Lone Star Healthy Streams Program and the Texas Well Owner Network.
“TSSWCB is proud to partner with the EPA to encourage the protection and wise use of Texas’ natural resources. It is our goal to ensure the availability of those resources for future generations, so that the needs of Texans’ present and future can be met in a way that promotes a clean and healthy environment,” said Thomas Helton, TSSWCB Texas NPS Management Program Administrator.
The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires States to develop a plan to protect the quality of water resources from the adverse effects of nonpoint source water pollution. NPS pollution is all water pollution that does not originate from regulated point sources. Types of regulated point sources include wastewater treatment facilities, municipal stormwater systems, and concentrated animal feeding operations. NPS pollution occurs when rainfall flows off the land, roads, buildings, and other features of the landscape. This diffuse runoff carries pollutants into drainage ditches, lakes, rivers, wetlands, bays and aquifers.
The Texas NPS Management Program is a comprehensive strategy for addressing nonpoint source pollution across Texas, where assessment has determined that water quality is impaired or threatened. TSSWCB implements the agricultural and silvicultural aspects of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and Watershed Protection Plans (WPPs) through assessment, planning, implementation, education and research.
Established in 1939, TSSWCB administers Texas’ soil and water conservation law and delivers coordinated natural resource conservation programs through the State’s 216 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Additionally, TSSWCB is the lead agency for planning, implementing, and managing programs for preventing and abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint sources of water pollution. TSSWCB also works to ensure that the State’s network of 2,000 flood control dams are protecting lives and property by providing operation, maintenance, and structural repair grants to local government sponsors.