$4.75 Million in Funding Available Through Section 319(h) Grant Program.

SPRINGFIELD —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim today announced a total of $4.75 million in funding through the release of two Section 319(h) Grant Program Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to address nonpoint source pollution. Illinois EPA is seeking proposals for watershed-based planning projects and watershed-based plan implementation projects to prevent, eliminate, or reduce water quality impairments to Illinois’ surface and groundwater resources.

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“The Illinois EPA’s Section 319 program supports local partners in their efforts to address nonpoint source pollution through innovative watershed-focused projects,” said Director Kim. “These grants are an important way we can help to enable local governments and other organizations to develop plans and ultimately implement strategies that will reduce impacts of nonpoint source pollution in our environment.”

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Nonpoint source pollution is the result of rain or snowmelt carrying natural and human-made pollutants and depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater. It is estimated that over 60 percent of water pollution issues nationwide can be traced to nonpoint sources.

Illinois EPA receives federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act to implement the Section 319(h) Grant Program. The $4.75 million will be split, with up to $750,000 in funding anticipated to fund two (2) to four (4) watershed-based planning projects, and up to $4 million to fund 12 to 15 watershed-based plan implementation projects. These grants are available to units of local government and other organizations to protect surface and groundwater quality in rural and urban areas in Illinois.

Section 319 funds can be used for the development, update, and implementation of watershed-based management plans, including the development of information and education programs and the installation of best management practices.

The Notice of Funding Opportunities and additional information can be found at on Illinois EPA’s Nonpoint Source Grants webpage. Applications for the Section 319(h) Grant program will be accepted March 13, 2024, through 12:00 PM (CST) on May 1, 2024. Applicants must apply through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

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