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TDA Offers Water Quality Grants to Local Groups

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | 07:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is seeking to partner with other agencies and organizations to fund projects that improve water quality and reduce or eliminate nonpoint source pollution. 

“The purpose of the Nonpoint Source Pollution Program is to make a measurable difference in water quality by reducing runoff of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens.  “This is a great opportunity for local governments and agencies to work with the department in addressing water quality problems and to improve water stewardship in both urban and rural areas.”

Local governments, regional agencies, public institutions, private nonprofit organizations and other state agencies are eligible to apply for federal dollars administered by TDA’s Water Resources office.  Priority is given to projects that seek to make measurable improvements to waters known to be impaired by nonpoint source pollution.

Nonpoint source pollution is soil, urban runoff, fertilizers, chemicals and other contaminants that come from many different sources and that degrade surface and groundwater quality.  The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation assesses water quality and compiles a list of impaired waters.  This information is described in that department’s 2006 303(d) List, which can be found online at http://state.tn.us/environment/wpc/publications/303d2006.pdf.

Other priorities for funding include water quality related educational programs, projects that help offset maximum levels of pollutants in a watershed area, and projects that reduce urban runoff. 

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