Protecting Public Health and the Environment.
In 1987, Congress established the Nonpoint Source Management Program under section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), to help states address nonpoint source pollution by identifying waters affected by such pollution and adopting and implementing management programs to control it. These programs recommend where and how to use best management practices (BMPs) to prevent runoff from becoming polluted, and where it is polluted, to reduce the amount that reaches surface waters.
DEQ developed Idaho's initial nonpoint source program in 1989 through the coordinated efforts of representatives of numerous organizations having an interest in the management of nonpoint source water pollution. Idaho has ambitiously pursued implementation of its program, dedicating personnel and monetary resources to the advancement of nonpoint source water pollution control activities.
The goal of DEQ's Nonpoint Source Management Program is to prevent and eliminate water pollution from nonpoint sources of water pollution in all waterbodies in the state. The program focuses predominantly on implementing water quality activities prescribed in water body improvement plans known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Activities are designed to protect and restore beneficial uses (such as swimming and fishing) and to prevent significant threats from present and future activities from degrading water quality.
DEQ recognizes that to be successful in the nonpoint source program, the process must be inclusive and driven by local wisdom and experience. DEQ's strategy is to provide support to local sponsors and partners to guide decision-making on local issues. DEQ provides support through local pass-through and sound fiscal management of the §319 grants, scientific-based technical assistance, and integration of related aspects of water management, such as surface and ground water, water quantity and quality, economic development and environmental protection.
In 1996, nine elements were identified by the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as necessary components for successful state nonpoint source programs. As outlined in Idaho's NPS Management Plan, the nine elements adopted by Idaho's NPS Management Program are:
DEQ ensures these elements for planning and implementation are received and incorporated at the local level by providing continuous information, education, and technical support through the designated agencies and their partner agencies, and by insuring involvement of local Basin and Watershed Advisory Groups throughout the NPS process.
The Clean Water Act §319(h) requires EPA to make an annual determination of the adequacy of each state’s progress in meeting the schedule included in approved state NPS Management Plans prior to state award of grant funds. The annual report is the primary mechanism for enabling EPA to determine whether satisfactory progress has been made by the state in meeting the milestones of the NPS Management Program. Annual reports provide detailed accounts of Idaho's progress toward meeting state program goals, including statewide and sector descriptions, TMDL status and implementation tracking, and grant management.
A large majority of funds for NPS projects are passed through to the local level for on-the-ground TMDL implementation projects. DEQ currently oversees approximately 50 active nonpoint source (NPS) regional projects in Idaho. To assure that the projects are completed in a timely manner and achieve their overarching goal of cleaning up and preventing NPS water pollution, all projects are subject to field evaluation by DEQ staff. DEQ's goal is to field evaluate at least half of the projects annually and, over a two-year cycle, to evaluate all ongoing NPS projects.
Annual reports summarizing successful nonpoint source implementation projects and activities throughout the state are submitted to Congress. The reports include case studies demonstrating measurable benefits for designated beneficial uses associated with Idaho waterways and aquifers.
Link to reports at right.
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Nonpoint Source §319 Program CoordinatorDave PisarskiDEQ State OfficeWater Quality Division1410 N. HiltonBoise, ID 83706(208) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nonpoint Source Management §319 Subgrants