EPA grants $2.8M to Arizona for water quality management plan

Oct 22, 2022, 5:45 AM

(Fcaebook Photo/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Pacific Southwest )...

(Fcaebook Photo/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Pacific Southwest )

(Fcaebook Photo/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Pacific Southwest )

PHOENIX — The federal government is granting funds to Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii for water quality improvement projects.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that $2,765,000 will be awarded to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to address nonpoint source pollution, which is caused by runoff that picks up natural and man-made pollutants.

The funds are though the 2022 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant Program under the Clean Water Act.

“Arizona appreciates EPA’s continued support of our work to improve the quality of important surface waters,” ADEQ Water Division Director Trevor Baggiore said in a press release. “ADEQ will use these funds to continue surface water remediation projects that are reducing heavy metals in waters near legacy mine sites and reducing E. coli in Oak Creek, a designated Outstanding Arizona Water and popular recreation area.

“Our on-the-ground projects have already produced measurable improvements in surface water quality, including the return of fish and wildlife to these areas and significantly less E. coli in Oak Creek.”

Nonpoint source pollution can impact drinking water, recreation, fisheries and wildlife by contaminating lakes, rivers and groundwater.

Pollutants include fertilizers, oil and grease from urban runoff and acid drainage from mines, according to the EPA.

ADEQ also intends to use the funding to conduct pollution source identification at previously remediated sites, according to the release.

“These grants will do much to advance our shared goal of protecting water resources in Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii,” EPA Regional Administrator Martha Guzman said in the release. “Combined with state matching funds, EPA’s awards will help put into place the best practices needed to reduce runoff-related pollution and improve water quality for our communities.”

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EPA grants $2.8M to Arizona for water quality management plan