6/26/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron

Ohio EPA Seeks to Fund Water Quality Improvement and Restoration Projects

Approximately $2.5 million in Clean Water Act grants for stream restoration and water quality improvement projects is available through Ohio EPA. The application deadline is July 25, 2014.

Groups eligible to apply include:

  • local municipalities, counties and townships;
  • county and municipal park districts;
  • soil and water conservation districts;
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and watershed organizations;
  • watershed groups with local government sponsorship; and
  • state agencies with land management responsibilities.

Projects designed to restore impaired waters and reduce nonpoint source pollution in streams where such pollutants are adversely affecting aquatic life will be given priority. A local 40 percent match of total project costs is required for these grants. 

Types of eligible projects include:

  • stream restoration and/or dam removal/modification projects;
  • wetland restoration and/or renaturalization;
  • innovative storm water demonstration projects;
  • inland lake management and restoration;
  • targeted agricultural best management practices;
  • acid mine drainage abatement;
  • riparian habitat restoration; and
  • riparian and wetland protection (in high quality waters).

Only projects that are proposed in watersheds with approved Total Maximum Daily Load Studies (TMDLs) and/or state-endorsed watershed action plans may be considered for grant funding. Applications also must include project-specific educational and public outreach activities describing how the successes of the project will be communicated throughout the affected community.

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairment in the United States. Projects that eliminate such impairments and/or restore impaired waters will score significantly higher in the review process and receive more favorable consideration than general NPS pollution prevention projects.

Also known as polluted runoff, NPS pollution is caused by rain or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, picking up natural and human-made pollutants and depositing them in lakes, rivers, wetlands and other waterways. Polluted runoff can have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife. In 1987, Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act amendments created a national grant program to control NPS pollution. Ohio EPA administers this grant program with funding from U.S. EPA, distributing more than $3 million each year to projects proposed by local governments and community organizations.

More information about the grants is available online.

Completed applications may be mailed or delivered to Russ Gibson, NPS Program Manager, or Martha Spurbeck, Ohio EPA/Division of Surface Water, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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