Water: Polluted Runoff
Clean Water Act Section 319
Explore Polluted Runoff
(Nonpoint Source Pollution)
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On this Page
- Applying for & Administering Grants
- Current Guidance
- Past Guidance
- Reports & Project Summaries
- Contacts & Websites
The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.
Section 319 of the Clean Water Act
Text of Section 319 from the CWA.
Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grant Funding History
Table listing grant funding totals starting in 1990.
Applying for and Administering 319 Grants
Process for Applying for 319(h) Funds
This page provides background information on securing 319(h) funds.
Applying for and Administering CWA Section 319 Grants: A Guide for State Nonpoint Source Agencies
This manual provides an overview of federal grant requirements that will guide state and territory nonpoint source agency staff when applying for and administering grants awarded under the Clean Water Act Section 319.
Information for Tribal 319 Grants
This page includes information on nonpoint source grant funding for tribes, tribal nonpoint source workshops and other tribal-specific resources.
Section 319 Grants Reporting and Tracking System (GRTS)
The Grants Reporting and Tracking System (GRTS) is the primary tool for management and oversight of the EPA’s Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Control Program.
Current Section 319 Grant Guidance
- Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories (PDF) (78 pp, 762K)
These guidelines are applicable for FY 2014 and subsequent section 319 grant awards.
- Guidance on the key components of an effective state nonpoint source (NPS) management program (PDF) (7 pp, 73K)
This 2012 guidance is an update to guidance issued by EPA in 1997. This guidance will assist states and territories in their efforts to update their programs. The state’s written NPS management program is the roadmap for all state NPS program activities. Updates to these state nonpoint source programs are vital to ensure that section 319 funding, technical support and other resources are directed in an effective and efficient manner to support state efforts to address water quality issues.
- (4 pp, 154K)
This May 9, 2013 memorandum issues guidance on grants streamlining specific to the national Clean Water Act section 319 Nonpoint Source program and provides national program expectations regarding the rate of expenditure of funds by the states.
Past Section 319 Grant Guidance
Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories (Oct. 23, 2003) | PDF Version (22 pp, 133K)
These guidelines applied to grants appropriated by Congress in Fiscal Years 2004 through 2013.
- Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants to States and Territories in FY 2003
- Modifications to Nonpoint Source Reporting Requirements for Section 319 Grants
- Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants to States and Territories in FY 2002 and Subsequent Years
- Supplemental Guidelines for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2001
- Supplemental Guidance for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2000
- Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidance for Fiscal Year 1997 and Future Years
- Process and Criteria for Funding State and Territorial Nonpoint Source Management Programs in FY 1999
- Funding the Development and Implementation of Watershed Restoration Action Strategies under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (FY 1999)
- Process for Approval of Upgraded State and Territorial Nonpoint Source Management Programs and Formal Recognition of Enhanced Benefit Status (FY 1997)
- Guidance on the Use of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Authorities to Address Management Needs for Lakes and Reserviors (issued in 1998)
- Questions and Answers on the Relationship Between the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program and the Section 314 Clean Lakes Program
Reports and Project Summaries
A National Evaluation of the Clean Water Act Section 319 Program (November 2011) (PDF) (194 pp, 2.5MB)
This national program evaluation was conducted by EPA to improve understanding of how states utilize and leverage their 319 funds to achieve nonpoint source management program goals and to identify opportunities for improvement of the 319 program.
Section 319 Nonpoint Source Success Stories
This site demonstrates the successful implementation of the Section 319 Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source program. The site provides examples of successful solutions to a variety of water quality problems caused by nonpoint source pollution.
Section 319 Final Project Reports (PDF) (101 pp, 3.3MB)
This document describes the purpose of Section 319 final reports, the information that should be included in the report, examples of especially effective elements from 319 reports, and ways to expand the final report to be used for outreach and education, building partnerships, and many other uses.
Section 319 National Monitoring Program
Projects that comprise a small subset of NPS pollution control projects funded under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act as amended in 1987. The goal of the program is to support 20–30 watershed projects nationwide that meet a minimum set of project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation requirements designed to lead to successful documentation of project effectiveness with respect to water quality protection or improvement.
Section 319 Nonpoint Source National Monitoring Program Successes and Recommendations (November 2000, pre-print) (PDF) (36 pp, 2.2MB)
The Section 319 National Monitoring Program projects have quantified water quality improvements from nonpoint source controls and strengthened strategies for effective future watershed programs. Highlights are given from 23 Section 319 National Monitoring Program projects.
Nonpoint Sources: Picking Up the Pace
EPA's Draft Proposed National Strategy for Strengthening Nonpoint Source Management, prepared for Presentation by EPA at the Wye River Conference Center to a Meeting of Stakeholders in the National Nonpoint Source Program on October 14, 1997. (Archived.)
Building Capacity for Nonpoint Source Management (September 2003) (PDF) (61 pp, 1.1MB)
The case studies included in this document from September 2003 highlight watershed groups, local governments, and organizations engaged in innovative approaches for building capacity, such as group building and organization (establishing partnerships and soliciting volunteers), organizing capital resources and fiscal management (obtaining private grants and federal funding), and using technical and specialized resources (using experts, developing innovative projects, procuring office space and equipment, etc.).
Nonpoint Source Minigrants (May 2001) (PDF) (38 pp, 93K)
This report from May 2001 describes mini-grants programs used by various states, local agencies, and non-profit organizations to implement efforts to address nonpoint source pollution and to protect or restore watersheds. Many of these are implemented as sub-awards, through state grant or contract mechanisms, of funds received by the state as part of an EPA grant under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Others are purely state-funded. In addition, the report closes with some examples of similar mini-grants used by estuary programs in the National Estuary Program under Section 320 of the CWA. The report is a product of the Grants Workgroup of the state-EPA Nonpoint Source Partnership.
Nonpoint Source Program Contacts and Websites for States, Territories, Tribes and EPA Regions
- The Where You Live page contains lists of nonpoint source program contacts for states, territories, tribes, and EPA Regions as well as links to state, territory, and EPA Regional websites.