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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories

Indian Nations

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Project Accomplishments and Long-term Plans



In the 1987 reauthorization of the Clean Water Act, Congress added sections 319 and 518 to help states, territories, and tribes respond to problems caused by nonpoint source pollution. Section 319 established baseline requirements for state and territorial nonpoint source management programs and authorized national funding to support implementation of approved management programs. Section 518 authorized EPA to treat federally recognized Indian tribes in the same manner as states, and to grant up to one-third of 1 percent of national 319 grant funds to tribes ($330,000 annually).

EPA annually awards section 319 grants to tribes that submit approved nonpoint source assessments and management plans. Each grant awarded under section 319 requires a 40 percent nonfederal match. If a tribe demonstrates a special financial need, however, EPA may, and frequently does, approve a 10 percent nonfederal match. As of fiscal year 1997, 11 tribes have qualified for and received section 319 grants.

Tribal section 319 projects have resulted in many successes, but many tribal programs are still planning for nonpoint source programs. Tribal Success Stories showcase the reduced sediment loadings on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina, the improved water quality in trout streams on the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon, the reduced nutrient loadings on the Tampa and Brighton Reservations of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and others. More Success Stories preview the plans of tribes that are new to the section 319 program; many have received their first section 319 grant in the past year.


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