What is Section 319 Funding for Nonpoint Source Control?
In 1987, Congress passed Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of pollution. In its guidance for the 319 program, the EPA defines nonpoint source pollution as “caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground and carrying natural and human-made pollutants into lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, estuaries, other coastal waters, and ground water. Atmospheric deposition and hydrologic modification are also sources of nonpoint pollution.” The program is applied differently in every state. It has generally focused on specific projects. As a response to Clinton’s Clean Water Action Plan, announced in 1998, the 319 program is supposed to stress a watershed-based approach to nonpoint source management. This approach can include protection or restoration of wetlands and riparian areas to reduce nonpoint source pollution. Section 319 makes grant money available for projects that attempt to reduce nonpoint source pollution