SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim announced the release of two Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) totaling $4.75 million to combat nonpoint source water pollution. These Section 319(h) Clean Water Act grants aim to facilitate watershed-based planning projects and on-the-ground implementation efforts to prevent, mitigate, or remediate surface and groundwater impairments statewide.

“Through the 319 program, Illinois EPA empowers local stakeholders to spearhead innovative, watershed-focused initiatives targeting nonpoint source pollution,” stated Director Kim. “These grants enable municipalities, NGOs, and other entities to strategically develop watershed plans and deploy best management practices that curb the impacts of diffuse pollutant runoff on our aquatic ecosystems.”

Nonpoint source pollution stems from precipitation transporting pollutants from disparate origins into waterways and aquifers. Nationwide, over 60% of water quality degradation traces back to these dispersed, unconfined sources. The U.S. EPA provides funding to states under Clean Water Act Section 319(h) to tackle nonpoint pollution through grant programs like Illinois’.

The $4.75 million allocation will support 2-4 watershed planning projects (up to $750,000) and 12-15 implementation projects putting existing plans into action (up to $4 million). Eligible applicants include local governments and organizations working to safeguard Illinois’ surface and ground waters in rural and urban areas. Fundable activities encompass watershed plan development, updates, outreach, education, and installation of pollution control measures.

Interested parties can find the NOFOs and application details on Illinois EPA’s Nonpoint Source Grants webpage. Applications must be submitted through the GATA Grantee Portal between March 13 – May 1, 2024 at noon CDT. Distribute these announcements widely to prospective applicants.

Information on the grants. Proposals are due May 1, 2024, at noon.

The Fiscal Year 2024 funds are now available online.

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