EPA offers grants

Published 1:22 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

COLUMBUS — As tight budgets cramp local governments’ environmental agendas, Ohio EPA is stepping up to help. Local stream restoration and water quality projects targeted at nonpoint source pollution may qualify for up to $400,000 in grant funding per round. Meetings are set around the state to educate potential grant applicants.

Many problems with Ohio’s rivers and streams can be traced to man-made modifications to stream flow, alteration of streamside habitat and contaminants from nonpoint sources – such as runoff from construction sites, urban areas and agricultural lands. In 1987, the federal Clean Water Act amendments created a national program to control nonpoint source pollution, established under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.

Ohio’s 319 program provides assistance to local governments, park districts and others who are implementing locally developed watershed action plans or restoring surface waters impaired by nonpoint pollution by implementing recommendations within total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies conducted in their area.

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Up to $400,000 or 60 percent of a project’s cost may be funded using a 319 grant. Information meetings and application workshops are scheduled across the state on the following dates. All meetings start at 10 a.m. and will conclude by noon:

January 28, 2009 — Ohio EPA’s Northwest District Office, 347 N. Dunbridge Road, Bowling Green

January 29, 2009 — Ohio EPA’s Southeast District Office, 2195 Front St., Logan

February 2, 2009 — Ohio EPA’s Southwest District Office, 401 E. Fifth St., Dayton

February 5, 2009 — Ohio EPA’s Northeast District Office, 2110 E. Aurora Road, Twinsburg

February 4, 2009 — Ohio EPA’s Central District Office, Lazarus Government Center,

50 W. Town St., Columbus.