FRANKFORT - The state announced on Tuesday the awarding of $2.9 million in a federal grant to 11 communities and organizations around Kentucky for the development of watershed management plans and implementation of nonpoint source pollution controls. “Protection of our water resources is fundamental to our environment, our economy and good public health,” Gov. Beshear said. “These grants will fund efforts to help control pollution from sediment, pesticides and other substances that run off our land when it rains.”
The projects will be funded under Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act and administered by the Kentucky Division of Water.
Nonpoint source pollution is also known as runoff or diffuse pollution. Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground, according to the Division of Water.
As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and even underground aquifers. Nonpoint source pollution is the number one contributor to water pollution in Kentucky, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the water quality impairments in Kentucky’s streams and lakes, according to the agency.
Examples of nonpoint source pollutants include:
-Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas.
-Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff.
Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crops, forestlands and eroding stream banks.
-Acid drainage from abandoned coal mines.
-Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems.
-The Division of Water received 33 grant project proposals that underwent a multi-agency ranking process. Of those, 20 were invited to apply for the federal fiscal year 2011 funding. The 11 projects selected for funding must provide 40 percent in nonfederal funds.
Projects selected for funding include the following:
1. Watershed Watch in Kentucky: Volunteer Training Upgrades and Support
Develop and implement a training program to standardize proper sampling techniques for water sampling by volunteers throughout Kentucky. Grant recipient: Watershed Watch in Kentucky Inc. Federal grant: $264,174. Non-federal match: $176,116.
2. Franklin County Judicial Center Green Streets Demonstration Project
Treat and control storm water generated at the new judicial center in Frankfort using environmentally sustainable methods and conduct education and outreach on green infrastructure practices. Grant recipient: Franklin County Fiscal Court. Federal grant: $228,900. Non-federal match: $152,600.
3. Chautauqua Park’s Green Solution to Pollution
Implement best management practices at an Owensboro park to improve water quality and educate the community. Grant recipient: Regional Water Resource Agency. Federal grant: $93,358. Non-federal match: $62,239.
4. Lost River Cave Wetland and Valley (Bowling Green)
Improve general public awareness of the sources, transport, fate, management and prevention of nonpoint source pollution and encourage changes in attitude about personal responsibility for a healthy environment. Grant recipient: Friends of the Lost River Inc. Federal grant: $31,391. Non-federal match: $20,928.
5. Kentucky Stream Restoration Manual
Develop a stream restoration manual based on existing restoration design methods that address the characteristics of Kentucky. Grant recipient: University of Louisville Research Foundation. Federal grant: $372,408. Non-federal match: $248,272.
6. Implement Best Management Practices on Timber Harvests in Kentucky
Evaluate the timber harvesting industry for compliance with the Forest Conservation Act and use the information to make improvements to logger and ranger training. Grant recipient: Kentucky Division of Forestry. Federal grant: $79,330. Non-federal match: $52,886.
7. Hinkston Creek Watershed-Based Plan Implementation Project (Bath, Bourbon, Montgomery and Nicholas counties)
Install targeted best management practices to address water quality issues and provide public education on ways to improve water quality in the watershed. Grant recipient: Tetra Tech Inc. Federal grant: $452,042. Non-federal match: $301,361.
8. Agricultural Best Management Practices in the Hanging Fork and Clark’s Run Watersheds
Address water quality concerns within the Dix River Watershed by implementing the approved Clarks Run and Hanging Fork watershed plans by installing agricultural best management practices in targeted areas of the watersheds. Grant recipient: Lincoln County Conservation District. Federal grant: $194,400. Non-federal match: $129,600.
9. Sinking Creek Water Quality Sediment and Habitat Investigation (Laurel County)
Develop a watershed data analysis report for Sinking Creek that will provide a scientific foundation for a watershed-based plan that protects existing high-quality habitat in the watershed and improves the impaired reaches. Grant recipient: Cumberland Valley RD&D Council. Federal grant: $499,516. Non-federal match: $333,011.
10. Coarse Sediment Assessment and Stream Restoration Design Alternatives for Upper Kinniconick Creek (Lewis County)
Develop a sediment-focused watershed plan for Kinniconick Creek and stream restoration conceptual design for the impacted stream reach, which will restore local and downstream aquatic habitat and provide landowners with opportunities to implement sustainable land-use practices. Grant recipient: Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. Federal grant: $342,881. Non-federal match: $228,587.
11. Little Laurel River Watershed – Watershed Plan Implementation
Continue implementation of the approved Corbin City Reservoir watershed-based plan. Grant recipient: City of London, Kentucky. Federal grant: $150,000. Non-federal match: $100,000.