Polluted Runoff: Nonpoint Source Pollution

Tribal 319 Grant Program

drawing of dolphinOverview

The EPA offers grants and technical assistance to support tribal environmental programs in assessing and managing their nonpoint source pollution problems and threats. A wide range of activities are eligible for funding under CWA section 319, including but not limited to: NPS training for tribal staff, developing watershed-based plans, riparian planting, livestock exclusion fencing, lake protection and restoration activities, NPS ordinance development, outreach and education, and many more. 

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.   For more information on types and categories of nonpoint source polution  go to the Learn section to the Types of Nonpoint Source water pollution. 

drawing of birdEligibity for 319 Funding

Four eligibility conditions must be met before tribes or intertribal consortia may submit for CWA section 319 funding:

  1. Be federally recognized
  2. Have an approved NPS assessment report in accordance with CWA section 319(a)
  3. Have an approved NPS management program in accordance with CWA section 319(b)
  4. Be approved for treatment in a similar manner as a state (TAS) in accordance with CWA section 518(e)

More detailed information regarding program eligibility can be accessed in the Handbook for Developing and Managing Tribal Nonpoint Source Pollution Program (PDF) (182 pp, 8.6MB), as well as your regional EPA NPS Tribal Coordinator.