South Dakota secures $2.54m grant to enhance water quality

The South Dakota Department of the Environment and Natural Resources has received a grant of $2.54m from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve water quality.

The grant has been awarded under Section 319 of the Nonpoint Source Program Clean Water Act.

It is given to states to execute environmental programmes related to nonpoint source pollution in surface and groundwater to maintain water quality standards.

EPA administrator Pruitt said: “Providing funds directly to South Dakota emphasises the importance of partnering with states to help address their unique and critical environmental challenges.

“EPA is making investments like this grant to help empower states who know best how to protect their natural resources, and grow their economy while solving real environmental problems in local communities.”

Nonpoint source pollutants responsible for South Dakota’s surface water quality issues are pathogens, sediment, and nutrients.

Other sources of such pollution include agricultural runoff, urban runoff, abandoned mine drainage, failing onsite disposal systems, and pollution caused by changes to natural stream channels.

As part of the grants program, EPA has agreed to fund six proposals comprising watershed planning and implementation projects this year.

Since 2006, more than 6,000 miles of streams and over 164,000 acres of lakes have been restored under the programme, with several projects lined up for the near future.