FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 16, 2008) The Kentucky Division of Water has announced the award of a $520,947 grant to Third Rock environmental engineering consultants, based in Lexington, for improving water quality and preventing nonpoint source pollution in the Corbin City reservoir watershed in Laurel County. The award includes a $312,568 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and $208,379 in nonfederal matching funds.
"Protection of our water resources is fundamental to our environment,
our economy and good public health," said Robert D. Vance, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. "This grant will fund
efforts to help control pollution from sediment, pesticides and other
substances that run off the land when it rains."
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the primary contributor to water pollution in Kentucky, accounting for approximately two-thirds
of water quality impairments in Kentucky's streams and lakes. Unlike
pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is
caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As
the runoff moves, it picks up and carries pollutants, finally depositing
them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and aquifers.
The rivers and streams of the Corbin City Reservoir watershed have been designated "impaired" by the Kentucky Division of Water due to excessive nutrients, organic enrichment, low dissolved oxygen, algal growth and objectionable taste and odor. The sources of these contaminants include discharge from the London wastewater treatment plant, failing sanitary sewers, stormwater runoff, agricultural and construction activities, abandoned mine lands and streambank erosion.
The goals of the project are to improve stream water quality, enhance aquatic habitat and reduce the pollutant load to the reservoir through implementation of a combination of best management practices. The project builds on the watershed-based plan developed for the Corbin City Reservoir basin in 2003 with funding through a similar grant. In 1987 the federal Clean Water Act amendments created a national program to control nonpoint source pollution, established under Section 319 of the act. Each year, Kentucky receives up to $3.5 million in federal financial assistance for watershed restoration projects and watershed implementation plan development as well as other nonpoint source pollution control projects. Funds can be used to pay for up to 60 percent of the total cost for each project.
In Kentucky, the Division of Water is responsible for administering the
state 319 program. Further information about the Section 319 program is
available at http://water.ky.gov/publicassistance/funding/nps.