Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

Environmental Program

319 Nonpoint Source Pollution

William Houle

106 Water Quality Technician/319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Coordinator

P.O. Box 900

Phone: (701) 477-0407

houlewilliam@yahoo.com

  

Clean Water Act Section 319

Background Information  

    The 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act (CWA) established the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program. Section 319 addresses the need for greater federal leadership to help focus state and local nonpoint source efforts. Under Section 319, states, territories and tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint source implementation projects.

 

  

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution

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Motor oil is one source of nonpoint source pollution. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)       

 

Nonpoint source pollution generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage or hydrologic modification. The term "nonpoint source" is defined to mean any source of water pollution that does not meet the legal definition of "point source" in section 502(14) of the Clean Water Act. That definition states:

The term "point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.

Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, nonpoint source (NPS) pollution 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.

Nonpoint source pollution can include:

  • Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas
  • Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
  • Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems
  • Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification

States report that nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. The effects of nonpoint source pollutants on specific waters vary and may not always be fully assessed. However, we know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries and wildlife.

 

List of documents can be attanded from the Turtle Mountain Environmental Program.

NPS Management Program Plan for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (process of being revised)

NPS Assessment Report for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (process of being revised)

Water Quality Modeling & Phosphorus Loading Analysis of Belcourt Lake Watershed September 25, 2012

Environmental Program Website: sample sites, data, layers.

 


PO Box 900 Belcourt, North Dakota 58316
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