Nonpoint Source

Nonpoint source pollution is a type of water pollution that is not generated from a discrete conveyance, such as a discharge pipe, but is generated during rainfall events. Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) required that the states develop a NPS Management Plan to reduce and control nonpoint sources of pollution from the various types of land-uses that contribute to water quality problems across the United States. Some of these categories can also be defined as point source discharges and may require a storm water permit. Louisiana determined that agriculture, forestry, urban runoff, home sewage systems, sand and gravel mining, construction and hydromodification all contribute to nonpoint source pollution problems across the state. Nonpoint source pollution is the largest remaining type of water pollution that needs to be addressed within Louisiana and across the nation in order to restore the designated uses (i.e. fishing and swimming) to the impaired water bodies.

Louisiana’s NPS Program is managed by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), and is a collaborative effort that includes many partners. Our goal is to educate people about NPS pollution and best management practices (BMPs) that can be implemented to reduce and control this type of pollution. The State of Louisiana has applied for and received Section 319 funds to implement both statewide and watershed projects to address nonpoint source pollution.

NPS Management Plans

Section 319(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires the Governor of each State to prepare and submit to the Administrator of USEPA a management program which the State proposes to implement for controlling nonpoint sources (NPS) of pollution and improving navigable waters in the State. Section 319 (b)(2) describes basic elements (A-F) of an approvable NPS Management Program, including:

  1. A description of best management practices (BMPs) to be implemented to reduce NPS pollutants from each category identified in the State as contributing to water quality impairment, taking into account potential impacts on ground water;
  2. A description of management programs (including as appropriate, regulatory or non-regulatory) utilized to achieve implementation of BMPs described in paragraph A;
  3. A schedule of milestones to achieve implementation of BMPs and programs described in paragraphs A and B;
  4. A certification by the Attorney General of the State or Chief Legal Counsel of the State Water Pollution Control Agency of adequate authority to implement paragraphs A, B and C of Section 319(b)(2);
  5. A description of federal and other assistance that will be utilized to implement the state’s NPS Management Program other than assistance provided through Section 319(h) of the CWA;
  6. An identification of other Federal Financial Assistance Programs or development projects the State will review for their affect on water quality and consistency with the State’s NPS Management Program.

The State of Louisiana complied with Section 319(b) (2) and received approval from Administrator of USEPA on November 21, 2012 for the State’s 2012 NPS Management Plan.

Integrated Reports (305(b)/303(d))

Source Water Protection 

The Source Water Assessment Program was required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 to determine the potential susceptibility of public water supply systems to contamination.  The state's source water assessment plan document was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1999 and the mandated completion date for all assessments was May 6, 2003.  Although the work on the program took place from 2000 - 2003, information obtained during the assessments serves as the foundation for the Drinking Water Protection Program.  Assessments will continue to be conducted for new or expanding water systems.

Education Outreach

Annual Reports

Master Farmer Program

The Louisiana Master Farmer Program focuses on helping agricultural producers voluntarily address environmental concerns as well as helping them enhance the production and resource management skills they need for the continued sustainability of Louisiana agriculture. The program helps producers across a wide range of agricultural and natural resource enterprises by teaching them more about environmental stewardship, conservation-based production techniques and resource management. The program uses a comprehensive approach that includes classroom instruction, observation of LSU AgCenter research-based best management practices and implementation of a comprehensive conservation plan. It also involves a voluntary producer certification process.

Success Stories

The EPA Nonpoint Source Success Stories web site features stories about primarily nonpoint source-impaired waterbodies where restoration efforts have led to documented water quality improvements.

Watershed Implementation Plans

WIPs are developed to describe water quality problems and potential solutions to reduce and/or prevent NPS pollution and restore designated uses (such contact recreation and fish and wildlife propagation) in a watershed. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued guidance to States in 2004 of nine (9) key elements of an acceptable WIP, which is required for utilization of incremental or project funds provided to states through Section 319(h) of the CWA. These nine (9) key elements include:

  1. Identify causes and sources of NPS pollution that will need to be controlled in the watershed to improve water quality and restore designated uses;
  2. Estimate load reductions expected from management measures (BMPs) implemented to reduce NPS pollutants identified in paragraph
  3. Describe NPS management measures (BMPs) necessary to achieve load reductions described in paragraph
  4. Estimate the amount of technical and financial assistance necessary to achieve management measure implementation in the watershed;
  5. Describe the type of educational-outreach activities necessary to reduce NPS pollution and improve water quality in the watershed;
  6. Include a schedule for implementing NPS management measures identified in the WIP;
  7. Describe interim, measurable milestones for determining effectiveness of the WIP in reducing NPS pollution and improving water quality;
  8. Include a set of criteria that can be utilized to determine whether NPS load reductions are being achieved and water quality is being restored (i.e. meeting water quality standards);
  9. Describe the monitoring program that will be utilized to evaluate progress in reducing NPS pollution and improving water quality.

The State of Louisiana developed WIPs to reduce NPS pollution and restore water quality. Our active WIPs are available here.

To request a visit to your school please send a request to crisalda.adams@la.gov

For More information visit EPA Region 6 Website

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