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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2000

Ryan Announces $50,000 Grant to Aid Water Protection Efforts

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $50,000 grant to the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) to support watershed planning efforts by local entities to improve water quality.

"This is a continuation of my administration's commitment to involve Illinois citizens in the stewardship and monitoring of our air, water, land, and wildlife resources," said Governor Ryan. "This is another example of the strong partnership between state government and local planning agencies."

NIPC will work with local governments, soil and water conservation districts, planning committees, businesses, volunteer organizations and other appropriate groups in developing Watershed Plans. Watersheds that contain nonpoint source pollution control projects funded by the IEPA will be given a priority. According to the U.S. EPA, "nonpoint source pollution occurs when rainfall, snowmelt, or irrigation runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants, and deposits them into rivers, lakes, and coastal waters or introduces them into ground water." Streambank stabilization, for soil erosion control, construction erosion control, and urban stormwater runoff controls, are all projects that can decrease nonpoint source pollution.

Priority will also be given to those communities with polluted waters that are considered "impaired." "Impaired" streams are listed in section 303 (d) of the Clean Water Act. These waters need corrective action to meet water quality expectations. Water quality expectations are based on water chemistry, habitat information and potential for improvement with proper pollution controls and prevention.

The funding comes from the U.S. EPA section 319 financial assistance grant program, which is administered by the Illinois EPA.

NIPC will assist the local groups in compiling data to aid decision-making, identify water quality objectives, develop and implement nonpoint source pollution control practices, and evaluate project performance in meeting the water quality goals.


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