DENR accepting applications for water quality projects

Farm Forum

PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is accepting applications through Oct. 1 for projects eligible for federal Clean Water Act, Section 319 nonpoint source control grants.

DENR officials anticipate approximately $2 million will be available for projects in South Dakota. The federal Environmental Protection Agency grants require 40 percent local match.

Eligible applicants include governmental agencies; state government subdivisions, such as conservation districts, water development districts, counties and municipalities; universities; certain nonprofit organizations; and federally recognized Indian tribes. Other groups may participate by applying through one of the eligible entities as a project partner.

Entities interested in applying for Section 319 grant funds by the Oct. 1 deadline are encouraged to contact DENR at (605) 773-4254 or obtain application guidance at

Section 319 of the federal Clean Water Act provides grants to reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources, such as polluted runoff from urban, agricultural and forest lands. DENR historically has used the Section 319 funds primarily to develop and implement projects designed to reduce nonpoint source pollution to meet Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). South Dakota water bodies in need of TMDLs are listed in the “2014 Integrated Report for Surface Water Quality Assessment.” A copy of the report is available from the DENR website at

Nonpoint source pollution originates from many sources, including heavily fertilized lawns, urban runoff that carries street and pet wastes, agricultural fields, small livestock operations and natural sources, such as highly erosive soils. The primary nonpoint source pollutants in South Dakota are sediment, phosphorus, nitrogen and fecal coliform bacteria.