Trump budget threatens Lake Erie Nonpoint Source Grants for water pollution
Trump budget threatens Lake Erie Nonpoint Source Grants for water pollution.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate a Great Lakes restoration program has caused the biggest stir, but a second federal program that funds Lake Erie projects also would be killed under terms of the budget request.
The Nonpoint Source Grant program provides funding to states to help them deal with water pollutants, such as algae-feeding phosphorus and stormwater runoff, from sources not regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Kristy Meyer, the managing director of Natural Resources at the Ohio Environmental Council, said she supports the Congressional delegation’s fight on behalf of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but not at the expense of the Nonpoint Source Grant program.
"We need funding for both."
Since 2001, the Ohio EPA has awarded more than $56 million worth of Nonpoint Source grants to fund 256 projects in the state, said EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer.
The state EPA, which oversees the federal program, has awarded nearly $15 million for 77 projects in Northeast Ohio watersheds, including the Cuyahoga, Chagrin, Rocky, and Black rivers, and the Doan Brook, Griesmer said.
This year, the agency plans to award $1.8 million to 11 watershed projects in Northeast Ohio that will receive an additional $1.2 million in local matching funds.
Appropriations committees in both houses will "mark-up" the bills for a vote by the full House and Senate.
Just The Facts The Trump Administration’s budget proposal would kill these Lake Erie protection, restoration and educational programs: The $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; The $165 million Nonpoint Source Grant program; The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s toxic algal bloom forecasting and tracking system, and its Sea Grant Program, which funds the Ohio State Stone Lab on Lake Erie.