The new polluted water list for Tennessee was recently release and parts of the Mulberry Creek and Elk River in Moore County were on it. The east and west forks of Mulberry Creek are listed due to high levels of E. coli from pasture grazing cattle. Both streams are a Category 5, which means one or more uses are not being met and further study is needed for the listed pollutants.
The last time the state 303 list of Impaired Water came out in 2010, both stream were also listed on it.
But there is good news.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting grant proposals for projects that will help improve water quality and reduce or eliminate nonpoint source pollution. The deadline for submitting grant proposals is Dec. 1. Proposals will be evaluated based on program goals and objectives, performance evaluation criteria and applicable EPA nonpoint source grant guidelines.
“Through the Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, we’ve been able to make measurable improvements in water quality in watersheds across Tennessee,” state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We’re seeking local governments and other organizations that we can partner with to address water quality problems and encourage stewardship in both urban and rural areas.”
Local governments, regional agencies, public institutions, private nonprofit organizations and other state agencies are eligible to apply for federal dollars administered by TDA’s Water Resources office. Priority is given to projects that seek to make measurable improvements to waters known to be impaired by nonpoint source pollution.
Nonpoint source pollution is soil, urban runoff, fertilizers, chemicals and other contaminants that come from many different sources and degrades surface and groundwater quality. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation assesses water quality and compiles a list of impaired waters. The list can be found online at http://www.tn.gov/environment/wpc/publications/.
Other priorities for funding include water quality related educational programs, projects that implement an approved Total Maximum Daily Load in a watershed area and projects that reduce urban runoff.
The FY 2013 Request for Proposals can be found online at http://www.TN.gov/agriculture/water/nps.html, or for more information contact TDA’s Nonpoint Pollution Program at 615-837-5306 or Sam.Marshall@TN.gov.•