Led by the OCC Water Quality Division, the Oklahoma 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program is responsible for identifying, prioritizing, and managing waters in Oklahoma impacted by nonpoint source pollution, such as sediment, nutrients, and animal waste. The Program is an interagency collaborative effort guided by the Nonpoint Source Working Group.
Chaired by the OCC, the NPS Working Group is made up of federal, state and local agencies, environmental and landowner groups, and Indian tribes. The Nonpoint Source Working Group identifies priorities where funds and technical assistance will be directed, often in the form of water quality restoration projects in priority watersheds. Water quality projects are also collaborative efforts often involving federal, state, and local agencies, conservation districts, tribes, and private citizens. The OCC uses education, assessment, planning, and cost-share programs to implement water quality restoration projects under the NPS Program.
Funding for the NPS Program comes from Section 319 Clean Water Act grants through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and from State funds allocated yearly by the Oklahoma Legislature. Private landowners also contribute to the program through conservation cost-share programs. Under these incentive programs, State monies and contributions from landowners are matched by federal funds set aside for soil and water conservation. These funds are used to plan and develop projects.
Planning and developing projects requires a multifaceted approach essential to an effective Nonpoint Source Pollution Program. A fundamental component of the program is the NPS Management Program Plan. The Plan organizes current and future efforts while providing guidance to participating agencies.
For each project, numerous reports are also written to fulfill EPA guidelines and track project planning and implementation.