NonPoint Source Guidelines

 SUBJECT: Final Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories
  FROM:       Denise Keehner, Director
                    Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds
 TO:             State and Territorial Water Division Directors and § 319 Program Directors
 
 Attached are the final guidelines for the Clean Water Act § 319 grant program, which replace the Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories that have been in effect since the federal fiscal year (FY) 2004 grant cycle. These guidelines are applicable for FY 2014 grant awards and subsequent § 319 grant awards. EPA recognizes and appreciates that some states are choosing to implement aspects of these new guidelines in FY13.
 These final guidelines provide updated program direction, an increased emphasis on watershed project implementation to restore impaired waters, increased accountability measures and appropriate flexibility for state programs. The guidelines also emphasize the importance of states updating their NPS management programs to ensure that § 319 funds are targeted to the highest priority activities.
 The guidelines were developed following a process that included state and EPA workgroups, national meetings, stakeholder outreach, and a 5-week public comment period. Many commenters expressed support for aspects of the guidelines including the continued focus on restoring impaired waters with flexibility to protect unimpaired waters, realignment of the § 319 funding structure, and the 5-year interval for updating NPS management programs. Changes to the guidelines in response to public comments include a more refined approach to monitoring associated with implementation of the USDA National Water Quality Initiative, reducing specificity of information required for § 319-funded TMDLs, and providing additional flexibility for alternatives to nine-element watershed-based plans. Attached is a summary of key guidelines provisions on which a number of commenters expressed questions or concerns, and where EPA has made changes as a result. A list of commenters is also attached. 
 We appreciate the input received during the development of these guidelines. In lieu of announcing the availability of these final guidelines through a Federal Register notice, EPA is providing notice to Clean Water Act § 319 grant recipients through this memorandum.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 202-566-1566, (keehner.denise@epa.gov), or have your staff contact Lynda Hall, Chief of the Nonpoint Source Control Branch, at 202-566-1210 (hall.lynda@epa.gov).
“Attached are the final guidelines”