Natural Resources

Efficiently and responsibly managing and protecting our water and land resources for the sustainability, health, safety, and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas

Nonpoint Source Management

NPS Annual Meeting 2022 Presentations

Morning Session: Overviews and Updates

9:30-10:00           Onsite registration and check-in near the entrance to Lecture Hall

10:00-10:10         NRD: Tate Wentz, Welcome and Conference Overview

10:10-10:40:        NRD: Tate Wentz and Savannah Howell, Overview of the Water Quality Section and NPS Program
in Arkansas
, including cost-share programs

10:40-11:00         Philip Massirer, FTN Associates: Update of the Priority Watershed Matrix

11:00-11:30         Jim Drake, EPA: Update on the Federal NPS Pollution Program

11:30-12:30         Lunch (free)

Afternoon Session: Experiences from the field; Project descriptions; What went well, what didn't, and lessons learned

12:30-1:00           Robbie Alberson, City of Conway: Conway’s Low Impact Development Project 

1:00-1:30              Matt Van Eps, Watershed Conservation Resource Center: Bank Stabilization Project on the West
Fork of the White River at Brentwood

1:30-2:00              Becky Roark, Beaver Watershed Alliance: Low Impact Development Efforts

2:00-2:15              Break

2:15-2:45              John Pennington, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension: Watershed Stewardship
Education Outreach

2:45-3:15              NRD: Wrap-up, Moving Forward


What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

Nonpoint source pollution results from rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and even our underground sources of drinking water. Unlike pollution from direct sources, such as industrial plants, NPS pollution can come from many diffuse sources.

Potential sources of NPS Pollution include:

  • Excess fertilizers and chemicals from agricultural lands, residential, and urban areas
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock and animal wastes
  • Hydro-modification

The Arkansas Natural Resources Division (ANRD) is responsible for developing and implementing the state's Non-point Source (NPS) Pollution Management (319) Program. This program is a cooperative effort of many local, state, and federal agencies.

What is the NPS 319 Grant Program?

Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act provides federal funding through the Environmental Protection Agency to states to reduce and control NPS pollutants. ANRD’s Nonpoint Source Program accepts project proposals to select recipients for 319 grant funding. Projects may include the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), demonstrations of effective techniques, technical assistance, education, and monitoring.

Who is eligible for 319 Grant funding?

Recipients eligible for funding must be non-profit organizations (documented and recognized), state or local government agencies, or academic institutions. Federal agencies are ineligible for 319 grant awards. Recipients must provide a minimum of 40% non-federal match (in-kind or cash).

The NPS program uses its NPS Program Management Plan and the EPA 319 Grant Guidance as part of the criteria for selecting grant recipients.

Priority Watersheds

319 funds are targeted to priority watersheds with EPA-accepted 9 Element Watershed Management Plans (WMPs). The priority watersheds were designated using a risk assessment matrix process and through nonpoint source stakeholders. The current priority watersheds for 2018-2023 are as follows:

Additionally, funds may be spent in other watersheds with 9 Element WMPs:

Nonpoint Source Management Plan

ANRD’s Nonpoint Source Program oversees the development and revision of the 5-year Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan. The Plan was created in cooperation with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center and Crop, Soil, and Environment Science staff. Revisions of the 2018-2023 Plan are currently underway.

Why Fund Watershed Projects?

Watershed projects promote understanding of the full range of stressors in a watershed—physical, chemical, and biological—that may be affecting aquatic life and human health. When all significant sources and stressors are understood, the program and subsequent projects are better able to focus on those controls that are more likely to produce measurable improvements in ecosystem health.

Administratively, watershed projects are highly efficient. They encourage local and statewide cooperating entities to focus staff and financial resources on prioritized geographic locations and facilitate coordination of resources among interested parties. Also, they provide local agencies with an opportunity to take leadership roles in ecosystem protection. Individual watershed projects provide a statewide proving ground for innovative approaches as new models are developed and new watershed-level management approaches are tried.

Finally, watershed projects encourage local agencies and citizen groups to get involved either by participating in state or federal projects or by starting their own watershed projects. Projects create a sense of ownership within the project area and engender enthusiasm that will carry forward to new initiatives.

The elements of an effective watershed project are:

Building a Project Team and Public Support:
Developing effective institutional arrangements and ownership of the project by stakeholders.

Defining the Problem:
Developing an inventory of the watershed and its problems and conducting baseline monitoring.

Setting Goals and Identifying Solutions:
Developing project goals, a list of management measures, and a detailed plan for their implementation.

Implementing Controls:
Obtaining funding, securing commitments, and installing controls.

Measuring Success and Making Adjustments:
Documenting success in meeting goals, monitoring, changing management measures as needed, and ensuring project continuity.

Related ANRD Programs That Address NPS Pollution:
Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program
Arkansas Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Wetland & Riparian Zones Tax Credit Program

Annual 319 Program Timeline

October/November: ANRD’s NPS Program issues Request for Proposals or workplans

December/January: NPS Program staff work with partners to strengthen workplans

End of January: Completed workplans are due

February: Workplans are sent to EPA for comment

April/May: EPA sends back comments; comments are addressed

July/August: NPS Program prepares sub-grant agreements (contracts) for project partners

September: Sub-grant agreements are signed

Beginning of October: Projects begin

FY2024 Grant Schedule and Materials

Project proposals for Fiscal Year (FY)2022 have already been accepted and workplans are being finalized. Projects will begin in October 2022.

FY2023 is our administrative year, and we will not be accepting new project proposals. As the program does not receive any state funding, the NPS Program utilizes every fifth year of funding to fund the administrative capacity of the program. Additionally, this allows us to finalize projects and update the NPS Management Plan as we near the end of our 5-year cycle.

We will be issuing a Request for Proposals in October 2023 for FY2024 projects.


FY2022 Workplan Guidance

FY2022 Workplan Template

FY2022 Workplan Evaluation Criteria

Click here to access the NPS Project Mapper

For more information contact:
Tate Wentz, Water Quality Section Manager
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Division
10421 W. Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Phone: (501) 682-3914 Fax: (501) 682-3991