Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS)

Nonpoint Source Pollution is a very is a very elusive term for pollution that cannot be “pinned to” an owner.  EPA defines it as:

“Any source of water pollution that does not meet the legal definition of point source in section 502(14) of the Clean Water Act.
The term point source means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include agricultural stormwater discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.  Source: EPA

So…. Unlike a point source pollution discharge from industrial and sewage treatment plant that requires a NPDES permit, nonpoint source (NPS) pollution comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by 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, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.  AMD is considered a nonpoint source pollutant, but also oily runoff from parking lots and nutrient runoff from “over fed” residential lawns can carry nonpoint source pollution to a local water source.

PA’s Nonpoint Source Management Program establishes the overall strategy PA will use to implement watershed restoration and protection activities. This plan can be viewed at PA DEP’s Nonpoint Source Management Page.

EPCAMR has been volunteer member of the PA’s Non-Point Source Liaison Workgroup’s Resource Extraction Sub-Committee since 1997 and for the last two years has served as Chair of the Resource Extraction Sub-Committee. EPCAMR, along with many other resource organizations that are represented on this Sub-Committee, over the years, have submitted goals, objectives, milestones, and successes to the PA DEP NPS Liaison Work Group that have been incorporated into the PA NPS Management Program Updates.


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