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Release Date: 10/10/2000
Contact Information: Leo Kay, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-2201

     SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Hawaii's plan to control polluted runoff, leading the way for a $763,000 EPA grant targeted to restoring impaired watersheds in Hawaii.

     Hawaii's plan addresses all key elements the EPA and the states laid out in a 1996 EPA guidance document.  The state upgraded its nonpoint source program by integrating polluted runoff control programs under the Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendment.  The Hawaii Department of Health and the state's Coastal Zone Management program have joint responsibility for this polluted runoff control program.

     "Controlling pollution before it gets into the streams and coastal waters will protect Hawaii's many ahupua'a areas from the mountains to the sea," said Felicia Marcus, EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.  "This grant money will translate into safer, cleaner water throughout the state."

     Nonpoint source pollution or polluted runoff includes rain that washes motor oil off roadways, garden watering that flushes fertilizers or pesticides down the storm drain and sediment from construction sites and agricultural land washing into waterways.   Polluted runoff is among the most significant causes of water quality problems in Hawaii and across the country.  Controlling this source of water pollution is difficult because it doesn't flow from any single point, but flows over land carrying pollutants to the nearest stream or coastal water.

     The new state plan contains strategies, goals and objectives for protecting surface and ground water, strengthening partnerships with agencies and communities, and providing a balance between statewide and watershed approaches to environmental protection.  It also identifies ways to address water quality problems, as well as keeping Hawaii's water clean in the future.

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     Visit the EPA's web page on the Hawaii Polluted Runoff Program: