In 1990, Congress established the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program (CNPCP) under Section 6217 of the CZARA to encourage better coordination between state coastal zone managers and water quality experts to reduce polluted runoff in the coastal zone. Despite Oregon’s strong environmental laws, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced they intend to disapprove Oregon’s CNPCP and to withhold important federal grant funding. This pending disapproval is being driven by a 2012 settlement agreement made without agriculture or other natural resource partners at the table. Oregon is now being expected to comply with litigation from this settlement agreement rather than basing important management decisions on sound science and what is in the best interests of Oregonians.
Disapproval of Oregon’s CNPCP would mean a loss of $1.2 million that is used for restoration and improvement projects in Oregon in 2014/2015. Over time, it would mean the loss of up to $2 million each year that is being used by Oregon, and in particular, soil and water conservation districts (SWCD), for restoration and improvement projects. Oregon needs your help to ensure that funding for water developments, programs, and restoration important to farms and ranches are protected.
CLICK HERE to read OCA’s statement in response to the release of “Notice of Intent to Find that Oregon has Failed to Submit an Approvable Coastal Nonpoint Program (78 FR 77104)”.
The EPA and NOAA are accepting comments on their drafted disapproval of Oregon’s CNPCP, titled “Notice of Intent to Find that Oregon has Failed to Submit an Approvable Coastal Nonpoint Program (78 FR 77104)”, through March 20th, 2014. Please consider submitting comments that highlight the progress of Oregon’s CNPCP. While this program is titled for the coast, the effects of a disapproval will extend to many other water quality programs in Oregon (such as Oregon’s Agricultural Water Quality Management Program).