FILE - EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it has awarded $3.6 million to North Carolina to combat water pollution.

The federal agency issued the state’s Department of Environmental Quality Section 319 grants to control water quality in 40 watersheds in the state.

“This grant provides another example of the effective partnership between state and federal governments working to address unique environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This grant funds state-led programs that are working for communities throughout North Carolina.”

The EPA grant, the agency says, is part of its effort to keep America’s water safe. The EPA has distributed more than $165 million in Section 319 grants to states, territories and tribes, representatives said. 

The EPA also granted North Carolina $62 million in revolving funds in May.

The news comes one day after Gov. Roy Cooper and 14 other governors sent a letter to Congress demanding more protection for drinking water near military bases.

The governors’ letter requests that the EPA enforce a nationwide drinking water standard and list per-and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals as hazardous substances. 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl can be harmful to humans, according to the EPA. It can cross-contaminate water as a result of a manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant or firefighter training facilities, the agency’s website says.

“States need the federal government to regulate these chemical compounds to protect drinking water for all North Carolinians, especially those who live in and around military installations, ” said Cooper.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for three years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.