DALLAS — Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for $95,519. The funding will support a variety of water quality programs, including collaboration between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma on the Illinois River watershed. EPA is providing the funding as a multipurpose grant under a cooperative agreement.

“EPA’s multipurpose grants allow recipients to fund issues that are important to them, even if those issues span different program areas, and ADEQ shows how to put that flexibility into action,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Increasing collaboration on the Illinois River watershed will help protect and maintain this vital resource for the people of Arkansas and Oklahoma.”

Under the cooperative agreement, the grant will fund activities that complement and support existing environmental program grants. ADEQ will use the funds to host a forum to promote and enhance the use of fire as an ecosystem management tool, specifically for managing crop residue. The funds will also support collaboration between the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma through development of a data management system for the Illinois River Watershed Steering Committee. The committee will also prepare plans to help manage pollution in the Buffalo River and Beaver Lake watersheds.

EPA multipurpose grants give maximum flexibility to states and tribes so they can determine where funds from this grant program are of most value. Through these grants, EPA and its tribal partners will advance priorities to deliver environmental and public health results across the nation.

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