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When monitoring and assessment are complete and priorities have been set, mandated and informal planning sets the stage for implementation. Mandated planning activities, such as this document and the comprehensive planning process required of all states by U.S. EPA, has statewide impact. Mandated planning activities can also focus on individual watersheds or the development of TMDLs. Examples include non-mandated planning activities include watershed project plans developed at the local level and diagnostic and feasibility studies carried out under the IDNR Lake and River Enhancement Program.
A work plan outlining planned activities for the subsequent year will be included as part of the annual 319 NPS Grant Program Report. The report will identify section 319-funded projects and BMPs designed to reduce NPS pollution, along with a conceptual implementation schedule. In addition to NPS pollution-control implementation projects, BMP construction, and educational programs, the report will describe the specific activities carried out by IDEM under its base operating program during the same period.
To satisfy Key Element No. 3 in the NPS Program and Grants Guidance issued by U.S. EPA, IDEM uses an approach that emphasizes both statewide NPS programs and on-the-ground management of individual watersheds where waters are impaired and threatened. To do this, the NPS program and the state’s partners advocate a watershed planning process built on local level decision making. This process is useful for project planning watersheds where local citizen groups play a vital role in water resource management. This process is driven primarily by the willingness of local stakeholders to become actively involved in addressing NPS pollution within their watershed. This watershed-by-watershed approach places resources within watersheds where the greatest opportunity for local involvement in both planning and implementation will result in potential measureable improvements to water quality.