St. Tammany Parish, La., to use funds as part of water quality initiative
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the St. Tammany Parish, La., government received a $300,000 cooperative agreement for a project to improve water quality in the Abita River watershed.
The parish has improved wastewater treatment over the past several years by consolidating services into regional wastewater treatment facilities. In areas of the parish where these systems are not yet feasible, the parish, in partnership with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF), will use the grant funds to implement interim solutions for wastewater treatment and help restore water quality in the Abita River watershed.
St. Tammany Parish, in partnership with LPBF will conduct individual sewerage system inspections in areas of St. Tammany Parish, as part of a larger water quality initiative that will use data collected in these inspections and from other sources to determine the best course of action to restore water quality in areas where it is currently deficient. These inspections are one component of this EPA Gulf of Mexico Program-supported grant initiative to study and improve water quality by St. Tammany Parish’s Environmental Services Department.
“This collaborative endeavor between St. Tammany Parish Government Department of Environmental Services and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation gives Parish Government the opportunity to partner with the LPBF and double our resources and our expertise,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish president. “This water quality initiative will have far-reaching positive impacts on public health and water resources that are able to be built upon as we move into the future. This will improve our quality of life, not only now, but into the foreseeable future.”
“We’re pleased to support this project in the Abita River watershed. Understanding environmental stressors is fundamental to protecting these critical resources that are so heavily relied on by the community,” said Ben Scaggs, director, EPA Gulf of Mexico Program.
This cooperative agreement will further the strategic goals and objectives of Gulf of Mexico Program and lead to a healthy and prosperous ecosystem.