Nonpoint Source Management

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Click here to view The ANRC 2011-2016 Nonpoint Pollution Management Plan

Click here to view The Arkansas Annual Reports

Nonpoint Source Pollution is defined as rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and even our underground sources of drinking water.

Potential sources of NPS Pollution include:

  • Excess fertilizers and chemicals from agricultural lands, residential, and urban areas
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding streambanks
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock and animal wastes
  • hydro-modification

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission is responsible for developing and implementing the State's Non-point Source (NPS) Pollution Management Program. This program is a cooperative effort of many local, state and federal agencies.

Each year the NPS Management Section receives Federal monies from EPA to fund projects associated with the abatement / reduction or control of NPS pollutants. Projects may include implementation of BMPs, demonstrations of effective techniques, technical assistance, education and monitoring. The NPS program uses the Federal 319 Guidance and their NPS Program Management Plan as part of the criteria for selecting grant recipients. Recipients must provide a minimum of 43% non-federal match (in-kind or cash). Recipients eligible for funding must be non-profit (documented and recognized), State/local government agencies or academic institutions. Federal agencies are ineligible for NPS grant awards.

Funds are targeted to priority watersheds. The priority watersheds were designated by the use of a risk assessment matrix process and the Nonpoint Task Force . The current priority watersheds for 2011-2016 are as follows:

  1. Illinois River
  2. Upper White River
  3. Lake Conway - Point Remove
  4. Bayou Bartholomew
  5. L'Anguille River
  6. Upper Saline
  7. Poteau River
  8. Lower Ouachita - Smackover
  9. Strawberry River
  10. Cache River

There are many NPS issues within the State at this time. Each section of the State has different concerns. The primary concerns by region of the State at this time are as follows:

  • Northwest and West Arkansas - excess nutrients (phosphorous) primarily from animal agriculture. Sediment is also an issue in NW Arkansas due to the accelerated urbanization and construction (residential, commercial, and industrial).
  • East and Southeast Arkansas - sediment from row crop agriculture, thus a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Bayou Bartholomew and L'Anguille River watersheds.
  • North Central and Northeast Arkansas - sediment from poor pastures and nutrients from animal agriculture (cattle).
  • South and Southwest Arkansas - excess nutrients from animal agriculture (poultry and cattle).
  • Statewide -lack of riparian buffers / vegetation, sediment and nutrients in runoff which is not filtered naturally and eroding streambanks deliver excess sediment into streams. Urbanization and increased impervious surfaces which increase velocity and volume of runoff resulting in (hydromodification):
    • unstable streambanks and steambank failure,
    • increased in-stream channel erosion

Need more information?

Visit or contact:

Tony Ramick, Grants Manager
Arkansas Natural Resources Commission
101 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 350
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Phone: (501) 682-3914 Fax: (501) 682-3991