EPA lauds anti-pollution efforts of South Carolina officials

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended its congratulations to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), along with local farmers and landowners, for work done to improve water quality in the Enoree River watershed. For the first time since the late '90s, two out of six areas in the river and its tributaries meet state bacteria water quality standards.

EPA Regional Water Division Director Jim Giattina stated, "The EPA applauds SCDHEC, farmers and landowners for improving water quality in the Enoree River watershed and providing additional recreational opportunities in the area. EPA's funding of this type of work helps us to accomplish our goal of making a visible difference in the health and the environment of communities in the southeast."

Work on the lower Enoree River began in 2006, and covered approximately 195,417 acres. The EPA provided grant funds through a partnership with the SCDHEC, and other partners supplied technical assistance and other similar services.

Collaborators on the effort included Clemson University Extension (project management); U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS); the Spartanburg, Laurens and Union soil and water conservation districts; and the Spartanburg, Laurens and Union Cattlemen's Associations.

SCDHEC testing of water quality following project completion found that six stations on the Enoree River and its tributaries showed improvement in bacteria levels, meeting water quality standards, while two stations are now cleared for recreational use. Four other stations were in the process of reducing bacteria violations in the Lower Enoree River.

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