For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced $544,900 in grants to protect and improve the environment in the Triad through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program. Across the state, Attorney General Stein will award nearly $3 million in grants to 22 grantees. That includes 10 construction projects; five planning, research, and education projects; three land acquisition projects; and four small grants.
The Conservation Fund will receive $150,000 to acquire 245 acres along the Yadkin River. In the future, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office will steward and manage this land and the property will be dedicated as a State Nature Preserve. This project will protect 4,000 linear feet along the river.
“Preserving this land along the Yadkin River means that the water quality will be preserved and the land will be maintained for generations to come,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The Conservation Fund’s transaction will generate economic development in Forsyth County and will be an asset for community members. I am pleased to provide these funds.”
“Conservation today needs to provide multiple benefits for both people and the environment,” said Bill Holman, North Carolina State Director, The Conservation Fund. “We’re grateful to the NC Attorney General’s Office for recognizing this and awarding a grant to advance our efforts to create a 245-acre state-owned natural and historic site along the Yadkin River in Forsyth County that will provide water quality protection, historic preservation, and sustainable economic development in the community.”
The Piedmont Land Conservancy will receive $186,900 to acquire a 113-acre Bandera tract to protect water quality in Reedy Fork Creek. This area is the drinking water supply for the City of Greensboro. The project also includes an educational component.
“Protecting our drinking water is critically important to people’s health and welfare,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am pleased to provide these funds to protect Greensboro’s drinking water quality for generations to come.”
Guilford and Lenoir Counties
The North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation will receive $208,000 to restore stream and marsh sill and construct living shoreline in areas where there are outstanding resource waters, nutrient sensitive areas, significant natural areas, or properties where infrastructure is in jeopardy. The project also includes an educational component.
“Protecting our water resources is critically important – as is ensuring that we learn from our conservation efforts,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I am pleased to support this project that will make a significant difference to Guilford and Lenior counties.”
Waterkeepers North Carolina will receive $188,000 to research microplastic pollution in 30 streams and rivers, identify types of microplastics, and estimate loading rates from stormwater.
“It is critically important that we do everything we can to address water pollution,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I appreciate the efforts of Waterkeepers North Carolina to do just that, and I am pleased to provide them with this funding.”
UNC Charlotte will receive $101,792 to research whether biosolid land application contributes to PFAS occurrence in surface water, groundwater, and soil statewide.
“I am extremely concerned about the presence of forever chemicals like PFAS in our drinking water,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I recently sued DuPont over its role in polluting our water with PFAS. I am pleased to be supporting this work that will help inform our state’s efforts to clean up these dangerous chemicals.”
“PFAS contamination has caused widespread health concerns among North Carolinians,” said Mei Sun, Assistant Professor and Lead Researcher at UNC Charlotte. “This project will provide information to policymakers, water engineers, and community stakeholders to better understand if biosolids land application will contribute PFAS to our precious water resources, improve PFAS exposure assessment, and guide sustainable applications of biosolids in affected areas.”
About the EEG Program
These funds are distributed through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program, which began after an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides the Department of Justice $2 million each year for environmental projects across the state.
Due to ongoing litigation, this year’s is the second grant cycle since 2016. This grant cycle includes the distribution of nearly $3 million to 22 grantees. Earlier in 2020, Attorney General Stein distributed more than $3.5 million to 27 grantees.