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Freshwater & Oceans

Non-Point Source Pollution Research

Paying landowners not to pollute, providing free technical advice, and relying on voluntary adherence to BMPs has proven to be an incomplete strategy in many cases. Gradually, states are turning to enforceable mechanisms — including discharge prohibitions, direct enforcement of water quality standards, pollution abatement orders, required operating practices, nuisance and misdemeanor prosecutions, and civil and administrative penalties — to supplement other approaches.

ELI has studied the ways to address non-point sources of water pollution, primarily through innovative uses of state and local laws, and examination of synergies among cost-sharing, technical assistance, enforcement, and liability. Also see ELI's Ecosystem Services program.

Priority Areas of Expertise and Resources: