Alaska Coastal Clean Water Plan (ACCWP)

What is the Alaska Coastal Clean Water Plan (ACCWP)?

The ACCWP is Alaska 's response to Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990. Congress created Section 6217, titled "Protecting Coastal Waters", to help address coastal non-point source pollution problems nationwide.

Section 6217 requires that states with coastal management programs develop coastal non-point pollution control programs. These programs are meant to strengthen the links between coastal zone management and water quality management agencies to keep coastal waters clean. Congress did not expect states to develop new, stand-alone, non-point pollution programs. Rather, the coastal non-point pollution programs are to enhance existing state and local expertise and authorities.

The ACCWP received conditional approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1998.

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

Non-point source (NPS) pollution, or polluted runoff, generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, or seepage. Non-point sources commonly originate from urban development, road runoff, timber harvest practices, agricultural practices, and activities related to harbors and marinas. Examples include failing septic tanks, runoff and snowmelt carrying oil and grease into streams and poor construction of roads resulting in sediment and runoff. NPS differs from point source, which refers to facilities that discharge treated wastewater through a pipe or other discrete conveyance and go through a permitting process.