WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Jennifer Zygmunt, nonpoint source program coordinator at the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, to the committee. Zygmunt was testifying before the committee at a hearing titled “The Nonpoint Source Management Program Under the Clean Water Act: Perspectives from States.”
Barrasso introduced Zygmunt to the committee prior to his testimony. “I am pleased to introduce Jennifer Zygmunt, who is the nonpoint source program coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. A native of Casper, she spent some time in New Mexico before heading back to Wyoming, and we are very glad she did.
“She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2003 with a degree in Botany and a minor in Environment and Natural Resources. After graduation, she joined the department, where she wrote permits under the state’s Clean Water Act discharge permit program for five years. For the last eleven years, she has managed the nonpoint source program.
“We thank you for your public service in protecting water quality for the people of Wyoming. We are honored that you are here to testify before the committee and to share your expertise with us.
“I know you have much to tell us about Wyoming’s strong record of environmental protection and restoration through its nonpoint source program.
“I look forward to hearing your input on how we in Congress can make sure Washington works even better with Wyoming and other states to protect our nation’s water quality in the future,” said Barrasso.
In her written testimony, Zygmunt described nonpoint source pollution management tactics in Wyoming. “Management measures (referred to as best management practices [BMPs] or conservation practices) can be implemented to prevent, mitigate, or eliminate nonpoint source pollution resulting from a particular land use. As part of the Nonpoint Source Management Plan, the Nonpoint Source Program manages five BMP Manuals: Livestock/Wildlife, Cropland, Urban, Stream and Lakeshore Restoration, and Silviculture. The Livestock/Wildlife, Cropland, and Stream and Lakeshore Restoration manuals incorporate by reference conservation practices used by Wyoming Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the United States Forest Service,” said Zygmunt.
Zygmunt also listed the goals of Wyoming’s Nonpoint Source Program. Zygmunt stated, “The goals of the Wyoming Nonpoint Source Program are to (1) identify sources of nonpoint source pollution to surface water and groundwater of the State of Wyoming and (2) to prevent and reduce nonpoint source pollution such that water quality standards are achieved and maintained. The program works to achieve these goals through a set of overarching principles that emphasize voluntary and incentive-based participation, locally led projects, partnerships, measurable water quality improvement, and effective and efficient program administration.”
Zygmunt concluded by stating the importance of partnering with local, state, and federal officials to address nonpoint source pollution. “The WDEQ’s partnerships with Wyoming’s 34 conservation districts and the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) are among the most important for successful implementation of the Nonpoint Source Program. As local government entities with the authority to lead watershed planning and restoration activities, conservation districts have sponsored the majority of Section 319 projects, providing an important link between the WDEQ and local stakeholders. Wyoming’s conservation districts also lead water quality education programs to support on-the-ground restoration, and most districts also conduct water quality monitoring activities. The WDEQ and WACD routinely communicate and collaborate on Nonpoint Source Program activities,” said Zygmunt.
For more information on Zygmunt’s testimony and the hearing, click here.