Wednesday, April 8, 2020

PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Wolf Administration Announces Funding Available to Help Farmers and Communities Improve Water Quality in Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued the following announcement on Aug. 15.

Today, the Wolf Administration announced the availability of funding to help Chesapeake Bay Watershed communities reduce pollutants in local streams and rivers. The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program will provide $1.3 million in reimbursement grants to help farmers with the cost of preparing agricultural plans that will help reduce flooding, protect public health and water supplies, and promote the long-term viability of farming.

“With 33,000 farms in Pennsylvania’s part of the watershed, development and implementation of agricultural plans go a long way toward improving the health of local waterways,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “But we know that developing these plans can be costly, especially for small farmers. Helping with these planning costs is one more way that DEP is assisting farmers in their efforts to clean up our local waters.”

“Farmers know that feeding a growing population here and around the world depends on clean water and healthy soil,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This reimbursement program offers another measure of support for on-farm conservation efforts, in addition to new and continuing programs in the PA Farm Bill.”

The PA Farm Bill provides support for conservation practices along with farm business development, agricultural workforce development, new markets, and other areas.

State regulations require all farmers to implement manure management, nutrient management, or agriculture erosion and sediment control plans and, in some cases, more than one plan. The regulations are a key component of Pennsylvania’s effort to meet federally mandated water pollution reduction targets for the Chesapeake Bay.

Reimbursement funds are available to farmers for plans developed on or since January 1, 2019, and a farmer may be reimbursed for more than one plan. Small farmers are especially encouraged to register. The deadline to register is April 1, 2020. Information may be found at the Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program website.

This is the third year of the Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program. In the first two years, farmers received almost $1.4 million in reimbursement for more than 1,700 plans, covering approximately 315,000 acres.

Original source can be found here.

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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