A Regional Dialogue for the Southeast: Agriculture and the Environment
- EPA Region 4 leadership and the State Conservationists from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service met in May 2010. They focused their discussion on five topics:
- Air and Pesticides,
- Resource Conservation and Development Councils, and
- Energy for Agriculture.
Both agencies agree that there is commonality between the agencies, now familiarity is the key word! They should have greater familiarity with each otherís programs and ensure continued communication and follow through be in place to make this happen at all levels of the organizations. Action Items were developed and are currently being discussed by both agencies. An Implementation Plan will be forthcoming.
Perdue Clean Waters Environmental Initiative
- EPA Regions 4 and 3 recently signed the Perdue Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, a Memorandum of Agreement with Perdue Farms Incorporated. The Initiative will help approximately 1,650 independent contract poultry producers growing for Perdue improve their compliance with federal, state and local environmental regulations.
- The flock supervisors are beginning to conduct on-site environmental assessments of all farms growing poultry for Perdue. The assessments will be conducted twice each year to ensure compliance.
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities (FRRCC) Federal Advisory Committee
- The FRRCC Advisory Committee has been re-chartered for two additional years. The FRRCC is an independent committee that advises the EPA Administrator on a wide range of environmental issues of importance to agriculture and rural communities. The Administrator recently announced 29 new members.
- The FRRCC (http://www.epa.gov/ocem/frrcc/index.html) held a meeting on September 30-October 1, 2010 in Washington, DC. The meeting focused on water issues related to agriculture. Presentations from the meeting are available at the FRRCC site (http://www.epa.gov/ocem/frrcc/meetings.htm).
- Guidance for Federal Land Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, May 2010
The guide focuses to a considerable extent on newer, more effective approaches to controlling some of the most significant aspects of nonpoint pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Most importantly, it responds to the imperative of implementing in the Chesapeake Bay watershed those “next generation tools and actions” that reflect, in the words of the Executive Order, “a renewed commitment to controlling pollution from all sources as well as protecting and restoring habitat and living resources, conserving lands, and improving management of natural resources, all of which contribute to improved water quality and ecosystem health.” Additional information is available at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/.
Conservation Practices Physical Effects (CEAP)
- Conservation Effects of Agriculture Practices (CEAP) is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices and programs and develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality. Project findings will be used to guide USDA conservation policy and program development and help conservationists, farmers and ranchers make more informed conservation decisions.
- A June 2010 report released by the USDA, Unprecedented Cropland Study Confirms Conservation Practices Work On Farms in Upper Mississippi River Basin (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ceap/umrb/index.html), shows that conservation practices installed and applied by agricultural producers on cropland are reducing sediment, nutrient and pesticide losses from farm fields.
- Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program: Information for Farmers
The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. Oil spills can cause injuries to people and damage to the environment. A key element of this program calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC Plan. These Plans can help farmers prevent oil spills which can damage water resources needed for farming operations. Additional information for farmers is available at this site, http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/docs/oil/spcc/spccfarms.pdf
- Agriculture Regulatory Matrix
(outlines major existing EPA laws and programs that could affect agriculture producers)
- Regulations for Animal Feeding Operations for Water Programs
- 2008 Final Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Rule -
EPA has finalized a rule helping to protect the nation's water quality by requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to safely manage manure.
- Regulations for Animal Feeding Operations for Air Programs
- With EPA oversight, researchers from eight universities will take part in the air emissions monitoring study to measure levels of hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, ammonia, nitrous oxide volatile organic compounds and other gases from 25 livestock facilities across the nation. Four swine operations and one layer facility are located in Region 4 states. After data analysis, the emission estimating methodologies will be published. Participants will have 120 days to comply with any applicable requirements.
- Agriculture: National Information
- A Farmer's Guide to Agriculture and Water Quality Issues
- Extension Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Centers
- Small Farms Fact Sheets