EPA Provides $3.84 Million for Pennsylvania Efforts to Reduce Ag-Related Pollution
PHILADELPHIA (July 14, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today reallocated $3.84 million to support priority actions in Pennsylvania to reduce agricultural-related pollutants impacting local waters and the Chesapeake Bay.
EPA redirected portions of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay funding from previous fiscal years to help apply the funds more quickly and efficiently to the commonwealth’s efforts to reduce excess nutrients and sediment affecting the Bay and local streams and rivers.
The funds will be applied to the Conservation Excellence Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission.
“This is one example of EPA’s substantial financial and technical support to help Pennsylvania meet its goals for improving local waters and restoring the Chesapeake Bay,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “We appreciate the opportunity to assist Pennsylvania in making the best use of federal funds for water quality improvements.”
In Pennsylvania’s most recent “Watershed Implementation Plan” to meet 2025 commitments to have its share of practices in place to restore the Bay, the commonwealth expects to achieve more than 90 percent of the remaining pollutant reductions from the agricultural sector.
The Conservation Excellence Grant Program, part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill signed into law in July 2019, provides the State Conservation Commission the authority to prioritize projects and provide technical assistance and funding through a mix of grants, low-interest loans and tax credits to help farmers and landowners implement conservation best management practices in priority areas within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
EPA’s grant funds, reallocated from Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant and Chesapeake Bay Regulatory and Accountability Program resources, will be applied in the “Tier 1” counties of Lancaster and York, identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as having the most pollution to reduce in order to meet the state’s Bay goals.
In May 2020, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region provided a Multipurpose Grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to kick-start the development and implementation of the management structure for the Conservation Excellence Grant program in the Tier 1 Chesapeake Bay counties.
On June 16, 2020, the commonwealth invited Lancaster and York County farmers to apply for up to $250,000 in Conservation Excellence Grants for on-farm measures that reduce erosion and run-off, improving soil and water quality to ultimately sustain agriculture and improve the region’s quality of life.
For more information on the Conservation Excellence Grant Program, visit: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/StateConservationCommission/Conservation_Excellence_Grant_Program/Pages/default.aspx .
For more information on the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission, visit: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Plants_Land_Water/StateConservationCommission/Pages/default.aspx .
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