Wednesday, July 22, 2009

$14.9 M In Stimulus Funding For Farm BMPs

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was awarded $14.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds today, to pay local contractors to install a variety of farm conservation practices that will reduce pollution and, in some cases, use manure to create energy. The grant funding provided by PENNVEST will be used in 16 counties in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
“Along with providing local jobs, this funding will ensure that farms meet or exceed basic criteria designed to prevent pollution from reaching local waterways,” said CBF Pennsylvania executive director Matt Ehrhart. “In addition, these are ‘shovel ready’ projects, which will break ground by this fall.”
Grants will pay for conservation practices including forest buffer restoration, animal waste storage, rotational grazing, and anaerobic digesters that turn waste into energy.
CBF worked with the Conservation Districts in Adams County, Columbia County, Montour County, and Susquehanna County, as well as agricultural consultants Red Barn Consulting, Inc., and TeamAg, Inc., to identify projects to fund.
“Thousands of miles of Pennsylvania waterways are impaired as a result of runoff from farms, development, and other sources, which contributes to the dead zones that plague the Chesapeake Bay every summer,” Ehrhart said. “Pennsylvania will soon be required to significantly reduce pollution flowing down to the Chesapeake Bay, and installing conservation practices is the most cost-effective way to reduce that pollution.”
It is estimated that the practices funded by this grant will reduce pollution by 1.3 million pounds of nitrogen, 445,000 pounds of phosphorus, and 1,000 tons of sediment annually. (click here for full stimulus announcement)

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