Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) will reimburse farmers in Pennsylvania’s part of the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed for the cost of preparing hundreds of
agricultural plans for clean water.
“We know it can be a challenge, especially for small operations, to
afford fees for technical help on plans for pollutant reduction in local
streams and rivers,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Through
reimbursements to farmers, our Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program
will cover the cost of preparation of at least 800 and as many as 2,200
The program is part of a commitment that Governor Wolf, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture announced in 2016 to make state and federal funding
available to improve water quality in Pennsylvania’s 43 counties in the
Bay watershed for local benefit and, ultimately, all partner states in
“Farmers recognize the importance of conservation stewardship because
they depend on clean water and healthy soil,” said Department of
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Throughout the watershed—and
throughout the state—there are countless farmers who want to do the
right thing when it comes to protecting our natural resources. This
reimbursement plan is part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to investing in
Pennsylvania farmers, the viability of their operations, and the health
of our waterways.”
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 of these plans. The regulations are a
key component of Pennsylvania’s effort to meet its EPA-mandated water
pollution reduction targets for the Chesapeake Bay.
To prepare their plans, many farmers enlist technical experts, whose
services generally cost from $500 to $1,500 per plan, depending on the
size of the farm.
Farmers can now be reimbursed for plans developed after January 1, 2017.
Consultants are coordinating the reimbursement program, conducting
extensive outreach to farmers, and supplying potential options for
farmers who are seeking technical experts.
The deadline to register to participate in the program is April 1, 2018,
and plans must be submitted to the appropriate consultant by May 30.
Farmers in the Bay watershed in Bradford, Cameron, Carbon, Centre,
Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Elk, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Luzerne,
Lycoming, McKean, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder,
Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties should
Coordinator: Jedd Moncavage, TeamAg Inc.
120 Lake St.
Ephrata, PA 17522
“By partnering on agricultural inspections compliance, providing federal
grants for best management practice implementation, helping to document
farmers’ voluntary efforts, and now sharing costs on agricultural
plans,” Secretary McDonnell said, “DEP is doing everything it can to
assist farmers in their efforts to clean up our local waters.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Deborah Klenotic, (717) 783-9954