Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
Pennsylvania DEP announces $2.6 million in grants


July 12, 2011
By Marg Land


Topics

July 12, 2011, Harrisburg,
PA – The Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the award of
more than $2.6 million in grant awards to 36 conservation districts within the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
July 12, 2011, Harrisburg,
PA – The Department of Environmental Protection recently announced the award of
more than $2.6 million in grant awards to 36 conservation districts within the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

These funds, which will
support 50 staff positions that provide technical assistance with implementing
agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), will also allow conservation
district staff to begin a Chesapeake Bay-wide outreach effort to Pennsylvania
farms.

“This grant will increase
the public's awareness of DEP regulations and environmental requirements in the
agricultural community,” said DEP secretary Mike Krancer. “It is an excellent
opportunity to work with conservation districts to further protect our
waterways and our environment through educational outreach.”

On May 17, the State
Conservation Commission (SCC)
, which oversees the funding DEP provides to
conservation districts, approved the department’s allocation of Chesapeake Bay
Implementation Grant (CBIG)
funds for Chesapeake Bay technicians and engineers
in various conservation districts. Part of the districts’ responsibility under
these grants is to reach out to agricultural operations within the Chesapeake
Bay Watershed and inform the agricultural community of their regulatory
obligations. Conservation district staff will begin conducting site visits with
agricultural operations this month.

Since 1972, all
Pennsylvania farms have been subject to environmental regulations which specify
that farmers must maintain agricultural erosion and sedimentation control or
conservation plans for all cropland and areas heavily used by animals.

Farms that handle manure
are required to have a Manure Management Plan and use the state’s Manure Management
Manual, which provides information on the environmentally correct ways to
handle animal manure. Unlike some laws, manure management requirements apply to
all farms, not only the large farms that are considered Concentrated Animal
Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or Concentrated Animal Operations (CAOs). The Manure
Management Manual includes requirements for winter application of manure and
setbacks from streams, drinking water supplies and sinkholes. As with the
required written agricultural erosion control plans, a written manure
management plan is required.

In addition to grants for
conservation district staff, more than $800,000 from the CBIG was awarded to 46
agricultural projects and targeted to impaired watersheds. Funding was granted
for projects that focus on agricultural BMPs, such as no-till/conservation
tillage; cover crops; conservation and nutrient management planning activities;
and riparian corridor improvements.

Farmers interested in
additional information or assistance with developing farm erosion, sediment
control and manure management plans are encouraged to contact their local
county conservation district.

For more information,
visit www.depweb.state.pa.us or call 717-787-1323.


Print this page

Related



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*