$50 million in water quality funding available for NY livestock farms

Press release
September 27, 2017
By Press release
September 27, 2017, Albany, NY – The New York state government recently announced that $50 million in grant funding is available, over three consecutive application rounds, to help state livestock farms implement water quality protection projects.

The funding is a part of the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017, which invests in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and other water quality protection across the state, including funds to ensure proper management and storage of nutrients such as manure on farms. The application period for the first $20 million is currently open and closes November 20, 2017.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply for the CAFO Waste Storage and Transfer System Program on behalf of eligible farmers. The maximum award amount per proposal is $385,000, which includes funding for engineering and construction expenses. Grants will help Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation-permitted farms offset the cost of water quality protection projects, such as manure storage construction, site preparation and associated best management practices.

New York State has more than 500 CAFO farms, most of which are dairy farms with 300 or more cows. CAFOs can also include associated livestock operations such as beef, poultry and equine farms. Projects funded will also help farmers meet the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's new environmental requirements, first announced in January of this year.

The application and additional information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets' website. In addition, the Department of Agriculture and Markets along with the Department of Environmental Conservation have developed an informational document to educate communities on the importance of manure storage facilities to maintain New York State's environmental standards. The fact sheet can be found here.

Grant awards will be made by December 18, 2017. The department will launch a second and third application period for an additional $15 million in both 2018 and 2019.

“This is a great opportunity for CAFO farms to partner with their local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to construct and fully implement best management practice systems on their farms,” said Dale Stein, chair of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. “This funding program will assist producers in meeting the State's new environmental regulations, and will further protect the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams in New York State."

“The $50 million in grant funding for manure storage will improve environmental stewardship on livestock farms across the state,” said David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau. “The cost sharing partnership between farmers and New York State will provide greater flexibility to manage nutrients as farms comply with stricter regulations connected to the new CAFO permits. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the Governor's recognition of the continued need for the funding that will help New York agriculture improve on its strong water quality record."

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