The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is providing $3.7 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to implement best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural lands in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These practices will reduce the loads of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution going to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
“The Chesapeake Bay Program is an excellent example of cooperative federalism at work,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This funding will help Pennsylvania accelerate its progress in improving local water quality and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.”
“Clean water is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This funding will help Pennsylvania continue putting the necessary pollution control measures in place to restore local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, it helps to demonstrate our commitment in working with the agricultural community where we see first-hand the successes and challenges of growing food and having local streams, as well as ensuring available water supplies, to support our farming communities.”
“The most practical way to balance farmers’ economic viability and the health of local waters is to enlist farmers in using environmentally conscious and economically sustainable best management practices,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re grateful for funding support from EPA that enables DEP to partner with farmers to plan and implement these practices. Achieving clean local waters takes boots on the ground farm by farm, stream by stream. With over 33,000 farms in Pennsylvania’s part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, we simply couldn’t do it without EPA’s support.”
This funding, which is being provided through EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant (CBIG) program will support activities to help achieve and maintain the water quality necessary to fully restore the aquatic resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including:
- Developing multiyear management plans;
- Chesapeake Bay education;
- Implementing local BMPs to control stormwater runoff;
- Developing agricultural nutrient and manure management plans;
- Installing agricultural BMPs;
- Funding cost share programs to reduce the cost to farmers of implementing BMPs; and
- Providing funding opportunities to Pennsylvania conservation districts for implementing local stormwater BMPs.
For more information about EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant (CBIG) program, visit: https://www.chesapeakebay.net/who/funding_and_financing