EPA directs $14.3M to Pennsylvania to improve water quality

corn soybeans waterway conservation
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

PHILADELPHIA — During a visit to a Lancaster County dairy farm, EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz and U.S. Senator Bob Casey joined Pennsylvania environmental leaders, Chesapeake Bay partners and local farmers to announce $14.3 million in grants directed to Pennsylvania through EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program.

Using funding provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Most Effective Basins program will receive $23 million this year, a $15 million increase from its $8 million annual allocation.

In a concerted effort to deliver these dollars to areas that will have the greatest impact on downstream water quality, 60% of this year’s funding will go directly to Pennsylvania to connect farmers with the financial resources they need to implement conservation practices that benefit farms, local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Most Effective Basins grant program provides funds to states in river basins throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed with excess nitrogen loads. The funds are used to install best practices such as forest buffers, manure storage and fencing to reduce agricultural runoff from entering nearby streams.

During the event, officials also highlighted new means to deliver funds to grantees more efficiently. EPA is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to direct at least $3 million of the Most Effective Basins program funding to a block grant that will deliver conservation funding to farmers more quickly. An additional $4 million will go to the state Department of Agriculture and State Conservation Commission to support the work of the Conservation Districts.

More information on the Chesapeake Bay Program’s water quality goals can be found online at epa.gov/chesapeake-bay-tmdl/chesapeake-bay-tmdl-fact-sheet.


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