'Clean water and sound farming go hand-in-hand,' said Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles. 'EPA's cooperative conservation funds will help livestock operators assess and prevent potential air and water impacts, while maintaining our country's agricultural and economic competitiveness.'
The two organizations will provide livestock operations with two types of technical assistance at no cost to the operator: (1) comprehensive assessments of water and air quality environmental challenges and recommendations for strategies to mitigate these challenges; and (2) development or review of the facility's nutrient management plan, which specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so the potential for runoff to waterbodies is minimized. The technical assistance will be available to any livestock operation in the United States beginning the summer of 2008 through October 2011.
Nationally, there are an estimated 1.3 million farms holding livestock in the United States. Approximately 238,000 of these farms are considered animal feeding operations. These animal feeding operations generate more than 500 million tons of animal waste annually and, as a consequence, continually face the challenge of how best to manage these wastes to minimize adverse impacts on the environment. The grants will assist livestock operations by ensuring that farmers are aware of environmental impacts from their facilities and understand how best to address them.