Ag Cost Share in TMDL Watersheds
Virginia’s goal is that all is that rivers, lakes, streams and tidal waters are healthy and attain the appropriate beneficial uses. These beneficial uses are described by the following use goals: drinking water, primary contact/swimming, fishing, shellfishing and aquatic life. These uses are protected by application of the state’s numeric and narrative water quality criteria. When the beneficial uses are not being met these waters are considered “impaired” and the state must take steps to meet water quality standards and ensure that water quality is restored. One very important step in restoring water quality in the impaired water bodies is the development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs. A TMDL identifies the amount of any pollutant that can be assimilated by a particular stream and that stream still meet the water quality standard for that pollutant. It also identifies all the known sources of that pollutant and quantifies each source. TMDL reports, Implementation Plans and implementation progress updates are available on the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) TMDL website at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL.aspx.
Agriculture Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the TMDL watersheds includes, in addition to all the regular programs, two new properties to increase the interest of the program for producers. One practice increases the cost share paid to the producer from 65% to 100% for stream exclusion fencing depending on buffer size. The other practice allows stream exclusion fencing with a minimum of a 10 foot setback in exchange for a reduced cost share rate of 50%. For more information, contact Amanda McCullen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-825-8591.
There is also financial assistance for on-site residential septic system improvements. Click here for more information.