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Wayne Post
  • Cuomo: $12M to aid water quality

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  • ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday $12 million to aid farms in implementing water quality conservation systems in order to help make New York’s farms cleaner and safer.
    The funding will be available to county Soil and Water Conservation Districts — including the one in Ontario County — through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Grants will be administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
    “New York’s agricultural industry has been an economic success story for the past three years and its continued growth depends on keeping our farms safe and clean,” Gov. Cuomo stated in a release.
    “This $12 million will help local farmers across New York maintain a clean water supply, which is vital to their livelihood. With our support, New York’s farms are going to continue to expand, creating more jobs and making our state’s home grown products popular across the country.”
    Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution is runoff from agricultural lands that has the potential to enter water bodies. The $12 million in funding will help farmers work with county Soil and Water Conservation Districts to prevent such pollution from occurring by employing soil erosion prevention methods, planting vegetation along streams to prevent runoff, adopting nutrient management systems, and planting cover crops after the annual harvest to protect the soil.
    The conservation districts can apply for grants under the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program (AgNPS Program) Request for Proposals (RFP). In turn, these districts will address water quality challenges facing farms in priority watersheds throughout the state.
    George Proios, chair of the state Soil and Water Conservation Committee, says the committee is grateful for the support.
    "In this 20th cycle of funding, the Committee is pleased to be able to once again provide opportunities to partner local Conservation Districts with farmers to promote conservation across New York State,” Proios stated.

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