HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) launched two programs that will provide $3.7 million and technical assistance to help farmers develop practices that improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Launched in July, The Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Inspections Program (CBAIP) Phase 2 and the Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program will help farmers develop management tactics to help better the environment of Pennsylvania’s rivers while also bettering their own operations.
The CBAIP provided $2.5 million in 2019 Environmental Stewardship Funds to conversation districts in Adams, Chester and Lancaster Counties. It also provides $300,00 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to install projects specified in their plans to improve water quality.
The Agricultural Plan Reimbursement Program has $900,000 available to reimburse farmers across the watershed, which spans across 43 counties, to help with the cost of developing the plans.
“Pennsylvania farmers have kept food on our tables through good times and bad,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. “The long-term survival of their farms depends on healthy soil and clean water. These programs are a tangible way for us as a state to support the farmers who feed us and help ensure that they are able to continue feeding us in the future.”