The Agricultural Non-point Source Abatement and Control Program is a cost-share grant program that provides funding to address and prevent potential water quality issues that stem from farming activities. Financial and technical assistance supports the planning and implementation of on-farm projects with the goal of improving water quality in New York's waterways. The program seeks to support New York's diverse agricultural businesses in their efforts to implement best management practice systems that improve water quality and environmental stewardship.
The Agricultural Non-point Source Abatement and Control Program awards water quality protection projects that focus on environmental planning and best management practice systems. Projects include conservation measures, such as nutrient management through manure storage, vegetative buffers along streams, and conservation cover crops.
The program is a competitive grant program, with funds applied for and awarded through county Soil and Water Conservation Districts. State funds come from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.
Grants can cost-share up to 75% of project costs or more if farmers contribute in the following two areas:
- Planning: funds awarded to conduct environmental planning
- Implementation: funds awarded to construct or apply management practices
What is Non-point Source Pollution?
The primary cause of New York’s remaining water quality challenges can be attributed to a wide array of pollutants resulting from various types of land uses, which is termed non-point source (NPS) pollution.
As rainfall or water from melted snow moves over and through the ground, the runoff picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants include:
- Excess fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides from residential areas and agricultural lands
- Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
- Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream banks
- Salt from roadways, irrigation practices, and acid drainage from abandoned mines
- Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems
- Atmospheric deposition and hydromodification