Gov. Wolf Signs Bills Providing $6 Million In Farm Conservation Aid Missing Target By $171 Million Or So This Year

On July 1, Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation into law providing $6 million in aid to farmers required to install conservation practices over the next year. The aid includes--

-- $3 million Resources Enhancement and Protection Tax Credits-- House Bill 262;

-- $2.5 million Conservation Excellence Grant Program-- Senate Bill 634 (Yaw-R-Lycoming)

-- $500,000 in Agriculture Linked Loans for conservation practices-- House Bill 1526 (Irvin-R- Huntingdon)

He also signed House Bill 1516 (Causer-R-Cameron) establishing an Agriculture Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account (House Fiscal Note and summary), including the response to the spotted lanternfly, totalling $4 million.

“In my 20 years of public service, this is the largest investment I’ve ever seen made in Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Thanks to Governor Wolf, this is the beginning of a new era of opportunities for our state’s top industry, and we’re proud to be here to witness it.”


To put this into context, the PA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Planning Steering Committee estimated there is a $257 million shortfall per year for the next 6 years in funding to implement a strategy to reach our cleanup obligations by 2025-- $1.467 billion.

And the funding need to help farmers install conservation practices is more than two-thirds of that total-- about $171 million this year alone.

Without the needed funding, Pennsylvania will miss the 2025 nitrogen reduction goal by at least 19 years (2044).

The cost to implement the Clean Water Plan for Lancaster County alone is estimated to be $141 million in start up costs and $50 million in annual costs to support on-farm conservation practices, stream buffer, stormwater management pollution controls and more.

As Harry Campbell, Executive Director of the PA Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said, “With this budget, our elected leaders have once again failed to show the will, leadership, and commitment it takes to restore and protect Pennsylvania’s waters.”

[Editor’s Note: This state budget like many others in the last decade can be summarized by saying: “Never have so many made so much about so little,” with apologies to Winston Churchill.]


Caruso: What PA’s Green Lawmakers, Environmentalists Think Of This Year’s Budget

Sen. Dinniman: New State Budget Is Bad For The Environment

Op-Ed: PA Needs To Step Up For The Environment

Op-Ed: Step Up Support Of Hard-To-Clean Rivers, Streams In PA

Op-Ed: PA Must Step Up Support Of Initiative To Cleanup Its Rivers & Streams

Related Articles This Week:

CBF: State Needs To Step Up Support For Those Working Hard To Cleanup PA's Rivers And Streams

PA, NY, NJ Shortchange Delaware River Basin Commission Budget $1.1 Million

Related Articles:

CBF: PA Elected Leaders Failed To Show The Will, Leadership To Restore Pennsylvania's Rivers And Streams

Growing Greener Coalition: Cuts Made To Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Funding Could Have Planted 32,000 Acres of Stream Buffers

Major Environmental Priorities Not Addressed In FY 2019-20 State Budget, Shell Game Continues

[Posted: July 2, 2019]


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