The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 003 : Water Quality; Financial and Technical Assistance(Cite as: 6 V.S.A. § 4827)
§ 4827. Nutrient management planning; incentive grants
(a) A farm developing or implementing a nutrient management plan under chapter 215 of this title or federal regulations may apply to the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for financial assistance. The financial assistance shall be in the form of incentive grants. Annually, after consultation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, natural resources conservation districts, the University of Vermont Extension Service and others, the Secretary shall determine the average cost of developing and implementing a nutrient management plan in Vermont. The dollar amount of an incentive grant awarded under this section shall be equal to the average cost of developing a nutrient management plan as determined by the Secretary or the cost of complying with the nutrient management planning requirements of chapter 215 of this title or federal regulations, whichever is less.
(b) Application for a State assistance grant shall be made in a manner prescribed by the Secretary and shall include, at a minimum:
(1) an estimated cost of developing and implementing a nutrient management plan for the applicant;
(2) the amount of incentive grant requested; and
(3) a schedule for development and implementation of the nutrient management plan.
(c) The Secretary annually shall prepare a list of farms ranked, regardless of size, in priority order that have applied for an incentive grant under this section. The priority list shall be established according to factors that the Secretary determines are relevant to protect the quality of waters of the State, including:
(1) the proximity of a farm to a water listed as impaired for agricultural runoff, pathogens, phosphorus, or sediment by the Agency of Natural Resources;
(2) the proximity of a farm to an unimpaired water of the State;
(3) the proximity of a drinking water well to land where a farm applies manure; and
(4) the risk of discharge to waters of the State from the land application of manure by a farm.
(d) Assistance in accordance with this section shall be provided from State funds appropriated to the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for integrated crop management.
(e) If the Secretary or the applicable U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs lack adequate funds necessary for the financial assistance required by subsection (a) of this section, the requirement to develop and implement a nutrient management plan under State statute or State regulation shall be suspended until adequate funding becomes available. Suspension of a State-required nutrient management plan does not relieve an owner or operator of a farm permitted under section 4858 or 4851 of this title of the remaining requirements of a State permit, including discharge standards, groundwater protection, and land application of manure. This subsection does not apply to farms permitted under 10 V.S.A. § 1263.
(f) The Secretary may enter into grants with natural resources conservation districts, the University of Vermont Extension Service, and other persons and organizations to aid in the implementation of the incentive grants program under subsection (a) of this section and to assist farmers in the development and implementation of nutrient management plans.
(g) [Repealed.] (Added 2005, No. 78, § 6, eff. June 24, 2005; amended 2007, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 83, § 11, eff. June 10, 2013; 2013, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 39, § 7.)