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Subject 600-5-5 AGRICULTURAL NONPOINT SOURCE GRANTS

Rule 600-5-5-.01 Purpose

In compliance with the "Fair and Open Grants" Article of the "Budget Accountability and Planning Act of 1993," following is the information on a grant program implemented by the Conservation Commission.

Rule 600-5-5-.02 The Name of the Grant Program

The Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants Program.

Rule 600-5-5-.03 The Citation to Statutory Basis for the Grant Program in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated or other General Law of the State of Georgia

The Conservation Commission is authorized under 2-6-27 to receive and accept grant funding from outside sources and to manage and disperse same in support of soil and water conservation activities.

Rule 600-5-5-.04 The General Scope and Purpose of the Grant Program

To carry out the Commission's responsibilities as the lead state agency in working with other agencies, groups and individuals in controlling pollution from agricultural nonpoint sources through funding of agricultural water quality best management practices implementation demonstration projects. Costshare funds are made available to the Commission from the EPA through the Georgia EPD under auspices of Section 319(h) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Rule 600-5-5-.05 General Terms and Conditions of the Grants

Agencies, groups and individuals can apply for cost-share funds to install best management practices (BMP's) to demonstrate how they control nonpoint source pollution from agricultural activities. These grants are on an annual basis and the costshare cannot exceed 60% for the installation of BMP's. Grants cannot replace existing NPS funds from the state.

Rule 600-5-5-.06 Eligible Recipients of the Grants

Agencies, groups, and individuals in Georgia who control water resources or runoff to water resources on agricultural lands.

Rule 600-5-5-.07 The Criteria for the Award of the Grant

The Recipient must have one (1) or more acres in size in an area identified as having a water quality impairment or high potential for impairment from NPS pollution from agricultural activities. The recipient must have a demonstrated need for the BMP's and resources adequate to meet minimum participation levels.

Priority for grant applications is assigned primarily on the basis of:

1. The seriousness of the NPS problem.
2. The degree of innovation which can be demonstrated to solve the problem.
3. Control of interstate problems.
4. The degree of surface and groundwater protection afforded.

Other factors considered include watershed priority, available funds, development of water quality parameters and documentation of BMP effectiveness. Repeat grants are available but contingent on prior satisfactory progress.

Rule 600-5-5-.08 Directions and Deadlines for Applying for Such Grants

Application should be provided to the Conservation Commission prior to April 1. Applications after that date may not be funded in the same year. Information and assistance in developing applications is available from the Conservation Commission upon request. It is required that the application first be reviewed by the appropriate soil and water conservation district prior to submission to the Conservation Commission.

Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention

Grants Program

Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission

P.O. Box 8024

Athens, Georgia 30603