Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
$11.7 million awarded for soil, water conservation
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 8, 2005) – Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration today announced the awarding of $11.7 million for landowner soil and water conservation projects and program support to conservation districts.
The funding through the Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program helps landowners pay for work to protect water quality and prevent loss of topsoil. The Division of Conservation in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet administers the program on behalf of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission and local conservation districts.
“These awards reflect two priorities of our administration – helping our farmers prosper and protecting our environment,” Governor Fletcher stated. “Agriculture is a central part of our state’s economy. Equally important is the safeguarding of our natural resources, especially water, which becomes all the more obvious as we experience a long period of dry weather.”
The division and commission approved cost-share assistance totaling $9.6 million to 1,201 landowners across the state. Applications for assistance that address the proper handling and disposal of animal waste receive priority for funding, as do applicants in agricultural districts with identified water-quality problems and producers who have agriculture water quality plans on file with their local conservation districts.
The program provides up to $20,000 for animal-waste projects and up to $7,500 for other projects to reduce sediment and other pollutants in Kentucky streams, rivers, lakes and ground water.
In addition, local conservation districts were awarded 48 grants totaling $281,913 to help pay for metal and “white goods” recycling, illegal dump cleanups, dead animal removal, water quality monitoring and watershed awareness education, among other things.
The commission approved $1.8 million in state and federal direct aid to Kentucky’s 121 local conservation districts. The money is to pay for operating district offices and provide technical and administrative staff to assist local citizens in participating in federal, state and local conservation programs.
The General Assembly appropriates money for the cost-share program from funding provided by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and proceeds of Kentucky’s Phase I Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
On the Web: Division of Conservation: www.conservation.ky.gov