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State grants available for feedlot and septic system improvement projects

Mon, Jun 28th, 2010
Posted in State of Minnesota

St. Paul - More than $4 million in state grants is available to local government units for projects to protect and restore water quality by improving feedlots near impaired waters and replacing subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS) that are identified as an imminent health threat. The grant programs were approved by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) on June 23.

"These grants will enable more landowners with feedlots near impaired lakes, rivers or streams to enhance their operations and bring them into compliance," said John Jaschke, BWSR Executive Director.

The application period will be from July 1 to August 14, 2010, and early applications will have a higher priority, Jaschke said. If there are unspent grant dollars after the initial enrollment period, a second enrollment period will be from August 15 to September 30, 2010.

Eligible feedlots must have less than 300 animal units, must be located in an impaired watershed or on riparian land, and address pollution problems. Interested landowners should contact their county feedlot officer or soil and water conservation district as soon as possible. Feedlot projects also require a cash or in-kind cash value match of 25 percent.

The SSTS grants will be targeted to low-income homeowners, and no matching funds are required.

Local governments eligible to apply for the feedlot funds include cities, counties, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, watershed management organizations and joint powers boards of these organizations. Counties administering the SSTS program under Minnesota Rule 7080 and cities within those counties are eligible to receive SSTS funds.

Funding sources include $3 million from the Minnesota Clean Water Fund (one of four funds established by the Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas Amendment in 2008) and $1.1 million from the state General Fund. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will provide Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan Program funds for the feedlot grant program.

Additional information on these grant opportunities is available on the BWSR website: http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us

Application materials will be posted on the BWSR website by July 1, 2010.

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources consists of 20 members, including local government representatives that deliver conservation programs, state agencies, and citizens. Board members are appointed by the governor to four-year terms. The board is the state's administrative agency for soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, metropolitan watershed management organizations, and county water managers.

The BWSR mission: Improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.

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