Air Quality Initiative

Environmental Quality Incentives program (EQIP)

Kite in sky

The 2008 Farm Bill included provisions for the use of EQIP funds to provide financial and technical assistance dollars to help program participants address air quality concerns from agricultural operations. This assistance also helps producers meet Federal, State, and local regulatory requirements. The NRCS EQIP Air Quality Initiative provides financial assistance to implement approved conservation practices to address significant air quality resource concerns for designated high priority geographic locations and includes fourteen primary counties and twenty-five secondary counties in Illinois. These counties are designate as non-attainment according to Clear Air Act requirements

NRCS works with the applicant to address air quality concerns on their operations. Conservation practices such as cover crops, nutrient management, no-till, windbreaks and others practices are supported in this initiative and help to reduce airborne particulate matter and greenhouse gases and conserve energy.

Who Can Apply

Eligible producers includes persons or entities who are owners of land in agricultural or forest production or those who are engaged in livestock, agricultural or forest production on eligible land and that have an air quality related natural resource concern on the agricultural operation.

Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.

Producers must submit a program application and other documentation to support eligibility to be considered for financial assistance through EQIP. For more detail regarding eligibility and application requirements contact your local NRCS field office.

Map of counties qualifing for Air Quality Initiative

The fourteen counties eligible to compete in all four application airs include: Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Jersey, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Madison, McHenry, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Will.

The twenty-five counties eligible to compete in the second – fourth airs include: Bond, Boone, Bureau, Calhoun, Clinton, DeKalb, Greene, Henry, Jackson, Kankakee, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Macoupin, Marshall, Mercer, Montgomery, Moultrie, Perry, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Washington, Whiteside, and Woodford.

For a larger map (PDF, 137 kb)

EQIP Application Information

Applications for the EQIP Air Quality Initiative are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the fiscal year; however, NRCS has established specific dates where eligible applications will be evaluated, ranked, and approved for funding. In order for an application to be considered for funding during a particular batching period the applicant must have the following items completed by the application cut-off date:

  • Completed and signed EQIP application (NRCS-CPA-1200)
  • Eligibility requirements met

For fiscal year 2013, NRCS has established the following application deadlines:

  • November 16, 2012
  • January 18, 2013
  • March 15, 2013
  • May 17, 2013

2013 Program Documentation

The following documents require either Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or higher, and Microsoft WORD

31 kb

2013 AQI Approved Counties List

Provides a list of Counties that are approved for EQIP National Air Quality Initiative financial assistance for fiscal year 2013.

38 kb

2013 AQI Approved Conservation Practice List

Provides the list of NRCS approved conservation practices that are offered to address air quality related resource concerns.


Additional Assistance

For more information on the Air Quality Initiative visit your local USDA Service Center, or visit the USDA-NRCS Air Quality Initiative Website.

The following documents require either Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or higher

Overview of Air Quality Initiative
AIR_overview.pdf (PDF, 137 kb)

Particulate Matter and Ozone Precursors and Animal Operations
AIR_PM-OZONE.pdf (PDF, 136 kb)