Programs and Practices for Clean Air and Energy
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is working to help farmers with conservation practices that address inefficient energy use of equipment and facilities. Under the 2008 Food, Conservation and Energy Act (2008 Farm Bill), NRCS will provide eligible producers with program support through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to identify and implement cost effective and innovative practices that improve energy efficiency and air quality.
Funds are being made available in areas whose air quality does not meet the health-based standards established for ground-level ozone pollution. In Massachusetts, this includes all counties (see National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone and EPA Air Data Maps at http://www.epa.gov/air/data/nonat.html?st~MA~Massachusetts).
On-Farm Energy Initiative
NRCS is now offering technical and financial assistance for conservation practices related to on-farm energy efficiency through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) On-Farm Energy Initiative. Assistance is available for agricultural producers in two ways:
1. Identify ways to conserve energy on their farms through an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), also known as an on-farm energy audit.
2. Implement various AgEMP-recommended measures through the use of conservation practice standards offered through this initiative. For 2012, implementation funding is available for:
greenhouse energy/shade screens for two sizes, <=10,000 sq. feet or > 10,000 sq. feet
greenhouse horizontal air flow fan (HAF) system, consisting of several high efficiency fans
replacement of inefficient natural gas, propane, or fuel oil unit heater or boiler, venting materials, and installation
reverse osmosis (RO) for maple producers including new RO system, replacement RO system, or new membrane/vessel
steam-enhanced system added to existing maple syrup evaporator
replacement of wood or oil-fired inefficient evaporators used for maple syrup production
Please contact your local NRCS office to start the planning and application process. Application materials, a list of eligible conservation practices and payment rates are on the application materials and documents page.
Links to more information on this website
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Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP) Overview