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National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

NRCS is offering financial and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in improving water quality and aquatic habitats in three priority watersheds with impaired streams. 

VA NWQI Watershed MapWar Branch and Mountain Run (Rockingham County) are two of four 12-digit watersheds that make up the Smith Creek Watershed. The predominant landuse is open pasture and hayland with unlimited livestock access to streams being a significant contributor to the impairments. 

Fifteenmile Creek (Washington County) is a tributary to the South Fork Holston Lake. It is a water source for the Town of Abingdon (population of 8,191 in the 2010 census).  There are small pockets of residential and forestland throughout the watershed, but the predominant landuse is pastureland with some scattered hayland and cropland fields. 

All three watersheds are listed on the state’s impaired streams list and water quality monitoring studies show that sediment and nutrient runoff from agricultural operations have contributed to this impairment. Eligible producers in War Branch , Mountain Run, and Fifteenmile Creek  can receive funding to implement conservation and management practices to control and trap nutrient and sediment runoff.

Eligible Conservation Practices

Core practices listed below. View full list of core and supporting practices (pdf, 195 KB).

  • 472 Access Control
  • 327 Conservation Cover
  • 328 Conservation Crop Rotation
  • 332 Contour Buffer Strips
  • 330 Contour Farming
  • 340 Cover Crop
  • 342 Critical Area Planting
  • 382 Fence
  • 386 Field Border
  • 393 Filter Strip
  • 410 Grade Stabilization Structure
  • 412 Grassed Waterway
  • 561 Heavy Use Area Protection
  • 315 Herbaceous Weed Control
  • 516 Livestock Pipeline
  • 590 Nutrient Management
  • 528 Prescribed Grazing
  • 345 Residue and Till Management, Mulch Till
  • 329 Residue and Till Mgmt, No Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed
  • 391 Riparian Forest Buffer
  • 390 Riparian Herbaceous Cover
  • 395 Stream Habitat Improvement
  • 580 Streambank and Shoreline Protection
  • 612 Tree/Shrub Establishment

Ranking Periods

EQIP applications are accepted year-round. Agricultural producers in these priority watersheds who wish to be considered for FY16 funding should submit their applications by April 15, 2016. Another application deadline of May 20, 2016 (and the third Friday of following months) may be added if all funds are not obligated in April. 

NWQI Payment Schedules

The following documents require Acrobat Reader.  If you encounter any problems with the files provided on this page, please contact Ron Wood at (804) 287-1660.

EQIP Regular and Historically Underserved Client (pdf, 124 KB)

How to Apply for USDA-NRCS Conservation Programs

Learn what steps you will need to take to prepare for, and submit, your application to become a USDA-NRCS Conservation Program participant.

Learn more information on the criteria required to become an eligible EQIP applicant.

This document requires Adobe Reader.

NRCS-CPA-1200 Conservation Program Application (PDF; 40 KB)

For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center, or visit the USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program Web site.

If you encounter problems with this Web page, please contact the Webmaster at 804-287-1660.