Northey: Funds available for water quality and flood prevention projects

During the legislative session, the Iowa Environmental Council partnered with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, Conservation Districts of Iowa, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association to secure renewed funding for soil and water conservation projects through Iowa’s Watershed Improvement Review Board (WIRB).  The legislature responded with $1 million to support important conservation work.  Now, those funds are being made available to communities across Iowa.

From a press release by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship:

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging eligible groups to apply for grants to support projects that will improve water quality or help prevent flooding in the state.  The Legislature provided $1 million to the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects.

Funds are available to local watershed improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities and counties.

These funds will support projects that address specific water quality problems or that can help reduce flooding in our state,” Northey said.  “Protecting and improving water quality is central to the work of the Department and these funds support projects that make documented improvements in our state’s water quality or address potential flooding.”

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, those addressing agricultural runoff and drainage, flood prevention, stream bank erosion, municipal discharge, storm water runoff, unsewered communities, industrial discharge and livestock runoff.

Each project can request up to $100,000 in funding over three years.

Potential applicants should review the RFA in full at www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp to make sure their proposal qualifies.

All applications are due on Friday, July 27, 2012 and will be reviewed Friday, August 17, 2012 by the Watershed Improvement Review Board.  The Board is comprised of representatives from agriculture, drinking water and wastewater utilities, environmental organizations, agribusiness, the conservation community along with two state senators and two state representatives.  A funding announcement is expected to be made in September.

Application materials can be downloaded from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/IWIRB.asp.  To receive more information or ask questions, contact Jerry Neppel at 515-281-3599.

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