Requires additional 10% matching grant funding of agricultural environmental programs implemented in watersheds deemed, by the commissioner of environmental conservation, to be critical to recreational fishing.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to funding of agricultural environmental management programs implemented in watersheds deemed critical to recreational fishing
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To increase the matching funds to farmers from 75% to at least 85% when those farmers are investing in non-point source pollution control measures in watersheds deemed to be critical to New York State's fisheries.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one provides for increased matching funding of at least ten percent to farms in watersheds deemed critical by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Section two is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program helps farmers develop and implement plans to comply with federal, state and local regulations relating to water quality and other environmental concerns. The program helps farmers protect New York's lakes, streams and rivers from agricultural runoff. New York invests heavily in recreational fishery and should also invest in protecting the water quality that is being stocked and promoted as a tourism attraction. Each year DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state. These fish are stocked for two main purposes: (1) to enhance recreational fishing; and (2) to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. Raising these fish is a big task that requires precise methods and specialized equipment and facilities. The DEC runs 12 fish hatcheries, each specializing in raising one or more species of fish, including brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, steelhead, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, landlocked salmon, walleye, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge. The additional matching funding is needed to encourage those farmers who may not be able to afford the 25% required match to implement water pollution protection. Already in watersheds critical to drinking water (New York City and Syracuse), the benefiting community offers an additional incentive to farmers to build the structures and implement standards necessary to protect the watershed from non-point source pollution.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005 - A.1914 -- Agriculture 2006 A.11123 -- Agriculture 2007-08 - A2424 -- Agriculture 2009-10 S.7299/A.1083 -- AGRICULTURE/Agriculture 2011-2012 - S.4352/A.1194 -FINANCE/Agriculture
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2442 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to funding of agricultural environmental management programs implemented in watersheds deemed critical to recreational fishing THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 151 of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 375 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: S 151. Agricultural environmental management program. There is hereby established within the department an agricultural environmental manage- ment program to assist farmers in maintaining the economic viability of their farm operations while addressing environmental impacts from those operations, including, but not limited to, soil, air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The program may also include assistance to farmers for the development of agriculturally-derived renewable energy sources. The program may consist of planner certification to qualify persons to prepare AEM plans; technical assistance to farmers partic- ipating in the program; financial assistance, within funds available, to soil and water conservation districts and farmers to prepare and imple- ment plans PROVIDED THAT FOR PLANS IMPLEMENTED IN WATERSHEDS DEEMED CRITICAL TO RECREATIONAL FISHING, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, SHALL RECEIVE NOT LESS THAN TEN PERCENT ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WHEN SUCH ASSISTANCE IS DISTRIBUTED THROUGH A MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM; other incentives for program partic- ipation; and evaluation of program procedures and projects to assess effectiveness. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00139-01-3