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Public Meetings on New Required Agricultural Practices

Act 64 amended several provisions regarding agricultural water quality.  The “accepted agricultural practices” are renamed the “required agricultural practices (RAPs).”  The Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets has been charged to revise the RAPs by rule on or before July 1, 2016.  The revised RAPs have been changed to include requirements for: small farm certification, nutrient storage, soil health, buffer zones, livestock exclusion, nutrient management, and tile drainage.

The Agency is seeking input and comment on the Draft RAPs. It is the Agency’s intent to develop rules and programs that will not only eliminate adverse impacts to water quality from agricultural operations, but will also be informed, enforceable and appropriate. Successful implementation of the RAPs will assist in Vermont’s mission to meet the goals of Act 64 as well as the TMDL for Phosphorus for Lake Champlain.

For a complete list of public meetings, including meetings in Rutland and Brattleboro, where the Agency will present the Draft RAPs with a comment period to follow, go to the Agency’s webpage:

http://agriculture.vermont.gov/water-quality/news-events/public-meetings

A direct download link for the RAPs can be found at:

http://agriculture.vermont.gov/sites/ag/files/pdf/water_quality/VAAFM-Draft-RAP.pdf