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Statutes Text

Article - Agriculture


    (a)    The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Environment shall, by jointly promulgated rule or regulation:

        (1)    Identify geographic areas in watersheds throughout the State which have a high potential for agriculturally related soil erosion or movement of sediments, animal wastes, or agricultural chemicals into the surface waters of the State;

        (2)    Designate priority areas for cost sharing under this subtitle; and

        (3)    Establish program requirements, including application procedures, eligibility criteria, provisions for monitoring and review, and measures to assure accountability for all cost sharing funds.

    (b)    (1)    The selection of projects and the degree of State financial assistance shall be based on:

            (i)    Water quality improvements to be achieved, with consideration given to the cumulative effect of other projects on the same body of water;

            (ii)    The estimated economic benefit to the participating farmer from use of the best management practice; and

            (iii)    Other relevant factors as determined by regulation.

        (2)    State cost sharing funds may not be used to reestablish agricultural practices which have deteriorated due to the negligence or mismanagement of an applicant.

    (c)    The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Environment shall implement the cost sharing program for a project with the technical assistance of the appropriate soil conservation district. Technical representatives of the soil conservation district shall prepare or approve all design, construction, maintenance or other plans for best management practices and shall provide the necessary degree of layout and construction supervision.