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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Water Quality - Agriculture Rule

Water Quality

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Tar Pamlico Agriculture Rule, link to rules:

Two rules govern the agricultural nutrient strategy. The first rule is a goal statement. It calls on farmers in the basin to implement land management practices that achieve a 30 percent reduction in nitrogen loading from 1991 levels and control of phosphorus at or below 1991 levels. The second agriculture rule details the process and options for achieving the nutrient goals.

Two organizations are identified in the agricultural rule and given roles in the implementation and tracking of agricultural nutrient reduction activities:
 
• Basin Oversight Committee - Consisting of representatives from governmental, environmental, farming and scientific communities, this group reviews and tracks the progress toward the nutrient goals based on implementation of select nutrient-reducing management practices.
• Local Advisory Committee - Comprised of farmers and local agriculture agency representatives, this committee develops a local strategy and submits annual reports to the Basin Oversight Committee. The reports quantify progress toward the nutrient reduction goals.
 
Farmers, who are involved in the commercial production of crops or horticultural products, or whose livestock or poultry holdings exceed specified numbers, are subject to the rule and required to register with their local advisory committee. Registration helps farmers get details on rule options and technical and cost share assistance.
 
Subsequent to passing of the agricultural rule, Session Law 2001-355 was passed that made the following modifications to the Agricultural Rule:
 
• Raised animal threshold numbers for farms subject to the rule for all livestock except cattle:
• Expanded the definition of agriculture to include a one-time allowance for tree harvesting within riparian buffers under specific circumstances:
• Required the Soil and Water Conservation Commission to approve Best Management Practices for pasture operations:
• Established a point system that defines the requirements for pasture operations; and
• Ensures full farmer representation on Local Advisory Committees.
 
Agriculture’s progress toward meeting nitrogen reduction requirements is tracked using a nutrient accounting software called Nutrient Loss Estimation Worksheet (NLEW).  The status of nutrient reduction progress can be found at Tar-Pamlico Tracking Progress Page .
 
Other Rules Links:

 

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