Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Crooked Creek Watershed TMDL Implementation Plan
Final Report 79
8.0 REASONABLE ASSURANCE
USEPA requires that a TMDL provide reasonable assurance that the required load reductions will be
achieved and water quality will be restored. For this watershed, use of agricultural BMPs for crop
production and animal operations are the primary management strategies to reach these goals.
Participation of farmers and landowners is essential to improving water quality, but resistance to change
and upfront cost may deter participation. Educational efforts and cost share programs will likely increase
participation to levels needed to protect water quality.
Two of the incentive programs discussed below were administered under the 2002 Farm Bill, which
expired September 30, 2007. The Conservation Reserve Program will continue to pay out existing
contracts, but new enrollments will not be allowed until the bill is reinstated; no official date of
reinstatement has been announced. Though the Environmental Quality Incentives Program was also part
of the 2002 Farm Bill, it was extended beyond fiscal year 2007 by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
(Congressional Research Reports for the People, 2007).
8.1 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Several cost share programs are available to farmers and landowners who voluntarily implement resource
conservation practices in the Crooked Creek watershed. The most comprehensive is the NRCS
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which offers cost sharing and incentives to farmers
statewide who utilize approved conservation practices to reduce pollutant loading from agricultural lands.
• The program will pay $10 for one year for each acre of farmland that is managed under a nutrient
management plan (up to 400 acres per farmer).
• Use of vegetated filter strips will earn the farmer $100/ac/yr for three years (up to 50 acres per
• The program will also pay 60 percent of the cost to construct grassed waterways, riparian buffers,
• Use of residue management will earn the farmer $15/ac for three years (up to 400 acres per
• Installation of drainage control structures on tile outlets will earn the farmer $5/ac/yr for three
years for the effected drainage area as well as 60 percent of the cost of each structure.
• The program will pay 75 percent of the construction cost for a composting facility.
• Sixty percent of the fencing, controlled access points, spring and well development, pipeline, and
watering facility costs are covered by the program.
• Waste storage facilities and covers for those facilities have a 50 percent cost share for
• Prescribed grazing practices will earn the farmer $10/ac/yr for three years (up to 200 acres per
In order to participate in the EQIP cost share program, all BMPs must be constructed according to the
specifications listed for each conservation practice.
The specifications and program information can be found online at:
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