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Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection

Funding Program Name: Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Program Overview The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was established to provide a voluntary conservation program for agricultural producers to address significant natural resource needs and objectives. Through a competitive process, EQIP offers financial assistance contracts with a maximum term of ten years, to help implement eligible conservation practices. Persons or legal entities, who are owners of land under agricultural production or who are engaged in livestock or agricultural production on eligible land, including private non-industrial forest land, or Indian Tribes may participate in EQIP. Conservation practices implemented through EQIP are subject to NRCS technical standards adapted for local conditions. NRCS or Technical Service Providers (TSPs) help applications develop a plan of operations which identifies practices needed to address natural resource concerns and support the EQIP contract.. EQIP-related programs include Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG), Resource Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
Application Deadline Applications may be submitted by eligible producers at any time during the year.
When Funds are Available Congress and the Administration appropriate funding each fiscal year to support EQIP. Throughout the fiscal year, NRCS will establish cut-off dates for application evaluation and ranking to determine which projects will be funded.
Average annual number of applicants 128,896 (Fiscal Year 2012)
Typical percentage of applicants funded 35% (Fiscal Year 2012)
Is a matched amount required? Yes
Match Amount Typically, 50 to 75 percent of the cost of implementation of the practice is reimbursed through EQIP. The program participant is responsible for cost of implementation not covered by the EQIP payment.
Funding Level FY 2014 $981.7 million (financial assistance)
Funding Level FY 2013 $1.4 billion
Funding Level FY 2012 $1.4 billion
Funding Level FY 2011 $882.792 million
Typical lowest amount awarded Not available
Typical highest amount awarded $450,000 (contract limit in the 2014 Farm Bill)
Typical median amount awarded $22,335 (FY 09-13 obligation average)
Other details on funding N/A
Primary Address U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
PO Box 2890
Washington, DC 20013-9770
Primary Telephone (202) 690-2621
Primary Email mark.rose@wdc.usda.gov
Primary Internet www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip
Secondary Address Contact local or state NRCS office:
http://offices.usda.gov
Secondary Telephone -
Secondary Email -
Secondary Internet www.cfda.gov (Program Number 10.912)
Legislative Authority The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Act) (Public Law 107-171, May 13, 2002) re-authorized and amended the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which had been added to the Food Security Act of 1985 (the 1985 Act) (16 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.) by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (the 1996 Act) (Pub. L. 104-127)
Associated Keywords Agriculture, Best Management Practices, Drinking Water, Fisheries, Floodplains/Riparian Zones, Forests, Ground Water, Land Acquisition, Monitoring, Nonpoint Source Control, Outreach/Education, Planning, Pollution Prevention, Restoration, Source Water Protection, Water Conservation, Watershed Management, Wetlands, Wildlife
Eligible Organizations Farmers, Indian Tribes, Private Landowner, Ranchers, State/Territorial Agency, Tribal Agency
Eligibility Constraints Additional information and detailed eligibility requirements are available at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip

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