Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program
The Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program (ACAP) was created through the Clean Streams Fund established by the FY2022-2023 Pennsylvania State Budge. ACAP provides financial and technical assistance for the implementation of best management practices (BMPs) on agricultural operations within the Commonwealth.
ACAP is administered by the State Conservation Commission and delegated to participating conservation districts for local implementation of the program.
ACAP was dedicated $154 million from the Clean Streams Fund to reduce non-point source (NPS) pollution in Commonwealth streams, rivers and waterbodies. SCC is required to allocate ACAP funding to participating county conservation districts based on written apportionment criteria developed by the SCC that is focused on preventing nutrient and sediment pollution. The SCC's apportionment criteria must consider:
- Agriculturally Impaired Stream Miles
- Number of Cropland Acres
- Number of Farms
- Number of Livestock and Poultry
- Other criteria established by SCC
Guidelines & Uses
When evaluating applications for eligible projects under ACAP, a participating conservation district will give priority to complete applications based upon the following criteria:
- BMP(s) funded meets the goals of any applicable WIP or CAP plan
- BMP is part of a conservation plan or AG E&S plan and a manure management or nutrient management plan. Development of such plans shall be included in the application if not yet developed prior to the application.
- Priority given to BMPs that implement best management practices for control of nitrogen or phosphorus or sediment.
- All Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs) on the farm must be treated to abate storm water runoff, loss of sediment, loss of nutrients from the ACA, or the implementation of such BMPs shall be included in an application for funds.
- Proximity to surface waters, public drinking water sources or karst geology with underground drainage systems or open sinkholes.
- The project must meet the design and construction standards established by the commission.
- Any other criteria considered by the conservation district, as applicable, and approved by the commission.
ACAP provides grant funding to eligible projects through delegated local county conservation districts.
- The grant is a reimbursement grant.
- The amount of reimbursement is based on eligible costs submitted by an approved applicant for an approved project.
- A single grant awarded to an eligible applicant over $500,000 must be considered by the Commission before approval.
- Project design, engineering and associated planning costs.
- Project construction or installation provided by a contractor, including labor provided by the applicant.
- Equipment, materials and other components of eligible projects
- Post construction inspections
How to Apply
Applicants can apply for a ACAP Program grant through their County Conservation District.
The State Conservation Commission has no prescribed application period. Contact your local conservation district to see if they have any prescribed application periods or whether applications may be submitted to the conservation district at any time.