Winter 2015 Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1
Conservation Matters New Year, New Publication: We welcome you to our first newsletter! We hope you find that it is filled with educational information, helpful hints and tips, events, news and updates on different programs the NCCD administers. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve. You are receiving this first issue because we feel the contents of our newsletters may be of interest to you. Please feel free to share it with anyone you think may be interested. You may contact us at any time by email or phone to be added to, or removed from, our mailing list. Simply call 570-4954665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would rather “Go Green,” email us with the words “electronic newsletter” in the subject line and we will send our newsletter to you electronically. Sincerely,
Judy Becker Inside this issue Pennsylvania First in Nation to Preserve Half-Million Acres of Prime Farmland ..........................2 Support the NCCD ......................3 Dirt, Gravel, & Low Volume Paved Roads........................................….4 Erosion & Sediment Pollution Control, Construction. .............….5 Annual Tree Sale......................….6 County Bridge Reopens ...........….6 Streambank Turmoil ................….6 ACT 38 Revisions .....................….7 Manure Management Plans ...….7 Directors and Staff ..................….8 Our staff: Front row (l. to r.) Nathan Brophy, Michael McCleary; Back row (l. ro r.) Jaci Harner, Judy Becker, Shirley Snyder
Our Programs: Erosion and Sedimentation Control, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Dam Safety and Waterway Management, Environmental Education, Nutrient Management, Chesapeake Bay Program, Dirt & Gravel Roads, Agricultural Land Preservation, Watershed Protection and Education
Visit www.nccdpa.org for more informaƟon. We are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nccdpa.
Why is Farmland Preservation so important? The most recent Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), covering the 25year period between 1982 and 2007, reveals that more than 23 million acres of America’s agricultural land have been lost to development—an area the size of Indiana. According to the NRI, not a single state in the continental United States was left untouched. In fact, the most fertile land was developed at a disproportionately high rate. Thirty-eight percent of the agricultural land developed nationwide was prime, the land that is best suited to produce food and other agricultural crops.
Pennsylvania First in Nation to Preserve Half-Million Acres of Prime Farmland In the biggest milestone yet for the nation’s most successful farmland preservation effort, on October 16, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Agriculture Secretary George Greig commemorated the preservation of more than a half-million acres of prime Pennsylvania farmland from future development. The ceremony took place at Flinchbaugh’s Orchard in York County. Four generations and 60 years after arriving in York County, the Flinchbaugh family of Flinchbaugh’s Orchard and Farm Market preserved 235 acres of their 420 acre farm. The farm was identified for its fertile and productive soil, development pressure and use of conservation practices that safeguard the environment. Pennsylvania has invested nearly $1.3 billion in protecting 500,079 acres of the state’s best farmland on 4,704 farms in 57 participating counties since its state program was established in 1988. The program boasts the most preserved farms and acres of production farmland in the country. The program’s success is due to widespread support from taxpayers who, in a statewide vote, funded bond issues that put Pennsylvania on the fast track to preserving farmland. In 2001, American Farmland Trust recognized Pennsylvania as the national leader in
number of farms preserved as well as total acreage preserved. “Preserving farmland requires a number of partners including landowners, county program administrators, our state staff and the volunteer board,” said Greig. “Because of this teamwork, we’re ensuring the continued success of the cornerstone of our state’s economy and keeping Pennsylvania growing for our next agriculturalists.” Pennsylvania’s more than 59,000 farms are within a day’s drive of half of the United States’ population. Since 2007, Pennsylvania, home to the nation’s most productive non-irrigated soil, has lost more than 100,000 acres of farmland, and is down to 7.7 million acres in agricultural production. Agriculture is the state’s largest industry, with $7.4 billion worth of products sold in 2012, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and an estimated $74 billion in economic impact. One in seven Pennsylvania jobs are related to agriculture. “We’ve ensured that this land will be able to provide its neighbors with fresh, local food for generations to come,” said Gov. Corbett. “We’re preserving a way of life for thousands of farm families.” In Northumberland County, 18 farms have gone into the program totaling 2,147 acres preserved. Between the state and the county, our program has received almost $2.6 million. There is currently a waiting list of 55 farms, totaling over 6,000 acres. For more information, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “farmland preservation.” For specific county information, visit
www.nccdpa.org “programs” page.
Support the NCCD! There are many ways to get involved with our organization. We welcome your involvement, as well as your ideas and input! Visit our website at www.nccdpa.org to see how you can get involved with NCCD today, either through volunteering or becoming an affiliate member. As we begin the New Year, we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our 2014 Affiliate Members for their support: Conservation Partner: PPL Corporation, Bloomsburg Associate Members: Anonymous Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., Shamokin Daniel Shingara Enterprises, Inc., Paxinos Doli Construction Corp., Chalfont First National Insurance, Selinsgrove Great Valley Consultants, Wyomissing Keefer and Associates, Inc., Sunbury Kevin E. Raker Construction, LLC Keystone Group Agricultural Seeds, New Columbia KPI Technology, Elysburg Pheasants Forever (Central Susquehanna Chapter), Bloomsburg Pioneer, New Columbia R. Wintersteen Excavating, Danville Robert Snyder Farms, Inc., Northumberland Rovendale Ag and Barn, Inc., Watsontown Sandra Shaffer Mattern, Dalmatia Turbotville National Bank, Turbotville Valley Ag and Turf, Halifax Watson Excavating, Inc., Watsontown
County consultants workshop held jointly with Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Snyder, and Union counties.
Contributing Members: H.H. Knoebel Sons, Inc., Elysburg Scattered Acres Farm, Elysburg Affiliate Members: Ag Choice Farm Credit ACA, Lewisburg Central Builders Supply Company, Sunbury Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver, 108th District Donald H. Beagle Excavating, Danville Philip Dunn, Mt. Joy Earthwork Services, LLC, Danville Hilltop Environmental Engineering, Inc., New Berlin Hoober, Inc., Intercourse Lenape Solar, LLC, Sunbury Mahantango Game Farm, LLC, Dalmatia Dennis Martz, Dalmatia Paul Q. Ross Construction, Inc., Sunbury Pik Rite, Inc., Lewisburg Sunbury Animal Hospital, Sunbury Uni-Tec Consulting, State College
This year’s county Envirothon winner: Northumberland Christian School.
Dirt, Gravel, & Low Volume Paved Roads Unpaved roads serve Pennsylvania’s 5 major industries of tourism, forestry, mining, oil & gas extraction, and recreation. Roads affect streams by interrupting natural drainage patterns, concentrating runoff, generating additional sediment, and transporting excess sediment and other pollutants into streams. The Dirt & Gravel Roads program was established in September 1998 for the purpose of funding safe, efficient and environmentally sound maintenance of sections of dirt and gravel roads. Since the program’s inception 4 million dollars has been allocated annually to the 66 conservation districts in Pennsylvania for the purpose of giving grants to municipalities for the maintenance of dirt & gravel roads. The main focus of the program has been to reduce or eliminate the pollution of streams by dirt & gravel roads. Since 1998 approximately 17% of the state’s dirt & gravel roads have been improved through this program. In 2013 the amount available to municipalities was increased to 28 million dollars. Eight million dollars of this is dedicated for the maintenance of low-volume paved roads with less than 500 vehicles per day. The focus remains on drainage issues and impacts to Pennsylvania’s streams.
What does this mean to Northumberland County and its municipalities? The county’s allocation has been greatly increased from approximately $40,000 per year to $198,482 for dirt and gravel roads and $104,981 for low-volume paved roads. We have been told this money will be available for the 2015 spring & summer construction season. When the funds are available we will be sending notification to all municipalities in the county to submit applications for grants. Please remember that any equipment, material or manpower provided by the municipality can be used as inkind funds and should be designated as such on the application. In order to be eligible to receive funding through this program the applying municipality must have at least 1 employee certified as having completed a 2-day Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Training Program administered by the Penn State Center for Dirt, Gravel, & Low Volume Roads. This training must have been completed within the last 5 years. Anyone who wishes to be certified will have to wait for the next round of trainings to be offered at a time to be announced in 2015. We urge all municipalities to take advantage of the small investment of sending a representative to this training in order to be eligible to receive some of the available funding. For more information call Michael McCleary at (570) 4954665 extension 302.
Erosion & Sediment Pollution Control, Construction, Stormwater Run-off, and the Law Do you want to build a house? Maybe you are considering adding a barn or manure storage facility to your farm. You might want to extend the parking lot for your store or factory. Any of these activities may require an NPDES permit or an approved E&S plan. Where do you begin? The following definition is given in PA Code Title 25 Chapter 102 which deals with Erosion and Sediment Control: Earth Disturbance Activity â€“ A construction or other human activity which disturbs the surface of the land, including land clearing and grubbing, grading, excavations, embankments, land development, agricultural plowing or tilling, operation of animal heavy use areas, timber harvesting activities, road maintenance activities, oil and gas activities, well drilling, mineral extraction, and the moving, depositing, stockpiling, or storing of soil, rock or earth materials. The general guidelines as to whether a project requires a permit or approval under state law are: If less than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance is proposed, no plan is required. Environmentally sound Best Management Practices are required to be used during construction. If more than 5,000 square feet but less than 1 acre of earth disturbance is proposed, a plan must be available on site for review by various regulatory agencies during construction. This plan does not require approval unless a random review finds it to be inadequate or it is not being followed. (This plan must clearly display the extent of the proposed earth disturbance activity and how the environment will be protected during construction.) Earth disturbance in excess of 1 acre requires the submission of an NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit for review and approval by the local conservation district or DEP. An NPDES permit will include an E&S (Erosion and Sediment Pollution Control) Plan and Narrative as well as a Post Construction Stormwater Management Plan and Narrative. The PCSM plan must show the location and size of permanent Best Management Practices and show that they will contain the anticipated stormwater run-off on the site. Please check with the local municipality to see what regulations they have which might affect your project. For further information and assistance, please call Michael McCleary, Erosion & Sediment Technician at (570) 495-4665 extension 302.
County Bridge Reopens NCCD Annual Tree Sale T h e N o r th u m b e r l a n d C o un t y C o n se r v a t i o n District will be holding our Annual Tree Sale on April, 22 and 23, 2015 at the Rockefeller Township building located at 538 Seven Points Road, Sunbury, PA 17801. The deadline to order will be March 16, 2015. Price sheet and order brochures will be available in February. If you would like to receive a brochure, or for more information, please contact our office at (570)495-4665. Brochures will also be available on our website at www.nccdpa.org.
Northumberland County was able to fund and reopen the bridge on Sheep Lane Road in early October. The Bridge was closed since May 2012. A streambank stabilization project was then conducted to help plan for the future stability of the bridge. The Northumberland County engineer partnered with Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, as well as the Northumberland County Conservation
District (NCCD) to make this project possible. The project included the installation of multi-logs to divert the water back to the center of the stream channel reducing the size of the gravel bar on the opposite side. The multi–log structures helped to cut down on erosion, which reduces sediment load in the stream. Multi -logs are pinned into the ground using rebar and are then backfilled with large rock to help keep them in place during large rain events. The logs also create desirable fish habitat.
Streambank Turmoil Has your babbling brook turned into an eroding eyesore? Are you wondering why it got that way and what to do about it? You’re not alone. First, a quick explanation about WHY streams have changed. Our streams are carrying more water through their channels compared to the past. This is directly related to the change of land use activities that has occurred over the past 20-30 years. Increased development, agricultural activities, timbering, and roadway paving are decreasing the amount of water that filters into the ground; thus more water flows into the streams. When rain events occur, the increased amount of water flows faster, increases erosion and creates vertical banks. As more erosion occurs, more gravel bars are deposited causing yet another problem.
NCCD Tree sale
So, what can you do? One suggestion is to re-grade the stream banks. If a vertical bank is left as is, the bottom of the bank will continue to erode away causing the top of the bank to fall into the stream and wash away, and you will continue to lose property. If you re-grade the bank, water will be able to spread out and slow down, greatly reducing erosion and damage to your property. Take a look at existing stabilized banks upstream or downstream of your location and regrade your area to match the existing stabilized bank. Also, do not mow next to the stream or on your re-graded stream banks; rather, allow a variety of plants to grow on the sloped banks. Grasses, small bushes, and trees will provide a stabilizing root system to hold soil in place and will slow water flow during high water events. This activity does require an approved General Permit-3 and an Erosion and Sedimentation Plan. Our office is willing to help with planning and paperwork, if requested. Good luck and enjoy your new view of the stream!
ACT 38 Revisions There were revisions to the Act 38 Technical Manual 8.0 in October 2014. A significant policy change related to the nutrient management plan (NMP) submission deadline has been enacted. The new guidance reads: “The plan must be submitted and approved prior to the crop year it is to cover. If the plan is not approved before the crop year begins, no manure applications are allowed to occur before plan approval. Any manure applications made during a crop year, when there is not an approved plan, are not in compliance with the law.” The understanding and application of crop years, along with numerous NMP approvals happening after the crop year was one-half over, prompted this change in the submission deadline. The policy change regarding NMP submissions will become effective for the 2016 Crop Year. Therefore, NMPs for CY2016 and beyond should be submitted for review and approval earlier than in the past. Note that the review process can be 90 days and extended up to 180 days. If an NMP calls for fall manure application (the Act 38 planning crop year starts October 1), the NMP should probably be submitted in April or May (if not earlier) to guarantee that the plan is approved prior to the first planned manure application. “NMP Submission: Required Appendices and Supplemental Information” in the Nutrient Management Program Technical Manual has been updated to include this policy information effective for the 2016 crop year. There are also other policy changes, all of which may be found at https://meeting.psu.edu/nmprogram/. You may need to create an account at https://fps.psu.edu/ in order to log into the webinar.
Manure Management Plans Manure Management plans may be overwhelming looking though the Guidance book (Document 361-0300-002) for the first time. There are many questions as to what sections must be filled out, who must have an MMP, and what to do once the plan is complete. “Every farm in Pennsylvania that land applies manure or agricultural process wastewater (generated on the farm or received from an importer), regardless of size, is required to have and implement a written Manure Management Plan. This includes manure and agricultural process wastewater application by various types of equipment and/or direct application of manure by animals on pastures and in Animal Concentration Areas (ACAs). In other words, farms that do not mechanically apply manure but which do have
pastures or ACAs still need a manure management plan.” Completed plans are to remain on the farm and available upon request for D e p ar tm e n t o f Environmental Protection (DEP), Conservation Districts, as well as any other agency that would request the information. Northumberland County Conservation District has recently hired a new Agricultural Conservation Technician (ACT). Nathan Brophy started at the District in early October and is available to assist individuals in completing Manure Management Plans by appointment. Nathan is available by calling (570) 495-4665 Extension 304 or you may reach him via e m a i l a t email@example.com
PRE-SORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE
Northumberland County Conservation District 441 Plum Creek Road Sunbury, PA 17801 Phone: (570) 495-4665 Website: www.nccdpa.org
WILKES-BARRE, PA 18701 PERMIT NO. 243
Directors Northumberland County Conservation District The NCCD, formed in 1943 under the Conservation District Law, is a subdivision of state government and is one of 66 Conservation Districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The purpose of the Conservation District is to promote protection, m a i n t e n a n c e , improvement, and wise use of the land, water, and other natural resources.
Dave Crowl: Chairman, Public Leon Wertz: Vice-Chairman, Farmer Richard Shoch: Commissioner Gary Truckenmiller: Farmer John Kopp: Farmer Richard Daniels: Farmer
Mike Erdley: Public Dave Swank: Associate Blair Carbaugh: Associate Albert Mabus: Associate John Pfleegor: Associate Ted Carodiskey: AssociateÂ
Staff Judy Becker: District Manager, AgLand Preservation Shirley Snyder: Administrative Assistant Jaci Harner: Watershed Specialist, Nutrient Management Technician Michael McCleary: Erosion & Sediment Technician, Dirt & Gravel Roads Nathan Brophy: Agricultural Conservation Technician NCCD Board of Directors Meetings for the first half of the year are at 12:30pm in the NCCD EE Center January 8th, February 5th, March 5th, April 2nd