Cory Booker and Mike Lee Intro Bipartisan Bill to Improve Conservation Program
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Improvement Act. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program in the Farm bill that provides farmers and ranchers with federal cost-share grants to implement environmentally-beneficial conservation practices on working agricultural land. An analysis of EQIP between 2009 and 2016 showed that just 14% of all EQIP funding went towards certain conservation practices, while more than 20% of EQIP funds was spent on infrastructure practices that produce relatively little environmental benefit. This bill would readjust funding to prioritize conservation practices with significantly greater environmental and water quality benefits. “With the changes proposed in this bill, we’ll see more federal funding go toward providing critical financial support to our small family farmers, all while better protecting water quality and soil health,” Booker said. More here.