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New Incentive Scheme for Litter Transport

by 5m Editor
11 August 2008, at 8:57am

US - The Oklahoma Conservation Commission is again providing an incentive programme to defray the cost for hauling poultry litter from the watersheds of Illinois River and Spavinaw Creek.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has provided to the Conservation Commission a grant of $370,000 for the program, according to High Plains/Mid West Ag Journal.

The time period of the program will be until the money runs out. The new program begins on 1 August and will provide transportation incentive for all litter delivered after that date so long as the request for payment is pre-approved. The previous program, modeled after a program by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to move animal waste, ended in May 2009.

The information required of the applicant and the application form will remain the same as in the previous program but there are some changes in the operation of the program.

To be guaranteed payment of the incentive, all buyers of litter must have their request for payment pre-approved through their local conservation district office before their litter has been ordered. The conservation district will then seek pre-approval from the Water Quality Division of the Conservation Commission before the application can be approved. As before, pre-approval must be in writing and attached to each claim when submitted. Pre-approvals will expire six months after they are granted. At that time, a buyer may apply for a six-month extension but if they fail to do so, the money assigned to them will be re-obligated to another buyer.

The process should be for the buyer to contact the conservation district office for the application and pre-approval and the district office in turn will contact the Conservation Commission's Water Quality staff assigned to pre-approval. An estimate of tons to be ordered and of mileage will be required. OCC will be obligated to pay only the pre-approved amount or less. Any buyers contacting OCC directly will be referred back to the district office for processing of their claim and pre-approval.

If a buyer orders litter without getting pre-approval, he may apply for it after the litter has been purchased but payment is not guaranteed as all the money may already be obligated to others who have already made application.

The new program will only pay $.03/ton/loaded mile instead of the previous higher rate. The cap will remain at $8/ton. This means that litter transport incentive extends up to a maximum distance of 266 miles. A purchaser whose litter is transported more than 266 miles must pay the full cost of any transport beyond 266 miles. Conservation districts will still receive a per-ton fee for each of the claims they process.

Beginning 1 August, all buyers that participated and were pre-approved for the previous litter hauling program and still have not filed claims for the incentive, must reapply at their conservation district office and request pre-approval under the new program at the new rate. Funding for the previous program is exhausted and the new program is their only alternative. A $10,000 cap applies to each purchaser of litter regardless of whether they applied for the incentive under the previous grant, the current one or a combination of the two. For purposes of this grant, a purchaser is a farm or ranching operation. Family members who all live on the same operation and apply for and receive funding are governed by one $10,000 cap the same as a single individual.

Other requirements remaining from the earlier program are:

- That the application field where the litter will be spread must have had a soil test within the previous three years.
-A nutrient management plan or an animal waste management plan for the intended area of application must have been applied for at the Conservation District office.
-The person or company applying the litter must have a litter applicator license (obtained from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry).
-The litter cannot be spread within the watershed of a state Scenic River, Spavinaw/Eucha watershed or any nutrient-limited watershed as defined by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

Ineligible areas

The incentive cannot be collected for poultry litter spread in the area of nutrient-limited watersheds or areas designated as those with high or very high vulnerability of groundwater to pollution from surface activities.

Maps of nutrient-limited watersheds and areas of high or very high groundwater vulnerability and more details on the program can be found online at www.ok.gov/okcc/documents/litter-eligible-areas2.pdf. This link goes to an unofficial list of nutrient-limited watersheds and areas of high or very high groundwater vulnerability. There is no guarantee of accuracy implied. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Water Quality Division, at 405-530-8800, www.owrb.ok.gov/.

For help understanding these requirements or finding out where the various ineligible areas are, contact your local conservation district office. For help contacting your conservation district, consult the conservation district directory online at www.conservation.ok.gov, or call 405-521-2384. A directory of locations and telephone numbers of the state's 88 local conservation districts is also available online at www.ok.gov/okcc/Directory/Directory_of_Conservation_District_Offices.

For help finding litter providers or trucking firms, contact BMPs Inc. toll free at 866-304-2784 or order litter from their website at www.litterlink.com. Another resource for finding suppliers of litter is the Oklahoma State University litter market website at www.ok-littermarket.org/.

5m Editor