CDFA seeks comments on water, soils programs

California Department of Food and Agriculture

CDFA is now accepting public comments on draft Requests for Grant Applications

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting public comments on draft Requests for Grant Applications (RGA) for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and Healthy Soils Program (HSP), utilizing $30 million authorized by the Budget Act of 2018, and funded through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (SB 5). The HSP was additionally appropriated $5 million from the California Climate Investments (CCI), authorized by the Budget Act of 2018.

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program provides farmers and ranchers with grants to implement irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant or weather sensors, micro-irrigation systems, pump retrofits or replacements, renewable energy, and variable frequency drives (among others). The draft RGA for the SWEEP program is posted at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep. Public comments on the draft RGA for SWEEP will be accepted from October 26, 2018 through November 9, 2018, 5:00 P.M. PST (15-day comment period).

The Healthy Soils Program offers grants to farmers who take action to capture greenhouse gas emissions–such as carbon dioxide–in the soil to help combat climate change. The Healthy Soils Program will be implemented under two separate sections: Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects. The Incentives Program will award grants to provide financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Demonstration Projects will award projects that monitor and demonstrate to farmers and ranchers in California, specific management practices in agriculture that sequester carbon, improve soil health, and reduce atmospheric GHGs.

The RGAs for both the HSP Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects can be found on the CDFA Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) webpages: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html and https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/DemonstrationProjects.html .

Public comments on the draft RGA for HSP Incentives and Demonstration projects will be accepted from October 25, 2018 through November 8, 2018, 5:00 P.M. PST (15-day comment period).

Comments regarding the draft RGAs must be submitted to [email protected] no later than the comment submission dates provided above for SWEEP and HSP.

The Healthy Soils Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment– particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.

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