New Water Quality Loan Program for Livestock Producers
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By Patti Cale-Finnegan, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
A new loan program to assist livestock producers with projects to protect water quality -- the Livestock Water Quality Facilities Program -- will be available in March 2005. The program is a joint effort of the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Finance Authority.
The program offers low-interest loans for a variety of eligible practices, including waste treatment structures; manure handling equipment; and runoff controls such as sediment control basins and filter strips. Applicants must have a comprehensive nutrient management plan, but can roll the cost of preparing their plan into a loan.
The program is limited to animal feeding operations with 1,000 animal unit capacity or less, built before Dec. 31, 2001. Current federal rules do not allow assistance for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or assistance for operations that will become CAFOs as a result of the project. However, use of loan funds will be allowed for operations attempting to redress problems that could cause them to be designated as a CAFO.
The minimum loan amount is $10,000. Loans from $10,000 to $25,000 and loans for purchase of equipment and machinery will be made directly by the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority. Loans of more than $25,000 will be made through participating local lenders. Program loans can provide up to 100 percent of the costs of a project, or can be used to complement other funding sources such as cost-share or EQIP grants.
The funding for this program comes from the Iowa Water Quality Loan Fund, which was established to provide financing for non-point source water quality projects. It offers three other financing programs to help Iowans address non-point source water quality problems, including programs for local water protection, onsite wastewater systems, and general non-point source projects.
The Iowa Water Quality Loan Fund is the non-point source fund of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources administers the CWSRF in partnership with the Iowa Finance Authority. The CWSRF is funded through federal grants, state bond proceeds, and loan repayments, and since 1989 has financed municipal wastewater treatment systems. In 2002, the Iowa General Assembly passed legislation to establish the CWSRF to fund non-point source projects.
Interested applicants may contact the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority at (515) 281-6444 or check the web at www.iowasrf.com.