Upper Mississippi States: Innovative Financing for Nutrient Reduction

January 23, 2019 2:00 pm — 4:00 pm

Upper Mississippi States: Innovative Financing for Nutrient Reduction -- Webinar

Nutrient runoff from farms contributes to pollution of US waterways. There are opportunities to increase and diversify funding for nutrient reduction projects by coordinating with existing funding mechanisms. Although traditionally the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan programs have been used to upgrade sewage treatment plants and stormwater management systems, nutrient reductions could be advanced at lower cost if these funds are applied to farm-based conservation efforts in coordination with other programs. Federal and state entities, as well as soil and water conservation districts, are having conversations with farmers about reducing nutrient runoff through familiar Farm Bill programs and other grant programs. However, recent experience has shown that water and sewer financing programs can provide additional flexible funding for projects on farms while meeting nutrient management goals of wastewater treatment authorities.

Join ELI and our expert panelists to explore how focused efforts in states of the upper Mississippi River that bring together farming, wastewater treatment, and state financing agencies can provide new funding for on-farm polluted runoff projects. Panelists from Iowa, Illinois, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies will discuss how flexible funding structures that pair farmland with wastewater treatment providers can achieve targeted nutrient reduction in their respective states, and what they plan to achieve in the future.

Michael Curley, Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator

Nick Menninga, General Manager, Downers Grove Sanitary District (Illinois)

Randy VanDyke, CEO, Iowa Lakes Regional Water Authority

Jason Isakovic, Director of Legislative Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies

Lee Wagner, Program Planner, SRF Nonpoint Source Program, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

John Dunn, Director of Ames Water and Pollution Control Department (Iowa)