150 Albert Gallatin Avenue, Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
(615) 452-3838, Ext. 3

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Today, Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) is the nation's largest source of water quality problems. It is the main reason that about 40 percent of our surveyed rivers, lakes, and estuaries are not clean enough to meet basic uses such as fishing or swimming. NPS pollution occurs when water runs over land or through the ground, picking up pollutants, and depositing them into rivers, lakes, and coastal waters or introducing them into ground water. NPS pollution is widespread because it can occur any time activities disturb the land or water. Agriculture, forestry, grazing, septic systems, recreational boating, urban runoff, construction, physical changes to stream channels, and habitat degradation are potential sources of NPS pollution. Careless or uninformed household management also contributes to NPS pollution.

To address this diffuse type of pollution, Congress established the Nonpoint Source Program, funded by the US-EPA through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture administers the Nonpoint Source Program in Tennessee on behalf of US-EPA. This program, created in 1987, provides funds to states, territories and Indian tribes for installing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to stop NPS pollution; providing training, education, and demonstrations; and monitoring water quality.

The TDA-NPS Program is non-regulatory, promoting voluntary, incentive-based solutions. It is a cost-share program, paying for 60% of the cost of a project. It is up to the grantee to come up with the remaining 40%, usually in cash and “in-kind” services. It primarily funds three types of programs:

  • BMP Implementation Projects improve an impaired waterbody, or prevent a non-impaired water from becoming placed on the 303(d) List. Projects of this type receive highest priority for funding. All projects involving BMPs must be based on an approved “Watershed Based Plan”. Small projects can be funded to write these plans.
  • Monitoring Projects. Up to 20% of the available grant funds assist water quality monitoring efforts in Tennessee streams, both in the state's 5-year watershed monitoring program, and also in performing before-and-after BMP installation, so that water quality improvements can be verified.
  • Educational Projects funded through TDA-NPS raise public awareness of practical steps that can be taken to eliminate NPS pollution.

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local governments, state agencies, soil conservation districts, and universities.

Contact: Responsible Staff @ xxx-xxx-xxxx x3

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

Giles County Soil Conservation District is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.

Burn Permits

Safety emphasized as warm weather brings increased activity:

Wildfire SeasonNashville, Tenn.– Visible signs of spring emerge as warm temperatures and sunny skies push back the doldrums from cold winters. As Tennesseans begin to take advantage of this weather to do some yard work around the home or farm, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry wants to remind folks that if they are considering conducting an open burn, a burn permit is required in advance of such activity.

“Burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient tool to get rid of such debris,” said State Forester Steven Scott. “However, it is very important that citizens practice safe outdoor burning

recommendations. Obtaining a burn permit in advance of debris burning is our way of making the public aware of those recommendations and helping them know when, where and how it is safe to burn.”

The free burn permits are required in all areas of the state by law from October 15 until May 15 unless otherwise covered by local ordinances, so residents should check with their local government for other restrictions. The permits can be obtained by calling toll free 1-877-350-BURN (2876) or by visiting www.BurnSafeTN.org. Permits are generally good for 24 hours and can be issued for weekend burns.

 

More than 415,000 permits were issued last year for activities that included unconfined, outdoor burning of brush and leaves, untreated wood waste and burning to clear land.

Once a burn permit is obtained, debris burners should practice common sense while conducting a burn. This includes:

  • Establish a control line around the fire, down to bare soil before conducting the burn.
  • Notify neighbors and local fire departments in advance as a courtesy.
  • Have tools on hand such as a leaf rake and garden hose or bucket of water to help control the fire.
  • Watch for changing weather conditions as winds can blow the fire in the wrong direction.

Always stay with your fire until it is completely out. It is not only the smart thing to do, but it is also illegal to leave an open fire unattended.

Escaped debris burns are the leading cause of wildfires in Tennessee. The Division’s burn permit system has dramatically helped reduce the numbers of escaped burns since the program began in 1995. Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $50. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.

For more information on the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, visit www.TN.gov/agriculture/forestry. For more information on safe debris burning, visit www.BurnSafeTN.org.

Web Soil Survey

Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world.

NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

 

FSA Staff

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