Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/1/2004
Citation: Winsten, J.R., Greenwood, K., Hession, C., Johnstone, S., Jokela, W., Kleinman, P.J., Meals, D., Michauld, A., Parsons, R., Pease, J., Sharpley, A.N., Thomas, E. 2004. Policy options for reducing phosphorus loading in Lake Champlain: Final Report to the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Government Publication/Report. 131 p.
Technical Abstract: This report describes the processes and outcomes of the project titled 'Developing and Assessing Policy Options for Reducing Phosphorus Loading in Lake Champlain.' While coordinated by Winrock International, this effort drew heavily on the input of nationally recognized scientists, economists, and policy experts with extensive experience on the issue of nonpoint-source phosphorus (P) pollution control. The goal of this project was to facilitate the achievement of the long-term P reduction goals set for Lake Champlain through the development of innovative policy strategies for agricultural land. The objectives of the project were to: (1) conduct a review and analysis of current policies and programs for controlling P loads in Lake Champlain; (2) provide a review and assessment of innovative strategies for controlling P loads in other watersheds throughout the U.S. and Canada; and (3) create a set of appropriate policy options for reducing P loads to Lake Champlain, with associated cost-benefit analyses. Many of the policy strategies presented in this report are novel and include: livestock exclusion from all lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams classified by USGS as first order (blue-line) or greater; establish and enforce a minimum 50-ft vegetative or forested riparian buffer on all cropland where runoff enters permanent water bodies; enact nutrient management legislation in Vermont and New York that requires all farms with a stocking rate over 0.5 animal units per acre to develop and implement certified nutrient management plans; create a subsidized program that allows livestock farms to ship manure from the farm to centrally located processing facilities in the most livestock-dense watersheds; create a matching service to link farms with surplus manure to farms that could use the manure; make additional cost-share funding available for farmers to remove P from manure produced on the farm; implement a performance-based policy to reward farmers for documented improvements in moving towards a mass balance of P on the farm; and create a Basin-wide team to work with individual farmers to assess potential problems, find least-cost solutions, and facilitate the incorporation of environmental quality concerns into long-term farm business planning.