The goal of the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act is to protect surface and ground water from potential pollutants as a result of agriculture and forestry operations. The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act was passed in 1994 to bring Kentucky into compliance with Federal laws. There are about 60 separate state regulations governing water quality as related to agriculture and forestry. The majority of these regulations have been a part of the Kentucky Revised Statute for many years. The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act did not establish any new water quality laws other than requiring that all landowners with 10 or more acres in agriculture and/or forestry production develop and implement a water quality plan by October 21, 2001. The law is recorded in KRS 224.71-100 et seq.
What is required?
The Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Act requires landowners with 10 or more acres to develop and implement a plan to protect surface and ground water from pollution due to agriculture or forestry activities. You will need to update your plan each year or when there are changes in your farming operation.
Do I have to register my plan?
Landowners must keep a copy of their plan, but are not required to file their water quality plan with any governmental agency. You may be required to furnish a copy of your plan to participate in certain state and federal agricultural cost share programs and training programs. You will need to produce a copy of your plan if a water quality problem is identified and traced to your operation. Keep any records, receipts, inspection schedules and other materials that will help verify that you are implementing your plan. A self-certification form should be filed with your Conservation District office. By signing this form, you certify that you understand the requirements of the Agriculture Water Quality Act and that you have developed a water quality plan for your operation.
Individual agriculture water quality plans are based on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are identified in the Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Authority Plan. These BMPs can help reduce the amount of pollutants that reach our water resources.
Many landowners find that they are already applying good conservation measures that protect water quality. Others find that only a few changes are needed and these often result in improved efficiency and profitability for the operation. Your agriculture water quality plan will identify the current BMPs and help you decide if you need additional practices. BMPs establish a minimum acceptable level for planning, siting, designing, installing, operating, and maintaining agriculture and forestry facilities and operations.
Landowners who have a conservation plan, compliance plan or a forest stewardship plan may need to update and expand that plan to be sure that it includes protection of water resources.
To be valid, Agriculture Water Quality Plans must be current and address existing operations on your land. Call the Kenton County Conservation District office for assistance.
Click below for an on-line tool that can be used to assess your operation and identify BMPs to be included in your individual plan.