Ohio Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program

What it is

Ohio’s Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program (APAP) is a water quality program that encourages voluntary actions to manage water pollution impacts from agricultural and forest management land uses, provides cost-sharing for agricultural pollution prevention, and allows ODNR to take measures against those who do not voluntarily address an agricultural pollution problem.  For purposes of the program, “agricultural pollution” is the failure to use appropriate practices in farming operations  to abate, or lessen, soil erosion or water quality impacts caused by animal waste or soil sediments. 

Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts are initially responsible for implementing the program, with final oversight and enforcement authority held by ODNR’s Division of Soil and Water Resources.

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Ohio’s Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program (APAP) is administered by Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation (DSWC) and implemented locally by all 88 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). 901:13-1 of the Ohio Administrative Code establish state standards for a level of management and conservation practices in farming and animal feeding operations on farms in order to abate excessive soil erosion or the pollution of waters of the state by soil sediment and animal manure. These rules also define Ohio’s pollution abatement grant program for landowners or operators to voluntarily install conservation practices.

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The Chief of ODA-DSWC has entered into cooperative agreements with all 88 SWCDs to implement the APAP.

SWCDs assist ODA-DSWC in implementing the Agricultural Pollution Abatement Program by providing landowners and farm operators’ technical assistance, advice and expertise and informing them of the level of conservation necessary to comply with the rules and standards.

When agricultural pollution abatement violations cannot be resolved voluntarily, the division may choose to assess civil penalties to those who fail to comply with the rules and standards.

SWCD Board of Supervisors or their designees perform the following tasks:

  • Approve or disapprove nutrient management plans;
  • Approve or disapprove operation and management plans; and
  • Investigate agricultural pollution complaints.
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