A pilot program agreement between Minnesota and the federal government may ensure cleaner waterways, but will come at a price. A Memorandum of Understanding between Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), aims to establish a program to reward members of the agriculture industry who agree to meet certain water protection standards.
The voluntary program will give farm operators who adopt practices from the Clean Water Act (CWA) an exemption from future state and federal water quality standards for a certain period of time. The exemption period could last as long as 10 years. The CWA regulates pollutant discharges into U.S. waters and quality standards for surface waters.
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