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Smart Sectors

Agriculture Sector Information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and EPA are the primary agencies that regulate the agriculture sector. The following links are intended to help Smart Sectors partners and the public learn more about how the EPA works with the agriculture sector.

Basic EPA information

EPA regulatory information

EPA resources

  • Funding Sources Database — Searchable catalog of federal funding sources for watershed protection
  • Sustainable Materials Management Prioritization Tools — Free, life cycle-based tools that offer a starting place to establish priorities for environmental improvement, focus limited financial and human resources where action could offer greater holistic benefit, and consider key industries for collaboration.

Water resources

  • Irrigation District Video — A video to describe an innovative collaboration between EPA, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Farmer’s Irrigation District, which used Clean Water State Revolving Fund resources to solve a number of environmental and economic issues.
  • Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters — This handbook is intended to help communities, watershed organizations, state, local, tribal and federal environmental agencies develop and implement watershed plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resources.
  • National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Agriculture — Technical guidance and reference document for use by state, local and tribal managers in the implementation of nonpoint source pollution management programs.
  • Protecting Water Quality from Agricultural Runoff fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 119 K, About PDF)— This document explains how agricultural runoff affects water quality.
  • Healthy Watersheds Program (HWP) fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 178 K, About PDF) — EPA’s HWP takes a collaborative approach to maintaining clean waters by supporting EPA and its partners in assessing and protecting watershed health through CWA programs.
  • Animal Agriculture Discussion Group— A collaborative effort between EPA and animal agriculture to protect water quality.
  • Nutrient Pollution — EPA’s Nutrient Pollution website provides links to many nutrient pollution and fertilizer management resources and programs.
  • WaterSense — EPA’s WaterSense program works to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by labelling products, new homes and services that use less water.
  • Trash-Free Waters — Common trash from consumer goods make up the majority of what eventually becomes marine debris, polluting our waterways and oceans. Plastics in the aquatic environment are of increasing concern because of their persistence and effect on the environment, wildlife and human health. EPA's Trash-Free Waters program is reducing the volume of trash entering U.S. waterways.

Air resources

Food resources

  • Anaerobic Digestion website — EPA’s Anaerobic Digestion site provides basic information about anaerobic digesters, including benefits, projects, tools and resources. For example, EPA currently maintains a database of the name and location of AD facilities processing food waste.
  • Food Recovery Challenge — As part of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, organizations pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices and report their results.
  • Food Steward’s Pledge — The Food Steward's Pledge is part of an ongoing effort to engage with the faith community and raise awareness about the importance of food waste. The goal of the pledge is to encourage faith communities to reduce wasted food, increase donated food and increase composting.
  • Food: Too Good to Waste — Food: Too Good to Waste includes an implementation guide and toolkit that aims to reduce wasteful household food management practices.
  • GreenChill — EPA's GreenChill voluntary program aims to reduce refrigerant emissions to protect the ozone layer and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. By encouraging the adoption of green refrigeration technologies and best environmental practices, GreenChill helps food retailers transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, lower refrigerant charge sizes and eliminate leaks.
  • Local Foods, Local Places — Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create more livable neighborhoods by promoting local foods.
  • Food Manufacturing Pollution Prevention Techniques — This table provides many helpful resources for food manufacturers.
  • P2 National Emphasis Area: Food Manufacturing — EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics provides grant funds through the regions that support more state-based efforts benefitting sustainable food manufacturing.  These projects result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, hazardous materials generation and use and/or business costs.  The Food Manufacturing National Emphasis Area (NEA) is a grant guideline that encourages states to submit grants that benefit a particular activity or sector.
  • Sustainable Materials Management Program — The Sustainable Materials Management program focuses on the food system by supporting programs and initiatives that reduce food waste and promote the sustainable management of packaging. 

Pesticide resources

  • Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program — The Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program’s mission is to reduce pesticide risk in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings through public-private partnerships that promote IPM.

Non-EPA resources