The LPDD team is proud to announce the release of model Healthy Soils legislation for states, available here. Healthy Soils (HS) legislation is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector and increasing the amount of carbon stored in agricultural soils. Other benefits include enhancing the economic vitality of farms and ranches, making farms and ranches more resilient to extreme weather events, and mitigating water pollution.
The LPDD team has created a model legal document that surveys the chief provisions a state may consider including in HS legislation. It takes a menu approach in providing options for states to choose from. Many provisions on the menu are adapted from existing state-level HS legislation and programs, including programs for producer education and technical assistance, research and monitoring, upfront payments for conservation practices, grant programs with scoring criteria, outcome-based programs, and funding mechanisms. Appendix A includes a chart summarizing the status and key provisions of existing state-level HS legislation across the United States.
The model document also identifies other key issues not addressed in existing state-level HS legislation, including various ways to structure financial incentives, ensuring access to viable markets, innovative funding mechanisms, and managing expectations related to the evolving science on decarbonization in the agricultural sector.