NMPF-Led Environmental Stewardship Proposal Moves Forward in Congress

The Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act, which advances key environmental policy priorities for dairy farmers, has made strides in both houses of Congress in the past few weeks, with introduction in the House of Representatives and advancement in a Senate committee.

Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Tom Reed (R-NY), both of whom serve on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, introduced on June 16 the House version of the bill, which would create a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit for nutrient recovery technologies and biogas systems. Much of the measure initially advanced in the House last summer as part of a larger package called the Moving Forward Act. This legislation will help fulfill the goals of the dairy sector’s Net Zero Initiative by spurring greater on-farm energy production and enhancing environmental mitigation.

The House introduction followed Senate action that moves the bill even further in that chamber. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) successfully secured the inclusion of the legislation as part of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden’s Clean Energy for America Act. The Senate Finance Committee successfully advanced the bill on May 26, positioning it for inclusion in a broader legislative package.

NMPF has long sought passage of this measure in partnership with the American Biogas Council to reduce dairy’s environmental footprint and help address nationwide water-quality challenges.

“The bipartisan Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act recognizes the value that biogas systems can have for dairy producers of all sizes as they continuously improve their sustainability nationwide,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF in a statement. “This new investment tax credit also incorporates nutrient recovery technologies, which can transform manure into fertilizer for crops and bedding for cows. These technologies are important, but expensive. This bill will help farmers incorporate these new technologies into their operations, for the benefit of everyone.”