Nonpoint source pollution has been identified by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality as the primary source of degradation of freshwater rivers and streams in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Nonpoint Source Assessment Report, agriculture is the largest source of stream-use impacts in the state.
In 1984 the North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program (NCACSP) was established to reduce non-point source pollution caused by agriculture. The NCACSP encourages voluntary participation by the agricultural community by offering financial assistance for the installation of best management practices (BMPs). Participating landowners must fill out at an application and be approved by the local District Board of Soil and Water Supervisors before work begins in order to receive any cost assistance. Applications are accepted year round.
Qualifying landowners will receive 75% of predetermined average costs of installed BMPs with the remaining 25% paid by the landowner directly. There is a yearly cap of $75,000 per landowner. Most NCACSP contracts require a 10 year maintenance period on installed practices. During this time, BMPs completed under the program are subject to random checks by the District personnel to ensure proper use.