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The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, aka the Farm Bill, was approved by the House of Representatives on Dec. 12 in a 369-47 vote and by the Senate on Dec. 11 with a 87-13 vote.

Inside the bill are provisions related to composting and food waste reduction. Of particular interest to municipalities is a provision that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to launch grant-funded programs to develop and implement municipal composting plans and food waste reduction plans. Eligible projects must also increase access to compost for agricultural producers. It allocates $25 million/year for pilot projects in at least 10 states.

Another program will establish an “Interagency Biogas Opportunities Task Force” to focus on policies, programs and research to accelerate the growth of biogas systems. Additionally, one million dollars will be allocated for a “Carbon Utilization and Biogas Education Program” partially focused on agricultural “opportunities for aggregation of organic waste from multiple sources into a single biogas system.”

NRC will be watching this closely and reporting on developments as they arise.