Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program

What is the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance (MAEAP) Program?

The MAEAP is designed to help you reduce pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer risks to groundwater around your farm and home. MAEAP brings together the resources of state, federal, local and private groups in an effort to protect the state's groundwater resources. The program is funded through fees that are assessed on pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers.

Why Protect Groundwater?

Half of Michigan's residents rely on ground water for their drinking water. Groundwater also recharges our surface waters, which are used for drinking, as well as habitat for fish and other creatures in rivers, streams and lakes. Preventing groundwater contamination is necessary to sustain our health and quality of life here in the Great Lakes State.

How does the Program Help to Protect Water?

MAEAP helps individuals protect ground water through a mix of the following elements:

  • Information/education - raises awareness of activities which may pose a risk to groundwater
  • Technical assistance - helps individuals implement practices to reduce those risks to groundwater
  • Cost share - provides financial support for the implementation of a variety of groundwater stewardship practices
  • Research/demonstration - identifies potential groundwater problems and solutions to those problems

Local groundwater stewardship teams work together to ensure that the mix of these elements meets local needs and interest. Local teams may include farmers, commodity groups, agribusiness, health department personnel, citizens and others. The teams also provide a collective voice for pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer users in determining the direction of the statewide program.

MAEAP Stewardship Practices

A number of stewardship practices are available which will help to reduce the risk of groundwater contamination, including:

  • equipment calibration
  • pre-sidedress nitrate testing
  • nutrient management
  • well decommissioning
  • healthy lawn and garden practices

Cost Share availability for some of these practices varies from year to year. 

 Educational Materials

Farm*A*Syst is a series of fact sheets and worksheets used to evaluate risks in and around the farmstead. All assessment materials remain on the farm, so they are completely confidential. Farmers who complete a Farm*A*Syst on-site with a trained groundwater technician, are eligible to obtain up to six pesticide re-certification credits, as well as other technical assistance and cost-share opportunities. Field*A*Syst is an expansion of Farm*A*Syst materials designed to address risks associated with the field application of pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers.

Home*A*Syst is a voluntary, confidential self-assessment program individuals can use to evaluate their home and property for pollution and health risks. Eight Home*A*Syst chapters cover essential topics that every homeowner or resident should be aware of. Each chapter contains key points, along with tables or worksheets that help identify and reduce home risks. Lawn*A*Syst and Managing Shoreline Property to Protect Water Quality are supplements to Home*A*Syst that examine home yard care and the special role of shoreline property owners in pollution prevention.

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Other Programs


The MWSP also partners with the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program, an industry-led program which uses voluntary self-assessment tools to help golf courses reduce environmental risks, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat.

Clean Sweep

Many of us have unused or unusable pesticides stored on our property. Clean Sweep helps eliminate these risks. Individuals can bring unwanted pesticides to one of Michigan's Clean Sweep sites for proper disposal at little or no cost to the landowner. The MWSP. along with the Environmental Protection Agency and local agencies, pays for the disposal of these pesticides.

Container Recycling

MWSP teamed up with the Grower Service Corporation to introduce the Container Recycling program. Each year thousands of plastic pesticide containers are collected, ground up for easy handling and recycled. A list of locations accepting containers for recycling can be found under "Groundwater Protection Practices" in the "Conservation Begins with You" section of this web site.

Spill Response Program

This program helps reduce environmental impacts associated with pesticide, fertilizer and manure spills. If a spill occurs, agri-chemical users call the Michigan Department of Agriculture 24-hour hotline (1-800-405-0101). This gives access to information, technical assistance, and in some cases financial assistance for dealing with the control, containment and cleanup of a spill. MGSP provides funding for this program.

Michigan Emergency Tube

The Michigan Emergency Tube project helps farmers be prepared for an emergency and protects local emergency crews. A farm emergency plan is developed, placed in a weather-resistant tube, and located outside where it can be accessed by emergency crews. This is an expansion of the MGSPs Farm*A*Syst section on emergency preparedness which helps farmers meet legal requirements such as SARA Title III.

Groundwater Monitoring

This program is designed to determine the nature and extent of pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer contamination in Michigan's groundwater. This is done to reduce the potential for negative health impacts, and to improve MWSP understanding of risks to groundwater associated with different

Other Resources

For more information, visit the following web sites:

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