North Dakota Healthy Soils Page

On ground organizations have expressed interest in advancing healthy soils legislation forward in North Dakota.  Due to lack of capacity, a coalition to actively work on legislation has not yet formed. With funding, healthy soils legislation would become a policy priority in this state. For more information and to connect with local orgs please email


Legislative Status Update

Updates in 2023

SB2009 [LS] Appropriation for agriculture; funding for soil health grants (note: not renewed 2023-2025)

Updates in 2022


Updates in 2021

SB2342, Healthy Soil Grant and Healthy Soil Assessment and Education Program — failed to pass

Related Policies

Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program


Passed: 1987


U.S. Congress: Section 319 of the Clean Water Act 


No one specific sponsor


The North Dakota Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Program was created as a response to the Federal Clean Water Act, Section 319 which created a grant program for states to reduce nonpoint source pollution. The program aims to restore watersheds and improve water quality in the state and is the result of a partnership with local, state, and federal agencies and organizations who provide funding and technical assistance. 

The NPS program provides financial incentives to implement restoration and protection plans for 15 priority watersheds. Participants must apply for grants through their local NPS coordinator.

NPS is administered by the North Dakota Department of Environmental Qualit and guided by the North Dakota NPS Pollution Task Force. About 60% of funding comes from Federal funding through the EPA, and the rest of the funding is provided by the applicant. 

Soil Health Definition:

North Dakota NRCS: Soil quality, also referred to as soil health, is defined as how well soil does what we want it to do. Healthy soil gives us clean air and water, bountiful crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes.

Stated Goals:

  • Coordinate with the Total Maximum Daily Load Program (TMDL Program) and local partners to assess 15 priority watersheds to document the beneficial use conditions as well as the sources and causes of NPS pollutants impairing beneficial uses of the water bodies within the watersheds.
  • Develop and implement watershed restoration or protection plans for 15 priority sub-watersheds. Success of these projects will be defined by restoration of impaired uses; applied best management practices (BMPs) and progress toward pollutant load reductions described in the approved watershed-based plans, in cooperation with local partners.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of water quality and beneficial use impairments associated with NPS pollution as well as the sources and causes of NPS pollution in the state through media at the state and local level.

Program Required Measurements:

  • N/A 

Tools & Guidance: 

Funding Source/s:

  • Federal funding via EPA 
  • Landowner cost share 

Funding Type/s:  

  • Grants

Practices Eligible for Funding: 

  • Research projects to determine the sources and causes of NPS pollution 
  • Practices that reduce or prevent NPS pollution such as cover crops, no-till practices, etc.
  • Projects that inform communities about NPS pollution management

Agencies Involved:

Rulemaking Process:

  • Final guidelines for the program are set by the North Dakota Department of Health 

State Universities & Researchers: 

Agricultural Organizations & Technical Assistance:

Education & Advocacy Groups

This site is meant to facilitate groups, agencies, and individuals wishing to learn about and advance soil health policy. Organization names are not mentioned here for privacy, interested parties are encouraged to send an email to the state page contact with requests for state-specific information.

Lessons Learned:



Last Update 01/18/2024