Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Conservation Reserve Program, 45606-45607 [E9-21236]

Download as PDF 45606 Notices Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 170 Thursday, September 3, 2009 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. Signed in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2009. Carolyn B. Cooksie, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency. [FR Doc. E9–21294 Filed 9–2–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Farm Service Agency Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Conservation Reserve Program Information Collection; Request for Aerial Photography; Correction AGENCY: Farm Service Agency, USDA. AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA. ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) and request for comments. Notice and request for comments; correction. ACTION: SUMMARY: We are making a correction to the notice that requested a revision of a currently approved information collection associated with Request for Aerial Photography. The notice was published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2009 (74 FR 14769–14770). The original notice inadvertently only included the burden for one of the two forms in the information collection request. This corrects that oversight. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Ann Ball, Regulatory Review Group, (202) 720–4283, or e-mail: maryann.ball@wdc.usda.gov. pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES Correction In the Federal Register notice published on April 1, 2009 (74 FR 14769–14770), on page 14770, first column, under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION which begins on page 14769, correct the burden estimated numbers by replacing the estimates to read: Estimate of Burden: The public reporting burden for this information collection is estimated to average 36 minutes per respondent. Estimated Number of Respondents: 6300. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Total Annual Number of Respondents: 6300. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3770. VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:27 Sep 02, 2009 Jkt 217001 SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Farm Service Agency (FSA), on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), intends to complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) assessing the environmental impacts of changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) required by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill). DATES: To ensure the full range of the issues and alternatives related to CRP are addressed, FSA invites comments. We will consider comments that we receive by October 19, 2009. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent possible. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for dates and addresses for nine public meetings. ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this Notice of Intent. In your comments, include the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • E-Mail: CRPcomments@tecinc.com. • Online: Go to http://public.geomarine.com. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: (757) 594–1469. • Mail: CRP SEIS, c/o TEC Inc., 8 San Jose Drive, Suite 3–B, Newport News, Virginia 23606. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the above address. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may be inspected in the Office of the Director, CEPD, FSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Room 4709 South Building, Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Ponish, National Environmental Compliance Manager, USDA, FSA, CEPD, Stop 0513, 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0513, (202) 720–6853, or email: Matthew.Ponish@wdc.usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). More detailed information on CRP may be obtained at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr &topic=crp. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The SEIS is being prepared on CRP to provide FSA decision makers and the public with an analysis that evaluates program effects in appropriate contexts, describes the intensity of adverse as well as beneficial impacts, and addresses cumulative impacts of CRP. CRP is authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 (the 1985 Farm Bill), as amended and is governed by regulations published in 7 CFR part 1410. CRP is a voluntary program that supports the implementation of long-term conservation measures designed to improve the quality of ground and surface waters, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat on environmentally sensitive agricultural land. In return, CCC provides participants with rental payments and cost share assistance under contracts extending from 10 to 15 years. CRP is a CCC program administered by FSA with the support of other Federal and local agencies. In 2003, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed by FSA for the CRP evaluating the environmental consequences of implementing the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. This SEIS will assess the potential environmental impacts of changes made to the program in provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 110–246). The changes that will be assessed in the SEIS are: E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 170 / Thursday, September 3, 2009 / Notices • In general, the CRP purposes now explicitly include addressing issues raised by state, regional and national conservation initiatives (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(a)). • The cropping history requirements are updated to 4 of 6 years from 2002 to 2007 (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(b)). • The enrollment authority is set at 39.2 million acres through 2009 and reduced to 32.0 million acres for fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(d)). • Alfalfa and multiyear grasses and legumes in a rotation practice with an agricultural commodity may contribute towards meeting crop history requirements (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(g)). • The authority is granted to except acreage enrolled under continuous signup and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program provided county government concurs (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(b)). • CCC requires management by the participant throughout the contract term to implement the conservation plan (see 16 U.S.C 3843). • CCC provides exceptions to general prohibitions (see 16 U.S.C. 3844) on use including: Æ Managed harvesting with appropriate vegetation management during named periods and with a payment reduction, Æ Managed harvesting for biomass with appropriate vegetation management during named periods and with a payment reduction, Æ Grazing for invasive species with appropriate vegetation management during named periods and with a payment reduction, and Æ Installation of wind turbines with appropriate vegetation management during named periods and with a payment reduction. • Annual survey of dryland and cash rental rates by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (see 16 U.S.C. 3843(c)). • Incentives for beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers to facilitate a transition of land enrolled in CRP from a retired or retiring owner or operator to return some or all of the land to agricultural production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods (see 16 U.S.C. 3835). • Adds incentives for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as well as limited resource farmers and ranchers and Indian tribes to participate in conservation programs (see 16 U.S.C. 3844). • Development of habitat for native and managed pollinators and use of 45607 conservation practices that benefit them are encouraged for any conservation program (see 16 U.S.C. 3844). The SEIS will help FSA review potential environmental impacts resulting from the 2008 Farm Bill changes to the CRP program. The results of the SEIS will be used in implementing and modifying CRP administration. The record of decision resulting from the SEIS will also serve as guidance to FSA program decision makers when considering future CRP changes. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the SEIS process provides a means for the public to provide input on program implementation alternatives and on environmental concerns. The public is urged to participate in helping to define the scope of the proposed SEIS. In addition to allowing the opportunity to comment via mail, the internet, and email as provided in the above ADDRESSES section, FSA plans to hold nine public scoping meetings to provide information and opportunities for discussing the issues and alternatives to be covered in the draft SEIS, and to receive oral and written comments. The meetings will be held at the following locations and times: Date Time Location information September 15, 2009 ..... September 17, 2009 ..... September 21, 2009 ..... 5:30–7:30 p.m. local time. 5–7 p.m. local time ..... 5–7 p.m. local time ..... September 23, 2009 ..... September 25, 2009 ..... 5–7 p.m. local time ..... 5–7 p.m. local time ..... September 29, 2009 ..... 5–7 p.m ....................... October 1, 2009 ............ October 6, 2009 ............ October 8, 2009 ............ 5–7 p.m. local time ..... 5–7 p.m. local time ..... 5–7 p.m. local time ..... Hilton Garden Inn Spokane Airport, 9015 West SR Highway 2, Spokane, WA 99224, (509) 244–5866. Hampton Inn Great Falls, 2301 14th St., SW., Great Falls, MT 59404, (406) 453–2675. AmericInn Lodge & Suites and Event Center of Moorhead, 600 30th Ave., S., Moorhead, MN 56560, (218) 287–7100. Clarion Hotel, 530 Richards Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502, (785) 539–5311. Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield, 3100 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703, (217) 529– 7171 ext. 507. Oklahoma City Marriott Hotel, 3233 N.W. Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, (405) 879–7042. La Quinta Inn & Suites Clovis, 4521 N. Prince St., Clovis, NM 88101, (575) 763–8777. Hilton Garden Inn Albany, 101 S. Front Street, Albany, GA 31701, (229) 888–1590. Courtyard by Marriott Harrisburg/Hershey, 725 Eisenhower Blvd, Harrisburg, PA 17111, (717) 558–8544 ext. 6504. Please check http://public.geomarine.com for specific meeting locations, times, directions, and comment forms. pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES Description of Preliminary Alternatives FSA has developed a set of preliminary alternatives to be studied in the draft SEIS to initiate the process. The alternatives will be amended, as appropriate, based on input by the public and agencies during the public scoping process. The SEIS will address the following alternatives, which include recommended changes to the program: VerDate Nov<24>2008 16:27 Sep 02, 2009 Jkt 217001 • No Action Alternative— continuation of CRP as currently implemented. • Action Alternative 1—full implementation of the applicable 2008 Farm Bill provisions in accordance with current procedures. • Action Alternative 2— implementation of CRP in accordance with applicable 2008 Farm Bill provisions exercising discretion that differs from current procedures. PO 00000 Signed in Washington, DC on August 28, 2009. Jonathan W. Coppess, Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, and Administrator, Farm Service Agency. [FR Doc. E9–21236 Filed 9–2–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers AGENCY: Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM Farm Service Agency, USDA. 03SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 170 (Thursday, September 3, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45606-45607]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-21236]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

Farm Service Agency


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Conservation Reserve Program

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI) and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Farm Service Agency (FSA), on 
behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), intends to complete a 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) assessing the 
environmental impacts of changes to the Conservation Reserve Program 
(CRP) required by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 
Farm Bill).

DATES: To ensure the full range of the issues and alternatives related 
to CRP are addressed, FSA invites comments. We will consider comments 
that we receive by October 19, 2009. Comments received after this date 
will be considered to the extent possible. See the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for dates and addresses for nine public meetings.

ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this Notice of Intent. 
In your comments, include the volume, date, and page number of this 
issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the 
following methods:
     E-Mail: CRPcomments@tecinc.com.
     Online: Go to http://public.geo-marine.com. Follow the 
online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: (757) 594-1469.
     Mail: CRP SEIS, c/o TEC Inc., 8 San Jose Drive, Suite 3-B, 
Newport News, Virginia 23606.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the above 
address.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Comments may be inspected in the Office of the Director, CEPD, FSA, 
USDA, 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Room 4709 South Building, Washington, 
DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Ponish, National Environmental 
Compliance Manager, USDA, FSA, CEPD, Stop 0513, 1400 Independence Ave, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-0513, (202) 720-6853, or email: 
Matthew.Ponish@wdc.usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require 
alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, 
etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice 
and TDD). More detailed information on CRP may be obtained at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    The SEIS is being prepared on CRP to provide FSA decision makers 
and the public with an analysis that evaluates program effects in 
appropriate contexts, describes the intensity of adverse as well as 
beneficial impacts, and addresses cumulative impacts of CRP. CRP is 
authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 (the 1985 Farm Bill), as 
amended and is governed by regulations published in 7 CFR part 1410. 
CRP is a voluntary program that supports the implementation of long-
term conservation measures designed to improve the quality of ground 
and surface waters, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat 
on environmentally sensitive agricultural land. In return, CCC provides 
participants with rental payments and cost share assistance under 
contracts extending from 10 to 15 years. CRP is a CCC program 
administered by FSA with the support of other Federal and local 
agencies.
    In 2003, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was completed by 
FSA for the CRP evaluating the environmental consequences of 
implementing the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. This 
SEIS will assess the potential environmental impacts of changes made to 
the program in provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 110-246). The 
changes that will be assessed in the SEIS are:

[[Page 45607]]

     In general, the CRP purposes now explicitly include 
addressing issues raised by state, regional and national conservation 
initiatives (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(a)).
     The cropping history requirements are updated to 4 of 6 
years from 2002 to 2007 (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(b)).
     The enrollment authority is set at 39.2 million acres 
through 2009 and reduced to 32.0 million acres for fiscal years 2010, 
2011, and 2012 (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(d)).
     Alfalfa and multiyear grasses and legumes in a rotation 
practice with an agricultural commodity may contribute towards meeting 
crop history requirements (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(g)).
     The authority is granted to except acreage enrolled under 
continuous signup and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program 
provided county government concurs (see 16 U.S.C. 3831(b)).
     CCC requires management by the participant throughout the 
contract term to implement the conservation plan (see 16 U.S.C 3843).
     CCC provides exceptions to general prohibitions (see 16 
U.S.C. 3844) on use including:
    [cir] Managed harvesting with appropriate vegetation management 
during named periods and with a payment reduction,
    [cir] Managed harvesting for biomass with appropriate vegetation 
management during named periods and with a payment reduction,
    [cir] Grazing for invasive species with appropriate vegetation 
management during named periods and with a payment reduction, and
    [cir] Installation of wind turbines with appropriate vegetation 
management during named periods and with a payment reduction.
     Annual survey of dryland and cash rental rates by the 
National Agricultural Statistics Service (see 16 U.S.C. 3843(c)).
     Incentives for beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers 
or ranchers to facilitate a transition of land enrolled in CRP from a 
retired or retiring owner or operator to return some or all of the land 
to agricultural production using sustainable grazing or crop production 
methods (see 16 U.S.C. 3835).
     Adds incentives for socially disadvantaged farmers and 
ranchers as well as limited resource farmers and ranchers and Indian 
tribes to participate in conservation programs (see 16 U.S.C. 3844).
     Development of habitat for native and managed pollinators 
and use of conservation practices that benefit them are encouraged for 
any conservation program (see 16 U.S.C. 3844).
    The SEIS will help FSA review potential environmental impacts 
resulting from the 2008 Farm Bill changes to the CRP program. The 
results of the SEIS will be used in implementing and modifying CRP 
administration. The record of decision resulting from the SEIS will 
also serve as guidance to FSA program decision makers when considering 
future CRP changes.
    Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the SEIS 
process provides a means for the public to provide input on program 
implementation alternatives and on environmental concerns. The public 
is urged to participate in helping to define the scope of the proposed 
SEIS. In addition to allowing the opportunity to comment via mail, the 
internet, and e-mail as provided in the above ADDRESSES section, FSA 
plans to hold nine public scoping meetings to provide information and 
opportunities for discussing the issues and alternatives to be covered 
in the draft SEIS, and to receive oral and written comments. The 
meetings will be held at the following locations and times:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Date                            Time                         Location information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 15, 2009...................  5:30-7:30 p.m. local     Hilton Garden Inn Spokane Airport, 9015 West SR
                                        time.                    Highway 2, Spokane, WA 99224, (509) 244-5866.
September 17, 2009...................  5-7 p.m. local time....  Hampton Inn Great Falls, 2301 14th St., SW.,
                                                                 Great Falls, MT 59404, (406) 453-2675.
September 21, 2009...................  5-7 p.m. local time....  AmericInn Lodge & Suites and Event Center of
                                                                 Moorhead, 600 30th Ave., S., Moorhead, MN
                                                                 56560, (218) 287-7100.
September 23, 2009...................  5-7 p.m. local time....  Clarion Hotel, 530 Richards Drive, Manhattan, KS
                                                                 66502, (785) 539-5311.
September 25, 2009...................  5-7 p.m. local time....  Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield, 3100 S. Dirksen
                                                                 Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703, (217) 529-7171
                                                                 ext. 507.
September 29, 2009...................  5-7 p.m................  Oklahoma City Marriott Hotel, 3233 N.W.
                                                                 Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, (405) 879-
                                                                 7042.
October 1, 2009......................  5-7 p.m. local time....  La Quinta Inn & Suites Clovis, 4521 N. Prince
                                                                 St., Clovis, NM 88101, (575) 763-8777.
October 6, 2009......................  5-7 p.m. local time....  Hilton Garden Inn Albany, 101 S. Front Street,
                                                                 Albany, GA 31701, (229) 888-1590.
October 8, 2009......................  5-7 p.m. local time....  Courtyard by Marriott Harrisburg/Hershey, 725
                                                                 Eisenhower Blvd, Harrisburg, PA 17111, (717)
                                                                 558-8544 ext. 6504.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please check http://public.geo-marine.com for specific meeting 
locations, times, directions, and comment forms.

Description of Preliminary Alternatives

    FSA has developed a set of preliminary alternatives to be studied 
in the draft SEIS to initiate the process. The alternatives will be 
amended, as appropriate, based on input by the public and agencies 
during the public scoping process. The SEIS will address the following 
alternatives, which include recommended changes to the program:
     No Action Alternative--continuation of CRP as currently 
implemented.
     Action Alternative 1--full implementation of the 
applicable 2008 Farm Bill provisions in accordance with current 
procedures.
     Action Alternative 2--implementation of CRP in accordance 
with applicable 2008 Farm Bill provisions exercising discretion that 
differs from current procedures.

    Signed in Washington, DC on August 28, 2009.
Jonathan W. Coppess,
Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation, and 
Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
[FR Doc. E9-21236 Filed 9-2-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-05-P