Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 48723-48725 [2014-19520]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Wrangell-Petersburg Resource Advisory Committee Forest Service, USDA. Notice of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: The Wrangell-Petersburg Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet by videoconference in Wrangell, Alaska and Petersburg, Alaska. The Committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) (Pub. L. 110–343) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. 2). The purpose of the Committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with the Title II of the Act. The meeting is open to the public. Additional information concerning the Committee can be found by visiting the Committee’s Web site at: https://fsplaces.fs.fed.us/fsfiles/unit/wo/ secure_rural_schools.nsf/RAC/WrangellPetersburg?OpenDocument. SUMMARY: The meeting will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or until business is concluded. All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of the meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Wrangell Ranger District Office, 525 Bennett Street, Wrangell, Alaska, and the Petersburg Ranger District Office, 12 North Nordic Drive in Petersburg, Alaska. Interested persons may attend in person at either location, or by teleconference. For anyone who would like to attend by teleconference, please visit the Committee’s Web site listed in the SUMMARY section or contact Jason Anderson at jasonanderson@fs.fed.us or Robert Dalrymple at rdalrymple@ fs.fed.us for further details. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Petersburg Ranger District Office or the Wrangell Ranger District Office, Monday through Friday at 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Jason Anderson, District Ranger, Petersburg Ranger District, P.O. Box 1328, Petersburg, Alaska 99833, by phone at (907) 772–3871 or via email at jasonanderson@fs.fed.us, or Robert Dalrymple, District Ranger, Wrangell Ranger District, P.O. Box 51, Wrangell, Alaska 99929, by phone at (907) 874– 2323 or via email rdalrymple@fs.fed.us. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. The purpose of the meeting is to: (1) Review progress of previously funded projects; and (2) Conclude any business that may be remaining concerning recommendations for allocation of Title II funding to projects. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by September 3, 2014 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Jason Anderson, District Ranger, Petersburg Ranger District, P.O. Box 1328, Petersburg, Alaska 99833; or Robert Dalrymple, District Ranger, Wrangell Ranger District, P.O. Box 51, Wrangell, Alaska 99929; or by email to jasonanderson@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to (907) 772–5995. Summary/ minutes of the meeting will be posted on the Web site listed above within 45 days after the meeting. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 48723 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2014–0009] Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes in the NRCS National Handbook of Conservation Practices for public review and comment. AGENCY: Dated: August 7, 2014. Robert J. Dalrymple, District Ranger. Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: Conservation Cover (Code 327), Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328), Contour Buffers (Code 332), Cover Crop (Code 340), Cross Wind Trap Strips (Code 589c), Grassed Waterway (Code 412), Groundwater Testing (Code 355), Heavy Use Area Protection (Code 561), Irrigation System, Tailwater Recovery (Code 447), Irrigation Water Management (Code 449), Monitoring Well (Code 353), On-Farm Secondary Containment Facility (Code 319), Roof Runoff Structure (Code 558), Surface Roughening (Code 609), Tree/Shrub Pruning (Code 660), Waste Transfer (Code 634), Water Well Decommissioning (Code 351) and Wildlife Structure (Code 649). NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices for use within their States will incorporate them into section IV of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL) or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland provisions of the law. DATES: Effective Date: This is effective August 18, 2014. Comment Date: Submit comments on or before September 17, 2014. Final versions of these new or revised conservation practice standards will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after consideration of all comments. [FR Doc. 2014–19494 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] ADDRESSES: BILLING CODE 3411–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 48724 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices NRCS–2014–0009, using any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail or Hand-Delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attention: Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and Accountability, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Building 1– 1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other personal identifying information, your comments, including personal information, may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wayne Bogovich, National Agricultural Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6136 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. Electronic copies of the proposed revised standards are available through http://www.regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS–2014–0009. Alternatively, copies can be downloaded or printed from the following Web site: http://go.usa.gov/ TXye. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be directed to Emil Horvath, National Practice Standards Review Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central National Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76115. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The amount of the proposed changes varies considerably for each of the conservation practice standards addressed in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard’s current version as shown at: http:// www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/ detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/ ?cid=nrcs143026849. To aid in this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed revisions to each standard: Conservation Cover (Code 327)—The purpose to manage pests as the purpose was not appropriate for this standard and was deleted. NRCS resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Added ‘‘beneficial organism habitat’’ to the pollinator purpose of the practice. Added one new reference: National Agronomy Technical Note 9. Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using IPM and Other Conservation Practices. Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328)—Changed definition slightly from ‘‘Growing crops in a planned sequence on the same field’’ to ‘‘A planned sequence of crops grown on the same ground over a period of time (i.e. the rotation).’’ NRCS resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Contour Buffers (Code 332)—NRCS resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Added an additional practice purpose to reduce transport of nutrients downslope and combined the additional criteria for this purpose with the additional criteria to reduce transport of sediment and other water-borne contaminants downslope. Made minor wording modifications to improve understanding and reduce redundancy in the standard. Cover Crop (Code 340)—Deleted two purposes (1) promote biological nitrogen fixation and reduce energy use and (2) increase biodiversity as the two purposes are captured in the criteria in the general criteria and the criteria for the other purposes. Edited the criteria to improve clarity and understanding of the standard. Added additional criteria to address the need to terminate cover crops within the NRCS cover Crop Termination Guidelines. Provided additional criteria for haying and grazing cover crops. Cross Wind Trap Strips (Code 589c)— NRCS resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Removed the purpose to induce wind-borne sediment deposition as this is covered under the purpose to reduce soil erosion and induce wind-blown sediment deposition. Deleted the purpose to provide food and cover for pollinators and wildlife. In the general criteria for the practice changed the language from using university extension guides to NRCS approved technical references for seeding and establishment. Grassed Waterway (Code 412)—The agency refined the definition and purposes slightly and modified the criteria to allow the use of state planting guides. Groundwater Testing (Code 355)— The agency changed the title from ‘‘Well Water Testing’’ to ‘‘Groundwater Testing,’’ modified conditions where practice applies, removed items from PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 criteria, and an item under operation and maintenance. Heavy Use Area Protection (Code 561)—The agency changed the units of this practice from acres to square feet to better reflect usage. The definition of this practice changed slightly. Criteria for the use of concrete and mulches were modified. Criteria for the use of vegetation and other material as a surface treatment were added. Considerations for animal health and air quality were added. Irrigation System, Tailwater Recovery (Code 447)—447 was rewritten to use clearer, plain language. Definition and purpose were clarified but not materially changed. Under criteria for storage, two new criteria setting the minimum size of the storage component were added. The plans and specifications section was completely rewritten, and 4 new references were added. Irrigation Water Management (Code 449)—The Definition, sections of 449 were not changed in this revision from the May 2011 version. The Purpose section was changed to remove the purpose of improving air quality. IWM would not be applied to treat air quality in and of itself. The purpose of the practice to decrease non-point source pollution of surface and groundwater resources was rewritten to read as ‘‘a decrease degradation of surface and groundwater resources.’’ The Conditions Where Practice Applies section was not changed. The Criteria section has been edited for clarity, and the criteria for plant stress monitoring was updated to include current technology. Several new references were added. Monitoring Well (Code 353)—The agency changed the definition, deleted a purpose, modified conditions where practice applies, changed some criteria, and added considerations. On-Farm Secondary Containment Facility (Code 319)—The agency created this new conservation practice standard to provide secondary containment of oil and petroleum products used on-farm. The creation of a new standard was recommended in the SPCC Pilot Final report. As noted in the report, producers will continue to request assistance with implementation of secondary containment facilities and as operations change or new operations established, compliance with the EPA SPCC rule will be an ongoing requirement. Natural resource benefits from providing secondary containment of oils include control of excessive release of organics into groundwater and surface waters, and control of excessive suspended sediment and turbidity into surface water. E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 159 / Monday, August 18, 2014 / Notices Roof Runoff Structure (Code 558)— The agency added inventory and assessment information, clarified the language and organization of the standard, added conditions and criteria for capturing roof runoff for other uses, and added considerations. Surface Roughening (Code 609)— NRCS resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Revised the condition where the practice applies to stress the practice is ‘‘emergency tillage’’ and not the primary method of erosion control. The general criterion for the random roughness based in the ‘‘soil erodibility factor’’ from the former Wind Erosion Equation was removed as the current technology is now based on the Wind Erosion Prediction System technology. Tree/Shrub Pruning (Code 660)—The agency added two new purposes, and updated the criteria, considerations, plans and specifications, operation and maintenance, and references sections of Tree/Shrub Pruning (Code 660). The original DEFINITION of Tree/Shrub Pruning was retained. Two PURPOSES were added to address soil quality and energy use. They are, ‘‘Maintain or improve soil quality and organic matter content’’, and ‘‘Reduce energy use.’’ Other purposes were rephrased for clarity and consistency but their meanings are unchanged. The CRITERIA section on methods and timing for pruning, and minimizing damage to the residual plant, was split into several separate sections and clarified. A restriction on treating cuts, and another on pollarding, was added. Timing to minimize disturbance to wildlife, formerly in Considerations, was moved to this section. A section on ‘‘Additional Criteria for Maintaining Health and Vigor’’ was added; material on pruning to limit insect infestations and plant diseases was moved to this section and expanded to address root pruning. A section on ‘‘Additional Criteria to Maintain or Improve Soil Quality’’ was added, calling for pruning residues to remain on site unless insect or disease considerations prevail. Finally, a section on ‘‘Additional Criteria to Reduce Energy Use’’ was added for situations where alternative methods are available and one is less energy-intensive than others. CONSIDERATIONS: Additional considerations were placed in this section, including those for the effects of pruning on plant health, retaining and treating pruning residues for soil quality, pruning for disease or pest control, and pruning for fire hazard reduction. A reference to NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:57 Aug 15, 2014 Jkt 232001 Woody Residue Treatment (Code 384) was included for treatment of pruning residues when needed, and a reference to NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Forest Stand Improvement (Code 666) was added for situations where disease or pest control requires cutting or killing entire trees. The PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS section was expanded to include a list of the minimum information needed to prepare a plan. The OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE section was expanded to include additional requirements for controlling invasive plants. The REFERENCES were updated to include more current information. Waste Transfer (Code 634)—The agency removed ‘hauling waste material with equipment or vehicles’ from the conditions where this practice is applied and expanded the design criteria information specific for waste transfer pipelines. Water Well Decommissioning (Code 351)—The agency revised the purposes and criteria sections. Disinfection was moved from criteria to considerations. Wildlife Structure (Code 649)—This is a new National Conservation Practice Standard with a five-year lifespan. Prior to this new National Conservation Practice Standard, there existed no minimum requirements for applying fish and wildlife structures or retrofitting existing structures as needed to improve management and conservation of fish and wildlife habitats, and to achieve their intended purpose. To address this technical gap, an Interim National Conservation Practice Standard, ‘‘Fish and Wildlife Structures’’ (Code 734) was developed and tested in several states. Ultimately, States recommended conversion of this interim standard to a new National Conservation Practice Standard. ‘‘Structures for Wildlife’’ does not apply to structures benefitting aquatic species. During field testing, NRCS found that most habitat structures for aquatic species (e.g. fish ladders) are adequately addressed in other National Conservation Practice Standards. Also discovered during the testing process, was that the interim standard (Code 734) did not provide for retrofitting existing structures that pose a threat to wildlife. This standard corrects that oversight by providing for retrofitting existing structures, such as the installation of wildlife escape ramps to existing water troughs and retrofitting existing fencing to allow for safe passage by wildlife. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 48725 Signed this 6th day of August, 2014, in Washington, DC Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2014–19520 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2014–0012] Notice of Availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA. ACTION: Notice of Availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact. AGENCY: This notice announces the availability of NRCS’s adoption, under provisions provided for in 40 CFR 1506.3, of an Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project, dated April 2012. ADDRESSES: Copies of the EA and FONSI are available upon request from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4010, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary McRae, Resource Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, 125 South State Street, Room 4010, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138; telephone: (801) 524–4599. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NRCS prepared the FONSI in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act after reviewing the EA and concurring with the analysis and findings therein, and the finding that the proposed project modifications described in the EA will not result in significant impacts to the environment. The project area encompasses the upper portion of the Kanab, ArizonaUtah 4th level, 8-digit HUC (#15010003). The project is needed to rehabilitate vegetation communities. SUMMARY: Signed this 8th day of August 2014, in Salt Lake City, Utah. David C. Brown, State Conservationist. [FR Doc. 2014–19519 Filed 8–15–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 159 (Monday, August 18, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48723-48725]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19520]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2014-0009]


Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of 
Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes in the NRCS National 
Handbook of Conservation Practices for public review and comment.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a 
series of revised conservation practice standards in the National 
Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: 
Conservation Cover (Code 327), Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328), 
Contour Buffers (Code 332), Cover Crop (Code 340), Cross Wind Trap 
Strips (Code 589c), Grassed Waterway (Code 412), Groundwater Testing 
(Code 355), Heavy Use Area Protection (Code 561), Irrigation System, 
Tailwater Recovery (Code 447), Irrigation Water Management (Code 449), 
Monitoring Well (Code 353), On-Farm Secondary Containment Facility 
(Code 319), Roof Runoff Structure (Code 558), Surface Roughening (Code 
609), Tree/Shrub Pruning (Code 660), Waste Transfer (Code 634), Water 
Well Decommissioning (Code 351) and Wildlife Structure (Code 649).
    NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices for 
use within their States will incorporate them into section IV of their 
respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may 
be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL) 
or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal 
Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make 
available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to 
conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland 
provisions of the law.

DATES: Effective Date: This is effective August 18, 2014.
    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before September 17, 2014. 
Final versions of these new or revised conservation practice standards 
will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after 
consideration of all comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number

[[Page 48724]]

NRCS-2014-0009, using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail or Hand-Delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attention: Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and 
Accountability, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside 
Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.
    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In 
general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If 
your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other 
personal identifying information, your comments, including personal 
information, may be available to the public. You may ask in your 
comment that your personal identifying information be withheld from 
public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wayne Bogovich, National Agricultural 
Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Room 6136 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
    Electronic copies of the proposed revised standards are available 
through http://www.regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS-2014-
0009. Alternatively, copies can be downloaded or printed from the 
following Web site: http://go.usa.gov/TXye. Requests for paper versions 
or inquiries may be directed to Emil Horvath, National Practice 
Standards Review Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 
Central National Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort 
Worth, Texas 76115.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The amount of the proposed changes varies 
considerably for each of the conservation practice standards addressed 
in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals 
are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard's current 
version as shown at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/?cid=nrcs143026849. To aid in 
this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed 
revisions to each standard:
    Conservation Cover (Code 327)--The purpose to manage pests as the 
purpose was not appropriate for this standard and was deleted. NRCS 
resource concerns were associated with each of the conservation 
practice purposes. Added ``beneficial organism habitat'' to the 
pollinator purpose of the practice. Added one new reference: National 
Agronomy Technical Note 9. Preventing or Mitigating Potential Negative 
Impacts of Pesticides on Pollinators Using IPM and Other Conservation 
Practices.
    Conservation Crop Rotation (Code 328)--Changed definition slightly 
from ``Growing crops in a planned sequence on the same field'' to ``A 
planned sequence of crops grown on the same ground over a period of 
time (i.e. the rotation).'' NRCS resource concerns were associated with 
each of the conservation practice purposes.
    Contour Buffers (Code 332)--NRCS resource concerns were associated 
with each of the conservation practice purposes. Added an additional 
practice purpose to reduce transport of nutrients downslope and 
combined the additional criteria for this purpose with the additional 
criteria to reduce transport of sediment and other water-borne 
contaminants downslope. Made minor wording modifications to improve 
understanding and reduce redundancy in the standard.
    Cover Crop (Code 340)--Deleted two purposes (1) promote biological 
nitrogen fixation and reduce energy use and (2) increase biodiversity 
as the two purposes are captured in the criteria in the general 
criteria and the criteria for the other purposes. Edited the criteria 
to improve clarity and understanding of the standard. Added additional 
criteria to address the need to terminate cover crops within the NRCS 
cover Crop Termination Guidelines. Provided additional criteria for 
haying and grazing cover crops.
    Cross Wind Trap Strips (Code 589c)--NRCS resource concerns were 
associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Removed the 
purpose to induce wind-borne sediment deposition as this is covered 
under the purpose to reduce soil erosion and induce wind-blown sediment 
deposition. Deleted the purpose to provide food and cover for 
pollinators and wildlife. In the general criteria for the practice 
changed the language from using university extension guides to NRCS 
approved technical references for seeding and establishment.
    Grassed Waterway (Code 412)--The agency refined the definition and 
purposes slightly and modified the criteria to allow the use of state 
planting guides.
    Groundwater Testing (Code 355)--The agency changed the title from 
``Well Water Testing'' to ``Groundwater Testing,'' modified conditions 
where practice applies, removed items from criteria, and an item under 
operation and maintenance.
    Heavy Use Area Protection (Code 561)--The agency changed the units 
of this practice from acres to square feet to better reflect usage. The 
definition of this practice changed slightly. Criteria for the use of 
concrete and mulches were modified. Criteria for the use of vegetation 
and other material as a surface treatment were added. Considerations 
for animal health and air quality were added.
    Irrigation System, Tailwater Recovery (Code 447)--447 was rewritten 
to use clearer, plain language. Definition and purpose were clarified 
but not materially changed. Under criteria for storage, two new 
criteria setting the minimum size of the storage component were added. 
The plans and specifications section was completely rewritten, and 4 
new references were added.
    Irrigation Water Management (Code 449)--The Definition, sections of 
449 were not changed in this revision from the May 2011 version. The 
Purpose section was changed to remove the purpose of improving air 
quality. IWM would not be applied to treat air quality in and of 
itself. The purpose of the practice to decrease non-point source 
pollution of surface and groundwater resources was rewritten to read as 
``a decrease degradation of surface and groundwater resources.'' The 
Conditions Where Practice Applies section was not changed. The Criteria 
section has been edited for clarity, and the criteria for plant stress 
monitoring was updated to include current technology. Several new 
references were added.
    Monitoring Well (Code 353)--The agency changed the definition, 
deleted a purpose, modified conditions where practice applies, changed 
some criteria, and added considerations.
    On-Farm Secondary Containment Facility (Code 319)--The agency 
created this new conservation practice standard to provide secondary 
containment of oil and petroleum products used on-farm. The creation of 
a new standard was recommended in the SPCC Pilot Final report. As noted 
in the report, producers will continue to request assistance with 
implementation of secondary containment facilities and as operations 
change or new operations established, compliance with the EPA SPCC rule 
will be an ongoing requirement. Natural resource benefits from 
providing secondary containment of oils include control of excessive 
release of organics into groundwater and surface waters, and control of 
excessive suspended sediment and turbidity into surface water.

[[Page 48725]]

    Roof Runoff Structure (Code 558)--The agency added inventory and 
assessment information, clarified the language and organization of the 
standard, added conditions and criteria for capturing roof runoff for 
other uses, and added considerations.
    Surface Roughening (Code 609)--NRCS resource concerns were 
associated with each of the conservation practice purposes. Revised the 
condition where the practice applies to stress the practice is 
``emergency tillage'' and not the primary method of erosion control. 
The general criterion for the random roughness based in the ``soil 
erodibility factor'' from the former Wind Erosion Equation was removed 
as the current technology is now based on the Wind Erosion Prediction 
System technology.
    Tree/Shrub Pruning (Code 660)--The agency added two new purposes, 
and updated the criteria, considerations, plans and specifications, 
operation and maintenance, and references sections of Tree/Shrub 
Pruning (Code 660). The original DEFINITION of Tree/Shrub Pruning was 
retained. Two PURPOSES were added to address soil quality and energy 
use. They are, ``Maintain or improve soil quality and organic matter 
content'', and ``Reduce energy use.'' Other purposes were rephrased for 
clarity and consistency but their meanings are unchanged. The CRITERIA 
section on methods and timing for pruning, and minimizing damage to the 
residual plant, was split into several separate sections and clarified. 
A restriction on treating cuts, and another on pollarding, was added. 
Timing to minimize disturbance to wildlife, formerly in Considerations, 
was moved to this section. A section on ``Additional Criteria for 
Maintaining Health and Vigor'' was added; material on pruning to limit 
insect infestations and plant diseases was moved to this section and 
expanded to address root pruning. A section on ``Additional Criteria to 
Maintain or Improve Soil Quality'' was added, calling for pruning 
residues to remain on site unless insect or disease considerations 
prevail. Finally, a section on ``Additional Criteria to Reduce Energy 
Use'' was added for situations where alternative methods are available 
and one is less energy-intensive than others. CONSIDERATIONS: 
Additional considerations were placed in this section, including those 
for the effects of pruning on plant health, retaining and treating 
pruning residues for soil quality, pruning for disease or pest control, 
and pruning for fire hazard reduction. A reference to NRCS Conservation 
Practice Standard (CPS) Woody Residue Treatment (Code 384) was included 
for treatment of pruning residues when needed, and a reference to NRCS 
Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Forest Stand Improvement (Code 
666) was added for situations where disease or pest control requires 
cutting or killing entire trees. The PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS section 
was expanded to include a list of the minimum information needed to 
prepare a plan. The OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE section was expanded to 
include additional requirements for controlling invasive plants. The 
REFERENCES were updated to include more current information.
    Waste Transfer (Code 634)--The agency removed `hauling waste 
material with equipment or vehicles' from the conditions where this 
practice is applied and expanded the design criteria information 
specific for waste transfer pipelines.
    Water Well Decommissioning (Code 351)--The agency revised the 
purposes and criteria sections. Disinfection was moved from criteria to 
considerations.
    Wildlife Structure (Code 649)--This is a new National Conservation 
Practice Standard with a five-year lifespan. Prior to this new National 
Conservation Practice Standard, there existed no minimum requirements 
for applying fish and wildlife structures or retrofitting existing 
structures as needed to improve management and conservation of fish and 
wildlife habitats, and to achieve their intended purpose. To address 
this technical gap, an Interim National Conservation Practice Standard, 
``Fish and Wildlife Structures'' (Code 734) was developed and tested in 
several states. Ultimately, States recommended conversion of this 
interim standard to a new National Conservation Practice Standard. 
``Structures for Wildlife'' does not apply to structures benefitting 
aquatic species. During field testing, NRCS found that most habitat 
structures for aquatic species (e.g. fish ladders) are adequately 
addressed in other National Conservation Practice Standards. Also 
discovered during the testing process, was that the interim standard 
(Code 734) did not provide for retrofitting existing structures that 
pose a threat to wildlife. This standard corrects that oversight by 
providing for retrofitting existing structures, such as the 
installation of wildlife escape ramps to existing water troughs and 
retrofitting existing fencing to allow for safe passage by wildlife.

    Signed this 6th day of August, 2014, in Washington, DC
Jason A. Weller,
Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-19520 Filed 8-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-16-P