The Secretary of Agriculture's Determination of the Primary Purpose of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, Quality of Water Improvement Program, and Back- Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative, 36965-36966 [2015-15937]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 124 / Monday, June 29, 2015 / Notices be purchased off-site at over 200 retail vendors or online. The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108–447) directs the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established. This new fee, as well as the fee changes proposed in the larger fee proposal, were reviewed and recommended by the BLM Arizona Recreation Resource Advisory Council (R–RAC) on June 4, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Schuster at 620–225–5200 or by email at tonto_recreation@fs.fed.us. Information about the 2014 Recreation Fee Proposal can also be found on the Tonto National Forest Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/ detail/tonto/home/ ?cid=STELPRDB5405154. Dated: June 17, 2015. Kerwin Dewberry, Deputy Forest Supervisor, Tonto National Forest. [FR Doc. 2015–15596 Filed 6–26–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2015–0008] The Secretary of Agriculture’s Determination of the Primary Purpose of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, Quality of Water Improvement Program, and BackPlugging Funding Assistance Initiative Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA. ACTION: Notice of determination. AGENCY: The Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing public notice that the Secretary of Agriculture has determined that costshare payments made by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) through its Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS) Program, MiniFARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, Quality of Water Improvement Program (QWIP), and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative are primarily for the purpose of conserving soil and water resources or protecting and restoring the environment. SWFWMD is a political mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jun 26, 2015 Jkt 235001 subdivision of the State of Florida. NRCS was assigned technical and administrative responsibility for reviewing SWFWMD’s FARMS Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative, and for making appropriate recommendations for the Secretary’s determination of primary purpose. The Secretary made the determination for the State of Florida’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Program, which is a counterpart to SWFWMD’s FARMS Program (74 FR 49850). This determination is in accordance with section 126 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended (26 U.S.C. 126), and permits recipients of costshare payments to exclude such payments from gross income to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. ADDRESSES: A ‘‘Record of Decision’’ for SWFWMD’s FARMS Program, MiniFARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative has been prepared and is available upon request from Mark Rose, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 5237 South Building, Washington, DC 20250. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Beltran, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Phone: (352) 796–7211; or Mark Rose, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Phone: (202) 720– 1844. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 126(a)(10) of the Internal Revenue Code, gross income does not include the ‘‘excludable portion’’ of payments received under any program of a State, or a political subdivision of a State, under which payments are made to individuals primarily for the purpose of protecting or restoring the environment. In general, a cost-share payment for selected conservation practices is exempt from Federal taxation if it meets three tests: (1) It was for a capital expense, (2) it does not substantially increase the operator’s annual income from the property for which it is made, and (3) the Secretary of Agriculture certified that the payment was made primarily for conserving soil and water resources, protecting or restoring the environment, improving forests, or providing habitat for wildlife. The Secretary of Agriculture evaluates a conservation program on the basis of criteria set forth in 7 CFR part 14, and PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36965 makes a ‘‘primary purpose’’ determination for the payments made under the program. The objective of the determination made under part 14 is to provide maximum conservation, environmental, forestry improvement, and wildlife benefits to the general public from the operation of applicable programs. Final determinations are made on the basis of program, category of practices, or individual practices. Following a primary purpose determination by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Treasury determines if the payments made under the conservation program substantially increases the annual income derived from the property benefited by the payments. Determination As provided for by section 126 of the Internal Revenue Code, the Secretary examined the authorizing legislation, regulations, and operating procedures regarding SWFWMD, a political subdivision of the State of Florida, and its FARMS Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative. In accordance with the criteria set out in 7 CFR part 14, the Secretary has determined the primary purpose of cost share payments made under SWFWMD’s FARMS Program, MiniFARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative is conserving soil and water resources, or protecting and restoring the environment. The FARMS and MiniFARMS programs are implemented through Rule 40D–26 of the Florida Administrative Code. SWFWMD implements the FARMS and MiniFARMS Programs to provide overall water resource benefits and to protect the environment. SWFWMD provides cost-share reimbursement for select best management practices that have potential water conservation, natural system restoration, and water quality benefits. The objectives of the programs are met through cost-shared construction of specific engineered structures, as well as acquisition of specific equipment to meet water conservation and environmental needs. FARMS is a cost-share program to reduce groundwater use through water conservation best management practices (BMP) in agricultural operations. The Mini-FARMS program reimburse growers for on-farm installation of select agricultural practices that have potential water conservation, sediment control, and water improvement benefits up to a $5,000 per project cap. Projects that E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1 36966 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 124 / Monday, June 29, 2015 / Notices exceed $5,000 would be considered for funding through the FARMS program. Chapter 40D–2, F.A.C. contains the SWFWMD water use permit regulations that implements the Flow Meter Reimbursement Program. Through its Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, SWFWMD provides cost-share funding for flow meter equipment and installation in the Dover/Plant City Water Use Caution Area. The program provides cost share for flow meter equipment installed on operational withdraw points, inflow lines, catchment facilities, tail water recovery or rainfall capture ponds and storage facilities that have been in existence prior to June 16, 2011. Flow meters on all withdrawal points are required as a condition of all permits with crops that utilize frost/freeze protection water quantities in the Dover/Plant City Water Use Caution Area to ensure that withdrawals will not cause any unmitigated adverse impacts on the water resources and existing legal users, and that the use continues to be in the public interest. Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes enables SWFWMD to implement QWIP. Section 373.206 of the Florida Statute authorizes SWFWMD to implement the Back Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative to identify and plug highly mineralized wells of poor water quality to minimize effects upon an aquifer or water bodies. SWFWMD’s QWIP and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative provide reimbursement for the plugging of groundwater wells that have poor water quality. Properly plugging poor quality groundwater wells enhances water conservation, natural system restoration, and water quality benefits. SWFWMD provides financial assistance to properly plug abandoned and deteriorating artesian wells in order to comply with Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes. Plugging wells involves filling the abandoned well with cement or bentonite. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Signed this 1st day of May 2015, in Washington, DC. Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2015–15937 Filed 6–26–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jun 26, 2015 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service Request for Nominations to the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of Request for Nominations to the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. AGENCY: The Secretary of Agriculture invites nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for a 2-year term on the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) established by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on agricultural air quality issues. This notice solicits nominations for membership on AAQTF. DATES: Effective Date: This is effective June 29, 2015. ADDRESSES: Nominations should be postmarked no later than August 13, 2015 to Greg Johnson, Designated Federal Official, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1000, Portland, Oregon 97232, or sent by email to greg.johnson@por.usda.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Johnson, Designated Federal Official, Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1000, Portland, Oregon 97232; telephone: (503) 273–2424; fax: (503) 273–2401; email: greg.johnson@por.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: AAQTF Purpose Section 391 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, Public Law 104–127, 7 U.S.C. 5405, requires the Chief of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to establish a task force to address air agricultural quality issues. The task force advises the Secretary of Agriculture on the role of the Secretary for providing oversight and coordination related to agricultural air quality. The requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App.2, apply to this task force. The Task Force will: 1. Strengthen vital research efforts related to agricultural air quality; 2. Determine the extent to which agricultural activities contribute to air pollution; PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3. Determine cost-effective ways in which the agricultural industry can improve air quality; 4. Coordinate and ensure intergovernmental cooperation on research activities related to agricultural air quality issues to avoid duplication, and ensure data quality and sound interpretation of data; and 5. Advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the role of the Secretary for providing oversight and coordination related to agricultural air quality. AAQTF Membership The task force expects to meet two to three times each year, with meetings held at various locations across the United States. A task force member will serve for a term of 2 years, starting with the date of charter establishment for this task force. The Chief of NRCS serves as Chair of the task force. The task force is composed of United States citizens representing a broad spectrum of individuals with interest in agricultural air quality issues. This includes, but is not limited to, representatives from the agricultural production and processing sector, as well as those from academia, agribusiness, regulatory organizations, environmental organizations, and local or State agencies. Nominees to AAQTF will be evaluated on a number of criteria, including expertise in or experience with agricultural air quality research, agricultural production, and air quality environmental or regulatory issues. Serving as a task force member will not constitute employment by, or the holding of, an office of the United States for the purpose of any Federal law. Persons selected for membership on the task force will not receive compensation from NRCS for their service as task force members, except that while away from home or regular place of business the member will be eligible for travel expenses paid by NRCS, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at the same rate as a person employed intermittently in the government service, under section 5703 of Title 5, U.S.C. Additional information about AAQTF may be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.airquality.nrcs.usda.gov/ wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/air/ taskforce/. Member Nominations Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals for membership. Interested candidates may nominate themselves. Previous nominees and task force members who wish to be considered for membership on the task force must submit a new nomination with updated information, E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 124 (Monday, June 29, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36965-36966]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-15937]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2015-0008]


The Secretary of Agriculture's Determination of the Primary 
Purpose of the Southwest Florida Water Management District's 
Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems Program, Mini-
FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, Quality of Water 
Improvement Program, and Back- Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative

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

ACTION: Notice of determination.

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

SUMMARY: The Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing public 
notice that the Secretary of Agriculture has determined that cost-share 
payments made by the Southwest Florida Water Management District 
(SWFWMD) through its Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management 
Systems (FARMS) Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement 
Program, Quality of Water Improvement Program (QWIP), and Back-Plugging 
Funding Assistance Initiative are primarily for the purpose of 
conserving soil and water resources or protecting and restoring the 
environment. SWFWMD is a political subdivision of the State of Florida. 
NRCS was assigned technical and administrative responsibility for 
reviewing SWFWMD's FARMS Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter 
Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance 
Initiative, and for making appropriate recommendations for the 
Secretary's determination of primary purpose. The Secretary made the 
determination for the State of Florida's Agricultural Best Management 
Practices Program, which is a counterpart to SWFWMD's FARMS Program (74 
FR 49850).
    This determination is in accordance with section 126 of the 
Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended (26 U.S.C. 126), and permits 
recipients of cost-share payments to exclude such payments from gross 
income to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

ADDRESSES: A ``Record of Decision'' for SWFWMD's FARMS Program, Mini-
FARMS Program, Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-
Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative has been prepared and is 
available upon request from Mark Rose, Director, Financial Assistance 
Programs Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 5237 South Building, Washington, DC 
20250.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Beltran, Executive Director, 
Southwest Florida Water Management District, Phone: (352) 796-7211; or 
Mark Rose, Director, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service. Phone: (202) 720-1844.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 126(a)(10) of the Internal 
Revenue Code, gross income does not include the ``excludable portion'' 
of payments received under any program of a State, or a political 
subdivision of a State, under which payments are made to individuals 
primarily for the purpose of protecting or restoring the environment. 
In general, a cost-share payment for selected conservation practices is 
exempt from Federal taxation if it meets three tests: (1) It was for a 
capital expense, (2) it does not substantially increase the operator's 
annual income from the property for which it is made, and (3) the 
Secretary of Agriculture certified that the payment was made primarily 
for conserving soil and water resources, protecting or restoring the 
environment, improving forests, or providing habitat for wildlife.
    The Secretary of Agriculture evaluates a conservation program on 
the basis of criteria set forth in 7 CFR part 14, and makes a ``primary 
purpose'' determination for the payments made under the program. The 
objective of the determination made under part 14 is to provide maximum 
conservation, environmental, forestry improvement, and wildlife 
benefits to the general public from the operation of applicable 
programs. Final determinations are made on the basis of program, 
category of practices, or individual practices. Following a primary 
purpose determination by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of 
the Treasury determines if the payments made under the conservation 
program substantially increases the annual income derived from the 
property benefited by the payments.

Determination

    As provided for by section 126 of the Internal Revenue Code, the 
Secretary examined the authorizing legislation, regulations, and 
operating procedures regarding SWFWMD, a political subdivision of the 
State of Florida, and its FARMS Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter 
Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance 
Initiative. In accordance with the criteria set out in 7 CFR part 14, 
the Secretary has determined the primary purpose of cost share payments 
made under SWFWMD's FARMS Program, Mini-FARMS Program, Flow Meter 
Reimbursement Program, QWIP, and Back-Plugging Funding Assistance 
Initiative is conserving soil and water resources, or protecting and 
restoring the environment. The FARMS and Mini-FARMS programs are 
implemented through Rule 40D-26 of the Florida Administrative Code. 
SWFWMD implements the FARMS and Mini-FARMS Programs to provide overall 
water resource benefits and to protect the environment. SWFWMD provides 
cost-share reimbursement for select best management practices that have 
potential water conservation, natural system restoration, and water 
quality benefits. The objectives of the programs are met through cost-
shared construction of specific engineered structures, as well as 
acquisition of specific equipment to meet water conservation and 
environmental needs. FARMS is a cost-share program to reduce 
groundwater use through water conservation best management practices 
(BMP) in agricultural operations. The Mini-FARMS program reimburse 
growers for on-farm installation of select agricultural practices that 
have potential water conservation, sediment control, and water 
improvement benefits up to a $5,000 per project cap. Projects that

[[Page 36966]]

exceed $5,000 would be considered for funding through the FARMS 
program.
    Chapter 40D-2, F.A.C. contains the SWFWMD water use permit 
regulations that implements the Flow Meter Reimbursement Program. 
Through its Flow Meter Reimbursement Program, SWFWMD provides cost-
share funding for flow meter equipment and installation in the Dover/
Plant City Water Use Caution Area. The program provides cost share for 
flow meter equipment installed on operational withdraw points, inflow 
lines, catchment facilities, tail water recovery or rainfall capture 
ponds and storage facilities that have been in existence prior to June 
16, 2011.
    Flow meters on all withdrawal points are required as a condition of 
all permits with crops that utilize frost/freeze protection water 
quantities in the Dover/Plant City Water Use Caution Area to ensure 
that withdrawals will not cause any unmitigated adverse impacts on the 
water resources and existing legal users, and that the use continues to 
be in the public interest.
    Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes enables SWFWMD to implement 
QWIP. Section 373.206 of the Florida Statute authorizes SWFWMD to 
implement the Back Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative to identify 
and plug highly mineralized wells of poor water quality to minimize 
effects upon an aquifer or water bodies. SWFWMD's QWIP and Back-
Plugging Funding Assistance Initiative provide reimbursement for the 
plugging of groundwater wells that have poor water quality. Properly 
plugging poor quality groundwater wells enhances water conservation, 
natural system restoration, and water quality benefits. SWFWMD provides 
financial assistance to properly plug abandoned and deteriorating 
artesian wells in order to comply with Chapter 373 of the Florida 
Statutes. Plugging wells involves filling the abandoned well with 
cement or bentonite.

    Signed this 1st day of May 2015, in Washington, DC.
Jason A. Weller,
Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-15937 Filed 6-26-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-16-P