Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 56579-56580 [2016-19866]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 162 / Monday, August 22, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service [Docket No. NRCS–2016–0004] Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes to NRCS’ National Handbook of Conservation Practices for public review and comment. AGENCY: 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 Anionic Polyacrylamide (PAM) Application (Code 450), Compost Facility (Code 317), Constructed Wetland (Code 656), Critical Area Planting (Code 342), Drainage Water Management (Code 554), Feed Management (Code 592), Field Border (Code 386), Filter Strip (Code 393), Irrigation Land Leveling (Code 464), Irrigation System, Surface and Subsurface (Code 443), Residue and Tillage Management, No Till (Code 329), Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Code 345), and Stream Habitat Improvement (Code 395). 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 22, 2016. Comment Date: Submit comments on or before September 21, 2016. 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. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number NRCS–2016–0004, using any of the following methods: ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Aug 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 • 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: Terri Ruch, Acting National Environmental Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., South Building, Room 6133, Washington, DC 20250. Electronic copies of the proposed revised standards are available through http://www.regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS–2016–0004. 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=nrcs143_026849. To aid in this comparison, the following are highlights of some of the proposed revisions to each standard. Anionic PAM Application (Code 450): The revision adds a purpose to the standard, which is to ‘‘improve soil surface infiltration rate and minimize soil crusting to allow for uniform plant growth on irrigated land.’’ There was also criteria for this purpose added to the standard which sets the PAM PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 56579 application rate to not exceed 4 pounds per acre, as well as criteria for mixing and injecting PAM. Compost Facility (Code 317): Revised language to improve readability and clarify intent of criteria. Criteria was revised to include facility siting and design language. Additional sections, ‘‘Criteria for Mechanically Assisted Composting’’ and ‘‘Power Supply’’ were added. Constructed Wetland (Code 656): Revised language to improve readability and clarify intent of criteria. Additional conditions related to bioreactors and saturated buffers were added. Added criteria under the heading ‘‘Additional Criteria Applicable to Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement’’ to use the design procedure recognized by the regulatory and academic conservation partners, and to select a design hydraulic retention time that will achieve the intended water quality results. Added consideration to address odor concerns near populated areas. Critical Area Planting (Code 342): Revised language to improve readability and clarify intent of criteria. The purpose of stabilizing areas being degraded by the concentration of salts or other chemicals was deleted and is covered in other conservation practice standards. Critical slope criteria to stabilize banks, shorelines, and other areas was changed from 2:1 slopes to 3:1 slopes. Drainage Water Management (Code 554): The entire document was edited for clarity. Two purposes were removed: (1) Reduce wind erosion or particulate matter (dust) emissions and (2) provide seasonal wildlife habitat. Significant additions and clarifications were made to most of the ‘‘General Criteria,’’ particularly instructions under ‘‘Control Elevation’’ and ‘‘Control Zone.’’ Similarly, changes were made to ‘‘Additional Criteria to Reduce Nutrient, Pathogen, and Pesticide Loading;’’ and ‘‘Additional Criteria to Improve Productivity, Health, and Vigor of Plants.’’ The ‘‘Considerations’’ and ‘‘Plans and Specifications’’ sections were rewritten. Feed Management (Code 592): Changes in format, stronger emphasis on feed management for pathogen control and odor and greenhouse gas mitigation, feed management by grouping of animals, as well as select wording changes are incorporated. The new version should be easier to use by NRCS field staff and easier to understand by producers. Field Border (Code 386): Clarified the ‘‘Purpose’’ statements to better align with NRCS resource concerns. Minor E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1 asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 56580 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 162 / Monday, August 22, 2016 / Notices edits were made throughout the document for clarification purposes. Added the purpose: ‘‘reduce excessive sediment in surface waters.’’ Filter Strip (Code 393): Practice purposes were revised. Minor editing was made throughout the document to clarify criteria. The noxious or invasive plants language was removed since this is NRCS policy for all matters. Added criteria to remove phosphorus by harvesting above-ground biomass at least once each year. Irrigation Land Leveling (Code 464): This standard was updated to be more readable and formatted according to current standards. A ‘‘Design’’ section was added to the standard to provide current reference information. The ‘‘Operation and Maintenance’’ section was expanded to include more detailed information to the operator to ensure the practice will last longer. Irrigation System, Surface, and Subsurface (Code 443): Very few substantial changes. Clarifying words and grammatical corrections make up the majority of changes. A criteria was added in the ‘‘Application Efficiency and Distribution Uniformity’’ section that directs users to the current technical guidance. Residue and Tillage Management, No Till (Code 329): Practice purposes edited to align with NRCS resource concerns. Added the purpose: ‘‘reduce excessive sediment in surface waters.’’ Made minor edits throughout the document to improve clarity. Removed the 2,000 pounds per acre of residue to increase plant available moisture as this is no longer needed for the erosion prediction tools in use at this time. The needed amount of residue now states 60 percent. Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Code 345): Added the purpose: ‘‘reduce sheet, rill, and wind erosion, and excessive sediment in surface waters.’’ Made minor edits to improve clarity throughout the document. Added the criteria to document and determine the purpose to reduce sheet, rill, and wind erosion, and excessive sediment in surface waters. Stream Habitat Improvement (Code 395): The definition and purpose are simplified to better focus on habitat. Language was added to better coordinate with other conservation practices. Application of the practice within a watershed context is now required as a specified criterion rather than as a consideration. Revised language as needed to improve readability and clarify intent of criteria. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Aug 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 Signed this 12th day of August 2016, in Washington, DC. Jason A. Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2016–19866 Filed 8–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request August 17, 2016. The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13. Comments are requested regarding (1) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments regarding this information collection received by September 21, 2016 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: OIRA_Submission@ OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395–5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250–7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720–8958. An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 displays a currently valid OMB control number. Rural Housing Service Title: Form RD 410–8, Application Reference Letter (A Request for Credit Reference). OMB Control Number: 0575–0091. Summary of Collection: The Rural Housing Service (RHS), under Section 502 of Title V of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended, provides financial assistance to construct, improve, alter, repair, replace, or rehabilitate dwellings, which will provide modest, decent, safe, and sanitary housing to eligible individuals in rural areas. Form RD 410–8, Applicant Reference Letter, provides credit information and is used by RHS to obtain information about an applicant’s credit history that might not appear on a credit report. Need and Use of the Information: Using form RD–410–8, RHS will collect information to supplement or verify other debts when a credit report is limited and unavailable to determine the applicant’s eligibility and creditworthiness for RHS loans and grants. It can be used to document an ability to handle credit effectively for applicants who have not used sources of credit that appear on a credit report. The form provides RHS with relevant information about the applicant’s creditworthiness and is used to make better creditworthiness decisions. For the form to retain the OMB number, this collection is for approval of the form itself. The burden for this form will be accounted for within the individual RD program collection packages using the form. Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit. Number of Respondents: 1. Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion. Total Burden Hours: 1. Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–19942 Filed 8–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XV–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2015 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\22AUN1.SGM 22AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 162 (Monday, August 22, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56579-56580]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-19866]



[[Page 56579]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2016-0004]


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

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes to 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 Anionic 
Polyacrylamide (PAM) Application (Code 450), Compost Facility (Code 
317), Constructed Wetland (Code 656), Critical Area Planting (Code 
342), Drainage Water Management (Code 554), Feed Management (Code 592), 
Field Border (Code 386), Filter Strip (Code 393), Irrigation Land 
Leveling (Code 464), Irrigation System, Surface and Subsurface (Code 
443), Residue and Tillage Management, No Till (Code 329), Residue and 
Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Code 345), and Stream Habitat 
Improvement (Code 395). 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 22, 2016.
    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before September 21, 2016. 
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 
NRCS-2016-0004, 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: Terri Ruch, Acting National 
Environmental Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., South 
Building, Room 6133, Washington, DC 20250.
    Electronic copies of the proposed revised standards are available 
through http://www.regulations.gov by accessing Docket No. NRCS-2016-
0004. 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=nrcs143_026849. To aid in 
this comparison, the following are highlights of some of the proposed 
revisions to each standard.
    Anionic PAM Application (Code 450): The revision adds a purpose to 
the standard, which is to ``improve soil surface infiltration rate and 
minimize soil crusting to allow for uniform plant growth on irrigated 
land.'' There was also criteria for this purpose added to the standard 
which sets the PAM application rate to not exceed 4 pounds per acre, as 
well as criteria for mixing and injecting PAM.
    Compost Facility (Code 317): Revised language to improve 
readability and clarify intent of criteria. Criteria was revised to 
include facility siting and design language. Additional sections, 
``Criteria for Mechanically Assisted Composting'' and ``Power Supply'' 
were added.
    Constructed Wetland (Code 656): Revised language to improve 
readability and clarify intent of criteria. Additional conditions 
related to bioreactors and saturated buffers were added. Added criteria 
under the heading ``Additional Criteria Applicable to Constructed 
Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement'' to use the design procedure 
recognized by the regulatory and academic conservation partners, and to 
select a design hydraulic retention time that will achieve the intended 
water quality results. Added consideration to address odor concerns 
near populated areas.
    Critical Area Planting (Code 342): Revised language to improve 
readability and clarify intent of criteria. The purpose of stabilizing 
areas being degraded by the concentration of salts or other chemicals 
was deleted and is covered in other conservation practice standards. 
Critical slope criteria to stabilize banks, shorelines, and other areas 
was changed from 2:1 slopes to 3:1 slopes.
    Drainage Water Management (Code 554): The entire document was 
edited for clarity. Two purposes were removed: (1) Reduce wind erosion 
or particulate matter (dust) emissions and (2) provide seasonal 
wildlife habitat. Significant additions and clarifications were made to 
most of the ``General Criteria,'' particularly instructions under 
``Control Elevation'' and ``Control Zone.'' Similarly, changes were 
made to ``Additional Criteria to Reduce Nutrient, Pathogen, and 
Pesticide Loading;'' and ``Additional Criteria to Improve Productivity, 
Health, and Vigor of Plants.'' The ``Considerations'' and ``Plans and 
Specifications'' sections were rewritten.
    Feed Management (Code 592): Changes in format, stronger emphasis on 
feed management for pathogen control and odor and greenhouse gas 
mitigation, feed management by grouping of animals, as well as select 
wording changes are incorporated. The new version should be easier to 
use by NRCS field staff and easier to understand by producers.
    Field Border (Code 386): Clarified the ``Purpose'' statements to 
better align with NRCS resource concerns. Minor

[[Page 56580]]

edits were made throughout the document for clarification purposes. 
Added the purpose: ``reduce excessive sediment in surface waters.''
    Filter Strip (Code 393): Practice purposes were revised. Minor 
editing was made throughout the document to clarify criteria. The 
noxious or invasive plants language was removed since this is NRCS 
policy for all matters. Added criteria to remove phosphorus by 
harvesting above-ground biomass at least once each year.
    Irrigation Land Leveling (Code 464): This standard was updated to 
be more readable and formatted according to current standards. A 
``Design'' section was added to the standard to provide current 
reference information. The ``Operation and Maintenance'' section was 
expanded to include more detailed information to the operator to ensure 
the practice will last longer.
    Irrigation System, Surface, and Subsurface (Code 443): Very few 
substantial changes. Clarifying words and grammatical corrections make 
up the majority of changes. A criteria was added in the ``Application 
Efficiency and Distribution Uniformity'' section that directs users to 
the current technical guidance.
    Residue and Tillage Management, No Till (Code 329): Practice 
purposes edited to align with NRCS resource concerns. Added the 
purpose: ``reduce excessive sediment in surface waters.'' Made minor 
edits throughout the document to improve clarity. Removed the 2,000 
pounds per acre of residue to increase plant available moisture as this 
is no longer needed for the erosion prediction tools in use at this 
time. The needed amount of residue now states 60 percent.
    Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Code 345): Added the 
purpose: ``reduce sheet, rill, and wind erosion, and excessive sediment 
in surface waters.'' Made minor edits to improve clarity throughout the 
document. Added the criteria to document and determine the purpose to 
reduce sheet, rill, and wind erosion, and excessive sediment in surface 
waters.
    Stream Habitat Improvement (Code 395): The definition and purpose 
are simplified to better focus on habitat. Language was added to better 
coordinate with other conservation practices. Application of the 
practice within a watershed context is now required as a specified 
criterion rather than as a consideration. Revised language as needed to 
improve readability and clarify intent of criteria.

    Signed this 12th day of August 2016, in Washington, DC.
Jason A. Weller,
Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-19866 Filed 8-19-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-16-P