Natural Resources Conservation Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
Document Number: 2017-14505
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-07-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (MS TIG) have prepared a final Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (RP/EA). The RP/EA describes the restoration project alternatives considered by the MS TIG to restore and conserve habitat, replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, and restore water quality. The MS TIG evaluated these alternatives under criteria set forth in the OPA natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) regulations, and also evaluated the environmental consequences of the restoration alternatives in accordance with NEPA. The Federal Trustees of the MS TIG have determined that implementation of the MS TIG 2016- 2017 RP/EA is not a major Federal Action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the context of NEPA and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. The MS TIG has selected three restoration projects in the RP/EA for implementation in the Mississippi Restoration Area, which are consistent with the Trustees' programmatic alternatives in the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS).
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2017-13179
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-06-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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: Anaerobic Digester (Code 366), Contour Farming (Code 330), Crosswind Ridges (Code 588), Dam (Code 402), Mulching (Code 484), Pond Sealing or Lining Geomembrane or Geosynthetic Clay Liner (Code 521), Stream Crossing (Code 578), Strip-Cropping (Code 585), Structure for Water Control (Code 587), Water and Sediment Control Basin (Code 638), Waste Recycling (Code 633), Waste Treatment Lagoon (Code 359). 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.
Notice of Availability of Proposed Revisions to Section I of the Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota State Technical Guides for Public Review and Comment
Document Number: 2017-13061
Type: Notice
Date: 2017-06-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue revisions to the State Offsite Methods (SOSM) for use in Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota. The SOSM is used in completing wetland determinations for USDA program eligibility purposes. The existing SOSM's have been in use since July 2015, NRCS is seeking comments only on the proposed revisions to these documents. The revisions are needed to clarify procedures and improve consistency in application. NRCS State Conservationists in each of these States will incorporate their revised SOSM into Section I of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). As identified in the National Food Security Act Manual these revised methods may be used for completion of wetland determinations. 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 methods and procedures used to carry out the Highly Erodible Land and wetland compliance provisions of the 1985 Food Security Act (as amended).
Notice of Availability of the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group Draft 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment for Review and Public Comment
Document Number: 2016-31064
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
In accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Deepwater Horizon Federal and State natural resource trustee agencies for the Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (MS TIG) have prepared a Draft 2016-2017 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment (Draft RP/EA). The Draft RP/ EA describes and proposes restoration project alternatives and proposed projects considered by the MS TIG to restore natural resources and ecological services injured or lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The proposed projects are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of the availability of the Draft RP/EA and to seek public comments on the document.
Notice of Implementation of the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Technology for Soil Erodibility System Calculations for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2016-27633
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-11-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to implement the WEPP technology to replace the use of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Version 2 (RUSLE2), where applicable.
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Wisconsin Field Office Technical Guide
Document Number: 2016-25047
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Wisconsin Field Office Technical Guide to include ``Wisconsin Wetland Determination Methods'' which will replace the existing ``Wisconsin Wetland Mapping Conventions issued May 1, 1998'' (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions). The Wisconsin Wetland Determination Methods will be used as part of the technical documents and procedures to conduct wetland determinations on agriculture land as part of the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended).
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2016-24329
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in NHCP. These standards include Brush Management (Code 314), Herbaceous Weed Treatment (Code 315), Lined Waterway or Outlet (Code 468), Prescribed Grazing (Code 528), and Restoration of Rare or Declining Natural Communities (Code 643). 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.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2016-19872
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-08-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet for discussions on critical air quality issues relating to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public. A draft agenda is included in this notice.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2016-19866
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-08-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
Mountain Run Watershed Dam No. 50, Culpeper County, Virginia
Document Number: 2016-17975
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-07-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pursuant to Section 102[2][c] of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Regulations, NRCS gives notice that an environmental impact statement is not being prepared for the rehabilitation of Mountain Run Watershed Dam No. 50, Culpeper County, Virginia.
Notice of Availability of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide for Public Review and Comment
Document Number: 2016-10218
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Indiana Field Office Technical Guide to include ``Guidance for Indiana Wetland Determinations, Including the use of Offsite Methods, to Identify Wetlands, Wetland Types, and Their Size for the 1985 Food Security Act, as amended,'' which will replace the existing ``Wetland Mapping Conventions for Agricultural Land and Narrow Band and Small Pocket Inclusions of Non-Agricultural Land'' (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions).
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2016-06078
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet for discussions on critical air quality issues relating to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2016-04824
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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: Clearing and Snagging (Code 326), Diversion (Code 362), Fish Raceway or Tank (Code 398), Pond Sealing or LiningCompacted Soil Treatment (Code 521B), Pond Sealing or LiningConcrete (Code 521C), Sediment Basin (Code 350), Silvopasture (Code 381), Tree/Shrub Establishment (Code 612), Vegetated Subsurface Drain Outlet (Code 604), and Waste Storage Facility (Code 313). 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.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-32746
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-12-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice of Availability of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Illinois Field Office Technical Guide for Public Review and Comment
Document Number: 2015-28183
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-11-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Illinois Field Office Technical Guide to include ``Guidance for Illinois Food Security Act Wetland Determinations Including Offsite Methods'' which will replace the existing ``Wetland Mapping Conventions NRCS Illinois'' (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions).
Notice of Request To Extend an Information Collection
Document Number: 2015-27286
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-10-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces NRCS' intent to request an extension for currently approved information collection, Volunteer ProgramEarth Team. This information collection is set to expire December 31, 2015. NRCS is seeking to extend the expiration date for the volunteer Interest and Placement Summary form and the Timesheet form to December 31, 2018. The collected information helps NRCS to match the skills of individuals interested in volunteering for opportunities that will further the agency's mission. Information will be collected from potential volunteers who are 14 years of age or older.
NRCS Procedures for Granting Equitable Relief
Document Number: 2015-26309
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-10-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) issues its final rule implementing the equitable relief authority, and the procedures set forth in section 1613 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Act), relating to relief for participants for covered programs administered by NRCS. The relief applies to cases where the program participant took action to his or her detriment based on action or advice from an NRCS employee, and situations where the participant acted in good faith, but failed to fully comply with program requirements.
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
Document Number: 2015-15937
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-06-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
Request for Nominations to the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2015-15933
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-06-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
Notice of Availability of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Louisiana Field Office Technical Guide for Public Review and Comment
Document Number: 2015-14063
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-06-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS is proposing to revise Section I of the Louisiana Field Office Technical Guide to include ``Guidance for Louisiana Food Security Act Wetland Determinations including Offsite Methods'' which will replace the existing ``Louisiana Conventions and Procedures for Performing Wetland Delineations'' (commonly referred as State Wetland Mapping Conventions).
Water Bank Program
Document Number: 2015-13992
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-06-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is amending the Water Bank Program (WBP) regulations to clarify that lands owned by Indian Tribes are eligible for enrollment. As a non-controversial change to an existing regulation, NRCS is issuing this amendment as a final rule.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2015-10476
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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: Amending Soil Properties with Gypsum Products (Code 333), Animal Mortality Facility (Code 316), Contour Orchards and Other Perennial Crops (Code 331), Controlled Traffic Farming (Code 334), Denitrifying Bioreactor (Code 605), Emergency Animal Mortality Management (Code 368), Field Operations Emissions Reduction (Code 376), Forest Stand Improvement (Code 666), Herbaceous Wind Barriers (Code 603), Irrigation System, Micro-irrigation (Code 441), Roofs and Covers (Code 367), Sprinkler System (Code 442), Vegetated Treatment Area (Code 635), and Vegetative Barrier (Code 601). 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.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) in Cooperation With the Bureau of Land Management for the Green River Diversion Rehabilitation Project, Green River, Utah
Document Number: 2015-10014
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-04-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This notice announces the availability of the ROD for the Green River Diversion Rehabilitation Project, Green River, Utah, by the Utah office of NRCS. NRCS will use Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program funds for the Green River Diversion Rehabilitation project in Emery and Grand counties, Utah as detailed in the ROD. The NRCS Utah State Conservationist, David Brown, signed the ROD on April 2, 2015, which constitutes the NRCS's final decision.
Notice of Availability of Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program
Document Number: 2015-09639
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-04-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has prepared a draft programmatic environmental assessment (EA) for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The purpose of the draft programmatic EA is to briefly review the effects of activities that are likely to occur when NRCS awards future VPA-HIP grant funds so NRCS can decide whether VPA-HIP is likely to result in significant adverse impacts requiring preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). NRCS is soliciting comments on the draft programmatic EA from interested parties for 30 days from the date of this notice. Comments may be sent by mail or email to the contact listed below.
Changes to Existing Conservation Program Regulations
Document Number: 2015-08008
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-04-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) made several nondiscretionary changes to NRCS conservation programs. These conservation programs have existing regulations that required adjustments. These adjustments include addressing the required review of operating procedures of the State Technical Committee, adding reference of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act program regulations, adding reference of RCPP to the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), expanding the definition of ``acreage owned by Indian Tribes'' under HFRP, revising and simplifying the Regional Equity provision, and adjusting the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program to correspond with changes to payment provisions under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture delegated to NRCS administrative responsibility for implementing the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), and internal NRCS administrative changes warrant updating the appropriate delegated official in the Technical Service Provider (TSP) provision. NRCS published an interim rule with a request for comments on August 1, 2014, to implement changes to these NRCS conservation program regulations that were either necessitated by enactment of the 2014 Act, or required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications. NRCS received six comments on the interim rule. In this document, NRCS issues a final rule to make permanent these changes and to incorporate two minor mandatory changes in two of the affected parts.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2015-06617
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-03-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet for discussions on critical air quality issues relating to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2015-02084
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a new conservation practice standard in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices. This standard is High Tunnel System (Code 325). NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt this practice for use within their States will incorporate it into section IV of their respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. This practice 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.
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota State Technical Guides
Document Number: 2015-02083
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
NRCS published a notice of proposed changes to section I of the State-specific technical guides for Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota on November 5, 2014, with a comment period ending February 3, 2015. This document extends the comment period.
Notice of Intent for the East Locust Creek Watershed Revised Plan, Sullivan County, Missouri
Document Number: 2014-28673
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-12-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This action supplements our proposed amendments to the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for the Primary Aluminum Production source category published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2011. In that action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments based on the initial residual risk and technology reviews (RTR) for this source category, and also proposed certain emission limits reflecting performance of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT). Today's action reflects a revised technology review and a revised residual risk analysis for the Primary Aluminum Production source category and proposes new and revised emission standards based on those analyses, newly obtained emissions test data, and comments we received in response to the 2011 proposal, including certain revisions to the technology-based standards reflecting performance of MACT. This action also proposes new compliance requirements to meet the revised standards. This action, if adopted, will provide improved environmental protection regarding potential emissions of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from primary aluminum production facilities.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2014-28067
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet for discussions on critical air quality issues relating to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Interim Rule
Document Number: 2014-26295
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-11-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This interim rule with request for comment amends the existing Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regulation for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to incorporate programmatic changes as authorized by amendments in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Act).
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section I of the Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota State Technical Guides
Document Number: 2014-26294
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Notice is hereby given of the intention by the NRCS State Conservationists for Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to issue revisions to Section I of their State Technical Guide pertaining to the State Offsite Methods used in completing wetland determinations. In each of the listed States, NRCS is proposing to issue its State Offsite Methods which will replace existing State wetland mapping conventions. The State Offsite Methods will be used as part of the technical documents and procedures to conduct wetland determinations on agriculture land as part of the Food Security Act of 1985 (as amended). 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 standards and procedures used to carry out Highly Erodible Land and wetland provisions of the law.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2014-19520
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
Notice of Availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project
Document Number: 2014-19519
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
Changes to Existing Conservation Program Regulations
Document Number: 2014-17993
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) made several, nondiscretionary changes to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs. These conservation programs have existing regulations that require adjustments, including addressing the required review of operating procedures of the State Technical Committee, adding reference of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act program regulations, adding reference of the RCPP to, and expanding the definition of, ``acreage owned by Indian Tribes'' under the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), revising and simplifying the Regional Equity provision, and adjusting the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program to correspond with changes to payment provisions under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated to NRCS administrative responsibility for implementation of the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) and internal NRCS administrative changes warrant updating the appropriate delegated official in the technical service provider (TSP) provision. This interim rule, with request for comments, implements changes to these NRCS conservation program regulations that are either necessitated by enactment of the 2014 Act or are required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2014-17992
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-31
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to continue discussions on critical air quality issues in relation to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2014-11680
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Natural Resources Conservation Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces NRCS' intention to request an extension for, and a revision to, a currently approved information collection for Long-Term Contracting.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2014-08936
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-21
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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: Access Road (Code 560), Agrichemical Handling Facility (Code 309), Grade Stabilization Structure (Code 410), Precision Land Forming (Code 462), Short Term Storage of Animal Waste and Byproducts (Code 318), Terraces (Code 600), Trails and Walkways (Code 575), Watering Facility (Code 614) and Water Well (Code 642). 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.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2014-08229
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to continue discussions on critical air quality issues in relation to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Conservation Innovation Grants Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Announcement for Program Funding
Document Number: 2014-02476
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-02-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications will be accepted from all 50 States, District of Columbia, Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2014 will be up to $15 million. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in duration. Funds will be awarded through a two-phase nationwide competitive grants process that will include: (1) A pre-proposal process, and (2) a full proposal process. The full proposal process will only be open to applicants whose pre-proposal applications are selected by NRCS. Both phases are described in the full announcement found at Grants.gov. Only pre-proposals are being solicited at this time. Please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/index.html for more information about this grant opportunity. In addition, the full notice that identifies the objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions for CIG projects can also be found at: www.grants.gov. Applications will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of the announcement. Incomplete applications will be eliminated from competition, and notification of elimination will be mailed to the applicant. NRCS will request a full proposal package only from those applicants selected in the pre- proposal phase.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan, Caldwell County, Missouri
Document Number: 2013-30388
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-12-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, as lead federal agency, will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan (LOCWP), Caldwell County, Missouri, involving the proposed construction of a multi-purpose reservoir. The purpose of this supplement is to address changes which have occurred since the NRCS prepared the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan and Environmental Impact Statement in 2003. The SEIS will update the original EIS with more recent relevant environmental information and expand the alternatives analysis beyond those previously considered. The SEIS will evaluate reasonable and practicable alternatives and their expected environmental impacts.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2013-27567
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-11-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to continue discussions on critical air quality issues in relation to agriculture. Special emphasis will be placed on obtaining a greater understanding about the relationship between agricultural production and air quality. The meeting is open to the public, and a draft agenda is included in this notice.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project
Document Number: 2013-23134
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-09-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This notice announces NRCS' adoption, under provisions provided for in 40 CFR 1506.3 of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) entitled: ``General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Prairie Demonstration Project dated September 1999'' (GRR/EIS) and the availability of an associated NRCS ROD. NRCS has also adopted the two Environmental Assessments (EAs) associated with the project entitled: ``Environmental Assessment Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Post General Reevaluation Design Changes'' (2004 EA) and ``Environmental Assessment Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project Canal Realignment and Pumping Station Borrow Area, Prairie County, Arkansas'' (2010 EA), and an NRCS FONSI for each EA is available.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Bayou Meto Basin Project, Arkansas
Document Number: 2013-23133
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-09-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This notice announces NRCS' adoption, under provisions provided for in 40 CFR 1506.3 of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) entitled: ``General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Bayou Meto Basin project dated November 2006 and revised March 2007'' (GRR/ EIS) and the availability of an associated NRCS ROD. NRCS has also adopted the Environmental Assessment (EA) entitled ``Final Environmental Assessment Bayou Meto Basin, Arkansas Post General Reevaluation Design Changes'' dated July 21, 2010, and an NRCS FONSI for the EA is available.
Adoption of Final Environmental Assessment (UT-040-09-03) Prepared for the Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project
Document Number: 2013-14636
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
The United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces its intent to adopt the Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project EA, as prepared by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), under the provisions of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR 1506.3).
Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Green River/Tusher Diversion Dam Rehabilitation Project, Emery/Grand County, UT
Document Number: 2013-13062
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370d, as implemented by the Council of Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regulations that implement NEPA at 7 CFR part 650, the NRCS Utah State Office announces its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Green River/Tusher Diversion Dam Rehabilitation project. The purpose of this notice is to alert interested parties regarding the intent to prepare the EIS, to provide information on the nature of the proposed action and possible alternatives, and to invite public participation in the EIS process (including providing comments on the scope of the draft EIS, to announce that a public scoping meeting will be conducted, and to identify cooperating agency contacts). The EIS process will evaluate alternatives recommended for detailed study as a result of previous planning-level studies completed by NRCS and any additional (new) alternatives identified during scoping.
Non-Rock Alternatives to Shoreline Protection Demonstration Project (LA-16) Iberia, Jefferson, and Lafourche Parishes, LA
Document Number: 2013-13060
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969; the Council on Environmental Quality Guidelines (40 CFR part 1500); and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Guidelines (7 CFR part 650); the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, gives notice that an environmental impact statement is not being prepared for the Non-Rock Alternatives to Shoreline Protection Demonstration Project (LA-16), Iberia, Jefferson, and Lafourche Parishes, Louisiana.
Request for Nominations to the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
Document Number: 2013-03247
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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) which was 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 the AAQTF.
Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Document Number: 2012-30158
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-12-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
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: Amendments for the Treatment of Agricultural Waste (Code 591), Building Envelope Improvement (Code 672), Fence (Code 382), Lighting System Improvement (Code 670), Recreation Land Grading and Shaping (Code 566), Row Arrangement (Code 557), Sprinkler System (Code 442), Tree/Shrub Site Preparation (Code 490), Waste Separation Facility (Code 632), Waste Treatment (Code 629), Watering Facility (Code 614), and Waterspreading (Code 640). 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.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project
Document Number: 2012-26979
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-11-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
This notice represents the Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS's) decision to subordinate its rights, acquired under the Wetland Reserve Program, to allow the Gulf Coast Segment (Gulf Coast Pipeline Project) of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP to cross one NRCS held conservation easement in Fannin County, Texas associated with this approximately 480 mile pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Nederland, Texas. This is in accordance with agency policy CPM-440, Part 514, Circular 7, Infrastructure Policy on Easements, dated September 6, 2007.