Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of Conservation Practices for the 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
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.
Notice of Proposed Changes to Section IV of the Virginia State Technical Guide
It has been determined by the NRCS State Conservationist for Virginia that changes must be made in the NRCS State Technical Guide specifically in the following practice standards: Nutrient Management (590) and Feed Management (592). These practices will be used to plan and install conservation practices.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to continue 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. A draft agenda is included with this notice. The meeting is open to the public.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues this final rule amending NRCS' informal appeal procedures as required by Title II of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (the 1994 Act). This final rule amends regulations promulgated by the interim final rule published on May 16, 2006, and also includes new language to address comments and make procedural and structural changes in relation to 6 years of implementation.
Withdrawal of Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Upper Deckers Creek Watershed, Preston County, WV
In the Monday, November 21, 2011, Federal Register, Vol. 76. No. 224, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced its intension to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the rehabilitation of the Upper Deckers Creek Site 1, in Preston County, West Virginia. Preparation of an EIS is no longer planned at this time. The purpose of the project is to bring the dam up to current dam safety standards. NRCS policy requires that an EIS be prepared for watershed project activities that include stream channel realignment, increases in channel capacity, or projects that require congressional action or that have the potential to significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Upon review, it now appears that none of these conditions apply to the Upper Deckers Creek Site 1 dam rehabilitation project. Therefore, NRCS is withdrawing its Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS.
Notice of Availability of the Record of Decisions (ROD) for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) In Cooperation With the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) Project FHWA-TN-EIS-04-01-F
This notice presents the Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) decided to subordinate its rights, acquired under the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), to allow the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to construct a limited access expressway to cross NRCS held conservation easements associated with the Federal Highway Administration (Interstate 69, Section of Independent Utility 9 Project in Desoto County, Mississippi). The project will affect approximately one NRCS held WRP easement in Mississippi. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the re-evaluation environmental impact statement (EIS) to fulfill requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FHWA issued the order of issuing certificate on June 17, 2011.
Notice of Meeting of the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (AAQTF) will meet to continue discussions on critical air quality issues related 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.
Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative and Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of financial assistance funds in fiscal year (FY) 2012 for up to $11.74 million in the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and up to $25 million in the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program (WREP) through MRBI. These funding levels are available for new MRBI proposals only. However, CCPI and WREP will not be the only funding mechanisms for MRBI in FY 2012. The Chief of NRCS reserves discretion in utilizing other NRCS conservation program funds and mechanisms in support of the objectives of MRBI. Through agreements, partners and NRCS will provide assistance to eligible participants in the 54 designated focus areas (8-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUCs)) in the following 13 States: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The purpose of this notice is to solicit proposals from potential partners to enter into agreements with NRCS and to inform agricultural producers and landowners of the future availability of program funds through approved partnership projects. Proposals must be based on one or more 12-digit HUCs within the 54 designated focus areas. Partners who are currently involved in approved MRBI agreements through CCPI or WREP and want to work in other 12-digit watersheds must submit new proposals for a new project.