16 U.S. Code § 3839aa–2 - Establishment and administration

(a) Establishment
During each of the 2002 through 2018 fiscal years, the Secretary shall provide payments to producers that enter into contracts with the Secretary under the program.
(b) Practices and term
(1) Practices
A contract under the program may apply to the performance of one or more practices.
(2) Term
A contract under the program shall have a term that does not exceed 10 years.
(c) Bidding down
If the Secretary determines that the environmental values of two or more applications for payments are comparable, the Secretary shall not assign a higher priority to the application only because it would present the least cost to the program.
(d) Payments
(1) Availability of payments
Payments are provided to a producer to implement one or more practices under the program.
(2) Limitation on payment amounts
A payment to a producer for performing a practice may not exceed, as determined by the Secretary—
(A) 75 percent of the costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training;
(B) 100 percent of income foregone by the producer; or
(C) in the case of a practice consisting of elements covered under subparagraphs (A) and (B)—
(i) 75 percent of the costs incurred for those elements covered under subparagraph (A); and
(ii) 100 percent of income foregone for those elements covered under subparagraph (B).
(3) Special rule involving payments for foregone income
In determining the amount and rate of payments under paragraph (2)(B), the Secretary may accord great significance to a practice that, as determined by the Secretary, promotes—
(A) soil health;
(B) water quality and quantity improvement;
(C) nutrient management;
(D) pest management;
(E) air quality improvement;
(F) wildlife habitat development, including pollinator habitat; or
(G) invasive species management.
(4) Increased payments for certain producers
(A) In general
Notwithstanding paragraph (2), in the case of a producer that is a limited resource, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279 (e) of title 7), or a beginning farmer or rancher, the Secretary shall increase the amount that would otherwise be provided to a producer under this subsection—
(i) to not more than 90 percent of the costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training; and
(ii) to not less than 25 percent above the otherwise applicable rate.
(B) Advance payments
(i) In general Not more than 50 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) may be provided in advance for the purpose of purchasing materials or contracting.
(ii) Return of funds If funds provided in advance are not expended during the 90-day period beginning on the date of receipt of the funds, the funds shall be returned within a reasonable timeframe, as determined by the Secretary.
(5) Financial assistance from other sources
Except as provided in paragraph (6), any payments received by a producer from a State or private organization or person for the implementation of one or more practices on eligible land of the producer shall be in addition to the payments provided to the producer under this subsection.
(6) Other payments
A producer shall not be eligible for payments for practices on eligible land under the program if the producer receives payments or other benefits for the same practice on the same land under another program under this subchapter.
(e) Modification or termination of contracts
(1) Voluntary modification or termination
The Secretary may modify or terminate a contract entered into with a producer under the program if—
(A) the producer agrees to the modification or termination; and
(B) the Secretary determines that the modification or termination is in the public interest.
(2) Involuntary termination
The Secretary may terminate a contract under the program if the Secretary determines that the producer violated the contract.
(f) Allocation of funding
(1) Livestock
For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, at least 60 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices relating to livestock production.
(2) Wildlife habitat
For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, at least 5 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices benefitting wildlife habitat under subsection (g).
(g) Wildlife habitat incentive program
(1) In general
The Secretary shall provide payments under the environmental quality incentives program for conservation practices that support the restoration, development, protection, and improvement of wildlife habitat on eligible land, including—
(A) upland wildlife habitat;
(B) wetland wildlife habitat;
(C) habitat for threatened and endangered species;
(D) fish habitat;
(E) habitat on pivot corners and other irregular areas of a field; and
(F) other types of wildlife habitat, as determined by the Secretary.
(2) State technical committee
In determining the practices eligible for payment under paragraph (1) and targeted for funding under subsection (f), the Secretary shall consult with the relevant State technical committee not less often than once each year.
(h) Water conservation or irrigation efficiency practice
(1) Availability of payments
The Secretary may provide payments under this subsection to a producer for a water conservation or irrigation practice.
(2) Priority
In providing payments to a producer for a water conservation or irrigation practice, the Secretary shall give priority to applications in which—
(A) consistent with the law of the State in which the eligible land of the producer is located, there is a reduction in water use in the operation of the producer; or
(B) the producer agrees not to use any associated water savings to bring new land, other than incidental land needed for efficient operations, under irrigated production, unless the producer is participating in a watershed-wide project that will effectively conserve water, as determined by the Secretary.
(i) Payments for conservation practices related to organic production
(1) Payments authorized
The Secretary shall provide payments under this subsection for conservation practices, on some or all of the operations of a producer, related—
(A) to organic production; and
(B) to the transition to organic production.
(2) Eligibility requirements
As a condition for receiving payments under this subsection, a producer shall agree—
(A) to develop and carry out an organic system plan; or
(B) to develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an organic system plan and the purposes of this part.
(3) Payment limitations
Payments under this subsection to a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly, may not exceed, in the aggregate, $20,000 per year or $80,000 during any 6-year period. In applying these limitations, the Secretary shall not take into account payments received for technical assistance.
(4) Exclusion of certain organic certification costs
Payments may not be made under this subsection to cover the costs associated with organic certification that are eligible for cost-share payments under section 6523 of title 7.
(5) Termination of contracts
The Secretary may cancel or otherwise nullify a contract to provide payments under this subsection if the Secretary determines that the producer—
(A) is not pursuing organic certification; or
(B) is not in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq).

Source

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1240B, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, § 2301,May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 254; amended Pub. L. 108–447, div. A, title VII, § 794(a),Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 2852; Pub. L. 109–171, title I, § 1203(a),Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, § 2503,May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1059; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title II, § 2503,June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1787; Pub. L. 112–55, div. A, title VII, § 716(c),Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 113–76, div. A, title VII, § 750(a),Jan. 17, 2014, 128 Stat. 42; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, § 2203,Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 729.)
References in Text

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (i)(5)(B), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§ 6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.
Codification

Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–2,Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1240B, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, § 334,Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 998, related to establishment and administration of environmental quality incentives program, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.
Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(1), which directed substitution of “2018” for “2014”, was executed by making the substitution for “2015” to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the intervening amendment by Pub. L. 113–76. See below.
Pub. L. 113–76substituted “2015” for “2014”.
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(2), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: “A contract under the program shall have a term that—
“(A) at a minimum, is equal to the period beginning on the date on which the contract is entered into and ending on the date that is one year after the date on which all practices under the contract have been implemented; but
“(B) not to exceed 10 years.”
Subsec. (d)(3)(A) to (G). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(3)(A), added subpars. (A) to (G) and struck out former subpars. (A) to (G) which read as follows:
“(A) residue management;
“(B) nutrient management;
“(C) air quality management;
“(D) invasive species management;
“(E) pollinator habitat;
“(F) animal carcass management technology; or
“(G) pest management.”
Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(3)(B)(i), in introductory provisions, inserted “, a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279 (e) of title 7),” before “or a beginning farmer or rancher”.
Subsec. (d)(4)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(3)(B)(ii), added subpar. (B) and struck out former subpar. (B). Text read as follows: “Not more than 30 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) may be provided in advance for the purpose of purchasing materials or contracting.”
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(4), added subsec. (f) and struck out former subsec. (f). Text read as follows: “For each of fiscal years 2002 through 2012, 60 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices relating to livestock production.”
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2203(5), added subsec. (g) and struck out former subsec. (g). Text read as follows: “The Secretary may enter into alternative funding arrangements with federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations (including their affiliated membership organizations) if the Secretary determines that the goals and objectives of the program will be met by such arrangements, and that statutory limitations regarding contracts with individual producers will not be exceeded by any Tribal or Native Corporation member.”
2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–55substituted “2014” for “2012”.
2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 2503, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (h) relating to provision of cost-share payments and incentive payments, application and term of a contract, bidding down, payment amounts, incentive payments, modification or termination of contracts, allocation of funding for fiscal years 2002 through 2007, and funding for federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.
2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–171substituted “2010” for “2007”.
2004—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 108–447added subsec. (h).
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234by Pub. L. 110–246effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

 

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