The Secretary shall develop criteria for evaluating applications that will ensure that national, State, and local conservation priorities are effectively addressed.
(b) Prioritization of applications
In evaluating applications under this part, the Secretary shall prioritize applications—
(1)based on their overall level of cost-effectiveness to ensure that the conservation practices and approaches proposed are the most efficient means of achieving the anticipated conservation benefits of the project;
(2)based on how effectively and comprehensively the project addresses the designated resource concern or resource concerns;
(3)that best fulfill the purposes of the program; and
(4)that improve conservation practices or systems in place on the operation at the time the contract offer is accepted or that will complete a conservation system.
(c) Grouping of applications
To the greatest extent practicable, the Secretary shall group applications of similar crop or livestock operations for evaluation purposes or otherwise evaluate applications relative to other applications for similar farming operations.
2014—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2204(1), substituted “conservation” for “environmental” before “benefits”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2204(2), substituted “purposes of the program” for “purpose of the environmental quality incentives program specified in section
3839aa(1) of this title” before semicolon.
2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 2504, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “In evaluating applications for cost-share payments and incentive payments, the Secretary shall accord a higher priority to assistance and payments that—
“(1) encourage the use by producers of cost-effective conservation practices; and
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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