16 U.S. Code § 3871c - Assistance to producers

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(a) In general
The Secretary shall enter into contracts with producers to provide financial and technical assistance to—
(1) producers participating in a project with an eligible partner; or
(2) producers that fit within the scope of a project described in section 3871b of this title or a critical conservation area designated under section 3871f of this title, but who are seeking to implement an eligible activity on eligible land independent of an eligible partner.
(b) Terms and conditions
(1) Consistency with program rules
(A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B) and paragraph (2), the Secretary shall ensure that the terms and conditions of a contract under this section are consistent with the applicable rules of the covered programs to be used as part of the partnership agreement, as described in the application under section 3871b(d)(3)(C) of this title.
(B) Adjustments
(i) In general The Secretary may adjust the rules of a covered program, including—
(I) operational guidance and requirements for a covered program at the discretion of the Secretary so as to provide a simplified application and evaluation process; and
(II) nonstatutory, regulatory rules or provisions to better reflect unique local circumstances and purposes if the Secretary determines such adjustments are necessary to achieve the purposes of the covered program.
(ii) Limitation The Secretary shall not adjust the application of statutory requirements for a covered program, including requirements governing appeals, payment limits, and conservation compliance.
(iii) Irrigation In States where irrigation has not been used significantly for agricultural purposes, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary shall not limit eligibility under section 3871b of this title or this section on the basis of prior irrigation history.
(2) Alternative funding arrangements
(A) In general
For the purposes of providing assistance for land described in subsection (a) andsection 3871f of this title, the Secretary may enter into alternative funding arrangements with a multistate water resource agency or authority if—
(i) the Secretary determines that the goals and objectives of the program will be met by the alternative funding arrangements;
(ii) the agency or authority certifies that the limitations established under this section on agreements with individual producers will not be exceeded; and
(iii) all participating producers meet applicable payment eligibility provisions.
(B) Conditions
As a condition of receiving funding under subparagraph (A), the multistate water resource agency or authority shall agree—
(i) to submit an annual independent audit to the Secretary that describes the use of funds under this paragraph;
(ii) to provide any data necessary for the Secretary to issue a report on the use of funds under this paragraph; and
(iii) not to use any of the funds provided pursuant to subparagraph (A) for administration or to provide for administrative costs through contracts with another entity.
(C) Limitation
The Secretary may enter into not more than 20 alternative funding arrangements under this paragraph.
(c) Payments
(1) In general
In accordance with statutory requirements of the covered programs involved, the Secretary may make payments to a producer in an amount determined by the Secretary to be necessary to achieve the purposes of the program.
(2) Payments to certain producers
The Secretary may provide payments for a period of 5 years—
(A) to producers participating in a project that addresses water quantity concerns and in an amount sufficient to encourage conversion from irrigated to dryland farming; and
(B) to producers participating in a project that addresses water quality concerns and in an amount sufficient to encourage adoption of conservation practices and systems that improve nutrient management.
(3) Waiver authority
To assist in the implementation of the program, the Secretary may waive the applicability of the limitation in section 1308–3a of title 7 for participating producers if the Secretary determines that the waiver is necessary to fulfill the objectives of the program.


(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1271C, as added Pub. L. 113–79, title II, § 2401,Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 747.)

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16 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 3871cnew2014113-79 [Sec.] 2401 "1271C"128 Stat. 747


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