The Chief allocates EQIP funds to the State Conservationists to implement EQIP at the State and local level. In order to optimize the overall environmental benefits over the program duration, the Chief will:
(a) Use an EQIP fund allocation formula that reflects national priorities and that uses available natural resource and resource concerns data to distribute funds to the State level. This procedure will be updated periodically to reflect adjustments to national priorities and information about resource concerns and program performance. The data used in the allocation formula will be updated as they become available.
(b) Provide a performance incentive to NRCS in States that demonstrate a high level of program accomplishment in implementing EQIP. The Chief shall consider factors such as strategically planning EQIP implementation, effectively addressing national priorities and measures, State and local resource concerns, the program delivery effectiveness, the use of TSPs, and the number of contracts with historically underserved producers.
(c) Establish State level EQIP performance goals based on national, regional, and State priorities.
(d) Ensure that national, State and local level information regarding program implementation such as resource priorities, eligible practices, ranking processes, payment schedules, fund allocation, and program achievements are made available to the public.
(e) Consult with other Federal agencies with the appropriate expertise and information when evaluating the considerations described in this section.