7 CFR § 625.16 - Violations and remedies.
(a) Easement Violations.
(1) In the event of a violation of the easement or any associated agreement involving a landowner, the landowner will be given reasonable notice and an opportunity to voluntarily correct the violation within 30 days of the date of the notice, or such additional time as the State Conservationist determines is necessary to correct the violation.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, NRCS reserves the right to enter upon the easement area at any time to remedy deficiencies or easement violations. Such entry may be made at the discretion of NRCS when such actions are deemed necessary to protect important listed species, candidate species, and forest ecosystem functions and values or other rights of the United States under the easement. The landowner will be liable for any costs incurred by the United States as a result of the landowner's negligence or failure to comply with easement or contractual obligations.
(3) In addition to any and all legal and equitable remedies as may be available to the United States under applicable law, NRCS may withhold any easement and cost-share payments owed to landowners at any time there is a material breach of the easement covenants, associated restoration agreement, or any associated contract. Such withheld funds may be used to offset costs incurred by the United States in any remedial actions or retained as damages pursuant to court order or settlement agreement.
(4) The United States will be entitled to recover any and all administrative and legal costs, including attorney's fees or expenses, associated with any enforcement or remedial action.
(b) 30-year Contract and 10-year Cost-Share Agreement Violations.
(1) If NRCS determines that a participant is in violation of the terms of a 30-year contract, or 10-year cost-share agreement, or documents incorporated by reference into the 30-year contract or 10-year cost-share agreement, the landowner will be given reasonable notice and an opportunity to voluntarily correct the violation within 30 days of the date of the notice, or such additional time as the State Conservationist determines is necessary to correct the violation. If the violation continues, the State Conservationist may terminate the 30-year contract or 10-year cost-share agreement.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a 10-year cost-share agreement or 30-year contract termination is effective immediately upon a determination by the State Conservationist that the participant has: submitted false information; filed a false claim; engaged in any act for which a finding of ineligibility for payments is permitted under this part; or taken actions NRCS deems to be sufficiently purposeful or negligent to warrant a termination without delay.
(3) If NRCS terminates a 10-year cost-share agreement or 30-year contract, the participant will forfeit all rights for future payments under the 10-year cost-share agreement or 30-year contract, and must refund all or part of the payments received, plus interest, and liquidated damages.