7 CFR 636.7 - Cost-share payments.
(a) NRCS may share the cost with a participant for implementing the conservation activities as provided in the WHIP plan of operations that is a component of the WHIP cost-share agreement:
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and in § 636.9(c), NRCS will offer to pay no more than 75 percent of the costs to develop fish and wildlife habitat. The cost-share payment to a participant will be reduced proportionately below 75 percent to the extent that direct Federal financial assistance is provided to the participant from sources other than NRCS, except for certain cases that merit additional cost-share assistance to achieve the intended goals of the program, as determined by the State Conservationist.
(2) Historically underserved producers, as defined in § 636.3, and Indian tribes may receive the applicable payment rate and an additional rate that is not less than 25 percent above the applicable rate, provided that this increase does not exceed 90 percent of the estimated costs associated with WHIP plan of operations implementation.
(b) Cost-share payments may be made only upon a determination by NRCS that a conservation activity or an identifiable component of a conservation activity has been established in compliance with appropriate standards and specifications.
(c) Payments will not be made for a conservation activity that was:
(1) Applied prior to application for the program; or
(2) Initiated or implemented prior to cost-share agreement approval, unless a waiver was granted by the State Conservationist or designated conservationist prior to implementation.
(d) NRCS, in consultation with the State Technical Committee, will identify and provide public notice of the conservation activities eligible for payment under the program.
(e) Cost-share payments may be made for the establishment and installation of additional eligible conservation activities, or the maintenance or replacement of an eligible conservation activity, but only if NRCS determines the conservation activity is needed to meet the objectives of the program, or that the failure of the original project was due to reasons beyond the control of the participant.
(f) Payments made or attributed to a participant, directly or indirectly, may not exceed, in the aggregate, $50,000 per year.
(g) Eligibility for payment in accordance with 7 CFR part 1400, subpart G, average AGI limitation, will be determined prior to cost-share agreement approval.
(h) Subject to fund availability, the payment rates identified in a WHIP contract may be adjusted by NRCS to reflect increased costs.
(i) A participant will not be eligible for payments for conservation activities on eligible land if the participant receives payments or other benefits for the same activity on the same land under any other conservation program administered by USDA.
(j) Before NRCS will approve and issue final payment, the participant must certify that the conservation activity has been completed in accordance with the cost-share agreement, and NRCS or an approved Technical Service Provider (TSP) must certify that the activity has been carried out in accordance with the applicable FOTG.
(k) NRCS, for a fiscal year, may use up to 25 percent of WHIP funds to carry out cost-share agreements described in § 636.9(c).