7 CFR 762.128 - Environmental and special laws.
(a) Environmental requirements. The requirements found in part 1940, subpart G, of this title must be met for guaranteed OL, FO, and CL. CLP and PLP lenders may certify that they have documentation in their file to demonstrate compliance with paragraph (c) of this section. Standard eligible lenders must submit evidence supporting compliance with this section.
(b) Determination. The Agency determination of whether an environmental problem exists will be based on:
(1) The information supplied with the application;
(2) The Agency Official's personal knowledge of the operation;
(3) Environmental resources available to the Agency including, but not limited to, documents, third parties, and governmental agencies;
(4) A visit to the farm operation when the available information is insufficient to make a determination;
(5) Other information supplied by the lender or applicant upon Agency request. If necessary, information not supplied with the application will be requested by the Agency.
(c) Special requirements. Lenders will assist in the environmental review process by providing environmental information. In all cases, the lender must retain documentation of their investigation in the applicant's case file.
(1) A determination must be made as to whether there are any potential impacts to a 100 year floodplain as defined by Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain maps, Natural Resources Conservation Service data, or other appropriate documentation.
(2) The lender will assist the borrower in securing any applicable permits or waste management plans. The lender may consult with the Agency for guidance on activities which require consultation with State regulatory agencies, special permitting or waste management plans.
(3) The lender will examine the security property to determine if there are any structures or archeological sites which are listed or may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The lender may consult with the Agency for guidance on which situations will need further review in accordance with the National Historical Preservation Act and part 1940, subpart G.
(4) The applicant must certify they will not violate the provisions of § 363 of the Act, the Food Security Act of 1985, and Executive Order 11990 relating to Highly Erodible Land and Wetlands.
(5) All lenders are required to ensure that due diligence is performed in conjunction with a request for guarantee of a loan involving real estate. Due diligence is the process of evaluating real estate in the context of a real estate transaction to determine the presence of contamination from release of hazardous substances, petroleum products, or other environmental hazards and determining what effect, if any, the contamination has on the security value of the property. The Agency will accept as evidence of due diligence the most current version of the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) transaction screen questionnaire available from 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428-2959, or similar documentation, approved for use by the Agency, supplemented as necessary by the ASTM phase I environmental site assessments form.
(d) Equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.
(1) With respect to any aspect of a credit transaction, the lender will not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age, provided the applicant can execute a legal contract. Nor will the lender discriminate on the basis of whether all or a part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program, or whether the applicant in good faith, exercises any rights under the Consumer Protection Act.
(2) Where the guaranteed loan involves construction, the contractor or subcontractor must file all compliance reports, equal opportunity and nondiscrimination forms, and otherwise comply with all regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to Executive Orders 11246 and 11375.
(e) Other Federal, State and local requirements. Lenders are required to coordinate with all appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies and comply with special laws and regulations applicable to the loan proposal.