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16 U.S. Code § 3839aa–3 - Evaluation of applications

(a) Evaluation criteria

The Secretary shall develop criteria for evaluating applications that will ensure that national, State, and local conservation priorities are effectively addressed.

(b) Prioritization of applicationsIn evaluating applications under this subpart, the Secretary shall prioritize applications—
based on their overall level of cost-effectiveness to ensure that the conservation practices and approaches proposed are the most efficient means of achieving the anticipated conservation benefits of the project;
based on how effectively and comprehensively the project addresses the designated resource concern or resource concerns;
that best fulfill the purposes of the program; and
that improve conservation practices or systems in place on the operation at the time the contract offer is accepted or that will complete a conservation system.
(c) Grouping of applications

To the greatest extent practicable, the Secretary shall group applications of similar crop or livestock operations for evaluation purposes or otherwise evaluate applications relative to other applications for similar farming operations.

Editorial Notes

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–3, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1240C, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, § 334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1000, related to evaluation of offers and payments, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.


2018—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–334 substituted “this subpart” for “this part” in introductory provisions.

2014—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2204(1), substituted “conservation” for “environmental” before “benefits”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 113–79, § 2204(2), substituted “purposes of the program” for “purpose of the environmental quality incentives program specified in section 3839aa(1) of this title” before semicolon.

2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 2504, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “In evaluating applications for cost-share payments and incentive payments, the Secretary shall accord a higher priority to assistance and payments that—

“(1) encourage the use by producers of cost-effective conservation practices; and

“(2) address national conservation priorities.”

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.