The Secretary may release or disclose information covered by paragraph (1) to a person or Federal, State, local, or tribal agency working in cooperation with the Secretary in providing technical and financial assistance described in paragraph (1)(B)(i) or collecting information from data gathering sites.
An owner, operator, or producer may consent to the disclosure of information described in paragraph (1).
Section 2276(c) of title 7 shall apply with respect to the release of information collected in any manner or for any purpose prohibited by this subsection.
Except for a person who is a tenant on land that is subject to a conservation reserve contract that has been extended by the Secretary, the Secretary shall provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including provision for sharing, on a fair and equitable basis, in payments under the programs established under subchapters II through IV, VII, and VIII.
In the preparation and application of a conservation compliance plan under subchapter II or similar plan required as a condition for assistance from the Department of Agriculture, the Secretary shall permit persons to secure technical assistance from approved sources, as determined by the Secretary, other than the Natural Resources Conservation Service. If the Secretary rejects a technical determination made by such a source, the basis of the Secretary’s determination must be supported by documented evidence.
The limitations established under paragraph (1) shall not apply to cropland that is subject to an easement under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV that is used for the establishment of shelterbelts and windbreaks.
For the purposes of enrolling land in a wetland reserve easement under section 3865c of this title, the limitations established under paragraph (1) shall not apply to cropland designated by the Secretary with subclass w in the land capability classes IV through VIII because of severe use limitations due to soil saturation or inundation.
In calculating the percentages described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall include any acreage that was included in calculations of percentages made under such paragraph, as in effect on the day before December 20, 2018, and that remains enrolled when the calculation is made after that date under paragraph (1).
In carrying out any conservation program administered by the Secretary, the Secretary shall encourage practices that relate to water quality and water quantity that protect source water for drinking water (including protecting against public health threats) while also benefitting agricultural producers.
In each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, the Secretary shall use to carry out this subsection not less than 10 percent of any funds available for conservation programs administered by the Secretary under this chapter (other than the conservation reserve program established under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV).
The Secretary may not prohibit, through a contract, easement, or agreement under this chapter, a participant in a conservation program administered by the Secretary under this chapter from participating in, and receiving compensation from, an environmental services market if 1 of the purposes of the market is the facilitation of additional conservation benefits that are consistent with the purposes of the conservation program administered by the Secretary.