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16 U.S. Code § 590a - Purpose

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It is recognized that the wastage of soil and moisture resources on farm, grazing, and forest lands of the Nation, resulting from soil erosion, is a menace to the national welfare and that it is declared to be the policy of Congress to provide permanently for the control and prevention of soil erosion to preserve soil, water, and related resources, promote soil and water quality, control floods, prevent impairment of reservoirs, and maintain the navigability of rivers and harbors, protect public health, public lands and relieve unemployment, and the Secretary of Agriculture, from now on, shall coordinate and direct all activities with relation to soil erosion and in order to effectuate this policy is authorized, from time to time—
To conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to the character of soil erosion and the preventive measures needed, to publish the results of any such surveys, investigations, or research, to disseminate information concerning such methods, and to conduct demonstrational projects in areas subject to erosion by wind or water;
To carry out preventive measures, including, but not limited to, engineering operations, methods of cultivation, the growing of vegetation, and changes in use of land;
To cooperate or enter into agreements with, or to furnish financial or other aid to, any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any person, subject to such conditions as he may deem necessary, for the purposes of this chapter; and
To acquire lands, or rights or interests therein, by purchase, gift, condemnation, or otherwise, whenever necessary for the purposes of this chapter.
(Apr. 27, 1935, ch. 85, § 1, 49 Stat. 163; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, § 2802(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1085; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title II, § 2802(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1813.)
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 L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub.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.


2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 2802(a)(1), inserted section catchline and substituted “to preserve soil, water, and related resources, promote soil and water quality,” for “and thereby to preserve natural resources,” in introductory provisions.

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.

Short Title

See section 590q of this title.


Declaration of policy to continue the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, see section 1282 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Executive Documents
Transfer of Functions

Enforcement functions of Secretary or other official in Department of Agriculture, insofar as they involve lands and programs under jurisdiction of that Department, related to compliance with this chapter with respect to pre-construction, construction, and initial operation of transportation system for Canadian and Alaskan natural gas transferred to Federal Inspector, Office of Federal Inspector for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, until first anniversary of date of initial operation of Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, see Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1979, §§ 102(f), 203(a), 44 F.R. 33663, 33666, 93 Stat. 1373, 1376, effective July 1, 1979, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Office of Federal Inspector for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System abolished and functions and authority vested in Inspector transferred to Secretary of Energy by section 3012(b) of Pub. L. 102–486, set out as an Abolition of Office of Federal Inspector note under section 719e of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. Functions and authority vested in Secretary of Energy subsequently transferred to Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects by section 720d(f) of Title 15.

Functions of Soil Conservation Service in Department of Agriculture with respect to soil and moisture conservation operations conducted on lands under jurisdiction of Department of the Interior transferred to Department of the Interior, to be administered under direction and supervision of Secretary of the Interior through such agency or agencies in Department of the Interior as Secretary shall designate, by Reorg. Plan No. IV of 1940, § 6, eff. June 30, 1940, 5 F.R. 2421, 54 Stat. 1234, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Soil Conservation Service consolidated with other agencies into Agricultural Conservation and Adjustment Administration for duration of World War II, see Ex. Ord. No. 9069, Feb. 23, 1942.