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(b) Non-permanent classified records. Non-permanent classified records shall be disposed of in accordance with schedules approved by the Administrator of General Services under the Records Disposal Act. Such records shall be retained during an ongoing mandatory review request or Freedom of Information Act request.

(d) Whenever the appropriate USDA employee is notified by an authorized official from the Agency with original classification authority that change has been made in the original classification or in the dates of downgrading or declassification of any classified information, the USDA employee shall promptly and conspicuously mark both the copy of the source document and any derivatively classified documents to reflect the change, the authority for the action, the date of the action, and the identity of the employee taking the action.

(e) Authority to declassify and downgrade. The authority to downgrade and declassify national security information originally classified within USDA shall be exercised as follows:

(1) By the Secretary of Agriculture; Deputy Secretary; Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs; Under Secretary for Small Community and Rural Development; each Assistant Secretary; each Deputy Under Secretary; or each Deputy Assistant Secretary, with respect to all information over which their respective offices exercise jurisdiction.

(2) By the USDA official who authorized the original classification if that official is still serving in the same position, by a successor, or by a desig. nated supervisory official of either.

(3) By the Department Security Of. ficer or an official at the division chief level as a result of his/her professional knowledge of the subject matter as it relates to the national security.

§ 10.8 Mandatory review for USDA origi.

nally classified documents. (a) Policy. (1) Except as provided by section 3.4(b) of the Order, all information originally classified by USDA under predecessor Orders shall be subject to declassification re ew by the Department Security Officer and the USDA Agency responsible for the original classification provided that (i) the requester is a United States citizen, permanent resident alien, a Federal Agency, or a state or local government; (ii) the request describes the information with sufficient specificity to enable the Department to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort.

(2) USDA Agencies shall process mandatory declassification review requests for classified records in accordance with § 10.8(c).

(3) In response to a request for infor. mation under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, or the mandatory review provisions of the Order, USDA Agencies shall refuse to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of requested information whenever the fact of its existence or non-existence is itself classifiable under the Order.

(4) When a USDA Agency receives a request for declassification of information in its custody which was originated by another Agency, the USDA Agency shall refer the request to the classifying Agency together with a copy of the document containing the information requested when practicable, and shall notify the requester of the referral and that a response will be sent to the requester by the Agency which was sent the referral.

(5) Information requested shall be declassified if it no longer requires protection under the provisions of the Order. The information will then be released to the requester unless with

§ 10.7 Systematic review for declassifica

tion. (a) Classified permanent records. Systematic review is applicable only to those classified records and presidential papers or records that the Archi. vist of the United States, acting under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, has determined to be of sufficient historical or other value to warrant permanent retention. Such records shall be reviewed for declassification as they become thirty (30) years old by the Archivist of the United States with the assistance of USDA personnel designated for the purpose.


holding is otherwise authorized under applicable law, such as the Freedom of Information or Privacy Act. If the information requested cannot be declassified in its entirety, the USDA Agency will make reasonable efforts to release those declassified portions that

reasonably segregable. Upon denial of an initial request, the Department Security Officer shall inform the requester as to the reasons for the denial and a notice of the right to appeal the determination to the Department Review Committee. Such an appeal must be submitted in writing within sixty (60) days.

(6) If no determination has been made at the end of sixty (60) days from receipt of the initial request for review, the requester may appeal to the Assistant Secretary for Administration for a determination.

(b) Processing requirements. (1) Requests for mandatory declassification review may be directed to the Department Security Officer, Office of Personnel, Administration Building, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. The Security Officer shall, in turn, refer the request to the appropriate USDA Agency Head for action.

(2) A valid request must be in writing and reasonably describe the information sought to enable the USDA Agency to identify it.

(3) The USDA Agency shall notify the requester if the request does not identify sufficiently the information sought. The requester shall then be given an opportunity to provide additional information to describe the information with particularity enabling identification of the requested material.

(4) If within thirty (30) days after the notification is mailed the requester does not describe the information sought with sufficient particularity, the USDA Agency shall notify the requester why no action will be taken on the request.

(5) Search and duplication fees will be charged pursuant to the provisions of the Department's Fee Schedule, Appendix A, to Part 1 of this Title. The requester shall be notified of the approximate cost of the search and du

plication costs before the search is conducted.

(c) Processing requests. Requests that meet the foregoing requirements for processing shall be processed as follows:

(1) The USDA Agency shall immediately acknowledge receipt of the request in writing.

(2) The USDA Agency shall make a determination within ten (10) working days or shall explain to the requester why additional time is necessary. In no case shall the response time for a final determination exceed one (1) year from the date of receipt of the initial request.

(3) When another Agency forwards to the Department Security Officer a request for information in that Agency's custody that has been classified by USDA, the Department Security Officer shall process the request in accordance with the requirements of this section, respond directly to the requester and, if so requested, shall notify the referring Agency of the determination made on the request.

(4) Requests for classified information containing foreign government information may necessitate consultations with other agencies and/or with the foreign originator of the information prior to final action of the request.

& 10.9 Mandatory review for derivatively

classified documents. (a) Requests for mandatory review for USDA derivatively classified documents shall be processed by the Department Security Officer under the following procedures:

(1) The Department Security Officer shall contact the Agency responsible for orginally classifying the source document for a declassification determination.

(2) If the Agency determines that the originally classified document has been declassified, the Department Security Officer shall so mark the USDA derivatively classified document and release it to the requester.

(3) If the originally classified document has not been declassified, the Department Security Officer shall so notify the requester.

50-007 0-91---10

Sec. 12.23 Conservation plans and conservation


Subpart C-Wetland Conservation


12.30 SCS responsibilities regarding wet

lands. 12.31 Wetland identification criteria. 12.32 Converted wetland identification cri.

teria. 12.33 Use of wetland and converted wet

land. AUTHORITY: 16 U.S.C. 3801-3823, 38413844.

SOURCE: 52 FR 35200, Sept. 17, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

8 10.10 Appeals.

(a) Appeals from denial of declassification and release of information shall be directed to the Department Review Committee, Administration Building, U.S. Department Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.

(b) Appeals shall be reviewed and decided within thirty (30) working days of their receipt as follows:

(1) If the documents are declassified in their entirety, the Department Security Office shall forward the documents to the requester.

(2)(i) If the documents are not declassified and released in their entirety, the chairman, Department Review Committee, shall forward a letter of denial to the requester notifying the requester of the decision and a statement of justification for the denial.

(ii) If the decision of the committee is to declassify or release a portion of the documents, the chairman of the committee shall forward a letter of partial denial to the requester. The letter shall include a statement of justification for the partial denial. Those portions of the documents which have been declassified shall be forwarded to the requester.

Subpart A-General Provisions

8 12.1 General.

(a) This part sets forth the terms and conditions under which a person, who, after December 23, 1985, produces an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land or converted wetland, shall be determined to be ineligible for certain benefits provided by the United States Department of Agriculture and agencies and instrumentalities of the Department.

(b) The purpose of the provisions of this part are to remove certain incentives for persons to produce agricultural commodities on highly erodible land or converted wetland and to thereby

(1) Reduce soil loss due to wind and water erosion,

(2) Protect the Nation's long term capability to produce food and fiber,

(3) Reduce sedimentation and improve water quality,

(4) Assist in preserving the Nation's wetlands, and

(5) Curb production of surplus commodities.


Subpart A-General Provisions

Sec. 12.1 General. 12.2 Definitions. 12.3 Applicability. 12.4 Determination of ineligibility. 12.5 Exemptions. 12.6 Administration. 12.7 Certification. 12.8 Affiliated persons. 12.9 Landlords and tenants. 12.10 Scheme or device. 12.11 Action based upon advice or action of

Department. 12.12 Appeals.

(52 FR 35200, Sept. 17, 1987; 53 FR 3999, Feb. 11, 1988)

Subpart B-Highly Erodible Land Conservation

12.20 SCS responsibilities regarding highly

erodible land. 12.21 Identification of highly erodible

lands criteria. 12.22 Highly erodible field determination


8 12.2 Definitions.

(a) The following definitions shall be applicable for the purposes of this part:

(1) “Agricultural commodity" means any crop planted and produced by annual tilling of the soil, including till. ing by one-trip planters or sugarcane.

(2) “ASCS" means the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Serv


ice, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture which is generally responsible for administering commodity production adjustment and certain conservation programs of the Department.

(3) “Conservation District" (CD) means a subdivision of a State or local government organized pursuant to the applicable law to develop and implement soil and water conservation activities or programs.

(4) “Conservation plan" means the document containing the decisions of a person with respect to the location, land use, tillage systems and conservation treatment measures and schedule which, if approved, must be or have been established on highly erodible cropland in order to control erosion on such land.

(5) "Conservation system” means the part of a cropland resource management system applied to a field or group of fields that provides for cost effective and practical erosion reduction based upon the standards contained in the SCS field office technical guide. A conservation system may include a single practice or a combination of practices.

(6) “Converted wetland" means wetland that has been drained, dredged, filled, leveled, or otherwise manipulated (including any activity that results in impairing or reducing the flow, circulation, reach of water) that makes possible the production of an agricultural commodity without fur. ther application of the manipulations described herein if (i) such production would not have been possible but for such action; and (ii), before such action such land was wetland and was neither highly erodible land nor highly erodible cropland.

(7) "CCC” means the Commodity Credit Corporation, a wholly-owned government corporation within the United States Department of Agriculture organized under the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.

(8) "Department” means the United States Department of Agriculture.

(9) "Erodibility index” means a numerical value that expresses the potential erodibility of a soil in relation to its soil loss tolerance value without

consideration of applied conservation practices or management.

(10) "ES" means the Extension Serv. ice, an agency of the United States De. partment of Agriculture which is generally responsible for coordinating the information and educational programs of the Department.

(11) “FmHA” means the Farmers Home Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture which is generally responsible for providing farm loans and loan guarantees under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) and other laws.

(12) “FCIC” means the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, whollyowned government corporation within the United States Department of Agriculture organized under the provision of 7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

(13) “Field” means a part of a farm which is separated from the balance of the farm by permanent boundaries such as fences, roads, permanent waterways, woodlands, croplines (in cases where farming practices make it probable that such cropline is not subject to change) or other similar features.

(14) “Highly erodible land" means land that has an erodibility index of 8 or more.

(15) “Hydric soils” means soils that, in an undrained condition, are saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during a growing season to develop an anaerobic condition that supports the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation.

(16) Hydrophytic vegetation" means plants growing in water or in a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen during a growing season as a result of excessive water content.

(17) Landlord" means a person who rents or leases farmland to another person.

(18) “Local ASCS office" means the county office of the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service serving the county or a combination of counties in the area in which a person's land is located for administrative purposes.

(19) “Operator" means the person who is in general control of the farm


termined to be the operator pursuant to this part and 7 CFR Part 719.

(28) “Wetland", except when such term is part of the term “converted wetland", means land that has a predominance of hydric soil and that is inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, except that this term does not include lands in Alaska identified as having a high potential for agricultural development and a predominance of permafrost soils.

(b) In the regulations in this part and in all instructions, forms, and documents in connection therewith, all other words and phrases specifically relating to ASCS operations shall, unless the context of subject matter or the specific provisions of this part otherwise requires, have the meanings assigned to them in the regulations governing reconstitutions of farms, allotments and bases (7 CFR Part 719).

ing operations on the farm during the crop year.

(20) “Owner" means a person who is determined to have legal ownership of farmland and shall include a person who is purchasing farmland under contract.

(21) “Person" means an individual, partnership, association, corporation, cooperative, estate, trust, joint venture, joint operation, or other business enterprise or other legal entity and, whenever applicable, a State, a political subdivision of a State, or any agency thereof and such person's af. filiates as provided in $ 12.8 of this part.

(22) "Secretary” means the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.

(23) “Sharecropper” means a person who performs work in connection with the production of a crop under the supervision of the operator and who receives a share of such crop for such labor.

(24) "SCS" means the Soil Conservation Service, and agency within the United States Department of Agriculture which is generally responsible for providing technical assistance in matters of soil and water conservation and for administering certain conservation programs of the Department.

(25) “Soil map unit” means an area of the landscape shown on a soil map which consists of one or more soils.

(26) “State” means each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

(27) “Tenant” means a person usually called a "cash tenant", "fixed-rent tenant", or "standing rent tenant” who rents land from another for a fixed amount of cash or a fixed amount of a commodity to be paid as rent; or a person (other than a share. cropper) usually called a "share tenant” who rents land from another person and pays are rent a share of the crops or proceeds therefrom. A tenant shall not be considered the farm operator unless the tenant is de

(52 FR 35200, Sept. 17, 1987; 53 FR 3999, Feb. 11, 1988)

$ 12.3 Applicability.

(a) The provisions of this part shall apply to all land, including Indian tribal land, in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, the Commonweath of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

(b) The provisions of this part apply to all agricultural commodities planted after, and to determinations made after or pending or September 17, 1987. For those agricultural commod. ities planted prior to such date and for all determinations made prior to such date, the regulations published at 51 FR 23496, June 27, 1986, as amended on June 29, 1987 (52 FR 24132) shall apply.

$ 12.4 Determination of ineligibility.

(a) Except as provided in § 12.5, any person who, after December 23, 1985, produces an agricultural commodity

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