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undated or saturated for long periods of time during the growing season to such an extent that access by foot to make a determination of predomi. nance of hydric soils or prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation is not feasible, the area will be determined to be a wetland.

(5) Persons who are adversely affected by a determination made under this section and believe that the requirements of this part were improperly applied may appeal, under $ 12.12 of this part, any determination by SCS.

(d) Administration by FmHA. (1) The provisions of this part which are applicable to FmHA will be administered under the general supervision of the FmHA Administrator through FmHA's State, district, and county offices.

(2) FMHA shall determine whether the proceeds of a farm loan made, insured or guaranteed by FmHA will be used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetland.

(e) Administration by FCIC. The provisions of this part which are applicable to FCIC will be administered under the general supervision of the Manager, FCIC.

(f) Administration by ES. The Extension Service shall coordinate the related information and eduction program for the Department concerning implementation of this rule.

certify that such person shall not use the proceeds of the loan for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion on highly erodible land or to conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity; and

(4) The person applying for the benefits must authorize and provide representatives of the Department access to all land in which such person has an interest for the purpose of verifying any such certification.

(b) Each agency of the Department shall make all certifications received by such agency and the results of investigations concerning such certifications available to other agencies.

(c) A certification made in accord. ance with this section does not relieve any person from compliance with the provisions of this part.

$ 12.8 Affiliated persons.

(a) For purposes of this part, the following persons are considered to be "affiliated” and, in addition, the actions of such persons will be considered for the purposes specified in this part to be the actions of the person who has requested benefits from the Department:

(1) The spouse and minor child of such person and/or guardian of such child;

(2) Any corporation in which the person is a stockholder, shareholder, or owner of more than 20 percent interest in such corporation; (3) Any partnership, joint venture,

other enterprise in which the person has an ownership interest or financial interest; and

(4) Any trust in which the person or any person listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section is a ben. eficiary or has a financial interest.

(b) If the person who has requested benefits from the Department is a cor poration, partnership, or other joint venture, then, for purposes of apply. ing paragraph (a) of this section, any participant or stockholder therein, except for persons with a 20 percent or less share in a corporation, shall also be considered to be the person apply. ing for benefits from the Department.

$ 12.7 Certification.

(a) In order for a person to be determined to be eligible for any of the benefits specified in $ 12.4:

(1) It must be determined by SCS whether any farm in which the person applying for the benefits has an interest contains highly erodible land, wetland or converted wetland;

(2) The person applying for the benefits must certify in writing on Form AD-1026 that such person will not produce an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land or converted wetland during the crop year in which the person is seeking such benefits, unless such production is exempt, under $ 12.5, from the provisions of § 12.4 of this part;

(3) The person applying for a FmHA insured or guranteed farm loan must

or

$ 12.9 Landlords and tenants.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the ineligibility of a tenant or sharecropper, for benefits (as determined under $ 12.4) shall not cause a landlord to be ineligible for benefits for which the landlord would otherwise be eligible with respect to commodities produced on lands other than those in which the tenant or sharecropper has an interest.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this section shall not be applicable to a landlord if the production of an agricultural commodity on highly erodible land or converted wetland by the landlord's tenant or sharecropper is required under the terms and conditions of the agreement between the landlord and such tenant or sharecropper and such agreement was entered into after December 23, 1985 or if the landlord has acquiesced in such activities by the tenant or sharecropper.

8 12.12 Appeals.

Any person who has been or would be denied program benefits in accordance with $ 12.4 as the result of any determination made in accordance with the provisions of this part may obtain a review of such determination in accordance with the administrative appeal procedures of the agency which rendered such determination. Agency appeal procedures are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: ASCS, 7 CFR Part 780; SCS, 7 CFR Part 614; FmHA, 7 CFR Part 1900, Subpart B; and FCIC, 7 CFR 400.90.

Subpart B-Highly Erodible Land

Conservation

8 12.10 Scheme or device.

All or any part of the benefits listed in § 12.4 otherwise due a person from the Department may be withheld or required to be refunded if the person adopts or participates in adopting any scheme or device designed to evade, or which has the effect of evading, the provisions of this part. Such acts shall include, but are not limited to, concealing from the Department any information having a bearing on the application of the provisions of this part or submitting false information to the Department or creating entities for the purpose of concealing the interest of a person in a farming operation or to otherwise avoid compliance with the provisions of this part. Such acts shall also include acquiescence in, approval of or assistance to acts which have the effect of, or the purpose of, circumventing these regulations for the production of an agricultural commodity.

& 12.20 SCS responsibilities regarding

highly erodible land. In implementing the provisions of this part, SCS shall, to the extent practicable:

(a) Develop and maintain criteria for identifying highly erodible lands;

(b) Prepare and make available to the public lists of highly erodible soil map units;

(c) Make soil surveys for purposes of identifying highly erodible land; and

(d) Provide technical guidance to conservation districts which approve conservation plans and systems, in consultation with local county ASC committees and SCS, for the purposes of this part.

8 12.21 Identification of highly erodible

lands criteria. (a) Soil map units and an erodibility index will be used as the basis for identifying highly erodible land. The erodibility index for a soil is determined by dividing the potential average annual rate of erosion for each soil by its predetermined soil loss tolerance (T) value. The T value represents the maximum annual rate of soil erosion that could occur without causing a decline in long-term productivity.

(1) The potential average annual rate of sheet and rill erosion is estimated by multiplying the following factors of the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE):

(i) Rainfall and runoff (R),

8 12.11 Action based upon advice or action

of Department. The provisions of Part 790 of this Title, as amended, relating to performance based upon the action or advice of a County Comittee (COC) or State Committee (STC) shall be applicable to the provisions of this part.

pose of excluding highly erodible land from a field. Such a request must be submitted to, and is subject to the approval of, ASCS.

(c) Small areas of noncropland within or adjacent to the boundaries of existing highly erodible crop fields such as abandoned farmsteads, areas around filled or capped wells, rock piles, trees or brush which are converted to cropland are considered to meet the requirement of g 12.5(c) if they are included in an approved conservation plan for the entire highly erodible field.

(ii) The degree to which the soil resists water erosion (K), and

(iii) The function (LS), which includes the effects of slope length (L) and steepness (S).

(2) The potential average annual rate of wind erosion is estimated by multiplying the following factors of the Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ): Climatic characterization of windspeed and surface soil moisture (C) and the degree to which soil resists wind erosion (I).

(3) The USLE is explained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook 537, Predicting Rainfall Erosion Losses." The WEQ is explained in the paper by "Woodruff, N.P. and F.H. Siddaway, 1965. “A Wind Erosion Equation,” Soil Science Society of America Proceedings, Vol. 29, No. 5, Pages 602-608. Values for all the factors used in these equations are contained in the SCS field office technical guide and the references which are a part of the guide.

(b) A soil map unit subject to significant erosion by either water or by wind shall be determined to be highly erodible if either the RKLS/T or the CI/T value for the map unit equals or exceeds 8.

(c) Whenever a soil map unit description contains a range of a slope length and steepness characteristics that produce a range of LS values which result in RKLS/T quotients both above and below 8, the soil map unit will be entered on the list of highly erodible soil map units as "potentially highly erodible.” The final determination of erodibility for an individual field containing these soil map unit delineations will be made by an on-site investigation.

§ 12.23 Conservation plans and conserva

tion systems. (a) A conservation plan or a conservation system developed for the purposes of $ 12.5(b) must be based on and in conformity with the SCS field office technical guide. For highly erodible croplands which were in production prior to December 23, 1985, the applicable conservation systems in the field office technical guide are designed to achieve substantial reductions in soil erosion, taking into consideration economic and technical feasibility and other resource related factors. For highly erodible lands that are converted from native vegetation, i.e., rangeland or woodland, to crop production after December 23, 1985, the applicable conservation systems in the field office technical guide are designed to control soil losses to a level that will attain or approximate the soil loss tolerance level. Any conservation plans or systems that were approved prior to February 11, 1988, are deemed to be in compliance with this paragraph.

(b) Persons who require SCS assistance for the development of a conservation plan or the installation of a conservation system are encouraged to request this assistance well in advance of deadline dates for compliance; otherwise the person may not be able to comply with these provisions and maintain eligibility for USDA program benefits.

(c) Conservation districts approve or disapprove, conservation plans or conservation systems after SCS determines that the plans or systems con

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8 12.22 Highly erodible field determina

tion criteria. (a) Highly erodible land shall be considered to be predominant on a field if either:

(1) 33.33 percent or more of the total field acreage is identified as soil map units which are highly erodible; or

(2) 50 or more acres in such field are identified as soil map units which are highly erodible.

(b) A person may request the modification of field boundaries for the pur

(e) Consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service and others in developing the National List of Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands and in providing guidance in applying the lists of hydric soils and plant species to matters concerning wetland and converted wetland.

or

form to the SCS field office technical guide. If a conservation district fails, without due cause, to act on a request for conservation plan or conservation system approval within 45 days, or if no conservation district exists, SCS will approve or disapprove, as appropriate, the conservation plan system in question.

(d) A person is considered to be actively applying a conservation plan for purposes of $ 12.5(b) if the plan is being applied according to the sched. ule specified in the plan and the applied practices are properly operated and maintained. It is the responsibility of the person to:

(1) Annually certify that the conservation plan is being actively applied after January 1, 1990 and

(2) Arrange for a revision of the conservation plan with SCS, if changes are made in land use, crop rotation or management, conservation practices, or in the original schedule of practice installation.

(e) Persons who are adversely affected by the determinations made under this subpart and believe that the requirements of this subpart were improperly applied may appeal the decision to SCS under $ 12.12. (52 FR 35200, Sept. 17, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 3999, Feb. 11, 1988)

§ 12.31 Wetland identification criteria.

(a) Hydric soils. (1) SCS shall identi. fy hydric soils through the use of published soil maps which reflect soil surveys completed by SCS. If a published soil map is unavailable for a given area, SCS may use unpublished soil maps which were made according to the specifications of the National Cooperative Soil Survey or may conduct an on-site evaluation of the land.

(2) SCS shall determine whether an area of a field or other parcel of land has a predominance of hydric soils that are inundated or saturated as fol. lows:

(i) If a soil map unit has hydric soil as all or part of its name, that soil map unit or portion of the map unit related to the hydric soil shall be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils;

(ii) If a soil map unit is named for a miscellaneous area that meets the criteria for hydric soils (i.e., riverwash, playas, beaches, or water) the soil map unit shall be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils; or

(iii) If a soil map unit contains inclusions of hydric soils, that portion of the soil map unit identified as hydric soil shall be determined to have a predominance of hydric soils.

(3) List of hydric soils. (i) Hydric soils are those soils which meet criteria set forth in the publication “Hydric Soils of the United States 1985" which was developed by the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils and which is incorporated by reference. This publication may be obtained upon request by writing the Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013, and is available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register Information Center, Room 3801, 1100 L Street NW., Washington, DC 20408. Incorpo

Subpart C-Wetland Conservation $ 12.30 SCS responsibilities regarding wet

lands. In carrying out the provisions of this part, SCS shall:

(a) Make available to the public an approved county list of hydric soil map units, which is based upon the National List of Hydric Soils;

(b) Maintain a list of hydrophytic vegetation derived from the National List of Plant Species That Occur in Wetlands;

(c) Consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service on determinations of exemptions made under $ 12.5(d)(1) and (d)(2) and on matters relating to the identification of wetland,

(d) Oversee the development and application of criteria to identify hydric soils in consultation with the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils, and

lence of hydrophytic vegetation typically exists in the local area on the same hydric soil under the same hydrological conditions.

(3) The determination of prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation will be made in accordance with the following provisions:

(i) Plant classification. The National List of Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands classifies vascular plant species found in the United States and Puerto Rico into five indicator groups based upon their expected occurrence in wetlands. Obligate species are expected to occur in wetlands more than 99 percent of the time; facultative wet species, 66 to 99 percent of the time; facultative species, 33 to 65 percent of the time; facultative upland species, 1 to 32 percent of the time; and upland species, less than 1 percent of the time.

(ii) Ecological indices. The following ecological index values have been assigned the plant indicator groups for use in the formula to determine prevalence:

ration of this publication by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register on June 24, 1986. The materials are incorporated as they exist on the date of the approval and a notice of any change in these materi. als will be published in the FEDERAL. REGISTER.

(ii) An official list of hydric soil map units shall be maintained at the local SCS office and shall include

(A) All soils from the National List of Hydric Soils that can be found in that field office area, and

(B) Any soil map units or areas which the State conservationist determines to meet such hydric soil criteria.

(iii) Any deletions of a hydric soil unit from the hydric soil map unit list must be made according to the established procedure contained in the publication "Hydric Soils of the United States, 1985" for adding or deleting soils from the National List of Hydric Soils.

(b) Hydrophytic vegetation. Hydrophytic vegetation consists of 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.

(1) A plant shall be considered to be a plant species that occurs in wetland if such plant is listed in the National List of Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands. The publication may be obtained upon request from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wetland Inventory, Monroe Bldg. Suite 101, 9720 Executive Center Drive, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33702.

(2) For the purposes of the definition of wetland" in $ 12.2(a)(28) of this part, land shall be determined to have a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation if:

(i) SCS determines through the use of the formula specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section that under normal circumstances such land supports a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation. The term “normal circumstances” refers to the soil and hydrologic conditions that are normally present, without regard to whether the vegetation has been removed; or

(ii) In the event the vegetation on such land has been altered or removed, SCS will determine if a preva

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cies. n(1-5)= Ecological Index Values for Indica

tor Groups.

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