Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The NRCS published an interim final rule in the
USDA furthers the Nation's ability to increase renewable energy production and conservation, mitigate the effects and adapt to climate change, and reduce net carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through various assistance programs.
USDA is increasing renewable energy production through facilitating the availability, adoption, and use of wind, solar, and biofuel energy sources. USDA encourages renewable energy production by funding biofuel technology transfer under Conservation Innovation Grants and through facilitating wind and solar power generation facilities for on-farm use on conservation lands under the Conservation Reserve Program and the Grassland Reserve Program.
Energy conservation is improved through more efficient equipment and processes. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) fosters energy conservation on farms and ranches by promoting efficient water irrigation systems, no-till, and nutrient management and promoting renewable energy production by installing solar-generated electric fences.
The effects of climate change can be mitigated through improving the adaptability of ecosystems and flexibility of agricultural management systems, including reductions in GHG emissions. WHIP improves ecosystem adaptability by enhancing wildlife habitat biodiversity and the Agricultural Management Assistance program promotes flexible management system through integrated pest management.
Climate change adaptation occurs through the adoption of alternative management systems which respond to changes such as decreasing precipitation, longer growing seasons, and increasing vulnerability to pest damage. USDA conservation programs, such as the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program, encourage the adoption of water conservation systems and dry land farming.
Net carbon emissions can be reduced by reducing fossil fuel use or increasing the land's carbon storage capacity. USDA conservation programs, such as EQIP, assist participants with reducing fossil fuel use through no-till and other conservation tillage cropping systems which require fewer trips over a field with a tractor. The Wetlands Reserve Program and Healthy Forests Reserve Program sequester carbon by encouraging agricultural land reforestation. The Conservation Stewardship Program encourages conservation tillage activities that improve soil carbon storage.
While much is underway, USDA has adopted a proactive strategy to increase its ability to meet these critical national needs. Therefore, NRCS is using this rulemaking opportunity to obtain input from the public on how WHIP can achieve its program purposes and
16 U.S.C. 3839bb-1.
(a) * * *
(11) With regard to any person or legal entity that utilizes a unique identification number as an alternative to a tax identification number, the person or legal entity will utilize only that identifier for any and all other WHIP cost-share agreements to which the person or legal entity is party. Violators will be considered to have provided fraudulent representation and be subject to the full penalties of § 638.13 of this part.
(f) Payments made or attributed to a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly, may not exceed in the aggregate, $50,000 per year.