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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XIVSubchapter CPart 1491 → Subpart C


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1491—FARM AND RANCH LANDS PROTECTION PROGRAM


Subpart C—General Administration


Contents
§1491.30   Violations and remedies.
§1491.31   Appeals.
§1491.32   Scheme or device.

§1491.30   Violations and remedies.

(a) In the event of a violation of the easement terms, the eligible entity will notify the landowner. The landowner may be given reasonable notice and, where appropriate, an opportunity to voluntarily correct the violation in accordance with the terms of the conservation easement.

(b) In the event that the eligible entity fails to enforce any of the terms of the conservation easement as determined by the Chief, the Chief or his or her successors or assigns may exercise the United States' rights to enforce the terms of the conservation easement through any and all authorities available under Federal or State law.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, NRCS, upon notification to the landowner, reserves the right to enter upon the easement area at any time to monitor conservation plan implementation or remedy deficiencies or easement violations as it relates to the conservation plan. The entry may be made at the discretion of NRCS when the actions are deemed necessary to protect highly erodible soils and wetland resources. The landowner will be liable for any costs incurred by NRCS as a result of the landowner's negligence or failure to comply with the easement requirements as it relates to conservation plan violations.

(d) The United States will be entitled to recover any and all administrative and legal costs from the participating eligible entity, including attorney's fees or expenses, associated with any enforcement or remedial action as it relates to the enforcement of the FRPP easement.

(e) In instances where an easement is terminated or extinguished, NRCS will collect CCC's share of the conservation easement based on the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement at the time the easement is extinguished or terminated. The CCC's share will be in proportion to its percentage of original investment.

(f) In the event NRCS determines it must exercise its rights identified under a conservation easement or other interest in land, NRCS will provide written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the eligible entity at the eligible entity's last known address. The notice will set forth the nature of the noncompliance by the eligible entity and a 60-day period to cure. If the eligible entity fails to cure within the 60-day period, NRCS will take the action specified under the notice. NRCS reserves the right to decline to provide a period to cure if NRCS determines that imminent harm may result to the conservation values or other interest in land it seeks to protect.

§1491.31   Appeals.

(a) A person or eligible entity which has submitted an FRPP proposal and is therefore participating in FRPP, may obtain a review of any administrative determination concerning eligibility for participation utilizing the administrative appeal regulations provided in 7 CFR part 614.

(b) Before a person or eligible entity may seek judicial review of any administrative action taken under this part, the person or eligible entity must exhaust all administrative appeal procedures set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, and for the purposes of judicial review, no decision will be a final agency action except a decision of the Chief under these provisions.

(c) Enforcement action undertaken by NRCS in furtherance of its vested property rights are under the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court and not subject to review under administrative appeal regulations.

§1491.32   Scheme or device.

(a) If it is determined by NRCS that a eligible entity has employed a scheme or device to defeat the purposes of this part, any part of any program payment otherwise due or paid to such an eligible entity during the applicable period may be withheld or be required to be refunded, with interest, as determined appropriate by NRCS on behalf of the CCC.

(b) A scheme or device includes, but is not limited to, coercion, fraud, misrepresentation, and depriving any other person or entity of payments for easements for the purpose of obtaining a payment to which a person would otherwise not be entitled.

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