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Title 7Subtitle APart 2Subpart C → §2.20

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart C—Delegations of Authority to the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, and Assistant Secretaries

§2.20   Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

(a) The following delegations of authority are made by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment:

(1) Related to environmental quality. (i) Administer the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

(ii) Represent USDA on Regional Response Teams on hazardous spills and oil spills pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), the Clean Water Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), as amended (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), Executive Order 12580, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193, Executive Order 12777, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351, and the National Contingency Plan, 40 CFR part 300.

(iii) Represent USDA in contacts with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and other organizations or agencies on matters related to assigned responsibilities.

(iv) Formulate and promulgate USDA policy relating to environmental activity and natural resources.

(v) Provide staff support for the Secretary in the review of environmental impact statements.

(vi) Provide leadership in USDA for general land use activities including implementation of Executive Order 11988, Flood Plain Management, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 117, and Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121.

(vii) Take such action as may be necessary, including issuance of administrative orders, and enter into agreements with any person to perform any response action under sections 106(a) and 122 (except subsection (b)(1)) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9606(a), 9622), pursuant to sections 4(c)(3) and 4(d)(3) of Executive Order No. 12580, as amended by Executive Order No. 13016, to be exercised only with the concurrence of the General Counsel.

(viii) Exercise the functions of the Secretary of Agriculture authorized in Title V of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-83, relating to the acquisition of the New World Mine and other priority land acquisitions, land exchanges, and other activities.

(ix) Serve on the USDA Hazardous Materials Policy Council.

(x) Recommend actions and policies that enable agencies under his or her authority to comply with the intent, purposes, and standards of environmental laws for pollution prevention, control, and abatement.

(xi) Consult with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and other appropriate Federal agencies in developing pollution prevention, control, and abatement policies and programs relating to agencies under his or her authority.

(2) Related to forestry. (i) Provide national leadership in forestry. (As used here and elsewhere in this section, the term “forestry” encompasses renewable and nonrenewable resources of forests, including lands governed by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, forest-related rangeland, grassland, brushland, woodland, and alpine areas including but not limited to recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish; natural scenic, scientific, cultural, and historic values of forests and related lands; and derivative values such as economic strength and social well-being).

(ii) Protect, manage, and administer the national forests, national forest purchase units, national grasslands, and other lands and interests in lands administered by the Forest Service, which collectively are designated as the National Forest System. This delegation covers the acquisition and disposition of lands and interests in lands as may be authorized for the protection, management, and administration of the National Forest System, including the authority to approve acquisition of land under the Weeks Act of March 1, 1911, as amended (16 U.S.C. 521), and special forest receipts acts, as follows: (Pub. L. 337, 74th Cong., 49 Stat. 866, as amended by Pub. L. 310, 78th Cong., 58 Stat. 227; Pub. L. 505, 75th Cong., 52 Stat. 347, as amended by Pub. L. 310, 78th Cong., 58 Stat. 227; Pub. L. 634, 75th Cong., 52 Stat. 699, as amended by Pub. L. 310, 78th Cong., 58 Stat. 227; Pub. L. 748, 75th Cong., 52 Stat. 1205, as amended by Pub. L. 310, 78th Cong., 58 Stat. 227; Pub. L. 427, 76th Cong., 54 Stat. 46; Pub. L. 589, 76th Cong., 54 Stat. 297; Pub. L. 591, 76th Cong., 54 Stat. 299; Pub. L. 637, 76th Cong., 54 Stat. 402; Pub. L. 781, 84th Cong., 70 Stat. 632).

(iii) As necessary for administrative purposes, divide into and designate as national forests any lands of 3,000 acres or more which are acquired under or subject to the Weeks Act of March 1, 1911, as amended, and which are contiguous to existing national forest boundaries established under the authority of the Weeks Act.

(iv) Plan and administer wildlife and fish conservation rehabilitation and habitat management programs on National Forest System lands, pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 670g, 670h, and 670o.

(v) For the purposes of the National Forest System Drug Control Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 559b-f), specifically designate certain specially trained officers and employees of the Forest Service, not exceeding 500, to have authority in the performance of their duties within the boundaries of the National Forest System:

(A) To carry firearms;

(B) To enforce and conduct investigations of violations of section 401 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 841) and other criminal violations relating to marijuana and other controlled substances that are manufactured, distributed, or dispensed on National Forest System lands;

(C) To make arrests with a warrant or process for misdemeanor violations, or without a warrant for violations of such misdemeanors that any such officer or employee has probable cause to believe are being committed in that employee's presence or view, or for a felony with a warrant or without a warrant if that employee has probable cause to believe that the person being arrested has committed or is committing such a felony;

(D) To serve warrants and other process issued by a court or officer of competent jurisdiction;

(E) To search, with or without a warrant or process, any person, place, or conveyance according to Federal law or rule of law; and

(F) To seize, with or without warrant or process, any evidentiary item according to Federal law or rule of law.

(vi) Authorize the Forest Service to cooperate with the law enforcement officials of any Federal agency, State, or political subdivision, in the investigation of violations of, and enforcement of, section 401 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841), other laws and regulations relating to marijuana and other controlled substances, and State drug control laws or ordinances, within the boundaries of the National Forest System.

(vii) Administer programs under section 23 of the Federal Highway Act (23 U.S.C. 101(a), 120(f), 125(a)-(c), 138, 202(a)-(b), 203, 204(a)-(h), 205(a)-(d), 211, 317, 402(a)).

(viii) Exercise the administrative appeal review functions of the Secretary of Agriculture for decisions of the Chief of the Forest Service pursuant to 36 CFR parts 214, 218 and 219.

(ix) Conduct, support, and cooperate in investigations, experiments, tests, and other activities deemed necessary to obtain, analyze, develop, demonstrate, and disseminate scientific information about protecting, managing, and utilizing forest and rangeland renewable resources in rural, suburban, and urban areas in the United States and foreign countries. The activities conducted, supported, or cooperated in shall include, but not be limited to: renewable resource management research, renewable resource environmental research; renewable resource protection research; renewable resource utilization research, and renewable resource assessment research (16 U.S.C. 1641-1647).

(x) Use authorities and means available to disseminate the knowledge and technology developed from forestry research (16 U.S.C. 1645).

(xi) Coordinate activities with other agencies in USDA, other Federal and State agencies, forestry schools, and private entities and individuals (16 U.S.C. 1643).

(xii) Enter into contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements for the support of scientific research in forestry activities (7 U.S.C. 427i(a), 1624; 16 U.S.C. 582a-8, 1643-1645, 1649).

(xiii) Enter into cooperative research and development agreements with industry, universities, and others; institute a cash award program to reward scientific, engineering, and technical personnel; award royalties to inventors; and retain and use royalty income (15 U.S.C. 3710a-3710c).

(xiv) Enter into contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements to further research, extension, or teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences (7 U.S.C. 3152, 3318).

(xv) Enter into cost-reimbursable agreements relating to agricultural research, extension, or teaching activities (7 U.S.C. 3319a).

(xvi) Administer programs of cooperative forestry assistance in the protection, conservation, and multiple resource management of forests and related resources in both rural and urban areas and forest lands in foreign countries (16 U.S.C. 2101-2114).

(xvii) Provide assistance to States and other units of government in forest resources planning and forestry rural revitalization (7 U.S.C. 6601, 6611-6617; 16 U.S.C. 2107).

(xviii) Conduct a program of technology implementation for State forestry personnel, private forest landowners and managers, vendors, forest operators, public agencies, and individuals (16 U.S.C. 2107).

(xix) Administer Rural Fire Protection and Control Programs (16 U.S.C. 2106).

(xx) Provide technical assistance on forestry technology or the implementation of the Conservation Reserve and Softwood Timber Programs authorized in sections 1231-1244 and 1254 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831-3844; 7 U.S.C. 1981 note).

(xxi) Administer forest insect, disease, and other pest management programs (16 U.S.C. 2104).

(xxii) Exercise the custodial functions of the Secretary for lands and interests in lands under lease or contract of sale to States and local agencies pursuant to title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act and administer reserved and reversionary interests in lands conveyed under that Act (7 U.S.C. 1010-1012).

(xxiii) Under such general program criteria and procedures as may be established by the Natural Resources Conservation Service:

(A) Administer the forestry aspects of the programs listed in paragraphs (a)(2)(xxiii)(A)(1), (2) and (3) of this section on the National Forest System, rangelands with national forest boundaries, adjacent rangelands which are administered under formal agreement, and other forest lands;

(1) The cooperative river basin surveys and investigations program (16 U.S.C. 1006);

(2) The Eleven Authorized Watershed Improvement Programs and Emergency Flood Prevention Measures Program under the Flood Control Act (33 U.S.C. 701b-1); and

(3) The Small Watershed Protection Program under the Pilot Watershed Protection and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Acts (7 U.S.C. 701a-h; 16 U.S.C. 1001-1009); and

(B) Exercise responsibility in connection with the forestry aspects of the Resource Conservation and Development Program authorized by title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (7 U.S.C. 1011(e)).

(xxiv) Provide assistance to the Farm Service Agency in connection with the Agricultural Conservation Program, the Naval Stores Conservation Program, and the Cropland Conversion Program (16 U.S.C. 590g-q).

(xxv) Provide assistance to the Rural Housing Service in connection with grants and loans under authority of section 303 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, 7 U.S.C. 1923; and consultation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the authority of 40 U.S.C. 461(e).

(xxvi) Coordinate mapping work of USDA including:

(A) Clearing mapping projects to prevent duplication;

(B) Keeping a record of mapping done by USDA agencies;

(C) Preparing and submitting required USDA reports;

(D) Serving as liaison on mapping with the Office of Management and Budget, Department of Interior, and other departments and establishments;

(E) Promoting interchange of technical mapping information, including techniques which may reduce costs or improve quality; and

(F) Maintaining the mapping records formerly maintained by the Office of Operations.

(xxvii) Administer the radio frequency licensing work of USDA, including:

(A) Representing USDA on the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee and its Frequency Assignment Subcommittee of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce;

(B) Establishing policies, standards, and procedures for allotting and assigning frequencies within USDA and for obtaining effective utilization of them;

(C) Providing licensing action necessary to assign radio frequencies for use by the agencies of USDA and maintenance of the records necessary in connection therewith;

(D) Providing inspection of USDA's radio operations to ensure compliance with national and international regulations and policies for radio frequency use; and

(xxviii) Represent USDA in all matters relating to responsibilities and authorities under the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 791a-823).

(xxix) Administer the Youth Conservation Corps Act (42 U.S.C. precede 2711 note) for USDA.

(xxx) Establish and operate the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers on National Forest System lands as authorized by title I, sections 106 and 107 of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2716-2717), in accordance with the terms of an agreement dated May 11, 1967, between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Labor; and administration of other cooperative manpower training and work experience programs where the Forest Service serves as host or prime sponsor with other Departments of Federal, State, or local governments.

(xxxi) Administer the Volunteers in the National Forests Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 558a-558d, 558a note).

(xxxii) Exercise the functions of the Secretary of Agriculture authorized in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101-3215).

(xxxiii) Exercise the functions of the Secretary as authorized in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1271-1278).

(xxxiv) Jointly administer gypsy moth eradication activities with the Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, under the authority of section 102 of the Organic Act of 1944, as amended; and the Act of April 6, 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 147a, 148, 148a-148e); and the Talmadge Aiken Act (7 U.S.C. 450), by assuming primary responsibility for treating isolated gypsy moth infestations on Federal lands, and on State and private lands contiguous to infested Federal lands, and any other infestations over 640 acres on State and private lands.

(xxxv) Exercise the functions of the Secretary authorized in the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987 (30 U.S.C. 226 et seq.).

(xxxvi) Administer the Public Lands Corps program (16 U.S.C. 1721 et seq.) for USDA consistent with the Department's overall national service program.

(xxxvii) [Reserved]

(xxxviii) Focusing on countries that could have a substantial impact on global warming, provide assistance that promotes sustainable development and global environmental stability; share technical, managerial, extension, and administrative skills; provide education and training opportunities; engage in scientific exchange; and cooperate with domestic and international organizations that further international programs for the management and protection of forests, rangelands, wildlife, fisheries and related natural resources (16 U.S.C. 4501-4505).

(xxxix) Establish programs with any bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in support of the Service First initiative for the purpose of promoting customer service and efficiency including delegating to DOI employees those authorities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) necessary to carry out projects on behalf of USDA (43 U.S.C. 1703).

(xl) At the request of the Director, Homeland Security Staff (Director), designate law enforcement personnel of the Forest Service to assist the Director in providing for the personal security for the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary in the National Forest System.

(xli) Implement the information disclosure authorities of section 1619(b)(3)(A) of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 8791(b)(3)(A)).

(xlii) Administer a program for providing loans to eligible units of local government to finance the purchase of equipment to monitor, remove, dispose of, and replace infested trees located under their jurisdiction and within the borders of quarantined areas (16 U.S.C. 2104a).

(xliii) [Reserved]

(xliv) Administer the community wood energy program providing grants to develop community wood energy plans, acquire or upgrade community wood energy systems, and establish or expand biomass consumer cooperatives (7 U.S.C. 8113).

(xlv) Conduct activities that assist the Chief Economist in developing guidelines regarding the development of environmental services markets.

(xlvi) Administer the programs authorized by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.), except for the Healthy Forests Reserve Program authorized in title V of such act (16 U.S.C. 6571-6578).

(xlvii) Administer Good Neighbor contracts and cooperative agreements with a State to carry out forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration services on National Forest System lands (16 U.S.C. 2113a; Pub. L. 106-291, section 331, as amended).

(xlviii) Utilize the Agriculture Conservation Experienced Services (ACES) Program (16 U.S.C. 3851) to provide technical services for conservation-related programs and authorities carried out on National Forest System lands (16 U.S.C. 3851a).

(xlix) Administer reimbursements received for fire suppression (42 U.S.C. 1856e; 42 U.S.C. 1856d(b)).

(l) Administer the large airtanker and aerial asset lease program (16 U.S.C. 551c).

(li) Provide technical and other assistance with respect to eligibility of forest products for the “USDA Certified Biobased Products” labeling program (7 U.S.C. 8102(g)).

(3) [Reserved]

(4) Related to committee management. Establish and reestablish regional, state, and local advisory committees for activities under his or her authority. This authority may not be redelegated.

(5) Related to defense and emergency preparedness. Administer responsibilities and functions assigned under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.) and title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5195 et seq.), relating to agricultural land and water, forests and forest products, rural fire defense, and forestry research.

(6) Related to surface mining control and reclamation. Administer responsibilities and functions assigned to the Secretary of Agriculture under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.).

(7) Related to environmental response. (i) With respect to land and facilities under his or her authority, to exercise the functions delegated to the Secretary by Executive Order 12580, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193, and Executive Order 12777, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351, to act as Federal trustee for natural resources in accordance with section 107(f) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9607(f)), section 311(f)(5) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1321(f)(5)), and section 1006(b)(2) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2706(b)(2)).

(ii) With respect to land and facilities under his or her authority, to exercise the functions delegated to the Secretary by Executive Order 12580, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193, under the following provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“the Act”), as amended:

(A) Sections 104(a), (b), and (c)(4) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9604(a), (b), and (c)(4)), with respect to removal and remedial actions in the event of release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant into the environment;

(B) Sections 104(e)-(h) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9604(e)-(h)), with respect to information gathering and access requests and orders; compliance orders; compliance with Federal health and safety standards and wage and labor standards applicable to covered work; and emergency procurement powers;

(C) Section 104(i)(11) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9604(i)(11)), with respect to the reduction of exposure to significant risk to human health;

(D) Section 104(j) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9604(j)), with respect to the acquisition of real property and interests in real property required to conduct a remedial action;

(E) The first two sentences of section 105(d) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9605(d)), with respect to petitions for preliminary assessment of a release or threatened release;

(F) Section 105(f) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9605(f)), with respect to consideration of the availability of qualified minority firms in awarding contracts, but excluding that portion of section 105(f) of the Act pertaining to the annual report to Congress;

(G) Section 109 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9609), with respect to the assessment of civil penalties for violations of section 122 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9622), and the granting of awards to individuals providing information;

(H) Section 111(f) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9611(f)), with respect to the designation of officials who may obligate money in the Hazardous Substances Superfund;

(I) Section 113(g) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9613(g)), with respect to receiving notification of a natural resource trustee's intent to file suit;

(J) Section 113(k) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9613(k)), with respect to establishing an administrative record upon which to base the selection of a response action and identifying and notifying potentially responsible parties;

(K) Section 116(a) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9616(a)), with respect to preliminary assessment and site inspection of facilities;

(L) Section 117(a) and (c) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9617(a) and (c)), with respect to public participation in the preparation of any plan for remedial action and explanation of variances from the final remedial action plan for any remedial action or enforcement action, including any settlement or consent decree entered into;

(M) Section 119 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9619), with respect to indemnifying response action contractors;

(N) Section 121 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9621), with respect to cleanup standards; and

(O) Section 122 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9622), with respect to settlements, but excluding section 122(b)(1) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9622(b)(1)), relating to mixed funding agreements.

(iii) With respect to land and facilities under his or her authority, to exercise the authority vested in the Secretary of Agriculture to act as the “Federal Land Manager” pursuant to the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.).

(8) Related to compliance with environmental laws. With respect to facilities and activities under his or her authority, to exercise the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to section 1-102 related to compliance with applicable pollution control standards and section 1-601 of Executive Order 12088, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 243, to enter into an inter-agency agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or an administrative consent order or a consent judgment in an appropriate United States District Court with an appropriate State, interstate, or local agency, containing a plan and schedule to achieve and maintain compliance with applicable pollution control standards established pursuant to the following:

(i) Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments, and the Federal Facility Compliance Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.);

(ii) Federal Water Pollution Prevention and Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.);

(iii) Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.);

(iv) Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);

(v) Noise Control Act of 1972, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4901 et seq.);

(vi) Toxic Substances Control Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.);

(vii) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.); and

(viii) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

(9) Related to historic preservation. Administer the implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq., Executive Order 11593, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 559, and regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic preservation, 36 CFR part 800, for the Department of Agriculture with authority to name the Secretary's designee to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

(10) Carry out prize competition authorities in section 24 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3719) related to functions otherwise delegated to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, except for authorities delegated to the Chief Financial Officer in §2.28(a)(29) and authorities reserved to the Secretary in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(b) The following authorities are reserved to the Secretary of Agriculture:

(1) Related to natural resource conservation. Designation of new project areas in which the resource conservation and development program assistance will be provided.

(2) Approval of prize competitions that may result in the award of more than $1,000,000 in cash prizes under section 24(m)(4)(B) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3719(m)(4)(B)).

[60 FR 56393, Nov. 8, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 1031, Jan. 8, 1997; 64 FR 32797, June 18, 1999; 64 FR 34967, June 30, 1999; 65 FR 12428, Mar. 9, 2000; 67 FR 59135, Sept. 30, 2002; 68 FR 27437, May 20, 2003; 69 FR 34252, June 21, 2004; 72 FR 36859, July 6, 2007; 74 FR 3403, Jan. 21, 2009; 75 FR 43368, July 23, 2010; 78 FR 40937, July 9, 2013; 79 FR 44107, July 30, 2014; 80 FR 58337, Sept. 29, 2015; 83 FR 22181, May 14, 2018]

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