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e-CFR data is current as of July 9, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XIVSubchapter BPart 1470 → Subpart C


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1470—CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM


Subpart C—General Administration


Contents
§1470.30   Fair treatment of tenants and sharecroppers.
§1470.31   Appeals.
§1470.32   Compliance with regulatory measures.
§1470.33   Access to agricultural operation.
§1470.34   Equitable relief.
§1470.35   Offsets and assignments.
§1470.36   Misrepresentation and scheme or device.
§1470.37   Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

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§1470.30   Fair treatment of tenants and sharecroppers.

Participants must divide payments received under this part in the manner specified in the applicable contract. NRCS will ensure that tenants and sharecroppers who have an interest in acreage being enrolled receive equitable treatment, as determined by NRCS. NRCS may refuse to enter into a contract when joint applicants seeking enrollment disagree on an applicant's eligibility to participate in the contract as a tenant.

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§1470.31   Appeals.

A participant may obtain administrative review of an adverse decision under this part in accordance with 7 CFR parts 11 and 614. Determinations in matters of general applicability, such as payment rates, payment limits, the designation of identified priority resource concerns, and eligible conservation activities are not subject to appeal.

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§1470.32   Compliance with regulatory measures.

Participants will be responsible for obtaining the authorities, rights, easements, permits, or other approvals or legal compliance necessary for the implementation, operation, and maintenance associated with the conservation stewardship plan. Participants will be responsible for compliance with all laws and for all effects or actions resulting from the implementation of the contract.

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§1470.33   Access to agricultural operation.

NRCS, or its authorized representative, will have the right to enter an agricultural operation to ascertain the accuracy of any representations, including natural resource information provided by an applicant to evaluate a contract application. Access will include the right to provide technical assistance, determine eligibility, assess natural resource conditions, inspect any work undertaken under the contract, and collect information necessary to evaluate the implementation of conservation activities in the contract. NRCS, or its authorized representative, will try to contact the participant prior to the exercise of the provision in this section.

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§1470.34   Equitable relief.

(a) If a participant relied upon the advice or action of NRCS and did not know, or have reason to know, that the action or advice was improper or erroneous, the participant may be eligible for equitable relief under 7 CFR part 635. NRCS will not assume the financial or technical liability for any action by a participant that was taken based on the advice of a TSP. This liability will remain with the TSP.

(b) If NRCS finds that a participant is in violation of a provision of the conservation stewardship contract or any incorporated document through failure to comply fully with that provision, the participant may be eligible for equitable relief under 7 CFR part 635.

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§1470.35   Offsets and assignments.

(a) Any payment or portion thereof due to any participant under this part will be allowed without regard to any claim or lien in favor of any creditor, except agencies of the United States Government. The regulations governing offsets and withholdings found at 7 CFR part 1403 will be applicable to contract payments.

(b) Any participant entitled to any payment may assign such payments in accordance with regulations governing assignment of payment found at 7 CFR part 1404.

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§1470.36   Misrepresentation and scheme or device.

(a) If NRCS determines that an applicant intentionally misrepresented any fact affecting a CSP determination, the application will be determined ineligible immediately.

(b) A participant who is determined to have erroneously represented any fact affecting a program determination made in accordance with this part will not be entitled to contract payments and must refund to NRCS all payments, plus interest determined in accordance with 7 CFR part 1403.

(c) A participant will refund to NRCS all payments, plus interest determined in accordance with 7 CFR part 1403, received by such participant with respect to all CSP contracts if they are determined to have—

(1) Adopted any scheme or device that tends to defeat the purpose of the program;

(2) Made any fraudulent representation;

(3) Adopted any scheme or device for the purpose of depriving any tenant or sharecropper of the payments to which such person would otherwise be entitled under the program; or

(4) Misrepresented any fact affecting a program determination.

(d) Participants determined to have committed actions identified in paragraph (c) of this section will have their interest in all CSP contracts terminated.

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§1470.37   Environmental credits for conservation improvements.

(a) NRCS will not prohibit a participant under this part from participating in, and receiving compensation from, an environmental services market if one of the purposes of the market is the facilitation of additional conservation benefits that are consistent with CSP purposes, as determined by NRCS. CSP participation may create environmental benefits that qualify for environmental credits under an environmental credit-trading program. NRCS will not prohibit a participant under this part from participating in, or receiving compensation from, an environmental credit-trading program, and NRCS asserts no direct or indirect interest in these credits. However, in addition, any requirements or standards of an environmental market program in which a CSP participant simultaneously enrolls to receive environmental credits must be compatible with the purposes and requirements of the CSP contract and with this part. NRCS retains the authority to ensure that CSP purposes are met and that one of the purposes of the market is the facilitation of additional conservation benefits that are consistent with CSP purposes.

(b) The participant must meet all operation and maintenance requirements for CSP-funded activities, consistent with §§1470.21 and 1470.23. Where activities required under an environmental credit agreement may affect the land and conservation activities under a CSP contract, NRCS recommends that CSP participants request assistance with the development of a compatibility assessment prior to entering into any credit agreement. The CSP contract may be modified in accordance with policies outlined in §1470.25 provided the modifications meet CSP purposes and is in compliance with this part.

(c) CSP participants may not use CSP funds to implement conservation practices and activities that the participant is required to establish because of a court order.

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