(a) A person or legal entity, other than a joint venture or general partnership, will not be eligible to receive, directly or indirectly, certain program payments or benefits described in § 1400.1 if the average adjusted gross income of the person or legal entity exceeds $900,000 for the 3 taxable years preceding the most immediately preceding complete taxable year, as determined by the Deputy Administrator.
(b) Determinations made under this subpart for conservation programs are:
(1) Applicable starting with the 2015 fiscal year, except for AMA which is applicable with the 2014 fiscal year;
(2) Based on the year for which the conservation program contract or agreement is approved; and
(3) Applicable for the entire term of the subject agreement or contract.
(c) Vendors that receive payment for technical services provided in conjunction with programs made subject to this subpart by regulation or statute, but who are not beneficiaries of the program, are not subject to this subpart for services that are of the type that are also performed by the Federal Government in connection with the programs.
(d) Payments to an escrow agent, or other legal entity of similar capacity in which the recipient is maintaining temporary custody of the funds for eventual disbursement to an eligible program participant, are not subject to this subpart so long as the party ultimately receiving the payment is eligible under this subpart.
(e) Payments to States, counties, political subdivisions and agencies thereof, and Indian tribes as defined in § 1400.3 are not subject to this subpart.
(f) The Administrator or NRCS Chief may waive the limitation under this section on a case-by-case basis for the protection of environmentally sensitive land of special significance. A waiver request must be in writing and:
(1) Show that use of conservation program funding on or adjacent to environmentally sensitive land of special significance is critical to the success of a project that provides conservation benefits to multiple producers or landowners in a community, watershed, or other geographic area;
(2) Demonstrate that the proposed action achieves enduring protection of environmentally sensitive land of special significance through use of a long-term agreement that is greater than 15 years in duration or through use of a deed restriction on the land; or
(3) Present evidence that otherwise demonstrates, as determined by the Administrator or the NRCS Chief, that the waiver is necessary to address the critical natural resources referenced in the definition of environmentally sensitive land of special significance.