< Back to H.R. 1440 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the Site-Specific Agricultural Resource Management Act of 1993

This bill was introduced on March 24, 1993, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Mar 24, 1993 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 1440 IH

103d CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1440

To amend the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act to provide for comprehensive site-specific resource management plans on land used for the production of agricultural commodities, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 24, 1993

Mr. ENGLISH of Oklahoma (for himself, Mr. DE LA GARZA, Mr. COMBEST, Mr. PENNY, Mrs. CLAYTON, Mr. MINGE, and Mr. BARLOW) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act to provide for comprehensive site-specific resource management plans on land used for the production of agricultural commodities, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Site-Specific Agricultural Resource Management Act of 1993’.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES.

    Except as otherwise specifically provided, whenever in this Act a section or other provision is amended, repealed, or referenced, such amendment, repeal, or reference shall be considered to be made to that section or other provision of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act (16 U.S.C. 590a et seq.).

SEC. 3. FINDINGS.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

      (1) agricultural land users are required to develop and implement an increasing number of plans that have conservation and environmental benefits as a primary purpose;

      (2) within the Department of Agriculture, there are as many as fifteen programs that provide for the development of such plans, and currently some agricultural land users may have six different conservation and environmentally-related plans in effect with regard to their land;

      (3) future legislation may mandate additional requirements for agricultural land users;

      (4) most plans are single purpose in nature, and requirements imposed by one plan may conflict with the purposes, objectives, or requirements of another plan;

      (5) the complexity of the planning process is such that it is difficult for many agricultural land users to coordinate the various requirements into their individual farming or ranching operations;

      (6) there is a need to approach conservation and environmental problems on agricultural land on a more rational basis in order to promote practical and economically feasible site-specific resource measures that take into consideration the economic vitality of agricultural land units involved; and

      (7) to ensure consistency, all pertinent conservation and environmental requirements on agricultural land should be coordinated, through a single agency of the Government, into one integrated resource management plan for the land unit.

SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

    (a) It is the purpose of this Act to--

      (1) assist agricultural land users in meeting conservation and environmental requirements on such lands, while maintaining viable farming or ranching operations;

      (2) provide that a single Federal agency, the Soil Conservation Service, be responsible for working with other governmental agencies and agricultural land users in the development and implementation of integrated resource management plans for agricultural lands;

      (3) provide a more efficient and effective method to coordinate Federal, State, and local conservation and environmental requirements with respect to individual land units;

      (4) help ensure that a site-specific approach encompassing all resources will be used in an interrelated manner when developing and implementing plans on agricultural land for conservation and environmental purposes; and

      (5) help ensure that a balance is maintained among productivity, efficient management of resources, and environmental quality with respect to the agricultural land unit.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.

    The Act is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘SEC. 18. COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING.

    ‘(a) DEFINITIONS- As used in this section--

      ‘(1) AGRICULTURAL LAND- The term ‘agricultural land’ means crop land, pastureland, native pasture, rangeland, orchards, vineyards, and any other land used to produce or support the production of an annual or perennial crop of a commodity, aquaculture product, nursery product, or livestock. The term ‘agricultural land’ shall not include Federal lands subject to the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 or the National Forest Management Act of 1976.

      ‘(2) AGRICULTURAL LAND USER- The term ‘agricultural land user’ means any landowner, leaseholder, tenant, sharecropper, or other person required to meet conservation and environmental requirements on agricultural land.

      ‘(3) STATE- Notwithstanding section 17(a), the term ‘State’ means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

    ‘(b) ESTABLISHMENT- Within one hundred and eighty days of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Soil Conservation Service, shall issue regulations establishing a program to develop site-specific integrated resource management plans for agricultural land.

    ‘(c) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS- Notwithstanding any other provision of other law--

      ‘(1) the regulations issued under this section shall establish procedures under which all plans required by the agencies of the Department of Agriculture pursuant to any provision of law or regulation with respect to soil, water, and other resource conservation and environmental concerns on agricultural land are to be integrated into a single comprehensive site-specific plan for the land involved;

      ‘(2) the regulations shall provide that, with respect to any such single comprehensive site-specific plan developed under paragraph (1), the Soil Conservation Service shall be responsible for, among other things, determining compliance with the terms of the plan and any permit, exemption, and waiver issued in connection therewith;

      ‘(3) the procedures shall ensure that, on or after January 1, 1996, a single comprehensive site-specific plan shall be in place with respect to any agricultural land for which more than one plan is required by agencies of the Department of Agriculture;

      ‘(4) during the period of January 1, 1994, through December 31, 1994, the Soil Conservation Service shall give priority to developing (A) single comprehensive plans that are requested by agricultural land users and (B) single comprehensive plans that are targeted to specific watersheds or other areas or regions determined by the Soil Conservation Service to be environmentally sensitive, taking into consideration the lands described in section 1238C of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838C);

      ‘(5) the regulations shall provide that all requests for cost-sharing or other assistance available under any program or activity of the Department of Agriculture with respect to a conservation practice on agricultural land for which a single comprehensive plan is in effect, and all requests for permits, exemptions, or waivers under such programs or activities with respect to such land, shall be made through and approved by the Soil Conservation Service;

      ‘(6)(A) the head of each agency or entity of the Government, other than the agencies of the Department of Agriculture, may enter into agreements with the Secretary of Agriculture under which any conservation and environmental requirements with respect to agricultural land under any program or activity of such agency will be incorporated into the single comprehensive plan developed by the Soil Conservation Service for the land involved;

      ‘(B) agreements entered into under subparagraph (A) may provide for the manner in which cost-share or other assistance available from the other agency with respect to a conservation practice on agricultural land for which a single comprehensive plan has been developed will be coordinated with any cost-share or other assistance available from the Department of Agriculture;

      ‘(C) agreements entered into under subparagraph (A) may provide for the delegation to the Soil Conservation Service of the responsibility for (i) receiving, processing, and approving requests for cost-sharing or other assistance, permits, exemptions, or waivers under such program or activity and (ii) performing any other responsibilities and functions in connection with such program or activity;

      ‘(D) agreements entered into under subparagraph (A) shall provide for the reimbursement to the Secretary of Agriculture, on an annual basis, of such sums as are necessary to cover the costs of the Soil Conservation Service of performing any function of activity delegated to it under the agreement, and any funds reimbursed under this section shall remain available to the Soil Conservation Service until expended.

      ‘(7) the Secretary of Agriculture may enter into agreements with any State, including any agency or subdivision thereof, under which (A) any conservation and environmental requirements with respect to agricultural land under any program or activity of the State will be incorporated into the single comprehensive plan developed by the Soil Conservation Service for the land involved, and (B) any cost-sharing or other assistance available from the State with respect to any practice on agricultural land for which a single comprehensive plan has been developed will be coordinated with any Federal cost-share or other assistance to be provided.

    ‘(d) CRITERIA FOR COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS- The Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Soil Conservation Service, shall establish criteria and standards to be used in the development of comprehensive site-specific resource management plans for agricultural land. In establishing such criteria and standards, the Soil Conservation Service shall consult with Federal and State agencies, including the technical committee in each State established under section 1261 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3861), that have expertise in, or whose programs and activities involve, conservation and environmental measures on agricultural lands.

    ‘(e) REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUAL PLANS- Each individual comprehensive resource management plan shall be developed using the criteria and standards established under subsection (d) and shall, among other things--

      ‘(1) be specifically designed for the land unit, and each subpart thereof, described in the plan;

      ‘(2) provide, to the extent possible, various management alternatives which the agricultural land user may use to meet the conservation and environmental concerns with respect to the land unit involved;

      ‘(3) encompass soil, water, plant, and animal resources;

      ‘(4) take into consideration the ability of agricultural land users to manage natural resources for meeting agricultural production, conservation, environmental, and quality of life objectives;

      ‘(5) provide for systems that promote the efficient long-term production of food and fiber and the maintenance and enhancement of natural resources; and

      ‘(6) take into consideration the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of the various management alternatives described.

    ‘(f) REVISION OF PLANS- The Soil Conservation Service shall revise any plan--

      ‘(1) upon request of the agricultural land user involved, to reflect anticipated changes in the operation of the unit, providing that the conservation and environmental requirements with respect to the unit will continue to be met if the changes are implemented; and

      ‘(2) to reflect any changes in the conservation and environmental requirements with respect to the land unit.

    ‘(g) PROMPT COMPLETION AND NOTIFICATION- Any revision of a plan under subsection (f) shall be completed and provided to the land user as promptly as possible after the request or notification of change in requirements.

    ‘(h) LIABILITY PROTECTION- Any agricultural land user who, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, has properly applied, or who is properly implementing, a comprehensive resource management plan developed for an agricultural land unit under this section shall be deemed to be in compliance with all conservation and environmental requirements covered by the plan with respect to such land unit.’.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall be effective on the date of enactment.