Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program (CBWP) helps agricultural producers improve water quality and quantity, and restore, enhance, and preserve soil, air, and related resources in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through the implementation of conservation practices.

These conservation practices reduce
soil erosion and nutrient levels in ground and surface water; improve, restore, and enhance wildlife habitat; and help address air quality and related natural resource concerns.

CBWP encompasses all tributaries, backwaters, and side channels, including their watersheds, draining into the Chesapeake Bay.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for location of the USDA service center.

A list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses is available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/organization/regions.html.


Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, uses CBWP funds to enter into contracts with eligible producers to share the costs of the applicable conservation treatment on agricultural lands in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

NRCS provides payments for approved conservation practices and systems and land use adjustments within a time schedule specified by the conservation plan.

The CBWP contracts may be modified to increase funds provided the increased cost is the result of a valid contract modification within the original contract scope and intent.

The modification must follow the rules of the conservation program used to apply the conservation treatment.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Only agricultural producers owning or operating within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed are eligible to participate in CBWP.

In addition, NRCS applies the eligibility requirements of the particular natural resource program used to implement CBWP (e.g., the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) (16 U.S.C.

3839aa et seq.), the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) (16 U.S.C.

3839bb-1)).

Limited resource producers, small-scale producers, beginning farmers and ranchers, socially-disadvantaged producers, and federally recognized Indian tribes are encouraged to apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

To be eligible, the agricultural producers must be in compliance with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions at 7 CFR part 12, and in compliance with the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) payment limitations at 7 CFR part 1400.

Credentials/Documentation

Evidence that applicant has control over land to be entered into contract and submits an acceptable conservation plan for the farm or ranch unit of concern that incorporates needed natural resource conservation practices and provide either a social security number or individual tax identification number of all proposed beneficiaries. Applicants claiming either limited resource producer or beginning farmer classification may be asked to provide documents to justify their claim. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Program participation is voluntary. The applicant applies to NRCS at the local USDA Service Center on Form NRCS-CPA-1200. Applications may be filed at any time during the year. The participant develops a CBWP plan of operations that identifies what conservation practices they are proposing to implement. Technical assistance and conservation payments may be provided to apply needed conservation practices and land use adjustments within a time schedule specified by the conservation CBWP plan of operations. A contract with a participant may apply one or more land management practices or one or more structural practices.

Award Procedures

NRCS applies the ranking and selection requirements of the particular natural resource program used to implement CBWP (e.g., EQIP, WHIP). NRCS will give special consideration to applicants that address priority natural resource concerns designated. Applications will be periodically ranked and selected for funding based on locally developed ranking process. The ranking criteria of the various Farm Bill program can be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

The Food Security Act of 1985, Public Law 99-198.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 10 to 60 days.

Appeals

A participant may appeal any adverse determination to the State Conservationist.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 75.%. Matching requirements for CBWP follow the rules for the particular natural resource program used to implement CBWP (e.g., EQIP, WHIP). Typically, conservation practices may be eligible for conservation payments up to 75 percent of the total cost of establishing the practice including costs of foregone income. Limited resource producers, social disadvantaged producers and beginning farmers and ranchers may be eligible for payments up to 90 percent of the approved practice cost.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

CBWP contract lengths and implementation schedules will follow the rules for the particular natural resource program used to implement CBWP (e.g., EQIP, WHIP). Obligations for assistance are tied to the schedule for applying conservation practices included in the CBWP plan of operations conservation plan used as the basis for the contract. Payments are made when the participant and NRCS certify that conservation practice is completed in accordance with NRCS standards and specifications. Technical assistance may be provided by a certified Technical Service Provider (TSP) in accordance with 7 CFR part 652. The participant may not engage a TSP prior to contract approval. This assistance will be reimbursed based upon applicable TSP payment rates. These payments will be made after the services of the certified TSP have been provided in accordance with NRCS standards and specifications. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

No reports are required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. NRCS makes periodic random reviews of the operation and maintenance of the contract items during the life span of the conservation practice. Participants are subject to audit by the Office of the Inspector General, USDA.

Records

Records are maintained in local NRCS office and Federal record centers for specified number of years.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1004-0-1-302.

Obigations

(Salaries) FY 12 $8,457,447; FY 13 est $7,892,500; and FY 14 est $7,740,000. (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 12 $41,246,513; FY 13 est $36,103,900; and FY 14 est $47,734,800

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Conservation payments are limited to the rules for the particular natural resource program used to implement CBWP (e.g., EQIP, WHIP). Average contract payments are estimated to be $22,500 (source: NRCS ProTracts 10/02/2009).

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The CBWP is carried out through natural resources conservation programs authorized under Subtitle D, Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, 16 U.S.C. 3830-3839bb-5. Contact the local USDA Service Center Office to find out which programs are being offered. The CBWP is announced in the six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) through news media and in announcements to agricultural producers, farm and ranch owners and operators in the county. Program manuals, handbooks, and leaflets are issued by NRCS.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. For more information on this and other related conservation programs, consult the local telephone directory where your land is located for location of the USDA service center. A list of NRCS State offices with telephone numbers and addresses is available on the internet at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/about/organization/regions.html.

Headquarters Office

Mark Rose 1400 Independence Ave, SW
South Building, Room 6238, Washington, District of Columbia 20013 Email: Mark.Rose@wdc.usda.gov Phone: (202) 690-2621

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applications will be periodically ranked and selected for funding based on: the environmental benefits per dollar expended; the cost-effectiveness of the conversation practices; the environmental benefits derived; extent to which the contract will assist the applicant in complying with Federal, State, tribal or local environmental laws; whether the land is located in a priority area and the extent the contract will assist the priority area goals and objectives.



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