[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 163 (Tuesday, August 23, 2011)]
[Pages 52635-52636]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21467]



Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2011-0018]

Notice of Proposed Changes to the National Handbook of 
Conservation Practices for the Natural Resources Conservation Service

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes in the NRCS National 
Handbook of Conservation Practices for public review and comment.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a 
series of revised conservation practice standards in the National 
Handbook of Conservation Practices. These standards include: Dam or 
Pond Removal (Code 403), Dry Hydrant (Code 432), Feed Management (Code 
592), Fishpond Management (Code 399), Land Clearing (Code 460), 
Livestock Pipeline (Code 516), Pond Sealing or Lining, Flexible 
Membrane (Code 521A), Fuel Break (Code 383), Stream Crossing (Code 
578), and Subsurface Drain (Code 606).
    NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices for 
use within their States will incorporate them into section IV of their 
respective electronic Field Office Technical Guide. These practices may 
be used in conservation systems that treat highly erodible land (HEL) 
or on land determined to be a wetland. Section 343 of the Federal 
Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 requires NRCS to make 
available for public review and comment all proposed revisions to 
conservation practice standards used to carry out HEL and wetland 
provisions of the law.

DATES: Effective Date: This is effective August 23, 2011.
    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before September 22, 2011. 
Final versions of these new or revised conservation practice standards 
will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period, and after 
consideration of all comments.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted, identified by Docket Number 
NRCS-2011-0018, using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include Docket 
Number NRCS-2011-0018 or ``comment on practice standards'' in the 
subject line of the message.
     Mail: Comment Submissions, Attention: Anetra L. Harbor, 
Policy Analyst, Resource Economics, Analysis and Policy Division, 
Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 
George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave, Room 1-1112D, 
Beltsville, Maryland 20705.
    All comments received will become a matter of public record and 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wayne Bogovich, National Agricultural 
Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Room 6136 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
    Electronic copies of these standards can be downloaded or printed 
from the following Web site: ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/NHQ/practice-standards/federal-register/. Requests for paper versions or 
inquiries may be directed to Wayne Bogovich, National Agricultural 
Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, Department of Agriculture, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Room 6136 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The amount of the proposed changes varies 
considerably for each of the Conservation Practice Standards addressed 
in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals 
are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard's current 
version as shown at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/Standards/nhcp.html. To aid in this comparison, following are highlights of the 
proposed revisions to each standard:
    Dam or Pond Removal (Code 403)--This is a new conservation practice 
standard for the purpose of removing existing dams or ponds.
    Dry Hydrant (Code 432)--The Criteria section was clarified, Plans 
and Specification section added a list of items to include, and 
references were added.
    Feed Management (Code 592)--The units changed from Animal Units 
(AUs) or Number to only AUs. The Purpose changed to include pathogen, 
odor, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas mitigation. Additions to 
Conditions Where Practice Applies, Criteria, Considerations, Operations 
and Maintenance, and References were made to support the change in 

[[Page 52636]]

    Fishpond Management (Code 399)--The Definition was changed. Two 
issues previously included under ``Considerations'' have been moved to 
the ``Criteria'' section and additional action was added to the 
``Operation and Maintenance'' section.
    Fuel Break (Code 383)--Only minor edits are being proposed.
    Land Clearing (Code 460)--The purpose was rewritten. Criteria was 
added for soil quality and water quality.
    Livestock Pipeline (Code 516)--The title changed from ``Pipeline'' 
to ``Livestock Pipeline.'' Revised Criteria and removed material 
specifications; expanded Considerations; revised Plans and 
Specifications; and revised Operation and Maintenance.
    Pond Sealing or Lining, Flexible Membrane (Code 521A)--The material 
requirements have been revised to conform to industry-wide practice and 
to the most current versions of accepted generic standards, such as 
ASTM and other industry standards.
    Stream Crossing (Code 578)--Criteria include more details related 
to passage of aquatic organisms and hydraulic criteria.
    Subsurface Drain (Code 606)--Revised Purposes; expanded Conditions 
Where Practice Applies; revised Criteria; expanded Considerations; 
added Operation and Maintenance; and added References

    Signed this 28th day of July, 2011, in Washington, DC.
Dave White,
Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-21467 Filed 8-22-11; 8:45 am]