[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 172 (Wednesday, September 5, 2018)]
[Pages 45090-45091]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-19145]



Natural Resources Conservation Service

[Docket No. NRCS-2018-0005]

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

AGENCY: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed changes to the National 
Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP) for public review and 


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the intention of NRCS to issue a 
series of revised conservation practice standards in the NHCP. These 
standards include Combustion System Improvement (Code 372), Dust 
Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373), Integrated Pest 
management (Code 595), Nutrient Management (Code 590), Pesticide 
Mitigation (Code 594), Subsurface Drain (Code 606), Waste Facility 
Closure (Code 360), and Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420).
    NRCS State Conservationists who choose to adopt these practices in 
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 

DATES: Effective Date: This is applicable September 5, 2018.
    Comment Date: Submit comments on or before October 5, 2018. 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-2018-0005, using any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attention: Regulatory and Agency Policy Team, Strategic Planning and 
Accountability, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 5601 Sunnyside 
Avenue, Building 1-1112D, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.
    NRCS will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. In 
general, personal information provided with comments will be posted. If 
your comment includes your address, phone number, email, or other 
personal identifying information (PII), your comments, including PII, 
may be available to the public. You may ask in your comment that your 
PII be withheld from public view, but this cannot be guaranteed.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bill Reck, National Environmental 
Engineer, Conservation Engineering Division, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1400 Independence 
Avenue Southwest, South Building, Room 6136, Washington, DC 20250.

[[Page 45091]]

    Electronic copies can be downloaded or printed from http://go.usa.gov/TXye. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be 
directed to: Mr. Emil Horvath, National Practice Standards Review 
Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central National 
Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 

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, which can be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ncps/?cid=nrcs143_026849. To aid 
in this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed 
revisions to each standard:
    Combustion System Improvement (Code 372)--Revised language of the 
general criteria and criteria applicable to the air quality and energy 
purposes to address some confusion encountered in the implementation of 
the practice.
    Dust Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)--Relatively 
minor changes have been made to the 2010 version. Two purposes were 
added to more adequately describe the reasons for using this practice: 
``improve visibility by reducing emissions of particulate matter;'' and 
``improve plant health and vigor by reducing emissions of particulate 
    Integrated Pest Management (Code 595)--The standard definition and 
purposes have been updated to reflect current agency policy and 
science. The standard has been edited to clarify criteria, and support 
farmers and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns and implement 
an integrated pest management system where land-grant-university 
guidelines are available.
    Nutrient Management (Code 590)--The revision has no significant 
definition technical changes. Instead, it has a focus on improving the 
usability of 590 at the operational level of the agency (i.e. the State 
and field). The formatting and writing style were updated to meet 
current agency requirements. Bullet point statements were used to 
specify single concepts and replace paragraphs containing multiple 
    Pesticide Mitigation (Code 594)--A new standard to support farmers 
and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns created by the use of 
pesticides in areas where they do not have land-grant university 
integrated pest management guidelines for one or more of their crops or 
cropping systems. Proposed Standard 594 offers resource protection 
using site-specific techniques designed to mitigate the impacts of 
chemical pest suppression on natural resources.
    Subsurface Drain (Code 606)--The formatting and writing style were 
updated to meet current agency requirements. Sections of the standard 
were relocated and rearranged to improve document flow. The minimum 
velocity has been raised to 0.8 feet-per-second for areas without 
sedimentation problems. Provisions have been included for the use of 
square junction boxes.
    Waste Facility Closure (Code 360)--The formatting and writing style 
were updated to improve clarity. Criteria was added to dry-waste 
storages to render the site unsuitable for stacking or treating waste. 
Language was added to the standard to make it clear that the standard 
is not used for the rehabilitation or expansion of existing facilities.
    Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420)--This is a new conservation 
practice standard developed to better address the technical 
complexities of establishing wildlife habitat, including pollinator and 
monarch butterfly habitat plantings. Wildlife Habitat Planting (420) 
will be planned and applied when establishing herbaceous vegetation for 
wildlife. Planting trees for wildlife will be planned and applied using 
Tree and Shrub Establishment (612).

    Signed this 28th day of August, 2018, in Washington, DC
Leonard Jordan,
Acting Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-19145 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am]