Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I attended a meeting on NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act). NEPA is a law that tells federal agencies what process to follow in implementing federal actions. In order to implement projects, Federal agencies must be in compliance with a number of acts, orders, and policies. One policy is protection of wetlands. In addition, agencies must comply with: The Wilderness Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Farmland Protection Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and Endangered Species Act. In addition, public review is required. How does this affect farmers? Farmers implementing conservation practices under USDA programs cannot receive funding unless they are in compliance with NEPA. This is not usually a problem on cropland, but could affect non cropland practices easily. If you are turned down for cost sharing because of NEPA issues, this does not usually mean you cannot do the project, it just means the government can't help.