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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 17TEXAS STATE SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION BOARD
CHAPTER 523AGRICULTURAL AND SILVICULTURAL WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT
RULE §523.7Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning in the North Bosque River Watershed

(a) Policy Statement. In accordance with §519.1 of this title (relating to Policy Statement) and the policy of the State Soil and Water Conservation Board to develop and implement a program to provide technical assistance for the development and implementation of soil and water conservation plans and soil and water conservation measures, this section is adopted.

(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Animal feeding operation--A lot or facility (other than an aquatic animal production facility) where animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period, and the animal confinement areas do not sustain crops, vegetation, forage growth, or postharvest residues in the normal growing season.

  (2) Comprehensive nutrient management plan, herein referred to as CNMP--A resource management plan containing a grouping of conservation practices and management activities which, when combined into a conservation system, will help ensure that both agricultural production goals and natural resource concerns dealing with nutrient and organic by-products and their adverse impacts on water quality are achieved. A CNMP incorporates practices to utilize animal manure and organic by-products as a beneficial resource. To be certified, a CNMP must cover all lands that constitute the conservation management unit.

  (3) Conservation management unit--For the purposes of this section and regarding comprehensive nutrient management planning, a conservation management unit includes the production area and land application activities which are onsite or are contiguous to the site.

  (4) Environmental stewardship programs for owners and/or operators of animal feeding operations--Any program, administered by a governmental or non-governmental entity, which provides the owner or operator of an animal feeding operation with a mechanism for improving the overall efficiency of the operation, operating in accordance with all applicable state or federal laws pertaining to water quality, and furthers the effective conservation of the state's soil and water resources.

  (5) North Bosque River watershed--The geographic area consisting of all the drainage area for the two designated water quality segments as defined in the two adopted Total Maximum Daily Loads for Phosphorus in the North Bosque River. The two designated water quality segments are segment 1226, the North Bosque River, extending from a point 100 meters upstream of FM Road 185 in McLennan County to a point immediately upstream of the confluence of Indian Creek in Erath County, and segment 1255, the Upper North Bosque River, extending from a point immediately upstream of the confluence of Indian Creek in Erath County to the confluence of the North Fork and South Fork of the North Bosque River in Erath County.

  (6) Natural Resources Conservation Service, herein referred to as NRCS--An agency of the United States Department of Agriculture which includes the agency formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS).

  (7) NRCS - Field Office Technical Guide, herein referred to as NRCS - FOTG--The official NRCS guidelines, criteria, and standards for planning and applying conservation treatments.

  (8) NRCS Technical Service Provider Process--The process by which a technical service provider obtains certification by NRCS to provide technical services including conservation planning, and/or the design, layout, and installation of approved conservation practices.

  (9) Resource management plan--A site specific blueprint for implementation of soil and water conservation land improvement measures. It includes a record of the eligible person's decisions made during planning and the resource information needed for implementation and maintenance of the plan that has been reviewed and approved by the SWCD.

  (10) Resource management system--A combination of conservation practices and resource management activities for the treatment of all identified resource concerns for soil, water, air, plants, animals, and humans that meets or exceeds the quality criteria in the Natural Resource Conservation Service's Field Office Technical Guide for resource sustainability.

  (11) Soil and water conservation district, herein referred to as SWCD--A government subdivision of this state and a public body corporate and politic, organized pursuant to Chapter 201 of the Agriculture Code.

  (12) State Board--The State Soil and Water Conservation Board created under the Agriculture Code, Chapter 201.

  (13) Technical service provider--An individual, entity, or public agency certified by the NRCS State Conservationist and placed on an approved list to provide technical services.

  (14) Texas Commission on Environmental Quality--The state agency created under Title 2, Subtitle A, Chapter 5 of the Texas Water Code (formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission).

(c) Applicability. Any owner or operator of an animal feeding operation that meets the following criteria may submit a CNMP to the State Board for certification in accordance with subsection (f) of this section. Owners or operators of an animal feeding operation within the North Bosque River watershed, or owners or operators of an animal feeding operation that has enrolled in any agricultural environmental stewardship program whose administrators have a current memorandum of agreement with the State Board regarding a State Board certification of a CNMP as programmatic requirement.

(d) Process for Obtaining a CNMP. It is the intent of the State Board that all CNMPs be developed by technical service providers certified by NRCS to develop CNMPs or component parts of CNMPs. Owners and operators whose CNMP is developed by persons not certified to develop CNMPs through NRCS' Technical Service Provider process must submit their CNMP to the local NRCS Field Office for approval. Owners and operators of animal feeding operations who meet the applicability criteria set forth in subsection (c) of this section and intend to submit a completely developed CNMP to the State Board for certification shall:

  (1) Be a SWCD cooperator.

  (2) Declare to the SWCD their intent to submit a CNMP for State Board certification.

  (3) Request to view a list of certified technical service providers who have been certified by the NRCS to develop CNMPs from their local SWCD and/or NRCS Field Office. Owners and operators whose CNMP is developed by persons not certified to develop CNMPs through NRCS' Technical Service Provider process must submit their CNMP to the local NRCS Field Office for approval.

  (4) Inform the SWCD that they intend to apply for cost-share incentive funding, if applicable. All cost-share incentive funding toward the development of a resource management plan and toward the implementation of land treatment measures contained within the resource management plan, shall be in accordance with §523.6 of this title (relating to Cost-Share Incentive Funding for Soil and Water Conservation Land Improvement Measures).

(e) Cost-share Incentive Funding. In accordance with §523.6 of this title, the State Board may allocate funds to a SWCD for cost-share incentive funding to landowners toward the implementation of land improvement measures consistent with the purpose of controlling erosion, conserving water, and/or protecting water quality. All cost-share incentive funding toward the development of a resource management plan and toward the implementation of land treatment measures contained within the resource management plan, shall be in accordance with §523.6 of this title.

(f) Certification.

  (1) When the following conditions are met the State Board may certify that a CNMP satisfies the State Board's technical criteria and programmatic guidance for comprehensive nutrient management planning with the State's requirements for water quality:

    (A) The owner or operator of the animal feeding operation concurs and understands that the conservation practices and implementation schedules contained within the CNMP, when applied and maintained to form a resource management system will meet the State's requirements for water quality; the owner or operator of the animal feeding operation agrees to notify the local SWCD in the event of deviation from the implementation schedule; and the owner or operator of the animal feeding operation agrees that any substitution or changes to the conservation practices or schedules must be in accordance with the NRCS - FOTG, the State Board's Technical Criteria and Programmatic Guidance for Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning, and the rules and regulations of the State.

    (B) The CNMP is in accordance with the Technical Criteria and Programmatic Guidance for Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning adopted by the State Board and contains an implementation schedule pursuant to subsection (i) of this section.

    (C) The owner or operator of the animal feeding operation meets the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

    (D) The SWCD has approved the CNMP as including the entire conservation management unit.

    (E) The CNMP was developed by a technical service provider certified by the NRCS to develop CNMPs or the NRCS Field Office has approved the CNMP as meeting the requirements of the NRCS - FOTG for a Resource Management System.

  (2) Withdrawal of Certification. The State Board may withdraw certification of any CNMP which, in consultation with the SWCD, has been demonstrated to be deficient in one or more of the conditions established under paragraph (1) of this subsection or if the holder of the CNMP fails to implement the CNMP in accordance with subsection (i) of this section.

(g) Technical Criteria and Programmatic Guidance for Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning. The technical criteria and specific practice standards considered as components of comprehensive nutrient management planning are based on the criteria in the NRCS - FOTG; however, modification of those practice standards to ensure consistency with state water quality standards, state water quality laws regarding animal feeding operations, and the state agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source management program will be made by the State Board as necessary. The State Board will adopt and maintain Technical Criteria and Programmatic Guidance for Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning to ensure consistency with state water quality standards, state water quality laws regarding animal feeding operations, and the state agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source management program.

(h) Environmental Stewardship Programs for Owners and/or Operators of Animal Feeding Operations. The State Board may enter into agreements with entities administering programs who request that participants of such programs receive certification in accordance with subsection (f) of this section as a programmatic requirement if the State Board determines that the program is consistent with the state agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source management program and all other State Board policies.

(i) Implementation Schedule. A CNMP must contain an implementation schedule.

  (1) The implementation schedule will, as far as is practicable, balance the state's need for protecting water quality with the need of agricultural producers to have sufficient time to implement practices in an economically feasible manner.

  (2) Highest priority will be given to the implementation of the most cost effective and most needed pollution abatement practices.

  (3) The State Board in consultation with the local SWCDs will conduct an annual status review of plan implementation.

  (4) The State Board in consultation with the local SWCDs may withdraw certification of a CNMP that is not being implemented in accordance with its schedule. Prior to certification being withdrawn, a landowner will be notified and be given a reasonable period of time to implement the CNMP according to the schedule or a modified schedule approved by the SWCD.

  (5) The holder of a certified CNMP shall notify the local SWCD in the event he or she deviates from the implementation schedule.

(j) Applicability of State Water Quality Standards. To the extent allowed by available technology, CNMP development, approval and certification will be based on state water quality standards as established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.


Source Note: The provisions of this §523.7 adopted to be effective July 8, 2013, 38 TexReg 4384

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