- § 3821. Program ineligibility
- § 3822. Delineation of wetlands; exemptions
- § 3823. Affiliated persons
- § 3824. Fairness of compliance
If a person is determined to have committed a violation under subsection (a) or (d) during a crop year, the person shall be ineligible to receive any payment of any portion of premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a plan or policy of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) pursuant to this subsection.
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), ineligibility for crop insurance premium assistance shall apply in accordance with this paragraph.
In the case of a wetland that the Secretary determines was converted prior to February 7, 2014, ineligibility under this subsection shall not apply.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, a person subject to a final determination, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in subsection (d) shall have 1 reinsurance year to initiate a mitigation plan to remedy the violation, as determined by the Secretary, before becoming ineligible under this subsection in the following reinsurance year to receive any payment of any portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).
Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (1), in the case of a person that is subject to this subsection for the first time solely due to the amendment made by section 2611(b) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the person shall have 2 reinsurance years after the reinsurance year in which a final determination is made, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in this subsection to take such steps as the Secretary determines appropriate to remedy or mitigate the violation in accordance with this subsection.
If the Secretary determines that a person subject to a final determination, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in this subsection acted in good faith and without intent to commit a violation described in this subsection as described in section 3822(h) of this title, the person shall have 2 reinsurance years to take such steps as the Secretary determines appropriate to remedy or mitigate the violation in accordance with this subsection.
The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report concerning the ineligibility determinations limited during the previous 12-month period under this subparagraph.
Beginning with the first full reinsurance year immediately following February 7, 2014, all persons seeking eligibility for the payment of a portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) shall provide certification of compliance with this section as determined by the Secretary.
The contribution shall not exceed the total of the portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance for all years the person is determined to have been in violation subsequent to the date on which certification was first required under this subparagraph.
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall use existing processes and procedures for certifying compliance.
The Secretary, acting through the agencies of the Department of Agriculture, shall be solely responsible for determining whether a producer is eligible to receive crop insurance premium subsidies in accordance with this subsection.
The Secretary shall ensure that no agent, approved insurance provider, or employee or contractor of an agency or approved insurance provider, bears responsibility or liability for the eligibility of an insured producer under this subsection, other than in cases of misrepresentation, fraud, or scheme and device.
Except as provided in section 3822 of this title and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who in any crop year beginning after November 28, 1990, converts a wetland by draining, dredging, filling, leveling, or any other means for the purpose, or to have the effect, of making the production of an agricultural commodity possible on such converted wetland shall be ineligible for those payments, loans, or programs specified in subsection (b) for that crop year and all subsequent crop years.
No person shall become ineligible under paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that an exemption under section 3822(b) of this title applies to that person.
This section shall not apply to a loan described in subsection (b) made before December 23, 1985.
The Secretary shall have, and shall not delegate to any private person or entity, authority to determine whether a person has complied with this subchapter.
Subject to subsection (b) and paragraph (6), the Secretary shall delineate, determine, and certify all wetlands located on subject land on a farm.
The Secretary shall delineate wetlands on wetland delineation maps. On the request of a person, the Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to make an on-site wetland determination prior to delineation.
A final certification made under paragraph (3) shall remain valid and in effect as long as the area is devoted to an agricultural use or until such time as the person affected by the certification requests review of the certification by the Secretary.
In the case of an appeal of the Secretary’s certification, the Secretary shall review and certify the accuracy of the mapping of all land subject to the appeal to ensure that the subject land has been accurately delineated. Prior to rendering a decision on the appeal, the Secretary shall conduct an on-site inspection of the subject land on a farm.
No person shall be adversely affected because of having taken an action based on a previous certified wetland delineation by the Secretary. The delineation shall not be subject to a subsequent wetland certification or delineation by the Secretary, unless requested by the person under paragraph (4).
No program loans, payments, or benefits shall be withheld from a person under this subchapter unless the Secretary has conducted an on-site visit of the subject land, which, except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be conducted in the presence of the affected person.
The Secretary may conduct an on-site visit under paragraph (1) without the affected person present if the Secretary has made a reasonable effort to include the presence of the affected person at the on-site visit.
For purposes of applying the minimal effect exemption under subsection (f)(1), the Secretary shall identify by regulation categorical minimal effect exemptions on a regional basis to assist persons in avoiding a violation of the ineligibility provisions of section 3821 of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that employees of the Department of Agriculture who administer this subchapter receive appropriate training to properly apply the minimal effect exemptions determined by the Secretary.
A person shall be afforded the right to appeal, under section 3843 1
The Secretary may waive a person’s ineligibility under section 3821 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as the result of the conversion of a wetland subsequent to November 28, 1990, or the production of an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland, if the Secretary determines that the person has acted in good faith and without intent to violate this subchapter.
The Secretary shall provide a person who the Secretary determines has acted in good faith and without intent to violate this subchapter with a reasonable period, but not to exceed 1 year, during which to implement the measures and practices necessary to be considered to be actively restoring the subject wetland.
Any person who is determined to be ineligible for program benefits under section 3821 of this title for any crop year shall not be ineligible for such program benefits under such section for any subsequent crop year if, prior to the beginning of such subsequent crop year, the person has fully restored the characteristics of the converted wetland to its prior wetland state or has otherwise mitigated for the loss of wetland values, as determined by the Secretary, through the restoration, enhancement, or creation of wetland values in the same general area of the local watershed as the converted wetland.
Technical determinations, the development of restoration and mitigation plans, and monitoring activities under this section shall be made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Using authorities available to the Secretary, the Secretary shall operate a program or work with third parties to establish mitigation banks to assist persons in complying with the provisions of this section while mitigating any loss of wetland values and functions.
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this paragraph $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.
Subsection (f)(2)(C) shall not apply to this subsection.
The Secretary shall develop the appropriate policy and criteria that will allow willing persons to access existing mitigation banks, under this section or any other authority, that will serve the purposes of this section without requiring the Secretary to hold an easement, in whole or in part, in a mitigation bank.
If a person is affected by a reduction in benefits under section 3821 of this title and the affected person is affiliated with other persons for the purpose of receiving the benefits, the benefits of each affiliated person shall be reduced under section 3821 of this title in proportion to the interest held by the affiliated person.
If the actions of an unrelated person or public entity, outside the control of, and without the prior approval of, the landowner or tenant result in a change in the characteristics of cropland that would cause the land to be determined to be a wetland, the affected land shall not be considered to be wetland for purposes of this subchapter.