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Maine Bulletin 190-13-8

                                                                                                     August 15, 2013

Action Required By:  September 30, 2013

Subject:  ECS - Release of the Revised Form NRCS-CPA-52, "Environmental Evaluation Worksheet".

Purpose.  To announce the release of the revised Form NRCS-CPA-52, “Environmental Evaluation Worksheet,” referenced in Title 190, National Environmental Compliance Handbook (NECH), Part 610; and National Instruction (NI) 190-305.

Expiration Date.  September 30, 2013

Background.  Form NRCS-CPA-52, “Environmental Evaluation Worksheet,” was last revised in June 2010.  Since that time, “Energy” has been added as a resource concern, and modifications have been made to restructure other resource concerns to support the streamlined delivery of conservation assistance. 

Explanation.  The following summarizes the changes incorporated in the revision of Form NRCS-CPA-52:

1. Drop-down boxes in section F now include the restructured list of resource concerns referenced in NB 450-11-6.

2.  The term “Quality Criteria” (QC) has been changed to “Planning Criteria” (PC) to be consistent with the Conservation Delivery Streamlining Initiative (CDSI) terminology.

3.  A separate section has been added for “Energy Resource Concerns.”

4.  A separate section has been added for “Natural Areas” and “Scenic Beauty” to incorporate compliance with existing NRCS policies.

5.  Changes to the “Special Environmental Concerns” (SEC) found in Section I include the following:

  • A new requirement to document SEC benchmark conditions.
  • The addition of links to a SEC “Guide Sheet” and a new SEC “Fact Sheet” (Clean Air Act has two fact sheets).
  • The drop-down list for each SEC has been changed to include only “No Effect” or “May Effect.”
  • Several of the guide sheets have been revised, and minor edits were made to others. Changes include:
    • The Endangered and Threatened (E&T) Species Guide Sheet has been revised to reflect recent changes to NRCS policy.
    • The Riparian Area Management Guide Sheet has been revised to allow NRCS to continue providing assistance when adverse effects may result.  This is consistent with existing policy.
    • New guide sheets were added for “Natural Areas” and “Scenic Beauty.”

6.  All NECH references and citations have been updated to match the revised NECH.

7.  The Field Inventory Guide Sheet has been updated to reflect new resource concerns.

8.  Modification of instructions regarding items changed in Form NRCS-CPA-52.

9.  Minor editorial changes.

In lieu of  face-to-face formal training on the revised Form NRCS-CPA-52, field office staff will review the replay of the May 28th webinar, “Documenting the Environmental Evaluation on the NRCS CPA-52 Environmental Evaluation Worksheet,” at http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/documenting-the-environmental-evaluation-on-the-nrcs-cpa52-environmental-evaluation-worksheet/

As a reminder, Form NRCS-CPA-52 may be found in the Field Office Technical Guide in Section III under Guidance Documents, Environmental Compliance, or at the following location: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/nra/ec/?cid=nrcs143_026873.

Contact.  For further information, contact Cathee Pullman, State Resource Conservationist at (207) 990-9570 or by email at cathee.pullman@me.usda.gov.

 

/s/ Susan Arrants, Acting
 

JUAN HERNANDEZ
State Conservationist