Section .0100 – Community Conservation Assistance Program

Link to law: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title 02 - agriculture and consumer services/chapter 59 - soil and water conservation commission/subchapter h/subchapter h rules.html
Published: 2015

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SUBCHAPTER 59h – COMMUNITY CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

FOR NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION CONTROL

 

Section .0100 – COMMUNITY CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

 

02 NCAC 59H .0101          PURPOSE

This Subchapter describes the operating procedures for the

division under the guidance of the commission implementing the Community

Conservation Assistance Program for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control. 

Procedures and guidelines for participating districts are also described.  The

purpose of the voluntary program is to reduce the delivery of nonpoint source

(NPS) pollution into the waters of the State.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. December 1, 2007;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0101 Eff. May 1, 2012.

02 NCAC 59H .0102          DEFINITIONS FOR

SUBCHAPTER 59H

The following terms used in this Subchapter have the

following meanings:

(1)           Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution means pollution

originating from a diffuse source.

(2)           Allocation means the annual share of the state's

appropriation to participating districts.

(3)           Applicant means a person(s) who applies for best

management practice cost sharing monies from the district.  An applicant may

also be referred to as a cooperator. 

(4)           Average Costs means the calculated cost, determined

by averaging actual costs and current cost estimates necessary for best

management practice implementation.  Actual costs include labor, supplies, and

other direct costs required for physical installation of a practice.

(5)           Best Management Practice (BMP) means a practice

used to reduce nonpoint source inputs to receiving waters, including both those

types of practices which are structural or nonstructural management practices.

(6)           Conservation Plan of Operation (CPO) means a

written plan scheduling the applicant's decisions concerning land use, and both

cost shared and non‑cost shared BMPs to be installed and maintained on

the operating unit.

(7)           Cost Share Agreement means an agreement between the

applicant and the district which defines the BMPs to be cost shared, rate and

amount of payment, minimum practice life, and date of BMP installation.  The

agreement shall state that the recipient shall maintain and repair the

practice(s) for the specified minimum life of the practice.  The Cost Share

Agreement shall have a maximum contract life of three years for BMP

installation.  The district shall perform an annual status review during the

installation period.

(8)           Cost Share Incentive (CSI) means a predetermined

fixed payment paid to an applicant for implementing a nonstructural management

BMP in lieu of cost share on a structural practice.

(9)           Cost Share Rate means a cost share percentage paid

to an applicant for implementing BMPs.

(10)         Detailed Implementation Plan means the plan approved

by the commission that specifies the guidelines for the current program year

pursuant to the Rules of the Commission.

(11)         District BMP means a BMP designated by a district to

reduce the delivery of NPS pollution and which is reviewed and approved by the

Division to be technically adequate prior to funding.

(12)         Encumbered Funds means monies from a district's

allocation, which have been committed to an applicant after initial approval of

the cost share agreement.

(13)         Full Time Equivalent (FTE) means 2,080 hours per

annum which equals one full time technical position.

(14)         In‑kind Contribution means a contribution by

the applicant towards the implementation of BMPs.  In‑kind contributions

shall be approved by the district and may include labor, fuel, machinery use,

and supplies and materials necessary for implementing the approved BMPs.

(15)         Landowner means any natural person or other legal

entity, including a governmental agency, who holds either an estate of freehold

(such as a fee simple absolute or a life estate) or an estate for years or from

year to year in land, but does not include an estate at will or by sufferance

in land.  A governmental or quasi‑governmental agency such as a drainage

district or a soil and water conservation district, or any such agency, by

whatever name called, exercising similar powers for similar purposes, can be a

landowner for the purposes of this Subchapter if the governmental agency holds

an easement in land.

(16)         Program Year means the period from July 1 through

June 30 for which funds are allocated to districts.

(17)         Proper Maintenance means that a practice(s) is being

maintained such that the practice(s) is successfully performing the function

for which it was originally implemented.

(18)         Strategy Plan means the annual plan for the

Community Conservation Assistance Program for Nonpoint Source Pollution Control

to be developed by each district.  The plan identifies pollution treatment

needs and the level of cost sharing and technical assistance monies required to

address those annual needs in the respective district.

(19)         Technical Representative of the district means a

person designated by the district to act on their behalf who participates in

the planning, design, implementation and inspection of BMPs. 

(20)         Unencumbered Funds means the portion of the

allocation to each district, which has not been committed for cost sharing.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. December 1, 2007;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0102 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59H .0103          ALLOCATION GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

(a)  The Commission shall allocate the cost share funds to

the districts in the designated program areas.  To receive fund allocations,

each district designated eligible by the commission shall submit an annual

strategy plan to the commission at the beginning of each fiscal year.  Funds

may be allocated to each district and the Division for any or all of the

following purposes: 

(1)           Cost share and cost share incentive

payments,

(2)           technical assistance and administrative

assistance, and

(3)           statewide or local education and outreach

activities.

(b)  The Commission shall consider the relative needs of the

program for BMP implementation, local technical assistance, and education to

determine the proportion of available funds to be allocated for each eligible

purpose prior to allocating funds to districts and the Division.

(c)  Funds for cost share and cost share incentive payments

shall be allocated to the districts at the beginning of the fiscal year and

whenever the Commission determines that sufficient funds are available to

justify a reallocation.  Districts shall be allocated monies based on the

identified level of nonpoint source pollution problems and the respective

district's BMP installation goals as demonstrated in the district annual

strategy plan.  The allocation method used for disbursement of funds is based

on the score of each respective district for those parameters approved by the

Commission pursuant to Subparagraph (9) of this Paragraph.  The points each

district scores on each parameter are totaled and proportioned to the total

dollars available under the current program year funding according to the

following formula:

(1)           Sum of Parameter Points                                                                                   =              Total

Points

(2)           Percentage Total                                  x                              Total

Dollars         =              Dollars Available

                Points Each District                                                             Available                               to

Each District

(3)           The minimum allocated to a particular

district shall be one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) per program year,

unless the district requests less than one thousand five hundred dollars

($1,500).

(4)           If a district requests less than the

dollars available to that district in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, then

the excess funds beyond those requested by the district shall be allocated to

the districts who did not receive their full requested allocation using the same

methodology described in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph. 

(5)           95 percent of the total program funding

shall be allocated to the district accounts in the initial allocation.  The

Division shall retain five percent of the total funding in a contingency fund

to be used to respond to an emergency or natural disaster.  If the funds are

not needed to respond to an emergency, then the contingency fund shall be

allocated at the March meeting of the Commission.

(6)           The Commission may recall funds allocated

to a district during a fiscal year that have not been encumbered to an

agreement at any time if it determines the recalled funds are needed to respond

to an emergency or natural disaster. 

(7)           At any time a district may submit a revised

strategy plan and apply to the Commission for additional funds.

(8)           CPOs that encumber funds under the current

year must be submitted to the Division by 5:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday in

June.

(9)           Districts shall be allocated funds based on

their respective data for each of the following parameters:

(A)          Relative rank of the number of miles of stream

identified as less than fully supporting due to nonpoint source pollution as

reported in the North Carolina Water Quality Assessment and Impaired Waters

List and the most recent Basinwide Water Quality Plan for each river basin, where

the source of pollution is not solely due to agriculture. (20 percent)  The

North Carolina Water Quality Assessment and Impaired Waters list and the

Basinwide Water Quality Plans are produced by the Division of Water Quality.

(B)          Relative rank of the percentage of the county

draining to waters classified as Outstanding Resource Waters, High Quality

Waters, Trout, or Shellfishing (open) on the current schedule of Water Quality

Standards and Classifications. (20 percent)

(C)          The percentage of each county covered by NPDES Phase

I and Phase II requirements. (20 percent)

(D)          Relative rank of population density for the county. (20

percent)

(E)           Relative rank of the percentage of a county's land

area that is located within drinking water assessment areas, as delineated by

the Public Water Supply Section of the Division of Environmental Health. (20

percent)

(d)  The funds available for technical and administrative

assistance shall be allocated by the Commission based on the needs as expressed

by the district and needs to accelerate the installation of BMPs in the

respective district.  Each district may use these monies to fund new positions

or to accelerate present technical assistance.  Districts must provide an

itemized budget to the division in order to qualify for technical assistance

funds.  N.C. Community Conservation Assistance Program technical assistance

funds may be used for technical assistance with the district matching at least

50 percent of the total.  Each district to which funds are allocated for

technical assistance shall demonstrate to the Commission that matching funds

are available prior to any expenditure of funds.  The allocation method used

for disbursement of funds is based on the score of each respective district for

those parameters approved by the Commission pursuant to Subparagraph (4) of

this Paragraph.  The points each district scores for each parameter are totaled

and proportioned to the total dollars available under the current program year

funding according to the following formula:

(1)           Sum of Parameter Points                                                                   =                              Total

Points

(2)           Percentage Total                                  x              Total

Dollars         =                              Dollars Available

                Points Each District                                             Available                                               to

Each District

(3)           If a district requests less than the dollars

available to that district in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph, then the

excess funds beyond those requested by the district shall be allocated to the

districts who did not receive their full requested allocation using the same

methodology described in Subparagraph (2) of this Paragraph. 

(4)           Priority for funding shall be based upon

the following parameters:

(A)          Whether the position is presently funded by

Community Conservation Assistance Program technical assistance funds. (25

percent)

(B)          The proportion of Community Conservation Assistance

Program funds for cost share and cost share incentive allocated to districts

served by this technical assistance request (normalized to 1 to 100 scale by

multiplying each district's score by a factor such that the product of the

highest score for this parameter is 100) (50 percent), and

(C)          The amount of additional funds leveraged by grants

and other funds committed to districts served by this technical assistance

request (normalized to 1 to 100 scale by multiplying each district's score by a

factor such that the product of the highest score for this parameter is 100). (25

percent)

(5)           Subject to availability of funds and local

match, provide support for technical assistance for every district. 

(6)           District technicians may be jointly funded

by more than one district to accelerate the program in each participating

district.  Each district must be eligible for cost sharing in the program. 

Requests for funding (salary, FICA, insurance, etc.) of a shared position must

be presented to the division by all concerned districts and the division shall

cost share to the billing district at a 50‑50 rate based on the portion

of the FTE provided each respective district.  A shared position must be

officially housed in one specific district and cost share for support items

(office rent, telephone, etc.) shall be paid to one district only.

(7)           Funds, if available, may be allocated to

each participating district to provide for administrative costs under this

program.  These funds shall be used for clerical assistance and other related

program administrative costs and shall be matched with in‑kind funds of

an equal amount from the district.

(e)  The funds available for the education and outreach

purpose shall be allocated by the Commission based on the needs as expressed by

the district and needs to accelerate the installation of BMPs in that

respective district.  Districts and the Division may use these funds for

holding workshops for potential applicants and for developing, duplicating, and

distributing outreach materials or signs. Districts must provide an itemized

budget to the Division in order to qualify for education and outreach funds. 

Education and outreach funds shall be allocated to each district in accordance

with the following formula:

(1)           Each district shall receive the lesser of

one thousand dollars ($1,000) or the result of the following equation:



Total Dollars Available





x





Total Dollars Requested

by Each District





÷





Total Dollars Requested

by All Districts





=





Dollars Available to Each District




(2)           If more funds are available for allocation

than are requested by districts or the Division, then the excess funds shall be

added to the funds to be allocated for cost share and cost share incentive

payments.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. January 1, 2008;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0103 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59H .0104          BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ELIGIBLE FOR

COST SHARE PAYMENTS

(a)  BMPs eligible for cost sharing are restricted to those

BMPs listed in the Detailed Implementation Plan approved by the commission for

the current program year.  BMPs shall meet the following criteria to be listed

in the Detailed Implementation Plan:

(1)           All eligible BMPs must be designed to

reduce the input of nonpoint source pollution into the water courses of the

state.

(2)           Information establishing the average cost

of the specified BMP must be available.  District BMPs may use actual costs as

indicated by receipts, if average costs are not available.

(3)           Eligible BMPs shall have technical

specifications as set forth in Paragraph (b) of this Rule.

(b)  BMP definitions and specifications shall be determined

by the Commission using the process outlined in 02 NCAC 59G .0103 Approval of

Best Management Practices.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. December 1, 2007;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0104 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59h  .0105         COST SHARE AND INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

(a)  Cost share and incentive payments shall be made through

Cost Share Agreements between the district and the applicant.

(b)  For all practices except those eligible for CSI, the

state shall provide a percentage of the average cost for BMP installation not

to exceed the maximum cost share percentages shown in subdivision (4) of G.S.

143-215.74M(b),and the applicant shall contribute the remainder of the cost. 

In‑kind contributions by the applicant shall be included in the

applicants' cost share contribution.  In‑kind contributions shall be

specified in the agreement for cost sharing and shall be approved by the

district.

(c)  CSI payments shall be limited to a maximum of three

years per applicant per incentive practice.

(d)  Average installation costs for each comparative area or

region of the state and the amount of cost share incentive payments shall be

updated and revised at least triennially by the Division for approval by the

Commission.

(e)  The total annual cost share payments to an applicant

shall not exceed the maximum funding authorized in subdivision (4) of G.S.

143-215.74M(b).

(f)  Cost share payments to implement BMPs under this

program may be combined with other funding programs, as long as the combined

cost share rate does not exceed the amount and percentages set forth in

Paragraphs (b) and (e) of this Rule. Community Conservation Assistance Program

funding shall not exceed the maximum cost share percentages shown in

subdivision (4) of G.S. 143-215.74M(b).

(g)  Use of cost share payments is restricted to land

located within the county approved for funding by the Commission.  However, in

the situation where an applicant's land is not located solely within a county,

the entire tract, if contiguous, is eligible for cost share payments.

(h)  The district Board of Supervisors may approve Cost

Share Agreements with cost share percentages or cost sharing amounts less than

the maximum allowable in subdivision (4) of G.S. 143-215.74M(b) if:

(1)           The Commission allocates insufficient cost

share BMP funding to the district to enable it to award funding to all

applicants; or

(2)           The district establishes other criteria in

its annual strategy plan for cost sharing percentages or cost sharing amounts

less than those allowable in subdivision (4) of G.S. 143-215.74M(b).

(i)  For purposes of determining eligible payments under

practice-specific caps described in the detailed implementation plan, all

business entities with which the applicant is associated by ownership or

partnership interest, including those in other counties, shall be considered

the same applicant for purposes of calculating caps.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. December 1, 2007;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0105 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59H .0106          TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FUNDS

(a)  Technical assistance funds may be used for salary,

benefits, social security, field equipment and supplies, office rent, office

equipment and supplies, postage, telephone service, travel and mileage or for a

contracted technical employee. 

(b)  Technical assistance funds may not be used to fund

provision of service by any technical assistance local district personnel who

do not meet the following minimum requirements:

(1)           associates degree in engineering,

agriculture, forestry or related field, or

(2)           high school diploma with two years

experience in the fields listed in Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, or

(c)  Cost shared positions must be used to accelerate the

program activities in the district.  A district technician cost shared with

program funds may work on other activities as delegated by the field office

supervisor but the total hours charged to the program by field office personnel

must equal or exceed those hours funded through the program.  Also, these hours

must be in addition to those hours normally spent in BMP planning and

installation by district personnel.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840; 106-860; 139‑4;

139‑8;

Eff. December 1, 2007;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0106 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59h .0107          COST SHARE AGREEMENT

(a)  The landowner shall be required to sign the agreement

for all practices.  An applicant who is not the landowner may submit a long

term written lease or other legal document, indicating control over the land in

lieu of the landowner's signature, provided the control runs the life of the

practice as listed in the respective Program Year's Implementation Plan. 

Signature on the agreement constitutes responsibility for BMP maintenance and

continuation.

(b)  As a condition for receiving cost share or cost share

incentive payments for implementing BMP's, the applicant shall agree to

continue and maintain those practices for the minimum life as set forth in the

Detailed Implementation Plan, effective the date the BMP's are implemented.

(c)  As a condition for receiving cost share payments, the

applicant shall agree to submit a soil test sample for analysis and follow the

fertilizer application recommendations as close as reasonably and practically

possible. 

(d)  The technical representative of the district shall

determine if the practice(s) implemented have been installed according to

specifications approved by the Commission pursuant to 02 NCAC 59G .0103 or by

the Division for district BMP's based on  the criteria established in 02 NCAC

59G .0103(c).  The district shall be responsible for making an annual spot

check of five percent of all cost share agreements for which the required BMP

maintenance period has not expired.

(e)  If the technical representative of the district

determines that a BMP for which program funds were received has been destroyed

or has not been properly maintained, the applicant will be notified that the

BMP must be repaired or re-implemented within 30 working days.  For vegetative

practices, applicants are given one calendar year to re-establish the

vegetation.  The district may grant a prescribed extension period if it

determines compliance can not be met due to circumstances beyond the applicants

control.

(f)  If the practices are not repaired or reimplemented

within the specified time, the applicant shall be required to repay to the

Division a prorated refund for cost share BMPs as shown in Table 1 and 100

percent of the cost share incentive payments received.

 

                                                                                                 Table

1

                                                PRORATED

REFUND SCHEDULE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE

                                                                            OF

COST SHARE PAYMENTS

 

                       Percent Age of Practice Life                                                           Percent

Refund

                                                  0                                                                                           100

                                               10                                                                                             95

                                               20                                                                                             89

                                               30                                                                                             82

                                               40                                                                                             74

                                               50                                                                                             65

                                               60                                                                                             55

                                               70                                                                                             44

                                               80                                                                                             31

                                               90                                                                                             17

                                             100                                                                                                0

(g)  An applicant, who has been found in noncompliance and

who does not agree to repair or reimplement the cost shared practices, and a

District may jointly request the commission to informally mediate the case.  To

invoke this method of mediation, both parties must stipulate that the

commission mediation is binding.

(h)  An applicant shall have 180 days to make repayment to

the Division following the final appeals process.

(i)  The inability to properly maintain cost shared

practices or the destruction of such practices through no fault of the

applicant shall not be considered as noncompliance with the cost share

agreement.

(j)  When land under cost share agreement changes owners the

new landowner shall be strongly encouraged by the district to accept the

remaining maintenance obligation.  If the new landowner does not accept the

maintenance requirements in writing, then the original applicant shall be

required to refund 100% of all CSI payments and a prorated portion of cost

share payments in accordance with Table 1 in paragraph (f) of this rule.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-860; 139-4; 139‑8;



Eff. June 1, 2008;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0107 Eff. May 1, 2012.

 

02 NCAC 59h .0108          DISTRICT PROGRAM OPERATION

(a)  As a component of the annual strategy plan district

shall prioritize all natural resource concerns according to pollution

potential.  The district shall target technical and financial assistance to facilitate

BMP implementation on the identified critical areas.

(b)  Priority by the district may be given to implementing

systems of BMP's which provide the most cost effective reduction of nonpoint

source pollution.

(c)  All applicants shall apply to the district and complete

the necessary forms in order to receive cost share payments.

(d)  The district shall review each application and the

feasibility of each application.  The district shall review and approve the

evaluation and assign priority for cost sharing.  All applicants shall be

informed of cost share approval or denial.

(e)  Upon approval of the application by the district, the

applicant and the district shall enter into a cost share agreement.  The cost

share agreement shall list the practices to be cost shared with state funds. 

The agreement shall also include the average cost of the recommended

practice(s), cost incentive payment of the practice(s), and the expected

implementation date of the practice(s).  The district shall develop CPOs, which

shall become a part of the cost share agreement.

(f)  Upon completion of practice(s) implementation, the

technical representative of the district shall notify the district of

compliance with design specifications.

(g)  Upon notification, the district shall review the CPO. 

Upon approval, the district shall certify the practices in the CPO and notify

the Division to make payment to the applicant.

(h)  Upon receipt of a quarterly statement from the

district, the Division shall reimburse to the district the appropriate amount

for technical and clerical assistance.

(i)  The district shall be responsible for and approve all

BMP inspections as set forth in Rule .0107(d) of this Section to insure proper

maintenance and continuation under the cost share agreement.

(j)  The district shall keep appropriate records dealing

with the program.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 106-840;

Eff. March 1, 2008;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 06I .0108 Eff. May 1, 2012.