NACD visits with EPA advisory committee

NACD CEO Jeremy Peters spoke on behalf of conservation districts and their soil health initiatives last Wednesday in a meeting with the EPA Farm Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). 

Peters told the committee about NACD's ongoing efforts to grow the Soil Health Champion network and support district participation in the EPA’s 319 Nonpoint Source Grant Program. The committee members – who are tasked with providing policy recommendations to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on agricultural, environmental and rural issues – were especially interested in NACD's Soil Health Champions and the association’s collaborative work with Datu Research to develop an economic analysis of soil health practices. 

FYI: EPA proposes NPDES application and program updates rule

EPA proposed specific changes to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) regulations earlier this month. Here are the key provisions of the agency’s proposal:

  • Clarifying NPDES definitions and application requirements 
  • Improving permit decision documentation in fact sheets 
  • Allowing permitting authorities to issue public notice of certain permit actions online rather than in a newspaper, and 
  • Ensuring issuance of environmentally significant permits in a timelier manner 

EPA says the changes would delete references to regulatory provisions no longer in effect, clarify the level of permit documentation required of NPDES permitting authorities, modernize those permitting authorities’ use of data for permitting decisions and allow for greater public participation in permitting actions.

The 60-day public comment period on the EPA’s proposal will close on July 18th. You can read more about the proposed rule and submit your comments here. In addition, the EPA will also be accepting public comment here on ways to enhance public notice and participation in the permitting process. 

Submit your project proposals for NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants

Those interested in receiving funding through the NACD Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants Initiative have until June 30th to submit their applications. 

With support from NRCS, NACD will be awarding grants to 20 conservation districts to provide technical assistance on conservation projects in urban or urbanizing communities. Priority will be given to projects that focus resources in areas with underserved populations or food deserts. 

For more information on the initiative and application requirements, click here to download the Request for Proposal. To review a NACD-led webinar (held earlier this month), presentation slides and a FAQ document on the initiative, go here

FRCC hears NACD’s voice on forest conservation

NACD member Doug Rushton and NACD Forestry Specialist Mike Beacom waved the association’s flag at the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (FRCC) meeting in Washington, D.C., last week. 

Beacom presented findings from the NACD-organized Winter 2016 Joint Forestry Team survey, which polled state foresters, state conservationists and conservation district state executives on various statewide forestry partnerships and resource concerns. Rushton, who also represents the Pacific Region on the NACD’s Forestry Resource Policy Group, serves as the designated conservation district representative on the committee. 

FRCC is an appointed federal advisory committee to the Agriculture Secretary on private forest conservation, with specific focus on owners of non-industrial private forest land. This FRCC was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill to provide direction and coordination within the USDA and between state agencies and the private sector on private forest land conservation. 

Key speakers to address NACD Conservation Leadership Forum and Tour

The agenda is filling up fast for NACD's Conservation Leadership Forum and Tour – and it’s only weeks away! Invited speakers include U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a member of the Senate Agriculture and Judiciary Committees, and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. The forum will explore hot topics ranging from supply chain sustainability to the latest tools in resource stewardship evaluation. 

Have you made plans to attend? If not, don't delay because early bird registration rates are only available through June 16th. A draft agenda, hotel information and tour details are available here

This email was sent to If you are having trouble viewing this email, you may also view it online. To opt out of all communications, click here.
Forward email. .
Email Marketing By