| A. Applies to NRCS and conservation partners, NRCS agents, and/or Technical
Service Providers (TSP). A CNMP that is developed by NRCS, conservation partner,
or TSP will have the CNMP approved by an NRCS-approved CNMP Planner, as
defined in GM-180, Parts 409 and 411. Per GM-180, the NRCS-approved CNMP
Planner will assure that an appropriate planning process has been followed in the
development of the CNMP and that all needed elements have been prepared by an
appropriate NRCS Certified Conservation Planner and/or appropriate specialist(s).
State Conservationists will establish the general requirements that must be included
in a State-certification program for CNMP Planners.
B. Relevant to the NRCS and conservation partners. Refer to GM-180, Part 409, Subpart B, Policy, Section 409.10 for the general requirements for CNMP planning. The FOTG Section III contains the CNMP technical criteria associated with the elements of a CNMP.
C. TSPs play an important role in the development of CNMPs. NRCS has developed criteria and qualifications needed to become a TSP. The criteria and qualifications needed to become a TSP are specified on the TechReg Web site at http://techreg.usda.gov/. The State Conservationist may also certify TSPs as NRCS Certified Conservation Planners. Prior to requesting certification, the TSP must meet minimum national and State training and proficiency requirements for the desired certification level. In addition, NRCS certification of TSPs will be contingent upon:
(1) The State Conservationist identifying a critical need for TSP planning assistance in the State.
(2) The availability of NRCS staff to provide technical oversight, evaluation, and review of the TSP during the certification process.
D. TSPs who are NRCS-approved CNMP Planners and/or Certified Conservation Planners are listed on the TechReg Web site.
E. Relevant to NRCS and conservation partners. In addition to the general requirements, the State Conservationist will establish certification requirements specific to elements of a CNMP. As a part of the certification process, the State Conservationist will determine how competency will be demonstrated or measured for the following elements:
(1) Manure and Wastewater Handling and Storage. This element addresses the planning of the components and activities associated with the production facility, feedlot, manure and wastewater storage and treatment structures, and any areas or mechanisms used to facilitate transfer of manure and wastewater. The following are required:
(i) Skill to adequately inventory and evaluate the production site to identify resource concerns in the production area.
(ii) Ability to plan the conservation treatment alternatives to treat the resource concerns identified in the inventory and evaluation.
(iii) Ability to recognize needed expertise to identify appropriate conservation measures and treatments.
(iv) Ability to apply the information contained in the NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Systems Level 2 Course, or equivalent in a field setting.
(v) Knowledge of the concepts and principles contained in the NRCS Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy Course and the NRCS Air Quality Resource Concerns Course, or equivalents.
(2) CNMPs that include these components will be prepared and signed by a certified conservation planner in accordance with NRCS policy as described in GM-180, Parts 409 and 411.
(3) Structural practices included in CNMPs will be planned, designed, and approved by NRCS and/or partnership employees with an appropriate level of NRCS engineering job approval authority. Structural practices planned by TSPs will be designed and approved by a professional engineer licensed in the State where the CNMP is located.
(4) Land Treatment. This element addresses the land on which manure and wastewater from an AFO will be applied. The following are required:
(i) Knowledge to identify natural resource concerns.
(ii) Ability to plan conservation systems according to the NRCS conservation planning process.
(iii) Skill in applying water and/or wind erosion prediction tools, as appropriate.
(iv) Skill in using applicable site-specific nitrogen and phosphorus risk assessment tools.
(v) Knowledge adequate to design and implement conservation practices common to the geographic area.
(vi) Knowledge and skill to use the Customer Service Toolkit (CST).
(vii) Knowledge of the concepts and principles contained in the NRCS Air Quality, Climate Change, and Energy Course and the NRCS Air Quality Resource Concerns Course, or equivalents.
(5) Nutrient Management
(i) This element addresses the requirements for planning land application of all nutrient sources. The following are required:
· Ability to apply the concepts and principles contained in the NRCS Introduction to Water Quality Course, or equivalent.
· Skill in using erosion and risk assessment tools commonly employed in planning and risk assessment activities (phosphorus risk assessment, nitrogen risk assessment, or Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2).
· Skill in using planning and decision support tools commonly employed in planning manure management systems (MMP, nutrient application planning, and using appropriate setbacks).
· Ability to apply the concepts and principles contained in the NRCS Nutrient and Pest Management Considerations in Conservation Planning Course, as it pertains to nutrient management, or equivalent.
· Ability to plan in accordance with the NRCS Nutrient Management conservation practice (code 590) criteria.
· Certification in nutrient management planning, if established and required by the State Conservationist to meet State requirements.
· The nutrient management planning component of the CNMP will be prepared and signed by an individual who holds State Conservationist-approved certification for nutrient management in the State where the CNMP is located.
F. Applies to NRCS and conservation partners, NRCS agents, and/or TSPs. To maintain CNMP certifications refer to GM-180.
G. Relevant to NRCS and conservation partners, NRCS agents, and/or TSPs. The State Conservationist will include in the State Quality Assurance Plan the actions to develop and maintain a CNMP certification program.
H. The certified conservation planner will ensure that Feed Management and Other Utilization Options elements, when included, are developed by appropriate specialists as determined by the State Conservationist. When the Feed Management conservation practice (code 592) is included in the CNMP, diets and feed management strategies shall be developed by professional animal scientists, independent professional nutritionists, or other comparably qualified individuals. When required by State policy or regulation, animal nutritionists shall be certified through any certification program recognized within the State.
I. If it is determined that excessive negative impacts to air quality resource concerns arise from existing or planned land treatment and/or production area activities identified in the CNMP, then air quality impact mitigation is required in the CNMP. The certified conservation planner will ensure that air quality resource concerns are developed by appropriate specialists as determined by the State Conservationist.
J. A CNMP shall be signed by the producer, certified conservation planner, appropriate CNMP planning specialist(s), and other specialists, as required. The certified conservation planner signs the CNMP to ensure technical adequacy and that all included elements are technically compatible, reasonable, and can be implemented. The certified conservation planner must possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage the development and coordination of all CNMP elements. The State Conservationist will ensure that the certified conservation planner obtains and maintains the needed training/certification(s) to ensure technical adequacy and compatibility of the CNMP.