NB_440_21_13 - NB 440-21-13 PGM - Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contract (EQIP CIC) Request for Enhancements for FY 2022
NB 440-21-13 PGM - Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contract (EQIP CIC) Request for Enhancements for FY 2022
National Bulletin: 440-21-13 Date: February 10, 2021
Subject: PGM ¬ Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contract (EQIP CIC) Request for Enhancements for FY 2022


Action Required By:  March 12, 2021
 
Purpose.  To provide State Conservationists (STCs) and Caribbean and Pacific Islands Area Directors the opportunity to request enhancements for FY 2022 for the new Environmental Quality Incentives Program Conservation Incentive Contracts (EQIP CIC). 
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
 
Background. EQIP CIC is a new enrollment option created by section 2304 of the 2018 Farm Bill and will be implemented in FY 2021. EQIP CIC provisions provide for both incentive practice payments for adopting practices, and enhancement payments for managing, maintaining, and improving the incentive practices for the duration of the contract. EQIP CIC enhancement payments must not exceed 100% for any cost category.
EQIP CIC blends elements of EQIP ”classic” (incentive practices) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) (enhancements) to serve as a ‘steppingstone’ for producers between EQIP classic and CSP. This blend of EQIP and CSP allows producers to apply incentive practices and enhancements on a portion of their operation, which can then be a gateway to CSP enrollment and achievement of a higher level of conservation stewardship on their entire operation.
Refer to title 440, Conservation Programs Manual (CPM), Part 530, “Working Lands Conservation Programs Manual”, Subpart R, for policy specific to the administration of EQIP CIC.
 

Explanation.  This national bulletin provides guidance for States to develop and request new enhancements for EQIP CIC for use in FY 2022. For FY 2021 contracts, the EQIP CIC cost list will be developed with existing CSP enhancements; however, EQIP CIC will not use enhancement bundles. States should refer to NB 440-21-9 “Supplemental Guidance for Requesting New Enhancements / Bundles or Revisions to Existing Enhancements / Bundles” for additional enhancement opportunities. Future requests for new or revised enhancements for CSP, EQIP CIC and RCPP will be provided under a single directive.

States should work with their State Technical Committee to identify new opportunities for EQIP CIC enhancements. For example, EQIP CIC allows conservation activities associated with animal waste storage, treatment facilities, associated waste transport, or transfer devices for animal feeding operations, which are prohibited activities under CSP; this could be an area of development for new EQIP CIC enhancements. States that would like to request new enhancements must consult with their State discipline lead prior to requesting assistance from regional staff. Regional staff will work with the national discipline lead to ensure technical feasibility and need.
               
States may request EQIP CIC enhancements by:

 i. Submitting required documents for EQIP CIC enhancement requests through the CSP SharePoint site: 2021 Ranking Period – FY22 New–Revised Enhancement Bundle Requests – FY2022 EQIP CIC Enhancement Requests folder.
ii. Submitting complete requests by March 12, 2021, for consideration for FY 2022.
iii. Requesting:

o New enhancements
o Changes to applicable land uses and resource concerns.

iv. Using the following worksheets and template when submitting a request for new enhancements (the worksheets and template which may be found on the CSP SharePoint 2021 Ranking Period. 

o “EQIP CIC Enhancement Request Worksheet” (Attachment A)
o “EQIP CIC Enhancement Job Sheet Template” (Attachment B)
o “EQIP CIC Payment Scenario Worksheet for Proposed Enhancement” (Attachment C).

Note: NHQ will return incomplete request packages to the State.
    

 

Contact.  For questions related to this bulletin, please contact:

• Ronnie Maurer at ronnie.maurer@usda.gov, Acting Branch Chief, Financial Assistance Programs Division– Programs Branch, or,
• Donna Hopwood at donna.hopwood@usda.gov, Natural Resource Specialist, Financial Assistance Programs Division – Programs Branch
• Tim Pilkowski at tim.pilkowski@usda.gov, Natural Resource Specialist, Financial Assistance Programs Division – Programs Branch
 

 
 

 /s/

JIMMY BRAMBLETT
Deputy Chief for Programs   

 
 

Attachment A, EQIP CIC Enhancement Request Worksheet 1

Attachment B, EQIP CIC Enhancement Job Sheet Template

Attachment C, EQIP CIC Payment Scenario Worksheet for Proposed Enhancement

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