Wetlands Mitigation Banking Program

 

The Wetlands Mitigation Banking Program is used to help establish wetland mitigation banks to help producers meet their wetland conservation compliance responsibilities needed to maintain eligibility for many USDA programs administered by the FSA and NRCS, and to maintain eligibility for the Federal crop insurance premium subsidy administered by the Risk Management Agency.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.933
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Natural Resources Conservation Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements; Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Authorization
(The Wetland Mitigation Banking Program is authorized by section 1222(k) of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended by section 2609 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (16 U.S.C. 3822(k)).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible entities that may submit applications include Tribal Nations, State, and local units of government, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including for profit NGOs. NRCS will accept proposals for the development and establishment of mitigation banks submitted under this notice by eligible applicants from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Applications will also be accepted from existing banks with established credits that meet the described needs of the program.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Mitigation banks established through this program are for the explicit and sole purpose of assisting agricultural producers with wetland conservation compliance, also known as Swampbuster compliance.
Credentials/Documentation
Applications must contain the content, format, and information set forth in the Announcement for Program Funding to receive consideration. Selected applications will enter into individual agreements with NRCS. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. The following items must be obtained prior to entering into an agreement with the Federal Government but do not need to be provided in the proposal. Applicants are encouraged to apply early for their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)/System for Award Management (SAM) number.

2 CFR Part 400, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
2 CFR Part 415, General Program Administrative Regulations
2 CFR Part 416, General Program Administrative Regulations for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments
.
DUNS Number: A Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 70 million businesses worldwide. CIG applicants must obtain a DUNS number. Information on how to obtain a DUNS number can be found at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform or by calling 1-866-705-5711. Please note that the registration may take up to 14 business days to complete.
Award Procedure
NRCS will process and evaluate applications using the following process: An interagency technical team, including NRCS staff, will screen applications for completeness and compliance with the announcement for funding. Incomplete and noncompliant applications will be eliminated from competition. NRCS technical staff will evaluate and rank complete applications. The NRCS Chief will make the final award decisions.
Awardees will subsequently work with NRCS to develop a mitigation banking instrument which will provide full details for development, establishment, and operation of a mitigation banking program.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Appeals
No appeal rights at all.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
NRCS will seek applications to establish wetlands mitigation banks for agriculture producers. The intent of the program is for qualified third-party wetlands bankers to operate and manage all aspects of a wetlands mitigation bank, with oversight by NRCS. Specific funding uses and restrictions will be identified in an agreement between NRCS and those selected to receive the funding. Mitigation banks established through this program are for the explicit and sole purpose of assisting agricultural producers with wetland conservation compliance requirements found in 7 CFR Part 12 (wetland conservation compliance is also referred to as Swampbuster compliance). Loss of wetland functions and lost wetland acres of agricultural wetlands associated with an active farming operation may be mitigated through the Wetlands Mitigation Banking Program. The targeted wetlands may be seasonal or occasionally cropped during years of low precipitation. Wetlands that fall under jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act are not eligible for mitigation through this program.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Within 45 calendar days after the end of each Federal fiscal quarter, the SF-425 must be submitted by mail to the NRCS administrative contact.
The grantee will submit a final SF-425 no later than 90 calendar days after the grant agreement completion date and promptly return any unobligated Federal cash advances. An SF-425 federal financial report form is required to be completed and submitted annually no later than November 15th. The following reporting items are required: A Detailed bank accounting report and progress documenting all debits, credits and transfers that occurred with the bank, a financial report showing all authorized transactions associated with the banking instrument, and a bank monitoring report detailing how the compensatory mitigation project is progressing towards meeting its performance standards. These items are required annually, no later than November 15th. Selected applicants will be required to submit an SF-425, Federal Financial Report, to the NRCS administrative contact, no later than 45 days after the end of each quarter and 90 days after completion of project. A monitoring report detailing how the compensatory mitigation project is progressing towards meeting its performance standards is required annually no later than November 15th.
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Records
The grant recipient is subject to 2 CFR Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. No, there is not a formula or administrative rule reference.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
NRCS will use a project agreement with selected applicants to document participation in the USDA Wetlands Mitigation Banking Program. The project agreement will specify the period of performance during which the funding will be available. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Shaun Vickers 8000 South 15th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508 Email: shaun.vickers@wdc.usda.gov Phone: Phone: (402) 560-1309
Website Address
No Data Available
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-1004-0-1-302.
Obligations
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $10,000,000; and FY 16 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
This is a one-time direct appropriation provided in FY 2014, and the funds are available until expended. Up to $9 million will be available for awards.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.