AN ACT TO CLARIFY FUNDING OF CERTAIN WATER RESOURCES PROJECTS UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM.
Amends SL 2020-79, Section 11(f) as follows. Section 11(f) specifies that funds appropriated for a water resources development project are to be used to provide no more than 50% of the nonfederal portion of funds for the project (applicable to funds appropriated under the act and to funds appropriated prior to the 2019-21 fiscal biennium that are unencumbered and proposed for reallocation to provide the nonfederal portion of funds for water resources development projects). Adds that this limitation does not apply to, and there is no local match requirement for, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Also excludes funds made available as part of EQIP in any fiscal year from the following: Section 36.3(e) of SL 2013-360; Section 36.2(e) of SL 2014-100; and Section 31.3(e) of SL 2015-241 (each limiting the use of funds appropriated for a water resources development project to no more than 50% of the nonfederal portion of funds for the project, applicable to funds appropriated in the act and to funds appropriated prior to the applicable biennium that are unencumbered and proposed for reallocation to provide the nonfederal portion of funds for water resources development projects). Specifies that for these purposes, a single project consists of all the landowners and other participants under a project design contract approved by the Natural Resource Conservation Service under the EQIP program along a contiguous stretch of stream. Considers an EQIP project to be funded when the applicant is working with a partner who has a project agreement or statement of work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture (NRCS), the NRCS has approved the project agreement, and the local Soil and Water Conservation District Board has approved a resolution sponsoring the project. Requires any remaining balance of funds appropriated for EQIP projects to be paid out to each of the original grantees for the full grant award amount, but allows the Secretary to keep 10% of the State share until the NRCS has provided a final practice approval for the project. Requires exempting projects funded under the EQIP from local matching requirements; review under GS 143-215.72 (review of applications for grants for the nonfederal share of water resources development projects); or any additional review, guidelines, or reimbursement payment policies under the Water Resources Development Grant Program.
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