The NRCS conservation practice standard 635, Vegetated Treatment Area, has been revised and is available for public comment through Wednesday, July 20.
This standard required revision given the documented discharges from VTAs designed according to the existing standard.
The Vegetated Treatment Area (VTA) standard provides the criteria for the conservation practice after it has been chosen as an alternative to solve a resource concern. It does not regulate or mandate any actions relating to runoff from farmsteads. The VTA standard has criteria for allowable discharges from the VTA to Waters of the U.S. (or State) specific to the number of animal units in the operation as set forth in the Clean Water Act. NR 243 language is consistent with the discharge limits included in this revised standard.
Treatment of runoff treated by annually grown crops would fall under a 590 plan and not VTAs, which are permanently vegetated.
Draft Standard (pdf)
Instructions to comment on standards: Submit your comments organized by section of the standard by Wednesday, July 20. Keep comments specific and directly related to the standard. Indicate the section you are referring to, for example, “Tributary Water Exclusion: Does this mean that…?” Respond in the same order as sections appear in the draft. If you have general comments applicable to the entire standard, please note them as such.
Comments may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NRCS and the Standards Oversight Council revision team will carefully consider all comments before finalizing an updated version of the practice standard. All comments will receive responses from SOC.
If you have questions about submitting your comments, the public comment period, or our process, contact Jennifer Thieme at email@example.com or 608-441-2677. Thank you for your input.