NRCS Standards Updated (incl. 395, 580, 582, 584)

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has posted updates to numerous Conservation Practice Standards (CPS) with Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG) Notice 102.  Revisions specific to CPS 395, 580, 582 and 584 were updated by a stakeholder work team through the SOC Full Process and included input from experts in the field and public review.  The other revisions were updated through the Minor Process.  Updated technical standards and support documents are available on the NRCS’s webpage for the WI FOTG.  A summary of changes from the notice is below:

Agrichemical Handling Facility (CPS 309)

  • Adopted the recent revision of the National Handbook of Conservation Practices (NHCP) which included minor edits to the criteria.
  • The NHCP added statements on soil health and organic agriculture to the Considerations.
  • The NHCP changed some flexible membrane liner thicknesses.
  • The NHCP changed the minimum storage volume to 1.1 times the volume of largest storage container within the containment area, plus the displacement volume that is occupied by all the other tanks within and below the height of the containment wall or dike.

Channel Bed Stabilization (CPS 584)

  • Conditions Where Practice Applies refers user to Open Channel (Code 582), Additional Criteria for Stream Restoration, when this practice is used in combination with other practices for stream restoration.
  • Site assessment criteria added to identify the cause of bed instability and the potential upstream and downstream effects of the structure.
  • Criteria added to evaluate the structure for all flows up to the 100-year flood.
  • Criteria added to investigate the potential for soil piping under the structure.

Energy Efficient Agricultural Operation (CPS 374)

  • Adopted the recent revision of the NHCP.
  • The NHCP requirement for an ASABE S612 Type 2 energy audit has been revised to allow other assessment methods.
  • The NHCP added criteria for heat and air transfer systems and equipment.

On-Farm Secondary Containment (CPS 319)

  • Laws and regulations section expanded to specify when an Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan is required with practice implementation.
  • Criteria added to require liquid-tight containment for surface and groundwater protection.
  • Minimum separation and setback distances specified between tanks and perimeter structures.
  • Operation and maintenance criteria added for the release of rainwater.

Open Channel (CPS 582)

  • Conditions Where Practice Applies includes stream restoration to modify channel cross-section, construct an inset floodplain, or change planform sinuosity. Practice can be used in combination with Streambank and Shoreline Protection (Code 580), Channel Bed Stabilization (Code 584), and Stream Habitat Improvement and Management (Code 395).
  • Section entitled, “Additional Criteria for Stream Restoration,” was added to specify the assessments needed to identify channel impairments and formulate solutions.
  • Design objectives for stream restoration were included to: (1) maintain sediment transport continuity, (2) reconnect the bankfull channel to a floodplain, (3) match stream type (hydraulic proportions and features) to the geomorphic setting, and (4) restore the natural planform to the extent possible. Minimum level of analysis was added to attain those objectives.
  • Section entitled, “Additional Criteria for Conversion to Two-Stage Ditch,” was clarified with specific technical references.
  • Consideration added to consult with an interdisciplinary team (landowner, DNR fish biologist, conservationist, engineer/technician, etc.) to collectively determine habitat and management objectives for fish species, invertebrates, and other aquatic and riparian organisms.

Roof Runoff Structure (CPS 558)

  • Adopted the recent revision of the NHCP which included only minor edits.

Sinkhole Treatment (CPS 527)

  • Adopted the recent revision of the NHCP which included minor edits.
  • Plans and Specifications section added depth to bedrock criteria.

Sprinkler System (CPS 442)

  • Adopted the recent revision of the NHCP which included only minor edits.

Streambank Protection (CPS 580)

  • Conditions Where Practice Applies specifies that if a single site exceeds 500 feet, or the combination of existing and planned protection exceeds 1,000 feet in a ¼ mile reach, the user needs to complete the additional site assessment found under Open Channel (Code 582), Additional Criteria for Stream Restoration. If these distances are exceeded, the practice shall be applied as a component of stream restoration to address all identified channel impairments to the extent practicable.
  • Landowner is required to remove hazardous materials or point source pollution (e.g. septic discharge) within the work limits and attain regulatory compliance prior to practice installation.
  • Assessment criteria include an estimate of lateral migration rate in addition to the BEPI score.
  • Design criteria added to evaluate treatment stability for all flows up to the 100-year flood or highest active floodplain bench.
  • Design criteria changed from the velocity method to the shear stress method for treatment design.
  • Design criteria includes a minimum safety factor of 1.2 for rock riprap stability.
  • Section entitled, “Critical Sites,” was added that requires further analysis of potential failure modes at high risk sites.
  • If the planned treatment exceeds 300 feet, plan drawings require a profile view along the improved channel reach.
  • Neighboring landowner needs to be consulted about the potential impacts of flow-changing techniques (e.g. stream barbs).
  • A WI instruction document was also prepared.

Stream Habitat Improvement and Management (CPS 395)

  • Conditions Where Practice Applies includes the placement of woody material and rock structures in streams to create scour holes or redirect flow for in-stream habitat. Technical references are specified to design these structures.
  • Criteria refers to Channel Bed Stabilization (Code 584) if a weir structure has the potential to significantly flatten the upstream channel bed gradient and bury aquatic habitat with sediment.
  • Consideration added to consult with an interdisciplinary team (landowner, DNR fish biologist, conservationist, engineer/technician, etc.) to collectively determine habitat and management objectives for fish species, invertebrates, and other aquatic and riparian organisms.
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