The NRCS conservation practice standards 317, Composting Facility, and 554, Drainage Water Management, have been revised and are available for public comment through Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Both have been updated as a result of National Standard revisions.

Composting Facility (Code 317) – Revised language as needed to improve readability and clarify intent of criteria. Criteria was revised to include facility siting and design language. Two sections, “Criteria for Mechanically Assisted Composting” and “Power Supply,” were added.

Drainage Water Management (Code 554) – The entire document was edited for clarity. Two purposes were removed: reduce wind erosion or particulate matter (dust) emissions and provide seasonal wildlife habitat. Significant additions and clarifications were made to most of the “General Criteria,” particularly instructions under “Control Elevation” and “Control Zone.” Similarly, changes were made to sections “Additional Criteria to Reduce Nutrient, Pathogen, and Pesticide Loading” and “Additional Criteria to Improve Productivity, Health, and Vigor of Plants.” The “Considerations” and “Plans and Specifications” sections were rewritten.

Draft Composting Facility (pdf)

Draft Drainage Water Management (pdf)

Instructions to comment on standards: Submit your comments organized by section of the standard by Wednesday, December 21. Keep comments specific and directly related to the standard. Indicate the section you are referring to, for example, “Page 3, Additional Criteria to Improve Productivity, paragraph 2: Does this mean that…?” Respond in the same order as sections appear in the draft. You may also mark up a hard copy and send the scanned markup. If you have general comments applicable to the entire standard, please note them as such. Comments may be submitted by email to

NRCS 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 or 608-441-2677. Thank you for your input.