§ 880-X-8E-.10. Prime Farmland Investigation
(1) The applicant shall conduct a pre-application investigation to determine whether prime farmland soils exist on the proposed permit area. The investigation shall consist of the following:
(a) If a soil survey exists for the area the applicant shall review such survey to determine if any soils on the proposed permit area are classified as prime farmland soils.
(b) If no soil survey exists for the area, the applicant shall contact the State Regulatory Authority for instructions on conducting an on-site survey of the area. The State Regulatory Authority in consultation with the State Conservationist shall specify the nature and extent of the on- site investigation. If the on-site investigation indicates that prime farmland soils may exist on the permit area, the applicant shall cause a soil survey to be made. Such soil survey shall be of the detail used by the U.S. Conservation Service for operational conservation planning.
(2) If the pre-application investigation establishes that no prime farmland exists on the permit area, the applicant shall request a negative determination from the State Regulatory Authority. Such determination shall be substantiated and based on the following:
(a) The slope of the land is 10% or greater;
(b) Other factors exist, such as very rocky surface, or the land is frequently flooded during the growing season more often than once in two years and the flooding has reduced crop yields; ("other factors" is limited solely to those factors contained in the Secretary of Agriculture's regulations for identification of prime farmland 7 C.F.R. 757.5(g)(2)).
(c) On the basis of the soil survey of the lands within the permit area, there are no soil map units that have been designated prime farmlands by the U. S. Soil Conservation Services; or
(d) The land has not been historically used as cropland.
(3) If the pre-application investigation establishes that prime farmland exists on the permit area, the applicant shall comply with Rule 880-X-8J-.08.
Author: Randall C. Johnson(Original Filed November 14, 1989; effective: March 7, 1991.)
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-85.
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