Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since July 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R64. Agriculture and Food, Conservation Commission.

Rule R64-3. Utah Environmental Stewardship Certification Program (UESCP), a.k.a. Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES).

As in effect on July 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R64-3-1. Authority and Purpose.

Pursuant to Section 4-18-107, this rule establishes general operating practices and procedures for implementing the Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES).

R64-3-2. Definitions.

(1) "Technical Standards": means a collection of practices adopted by the Commission that will protect the environment in a reasonable and economical manner while still protecting the sustainability of agriculture.

(2) "workbook": means information relating to the implementation of best management practices, education requirements, and information required for ACES certification. The workbook(s) is considered property of the owner/operator and remains in their possession. The workbook(s) shall be retained by the owner/operator and available for review by the Department upon request.

(3) "Agriculture Sectors": means; a Farmstead, Animal Feeding Operation, Grazing or Pasture Operation, and Cropping System.

(4) "Animal Feeding Operation" (AFO): means a lot or facility where the following conditions are met: animals have been, are, or will be stabled, housed, or confined and fed or maintained for a total of forty-five (45) days or more in any 12-month period; crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility; and two or more AFOs under common ownership are considered to be a single AFO if they adjoin each other or if they use a common area or system for the storage or disposal of waste

(5) "Best Management Practices" (BMP): means common acceptable practices, including but not limited to use of technology and management policies, used by sectors of agriculture in the production of food and fiber that protect and sustain natural resources.

(6) "Certification Forms": means contact information and sector(s) verification page(s) that are reviewed by the planner and verified by the Department.

(7) "Planner(s)": means a planner(s) of a local conservation district, or other qualified planner, that has been certified by NRCS or Grazing Improvement Program Coordinator(s), and is approved by the commission to certify an agriculture operation under the ACES Program.

(8) "Commission": means the (Utah) Conservation Commission (UCC).

(9) "Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan or Nutrient Management Plan" (CNMP/NMP): means a plan to properly store, handle, and spread manure and other agriculture byproducts to protect the environment and provide nutrients for the production of crops (plants).

(10) "Cropping": is the area where crops are planted, raised, and harvested. This includes but is not limited to fruits, vegetables, grain, oil seeds and alfalfa.

(11) "Environmental Issues": means any negative or adverse effect on a natural resource caused by human impact(s) such as nutrients, pesticides, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, recreation, and sediment.

(12) "Department": means the (Utah) Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF).

(13) "DEQ": means the (Utah) Department of Environmental Quality.

(14) "DWQ": means (Utah) Division of Water Quality.

(15) "Education modules": means education materials which provide information on best management practices and current regulations either in workshops/training and/or online at Department of Agriculture and Food ACES site (http://ag.utah.gov/aces/index.html), that will inform and/or educate the producer on requirements in ACES.

(16) "Farmstead": is considered to be the central area of operation which may include but not limited to home/office, yards, storage facilities, and other buildings.

(17) "Grazing and Pasture": is considered to be any vegetated land that is grazed or has the potential to be grazed by animals.

(18) "Grazing Improvement Program Coordinator(s)": are professionals who improve the productivity and sustainability of our rangeland and water sheds through properly managing grazing by time, timing, and intensity.

(19) "NRCS": means the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(20) "Owner/Operator": means any person(s) who has legal, financial or daily decision making responsibility for the operation.

(21) "Operation": means the agricultural entity requesting certification for ACES.

(22) "Technical Service Providers (TSP)": are individuals, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies outside of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that help agricultural producers apply conservation practices on the land, and/or NRCS certified.

(23) "Verification": means an audit performed by the Department of Agriculture and Food.

R64-3-3. Requirements and Procedure to Qualify for the Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES).

(1) Owner/operator shall complete the requirements in the workbook(s) for each desired sector (farmstead, animal feeding operation, grazing and pasture, and cropping). Workbook(s) are available at the Department's website (http://ag.utah.gov/aces/index.html).

(2) Planner(s) shall be available from conservation districts to aid owner/operators in meeting the requirements of ACES which are in the workbook(s).

(3) Requirements found in the workbooks shall be reviewed and site visit conducted by a planner(s), in preparation for Commission certification.

(4) Verification shall be conducted by the Department after a site visit by the planner(s) has occurred and before Commission certification.

(5) Owner/operator shall complete education requirements prior to certification either by:

(a) completing workshops/training endorsed by ACES;

(b) completing education modules found on the Department's website (http://ag.utah.gov/aces/index.html) under the ACES Program; or

(c) combination of workshops/training and education modules from the Department's website.

(6) Once the operation has completed requirements and been approved by the planner(s) and verified by the Department, the operation my request certification from the Commission.

(7) The Commission may certify the operation after the operation has requested certification and after reviewing the planner(s) and Department records.

(8) When an operation is certified for a given sector, the Department shall provide a certificate for that sector

(9) After completion of all sectors the operation is involved in, the Department shall provide a sign.

(10) Owner/operator shall be charged $100 for each sector certified, not to exceed $250 total per certification period.

(11) An Animal Feeding Operation may request permit by rule coverage from DWQ by completing the request form found on the back page of the workbook and submitting it to DWQ with a copy of their ACES certificate.

R64-3-4. Requirements and Procedures for Renewing, Investigation of, Revoking or Extending the Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES).

(1) Prior to the five (5) year certificate expiration date, the Department shall send a certified letter to the operation:

(a) The owner/operator has 30 days to respond by written request for a certificate extension for another five (5) years.

(b) If no response is received the operation's certification shall expire on the expiration date.

(c) The owner/operator shall continue to meet all requirements of the original certification to receive the extension.

(i) review of workbook(s) requirements shall be made by a planner(s);

(ii) verification by the Department as required in R64-3-3(3-7); and

(iii) Owner/operator shall pay certification fee as stated in R64-3-3(10).

(2) If any requirement is found in non-compliance, the planner(s) shall review with the owner/operator what action(s) shall be met for the operation to retain certification.

(a) The owner/operator shall have 120 days to meet the request in order to maintain Program certification in that sector.

(b) If the request is not met, the sign shall be removed by the owner/operator and returned to the Department.

(3) If the operation is certified in more than one sector only the sector in which they are in non-compliance shall the certification be revoked and the sign removed and returned to the Department.

Investigation and/or revocation of certification:

(4) Planner(s) and the Department shall have access to review records on site and make site visits during normal business hours:

(a) The Department shall make every effort to notify the operation prior to the visit.

(5) If any requirement is found in non-compliance, the planner(s) shall review with the owner/operator what action(s) shall be met for the operation to retain certification.

(a) The owner/operator shall have 120 days to meet the request to maintain Program certification in that sector

(b) If the request is not met, the sign shall be removed by the owner/operator and returned to the Department.

(6) If the operation is certified in more than one sector only the sector in which they are in non-compliance shall the certification be revoked and the sign removed and returned to the Department.

(7) Owner/operator may request a variance by notifying the Commission Chair, in writing, stating the reason they could not comply within the 120 days.

(8) The Commission Chair has 30 days to respond, in writing, to the request.

(9) Prior to the ten (10) year termination date of a certificate, the Department shall send a certified letter to the operation. Re-certification shall require the completion of requirements in a current ACES workbook(s) and verification as required in R64-3-3(3-7) and fee according to R64-3-3(10).

(10) Investigation: The Department shall review any complaints/concerns received.

(a) The Department shall contact the planner(s) who certified the operation, and they shall investigate the complaint/concern. If the planner(s) is not available the Department shall contact another planner(s).

(b) If the complaint/concern is not found to be a significant violation of the certification program then the reason for such determination shall be documented in a letter to the owner/operator and no action will be taken.

(i) Planner(s) may make recommendations to correct the concern.

(c) If it is determined that a significant violation has occurred.

(i) Department shall report the operation to the Commission Chair.

(ii) Commission chair shall then take the following actions:

(A) Inform the commission, and

(B) Make a list of corrective actions necessary and establish time frame for compliance to address the complaint and still maintain certification.

(11) The Commission Chair shall then inform the operation by certified letter of corrective action(s) and time frame for compliance.

(12) If the certified operation does not comply within the time frame specified to rectify the concerns stated in the commission's letter.

(a) The Department shall make a report to the Commission stating reasons for non- compliance.

(13) Commission shall review Department reports and may revoke certification.

(a) If certification is revoked the owner/operator shall remove the sign and return it to the Department, and certification fee shall not be refunded;

(i) The operation shall not be allowed to participate in the ACES Program for two (2) years.

(14) If an operation denies the Department access to a site visit and/or review of records the Commission shall revoke the certification.

(15) If the operation is sold and/or under new management, the current certification shall be revoked.

(a) The Sign shall be removed and returned to the Department.

(16) The new Owner/operator shall:

(a) inform the Department of the change in writing;

(b) go through the certification process with a current workbook(s) as required in R64-3-3(3-7) to become certified; and

(c) pay the fee according to R64-3-3(10).

(17) The Department shall give a yearly report on the ACES Program to the Commission.

R64-3-5. Requirements and Procedures for the Commission to Administer the ACES Program.

(1) In approving a planner for the ACES Program the Commission shall consider the following:

(a) NRCS certification in the sector(s) and/or area(s) of the workbook(s) being reviewed, and/or a Technical Service Provider (TSP) approved by NRCS in the sector(s) and/or area(s) of the workbook(s) being reviewed, and Grazing Improvement Program Coordinator(s), and

(b) training on the ACES Program from the Department

(i) at least every five (5) years, and

(ii) when changes are made to the workbook(s).

(2) The Commission shall provide a list of approved planners on the ACES website (http://ag.utah.gov/aces/index.html).

Variance

(3) The Commission shall consider the following in determining a variance:

(a) the reasons for granting a variance:

(i) insufficient time to complete the necessary improvement(s);

(ii) consideration of the effect the season has on the improvement(s); and

(iii) economic factors determined by the availability of funds.

KEY

environment, stewardships, certifications

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

May 8, 2014

Notice of Continuation

April 30, 2019

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

4-18-107


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R64, please contact the promulgating agency (Agriculture and Food, Conservation Commission). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.