When must the environmental review for a HUD-assisted project include an evaluation of the impacts to farmlands?
If the site of the HUD-assisted project is presently being farmed, the project must conform with the Farmland Protection Policy Act and HUD policy memo.
The environmental review must include a finding either that that the proposed HUD assisted project site does not include prime or unique farmland, or other farmland of statewide or local significance as identified by the Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS), Department of Agriculture, or the project site includes prime farmland but is located in an area committed to urban uses. However, if the proposed project site includes farmland, the environmental review must include an evaluation of the land type by the NRCS using form AD 1006. This requirement applies only to assisted new construction activities and the acquisition of undeveloped land: 24 CFR 58.5(h) or 24 CFR 50.4(j).
What is the authority for the requirement to protect farmland?
The Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1981 (7 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.) particularly sections 1540(b) and 1541 (7 U.S.C. 4201(b) and 4202). For Department of Agriculture regulations, see 7 CFR Part 658.
Information Sources for Protecting Farmlands
Where is information available on prime and unique farmlands?
See county maps provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture.