1468.34 Compensation for easements and 30-year contracts.§ 1468.34 Compensation for easements and 30-year contracts.
(a) Determination of easement compensation values. (1) Compensation for an easement or 30-year contract under this part will be made in cash in such amount as is agreed to and specified in the agreement to purchase or agreement to enter 30-year contract and finalized in the warranty easement deed or 30-year contract.
(2) Payments for 30-year easements, nonpermanent easements as limited by State law, or 30-year contracts will be not more than 75 percent of that which would have been paid for a permanent easement as determined by the methods listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(3) NRCS will pay as compensation the lowest of the values from paragraphs (a)(3)(i) through (iii) of this section:
(i) The fair market value of the land using the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practices or based on an area-wide market analysis or survey,
(ii) The geographic area rate cap determined under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, or
(iii) A written offer made by the landowner.
(4) Each fiscal year NRCS, in consultation with the State technical committee, will establish one or more geographic area rate caps within a State. NRCS will determine the geographic area rate cap using the best information which is readily available in that State. Such information may include soil types, types of crops capable of being grown, production history, location, real estate market values, and tax rates and assessments.
(b) Acceptance of offered easement compensation. (1) NRCS will not acquire any easement unless the landowner accepts the amount of the easement payment offered by NRCS. The easement payment may be less than the fair market value of the interests and rights to be conveyed by the landowner under the easement.
(2)(i) For easements or 30-year contracts valued at $500,000 or less, NRCS will provide compensation in up to 10 annual payments, as requested by the participant, as specified in the agreement to purchase or 30-year contract between NRCS and the participant.
(ii) For easements or 30-year contracts valued at more than $500,000, NRCS may provide compensation in at least 5, but not more than 10 annual payments. NRCS may provide compensation in a single payment for such easements or 30-year contracts when, as determined by the NRCS Chief, it would further the purposes of the program. The applicable payment schedule will be specified in the agreement to purchase or 30-year contract, entered into between NRCS and the landowner.
(c) Reimbursement of a landowner's expenses. For completed easement conveyances, NRCS will reimburse the landowner for fair and reasonable expenses, if any, incurred for legal boundary surveys and other related costs, as authorized and determined by NRCS.
(d) Per-acre-basis-calculations. If easement or 30-year contract compensation values are calculated on a per-acre basis, NRCS will identify an estimated amount in its agreement to purchase and the final easement or 30-year contract payment will be made based on final determination of value and acreage and specified in the warranty easement deed or 30-year contract.