Although colder weather makes spring construction seem far away, farmers and landowners would be wise to assess permitting and in-field environmental studies ahead of spring planting needs.
An important consideration for any future development is compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Food Security Act’s Swampbuster Program and wetland permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act’s Section 404 Nationwide Permit Program.
The Food Security and the Clean Water Act both contain provisions associated with wetlands in agriculture use, known as prior converted cropland (“PCC”). However, between the two programs, determining what lands fit into the PCC condition, how that determination is made, and the purpose of that determination can be difficult to understand. Here, we discuss the PCC distinction under each program and outline key considerations for landowners and developers.