7 USC 8111 - Biomass Crop Assistance Program

(a) Definitions 
In this section:
(1) BCAP 
The term BCAP means the Biomass Crop Assistance Program established under this section.
(2) BCAP project area 
The term BCAP project area means an area that
(A) has specified boundaries that are submitted to the Secretary by the project sponsor and subsequently approved by the Secretary;

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(B) includes producers with contract acreage that will supply a portion of the renewable biomass needed by a biomass conversion facility; and
(C) is physically located within an economically practicable distance from the biomass conversion facility.
(3) Contract acreage 
The term contract acreage means eligible land that is covered by a BCAP contract entered into with the Secretary.
(4) Eligible crop 

(A) In general 
The term eligible crop means a crop of renewable biomass.
(B) Exclusions 
The term eligible crop does not include
(i) any crop that is eligible to receive payments under title I of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 [7 U.S.C. 8701 et seq.] or an amendment made by that title; or
(ii) any plant that is invasive or noxious or has the potential to become invasive or noxious, as determined by the Secretary, in consultation with other appropriate Federal or State departments and agencies.
(5) Eligible land 

(A) In general 
The term eligible land includes agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands (as defined in section 2103a (c) of title 16).

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(B) Exclusions 
The term eligible land does not include
(i) Federal- or State-owned land;
(ii) land that is native sod, as of the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008;
(iii) land enrolled in the conservation reserve program established under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.);
(iv) land enrolled in the wetlands reserve program established under subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3837 et seq.); or
(v) land enrolled in the grassland reserve program established under subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3838n et seq.).
(6) Eligible material 

(A) In general 
The term eligible material means renewable biomass.
(B) Exclusions 
The term eligible material does not include
(i) any crop that is eligible to receive payments under title I of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 [7 U.S.C. 8701 et seq.] or an amendment made by that title;
(ii) animal waste and byproducts (including fats, oils, greases, and manure);
(iii) food waste and yard waste; or
(iv) algae.
(7) Producer 
The term producer means an owner or operator of contract acreage that is physically located within a BCAP project area.
(8) Project sponsor 
The term project sponsor means
(A) a group of producers; or
(B) a biomass conversion facility.
(b) Establishment and purpose 
The Secretary shall establish and administer a Biomass Crop Assistance Program to
(1) support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected BCAP project areas; and
(2) assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
(c) BCAP project area 

(1) In general 
The Secretary shall provide financial assistance to producers of eligible crops in a BCAP project area.
(2) Selection of project areas 

(A) In general 
To be considered for selection as a BCAP project area, a project sponsor shall submit to the Secretary a proposal that includes, at a minimum
(i) a description of the eligible land and eligible crops of each producer that will participate in the proposed BCAP project area;
(ii) a letter of commitment from a biomass conversion facility that the facility will use the eligible crops intended to be produced in the proposed BCAP project area;
(iii) evidence that the biomass conversion facility has sufficient equity available, as determined by the Secretary, if the biomass conversion facility is not operational at the time the proposal is submitted to the Secretary; and
(iv) any other appropriate information about the biomass conversion facility or proposed biomass conversion facility that gives the Secretary a reasonable assurance that the plant will be in operation by the time that the eligible crops are ready for harvest.
(B) BCAP project area selection criteria 
In selecting BCAP project areas, the Secretary shall consider
(i) the volume of the eligible crops proposed to be produced in the proposed BCAP project area and the probability that such crops will be used for the purposes of the BCAP;
(ii) the volume of renewable biomass projected to be available from sources other than the eligible crops grown on contract acres;
(iii) the anticipated economic impact in the proposed BCAP project area;
(iv) the opportunity for producers and local investors to participate in the ownership of the biomass conversion facility in the proposed BCAP project area;
(v) the participation rate by
(I) beginning farmers or ranchers (as defined in accordance with section 1991 (a) of this title); or
(II) socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers (as defined in section 2279 (e) of this title);
(vi) the impact on soil, water, and related resources;
(vii) the variety in biomass production approaches within a project area, including (as appropriate)
(I) agronomic conditions;
(II) harvest and postharvest practices; and
(III) monoculture and polyculture crop mixes;
(viii) the range of eligible crops among project areas; and
(ix) any additional information, as determined by the Secretary.
(3) Contract 

(A) In general 
On approval of a BCAP project area by the Secretary, each producer in the BCAP project area shall enter into a contract directly with the Secretary.
(B) Minimum terms 
At a minimum, contracts shall include terms that cover
(i) an agreement to make available to the Secretary, or to an institution of higher education or other entity designated by the Secretary, such information as the Secretary considers to be appropriate to promote the production of eligible crops and the development of biomass conversion technology;
(ii) compliance with the highly erodible land conservation requirements of subtitle B of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3811 et seq.) and the wetland conservation requirements of subtitle C of title XII of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3821 et seq.);
(iii) the implementation of (as determined by the Secretary)
(I) a conservation plan; or
(II) a forest stewardship plan or an equivalent plan; and
(iv) any additional requirements the Secretary considers appropriate.
(C) Duration 
A contract under this subsection shall have a term of up to
(i) 5 years for annual and perennial crops; or
(ii) 15 years for woody biomass.
(4) Relationship to other programs 
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall provide for the preservation of cropland base and yield history applicable to the land enrolled in a BCAP contract.
(5) Payments 

(A) In general 
The Secretary shall make establishment and annual payments directly to producers to support the establishment and production of eligible crops on contract acreage.
(B) Amount of establishment payments 
The amount of an establishment payment under this subsection shall be up to 75 percent of the costs of establishing an eligible perennial crop covered by the contract, including
(i) the cost of seeds and stock for perennials;
(ii) the cost of planting the perennial crop, as determined by the Secretary; and
(iii) in the case of nonindustrial private forestland, the costs of site preparation and tree planting.
(C) Amount of annual payments 

(i) In general Subject to clause (ii), the amount of an annual payment under this subsection shall be determined by the Secretary.
(ii) Reduction The Secretary shall reduce an annual payment by an amount determined to be appropriate by the Secretary, if
(I) an eligible crop is used for purposes other than the production of energy at the biomass conversion facility;
(II) an eligible crop is delivered to the biomass conversion facility;
(III) the producer receives a payment under subsection (d);
(IV) the producer violates a term of the contract; or
(V) there are such other circumstances, as determined by the Secretary to be necessary to carry out this section.
(d) Assistance with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation 

(1) In general 
The Secretary shall make a payment for the delivery of eligible material to a biomass conversion facility to
(A) a producer of an eligible crop that is produced on BCAP contract acreage; or
(B) a person with the right to collect or harvest eligible material.
(2) Payments 

(A) Costs covered 
A payment under this subsection shall be in an amount described in subparagraph (B) for
(i) collection;
(ii) harvest;
(iii) storage; and
(iv) transportation to a biomass conversion facility.
(B) Amount 
Subject to paragraph (3), the Secretary may provide matching payments at a rate of $1 for each $1 per ton provided by the biomass conversion facility, in an amount equal to not more than $45 per ton for a period of 2 years.
(3) Limitation on assistance for BCAP contract acreage 
As a condition of the receipt of annual payment under subsection (c), a producer receiving a payment under this subsection for collection, harvest, storage or transportation of an eligible crop produced on BCAP acreage shall agree to a reduction in the annual payment.
(e) Report 
Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report on the dissemination by the Secretary of the best practice data and information gathered from participants receiving assistance under this section.
(f) Funding 
Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section such sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012.