.05 Department Deferral.

A. If the Department makes a written determination that mitigation will create an economic hardship that would jeopardize the continued operation of a farm, mitigation may be deferred until one or more of the following occur:

(1) The economic hardship no longer exists;

(2) The current owner or operator transfers the farm to a new owner or operator, but if this occurs, the current owner or operator shall remain responsible for any mitigation; or

(3) Agricultural activities no longer take place on the impacted nontidal wetland.

B. If the Department grants a deferral, the owner or operator shall agree to provide the Department immediately with the following information if it would change or affect the economic hardship determination:

(1) Change in the owner or operator's financial status;

(2) Change in ownership or operation of the affected farm;

(3) Change of land use on the affected farm; and

(4) Change of agricultural or nonagricultural activities on the affected farm.

C. By May 30 of each year, the owner or operator shall submit to the Department, on a departmental form, the most current status on the owner or operator's economic hardship. The owner or operator shall use the last filed tax statement, annual or quarterly, to assist in completing the status report requirement.