Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program, 3205-3209 [06-511]

Download as PDF 3205 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 13 Friday, January 20, 2006 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Part 1740 RIN 0572–ACO2 Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program Rural Utilities Service, Agriculture. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments. AGENCY: The Rural Utilities Service (the Agency) is issuing a new rule to allow the Agency to make grants to enable Public Television Stations in rural areas to replace current analog television broadcasting equipment with digital television broadcasting equipment as part of the national transition to digital television service. DATES: This rule is effective January 20, 2006. Written comments must be received by the Agency or bear a postmark of equivalent not later than March 21, 2006. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instruction for submitting comments. • Agency Web site: https://www. usda.gov/rus/index2.Comments.htm. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • E-mail: RUSComments@usda.gov. Include in the subject line of the message ‘‘7 CFR 1740.’’ • Mail: Addressed to Richard C. Annan, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, Washington, DC 20250–1522. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Addressed to Richard C. Annan, Director, Program cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 5168–S, Washington, DC 20250–1522. Instructions: RUS requests a signed original and three copies of all written comments (7 CFR 1700.4). Comments may also be submitted by e-mail at RUSComments@usda.gov and must contain the phrase ‘‘Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program’’ in the subject line. All comments received must identify the name of the individual (and the name of the entity, if applicable) who is submitting the comment. All comments received will be posted without changes to https://www.usda.gov. rus.index2.Comments.htm, including any personal information provided. All comments will also be available for public inspection during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(b)). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Orren E. Cameron III, Director, Advanced Services Division, Rural Utilities Service, Room 2845-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1550, Washington, DC, 20250–1550. Telephone: 202–690–4493. FAX: 202– 720–1051. E-mail: ed.cameron@ wdc.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agency Response to Comments RUS intends to address public comments received regarding this interim final rule at a later date in a Confirmation of an Interim Final Rule as a Final Rule which will be published in the Federal Register. Executive Order 12866 This interim final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866, and therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program number assigned to the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program is 10.861. The Catalog is available on a subscription basis from the Superintendent of Documents, the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402–9325, telephone number (202) 512–1800. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Executive Order 12372 This program is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,’’ as implemented under USDA’s regulations at 7 CFR part 3015. Executive Order 12988 This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. RUS has determined that this interim final rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted, no retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and, in accordance with Section 212(e) of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures, if any, must be exhausted before an action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated. Executive Order 13132 Federalism The policies contained in this interim final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments. Therefore, consultation with states is not required. Regulatory Flexibility Certification Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), this interim final rule related to grants is exempt from the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), including the requirement to provide prior notice and an opportunity for public comment. Because this interim final rule is not subject to a requirement to provide prior notice and an opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable. Unfunded Mandates This interim final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provision of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for State, E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 3206 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this interim final rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. Environmental Impact Statement This interim final rule has been examined under RUS environmental regulations at 7 CFR part 1794. The RUS Administrator has determined that this action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an Environmental Impact Statement or Assessment is not required. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements This interim rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping burdens under OMB control number 0572–0134 that would require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Background As part of the nation’s transition to digital television, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required all television broadcasters to begin broadcasting using digital signals, and to cease broadcasting in analog by December 31, 2006. Recognizing the need to support the digital transition of public television stations serving rural areas, Congress appropriated $15 million in grant funds through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. See Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003, Pub. L. 108–7. On July 18, 2003, RUS published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register (68 FR 42680) to announce the new grant program to finance the conversion of television service from analog to digital broadcasting for public television station serving rural areas. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2003, $15 million in grants were made available through a national competition to enable public television stations which serve substantial rural populations to continue serving their coverage areas. On February 20, 2004, RUS announced the selection of 16 rural public television stations in 13 states which were to receive all $15 million in grant funds to convert to digital broadcasting. For FY 2004, Congress appropriated an additional $14 million in grant funds for this purpose. See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. 108– 199. On March 11, 2004, the RUS published a Notice in the Federal VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Register (69 FR 11593) stating that the money would be used for unfunded applications received under the prior NOFA, and on April 20, 2004, an additional 18 grants were awarded to recipients in 16 states. As of August 2005, 40 of the nation’s 355 public television transmitters have not launched DTV service. In addition, the vast majority of DTV stations serving rural areas have not yet been able to build out their full digital facilities that would allow them to replicate their analog services in the digital environment. It is important for these stations to be able cover their former analog service areas, and to tailor their programs and services (e.g., education services, public health, homeland security, and local culture) to their rural constituents, and this may require transmitter/translator upgrades and other broadcast and video. If stations cannot continue to meet their analog standards of robust service, some Public Television programming will be lost, and many school systems may be left without the educational programming they count on for curriculum compliance. With the FCC deadline of December 31, 2006, for the end of the digital transition approaching, it is vital that rural stations continue their services to rural America. Congress has authorized additional purposes which were specifically excluded in the 2003 NOFA. This regulation incorporates those new statutory requirements and updates this competitive grant program for FY 2006 under regulation rather than by NOFA. The broadcast of digital signals requires the installation of special antennae, transmitters and/or translators, and new digital program management facilities, consisting of processing and storage systems. If public television stations are to perform program origination functions, as most do, digital cameras, editing, and mastering equipment are also required. Moreover, studio-to-tower site communications links may be required to transport the digital broadcast signal to each transmitter and translator. Broadcasting in high definition, multicasting, and datacasting are inherent to digital television, and require additional facilities at the transmitter and studio level. Lastly, in order to comply with the FCC transition deadlines, some rural public television stations initially began digital broadcasting using low-cost, low-power transmitters. However, these transmitters did not replicate the station’s analog coverage area (an FCC objective of the transition), and power upgrades are needed to cover the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 shortfall, which is often in the most rural of rural areas. In designing a national competition for the distribution of these grant funds, priority has been given to public television stations serving those areas that would most likely be unable to transition without a grant. Because funding for stations generally comes from public and business contributions, rural public television stations unquestionably receive fewer contributions due to smaller populations and fewer businesses. Therefore, rurality becomes a prime indicator of the need for grant funding. In addition, some rural areas have income levels much lower than the national average, and public television stations covering these areas in particular are likely to have difficulty funding the digital transition. As a result, the consideration of the income of a public television station’s coverage area is a secondary indicator of the need for grant funding. Lastly, some public television stations may have, or may meet, critical needs in their communities, and a third scoring factor for critical need has been added. This scoring category will also recognize that some transition purchases are more essential than others, so that applications for first transmitter capability and transmitter power upgrades that extend coverage into rural-only areas will both receive scoring advantages. Master control facilities which tailor programming to local needs will also be recognized in this category. List of Subjects in 7 CFR 1740 Grant programs—Digital television; Communications; Rural areas; Television. I For reasons set forth in the preamble, RUS amends Chapter XVII of title 7 of the Code of Regulations by adding part 1740 as follows: PART 1740—PUBLIC TELEVISION STATION DIGITAL TRANSITION GRANT PROGRAM Subpart A— Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program Sec. 1740.1 Purpose. 1740.2 Definitions. 1740.3 Applicant eligibility. 1740.4 Maximum amounts of grants. 1740.5 Matching funds. 1740.6 Eligible purposes of grants. 1740.7 Ineligible purposes. 1740.8 Scoring criteria for the grant competition. 1740.9 Grant application. 1740.10 Grant documents. 1740.11 Request for funds. E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Subpart B—[Reserved] Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005; Title III: Rural Development Programs; Rural Utilities Service; Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; Public Law 108–447. Subpart A—Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program § 1740.1 Purpose. The purpose of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program (Grant Program) is to enable public television stations serving rural areas to transition from broadcasting in analog to digital, as required under the Federal Communications Commission rules, by awarding grants through a competitive process. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES § 1740.2 Definitions. Core coverage area is the set of counties fully covered, or at least 75% covered, by a digital television transmitter or translator. Coverage contour area is the area estimated to receive a digital television signal from a transmitter or translator of 41 dBµ for UHF signals, 36 dBµ for channel 7–13 signals, or 28 dBµ for channel 2–6 signals, as shown on the public television station’s map filed with the FCC. Digital television, or DTV, means the digital television system which will replace the current analog system. Digital transition means the transition from analog television broadcasting to digital television broadcasting. To transition according to FCC rules, a broadcaster must initiate digital television broadcasting while continuing to operate analog television broadcasting until December 31, 2006, to enable viewers the necessary time to acquire digital television reception capability. Distance learning means any digital public television broadcast to a school, library, home, or other end-user site located in a rural area, for the purpose of providing educational and cultural programming. Grant Program means this Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program. High definition television, or HDTV, means an enhanced television service which is authorized by the FCC as part of the digital television standard. Public television station means a noncommercial educational television broadcast station that serves rural areas and is qualified for Community Service Grants by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under section 396(k) of the Communications Act of 1934. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Rural area means any area of the United States not included within the boundaries of any incorporated or unincorporated city, village, or borough having a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants. Rural population means the number of people within the core coverage area of a transmitter who do not live within the boundaries of an incorporated or unincorporated city, village, or borough having a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants as calculated pursuant to Section 1740.8(c)(1). Rural Utilities Service, or RUS, is a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, which will administer this Grant Program. Urban area means any area of the United States which is not a Rural area. § 1740.3 Applicant eligibility. Eligibility for grants is limited to public television stations that serve rural areas, regardless of whether urban areas are additionally served. § 1740.4 Maximum amounts of grants. The maximum grant amount shall be announced in each fiscal year’s Notice of Funds Availability. § 1740.5 Matching funds. No matching funds are required in this program. § 1740.6 Eligible purposes of grants. Grants shall be made to enable applicants to perform digital transitions of television broadcasting serving rural areas, regardless of the location of their main transmitter. Grant funds may be used to acquire, lease, and/or install facilities and software necessary to the digital transition. Specific purposes include: (a) Digital transmitters, translators, and repeaters, including all facilities required to initiate DTV broadcasting. All broadcast facilities acquired with grant funds shall be capable of delivering DTV programming and HDTV programming, at both the interim and final channel and power authorizations. There is no limit to the number of transmitters or translators that may be included in an application; (b) Power upgrades of existing DTV transmitter equipment; (c) Studio-to-transmitter links; (d) Equipment to allow local control over digital content and programming, including master control equipment; (e) Digital program production equipment, including cameras, editing, mixing and storage equipment; (f) Multicasting and datacasting equipment; (g) Cost of the lease of facilities, if any, for up to three years; and PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3207 (h) Associated engineering and environmental studies necessary to implementation. § 1740.7 Ineligible purposes. (a) Grant funds shall not be used to fund ongoing operations or for facilities that will not be owned by the applicant, except for leased facilities as provided in § 1740.6. (b) Costs of salaries, wages, and employee benefits of public television station personnel are not eligible for funding under this program unless they are for construction or installation of eligible facilities. (c) Facilities for which other grant funding from any source has been approved are not eligible for funding under this program. (d) Expenditures made prior to this deadline are not eligible for funding. To be an eligible grant purpose, an expenditure must be made after the application deadline specified in the Notice of Funds Available. § 1740.8 Scoring criteria for the grant competition. (a) After an application is found to be eligible, it will be scored in three categories: the rurality of the applicant’s core coverage area, the average National School Lunch Program eligibility ratio in the applicant’s core coverage area, and the critical need for the project. (b)(1)(i) Scoring in this program is based on a simplified representation of the project’s digital coverage area. To find a transmitter’s simplified coverage area, go to the FCC TV Query Web site (https://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/audio/ tvq.html) and access the station Service Contour Map. This map shows coverage at the appropriate field strength in dBµ, overlaid on a Census Tiger Map. The map also shows counties covered. The core coverage area is the set of counties that are either entirely within the appropriate coverage contour, or are at least seventy-five percent (75%) within the contour. For contours where counties are very large with respect to coverage, as might be the case for some western states and for most translators, there may be only one county within the coverage contour. In such cases, this county is the station’s core coverage area. Every transmitter and translator must have a core coverage area consisting of one or more counties. (ii) In the case of translators, where a coverage contour area does not exist, the applicant shall define a coverage contour area and explain how coverage was estimated. This estimated coverage contour area is subject to acceptance by RUS. E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 3208 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations (2) When an application covers more than one transmitter or translator, the core coverage area of the application is the sum of the core coverage areas of all transmitters and translators included in the application. (c) Rurality is a measure of the degree to which a project benefits rural areas. Up to fifty (50) points are available in this category. Urban areas bisected by the computed contour line are disregarded, since they represent fringe viewers. The Rurality score is computed as follows: (1) The rural population of a core coverage area must be calculated. The rural population of a county is calculated by subtracting the county’s urban population(s) from the total county population. If the core coverage area consists of multiple counties, the rural population is the sum of all included counties’ rural populations. Urban area and county populations may be found at the American Factfinder Web site https://factfinder.census.gov/ home/saff/main.html?_lang=en). (2) The Rurality score is computed by multiplying the rural population for the core coverage area by one hundred (100), and subtracting fifty (50) from it. If this calculation results in a negative number, the Rurality score is zero. The formula is: 100 × [(total population ¥ urban population)/total population] ¥ 50 (3) If an applicant has no urban communities within the core coverage area, the computation would deliver a score of 50. (d) Economic Need will be measured by the ability of the public in an area to support Public Television financially. Up to 25 points are available in this category. (1) The score for Economic Need is computed from the average of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility percentages for all school districts within the core coverage area. NSLP eligibility percentage information may be obtained from the state or local agency that administers the program, and the application must include a certification from this organization that the percentages provided are correct. Please note that the score for Economic Need is computed from the eligibility percentage, not the participation percentage. The score is computed by multiplying the average eligibility percentage by 100 (to convert percentage to a whole number), subtracting 25, dividing the quotient by two, and limiting the result to 25 points. A negative result yields a score of zero. [(average NSLP eligibility percentage × 100) ¥ 25] ÷ 2, not to exceed 25 points (2) [Reserved] VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 (e) Critical Need will be measured by the urgency and importance of the project to the rural community the applicant serves. Up to 25 points are available in this category. Critical Need evaluates factors not captured in the Rurality and Economic Need scoring categories, such as: (1) Geographic or coverage characteristics of the public television station’s digital television coverage area that make the digital transition unusually expensive; (2) A severe lack of specialized human resources (such as teachers) for which digital educational television will compensate; (3) Geographic isolation of communities which will be overcome with public television station services; (4) Non-traditional community needs (such as adult vocational retraining) that may be met only with digital public television station broadcast capabilities; (5) Historical events that have placed the public television station in severe financial stress; and (6) The degree to which the project purposes will specifically benefit the rural public. § 1740.9 Grant application. The grant application must include the following: (a) An application for federal assistance, Standard Form 424. (b) An executive summary, not to exceed two pages, describing the public television station, its service area and offerings, its current digital transition status, and the proposed project. (c) Evidence of the applicant’s eligibility to apply under this Notice, proving that the applicant is a Public Television Station as defined in this Part, and that it is required by the FCC to perform the digital transition. (d) A spreadsheet showing the total project cost, with a breakdown of items sufficient to enable RUS to determine individual item eligibility. (e) A coverage contour map showing the digital television coverage area of the applicant. This map must show the counties (or county) comprising the core coverage area by shading and by name. Partial counties included in the applicant’s core coverage area must be identified as partial and must contain an attachment with the applicant’s estimate of the percentage that its coverage contour comprises the total area of the county (total area is available from American Factfinder, referenced in § 1740.8 (c)(1)). If the application is for a translator, the coverage area may be estimated by the applicant through computer modeling or some other PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 reasonable method, and this estimate is subject to acceptance by RUS. (f) The applicant’s own calculation of its Rurality score, supported by a worksheet showing the population of its core coverage area, and the urban and rural populations within the core coverage area. The data source for the urban and rural components of that population must be identified. If the application includes computations made by a consultant or other organization outside the public television station, the application shall state the details of that collaboration. (g) The applicant’s own calculation of its Economic Need score, supported by a worksheet showing the National School Lunch Program eligibility levels for all school districts within the core coverage area and averaging these eligibility percentages. The application must include a statement from the state or local organization that administers the NSLP program certifying the school district scores used in the computations. (h) If applicable, a presentation not to exceed five pages demonstrating the Critical Need for the project. (i) Evidence that the FCC has authorized the initiation of digital broadcasting at the project sites. In the event that an FCC construction permit has not been issued for one or more sites, the RUS may include those sites in the grant, and make advance of funds for that site conditional upon the submission of a construction permit. (j) Compliance with other Federal statutes. The applicant must provide evidence or certification that it is in compliance with all applicable Federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to the following: (1) Executive Order (E.O.) 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, as amended by E.O. 11375 and as supplemented by regulations contained in 41 CFR part 60; (2) Architectural barriers; (3) Flood hazard area precautions; (4) Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970; (5) Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (41 U.S.C. 701); (6) E.O.s 12549 and 12689, Debarment and Suspension; and (7) Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352). (k) Environmental impact and historic preservation. The applicant must provide details of the digital transition’s impact on the environment and historic preservation, and comply with 7 CFR part 1794, which contains RUS’ policies and procedures for implementing a variety of Federal statutes, regulations, and executive orders generally pertaining to the protection of the E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules and Regulations quality of the human environment. This must be contained in a separate section entitled ‘‘Environmental Impact of the Digital Transition,’’ and must include the Environmental Questionnaire/ Certification, available from RUS, describing the impact of its digital transition. Submission of the Environmental Questionnaire/ Certification alone does not constitute compliance with 7 CFR part 1794. § 1740.10 Grant documents. The terms and conditions of each grant shall be set forth in standard grant documents prepared by RUS. These documents shall require that the applicant own or lease all facilities financed by the grant. In addition, however, RUS may prescribe special conditions to the advance of funds, such as those concerning FCC licensing. § 1740.11 Requests for funds. (a) Once grant documents have been executed, funds may be requested for eligible purposes up to the amounts in the grant. Funds may either be requested in anticipation of known obligations, or may be requested to reimburse disbursements made by the grantee. (b) Requests for funds shall be submitted on Standard Form 270 (Request for Advancement or Reimbursement). (c) All requests for funds shall be supported by invoices or receipts. Dated: January 12, 2006. James M. Andrew, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 06–511 Filed 1–19–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–15–P 3209 [Docket No. FAA–2005–22871; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–191–AD; Amendment 39–14454; AD 2006–02–02] Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2125; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 2120–AA64 Examining the Docket Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB–120, –120ER, –120FC, –120QC, and –120RT Airplanes You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at https://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain EMBRAER Model EMB–120, –120ER, –120FC, –120QC, and –120RT airplanes. This AD requires installing a rivet and washer in the hole of the upper frame of the auxiliary power unit (APU) firewall. This AD results from a report indicating that, during production, a pinhole was left open at the upper frame of the APU firewall. We are issuing this AD to ensure that the APU compartment is isolated from the rest of the airplane in the event of an APU fire. DATES: This AD becomes effective February 24, 2006. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of February 24, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at https:// dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, room PL–401, Washington, DC. Contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), P.O. Box 343–CEP 12.225, Sao Jose dos Campos— SP, Brazil, for service information identified in this AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to certain EMBRAER Model EMB–120, –120ER, –120FC, –120QC, and –120RT airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2005 (70 FR 67948). That NPRM proposed to require installing a rivet and washer in the hole of the upper frame of the auxiliary power unit (APU) firewall. Comments We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public. Conclusion We have carefully reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed. Costs of Compliance The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Action Work hours cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Rivet installation ............................................................... Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:32 Jan 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Average labor rate per hour 1 $65 Operatorsupplied section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Cost per airplane Parts $65 Number of U.S.-registered airplanes 108 Fleet cost $7,020 detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in subtitle VII, E:\FR\FM\20JAR1.SGM 20JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 13 (Friday, January 20, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3205-3209]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-511]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 13 / Friday, January 20, 2006 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 3205]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service

7 CFR Part 1740

RIN 0572-ACO2


Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, Agriculture.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (the Agency) is issuing a new rule 
to allow the Agency to make grants to enable Public Television Stations 
in rural areas to replace current analog television broadcasting 
equipment with digital television broadcasting equipment as part of the 
national transition to digital television service.

DATES: This rule is effective January 20, 2006. Written comments must 
be received by the Agency or bear a postmark of equivalent not later 
than March 21, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instruction for submitting 
comments.
     Agency Web site: https://www.usda.gov/rus/
index2.Comments.htm. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: RUSComments@usda.gov. Include in the subject line 
of the message ``7 CFR 1740.''
     Mail: Addressed to Richard C. Annan, Director, Program 
Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, United 
States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, STOP 1522, 
Washington, DC 20250-1522.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Addressed to Richard C. Annan, 
Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities 
Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Room 5168-S, Washington, DC 20250-1522.
    Instructions: RUS requests a signed original and three copies of 
all written comments (7 CFR 1700.4). Comments may also be submitted by 
e-mail at RUSComments@usda.gov and must contain the phrase ``Public 
Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program'' in the subject 
line. All comments received must identify the name of the individual 
(and the name of the entity, if applicable) who is submitting the 
comment. All comments received will be posted without changes to http:/
/www.usda.gov. rus.index2.Comments.htm, including any personal 
information provided. All comments will also be available for public 
inspection during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(b)).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Orren E. Cameron III, Director, 
Advanced Services Division, Rural Utilities Service, Room 2845-S, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1550, Washington, DC, 20250-1550. 
Telephone: 202-690-4493. FAX: 202-720-1051. E-mail: ed.cameron@
wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Agency Response to Comments

    RUS intends to address public comments received regarding this 
interim final rule at a later date in a Confirmation of an Interim 
Final Rule as a Final Rule which will be published in the Federal 
Register.

Executive Order 12866

    This interim final rule has been determined to be not significant 
for purposes of Executive Order 12866, and therefore has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Program number 
assigned to the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant 
Program is 10.861. The Catalog is available on a subscription basis 
from the Superintendent of Documents, the United States Government 
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325, telephone number (202) 512-
1800.

Executive Order 12372

    This program is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,'' as implemented 
under USDA's regulations at 7 CFR part 3015.

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. RUS has determined that this interim final rule 
meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive 
Order. In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are 
in conflict with this rule will be preempted, no retroactive effect 
will be given to this rule, and, in accordance with Section 212(e) of 
the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 
6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures, if any, must be exhausted 
before an action against the Department or its agencies may be 
initiated.

Executive Order 13132 Federalism

    The policies contained in this interim final rule do not have any 
substantial direct effect on states, on the relationship between the 
national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this 
final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and 
local governments. Therefore, consultation with states is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), this interim final rule related to 
grants is exempt from the rulemaking requirements of the Administrative 
Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), including the requirement to 
provide prior notice and an opportunity for public comment. Because 
this interim final rule is not subject to a requirement to provide 
prior notice and an opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are inapplicable.

Unfunded Mandates

    This interim final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the 
regulatory provision of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995) for State,

[[Page 3206]]

local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this 
interim final rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 
and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Environmental Impact Statement

    This interim final rule has been examined under RUS environmental 
regulations at 7 CFR part 1794. The RUS Administrator has determined 
that this action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting 
the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an 
Environmental Impact Statement or Assessment is not required.

Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements

    This interim rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping 
burdens under OMB control number 0572-0134 that would require approval 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Background

    As part of the nation's transition to digital television, the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required all television 
broadcasters to begin broadcasting using digital signals, and to cease 
broadcasting in analog by December 31, 2006. Recognizing the need to 
support the digital transition of public television stations serving 
rural areas, Congress appropriated $15 million in grant funds through 
the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. See Consolidated 
Appropriations Resolution, 2003, Pub. L. 108-7. On July 18, 2003, RUS 
published a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register 
(68 FR 42680) to announce the new grant program to finance the 
conversion of television service from analog to digital broadcasting 
for public television station serving rural areas. For Fiscal Year (FY) 
2003, $15 million in grants were made available through a national 
competition to enable public television stations which serve 
substantial rural populations to continue serving their coverage areas. 
On February 20, 2004, RUS announced the selection of 16 rural public 
television stations in 13 states which were to receive all $15 million 
in grant funds to convert to digital broadcasting. For FY 2004, 
Congress appropriated an additional $14 million in grant funds for this 
purpose. See Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, Pub. L. 108-199. On 
March 11, 2004, the RUS published a Notice in the Federal Register (69 
FR 11593) stating that the money would be used for unfunded 
applications received under the prior NOFA, and on April 20, 2004, an 
additional 18 grants were awarded to recipients in 16 states.
    As of August 2005, 40 of the nation's 355 public television 
transmitters have not launched DTV service. In addition, the vast 
majority of DTV stations serving rural areas have not yet been able to 
build out their full digital facilities that would allow them to 
replicate their analog services in the digital environment. It is 
important for these stations to be able cover their former analog 
service areas, and to tailor their programs and services (e.g., 
education services, public health, homeland security, and local 
culture) to their rural constituents, and this may require transmitter/
translator upgrades and other broadcast and video. If stations cannot 
continue to meet their analog standards of robust service, some Public 
Television programming will be lost, and many school systems may be 
left without the educational programming they count on for curriculum 
compliance. With the FCC deadline of December 31, 2006, for the end of 
the digital transition approaching, it is vital that rural stations 
continue their services to rural America.
    Congress has authorized additional purposes which were specifically 
excluded in the 2003 NOFA. This regulation incorporates those new 
statutory requirements and updates this competitive grant program for 
FY 2006 under regulation rather than by NOFA.
    The broadcast of digital signals requires the installation of 
special antennae, transmitters and/or translators, and new digital 
program management facilities, consisting of processing and storage 
systems. If public television stations are to perform program 
origination functions, as most do, digital cameras, editing, and 
mastering equipment are also required. Moreover, studio-to-tower site 
communications links may be required to transport the digital broadcast 
signal to each transmitter and translator. Broadcasting in high 
definition, multicasting, and datacasting are inherent to digital 
television, and require additional facilities at the transmitter and 
studio level. Lastly, in order to comply with the FCC transition 
deadlines, some rural public television stations initially began 
digital broadcasting using low-cost, low-power transmitters. However, 
these transmitters did not replicate the station's analog coverage area 
(an FCC objective of the transition), and power upgrades are needed to 
cover the shortfall, which is often in the most rural of rural areas.
    In designing a national competition for the distribution of these 
grant funds, priority has been given to public television stations 
serving those areas that would most likely be unable to transition 
without a grant. Because funding for stations generally comes from 
public and business contributions, rural public television stations 
unquestionably receive fewer contributions due to smaller populations 
and fewer businesses. Therefore, rurality becomes a prime indicator of 
the need for grant funding. In addition, some rural areas have income 
levels much lower than the national average, and public television 
stations covering these areas in particular are likely to have 
difficulty funding the digital transition. As a result, the 
consideration of the income of a public television station's coverage 
area is a secondary indicator of the need for grant funding. Lastly, 
some public television stations may have, or may meet, critical needs 
in their communities, and a third scoring factor for critical need has 
been added. This scoring category will also recognize that some 
transition purchases are more essential than others, so that 
applications for first transmitter capability and transmitter power 
upgrades that extend coverage into rural-only areas will both receive 
scoring advantages. Master control facilities which tailor programming 
to local needs will also be recognized in this category.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR 1740

    Grant programs--Digital television; Communications; Rural areas; 
Television.


0
For reasons set forth in the preamble, RUS amends Chapter XVII of title 
7 of the Code of Regulations by adding part 1740 as follows:

PART 1740--PUBLIC TELEVISION STATION DIGITAL TRANSITION GRANT 
PROGRAM

Subpart A-- Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program
Sec.
1740.1 Purpose.
1740.2 Definitions.
1740.3 Applicant eligibility.
1740.4 Maximum amounts of grants.
1740.5 Matching funds.
1740.6 Eligible purposes of grants.
1740.7 Ineligible purposes.
1740.8 Scoring criteria for the grant competition.
1740.9 Grant application.
1740.10 Grant documents.
1740.11 Request for funds.

[[Page 3207]]

Subpart B--[Reserved]

    Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005; Title III: 
Rural Development Programs; Rural Utilities Service; Distance 
Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; Public Law 108-447.

Subpart A--Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant 
Program


Sec.  1740.1  Purpose.

    The purpose of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Public Television 
Station Digital Transition Grant Program (Grant Program) is to enable 
public television stations serving rural areas to transition from 
broadcasting in analog to digital, as required under the Federal 
Communications Commission rules, by awarding grants through a 
competitive process.


Sec.  1740.2  Definitions.

    Core coverage area is the set of counties fully covered, or at 
least 75% covered, by a digital television transmitter or translator.
    Coverage contour area is the area estimated to receive a digital 
television signal from a transmitter or translator of 41 dB[mu] for UHF 
signals, 36 dB[mu] for channel 7-13 signals, or 28 dB[mu] for channel 
2-6 signals, as shown on the public television station's map filed with 
the FCC.
    Digital television, or DTV, means the digital television system 
which will replace the current analog system.
    Digital transition means the transition from analog television 
broadcasting to digital television broadcasting. To transition 
according to FCC rules, a broadcaster must initiate digital television 
broadcasting while continuing to operate analog television broadcasting 
until December 31, 2006, to enable viewers the necessary time to 
acquire digital television reception capability.
    Distance learning means any digital public television broadcast to 
a school, library, home, or other end-user site located in a rural 
area, for the purpose of providing educational and cultural 
programming.
    Grant Program means this Public Television Station Digital 
Transition Grant Program.
    High definition television, or HDTV, means an enhanced television 
service which is authorized by the FCC as part of the digital 
television standard.
    Public television station means a noncommercial educational 
television broadcast station that serves rural areas and is qualified 
for Community Service Grants by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting 
under section 396(k) of the Communications Act of 1934.
    Rural area means any area of the United States not included within 
the boundaries of any incorporated or unincorporated city, village, or 
borough having a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants.
    Rural population means the number of people within the core 
coverage area of a transmitter who do not live within the boundaries of 
an incorporated or unincorporated city, village, or borough having a 
population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants as calculated pursuant to 
Section 1740.8(c)(1).
    Rural Utilities Service, or RUS, is a Rural Development agency of 
the United States Department of Agriculture, which will administer this 
Grant Program.
    Urban area means any area of the United States which is not a Rural 
area.


Sec.  1740.3  Applicant eligibility.

    Eligibility for grants is limited to public television stations 
that serve rural areas, regardless of whether urban areas are 
additionally served.


Sec.  1740.4  Maximum amounts of grants.

    The maximum grant amount shall be announced in each fiscal year's 
Notice of Funds Availability.


Sec.  1740.5  Matching funds.

    No matching funds are required in this program.


Sec.  1740.6  Eligible purposes of grants.

    Grants shall be made to enable applicants to perform digital 
transitions of television broadcasting serving rural areas, regardless 
of the location of their main transmitter. Grant funds may be used to 
acquire, lease, and/or install facilities and software necessary to the 
digital transition. Specific purposes include:
    (a) Digital transmitters, translators, and repeaters, including all 
facilities required to initiate DTV broadcasting. All broadcast 
facilities acquired with grant funds shall be capable of delivering DTV 
programming and HDTV programming, at both the interim and final channel 
and power authorizations. There is no limit to the number of 
transmitters or translators that may be included in an application;
    (b) Power upgrades of existing DTV transmitter equipment;
    (c) Studio-to-transmitter links;
    (d) Equipment to allow local control over digital content and 
programming, including master control equipment;
    (e) Digital program production equipment, including cameras, 
editing, mixing and storage equipment;
    (f) Multicasting and datacasting equipment;
    (g) Cost of the lease of facilities, if any, for up to three years; 
and
    (h) Associated engineering and environmental studies necessary to 
implementation.


Sec.  1740.7  Ineligible purposes.

    (a) Grant funds shall not be used to fund ongoing operations or for 
facilities that will not be owned by the applicant, except for leased 
facilities as provided in Sec.  1740.6.
    (b) Costs of salaries, wages, and employee benefits of public 
television station personnel are not eligible for funding under this 
program unless they are for construction or installation of eligible 
facilities.
    (c) Facilities for which other grant funding from any source has 
been approved are not eligible for funding under this program.
    (d) Expenditures made prior to this deadline are not eligible for 
funding. To be an eligible grant purpose, an expenditure must be made 
after the application deadline specified in the Notice of Funds 
Available.


Sec.  1740.8  Scoring criteria for the grant competition.

    (a) After an application is found to be eligible, it will be scored 
in three categories: the rurality of the applicant's core coverage 
area, the average National School Lunch Program eligibility ratio in 
the applicant's core coverage area, and the critical need for the 
project.
    (b)(1)(i) Scoring in this program is based on a simplified 
representation of the project's digital coverage area. To find a 
transmitter's simplified coverage area, go to the FCC TV Query Web site 
(https://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/audio/tvq.html) and access the station 
Service Contour Map. This map shows coverage at the appropriate field 
strength in dB[mu], overlaid on a Census Tiger Map. The map also shows 
counties covered. The core coverage area is the set of counties that 
are either entirely within the appropriate coverage contour, or are at 
least seventy-five percent (75%) within the contour. For contours where 
counties are very large with respect to coverage, as might be the case 
for some western states and for most translators, there may be only one 
county within the coverage contour. In such cases, this county is the 
station's core coverage area. Every transmitter and translator must 
have a core coverage area consisting of one or more counties.
    (ii) In the case of translators, where a coverage contour area does 
not exist, the applicant shall define a coverage contour area and 
explain how coverage was estimated. This estimated coverage contour 
area is subject to acceptance by RUS.

[[Page 3208]]

    (2) When an application covers more than one transmitter or 
translator, the core coverage area of the application is the sum of the 
core coverage areas of all transmitters and translators included in the 
application.
    (c) Rurality is a measure of the degree to which a project benefits 
rural areas. Up to fifty (50) points are available in this category. 
Urban areas bisected by the computed contour line are disregarded, 
since they represent fringe viewers. The Rurality score is computed as 
follows:
    (1) The rural population of a core coverage area must be 
calculated. The rural population of a county is calculated by 
subtracting the county's urban population(s) from the total county 
population. If the core coverage area consists of multiple counties, 
the rural population is the sum of all included counties' rural 
populations. Urban area and county populations may be found at the 
American Factfinder Web site https://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/
main.html?_lang=en).
    (2) The Rurality score is computed by multiplying the rural 
population for the core coverage area by one hundred (100), and 
subtracting fifty (50) from it. If this calculation results in a 
negative number, the Rurality score is zero. The formula is:
    100 x [(total population - urban population)/total population] - 50
    (3) If an applicant has no urban communities within the core 
coverage area, the computation would deliver a score of 50.
    (d) Economic Need will be measured by the ability of the public in 
an area to support Public Television financially. Up to 25 points are 
available in this category.
    (1) The score for Economic Need is computed from the average of the 
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility percentages for all 
school districts within the core coverage area. NSLP eligibility 
percentage information may be obtained from the state or local agency 
that administers the program, and the application must include a 
certification from this organization that the percentages provided are 
correct. Please note that the score for Economic Need is computed from 
the eligibility percentage, not the participation percentage. The score 
is computed by multiplying the average eligibility percentage by 100 
(to convert percentage to a whole number), subtracting 25, dividing the 
quotient by two, and limiting the result to 25 points. A negative 
result yields a score of zero.
    [(average NSLP eligibility percentage x 100) - 25] / 2, not to 
exceed 25 points
    (2) [Reserved]
    (e) Critical Need will be measured by the urgency and importance of 
the project to the rural community the applicant serves. Up to 25 
points are available in this category. Critical Need evaluates factors 
not captured in the Rurality and Economic Need scoring categories, such 
as:
    (1) Geographic or coverage characteristics of the public television 
station's digital television coverage area that make the digital 
transition unusually expensive;
    (2) A severe lack of specialized human resources (such as teachers) 
for which digital educational television will compensate;
    (3) Geographic isolation of communities which will be overcome with 
public television station services;
    (4) Non-traditional community needs (such as adult vocational 
retraining) that may be met only with digital public television station 
broadcast capabilities;
    (5) Historical events that have placed the public television 
station in severe financial stress; and
    (6) The degree to which the project purposes will specifically 
benefit the rural public.


Sec.  1740.9  Grant application.

    The grant application must include the following:
    (a) An application for federal assistance, Standard Form 424.
    (b) An executive summary, not to exceed two pages, describing the 
public television station, its service area and offerings, its current 
digital transition status, and the proposed project.
    (c) Evidence of the applicant's eligibility to apply under this 
Notice, proving that the applicant is a Public Television Station as 
defined in this Part, and that it is required by the FCC to perform the 
digital transition.
    (d) A spreadsheet showing the total project cost, with a breakdown 
of items sufficient to enable RUS to determine individual item 
eligibility.
    (e) A coverage contour map showing the digital television coverage 
area of the applicant. This map must show the counties (or county) 
comprising the core coverage area by shading and by name. Partial 
counties included in the applicant's core coverage area must be 
identified as partial and must contain an attachment with the 
applicant's estimate of the percentage that its coverage contour 
comprises the total area of the county (total area is available from 
American Factfinder, referenced in Sec.  1740.8 (c)(1)). If the 
application is for a translator, the coverage area may be estimated by 
the applicant through computer modeling or some other reasonable 
method, and this estimate is subject to acceptance by RUS.
    (f) The applicant's own calculation of its Rurality score, 
supported by a worksheet showing the population of its core coverage 
area, and the urban and rural populations within the core coverage 
area. The data source for the urban and rural components of that 
population must be identified. If the application includes computations 
made by a consultant or other organization outside the public 
television station, the application shall state the details of that 
collaboration.
    (g) The applicant's own calculation of its Economic Need score, 
supported by a worksheet showing the National School Lunch Program 
eligibility levels for all school districts within the core coverage 
area and averaging these eligibility percentages. The application must 
include a statement from the state or local organization that 
administers the NSLP program certifying the school district scores used 
in the computations.
    (h) If applicable, a presentation not to exceed five pages 
demonstrating the Critical Need for the project.
    (i) Evidence that the FCC has authorized the initiation of digital 
broadcasting at the project sites. In the event that an FCC 
construction permit has not been issued for one or more sites, the RUS 
may include those sites in the grant, and make advance of funds for 
that site conditional upon the submission of a construction permit.
    (j) Compliance with other Federal statutes. The applicant must 
provide evidence or certification that it is in compliance with all 
applicable Federal statutes and regulations, including, but not limited 
to the following:
    (1) Executive Order (E.O.) 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity, as 
amended by E.O. 11375 and as supplemented by regulations contained in 
41 CFR part 60;
    (2) Architectural barriers;
    (3) Flood hazard area precautions;
    (4) Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;
    (5) Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 (41 U.S.C. 701);
    (6) E.O.s 12549 and 12689, Debarment and Suspension; and
    (7) Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment (31 U.S.C. 1352).
    (k) Environmental impact and historic preservation. The applicant 
must provide details of the digital transition's impact on the 
environment and historic preservation, and comply with 7 CFR part 1794, 
which contains RUS' policies and procedures for implementing a variety 
of Federal statutes, regulations, and executive orders generally 
pertaining to the protection of the

[[Page 3209]]

quality of the human environment. This must be contained in a separate 
section entitled ``Environmental Impact of the Digital Transition,'' 
and must include the Environmental Questionnaire/Certification, 
available from RUS, describing the impact of its digital transition. 
Submission of the Environmental Questionnaire/Certification alone does 
not constitute compliance with 7 CFR part 1794.


Sec.  1740.10  Grant documents.

    The terms and conditions of each grant shall be set forth in 
standard grant documents prepared by RUS. These documents shall require 
that the applicant own or lease all facilities financed by the grant. 
In addition, however, RUS may prescribe special conditions to the 
advance of funds, such as those concerning FCC licensing.


Sec.  1740.11  Requests for funds.

    (a) Once grant documents have been executed, funds may be requested 
for eligible purposes up to the amounts in the grant. Funds may either 
be requested in anticipation of known obligations, or may be requested 
to reimburse disbursements made by the grantee.
    (b) Requests for funds shall be submitted on Standard Form 270 
(Request for Advancement or Reimbursement).
    (c) All requests for funds shall be supported by invoices or 
receipts.

    Dated: January 12, 2006.
James M. Andrew,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 06-511 Filed 1-19-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-15-P