Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations, 55965-55968 [2014-21704]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations application or they were inspected prior to export and found free of P. mangiferae and X. campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. (2) If the mangoes are to be treated for Anastrepha spp. fruit flies upon arrival in the United States, the additional declaration must state that the mangoes were inspected and found free of C. moestus and were either treated with a pre- or post-harvest fungicidal application or inspected prior to export and found free of P. mangiferae and X. campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0579–0419) Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of September 2014. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2014–22290 Filed 9–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Rural Business-Cooperative Services Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Parts 1940, 1942, 1944, 1948, and 1980 RIN 0575–ZA01 Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency, USDA. ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: Rural Development (RD) is amending the regulations so that an obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System (CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:12 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports and USDA reporting requirements. DATES: This rule will become effective January 16, 2015 without further action, unless the Agency receives written adverse comments on or before November 17, 2014. If the Agency receives adverse comments, the Agency will publish a timely document in the Federal Register withdrawing the amendment. Any adverse comments received will be considered under the proposed rule published in this edition of the Federal Register in the proposed rule section. A second public comment period will not be held. Written comments must be received by the Agency or carry a postmark no later than November 17, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to this rule by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250–0742. • Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal Express Mail or other courier service requiring a street address to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20024. All written comments will be available for public inspection during regular work hours at 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor address listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Amanda Lammering, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., FC–33, St. Louis, MO 63120; email: amanda.lammering@stl.usda.gov; telephone (314) 457–4058; or Ms. Kristen Landwehr, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., FC–33, St. Louis, MO 63120; email: kristen.landwehr@ stl.usda.gov; telephone (314) 457–4180. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Various RD automated accounting systems are designed to process obligations for Business, Community PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 55965 Facility, and Water and Environmental direct loan, guaranteed loan, and grant programs using a 6-day reservation period. The 6-day reservation period is a system edit in the PLAS, GLS, and CLSS that assigns an obligation date to an RD funded project 6 working days from the date funds are reserved. When RD programs are funded through a continuing resolution, the accounting systems must be modified to waive the 6-day reservation edit. In Fiscal Year 2011, RD received six continuing resolutions followed by four continuing resolutions in Fiscal Year 2012 which resulted in cumbersome systems’ modifications. These modifications have caused undue hardship to RD staff due to last minute continuing resolution decisions, manual system adjustments needed, and time consuming coordination efforts. Several new RD programs have not implemented a 6-day reservation period for obligations. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program disabled the 6 day reservation period along with the Biorefinery Assistance Program of the 2008 Farm Bill. Additionally, Rural Electric and Telecommunication, Single Family Housing, and Multi-Family Housing loans do not have a 6-day reservation requirement when obligating program funds. To maintain consistency and uniformity across RD’s automated accounting systems, RD will be removing the 6-day reservation system edit on obligations. As automation for this enhancement is completed, program staffs will have immediate knowledge of approved obligations as opposed to showing the obligations on reserved status. Field office personnel will adhere to a 6-working day waiting period prior to notifying an applicant/ lender of loan and/or grant approval. Rural Development believes the removal of the 6-day reservation period on obligations for guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants to be a noncontroversial change to the regulations with no impact on the public. Programs Affected The programs described by this rule are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Programs under number(s) 10.350 Technical Assistance to Cooperatives, 10.352 Value-Added Producer Grants, 10.420 Rural Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance, 10.433 Rural Housing Preservation Grants, 10.446 Rural Community Development Initiative, 10.759 Part 1774 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural E:\FR\FM\18SER1.SGM 18SER1 55966 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Communities and Household Program (SEARCH), 10.760 Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, 10.761 Technical Assistance and Training Grants, 10.762 Solid Waste Management Grants, 10.763 Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants, 10.766 Community Facilities Loans and Grants, 10.767 Intermediary Relending Program, 10.768 Business and Industry Loans, 10.769 Rural Business Enterprise Grants, 10.770 Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants (section 306C), 10.771 Rural Cooperative Development Grants, 10.773 Rural Business Opportunity Grants, 10.778 Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives, 10.781 Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities— ARRA, 10.854 Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants, 10.856 1890 Land Grant Institutions Rural Entrepreneurial Outreach Program, 10.858 Denali Commission Grants and Loans, 10.862 Household Water Well System Grant Program, 10.864 Grant Program to Establish a Fund for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects, 10.866 Repowering Assistance, 10.868 Rural Energy for America Program, 10.870 Rural Micro entrepreneur Assistance Program. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Executive Order 12866—Classification This 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). Non-Discrimination Statement The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because of all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720– 2600 (voice and TDD). If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/ complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632–9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:12 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250– 9410, by fax (202) 690–7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file a program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 or (800) 845– 6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Civil Rights Impact Statement No major civil rights impact is likely to result from the announcement of this notice. It will not have a negative civil rights impact on very-low income, low income, and moderate income and minority populations. Environmental Impact Statement This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, ‘‘Environmental Program.’’ Rural Development has determined that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation 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, Civil Justice This direct final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. In accordance with this rule: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Agriculture’s National Appeals Division (7 CFR part 11) must be exhausted before bringing suit in court challenging action taken under this rule unless those regulations specifically allow bringing suit at an earlier time. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The policies contained in this direct final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with states is not required. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–602) (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (‘‘APA’’) or any other statute. This rule, however, is not subject to the APA under 5 U.S.C 553(a)(2) and 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A) nor any other statute. Unfunded Mandates Title II of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L. 104–4) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. Agencies generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with Federal mandates that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more in any 1 year for State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. This direct final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for State, local, and tribal Governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments This executive order imposes requirements on Rural Development in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. Rural Development has determined that the final rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, this final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If a tribe determines that this rule has implications of which Rural E:\FR\FM\18SER1.SGM 18SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations Development is not aware and would like to engage with Rural Development on this rule, please contact Rural Development’s Native American Coordinator at AIAN@wdc.usda.gov. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule does not contain any information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520). E-Government Act Compliance Rural Development is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. CHAPTER XVIII—RURAL HOUSING SERVICE, RURAL BUSINESS– COOPERATIVE SERVICE, RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, AND FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Subpart K—Technical and Supervisory Assistance Grants PART 1940—GENERAL § 1944.533 Grant approval and announcement. 1. The authority citation for part 1940 continues to read as follows: * ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989; and 42 U.S.C. 1480. Subpart L—Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds 2. Amend § 1940.588 by revising paragraph (i) to read as follows: ■ List of Subjects § 1940.588 Business and Industry Guaranteed and Direct Loans 7 CFR Part 1940 * Agriculture, Grant programsagriculture, Grant programs-housing and community development, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programshousing and community development, Rural areas. Business and industry, Community facilities, Grant programs-business, Grant programs-housing and community development, Grant programs-Indians, Indians, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programs-housing and community development, Loan programs-Indians, Loan programs-natural resources, Rural areas, Waste treatment and disposal, Water supply, Watersheds. 7 CFR Part 1944 Administrative practice and procedure, Cooperatives, Grant programs housing and community development, Loan programs-housing and community development, Rural areas. 7 CFR Part 1948 Community facilities, Grant programshousing and community development, Rural areas. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 7 CFR Part 1980 Agriculture, Business and industry, Community facilities, Disaster assistance, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programs-business, Loan programs-housing and community development, Rural areas. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XVIII, title 7, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:12 Sep 17, 2014 * * * * (i) Availability of the allocation. See § 1940.552(i) of this subpart. * * * * * PART 1942—ASSOCIATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 1942 continues to read as follows: ■ 7 CFR Part 1942 Jkt 232001 55967 Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989. Subpart A—Community Facility Loans 6. Amend § 1944.533 by revising the last sentence of paragraph (f)(2)(i) and the introductory text of paragraph (f)(4) to read as follows: ■ * * * * (f) * * * (2) * * * (i) * * * The obligation date will be the date the request for obligation is processed. * * * * * (4) An executed form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 1940–1 will be sent to the applicant along with an executed copy of the Grant Agreement and scope of work 6 working days from the date funds are obligated. * * * * * PART 1948—RURAL DEVELOPMENT 7. The authority citation for part 1948 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 7 U.S.C. 1932 note. Subpart B—Section 601 Energy Impacted Area Development Assistance Program 8. Amend § 1948.92 by revising the last sentence of paragraph (g)(3) and paragraph (g)(8) to read as follows: ■ 4. Amend § 1942.5 by revising paragraph (d)(4) and the first sentence of paragraph (d)(6) to read as follows: ■ § 1942.5 Application review and approval. * * * * * (d) * * * (4) The date the applicant is notified of loan and/or grant approval is six working days from the date funds are reserved unless an exception is granted by the National Office. * * * * * (6) Loan approval and applicant notification will be accomplished by the State Director or designee by mailing to the applicant, 6 working days from the obligation date, a copy of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 1940–1 which has been previously signed by the applicant and loan approval official. * * * * * * * * § 1948.92 Grant approval and fund obligation. * * * * * (g) * * * (3) * * * The obligation date will be the date the request for obligation is processed. * * * * * (8) An executed copy of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 440–1 shall be sent to the applicant along with an executed copy of the grant agreement and scope of work 6 working days from the date funds are obligated. * * * * * PART 1980—GENERAL 9. The authority citation for part 1980 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 7 U.S.C. 1989. Subpart E also issued under 7 U.S.C. 1932(a). PART 1944—HOUSING 5. The authority citation for part 1944 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 1480. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Subpart E—Business and Industrial Loan Program 10. In § 1980.452 under the heading ‘‘Administrative’’, revise the fifth ■ E:\FR\FM\18SER1.SGM 18SER1 55968 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 181 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 / Rules and Regulations sentence of paragraph D.6. introductory text and the third sentences of paragraph D.6.d. to read as follows: § 1980.452 FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 evaluation of application. * * * * * D. * * * 6. * * * Notice of approval to lender will be accomplished by providing or sending the lender the signed copy of Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 1940–3 and Form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 449–14 six working days from the date funds are reserved, unless an exception is granted by the National Office. * * * * * * * * (d) * * * The obligation date will be the date of the request for reservation of authority which is being processed in the Finance Office. * * * * * * * * Dated: August 7, 2014. Doug O’Brien, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: September 3, 2014. Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. [FR Doc. 2014–21704 Filed 9–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XT–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Parts 101 and 113 [Docket No. APHIS–2013–0034] RIN 0579–AD86 Viruses, Serums, Toxins, and Analogous Products; Standard Requirements; Addition of Terminology To Define Veterinary Biologics Test Results Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are amending the veterinary biological product regulations by defining the terms used for reporting the results of tests performed on veterinary biological products. Licensees and permittees of veterinary biological products must conduct these tests and report the results to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service so that the Agency can determine if the products are eligible for release. Defining these terms will clarify the circumstances under asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Sep 17, 2014 Jkt 232001 which the results of a prescribed test can be reported as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, inconclusive, or a No Test. We are also removing several obsolete testing standard requirements from the regulations. These changes will update our regulations and improve communication between regulators and product licensees and permittees with respect to reporting test results. DATES: Effective Date: October 20, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Donna Malloy, Operational Support Section, Center for Veterinary Biologics Policy, Evaluation, and Licensing, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 148, Riverdale, MD 20737–1231; (301) 851– 3426. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers and enforces the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (21 U.S.C. 151 et seq.). Under the VirusSerum-Toxin Act, a veterinary biological product must be shown to be pure, safe, potent, and efficacious before a veterinary biological product license may be issued. The regulations in 9 CFR part 113, ‘‘Standard Requirements’’ (referred to below as the regulations), prohibit the release of biological products prior to the completion of tests identified in the regulations and in the Outline of Production, a document submitted by the licensee that explains how a serial of product is formulated, tested, packaged, dated, and recommended for use. On May 30, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 31054–31056, Docket No. APHIS–2013–0034) a proposal 1 to amend the regulations by defining the terms used for reporting the results of tests performed on veterinary biological products. We proposed to add definitions of the terms used to designate test results, ‘‘satisfactory,’’ ‘‘unsatisfactory,’’ and ‘‘inconclusive,’’ to § 101.5(l) and to revise the definition of ‘‘No Test’’ currently in that section in order to align the regulations in 9 CFR part 113 with current industry standards and practices. We also proposed to remove §§ 113.201, 113.202, 113.203, 113.211, 113.213, and 113.214 from the regulations. These standards, which involve testing on live animals, are no longer used by the industry because newer testing methods are available. We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 60 days ending July 29, 2014. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the 1 To view the proposed rule and supporting documentation, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0034. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 proposed rule, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, without change. Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a link to Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. APHIS is amending the regulations in order to better define the terminology used when reporting the results of tests performed on veterinary biological products, thereby bringing the regulations up to date with current industry standards. The changes will clarify when the results of a prescribed test can be reported as satisfactory, unsatisfactory, inconclusive, or can be designated as a No Test. The definitional changes will improve communication between APHIS and the regulated industry, and enable APHIS to more efficiently process the release of a tested product using current industry standards for reporting of test results. There are about 330 firms in the United States that manufacture biological products. It is not known how many of these firms are engaged in manufacturing biologic products specifically for veterinary purposes. The Small Business Administration (SBA) standard for a small business in this industry is a firm with not more than 500 employees; the average firm in this industry has 93 employees. While most firms that would be affected by this rule are small, the changes will not impose a financial burden on them, but rather help make the product approval process timelier. Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Executive Order 12372 This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires E:\FR\FM\18SER1.SGM 18SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 181 (Thursday, September 18, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 55965-55968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21704]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Housing Service

Rural Business-Cooperative Services

Rural Utilities Service

Farm Service Agency

7 CFR Parts 1940, 1942, 1944, 1948, and 1980

RIN 0575-ZA01


Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural 
Development Obligations

AGENCY: Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, 
Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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

SUMMARY: Rural Development (RD) is amending the regulations so that an 
obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will 
no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of 
authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period 
will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System 
(CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting 
System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual 
intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations 
and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase 
consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system 
implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management 
Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between 
processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports 
and USDA reporting requirements.

DATES: This rule will become effective January 16, 2015 without further 
action, unless the Agency receives written adverse comments on or 
before November 17, 2014. If the Agency receives adverse comments, the 
Agency will publish a timely document in the Federal Register 
withdrawing the amendment.
    Any adverse comments received will be considered under the proposed 
rule published in this edition of the Federal Register in the proposed 
rule section. A second public comment period will not be held. Written 
comments must be received by the Agency or carry a postmark no later 
than November 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to this rule by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service 
to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-0742.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal 
Express Mail or other courier service requiring a street address to the 
Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor, Washington, 
DC 20024.
    All written comments will be available for public inspection during 
regular work hours at 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor address listed 
above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Amanda Lammering, Rural 
Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., FC-
33, St. Louis, MO 63120; email: amanda.lammering@stl.usda.gov; 
telephone (314) 457-4058; or Ms. Kristen Landwehr, Rural Development, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, 4300 Goodfellow Blvd., FC-33, St. 
Louis, MO 63120; email: kristen.landwehr@stl.usda.gov; telephone (314) 
457-4180.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Various RD automated accounting systems are designed to process 
obligations for Business, Community Facility, and Water and 
Environmental direct loan, guaranteed loan, and grant programs using a 
6-day reservation period. The 6-day reservation period is a system edit 
in the PLAS, GLS, and CLSS that assigns an obligation date to an RD 
funded project 6 working days from the date funds are reserved.
    When RD programs are funded through a continuing resolution, the 
accounting systems must be modified to waive the 6-day reservation 
edit. In Fiscal Year 2011, RD received six continuing resolutions 
followed by four continuing resolutions in Fiscal Year 2012 which 
resulted in cumbersome systems' modifications. These modifications have 
caused undue hardship to RD staff due to last minute continuing 
resolution decisions, manual system adjustments needed, and time 
consuming coordination efforts.
    Several new RD programs have not implemented a 6-day reservation 
period for obligations. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act of 2009 (ARRA) the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan 
Program disabled the 6 day reservation period along with the 
Biorefinery Assistance Program of the 2008 Farm Bill. Additionally, 
Rural Electric and Telecommunication, Single Family Housing, and Multi-
Family Housing loans do not have a 6-day reservation requirement when 
obligating program funds.
    To maintain consistency and uniformity across RD's automated 
accounting systems, RD will be removing the 6-day reservation system 
edit on obligations. As automation for this enhancement is completed, 
program staffs will have immediate knowledge of approved obligations as 
opposed to showing the obligations on reserved status. Field office 
personnel will adhere to a 6-working day waiting period prior to 
notifying an applicant/lender of loan and/or grant approval. Rural 
Development believes the removal of the 6-day reservation period on 
obligations for guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants to be a 
noncontroversial change to the regulations with no impact on the 
public.

Programs Affected

    The programs described by this rule are listed in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance Programs under number(s) 10.350 Technical 
Assistance to Cooperatives, 10.352 Value-Added Producer Grants, 10.420 
Rural Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance, 10.433 Rural Housing 
Preservation Grants, 10.446 Rural Community Development Initiative, 
10.759 Part 1774 Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural

[[Page 55966]]

Communities and Household Program (SEARCH), 10.760 Water and Waste 
Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, 10.761 Technical Assistance and 
Training Grants, 10.762 Solid Waste Management Grants, 10.763 Emergency 
Community Water Assistance Grants, 10.766 Community Facilities Loans 
and Grants, 10.767 Intermediary Relending Program, 10.768 Business and 
Industry Loans, 10.769 Rural Business Enterprise Grants, 10.770 Water 
and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants (section 306C), 10.771 Rural 
Cooperative Development Grants, 10.773 Rural Business Opportunity 
Grants, 10.778 Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives, 10.781 
Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities--ARRA, 10.854 
Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants, 10.856 1890 Land Grant 
Institutions Rural Entrepreneurial Outreach Program, 10.858 Denali 
Commission Grants and Loans, 10.862 Household Water Well System Grant 
Program, 10.864 Grant Program to Establish a Fund for Financing Water 
and Wastewater Projects, 10.866 Repowering Assistance, 10.868 Rural 
Energy for America Program, 10.870 Rural Micro entrepreneur Assistance 
Program.

Executive Order 12866--Classification

    This 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).

Non-Discrimination Statement

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination 
in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, 
national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital 
status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, 
genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because of all or 
part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance 
program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with 
disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program 
information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of 
discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint 
Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/
complaintfilingcust.html, or at any USDA office, or 
call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter 
containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your 
completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at 
program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or 
have speech disabilities and you wish to file a program complaint 
please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 
or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider 
and employer.

Civil Rights Impact Statement

    No major civil rights impact is likely to result from the 
announcement of this notice. It will not have a negative civil rights 
impact on very-low income, low income, and moderate income and minority 
populations.

Environmental Impact Statement

    This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, 
subpart G, ``Environmental Program.'' Rural Development has determined 
that this action does not constitute a major Federal action 
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 
42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., an Environmental Impact Statement is not 
required.

Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation

    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, Civil Justice

    This direct final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 
12988, Civil Justice Reform. In accordance with this rule: (1) All 
State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this 
rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings in accordance with the 
regulations of the Department of Agriculture's National Appeals 
Division (7 CFR part 11) must be exhausted before bringing suit in 
court challenging action taken under this rule unless those regulations 
specifically allow bringing suit at an earlier time.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The policies contained in this direct 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 
rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local 
governments. Therefore, consultation with states is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-602) (RFA) generally 
requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any 
rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the 
Administrative Procedure Act (``APA'') or any other statute. This rule, 
however, is not subject to the APA under 5 U.S.C 553(a)(2) and 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(A) nor any other statute.

Unfunded Mandates

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L. 
104-4) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their 
regulatory actions on State, local, or Tribal governments or the 
private sector. Agencies generally must prepare a written statement, 
including a cost benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with 
Federal mandates that may result in expenditures of $100 million or 
more in any 1 year for State, local, or Tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies 
to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least 
burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.
    This direct final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the 
regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995) for State, local, and tribal Governments or the private 
sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of 
sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    This executive order imposes requirements on Rural Development in 
the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or 
preempt tribal laws. Rural Development has determined that the final 
rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian 
tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers 
and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. 
Thus, this final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive 
Order 13175. If a tribe determines that this rule has implications of 
which Rural

[[Page 55967]]

Development is not aware and would like to engage with Rural 
Development on this rule, please contact Rural Development's Native 
American Coordinator at AIAN@wdc.usda.gov.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any information collection requirements 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

E-Government Act Compliance

    Rural Development is committed to complying with the E-Government 
Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information 
technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to 
Government information and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects

7 CFR Part 1940

    Agriculture, Grant programs-agriculture, Grant programs-housing and 
community development, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programs-housing 
and community development, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1942

    Business and industry, Community facilities, Grant programs-
business, Grant programs-housing and community development, Grant 
programs-Indians, Indians, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programs-
housing and community development, Loan programs-Indians, Loan 
programs-natural resources, Rural areas, Waste treatment and disposal, 
Water supply, Watersheds.

7 CFR Part 1944

    Administrative practice and procedure, Cooperatives, Grant programs 
housing and community development, Loan programs-housing and community 
development, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1948

    Community facilities, Grant programs-housing and community 
development, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 1980

    Agriculture, Business and industry, Community facilities, Disaster 
assistance, Loan programs-agriculture, Loan programs-business, Loan 
programs-housing and community development, Rural areas.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XVIII, title 7, 
of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

CHAPTER XVIII--RURAL HOUSING SERVICE, RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE 
SERVICE, RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, AND FARM SERVICE AGENCY, 
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

PART 1940--GENERAL

0
1. The authority citation for part 1940 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989; and 42 U.S.C. 1480.

Subpart L--Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and 
Grant Program Funds

0
2. Amend Sec.  1940.588 by revising paragraph (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  1940.588  Business and Industry Guaranteed and Direct Loans

* * * * *
    (i) Availability of the allocation. See Sec.  1940.552(i) of this 
subpart.
* * * * *

PART 1942--ASSOCIATIONS

0
3. The authority citation for part 1942 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart A--Community Facility Loans

0
4. Amend Sec.  1942.5 by revising paragraph (d)(4) and the first 
sentence of paragraph (d)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  1942.5  Application review and approval.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (4) The date the applicant is notified of loan and/or grant 
approval is six working days from the date funds are reserved unless an 
exception is granted by the National Office.
* * * * *
    (6) Loan approval and applicant notification will be accomplished 
by the State Director or designee by mailing to the applicant, 6 
working days from the obligation date, a copy of Form FmHA or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-1 which has been 
previously signed by the applicant and loan approval official. * * *
* * * * *

PART 1944--HOUSING

0
5. The authority citation for part 1944 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 42 U.S.C. 1480.

Subpart K--Technical and Supervisory Assistance Grants

0
6. Amend Sec.  1944.533 by revising the last sentence of paragraph 
(f)(2)(i) and the introductory text of paragraph (f)(4) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1944.533  Grant approval and announcement.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * * The obligation date will be the date the request for 
obligation is processed.
* * * * *
    (4) An executed form FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 
103-354 1940-1 will be sent to the applicant along with an executed 
copy of the Grant Agreement and scope of work 6 working days from the 
date funds are obligated.
* * * * *

PART 1948--RURAL DEVELOPMENT

0
7. The authority citation for part 1948 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301, 7 U.S.C. 1932 note.

Subpart B--Section 601 Energy Impacted Area Development Assistance 
Program

0
8. Amend Sec.  1948.92 by revising the last sentence of paragraph 
(g)(3) and paragraph (g)(8) to read as follows:


Sec.  1948.92  Grant approval and fund obligation.

* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (3) * * * The obligation date will be the date the request for 
obligation is processed.
* * * * *
    (8) An executed copy of Form FmHA or its successor agency under 
Public Law 103-354 440-1 shall be sent to the applicant along with an 
executed copy of the grant agreement and scope of work 6 working days 
from the date funds are obligated.
* * * * *

PART 1980--GENERAL

0
9. The authority citation for part 1980 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 7 U.S.C. 1989. Subpart E also issued 
under 7 U.S.C. 1932(a).

Subpart E--Business and Industrial Loan Program

0
10. In Sec.  1980.452 under the heading ``Administrative'', revise the 
fifth

[[Page 55968]]

sentence of paragraph D.6. introductory text and the third sentences of 
paragraph D.6.d. to read as follows:


Sec.  1980.452  FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 
evaluation of application.

* * * * *
    D. * * *
    6. * * * Notice of approval to lender will be accomplished by 
providing or sending the lender the signed copy of Form FmHA or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354 1940-3 and Form FmHA or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354 449-14 six working days from 
the date funds are reserved, unless an exception is granted by the 
National Office. * * *
* * * * *
    (d) * * * The obligation date will be the date of the request for 
reservation of authority which is being processed in the Finance 
Office. * * *
* * * * *

     Dated: August 7, 2014.
Doug O'Brien,
Under Secretary, Rural Development.
    Dated: September 3, 2014.
Michael Scuse,
Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2014-21704 Filed 9-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XT-P