Revision of Delegation of Authority for the State Executive Director (SED) for the Farm Loan Programs, 11867-11869 [2018-05466]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 53 / Monday, March 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations adding the words ‘‘plants for planting’’ in their place; and ■ d. By removing the words ‘‘stock is’’ and adding the words ‘‘plants are’’ in their place. § 340.4 [Amended] 42. In § 340.4, paragraph (f)(11)(i) is amended by removing the citation ‘‘§ 319.37–14’’ and adding the words ‘‘accordance with § 319.37–8(a)’’ in its place. ■ § 340.7 43. In § 340.7, paragraph (b) introductory text is amended by removing the citation ‘‘§ 319.37–14’’ and adding the words ‘‘accordance with § 319.37–8(a)’’ in its place. ■ PART 360—NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS 44. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701–7772 and 7781– 7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. [Amended] 45. In § 360.400, paragraph (a)(2) is amended by removing the citation ‘‘§ 319.37–6’’ and adding the words ‘‘§ 319.37–9(c) of this chapter’’ in its place, and by removing the citation ‘‘§ 319.37–13(c)’’ and adding the citation ‘‘§ 319.37–9(c)’’ in its place. ■ PART 361—IMPORTATION OF SEED AND SCREENINGS UNDER THE FEDERAL SEED ACT 46. The authority citation for part 361 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1581–1610; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. § 361.2 [Amended] 47. In § 361.2, paragraph (d) is amended by removing the words ‘‘restrictions of § 319.37–3(a)(7)’’ and adding the words ‘‘permit requirements of § 319.37–5 of this chapter’’ in their place. nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES ■ Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of March 2018. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2018–05424 Filed 3–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:37 Mar 16, 2018 Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 761 Revision of Delegation of Authority for the State Executive Director (SED) for the Farm Loan Programs Farm Service Agency, Department of Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This document amends the delegations of authority from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Deputy Administrator of Farm Loan Programs (FLP). The change will specify that the Deputy Administrator redelegates certain authority to the State Executive Directors (SED). The change will also specify that SEDs may redelegate the authority to a Farm Loan Chief, Farm Loan Specialist, District Director, Farm Loan Manager, Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, Loan Resolution Specialist, or Program Technician to perform loan activities. This will ensure that certain loan documents can be signed off locally instead of requiring the FLP Deputy Administrator to have to sign off on certain loan documents. DATES: Effective: March 19, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bruce Mair; telephone: (202) 720–1645. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720–2600. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: [Amended] § 360.400 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Jkt 244001 Background FSA makes and services a variety of direct and guaranteed loans to the nation’s farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain private commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms. FSA also provides direct loan customers with credit counseling and supervision to enhance their opportunity for success. FSA direct and guaranteed loan applicants are often beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers who do not qualify for conventional loans because of insufficient net worth or established farmers who have suffered financial setbacks due to natural disasters or economic downturns. FSA tailors direct and guaranteed loans to a customer’s needs and may be used to buy farmland and to finance agricultural production. The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act of 1972, as amended, (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1921–2009dd–7)) authorizes FSA’s Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11867 Redelegation to and by SEDs As part of loan servicing, various real estate documents must be signed by FSA and the files must be on public record in certain states. Some of the real estate documents that FSA signs include, but are not limited to, lien satisfactions, partial releases, and subordinations. FSA’s intent has always been for the real estate documents to be signed by FSA officials at the local level. In the past, the regulations in 7 CFR part 1900 included specific wording concerning which employees were delegated with signature authority. In 2007, when FSA streamlined the FLP regulations, 7 CFR 761.1 broadened the regulatory text concerning FLP delegations, but the original intent as to who would have the authority to sign the real estate documents did not change. FSA recently determined that more specificity in 7 CFR 761.1 regarding the delegation of authority would be helpful and is therefore revising the regulation. FSA is amending the regulation in 7 CFR part 761 regarding the delegation of authority for the Deputy of Administrator of FLP to specify that the Deputy Administrator of FLP redelegates certain loan making and servicing authority to SEDs and when there is no loss to FSA, the SEDs may redelegate the authority to the Farm Loan Chief, Farm Loan Specialist, District Director, Farm Loan Manager, Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, Loan Resolution Specialist, or Program Technician. The revised delegation will clarify the authority for the Acting SED and other authorized officials to sign certain loan documents and to perform other loan activities for SEDs. Notice and Comment In general, the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking be published in the Federal Register and interested persons be given an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking through submission of written data, views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, except that when the rule involves a matter relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts section 553 does not apply. This rule involves matters relating to loans and is therefore being published as a final rule without the prior opportunity for comments. Effective Date The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) provides generally that E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1 11868 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 53 / Monday, March 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations before rules are issued by Government agencies, the rule is required to be published in the Federal Register, and the required publication of a substantive rule is to be not less than 30 days before its effective date. However, as noted above, one of the exceptions is that section 553 does not apply to rulemaking that involves a matter relating to loans. Therefore, because this rule relates to loans, the 30-day effective period requirement in section 553 does not apply. This final rule is effective when published in the Federal Register. nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777 Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review,’’ and Executive Order 13563, ‘‘Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,’’ direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasized the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13777, ‘‘Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,’’ established a federal policy to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American people. In section 3(d), Executive Order 12866 defines ‘‘regulation’’ or ‘‘rule.’’ In the definition, it specifically does not include regulations or rules that are limited to agency organization, management, or personnel matters. This rule relates to internal agency management; therefore, it is exempt from the provisions of Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’’ requires that in order to manage the private costs required to comply with Federal regulations that for every new significant or economically significant regulation issued, the new costs must be offset by the elimination of at least two prior regulations. This rule does not rise to the level required to comply with Executive Order 13771. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA, Pub. L. 104–121), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule whenever an agency is required by the Administrative VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:37 Mar 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 Procedure Act or any other law to publish a proposed rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act because FSA is not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law to publish a proposed rule for this rulemaking. Environmental Review The environmental impacts of this final rule have been considered in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321–4347), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 799). FSA has determined that the provisions identified in this final rule are administrative in nature, solely relating to internal agency management, and do not constitute a major Federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment, individually or cumulatively. Provisions for signature authorities are purely administrative and would not alter any environmental impacts associated with any loans. Therefore, as this rule presents administrative clarifications only, FSA will not prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for this regulatory action. Executive Order 12372 Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,’’ requires consultation with State and local officials that would be directly affected by proposed Federal financial assistance. The objectives of Executive Order 12372 are to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened Federalism, by relying on State and local processes for State and local government coordination and review of proposed Federal Financial assistance and direct Federal development. For reasons specified in the final rule related notice regarding 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), the programs and activities within this rule are excluded from the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. Executive Order 12988 This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, ‘‘Civil Justice Reform.’’ This rule will not preempt State or local laws, regulations, or PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 policies unless they represent an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The rule will not have a retroactive effect. Before any judicial action may be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR parts 11 and 780 are to be exhausted. Executive Order 13132 This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism.’’ The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, except as required by law. Nor will this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required. Executive Order 13175 This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, ‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.’’ Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a governmentto-government basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes. FSA has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require tribal consultation under Executive Order 13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, FSA will work with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is provided. Unfunded Mandates Title II of the Unfunded Mandates 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 costbenefit 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 E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 53 / Monday, March 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 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 rule contains no Federal mandates, as defined in Title II of UMRA, for State, local, and Tribal governments or private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501– 3520), the rule does not change the approved information collection approved under OMB control number 0560–0238, General Program Administration. E-Government Act Compliance FSA 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 other purposes. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 761 Accounting, Loan programs— agriculture, Rural areas. For reasons discussed above, FSA amends 7 CFR chapter VII as follows: 1. The authority citation for part 761 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 7 U.S.C. 1989. 2. Revise § 761.1(b) to read as follows: § 761.1 Introduction. nshattuck on DSK9F9SC42PROD with RULES * * * * * (b) The Deputy Administrator: (1) Delegates to each State Executive Director within the State Executive Director’s jurisdiction the authority, and in the absence of the State Executive Director, the person acting in that position, to act for, on behalf of, and in the name of the United States of America or the Farm Service Agency to do and perform acts necessary in connection with making and guaranteeing loans, such as, but not limited to, making advances, servicing loans and other indebtedness, and obtaining, servicing, and enforcing or releasing security and other instruments related to the loan. For actions that do not result in a loss to the Farm Service Agency, a State Executive Director may redelegate authorities received under this paragraph to a Farm Loan Chief, Farm Loan Specialist, District Director, VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:37 Mar 16, 2018 Jkt 244001 Steven J. Peterson, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency. [FR Doc. 2018–05466 Filed 3–16–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–01–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture 7 CFR Part 3434 RIN 0524–AA39 Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) Certification Process National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This amendment to NIFA regulations updates the list of institutions that are granted HispanicServing Agricultural Colleges and Universities (HSACU) certification by the Secretary and are eligible for HSACU programs for the period starting October 1, 2017, and ending September 30, 2018. DATES: This rule is effective March 19, 2018 and applicable October 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joanna Moore; Senior Policy Specialist; National Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; STOP 2272; 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–2272; Voice: 202–690–6011; Fax: 202–401–7752; Email: jmoore@ nifa.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PART 761—FARM LOAN PROGRAMS; GENERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION ■ Farm Loan Manager, or Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, Loan Resolution Specialist, or Program Technician. (2) May establish procedures for further redelegation or limitation of authority. * * * * * HSACU Institutions for Fiscal Year 2018 This rule makes changes to the existing list of institutions in appendix B of 7 CFR part 3434. The list of institutions is amended to reflect the institutions that are granted HSACU certification by the Secretary and are eligible for HSACU programs for the period starting October 1, 2017, and ending September 30, 2018. Certification Process As stated in 7 CFR 3434.4, an institution must meet the following criteria to receive HSACU certification: PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11869 (1) Be a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), (2) offer agriculture-related degrees, (3) not appear on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), (4) be accredited, and (5) award at least 15% of agriculture-related degrees to Hispanic students over the two most recent academic years. NIFA obtained the latest report from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics that lists all HSIs and the degrees conferred by these institutions (completion data) during the 2015–16 academic year. NIFA used this report to identify HSIs that conferred a degree in an instructional program that appears in appendix A of 7 CFR part 3434 and to confirm that over the 2014–15 and 2015–16 academic years at least 15% of the degrees in agriculture-related fields were awarded to Hispanic students. NIFA further confirmed that these institutions were nationally accredited and were not on the exclusions listing in the System for Award Management (https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/ ##11). The updated list of HSACUs is based on (1) completions data from 2014–15 and 2015–16, and (2) enrollment data from Fall 2016. NIFA identified 147 institutions that met the eligibility criteria to receive HSACU certification for FY 2018 (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018). Declaration of Intent To Opt Out of HSACU Designation and Apply for Non Land-Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) Designation As set forth in Section 7101 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113– 79), which amends 7 U.S.C. 3103, an institution that is eligible to be designated as an HSACU may notify the Secretary of its intent not to be considered an HSACU. Institutions that opt out of HSACU designation will have the option to apply for designation as a Non-Land Grant College of Agriculture (NLGCA) institution. To opt out of designation as an HSACU, an authorized official at the institution must submit a declaration of intent not to be considered an HSACU to NIFA by email at NLGCA.status@nifa.usda.gov. In accordance with Section 7101, a declaration by an institution not to be considered an HSACU shall remain in effect until September 30, 2018. To be eligible for NLGCA designation, institutions must be public colleges or universities offering baccalaureate or higher degrees in the study of food and agricultural sciences, as defined in 7 U.S.C. 3103. An online form to request NLGCA designation is available at http://nifa.usda.gov/webform/request- E:\FR\FM\19MRR1.SGM 19MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 53 (Monday, March 19, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11867-11869]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-05466]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Farm Service Agency

7 CFR Part 761


Revision of Delegation of Authority for the State Executive 
Director (SED) for the Farm Loan Programs

AGENCY: Farm Service Agency, Department of Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This document amends the delegations of authority from the 
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Deputy Administrator of Farm Loan Programs 
(FLP). The change will specify that the Deputy Administrator 
redelegates certain authority to the State Executive Directors (SED). 
The change will also specify that SEDs may redelegate the authority to 
a Farm Loan Chief, Farm Loan Specialist, District Director, Farm Loan 
Manager, Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, 
Loan Resolution Specialist, or Program Technician to perform loan 
activities. This will ensure that certain loan documents can be signed 
off locally instead of requiring the FLP Deputy Administrator to have 
to sign off on certain loan documents.

DATES: Effective: March 19, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bruce Mair; telephone: (202) 720-1645. 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FSA makes and services a variety of direct and guaranteed loans to 
the nation's farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain private 
commercial credit at reasonable rates and terms. FSA also provides 
direct loan customers with credit counseling and supervision to enhance 
their opportunity for success. FSA direct and guaranteed loan 
applicants are often beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged 
farmers who do not qualify for conventional loans because of 
insufficient net worth or established farmers who have suffered 
financial setbacks due to natural disasters or economic downturns. FSA 
tailors direct and guaranteed loans to a customer's needs and may be 
used to buy farmland and to finance agricultural production.
    The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act of 1972, as 
amended, (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1921-2009dd-7)) authorizes FSA's Direct and 
Guaranteed Farm Loan Programs.

Redelegation to and by SEDs

    As part of loan servicing, various real estate documents must be 
signed by FSA and the files must be on public record in certain states. 
Some of the real estate documents that FSA signs include, but are not 
limited to, lien satisfactions, partial releases, and subordinations. 
FSA's intent has always been for the real estate documents to be signed 
by FSA officials at the local level. In the past, the regulations in 7 
CFR part 1900 included specific wording concerning which employees were 
delegated with signature authority. In 2007, when FSA streamlined the 
FLP regulations, 7 CFR 761.1 broadened the regulatory text concerning 
FLP delegations, but the original intent as to who would have the 
authority to sign the real estate documents did not change. FSA 
recently determined that more specificity in 7 CFR 761.1 regarding the 
delegation of authority would be helpful and is therefore revising the 
regulation.
    FSA is amending the regulation in 7 CFR part 761 regarding the 
delegation of authority for the Deputy of Administrator of FLP to 
specify that the Deputy Administrator of FLP redelegates certain loan 
making and servicing authority to SEDs and when there is no loss to 
FSA, the SEDs may redelegate the authority to the Farm Loan Chief, Farm 
Loan Specialist, District Director, Farm Loan Manager, Senior Farm Loan 
Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, Loan Resolution Specialist, 
or Program Technician. The revised delegation will clarify the 
authority for the Acting SED and other authorized officials to sign 
certain loan documents and to perform other loan activities for SEDs.

Notice and Comment

    In general, the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) 
requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking be published in the 
Federal Register and interested persons be given an opportunity to 
participate in the rulemaking through submission of written data, 
views, or arguments with or without opportunity for oral presentation, 
except that when the rule involves a matter relating to public 
property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts section 553 does not 
apply. This rule involves matters relating to loans and is therefore 
being published as a final rule without the prior opportunity for 
comments.

Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) provides generally 
that

[[Page 11868]]

before rules are issued by Government agencies, the rule is required to 
be published in the Federal Register, and the required publication of a 
substantive rule is to be not less than 30 days before its effective 
date. However, as noted above, one of the exceptions is that section 
553 does not apply to rulemaking that involves a matter relating to 
loans. Therefore, because this rule relates to loans, the 30-day 
effective period requirement in section 553 does not apply. This final 
rule is effective when published in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, 13771, and 13777

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' and 
Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' 
direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available 
regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select 
regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive 
impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasized the importance 
of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of 
harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Executive Order 13777, 
``Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,'' established a federal 
policy to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens on the American 
people.
    In section 3(d), Executive Order 12866 defines ``regulation'' or 
``rule.'' In the definition, it specifically does not include 
regulations or rules that are limited to agency organization, 
management, or personnel matters. This rule relates to internal agency 
management; therefore, it is exempt from the provisions of Executive 
Order 12866.
    Executive Order 13771, ``Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs,'' requires that in order to manage the private costs 
required to comply with Federal regulations that for every new 
significant or economically significant regulation issued, the new 
costs must be offset by the elimination of at least two prior 
regulations. This rule does not rise to the level required to comply 
with Executive Order 13771.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), as amended by 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA, 
Pub. L. 104-121), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis of any rule whenever an agency is required by the 
Administrative Procedure Act or any other law to publish a proposed 
rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act because FSA 
is not required by the Administrative Procedure Act or any other law to 
publish a proposed rule for this rulemaking.

Environmental Review

    The environmental impacts of this final rule have been considered 
in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the regulations 
of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and 
the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 799). FSA has 
determined that the provisions identified in this final rule are 
administrative in nature, solely relating to internal agency 
management, and do not constitute a major Federal action that would 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment, individually 
or cumulatively. Provisions for signature authorities are purely 
administrative and would not alter any environmental impacts associated 
with any loans. Therefore, as this rule presents administrative 
clarifications only, FSA will not prepare an environmental assessment 
or environmental impact statement for this regulatory action.

Executive Order 12372

    Executive Order 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs,'' requires consultation with State and local officials that 
would be directly affected by proposed Federal financial assistance. 
The objectives of Executive Order 12372 are to foster an 
intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened Federalism, by relying 
on State and local processes for State and local government 
coordination and review of proposed Federal Financial assistance and 
direct Federal development. For reasons specified in the final rule 
related notice regarding 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 
24, 1983), the programs and activities within this rule are excluded 
from the scope of Executive Order 12372, which requires 
intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials.

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, ``Civil 
Justice Reform.'' This rule will not preempt State or local laws, 
regulations, or policies unless they represent an irreconcilable 
conflict with this rule. The rule will not have a retroactive effect. 
Before any judicial action may be brought regarding the provisions of 
this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR parts 11 and 
780 are to be exhausted.

Executive Order 13132

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, 
``Federalism.'' The policies contained in this rule do not have any 
substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the 
Federal government and the States, or the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government, except as 
required by law. Nor will this rule impose substantial direct 
compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, 
consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 13175

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of 
Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian 
Tribal Governments.'' Executive Order 13175 requires Federal agencies 
to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-to-government 
basis on policies that have tribal implications, including regulations, 
legislative comments or proposed legislation, and other policy 
statements or actions that have substantial direct effects on one or 
more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government 
and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal government and Indian tribes.
    FSA has assessed the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and 
determined that this rule does not, to our knowledge, have tribal 
implications that require tribal consultation under Executive Order 
13175. If a Tribe requests consultation, FSA will work with the USDA 
Office of Tribal Relations to ensure meaningful consultation is 
provided.

Unfunded Mandates

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates 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

[[Page 11869]]

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 rule 
contains no Federal mandates, as defined in Title II of UMRA, for 
State, local, and Tribal governments or private sector. Therefore, this 
rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of 
UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501-3520), the rule does not change the approved information 
collection approved under OMB control number 0560-0238, General Program 
Administration.

E-Government Act Compliance

    FSA 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 other purposes.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 761

    Accounting, Loan programs--agriculture, Rural areas.

    For reasons discussed above, FSA amends 7 CFR chapter VII as 
follows:

PART 761--FARM LOAN PROGRAMS; GENERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 761 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Revise Sec.  761.1(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  761.1  Introduction.

* * * * *
    (b) The Deputy Administrator:
    (1) Delegates to each State Executive Director within the State 
Executive Director's jurisdiction the authority, and in the absence of 
the State Executive Director, the person acting in that position, to 
act for, on behalf of, and in the name of the United States of America 
or the Farm Service Agency to do and perform acts necessary in 
connection with making and guaranteeing loans, such as, but not limited 
to, making advances, servicing loans and other indebtedness, and 
obtaining, servicing, and enforcing or releasing security and other 
instruments related to the loan. For actions that do not result in a 
loss to the Farm Service Agency, a State Executive Director may 
redelegate authorities received under this paragraph to a Farm Loan 
Chief, Farm Loan Specialist, District Director, Farm Loan Manager, or 
Senior Farm Loan Officer, Farm Loan Officer, Loan Analyst, Loan 
Resolution Specialist, or Program Technician.
    (2) May establish procedures for further redelegation or limitation 
of authority.
* * * * *

Steven J. Peterson,
Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
[FR Doc. 2018-05466 Filed 3-16-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-01-P