OneRD Guaranteed Loan Platform, 45091-45093 [2018-19101]

Download as PDF daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 172 / Wednesday, September 5, 2018 / Notices Electronic copies can be downloaded or printed from http://go.usa.gov/TXye. Requests for paper versions or inquiries may be directed to: Mr. Emil Horvath, National Practice Standards Review Coordinator, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central National Technology Support Center, 501 West Felix Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76115. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The amount of the proposed changes varies considerably for each of the conservation practice standards addressed in this notice. To fully understand the proposed changes, individuals are encouraged to compare these changes with each standard’s current version, which can be found at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/ nrcs/detailfull/national/technical/cp/ ncps/?cid=nrcs143_026849. To aid in this comparison, following are highlights of some of the proposed revisions to each standard: Combustion System Improvement (Code 372)—Revised language of the general criteria and criteria applicable to the air quality and energy purposes to address some confusion encountered in the implementation of the practice. Dust Control on Unpaved Roads and Surfaces (Code 373)—Relatively minor changes have been made to the 2010 version. Two purposes were added to more adequately describe the reasons for using this practice: ‘‘improve visibility by reducing emissions of particulate matter;’’ and ‘‘improve plant health and vigor by reducing emissions of particulate matter.’’ Integrated Pest Management (Code 595)—The standard definition and purposes have been updated to reflect current agency policy and science. The standard has been edited to clarify criteria, and support farmers and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns and implement an integrated pest management system where landgrant-university guidelines are available. Nutrient Management (Code 590)— The revision has no significant definition technical changes. Instead, it has a focus on improving the usability of 590 at the operational level of the agency (i.e. the State and field). The formatting and writing style were updated to meet current agency requirements. Bullet point statements were used to specify single concepts and replace paragraphs containing multiple concepts. Pesticide Mitigation (Code 594)—A new standard to support farmers and ranchers wanting to address resource concerns created by the use of pesticides in areas where they do not VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Sep 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 have land-grant university integrated pest management guidelines for one or more of their crops or cropping systems. Proposed Standard 594 offers resource protection using site-specific techniques designed to mitigate the impacts of chemical pest suppression on natural resources. Subsurface Drain (Code 606)—The formatting and writing style were updated to meet current agency requirements. Sections of the standard were relocated and rearranged to improve document flow. The minimum velocity has been raised to 0.8 feet-persecond for areas without sedimentation problems. Provisions have been included for the use of square junction boxes. Waste Facility Closure (Code 360)— The formatting and writing style were updated to improve clarity. Criteria was added to dry-waste storages to render the site unsuitable for stacking or treating waste. Language was added to the standard to make it clear that the standard is not used for the rehabilitation or expansion of existing facilities. Wildlife Habitat Planting (Code 420)—This is a new conservation practice standard developed to better address the technical complexities of establishing wildlife habitat, including pollinator and monarch butterfly habitat plantings. Wildlife Habitat Planting (420) will be planned and applied when establishing herbaceous vegetation for wildlife. Planting trees for wildlife will be planned and applied using Tree and Shrub Establishment (612). Signed this 28th day of August, 2018, in Washington, DC Leonard Jordan, Acting Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service. [FR Doc. 2018–19145 Filed 9–4–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service OneRD Guaranteed Loan Platform Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service, USDA. ACTION: Request for information and notice of public listening sessions. AGENCY: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD), comprised of the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45091 Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces that it is hosting listening sessions for public input regarding development of a common platform to deliver four guaranteed loan programs. The Rural Development Innovation Center (IC) is holding these listening sessions specifically to provide an opportunity for stakeholders and other interested parties to offer their comments and input. DATES: Written Comments: Interested parties must submit written comments on or before October 22, 2018. Listening Sessions: Listening sessions will be held on September 10, 12, 14, 19, and 20, 2018. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for additional guidance and information on the listening sessions. ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments; • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment addressed to Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulations Management Team, Rural Development Innovation Center, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., STOP 1522, Room 5159, Washington, DC 20250– 1522. • Orally at the listening session; please also provide a written copy of your comments online as specified above or in hard copy at the listening session. Listening Sessions: To ensure maximum stakeholder involvement, six listening sessions are scheduled and will allow for in-person comments. The Listening Sessions Are as Follows West Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Denver, Colorado. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Denver Federal Center, 6th Kipling, Building 25, Lecture Hall, Denver, Colorado. See https://www.gsa.gov/ cdnstatic/DFC_map_508_2014-0619.pdf for a map of the facility. To enter the facility, please be prepared to present a valid driver’s license and current vehicle registration at the entrance gates. To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/yjoqkcys 0pjm&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207501. E:\FR\FM\05SEN1.SGM 05SEN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 45092 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 172 / Wednesday, September 5, 2018 / Notices South Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Lexington, Kentucky. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Kentucky State Office, USDA Rural Development, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky. To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/776hi2 fw0o2u&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207502. Midwest Region: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Lake Ozark, Missouri. 1:30–4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The Lodge of Four Seasons, 315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark, Missouri. The Sea Chase Room. To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2sgmfo5 txt2a&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207502. Northeast Region: Friday, September 14, 2018, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. East Stroudsburg University, Innovation Center, 562 Independence Rd., East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Innovation Center, Room 336. To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/26b0nffd xaoi&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207502. National: Thursday, September 20, 2018, Washington, DC. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 1400 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20250. The meeting will be held in Room 107–A of the USDA Whitten Building. To participate remotely, please log on to https:// cc.readytalk.com/r/gfyzg0zqobay&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207502. Tribal Listening Session: A virtual listening session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. To participate, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/qm9gmf 0lse56&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer’s audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be used: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Sep 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285. Access Code: 7207502. If a Tribe would like to request government-to-government consultation regarding this rule, requests should be directed to RD’s Native American Coordinator at aian@wdc.usda.gov or (720) 544–2911. Registration: Registration is required for all sessions by sending an email to rd.innovation@osec.usda.gov, and listing your name, title, email, city, state, organization, and session location. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michele Brooks at (202) 690–1078 or Jamie Davenport at (202) 720–0002. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Individuals needing assistance with ReadyTalk should follow the Technical Support link in the ReadyTalk Meeting Lobby. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On January 30, 2017, Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) and on February 24, 2017, Executive Order 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda) were issued for action by the heads of all agencies. The Secretary of Agriculture and the respective USDA agencies, are working to implement the provisions of the Executive Orders to meet the needs of our customers and other stakeholders. In order to implement the provisions expeditiously and to ensure transparency, it is important to hear from stakeholders to be aware of their priorities and concerns. Rural Development is considering the development of a common platform to deliver four guaranteed loan programs. A common platform will be developed to provide policies and procedures for guaranteed loan making and servicing, lender reporting, and program monitoring. The intent is to simplify, improve and enhance the delivery of the Community Program Guaranteed loan program, the Water and Waste Disposal Guaranteed loan program, the Business and Industry Guaranteed loan program, and the Rural Energy for America Program guaranteed loans. The OneRD Guaranteed loan platform is anticipated to provide the following benefits: (1) Improve quality customer experience by streamlining and consolidating similar guaranteed loan programs; (2) Advance economic development and access to capital by reducing complexities and redundancies; PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (3) Improve operation efficiencies and cross-program coordination by enabling staff to learn all RD guaranteed loan programs; (4) Enable RD to integrate innovation in the delivery of loan guarantees and align with industry lending practices; and (5) Create a platform that paves the way for modern processing and servicing to improve portfolio management. Request for Comment Stakeholder input is vital to ensure that the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform will meet expectations and continue to support the mission of RD without overly burdening the agency’s customers. Rural Development will hold the listening sessions as outlined in the ADDRESSES section of this notice to receive oral comments from stakeholders and the public. A written copy of the oral comments is requested. (See the ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting written comments.) In addition, those who do not wish to attend or speak at the listening session are invited to submit written comments. The following questions and discussion items are provided as examples of topics stakeholders may wish to provide comment on. Rural Development welcomes pertinent comments that are beyond the scope of these questions. Rural Development is requesting comment and discussion on the following topics: Automation/Application Process 1. What should the Agency do to simplify the application processes and standardize application requirements for its four loan guarantee programs? a. Are there portions of the required application components, such as the detailed preliminary engineering report or parts of it, that should be streamlined? 2. The Agency is considering an online application intake system for all guaranteed loans. a. What features would enhance your application submission experience? b. Are there any best practices or software solutions that have been successfully incorporated by your lending institution? c. In general, in the loan processing/ servicing solution space, are there any practices or software shortcomings that the Agency should be aware of? d. What software solutions have been the most effective to avoid data breaches and maintain the integrity of your online systems? E:\FR\FM\05SEN1.SGM 05SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 172 / Wednesday, September 5, 2018 / Notices Capital Markets What should the Agency consider that would enhance lenders’ access to capital markets, improve market efficiencies and reduce risks of RD guaranteed loans sold on the secondary market? Credit Evaluation The Agency is considering amendments to key areas such as tangible balance sheet equity, format of financial statements, requirements for feasibility studies, and flexibility to consider project finance evaluation methods. Are there other credit evaluation enhancements which the Agency should consider that would better integrate existing lending practices into the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform? Lenders 1. Should the Agency consider establishing a certified lender or preferred lender program? If so, what are suggested lender qualification requirements and program features? 2. The Agency is considering a common platform of requirements for non-regulated lenders aimed at ensuring maximum participation while incorporating renewal provisions to ensure portfolio integrity. What specific challenges have non-regulated lenders faced under the existing program? daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Lender Financing Trends or Needs to be Considered 1. The OneRD Guaranteed loan platform aims to enhance flexibility across all included programs to support financing via the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC), investment tax credit (ITC), and other tax credit structures. a. Are there additional flexibilities that the Agency should consider to enhance financing opportunities through NMTC, ITC and other tax credit programs? b. What additional financing structures or trends are occurring that the Agency should be aware of to ensure maximum flexibility within the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform? Miscellaneous 1. What other issues should the Agency consider when implementing the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform? 2. What do you find burdensome about our current processes? Listening Sessions Rural Development will hold the listening sessions on the dates listed in DATES section of this notices. Oral comments received from this listening session will be documented. All VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Sep 04, 2018 Jkt 244001 attendees of the listening sessions who submit oral comments are requested to submit a written copy to help Rural Development accurately capture public input. In addition, stakeholders and the public who do not wish to attend or speak at the listing session are invited to submit written comments which must be received by the date indicated in the DATES section of this notice. At the listening sessions, the focus is for Rural Development to hear from the public; this is not a discussion with Rural Development officials or a question and answer session. As noted above, the purpose is to receive public input that Rural Development can factor into decisions it needs to make in order to implement the OneRD Guaranteed Loan platform. Each listening session will begin with brief opening remarks from USDA leadership in Rural Development. Individual speakers providing oral comments are requested to be succinct (the agency reserves the right to announce a time limitation at the beginning of each session based on attendance) as we do not know at this time how many participants there will be. As noted above, we request that speakers providing oral comments also provide a written copy of their comments. (See the ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting written comments.) All stakeholders and interested members of the public are welcome to register to provide oral comments; however, if necessary due to the time constraints, a limited number will be selected on a first come, first serve basis. During each of the listening sessions, those unable to participate in-person will be able to do so remotely via ReadyTalk web conferencing. Those participating through the ReadyTalk platform will be in listen only-mode, but will have the opportunity to submit comments via the Chat function. The Chat function will be moderated by USDA Rural Development. Each listening session will produce an audio recording and transcript, both of which will be utilized in the rulemaking process. Instructions for Attending the Meetings Space for attendance at the meetings are limited. Registration is required for those attending in person by sending an email to rd.innovation@osec.usda.gov with the following information: • First Name • Last Name • Organization • Title • Email • City PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 45093 • State • Session Attending. Directions to get to the listening sessions, and how to provide comments is available by emailing rd.innovation@ osec.usda.gov. All written comments received will be publicly available on www.regulations.gov. If you require special accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, use the contact information above. The listening session locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. Dated: August 28, 2018. Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary, USDA Rural Development. [FR Doc. 2018–19101 Filed 9–4–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B–28–2018] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 37—Orange County, New York; Authorization of Production Activity; Takasago International Corp. (U.S.A.), (Fragrances), Harriman, New York On April 30, 2018, Takasago International Corp. (U.S.A.) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facility within FTZ 37—Site 10, in Harriman, New York. The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (83 FR 20033, May 7, 2018). On August 28, 2018, the applicant was notified of the FTZ Board’s decision that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification was authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board’s regulations, including Section 400.14. Dated: August 28, 2018. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018–19209 Filed 9–4–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P E:\FR\FM\05SEN1.SGM 05SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 172 (Wednesday, September 5, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45091-45093]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-19101]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Rural Housing Service

Rural Utilities Service


OneRD Guaranteed Loan Platform

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

ACTION: Request for information and notice of public listening 
sessions.

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

SUMMARY: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural 
Development (RD), comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service 
(RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) 
announces that it is hosting listening sessions for public input 
regarding development of a common platform to deliver four guaranteed 
loan programs.
    The Rural Development Innovation Center (IC) is holding these 
listening sessions specifically to provide an opportunity for 
stakeholders and other interested parties to offer their comments and 
input.

DATES: 
    Written Comments: Interested parties must submit written comments 
on or before October 22, 2018.
    Listening Sessions: Listening sessions will be held on September 
10, 12, 14, 19, and 20, 2018. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section 
for additional guidance and information on the listening sessions.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments;
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comment 
addressed to Michele Brooks, Team Lead, Regulations Management Team, 
Rural Development Innovation Center, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., STOP 
1522, Room 5159, Washington, DC 20250-1522.
     Orally at the listening session; please also provide a 
written copy of your comments online as specified above or in hard copy 
at the listening session.
    Listening Sessions: To ensure maximum stakeholder involvement, six 
listening sessions are scheduled and will allow for in-person comments.

The Listening Sessions Are as Follows

    West Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Denver, Colorado. 9:30 
a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Denver Federal Center, 6th 
Kipling, Building 25, Lecture Hall, Denver, Colorado. See https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/DFC_map_508_2014-0619.pdf for a map of the 
facility. To enter the facility, please be prepared to present a valid 
driver's license and current vehicle registration at the entrance 
gates.
    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/yjoqkcys0pjm&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's 
audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be 
used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207501.


[[Page 45092]]


    South Region: Monday, September 10, 2018, Lexington, Kentucky. 1:00 
p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Kentucky State Office, USDA 
Rural Development, 771 Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky.
    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/776hi2fw0o2u&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's 
audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be 
used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207502.

    Midwest Region: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, Lake Ozark, 
Missouri. 1:30-4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The Lodge of Four 
Seasons, 315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark, Missouri. The Sea Chase 
Room.
    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2sgmfo5txt2a&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's 
audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be 
used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207502.

    Northeast Region: Friday, September 14, 2018, East Stroudsburg, 
Pennsylvania. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. East 
Stroudsburg University, Innovation Center, 562 Independence Rd., East 
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Innovation Center, Room 336.
    To participate remotely, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/26b0nffdxaoi&eom. Participants are encouraged to use their computer's 
audio instead of phone lines, however the following toll number can be 
used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207502.

    National: Thursday, September 20, 2018, Washington, DC. 9:30 a.m. 
to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 1400 Jefferson Drive SW, 
Washington, DC 20250. The meeting will be held in Room 107-A of the 
USDA Whitten Building. To participate remotely, please log on to 
https://cc.readytalk.com/r/gfyzg0zqobay&eom. Participants are 
encouraged to use their computer's audio instead of phone lines, 
however the following toll number can be used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207502.

    Tribal Listening Session: A virtual listening session is scheduled 
for Wednesday, September 19, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern 
Daylight Time. To participate, please log on to https://cc.readytalk.com/r/qm9gmf0lse56&eom. Participants are encouraged to use 
their computer's audio instead of phone lines, however the following 
toll number can be used:
    U.S. Toll: 303.248.0285.
    Access Code: 7207502.

    If a Tribe would like to request government-to-government 
consultation regarding this rule, requests should be directed to RD's 
Native American Coordinator at [email protected] or (720) 544-2911.
    Registration: Registration is required for all sessions by sending 
an email to [email protected], and listing your name, title, 
email, city, state, organization, and session location.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michele Brooks at (202) 690-1078 or 
Jamie Davenport at (202) 720-0002. Persons with disabilities who 
require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, 
audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-
2600 (voice and TDD).
    Individuals needing assistance with ReadyTalk should follow the 
Technical Support link in the ReadyTalk Meeting Lobby.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On January 30, 2017, Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and 
Controlling Regulatory Costs) and on February 24, 2017, Executive Order 
13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda) were issued for action 
by the heads of all agencies. The Secretary of Agriculture and the 
respective USDA agencies, are working to implement the provisions of 
the Executive Orders to meet the needs of our customers and other 
stakeholders. In order to implement the provisions expeditiously and to 
ensure transparency, it is important to hear from stakeholders to be 
aware of their priorities and concerns.
    Rural Development is considering the development of a common 
platform to deliver four guaranteed loan programs. A common platform 
will be developed to provide policies and procedures for guaranteed 
loan making and servicing, lender reporting, and program monitoring. 
The intent is to simplify, improve and enhance the delivery of the 
Community Program Guaranteed loan program, the Water and Waste Disposal 
Guaranteed loan program, the Business and Industry Guaranteed loan 
program, and the Rural Energy for America Program guaranteed loans. The 
OneRD Guaranteed loan platform is anticipated to provide the following 
benefits:
    (1) Improve quality customer experience by streamlining and 
consolidating similar guaranteed loan programs;
    (2) Advance economic development and access to capital by reducing 
complexities and redundancies;
    (3) Improve operation efficiencies and cross-program coordination 
by enabling staff to learn all RD guaranteed loan programs;
    (4) Enable RD to integrate innovation in the delivery of loan 
guarantees and align with industry lending practices; and
    (5) Create a platform that paves the way for modern processing and 
servicing to improve portfolio management.

Request for Comment

    Stakeholder input is vital to ensure that the OneRD Guaranteed loan 
platform will meet expectations and continue to support the mission of 
RD without overly burdening the agency's customers. Rural Development 
will hold the listening sessions as outlined in the ADDRESSES section 
of this notice to receive oral comments from stakeholders and the 
public. A written copy of the oral comments is requested. (See the 
ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting written 
comments.) In addition, those who do not wish to attend or speak at the 
listening session are invited to submit written comments.
    The following questions and discussion items are provided as 
examples of topics stakeholders may wish to provide comment on. Rural 
Development welcomes pertinent comments that are beyond the scope of 
these questions. Rural Development is requesting comment and discussion 
on the following topics:

Automation/Application Process

    1. What should the Agency do to simplify the application processes 
and standardize application requirements for its four loan guarantee 
programs?
    a. Are there portions of the required application components, such 
as the detailed preliminary engineering report or parts of it, that 
should be streamlined?
    2. The Agency is considering an online application intake system 
for all guaranteed loans.
    a. What features would enhance your application submission 
experience?
    b. Are there any best practices or software solutions that have 
been successfully incorporated by your lending institution?
    c. In general, in the loan processing/servicing solution space, are 
there any practices or software shortcomings that the Agency should be 
aware of?
    d. What software solutions have been the most effective to avoid 
data breaches and maintain the integrity of your online systems?

[[Page 45093]]

Capital Markets

    What should the Agency consider that would enhance lenders' access 
to capital markets, improve market efficiencies and reduce risks of RD 
guaranteed loans sold on the secondary market?

Credit Evaluation

    The Agency is considering amendments to key areas such as tangible 
balance sheet equity, format of financial statements, requirements for 
feasibility studies, and flexibility to consider project finance 
evaluation methods. Are there other credit evaluation enhancements 
which the Agency should consider that would better integrate existing 
lending practices into the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?

Lenders

    1. Should the Agency consider establishing a certified lender or 
preferred lender program? If so, what are suggested lender 
qualification requirements and program features?
    2. The Agency is considering a common platform of requirements for 
non-regulated lenders aimed at ensuring maximum participation while 
incorporating renewal provisions to ensure portfolio integrity. What 
specific challenges have non-regulated lenders faced under the existing 
program?

Lender Financing Trends or Needs to be Considered

    1. The OneRD Guaranteed loan platform aims to enhance flexibility 
across all included programs to support financing via the New Market 
Tax Credit (NMTC), investment tax credit (ITC), and other tax credit 
structures.
    a. Are there additional flexibilities that the Agency should 
consider to enhance financing opportunities through NMTC, ITC and other 
tax credit programs?
    b. What additional financing structures or trends are occurring 
that the Agency should be aware of to ensure maximum flexibility within 
the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?

Miscellaneous

    1. What other issues should the Agency consider when implementing 
the OneRD Guaranteed loan platform?
    2. What do you find burdensome about our current processes?

Listening Sessions

    Rural Development will hold the listening sessions on the dates 
listed in DATES section of this notices. Oral comments received from 
this listening session will be documented. All attendees of the 
listening sessions who submit oral comments are requested to submit a 
written copy to help Rural Development accurately capture public input. 
In addition, stakeholders and the public who do not wish to attend or 
speak at the listing session are invited to submit written comments 
which must be received by the date indicated in the DATES section of 
this notice.
    At the listening sessions, the focus is for Rural Development to 
hear from the public; this is not a discussion with Rural Development 
officials or a question and answer session. As noted above, the purpose 
is to receive public input that Rural Development can factor into 
decisions it needs to make in order to implement the OneRD Guaranteed 
Loan platform.
    Each listening session will begin with brief opening remarks from 
USDA leadership in Rural Development. Individual speakers providing 
oral comments are requested to be succinct (the agency reserves the 
right to announce a time limitation at the beginning of each session 
based on attendance) as we do not know at this time how many 
participants there will be. As noted above, we request that speakers 
providing oral comments also provide a written copy of their comments. 
(See the ADDRESSES section above for information about submitting 
written comments.) All stakeholders and interested members of the 
public are welcome to register to provide oral comments; however, if 
necessary due to the time constraints, a limited number will be 
selected on a first come, first serve basis.
    During each of the listening sessions, those unable to participate 
in-person will be able to do so remotely via ReadyTalk web 
conferencing. Those participating through the ReadyTalk platform will 
be in listen only-mode, but will have the opportunity to submit 
comments via the Chat function. The Chat function will be moderated by 
USDA Rural Development.
    Each listening session will produce an audio recording and 
transcript, both of which will be utilized in the rule-making process.

Instructions for Attending the Meetings

    Space for attendance at the meetings are limited. Registration is 
required for those attending in person by sending an email to 
[email protected] with the following information:

 First Name
 Last Name
 Organization
 Title
 Email
 City
 State
 Session Attending.

    Directions to get to the listening sessions, and how to provide 
comments is available by emailing [email protected].
    All written comments received will be publicly available on 
www.regulations.gov. If you require special accommodations, such as a 
sign language interpreter, use the contact information above. The 
listening session locations are accessible to persons with 
disabilities.

    Dated: August 28, 2018.
Anne Hazlett,
Assistant to the Secretary, USDA Rural Development.
[FR Doc. 2018-19101 Filed 9-4-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P