Telecommunications Program: Notice of availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact, 46911-46912 [2018-20051]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2018 / Notices 2. In the second column on page 40221, under Section V. Application Review Information, subsection B. Review and Selection Process, subparagraphs (1)(d) is being revised to read as follows: a. National unrestricted grant funds for all eligible renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvements grant applications received by April 1, 2019, which include grants of $20,000 or less, that are not funded by State allocations can be submitted to the National Office to compete against grant applications from other States at a final national competition. 3. In the third column on page 40221, under Section V. Application Review Information, subsection B. Review and Selection Process, subparagraphs (3), the third sentence of the second paragraph, that continues on page 40222 is being revised to read as follows: a. All unfunded eligible applications for combined grant and guaranteed loan applications that are received by April 1, 2019, and that are not funded by State allocations can be submitted to the National Office to compete against other grant and combined grant and guaranteed loan applications from other States at a final national competition. Dated: September 11, 2018. David Foster, Acting Administrator, Rural BusinessCooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2018–20119 Filed 9–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Program: Notice of availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of Availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact for a Programmatic Environmental Assessment of USDA Rural Utilities Service’s Financial Support for Deployment of the Telecommunications Programs to Rural America. AGENCY: ACTION: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in association with the ‘‘Broadband Deployment to Rural America’’ Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) published on March 1, 2016. The PEA provides a broad environmental analysis of the Agency’s preliminary decisions and includes a tiered, site-specific analysis at the daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Sep 14, 2018 Jkt 244001 project level that would be completed before Agency dispersal of funds and/or applicant construction. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain copies of the FONSI or PEA, or for further information, please contact: Ms. Lauren Rayburn, Environmental Scientist, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Mail Stop 1571, Room 2240, Washington, DC 20250, phone: (202) 695–2540, or email: lauren.rayburn@wdc.usda.gov. Additional information about the Agency and its programs is available on the internet at http://www.rd.usda.gov/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS issued a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the development of a more efficient and effective environmental review process for its Telecommunications Program on March 1, 2016. The PEA provides a broad environmental analysis of the Agency’s preliminary decisions and includes a tiered, site-specific analysis at the project level that would be completed before Agency dispersal of funds and/or applicant construction. Since publication of the Agency’s Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1970) on March 2, 2016, RUS has updated the PEA with citations to the Agency’s new environmental rule. These changes were administrative and not substantive, therefore supplementation of the PEA is not required. The RUS Telecommunications Program provides a variety of loans and grants to build and expand broadband networks in rural America. Loans to build broadband networks and deliver service to households and businesses in rural communities provide a necessary source of capital for rural telecommunications companies. Grant funding is awarded based on a number of factors relating to the benefits to be derived from the proposed broadband network project, as specified in applicable program regulations. Eligible applicants for RUS loans and grants include for-profit and non-profit entities, tribes, municipalities, and cooperatives. The Agency particularly encourages investment in tribal and economically disadvantaged areas. Through low-cost funding for telecommunications infrastructure, rural residents can have access to services that will close the digital divide between rural and urban communities. Once funds are awarded, RUS monitors the projects to make sure they are completed in accordance with program conditions and requirements. The application process for requesting financial assistance for the various PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46911 Telecommunications programs varies slightly from a competitive grant program, individual project proposals, or multi-year ‘‘loan design’’ applications. The Agency seeks to synchronize and create environmental review efficiencies for future projectlevel environmental review compliance for the various programs, commensurate with the potential environmental impacts. The Agency also seeks to establish proper sequencing of certain agency preliminary decisions (i.e., obligation of funds and/or approval of interim financing requests) with subsequent tiered, site-specific project environmental reviews. The PEA is intended to expedite the funding, deployment, and expansion of broadband infrastructure in rural America. The PEA includes detailed descriptions and analyses of the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts associated with broadband infrastructure technologies and construction methods, such as impacts to water resources, terrestrial resources, historic and cultural resources, air and climate resources, noise, threatened and endangered species, electromagnetic radiation, and Environmental Justice issues. Use of the PEA analyses thereby saves project-level processing time, ensuring consistent and accurate environmental evaluations while avoiding unnecessary duplication and repetition in project-level planning and evaluation. Use of the PEA and its FONSI enables project-level compliance with NEPA, ESA, NHPA, and other requirements to focus on the remaining relevant site-specific issues, expediting planning, analysis, compliance, documentation, and ultimately projectlevel decisions. Any final action by RUS related to the broadband portion of the RUS Telecommunications Program will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant presidential executive orders and federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations in addition to the completion of the environmental review requirements as prescribed in the Agency’s Environmental Policies and Procedures. Based on its EA, RUS has determined that the issued FONSI fulfills its obligations under NEPA for Agency actions associated with financing through the following programs: Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program; Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program; Community Connect Grant Program; and Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. RUS is satisfied that the environmental E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1 46912 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2018 / Notices consequences have been assessed and adequately addressed at a programmatic level. Accordingly, an Environmental Impact Statement will not be prepared. Dated: September 11, 2018. Christopher A. McLean, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2018–20051 Filed 9–14–18; 8:45 am] Agenda BILLING CODE 3410–15–P Welcome and Call to Order Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman Jeff Hinton, Regional Director Regional Update- Jeff Hinton New Business: Diane DiIanni, Tennessee SAC Chairman/Staff/ Advisory Committee Public Participation Adjournment COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Tennessee Advisory Committee U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Tennessee Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 12:30 p.m. EST to discuss hearing preparations on legal financial obligations and civil rights issues. DATES: The meeting will be held on Wednesday October 10, 2018 12:30 p.m. EST. Public Call Information: The meeting will be by teleconference. Tollfree call-in number: 877–260–1479, conference ID: 2206695. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Hinton, DFO, at jhinton@usccr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following tollfree call-in number: 877–260–1479, conference ID: 2206695. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over landline connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–977–8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Program Unit Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 230 S. Dearborn, Suite 2120, Chicago, IL 60604. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353–8324 or may be emailed to the Regional Director, Jeff Hinton at jhinton@usccr.gov. Records of the meeting will be available via daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Sep 14, 2018 www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Tennessee Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission’s website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address. Jkt 244001 Dated: September 12, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2018–20115 Filed 9–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Florida Advisory Committee U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Florida Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Friday September 28, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. (EST) for the purpose discussing civil rights concerns in the state. DATES: The meeting will be held on Friday September 28, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. (EST). Public Call Information: Dial: 877– 260–1479, Conference ID: 3162185. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Hinton, DFO, at jhinton@usccr.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the toll-free call-in number dial: 877–260–1479, Conference ID: 3162185. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement as time allows. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur regular charges for calls they initiate over SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 wireless lines, according to their wireless plan. The Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877– 8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Program Unit Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 230 S Dearborn St., Suite 2120, Chicago, IL 60604. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353–8324 or may be emailed to the Regional Director, Jeff Hinton at jhinton@usccr.gov. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Florida Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission’s website, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Southern Regional Office at the above email or street address. Agenda Welcome and Introductions Discussion: Civil Rights Issues in Florida Public Comment Adjournment Dated: September 12, 2018. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2018–20114 Filed 9–14–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security [Docket No. 180821787–8787–01] RIN 0694–XC046 Effectiveness of Licensing Procedures for Agricultural Commodities to Cuba Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce. ACTION: Request for comments. AGENCY: The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is requesting public comments on the effectiveness of its licensing procedures as defined in the Export Administration Regulations for the export of agricultural commodities to Cuba. BIS will include a description of these comments in its biennial report to the Congress, as required by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, as amended (TSRA). SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 180 (Monday, September 17, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46911-46912]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-20051]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Telecommunications Program: Notice of availability of a Finding 
of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact 
for a Programmatic Environmental Assessment of USDA Rural Utilities 
Service's Financial Support for Deployment of the Telecommunications 
Programs to Rural America.

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

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United 
States Department of Agriculture, has issued a Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI) in association with the ``Broadband 
Deployment to Rural America'' Programmatic Environmental Assessment 
(PEA) published on March 1, 2016. The PEA provides a broad 
environmental analysis of the Agency's preliminary decisions and 
includes a tiered, site-specific analysis at the project level that 
would be completed before Agency dispersal of funds and/or applicant 
construction.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To obtain copies of the FONSI or PEA, 
or for further information, please contact: Ms. Lauren Rayburn, 
Environmental Scientist, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence 
Ave. SW, Mail Stop 1571, Room 2240, Washington, DC 20250, phone: (202) 
695-2540, or email: [email protected]. Additional information 
about the Agency and its programs is available on the internet at 
http://www.rd.usda.gov/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RUS issued a Programmatic Environmental 
Assessment (PEA) for the development of a more efficient and effective 
environmental review process for its Telecommunications Program on 
March 1, 2016. The PEA provides a broad environmental analysis of the 
Agency's preliminary decisions and includes a tiered, site-specific 
analysis at the project level that would be completed before Agency 
dispersal of funds and/or applicant construction. Since publication of 
the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1970) on 
March 2, 2016, RUS has updated the PEA with citations to the Agency's 
new environmental rule. These changes were administrative and not 
substantive, therefore supplementation of the PEA is not required.
    The RUS Telecommunications Program provides a variety of loans and 
grants to build and expand broadband networks in rural America. Loans 
to build broadband networks and deliver service to households and 
businesses in rural communities provide a necessary source of capital 
for rural telecommunications companies. Grant funding is awarded based 
on a number of factors relating to the benefits to be derived from the 
proposed broadband network project, as specified in applicable program 
regulations.
    Eligible applicants for RUS loans and grants include for-profit and 
non-profit entities, tribes, municipalities, and cooperatives. The 
Agency particularly encourages investment in tribal and economically 
disadvantaged areas. Through low-cost funding for telecommunications 
infrastructure, rural residents can have access to services that will 
close the digital divide between rural and urban communities. Once 
funds are awarded, RUS monitors the projects to make sure they are 
completed in accordance with program conditions and requirements.
    The application process for requesting financial assistance for the 
various Telecommunications programs varies slightly from a competitive 
grant program, individual project proposals, or multi-year ``loan 
design'' applications. The Agency seeks to synchronize and create 
environmental review efficiencies for future project-level 
environmental review compliance for the various programs, commensurate 
with the potential environmental impacts. The Agency also seeks to 
establish proper sequencing of certain agency preliminary decisions 
(i.e., obligation of funds and/or approval of interim financing 
requests) with subsequent tiered, site-specific project environmental 
reviews.
    The PEA is intended to expedite the funding, deployment, and 
expansion of broadband infrastructure in rural America. The PEA 
includes detailed descriptions and analyses of the direct, indirect, 
and cumulative impacts associated with broadband infrastructure 
technologies and construction methods, such as impacts to water 
resources, terrestrial resources, historic and cultural resources, air 
and climate resources, noise, threatened and endangered species, 
electromagnetic radiation, and Environmental Justice issues. Use of the 
PEA analyses thereby saves project-level processing time, ensuring 
consistent and accurate environmental evaluations while avoiding 
unnecessary duplication and repetition in project-level planning and 
evaluation. Use of the PEA and its FONSI enables project-level 
compliance with NEPA, ESA, NHPA, and other requirements to focus on the 
remaining relevant site-specific issues, expediting planning, analysis, 
compliance, documentation, and ultimately project-level decisions.
    Any final action by RUS related to the broadband portion of the RUS 
Telecommunications Program will be subject to, and contingent upon, 
compliance with all relevant presidential executive orders and federal, 
state, and local environmental laws and regulations in addition to the 
completion of the environmental review requirements as prescribed in 
the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures.
    Based on its EA, RUS has determined that the issued FONSI fulfills 
its obligations under NEPA for Agency actions associated with financing 
through the following programs: Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan 
Program; Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program; 
Community Connect Grant Program; and Distance Learning and Telemedicine 
Grant Program. RUS is satisfied that the environmental

[[Page 46912]]

consequences have been assessed and adequately addressed at a 
programmatic level. Accordingly, an Environmental Impact Statement will 
not be prepared.

    Dated: September 11, 2018.
Christopher A. McLean,
Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-20051 Filed 9-14-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-15-P