Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, 55135-55139 [2019-22366]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices Secretary of Agriculture. The public is invited to submit nominations for membership on the Committee, either self-nomination or nomination of any qualified and interested person. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons to represent the interest areas listed above. To be considered for membership, nominees must: 1. Identify what interest area group listed above they would represent and how they are qualified to represent that interest group; 2. State why they want to serve on the Committee and what they can contribute; 3. Provide 2–3 references that may be contacts about the nominee’s application; 4. Provide a resume showing their past experience in working successfully as part of a coordinating group; and 5. Complete Form AD–755, Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information. Form AD–755 may be obtained from the listed Forest Service contact persons or from the following websites: https:// www.ocio.usda.gov/document/ad-755 or https://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/ CFLRP/advisory-panel.shtml. Letters of recommendation are welcome. All nominations will be vetted by the Agency. Equal opportunity practices in accordance with USDA policies shall be followed in all membership appointments to the Committee. To ensure that the recommendations of the Committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by USDA, membership shall, to the extent practicable, include individuals with demonstrated ability to represent all racial and ethnic groups, women and men, and persons with disabilities. Dated: October 7, 2019. Cikena Reid, USDA Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–22341 Filed 10–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Rural Business-Cooperative Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This Notice announces the solicitation of applications for funds SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (the Program) to provide guaranteed loans to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries using eligible technology and of Biobased product manufacturing facilities that use technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products, on a commercial scale. DATES: With this Notice, the Agency is announcing two separate application cycles, as is provided which are application closing dates of 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2019, and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, April 1, 2020. Applications must be received in the USDA Rural Business–Cooperative Service, Energy Programs no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of the application closing date to compete for program funds. Any application received after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of the application closing date will be considered for the subsequent application cycle, provided that funding is available. ADDRESSES: Applications and forms may be obtained from: • USDA, Rural Business–Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, Attention: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901–S, Washington, DC 20250–3225. • Agency Website: Application materials can be obtained from the Agency’s website. https:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ biorefinery-assistance-program. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aaron Morris, Assistant Deputy Administrator, USDA Rural Business– Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901–S, Washington, DC 20250–3225. Telephone: 202–720–1501. Email: Aaron.Morris@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Preface The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America (www.usda.gov/ ruralprosperity). Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55135 investments in infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with the Program, as covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570–0065. Overview Federal Agency Name: Rural Business-Cooperative Service (an Agency of USDA in the Rural Development mission area). Solicitation Opportunity Title: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. Announcement Type: Notice of Solicitation of Applications. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: The CFDA number for this Notice is 10.865. Dates: Applications must be received in the USDA Rural Business– Cooperative Service, Energy Programs no later than the application closing dates of 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2019, and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, April 1, 2020. Any application received after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of the application closing date will be considered for the subsequent application cycle, provided that funding is available. Availability of Notice and Rule: This Notice and the interim rule for the Program are available on the USDA Rural Development website at: https:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ biorefinery-assistance-program. I. Funding Opportunity Description A. Purpose of the Program. The purpose of the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program is to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, or biobased product manufacturing. This is achieved through guarantees for loans made to fund the development, construction, and retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries using eligible technology and of biobased product manufacturing facilities that use technologically new commercial scale processing and E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 55136 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices manufacturing equipment and required facilities to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products on a commercial scale. B. Statutory Authority. This Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 8103. Regulations are contained in 7 CFR part 4279, subpart C and in 7 CFR part 4287, subpart D. C. Definition of Terms. The definitions applicable to this Notice are published at 7 CFR 4279.202 and 7 CFR 4287.302. D. Application awards. The Agency will review, evaluate, score, and award applications received in response to this Notice based on the provisions found in 7 CFR part 4279, subpart C and as indicated in this Notice. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Award Information A. Available funds. This Notice is a solicitation for applications that will be funded using budget authority provided by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). B. Type of Award. Guaranteed loan. C. Approximate Number of Awards. Subject to the amount of funding available. D. Guarantee Loan Funding. The provisions of 7 CFR 4279.232 apply to this Notice. The Borrower needs to provide the remaining funds from other non-Federal sources to complete the Project. E. Guarantee and Annual Renewal Fees. The guarantee and annual renewal fees specified in 7 CFR 4279.231 are applicable to this Notice. F. Anticipated Award Date. The award date will vary based on timing of completion of each project’s individual application process. III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Lenders. To be eligible for this program, lenders must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.208. B. Eligible Borrowers. To be eligible for this program, borrowers must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.209. C. Eligible Projects. To be eligible for this program, projects must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.210. In addition, the 2018 Farm Bill amends the definition of ‘eligible technology’ to allow applicants to submit projects that adopt technologies in a biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel, renewable chemical, or a biobased product. D. Application Completeness. Incomplete Phase 1 applications will be VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 rejected and the project will be given no further consideration. Lenders will be informed of the element(s) that made the application incomplete. If the lender makes the required edits and resubmits the application to the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on the application closing date, the Agency will reconsider the application. IV. Application Submission Information A. Letter of Intent. For each guarantee request, the lender or the borrower must submit to the Agency a non-binding letter of intent to apply for a loan guarantee, not less than 30 calendar days prior to the application deadline. The letter of intent due date is August 30, 2019, for the October 1, 2019, application cycle and March 2, 2020, for the April 1, 2020, cycle. The letter must identify the borrower, the lender and any project sponsors; describe the project and project location; describe the proposed feedstock, primary technologies of the facility, and primary products produced; estimate the total project cost and amount of loan requested; and identify the application cycle due date. The Agency reserves the right to request additional information from potential applicants. Applications submitted without a letter of intent may be accepted by the Agency at the Agency’s discretion. B. Application Submittal. For each guarantee request, the lender must submit to the Agency an application that is in conformance with 7 CFR 4279.261. The content and methods of application submittal are specified below. Additionally, the Agency has developed an application guide that explains the application procedures and details the process for submission of an application. This guide is located at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_ Section9003Biorefinery_ ApplicationGuide.pdf. C. Content and Form of Submission. All applicants must submit one paper copy of the application materials and an electronic copy containing the same information that is included in the paper copy. Detailed instructions regarding application submission are explained in the application guide that the Agency has developed. The application guide is available online on the ‘‘Forms and Resources’’ page at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programsservices/biorefinery-assistance-program or by contacting Aaron Morris, Telephone: 202–720–1501. Email: Aaron.Morris@usda.gov. Application materials should be submitted to USDA PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, Attention: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901–S, Washington, DC 20250–3225. The Agency’s application process is divided into two phases. Phase 1 applications will provide information needed to determine lender, borrower, and project eligibility; preliminary economic and technical feasibility; and the priority score of the application. Based on the priority score ranking, the Agency will invite applicants whose Phase 1 applications receive higher priority scores to submit Phase 2 applications. Phase 2 application materials will be submitted as the project planning and engineering are finalized and will include information such as: Environmental compliance information, technical report, financial model, and the lender’s credit evaluation. Phase 1 applications must contain the information required in the Agency’s application guide and in accordance with 7 CFR 4279.261. D. Local Owner. For applications submitted under this Notice, when the majority of feedstock to be utilized by the project on an annual basis is harvested from the land, the term ‘‘local owner’’ is defined as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within the geographic area that the biorefinery’s feedstock originates. In all other cases, ‘‘local owner’’ is defined as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of the biorefinery. This definition will remain in effect until amended by a future Federal Register Notice. V. Biobased Product Manufacturing This notice also includes the solicitation of applications for funds available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program to specifically fund biobased product manufacturing. The 2014 Farm Bill added biobased product manufacturing to the Program and provided for up to 15 percent of the mandatory funds for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 to be used to support facilities producing biobased products for end use. The 2014 Farm Bill provides the definition of ‘‘biobased product manufacturing,’’ which the Agency has incorporated into the subsequent interim rule (see 7 CFR 4279.202). This definition requires that the biobased product manufacturing facility use E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries as inputs and also requires that the borrower use technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment and required facilities. The facility must produce end-user products. VI. Biobased Product Manufacturing Eligibility Information The eligibility requirements for prospective lenders and borrowers will not change from those listed above for the program, generally. For biobased product manufacturing projects, the eligible project requirement is modified to reflect that eligible projects will use technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment and required facilities to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products on a commercial scale. Additionally, for purposes of biobased product manufacturing projects, only for purposes of technical review, technical reports need to address only the technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment and required facilities. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES VII. Biobased Product Manufacturing Application Processing Procedures The application processing procedures will remain the same for biobased product manufacturing projects as for the projects described above. For applications submitted under this Notice, ‘‘local owner’’ is defined as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of the biorefinery. VIII. Biobased Product Manufacturing Scoring In lieu of the criteria listed in 7 CFR 4279.266, biobased product manufacturing projects will be scored using the criteria listed below. The scoring criteria below will remain in effect until amended by another Federal Register Notice. The scoring criteria are as follows: (a) Whether the borrower has established a market for the manufactured biobased product, as applicable. A maximum of 16 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) Degree of commitment of contracted sales agreements. A maximum of 6 points will be awarded. (i) If the borrower has signed contracts for purchase for greater than 50 percent of the dollar value of manufactured VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 biobased product, 6 points will be awarded. (ii) If the borrower has signed letters of intent to enter into contracted sales agreements, or comparable documentation, for the purchase for greater than 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product, or combination of signed contracts or agreements and letters of intent or comparable documentation, 4 points will be awarded. (iii) If the borrower has signed letters of interest to enter into contracted sales agreements, or comparable documentation, for the purchase for greater than 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product, or combination of signed contracts, letters of intent or comparable documentation, 2 points will be awarded. (2) Duration of contracted sales agreements. A maximum of 6 points will be awarded. (i) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of manufactured biobased product for the period not less than the loan term, 6 points will be awarded. (ii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product for the period not less than 5 years but less than the term of the loan, 4 points will be awarded. (iii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product for the period not less than 1 year but less than 5 years, 2 points will be awarded. (3) Financial strength of the contracted sales agreement counterparty. A maximum of 4 points will be awarded. (i) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating not less than AA, Aa2, or equivalent, 4 points will be awarded. (ii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating less than AA, Aa2, or equivalent, but not less than PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55137 A¥, or A3, or equivalent, 2 points will be awarded. (iii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating less than A¥, or A3, or equivalent, but not less than BBB¥, or Baa3, or equivalent, 1 point will be awarded. (b) Whether the area in which the borrower proposes to place the project, defined as the area that will supply the renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to the proposed project, has any other similar facilities. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the area that will supply the renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to the proposed project does not have any other similar facilities, 5 points will be awarded. (2) If there are other similar facilities located within the area that will supply the renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to the proposed project, 0 points will be awarded. (c) Whether the borrower is proposing to use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries not previously used in the biobased product manufacturing. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the borrower proposes to use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries previously used in the manufacture of a biobased product in a commercial facility, 0 points will be awarded. (2) If the borrower proposes to use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries not previously used in the manufacture of a biobased product in a commercial facility, 10 points will be awarded. (d) Whether the borrower is proposing to work with producer associations or cooperatives. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If at least 50 percent of the dollar value of renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to be used by the proposed project will be supplied by producer associations and cooperatives or biorefineries supplied by producer associations and cooperatives, 5 points will be awarded. (2) If at least 30 percent of the dollar value of renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to be used by the proposed project will be supplied by producer associations and E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 55138 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices cooperatives or biorefineries supplied by producer associations and cooperatives, 3 points will be awarded. (e) The level of financial participation by the borrower, including support from non-Federal Government sources and private sources. A maximum of 20 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct Federal funding is less than or equal to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, 20 points will be awarded. (2) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct Federal funding is greater than 50 percent but less than or equal to 55 percent of total eligible project costs, 16 points will be awarded. (3) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct Federal funding is greater than 55 percent but less than or equal to 60 percent of total eligible project costs, 12 points will be awarded. (4) If the sum of the loan amount and other direct Federal funding is greater than 60 percent but less than or equal to 65 percent of total eligible project costs, 8 points will be awarded. (5) If the sum of the loan amount and other direct Federal funding is greater than 65 percent but less than or equal to 70 percent of total eligible project costs, 4 points will be awarded. (f) Whether the borrower has established that the adoption of the manufacturing process proposed in the application will have a positive effect on three impact areas: Resource conservation (e.g., water, soil, forest), public health (e.g., potable water, air quality), and the environment (e.g., compliance with an applicable renewable fuel standard, greenhouse gases, emissions, particulate matter). A maximum of 10 points can be awarded. Based on what the borrower has provided in either the application or the feasibility study, points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If process adoption will have a positive impact on any one of the three impact areas (resource conservation, public health, or the environment), 3 points will be awarded. (2) If process adoption will have a positive impact on two of the three impact areas, 6 points will be awarded. (3) If process adoption will have a positive impact on all three impact areas, 10 points will be awarded. (g) Whether the borrower can establish that, if adopted, the technology proposed in the application will not have any economically significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 that use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the borrower has failed to establish, through an independent thirdparty feasibility study, that the production technology proposed in the application, if adopted, will not have any economically significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities that use similar renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries, 0 points will be awarded. (2) If the borrower has established, through an independent third-party feasibility study, that the production technology proposed in the application, if adopted, will not have any economically significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities that use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries, 5 points will be awarded. (h) The potential for rural economic development. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the project is located in a rural area, 5 points will be awarded. (2) If the project creates jobs through direct employment with an average wage that exceeds the county median household wages where the project will be located, 5 points will be awarded. (i) The level of local ownership of the facility proposed in the application. For the purposes of this Notice, a local owner is defined as ‘‘An individual who owns any portion of an eligible advanced biofuel biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of the biorefinery.’’ A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (A) If local owners have an ownership interest in the facility of more than 20 percent but less than or equal to 50 percent, 3 points will be awarded. (B) If local owners have an ownership interest in the facility of more than 50 percent, 5 points will be awarded. (j) Whether the project can be replicated. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows: (1) If the project can be commercially replicated regionally (e.g., Northeast, Southwest, etc.), 5 points will be awarded. (2) If the project can be commercially replicated nationally, 10 points will be awarded. (k) If the project uses a particular technology, system, or process that is not currently operating at commercial PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 scale as of October 1 of the fiscal year for which the funding is available; October 1, 2019, 5 points will be awarded. (l) The Administrator can award up to a maximum of 10 bonus points: (i) To ensure, to the extent practical, there is diversity in the types of projects approved for loan guarantees to ensure a wide a range as possible technologies, products, and approaches are assisted in the program portfolio; and (ii) To applications that promote partnerships and other activities that assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries, so as to, as applicable, promote resource conservation, public health, and the environment; diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products and agriculture waste material; and create jobs and enhance the economic development of the rural economy. No additional information regarding partnerships is provided at this time. If additional information does become available, the Agency will publish those details in a Federal Register notice. IX. General Program Information A. Loan Origination. Lenders seeking a loan guarantee under this Notice must comply with all the provisions found in 7 CFR 4279, subpart C. B. Loan Processing. The Agency will process loans guaranteed under this Notice in accordance with the provisions specified in 7 CFR 4279.260 through 4279.290. C. Evaluation of Applications and Awards. Awards under this Notice will be made on a competitive basis; submission of an application neither reserves funding nor ensures funding. The Agency will evaluate each application received in the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, select Phase 1 applications in accordance with 7 CFR 4279.267 to invite submittal of Phase 2 applications and will make awards using the provisions specified in 7 CFR 4279.278. D. Guaranteed Loan Servicing. The Agency will service loans guaranteed under this Notice in accordance with the provisions specified in 7 CFR 4287.301 through 4287.399. X. Administration Information A. Notifications. The Agency will notify, in writing, lenders whose Phase 1 applications have scored highest and will invite them to submit Phase 2 applications. If the Agency determines it is unable to guarantee any particular loan, the lender will be informed in E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 199 / Tuesday, October 15, 2019 / Notices writing. Such notification will include the reason(s) for denial of the guarantee. B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements. 1. Review or Appeal Rights. A person may seek a review of an Agency decision or appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 7 CFR 4279.204. 2. Exception Authority. The provisions specified in 7 CFR 4279.203 and 7 CFR 4287.303 apply to this Notice. C. Environmental Review. The Agency will review all applicant proposals that may qualify for assistance under this section in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, Environmental Policies and Procedures. The environmental review for projects that score high enough will be submitted during the Phase 2 application process and must be conducted in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, Environmental Policies and Procedures. XI. Agency Contacts For general questions about this Notice, please contact Aaron Morris, Rural Business–Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901–S, Washington, DC 20250–3225. Telephone: 202–720–1501. Email: Aaron.Morris@usda.gov. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program. Political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARTET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Additionally, program information may 16:25 Oct 11, 2019 Jkt 250001 Bette B. Brand, Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2019–22366 Filed 10–11–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C–489–817] Equal Opportunity and NonDiscrimination Requirements VerDate Sep<11>2014 be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD– 3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of a complaint form, call, (866) 632–9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690–7442; or (3) Email at: program.intake@ usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Oil Country Tubular Goods From the Republic of Turkey: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (Commerce) finds that revocation of the countervailing duty (CVD) order would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of a countervailable subsidy at the levels indicated in the ‘‘Final Results of Review’’ section of this notice. DATES: Applicable October 15, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aimee Phelan or Mary Kolberg, AD/ CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–2201 or (202) 482–1785, respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: Background On September 10, 2014, Commerce published in the Federal Register the PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55139 CVD order on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey).1 Subsequently on October 5, 2017, Commerce published an amended order consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirming Commerce’s remand redetermination.2 On June 4, 2019, Commerce published the notice of initiation of the first sunset review of the CVD order on OCTG Turkey, pursuant to section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act).3 In June 2019, Commerce received a notice of intent to participate from the following domestic interested parties: Benteler Steel/Tube, Boomerang Tube, LLC, IPSCO Tubulars, Inc., Vallourec Star, LP, and Welded Tube USA Inc; 4 Maverick Tube Corporation and Tenaris Bay City, Inc; 5 and United States Steel Corporation. (U.S. Steel Corporation).6 All notices of intent to participate were timely filed within the deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(i). Additionally, each of these companies claimed interested party status under section 771(9)(C) of the Act, as a domestic producer of OCTG. Commerce received an adequate substantive response to the notice of initiation from the domestic producers within the 30-day deadline specified in 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3)(i).7 On July 4, 2019, we received a timely substantive response from the government of Turkey (GOT).8 The domestic interested parties 1 See Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from India and the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty Orders and Amended Affirmative Final Countervailing Duty Determination for India, 79 FR 53688 (September 10, 2014). 2 See Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey: Amendment of Countervailing Duty Order, 82 FR 46483 (October 5, 2017). 3 See Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews, 84 FR 25741 (June 4, 2019). 4 See Benteler Steel/Tube’s, Boomerang Tube, LLC’s, IPSCO Tubulars, Inc.’s, Vallourec Star, LP’s, and Welded Tube USA Inc.’s Letter, ‘‘Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Notice of Intent to Participate,’’ dated June 13, 2019. 5 See Maverick Tube Corporation’s and Tenaris Bay City, Inc.’s Letter, ‘‘Notice of Intent to Participate in First Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey,’’ dated June 17, 2019. 6 See U.S. Steel Corporation’s Letter, ‘‘Five-Year (Sunset) Review of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Notice of Intent to Participate,’’ dated June 19, 2019. 7 See Domestic Interested Parties’ Letter, ‘‘Oil Country Tubular Goods from Turkey: Substantive Response of the Domestic Industry to Commerce’s Notice of Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Review,’’ dated July 3, 2019. 8 See GOT’s Letter, ‘‘Response of the Government of Turkey to the Five-Year Review (Sunset Review) of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Imports of Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from the Republic of Turkey,’’ dated July 4, 2019. E:\FR\FM\15OCN1.SGM 15OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 199 (Tuesday, October 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55135-55139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22366]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business-Cooperative Service


Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Biorefinery, 
Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance 
Program

AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This Notice announces the solicitation of applications for 
funds available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased 
Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (the Program) to provide 
guaranteed loans to fund the development, construction, and 
retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries using eligible 
technology and of Biobased product manufacturing facilities that use 
technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing 
equipment to convert renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of 
biorefineries into end-user products, on a commercial scale.

DATES: With this Notice, the Agency is announcing two separate 
application cycles, as is provided which are application closing dates 
of 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2019, and 4:30 p.m. 
Eastern Daylight Time, April 1, 2020.
    Applications must be received in the USDA Rural Business-
Cooperative Service, Energy Programs no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern 
Daylight Time of the application closing date to compete for program 
funds. Any application received after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time 
of the application closing date will be considered for the subsequent 
application cycle, provided that funding is available.

ADDRESSES: Applications and forms may be obtained from:
     USDA, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, 
Attention: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product 
Manufacturing Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 
6901-S, Washington, DC 20250-3225.
     Agency Website: Application materials can be obtained from 
the Agency's website. https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/biorefinery-assistance-program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Aaron Morris, Assistant Deputy 
Administrator, USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy 
Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901-S, Washington, DC 
20250-3225. Telephone: 202-720-1501. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Preface

    The Agency encourages applications that will support 
recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help 
improve life in rural America (www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity). 
Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable 
results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable 
economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, 
partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include:

 Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
 Developing the Rural Economy
 Harnessing Technological Innovation
 Supporting a Rural Workforce
 Improving Quality of Life

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
information collection requirements associated with the Program, as 
covered in this Notice, have been approved by the Office of Management 
Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0570-0065.

Overview

    Federal Agency Name: Rural Business-Cooperative Service (an Agency 
of USDA in the Rural Development mission area).
    Solicitation Opportunity Title: Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, 
and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program.
    Announcement Type: Notice of Solicitation of Applications.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: The CFDA 
number for this Notice is 10.865.
    Dates: Applications must be received in the USDA Rural Business-
Cooperative Service, Energy Programs no later than the application 
closing dates of 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, October 1, 2019, and 
4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, April 1, 2020. Any application 
received after 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of the application 
closing date will be considered for the subsequent application cycle, 
provided that funding is available.
    Availability of Notice and Rule: This Notice and the interim rule 
for the Program are available on the USDA Rural Development website at: 
https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/biorefinery-assistance-program.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    A. Purpose of the Program. The purpose of the Biorefinery, 
Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance 
Program is to assist in the development of new and emerging 
technologies for the development of advanced biofuels, renewable 
chemicals, or biobased product manufacturing. This is achieved through 
guarantees for loans made to fund the development, construction, and 
retrofitting of commercial scale biorefineries using eligible 
technology and of biobased product manufacturing facilities that use 
technologically new commercial scale processing and

[[Page 55136]]

manufacturing equipment and required facilities to convert renewable 
chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user 
products on a commercial scale.
    B. Statutory Authority. This Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 
8103. Regulations are contained in 7 CFR part 4279, subpart C and in 7 
CFR part 4287, subpart D.
    C. Definition of Terms. The definitions applicable to this Notice 
are published at 7 CFR 4279.202 and 7 CFR 4287.302.
    D. Application awards. The Agency will review, evaluate, score, and 
award applications received in response to this Notice based on the 
provisions found in 7 CFR part 4279, subpart C and as indicated in this 
Notice.

II. Award Information

    A. Available funds. This Notice is a solicitation for applications 
that will be funded using budget authority provided by the Food, 
Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), the Agricultural 
Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), and the Agricultural Improvement Act of 
2018 (2018 Farm Bill).
    B. Type of Award. Guaranteed loan.
    C. Approximate Number of Awards. Subject to the amount of funding 
available.
    D. Guarantee Loan Funding. The provisions of 7 CFR 4279.232 apply 
to this Notice. The Borrower needs to provide the remaining funds from 
other non-Federal sources to complete the Project.
    E. Guarantee and Annual Renewal Fees. The guarantee and annual 
renewal fees specified in 7 CFR 4279.231 are applicable to this Notice.
    F. Anticipated Award Date. The award date will vary based on timing 
of completion of each project's individual application process.

III. Eligibility Information

    A. Eligible Lenders. To be eligible for this program, lenders must 
meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.208.
    B. Eligible Borrowers. To be eligible for this program, borrowers 
must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.209.
    C. Eligible Projects. To be eligible for this program, projects 
must meet the eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 4279.210. In addition, 
the 2018 Farm Bill amends the definition of `eligible technology' to 
allow applicants to submit projects that adopt technologies in a 
biorefinery that produces an advanced biofuel, renewable chemical, or a 
biobased product.
    D. Application Completeness. Incomplete Phase 1 applications will 
be rejected and the project will be given no further consideration. 
Lenders will be informed of the element(s) that made the application 
incomplete. If the lender makes the required edits and resubmits the 
application to the USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy 
Programs by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on the application closing 
date, the Agency will reconsider the application.

IV. Application Submission Information

    A. Letter of Intent. For each guarantee request, the lender or the 
borrower must submit to the Agency a non-binding letter of intent to 
apply for a loan guarantee, not less than 30 calendar days prior to the 
application deadline. The letter of intent due date is August 30, 2019, 
for the October 1, 2019, application cycle and March 2, 2020, for the 
April 1, 2020, cycle. The letter must identify the borrower, the lender 
and any project sponsors; describe the project and project location; 
describe the proposed feedstock, primary technologies of the facility, 
and primary products produced; estimate the total project cost and 
amount of loan requested; and identify the application cycle due date. 
The Agency reserves the right to request additional information from 
potential applicants. Applications submitted without a letter of intent 
may be accepted by the Agency at the Agency's discretion.
    B. Application Submittal. For each guarantee request, the lender 
must submit to the Agency an application that is in conformance with 7 
CFR 4279.261. The content and methods of application submittal are 
specified below. Additionally, the Agency has developed an application 
guide that explains the application procedures and details the process 
for submission of an application. This guide is located at https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_Section9003Biorefinery_ApplicationGuide.pdf.
    C. Content and Form of Submission. All applicants must submit one 
paper copy of the application materials and an electronic copy 
containing the same information that is included in the paper copy. 
Detailed instructions regarding application submission are explained in 
the application guide that the Agency has developed. The application 
guide is available online on the ``Forms and Resources'' page at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/biorefinery-assistance-program or by 
contacting Aaron Morris, Telephone: 202-720-1501. Email: 
[email protected]. Application materials should be submitted to 
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, Attention: 
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing 
Assistance Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901-S, 
Washington, DC 20250-3225.
    The Agency's application process is divided into two phases. Phase 
1 applications will provide information needed to determine lender, 
borrower, and project eligibility; preliminary economic and technical 
feasibility; and the priority score of the application. Based on the 
priority score ranking, the Agency will invite applicants whose Phase 1 
applications receive higher priority scores to submit Phase 2 
applications. Phase 2 application materials will be submitted as the 
project planning and engineering are finalized and will include 
information such as: Environmental compliance information, technical 
report, financial model, and the lender's credit evaluation. Phase 1 
applications must contain the information required in the Agency's 
application guide and in accordance with 7 CFR 4279.261.
    D. Local Owner. For applications submitted under this Notice, when 
the majority of feedstock to be utilized by the project on an annual 
basis is harvested from the land, the term ``local owner'' is defined 
as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible biorefinery and 
whose primary residence is located within the geographic area that the 
biorefinery's feedstock originates. In all other cases, ``local owner'' 
is defined as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible 
biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of 
the biorefinery. This definition will remain in effect until amended by 
a future Federal Register Notice.

V. Biobased Product Manufacturing

    This notice also includes the solicitation of applications for 
funds available under the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased 
Product Manufacturing Assistance Program to specifically fund biobased 
product manufacturing. The 2014 Farm Bill added biobased product 
manufacturing to the Program and provided for up to 15 percent of the 
mandatory funds for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 to be used to support 
facilities producing biobased products for end use. The 2014 Farm Bill 
provides the definition of ``biobased product manufacturing,'' which 
the Agency has incorporated into the subsequent interim rule (see 7 CFR 
4279.202). This definition requires that the biobased product 
manufacturing facility use

[[Page 55137]]

renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries as 
inputs and also requires that the borrower use technologically new 
commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment and required 
facilities. The facility must produce end-user products.

VI. Biobased Product Manufacturing Eligibility Information

    The eligibility requirements for prospective lenders and borrowers 
will not change from those listed above for the program, generally. For 
biobased product manufacturing projects, the eligible project 
requirement is modified to reflect that eligible projects will use 
technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing 
equipment and required facilities to convert renewable chemicals and 
other biobased outputs of biorefineries into end-user products on a 
commercial scale.
    Additionally, for purposes of biobased product manufacturing 
projects, only for purposes of technical review, technical reports need 
to address only the technologically new commercial scale processing and 
manufacturing equipment and required facilities.

VII. Biobased Product Manufacturing Application Processing Procedures

    The application processing procedures will remain the same for 
biobased product manufacturing projects as for the projects described 
above.
    For applications submitted under this Notice, ``local owner'' is 
defined as an individual who owns any portion of an eligible 
biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of 
the biorefinery.

VIII. Biobased Product Manufacturing Scoring

    In lieu of the criteria listed in 7 CFR 4279.266, biobased product 
manufacturing projects will be scored using the criteria listed below. 
The scoring criteria below will remain in effect until amended by 
another Federal Register Notice. The scoring criteria are as follows:
    (a) Whether the borrower has established a market for the 
manufactured biobased product, as applicable. A maximum of 16 points 
can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) Degree of commitment of contracted sales agreements. A maximum 
of 6 points will be awarded.
    (i) If the borrower has signed contracts for purchase for greater 
than 50 percent of the dollar value of manufactured biobased product, 6 
points will be awarded.
    (ii) If the borrower has signed letters of intent to enter into 
contracted sales agreements, or comparable documentation, for the 
purchase for greater than 50 percent of the dollar value of the 
manufactured biobased product, or combination of signed contracts or 
agreements and letters of intent or comparable documentation, 4 points 
will be awarded.
    (iii) If the borrower has signed letters of interest to enter into 
contracted sales agreements, or comparable documentation, for the 
purchase for greater than 50 percent of the dollar value of the 
manufactured biobased product, or combination of signed contracts, 
letters of intent or comparable documentation, 2 points will be 
awarded.
    (2) Duration of contracted sales agreements. A maximum of 6 points 
will be awarded.
    (i) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of manufactured biobased product for 
the period not less than the loan term, 6 points will be awarded.
    (ii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product 
for the period not less than 5 years but less than the term of the 
loan, 4 points will be awarded.
    (iii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product 
for the period not less than 1 year but less than 5 years, 2 points 
will be awarded.
    (3) Financial strength of the contracted sales agreement 
counterparty. A maximum of 4 points will be awarded.
    (i) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product 
with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating not less than AA, 
Aa2, or equivalent, 4 points will be awarded.
    (ii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product 
with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating less than AA, Aa2, 
or equivalent, but not less than A-, or A3, or equivalent, 2 points 
will be awarded.
    (iii) If the borrower commits to enter into contracted sales 
agreements prior to loan closing for purchase for greater than or equal 
to 50 percent of the dollar value of the manufactured biobased product 
with a counterparty with a corporate credit rating less than A-, or A3, 
or equivalent, but not less than BBB-, or Baa3, or equivalent, 1 point 
will be awarded.
    (b) Whether the area in which the borrower proposes to place the 
project, defined as the area that will supply the renewable chemicals 
and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to the proposed project, 
has any other similar facilities. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. 
Points to be awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) If the area that will supply the renewable chemicals and other 
biobased outputs of biorefineries to the proposed project does not have 
any other similar facilities, 5 points will be awarded.
    (2) If there are other similar facilities located within the area 
that will supply the renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of 
biorefineries to the proposed project, 0 points will be awarded.
    (c) Whether the borrower is proposing to use renewable chemicals 
and other biobased outputs of biorefineries not previously used in the 
biobased product manufacturing. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded. 
Points to be awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) If the borrower proposes to use renewable chemicals and other 
biobased outputs of biorefineries previously used in the manufacture of 
a biobased product in a commercial facility, 0 points will be awarded.
    (2) If the borrower proposes to use renewable chemicals and other 
biobased outputs of biorefineries not previously used in the 
manufacture of a biobased product in a commercial facility, 10 points 
will be awarded.
    (d) Whether the borrower is proposing to work with producer 
associations or cooperatives. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. 
Points to be awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) If at least 50 percent of the dollar value of renewable 
chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to be used by the 
proposed project will be supplied by producer associations and 
cooperatives or biorefineries supplied by producer associations and 
cooperatives, 5 points will be awarded.
    (2) If at least 30 percent of the dollar value of renewable 
chemicals and other biobased outputs of biorefineries to be used by the 
proposed project will be supplied by producer associations and

[[Page 55138]]

cooperatives or biorefineries supplied by producer associations and 
cooperatives, 3 points will be awarded.
    (e) The level of financial participation by the borrower, including 
support from non-Federal Government sources and private sources. A 
maximum of 20 points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be 
determined as follows:
    (1) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct 
Federal funding is less than or equal to 50 percent of total eligible 
project costs, 20 points will be awarded.
    (2) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct 
Federal funding is greater than 50 percent but less than or equal to 55 
percent of total eligible project costs, 16 points will be awarded.
    (3) If the sum of the loan amount requested and other direct 
Federal funding is greater than 55 percent but less than or equal to 60 
percent of total eligible project costs, 12 points will be awarded.
    (4) If the sum of the loan amount and other direct Federal funding 
is greater than 60 percent but less than or equal to 65 percent of 
total eligible project costs, 8 points will be awarded.
    (5) If the sum of the loan amount and other direct Federal funding 
is greater than 65 percent but less than or equal to 70 percent of 
total eligible project costs, 4 points will be awarded.
    (f) Whether the borrower has established that the adoption of the 
manufacturing process proposed in the application will have a positive 
effect on three impact areas: Resource conservation (e.g., water, soil, 
forest), public health (e.g., potable water, air quality), and the 
environment (e.g., compliance with an applicable renewable fuel 
standard, greenhouse gases, emissions, particulate matter). A maximum 
of 10 points can be awarded. Based on what the borrower has provided in 
either the application or the feasibility study, points to be awarded 
will be determined as follows:
    (1) If process adoption will have a positive impact on any one of 
the three impact areas (resource conservation, public health, or the 
environment), 3 points will be awarded.
    (2) If process adoption will have a positive impact on two of the 
three impact areas, 6 points will be awarded.
    (3) If process adoption will have a positive impact on all three 
impact areas, 10 points will be awarded.
    (g) Whether the borrower can establish that, if adopted, the 
technology proposed in the application will not have any economically 
significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other 
facilities that use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of 
biorefineries. A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be 
awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) If the borrower has failed to establish, through an independent 
third-party feasibility study, that the production technology proposed 
in the application, if adopted, will not have any economically 
significant negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other 
facilities that use similar renewable chemicals and other biobased 
outputs of biorefineries, 0 points will be awarded.
    (2) If the borrower has established, through an independent third-
party feasibility study, that the production technology proposed in the 
application, if adopted, will not have any economically significant 
negative impacts on existing manufacturing plants or other facilities 
that use renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of 
biorefineries, 5 points will be awarded.
    (h) The potential for rural economic development. A maximum of 10 
points can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as 
follows:
    (1) If the project is located in a rural area, 5 points will be 
awarded.
    (2) If the project creates jobs through direct employment with an 
average wage that exceeds the county median household wages where the 
project will be located, 5 points will be awarded.
    (i) The level of local ownership of the facility proposed in the 
application. For the purposes of this Notice, a local owner is defined 
as ``An individual who owns any portion of an eligible advanced biofuel 
biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within 100 miles of 
the biorefinery.'' A maximum of 5 points can be awarded. Points to be 
awarded will be determined as follows:
    (A) If local owners have an ownership interest in the facility of 
more than 20 percent but less than or equal to 50 percent, 3 points 
will be awarded.
    (B) If local owners have an ownership interest in the facility of 
more than 50 percent, 5 points will be awarded.
    (j) Whether the project can be replicated. A maximum of 10 points 
can be awarded. Points to be awarded will be determined as follows:
    (1) If the project can be commercially replicated regionally (e.g., 
Northeast, Southwest, etc.), 5 points will be awarded.
    (2) If the project can be commercially replicated nationally, 10 
points will be awarded.
    (k) If the project uses a particular technology, system, or process 
that is not currently operating at commercial scale as of October 1 of 
the fiscal year for which the funding is available; October 1, 2019, 5 
points will be awarded.
    (l) The Administrator can award up to a maximum of 10 bonus points:
    (i) To ensure, to the extent practical, there is diversity in the 
types of projects approved for loan guarantees to ensure a wide a range 
as possible technologies, products, and approaches are assisted in the 
program portfolio; and
    (ii) To applications that promote partnerships and other activities 
that assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the 
development of renewable chemicals and other biobased outputs of 
biorefineries, so as to, as applicable, promote resource conservation, 
public health, and the environment; diversify markets for agricultural 
and forestry products and agriculture waste material; and create jobs 
and enhance the economic development of the rural economy. No 
additional information regarding partnerships is provided at this time. 
If additional information does become available, the Agency will 
publish those details in a Federal Register notice.

IX. General Program Information

    A. Loan Origination. Lenders seeking a loan guarantee under this 
Notice must comply with all the provisions found in 7 CFR 4279, subpart 
C.
    B. Loan Processing. The Agency will process loans guaranteed under 
this Notice in accordance with the provisions specified in 7 CFR 
4279.260 through 4279.290.
    C. Evaluation of Applications and Awards. Awards under this Notice 
will be made on a competitive basis; submission of an application 
neither reserves funding nor ensures funding. The Agency will evaluate 
each application received in the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative 
Service, Energy Programs, select Phase 1 applications in accordance 
with 7 CFR 4279.267 to invite submittal of Phase 2 applications and 
will make awards using the provisions specified in 7 CFR 4279.278.
    D. Guaranteed Loan Servicing. The Agency will service loans 
guaranteed under this Notice in accordance with the provisions 
specified in 7 CFR 4287.301 through 4287.399.

X. Administration Information

    A. Notifications. The Agency will notify, in writing, lenders whose 
Phase 1 applications have scored highest and will invite them to submit 
Phase 2 applications. If the Agency determines it is unable to 
guarantee any particular loan, the lender will be informed in

[[Page 55139]]

writing. Such notification will include the reason(s) for denial of the 
guarantee.
    B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements.
    1. Review or Appeal Rights. A person may seek a review of an Agency 
decision or appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 
7 CFR 4279.204.
    2. Exception Authority. The provisions specified in 7 CFR 4279.203 
and 7 CFR 4287.303 apply to this Notice.
    C. Environmental Review. The Agency will review all applicant 
proposals that may qualify for assistance under this section in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, Environmental Policies and Procedures. 
The environmental review for projects that score high enough will be 
submitted during the Phase 2 application process and must be conducted 
in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, Environmental Policies and 
Procedures.

XI. Agency Contacts

    For general questions about this Notice, please contact Aaron 
Morris, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Energy Programs, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6901-S, 
Washington, DC 20250-3225. Telephone: 202-720-1501. Email: 
[email protected].

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Requirements

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its 
Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or 
administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on 
race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including 
gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital 
status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance 
program. Political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil 
rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA 
(not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing 
deadlines vary by program or incident.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of 
communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible 
Agency or USDA's TARTET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or 
contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages 
other than English.
    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA 
Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to 
File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write 
a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the 
information requested in the form. To request a copy of a complaint 
form, call, (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to 
USDA by:
    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant 
Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 
20250-9410;
    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    (3) Email at: [email protected].
    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.


Bette B. Brand,
Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-22366 Filed 10-11-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P