Notice of Funds Availability for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020, 26656-26665 [2020-09685]

Download as PDF 26656 Notices Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 87 Tuesday, May 5, 2020 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2020–0009] Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Release of Aphelinus hordei for Biological Control of Russian Wheat Aphid Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment relative to permitting the release of Aphelinus hordei for the biological control of Russian wheat aphids, a pest of cereal crops, in the Western United States. Based on the environmental assessment and other relevant data, we have reached a preliminary determination that the release of this control agent will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. We are making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 4, 2020. SUMMARY: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2020-0009. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2020–0009, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/ khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2020-0009 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799–7039 before coming. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Colin D. Stewart, Assistant Director, Pests, Pathogens, and Biocontrol Permits, Permitting and Compliance Coordination, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737– 1231; (301) 851–2327, email: Colin.Stewart@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Russian wheat aphid is native to Central Asia, the Middle East, Southern Europe, and North Africa, but has spread to various areas such as Australia, South Africa, and North and South America. It was detected in the Western United States in 1986, Russian wheat aphid was discovered in 18 States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This pest has not spread to the eastern areas of the United States. The Russian wheat aphid is wingless, pale yellowgreen or gray-green insect lightly dusted with white wax powder that feeds and develops on grass and cereal species; in North America, it thrives best on wheat and barley. Aphelinus hordei, a tiny, stingless wasp, was chosen as a potential biological control agent due to its narrow host range, and it was the only parasitoid that specialized on Russian wheat aphid. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS’) review and analysis of the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed release are documented in detail in an environmental assessment (EA) entitled ‘‘Field Release of Aphelinus hordei (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) for Biological Control of the Russian Wheat Aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in the Continental United States’’ (February 2018). We are making the EA available to the public for review and comment. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before the date listed PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 under the heading DATES at the beginning of this notice. The EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov website or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may also request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies. The EA has been prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS’ NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of April 2020. Michael Watson, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2020–09539 Filed 5–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Rural Business-Cooperative Service Notice of Funds Availability for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020 Commodity Credit Corporation and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announce the availability of up to $100 million in competitive grants to eligible entities for activities designed to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Cost-share grants of up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs but not more than $5 million will be made SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices available to assist transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities with converting to higher blend friendly status for ethanol (i.e., greater than 10 percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 percent biodiesel) by sharing the costs related to the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of dispenser/pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure. DATES: The Agency will finalize the application window for enrollment in the Higher Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive Program by future notice in the Federal Register and Grants.gov. subject to the opening of the electronic application system. ADDRESSES: Application Submission: The application system for electronic submissions will be available at http:// www.rd.usda.gov/HBIIP. Electronic Submissions: Electronic submissions of applications will allow for the expeditious review of an Applicant’s proposal. As a result, all Applicants must file their application electronically. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Crooks: Telephone (202) 205– 9322, email: EnergyPrograms@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities that require alternative means for communication should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Target Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice). SUPPLEMENATARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (CRA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget designated this action as a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2), because it will result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more. Accordingly, there is a 60-day delay in the effective date of this action. Application processing (reviews, competition, selection, awards, etc.) will not begin until after the application deadline 90 days after the application window date is announced by notice in the Federal Register. Therefore, the 60day delay required by the CRA is not expected to have a material impact upon the administration and/or implementation of the HBIIP. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Overview Federal Agency: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), (USDA). Funding Opportunity Title: Notice of Funds Availability for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 Announcement Type: Notice of Funds Availability. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.754. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Title: The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Due Date for Applications: The Agency will finalize the application window for enrollment in the Higher Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive Program by notice in the Federal Register and Grants.gov. subject to future opening of the electronic application system. Items in Supplementary Information I. Program Overview II. Federal Award Information III. Eligibility Information IV. Application and Submission Information V. Application Review Information VI. Federal Award Administration Information VII. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts VIII. Other Information I. Program Overview A. Background Prior to publishing this Notice, the CCC and RBCS (the Agency) determined it to be in the public interest to solicit informal comments from the public and interested stakeholders on a wide range of issues on information and options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from all HBIIP processes that drive economic growth, promote health, and increase public benefit. A Request for Information (RFI), was published in the Federal Register (85 FR 2699) on January 16, 2020. Information received from the public to the RFI was intended to inform the CCC and RBCS as well as private sector and other stakeholders with interest in and expertise relating to such a promotion. Fifty-seven (57) comments were submitted from the public which served to inform the Agency on an array of issues, including but not limited to: (a) Fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments; (b) equipment providers, equipment installers, certification entities and other stakeholder/manufacturers (both upstream and down); (c) fuel distribution centers, including terminals and depots; and (d) those performing innovative research, and/or developing enabling platforms and applications in manufacturing, energy production, and agriculture. Additionally, on February 5, 2020, RBCS convened a Federal Inter- PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26657 Agency Task Force of experts with relevant knowledge, including technical experts from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to assist with the review of the public comments and provide recommendations for the guiding principles of this Notice. And, on February 28, 2020, an ‘‘Announcement of Future Competitive Grant Funds Availability for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020,’’ was published in the Federal Register (85 FR 2699) to alert prospective participants and stakeholders of Agency intentions to publish this Notice. B. Program Description The purpose of the HBIIP is to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. HBIIP is intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure. Under the HBIIP, funds will be awarded to assist transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities to convert their facilities through upgrade or installation of equipment required to ensure all equipment is fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol (i.e., greater than 10 percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 percent biodiesel) (HB fuel). The program will share the costs related to the upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps) and attached equipment, underground storage tank system components (which includes but is not limited to tanks, pumps, ancillary equipment, lines, gaskets, and sealants), and other infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent. Storing and dispensing E15, E85, or other high blends of ethanol at gas stations with equipment that is not compatible with higher blends of ethanol fuel can result in leaks and releases that contaminate land and groundwater. Older and even some recent existing UST systems (which includes but is not limited to tanks, pumps, ancillary equipment, lines, gaskets, and sealants) are not fully compatible with E15 or higher and require modification before storing these fuels. Biodiesel blends above B20 have similar requirements; some infrastructure changes may even be necessary when storing blends greater than B5. This program will expand the E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 26658 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices number of facilities fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. Grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million, are made available to vehicle fueling facilities, including, but not limited to, local fueling stations/ locations, convenience stores (CS), hypermarket fueling stations (HFS), fleet facilities, and fuel terminal operations, midstream partners, and/or distribution facilities. CCC is an agency and instrumentality of the United States within the Department of Agriculture and operates under the supervision of the Secretary of Agriculture. Among the activities that section 5 of the CCC Charter Act authorizes CCC to undertake are actions to: • Make available materials and facilities required in connection with the production and marketing of agricultural commodities (other than tobacco) and • Increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities (other than tobacco) by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic markets or by developing or aiding in the development of new and additional markets, marketing facilities, and uses for such commodities. Under this authority, CCC is making available up to $100 million in the form of cost-share grants to eligible entities to assist with the implementation of activities to expand the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from agricultural products produced in the United States. HBIIP will be administered on behalf of CCC under the general supervision of RBCS. II. Federal Award Information A. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 10.754 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Title: The Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES B. Funds Available Under HBIIP up to $100 million is made available to eligible participants. Of the total amount of available funds, approximately $86 million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities (including fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments) for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol greater than 10 percent ethanol, such as E15 or higher; and approximately $14 million will be made available to VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 transportation fueling facilities and fuel distribution facilities (including terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners), for eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of biodiesel greater than 5 percent biodiesel, such as B20 or higher. C. Targeted Assistance Goal A Targeted Assistance Goal is also established for applicants (owners) owning the fewest number of transportation fueling stations/locations (and owning at least one). Approximately 40 percent of funds will be made available for activities/ investments related to upgrading or installing equipment to make a transportation fueling facilities fully compatible to dispense/sell higher blends of fuel ethanol and/or biodiesel. The Agency expects this Targeted Assistance to be exhausted by applicants owning 10 fueling stations/ locations or fewer. This policy goal is rooted in Agency experience and borne out by several comments submitted to the RFI (85 FR 2699). Approximately 80 percent of fuel sales in the U.S. is sold by convenience store owners. Moreover, about 58 percent of the stores selling fuel in the U.S. are ‘‘single store owners.’’ A significant majority of HB fuel is currently sold/dispensed by large retail convenience store chains located in the Midwest and along the East Coast of the U.S., due in part because these are the types of businesses and locations with the highest densities of HB fueling infrastructure. The Agency established this Targeted Assistance Goal as a means to distribute a portion of program funds among a greater number of business owners and perhaps indirectly, across a broader geographic region, that may not otherwise participate. There is an underlying expectation that owners/ participants located in underserved areas today will be positioned as HB fuel market leaders tomorrow. D. Consideration for Geographical Diversity A Consideration for Geographical Diversity and markets underserved by higher blends is also afforded to applicants/participants based on the location of the proposed transportation fueling stations/facilities. This consideration is intended to work in concert with the Targeted Assistance Goal to distribute program funds more broadly across a greater number of states that may not otherwise participate. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E. Approximate Number of Awards The number of awards will depend on the number of eligible participants and the total amount of requested funds. In the unlikely event that every successful applicant is awarded the maximum amount available of $5 million, 20 awards will be made. The Agency intends/expects to make approximately 150 awards and provide assistance to 1,500 locations from this solicitation. F. Type of Instrument Grants. Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of costshare grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not to exceed $5 million, whichever is less. III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants Owners of transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities located in the United States and its territories may apply for this program. Eligible entities would include—fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket retailer fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with equivalent capital investments, as well as fuel/biodiesel terminal operations, midstream partners, and heating oil distribution facilities or equivalent entities. Applicants must include all proposed activity under a single application. Application requirements and other important information is available at Grants.gov and on the HBIIP web page https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. B. Eligible Project The goal of HBIIP is to increase the market availability of higher blends biofuels. To be eligible for this program, a project’s sole purpose must be for the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of fuel dispensers/ pumps, related/attached equipment, underground storage tank system components, and other infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent. An eligible project must conform to all applicable Federal, State, Tribal and local regulatory requirements pertaining to: (1) Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements for Owners and Operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST), 40 CFR parts 280 and 281; (2) Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives, 40 CFR part 80; (3) Occupational Safety and Health Standards Subpart H—Hazardous E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices Materials Section 106—Flammable Liquids, 29 CFR 1910.106; (4) Safety and Health Regulations for Construction Subpart F—Fire Protection and Prevention Section 152— Flammable Liquids, 29 CFR 1926.152; and (5) Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification, and Posting, 16 CFR part 306. HBIIP funds may be used for equipment required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent. Since 1988, EPA’s UST regulations require fuel to be stored in systems that are compatible with the type of fuel being stored. The environmentally-safe growth in availability of fuels containing higher blends of ethanol or biodiesel depends on these fuels being stored and dispensed from underground storage tank (UST) systems that are compatible with E15. Storing and dispensing E15 at gas stations with equipment that is not compatible with higher blends of ethanol fuel can result in leaks and releases that contaminate land and groundwater. Section 280.32 of 40 CFR part 280 states that UST owners and operators must use an UST system made of or lined with materials that are compatible with the substance stored in the UST system. Additionally, owners or operators who store regulated substances that contain more than 20 percent biodiesel or more than 10 percent ethanol, such as 15 percent ethanol or E15, must notify their implementing agency 30 days before storing the fuel. Owners and operators must also keep records demonstrating that their UST system is compatible with the substance stored. Demonstrating compatibility of an UST system means identifying what equipment is installed as part of your UST system. You must show that a component is approved by either the manufacturer of the component or by a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL), for use with the fuel to be stored. See details about these requirements in regulations issued by EPA at 40 CFR 280.32. Please note that compatibility extends beyond the fuel tank. Owners and operators must demonstrate compatibility for the components below to store substances containing more than 10 percent ethanol or more than 20 percent biodiesel. 1. Tank; 2. Piping carrying product from the tank; VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 3. Piping containment sumps entered by the piping; 4. Pumping equipment, including the submersible pump or suction pump, depending on the type of system; 5. Release detection equipment, including automatic tank gauging (ATG) probes, sump sensors, and line leak detectors; 6. Spill equipment, such as spill buckets, for the tank; and 7. Overfill equipment, including ball float valves or flapper valves. The federal UST regulation from EPA does not require owners and operators to demonstrate the compatibility of dispensers or associated aboveground equipment. However, compatibility requirements for these components may exist in other local regulations, such as the fire code. Owners and operators should check for these requirements with their implementing agency. HBIIP grant funds may be used to upgrade or replace fuel dispensers/pumps, underground storage tank system components, or other required infrastructure, necessary to make their facility fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol or biodiesel. Fuel dispensers/pumps, underground storage tank system components, and other required infrastructure and components must meet the minimum requirements of EPA’s UST regulations and other Federal, State, and local regulations or codes; and, must be approved by either the manufacturer of the component or by a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL), for use at a minimum for blends containing 25 percent ethanol or 100 percent biodiesel. C. Cost Sharing or Matching There is a matching fund (costsharing) requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds provided by CCC. Matching funds plus grant funds must equal total eligible project cost. Matching funds may be in the form of cash or eligible in-kind contributions. Matching funds/contributions and grant funds may be used only for eligible project purposes, including any contributions exceeding the minimum amount required. Applicants will certify and demonstrate that any required matching funds are available during the grant period and provide appropriate documentation with the application, as referenced in Section IV.B of this Notice. Funds made available under HBIIP may only be used for eligible equipment, infrastructure and related expenses to support the sales and use of higher biofuel blends—fuel containing ethanol greater than 10 percent by PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26659 volume and/or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent by volume. Applicants may enter into arrangements with private entities such as, but not limited to, commercial vendors of fuels, agricultural commodity promotional organizations, Tribes, and other entities interested in the renewable fuels in order to secure such non-Federal funds or in-kind contributions. There are several existing or prior and ongoing State-led programs and private sector efforts to help provide funding for higher blend dispensers, related equipment and infrastructure. These programs may be included as part of any matching contribution requirement. However, the application must show how the HBIIP grant will add to the infrastructure that fosters biofuel sales and use. HBIIP funds are intended to provide additional incentives. D. Eligible Funds (1) Matching Funds. Those project funds required to receive an HBIIP grant. The applicant is responsible for securing the remainder of the total eligible project costs not covered by grant funds. Matching funds are comprised of eligible in-kind contributions from third parties and/or cash. In-kind contributions by the applicant cannot be used to meet the matching fund requirement. Written commitments for matching funds (e.g., Letters of Commitment and bank statements) must be submitted with the Certification of Matching Funds when the application is submitted. Funds provided by the applicant in excess of matching funds are not matching funds. Unless authorized by statute, other Federal grant funds cannot be used to meet a matching funds requirement. Passive third-party equity contributions are acceptable for HBIIP projects, including equity raised from the sale of Federal tax credits. In the event of ineligible, overstated, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims in the Certification of Matching Funds, the Agency reserves the right to adjust an application’s grant request such that it is commensurate with eligible/actual Matching Funds, or take otherwise action as deemed appropriate. Up to 10 percent of an applicant’s Matching Funds requirement (up to five percent of total project costs) may be used to pay consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage related expenses. HBIIP grant funds awarded to transportation fueling stations are intended to assist with converting those facilities to ensure full compatibility with HB fuel through upgrade or E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 26660 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES installation of fuel dispensers, related equipment, and infrastructure. And while the contributions of consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage toward a fuel station’s fuel sales are well recognized, a very tall sign to display fuel prices does not in any way assist a facility with higher blends compatibility. Therefore, the Agency determined that while HBIIP grant funds may not be used for consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage, Matching Funds may. (2) Eligible Project Costs. Eligible Project Costs are only those costs incurred during the grant period and that are directly related to the use and purposes of the HBIIP. Eligible Project Costs may include: (a) Retrofitting of existing, or purchase and installation of new, fuel dispensers (gas and/or diesel pumps) and attached equipment, underground storage tank system components, and other infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent; (b) Construction, retrofitting, replacement, and improvements; (c) Fees for construction permits and licenses; and (d) Professional service fees for qualified consultants, contractors, installers, and other third-party services. (e) HBIIP grant funds may not be used to pay for expenses related to consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage. However, up to 10 percent of an applicant’s Matching Funds requirement (up to five percent of total project costs) may be used to pay for consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage related expenses. E. Ineligible Project Costs Ineligible project costs for HBIIP projects include, but are not limited to: (1) Used equipment and vehicles; (2) Construction or equipment costs that would be incurred regardless of the installation of HB fuel infrastructure shall not be included as eligible project costs. For example, a fuel storage tank for a fueling facility constructed during the grant period that would have been otherwise installed should not be included in an application. USDA believes all new tanks and piping available in the market only come in models compatible with higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, so grant funds would not expand the market for higher blends by funding such tank or equipment installation. However, other required equipment such as fuel dispensers/pumps and other VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 underground storage tank system components that are still available in traditional and higher blend compatible models, the latter at a higher cost, may be considered in this funding program. (3) Business operations that derive more than 10 percent of annual gross revenue (including any lease income from space or machines) from gambling activity, excluding State or Tribal authorized lottery proceeds, as approved by the Agency, conducted for the purpose of raising funds for the approved project; (4) Business operations deriving income from activities of a sexual nature or illegal activities; (5) Real property/land; (6) Lease payments; (7) Any project that creates a Conflict of Interest or an appearance of a Conflict of Interest; (8) Funding of political or lobbying activities; (9) To pay off any Federal direct or guaranteed loan or any other form of Federal debt. Any incurred expense, equipment purchase, or paid service prior to the grant period; (10) Any expense associated with applying for this program; and (11) Any expense associated with reporting results and/or outcomes during the disbursement, performance, and servicing portions of this program. (12) Conflict of interest, for purposes of this program includes, but is not limited to: (a) Distribution or payment of grant, guaranteed loan funds, and matching funds or award of project construction contracts to an individual owner, partner, or stockholder, or to a beneficiary or immediate family of the applicant when the recipient will retain any portion of ownership in the applicant’s or borrower’s project. Grant and matching funds may not be used to support costs for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest. (b) Assistance to employees, relatives, and associates. The Agency will process any requests for assistance under this subpart in accordance with 7 CFR part 1900, subpart D. (c) Member/delegate clause. No member of or delegate to Congress shall receive any share or part of this grant or any benefit that may arise there from; but this provision shall not be construed to bar, as a contractor under the grant, a publicly held corporation whose ownership might include a member of Congress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Departmental Regulations and Laws that contain other compliance requirements PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 are referenced in paragraphs VI. and VIII., of this Notice. Applicants who are found to be/have been in violation of applicable Federal Law/statutes will be deemed ineligible. IV. Application and Submission Information Applicants seeking to participate in this program must submit applications in accordance with this Notice. A. Electronic Application and Submission Applications must be submitted electronically using either the Government-wide www.Grants.gov website or by the secure-server portal https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. No other form of application will be accepted. Application and supporting materials are available at Grants.gov and on the HBIIP web page https:// www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. B. Content and Form of Application Submission Applicants must submit complete applications by the date identified in the DATES section of this Notice. Applications must contain all parts necessary for the RBCS to determine applicant and project eligibility, conduct the technical evaluation, calculate a priority score, rank and compete the application, as applicable, in order to be considered. All applications determined to be insufficient to these purposes shall be deemed as incomplete and will neither be competed nor receive funding. (1) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to transportation fueling stations/facilities, the HBIIP Online Application is comprised of the following elements: (a) SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance; (b) HBIIP Project Worksheet with Priority Scoring Criteria: Transportation Fueling Stations/Facilities; (c) SF 424C Budget Information— Construction Programs; (d) HBIIP Project Technical Report; (e) Certification of Matching Funds; (f) Request for Environmental Information; and (g) SF 424D Assurances— Construction Programs. (2) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to fuel distribution facilities, an HBIIP Online Application is comprised of the following elements: (a) SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance; (b) HBIIP Project Worksheet with Priority Scoring Criteria: Fuel Distribution Facilities; (c) Supporting information from a recent/recently updated (within 3 years) E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES feasibility study and/or business plan, or equivalent planning documentation; (d) SF 424C Budget Information— Construction Programs; (e) HBIIP Project Technical Report; (f) Certification of Matching Funds; (g) Request for Environmental Information; and (h) SF 424D Assurances— Construction Programs. (3) System for Award Management (SAM). Applicants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to applying; which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705–5711 or online at https://www.sam.gov/SAM/. Registration of a new entity in SAM requires an original, signed, and notarized letter stating that the applicant is the authorized Entity Administrator, before the registration will be activated. All recipients of Federal financial grant assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive total compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. All applicants except those that are individuals, in accordance with 2 CFR part 25, must have a DUNS/Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705–5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. (4) Grants.gov. To use Grants.gov and to use the HBIIP online application system you must already have a DUNS/ Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number and you must also be registered and maintain registration in SAM. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process. (5) Instructions and resources for completing the online application are available on the HBIIP web page https:// www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. Applicants and their authorized/rightful users will be required to obtain an E-Auth Identification and obtain access to the secure portal. The application process requires the facility to both view and generate PDFs (Portable Document Files). The use of a Web browser such as Chrome or its equivalent is highly encouraged. C. Submission Dates and Times The deadline date for applications to be received in order to be considered for funding is specified in the DATES section at the beginning of this notice. After electronically submitting an application through the HBIIP website, the applicant will receive an automated acknowledgement, specifying submission date and time, from the HBIIP online application system. In VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 order to be considered for funds under this Notice, applications must be deemed complete and must be received by the secure portal located on the HBIIP web page at https:// www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip by the deadline. D. Intergovernmental Review Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, applies to this program. This E.O. requires that Federal agencies provide opportunities for consultation on proposed assistance with State and local governments. Many states have established a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to facilitate this consultation. Instructions for completing this required element and a list of States that maintain a SPOC are available in the HBIIP online application. E. Funding Restrictions The following funding limitations apply to applications submitted under this Notice. (1) Only one HBIIP application may be submitted per HBIIP applicant. An application may request HBIIP assistance for more than one location. An HBIIP applicant/application may receive one and only one award in this competition. (2) There is no minimum HBIIP grant award. (3) The maximum HBIIP grant award is not to exceed $5,000,000. (4) HBIIP grants are awarded on a cost share basis for not more than 50 percent of total eligible project costs. (5) No HBIIP grant award may exceed an amount calculated as 50 percent of total eligible project costs or the Maximum HBIIP grant award amount of $5,000,000, whichever is the lesser. (6) If it is determined that an applicant is affiliated with another entity that has also applied, then the maximum grant award applies to all affiliated entities as if they applied as one applicant. An Affiliate is an entity controlling or having the power to control another entity, or a third party or parties that control or have the power to control both entities. (7) Underground Storage Tanks and Systems (USTs). (a) New construction. Fueling Stations/Locations/facilities constructed during the grant period are restricted from receiving HBIIP grant funds for underground storage tanks. RBCS has determined that tanks would be required of any new fueling stations/ locations/facility regardless of any commitment to market higher blends. However, other required equipment such as fuel dispensers/pumps and other underground storage tank system PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26661 components that are still available in traditional and higher blend compatible models, the latter at a higher cost, may be considered in this funding program. (b) Existing fueling stations that require upgraded, and/or retrofitted and/or additional underground storage tanks may request assistance of up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs or up to $1,250,000, whichever is the lesser. They are eligible for any required equipment including, but not limited to, the tank, piping, piping containment sumps, underground pumping equipment, including the submersible pump or suction pump, release detection equipment, spill equipment (spill buckets), overfill equipment, fuel dispensers/pumps, or other equipment. (8) HBIIP grant funds may not be used to pay for expenses related to consumer education, marketing, and/or signage. However, up to 10 percent of an applicant’s Matching Funds (five percent of total project costs) may be used to pay for education/marketing/ signage related expenses. (9) No HBIIP grant funds may be used to pay for any incurred expense, equipment purchase, or service paid outside the grant period. F. Multiple Facilities While only one HBIIP application may be submitted per applicant under this Notice, an application may request assistance for multiple facilities/ locations. Section ‘‘E. (6) Funding Restrictions,’’ advises on instances where more than one application is submitted by one or more affiliates of an entity. G. Compliance With Other Federal Statues and Other Submission Requirements (1) Environmental information. For the RBCS to consider an application, the application must include all environmental review documents with supporting documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970 and as referenced in Section IV.B of this Notice. Any required environmental review must be completed prior to obligation of funds. Applicants are advised to contact RBCS to determine environmental requirements as soon as practicable to ensure adequate review time. Applicants should also submit to RBCS the compatibility verification of equipment to be funded. EPA regulations found in 40 CFR 280.32 require demonstrating compatibility of systems storing fuel containing greater than 10 percent ethanol or greater than 20 percent biodiesel, so RBCS collecting this information in advance is not an E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 26662 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices additional burden for applicants. It will ensure that grant funds are used for purposes that expand the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. More information can be found in this June 2019 compliance advisory from the EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks: https:// www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/ 2019-06/documents/complianceadvisory-ust-regs-06-2019.pdf. (2) Original signatures. The RBCS reserves the right to request/require that the applicant provide original signatures on forms submitted electronically. (3) Transparency Act reporting. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. If an applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must then ensure that they have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements to receive funding. (4) Race, ethnicity, and gender. The RBCS is requesting that each applicant provide race, ethnicity, and gender information about the applicant. The information will allow the Agency to evaluate its outreach efforts to underserved and under-represented populations. Applicants are encouraged to furnish this information with their applications but are not required to do so. An applicant’s eligibility or the likelihood of receiving an award will not be impacted by furnishing or not furnishing this information. (5) Other Federal statutes. The applicant must certify to compliance with other Federal statutes and regulations by completing the Financial Assistance General Certifications and Representations in SAM, including, but not limited to the following: (a) 7 CFR part 15, subpart A— Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture—Effectuation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Civil Rights compliance includes, but is not limited to the following: (i) Collect and maintain data provided by ultimate recipients on race, sex, and national origin and ensure that ultimate recipients collect and maintain this data. Race and ethnicity data will be collected in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Federal Register Notice, ‘‘Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity’’ (published October 30, 1997 at 62 FR 58782). Sex data will be collected in accordance with Title IX of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 Education Amendments of 1972. These items should not be submitted with the application but should be available upon request by RBCS. (ii) The applicant and the ultimate recipient must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Executive Order 12250, and 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E. (b) 2 CFR part 417—Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement), or any successor regulations. (c) 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Assistance Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards), or any successor regulations. (d) Subpart B of 2 CFR part 421, which adopts the Governmentwide implementation (2 CFR part 182) of the Drug-Free Workplace Act. (e) Executive Order 13166, ‘‘Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.’’ For information on limited English proficiency and agency-specific guidance go to http://www.lep.gov/. (f) Federal Obligation Certification on Delinquent Debt. V. Application Review Information A. Criteria A priority score will be afforded to complete applications deemed eligible to compete. Given the purpose of the HBIIP, higher priority will be afforded to projects deemed to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel on a gallons per dollar of requested funds, basis. Priority scoring and ranking of applications will be a function of the following criteria: (1) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to transportation fueling facilities. (a) Annual sales volume for the past 3 years (2017–19) or projected sales for fueling stations constructed during the grant period, for all fuels including E10 and/or B5; (b) The incremental increase in HB fuel volume attributed to: (i) The proposed change in percentage of refueling positions offering E15 and/ or B20 or higher blends (the greater percentage of HB fuel refueling positions, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution); (ii) The proposed new ratio number of fueling positions offering E15 and/or B20 relative to the number of fueling positions offering E10 and/or B5 (the PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 greater the ratio of HB fuel refueling positions relative to E10 and/or B5, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution); (iii) The proposed ratio number of fueling positions offering E85 relative to the number of fueling positions offering E10 (the greater the ratio of E85 refueling positions relative to E10, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution); (iv) The proposed change in the number of fueling stations with at least one E15 fueling position (the greater the number of fueling stations, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution); (v) Whether the applicant is an owner of 10 fueling stations or fewer (if yes, a Targeted Assistance Goal, HB fuel volume attribution); (vi) The proposed number of fueling stations located along an interstate highway corridor; (vii) The proposed number of fueling stations located as the sole station (within a 1-mile radius) in an area; (viii) The proposed number of fueling stations located in areas under consideration for Geographic Diversity: 1. The New England States of—Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island; and/or 2. The Western States of—Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming; (ix) A ‘‘Matching Funds’’ investment/ commitment to higher blends signage and/or marketing is proposed (non-zero investment yields greater HB fuel volume attribution); (c) The total amount of requested funds. The HBIIP online application, ‘‘Project Worksheet with Priority Scoring Criteria for Transportation Fueling Stations/Facilities,’’ is interactive and designed to indicate an applicant’s priority score based on— HBIIP activities (e.g., fuel dispensers, related equipment and infrastructure installations), Administrator’s geographic diversity priorities, Targeted Assistance Goals (if applicable), and the amount of requested funds. Applicants may directly influence their priority score by the activities they select in the worksheet and by the amount of grant funds they request. Transportation fueling stations/ facilities applications should take special care to provide evidentiary documentation in support of their proposed activities in the HBIIP Project Technical Report. In the event of suspect, overstated, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims, the Agency E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices reserves the right to adjust an application’s priority score accordingly. (2) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to fuel distribution facilities. (a) Annual throughput volume for past 3 years (2017–19), for all fuels; (b) The incremental increase in throughput of HB fuel, as substantiated by: i. Validated demand; ii. Market drivers; iii. Documented incentives; iv. Project sustainability; v. Investment to consumer education and marketing; and vi. Partnerships; (c) The total amount of requested funds. Fuel distribution facility applications should take special care to provide evidentiary documentation in support of their throughput projections in the feasibility study/business plan/ equivalent planning documents and in the HBIIP Project Technical Report. In the event of suspect, overstated, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims, the Agency reserves the right to adjust an application’s priority score accordingly. B. Review and Selection Process All complete applications will be competed/ranked in accordance with Section V.A., as specified above. Applicants may work to complete the online application until the deadline specified in the DATES section of this Notice. Due to the competitive nature of this program, applications receiving the same priority score will be competed/ ranked based on submittal date. The submittal date is the date the RBCS receives a complete application. A complete application contains all information requested by RBCS and is sufficient to allow the determination of eligibility, score, rank, and compete the application for funding, subject to funds available. Incomplete applications will not be competed and will not receive funding. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES C. Administrator Points The RBCS retains the discretion to award priority to applications that support HBIIP policy goals and that specifically promote economic development to improve life in rural areas that are most in need: (1) Targeted Assistance Goal of up to 40 percent of funds made available for activities/investments related to higher blends of fuel ethanol to applicants (owners) owning 10 transportation fueling stations/locations or fewer. (2) A Consideration for Geographical Diversity and markets underserved by VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 higher blends is also afforded to applicants/participants based on location of the proposed transportation fueling stations/locations. D. Other Requirements In order to be considered for funds, complete applications must be received by the deadline specified in the DATES section of this Notice. (1) Insufficient funds. If available funds are insufficient to fund the total amount of an application: (a) The applicant will be notified and given the option to lower the grant request and accept the remaining funds. If the applicant agrees to lower the grant request, the applicant must certify that the purposes of the project will be met and provide the remaining total funds needed to complete the project. (b) If two or more applications have the same priority score and the same submittal date, both applicants will be notified and given the option to lower the grant requests and accept the remaining funds. If an applicant agrees to lower its grant request, the applicant must certify that the purposes of the project will be met and provide the remaining total funds needed to complete the project. (2) Award considerations. All award considerations will be on a discretionary basis. In determining the amount of an award, the RBCS will consider the amount requested, subject to: (a) The maximum cost-share amount of 50 percent of total eligible project costs, or a lesser amount when deemed appropriate, and/or (b) the Maximum Award amount of $5 million, and/or (c) available funds; whichever is least, as applicable. (3) Notification of funding determination. Applicants will be informed in writing by the RBCS as to the funding determination of the application. VI. Federal Award Administration Information A. Federal Award Notices HBIIP grants will be administered in accordance with Departmental Regulations, and as otherwise specified in this Notice. Applicants selected for funding, will receive a signed notice of Federal award containing instructions on requirements necessary to proceed with execution and performance of the award. Applicants not selected for funding will be notified in writing and informed of any review and appeal rights. Awards to successfully appealed applications will be limited to available funding. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26663 B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in the Grants and Agreements regulations of the Department of Agriculture codified in 2 CFR parts 180, 400, 415, 417, 418, 421; 2 CFR parts 25 and 170; and 48 CFR 31.2. In addition, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first tier subawards and executive compensation (see 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109– 282) reporting requirements (see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)). More information on these requirements can be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/HBIIP. The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected for this program: (1) Grant Agreement—RD 4280–2 Rural Business-Cooperative Service Financial Assistance Agreement; (2) Letter of Conditions; (3) Form RD 1940–1, ‘‘Request for Obligation of Funds;’’ (4) Form RD 1942–46, ‘‘Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions;’’ and (5) Use Form SF 270, ‘‘Request for Advance or Reimbursement.’’ C. Reporting After grant approval and through grant completion, grantees will be required to provide periodically the following, as indicated: (1) A SF–425, ‘‘Federal Financial Report,’’ and a project performance report will be required on a semiannual basis (due 30 working days after end of the semiannual period). For the purposes of this grant, semiannual periods end on March 31st and September 30th. The project performance reports shall include the elements prescribed in the Grant Agreement; which for fueling stations will include point of sale reporting for up to 5 years post project completion and for fuel distribution facilities will include reporting of throughput volumes of all fuels including HB fuels. (2) A final project and financial status report, as required per 2 CFR 200.343 ‘‘Closeout’’, within 90 days after the expiration or termination of the grant. (3) Provide project outcome/ performance reports and final deliverables. Reported data will be used for program and policy evaluation. The proprietary nature and confidentiality of information collected from program participants is specified in 7 U.S.C. 2276. E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 26664 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices VII. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information contact: Anthony Crooks: telephone (202)205– 9322, email: EnergyPrograms@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities that require alternative means for communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202)720–2600 (voice). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES VIII. Other Information A. Paperwork Reduction Act The Information Collection and Recordkeeping requirements contained in this rule have been approved by an emergency clearance under OMB Control Number 0570–NEW. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), RBCS invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). RBCS invites comments on any aspect of this collection of information including suggestions for reducing the burden. Comments may be submitted regarding this information collection by the following method: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower ‘‘Search Regulations and Federal Actions’’ box, select ‘‘RBCS’’ from the agency drop-down menu, then click on ‘‘Submit.’’ In the Docket ID column, select Docket No. RBS–20–Business– 0006 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. Comments on this information collection must be received by July 6, 2020. The information collection is onetime activity for the applications, however, RBCS will need to submit a formal information collection request for the approval beyond the 6-month emergency approval to address the ongoing reporting requirement. The burden for the HBIIP collection of information includes both the upfront one-time application and the on-going reporting, which will include mid-year and an annual reporting. The reporting may include additional reports for projects that run longer. Comments are invited on (a) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumption used; (b) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (c) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques on other forms and information technology. Title: Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). OMB Control Number: 0570-New. Type of Request: New Information Collection. Abstract: The purpose of the HBIIP is to increase significantly the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. HBIIP is intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure. Under the HBIIP, funds will be made directly available to assist transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities with converting to higher ethanol and biodiesel blend friendly status by sharing the costs related to the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of fuel storage, dispenser/pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure. Cost-share grants of up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs but not more than $5 million will be made available to assist transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities with converting to higher blend friendly status for ethanol (i.e., greater than 10 percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 percent biodiesel) by sharing the costs related to the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of dispenser/pumps, related equipment, and infrastructure. The information collected from applications as required by this NOFA include, but are not limited to determine whether participants meet the eligibility requirements to be a recipient of grant funds, project eligibility, conduct the technical evaluation, calculate a priority score, rank and compete the application, as applicable, in order to be considered. Lack of adequate information to make the determination could result in the improper administration and appropriation of Federal grant funds to be a recipient of grant funds as well as other documents and information that may be relevant as determined by RBCS. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 78 hours per response. Estimated Number of Respondents: 100. Estimated Total Annual Responses: 200. Estimated Total Recordkeeping Hours: 480. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Estimated Total Burden Hours: 15,600. Estimated Total Annual Burden (including recordkeeping) on Respondents: 16,080 hours. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Regulatory Division Team 2, Rural Development Innovation Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 1522, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: 202– 720–7853. All responses to this information collection and recordkeeping notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. B. Nondiscrimination Statement The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, reprisal and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, religion, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http:// www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_ cust.html, or complete the form at any USDA office, or call (866) 632–9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250– 9410, by fax (202) 690–7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 or (800) 845–6136 (in Spanish). Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us directly by mail or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1 26665 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 87 / Tuesday, May 5, 2020 / Notices (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Robert Stephenson, Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. Mark Brodziski, Acting Administrator, Rural BusinessCooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2020–09685 Filed 5–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Vermont Advisory Committee 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 (FACA), that a press conference of the Vermont Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, May 21, 2020. The purpose of the press conference is to discuss the Committee’s report on school disparities. The Committee will also consider other possible work products to conclude its appointment term, which ends in June 2020. DATES: Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1–800–353– 6461 and conference call 9016813. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov or by phone at 202–376–7533. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Interested members of the public may listen to the discussion by calling the following tollfree conference call-in number: 1–800– 353–6461 and conference call 9016813. SUMMARY: Please be advised that before placing them into the conference call, the conference call operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and email addresses (so that callers may be notified of future meetings). 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 conference call-in number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1– 800–977–8339 and providing the operator with the toll-free conference call-in number: 1–800–353–6461 and conference call 9016813. Members of the public are invited to make statements during the open comment period of the meeting or submit written comments. The comments must be received in the regional office approximately 30 days after each scheduled meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425 or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376– 7533. Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://www.facadatabase.gov/FACA/ FACAPublicViewCommitteeDetails ?id=a10t0000001gzmXAAQ, click the ‘‘Meeting Details’’ and ‘‘Documents’’ links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission’s website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone numbers, email or street address. Agenda Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) • Roll call • Press Conference • Other Business • Open Comment • Adjourn Dated: April 29, 2020. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2020–09533 Filed 5–4–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice and opportunity for public comment. AGENCY: The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of the firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firms’ workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: LIST OF PETITIONS RECEIVED BY EDA FOR CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES [4/15/2020 through 4/20/2020] Date accepted for investigation Firm name Firm address Kaspar Wire Works, Inc .......................... 959 State Highway 95 North, Shiner, TX 77984. 4/15/2020 Composite Cutter Technology, Inc .......... 31632 North Ellis Drive, Volo, IL 60073 4/17/2020 Fuller Industries, LLC .............................. One Fuller Way, Great Bend, KS 67530 4/20/2020 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:16 May 04, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Product(s) The firm manufactures formed metal wire products, such as metal wire baskets and cages. The firm manufactures precision turning and cutting tools. The firm manufactures brushes and chemical cleaning products. E:\FR\FM\05MYN1.SGM 05MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 87 (Tuesday, May 5, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26656-26665]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09685]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

Rural Business-Cooperative Service


Notice of Funds Availability for the Higher Blends Infrastructure 
Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation and the Rural Business-Cooperative 
Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Rural Business-
Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United 
States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announce the availability of 
up to $100 million in competitive grants to eligible entities for 
activities designed to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels 
under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Cost-
share grants of up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs but 
not more than $5 million will be made

[[Page 26657]]

available to assist transportation fueling and fuel distribution 
facilities with converting to higher blend friendly status for ethanol 
(i.e., greater than 10 percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 
percent biodiesel) by sharing the costs related to the installation, 
and/or retrofitting, and/or otherwise upgrading of dispenser/pumps, 
related equipment, and infrastructure.

DATES: The Agency will finalize the application window for enrollment 
in the Higher Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive Program by future 
notice in the Federal Register and Grants.gov. subject to the opening 
of the electronic application system.

ADDRESSES:
    Application Submission: The application system for electronic 
submissions will be available at http://www.rd.usda.gov/HBIIP.
    Electronic Submissions: Electronic submissions of applications will 
allow for the expeditious review of an Applicant's proposal. As a 
result, all Applicants must file their application electronically.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Crooks: Telephone (202) 
205-9322, email: [email protected]. Persons with disabilities 
that require alternative means for communication should contact the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Target Center at (202) 720-2600 
(voice).

SUPPLEMENATARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act 
(CRA; 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget designated this action 
as a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2), because it will result 
in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more. 
Accordingly, there is a 60-day delay in the effective date of this 
action. Application processing (reviews, competition, selection, 
awards, etc.) will not begin until after the application deadline 90 
days after the application window date is announced by notice in the 
Federal Register. Therefore, the 60-day delay required by the CRA is 
not expected to have a material impact upon the administration and/or 
implementation of the HBIIP.

Overview

    Federal Agency: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the 
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), (USDA).
    Funding Opportunity Title: Notice of Funds Availability for the 
Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 
2020.
    Announcement Type: Notice of Funds Availability.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.754.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Title: The Higher 
Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
    Due Date for Applications: The Agency will finalize the application 
window for enrollment in the Higher Biofuels Infrastructure Incentive 
Program by notice in the Federal Register and Grants.gov. subject to 
future opening of the electronic application system.

Items in Supplementary Information

I. Program Overview
II. Federal Award Information
III. Eligibility Information
IV. Application and Submission Information
V. Application Review Information
VI. Federal Award Administration Information
VII. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
VIII. Other Information

I. Program Overview

A. Background

    Prior to publishing this Notice, the CCC and RBCS (the Agency) 
determined it to be in the public interest to solicit informal comments 
from the public and interested stakeholders on a wide range of issues 
on information and options for fuel ethanol and biodiesel 
infrastructure, innovation, products, technology, and data derived from 
all HBIIP processes that drive economic growth, promote health, and 
increase public benefit.
    A Request for Information (RFI), was published in the Federal 
Register (85 FR 2699) on January 16, 2020. Information received from 
the public to the RFI was intended to inform the CCC and RBCS as well 
as private sector and other stakeholders with interest in and expertise 
relating to such a promotion. Fifty-seven (57) comments were submitted 
from the public which served to inform the Agency on an array of 
issues, including but not limited to: (a) Fueling stations, convenience 
stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar 
entities with capital investments; (b) equipment providers, equipment 
installers, certification entities and other stakeholder/manufacturers 
(both upstream and down); (c) fuel distribution centers, including 
terminals and depots; and (d) those performing innovative research, 
and/or developing enabling platforms and applications in manufacturing, 
energy production, and agriculture. Additionally, on February 5, 2020, 
RBCS convened a Federal Inter-Agency Task Force of experts with 
relevant knowledge, including technical experts from the Environmental 
Protection Agency and Department of Energy/National Renewable Energy 
Laboratory, to assist with the review of the public comments and 
provide recommendations for the guiding principles of this Notice. And, 
on February 28, 2020, an ``Announcement of Future Competitive Grant 
Funds Availability for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program 
(HBIIP) for Fiscal Year 2020,'' was published in the Federal Register 
(85 FR 2699) to alert prospective participants and stakeholders of 
Agency intentions to publish this Notice.

B. Program Description

    The purpose of the HBIIP is to increase significantly the sales and 
use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. HBIIP is intended to 
encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends by 
sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related 
infrastructure.
    Under the HBIIP, funds will be awarded to assist transportation 
fueling and fuel distribution facilities to convert their facilities 
through upgrade or installation of equipment required to ensure all 
equipment is fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol (i.e., 
greater than 10 percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 percent 
biodiesel) (HB fuel). The program will share the costs related to the 
upgrading of fuel dispensers (gas and diesel pumps) and attached 
equipment, underground storage tank system components (which includes 
but is not limited to tanks, pumps, ancillary equipment, lines, 
gaskets, and sealants), and other infrastructure required at a location 
to ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing 
ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel 
blends greater than 5 percent.
    Storing and dispensing E15, E85, or other high blends of ethanol at 
gas stations with equipment that is not compatible with higher blends 
of ethanol fuel can result in leaks and releases that contaminate land 
and groundwater. Older and even some recent existing UST systems (which 
includes but is not limited to tanks, pumps, ancillary equipment, 
lines, gaskets, and sealants) are not fully compatible with E15 or 
higher and require modification before storing these fuels. Biodiesel 
blends above B20 have similar requirements; some infrastructure changes 
may even be necessary when storing blends greater than B5. This program 
will expand the

[[Page 26658]]

number of facilities fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol and 
biodiesel.
    Grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but 
not more than $5 million, are made available to vehicle fueling 
facilities, including, but not limited to, local fueling stations/
locations, convenience stores (CS), hypermarket fueling stations (HFS), 
fleet facilities, and fuel terminal operations, midstream partners, 
and/or distribution facilities.
    CCC is an agency and instrumentality of the United States within 
the Department of Agriculture and operates under the supervision of the 
Secretary of Agriculture. Among the activities that section 5 of the 
CCC Charter Act authorizes CCC to undertake are actions to:
     Make available materials and facilities required in 
connection with the production and marketing of agricultural 
commodities (other than tobacco) and
     Increase the domestic consumption of agricultural 
commodities (other than tobacco) by expanding or aiding in the 
expansion of domestic markets or by developing or aiding in the 
development of new and additional markets, marketing facilities, and 
uses for such commodities.
    Under this authority, CCC is making available up to $100 million in 
the form of cost-share grants to eligible entities to assist with the 
implementation of activities to expand the infrastructure for renewable 
fuels derived from agricultural products produced in the United States. 
HBIIP will be administered on behalf of CCC under the general 
supervision of RBCS.

II. Federal Award Information

A. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 10.754

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Title: The Higher 
Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).

B. Funds Available

    Under HBIIP up to $100 million is made available to eligible 
participants. Of the total amount of available funds, approximately $86 
million will be made available to transportation fueling facilities 
(including fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling 
stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital 
investments) for eligible implementation activities related to higher 
blends of fuel ethanol greater than 10 percent ethanol, such as E15 or 
higher; and approximately $14 million will be made available to 
transportation fueling facilities and fuel distribution facilities 
(including terminal operations, depots, and midstream partners), for 
eligible implementation activities related to higher blends of 
biodiesel greater than 5 percent biodiesel, such as B20 or higher.

C. Targeted Assistance Goal

    A Targeted Assistance Goal is also established for applicants 
(owners) owning the fewest number of transportation fueling stations/
locations (and owning at least one). Approximately 40 percent of funds 
will be made available for activities/investments related to upgrading 
or installing equipment to make a transportation fueling facilities 
fully compatible to dispense/sell higher blends of fuel ethanol and/or 
biodiesel. The Agency expects this Targeted Assistance to be exhausted 
by applicants owning 10 fueling stations/locations or fewer.
    This policy goal is rooted in Agency experience and borne out by 
several comments submitted to the RFI (85 FR 2699). Approximately 80 
percent of fuel sales in the U.S. is sold by convenience store owners. 
Moreover, about 58 percent of the stores selling fuel in the U.S. are 
``single store owners.'' A significant majority of HB fuel is currently 
sold/dispensed by large retail convenience store chains located in the 
Midwest and along the East Coast of the U.S., due in part because these 
are the types of businesses and locations with the highest densities of 
HB fueling infrastructure. The Agency established this Targeted 
Assistance Goal as a means to distribute a portion of program funds 
among a greater number of business owners and perhaps indirectly, 
across a broader geographic region, that may not otherwise participate. 
There is an underlying expectation that owners/participants located in 
underserved areas today will be positioned as HB fuel market leaders 
tomorrow.

D. Consideration for Geographical Diversity

    A Consideration for Geographical Diversity and markets underserved 
by higher blends is also afforded to applicants/participants based on 
the location of the proposed transportation fueling stations/
facilities. This consideration is intended to work in concert with the 
Targeted Assistance Goal to distribute program funds more broadly 
across a greater number of states that may not otherwise participate.

E. Approximate Number of Awards

    The number of awards will depend on the number of eligible 
participants and the total amount of requested funds. In the unlikely 
event that every successful applicant is awarded the maximum amount 
available of $5 million, 20 awards will be made. The Agency intends/
expects to make approximately 150 awards and provide assistance to 
1,500 locations from this solicitation.

F. Type of Instrument

    Grants. Awards to successful applicants will be in the form of 
cost-share grants for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, 
but not to exceed $5 million, whichever is less.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

    Owners of transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities 
located in the United States and its territories may apply for this 
program. Eligible entities would include--fueling stations, convenience 
stores, hypermarket retailer fueling stations, fleet facilities, and 
similar entities with equivalent capital investments, as well as fuel/
biodiesel terminal operations, midstream partners, and heating oil 
distribution facilities or equivalent entities.
    Applicants must include all proposed activity under a single 
application. Application requirements and other important information 
is available at Grants.gov and on the HBIIP web page https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip.

B. Eligible Project

    The goal of HBIIP is to increase the market availability of higher 
blends biofuels. To be eligible for this program, a project's sole 
purpose must be for the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or 
otherwise upgrading of fuel dispensers/pumps, related/attached 
equipment, underground storage tank system components, and other 
infrastructure required at a location to ensure the environmentally 
safe availability of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 
percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent.
    An eligible project must conform to all applicable Federal, State, 
Tribal and local regulatory requirements pertaining to:
    (1) Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements for 
Owners and Operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST), 40 CFR parts 
280 and 281;
    (2) Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives, 40 CFR part 80;
    (3) Occupational Safety and Health Standards Subpart H--Hazardous

[[Page 26659]]

Materials Section 106--Flammable Liquids, 29 CFR 1910.106;
    (4) Safety and Health Regulations for Construction Subpart F--Fire 
Protection and Prevention Section 152--Flammable Liquids, 29 CFR 
1926.152; and
    (5) Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification, and Posting, 16 CFR 
part 306.
    HBIIP funds may be used for equipment required at a location to 
ensure the environmentally safe availability of fuel containing ethanol 
blends greater than 10 percent or fuel containing biodiesel blends 
greater than 5 percent.
    Since 1988, EPA's UST regulations require fuel to be stored in 
systems that are compatible with the type of fuel being stored. The 
environmentally-safe growth in availability of fuels containing higher 
blends of ethanol or biodiesel depends on these fuels being stored and 
dispensed from underground storage tank (UST) systems that are 
compatible with E15. Storing and dispensing E15 at gas stations with 
equipment that is not compatible with higher blends of ethanol fuel can 
result in leaks and releases that contaminate land and groundwater. 
Section 280.32 of 40 CFR part 280 states that UST owners and operators 
must use an UST system made of or lined with materials that are 
compatible with the substance stored in the UST system.
    Additionally, owners or operators who store regulated substances 
that contain more than 20 percent biodiesel or more than 10 percent 
ethanol, such as 15 percent ethanol or E15, must notify their 
implementing agency 30 days before storing the fuel. Owners and 
operators must also keep records demonstrating that their UST system is 
compatible with the substance stored.
    Demonstrating compatibility of an UST system means identifying what 
equipment is installed as part of your UST system. You must show that a 
component is approved by either the manufacturer of the component or by 
a nationally recognized independent testing laboratory, such as 
Underwriters Laboratory (UL), for use with the fuel to be stored. See 
details about these requirements in regulations issued by EPA at 40 CFR 
280.32.
    Please note that compatibility extends beyond the fuel tank. Owners 
and operators must demonstrate compatibility for the components below 
to store substances containing more than 10 percent ethanol or more 
than 20 percent biodiesel.
    1. Tank;
    2. Piping carrying product from the tank;
    3. Piping containment sumps entered by the piping;
    4. Pumping equipment, including the submersible pump or suction 
pump, depending on the type of system;
    5. Release detection equipment, including automatic tank gauging 
(ATG) probes, sump sensors, and line leak detectors;
    6. Spill equipment, such as spill buckets, for the tank; and
    7. Overfill equipment, including ball float valves or flapper 
valves.
    The federal UST regulation from EPA does not require owners and 
operators to demonstrate the compatibility of dispensers or associated 
aboveground equipment. However, compatibility requirements for these 
components may exist in other local regulations, such as the fire code. 
Owners and operators should check for these requirements with their 
implementing agency. HBIIP grant funds may be used to upgrade or 
replace fuel dispensers/pumps, underground storage tank system 
components, or other required infrastructure, necessary to make their 
facility fully compatible with higher blends of ethanol or biodiesel. 
Fuel dispensers/pumps, underground storage tank system components, and 
other required infrastructure and components must meet the minimum 
requirements of EPA's UST regulations and other Federal, State, and 
local regulations or codes; and, must be approved by either the 
manufacturer of the component or by a nationally recognized independent 
testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL), for use at a 
minimum for blends containing 25 percent ethanol or 100 percent 
biodiesel.

C. Cost Sharing or Matching

    There is a matching fund (cost-sharing) requirement of at least $1 
for every $1 in grant funds provided by CCC. Matching funds plus grant 
funds must equal total eligible project cost. Matching funds may be in 
the form of cash or eligible in-kind contributions. Matching funds/
contributions and grant funds may be used only for eligible project 
purposes, including any contributions exceeding the minimum amount 
required. Applicants will certify and demonstrate that any required 
matching funds are available during the grant period and provide 
appropriate documentation with the application, as referenced in 
Section IV.B of this Notice.
    Funds made available under HBIIP may only be used for eligible 
equipment, infrastructure and related expenses to support the sales and 
use of higher biofuel blends--fuel containing ethanol greater than 10 
percent by volume and/or fuel containing biodiesel blends greater than 
5 percent by volume.
    Applicants may enter into arrangements with private entities such 
as, but not limited to, commercial vendors of fuels, agricultural 
commodity promotional organizations, Tribes, and other entities 
interested in the renewable fuels in order to secure such non-Federal 
funds or in-kind contributions.
    There are several existing or prior and ongoing State-led programs 
and private sector efforts to help provide funding for higher blend 
dispensers, related equipment and infrastructure. These programs may be 
included as part of any matching contribution requirement. However, the 
application must show how the HBIIP grant will add to the 
infrastructure that fosters biofuel sales and use. HBIIP funds are 
intended to provide additional incentives.

D. Eligible Funds

    (1) Matching Funds. Those project funds required to receive an 
HBIIP grant. The applicant is responsible for securing the remainder of 
the total eligible project costs not covered by grant funds. Matching 
funds are comprised of eligible in-kind contributions from third 
parties and/or cash. In-kind contributions by the applicant cannot be 
used to meet the matching fund requirement. Written commitments for 
matching funds (e.g., Letters of Commitment and bank statements) must 
be submitted with the Certification of Matching Funds when the 
application is submitted. Funds provided by the applicant in excess of 
matching funds are not matching funds. Unless authorized by statute, 
other Federal grant funds cannot be used to meet a matching funds 
requirement. Passive third-party equity contributions are acceptable 
for HBIIP projects, including equity raised from the sale of Federal 
tax credits. In the event of ineligible, overstated, or otherwise 
unsubstantiated claims in the Certification of Matching Funds, the 
Agency reserves the right to adjust an application's grant request such 
that it is commensurate with eligible/actual Matching Funds, or take 
otherwise action as deemed appropriate.
    Up to 10 percent of an applicant's Matching Funds requirement (up 
to five percent of total project costs) may be used to pay consumer 
education and/or marketing and/or signage related expenses. HBIIP grant 
funds awarded to transportation fueling stations are intended to assist 
with converting those facilities to ensure full compatibility with HB 
fuel through upgrade or

[[Page 26660]]

installation of fuel dispensers, related equipment, and infrastructure. 
And while the contributions of consumer education and/or marketing and/
or signage toward a fuel station's fuel sales are well recognized, a 
very tall sign to display fuel prices does not in any way assist a 
facility with higher blends compatibility. Therefore, the Agency 
determined that while HBIIP grant funds may not be used for consumer 
education and/or marketing and/or signage, Matching Funds may.
    (2) Eligible Project Costs. Eligible Project Costs are only those 
costs incurred during the grant period and that are directly related to 
the use and purposes of the HBIIP. Eligible Project Costs may include:
    (a) Retrofitting of existing, or purchase and installation of new, 
fuel dispensers (gas and/or diesel pumps) and attached equipment, 
underground storage tank system components, and other infrastructure 
required at a location to ensure the environmentally safe availability 
of fuel containing ethanol blends greater than 10 percent or fuel 
containing biodiesel blends greater than 5 percent;
    (b) Construction, retrofitting, replacement, and improvements;
    (c) Fees for construction permits and licenses; and
    (d) Professional service fees for qualified consultants, 
contractors, installers, and other third-party services.
    (e) HBIIP grant funds may not be used to pay for expenses related 
to consumer education and/or marketing and/or signage. However, up to 
10 percent of an applicant's Matching Funds requirement (up to five 
percent of total project costs) may be used to pay for consumer 
education and/or marketing and/or signage related expenses.

E. Ineligible Project Costs

    Ineligible project costs for HBIIP projects include, but are not 
limited to:
    (1) Used equipment and vehicles;
    (2) Construction or equipment costs that would be incurred 
regardless of the installation of HB fuel infrastructure shall not be 
included as eligible project costs. For example, a fuel storage tank 
for a fueling facility constructed during the grant period that would 
have been otherwise installed should not be included in an application. 
USDA believes all new tanks and piping available in the market only 
come in models compatible with higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel, 
so grant funds would not expand the market for higher blends by funding 
such tank or equipment installation. However, other required equipment 
such as fuel dispensers/pumps and other underground storage tank system 
components that are still available in traditional and higher blend 
compatible models, the latter at a higher cost, may be considered in 
this funding program.
    (3) Business operations that derive more than 10 percent of annual 
gross revenue (including any lease income from space or machines) from 
gambling activity, excluding State or Tribal authorized lottery 
proceeds, as approved by the Agency, conducted for the purpose of 
raising funds for the approved project;
    (4) Business operations deriving income from activities of a sexual 
nature or illegal activities;
    (5) Real property/land;
    (6) Lease payments;
    (7) Any project that creates a Conflict of Interest or an 
appearance of a Conflict of Interest;
    (8) Funding of political or lobbying activities;
    (9) To pay off any Federal direct or guaranteed loan or any other 
form of Federal debt. Any incurred expense, equipment purchase, or paid 
service prior to the grant period;
    (10) Any expense associated with applying for this program; and
    (11) Any expense associated with reporting results and/or outcomes 
during the disbursement, performance, and servicing portions of this 
program.
    (12) Conflict of interest, for purposes of this program includes, 
but is not limited to:
    (a) Distribution or payment of grant, guaranteed loan funds, and 
matching funds or award of project construction contracts to an 
individual owner, partner, or stockholder, or to a beneficiary or 
immediate family of the applicant when the recipient will retain any 
portion of ownership in the applicant's or borrower's project. Grant 
and matching funds may not be used to support costs for services or 
goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or 
apparent conflict of interest.
    (b) Assistance to employees, relatives, and associates. The Agency 
will process any requests for assistance under this subpart in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 1900, subpart D.
    (c) Member/delegate clause. No member of or delegate to Congress 
shall receive any share or part of this grant or any benefit that may 
arise there from; but this provision shall not be construed to bar, as 
a contractor under the grant, a publicly held corporation whose 
ownership might include a member of Congress.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Departmental Regulations and 
Laws that contain other compliance requirements are referenced in 
paragraphs VI. and VIII., of this Notice.
    Applicants who are found to be/have been in violation of applicable 
Federal Law/statutes will be deemed ineligible.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    Applicants seeking to participate in this program must submit 
applications in accordance with this Notice.

A. Electronic Application and Submission

    Applications must be submitted electronically using either the 
Government-wide www.Grants.gov website or by the secure-server portal 
https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. No other form of application will be 
accepted.
    Application and supporting materials are available at Grants.gov 
and on the HBIIP web page https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

    Applicants must submit complete applications by the date identified 
in the DATES section of this Notice. Applications must contain all 
parts necessary for the RBCS to determine applicant and project 
eligibility, conduct the technical evaluation, calculate a priority 
score, rank and compete the application, as applicable, in order to be 
considered. All applications determined to be insufficient to these 
purposes shall be deemed as incomplete and will neither be competed nor 
receive funding.
    (1) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to 
transportation fueling stations/facilities, the HBIIP Online 
Application is comprised of the following elements:
    (a) SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance;
    (b) HBIIP Project Worksheet with Priority Scoring Criteria: 
Transportation Fueling Stations/Facilities;
    (c) SF 424C Budget Information--Construction Programs;
    (d) HBIIP Project Technical Report;
    (e) Certification of Matching Funds;
    (f) Request for Environmental Information; and
    (g) SF 424D Assurances--Construction Programs.
    (2) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to fuel 
distribution facilities, an HBIIP Online Application is comprised of 
the following elements:
    (a) SF 424 Application for Federal Assistance;
    (b) HBIIP Project Worksheet with Priority Scoring Criteria: Fuel 
Distribution Facilities;
    (c) Supporting information from a recent/recently updated (within 3 
years)

[[Page 26661]]

feasibility study and/or business plan, or equivalent planning 
documentation;
    (d) SF 424C Budget Information--Construction Programs;
    (e) HBIIP Project Technical Report;
    (f) Certification of Matching Funds;
    (g) Request for Environmental Information; and
    (h) SF 424D Assurances--Construction Programs.
    (3) System for Award Management (SAM). Applicants must be 
registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to applying; 
which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 
705-5711 or online at https://www.sam.gov/SAM/. Registration of a new 
entity in SAM requires an original, signed, and notarized letter 
stating that the applicant is the authorized Entity Administrator, 
before the registration will be activated. All recipients of Federal 
financial grant assistance are required to report information about 
first-tier sub-awards and executive total compensation in accordance 
with 2 CFR part 170.
    All applicants except those that are individuals, in accordance 
with 2 CFR part 25, must have a DUNS/Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) 
number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line 
at (866) 705-5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform.
    (4) Grants.gov. To use Grants.gov and to use the HBIIP online 
application system you must already have a DUNS/Unique Entity 
Identifier (UEI) number and you must also be registered and maintain 
registration in SAM. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until 
the application deadline date to begin the application process.
    (5) Instructions and resources for completing the online 
application are available on the HBIIP web page https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip. Applicants and their authorized/rightful users 
will be required to obtain an E-Auth Identification and obtain access 
to the secure portal. The application process requires the facility to 
both view and generate PDFs (Portable Document Files). The use of a Web 
browser such as Chrome or its equivalent is highly encouraged.

C. Submission Dates and Times

    The deadline date for applications to be received in order to be 
considered for funding is specified in the DATES section at the 
beginning of this notice.
    After electronically submitting an application through the HBIIP 
website, the applicant will receive an automated acknowledgement, 
specifying submission date and time, from the HBIIP online application 
system. In order to be considered for funds under this Notice, 
applications must be deemed complete and must be received by the secure 
portal located on the HBIIP web page at https://www.rd.usda.gov/hbiip 
by the deadline.

D. Intergovernmental Review

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs, applies to this program. This E.O. requires that Federal 
agencies provide opportunities for consultation on proposed assistance 
with State and local governments. Many states have established a Single 
Point of Contact (SPOC) to facilitate this consultation. Instructions 
for completing this required element and a list of States that maintain 
a SPOC are available in the HBIIP online application.

E. Funding Restrictions

    The following funding limitations apply to applications submitted 
under this Notice.
    (1) Only one HBIIP application may be submitted per HBIIP 
applicant. An application may request HBIIP assistance for more than 
one location. An HBIIP applicant/application may receive one and only 
one award in this competition.
    (2) There is no minimum HBIIP grant award.
    (3) The maximum HBIIP grant award is not to exceed $5,000,000.
    (4) HBIIP grants are awarded on a cost share basis for not more 
than 50 percent of total eligible project costs.
    (5) No HBIIP grant award may exceed an amount calculated as 50 
percent of total eligible project costs or the Maximum HBIIP grant 
award amount of $5,000,000, whichever is the lesser.
    (6) If it is determined that an applicant is affiliated with 
another entity that has also applied, then the maximum grant award 
applies to all affiliated entities as if they applied as one applicant. 
An Affiliate is an entity controlling or having the power to control 
another entity, or a third party or parties that control or have the 
power to control both entities.
    (7) Underground Storage Tanks and Systems (USTs).
    (a) New construction. Fueling Stations/Locations/facilities 
constructed during the grant period are restricted from receiving HBIIP 
grant funds for underground storage tanks. RBCS has determined that 
tanks would be required of any new fueling stations/locations/facility 
regardless of any commitment to market higher blends. However, other 
required equipment such as fuel dispensers/pumps and other underground 
storage tank system components that are still available in traditional 
and higher blend compatible models, the latter at a higher cost, may be 
considered in this funding program.
    (b) Existing fueling stations that require upgraded, and/or 
retrofitted and/or additional underground storage tanks may request 
assistance of up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs or up to 
$1,250,000, whichever is the lesser. They are eligible for any required 
equipment including, but not limited to, the tank, piping, piping 
containment sumps, underground pumping equipment, including the 
submersible pump or suction pump, release detection equipment, spill 
equipment (spill buckets), overfill equipment, fuel dispensers/pumps, 
or other equipment.
    (8) HBIIP grant funds may not be used to pay for expenses related 
to consumer education, marketing, and/or signage. However, up to 10 
percent of an applicant's Matching Funds (five percent of total project 
costs) may be used to pay for education/marketing/signage related 
expenses.
    (9) No HBIIP grant funds may be used to pay for any incurred 
expense, equipment purchase, or service paid outside the grant period.

F. Multiple Facilities

    While only one HBIIP application may be submitted per applicant 
under this Notice, an application may request assistance for multiple 
facilities/locations. Section ``E. (6) Funding Restrictions,'' advises 
on instances where more than one application is submitted by one or 
more affiliates of an entity.

G. Compliance With Other Federal Statues and Other Submission 
Requirements

    (1) Environmental information. For the RBCS to consider an 
application, the application must include all environmental review 
documents with supporting documentation in accordance with 7 CFR part 
1970 and as referenced in Section IV.B of this Notice. Any required 
environmental review must be completed prior to obligation of funds. 
Applicants are advised to contact RBCS to determine environmental 
requirements as soon as practicable to ensure adequate review time.
    Applicants should also submit to RBCS the compatibility 
verification of equipment to be funded. EPA regulations found in 40 CFR 
280.32 require demonstrating compatibility of systems storing fuel 
containing greater than 10 percent ethanol or greater than 20 percent 
biodiesel, so RBCS collecting this information in advance is not an

[[Page 26662]]

additional burden for applicants. It will ensure that grant funds are 
used for purposes that expand the environmentally safe availability of 
fuel containing higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. More 
information can be found in this June 2019 compliance advisory from the 
EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-06/documents/compliance-advisory-ust-regs-06-2019.pdf.
    (2) Original signatures. The RBCS reserves the right to request/
require that the applicant provide original signatures on forms 
submitted electronically.
    (3) Transparency Act reporting. All recipients of Federal financial 
assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-
awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. If 
an applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the 
applicant must then ensure that they have the necessary processes and 
systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements to receive 
funding.
    (4) Race, ethnicity, and gender. The RBCS is requesting that each 
applicant provide race, ethnicity, and gender information about the 
applicant. The information will allow the Agency to evaluate its 
outreach efforts to under-served and under-represented populations. 
Applicants are encouraged to furnish this information with their 
applications but are not required to do so. An applicant's eligibility 
or the likelihood of receiving an award will not be impacted by 
furnishing or not furnishing this information.
    (5) Other Federal statutes. The applicant must certify to 
compliance with other Federal statutes and regulations by completing 
the Financial Assistance General Certifications and Representations in 
SAM, including, but not limited to the following:
    (a) 7 CFR part 15, subpart A--Nondiscrimination in Federally 
Assisted Programs of the Department of Agriculture--Effectuation of 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Civil Rights compliance 
includes, but is not limited to the following:
    (i) Collect and maintain data provided by ultimate recipients on 
race, sex, and national origin and ensure that ultimate recipients 
collect and maintain this data. Race and ethnicity data will be 
collected in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Federal Register Notice, ``Revisions to the Standards for the 
Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity'' (published 
October 30, 1997 at 62 FR 58782). Sex data will be collected in 
accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These 
items should not be submitted with the application but should be 
available upon request by RBCS.
    (ii) The applicant and the ultimate recipient must comply with 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education 
Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 
1975, Executive Order 12250, and 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E.
    (b) 2 CFR part 417--Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Non-
procurement), or any successor regulations.
    (c) 2 CFR parts 200 and 400 (Uniform Assistance Requirements, Cost 
Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards), or any successor 
regulations.
    (d) Subpart B of 2 CFR part 421, which adopts the Governmentwide 
implementation (2 CFR part 182) of the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
    (e) Executive Order 13166, ``Improving Access to Services for 
Persons with Limited English Proficiency.'' For information on limited 
English proficiency and agency-specific guidance go to http://www.lep.gov/.
    (f) Federal Obligation Certification on Delinquent Debt.

V. Application Review Information

A. Criteria

    A priority score will be afforded to complete applications deemed 
eligible to compete. Given the purpose of the HBIIP, higher priority 
will be afforded to projects deemed to increase significantly the sales 
and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel on a gallons per 
dollar of requested funds, basis. Priority scoring and ranking of 
applications will be a function of the following criteria:
    (1) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to 
transportation fueling facilities.
    (a) Annual sales volume for the past 3 years (2017-19) or projected 
sales for fueling stations constructed during the grant period, for all 
fuels including E10 and/or B5;
    (b) The incremental increase in HB fuel volume attributed to:
    (i) The proposed change in percentage of refueling positions 
offering E15 and/or B20 or higher blends (the greater percentage of HB 
fuel refueling positions, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution);
    (ii) The proposed new ratio number of fueling positions offering 
E15 and/or B20 relative to the number of fueling positions offering E10 
and/or B5 (the greater the ratio of HB fuel refueling positions 
relative to E10 and/or B5, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution);
    (iii) The proposed ratio number of fueling positions offering E85 
relative to the number of fueling positions offering E10 (the greater 
the ratio of E85 refueling positions relative to E10, the greater the 
HB fuel volume attribution);
    (iv) The proposed change in the number of fueling stations with at 
least one E15 fueling position (the greater the number of fueling 
stations, the greater the HB fuel volume attribution);
    (v) Whether the applicant is an owner of 10 fueling stations or 
fewer (if yes, a Targeted Assistance Goal, HB fuel volume attribution);
    (vi) The proposed number of fueling stations located along an 
interstate highway corridor;
    (vii) The proposed number of fueling stations located as the sole 
station (within a 1-mile radius) in an area;
    (viii) The proposed number of fueling stations located in areas 
under consideration for Geographic Diversity:
    1. The New England States of--Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island; and/or
    2. The Western States of--Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, 
Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, 
Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, 
Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming;
    (ix) A ``Matching Funds'' investment/commitment to higher blends 
signage and/or marketing is proposed (non-zero investment yields 
greater HB fuel volume attribution);
    (c) The total amount of requested funds.
    The HBIIP online application, ``Project Worksheet with Priority 
Scoring Criteria for Transportation Fueling Stations/Facilities,'' is 
interactive and designed to indicate an applicant's priority score 
based on--HBIIP activities (e.g., fuel dispensers, related equipment 
and infrastructure installations), Administrator's geographic diversity 
priorities, Targeted Assistance Goals (if applicable), and the amount 
of requested funds. Applicants may directly influence their priority 
score by the activities they select in the worksheet and by the amount 
of grant funds they request.
    Transportation fueling stations/facilities applications should take 
special care to provide evidentiary documentation in support of their 
proposed activities in the HBIIP Project Technical Report. In the event 
of suspect, overstated, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims, the Agency

[[Page 26663]]

reserves the right to adjust an application's priority score 
accordingly.
    (2) For Higher Blend Implementation Activities related to fuel 
distribution facilities.
    (a) Annual throughput volume for past 3 years (2017-19), for all 
fuels;
    (b) The incremental increase in throughput of HB fuel, as 
substantiated by:
    i. Validated demand;
    ii. Market drivers;
    iii. Documented incentives;
    iv. Project sustainability;
    v. Investment to consumer education and marketing; and
    vi. Partnerships;
    (c) The total amount of requested funds.
    Fuel distribution facility applications should take special care to 
provide evidentiary documentation in support of their throughput 
projections in the feasibility study/business plan/equivalent planning 
documents and in the HBIIP Project Technical Report. In the event of 
suspect, overstated, or otherwise unsubstantiated claims, the Agency 
reserves the right to adjust an application's priority score 
accordingly.

B. Review and Selection Process

    All complete applications will be competed/ranked in accordance 
with Section V.A., as specified above. Applicants may work to complete 
the online application until the deadline specified in the DATES 
section of this Notice.
    Due to the competitive nature of this program, applications 
receiving the same priority score will be competed/ranked based on 
submittal date. The submittal date is the date the RBCS receives a 
complete application. A complete application contains all information 
requested by RBCS and is sufficient to allow the determination of 
eligibility, score, rank, and compete the application for funding, 
subject to funds available. Incomplete applications will not be 
competed and will not receive funding.

C. Administrator Points

    The RBCS retains the discretion to award priority to applications 
that support HBIIP policy goals and that specifically promote economic 
development to improve life in rural areas that are most in need:
    (1) Targeted Assistance Goal of up to 40 percent of funds made 
available for activities/investments related to higher blends of fuel 
ethanol to applicants (owners) owning 10 transportation fueling 
stations/locations or fewer.
    (2) A Consideration for Geographical Diversity and markets 
underserved by higher blends is also afforded to applicants/
participants based on location of the proposed transportation fueling 
stations/locations.

D. Other Requirements

    In order to be considered for funds, complete applications must be 
received by the deadline specified in the DATES section of this Notice.
    (1) Insufficient funds. If available funds are insufficient to fund 
the total amount of an application:
    (a) The applicant will be notified and given the option to lower 
the grant request and accept the remaining funds. If the applicant 
agrees to lower the grant request, the applicant must certify that the 
purposes of the project will be met and provide the remaining total 
funds needed to complete the project.
    (b) If two or more applications have the same priority score and 
the same submittal date, both applicants will be notified and given the 
option to lower the grant requests and accept the remaining funds. If 
an applicant agrees to lower its grant request, the applicant must 
certify that the purposes of the project will be met and provide the 
remaining total funds needed to complete the project.
    (2) Award considerations. All award considerations will be on a 
discretionary basis. In determining the amount of an award, the RBCS 
will consider the amount requested, subject to:
    (a) The maximum cost-share amount of 50 percent of total eligible 
project costs, or a lesser amount when deemed appropriate, and/or
    (b) the Maximum Award amount of $5 million, and/or
    (c) available funds; whichever is least, as applicable.
    (3) Notification of funding determination. Applicants will be 
informed in writing by the RBCS as to the funding determination of the 
application.

VI. Federal Award Administration Information

A. Federal Award Notices

    HBIIP grants will be administered in accordance with Departmental 
Regulations, and as otherwise specified in this Notice.
    Applicants selected for funding, will receive a signed notice of 
Federal award containing instructions on requirements necessary to 
proceed with execution and performance of the award.
    Applicants not selected for funding will be notified in writing and 
informed of any review and appeal rights. Awards to successfully 
appealed applications will be limited to available funding.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this 
program can be found in the Grants and Agreements regulations of the 
Department of Agriculture codified in 2 CFR parts 180, 400, 415, 417, 
418, 421; 2 CFR parts 25 and 170; and 48 CFR 31.2.
    In addition, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are 
required to report information about first tier subawards and executive 
compensation (see 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the 
necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109- 282) 
reporting requirements (see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt 
under 2 CFR 170.110(b)). More information on these requirements can be 
found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/HBIIP. The following additional 
requirements apply to grantees selected for this program:
    (1) Grant Agreement--RD 4280-2 Rural Business-Cooperative Service 
Financial Assistance Agreement;
    (2) Letter of Conditions;
    (3) Form RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of Funds;''
    (4) Form RD 1942-46, ``Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions;'' and
    (5) Use Form SF 270, ``Request for Advance or Reimbursement.''

C. Reporting

    After grant approval and through grant completion, grantees will be 
required to provide periodically the following, as indicated:
    (1) A SF-425, ``Federal Financial Report,'' and a project 
performance report will be required on a semiannual basis (due 30 
working days after end of the semiannual period). For the purposes of 
this grant, semiannual periods end on March 31st and September 30th. 
The project performance reports shall include the elements prescribed 
in the Grant Agreement; which for fueling stations will include point 
of sale reporting for up to 5 years post project completion and for 
fuel distribution facilities will include reporting of throughput 
volumes of all fuels including HB fuels.
    (2) A final project and financial status report, as required per 2 
CFR 200.343 ``Closeout'', within 90 days after the expiration or 
termination of the grant.
    (3) Provide project outcome/performance reports and final 
deliverables. Reported data will be used for program and policy 
evaluation. The proprietary nature and confidentiality of information 
collected from program participants is specified in 7 U.S.C. 2276.

[[Page 26664]]

VII. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information contact: Anthony Crooks: telephone 
(202)205-9322, email: [email protected]. Persons with 
disabilities that require alternative means for communication should 
contact the USDA Target Center at (202)720-2600 (voice).

VIII. Other Information

A. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Information Collection and Recordkeeping requirements contained 
in this rule have been approved by an emergency clearance under OMB 
Control Number 0570-NEW. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), RBCS invites comments on this 
information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval 
from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). RBCS invites comments 
on any aspect of this collection of information including suggestions 
for reducing the burden. Comments may be submitted regarding this 
information collection by the following method:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and, in the lower ``Search Regulations and Federal 
Actions'' box, select ``RBCS'' from the agency drop-down menu, then 
click on ``Submit.'' In the Docket ID column, select Docket No. RBS-20-
Business-0006 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting 
and related materials available electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the 
comment period, is available through the site's ``User Tips'' link. 
Comments on this information collection must be received by July 6, 
2020. The information collection is one-time activity for the 
applications, however, RBCS will need to submit a formal information 
collection request for the approval beyond the 6-month emergency 
approval to address the ongoing reporting requirement.
    The burden for the HBIIP collection of information includes both 
the upfront one-time application and the on-going reporting, which will 
include mid-year and an annual reporting. The reporting may include 
additional reports for projects that run longer.
    Comments are invited on (a) the accuracy of the agency's estimate 
of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumption 
used; (b) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and (c) ways to minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on those who are to respond, including using 
appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological 
collection techniques on other forms and information technology.
    Title: Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
    OMB Control Number: 0570-New.
    Type of Request: New Information Collection.
    Abstract: The purpose of the HBIIP is to increase significantly the 
sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. HBIIP is 
intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher 
blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related 
infrastructure.
    Under the HBIIP, funds will be made directly available to assist 
transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities with converting 
to higher ethanol and biodiesel blend friendly status by sharing the 
costs related to the installation, and/or retrofitting, and/or 
otherwise upgrading of fuel storage, dispenser/pumps, related 
equipment, and infrastructure.
    Cost-share grants of up to 50 percent of total eligible project 
costs but not more than $5 million will be made available to assist 
transportation fueling and fuel distribution facilities with converting 
to higher blend friendly status for ethanol (i.e., greater than 10 
percent ethanol) and biodiesel (greater than 5 percent biodiesel) by 
sharing the costs related to the installation, and/or retrofitting, 
and/or otherwise upgrading of dispenser/pumps, related equipment, and 
infrastructure.
    The information collected from applications as required by this 
NOFA include, but are not limited to determine whether participants 
meet the eligibility requirements to be a recipient of grant funds, 
project eligibility, conduct the technical evaluation, calculate a 
priority score, rank and compete the application, as applicable, in 
order to be considered. Lack of adequate information to make the 
determination could result in the improper administration and 
appropriation of Federal grant funds to be a recipient of grant funds 
as well as other documents and information that may be relevant as 
determined by RBCS.
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 78 hours per response.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 200.
    Estimated Total Recordkeeping Hours: 480.
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 15,600.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden (including recordkeeping) on 
Respondents: 16,080 hours.
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat 
Daskal, Regulatory Division Team 2, Rural Development Innovation 
Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Stop 
1522, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: 202-720-7853.
    All responses to this information collection and recordkeeping 
notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. 
All comments will also become a matter of public record.

B. Nondiscrimination Statement

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination 
against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the 
basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender 
identity, reprisal and where applicable, political beliefs, marital 
status, familial or parental status, religion, sexual orientation, or 
all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public 
assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or 
in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not 
all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment 
activities.)
    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of 
discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form 
(PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or complete the form at any USDA office, or 
call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter 
containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your 
completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at 
[email protected].
    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech 
disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, 
please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 
or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).
    Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, 
please see information above on how to contact us directly by mail or 
by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program 
information

[[Page 26665]]

(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's 
TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Robert Stephenson,
Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
Mark Brodziski,
Acting Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-09685 Filed 5-4-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-05-P