Pacific Southwest Recreation Resource Advisory Committee
The Pacific Southwest Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (Recreation RAC) will meet in San Bernardino, California. The Recreation RAC is authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) (Pub. L. 108-447) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463). Additional information concerning the Recreation RAC can be found by visiting the Recreation RAC's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/ recreation/racs.
Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) proposes to amend its regulation on nondiscrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department. The changes are proposed to clarify the roles and responsibilities of USDA's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) and USDA agencies in enforcing nondiscrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department and to strengthen USDA's civil rights compliance and complaint processing activities to better protect the rights of USDA customers. OASCR's compliance activities are detailed, and a requirement is included that each agency shall, for civil rights compliance purposes, collect, maintain, and annually compile data on the race, ethnicity, and gender of all conducted program applicants and participants by county and State. Applicants and program participants will provide the race, ethnicity, and gender data on a voluntary basis. The proposed amendment also provides that OASCR shall offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services to complainants where appropriate. This amendment is intended to encourage the early resolution of customer complaints. Finally, USDA proposes to amend its regulation to add protection from discrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department with respect to two new protected bases: political beliefs and gender identity. This amendment is meant to make explicit protections against discrimination based on USDA program customers' political beliefs or gender identity. Gender identity includes USDA program customers' gender expression, including how USDA program customers act, dress, perceive themselves, or otherwise express their gender.
CCC Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program and Facility Guarantee Program (FGP)
This proposed rule would revise and amend the regulations that administer the Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-102) Program. Changes in this proposed rule incorporate program operational changes and information from press releases and notices to participants that have been implemented since the publication of the current rule, and include other administrative revisions to enhance clarity and program integrity. This proposed rule also incorporates certain changes as suggested in comments received in response to the initial publication of the proposed rule on July 27, 2011. These changes should increase program availability to all program participants and enhance access and encourage sales for smaller U.S. exporters. Changes are also intended to improve CCC's financial management of the program. The proposed rule would eliminate provisions for the Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee (GSM-103) Program, consistent with the repeal of authority to operate this program in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act).
Revision of the Land Management Plans for the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests
The Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) has initiated land management plan revisions for the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests. The Final Assessments and other related information for these forests have been posted to the Region 5 Web site at http:// www.fs.usda.gov/main/r5/landmanagement/planning. The Forest Service invites the public to help develop a ``need for change'' and desired conditions that will lead to a proposed action for the land management plan revisions.
Designations for the Circleville, OH; and Decatur, IN Areas
GIPSA is announcing the designation of Columbus Grain Inspection, Inc. (Columbus); and Northeast Indiana Grain Inspection, Inc. (Northeast Indiana) to provide official services under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA), as amended.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Opportunity for Designation in the State of Georgia and State of Montana; Request for Comments on the Official Agencies Servicing These Areas
The designations of the official agencies listed below will end on June 30, 2014. We are asking persons or governmental agencies interested in providing official services in the areas presently served by these agencies to submit an application for designation. In addition, we are asking for comments on the quality of services provided by the following designated agencies: Georgia Department of Agriculture (Georgia) and Montana Department of Agriculture (Montana).
National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs; Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection and To Merge the Collections of Softwood Lumber and National Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Programs
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this document announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection of the National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs; and request approval to merge two previously approved information collection packages, Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) and National Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Program into the National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs to form a single information collection. This Notice announces AMS' intention to merge the following collections: 0581-0264 ``Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order'' and 0581-0258 ``National Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Program'' into 0581-0093 ``National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Program.'' This action will keep all research and promotion collections under one generic collection since similar forms are used to collect information and to prevent duplication of burden.
Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota; Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming; Teckla-Osage-Rapid City Transmission 230 kV Project
The Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal by Black Hills Power (BHP) to construct and operate a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Teckla and Osage Substations in northeastern Wyoming to the Lange Substation in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a cooperating agency on this EIS. The Teckla-Osage-Rapid City Transmission 230 kV Project would be approximately 150 miles long. It would cross portions of the Black Hills National Forest and private lands in South Dakota and portions of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands, private lands, BLM lands, and state lands in Wyoming. The line would be constructed on wood or steel H-frame structures for most of its length with possibly some steel monopole structures in the Rapid City area. The structures would be 65 to 75 feet tall and the line would require a right-of-way approximately 125 feet wide. This corrected notice of intent (corrected NOI) updates information in the original notice, published in the Federal Register August 26, 2011 (76FR53400). A corrected notice was needed to update the timing information for the Draft and Final EISs, and to clarify the mailing address for comments. Also, this project analysis is being conducted under the authority of the Forest Service predecisional objection regulation at 36 CFR 218, Subparts A and B, issued in the Federal Register on March 27, 2013 (78FR18481).
National Advisory Committee of Meat and Poultry Inspection
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI). The Committee is being convened to review two topics for FSIS. The first topic will address safe handling instructions included on food labels. FSIS is seeking input from the committee to fully explore enhancing the safe food handling label on meat and poultry packages. With this input, the Agency will consider whether or not the current safe handling instructions should be changed to meet the needs of the consuming public; FSIS is also seeking feedback from NACMPI on FSIS's Establishment-Specific Data Release Strategic Plan. The plan was developed from recommendations by the NACMPI committee in 2010. FSIS would like the committee to review the strategic plan and provide further suggestions.
Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate
This proposed rule would increase the assessment rate established for the Florida Tomato Committee (Committee) for the 2013- 14 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.024 to $0.0375 per 25-pound carton of tomatoes handled. The Committee locally administers the Federal marketing order, which regulates the handling of tomatoes grown in Florida. Assessments upon Florida tomato handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period begins August 1 and ends July 31. The assessment rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Importation of Beef From a Region in Brazil
We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of certain animals, meat, and other animal products by allowing, under certain conditions, the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Brazil (the States of Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantins). Based on the evidence in a recent risk assessment, we have determined that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from those Brazilian States provided certain conditions are met. This action would provide for the importation of beef from the designated region in Brazil into the United States while continuing to protect the United States against the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Rural Business- Cooperative Service intention to request a revision to a currently approved information collection for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program.
Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Amendment to Primary Peanut-Producing States and Adjustment of Membership
This proposal invites comments on adding the State of Arkansas as a primary peanut-producing State under the Peanut Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Peanut Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, primary peanut-producing States must maintain a 3-year average production of at least 10,000 tons of peanuts. Arkansas's peanut production meets this requirement. Primary peanut-producing States also have a seat on the Board, and this proposal would also add a seat on the Board for the State of Arkansas. The Board recommended this action to ensure that the Board's representation reflects changes in the geographical distribution of the production of peanuts.
Walnuts Grown in California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule increases the assessment rate established for the California Walnut Board (Board) for the 2013-14 and subsequent marketing years from $0.0175 to $0.0189 per kernelweight pound of merchantable walnuts. The Board locally administers the marketing order, which regulates the handling of walnuts grown in California. Assessments upon walnut handlers are used by the Board to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The marketing year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order; Changes to the Membership of the Softwood Lumber Board
This rule changes the membership of the Softwood Lumber Board (Board) established under the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order). The Board administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (domestic) and importers and used for projects to promote softwood lumber within the United States. This rule revises the Board's membership to reflect the diversity of the industry in terms of size of operation; allows companies that operate in multiple geographic regions to seek representation in any region in which they operate (U.S. or import); adds flexibility for the Board to nominate eligible persons to fill vacancies that occur during a term; and re-designates the States of Virginia and West Virginia to the U.S. South Region. These changes will help facilitate program operations.
Almonds Grown in California; Continuance Referendum
This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible growers of almonds in California to determine whether they favor continuance of the marketing order that regulates the handling of almonds grown in California.
Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan, Caldwell County, Missouri
Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, as lead federal agency, will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan (LOCWP), Caldwell County, Missouri, involving the proposed construction of a multi-purpose reservoir. The purpose of this supplement is to address changes which have occurred since the NRCS prepared the Little Otter Creek Watershed Plan and Environmental Impact Statement in 2003. The SEIS will update the original EIS with more recent relevant environmental information and expand the alternatives analysis beyond those previously considered. The SEIS will evaluate reasonable and practicable alternatives and their expected environmental impacts.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Form FNS-648, WIC Local Agency Directory Report
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Local Agency Directory Report which lists the names and addresses of all WIC local agencies.
Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notices in the Southwestern Region, Which Includes Arizona, New Mexico, and Parts of Oklahoma and Texas
This notice lists the newspapers that will be used by all Ranger Districts, Grasslands, Forests, and the Regional Office of the Southwestern Region to publish legal notices required under 36 CFR parts 215, 218, and 219. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers the Forest Service will use to publish notices of proposed actions, notices of decision, and notices of opportunity to file an objection. This will provide the public with constructive notice of Forest Service proposals and decisions, provide information on the procedures to comment, appeal, or object, and establish the date that the Forest Service will use to determine if comments, appeals, or objections were timely.
Section 306D Water Systems for Rural and Native Villages in Alaska
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), proposes to modify its existing regulations and establish a separate regulation for making grants to rural or Native Alaskan Villages under the Rural Alaska Village Grant (RAVG) Program. The existing RAVG regulation (7 CFR 1780.49) will be relocated to its own section and modified to conform with streamlined processes established through a Memorandum of Understanding among USDA, RUS; The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Indian Health Service (IHS); The State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). The grants will be provided directly to a rural or Native Alaskan Village or jointly with either DEC or ANTHC for the development and construction of water and wastewater systems to improve the health and sanitation conditions in those Villages through removal of dire sanitation conditions.
Information Collection; Environmental Justice and the Urban Forest in Atlanta, GA
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the new information collection, Environmental Justice and the Urban Forest in Atlanta, GA.
Guarantee Fee Rates for Guaranteed Loans for Fiscal Year 2014; Maximum Portion of Guarantee Authority Available for Fiscal Year 2014; Annual Renewal Fee for Fiscal Year 2014
As set forth in 7 CFR 4279.107, the Agency has the authority to charge an initial guarantee fee and an annual renewal fee for loans made under the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. Pursuant to that authority, the Agency is establishing the renewal fee rate at one-half of 1 percent for the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program. This rate will apply to all loans obligated in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 that are made under the B&I program. As established in 7 CFR 4279.107(b)(1), the amount of the fee on each guaranteed loan will be determined by multiplying the fee rate by the outstanding principal loan balance as of December 31, multiplied by the percent of guarantee. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 set funding levels according to those established by the 2012 Appropriations Bill. This authorized the Agency to charge a maximum of 3 percent for its guarantee fee for FY 2013. It is the Agency's expectation that the 2014 Appropriations Bill will contain the same authorization to charge a maximum of 3 percent for its guarantee fee for FY 2014. As such, the guarantee fee for FY 2014 will be 3 percent. In the event the 2014 Appropriations Bill reduces the fee authorization below 3 percent, a subsequent notice will be published in the Federal Register amending the guarantee fee for FY 2014. As set forth in 7 CFR 4279.107(a) and 4279.119(b)(4), each fiscal year, the Agency shall establish a limit on the maximum portion of B&I guarantee authority available for that fiscal year that may be used to guarantee loans with a reduced guarantee fee or guaranteed loans with a guarantee percentage exceeding 80 percent. Allowing a reduced guarantee fee or exceeding the 80 percent guarantee on certain B&I guaranteed loans that meet the conditions set forth in 7 CFR 4279.107 and 4279.119 will increase the Agency's ability to focus guarantee assistance on projects which the Agency has found particularly meritorious. For reduced guarantee fees, the borrower's business must support value-added agriculture and result in farmers benefiting financially or must be a high impact business investment as defined in 7 CFR 4279.155(b)(5) and be located in rural communities that experience long-term population decline and job deterioration, remain persistently poor, are experiencing trauma as a result of natural disaster, or are experiencing fundamental structural changes in its economic base. For guaranteed loans exceeding 80 percent, such projects must qualify as a high-priority project (a requirement of 7 CFR 4279.119(b)), scoring at least 50 points in accordance with 7 CFR 4279.155(b). Not more than 12 percent of the Agency's quarterly apportioned B&I guarantee authority will be reserved for loan requests with a reduced fee, and not more than 15 percent of the Agency's quarterly apportioned guarantee authority will be reserved for guaranteed loan requests with a guarantee percentage exceeding 80 percent. Once the respective quarterly limits are reached, all additional loans for that quarter will be at the standard fee and guarantee limits.
Maximum Loan Amount for Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans in Fiscal Year 2014
Section 4279.119(a)(1) of 7 CFR allows the Rural Business- Cooperative Service Administrator, at the Administrator's discretion, to grant an exception to the $10 million limit for Business and Industry (B&I) guaranteed loans of $25 million or less under certain circumstances. Due to the limited program funds that are expected for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 for the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program, the Administrator has decided to only grant exceptions to the $10 million loan limit for existing B&I guaranteed loan borrowers that meet certain criteria. Limiting the maximum loan amount will enable the Agency to provide financing assistance to as many projects as possible. In order for an existing B&I guaranteed loan borrower to be granted an exception to the $10 million loan limit, they must meet the following criteria: (1) Qualify as a high priority project (a requirement of 7 CFR 4279.119(a)(1)(i)), scoring at least 50 points in accordance with the criteria in 7 CFR 4279.155(b); (2) have an existing B&I loan that has been current for the past 12 months without such status being achieved through debt forgiveness; and (3) not be requesting a refinance of the existing B&I loan. All other requirements of 7 CFR 4279.119(a) must be met. Limiting exceptions to the $10 million limit will allow the Agency to guarantee more loans and target smaller loans/projects impacting more small businesses and will assist the Agency to conserve scarce funding dollars at a time when there is unprecedented interest in the program.
Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Ovine Meat From Uruguay
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of ovine meat from Uruguay into the United States.
National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council) will meet in Washington, DC The Council is established consistent with Section 9 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, as amended by Title XII, Section 1219 of Public Law No. 101-624, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. II). Additional information concerning the Council can be found by visiting the Council's Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/ucf/nucfac.html.
Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board
The Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Rapid City, South Dakota. The Board is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. II), the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et.seq.), the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1612), and the Federal Public Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Pub. L. 108-447). Additional information concerning the Board can be found by visiting the Board's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ blackhills/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
Sweet Cherries Grown in Designated Counties in Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee (Committee) for the 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.18 to $0.15 per ton of sweet cherries handled. The Committee locally administers the marketing order for sweet cherries grown in designated counties in Washington. The Committee's fiscal period begins on April 1, and ends March 31. The interim rule was necessary to allow the Committee to reduce its monetary reserve while still providing adequate funding to meet program expenses.
Newspapers Used for Publication of Legal Notices for Pre-Decisional Administrative Review Processes and Decisions Subject to Notice, Comment and Appeal Procedures
This notice provides the list of newspapers that Responsible Officials in the Pacific Northwest Region will use to publish legal notices for public comment and decisions subject to appeal under 36 CFR part 215 and predecisional objection on decisions under 36 CFR part 218 and 36 CFR part 219. The intended effect of this action is to inform interested members of the public which newspapers will be used to publish legal notices, thereby allowing the public to receive constructive notice of a decision, to provide clear evidence of timely notice, and to achieve consistency in administering appeal and objection processes.
Information Collection; Disaster Assistance (General)
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension and revision of a currently approved information collection in support of Disaster Assistance programs. The information collection is needed to identify disaster areas and establish eligibility for both primary counties and those counties contiguous to such counties for certain assistance from FSA. The total burden hours have been revised to reflect the number of Secretarial requests for natural disaster assistance during the 2013 fiscal year.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named Agency to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the Community Facilities Grant Program.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Housing Service's intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for Fire and Rescue Loans.
Solicitation of Nominations for Members of the USDA Grain Inspection Advisory Committee
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the USDA Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee meets annually to advise GIPSA on the programs and services it delivers under the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA). Recommendations by the Advisory Committee help GIPSA better meet the needs of its customers who operate in a dynamic and changing marketplace.
Notice of Intent To Review Online Homeownership Education Courses for Nationwide Use in the Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan Program
On September 23, 2013, the Rural Housing Service (RHS) Single Family Housing Direct Program published a Notice in the Federal Register, ''Notice of Intent To Review Online Homeownership Education Courses for Nationwide Use in the Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan Program'' (78 FR 58272). Through this action, RHS is extending the submission deadline of online homeownership education course packages for National Office approval to December 31, 2013.
Publicly Managed Recreation Opportunities, Recreation Fees
The Forest Service is issuing a final directive providing direction on recreation fees in chapter 30 of new Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 2309.13. This chapter enumerates the requirements for recreation fees charged by the Forest Service under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) (16 U.S.C. 6801-6814), which was enacted December 8, 2004. This chapter replaces the Forest Service's interim implementation guidelines on REA and obsolete direction on recreation fees in FSM 2330.
Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee
The Hiawatha East Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) meetings scheduled on the dates below are cancelled. The meetings were scheduled to meet in Kincheloe, Michigan. The RAC is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) (Pub. L. 110-343) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463).
Announcement of the Second 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Meeting
As stipulated by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is hereby giving notice that a meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) will be held and will be open to the public. This meeting was originally scheduled for October 3-4, 2013, but was postponed due to the government shutdown.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, has issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1794) in connection with potential impacts related to a proposal by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State) with headquarters in Westminster, Colorado. The proposal consists of the construction of approximately 72 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in eastern Colorado between the Burlington Substation (located in Kit Carson County) and the Wray Substation (located in Yuma County) (proposed Project). Tri-State is requesting financial assistance from RUS for the construction of the proposed Project. RUS is considering funding the proposed Project, thereby making it an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 U.S.C. 470(f), and its implementing regulation, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR part 800). To meet its responsibilities under Section 106, RUS must take into account the effect of the proposed Project on historic properties; i.e., buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts which are listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). RUS has coordinated its compliance with Section 106 with the steps taken to comply with NEPA and its environmental policies and procedures. Accordingly, this EA also documents the manner in which RUS has met its responsibilities to take into account effects to historic properties. RUS has determined that the proposed project will have no adverse effects to historic properties listed on or eligible for listing on the NRHP.
Publication of Depreciation Rates
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers rural utilities programs, including the Telecommunications Program. RUS announces the depreciation rates for telecommunications plant for the period ending December 31, 2012.