Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Evaluation of Demonstration Projects To End Childhood Hunger
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the contract Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger.
National Organic Program: Notice of Draft Guidance for Accredited Certifying Agents, Certified Operations and Applicants for Organic Certification
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations. The draft guidance document is entitled as follows: Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations (NOP 5020). This draft guidance document is intended to inform the public of NOP's current thinking on this topic. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites organic producers, handlers, certifying agents, material evaluation programs, consumers and other interested parties to submit comments about these guidance provisions. A notice of availability of final guidance on this topic will be issued upon its final approval. Once finalized, this guidance document will be available from the NOP through, ``The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified Operations.'' This Handbook provides those who own, manage, or certify organic operations with guidance and instructions that can assist them in complying with the USDA organic regulations. The current addition of the Program Handbook is available online at: http:// www.ams.usda.gov/nop or in print upon request.
Plant Variety Protection Board; Request for Nominations
The Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) is seeking candidates for the Plant Variety Protection Board (PVP Board). The PVP Board consists of 14 members, each of whom is appointed for a 2-year period, with no member appointed for more than three 2-year periods. The term of the present Board will expire in May 2015. In order to provide the Secretary of Agriculture with a broad choice from a diverse group of applicants, the PVPO is asking for nominated members to serve on the Board for 2 years from the date of appointment. PVP Board members will serve without compensation, except for standard government reimbursable expenses.
Khapra Beetle; New Regulated Countries and Regulated Articles
We are amending the khapra beetle regulations by adding additional regulated articles and regulated countries. We are also updating the regulations to reflect changes in industry practices that have affected the risk of khapra beetle being imported into the United States and country names that have changed since the regulations were originally published. Finally, we are removing the list of countries where khapra beetle is known to occur from the regulations and moving it to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Web site. These actions are necessary to prevent the introduction of khapra beetle from infested countries on commodities that have been determined to be hosts for the pest, reflect current industry practices, and make it easier to make timely changes to the list of regulated countries.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2015
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. REAP has two types of funding assistance: Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance, and Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, (grantee), will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporated renewable energy technologies into their operations.
Rural Energy for America Program
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is publishing this final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This final rule modifies REAP based on comments received on the interim rule, which was published on April 14, 2011, and the proposed rule, which was published on April 12, 2013. The final rule establishes provisions for the grants and loan guarantees available for renewable energy systems (RES) and energy efficiency improvements (EEI) and for the grants available for energy audits and for renewable energy development assistance.