Information Collection Request; Discharge and Delivery Survey Summary and Rate Schedule Forms
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection request. This information collection is necessary to support the procurement of agricultural commodities for domestic and export food donation programs. FSA and CCC issue invitations to purchase or sell and transport commodities, as well as sample, inspect and survey, agricultural commodities at both domestic and foreign locations for use in international food donation programs on a monthly, multiple monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Special invitations, however, are issued throughout the month. The Kansas City Commodity Office acting under the authority granted by these acts, purchases discharge survey services conducted at the foreign destinations to ensure count and condition of the commodities shipped.
Information Collection Request; Inventory Property Management
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension with a revision of a currently approved information collection that supports Inventory Property Management. The collected information is used to evaluate applicant requests to purchase inventory property, determine eligibility to lease or purchase inventory property, and ensure the payment of the lease amount or purchase amount associated with the acquisition of inventory property. Revisions to the information collection includes an increase in the total amount of burden hours expected related to inventory property requests.
EZ Guarantee Program and Micro Lender Program (MLP) Status
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the guaranteed Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations to implement an EZ Guarantee Program and establish an additional lender status. The EZ Guarantee Program will help lenders reduce costs of underwriting and servicing loans to help meet the unique financing needs of small farm operations. The intended effects of the rule are to make guaranteed loan programs more widely available and attractive to small farm operations and the lenders who work with those farm operations through a more flexible underwriting analysis process, reduced application requirements, and faster FSA approval. In addition, FSA is amending the regulations to make a technical correction related to chattel appraisal appeals related to both guaranteed and direct loans.
Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds; Correction
This document contains a correction to 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L, ``Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds'' to provide reference to the Rural Business Development Program, which replaced the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program.
Information Collection Request; Application for Payment of Amounts Due Persons Who Have Died, Disappeared, or Have Been Declared Incompetent
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension of a currently approved information collection. CCC and FSA use the information to determine whether representatives or survivors of a producer are entitled to receive payments earned by a producer who dies, disappears, or is declared incompetent before receiving payments or other disbursements.
Environmental Policies and Procedures; Compliance With the National Environmental Policy Act and Related Authorities
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is consolidating, updating, and amending its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA). FSA's previous NEPA regulations had been in place since 1980. Significant changes to the structure of FSA and the scope of FSA's programs require changes in FSA's NEPA regulations. The changes will also better align FSA's NEPA regulations with the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations and meet the FSA responsibilities for periodic review of their categorical exclusions (CatExs). CatExs involve proposed actions that typically do not result in individual or cumulative significant environmental effects or impacts and therefore do not merit further environmental review in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The additions to the existing list of CatExs improves the clarity and consistency of the regulations. This final rule also expands and clarifies the list of proposed actions that require an EA. The FSA NEPA implementing regulations also cover the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs that FSA administers on behalf of CCC. In addition, this rule makes conforming changes to existing references to FSA NEPA regulations in other FSA regulations. The revisions to the FSA NEPA implementing regulations are intended to improve transparency and clarity of the FSA NEPA process for FSA program participants, and to provide for a more efficient environmental review that will lead to better decisions and outcomes for stakeholders and the environment. Finally, in coordination with the Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service, this rule removes the old NEPA regulations.
Community Facility Loans
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is amending regulations on Community Facility Direct Loans to enable the Agency to make loans to eligible lenders who would then in turn re-loan those funds to applicants for projects that are eligible under the Community Facilities Direct Loan program.
Information Collection; Online Registration for FSA-Hosted Events and Conferences
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension with a revision of the information collection associated with online registration for FSA- hosted events and conferences. The information collection is needed for FSA to obtain information from the respondents who register on the Internet to make payment and reservations to attend any FSA-hosted conferences and events.
Environmental Policies and Procedures; Corrections
This document corrects errors in the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of March 2, 2016, entitled ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.'' The rule replaced two existing rules relating to the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA.
Environmental Policies and Procedures; Correction
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency published a document in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016 (81 FR 11000), entitled ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.'' The rule replaced two existing rules related to the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. This correction will replace the introductory text to paragraph (a) of Sec. 1955.136.
Environmental Policies and Procedures
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, has unified and updated the environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These final rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation(ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive Orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the changes to the existing rules relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These changes consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules, and better conform the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010.
Underlying Programs Cross-References to the Strategic Economic and Community Development; Technical Amendments
Rural Development (RD) is correcting an oversight of omitting cross-reference to the Strategic Economic and Community Development priority in the underlying programs when it published the rule for the priority.
Direct Farm Ownership Microloan; Correction
In a final rule that was published and effective on January 21, 2016, we added Direct Farm Ownership Microloan (DFOML) to the existing Direct Loan Program. The final rule resulted in inadvertently omitting paragraphs that were previously in the Farm Loan Programs general eligibility requirements. The inadvertently removed paragraphs specified alternatives for demonstrating managerial ability. This document corrects that omission by revising the section in the regulations to reinsert that text.
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Farm Service Agency, Commodity Credit Corporation, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Housing Service finalize their portion of the uniform federal assistance rule and amend specific regulations to reference the conforming changes published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014.
Direct Farm Ownership Microloan
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is adding Direct Farm Ownership Microloan (DFOML) to the existing Direct Loan Program. The revisions to the Direct Loan Program regulations consist of application, eligibility, repayment terms, and security requirements to better serve the unique operating needs of small family farm operations. The existing Microloans (ML) in the Direct Loan Program already include MLs for operating loans (OL). DFOML is expected to make farm ownership loans (FOs) available and more attractive to small operators through reduced application requirements, more timely application processing, and added flexibility for Youth Loan (YL) borrowers in meeting the farm experience eligibility requirement.
Information Collection Request; Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and Report of Acreage
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). The revision adds the report of acreage for NAP in the information collection request. The report of acreage is not a new requirement for NAP; it was previously covered in a separate information collection request and FSA is merging it into the NAP information collection request. The information being collected is needed from producers to determine their eligibility for NAP assistance.