American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives
Section 6001 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The Recovery Act further establishes authority for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make grants and loans for the deployment and construction of broadband systems. NTIA and RUS will hold a series of public meetings about the new programs beginning on March 16, 2009. In addition to the information received about the new programs during the public meetings, written comments will be accepted through April 13, 2009. Through this notice, guidance is provided as to the matters to be discussed at these public meetings and the categories of information with respect to which interested parties may submit comments.
Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
The Rural Utilities Service, an Agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 7 CFR 1794 related to possible financial assistance to Associated Electric Cooperative Incorporated (AECI) for the construction of a new 540- megawatt (MW) gas-fired combustion combined-cycle generation unit at the existing Chouteau Power Plant in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The proposed new unit is needed to provide additional electric generating capacity that would allow AECI to meet its projected electrical peaking demand in 2011-2016. AECI is also proposing to construct a new substation approximately two miles east of the existing plant, a 161- kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the existing plant to the new substation, and a single circuit 345-kV line from the new substation to the nearby Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) Coal-Fired Power Plant I, Mayes County, Oklahoma. The proposed new transmission facilities are needed to provide an outlet for the additional electric power that would be generated at the Chouteau Power Plant as a result of the installation of the proposed new combustion turbine (CT). AECI is requesting financial assistance from the Agency for the proposed action.
Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
Rural Development is further delaying the effective date of the interim rule for Rural Development Guaranteed Loans, which was published on December 17, 2008, to June 1, 2009. The interim rule establishes a unified guaranteed loan platform for the enhanced delivery of four existing Rural Development guaranteed loan programs Community Facility; Water and Waste Disposal; Business and Industry; and Rural Energy for America Program, formerly known as Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects.