Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
Rural Development is delaying the effective date of the interim rule for Rural Development Guaranteed Loans, which was published on December 17, 2008, to October 1, 2009. The interim rule establishes a unified guaranteed loan platform for the enhanced delivery of four existing Rural Development guaranteed loan programs: Community Facilities; Water and Waste Disposal; Business and Industry; and Rural Energy for America Program, formerly known as Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Program.
Dairyland Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Hold Public Scoping Meetings
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and hold public scoping meetings and in connection with possible impacts related to a project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative in the CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse Transmission Line Project. The proposal consists of the construction of a 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure between Hampton, Minnesota and the La Crosse area in Wisconsin. The project also includes construction of new 161-kV transmission lines and associated facilities in the area of Rochester, Minnesota. The total length of 345-kV and 161-kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 150 miles. Proposed and alternate transmission segments and locations for proposed and alternate associated facilities have been identified by Dairyland Power Cooperative. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces additional Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funding available through its Technical Assistance and Training Grant Program (TAT). The Rural Utilities Service is providing $500,000 in funding to conduct water resource studies in the states affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and/or Wilma (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas). The additional $500,000 will be for water resource studies only.
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Fitzgerald Renewable Energy, LLC: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 7 CFR part 1794, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures related to possible financial assistance for a project proposed by Fitzgerald Renewable Energy, LLC (FRE), with headquarters in Winter Park, FL. The proposal consists of the construction of a 55 megawatt (MW) biomass fueled power plant located in Ben Hill County, Georgia on Peachtree Road. FRE is requesting that RUS provide financial assistance for the proposed project. RUS is considering funding this application, thereby making the proposal 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).
Telecommunications Policies on Specifications, Acceptable Materials, and Standard Contract Forms
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as USDA Rural Development or the Agency, is revising its regulation: on fiber optic cable specifications used by borrowers, their consulting engineers, and cable manufacturers; updates the specifications to meet current industry standards; includes additional requirements in the specifications to meet the construction requirements of fiber-to-the-home construction; clarifies certain existing definitions; separates the regulation into two distinct specifications for cables covering backbone and distribution plant, as well as for service entrance cables covering subscribers' drops; and includes new definitions.