Rural Utilities Service March 2011 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-7344
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2011-5952
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces Rural Development's intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of loan programs administered by the Rural Housing Service, Business- Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2011-5615
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-03-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, is amending its regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program). Since the Broadband Loan Program's inception in 2002, the Agency has faced and continues to face significant challenges in delivering the program due to the following factors: The competitive nature of the broadband market in certain geographic areas; the significant number of companies proposing to offer broadband service that are start-up organizations with limited resources; continually evolving technology; and economic factors such as the higher cost of serving rural communities. In addition, the Office of Inspector General, in a 2005 report, made recommendations to improve program efficiency. For these reasons and in an effort to improve program operation, the Agency published proposed changes to the program's regulation in the Federal Register on May 11, 2007. While the Agency was reviewing public comments and revising the rule, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) was enacted and changed the statute under which the program operates. In accordance with the statute and taking into account the public comments received regarding the proposed rule to the extent possible, this interim rule presents the regulations that will govern the program until a final rule is published. The Agency is seeking comments regarding this interim rule to guide its efforts in drafting the final rule for the Broadband Loan Program.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
Document Number: 2011-5611
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
This NOSA announces that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2011 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program), subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the final appropriations act, if any. At this time, the agency estimates that approximately $700 million may be available for loans from prior appropriations; however, Congress is presently reviewing budget authority across the Federal government in an attempt to reduce government debt. As a result, expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's own risk. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for the fiscal year. Moreover, the agency is concurrently publishing a interim rule that will revise the current Broadband Program regulations at 7 CFR part 1738, as necessitated by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill).
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Biorefinery Assistance Program
Document Number: 2011-5575
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This notice announces the acceptance of applications for funds available under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (the ``Program'') to provide guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels. For Fiscal Year 2011, there is only one round of competition. Applications must be received by May 10, 2011 to compete for Fiscal Year 2011 program funds. The Notice announces the availability of approximately $129 million in mandatory budget authority to support guaranteed loans under this Program in Fiscal Year 2011, in addition to any carry-over funds from Fiscal Year 2010. This budget authority represents approximately $463 million in program funds.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Repowering Assistance Payments to Eligible Biorefineries
Document Number: 2011-5574
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This Notice announces the acceptance of applications for payments to eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of these eligible biorefineries. To be eligible for payments, biorefineries must have been in existence on June 18, 2008. The Notice announces the availability of at least $25 million to make payments to eligible biorefineries in Fiscal Year 2011, in addition to any carry-over funds from Fiscal Year 2010.
Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers
Document Number: 2011-5573
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This Notice announces the acceptance of applications to enter into Contracts to make payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, advanced biofuels must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biofuel facility located in a State. The Notice announces the availability of up to $85 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels in Fiscal Year 2011.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels; Correction
Document Number: 2011-5500
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a document in the Federal Register of March 4, 2011, announcing the availability of $25 million in funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 for the Community Connect Grant Program. The document contained an incorrect website.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-5499
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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).
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2011-4751
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability of $25 million in funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 for the Community Connect Grant Program. This funding represents carry over balances from prior Appropriations Acts. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final Appropriations Act for FY 2011, to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the final Appropriations Act, if any. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated approximately $17.9 million. In addition, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for Community Connect grants applicable for the fiscal year. The Community Connect Grant Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1739, subpart A.