Publication of Depreciation Rates
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers rural utilities programs, including the Telecommunications Program. RUS announces the depreciation rates for telecommunications plant for the period ending December 31, 2010.
Disaster Designation Process
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) proposes to amend the disaster designation regulations with simplified procedures for designating USDA Secretarial disaster areas. Proposed changes to the regulation would delegate the designation authority to FSA State officials, remove the requirement that a request for designation of a disaster area be initiated and submitted by a State Governor or Indian Tribal Council to the Secretary, add a simplified disaster designation in severe drought situations, and change the USDA Secretarial disaster designation process from six steps to two steps for natural disasters, including special provisions for certain drought situations. FSA proposes to move the regulations to the same chapter of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as the FSA Emergency Loan (EM) Program regulations. FSA expects the amended procedures would result in faster designations of disaster areas, and result in more timely disaster assistance.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Hold Public Scoping Meetings
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) proposed Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset Transmission Project (Project) in North Dakota. RUS is issuing this Notice of Intent (NOI) to inform the public and interested parties about the proposed Project, conduct a public scoping process, and invite the public to comment on the scope, proposed action, and other issues to be addressed in the EIS. The EIS will address the construction, operation, and maintenance of Basin Electric's proposed Project. The Project includes construction, operation and maintenance of approximately 190 miles of new 345-kV single pole transmission line and double circuit 345/115-kV transmission lines, 2 new substations, modifications to 4 existing substations, a 345-kV switchyard, maintenance access roads, temporary construction roads, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities to be described in the proposed EIS. Basin Electric's proposed Project would be located in portions of Billings, Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, Mountrail, and Williams counties in western North Dakota. Portions of Basin Electric's proposed Project may affect floodplains and wetlands. This NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. RUS will hold public scoping meetings to share information and receive comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIS in areas near and affected by the proposed Project.