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 RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Oglethorpe Power Corporation: Proposed Biomass Power Plant
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to providing financial assistance to the Oglethorpe Power Corporation (Oglethorpe) for the construction of a 100 megawatt (MW) biomass plant and related facilities (Proposal) in Warren County, Georgia. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. The EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) and RUS' Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). As the lead federal agency, and as part of its broad environmental review process, RUS must take into account the effect of the Proposal on historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) and its implementing regulation ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR Part 800). Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3), RUS used its procedures for public involvement under NEPA, in part, to meet its responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of the public and other interested parties during the Section 106 review process. Accordingly, comments submitted in the EIS process also informed RUS's decision making in the Section 106 review process. The purpose of the Proposal is to provide a reliable, long-term supply of renewable and sustainable energy at a reasonable cost to meet part of the electric energy needs of Oglethorpe's members. The Final EIS evaluated the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Project proposed by Oglethorpe for RUS financing to construct the 100 megawatt (MW) biomass plant and related facilities (Proposal) in Warren County, Georgia
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, amends its regulations for the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program). The purpose of this regulatory change is to provide the Agency the ability to target limited resources to geographical as well as technological areas of need. This rule is not applicable to Community Connect grant applications filed for funding prior to the publication of a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) under this regulation.