Rural Utilities Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants for Fiscal Year 2024
Document Number: 2024-04015
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-02-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
President Joe Biden has pledged that every American will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet. Digital equity devices, skills and affordability that brings the internet to life are a critical part of that mission. As part of that work, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS, Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program for fiscal year (FY) 2024, subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a FY 2024 Appropriations Act in order to allow applicants sufficient time to leverage financing, prepare and submit their applications, and give the Agency time to process applications within FY 2024. Based on FY 2023 appropriated funding, the Agency estimates that approximately $60 million will be available for FY 2024. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through appropriations. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Amended Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rural eConnectivity Program for Fiscal Year 2024; Extension of Submission Deadline
Document Number: 2024-03844
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-02-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS, Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced its acceptance of applications under the Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) program for fiscal year (FY) 2024 in the Federal Register on February 21, 2024. This notice is extending the date by which applications can be submitted.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rural eConnectivity Program for Fiscal Year 2024
Document Number: 2024-03484
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-02-21
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS, Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces acceptance of applications under the Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) program for fiscal year (FY) 2024. These loan and grant funds will be awarded to qualified applicants to fund the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for FY 2024
Document Number: 2024-02782
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-02-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Under Secretary for Rural Development (RD or Agency) is seeking applications for the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) priority, as reauthorized by section 6401 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) for projects that support multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral strategic community investment plans. In fiscal year (FY) 2024, the covered RD programs will implement SECD by reserving loan and/or grant funds from the appropriations of the programs covered by this funding priority. This notice describes the requirements by which the RD programs will consider projects eligible for the covered programs' reserved appropriated funds and the information needed to submit an application. This NOSA is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act for FY 2024 to allow potential applicants time to submit applications for financial assistance under the covered programs and to give the RD programs time to process applications. Information on estimated FY 24 funding amounts can be found under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, section B. Federal Award Information of this notice.
60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Accounting Requirements for RUS Electric and Telecommunications Borrowers; OMB Control No.: 0572-0003
Document Number: 2024-02702
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-02-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its' intention to request a revision of a currently approved information collection and invites comments on this information collection.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Utility Infrastructure Purposes for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024
Document Number: 2023-27901
Type: Notice
Date: 2024-01-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Utility Infrastructure Purposes Program (the 313A Program) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. This notice is being issued in order to allow applicants sufficient time to prepare and submit their applications and give the Agency time to process applications within FY 2024. In FY 2023, the Agency made $900 million available for the 313A Program. Because full-year appropriations have not been enacted as of this date, the final amount that will be made available in FY 2024 will be determined by subsequent Congressional action. The agency is accepting applications up to the amount made available in FY 2023, subject to Congressional action. The purpose of the 313A Program is to guarantee loans to selected applicants as a Guaranteed Lender. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through apportionment. All applicants are responsible for all expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Community Connect Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2023
Document Number: 2023-27813
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-12-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register on March 20, 2023, to announce the acceptance of applications under the Community Connect Grant (CCG) program for Fiscal Year 2023. The NOFO also announced the availability of approximately $79 million for FY 2023 that would be made available to eligible applicants to construct broadband networks that provide service on a community-oriented connectivity basis in rural areas. This correction notice is amending the definition of an Eligible Service Area and announcing an extension of the application window until February 20, 2024. Existing and new applicants should refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for additional guidelines on being considered for funding under this opportunity and the public notice requirement that applies.
Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Regulation: Tribes and Tribal Business References To Provide Equitable Access
Document Number: 2023-27504
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-12-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program is intended for governmental entities and non-profits that foster economic development, job creation and business creation in rural and Tribal communities. Eligible applicants for RBDG assistance include rural towns, communities, State agencies, authorities, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, Federally recognized Tribes (https://www.bia.gov/service/tribal-leaders-directory) and cooperatives (if organized as a private nonprofit corporation). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to improve Tribal Government participation in the program. This final rule seeks to increase Tribal Government participation with programmatic amendments. This final rule responds to all comments received on the proposed rule.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2023-26016
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-11-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites comments on the OneRD Loan Guarantee Program information collection package and announces the Rural Utilities Service intention to request a revision for to a currently approved information collection from the Office of management and Budget (OMB).
Notice of a Revision to a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2023-23845
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-10-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Utilities Service's (RUS or Agency), an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, intention to request a revision to a currently approved information collection package for the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Agency invites comments on this information collection for which it intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Calendar Year 2022 Disaster Circuit Rider Technical Assistance Grants Program; Water and Environmental Programs; Extension of Submission Deadline
Document Number: 2023-23700
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-10-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced its acceptance of applications under the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Disaster Circuit Rider Technical Assistance (CY 2022 Disaster CRTA) Grants Program in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register on September 28, 2023. This notice is extending the date by which applications can be submitted through grants.gov.
Notice of an Extension to an Existing Information Collection
Document Number: 2023-23243
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-10-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Utilities Service's (RUS or Agency), an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, intention to request an extension to an existing information collection package for the Special Servicing of Telecommunications Programs Loans for Financially Distressed Borrowers. The Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, Rural Broadband Program, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, and the Rural eConnectivity Program (hereinafter collectively referred to as the ``RUS Telecommunications Programs'') provide loan funding to build and expand broadband and telecommunications services in rural communities.
60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Lien Accommodation and Subordination Policy; OMB Control No.: 0572-0126
Document Number: 2023-23160
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-10-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its' intention to request a revision of a currently approved information collection and invites comments on this information collection.
Special Authority To Enable Funding of Broadband and Smart Utility Facilities Across Select Rural Development Programs
Document Number: 2023-23070
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-10-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Housing Service, agencies that comprise the Rural Development (RD) Mission Area within the United States Department of Agriculture, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on September 15, 2020, to establish the special authority authorized by Section 6210 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which will assist rural families and small businesses in gaining access to broadband service by permitting recipients of loans, grants, and loan guarantees from RD to use up to 10 percent of the amount provided to construct broadband infrastructure in areas not served by the minimum acceptable level of broadband service. The final rule described the procedures by which these agencies will consider projects eligible for special broadband authority. Through this action, the agencies are confirming the final rule as it was published and providing responses to the public comments that were received.
60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Electric System Emergency Restoration Plan; OMB Control No.: 0572-0140
Document Number: 2023-22839
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-10-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its' intention to request an extension of a currently approved information collection and invites comments on this information collection.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Calendar Year 2022 Disaster Circuit Rider Technical Assistance Grants Program; Water and Environmental Programs
Document Number: 2023-21129
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-09-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces acceptance of applications under the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Disaster Circuit Rider Technical Assistance (CY 2022 Disaster CRTA) Grants Program. The Agency will have up to $8,000,000 in grant funding provided through the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023. Grant funds will be made available to qualified organizations to provide technical assistance on a national basis to rural communities and federally recognized tribes with water infrastructure systems damaged by CY 2022 Presidentially declared disasters. Purposes include supporting eligible communities, including federally recognized tribes, identified through the Presidential disaster declarations by providing on-site technical assistance to support post-disaster mitigation of eligible events, to identify and evaluate solutions to impacted water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste challenges, help communities develop and prepare applications for water and waste loans and grants, deliver training and other resources to operators, managers, and other system personnel, and pay certain expenses associated with the provision of such services. Applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their application.
60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: RUS Specification for Quality Control and Inspection of Timber Products; OMB Control No.: 0572-0076
Document Number: 2023-18095
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-08-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) announces its' intention to request an extension of a currently approved information collection and invites comments on this information collection.
Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program
Document Number: 2023-15897
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-07-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as ``RUS'' or ``the Agency'' announced its intent to solicit Letters of Interest (LOI) for applications under the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on May 16, 2023, in the Federal Register. In addition, the NOFO also announced the eligibility requirements, application process and deadlines, and the criteria that RUS will use to assess New ERA Applications. The New ERA funds will be used to assist Eligible Entities in achieving the greatest reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions while advancing the long-term resiliency, reliability, and affordability of rural electric systems. This Notice announces an update on how to submit an LOI, additional information that must be submitted and an extension of time to submit LOIs.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Calendar Year 2022 Disaster Water Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2023; Water and Environmental Programs; Correction
Document Number: 2023-14679
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-07-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), a Rural Development (RD) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register on June 22, 2023, to announce the acceptance of applications under the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Disaster Water Grants Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. The NOFO also announced the availability of at least $247,250,000 in grant funding through the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023. Grant funds will be made available to qualified, rural applicants to pay for necessary expenses related to water infrastructure systems damaged by events that occurred during CY 2022 and were recognized through Presidentially Declared Disasters. This correction notice is amending the list of states that were identified as containing areas that have been impacted by qualifying events during CY 2022.
Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program
Document Number: 2023-14266
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-07-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as ``RUS'' or ``the Agency'' announced its intent to solicit Letters of Interest (LOI) for loan applications under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on May 16, 2023, in the Federal Register. In addition, the NOFO also announced the application process for those loans and provided deadlines for applications from eligible entities. Loans will be made to qualified PACE Applicants to finance power generation projects for Renewable Energy Resource (RER) Systems or Energy Storage Systems that support RER Projects. This Notice announces a new opening date for PACE LOI submissions as well as an update on how to submit an LOI and additional information that must be submitted.
OneRD Annual Notice of Guarantee Fee Rates, Periodic Retention Fee Rates, Loan Guarantee Percentage and Fee for Issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee Prior to Construction Completion for Fiscal Year 2024
Document Number: 2023-14130
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-07-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), agencies of the Rural Development mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter collectively referred to as the Agency, offer loan guarantees through four programs: Community Facilities (CF) administered by the RHS; Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) administered by the RUS; and Business and Industry (B&I) and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) administered by the RBCS. This notice provides applicants with the Guarantee Fee rates, Guarantee percentage for Guaranteed Loans, the Periodic Retention Fee, and Fee for Issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee Prior to Construction Completion for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, to be used when applying for guaranteed loans under the guaranteed loan types listed above. This notice is being published prior to the passage of a FY 2024 appropriation. Should the fees need to be adjusted after passage of the FY 2024 appropriations, the agency will publish a subsequent notice in the Federal Register.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Calendar Year 2022 Disaster Water Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2023; Water and Environmental Programs
Document Number: 2023-13232
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-06-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), a Rural Development (RD) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Calendar Year (CY) 2022 Disaster Water Grants Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. The Agency will have at least $247,250,000 in grant funding through the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023. Grant funds will be made available to qualified, rural applicants to pay for necessary expenses related to water infrastructure systems damaged by events that occurred during CY 2022 and were recognized through Presidentially Declared Disasters. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Amended Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program
Document Number: 2023-12849
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-06-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced its intent to solicit Letters of Interest (LOI) for applications under the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on May 16, 2023, in the Federal Register. In addition, the NOFO announced the eligibility requirements, application process and deadlines, and the criteria that RUS will use to assess New ERA Applications. This notice is making corrections and amendments to clarify timelines for application submission, ensure applicants know they are required to establish a Verified eAuthentication ID, inform applicants that they are eligible for the New ERA Program even if they are subject to a ``cooling off period'' under the Rural Electrification Act, and to notify applicants that the Agency will provide general assistance to applicants through the RUS' General Field Representatives (GFRs) prior to LOI submissions.
Amended Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program
Document Number: 2023-12848
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-06-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced its intent to solicit Letters of Interest (LOI) for Applications under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program in a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on May 16, 2023, in the Federal Register. In addition, the NOFO announced the Application process and deadlines, and the criteria that RUS will use to evaluate applications under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program. These loan funds will be made to qualified PACE Applicants to finance power generation Projects for Renewable Energy Resource (RER) systems or Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that support RER Projects. The PACE Program has $1,000,000,000 available in appropriated funds under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). This notice is making amendments to ensure applicants know they are required to establish a Verified eAuthentication ID, to inform applicants that they are eligible for the PACE Program even if they are subject to a ``cooling off period'' under the Rural Electrification Act, and to notify applicants that the Agency will provide general assistance to applicants through the RUS' General Field Representatives (GFRs) prior to LOI submissions.
Implementation of Telecommunications Provisions of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018; Correction
Document Number: 2023-11724
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-06-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
On September 10, 2021, Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (hereinafter referred to as ``the Agency'') published a document that completed modifications to existing program regulations to implement statutory provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). Following the final implementation of the final rule, the Agency found that an amendment was necessary to clarify the meaning of a sentence. This document clarifies the final rule.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Technical Assistance and Construction for Innovative Regional Wastewater Treatment Solutions Grant Pilot Program
Document Number: 2023-11373
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-05-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Services (RUS or the Agency), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces its Technical Assistance and Construction for Innovative Regional Wastewater Treatment Solutions (TAC-RWTS) Grant Pilot Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Grants may be made to eligible entities for the study, design, or construction of regional wastewater systems for historically impoverished communities in areas that have had difficulty installing traditional wastewater treatment systems due to soil conditions. Solutions must be innovative and account for strategic management and regulatory models. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded from available funds for the TAC-RWTS Grant Pilot Program. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) Program; OMB Control No.: 0572-0152
Document Number: 2023-11310
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-05-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, as amended, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its' intention to request an extension of a currently approved information collection and invites comments on this information collection.
Rural eConnectivity Program
Document Number: 2023-11134
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-05-25
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), an agency in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on January 30, 2023, to make updates to the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) regulation to ensure that requirements are clear, accurate as presented and in compliance with Federal reporting requirements. Through this action, RUS is confirming the final rule as it was published and providing responses to the public comments that were received.
Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Regulation: Tribes and Tribal Business References To Provide Equitable Access
Document Number: 2023-10631
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2023-05-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program is intended for governmental entities and non-profits that foster economic development, job creation and business creation in rural and Tribal communities. Eligible applicants for RBDG assistance include rural towns, communities, State agencies, authorities, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, Federally recognized Tribes (https://www.bia.gov/service/tribal-leaders-directory) and cooperatives (if organized as a private nonprofit corporation). USDA intends to improve Tribal Government participation in the program. This proposed rule seeks to increase Tribal Government participation with programmatic amendments.
Electric Program Coverage Ratios Clarification and Modifications
Document Number: 2023-10637
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-05-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), an agency in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on March 1, 2023, to modify its coverage ratio requirements, add an additional set of ratios, update definitions, and add definitions. Through this action, RUS is confirming the final rule as it was published as no public comments were received.
Policy on Audits of RUS Awardees
Document Number: 2023-10413
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), an agency in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on February 6, 2023, to revise its Policy on Audits to change the title, remove an unnecessary report, update terminology, clarify Agency contacts and filing requirements, and update or remove any outdated references. The document also made conforming changes to other regulations. These changes provide uniformity and consistency for all RUS awardees. Through this action, RUS is confirming the final rule as it was published and providing responses to the public comments that were received.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program
Document Number: 2023-10392
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-05-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting Letters of Interest (LOI) for applications under the Empowering Rural America (New ERA) Program. In addition, the Agency is announcing the eligibility requirements, application process and deadlines, and the criteria that will be used by RUS to assess New ERA Applications. The New ERA Program provides RUS with $9.7 billion in appropriated loan and grant funds under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022. In keeping with the statutory authority for the program, RUS will utilize the New ERA funds to assist Eligible Entities to achieve the greatest reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions while advancing the long-term resiliency, reliability, and affordability of rural electric systems. All Eligible Entities are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their LOIs and New ERA Applications.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program
Document Number: 2023-10388
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-05-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting Letters of Interest (LOI) for loan Applications, announcing the Application process for those loans, and providing deadlines for Applications from eligible entities under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program. These loan funds will be made to qualified PACE Applicants to finance power generation Projects for Renewable Energy Resource (RER) systems or Energy Storage Systems (ESS) that support RER Projects. The PACE Program has $1,000,000,000 available in appropriated funds under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).
Section 306C Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loans and Grants
Document Number: 2023-09916
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (hereinafter ``the Agency''), of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2023, a final rule with request for comments for 7 CFR 1777 Section 306C Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loans and Grants Programs. Through this action, RUS is confirming the final rule as it was published and providing a response to the public comment received.
Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Broadband Technical Assistance for Fiscal Year 2023
Document Number: 2023-08233
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-04-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applicationsfor Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Broadband Technical Assistance provides competitive cooperative agreement funding to eligible entities to receive or deliver broadband technical assistance and training that promotes the expansion of broadband into rural areas. Examples of broadband technical assistance projects may include conducting feasibility studies, completing network designs, and developing broadband financial assistance applications. This announcement lists the information needed to submit an application.
Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Community Connect Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2023
Document Number: 2023-05549
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-03-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Community Connect Grant (CCG) program for Fiscal Year 2023. The Agency has approximately $79 million for FY 2023. These grant funds will be made available to eligible applicants to construct broadband networks that provide service on a community-oriented connectivity basis in rural areas. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Utility Infrastructure Purposes for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023
Document Number: 2023-04222
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-03-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the acceptance of applications under the Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Utility Infrastructure Purposes Program (the 313A Program) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. This notice is being issued in order to allow applicants sufficient time to prepare and submit their applications and give the Agency time to process applications within FY 2023. Based on FY 2023 appropriated funding, the Agency announces that $900 million will be available for FY 2023. The purpose of the 313A Program is to guarantee loans to selected applicants as a Guaranteed Lender. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through apportionment. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Electric Program Coverage Ratios Clarification and Modifications
Document Number: 2023-04016
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-03-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a final rule with comment. The intent of this rule is to modify its coverage ratio requirements, add an additional set of ratios, and update and add definitions. The effect of this action is to reduce the regulatory impact on RUS Electric Program borrowers, ensure that loan funds will be repaid in the time agreed upon, facilitate the lending for construction of rural electric infrastructure, and allow RUS to focus on feasibility and security issues while increasing customer efficiency, customer satisfaction and service.
Implementing Provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
Document Number: 2023-03492
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-02-21
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as ``RUS'' or ``the Agency,'' published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2022, a final rule with request for comments. The Agency received no substantiative comments, so this notice confirms the final rule as published.
Electric Program Streamlining and Improvement
Document Number: 2023-03418
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-02-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), an agency in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, published a final rule with comment in the Federal Register on November 30, 2022, to revise several regulations to streamline procedures for Electric Program borrowers, including its loan application requirements, approval of work plans and load forecasts, use of approved contracts and system design procedures and reporting requirements. Through this action, RUS is confirming the final rule as it was published and providing a response to the public comment received.
Policy on Audits of RUS Awardees
Document Number: 2023-01496
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-02-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a final rule with request for comment. The intent of this rule is to revise its Policy on Audits to change the title, remove an unnecessary report, update terminology, clarify Agency contacts and filing requirements and update or remove any outdated references. This document will also make conforming changes to other regulations. These changes will provide uniformity and consistency for all RUS awardees.
Section 306C Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loans and Grants
Document Number: 2023-01126
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-02-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the Rural Development mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as the Agency or RUS, is issuing a final rule with comment to revise the Section 306C WWD Loans and Grants program regulations to implement changes recommended by Government Accountability Office (GAO) Audit Report GAO 18-309, ``Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Opportunities Exist to Enhance Federal Agency Needs Assessment and Coordination on Tribal Projects'' (Audit Report) issued on May 15, 2018, and available at: https://www.gao.gov/ products/gao-18-309. The Agency is also implementing other changes to clarify terminology and policies, update scoring criteria, and allow the program to run more efficiently.
Rural eConnectivity Program
Document Number: 2023-01621
Type: Rule
Date: 2023-01-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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'', is issuing a final rule with comment. The intent of the final rule is to make updates to the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) regulation to ensure that requirements are clear, accurate as presented and in compliance with Federal reporting requirements.
Inflation Reduction Act Discussion Sessions
Document Number: 2023-00597
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-01-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 created several new clean energy provisions to be administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the Rural Development (RD) mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Following formal listening sessions, Tribal consultation, and a written comment period in November and December of 2022 regarding these IRA RUS clean energy provisions, RUS will host a series of virtual roundtables in January of 2023 to gain additional individual input from stakeholders regarding the design of IRA sections 22001 and 22004, with the intention of releasing a funding opportunity announcement in the first half of 2023.
Notice of Availability of a Record of Decision for Badger State Solar, LLC, Project
Document Number: 2023-00299
Type: Notice
Date: 2023-01-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to meet its responsibilities in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedure, and other applicable environmental requirements related to providing financial assistance for Badger State Solar's, LLC proposed Alternating Current solar project (Project) in Wisconsin. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. This ROD concludes RUS environmental review process in accordance with NEPA and RUS, Environmental Policies and Procedures. The ultimate decision as to loan approval depends on the conclusion of the environmental review process plus financial and engineering analyses. Issuance of the ROD will allow these reviews to proceed. The ROD is not a decision on the Badger State Solar's loan application and is not an approval of the expenditure of federal funds.
Implementing Provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
Document Number: 2022-25788
Type: Rule
Date: 2022-12-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) amended several sections of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (RE Act) that are carried out by the Electric Program at the USDARural Utilities Service (RUS). Section 6501 extends refinancing authority to RUS for loans made or guaranteed by the Secretary. Section 6503 ended the Cushion of Credit Payment Program. Section 6505 made several changes to the loan guarantee program authorized under section 313A of the RE Act. Section 6507 permits RUS to include provisions for cybersecurity and grid security improvements.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants for Fiscal Year 2023
Document Number: 2022-26128
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-12-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
President Joe Biden has pledged that every American will have access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet. Digital equity devices, skills and affordability that bring the internet to lifeare a critical part of that mission. As part of that work, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS or the Agency), a Rural Development (RD) agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announce the acceptance of applications under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a FY 2023 Appropriations Act in order to allow applicants sufficient time to leverage financing, prepare and submit their applications, and give the Agency time to process applications within FY 2023. Based on FY 2022 appropriated funding, the Agency estimates that approximately $64 million will be available for FY 2023. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available through appropriations. All applicants are responsible for any expenses incurred in developing their applications.
Rural Broadband Loans, Loan/Grant Combinations, and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2022-25856
Type: Rule
Date: 2022-11-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), an agency in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Mission area, published an interim rule with comment in the Federal Register on March 12, 2020, to amend its regulation for the Rural Broadband Program, previously referred to as the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program, to implement the Agricultural Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill). Through this action, RUS is adopting the interim rule as it was published and providing responses to the public comments received.
Electric Program Streamlining and Improvement
Document Number: 2022-25554
Type: Rule
Date: 2022-11-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a final rule with comment. The intent of this rule is to revise several regulations to streamline procedures for Electric Program borrowers, including its loan application requirements, approval of work plans and load forecasts, use of approved contracts and system design procedures and reporting requirements.
Publication of Depreciation Rates for Telecommunications Plant
Document Number: 2022-25477
Type: Notice
Date: 2022-11-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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, 2021.
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