Rural Utilities Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2020-23378
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 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).
Notice of Funds Availability for the Technical Assistance and Training for Innovative Regional Wastewater Treatment Solutions Grant Pilot Program
Document Number: 2020-21924
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-10-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Utilities Services (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of up to $5 million in competitive grants to eligible entities to fund a new pilot program. This pilot program, called the Technical Assistance and Training for Innovative Regional Wastewater Treatment Solutions (TAT/RWTS) Grant Pilot Program, was authorized by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, for the study and design of innovative treatment solutions of regional wastewater systems for historically impoverished communities that have had difficulty installing traditional wastewater treatment systems due to soil conditions.
OneRD Guaranteed Loan Regulation; Correction
Document Number: 2020-21917
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-10-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
On July 14, 2020, Rural Development's Rural Business- Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Utilities Service referred to as ``the Agency'' or ``Agency'' promulgated the OneRD Guaranteed Loan regulation. Following final implementation of this final rule, the Agency found that corrections due to error, omissions, or need for clarity were necessary. This technical correction makes amendments to address these necessary changes.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2020-21425
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's 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).
Strategic Economic and Community Development
Document Number: 2020-19825
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Utilities Service, of the Rural Development (RD) mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter collectively referred to as the Agency, is issuing this final rule to implement statutory provisions found in Section 6401 of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (``2018 Farm Bill'') that amends Section 379H of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. The intent of this rule is to amend the existing regulations governing Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) to implement Section 6401 of the 2018 Farm Bill. Additionally, conforming changes are being made to other regulations as a result of the aforementioned statutory changes. Finally, we are removing Farm Service Agency from a chapter in the CFR as they no longer use any of the parts under that chapter.
Special Authority To Enable Funding of Broadband and Smart Utility Facilities Across Select Rural Development Programs
Document Number: 2020-19033
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-09-15
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 Mission Area within the United States Department of Agriculture, are issuing this final rule to establish the 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 a loan, grant, or loan guarantee from RD to use up to 10 percent of the amount provided to construct broadband infrastructure in areas not served by minimum acceptable level of broadband service. This rule describes the procedures by which these agencies will consider projects eligible for special broadband authority.
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 2021
Document Number: 2020-19288
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-09-01
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 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 percent for Guaranteed Loans, the Periodic Retention Fee, and Fee for Issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee Prior to Construction Completion for FY 2021, to be used when applying for guarantee loans under the aforementioned guarantee loan types. This notice is being published prior to the passage of a FY 2021 appropriation. Should the fees need to be adjusted after passage of the FY 2021 appropriation bill, the agency will publish a subsequent notice in the Federal Register.
Implementation of Certain Provisions of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 Specific to Persistent Poverty Counties
Document Number: 2020-18395
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-08-21
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This notice announces implementation of certain provisions published in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-94) related to persistent poverty counties served by Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBSC), Rural Housing Service (RHS) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) agencies of the Rural Development mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, sometimes collectively hereinafter referred to as ``Agency'' or ``the Agency.''
OneRD Guaranteed Loan Regulation
Document Number: 2020-13991
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-07-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, and the Rural Utilities Service, agencies of the Rural Development mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter collectively referred to as the Agency, are proposing a unified guaranteed loan platform for enhanced delivery of four of its existing guaranteed loan programs: Community Facilities (CF) administered by the Rural Housing Service; Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) administered by the Rural Utilities Service; and, Business and Industry (B&I) and Rural Energy for America (REAP) administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Collectively, these four Rural Development's guaranteed loan programs work to assist in building and maintaining sustainable rural communities. This rule incorporates new and revised provisions intended to simplify, improve, expand and enhance the delivery of the four guaranteed loan programs. These provisions include, among others, clearly defining specific project eligibility criteria, revising the requirements for lenders to participate in the programs, and streamlining the documentation requirements for submission of guaranteed loan applications.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2020-14883
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-07-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 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. The intention is to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the RUS Electric Loan Application and Related Reporting Burdens.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2020-13750
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-06-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Housing Service (RHS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. The intention is to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for Telecommunications System Construction Policies and Procedures.
Debt Management
Document Number: 2020-09447
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-06-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Farm Service Agency, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Office of the Secretary
The general debt management regulations of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide that individual USDA agencies may issue regulations for their own specific debt collection activities principally in recognition that the agencies conducted debt collection activities prior to the enactment of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). Many of the provisions of individual agencies are redundant to part 3. This rule will eliminate the debt collection regulations of the following USDA agencies, and part 3 will be revised to include specific provisions used by these agencies: the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC); the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), and the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In addition, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Civil Penalties Act), this rule updates the size of civil monetary penalties to reflect inflationary adjustments for 2020.
Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations
Document Number: 2020-11242
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing an interim final rule to update the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program to allow flexibility to obligate federal funds for guaranteed loans pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The RBCS is responsible for administering the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program.
Announcement of Application Deadlines and Requirements for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Utility Infrastructure Loans for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020
Document Number: 2020-10507
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the application window and requirements and $750 million in loan funding that is available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 under the Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for utility infrastructure loans (the 313A Program) authorized under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (the RE Act), and related terms. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the 2018 Farm Bill), enacted on December 20, 2018, amended Section 313A of the RE Act. Applications under this NOSA will be considered under the new statutory provisions. Those provisions supersede any prior inconsistent policy, regulation or guidance. The 2018 Farm Bill instructs RUS to continue to carry out this program under a Notice until new regulations are implemented.
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program
Document Number: 2020-08078
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as (the Agency), is issuing a final rule for the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (the Program) or (the 9003 Program), formerly the Biorefinery Assistance Program. This final rule incorporates the statutory definition changes as required in the Agricultural Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) and, with one exception, adopts the interim rule published on June 24, 2015 in the Federal Register. This rule also addresses public comments received by the Agency regarding Program changes as published in the Interim final rule on June 24, 2015 in the Federal Register.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2020-10213
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-05-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named agency to request Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of RUS Electric Engineering Architectural Services, and Design Policies and Procedures.
Implementation of Water and Environmental Provisions of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018
Document Number: 2020-08034
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-04-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is issuing a final rule to implement statutory provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). The intent of this rule is to modify existing regulations to include the statutory revisions authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2020-08151
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program
Document Number: 2020-07741
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
On December 12, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications for the Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program in the Federal Register. On March 31, 2020, the Agency published a Notice in the Federal Register to extend the application window to April 15, 2020. This notice supplements the prior notice of March 31, 2020, and informs the public that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides an additional $100 million for ReConnect grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
Rural Development Guarantee Loan Servicing Flexibilities To Address Coronavirus 2019 Impacts
Document Number: 2020-07487
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-04-08
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 Rural Utilities Service (RUS) agencies of the Rural Development mission area, hereinafter referred to as Agency, issued a notification in the Federal Register on March 31, 2020, that allows lenders with guaranteed loans with the Agency to unilaterally offer payment deferrals for the period specified in the notice to their customers who may be experiencing temporary cash flow issues due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This notification supplements the prior notification and includes additional servicing flexibilities regarding Agency guaranteed loan requirements as they relate to the new loans that are covered by Section 1102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Announcement of Funding Availability, Loan Application Procedures, and Deadlines for the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)
Document Number: 2020-06341
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-04-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is soliciting letters of intent for loan applications under the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP), announcing the application process for those loans and deadlines for applications from eligible entities for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2020, until expended or further notice.
Rural Energy Savings Program
Document Number: 2020-06215
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-04-02
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 to establish the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) as authorized by Section 6407 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to assist rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to eligible entities that agree to make loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. This rule describes the eligibility requirements, the application process, the criteria that will be used by RUS to assess Applicants' creditworthiness and how to obtain application materials.
Notification of Guarantee Loan Payment Deferrals for Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2020-06706
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-03-31
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 Rural Utilities Service (RUS) agencies of the Rural Development mission area, hereinafter referred to as Agency, will temporarily allow lenders with guaranteed loans with the Agency to unilaterally offer payment deferrals for the period specified in the DATES section of this notification to their customers who may be experiencing temporary cash flow issues due to the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic.
Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program
Document Number: 2020-06561
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on Thursday, December 12, 2019, (84 FR 67913) announcing its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program (ReConnect) established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (which became law on February 15, 2019) which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of an extension of the application window until midnight, based on the time zone the applicant is located in, on April 15, 2020.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2020-06400
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collection extension for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection; Comments Requested
Document Number: 2020-06396
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this Notice announces the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of the program servicing Water Program loans and grants.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2020-06393
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named agency to request Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for an extension of a currently approved information collection in support of RUS Specification for Quality Control and Inspection of Timber Products.
Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) Program
Document Number: 2020-05746
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-03-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) published an interim rule on December 23, 2011, which made several revisions to the Rural Business Investment program. Through this action, RBS finalizes the rule based on public comments, amends its regulations, and incorporates new program requirements established in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Bill for the Rural Business Investment Program. This action, which affects some of the substantive aspects of the Rural Business Investment Program, is expected to decrease the time and workload necessary in carrying out the Rural Business Investment Program.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020; Amendment
Document Number: 2020-05718
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development (Agency) published a notice of solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on February 28, 2020, entitled ``Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020,'' to provide applicants with projects eligible for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program (SECD) the opportunity to apply for funding in FY 2020. After publication of the NOSA for SECD for FY 2020, the Agency found an error in the dates section of the Notice. This notice will correct the DATES section of the NOSA.
Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program
Document Number: 2020-05199
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-03-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on Thursday, December 12, 2019, announcing its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program (ReConnect) established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (which became law on February 15, 2019) which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of an extension of the application window until midnight, based on the time zone the applicant is located in, on March 31, 2020.
Rural Broadband Loans, Loan/Grant Combinations, and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2020-04086
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-03-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, is amending 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). The Agency is publishing this regulation as an interim final rule, which will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register. In addition, the Agency is seeking comments regarding this interim final rule to guide its efforts in drafting the final rule for the Rural Broadband Program and Community Connect Grant Program.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for the Strategic Economic and Community Development Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020
Document Number: 2020-04031
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Section 6401 of the Agricultural Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) enables the Secretary of Agriculture to provide priority to projects that support Strategic Economic and Community Investment plans. The 2018 Farm Bill re-authorized the Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) priority, Section 6025 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) with some modifications. Until the rulemaking process is finalized to incorporate the new changes, SECD will continue to operate using the existing regulation. In FY 2020, the Agency implements SECD through reserving funds from the ``underlying programs''. This Notice applies to applicants who will be submitting applications for the ``underlying programs''. This notice establishes the above mentioned priority effective upon the publication of this notice.
Special Servicing of Telecommunications Programs Loans for Financially Distressed Borrowers
Document Number: 2020-01891
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-02-25
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 request for comments to outline the general policies for servicing actions associated with financially distressed borrowers from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, Rural Broadband Program, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, Broadband Initiatives Program, and Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program. This rule will ensure recipients comply with any revised terms in repayment on loans and ensures serving actions are handled by RUS consistently across programs.
Publication of Depreciation Rates
Document Number: 2020-03234
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-19
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, 2018.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kV Transmission Line Project
Document Number: 2020-02946
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have issued a single Record of Decision (ROD) to approve the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project (C-HC Project). The C-HC Project will connect the Cardinal Substation in Dane County, Wisconsin with the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa. The C-HC Project also includes a new intermediate 345-/138-kV substation near the village of Montfort in Grant County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 345-kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 100 miles.
Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2020-02270
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-02-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
ReConnect Pilot Program
Document Number: 2019-26522
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-12
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 the Agency, announces its general policy and application procedures for its second round of funding under the broadband pilot program. This pilot program was established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The Agency is announcing the application window for this second round of funding and requesting comments on the program.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2019-26431
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-12-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Services (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Repeal of Regulations Concerning the Rural Telephone Bank, the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program, and the Local Television Loan Guarantee Program
Document Number: 2019-24310
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-11-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
This final rule informs the public that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) is repealing the Rural Telephone Bank, Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program and the Local Television Loan Guarantee Program from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This action removes expired and terminated programs from the CFR as repealed by the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill). The statutory changes result from the 2018 Farm Bill. Additionally, conforming changes are being made to other regulations as a result of the aforementioned statutory changes.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2019-23586
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-10-29
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 United States Department of Agriculture's 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).
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Extension of Comment Period for an Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2019-23065
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-10-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental Draft EIS) for Central Electric Power Cooperative's (Central Electric) proposed McClellanville Area 115-kV Transmission Project (Project) in South Carolina. In this document, RUS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with an anticipated decision request to approve or deny funding for Central Electric's proposed Project. The Supplement Draft EIS was prepared to address substantial changes to the proposed action and assesses new circumstances and information relevant to potential environmental impacts originally evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). RUS published a Notice of Intent and Availability on August 30, 2019, that provided a 60-day comment period, ending on the date announced in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) EIS receipt notice on October 22, 2019. RUS is extending the public comment period for the Draft EIS by an additional 30 days to November 21, 2019.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kv Transmission Line Project
Document Number: 2019-23049
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-10-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Code of Federal Regulations related to providing financial assistance to Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) for its share in the construction of a proposed 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure connecting the Hickory Creek Substation in Dubuque County, Iowa, with the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middle, Wisconsin (near Madison, Wisconsin). The Project also includes a new intermediate 345/138-kV substation near the Village of Montfort in either Grant County or Iowa County, Wisconsin. The total length of the 345-kV transmission lines associated with the proposed project will be approximately 100 to 125 miles, depending on the final route. DPC, along with the two other project participant utilities, American Transmission Company LLC, and ITC Midwest LLC (together the Utilities) have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. DPC is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.
Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program Guarantee Fee Rate, Annual Renewal Fee, Rural Area Definition, and Funding Priority for Fiscal Year 2020; and Water and Waste Disposal Programs Guaranteed Rural Area Definition and Funding Reservation for Fiscal Year 2020
Document Number: 2019-21475
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-10-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This notice announces implementation of several provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill related to the Rural Housing Service (RHS) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) agencies of the Rural Development mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, sometimes hereinafter referred to as Agency. Specifically, it provides notice of the population change in the rural area definition for the Community Facilities (CF) Guaranteed Loan Program and the Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Guaranteed Loan Program and priorities for each program. It also provides established fee levels for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 for the CF Guaranteed Loan Program. This Notice is being issued prior to enactment of full year appropriation for FY 2020. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in the final appropriations act on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/fy2020-appropriated-funding.
Rural Development Environmental Regulation for Rural Infrastructure
Document Number: 2019-20342
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-09-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD), comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, is issuing a final rule to update the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures regulation (7 CFR 1970) to allow the Agency Administrators limited flexibility to obligate federal funds for infrastructure projects prior to completion of the environmental review while ensuring full compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures, prior to project construction and disbursement of any RD funding. This change will allow RD to more fully meet the Administration's goals to speed the initiation of infrastructure projects and encourage planned community economic development without additional cost to taxpayers or change to environmental review requirements.
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent and Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice to Hold a Public Meeting
Document Number: 2019-18790
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-08-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Supplemental Draft EIS) for Central Electric Power Cooperative's (Central Electric) proposed McClellanville Area 115-kV Transmission Project (Project) in South Carolina. In this document, RUS analyzes the environmental impacts associated with an anticipated decision request to approve or deny funding for Central Electric's proposed Project. The Supplement Draft EIS was prepared to address substantial changes to the proposed action and assesses new circumstances and information relevant to potential environmental impacts originally evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS). In April 2014, RUS issued a Draft EIS that evaluated six 115-kV transmission line corridors originating in Georgetown County, South Carolina and terminating in the McClellanville area of Charleston County, South Carolina. Since publication of the Draft EIS, updated engineering data has resulted in substantial changes to the proposed action, including the need to evaluate new transmission line corridors originating from the Jamestown and Charity areas of Berkeley County, South Carolina, and to account for a new winter weather operating agreement between the former South Carolina Electric and Gas (now Dominion Energy South Carolina) and Berkeley Electric Cooperative that addresses load concerns during the winter months. In addition, the following changes made it necessary to supplement the Draft EIS: The promulgation of a new environmental regulation applicable to RUS (7 CFR part 1970, which replaced the former 7 CFR part 1794, RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures), issuance and implementation of Executive Order 13807: ``Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects'' (known as the ``One Federal Decision Executive Order''), and publication of the Francis Marion National Forest's Forest Plan. The Supplemental Draft EIS addresses the construction, operation, and maintenance of Central Electric's proposed Project. The Project includes the construction of a new 115 kV transmission line needed to energize the new McClellanville Substation located near the McClellanville service area. The Supplemental Draft EIS considers three alternatives, encompassing three potential corridor locations with one corridor including two different alignments. The overall project area encompasses parts of Berkeley, Georgetown and Charleston counties in coastal South Carolina, and potentially crosses the Francis Marion National Forest. The Supplemental Draft EIS has identified the potential for impacts to various resources, including wetlands, biological resources and cultural resources (including historic properties). Central Electric does not hold easements across these areas. Once a final right-of-way (ROW) is selected within the preferred corridor, coordination with federal and state agencies and other interested parties would occur to identify, evaluate and, if needed, mitigate any adverse effects. RUS will compile public comments received on the Supplemental Draft EIS and produce a Final EIS that considers and responds to those substantive public comments. Based on this analysis in additional to technical and financial reviews, RUS will decide to approve or deny an application for funding.
Streamlining Electric Program Procedures
Document Number: 2019-15859
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-07-31
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) published a final rule in the Federal Register on July 9, 2019, entitled ``Streamlining Electric Program Procedures,'' to make revisions to several regulations to streamline its 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. The Agency found an error in this publication, after the published rule became effective. This document will correct the final regulation.
Streamlining Electric Program Procedures
Document Number: 2019-14875
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-07-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
On July 9, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published a final rule that revised several regulations to streamline its procedures for Electric Program borrowers. RUS has determined it is necessary to accelerate the effective date of the final rule.
Streamlining Electric Program Procedures
Document Number: 2019-14511
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-07-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is revising several regulations to streamline its 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. Additionally, unnecessary sections in the regulations will be removed.
Standards and Specifications for Timber Products Acceptable for Use by Rural Utilities Service Electric and Telecommunications Borrowers
Document Number: 2019-12238
Type: Rule
Date: 2019-06-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, is amending its regulations on Electric and Telecommunications Standards and Specifications for Materials, Equipment and Construction, to make changes to Bulletin 1728F-700, RUS Specification for Wood Poles, Stubs and Anchor Logs; Bulletin 1728H- 701, Specification for Wood Crossarms, Transmission Timbers, and Pole Keys; and Bulletin 1728H-702, Specification for Quality Control and Inspection of Timber Products (Wood Bulletins) to keep RUS standards current with the technology advances and consistent with the industry practice. The bulletins are provided as regulated specifications to RUS Electric Program borrowers for procurement of electric transmission and distribution line wood materials.
Announcement of New Cushion of Credit Program Provisions
Document Number: 2019-11924
Type: Notice
Date: 2019-06-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, is issuing this notice regarding the new provisions affecting RUS borrower participation in the Cushion of Credit (CoC) program pursuant to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, (the 2018 Farm Bill).