Rural Utilities Service 2007 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-24936
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-12-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Thermal Standards
Document Number: 07-6009
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-12-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Housing Service (Agency) is amending its regulations to be consistent with other Federal agencies. The current thermal standards for existing single family housing can impose an unnecessary financial burden on the borrower and are not always cost-effective. Removing the thermal standards for existing single family housing will provide consistency with HUD. This change will not affect the thermal standards for new construction; such requirements are generally prescribed by adopted building and model energy codes. Construction materials and building techniques have improved tremendously during the last thirty years, creating many alternatives to achieve thermally efficient homes. Removing the Agency's imposed thermal standards for existing single family housing will give a borrower the opportunity to allocate money towards other improvements which may result in higher cost savings. The rule will not result in any increase in costs or prices to consumers; non-profit organizations; businesses; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-23561
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-12-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Regulatory Streamlining of the Farm Service Agency's Direct Farm Loan Programs; Conforming Changes
Document Number: 07-5659
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-11-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This rule removes the Farm Service Agency's direct Farm Loan Programs regulations from the Rural Development's mission area loan program regulations. In addition, it makes conforming changes to FSA's regulations for the boll weevil eradication loan program, the servicing of minor program loans, the special apple loan program, and the emergency loan for seed producers program.
Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Project
Document Number: E7-21749
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-11-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, is terminating further preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Project in Campbell and Sheridan Counties, Wyoming. The purpose of the EIS was to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Basin Electric) application for a Rural Development loan guarantee to construct and operate a coal-fired electric generation facility referred to as the Dry Fork Station. Basin Electric did not request a loan guarantee from Rural Development for the Hughes Transmission Line, but it was being evaluated as a connected action for the EIS. Basin Electric withdrew their application to Rural Development on October 17, 2007. A Draft EIS was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on August 24, 2007, and notice of an extension of the public comment period to November 19, 2007, appeared in the Federal Register on October 17, 2007 (``Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Line, Wyoming'', 72 FR 59071). Public hearings on the Draft EIS were held in Sheridan, Wyoming on September 25, 2007, and in Gillette, Wyoming on September 26, 2007.
Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Line
Document Number: E7-20514
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-10-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is extending the public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Line. The Draft EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231, et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) and RUS regulations (7 CFR part 1794). The Draft EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Basin Electric) application for a loan guarantee to construct a generation facility referred to as the Dry Fork Station, consisting of a single maximum net 385 Megawatt (MW) unit, at a site near Gillette, Wyoming, along with other proposed pollution controls collectively known as Best Available Control Technology (BACT). In addition, Basin Electric also proposes to construct and operate 136 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Campbell and Sheridan counties, referred to as the Hughes Transmission Project. Basin Electric is not, however, requesting a loan guarantee from RUS for this action. However, the Hughes Transmission Project is evaluated as a connected action for this EIS because the Dry Fork Station would interconnect with it if the Station is built. The Draft EIS was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on August 24, 2007. Requests for extension of public comment periods may be honored per 40 CFR 1506.10. The initial 45-day public comment period was to end on October 15, 2007. With the 30-day extension, the new deadline for public comments is now November 19, 2007.
Servicing of Water Programs Loans and Grants
Document Number: 07-4756
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-09-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Farm Service Agency
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, consolidates and amends the regulations utilized to service water and waste loan and grant programs. The rule will combine the water and waste loan and grant servicing regulations found in 7 CFR parts 1951, 1955, and 1956 into one regulation. Unnecessary and burdensome requirements for water and waste loan and grant servicing under the program will be eliminated. The streamlining of the water and waste loan and grant servicing regulation will allow the Agency to provide better service to entities needing assistance in resolving financial and economic problems in their communities and, in general, improve the quality of life in rural areas. Additionally, this rule implements Section 6018 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 1936a) for Rural Development's Business, Housing and Utilities programs.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-19055
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-09-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which Rural Development intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
East Kentucky Power Cooperative: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact
Document Number: E7-18385
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-09-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, has made a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) with respect to a request for possible financing assistance to East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) for the construction of two new Smith Station combustion turbine electric generating units (CTs), two new electric switching stations, and the 36-mile, Smith-West Garrard 345 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line located in Clark, Madison, and Garrard Counties, Kentucky (Proposal).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-18384
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-09-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which Rural Development intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
Document Number: E7-18272
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-09-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, gives notice that no adverse comments were received regarding the direct final rule amending its regulations to update the eligibility criteria for the Community Connect Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program) requirements of the Agency, and confirms the effective date of the direct final rule.
Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
Document Number: 07-4349
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-09-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proposing a unified guaranteed loan platform for enhanced delivery of four existing Rural Development guaranteed loan programsCommunity Facility; Water and Waste Disposal; Business and Industry; and Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects. This proposed rule would eliminate the existing loan guarantee regulations for these four programs and consolidate them under a new, single part. In addition to consolidating these four programs, the proposed rulemaking incorporates provisions that will enable the Agency to better manage the risk associated with making and servicing guaranteed loans and that will reduce the cost of operating the guaranteed loan programs. Such provisions include incorporating specific project eligibility criteria, revisions to the requirements for lenders to participate in the programs, allowing approved lenders to become preferred lenders, and allowing guaranteed loan applications to be submitted with less documentation accompanying the application under certain conditions.
East Texas Electric Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Hold a Public Scoping Meeting and Prepare an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: E7-17917
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-09-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, intends to hold a public scoping meeting and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to possible financial assistance to East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) of Nacogdoches, Texas, for the proposed construction of approximately 168 MW simple cycle combustion turbine generation station in Hardin County, Texas. ETEC is requesting USDA Rural Development to provide financial assistance for the proposal.
East Texas Electric Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Hold a Public Scoping Meeting and Prepare an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: E7-17916
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-09-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, intends to hold a public scoping meeting and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to possible financial assistance to East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) of Nacogdoches, Texas, for the proposed construction of approximately 168 MW simple cycle combustion turbine generation station in San Jacinto County, Texas. ETEC is requesting USDA Rural Development to provide financial assistance for the proposal.
Specifications for Primary Underground Power Cable
Document Number: E7-17194
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-08-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, proposes to amend its regulations regarding Bulletin 50-70 (U- 1) for electric distribution specifications for 15 kV and 25 kV primary underground power cable. This proposed rule is necessary to provide Agency electric borrowers with updated specifications for 15 kV and 25 kV underground power cable, and to provide borrowers with specifications for 35 kV underground power cable for use in 25 kV primary systems. These specifications cover single-phase and multi- phase primary underground power cable which Agency electric borrowers use to construct their rural underground electric distribution systems.
Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Project
Document Number: E7-17048
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, is issuing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Dry Fork Station and Hughes Transmission Project. The Draft EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508) and RUS regulations (7 CFR part 1794). The purpose of the EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Basin Electric) application for a Rural Development loan guarantee to construct and operate a coal-fired electric generation facility referred to as the Dry Fork Station, consisting of a single maximum net 385 Megawatt (MW) unit, at a site near Gillette, Wyoming, along with other proposed pollution controls collectively known as Best Available Control Technology (BACT). In addition, Basin Electric also proposes to construct and operate 136 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Campbell and Sheridan counties, referred to as the Hughes Transmission Project. Basin Electric is not requesting a loan guarantee from Rural Development for this action. However, the Hughes Transmission Project is evaluated as a connected action for this EIS because the Dry Fork Station would interconnect with it if the Station is built.
Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities
Document Number: E7-16216
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, announces the availability of $21.9 million in Fiscal Year 2007 for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs. This grant program is authorized under section 19 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (RE Act) (7 U.S.C. 918a) and program regulations at 7 CFR part 1709. The grant funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade, or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities in which the average residential expenditure for home energy exceeds 275 percent of the national average. Eligible applicants include persons, States, political subdivisions of States, and other entities organized under State law. Federally-recognized Indian tribes and tribal entities are eligible applicants. This notice describes the eligibility and application requirements, the criteria that will be used by the Agency to award funding, and information on how to obtain application materials. All grants awarded under this NOFA are contingent on the availability of appropriated funds. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number for this program is 10.859. You may obtain the application guide and materials for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program via the Internet at the following Web site: http://www.usda.gov/rus/electric/. You may also request the application guide and materials from USDA Rural Development by contacting the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.
Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program
Document Number: E7-15263
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-08-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
This rule adopts as final, the interim final rule published in the Federal Register, (71 FR 3205) on January 20, 2006. The Rural Utilities Service, an agency which administers USDA Rural Development's Utilities Programs (hereinafter ``USDA Rural Development'' or the ``Agency'') is publishing this final rule to allow the Agency to make grants to enable Public Television Stations in rural areas to replace current analog television broadcasting equipment with digital television broadcasting equipment as part of the national transition to digital television service.
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
Document Number: E7-15108
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-08-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, is issuing proposed regulations to amend its Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Broadband Grant Program). The Agency has determined that expanding the resource materials used to determine community eligibility for the program will result in a larger number of eligible communities. In addition, Rural Development has changed the test for economic hardship, allowing the applicant community's median household income to be compared to that of its state, which is also expected to increase the number of eligible applicants. Lastly, the Agency is proposing to amend its regulations to specify operating expenses which are approved for grant funding. This proposed rule is not applicable to Community Connect grant applications filed for funding during fiscal year 2007. In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, the Agency is publishing this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a non-controversial action and anticipates no adverse comments. If no adverse comments are received in response to the direct final rule, no further action will be taken on this proposed rule and the action will become effective at the time specified in the direct final rule. If the Agency receives adverse comments, a timely document will be published in the Federal Register and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule on this action.
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
Document Number: E7-15106
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-08-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Program, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, amends its regulations for the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program). Since the inception of the Community Connect Grant Program, the Agency has faced the challenge of identifying eligible rural communities. The Agency has reviewed its method of identifying eligible communities and has determined that modifications to the program regulations are required in order to expand the resource material used to identify eligible communities. The use of additional resources should increase the number of communities eligible for grant funding. Additionally, the Agency has changed the test for economic hardship. The current regulations compare an applicant community's per capita personal income to the national per capita personal income. Because of the varying costs of living among the states, it was determined that a better measure of economic distress would be a comparison of the applicant community's median household income to that of its state. This change is also expected to increase the number of eligible grant applicants. Lastly, this rule amends the current regulations by specifying operating expenses which the Agency has approved for grant funding. These changes have been determined to be non controversial and are being enacted as a direct final rule. This rule is not applicable to Community Connect grant applications filed for funding during fiscal year 2007.
Norborne Baseload Plant: Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: Z7-13299
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-14974
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-08-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Telecommunications Policies on Specifications, Acceptable Materials, and Standard Contract Forms
Document Number: E7-13795
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-07-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, proposes to revise the fiber optic cable specification used by borrowers, their consulting engineers, and cable manufacturers. This revision will bring the specification to meet current industries standards. Additional requirements have been included in the specification to meet the construction requirement of fiber-to-the-home construction.
KAMO Power: Notice of Intent To Hold Public Scoping Meetings and Prepare an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: E7-13590
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, intends to hold public scoping meetings and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to possible financial assistance to KAMO Power (KAMO) of Vinita, Oklahoma, for the proposed construction of approximately 100 miles of 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Cherokee and Crawford Counties, Kansas; portions of Jasper, Newton, and McDonald Counties, Missouri; and Ottawa, Delaware, Craig, and Mayes Counties, Oklahoma. KAMO is requesting USDA Rural Development to provide financial assistance for the proposal.
Accounting Requirements for RUS Electric Program Borrowers
Document Number: E7-13389
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, proposes to amend its regulation on accounting policies and procedures for Rural Development Electric Programs borrowers as set forth in 7 CFR Part 1767, Accounting Requirements for Rural Development Electric Program Borrowers. This proposed rule seeks to reconcile Part 1767 with the Uniform System of Accounts as set forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); to adopt FERC accounting guidance for Regional Transmission Organizations, Asset Retirement Obligations with modifications, Other Comprehensive Income, and Derivatives and Hedging Instruments; to amend accounting interpretations for Special Equipment Accounting, Storm Damage, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program and Consolidated Financial Statements; to set forth accounting interpretations that establish uniform reporting procedures for Accounting for Cushion of Credit Accounts and Renewable Energy Credits, and to codify guidance on records retention currently published in Bulletin 180-2. This proposed rule also seeks to correct a number of administrative errors currently existing within this part.
Norborne Baseload Plant: Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: E7-13299
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, is issuing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Norborne Baseload Plant (Norborne Plant). The Final EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508) and RUS regulations (7 CFR 1794). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a cooperating agency for this Final EIS. Rural Development invites comments on the Final EIS. The purpose of the EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI) application for Rural Development financing to construct the proposed 660 megawatt (MW) net supercritical pulverized coal (SCPC) fired power plant in Carroll County, Missouri, near the town of Norborne. AECI also proposes to construct new and modified substations, approximately 134 miles of new 345-kV transmission lines, a utility waste landfill, new rail access from existing mainline railroads, and a water supply system consisting of groundwater wells and associated pipeline.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-13298
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-07-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or the Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Withdrawal of Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 07-3286
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-07-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Program, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, announces the withdrawal of a previously published Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Community Connect Grant Program due to an inadvertent error. A corrected NOFA appears elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 07-3285
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-07-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Program, hereinafter referred as Rural Development, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for funding during fiscal year (FY) 2007. In addition, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for Community Connect grants applicable for the fiscal year. The Community Connect Grant Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1739, subpart A.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: E7-12735
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-06-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The e Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Program, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for funding during fiscal year (FY) 2007. In addition, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for Community Connect grants applicable for the fiscal year. The Community Connect Grant Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1739, subpart A.
East Kentucky Power Cooperative: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: E7-12294
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-06-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to possible financial assistance to East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) for the construction of two new combustion turbine electric generating units (CTs) at its existing J.K. Smith Electric Generating Station in southern Clark County, Kentucky. The proposed new units would utilize natural gas as a fuel source and would each have a net electrical output of between 82 and 98 megawatts. The proposed new units are needed to provide additional electric generating capacity that would allow EKPC to meet its projected electrical peaking demand in the 2009- 2011 period. EKPC is also proposing to construct two new electric switching stations, one at its existing J.K. Smith Generating Station and one in western Garrard County, Kentucky; and a 36 mile, 345 kilovolt electric transmission line that would extend through Clark, Madison, and Garrard Counties, Kentucky, between the proposed new switching stations. The proposed new transmission facilities are needed to provide an outlet for the additional electric power that would be generated at the J.K. Smith Station as a result of the installation of the proposed new CTs. EKPC is requesting USDA Rural Development to provide financial assistance for the proposed project.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-10943
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-06-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs
Document Number: 07-2636
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-05-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This action modifies the regulations for the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs. This revised regulation is written in a format that is simpler in design and should improve ease of use by the public and program beneficiaries.
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: E7-9819
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency which administers USDA Rural Development Utilities Programs (USDA Rural Development or the ``Agency'') announces the Fiscal Year (FY) funding levels available for its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) grant. In addition, USDA Rural Development announces the maximum amounts for RFP grants applicable for the fiscal year 2007 and the solicitation of applications.
Highwood Generating Station Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Document Number: E7-9817
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), and the Montana Environmental Policy Act, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development and/or Agency, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announce the availability of the ROD for the EIS for the Highwood Generating Station (HGS), proposed to be located near Great Falls, Montana. The Administrator, Utilities Programs, USDA Rural Development, and the Director, DEQ, have signed the ROD, which is effective upon signing.
Thermal Standards
Document Number: 07-2366
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-05-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Housing Service (Agency) is proposing to amend its regulations to be consistent with other federal agencies. The current thermal standards for existing single family housing can impose an unnecessary financial burden on the borrower. Removing the thermal standards for existing single family housing will provide consistency with HUD existing single family housing thermal standards. This change will not affect the thermal standards for new construction; such requirements are generally prescribed by adopted building and model energy codes. Construction materials and building techniques have improved tremendously during the last thirty years, creating many alternatives to achieve thermally efficient homes. Removing the Agency's imposed thermal standards for existing single family housing will give a borrower the opportunity to allocate money towards other improvements which may result in higher cost savings. The rule will not result in any increase in costs or prices to consumers; non-profit organizations; businesses; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions.
Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program; Correction
Document Number: 07-2400
Type: Rule
Date: 2007-05-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This document contains corrections to the final regulations which were published in the Federal Register on Monday, November 20, 2006 [71 FR 67032] regarding personal and corporate guarantees.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: E7-9021
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, proposes to amend its regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program). Since the Broadband Loan Program's inception, the Agency has faced and continues to face significant challenges in administering the program, including the fierce competitive nature of the broadband market, the fact that many companies proposing to offer broadband service are start-up organizations with limited resources, continually evolving technology, and economic factors such as the higher cost of serving rural communities. Because of these challenges, the Agency has been reviewing the characteristics of the Broadband Loan Program and has determined that modifications are required to accelerate the deployment of broadband service to the rural areas of the country. Therefore, this rulemaking proposes to implement changes on the following subject matter: funding in competitive markets and new eligibility requirements; new equity and market survey requirements; and new legal notice requirements to increase transparency.
Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program
Document Number: 07-1922
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-04-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development proposes to implement 7 CFR part 4284, subpart B in order to have an all-inclusive processing and servicing regulation. USDA Rural Development intends to provide a more user-friendly regulation that will be a better resource for public understanding and improvement in program administration.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: E7-6702
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-04-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers loan and grant programs through the Rural Utilities Service. USDA Rural Development announces the Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program funding level and application window for fiscal year (FY) 2007.
Announcement of Funding Availability and Solicitation of Applications
Document Number: E7-6544
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-04-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service. USDA Rural Development announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant, combination loan-grant and loan program application windows for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, and a new initiative within the combination loan-grant program for the conversion of medical recordkeeping systems to emerging electronic formats. In addition to announcing the application windows, the Agency announces the available funding, and the minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants, combination loan-grants and loans applicable for the fiscal year.
Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of Application Deadlines and Funding
Document Number: E7-5751
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-03-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
USDA Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service. USDA Rural Development announces its fiscal year (FY) 2007 funding and application window for the Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under Section 6012 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (The Act), Public Law 107-171. The Act authorizes USDA Rural Development to make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for household water wells. For FY 2007, the HWWS grant funding available is $990,000. The non-profit organizations will use the grants to make loans to individual homeowners to construct or upgrade a household water well system for an existing home. The organizations must contribute an amount equal to at least 10 percent of the grant request to capitalize the loan fund. Applications may be submitted in paper or electronic format. The HWWS Grant Program regulations are contained in 7 CFR part 1776.
Rural Business Investment Program
Document Number: 07-1530
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2007-03-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service and the Rural Utilities Service seek public input regarding the possibility of operating the Rural Business Investment Program, in light of the loss of funding starting in the 2007 Fiscal Year, to provide for non-leveraged Rural Business Investment Companies.
Earth Resources Inc.; Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact
Document Number: E7-4110
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-03-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency that administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, has made a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) with respect to a request from Earth Resources Inc. for assistance from RUS to finance the construction and operation of a twenty (20) MW power generating station utilizing chicken litter and woody biomass as fuel. The proposal would be constructed on a 140-acre property in Franklin County, Georgia.
Highwood Generating Station
Document Number: E7-2090
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-02-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs (USDA Rural Development), is issuing a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Highwood Generating Station (HGS). The Final EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 15001508) and RUS regulations (7 CFR 1794). This document has been prepared jointly with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), which has its own statutory mandates to analyze potential environmental impacts under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) (75-1-101 et seq., MCA and ARM 17.4.601 et seq.) and to issue permits under the Montana Clean Air Act, Montana Clean Water Act, and Montana Solid Waste Management Act. USDA Rural Development invites comments on the Final EIS. The purpose of the EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Southern Montana Electric Transmission & Generation Cooperative, Inc. (SME) application to USDA Rural Development for a loan guarantee to construct a 250 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant near Great Falls, Montana. SME also proposes to construct and operate four, 1.5-MW wind turbines at the proposed project site to generate supplemental electrical power.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-1579
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-02-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Norborne Baseload Plant
Document Number: E7-226
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-01-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs (USDA/RD) is issuing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Norborne Baseload Plant (Norborne Plant). The Draft EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) regulations (7 CFR part 1794). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a cooperating agency for this Draft EIS. The purpose of the EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI) application for a USDA/RD loan to construct the proposed 660 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Carroll County, Missouri, near the town of Norborne. AECI is proposing to use a coal combustion technology known as supercritical pulverized coal, along with other proposed pollution controls collectively known as Best Available Control Technology (BACT). The primary components of the Proposed Action include the following: Power plant and associated facilities and operations, including the plant cooling system, waste management operations, lighting, and fire protection and other safety systems. 345-kV substation with associated transmission line modifications and communications facilities. New and modified substations. Approximately 134 miles of new 345-kV transmission lines to connect with AECI's existing network. Water supply system consisting of groundwater wells and associated pipeline. Utility waste landfill. New rail access from existing mainline railroads. Actions to reduce or prevent environmental impacts. The Proposed Action has been identified as USDA/RD's Preferred Alternative.
Earth Resources, Inc.: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: E7-217
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-01-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency which administers the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs (USDA Rural Development) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to possible financial assistance to Earth Resources, Inc. (ERI) for the proposed construction of Plant Carl, a 20-megawatt electric power generation plant proposed to be built by Earth Resources, Inc. (ERI) in Franklin County, Georgia. ERI is requesting the USDA Rural Development to provide financial assistance for the proposed project.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-205
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-01-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: E7-204
Type: Notice
Date: 2007-01-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).