Emergency Restoration Plan (ERP)
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is proposing to amend the requirements established for Emergency Restoration Plans (ERPs), currently mandated for all borrowers, to include compliance with the requirements established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for public assistance grant eligibility in the event of a declared disaster. This amendment will ensure that RUS borrower's maintain their eligibility for financial aid from FEMA in the event they incur costs for disaster related system repair and restoration by including FEMA requirements in their ERPs.
Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is issuing a regulation to establish the Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Program as authorized by Section 6002 of The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Public Law 110-246 (Farm Bill), which amended Section 306(a)(2) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(2)). The amendment added the new SEARCH grant program under which the Secretary is authorized to make predevelopment planning grants for feasibility studies, design assistance, and technical assistance to financially distressed communities in rural areas with populations of 2,500 or fewer inhabitants for water and waste disposal projects.
Broadband Initiatives Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its general policy and application procedures for the second round of funding under the broadband initiatives (the Second Round NOFA) established pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) for the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. In facilitating the expansion of broadband communications services and infrastructure, BIP will advance the objectives of the Recovery Act by spurring job creation and the economy and by building technological infrastructure that will fuel long-term economic growth and opportunity.