Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is amending its regulations on Telecommunications Policies on Specifications, Acceptable Materials, and Standard Contract Forms, by revising RUS Bulletin 1753F-150, Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant (Form 515a). The revised specifications will include new construction units for Fiber-to-the-Home, remove redundant or outdated requirements, and simplify the specifications format.
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent To Hold a Public Scoping Meeting and Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to hold a public scoping meeting and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS)'s National Environmental Policy Act Procedures (36 CFR part 220) in connection with potential impacts related to a proposal by Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., (Central Electric) of Columbia, South Carolina. The proposal consists of constructing a 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line through portions of Berkeley, Charleston, and/or Georgetown Counties, South Carolina, to the proposed McClellanville substation. Central Electric is requesting that RUS provide financial assistance for the proposal and may request that the USFS issue a special use permit for the proposal. RUS is the lead agency conducting the EIS, and the USFS will be acting as a cooperating agency.
Bemidji to Grand Rapids Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line Project
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), U.S. Forest Service Chippewa National Forest (CNF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resource Management (LLBO) have issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Bemidji to Grand Rapids, Minnesota 230 kV Transmission Line Project (``Project'') in Minnesota. 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's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), and RUS regulations (7 CFR 1794). To minimize duplication of effort pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.2, RUS prepared the Final EIS jointly with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES) in compliance with federal responsibilities under NEPA and other federal statutes and regulations, and state responsibilities under the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act and the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act. RUS is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, and CNF and USACE are cooperating agencies. LLBO accepted an invitation to participate as a cooperating agency. The purpose of the Final EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the application of Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. for RUS financing to construct a 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Wilton Substation near Bemidji, Minnesota and the Boswell Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which will cross portions of Beltrami, Hubbard, Itasca, and Cass counties. Minnkota also proposes to modify the Wilton and Boswell substations and construct a new 115 kV breaker station at Nary Junction, Minnesota. In addition, Minnkota proposes to upgrade an existing or construct a new substation in the Cass Lake, Minnesota area, depending on the route alternative selected for the Project. The Project is being jointly developed by Minnkota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Minnesota Power.
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1794) in relation to possible financial assistance for a proposed project by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), with headquarters in Hughesville, Maryland. The proposal consists of the construction of a 30-mile 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line (which includes a river crossing), a new 230/69 kV switching station, and a 230/69 kV switching station expansion in Calvert and St. Mary's Counties, Maryland. SMECO is requesting that RUS provide financial assistance for the proposal. RUS is considering funding this proposal, thereby making it an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 USC 470(f), and its implementing regulation, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR Part 800).