Rural Utilities Service 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2016-29336
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program application window for fiscal year (FY) 2017. RUS will make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for an existing home. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 1926e. Regulations may be found at 7 CFR part 1776. This year RUS will assign administrative discretion points to applications that: 1. Direct loans to rural areas where according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts show that at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. 2. Direct loans to areas which lack running water, flush toilets, and modern sewage disposal systems, and areas which have open sewers and high rates of disease caused by poor sanitation, in particular, colonias or Substantially Underserved Trust Areas. 3. Direct loans to rural areas impacted by severe drought.
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2016-29335
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-12-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The RFP is authorized under section 306(a)(2)(B) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (Con Act), 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(2)(B). Under the RFP, qualified private, non-profit organizations may receive RFP grant funds to establish a lending program for eligible entities. Eligible entities for the revolving loan fund will be the same entities eligible, under paragraph 1 or 2 of Section 306(a) of the Con Act, 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(1) or (b)(2), to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or grant from the RUS Water, Waste Disposal, and Wastewater loan and grant programs. This year administrative discretion points may be awarded for work plans that: 1. Direct loans to the smallest communities with the lowest incomes emphasizing areas where according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts show that at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. 2. Direct loans to areas that lack running water, flush toilets, and modern sewage disposal systems, and areas which have open sewers and high rates of disease caused by poor sanitation, in particular, colonias or Substantially Underserved Trust Areas. 3. Direct loans that emphasize energy and water efficient components to reduce costs and increase sustainability of rural systems.
Dairyland Power Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Hold Additional Public Scoping Meetings
Document Number: 2016-27988
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-11-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and hold additional public scoping meetings in connection with possible impacts related to the Cardinal- Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC). Other utilities participating in the Project are American Transmission Company LLC, by its corporate manager ATC Management Inc. and ITC Midwest LLC. The proposal consists of the construction of a 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 Middleton, 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 125 miles. DPC and the other project participants have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.
Dairyland Power Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Hold Public Scoping Meetings
Document Number: 2016-25132
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-10-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and hold public scoping meetings in connection with possible impacts related to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Project proposed by Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC). Other utilities participating in the Project are American Transmission Company LLC, by its corporate manager ATC Management Inc. and ITC Midwest LLC. The proposal consists of the construction of a 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 Middleton, 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 125 miles. DPC and the other project participants have identified proposed and alternate segments and locations for transmission lines and associated facilities and for the intermediate substation. Dairyland Power Cooperative is requesting RUS to provide financing for its portion of the proposed project.
New Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers
Document Number: 2016-24945
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-10-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, is issuing a final rule to streamline the contractual process for equipment procurement by replacing type-specific equipment contracts, RUS Forms 397, 398, 525, 545, and associated documents (Forms 231, 396, 396a, 517, 525a, 744, 752a, 754, and addenda) with a new, unified Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 and associated close-out documents (Forms 395a, 395b, 395c and 395d) and by removing construction standards RUS Forms 397b, 397c, 397d, 397f, 397g, 397h. On October 1, 2015, RUS published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register, to establish a new equipment contract and associated policies for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers, Equipment Contract, RUS Contract Form 395 (RUS Contract Form 395).
Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds; Correction
Document Number: 2016-23228
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This document contains a correction to 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L, ``Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds'' to provide reference to the Rural Business Development Program, which replaced the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program.
Publication of Depreciation Rates
Document Number: 2016-22747
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-09-21
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, 2015.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees; Correction
Document Number: 2016-21958
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-09-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of June 9, 2016 (81 FR 37121). The document confirmed the interim rule which amends the Agency's regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program).
Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; Correction
Document Number: 2016-19430
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-08-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This document contains corrections to the final rule published in the Federal Register of June 3, 2016, entitled ``Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations.''
Procurement Methods; Correction
Document Number: 2016-17303
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-07-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is correcting its portion of USDA's uniform federal assistance final rule, that was published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2016 (81 FR 7695) by revising the procurement methods section.
Community Facility Loans
Document Number: 2016-16005
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-07-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is amending regulations on Community Facility Direct Loans to enable the Agency to make loans to eligible lenders who would then in turn re-loan those funds to applicants for projects that are eligible under the Community Facilities Direct Loan program.
Announcement of Loan Application Procedures, and Deadlines for the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)
Document Number: 2016-14617
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-06-21
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. These loans are made available under the authority of Section 6407 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended, (Section 6407). This notice describes the eligibility requirements, the application process and deadlines, the criteria that will be used by RUS to assess Applicants' creditworthiness, and how to obtain application materials.
Announcement of Application Deadlines and Requirements for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes Loan Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016
Document Number: 2016-14491
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-06-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published a document in the Federal Register of June 14, 2016, concerning the Announcement of Application Deadlines and Requirements for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes Loan Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The document contained incorrect dates.
Announcement of Application Deadlines and Requirements for Section 313A Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes Loan Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016
Document Number: 2016-14009
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-06-14
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, requirements and funding for up to $750 million of loan funds available for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 under the Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes Program (the 313A Program) authorized under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended, and related terms. Under the 313A Program, the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) will make loans to the selected applicant(s) and RUS will guarantee the applicant(s)'s repayment of the loans to FFB. Selected applicants may use the proceeds of loan funds made available under the 313A Program to make loans to borrowers for electrification or telecommunications purposes, or to refinance bonds or notes previously issued by applicants for such purposes. The proceeds of the guaranteed bonds and notes are not to be used by applicants to directly or indirectly fund projects for the generation of electricity.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2016-13302
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-06-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereinafter referred to as the Agency, is confirming the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2015, which amends its regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-13543
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-06-08
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 of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA), invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Rural Energy Savings Program; Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance; Correction
Document Number: 2016-13248
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-06-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published in the Federal Register, on May 24, 2016, a Notice of Comment Solicitation, Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance. Inadvertently, an inaccurate citation to the Code of Federal Register (CFR) was included in the Notice. This document removes the inaccurate CFR citation and replaces it with the correct citation to the Federal Register. The corrected citation directs readers to the CFR regulation that describes types of eligible borrowers who are entities that may also participate in the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP).
Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations
Document Number: 2016-12945
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-06-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is an agency within the Rural Development mission area of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for administering the Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program. The B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act and provides loan guarantees to banks and other approved lenders to finance private businesses located in rural areas. The Agency published a proposed rule on September 15, 2014, that proposed changes to refine the regulations for the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program in an effort to improve program delivery, clarify the regulations to make them easier to understand, and reduce delinquencies. The changes to the program are expected to reduce the subsidy rate and thereby lower program subsidy costs over time as the rule is implemented. By lowering the subsidy rate, the Agency may be able to provide greater leverage for the budget authority provided by Congress. This will allow the Agency to guarantee a higher total dollar amount of loan requests and, assuming the same average size of loans being guaranteed, to guarantee more loans. These changes could also result in increased lending activity, expanded business opportunities, and creation of more jobs in rural areas.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-12266
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-25
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Rural Energy Savings Program: Measurement, Verification, Training and Technical Assistance
Document Number: 2016-12192
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Congress recently authorized the implementation of the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) in section 6407 of subtitle E of title VI of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Public Law 107- 171; 116 Stat. 424). The purpose of RESP is to help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) seeks public comments on carrying out paragraph (e) of section 6407 requiring RUS to establish a plan for measurement and verification of energy efficiency measures implemented and funded pursuant to RESP. Public comments are also invited on the additional requirement under paragraph (e) requiring RUS to develop a program to provide technical assistance and training to the employees of eligible entities carrying out the provisions of RESP. The public input requested on both these required purposes under the RESP Program will allow all affected stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the development of agency procedures for implementing this statute.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-11857
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-20
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).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-11833
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-19
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) invites comments on this information collection for which it intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-11832
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-05-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Environmental Policies and Procedures; Corrections
Document Number: 2016-10381
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-05-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This document corrects errors in the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of March 2, 2016, entitled ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.'' The rule replaced two existing rules relating to the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA.
Environmental Policies and Procedures; Correction
Document Number: 2016-10377
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-05-04
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, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency published a document in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016 (81 FR 11000), entitled ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.'' The rule replaced two existing rules related to the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. This correction will replace the introductory text to paragraph (a) of Sec. 1955.136.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records; USDA/Rural Development-1 Current or Prospective Producers or Landowners, Applicants, Borrowers, Grantees, Tenants, and Other Participants in RD Programs
Document Number: 2016-09938
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-04-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 as amended; Section 12204 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm, 5 U.S.C. 552a) Rural Development (RD) gives notice of its proposal to revise the system of records entitled USDA/Rural Development-1 Applicant, Borrower, Grantee or Tenant File.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2016-08931
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-04-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. This notice is being issued in order to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for Community Connect grants applicable for the fiscal year. The Community Connect Grant Program regulation can be found at 7 CFR part 1739 (Subpart A).
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
Document Number: 2016-08040
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-04-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2016 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program). In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for FY 2016.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-08037
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-04-08
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-07506
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-04-04
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2016-07309
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-31
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The RFP is authorized under section 306(a)(2)(B) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (Con Act), 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(2)(B). Under the RFP, qualified private, non-profit organizations may receive RFP grant funds to establish a lending program for eligible entities. Eligible entities for the revolving loan fund will be the same entities eligible, under paragraph 1 or 2 of Section 306(a) of the Con Act, 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(1) or (b)(2), to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or grant from the RUS Water, Waste Disposal, and Wastewater loan and grant programs. This year administrative discretion points may be awarded for work plans that: 1. Direct loans to the smallest communities with the lowest incomes emphasizing areas where according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts show that at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. This emphasis will support Rural Development's goal of providing 20 percent of its funding by 2016 to these areas of need. 2. Direct loans to areas that lack running water, flush toilets, and modern sewage disposal systems, and areas which have open sewers and high rates of disease caused by poor sanitation, in particular, colonias or Substantially Underserved Trust Areas. 3. Direct loans that emphasize energy and water efficient components to reduce costs and increase sustainability of rural systems.
Farm Bill: Strategic Economic and Community Development-Reservation of Fiscal Year 2016 Program Funds
Document Number: 2016-06035
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Section 6025 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) provides the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to give priority to projects that support strategic economic development or community development plans. The Agency has the authority to reserve funds for those programs (referred to as the ``underlying programs'') included in 7 CFR part 1980, subpart K, Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD), for projects that support multi-jurisdictional strategic economic and community development plans. This notice identifies for fiscal year 2016 the underlying programs from which funds will be reserved for Section 6025 SECD requirements. Those programs are listed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA); Correction
Document Number: 2016-05926
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published in the Federal Register, on March 9, 2016 a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA), announcing the Household Water Well System Grant Program application window for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Inadvertently, an incorrect web link was included in the NOSA that did not permit access to the intended Web site. This document removes the incorrect web reference and replaces it with the correct version.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-05925
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-16
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: 2016-05585
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-14
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).
Telecommunications Program: Notice of Availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2016-05584
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS, Agency), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, issued a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the development of a more efficient and effective environmental review process for the RUS Telecommunications Program on March 1, 2016. The Notice of Availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment was published on March 2, 2016, in the Federal Register at 81 FR 10575. The PEA provides a broad environmental analysis of the Agency's preliminary decisions and includes a tiered, site-specific analysis at the project level that would be completed before Agency dispersal of funds and/or applicant construction. Since publication of the Agency's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1970) in the Federal Register (81 FR 11000) on March 2, 2016, RUS has updated the PEA with citations to the Agency's new environmental rule. These changes are administrative and not substantive, therefore supplementation of the PEA is not required.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2016-05170
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program application window for fiscal year (FY) 2016. RUS will make grants to qualified private non-profit organizations to establish lending programs for homeowners to borrow up to $11,000 to construct or repair household water wells for an existing home. The HWWS Grant Program is authorized under 7 U.S.C. 1926e. Regulations may be found at 7 CFR part 1776. This year RUS will assign administrative discretion points to applications that: 1. Direct loans to rural areas where according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts show that at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. This emphasis will support Rural Development's (RD's) goal of providing 20 percent of its funding by 2016 to these areas of need. 2. Direct loans to areas which lack running water, flush toilets, and modern sewage disposal systems, and areas which have open sewers and high rates of disease caused by poor sanitation, in particular, colonias or Substantially Underserved Trust Areas.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-04788
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Environmental Policies and Procedures
Document Number: 2016-03433
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-03-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Office of the Secretary
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, has unified and updated the environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These final rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation(ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive Orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the changes to the existing rules relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These changes consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules, and better conform the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010.
Telecommunications Program: Notice of Availability of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2016-04381
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-03-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS, Agency), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, seeks public and federal agency comments regarding the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for the development of a more efficient and effective environmental review process for the RUS Telecommunications Programan environmental review process that is commensurate with the potential environmental impacts of both wired and wireless broadband projects financed by the Agency. RUS is seeking comment from interested stakeholders regarding compliance with relevant laws and regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other environmental statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders applicable to the RUS Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program, Community Connect Grant Program, and Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program (collectively, the Telecommunications Program). The proposed review process supports the Agency's mission of facilitating the development of affordable and reliable broadband infrastructure to improve the quality of life and promote economic development in rural America. The Agency programs provide a necessary source of low-cost capital for rural telecommunications companies (broadband, wireless, and fiber-to-the-home providers). RUS actions covered in the PEA include certain Agency preliminary decisions (such as obligation of funds and approval of interim financing requests) to eligible applicants for project proposals within eligible service areas. In accordance with NEPA, NHPA, ESA, and other applicable environmental statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders, RUS must evaluate the environmental impact of project proposals before providing financial assistance to eligible applicants. The PEA provides a broad environmental analysis of the Agency's preliminary decisions and includes a tiered, site-specific analysis at the project level that would be completed before Agency dispersal of funds and/or applicant construction.
Underlying Programs Cross-References to the Strategic Economic and Community Development; Technical Amendments
Document Number: 2016-04309
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-03-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development (RD) is correcting an oversight of omitting cross-reference to the Strategic Economic and Community Development priority in the underlying programs when it published the rule for the priority.
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-03974
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-02-25
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
Document Number: 2016-02473
Type: Rule
Date: 2016-02-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Office of the Chief Financial Officer
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Farm Service Agency, Commodity Credit Corporation, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Housing Service finalize their portion of the uniform federal assistance rule and amend specific regulations to reference the conforming changes published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-02523
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-02-09
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2016-01437
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-01-26
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 (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.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2016-00405
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-01-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. This notice is being issued in order to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish on its Web site at http:// www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-no sas the amount of funding received in the final appropriations act. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants applicable for the fiscal year. The DLT Grant Program regulation can be found at 7 part CFR 1703 (Subparts D through E).
Rural Utilities Service Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes
Document Number: 2015-33285
Type: Notice
Date: 2016-01-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is hereby giving notice that it intends to publish in the near future a notice of solicitation for Fiscal Year 2016 (the ``Notice of Solicitation for Applications'') specifying the timeframe for the submission of applications and program requirements for cooperative and other not-for-profit lenders wishing to participate in RUS's program involving the guarantee of loans for eligible electrification and telephone purposes, as authorized by Section 313A of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 940c-1) (the ``Act'') and 7 CFR part 1720 (the ``Program Regulations'').