Rural Utilities Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2011-14367
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-06-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces its Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program application window for fiscal year (FY) 2011. The FY 2011 funding for the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program is $4,491,000.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Biorefinery Assistance Program
Document Number: 2011-13850
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-06-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
With this notice, the Agency is extending the period of time for acceptance of applications for Fiscal Year 2011 program funds available under the Biorefinery Assistance Program, which provides guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial- scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels.
Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
Document Number: 2011-13061
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-05-31
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This final rule implements two changes in the regulations for the Rural Housing Service (RHS) Section 502 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) by eliminating the lender's published Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rate for first mortgage loans with no discount points as an option for a maximum interest rate on loans and by allowing the Secretary to seek indemnification from the originating lender if a loss is paid under certain circumstances. This action is taken to achieve savings for the taxpayer, simplify regulations, and promote efficiency in managing the SFHGLP.
Rural Utilities Service Telecommunications Loan and Loan Guarantee Program
Document Number: 2011-13126
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-05-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and its predecessor, the Rural Electrification Administration, (REA) have played a leading role in helping rural America gain access to advanced telecommunications systems, equipment and services. The List of Materials historically has been a very useful tool in assuring product quality and reliability. However, Rural Development is taking a fundamentally new approach to advancing state-of-the-art telecommunications technologies, consistent with our commitment to high quality rural service and the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2011-12817
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-05-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the available funding of $496,000 for RFP competitive grants for the fiscal year. 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 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) or (b), to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or grant from the RUS Water, Waste Disposal and Wastewater loan and grant programs.
Electric Engineering, Architectural Services, Design Policies and Construction Standards
Document Number: 2011-11910
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-05-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) proposes to amend the contract threshold amounts that require borrowers to use certain prescribed agency contract forms and to amend the contract dollar amounts that require RUS review of contracts prior to the contract being effective. Also, RUS proposes to raise the threshold amounts requiring RUS borrowers to use certain required procurement methods for materials, equipment and contract services that otherwise would require RUS prior approval. The changes in the threshold amounts would reduce the number of contracts reviewed by the RUS.
Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; Correction
Document Number: 2011-10495
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-05-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Agency published a document in the Federal Register of February 11, 2011, establishing the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. This document also established an application deadline for applicants to submit their applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 on April 12, 2011. The Agency is extending the application period to May 6, 2011. Applications received after May 6, 2011, will not be considered for FY 2010.
Community Facility Loans
Document Number: 2011-9630
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2011-04-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Farm Services Agency
The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposes to amend its regulations to maintain consistency with standard industry contracts and to make minor revisions to streamline processing applications. These revisions are needed to conform with market and industry changes by updating, clarifying, and modifying the regulatory requirements for community facility construction and development. The amendments to the regulation will streamline current processes and provide for faster reviews of alternate construction contract methods (such as Design/ Build and Construction Management) by the Agency's National Office. This rule can also apply to applications under the Rural Business- Cooperative Service Programs.
Rural Energy for America Program
Document Number: 2011-8460
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-04-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is establishing an interim rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which is authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. This interim rule modifies the existing grant and guaranteed loan program for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. In addition, it adds a grant program for feasibility studies for renewable energy systems and a grant program for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance, as provided in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.
Oglethorpe Power Corporation: Proposed Biomass Power Plant
Document Number: 2011-8779
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-04-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 7 CFR part 1794 related to possible financial assistance to Oglethorpe Power Corporation (Oglethorpe) for the construction of a 100 megawatt (MW) biomass plant and related facilities (Proposal) in Warren County, Georgia. The purpose of the Proposal is to provide a reliable, long-term supply of renewable and sustainable energy at a reasonable cost to meet part of the electric energy needs of Oglethorpe's members. Oglethorpe may request financial assistance in the future from the RUS for the Proposal.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Notice of Intent To Hold Public Scoping Meetings and Prepare an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2011-8719
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-04-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to hold public scoping meetings and prepare an Environmental Assessment with Scoping (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 7 CFR part 1794 in connection with potential impacts related to a proposed project by Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric). The proposed Big Bend to Witten Transmission Line Project (proposed action) consists of an approximately 70-mile long 230-kV single-circuit transmission line, a new Western Area Power Administration (Western) substation called Lower Brule Substation, an addition to the existing Witten Substation, and approximately two miles of 230-kV double-circuit transmission line between Big Bend Dam and the new Lower Brule Substation. It is anticipated that some communication facility additions or enhancements may be necessary for the project including radio towers and buildings at Lower Brule Substation, Witten Substation, and one or two intermediate sites. Basin Electric is requesting RUS financial assistance for the proposed action.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2011-7829
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-04-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, announces the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program application window. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the availability of $3,000,000 in grant funds to be competitively awarded for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-7344
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the 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.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2011-5952
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces Rural Development's intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of loan programs administered by the Rural Housing Service, Business- Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2011-5615
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-03-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, is amending its regulation for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (Broadband Loan Program). Since the Broadband Loan Program's inception in 2002, the Agency has faced and continues to face significant challenges in delivering the program due to the following factors: The competitive nature of the broadband market in certain geographic areas; the significant number of companies proposing to offer broadband service that are start-up organizations with limited resources; continually evolving technology; and economic factors such as the higher cost of serving rural communities. In addition, the Office of Inspector General, in a 2005 report, made recommendations to improve program efficiency. For these reasons and in an effort to improve program operation, the Agency published proposed changes to the program's regulation in the Federal Register on May 11, 2007. While the Agency was reviewing public comments and revising the rule, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) was enacted and changed the statute under which the program operates. In accordance with the statute and taking into account the public comments received regarding the proposed rule to the extent possible, this interim rule presents the regulations that will govern the program until a final rule is published. The Agency is seeking comments regarding this interim rule to guide its efforts in drafting the final rule for the Broadband Loan Program.
Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
Document Number: 2011-5611
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
This NOSA announces that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2011 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program), subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the final appropriations act, if any. At this time, the agency estimates that approximately $700 million may be available for loans from prior appropriations; however, Congress is presently reviewing budget authority across the Federal government in an attempt to reduce government debt. As a result, expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's own risk. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for the fiscal year. Moreover, the agency is concurrently publishing a interim rule that will revise the current Broadband Program regulations at 7 CFR part 1738, as necessitated by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill).
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Biorefinery Assistance Program
Document Number: 2011-5575
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This notice announces the acceptance of applications for funds available under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (the ``Program'') to provide guaranteed loans for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries or for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels. For Fiscal Year 2011, there is only one round of competition. Applications must be received by May 10, 2011 to compete for Fiscal Year 2011 program funds. The Notice announces the availability of approximately $129 million in mandatory budget authority to support guaranteed loans under this Program in Fiscal Year 2011, in addition to any carry-over funds from Fiscal Year 2010. This budget authority represents approximately $463 million in program funds.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Repowering Assistance Payments to Eligible Biorefineries
Document Number: 2011-5574
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This Notice announces the acceptance of applications for payments to eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of these eligible biorefineries. To be eligible for payments, biorefineries must have been in existence on June 18, 2008. The Notice announces the availability of at least $25 million to make payments to eligible biorefineries in Fiscal Year 2011, in addition to any carry-over funds from Fiscal Year 2010.
Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers
Document Number: 2011-5573
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This Notice announces the acceptance of applications to enter into Contracts to make payments to eligible advanced biofuel producers under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, advanced biofuels must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biofuel facility located in a State. The Notice announces the availability of up to $85 million to make payments to advanced biofuel producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels in Fiscal Year 2011.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels; Correction
Document Number: 2011-5500
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a document in the Federal Register of March 4, 2011, announcing the availability of $25 million in funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 for the Community Connect Grant Program. The document contained an incorrect website.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-5499
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-10
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 (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2011-4751
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-03-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability of $25 million in funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 for the Community Connect Grant Program. This funding represents carry over balances from prior Appropriations Acts. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final Appropriations Act for FY 2011, to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the final Appropriations Act, if any. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated approximately $17.9 million. 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 Solicitation of Applications and Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2011-4137
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-02-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 subject to the availability of funding. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount received in the final appropriations act, if any. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. For FY 2010, Congress appropriated approximately $30 million. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants applicable for the fiscal year and a change in scoring necessitated by changes in the Empowerment Zone (EZ), Enterprise Community (EC) and Champion Community (CC) designations. Finally, the Agency notes that the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234) expressly added the category of libraries under Sec. 2333 (c)(1) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 950aaa-2(a)(1)) in order to clearly establish that libraries are eligible to be recipients of DLT Loans and Grants. This confirms the longstanding Agency policy of considering libraries to be eligible entities under the DLT Program. The regulation for the DLT Grant Program can be found at 7 CFR part 1703, subpart E.
Value-Added Producer Grant Program
Document Number: 2011-3036
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-02-23
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Act), amends section 231 of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, which established the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. This program will be administered by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Under the interim rule, grants will be made to help eligible producers of agricultural commodities enter into or expand value-added activities including the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing strategies. The program will also provide working capital for expenses such as implementing an existing viable marketing strategy. The Agency will implement the program to meet the goals and requirements of the Act. The program provides a priority for funding for projects that contribute to opportunities for beginning farmers or ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, and operators of small- and medium- sized family farms and ranches. Further, it creates two reserved funds each of which will include 10 percent of program funds each year to support applications that support opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and for proposed projects that develop mid-tier value marketing chains.
Biorefinery Assistance Guaranteed Loans
Document Number: 2011-2473
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-02-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
This interim rule establishes a guaranteed loan program for the development and construction of commercial-scale biorefineries and for the retrofitting of existing facilities using eligible technology for the development of advanced biofuels.
Repowering Assistance Payments to Eligible Biorefineries
Document Number: 2011-2480
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-02-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is establishing the Repowering Assistance Program authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. Under this Program, the Agency will make payments to eligible biorefineries to encourage the use of renewable biomass as a replacement fuel source for fossil fuels used to provide process heat or power in the operation of eligible biorefineries.
Advanced Biofuel Payment Program
Document Number: 2011-2476
Type: Rule
Date: 2011-02-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is establishing the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program authorized under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. Under this Program, the Agency will enter into contracts with advanced biofuel producers to pay such producers for the production of eligible advanced biofuels. To be eligible for payments, advanced biofuels must be produced from renewable biomass, excluding corn kernel starch, in a biofuel facility located in a State. In addition, this interim rule establishes new program requirements for applicants to submit applications for Fiscal Year 2010 payments for the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program. These new program requirements supersede the Notice of Contract Proposal (NOCP) for Payments to Eligible Advanced Biofuel Producers in its entirety.
Publication of Depreciation Rates
Document Number: 2011-2652
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-02-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the depreciation rates for telecommunications plant for the period ending December 31, 2009.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2011-372
Type: Notice
Date: 2011-01-11
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, 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).
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Extend Scoping Comment Period
Document Number: 2010-30898
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-12-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to 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's (USFS) 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.
Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.: Bemidji to Grand Rapids 230 kV Transmission Line Project
Document Number: 2010-30298
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-12-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, hereinafter referred to as RUS and/or the Agency, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Bemidji to Grand Rapids 230 kV Transmission Line Project (Project) in Beltrami, Hubbard, Itasca, and Cass counties, Minnesota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which is effective upon signing. The 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 DRM) cooperated in the development of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR Part 1794). RUS is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, and CNF and USACE are cooperating agencies. LLBO DRM accepted an invitation to participate as a cooperating agency. As the lead federal agency, and as part of its broad environmental review process, RUS must take into account the effect of the proposal on historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C 470f) and its implementing regulation ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR Part 800). The Final EIS evaluated the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Project proposed by Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Minnkota) for RUS financing to construct the 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Wilton Substation near Bemidji, Minnesota and the Boswell Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The Project is being jointly developed by Minnkota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Minnesota Power (The Utilities).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-29768
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-26
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) invites comments on the following information collections for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-29487
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-23
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 the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-29485
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-23
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 the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2010-28563
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794) in connection with potential impacts related to a proposal by Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Minnkota) with headquarters in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The proposal consists of the construction of approximately 260 miles of 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in North Dakota between the Center 345 kV Substation (located northeast of the Milton R. Young Generation Station, near Center, North Dakota) and the Prairie Substation (located west of Grand Forks, North Dakota). Minnkota is requesting financial assistance from RUS for the proposal.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-27565
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-11-02
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 (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.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-27269
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the 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).
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact
Document Number: 2010-26747
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Environmental Assessment (EA) associated with the Holland Cliff to Hewitt Road 230 kV Transmission proposal in Calvert and St. Mary's Counties, Maryland. The EA was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ's) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR part 1794, Environmental Policies and Procedures). The purpose of the EA was to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to a Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) application for a RUS loan for the proposal. The proposal includes construction of a 30-mile 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line, a new 230/69 kV switching station, and a 230/69 kV switching station expansion.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: South Dakota PrairieWinds Project
Document Number: 2010-24993
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-10-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, hereinafter referred to as RUS and/or the Agency, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed South Dakota PrairieWind Project (Project) in Aurora, Bule and Jerauld Counties, South Dakota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which is effective upon signing. The EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR Part 1794), and the Western Area Power Administration's (Western) NEPA implementing regulations (10 CFR Part 1021). RUS and Western are serving as co-lead agencies in preparation of the EIS as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5. Each agency is issuing a separate ROD for the project. The purpose of the EIS was to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) application for a RUS loan and a Western interconnection agreement to construct the proposed Project. The proposed Project's facility would include a new 151.5-megawatt wind-powered generation facility.
Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant
Document Number: 2010-24420
Type: Rule
Date: 2010-09-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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
Document Number: 2010-22964
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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
Document Number: 2010-22966
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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
Document Number: 2010-22063
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-09-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2010-21007
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-08-24
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, invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities
Document Number: 2010-19509
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-08-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces the availability of $15.5 million in Fiscal Year 2010 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. 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: https://www.usda.gov/rus/electric/ hecgp/index.htm. You may also request the Application Guide and materials from RUS by contacting the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Deer Creek Station
Document Number: 2010-18294
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-07-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, hereinafter referred to as RUS and/or the Agency, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Deer Creek Station Energy Facility project (Project) in Brookings and Deuel Counties, South Dakota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which is effective upon signing. The EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR Part 1794), and the Western Area Power Administration's (Western) NEPA implementing regulations (10 CFR Part 1021). Western was the lead federal agency in preparation of the EIS as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5; RUS was a cooperating agency. The purpose of the EIS was to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) application for a RUS loan and a Western interconnection agreement to construct the proposed Project. The proposed Project's facility would include a new natural gas-fired combustion turbine set, a heat recovery steam generator, and a steam turbine generator set.
Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for Electrification or Telephone Purposes
Document Number: 2010-17817
Type: Rule
Date: 2010-07-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is amending its regulations for the guarantee program for cooperative and other not-for-profit lenders that make loans for eligible electric and telephone purposes. These proposed amendments implement changes adopted in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246). The intended effect is to update agency regulations to reflect current statutory authority.
Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant
Document Number: 2010-15943
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2010-07-01
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a document in the Federal Register of June 8, 2010, at 75 FR 32313 regarding the request for comments on revising RUS Bulletin 1753F-150, Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant (Form 515a). This document corrects the Docket ID number.
Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households Program
Document Number: 2010-15265
Type: Rule
Date: 2010-06-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
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 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.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Deer Creek Station
Document Number: 2010-14020
Type: Notice
Date: 2010-06-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Western Area Power Administration (Western) have issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Deer Creek Station project in Brookings and Duel Counties, South Dakota. 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 parts 1500-1508), RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR part 1794), and Western's NEPA implementing regulations (10 CFR part 1021). Western is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5; RUS is a cooperating agency. The purpose of the Final EIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) application for a RUS loan and a Western interconnection agreement to construct the proposed 300 megawatt (MW) Deer Creek Station in Brookings and Deuel Counties, South Dakota (Project). The proposed facility would include a new natural gas-fired combustion turbine set, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), and a steam turbine generator set.