Rural Utilities Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2015-12222
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-22
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) 2015. RUS has published on its Web site http:// www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-no sas the amount of funding received through the final appropriations act. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. 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 regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1703, subparts D through G.
Strategic Economic and Community Development
Document Number: 2015-12163
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This interim rule implements Section 6025, Strategic Economic and Community Development, under the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). Unless the Agency provides otherwise, the Agency will reserve up to 10 percent of the funds appropriated to certain Rural Development (RD) programs each fiscal year to fund projects that support the implementation of strategic economic and community development plans across multi-jurisdictional areas. The programs from which funds will be reserved are community facility programs, water and waste disposal programs, and rural business and cooperative development programs. To be eligible for the reserved funds, projects must be first eligible for funding under the programs from which the funds are reserved. In addition, projects must be carried out solely in rural areas. Any reserved funding that is not obligated by June 30 of the fiscal year in which the funds were reserved will be returned to the programs' regular funding accounts.
Value-Added Producer Grant Program
Document Number: 2015-10441
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is publishing this final rule for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. This final rule modifies the interim rule for VAPG based on comments received on the interim rule, which was published on February 23, 2011, on the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), and on a listening session, held on April 25, 2014, on the VAPG provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. Under the final 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 also provides working capital for expenses such as implementing an existing viable marketing strategy. The program provides a priority for funding for applicants that are Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, Veteran Farmers and Ranchers, Socially- Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, operators of Small- and Medium- sized Family Farms and Ranches, Farmer and Rancher Cooperatives and applicants that propose a Mid-Tier Value Chain project. Additional priority points will be given to Agricultural Producer Groups, Farmer or Rancher Cooperatives, and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures whose projects ``best contribute'' to creating or increasing marketing opportunities for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, Veteran Farmers and Ranchers, Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers and 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, for applications that support opportunities for Beginning and Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and for proposed projects that develop mid-tier value marketing chains.
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of Intent To Hold a Public Workshop and Prepare an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2015-10943
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to hold a public scoping workshop and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) in connection with possible impacts related to the construction and operation of a new gas-fired combustion turbine generation facility. The project, Hill County Generation Facility, is proposed by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Brazos), of Waco, Texas. RUS may provide financial assistance for the project. The public scoping workshop is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the Community Hall of the First Presbyterian Church at 106 N. Lamar, Itasca, TX 76055.
Broadband Opportunity Council Webinar
Document Number: 2015-10580
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
In a request for comment (RFC) published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2015, the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, which are co-chairing the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), asked for public input on barriers that are hampering deployment of broadband, ways to promote public and private investment in broadband, challenges facing areas that lack access to broadband, and ways to measure broadband availability, adoption, and speed.\1\ To explain the RFC's purpose and objectives, and to allow an opportunity for members of the public to pose questions regarding the RFC, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a webinar on May 20, 2015.
Broadband Opportunity Council Notice and Request for Comment
Document Number: 2015-09996
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-04-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
In furtherance of the Presidential Memorandum entitled Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training, which established the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council.\1\ The Council's objectives are to: (i) Engage with industry and other stakeholders to understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking to expand broadband access and adoption; (ii) identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment, adoption, or competition; (iii) survey and report back on existing programs that currently support or could be modified to support broadband competition, deployment, or adoption; and (iv) take all necessary actions to remove these barriers and realign existing programs to increase broadband competition, deployment, and adoption.\2\ We welcome input from all interested parties, including the stakeholder groups identified in the Presidential Memorandum.
Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census References
Document Number: 2015-06627
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This document corrects technical errors in the direct final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on February 24, 2015, entitled ``Rural Development RegulationsUpdate to FmHA References and to Census Regulations.''
Rural Business Development Grant
Document Number: 2015-06489
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-25
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This Interim Final Rule is needed to ensure that the Agency will have a regulation in place to meet the Congressional mandate established in Congress in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). This mandate requires the Agency to establish a new program called the Rural Business Development Grant Program which combines the former Rural Business Enterprise Grant and Rural Business Opportunity Grant programs. The Agency has made no substantive changes to either the Rural Business Enterprise Grant or Rural Business Opportunity Grant programs when combining these regulations into the Rural Business Development Grant program. Rural Development, Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is establishing a new regulation for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. The program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The RBDG Program will combine the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) programs. There are no substantive programmatic changes to RBEG and RBOG with this consolidation.
Rural Development Loan Servicing
Document Number: 2015-05435
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-03-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is amending its regulations for Debt Settlement. This amendment would allow the Rural Business Service's (referred to as Agency throughout the remainder of the text) Administrator to use the statutory authority that has been delegated to him/her in accordance with title 331(b)(4) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), but is currently not being used for all of RBS's revolving loan programs, which include: The Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loans, Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF) loans, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)loans. This regulation will allow the RBS to be consistent across all of its loan programs; all of RBS's other loan programs have regulations in place to settle debt. This Direct Final Rule is intended to authorize the Agency to use its independent debt settlement authority under CONACT. Nothing in this Direct Final Rule is intended to affect the requirements of the Agency to follow other applicable Federal debt collection law such as the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, as amended. Further nothing in this Direct Final Rule is intended to alter any requirements the Agency must follow when making collection referrals to the Department of Justice or the Treasury Department.
Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census References
Document Number: 2015-01571
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-02-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development (RD) is amending its regulations by updating references to the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) and clarifying and updating references to the census data. These actions will provide consistency in terminology between program regulations. In addition, clarifying and updating references to census data is needed to account for changes to the decennial Census, which, starting with the 2010 decennial Census is no longer reporting income and unemployment data. Additional revisions are being implemented to show the regulations that do not apply to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and to remove outdated or unnecessary language.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2015-03385
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is extending the public comment period for an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to a proposed project by Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric). The Western Area Power Administration (Western) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are cooperating agencies in preparation of the EA. 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 switchyard called Lower Brule Switchyard, 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 Switchyard. Communications facilities including a microwave relay tower and associated building will also be constructed at the Lower Brule Switchyard and Witten Substation. A portion of the proposed transmission line crosses Indian trust lands of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and the agencies have closely cooperated with the Tribe in preparation of the EA. Basin Electric is requesting RUS financial assistance for the proposed action. To ensure that parties interested in the proposed action are provided adequate opportunity for comment, notices are being reissued and the public comment period is being extended for 30 days.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2015-03349
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-19
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 RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2015-02702
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. 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: 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; 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; and Direct loans that emphasize energy and water efficient components to reduce costs and increase sustainability of rural systems. RUS will publish on its Web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP- revolvingfund.html the amount of funding received in the FY2015 Appropriations Act, if any.
Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of Application Deadlines and Funding
Document Number: 2015-02680
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-02-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Household Water Well System Grant Program (HWWS) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. 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. Of particular note this year, the 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 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. 3. Direct loans to areas stricken by drought. RUS will publish on its Web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP- individualwellsystems.htm the amount of funding received in the final FY2015 Appropriations Act. Successful applications will be selected by the Agency for funding and subsequently awarded to the extent that funding may ultimately be made available to the Agency through appropriations.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
Document Number: 2015-01541
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-01-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is issuing an Environmental Assessment (EA) in connection with potential impacts related to the proposed Big Bend to Witten Transmission Line Project by the Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric). Basin Electric is requesting RUS financial assistance for the proposed action.
Energy Answers Arecibo Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Project: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period, Notice of Public Scoping Meeting and Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2015-00409
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-01-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
On November 28, 2014, Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) announcing its intent to cancel a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) and prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in association with a financial assistance request for a proposal submitted to the Agency by Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC (Energy Answers). RUS is extending the comment period by an additional 30 days from the date of this notice. RUS intends to conduct public scoping, conduct 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), and RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794) in connection with potential impacts related to the Energy Answers proposal. The proposal consists of constructing a waste-to-energy generation and resource recovery facility in the Cambalache Ward of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. RUS is providing notice of the intention to conduct public scoping and prepare an EIS related to the proposal submitted by Energy Answers. RUS is considering funding this application, thereby making the proposal an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 U.S.C. 470(f), and its implementing regulation, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR part 800). Any party wishing to participate directly with RUS as a ``consulting party'' in Section 106 review may submit a written request to the RUS contact provided below. Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.3(f)(3), RUS will consider, and provide a timely response to, any and all requests for consulting party status.
Rural Energy for America Program
Document Number: 2014-30133
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is publishing this final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This final rule modifies REAP based on comments received on the interim rule, which was published on April 14, 2011, and the proposed rule, which was published on April 12, 2013. The final rule establishes provisions for the grants and loan guarantees available for renewable energy systems (RES) and energy efficiency improvements (EEI) and for the grants available for energy audits and for renewable energy development assistance.
Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
Document Number: 2014-28697
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-12-19
Agency: Agency for International Development, Agencies and Commissions, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, National Science Foundation, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, National Endowment for the Arts, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Commerce, Corporation for National and Community Service, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Executive Office of the President, Management and Budget Office, National Drug Control Policy Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Health and Human Services
This joint interim final rule implements for all Federal award-making agencies the final guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on December 26, 2013. This rule is necessary in order to incorporate into regulation and thus bring into effect the Uniform Guidance as required by OMB. Implementation of this guidance will reduce administrative burden and risk of waste, fraud, and abuse for the approximately $600 billion per year awarded in Federal financial assistance. The result will be more Federal dollars reprogrammed to support the mission, new entities able to compete and win awards, and ultimately a stronger framework to provide key services to American citizens and support the basic research that underpins the United States economy.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2014-29600
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service, a Rural Development 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) 2015. 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 on its Web site the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act, if any. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. 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 regulations can be found at 7 CFR 1739, subpart A.
Energy Answers Arecibo Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Project: Notice of Cancellation of a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Public Scoping and Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2014-28101
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
On April 12, 2013, Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Notice of Intent (NOI) announcing its intent to prepare a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) in association with a financial assistance request for a proposal submitted to the Agency by Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC (Energy Answers). RUS is cancelling its NOI for the SFEIS. RUS intends to conduct public scoping 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), and RUS's Environmental and Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794) in connection with potential impacts related to the Energy Answers proposal. The proposal consists of constructing a waste-to- energy generation and resource recovery facility in the Cambalache Ward of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. RUS is providing notice of the intention to conduct public scoping and prepare an EIS related to the proposal submitted by Energy Answers. RUS is considering funding this application, thereby making the proposal an undertaking subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 U.S.C. 470(f), and its implementing regulation, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR part 800). Any party wishing to participate directly with RUS as a ``consulting party'' in Section 106 review may submit a written request to the RUS contact provided below. Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.3(f)(3), RUS will consider, and provide a timely response to, any and all requests for consulting party status. RUS will publish a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register and in local newspapers to announce its review period.
Environmental Review of Telecommunications Program Projects
Document Number: 2014-28100
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as ``agency,'' seeks public and Federal agency comments regarding the preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Assessment 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 projects financed by the agency. RUS is seeking comment from interested stakeholders to contribute to the development of agency procedures for implementing the environmental review procedures of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program, Community Connect Grant Program, and Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program. The proposed review process will support the agency's mission of facilitating the development of affordable, reliable utility infrastructure to improve the quality of life and promote economic development in rural America.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2014-26617
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-10
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 RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2014-26615
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S. C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Project Financing Loans, Grants, and Loan Guarantees
Document Number: 2014-26612
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) seeks public comments on implementing the provisions of Section 6019 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) relating to water and waste disposal direct and guaranteed loans. RUS is requesting written comments regarding the Section 6019 provisions and their relation to project financing requirements. This public input will allow all affected stakeholders to contribute to the development of agency procedures for implementing these provisions that will continue to support the agency's mission of facilitating the development of affordable, reliable utility infrastructure to improve the quality of life and promote economic development in rural America. As part of our implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, RUS will be hosting a listening session. The listening session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders and other interested parties to offer their comments, concerns or requests regarding the implementation of these provisions. Instructions regarding registering for and attending the listening session are in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of this notice.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2014-26045
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-11-03
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).
2014 Farm Bill Implementation Listening Session-Rural Community College Coordinated Strategy
Document Number: 2014-23577
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
On September 25, 2014, Rural Development published a notice concerning the 2014 Farm Bill Implementation Listening SessionRural Community College Coordinated Strategy. The phone number for the conference was incorrectly stated in one location.
2014 Farm Bill Implementation Listening Session-Rural Community College Coordinated Strategy
Document Number: 2014-22827
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-25
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
As part of the implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill), USDA Rural Development is hosting a listening session to receive public input about ways USDA can help community colleges form partnerships and get funding for local economic development. The 2014 Farm Bill directs USDA to work with community and technical colleges on a strategy to help them better serve the needs of local rural communities. The listening session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their comments, concerns or requests regarding this strategy. Instructions to register for and attend the listening session are in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Antelope Valley Station-Neset 345-kV Transmission Line Project: Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision
Document Number: 2014-22412
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR part 1794, and other applicable environmental requirements related to providing financial assistance for Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) proposed Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset 345-kV Transmission Project (Project) in North Dakota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. This ROD concludes RUS's environmental review process in accordance with NEPA and RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). The ultimate decision as to loan approval depends on the conclusion of the environmental review process plus financial and engineering analyses. Issuance of the ROD will allow these reviews to proceed. This ROD is not a decision on Basin's loan application and is not an approval of the expenditure of federal funds.
Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds
Document Number: 2014-22309
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is publishing this final rule for allocating program funds to its State Offices. This final rule adds two programsthe Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). In addition, this final rule revises State allocation formulae to account for changes in data reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census' decennial Census. Finally, this final rule revises the weight percentages associated with each of the allocation criteria; provides flexibility in determining when not to make State allocations for a program; restricts the use of the transition formula and changes the limitations on how much program funds can change when the transition formula is used; adds provisions for making State allocation for other RBS programs, including new ones; and provides consistency, where necessary, in the allocation of RBS program funds to State Offices.
Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations
Document Number: 2014-21704
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-09-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development (RD) is amending the regulations so that an obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System (CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports and USDA reporting requirements.
Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations
Document Number: 2014-21702
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-09-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development (RD) is proposing to amend the regulations so that an obligation date for all guaranteed loans, direct loans, and grants will no longer be 6 working days from the date of request for reservation of authority. This action is necessary as the 6-day reservation period will be permanently removed from the Commercial Loan Servicing System (CLSS), Guaranteed Loan System (GLS), and Program Loan Accounting System (PLAS). The effect of this action will reduce system or manual intervention when legislative mandates direct cutoff for obligations and/or funding; eliminate program waivers on obligation date; increase consistency with other RD programs; reduce risks with new system implementations, such as the Financial Modernization Management Initiative; and eliminate numerous reconciliation issues between processed obligations and actual obligations for internal RD reports and USDA reporting requirements.
Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations
Document Number: 2014-21351
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-09-15
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 is proposing 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 proposed changes to the program are expected to reduce the subsidy rate and thereby lower program subsidy costs over time as the proposed 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.
Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
Document Number: 2014-19958
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-08-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
On December 9, 2013, the Rural Housing Service (RHS) published an interim final rule concerning the streamlining and reengineering its Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. The effective date was listed as September 1, 2014 and is being deferred to December 1, 2014.
Revision of Delegations of Authority
Document Number: 2014-17352
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Office of the Secretary
This document revises the delegations of authority from the Secretary of Agriculture and general officers of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reflect changes and additions to the delegations required by the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79. Other additions, deletions, and changes are made as summarized below.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2014-16310
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-14
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 the following information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Notice
Document Number: 2014-15138
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-06-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
RUS published a notice in the Federal Register on February 18, 1997, at 62 FR 7205 that the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, (108 Stat. 4954, Pub. L. 103-465, December 8, 1994), amended the ``Buy American'' provision, (7 U.S.C. 903 note) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) (the ``RE Act''). Under the amendment, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is authorized to determine which countries (``eligible countries'') are eligible to have their products receive the same treatment as manufactured and unmanufactured products produced in the United States. This notice revises the list of eligible countries for purchases made by telecommunications borrowers by adding new countries to the list to reflect the March 17, 2014, Federal Register Notice (FRN), ``Agreement on Government Procurement: Effective Date of Amendments, and the April 18, 2014 FRN, ``Agreement on Government Procurement: Effective Date of Amendments for Japan'', published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Please refer to the Federal Register notice published February 18, 1997, at 62 FR 7205, for additional information on RUS Buy American requirements.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
Document Number: 2014-15125
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-06-27
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.
Intermediary Relending Program
Document Number: 2014-12633
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-06-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) amends its regulations for the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). This action is critical to immediately address three major items. First, the Agricultural Act of 2014 incorporates the IRP into the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (Con Act). Therefore the IRP will now be subject to the Con Act, Section 343(a)(13) ``rural and rural area'' definition. Second, the Agency is making the following changes based on an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit: Removing part of the definition of revolved funds to eliminate public confusion on its applicability; providing stronger guidance on items that should be taken into consideration when approving subsequent loans; defining what is meant by promptly relending collections from loans made from the revolving loan fund account; and providing clarification when prior Agency concurrence is needed to make loans. Finally, the Agency is removing provisions for Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF) servicing as there are no longer any active RDLF accounts.
Intermediary Relending Program
Document Number: 2014-12632
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-06-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) proposes to amend its regulations for the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). This action is needed to address several items based on an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit: Removing part of the definition of revolved funds to eliminate public confusion on its applicability; providing stronger guidance on items that should be taken into consideration when approving subsequent loans; defining what is meant by promptly relending collections from loans made from the revolving loan fund account; and providing clarification when prior Agency concurrence is needed to make loans. Finally, the Agency is removing provisions for Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF) servicing as there are no longer any active RDLF.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities and Bulk Fuel Grants
Document Number: 2014-12690
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-06-02
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 up to $7 million in fiscal year 2014 (FY14) for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs and, up to $1 million in FY14 for competitive grants to state entities to establish and support a revolving fund to provide a more cost-effective means of purchasing fuel where the fuel cannot be shipped by means of surface transportation. The grant funds to assist communities with extremely high energy costs 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. The grant funds used to establish and support a revolving fund must be used to facilitate cost effective fuel purchases for persons, communities, and businesses in eligible areas. This notice describes the eligibility and application requirements, the criteria that will be used by RUS to award funding, and information on how to obtain application materials.
Notice of Funding Availability and Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2014-12548
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), published a notice of funds availability concerning the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 competition. The document contained incorrect information with regard to the deadline for electronic submissions.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2014-12316
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RUS's implementing regulations, 7 CFR part 1794, and other applicable environmental requirements related to providing financial assistance for Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) proposed Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset 345-kV Transmission Project (Project) in North Dakota. RUS will also use the FEIS to meet its responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470, and its implementing regulations, ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR part 800). The FEIS addresses the construction, operation, and maintenance of approximately 278 miles of new 345-kV single pole transmission line, a 230-kV single pole transmission line, and a double circuit 345/115-kV transmission line, 4 new substations and a switchyard, modifications to 4 existing substations, maintenance access roads, temporary construction roads, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities described previously in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS). It also addresses comments received during the comment periods for the DEIS and the SDEIS. The overall project area encompasses parts of Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, Mountrail, and Williams Counties in western North Dakota.
Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of a Public Meeting
Document Number: 2014-12454
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for Central Electric Power Cooperative's (Central Electric) proposed McClellanville 115-kV Transmission Project (Project) in South Carolina. RUS is issuing the DEIS to inform the public and interested parties about the proposed Project and to invite the public to comment on the scope, proposed action, and other issues addressed in the DEIS. The DEIS addresses the construction, operation, and maintenance of Central Electric's proposed Project. The Project includes construction, operation, and maintenance of approximately 15-20 miles of new 115-kV transmission line, 1 new substation, temporary construction roads, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities described in the DEIS. The overall project area encompasses parts of Georgetown and Charleston counties in coastal South Carolina. Portions of Central Electric's proposed routes may affect floodplains, wetlands, cultural, historical and paleontological resources. Once a final right-of-way (ROW) is selected within the preferred route, coordination with the federal and state agencies and other interested parties would occur to identify, evaluate and if needed mitigate any adverse effects. RUS will hold a public hearing meeting to share information and receive comments on the DEIS.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request; Correction
Document Number: 2014-12040
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a document in the Federal Register on April 16, 2014, at 79 FR 21436. The document reported an inaccurate number for the Agency's estimate of respondent burden hours for OMB Control Number 0572-0076 in connection 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).
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2014-11704
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Community Connect Grant Program application window and notice of funds availability. The NOFA announces $13 million for grants from FY 2014 and prior year appropriations. In addition, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for Community Connect grants applicable for the fiscal year. The Community Connect Grant Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1739, subpart A.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines; Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2014-11703
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-22
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 Station Digital Transition Grant Program application window for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The FY 2014 funding for the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program is $2,000,000.
Notice of Funding Availability and Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2014-11700
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-05-22
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 $19,300,000 in grant funds and solicits applications for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 competition.
Notice of Intent; Request for Comments on Adoption of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Bayou Meto Basin General Reevaluation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Arkansas, Jefferson, Lonoke, Prairie and Pulaski Counties, Arkansas
Document Number: 2014-09831
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving notice of its intent to adopt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) existing general reevaluation report and final environmental impact statement (GRR/EIS) for the Bayou Meto Basin, Arkansas project (project). RUS is considering providing funding to the applicant, the Bayou Meto Water Management District (BMWMD), to construct a portion of the project consisting of activities that have been identified, designed and reviewed under the USACE's existing GRR/EIS. Based on RUS' independent evaluation, adoption of the GRR/EIS would meet the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and RUS regulations and guidance for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To fulfill our NEPA requirements and support a funding decision, we are recirculating the GRR/EIS for written public comment via this notice, in accordance with CEQ and RUS adoption guidelines.
Notice of Intent; Request for Comments on Adoption of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project General Reevaluation Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement, Arkansas, Lonoke, Monroe and Prairie Counties, AR
Document Number: 2014-09829
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture is giving notice of its intent to adopt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) existing general reevaluation report and final environmental impact statement (GRR/EIS) for the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, Arkansas (project). RUS is considering providing funding to the applicant, the White River Regional Irrigation Water Distribution District (WRID) to construct a portion of the project consisting of activities that have been identified, designed and reviewed under the Corps' existing GRR/EIS. Based on independent RUS evaluation, adoption of the GRR/EIS would meet the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and RUS regulations and guidance for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To fulfill RUS's NEPA requirements and support a funding decision, we are recirculating the GRR/EIS for written public comment via this notice, in accordance with CEQ and RUS adoption guidelines.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2014-08642
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-16
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).