Rural Utilities Service – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Electric System Construction Policies and Procedures
Document Number: 2013-27735
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-11-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-27702
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-11-19
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).
Golden Valley Electric Association: Healy Power Plant Unit #2 Restart
Document Number: 2013-27655
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-11-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) related to RUS's consideration of potential agency actions that would facilitate a proposal from Golden Valley Electric Association, Inc. (GVEA) for the restart and commercial operation of Healy Unit 2, a power generation facility at the Healy Power Plant (Healy Plant) in Healy, Alaska. The SFEIS was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ's) regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). The SFEIS updated a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1993.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-27420
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-11-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.: Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2013-19956
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-08-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), intends to prepare a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) for Basin Electric Power Cooperative's (Basin Electric) proposed Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Neset 345-kV Transmission Project (Project) in North Dakota. RUS is issuing this Notice of Intent (NOI) to inform the public and interested parties about a change in the proposed Project and invite the public to comment on the scope, proposed action, and other issues to be addressed in the SDEIS. RUS made the decision to prepare an SDEIS for the AVS Project to evaluate significant project changes. These changes are due to an increase in the electric load forecast for western North Dakota which is changing the scope of the project. To accommodate this change, the SDEIS will evaluate a new alternative for the transmission line. The SDEIS will address the construction, operation, and maintenance of Basin Electric's proposed Project. The Project includes construction, operation and maintenance of approximately 275 miles of new 345-kV single pole transmission line (approximately 85 miles more than the project identified in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)), 230-kV single pole transmission line and double circuit 345/115-kV transmission lines, 5 new substations, modifications to 4 existing substations, maintenance access roads, temporary construction roads, river crossings, temporary construction staging sites, and other facilities to be described in the SDEIS. Basin Electric's proposed Project would be located in portions of Dunn, McKenzie, Mercer, Mountrail, and Williams counties in western North Dakota. Portions of Basin Electric's proposed Project may affect floodplains and wetlands. This NOI also serves as a notice of proposed floodplain or wetland action. RUS will hold public hearing meetings to share information and receive comments on the SDEIS.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program Finding of No Significant Impact
Document Number: 2013-19954
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-08-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has made a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for implementing its new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program. The FONSI decision document is based on impact analysis documented in a programmatic environmental assessment of the new program that was issued for 30-day public comment beginning February 26, 2013.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities and Bulk Fuel Grants
Document Number: 2013-18689
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-08-02
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 $7.766 million in fiscal year 2013 (FY13) for competitive grants to assist communities with extremely high energy costs and, up to $1 million in FY13 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 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.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines; Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2013-16953
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-07-16
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) 2013. The FY 2013 funding for the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program is $2,775,327.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-16569
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-07-10
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-15987
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-07-03
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-15985
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-07-03
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 approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Notice of Available Funding and Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2013-15597
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-28
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 $17,531,000 in grant funds and solicitation of applications for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 competition.
Household Water Well System Grant Program Announcement of Application Deadlines and Funding
Document Number: 2013-15210
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces the availability of $917,221 in grant funds to be competitively awarded for the Household Water Well System (HWWS) Grant Program for fiscal year 2013 (FY 2013). 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 USC 1926e. Regulations may be found at 7 CFR part 1776. Of particular note this year, the RUS, in an effort to address the extreme drought conditions in rural areas, will assign administrative discretion points to applications proposing to serve areas with severe, extreme or exceptional drought, as reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor located at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines
Document Number: 2013-13827
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. 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 1739, subpart A.
Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Restart of Healy Power Plant Unit #2
Document Number: 2013-13694
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-10
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service (RUS), has issued a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) for the restart of Healy Power Plant's Unit 2 in Healy, Alaska. The (SFEIS) supplements a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), completed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1993 to evaluate potential impacts to the human environment from DOE's proposal to partially fund construction of Unit 2 of the Healy Power Plant to demonstrate emissions control technologies. In 1994, the DOE published a Record of Decision (ROD) for their FEIS in the Federal Register, Volume 59, Issue 54 (March 21, 1994). In 1997, Healy Unit 2 was constructed as a major modification to the existing Healy Power Plant's Unit 1, using funding from DOE and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA). Healy Unit 1 is a 25 megawatt (MW) coal-fired boiler that has been owned and operated by Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) since 1967. Healy Unit 2 is a 50 MW coal-fired steam generator owned by AIDEA, which underwent test operation for two years as part of DOE's project. Unit 2 has been in warm layup since late 1999. The SFEIS updates information in DOE's FEIS and considers impacts of restarting Unit 2 for commercial operation. The SFEIS is available for a 30-day public review and comment period. Subsequent to the comment period RUS may issue a ROD.
Project Financing Loans
Document Number: 2013-13313
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-06-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) is considering regulatory reforms to codify statutory changes related to ``project financing'' requirements to advance the agency's rural development mission and improve its ability to finance electric infrastructure projects, including those that use renewable sources of energy. RUS is also considering regulations to clarify the agency's procedures for single asset/project financing arrangements for all RUS eligible projects. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeks comments on the parameters necessary to more effectively and prudently use project financing in the RUS electric loan program and will serve several purposes. It will assist the agency to gather information and comments about its ability to make loans for renewable electric generation even where the consumers may be non-rural residents. It will help develop a record on industry standards and public recommendations related to financing arrangements and collateral requirements which could be used to implement a focused Project Financing Program (PFP) for investments in electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities, including plant necessary for generating electricity from renewable energy sources. It will also help the agency better understand the potential demand for financing utilizing either or both of the aforementioned authorities, collect comments from potential applicants and co-lenders on PFP, terms, and renewable energy financing as well as help inform the public about federal financing options available through the RUS Electric Loan Program. The RUS is also announcing a public meeting for interested parties to express their views on the opportunities and challenges related to the use of the agency's authority for electric generation from renewable energy sources and project financing within the electric utility sector.
Rural Determination and Financing Percentage
Document Number: 2013-13309
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-06-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) is proposing policies and procedures for determining rural eligibility for all loans and loan guarantee financial assistance. In addition, policies and procedures are proposed for determining the percentage of total project costs the Agency will finance where the project supplies electricity to an electric utility serving an area that is less than 100 percent rural. By codifying these policies and procedures the agency will provide needed flexibility in the methods utilized to determine eligibility and percentage of financing.
Announcement of Grant and Loan Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
Document Number: 2013-13069
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-06-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Revolving Fund Program (RFP) application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the available funding of $923,686 and maximum amounts 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(1) or (2), to obtain a loan, loan guarantee, or grant from the RUS Water, Waste Disposal and Wastewater loan and grant programs.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-12172
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-05-22
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).
Oglethorpe Power Corporation: Proposed Biomass Power Plant
Document Number: 2013-10861
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to providing financial assistance to the Oglethorpe Power Corporation (Oglethorpe) for the construction of a 100 megawatt (MW) biomass plant and related facilities (Proposal) in Warren County, Georgia. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. The EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (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' Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). 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). Pursuant to 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3), RUS used its procedures for public involvement under NEPA, in part, to meet its responsibilities to solicit and consider the views of the public and other interested parties during the Section 106 review process. Accordingly, comments submitted in the EIS process also informed RUS's decision making in the Section 106 review process. 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. The Final EIS evaluated the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Project proposed by Oglethorpe for RUS financing to construct the 100 megawatt (MW) biomass plant and related facilities (Proposal) in Warren County, Georgia
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
Document Number: 2013-10502
Type: Rule
Date: 2013-05-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, amends its regulations for the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program). The purpose of this regulatory change is to provide the Agency the ability to target limited resources to geographical as well as technological areas of need. This rule is not applicable to Community Connect grant applications filed for funding prior to the publication of a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) under this regulation.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-10047
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-04-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-09567
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-04-24
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, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA), invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC: Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement
Document Number: 2013-08629
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-04-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SFEIS) 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 a proposal by Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC. The proposal consists of constructing a waste to energy generation and resource recovery facility in the Cambalache Ward of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Energy Answers Arecibo, LLC may request a loan guarantee from RUS.
Rural Energy for America Program-Grants and Guaranteed Loans
Document Number: 2013-07273
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2013-04-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proposing grant and guaranteed loan programs for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects as provided in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The proposed rule will revise the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) found in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart B.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-08170
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-04-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), invites comments on the following information collections for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-05143
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-03-06
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 USDA 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: 2013-03347
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-03346
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development administers rural utilities programs through the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The USDA Rural Development invites comments on the following information collections for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Dairyland Power Cooperative: CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345-kV Transmission Line Proposal
Document Number: 2013-02805
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-02-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to providing financial assistance to the Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland) for its share in the construction of a proposed 345- kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure between Hampton, Minnesota and the La Crosse area in Wisconsin (Proposal). The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which was effective upon signing. The EIS was prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (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' Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794).
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2013-01152
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-22
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: 2013-01150
Type: Notice
Date: 2013-01-22
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: 2012-30672
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-12-26
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 this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
Document Number: 2012-27631
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-11-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, amends its regulations for the Community-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant Program). The purpose of this regulatory change is to provide the Agency the ability to target limited resources to geographical as well as technological areas of need. This rule is not applicable to Community Connect grant applications filed for funding prior to the publication of a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) under this regulation.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-26889
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-11-05
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).
Publication of Depreciation Rates
Document Number: 2012-26687
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-10-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) administers rural utilities programs, including the Telecommunications Program. RUS announces the depreciation rates for telecommunications plant for the period ending December 31, 2011.
South Mississippi Electric Cooperative: Plant Ratcliffe, Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle (IGCC) Project
Document Number: 2012-23603
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the adoption of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed participation of South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) in Plant Ratcliffe, an Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle Facility located in Kemper County, Mississippi (the Project). The Acting Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which is effective on the publication of this notice. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The purpose of the EIS was to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the Project so that the DOE could assess potential cost-shared financing under the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) and issuance of a loan guarantee under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct05), and the USACE could consider potential issuance of permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The DOE/USACE Final EIS was issued in May 2010, and DOE issued their Record of Decision (ROD) in August 2010. RUS is considering providing a $480 million loan guarantee to SMEPA that would provide for the acquisition of a 15% undivided ownership interest in the Project. RUS adopted the Final EIS 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 Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Part 1794). RUS determined that the actions covered by the DOE/USACE Final EIS and RUS's proposed action were substantially the same, given that no new infrastructure would be required for SMEPA's participation (40 CFR 1506.3(b)). RUS conducted an independent evaluation of the DOE/USACE Final EIS, the associated Mitigation Action Plan (MAP) and Record of Decision (ROD), determined the documentation met the standards of an adequate statement (40 CFR 1506.3(a)), and adopted the documentation (Subpart H, 7 CFR Part 1794).
Georgia Transmission Corporation: Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment and To Hold Public Scoping Meetings
Document Number: 2012-23018
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) and hold public scoping meetings and 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 a proposal by Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC). The proposal consists of constructing approximately 40 to 45 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in portions of Atkinson, Berrien, Clinch, Coffee, and Lanier Counties, Georgia. GTC is requesting that RUS provide financial assistance for the proposal.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program
Document Number: 2012-21779
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-09-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a document in the Federal Register on July 26, 2012, proposing policies and procedures for loan and guarantee financial assistance in support of energy efficiency programs (EE Programs) sponsored and implemented by electric utilities for the benefit of rural persons in their service territory. The comment period closing date was incorrect.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-21783
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-09-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program
Document Number: 2012-17784
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2012-07-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS or Agency) is proposing policies and procedures for loan and guarantee financial assistance in support of energy efficiency programs (EE Programs) sponsored and implemented by electric utilities for the benefit of rural persons in their service territory. This notice of proposed rulemaking proposes changes to RUS regulations on General and Pre-Loan Policies and Procedures Common to Electric Loans and Guarantees. This regulation was finalized December 20, 1993. The notice of proposed rulemaking also proposes conforming amendments to additional RUS regulations. Under Section two of the Rural Electric Act, RUS is authorized to assist electric borrowers in implementing demand side management, energy efficiency and conservation programs, and on-grid and off-grid renewable energy systems. The scope of this proposed regulation falls within the authority of the Act.
Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants
Document Number: 2012-18017
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is amending its regulations related to the Section 306C Water and Waste Disposal (WWD) Loans and Grants Program, which provides water and waste disposal facilities and services to low-income rural communities whose residents face significant health risks. Specifically, RUS is modifying the priority points system in order to give additional priority points to the colonias that lack access to water or waste disposal systems and face significant health problems. The intent is to ensure that the neediest areas receive funding.
Disaster Designation Process
Document Number: 2012-17137
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is revising its disaster designation regulations, with minor changes from the proposed rule. The rule simplifies procedures for Secretarial designations of disaster areas. This rule includes provisions for nearly automatic disaster designation in the case of severe drought. The rule also provides procedures FSA may use to delegate disaster designation authority to FSA State level officials. The rule removes the requirement that a State Governor or Indian Tribal Council must request a Secretarial disaster designation before a designation can be made. Also, this rule moves the disaster designation regulations to the same chapter of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as the FSA Emergency Loan (EM) Program regulations. FSA expects that the simplified process will result in faster designations of disaster areas, and result in more timely disaster assistance.
Dairyland Power Cooperative: CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse Transmission Line Project
Document Number: 2012-17127
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to meet its responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), RUS' implementing regulations, 7 CFR 1794, and other applicable environmental requirements related to providing financial assistance to Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland) for its share in the construction of a proposed 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and associated infrastructure between Hampton, Minnesota and the La Crosse area in Wisconsin (the proposed project). Dairyland is participating in the proposed project with a number of other utilities (Applicants). The purpose of the proposed project is to: (1) Improve community reliability of the transmission system in Rochester, Winona, La Crosse, and the surrounding areas, which include areas served by Dairyland; (2) improve the regional reliability of the transmission system; and (3) increase generation outlet capacity.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Limit Change
Document Number: 2012-17061
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
Rural Development is amending its regulations to address the change in the standard maximum deposit insurance amount under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
Document Number: 2012-16864
Type: Rule
Date: 2012-07-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This final rule implements a change in the regulations for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Housing Service (RHS) Section 502 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) (also referred to as ``Agency'') by requiring an annual fee for all loan obligations. This action is taken to implement authorities granted the Secretary of the USDA, in Sec. 102 of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 to collect from the lender an annual fee not to exceed 0.5 percent of the outstanding principal balance of the loan for the life of the loan. The primary intent of the annual fee is to make the SFHGLP subsidy neutral when used in conjunction with the one- time up-front guarantee fee, thus eliminating the need for taxpayer support of the program at its current loan level.
Information Collection Activity; Comment Request
Document Number: 2012-16685
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-11
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 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: 2012-16686
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-07-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels for the Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities
Document Number: 2012-15906
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-06-28
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 2012 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 RUS 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: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UEP_Our_Grant_ Programs.html. 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.
South Mississippi Electric Cooperative: Plant Ratcliff, Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle (IGCC) Project
Document Number: 2012-15035
Type: Notice
Date: 2012-06-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA), a rural electric generation and transmission cooperative, has approached the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS, the Agency) for financial assistance through which SMEPA would acquire a 17.5% undivided ownership interest in Plant Ratcliff, an Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycle (IGCC) Project currently under construction in Kemper County, Mississippi (hereinafter ``the Project'') and owned by Mississippi Power Company (MPCo). In accordance with RUS Environmental Policies and Procedures, 7 CFR 1794, RUS has discretion in determining whether a proposal is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321, when potential borrowers will have only partial ownership of a project for which they are requesting financing (7 CFR 1794.20, Control). Though acknowledging that RUS financing will provide SMEPA with significantly limited control of the Project, RUS considers the Project subject to NEPA and to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 800. This notice documents the efforts undertaken by RUS to ensure compliance with NEPA, NHPA, and all other applicable environmental laws and regulations through the adoption of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared for the Project by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).