Revolving Fund Program-Water and Environmental Provisions of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018

Citation86 FR 14525
CourtRural Utilities Service
Publication Date17 Mar 2021
Record Number2021-05418
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 50 (Wednesday, March 17, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 50 (Wednesday, March 17, 2021)]
                [Rules and Regulations]
                [Pages 14525-14526]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-05418]
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                Rules and Regulations
                 Federal Register
                ________________________________________________________________________
                This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents
                having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed
                to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published
                under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.
                The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents.
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                Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 50 / Wednesday, March 17, 2021 /
                Rules and Regulations
                [[Page 14525]]
                DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                Rural Utilities Service
                7 CFR Part 1783
                [Docket No. RUS-20-WATER-0033]
                RIN 0572-AC52
                Revolving Fund Program--Water and Environmental Provisions of the
                Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018
                AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture (USDA).
                ACTION: Final rule.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is issuing a final rule to
                implement statutory provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of
                2018 (2018 Farm Bill). The intent of this rule is to modify an existing
                regulation to include the statutory revision authorized by the 2018
                Farm Bill.
                DATES: This final rule is effective March 17, 2021.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Fritz Wehrer, Rural Development,
                U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP, 1400 Independence Ave. SW,
                Washington, DC 20250-1550, Telephone number: 413-253-4303.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Executive Order 12866--Classification
                 This final rule has been determined to be not significant for the
                purposes of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and
                therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget
                (OMB).
                Congressional Review Act
                 Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.),
                the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule
                as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
                Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform
                 This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988,
                Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets
                the applicable standards provided in section 3 of the Executive order.
                In addition, all state and local laws and regulations that are in
                conflict with this rule will be preempted. No retroactive effect will
                be given to this rule and, in accordance with section 212(e) of the
                Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C.
                6912(e)), administrative appeal procedures must be exhausted before an
                action against the Department or its agencies may be initiated.
                Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance and Executive Order 12372--
                Intergovernmental Consultation
                 The program affected by this rule is listed in the Catalog of
                Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) under number 10.864, Grant Program
                to Establish a Fund for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects, and is
                subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires
                intergovernmental consultation with state and local officials.
                 The Catalog is available on the internet at https://beta.sam.gov/.
                The SAM.gov website also contains a PDF file version of the Catalog
                that, when printed, has the same layout as the printed document that
                the Government Printing Office (GPO) provides. GPO prints and sells the
                CFDA to interested buyers. For information about purchasing the Catalog
                of Federal Domestic Assistance from GPO, call the Superintendent of
                Documents at (202) 512-1800 or toll free at (866) 512-1800, or access
                GPO's online bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov/.
                Executive Order 13771
                 The program affected by this rulemaking is not subject to Executive
                Order 13771 as it is considered a transfer program and is exempt from
                the Executive Order.
                Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification
                 RUS has determined that this final rule will not have a significant
                economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as defined
                in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
                Environmental Impact Statement
                 This final rule has been examined under Agency environmental
                regulations at 7 CFR part 1970. The Administrator has determined that
                this is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the
                environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental
                Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an Environmental Impact
                Statement is not required.
                Unfunded Mandates
                 This final rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory
                provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for
                state, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore,
                this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of
                the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.
                E-Government Act Compliance
                 RUS is committed to the E-Government Act, which requires Government
                agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting
                information or transacting business electronically to the maximum
                extent possible.
                Executive Order 13132, Federalism
                 The policies contained in this final rule do not have any
                substantial direct effect on states, on the relationship between the
                National Government and the states, or on the distribution of power and
                responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this
                final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and
                local governments. Therefore, consultation with the states is not
                required.
                Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal
                Governments
                 This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with the
                requirements of Executive Order 13175, ``Consultation and Coordination
                with Indian Tribal Governments.'' Executive Order 13175 requires
                federal agencies to consult and coordinate with tribes on a government-
                to-government basis on policies that have tribal implications,
                including regulations, legislative comments or proposed legislation,
                and other policy statements or actions that have substantial direct
                effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the
                Federal Government and Indian tribes or on the distribution of power
                and responsibilities between the
                [[Page 14526]]
                Federal Government and Indian tribes. Rural Development has assessed
                the impact of this rule on Indian tribes and determined that this rule
                does not, to our knowledge, have tribal implications that require
                tribal consultation under E.O. 13175. If a tribe would like to engage
                in consultation with Rural Development on this rule, please contact
                Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or
                [email protected].
                Civil Rights Impact Analysis
                 Rural Development has reviewed this rule in accordance with USDA
                Regulation 4300-4, Civil Rights Impact Analysis, ``to identify any
                major civil rights impacts the rule might have on program participants
                on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, sex or disability.''
                After review and analysis of the rule and available data, it has been
                determined that implementation of the rule is not likely to adversely
                or disproportionately impact very low, low and moderate income
                populations, minority populations, women, Indian tribes or persons with
                disability by virtue of their race, color, national origin, sex, age,
                disability, or marital or familial status. No major civil rights impact
                is likely to result from this rule.
                Information Collection and Recordkeeping Requirements
                 This final rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping burdens
                under OMB control number 0572-0138 that would require approval under
                the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).
                Non-Discrimination Statement
                 In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of
                Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its
                Agencies, offices, employees, and institutions participating in or
                administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on
                race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including
                gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital
                status, familial/parental status, income derived from a public
                assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for
                prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or
                funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and
                complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
                 Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of
                communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print,
                audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible
                Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or
                contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
                Additionally, program information may be made available in languages
                other than English.
                 To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA
                Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complaint and
                at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in
                the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a
                copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992, submit your completed
                form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture,
                Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
                Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) E-Mail:
                [email protected].
                 USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
                Background
                 Rural Development is a mission area within the USDA comprising the
                Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Business/
                Cooperative Service. Rural Development's mission is to increase
                economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural
                Americans. Rural Development meets its mission by providing loans, loan
                guarantees, grants, and technical assistance through more than 40
                programs aimed at creating and improving housing, businesses, and
                infrastructure throughout rural America.
                 The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) made
                mandatory changes to several programs administered by the Water and
                Environmental Programs of the Rural Utilities Service, including the
                Revolving Funds for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects (Revolving
                Fund Program).
                 The modification to this regulation will allow RUS to fully
                implement the change to the program required by the 2018 Farm Bill.
                This change will also allow for expanded assistance to rural
                communities to improve safe, reliable drinking water, and sanitary
                sewage treatment for households in rural areas.
                 The Revolving Fund Program (7 CFR part 1783) provides grants to
                enable qualified private, non-profit entities to capitalize revolving
                funds for the purpose of providing financing to eligible entities for
                pre-development costs associated with proposed water and wastewater
                projects or with existing water and wastewater systems, and short-term
                costs incurred for replacement equipment, small-scale extension of
                services, or other small capital projects that are not part of the
                regular operations and maintenance activities of existing water and
                wastewater systems. The modification increases the amount allowed for
                total project costs from $100,000 to $200,000.
                List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1783
                 Business and industry, Community development, Community facilities,
                Grant programs-housing and community development, Reporting and
                recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Waste treatment and disposal,
                Water supply, Watersheds.
                 Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1783
                is amended as follows:
                PART 1783--REVOLVING FUNDS FOR FINANCING WATER AND WASTEWATER
                PROJECTS (REVOLVING FUND PROGRAM)
                0
                1. The authority citation for part 1783 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(2)(B).
                Subpart C--Revolving Fund Program Loans
                0
                2. Amend Sec. 1783.15 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
                Sec. 1783.15 What are the terms of RFP loans?
                 (a) * * *
                 (3) Shall not exceed the lesser of $200,000 or 75 percent of the
                total cost of a project. The total outstanding balance for all loans
                under this program to any one entity shall not exceed $200,000.
                * * * * *
                Christopher A. McLean,
                Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
                [FR Doc. 2021-05418 Filed 3-16-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3410-15-P