Agriculture

agriculture
TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
TitlePublishedFR Doc.Description
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Program Recipient Reporting2018-May-182018-10641The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued regulatory guidance to agencies to establish requirements for Federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients that are necessary for the implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (the Transparency Act). Since FY 2011, NRCS included the requirements identified in each of the NRCS conservation program regulations that involve an award of Federal financial assistance. Section 766 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 amended the Food Security Act of 1985 to exempt producers and landowners participating in NRCS conservation programs from the Transparency Act regulations. Therefore, NRCS is removing specific reference to the Transparency Act regulations in its conservation program regulations where such requirements affect its conservation program agreements with producers and landowners.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for 2017 NOSB Recommendations (Livestock and Handling)2018-Apr-302018-08991This proposed rule would amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) section of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) organic regulations to implement recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This rule proposes to: Add elemental sulfur to the National List for use in organic livestock production; and, reclassify potassium acid tartrate from a non- agricultural substance to an agricultural substance and require the organic form of the ingredient when commercially available.
Treasury Department -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Enhanced Supplementary Leverage Ratio Standards for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies and Certain of Their Subsidiary Insured Depository Institutions; Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity Requirements for U.S. Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies2018-Apr-192018-08066The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are seeking comment on a proposal that would modify the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards for U.S. top-tier bank holding companies identified as global systemically important bank holding companies, or GSIBs, and certain of their insured depository institution subsidiaries. Specifically, the proposal would modify the current 2 percent leverage buffer, which applies to each GSIB, to equal 50 percent of the firm's GSIB risk-based capital surcharge. The proposal also would require a Board- or OCC-regulated insured depository institution subsidiary of a GSIB to maintain a supplementary leverage ratio of at least 3 percent plus 50 percent of the GSIB risk-based surcharge applicable to its top-tier holding company in order to be deemed ``well capitalized'' under the Board's and the OCC's prompt corrective action rules. Consistent with this approach to establishing enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards for insured depository institutions, the OCC is proposing to revise the methodology it uses to identify which national banks and Federal savings associations are subject to the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards to ensure that they apply only to those national banks and Federal savings associations that are subsidiaries of a Board-identified GSIB. The Board also is seeking comment on a proposal to make conforming modifications to the GSIB leverage buffer of the Board's total loss- absorbing capacity and long-term debt requirements and other minor amendments to the buffer levels, covered intermediate holding company conformance period, methodology for calculating the covered intermediate holding company long-term debt amount, and external total loss-absorbing capacity risk-weighted buffer.
General Services Administration -- Civilian Board of Contract Appeals; Rules of Procedure for Contract Disputes Act Cases2018-Mar-282018-06269The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (Board) proposes to amend its rules of procedure for cases arising under the Contract Disputes Act, and for disputes between insurance companies and the Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency in which decisions of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation are brought before the Board under the Federal Crop Insurance Act. The Board's current rules were issued in 2008 and were last amended in 2011.
Agriculture Department -- Truth in Lending-Real Estate Settlement Procedures2018-Mar-232018-05999The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) will obsolete (and reserve) the Truth in Lending--Real Estate Settlement Procedures regulation to ensure compliance with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Integrated Mortgage Disclosures rule, commonly referred to as the TRID rule. This direct final rule will eliminate the functionally obsolete regulation in order to ensure compliance with the TRID rule, as the standard to follow.
Transportation Department -- Aviation Safety Organization Changes2018-Mar-052018-03374The FAA Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) and Flight Standards Service (AFS) have reorganized to align with functional organization design concepts. The AIR reorganization included eliminating product directorates and restructuring and re-designating field offices. The AFS reorganization included eliminating geographic regions, realigning headquarters organizations, and restructuring field offices. Currently, various rules in the Code of Federal Regulations refer to specific AIR and AFS offices that are obsolete after the reorganizations. This rule replaces specific references with generic references not dependent on any particular office structure. This rule does not impose any new obligations and is only intended to eliminate any confusion about with whom regulated entities and other persons should interact when complying with these various rules in the future.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops, Livestock and Handling)2018-Jan-172017-28172This proposed rule would amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) provisions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) organic regulations to implement recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). This rule proposes to change the use restrictions for seventeen substances allowed for organic production or handling on the National List: Micronutrients; chlorhexidine; parasiticides; fenbendazole; moxidectin; xylazine; lidocaine; procaine; methionine; excipients; alginic acid; flavors; carnauba wax; chlorine; cellulose; colors; and, glycerin. This rule also proposes to add sixteen new substances on the National List to be allowed in organic production or handling: Hypochlorous acid; magnesium oxide; squid byproducts; activated charcoal; calcium borogluconate; calcium propionate; injectable vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes; kaolin pectin; mineral oil; propylene glycol; acidified sodium chlorite; zinc sulfate; potassium lactate; and, sodium lactate. In addition, this proposed rule would list the botanical pesticide, rotenone, as a prohibited substance in organic crop production. Finally, this proposed rule would remove ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide for use in organic livestock production.
Labor Department -- Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 20182018-Jan-022017-28224The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is publishing this final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Department to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Additionally, the Inflation Adjustment Act provides a cost- of-living formula for adjustment of the civil penalties. Accordingly, this final rule sets forth the Department's 2018 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties.
Farm Credit Administration -- Assessment and Apportionment of Administrative Expenses2017-Oct-202017-22721The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or we) issues this direct final rule adopting technical amendments to eliminate language that is obsolete, confusing, and unnecessary to determine the annual assessment amount of Farm Credit System institutions.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2017 Amendments to the National List2017-Jul-062017-14006This final rule amends the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) organic regulations, to prohibit the use of 8 substances in organic production and handling after June 27, 2017: Lignin sulfonate (for use as a floating agent); furosemide; magnesium carbonate; and the nonorganic forms of chia, dillweed oil, frozen galangal, frozen lemongrass, and chipotle chile peppers. This action also renews 3 substances on the National List to continue to allow nonorganic forms of inulin-oligofructose enriched, Turkish bay leaves, and whey protein concentrate in organic products. This action addresses eleven recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following its October 2015 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the NOSB's 2017 sunset review of a portion of the substances on the National List.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures; Corrections2017-Apr-272017-08529The Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency published a document in the Federal Register on March 2, 2016 (81 FR 11000), entitled ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.'' The rule replaced two existing rules relating to the Agencies' procedures for implementing NEPA. These corrections will replace references in several paragraphs to one of the former rules, 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, which is now obsolete.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs2017-Mar-212017-05723In accordance with a directive from the memorandum entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (Memorandum), the Secretary further delays until May 22, 2017, the effective date of the final regulations entitled Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs (Open Licensing), published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 (82 FR 7376). The current effective date is March 21, 2017. The additional delay will allow the Department the opportunity for further review of the final regulations.
Education Department -- Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act-Accountability and State Plans; Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act2017-Jan-302017-02056In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ``Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,'' published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017, the Department delays the effective dates of the following regulations until March 21, 2017: Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act-- Accountability and State Plans (ESSA Accountability and State Plans), RIN 1810-AB27; Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs (Open Licensing), RIN 1894-AA07; and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Competitive Grant Programs2017-Jan-192017-00910The Secretary amends the regulations of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in order to require, subject to certain categorical exceptions and case-by-case exceptions, that Department grantees awarded competitive grant funds openly license to the public copyrightable grant deliverables created with Department grant funds.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2017 Amendments to the National List2017-Jan-182017-00586This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2015 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2017 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove eleven substances from the National List for use in organic production and handling.
Labor Department -- Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 20172017-Jan-182017-00614The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is publishing this final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Department to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Additionally, the Inflation Adjustment Act provides a cost- of-living formula for adjustment of the civil penalties. Accordingly, this final rule sets forth the Department's 2017 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties, effective January 13, 2017.
Labor Department -- Updating Regulations Issued Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act2017-Jan-092016-31293In this final rule, the Department of Labor (DOL or Department) revises regulations issued pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Service Contract Act (SCA), Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) that include reference to the ``Employment Standards Administration'' at the DOL. The Employment Standards Administration was eliminated as part of agency reorganization in 2009 and its authorities and responsibilities were devolved into its constituent components, including the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). This action deletes reference to the Employment Standards Administration in the regulations administered by WHD. Additionally, this action updates Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control numbers associated with information collections in the appropriate regulations. WHD was assigned new control numbers by OMB and this action updates those references in the regulations to the current corresponding OMB control number. Further, this action updates cross-references that were not revised in the FMLA Final Rule published February 25, 2015.
Treasury Department -- Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards-Private Flood Insurance2016-Nov-072016-26411The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) are issuing a new proposal to amend their regulations regarding loans in areas having special flood hazards to implement the private flood insurance provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act). Specifically, the proposed rule would require regulated lending institutions to accept policies that meet the statutory definition of private flood insurance in the Biggert-Waters Act and permit regulated lending institutions to accept flood insurance provided by private insurers that does not meet the statutory definition of ``private flood insurance'' on a discretionary basis, subject to certain restrictions.
Agriculture Department -- EZ Guarantee Program and Micro Lender Program (MLP) Status2016-Oct-212016-25492The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the guaranteed Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations to implement an EZ Guarantee Program and establish an additional lender status. The EZ Guarantee Program will help lenders reduce costs of underwriting and servicing loans to help meet the unique financing needs of small farm operations. The intended effects of the rule are to make guaranteed loan programs more widely available and attractive to small farm operations and the lenders who work with those farm operations through a more flexible underwriting analysis process, reduced application requirements, and faster FSA approval. In addition, FSA is amending the regulations to make a technical correction related to chattel appraisal appeals related to both guaranteed and direct loans.
Agriculture Department -- Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds; Correction2016-Sep-282016-23228This document contains a correction to 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L, ``Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds'' to provide reference to the Rural Business Development Program, which replaced the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program.
Agriculture Department -- Amendment to the Definition of “Condition” and Prerequisite Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs2016-Sep-162016-22246The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs to clarify the definition of ``condition'' and revise the prerequisite requirement for shell eggs eligible for voluntary USDA grading and certification.
Labor Department -- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act2016-Aug-192016-15975The Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) issues this Final Rule to implement titles I and III of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Through these regulations, the Department reforms and modernizes our nation's workforce development system. This rule provides the framework for changes for statewide and local workforce development systems to increase the employment, retention, earnings, and occupational skill attainment of U.S. workers, particularly those individuals with barriers to employment, so they can move into good jobs and careers and provide businesses with the skilled workforce needed to make the United States more competitive in the 21st Century global economy.
Agriculture Department -- Removal of Program To Assess Organic Certifying Agencies in 7 CFR Part 372016-Aug-092016-18436This final rule informs the public that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is removing the Program to Assess Organic Certifying Agencies from the Code of Federal Regulations. This action removes unnecessary regulations from the CFR. Since the publication of the organic regulations, the Program to Assess Organic Certifying Agencies is no longer applicable or necessary.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures; Compliance With the National Environmental Policy Act and Related Authorities2016-Aug-032016-18075The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is consolidating, updating, and amending its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA). FSA's previous NEPA regulations had been in place since 1980. Significant changes to the structure of FSA and the scope of FSA's programs require changes in FSA's NEPA regulations. The changes will also better align FSA's NEPA regulations with the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations and meet the FSA responsibilities for periodic review of their categorical exclusions (CatExs). CatExs involve proposed actions that typically do not result in individual or cumulative significant environmental effects or impacts and therefore do not merit further environmental review in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The additions to the existing list of CatExs improves the clarity and consistency of the regulations. This final rule also expands and clarifies the list of proposed actions that require an EA. The FSA NEPA implementing regulations also cover the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs that FSA administers on behalf of CCC. In addition, this rule makes conforming changes to existing references to FSA NEPA regulations in other FSA regulations. The revisions to the FSA NEPA implementing regulations are intended to improve transparency and clarity of the FSA NEPA process for FSA program participants, and to provide for a more efficient environmental review that will lead to better decisions and outcomes for stakeholders and the environment. Finally, in coordination with the Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service, this rule removes the old NEPA regulations.
Treasury Department -- Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities2016-Aug-022016-18193The OCC, Board, FDIC, FCA, and FHFA (each an ``Agency'' and, collectively, the ``Agencies'') are adopting exemptions from the initial and variation margin requirements published by the Agencies in November 2015 pursuant to sections 731 and 764 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the ``Dodd-Frank Act'' or the ``Act''). Pursuant to Title III of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (``TRIPRA''), this final rule exempts certain non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps with certain financial and non-financial end users that qualify for an exception or exemption from clearing.
Farm Credit Administration -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Implementation of Tier 1/Tier 2 Framework2016-Jul-282016-12072The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or we) is adopting a final rule that revises our regulatory capital requirements for Farm Credit System (System) institutions to include tier 1 and tier 2 risk-based capital ratio requirements (replacing core surplus and total surplus requirements), a tier 1 leverage requirement (replacing a net collateral requirement for System banks), a capital conservation buffer and a leverage buffer, revised risk weightings, and additional public disclosure requirements. The revisions to the risk weightings include alternatives to the use of credit ratings, as required by section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Governance; Standards of Conduct; Risk Management; and Disclosure and Reporting2016-Jul-272016-17455The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) is finalizing new regulations related to the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation's (Farmer Mac or Corporation) risk governance and making enhancements to existing disclosure and reporting requirements. The risk governance regulations require the Corporation to establish and maintain a board-level risk management committee and a risk officer, as well as risk management policies and internal controls. The changes to disclosure and reporting requirements remove repetitive reporting and allow for electronic filing of reports. We also finalize rules on the examination and enforcement authorities held by the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO) over the Corporation.
Labor Department -- Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments2016-Jul-012016-15378The U.S. Department of Labor is issuing this interim final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act) requires agencies to adjust the levels of civil monetary penalties with an initial catch-up adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation. The Department is required to calculate the catch-up and subsequent annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers. The Department must publish the interim final rule by July 1, 2016, and the new penalty levels are effective no later than August 1, 2016.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- Finalization of Interim Final Rules (Subject to Any Intervening Amendments) Under Consumer Financial Protection Laws2016-Apr-282016-09431Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. In December 2011, the Bureau republished the existing regulations implementing those laws, as previously adopted by the seven predecessor agencies, as interim final rules (December 2011 IFRs) with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. The December 2011 IFRs did not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulations. This final rule adopts the December 2011 IFRs as final, subject to any intervening final rules published by the Bureau.
Agriculture Department -- Amendment to the Definition of “Condition” and Prerequisite Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs2016-Apr-202016-09139The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs to clarify the definition of ``condition'' and revise the prerequisite requirement for shell eggs eligible for voluntary USDA grading and certification. The proposed revision to the prerequisite requirement will prohibit the use of Salmonella Enteritidis-adulterated or recalled shell eggs from being presented to USDA for grading and certification. AMS is proposing to revise the definition of ``condition'' to remove any food safety implications resulting from the use of the term ``wholesomeness'' and clarify that AMS' role in grading and certification of shell eggs is solely for a quality determination.
Agriculture Department -- Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Regulation; Removal of a Final Rule2016-Apr-182016-08832The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is rescinding and removing from the Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR part 1290 entitled ``Specialty Crop Block Grant Program'' (SCBGP) in its entirety. This regulation implemented the SCBGP for the fiscal years 2006 to 2008 and is now obsolete.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices2016-Apr-132016-08023The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by: adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expanding and clarifying existing requirements covering livestock health care practices and mammalian living conditions.
Education Department -- Federal Agency Final Regulations Implementing Executive Order 13559: Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships With Faith-Based and Other Neighborhood Organizations2016-Apr-042016-07339The Agencies publishing this final rule amend or establish their regulations to implement Executive Order 13279, as amended by Executive Order 13559. Executive Order 13279 established fundamental principles to guide the policies of Federal agencies regarding the participation of faith-based and other community organizations in programs that the Federal agencies administer. Executive Order 13559 amended Executive Order 13279 to clarify those principles and add certain protections for beneficiaries of Federal social service programs.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures2016-Mar-022016-03433Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), Rural Housing Service (RHS), and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, has unified and updated the environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These final rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation(ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive Orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the changes to the existing rules relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These changes consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules, and better conform the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010.
Treasury Department -- Expanded Examination Cycle for Certain Small Insured Depository Institutions and U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks2016-Feb-292016-03877The OCC, Board, and FDIC (collectively, the agencies) are jointly issuing and requesting public comment on interim final rules to implement section 83001 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which was enacted on December 4, 2015. Section 83001 of the FAST Act permits the agencies to examine qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets no less than once during each 18-month period. Prior to enactment of the FAST Act, only qualifying insured depository institutions with less than $500 million in total assets were eligible for an 18-month on-site examination cycle. The interim final rules generally would allow well capitalized and well managed institutions with less than $1 billion in total assets to benefit from the extended 18-month examination schedule. In addition, the interim final rules make parallel changes to the agencies' regulations governing the on-site examination cycle for U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, consistent with the International Banking Act of 1978. Finally, the FDIC is integrating its regulations regarding the frequency of safety and soundness examinations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Agriculture Department -- Direct Farm Ownership Microloan; Correction2016-Feb-292016-04271In a final rule that was published and effective on January 21, 2016, we added Direct Farm Ownership Microloan (DFOML) to the existing Direct Loan Program. The final rule resulted in inadvertently omitting paragraphs that were previously in the Farm Loan Programs general eligibility requirements. The inadvertently removed paragraphs specified alternatives for demonstrating managerial ability. This document corrects that omission by revising the section in the regulations to reinsert that text.
Agriculture Department -- Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards2016-Feb-162016-02473The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Farm Service Agency, Commodity Credit Corporation, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural Housing Service finalize their portion of the uniform federal assistance rule and amend specific regulations to reference the conforming changes published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014.
Agriculture Department -- Direct Farm Ownership Microloan2016-Jan-212016-01038The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is adding Direct Farm Ownership Microloan (DFOML) to the existing Direct Loan Program. The revisions to the Direct Loan Program regulations consist of application, eligibility, repayment terms, and security requirements to better serve the unique operating needs of small family farm operations. The existing Microloans (ML) in the Direct Loan Program already include MLs for operating loans (OL). DFOML is expected to make farm ownership loans (FOs) available and more attractive to small operators through reduced application requirements, more timely application processing, and added flexibility for Youth Loan (YL) borrowers in meeting the farm experience eligibility requirement.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions2015-Dec-242015-32416The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the ``Commission'' or ``CFTC'') is amending Commission Regulation 1.35(a) to: Provide that all records required to be maintained under this regulation must be maintained in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information; clarify that all records, except records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions, must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction; exclude members of designated contract markets (``DCMs'') and of swap execution facilities (``SEFs'') that are not registered or required to register with the Commission (``Unregistered Members'') from the requirements to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions, keep text messages, and keep records in a particular form and manner; and exclude commodity trading advisors (``CTAs'') from the oral recordkeeping requirement (``Final Rule'').
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2016 Amendments to the National List2015-Dec-162015-31380This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their April 2015 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2016 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove five non-organic nonagricultural substances from the National List for use in organic handling: Egg white lysozyme, cyclohexylamine, diethylaminoethanol, octadecylamine, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate.
Agriculture Department -- Payment Limitation and Payment Eligibility; Actively Engaged in Farming2015-Dec-162015-31532This rule changes the requirements for a person to be considered actively engaged in farming for the purpose of payment eligibility for certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs. Specifically, this rule amends and clarifies the requirements for a significant contribution of active personal management to a farming operation. These changes are required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). The provisions of this rule do not apply to persons or entities comprised entirely of family members. The rule does not change the existing regulations as they relate to contributions of land, capital, equipment, or labor, or the existing regulations related to landowners with a risk in the crop or to spouses. This rule will apply to eligibility for payments earned for the 2016 crop or program year for farming operations with only 2016 spring planted crops, and to eligibility for payments for the 2017 and subsequent crop or program years for all farming operations (those with either spring or fall planted crops).
Treasury Department -- Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities2015-Nov-302015-28670The OCC, Board, FDIC, FCA, and FHFA (each an ``Agency'' and, collectively, the ``Agencies'') are adopting and invite comment on an interim final rule that will exempt certain non-cleared swaps and non- cleared security-based swaps with certain counterparties that qualify for an exception or exemption from clearing from the initial and variation margin requirements promulgated under sections 731 and 764 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the ``Dodd-Frank Act'' or the ``Act''). This interim final rule implements Title III of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (``TRIPRA''), which exempts from the Agencies' swap margin rules non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps in which a counterparty qualifies for an exemption or exception from clearing under the Dodd-Frank Act. This interim final rule is a companion rule to the final rules adopted by the Agencies to implement section 731 and 764 of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Treasury Department -- Margin and Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities2015-Nov-302015-28671The OCC, Board, FDIC, FCA, and FHFA (each an ``Agency'' and, collectively, the ``Agencies'') are adopting a joint rule to establish minimum margin and capital requirements for registered swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants for which one of the Agencies is the prudential regulator. This final rule implements sections 731 and 764 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as amended by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 (``TRIPRA''). Sections 731 and 764 require the Agencies to adopt rules jointly to establish capital requirements and initial and variation margin requirements for such entities on all non-cleared swaps and non-cleared security-based swaps in order to offset the greater risk to such entities and the financial system arising from the use of swaps and security-based swaps that are not cleared.
Federal Reserve System -- Regulatory Capital Rules; Enhanced Prudential Standards for Bank Holding Companies and Foreign Banking Organizations; Correction2015-Nov-162015-28294The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) published a final rule in the Federal Register on October 11, 2013 (78 FR 62018) regarding Regulatory Capital Rules and another final rule on October 27, 2014 (79 FR 64025) regarding Capital Plan and Stress Test Rules. This publication removes certain expired transitional requirements in Regulations H and Y, resolves certain citation errors, replaces a wrongly duplicated paragraph in Regulation Q, and corrects a typographical error in Regulation YY.
Education Department -- Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs2015-Nov-032015-27930The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations regarding the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in order to require that all Department grantees awarded direct competitive grant funds openly license to the public all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds. These proposed changes would increase the Department's ability to be more strategic with limited resources, broadening the impact of its investments by allowing stakeholders, such as local educational agencies (LEAs), State educational agencies (SEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other entities, to benefit from these investments, even if they are not themselves recipients of Department funds. An open licensing requirement would also allow the Department to sustain innovations beyond the grant period by encouraging subject matter experts and users to adapt, update, and build upon grant products, stimulating quality and innovation in the development of educational resources. Finally, the proposed requirement would promote equity and access to Department-funded technology and materials and increase transparency and accountability for the Department and its grantees.
Agriculture Department -- NRCS Procedures for Granting Equitable Relief2015-Oct-162015-26309The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) issues its final rule implementing the equitable relief authority, and the procedures set forth in section 1613 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Act), relating to relief for participants for covered programs administered by NRCS. The relief applies to cases where the program participant took action to his or her detriment based on action or advice from an NRCS employee, and situations where the participant acted in good faith, but failed to fully comply with program requirements.
Homeland Security Department -- Adoption of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; States and Tribal Mitigation Planning Regulations Change2015-Oct-022015-24584On December 19, 2014, all Federal award-making agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), published a joint interim final rule implementing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. DHS and FEMA now adopt, with one change, the interim final rule as final. The change restores language in the FEMA State and Tribal mitigation planning regulations that was inadvertently removed by the interim final rule.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Mergers, Consolidations, and Charter Amendments of Banks or Associations2015-Aug-242015-20896The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, we, or our) amends existing regulations related to mergers and consolidations of Farm Credit System (FCS or System) banks and associations to clarify the merger review and approval process and incorporate existing practices in the regulations. The final rule identifies when the FCA statutory 60-day review period begins, requires that only independent parties validate ballots and tabulate stockholder votes on mergers or consolidations, requires institutions to hold informational meetings on proposed mergers when circumstances warrant, explains the reconsideration petition process, and identifies the voting record date list. The final rule updates cross-references in the existing regulations, incorporates cross-references to stockholder voting rules contained elsewhere in part 611, and clarifies and updates terminology.
Federal Reserve System -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Implementation of Risk-Based Capital Surcharges for Global Systemically Important Bank Holding Companies2015-Aug-142015-18702The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is adopting a final rule that establishes risk-based capital surcharges for the largest, most interconnected U.S.-based bank holding companies pursuant to section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The final rule requires a U.S. top-tier bank holding company that is an advanced approaches institution to calculate a measure of its systemic importance. A bank holding company whose measure of systemic importance exceeds a defined threshold would be identified as a global systemically important bank holding company and would be subject to a risk-based capital surcharge (GSIB surcharge). The GSIB surcharge is phased in beginning on January 1, 2016, through year-end 2018, and becomes fully effective on January 1, 2019. The final rule also revises the terminology used to identify the bank holding companies subject to the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards to ensure consistency in the scope of application between the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards and the GSIB surcharge framework.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2015 Amendments to the National List2015-Jul-302015-18699This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2014 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2015 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would remove two non- organic agricultural substances from the National List for use in organic handling, fortified cooking wines--marsala wine and sherry wine. This proposed rule would also remove two listings for synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production on the National List, streptomycin and tetracycline, as their use exemptions expired on October 21, 2014.
Treasury Department -- Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards2015-Jul-212015-15956The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) (collectively, the Agencies) are amending their regulations regarding loans in areas having special flood hazards to implement certain provisions of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), which amends some of the changes to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 mandated by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). Specifically, the final rule requires the escrow of flood insurance payments on residential improved real estate securing a loan, consistent with the changes set forth in HFIAA. The final rule also incorporates an exemption in HFIAA for certain detached structures from the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement. Furthermore, the final rule implements the provisions of Biggert-Waters related to the force placement of flood insurance. Finally, the final rule integrates the OCC's flood insurance regulations for national banks and Federal savings associations. The Agencies plan to address the private flood insurance provisions in Biggert-Waters in a separate rulemaking.
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Reserve Program2015-Jul-162015-17317This rule amends the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) regulations to implement provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). This rule specifies eligibility requirements for enrollment of grassland in CRP and adds references to veteran farmers and ranchers to the provisions for Transition Incentives Program contracts, among other changes. The provisions in this rule for eligible land primarily apply to new CRP offers and contracts. For existing contracts, this rule provides additional voluntary options for permissive uses, early terminations, conservation and land improvements, and incentive payments for tree thinning. This rule also makes conforming changes to provisions applicable to multiple Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs, which include CRP, administered by FSA, including acreage report requirements, compliance monitoring, and equitable relief provisions.
Treasury Department -- Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies2015-Jun-092015-12719The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, Bureau, and FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) are adopting a final rule to implement the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) to be applied by participating States in the registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). The final rule also implements the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Act for AMCs that are subsidiaries owned and controlled by an insured depository institution and regulated by a Federal financial institutions regulatory agency (Federally regulated AMCs). Under the final rule, these Federally regulated AMCs do not need to register with a State, but are subject to the same minimum requirements as State-regulated AMCs. The final rule also implements the requirement for States to report to the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) the information required by the ASC to administer the new national registry of AMCs (AMC National Registry). In conjunction with this implementation, the FDIC is integrating its appraisal regulations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting Procedures2015-May-282015-12823The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, Agency or our) amends FCA's regulations to clarify and enhance Farm Credit System (Farm Credit or System) bank and association stockholder voting procedures for tabulating votes, the use of tellers committees, and other items as identified.
Agriculture Department -- Strategic Economic and Community Development2015-May-202015-12163This 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.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Origin of Livestock2015-Apr-282015-09851The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) proposes to amend the origin of livestock requirements for dairy animals under the USDA organic regulations. This proposed action would specify that a producer can transition dairy animals into organic production once. This proposed action would clarify that, after completion of this one-time transition, any new dairy animals that a producer adds to a dairy farm would need to be managed organically from the last third of gestation or sourced from dairy animals that already completed their transition into organic production. This proposed action would also clarify how breeder stock should be managed on organic livestock farms.
Labor Department -- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking2015-Apr-162015-05530The Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing, through rulemaking, to implement titles I and III of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). Through these regulations, the Department proposes to implement job training system reform and strengthen the workforce investment system of the nation to put Americans, particularly those individuals with barriers to employment, back to work and make the United States more competitive in the 21st Century. This proposed rule intends to provide guidance for statewide and local workforce investment systems that increase the employment, retention and earnings of participants, and increase occupational skill attainment by participants, and as a result, improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the nation.
Agriculture Department -- Changes to Existing Conservation Program Regulations2015-Apr-092015-08008The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) made several nondiscretionary changes to NRCS conservation programs. These conservation programs have existing regulations that required adjustments. These adjustments include addressing the required review of operating procedures of the State Technical Committee, adding reference of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act program regulations, adding reference of RCPP to the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), expanding the definition of ``acreage owned by Indian Tribes'' under HFRP, revising and simplifying the Regional Equity provision, and adjusting the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) Program to correspond with changes to payment provisions under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture delegated to NRCS administrative responsibility for implementing the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), and internal NRCS administrative changes warrant updating the appropriate delegated official in the Technical Service Provider (TSP) provision. NRCS published an interim rule with a request for comments on August 1, 2014, to implement changes to these NRCS conservation program regulations that were either necessitated by enactment of the 2014 Act, or required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications. NRCS received six comments on the interim rule. In this document, NRCS issues a final rule to make permanent these changes and to incorporate two minor mandatory changes in two of the affected parts.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation General Provisions; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Governance; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Risk Management; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Disclosure and Reporting; Farmer Mac Corporate Governance and Standards of Conduct2015-Mar-262015-06755The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) is proposing new regulations, and clarifying and enhancing existing regulations, related to the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac or Corporation) Board governance and standards of conduct, including director election procedures, conflict-of-interest, and risk governance. We also propose enhancements to existing disclosure and reporting requirements to remove repetitive reporting and allow for electronic filing of reports. In keeping with today's financial and economic environment, we believe it prudent and timely to undertake a review of our regulatory guidance on the identified areas. We also propose rules on the examination and enforcement authorities held by the FCA Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO) over Farmer Mac.
Agriculture Department -- Payment Limitation and Payment Eligibility; Actively Engaged in Farming2015-Mar-262015-06855The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is proposing to revise regulations on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to specify the requirements for a person to be considered actively engaged in farming for the purpose of payment eligibility for certain FSA and CCC programs. Specifically, this rulemaking proposes to revise and clarify the requirements for a significant contribution of active personal management to a farming operation. These changes are required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). The provisions of this rule would not apply to persons or entities comprised solely of family members. The rule would not change the existing regulations as they relate to contributions of land, capital, equipment, or labor, or the existing regulations related to landowners with a risk in the crop or to spouses.
Agriculture Department -- Biomass Crop Assistance Program2015-Feb-272015-04092The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) regulations to implement changes required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). BCAP provides financial assistance to producers who establish, collect, harvest, store, and transport biomass crops. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorizes BCAP, with certain changes that are implemented in this rule. The changes include reducing the payment rate per ton for collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible materials, and limiting the cost share per acre for establishment of biomass crops. The requirements for eligible material and eligible land are revised in this rule, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill. The general scope of BCAP is not changing with this rule.
Farm Credit Administration -- Disclosure to Shareholders; Pension Benefit Disclosures2015-Feb-262015-04023The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or our) amends our regulations related to Farm Credit System (System) bank and association disclosures to shareholders and investors of senior officer compensation in the Summary Compensation Table (Table). Under the final rule, System banks and associations are not required to report in the Table the compensation of employees who are not senior officers and who would not otherwise be considered ``highly compensated employees'' but for the payments related to, or change(s) in value of, the employees' qualified pension plans, provided that the plans were available to all employees on the same basis at the time the employees joined the plans.
Agriculture Department -- Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census References2015-Feb-242015-01571Rural 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.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program2015-Feb-052015-02324This document contains technical corrections to the USDA organic regulations (7 CFR part 205) which were published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2000. The correcting amendments are minor, mostly typographical amendments which do not change, or alter the interpretation, of any provision within the USDA organic regulations.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Mergers, Consolidations, and Charter Amendments of Banks or Associations2015-Jan-202015-00676The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, we, or our) proposes to amend existing regulations related to mergers and consolidations of Farm Credit System (System) banks and associations to clarify the merger review and approval process and incorporate existing practices in the regulations. The proposed rule would identify when the statutory 60-day review period begins, require that only independent tabulators be authorized to validate ballots and tabulate stockholder votes on mergers or consolidations, require institutions to hold informational meetings on proposed mergers or consolidations if circumstances warrant, explain the reconsideration petition process and specify the voting record date list to be provided to stockholders who wish to file a reconsideration petition. The proposed rule would update cross-references in the existing regulations, incorporate cross references to stockholder voting rules contained elsewhere in part 611, and clarify or update terminology to enhance transparency.
Agriculture Department -- Marketing Assistance Loans, Loan Deficiency Payments, and Sugar Loans2015-Jan-022014-30530The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is revising regulations on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) as required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) to update the Marketing Assistance Loan (MAL) and Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP) Programs for wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, cotton, honey, wool and mohair. In general, the 2014 Farm Bill extends the existing programs with the minor changes that are implemented in this rule, including a revised formula for upland cotton loan rates. This rule also amends the regulations for the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Users of Upland Cotton Program, the Extra Long Staple (ELS) Cotton Competitiveness Payment Program, and the Sugar Program to reflect that the programs were extended by the 2014 Farm Bill. Most of the provisions in this rule have already been implemented, beginning with the 2014 crop year.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs; Programs Changes2014-Dec-312014-30172The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending Farm Loan Programs (FLP) loan making and servicing regulations to reflect several changes required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The changes were implemented administratively upon the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill; this rule makes conforming amendments in the FSA regulations.
Executive Office of the President -- Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards2014-Dec-192014-28697This 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.
Farm Credit Administration -- Disclosure to Shareholders; Pension Benefit Disclosures2014-Nov-172014-27192The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or our) is proposing to amend our regulations related to Farm Credit System (System) bank and association disclosures to shareholders and investors. The proposed rule would exclude certain employees and their associated compensation amounts from the reporting requirement in our regulations. Under the proposed rule, there would be no reporting requirement for employees that are not senior officers and would not otherwise be considered ``highly compensated employees'' but for payments related to or change(s) in value of the employee's qualified pension plan. Under the proposed rule, such employees' pension plans must have been available to all similarly situated employees on the same basis.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions2014-Nov-142014-26983The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the ``Commission'' or ``CFTC'') is proposing to amend Commission Rule 1.35(a) (the ``Proposal'') to: provide that all records required to be maintained under this regulation must be searchable; clarify that all records be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction, except that records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions are not required to be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction; exclude unregistered members of designated contract markets (``DCMs'') and swap execution facilities (``SEFs'') from the requirements to retain text messages and to maintain records in a particular form and manner; and exclude commodity trading advisors (``CTAs'') from the oral recordkeeping requirement.
Treasury Department -- Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards2014-Oct-302014-25722The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) (collectively, the Agencies) are proposing to amend their regulations regarding loans in areas having special flood hazards to implement certain provisions of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), which amends some of the changes to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 mandated by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). Specifically, the proposal would establish requirements with respect to the escrow of flood insurance payments, consistent with the changes set forth in HFIAA. The proposal also would incorporate an exemption in HFIAA for certain detached structures from the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement. The Agencies plan to address in a separate rulemaking other provisions of Biggert-Waters over which the Agencies have jurisdiction that have not been affected by HFIAA.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting Procedures2014-Oct-162014-24643The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or our) proposes to amend its existing rules related to Farm Credit System (Farm Credit or System) bank and association stockholder voting policies and procedures so as to continue to address confidentiality and security in voting. This rulemaking would amend FCA's regulations to clarify and enhance voting procedures for tabulating votes, the use of tellers committees, and other items as identified.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs; Entity Eligibility2014-Oct-082014-24046The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations for loan making and servicing on eligibility conditions for certain legal entities, allowing additional flexibility for loan applicants to meet the required farming experience, and increasing the maximum total indebtedness on Microloans (ML) to $50,000. The changes implement provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The changes will help increase the number of entities eligible to participate in certain FLP loans and adjust to better reflect the changes in the way farms are owned and operated by legal entities. The changes will allow FSA to extend credit and servicing to family farm operations that may have been ineligible under existing regulations.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2014-Sep-302014-23135This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on October 18, 2012, and removes two previously expired substances. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this final rule adds biodegradable biobased mulch film to the National List with restrictive annotations. This action also adds a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film. This rule also removes two listings for nonorganic agricultural substances from the National List, hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch, as their use exemptions expired on January 1, 2013, and June 21, 2009, respectively. Two other substances that were recommended by the NOSB to the Secretary for addition to the National List, Citrus hystrix, leaves and fruit, and curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), have not been added to the National List based on comments received on the proposed rule.
Agriculture Department -- Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds2014-Sep-192014-22309The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is publishing this final rule for allocating program funds to its State Offices. This final rule adds two programs--the 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.
Agriculture Department -- Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations2014-Sep-182014-21702Rural 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.
Agriculture Department -- Eliminate the 6-Day Reservation Period Requirement for Rural Development Obligations2014-Sep-182014-21704Rural 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.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Liquidity Management; Correction2014-Sep-082014-21319The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) published a final rule in the Federal Register on November 1, 2013 to strengthen liquidity risk management at the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, improve the quality of assets in its liquidity reserves, and bolster its ability to fund its obligations and continue operations during times of economic, financial, or market adversity. This document corrects and clarifies the section amended by final rule.
Farm Credit Administration -- Regulatory Capital Rules: Regulatory Capital, Implementation of Tier 1/Tier 2 Framework2014-Sep-042014-19179The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or we) is seeking comments on this proposed rule that would revise our regulatory capital requirements for Farm Credit System (System) institutions to include tier 1 and tier 2 risk-based capital ratio requirements (replacing core surplus and total surplus requirements), a tier 1 leverage requirement (replacing a net collateral requirement for System banks), a capital conservation buffer, revised risk weightings, and additional public disclosure requirements. The revisions to the risk weightings would include alternatives to the use of credit ratings, as required by section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures; Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Related Authorities2014-Sep-032014-20836The Farm Service Agency (FSA) proposes to consolidate, update, and amend its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA). FSA's NEPA regulations have been in place since 1980. Significant changes to the structure of FSA and the scope of FSA's programs require changes in FSA's NEPA regulations. The proposed changes would also better align FSA's NEPA regulations with the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations and guidance and meet the FSA responsibilities for periodic review of their categorical exclusions. One component of the changes proposed to improve the clarity and consistency of the regulations, is the proposed additions to the existing list of categorical exclusions (CatExs). CatExs involve actions that typically do not result in individual or cumulative significant environmental effects or impacts and therefore do not merit further environmental review in an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This proposed rule would also propose to expand and clarify the list of actions that require an EA. In addition, this rule proposes conforming changes to existing references to FSA NEPA regulations in other current USDA regulations. The revisions to the FSA NEPA implementing regulations are intended to improve transparency and clarity of the FSA NEPA process for FSA program participants and to provide for a more efficient environmental review that will lead to better decisions and outcomes for stakeholders and the environment.
Agriculture Department -- Changes to Existing Conservation Program Regulations2014-Aug-012014-17993The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Act) made several, nondiscretionary changes to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs. These conservation programs have existing regulations that require adjustments, including addressing the required review of operating procedures of the State Technical Committee, adding reference of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act program regulations, adding reference of the RCPP to, and expanding the definition of, ``acreage owned by Indian Tribes'' under the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP), revising and simplifying the Regional Equity provision, and adjusting the Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program to correspond with changes to payment provisions under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture has delegated to NRCS administrative responsibility for implementation of the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) and internal NRCS administrative changes warrant updating the appropriate delegated official in the technical service provider (TSP) provision. This interim rule, with request for comments, implements changes to these NRCS conservation program regulations that are either necessitated by enactment of the 2014 Act or are required to implement administrative streamlining improvements and clarifications.
Agriculture Department -- Revision of Delegations of Authority2014-Jul-302014-17352This 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.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investment Eligibility2014-Jul-252014-17493The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, our, or we) proposes to amend our regulations governing the eligibility of investments held by Farm Credit banks. We propose to strengthen these regulations by reinforcing that only high quality investments may be purchased and held. We also propose to revise these regulations to comply with section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act or DFA) by removing references to and requirements relating to credit ratings and substituting other appropriate standards of creditworthiness. The FCA also proposes to revise its regulatory approach to Farm Credit System (System) association investments in order to limit the type and amount of investments that an association may hold. The proposed rule also addresses investment and risk management practices at associations and funding bank supervision of association investments.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: RFS Pathways II, and Technical Amendments to the RFS Standards and E15 Misfueling Mitigation Requirements2014-Jul-182014-16413In this final rulemaking, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending three separate sets of regulations relating to fuels. In amendments to the renewable fuels standard (RFS) program regulations, EPA is clarifying the number of cellulosic biofuel renewable identification numbers that may be generated for fuel made with feedstocks of varying cellulosic content, is specifying new and amended pathways for the production of renewable fuels made from biogas, and is clarifying or amending a number of RFS program regulations that define terms or address registration, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements. EPA is also making various changes to the misfueling mitigation regulations for gasoline that contains greater than 10 volume percent ethanol and no more than 15 volume percent ethanol (E15) and to the survey requirements associated with the ultra- low sulfur diesel program.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Disclosure to Shareholders; Disclosure to Investors in System-Wide and Consolidated Bank Debt Obligations of the Farm Credit System; Advisory Vote2014-Jun-182014-14227The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) adopts as final without change an interim final rule which amended FCA regulations to remove the requirement that Farm Credit System (System) banks and associations hold non-binding, advisory votes on senior officer compensation in certain circumstances.
Agriculture Department -- Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs, Payment Limitations, and Payment Eligibility2014-Apr-142014-08067This rule implements specific requirements for the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP), Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Tree Assistance Program (TAP), and general provisions for Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). Although there were similar disaster programs under the 2008 Farm Bill, the authority for those programs has expired. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorizes these programs and they are similar to the 2008 programs, however, there are distinct changes in payment limits, eligible losses, and eligible causes of loss from prior programs. Eligible ELAP, LFP, LIP, and TAP losses must have occurred on or after October 1, 2011 to be eligible for payment. This rule specifies how ELAP, LFP, LIP, and TAP payments are calculated, what losses are eligible, and when producers may apply for payments. Additionally, this final rule implements changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill by amending the regulations that specify maximum income limits (payment eligibility) and maximum benefit amounts (payment limits) for participants in programs funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and some FSA programs. The intended effect of the eligibility requirements is to ensure that program payments and benefits are issued only to those persons and legal entities that meet the income eligibility requirements as specified in the 2014 Farm Bill, and that program participants do not receive any program payments above the maximum allowable payment amount. The payment limits and average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limits in this final rule apply to 2014 and subsequent crop, program, or fiscal year benefits, and to benefits for programs that were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill for retroactive 2012 or 2013 crop, program, or fiscal year benefits.
Agriculture Department -- Tobacco Transition Program Assessments; Final Appeals and Revisions Procedures2014-Apr-092014-07979The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is amending the regulations for the Tobacco Transition Program (TTP) to clarify the final administrative actions required for the orderly close-out of the program. Through the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP), which is part of the TTP, eligible former tobacco quota holders and producers of quota tobacco receive payments from funds that CCC collects through quarterly assessments on domestic manufacturers and importers of tobacco products as required by the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (FETRA). This rule clarifies final dates and deadlines for the assessments and related program actions, including when CCC will make any final revisions to the quarterly assessments, when documentation is required for administrative appeals filed after FY 2014, when final appeals may be filed, and when CCC decisions on final appeals will take place.
Treasury Department -- Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies2014-Apr-092014-06860The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, Bureau, and FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) are jointly proposing a rule to implement the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act or Act) to be applied by States in the registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). The proposed rule also implements the requirement in the Dodd- Frank Act for States to report to the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) the information required by the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) to administer the new national registry of appraisal management companies (AMC National Registry or Registry). In conjunction with this implementation, the FDIC is proposing to integrate its appraisal regulations for State nonmember banks and State savings associations.
Farm Credit Administration -- Organization; Disclosure to Shareholders; Disclosure to Investors in System-wide and Consolidated Bank Debt Obligations of the Farm Credit System; Advisory Vote2014-Mar-312014-06783The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) issues this interim final rule amending its regulations to remove all requirements for non-binding, advisory votes at Farm Credit System (System) banks and associations. This rule is in response to recent legislation wherein Congress provided that no funds available to the FCA may be used to ``implement or enforce'' regulations requiring non-binding, advisory votes on senior officer compensation, and directed the FCA to review its rules to ensure they reflect Congressional intent that a primary responsibility of the boards of directors of System institutions is to oversee compensation practices.
Agriculture Department -- Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds2014-Mar-182014-05491The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is proposing to amend its regulations found in 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L for allocating program funds to its State Offices. RBS is proposing to amend 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L to add three programs--the Rural Energy for America Program, the Value-Added Producer Grant program, and the Intermediary Relending Program. In addition, RBS is proposing revisions to its state allocation formulae for existing programs within 7 CFR part 1940, subpart L to account for changes in data reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census' decennial Census. RBS is also proposing to make various other changes including: revising the weight percentages associated with each of the allocation criteria; providing flexibility in determining when not to make state allocations for a program; restricting the use of the transition formula and changing the limitations on how much program funds can change when the transition formula is used; adding provisions for making state allocation for other RBS programs, including new ones; and providing consistency, where necessary, in the allocation of RBS program funds to State Offices.
Farm Credit Administration -- Standards of Conduct and Referral of Known or Suspected Criminal Violations; Standards of Conduct2014-Feb-202014-03098The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) proposes to amend its regulations governing standards of conduct of directors, employees, and agents of Farm Credit System (System) institutions, excluding the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. The amendments would clarify and strengthen reporting requirements and prohibitions, require institutions to establish a Code of Ethics, and enhance the role of the Standards of Conduct Official.
Agriculture Department -- Environmental Policies and Procedures2014-Feb-042014-00220Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture comprised of the Rural Housing Service (RHS), Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), hereafter referred to as the Agency, is proposing to unify and update environmental policies and procedures covering all Agency programs by consolidating two existing Agency regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable environmental requirements. These rules supplement the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the regulations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), associated environmental statutes, Executive orders and Departmental Regulations. The majority of the proposed changes relate to the categorical exclusion provisions in the Agency's procedures for implementing NEPA. These proposed changes are intended to better align the Agency's regulations, particularly for those actions listed as categorical exclusions, to the Agency's current activities and recent experiences and to the CEQ's Memorandum for Heads of Federal Departments and Agencies entitled ``Establishing, Applying, and Revising Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act'' issued on November 23, 2010, and to consolidate the provisions of the Agency's two current NEPA rules at 7 CFR parts 1794 and 1940, subpart G.
Farm Credit Administration -- Releasing Information; General Provisions; Accounting and Reporting Requirements; Reports of Accounts and Exposures2013-Dec-242013-30717The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) issues this final rule to establish a regulatory framework for the reliable, timely, accurate, and complete reporting of Farm Credit System (System) accounts and exposures for examination activities and risk evaluation. The final rule specifies the reporting requirements and performance responsibilities, including, but not limited to, establishing uniform and standard data fields to be collected from all System institutions and a disciplined and secure delivery of information. The final rule authorizes a Reporting Entity (defined as the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (Funding Corporation) or an entity approved by FCA), to collect data from all banks and associations and serve as the central data repository manager. Additionally, the final rule requires all banks and associations to provide data to the Reporting Entity to facilitate the collection, enhancement, and reporting of data to FCA.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Position Limits for Derivatives2013-Dec-122013-27200The Commission proposes to amend regulations concerning speculative position limits to conform to the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010 (``Dodd-Frank Act'') amendments to the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''). The Commission proposes to establish speculative position limits for 28 exempt and agricultural commodity futures and option contracts, and physical commodity swaps that are ``economically equivalent'' to such contracts. In connection with establishing these limits, the Commission proposes to update some relevant definitions; revise the exemptions from speculative position limits, including for bona fide hedging; and extend and update reporting requirements for persons claiming exemption from these limits. The Commission proposes appendices that would provide guidance on risk management exemptions for commodity derivative contracts in excluded commodities permitted under the proposed definition of bona fide hedging position; list core referenced futures contracts and commodities that would be substantially the same as a commodity underlying a core referenced futures contract for purposes of the proposed definition of basis contract; describe and analyze fourteen fact patterns that would satisfy the proposed definition of bona fide hedging position; and present the proposed speculative position limit levels in tabular form. In addition, the Commission proposes to update certain of its rules, guidance and acceptable practices for compliance with Designated Contract Market (``DCM'') core principle 5 and Swap Execution Facility (``SEF'') core principle 6 in respect of exchange- set speculative position limits and position accountability levels.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Liquidity Management2013-Nov-012013-25918The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or us) adopts a final rule that amends its liquidity management regulations for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). The purpose of the final rule is to strengthen liquidity risk management at Farmer Mac, improve the quality of assets in its liquidity reserves, and bolster its ability to fund its obligations and continue operations during times of economic, financial, or market adversity.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs; Clarification and Improvement2013-Nov-012013-25836The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations for loan making and servicing, specifically those on real estate appraisals, leases, subordination and disposition of security, and Conservation Contract requirements. FSA is also streamlining the loan making and servicing process and giving the borrower greater flexibility while protecting the financial interests of the Government.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Capital Planning2013-Oct-312013-25892The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or we) adopts a final rule that amends regulations governing operational and strategic planning of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). Among other things, the final rule requires Farmer Mac to submit a capital plan to the Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO) on an annual basis and requires Farmer Mac to notify OSMO under certain circumstances before making a capital distribution. The final rule revises the current capital adequacy planning requirements to place more emphasis on the quality and level of Farmer Mac's capital base and promote best practices for capital adequacy planning and stress testing. We view high quality capital as the primary resource that must be available to cover unexpected losses and ensure long-term financial flexibility and viability.
Treasury Department -- Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards2013-Oct-302013-24724The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) (collectively, the Agencies) are proposing to amend their regulations regarding loans in areas having special flood hazards to implement provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Specifically, the proposal would establish requirements with respect to the escrow of flood insurance payments, the acceptance of private flood insurance coverage, and the force-placement of flood insurance. The proposal also would clarify the Agencies' flood insurance regulations with respect to other amendments made by the Act and make technical corrections. Furthermore, the OCC and the FDIC are proposing to integrate their flood insurance regulations for national banks and Federal savings associations and for State non-member banks and State savings associations, respectively.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Modifications to Renewable Fuel Standard Program2013-Oct-222013-24280In this final rule EPA is amending the definition of ``heating oil'' in the regulations for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act. This amendment expands the scope of renewable fuels that can be used to show compliance with the RFS renewable fuel volume obligations by adding an additional category of compliant renewable fuel referred to as ``fuel oils,'' produced from qualifying renewable biomass and used to generate heat to warm buildings or other facilities where people live, work, recreate, or conduct other activities. Producers or importers of fuel oil that meets the amended definition of heating oil will be allowed to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), provided that the fuel oil meets all other requirements specified in the RFS regulations. Fuel oils used to generate process heat, power, or other functions are not included in this additional category of heating oil. All fuels previously included in the definition of heating oil continue to be included as heating oil for purposes of the RFS program. We are also finalizing specific registration, reporting, product transfer document, and recordkeeping requirements applicable specifically to these fuel oils, necessary to demonstrate that the fuel oil volume for which RINs were generated was or will be used to heat buildings for climate control for human comfort prior to generating RINs. The final rule is being adopted with only minor changes from the rule proposed on October 9, 2012, and responses to public comments are provided.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2013)2013-Oct-032013-24208This final rule addresses recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their November 2011 and May 2012 meetings. These recommendations pertain to the 2013 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this final rule continues the allowed uses of multiple synthetic and nonsynthetic substances and the prohibition of one nonsynthetic substance on the National List (along with any restrictive annotations). This rule also removes one synthetic substance from the National List.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2013-Aug-222013-20476This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on May 25, 2012 and October 18, 2012. The recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to establishing exemptions (uses) for one substance in organic crop production and two substances in organic processing. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would add the following substances, along with any restrictive annotations, to the National List: biodegradable biobased mulch film; Citrus hystrix, leaves and fruit; and curry leaves (Murraya koenigii). This action also proposes a new definition for biodegradable biobased mulch film. This proposed rule would also remove two listings for nonorganic agricultural products on the National List, hops (Humulus lupulus) and unmodified rice starch, as their use exemptions expired on January 1, 2013, and June 21, 2009, respectively.
Farm Credit Administration -- Releasing Information; General Provisions; Accounting and Reporting Requirements; Reports of Accounts and Exposures2013-Aug-092013-19231The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) is proposing to establish a regulatory framework for the reliable, timely, accurate, and complete reporting of Farm Credit System (System) accounts and exposures for examination activities and risk evaluation. The proposed regulation specifies the reporting requirement(s) and performance responsibilities, including, but not limited to, establishing uniform and standard data fields to be collected from all System institutions and a disciplined and secure delivery of information. The proposed regulation would authorize a Reporting Entity (defined as the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (Funding Corporation) or an entity approved by FCA), to collect data from all banks and associations and serve as the central data repository manager. Additionally, the proposed regulation would require all banks and associations to provide data to the Reporting Entity to facilitate the collection, enhancement, and reporting of data to FCA.
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Reserve Program, Re-Enrollment2013-Aug-072013-19017This rule makes a technical correction to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) regulations to clarify that land with use restrictions that prohibit the production of agricultural commodities, typically through an easement or other deed restrictions, is not eligible for re-enrollment in CRP. This is not a new policy and would not have affected any program determinations for recent CRP sign ups, had this change been specified in the regulations at the time. This amendment will improve the regulations by maintaining consistency with longstanding policy. This rule corrects a provision in the current regulations that allows re-enrollment in CRP of land with easements or other deed restrictions that restrict the production of agricultural commodities. A 2003 interim rule inadvertently added that provision through an incorrect cross-reference, but clearly stated in the preamble that the intent was to exclude land with such easements or deed restrictions from re-enrollment. The purpose of CRP is to cost- effectively assist producers in conserving and improving soil, water, wildlife, and other natural resources by converting environmentally- sensitive acreage from the production of agricultural commodities to a long-term vegetative cover.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program; Final Rule Approving Renewable Fuel Pathways for Giant Reed (Arundo Donax) and Napier Grass (Pennisetum Purpureum)2013-Jul-112013-16488This final rule approves pathways for production of renewable fuel from giant reed (Arundo donax) and napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) as feedstocks. These pathways are for cellulosic biofuel, for purposes of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS), under Clean Air Act (CAA) as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). EPA has determined that renewable fuel made from napier grass and giant reed meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements for cellulosic biofuel under the requirements of the RFS program. In response to comments on the proposal concerning the potential for these crops to behave as invasive species, EPA is adopting additional registration, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements that were developed to address the potential for GHG emissions related to these concerns. Approval of these pathways combined with the related provisions will create additional opportunities for regulated parties to comply with the advanced and cellulosic renewable fuel requirements of the RFS program, while ensuring that these feedstocks do not pose a significant likelihood of spread into areas outside the intended planting area.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: RFS Pathways II and Technical Amendments to the RFS 2 Standards2013-Jun-142013-12714In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, EPA is proposing amendments to three separate sets of regulations relating to fuels. First, EPA is proposing to amend certain of the renewable fuels standard (RFS2) program regulations. We believe these proposals will facilitate the introduction of new renewable fuels as well as improve implementation of the program. This proposal includes various changes related to biogas, including changes related to the revised compressed natural gas (CNG)/liquefied natural gas (LNG) pathway and amendments to various associated registration, recordkeeping, and reporting provisions. This proposed regulation includes the addition of new pathways for renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and renewable electricity (used in electric vehicles) produced from landfill biogas. Adding these new pathways will enhance the ability of the biofuels industry to supply advanced biofuels, including cellulosic biofuels, which greatly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) compared to the petroleum-based fuels they replace. It also addresses ``nameplate capacity'' issues for certain production facilities that do not claim exemption from the 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction threshold. In this notice, EPA addresses issues related to crop residue and corn kernel fiber and proposes an approach to determining the volume of cellulosic RINs produced from various cellulosic feedstocks. We also include a lifecycle analysis of advanced butanol and discuss the potential to allow for commingling of compliant products at the retail facility level as long as the environmental performance of the fuels would not be detrimental. Several other amendments to the RFS2 program are included. Second, EPA is also proposing various changes to the E15 misfueling mitigation regulations (E15 MMR). Among the E15 changes proposed are technical corrections and amendments to sections dealing with labeling, E15 surveys, product transfer documents, and prohibited acts. We also propose to amend the definitions in order to address a concern about the rounding of test results for ethanol content violations. Lastly, EPA is proposing changes to the survey requirements associated with the ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) program.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2013-May-282013-12504This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact five recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and December 2, 2011. This final rule amends the exemptions (uses) for one substance, peracetic acid, for organic crop production. This final rule also amends the exemptions for three substances used in organic handling: potassium hydroxide, silicon dioxide, and beta-carotene extract color. This final rule also removes the allowance for nonorganic annatto extract color from the National List for organic handling.
Farm Credit Administration -- Unincorporated Business Entities2013-May-282013-12594The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, us, or our) issues this final rule to establish a regulatory framework for Farm Credit System (System) institutions' use of unincorporated business entities (UBEs) organized under State law for certain business activities. A UBE includes limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), limited liability limited partnerships (LLLPs), limited liability companies (LLCs), and any other unincorporated business entities, such as unincorporated business trusts, organized under State law. The final rule does not apply to UBEs that one or more System institutions may establish as Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) pursuant to the institutions' authority under the provisions of title VI of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended (FSRIA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations implementing FSRIA. This rule does apply, however, to System institutions that organize UBEs for the express purpose of investing in RBICs.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2013)2013-May-032013-10556This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their November 2011 and May 2012 meetings. These recommendations pertain to the 2013 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would continue the allowed uses of multiple synthetic and nonsynthetic substances and the prohibition of one nonsynthetic substance on the National List (along with any restrictive annotations). This proposed rule would also remove one synthetic substance from the National List.
Farm Credit Administration -- Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Liquidity and Funding2013-Apr-182013-09166The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or us) adopts a final rule that amends its liquidity regulation. The purpose of the final rule is to strengthen liquidity risk management at Farm Credit System (FCS, Farm Credit, or System) banks, improve the quality of assets in their liquidity reserves, and bolster the ability of System banks to fund their obligations and continue operations during times of economic, financial, or market adversity.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Supplemental Determination for Renewable Fuels Produced Under the Final RFS2 Program From Grain Sorghum; Correction2013-Apr-172013-09068In the December 17, 2012 Federal Register, EPA published a final rule that determines that grain sorghum ethanol qualifies as a renewable fuel under the RFS Program based on a lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis for grain sorghum ethanol. This action corrects typographical errors contained in the December 17, 2012, final rule.
Farm Credit Administration -- Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Accounting and Reporting Requirements; Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; GAAP References and Other Conforming Amendments2013-Apr-092013-08140The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, or our) is adopting technical amendments to various regulations to conform certain references to accounting standards in these rules to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification[supreg].
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Identification of Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program2013-Mar-052013-04929EPA is issuing a final rule identifying additional fuel pathways that EPA has determined meet the biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel or cellulosic biofuel lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements specified in Clean Air Act section 211(o), the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). This final rule describes EPA's evaluation of biofuels produced from camelina (Camelina sativa) oil and energy cane; it also includes an evaluation of renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks, and clarifies our definition of renewable diesel. The inclusion of these pathways creates additional opportunity and flexibility for regulated parties to comply with the advanced and cellulosic requirements of EISA and provides the certainty necessary for investments to bring these biofuels into commercial production from these new feedstocks. We are not finalizing at this time determinations on biofuels produced from giant reed (Arundo donax) or napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) or biodiesel produced from esterification. We continue to consider the issues concerning these proposals, and will make a final decision on them at a later time.
Agriculture Department -- Maximum Interest Rates on Guaranteed Farm Loans2013-Mar-042013-04930The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is issuing this interim rule amending the regulations that specify interest rates on guaranteed farm loans. This rule will tie the maximum interest rate that may be charged on FSA guaranteed farm loans to nationally published indices, specifically the 3-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or the 5-year Treasury note rate, unless the lender uses a formal written risk-based pricing practice for loans, in which case the rate must be at least one risk tier lower than the borrower would receive without the guarantee. These provisions are intended to increase clarity and specificity in the maximum rate requirements, while at the same time setting rates that will work in current credit market conditions.
Agriculture Department -- Selection and Functions of Farm Service Agency State and County Committees2013-Mar-012013-04790The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is adopting, without change, an interim rule that amended the regulations governing the selection and functions of State and county committees. The amendments in the interim rule were needed to make the regulations consistent with the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Farm Bill) and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). The intent of the amendments was to ensure that socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmers and ranchers are appropriately represented on county committees, to make the county committee election process more open and accountable, and to clarify requirements for committee membership in the situation where existing county committees are consolidated or combined. All of these amendments have already been implemented by FSA, except for the new provisions specifying that the Secretary may appoint a voting member to the county committee when required to ensure fair representation of SDA farmers and ranchers. Those appointments will be made starting in 2013. There will be no change in State and county committee functions and election procedures as a result of this rule.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2013-Feb-052013-02398This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and December 2, 2011. One recommendation addressed in this proposed rule pertains to amending the annotations for two exemptions (uses) for peracetic acid in organic crop production. Additional NOSB recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to changing the annotations for three substances, potassium hydroxide, silicon dioxide, and beta-carotene extract color, which are currently allowed for use in organic handling. This proposed rule would also address the NOSB recommendation to remove the allowance on the National List for the use of nonorganic annatto extract color in organic handling.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Capital Planning2013-Jan-252013-01500The FCA, through the Office of Secondary Market Oversight (OSMO), is proposing regulations to require the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) to submit a capital plan to OSMO on an annual basis and to require Farmer Mac to notify OSMO under certain circumstances before making a capital distribution. The proposed rule would revise the current capital adequacy planning requirements to increase our regulatory focus on the quality and level of Farmer Mac's capital base and promote best practices for capital adequacy planning and stress testing. We view high quality capital as the fundamental resource available to cover unexpected losses and ensure long-term financial flexibility and viability.
Agriculture Department -- Microloan Operating Loans2013-Jan-172013-00672The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is modifying Operating Loan (OL) application, eligibility, and security requirements for Microloans (ML) to better serve the unique operating needs of small family farm operations. The intended effect of this rule is to make the OL Program more widely available and attractive to small operators through reduced application requirements, more timely application processing, and added flexibility in meeting the managerial ability eligibility requirement. FSA is also removing provisions for the low documentation (Lo-Doc) application process for OLs from the existing direct loan regulations.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Adaptation of Regulations To Incorporate Swaps-Records of Transactions2012-Dec-212012-30691The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act'' or ``DFA'') established a comprehensive new statutory framework for swaps and security-based swaps. The Dodd-Frank Act repeals some sections of the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''), amends others, and adds a number of new provisions. The DFA also requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``CFTC'' or ``Commission'') to promulgate a number of rules to implement the new framework. The Commission has proposed and finalized numerous rules to satisfy its obligations under the DFA. This final rulemaking makes certain conforming amendments to recordkeeping provisions of regulations 1.31 and 1.35(a) to integrate these regulations more fully with the new framework created by the Dodd-Frank Act.\1\ This final rulemaking requires futures commission merchants (``FCMs''), certain introducing brokers (``IBs''), retail foreign exchange dealers (``RFEDs'') and certain other registrants that are members of designated contract markets (``DCMs'') or swap execution facilities (``SEFs'') to record all oral communications provided or received concerning quotes, solicitations, bids, offers, instructions, trading, and prices, that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest, whether communicated by telephone, voicemail, mobile device, or other digital or electronic media, and to keep those records for one year. This final rule also requires FCMs, IBs, RFEDs, and all members of a DCM or SEF to record and keep all written communications provided or received concerning quotes, solicitations, bids, offers, instructions, trading, and prices, that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest or related cash or forward transactions, whether communicated by telephone, voicemail, facsimile, instant messaging, chat rooms, electronic mail, mobile device, or other digital or electronic media, and to keep those written records for five years. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Environmental Protection Agency -- Supplemental Determination for Renewable Fuels Produced Under the Final RFS2 Program From Grain Sorghum2012-Dec-172012-30100EPA is issuing a supplemental rule associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. This final rule contains a lifecycle GHG analysis for grain sorghum ethanol and a regulatory determination that grain sorghum ethanol qualifies as a renewable fuel under the RFS Program. EPA's analysis indicates that ethanol made from grain sorghum at dry mill facilities that use natural gas for process energy meets the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction threshold of 20 percent compared to the baseline petroleum fuel it would replace, and therefore qualifies as renewable fuel. It also contains our regulatory determination that grain sorghum ethanol produced at dry mill facilities using specified forms of biogas for both process energy and most electricity production, has lifecycle GHG emission reductions of more than 50 percent compared to the baseline petroleum fuel it would replace, and that such grain sorghum ethanol qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the RFS Program.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Periodic Residue Testing2012-Nov-092012-27378This final rule clarifies a provision of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the regulations issued thereunder that requires periodic residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by accredited certifying agents. The final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to make clear that accredited certifying agents must conduct periodic residue testing of agricultural products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as ``100 percent organic,'' ``organic,'' or ``made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).'' The final rule expands the amount of residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by clarifying that sampling and testing are required on a regular basis. The final rule requires that certifying agents, on an annual basis, sample and conduct residue testing from a minimum of five percent of the operations that they certify. This action will help further ensure the integrity of products produced and handled under the NOP regulations.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Investment Management2012-Nov-052012-26805The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, or we) issues this final rule amending our regulations governing investment management practices of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac or Corporation). This final rule will help ensure that Farmer Mac maintains safe and sound non-program investment management practices in accordance with clearly articulated board-established guidance, streamlines the process for handling investments that fail to meet the eligibility criteria after purchase, and modifies the allowable purposes of Farmer Mac's non-program investments to include investments that would complement Farmer Mac's program activities. We are also finalizing the significant reorganization of these regulations that we proposed to make the regulations easier to follow.
Farm Credit Administration -- Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investment Management2012-Nov-052012-26806The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, our, or we) issues this final rule to amend our regulations governing investments held by institutions of the Farm Credit System (FCS or System), as well as related regulations. This final rule strengthens our regulations governing investment management and interest rate risk management; reduces regulatory burden for investments that fail to meet eligibility criteria after purchase; and makes other changes that will enhance the safety and soundness of System institutions.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Adaptation of Regulations To Incorporate Swaps2012-Nov-022012-25764The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act'' or ``DFA'') established a comprehensive new statutory framework for swaps and security-based swaps. The Dodd-Frank Act repeals some sections of the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''), amends others, and adds a number of new provisions. The DFA also requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``CFTC'' or ``Commission'') to promulgate a number of rules to implement the new framework. The Commission has proposed and finalized numerous rules to satisfy its obligations under the DFA. This rulemaking makes a number of conforming amendments to integrate the CFTC's regulations more fully with the new framework created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Modifications to Renewable Fuel Standard and Diesel Sulfur Programs2012-Oct-092012-23713EPA is issuing this direct final rule to amend the definition of heating oil in the Renewable Fuel Standard (``RFS'' or ``RFS2'') program under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act. This amendment will expand the scope of renewable fuels that can generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) as heating oil to include fuel oil produced from qualifying renewable biomass that will be used to generate heat to warm buildings or other facilities where people live, work, recreate, or conduct other activities. Fuel oils used to generate process heat, power, or other functions will not be included in the amended definition. Producers or importers of fuel oil that meets the amended definition of heating oil will be allowed to generate RINs, provided that the fuel oil meets the other requirements specified in the RFS regulations. This amendment will not modify or limit fuel included in the current definition of heating oil. EPA is also amending the requirements under EPA's diesel sulfur program related to the sulfur content of locomotive and marine diesel fuel produced by transmix processors. These amendments will allow locomotive and marine diesel fuel produced by transmix processors to meet a maximum 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur standard provided that; the fuel is used in older technology locomotive and marine engines that do not require 15 ppm sulfur diesel fuel, the fuel is used outside of the Northeast Mid- Atlantic Area, and the fuel is kept segregated from other fuel. These amendments will provide significant regulatory relief for transmix processors while having a neutral or net positive environmental impact. EPA is also amending the fuel marker requirements for 500 ppm sulfur locomotive and marine (LM) diesel fuel to address an oversight in the original rulemaking where the regulations failed to incorporate provisions described in the rulemaking preamble to allow for solvent yellow 124 marker to transition out of the distribution system.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Modifications to Renewable Fuel Standard and Diesel Sulfur Programs2012-Oct-092012-23714EPA is proposing to amend the definition of heating oil in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program under section 211(o) of the Clean Air Act. This amendment would expand the scope of renewable fuels that can generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) as heating oil to include fuel oil produced from qualifying renewable biomass that would be used to generate heat to warm buildings or other facilities where people live, work, recreate, or conduct other activities. Fuel oils used to generate process heat, power, or other functions would not be included in the amended definition. Producers or importers of fuel oil that meets the amended definition of heating oil would be allowed to generate RINs, provided that the fuel oil meets the other requirements specified in the RFS regulations. This proposed amendment would not modify or limit fuel included in the current definition of heating oil. We are also proposing amendments to the diesel sulfur program to provide additional flexibility for transmix processors that produce locomotive and marine diesel fuel. Specifically, we are proposing to reinstate an allowance for transmix processors to produce 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur diesel fuel for use in older technology locomotive and marine diesel outside of the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Area. We are also requesting comment on extending this allowance to outside of the Northeast Mid-Atlantic Area. These proposed amendments to the diesel transmix provisions are expected to result in reduced compliance costs for transmix processors and users of locomotive and marine diesel fuel while having a neutral or positive environmental impact. EPA is also proposing to amend the fuel marker requirements for 500 ppm sulfur locomotive and marine (LM) diesel fuel to address an oversight in the original rulemaking where the regulations failed to incorporate provisions described in the rulemaking preamble to allow for solvent yellow 124 marker to transition out of the distribution system.
Farm Credit Administration -- Compensation, Retirement Programs, and Related Benefits2012-Oct-032012-23726The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, us, we, or our) amends our regulations for Farm Credit System (System) banks and associations to require disclosure of pension benefit and supplemental retirement plans and a discussion of the link between senior officer compensation and performance. Also, we are amending our regulations to require timely reporting of significant or material events that occur at System institutions between annual reporting periods. We believe these requirements will promote transparency of and consistency in disclosures and ensure timely reporting to shareholders. In addition, the final rule establishes minimum responsibilities that a compensation committee must perform. Further, the final rule requires that System banks and associations provide for a non-binding, advisory vote on senior officer compensation by shareholders. Also, the final rule bifurcates existing annual reporting requirements at Sec. 620.5 and makes other technical changes.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012) for Nutrient Vitamins and Minerals2012-Sep-272012-23748This interim rule addresses a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2011. This recommendation pertains to the 2012 Sunset Review for the exemption (use) of nutrient vitamins and minerals in organic handling on U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). On January 12, 2012, AMS published a proposed rule on the 2012 Sunset Review which proposed to continue the exemption (use) for nutrient vitamins and minerals on the National List for 5 years after its October 21, 2012 sunset date. The proposed rule also proposed to correct an inaccurate cross reference to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations in the listing for vitamins and minerals on the National List. AMS continues to review the public comments on the proposed rule and assess the extent of impacts on the industry that could result from correcting the cross reference to FDA regulations. Therefore, due to the impending sunset of the allowance for nutrients vitamins and minerals from the National List on October 21, 2012, and based on the NOSB recommendation, this interim rule renews, without change, the exemption (use) for nutrient vitamins and minerals on the National List. This interim rule provides for the continued use of nutrients vitamins and minerals in organic products until the agency completes the January 12, 2012, rulemaking.
Farm Credit Administration -- Disclosure to Investors in System-Wide and Consolidated Bank Debt Obligations of the Farm Credit System; System Audit Committee2012-Sep-262012-23723The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, us, we, or our) amends our regulations related to the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (Funding Corporation) System Audit Committee (SAC) and the Farm Credit System (System) annual report to investors. The final rule removes the provision for a two-thirds majority vote of the Funding Corporation board of directors to deny a request for resources by the SAC and requires the SAC to use resources to preserve and promote the safety and soundness of the System. The rule also requires quarterly reporting by the SAC to the Funding Corporation board and annual reporting to investors on resources used.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2012-Sep-192012-23083This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact one recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010. This final rule revises the annotation for one substance on the National List, methionine, to reduce the maximum levels of synthetic methionine allowed in organic poultry production after October 1, 2012. This final rule permits the use of synthetic methionine at the following maximum levels per ton of feed after October 1, 2012: laying and broiler chickens--2 pounds; turkeys and all other poultry--3 pounds. This action also corrects the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) numbers for the allowable forms of synthetic methionine.
Farm Credit Administration -- Unincorporated Business Entities2012-Sep-132012-22382The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) is proposing to establish a regulatory framework for Farm Credit System (System) institutions' use of unincorporated business entities (UBEs) organized under State law for certain business activities. For purposes of this proposed rule, a UBE includes limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), limited liability limited partnerships (LLLPs), limited liability companies (LLCs), and any other unincorporated business entities, such as unincorporated business trusts, organized under State law. This rule does not apply to UBEs that one or more System institutions may establish as Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) pursuant to the institutions' authority under the provisions of title VI of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, as amended (FSRIA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations implementing FSRIA. This rule does apply, however, to System institutions that organize UBEs for the express purpose of investing in RBICs.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops, Livestock and Processing)2012-Aug-022012-18819This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on October 28, 2010, and April 29, 2011. This final rule amends the annotation for tetracycline for use in organic crop production and adds two substances: formic acid and attapulgite, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic livestock production and organic processing, respectively.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012); Correction2012-Jul-302012-18511This document contains a correction to the final regulations published on June 6, 2012 (77 FR 33290). These regulations pertain to the 2012 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). A technical error was inadvertently published in the final rule and requires correction. This document corrects the final regulations by revising the listing for ``colors'' at 7 CFR 205.606(d).
Agriculture Department -- Disaster Designation Process2012-Jul-132012-17137The 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.
Agriculture Department -- Appeal Procedures2012-Jun-112012-14098The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues this final rule amending NRCS' informal appeal procedures as required by Title II of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (the 1994 Act). This final rule amends regulations promulgated by the interim final rule published on May 16, 2006, and also includes new language to address comments and make procedural and structural changes in relation to 6 years of implementation.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012)2012-Jun-062012-13523This final rule addresses recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010, October 28, 2010, and April 29, 2011. These recommendations pertain to the 2012 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the NOSB recommendations, this final rule continues, without change, the exemptions (use) and prohibitions for multiple listings on the National List for 5 years after their respective sunset dates. This final rule also amends the exemptions (use) for 7 substances and removes the exemptions for 3 substances on the National List.
Agriculture Department -- Selection and Functions of Farm Service Agency State and County Committees2012-Jun-052012-13358This rule amends the regulations governing the selection and functions of Farm Service Agency (FSA) State and county committees. The amendments are needed to make the regulations consistent with the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Farm Bill) and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). The intent of the amendments is to ensure that socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are appropriately represented on county committees, to make the county committee election process more open and accountable, and to clarify requirements for committee membership in the situation where existing county committees are consolidated or combined. All of these amendments have already been implemented by FSA, except for the new provisions specifying that the Secretary may appoint a voting member to the county committee when required to ensure fair representation of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. There will be no change in State and County Committee functions and election procedures as a result of this rule, except for limited appointments of socially disadvantaged voting members. This rule is needed to make the regulations consistent with current FSA practice.
Agriculture Department -- Microloan Operating Loans2012-May-252012-12685The Farm Service Agency (FSA) proposes to modify Operating Loan (OL) application, eligibility, and security requirements for microloans (ML) that would serve the unique operating needs of very small family farm operations. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to make the OL Program more widely available and attractive to smaller operators through reduced application requirements, more timely application processing, and added flexibility in meeting the managerial ability eligibility requirement. This proposed rule also would remove provisions for the low documentation (Lo-Doc) application process for OLs from the existing direct loan regulations.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2012-May-152012-11722This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact two recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on June 20, 2008, and May 30, 2004. This final rule establishes exemptions (uses) for two substances, fenbendazole and moxidectin, along with any restrictive annotations, as parasiticides in organic livestock production.
Transportation Department -- Operations in Class D Airspace2012-May-142012-11593The FAA is removing the provision describing an abbreviated taxi clearance. Previously, air traffic controllers issued abbreviated taxi instructions to aircraft en route to their assigned departure runway, which allowed pilots to cross all runways that intersected the taxi route to their departure runway. The FAA no longer uses these abbreviated taxi clearances and is removing the provision of the regulation that describes this clearance. This action aligns the regulation with current air traffic control practice and responds to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendation Numbers A-00- 67 and -68.
Farm Credit Administration -- General Provisions; Operating and Strategic Business Planning2012-May-012012-10356The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, or our) amends its regulation requiring the board of directors of each Farm Credit System (FCS or System) institution to adopt an operational and strategic business plan (business plan or plan) to include, among other things, outreach toward diversity and inclusion. Each business plan must contain a human capital plan that describes the institution's workforce and management and assesses their strengths and weaknesses; describes succession programs; and includes strategies and actions to strive for diversity and inclusion within the institution's workforce and management. In addition, the business plan of each direct lender institution must include a marketing plan that discusses how the institution will further the objective that the FCS be responsive to the credit needs of all eligible and creditworthy agricultural producers and other eligible persons, with specific outreach toward diversity and inclusion. Further, the regulation requires including skills and diversity as part of the required assessment of the needs of the board of directors and establishes annual reporting requirements to the board.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs; Clarification and Improvement2012-Apr-132012-8827The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is proposing to amend the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) regulations for loan making and servicing, specifically those on real estate appraisals, lease, subordination and disposition of security, and Conservation Contract requirements. FSA is proposing the changes to streamline the loan making and servicing process and give the borrower greater flexibility while protecting the financial interests of the Government.
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Loan Program2012-Mar-192012-6558In September 2010, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) implemented the new Conservation Loan (CL) Program authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). FSA added the CL Program provisions to the existing direct and guaranteed loan regulations. The provisions provide CL program eligibility and servicing options for the direct and guaranteed loans made through the CL Program. FSA is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) direct and guaranteed loan regulations for the CL Program based on public comments received on the interim rule.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2012-Feb-142012-2938This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact six recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on May 22, 2008, November 19, 2008, and May 6, 2009. This final rule adds one substance, microcrystalline cheesewax, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic mushroom production; and adds three substances, acidified sodium chlorite, dried orange pulp, and Pacific kombu seaweed, with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic handling. This final rule also amends the annotation for one substance used in organic handling, unbleached lecithin, and removes bleached lecithin from the National List.
Farm Credit Administration -- Disclosure to Investors in System-wide and Consolidated Bank Debt Obligations of the Farm Credit System2012-Feb-142012-3411The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, us, we, or our) proposes to amend our regulations related to the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation (Funding Corporation) System Audit Committee (SAC) and the Farm Credit System (System) annual report to investors. The proposed rule would remove the provision that a two-thirds majority vote of the Funding Corporation board of directors be required to deny a request for resources by the SAC to engage independent legal counsel, outside advisors or consultants. The proposed rule would instead require appropriate funding to the SAC to perform these duties, quarterly reporting by the SAC to the Funding Corporation board on resources used, and annual reporting to investors.
Agriculture Department -- Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program2012-Feb-102012-3173The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) published in the Federal Register a final rule for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) on January 24, 2011, to address comments received on the interim rule and to publish changes to the entity certification requirements. At that time, NRCS provided an opportunity for the public to submit comments for 30 days on the certification requirements only. This rulemaking action is necessary to address those comments received on the entity certification requirements.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2012-Feb-062012-2628This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to address a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this proposed rule would revise the annotation for one substance on the National List, methionine, to reduce the maximum levels currently allowed in organic poultry production after October 1, 2012. This proposed rule would permit the use of synthetic methionine at the following maximum levels per ton of feed after October 1, 2012: laying and broiler chickens--2 pounds; turkeys and all other poultry--3 pounds. This action also proposes to correct the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers for the currently allowable forms of synthetic methionine and seeks comments on these changes.
Agriculture Department -- Modification of Interlibrary Loan Fee Schedule2012-Jan-232012-1251The Agricultural Research Service amends its regulations on the fee schedule for interlibrary loan from the collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). The revised fee schedule is based on the method of payment used (traditional invoicing through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) or payment through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) network's Interlibrary Fee Management program, a debit/credit program for interlibrary loan) and eliminates the current billing surcharge, which is instead incorporated into the revised flat fee.
Farm Credit Administration -- Compensation, Retirement Programs, and Related Benefits2012-Jan-232012-901The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, us, we, or our) proposes to amend our regulations related to Farm Credit System (System) bank and association disclosures to shareholders and investors. The proposed rule would require reporting of supplemental retirement plans, a discussion of the link between senior officer compensation and performance, and timely and transparent reporting to shareholders of significant events that occur between annual reporting periods. We believe the proposed changes will provide full, transparent and consistent disclosures to shareholders. The proposed rule would identify the minimum responsibilities a compensation committee must perform to ensure it continues to exercise good stewardship, and require that System banks and associations provide for a nonbinding, advisory vote on senior officer compensation in order to engage shareholders in the management and control of their institution. Also, the proposed rule would bifurcate existing annual reporting requirements at Sec. 620.5 and make other conforming technical changes.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012)2012-Jan-122012-362This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010, October 28, 2010, and April 29, 2011. These recommendations pertain to the 2012 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Consistent with the NOSB recommendations, the proposed rule would continue, without change, the exemptions (use) and prohibitions for multiple listings on the National List for 5 years after their respective sunset dates. This proposed rule would amend the exemptions (use) or prohibition for 7 substances and remove the exemption for 3 substances on the National List.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2012) for Nutrient Vitamins and Minerals2012-Jan-122012-354This proposed rule would address a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2011. The recommendation pertains to the 2012 Sunset Review of the listing for nutrient vitamins and minerals on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). As recommended by the NOSB, the proposed rule would continue the exemption (use) for nutrient vitamins and minerals for 5 years after the October 21, 2012 sunset date. In addition, the proposed rule would amend the annotation to correct an inaccurate cross reference to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (FDA). The proposed amendment to the annotation would clarify what synthetic substances are allowed as nutrient vitamins and minerals in organic products labeled as ``organic'' or ``made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).''
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Identification of Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program2012-Jan-052011-31580EPA is issuing a direct final rule identifying additional fuel pathways that EPA has determined meet the biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel or cellulosic biofuel lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements specified in Clean Air Act section 211(o), the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). This direct final rule describes EPA's evaluation of biofuels produced from camelina oil, energy cane, giant reed, and napiergrass; it also includes an evaluation of renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks, as well as biodiesel from esterification, and clarifies our definition of renewable diesel. We are also finalizing two changes to regulation that were proposed on July 1, 2011(76 FR 38844). The first change adds ID letters to pathways to facilitate references to specific pathways. The second change adds ``rapeseed'' to the existing pathway for renewable fuel made from canola oil. This direct final rule adds these pathways to Table in regulation as pathways which have been determined to meet one or more of the GHG reduction thresholds specified in CAA 211(o), and assigns each pathway a corresponding D-Code. It allows producers or importers of fuel produced pursuant to these pathways to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), providing that the fuel meets the other requirements specified in the RFS regulations to qualify it as renewable fuel.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Identification of Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program2012-Jan-052011-31577EPA is issuing a proposed rule that identifies additional fuel pathways that EPA has determined meet the biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel or cellulosic biofuel lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements specified in Clean Air Act section 211(o), the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). This proposed rule describes EPA's evaluation of biofuels produced from camelina oil, energy cane, giant reed, and napiergrass; it also includes an evaluation of renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks, as well as biodiesel from esterification, and clarifies our definition of renewable diesel. This proposed rule adds these pathways to Table in regulations as pathways which have been determined to meet one or more of the GHG reduction thresholds specified in CAA 211(o), and assigns each pathway a corresponding D-Code. It allows producers or importers of fuel produced pursuant to these pathways to generate Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), providing that the fuel meets the other requirements specified in the RFS regulations to qualify it as renewable fuel.
Farm Credit Administration -- Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Liquidity and Funding2011-Dec-272011-32698The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or us) proposes to amend its liquidity regulation. The purpose of the proposed rule is to strengthen liquidity risk management at Farm Credit System (FCS or System) banks, improve the quality of assets in the liquidity reserve, and bolster the ability of System banks to fund their obligations and continue their operations during times of economic, financial, or market adversity.
Agriculture Department -- Rural Business Investment Program2011-Dec-232011-32570The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is amending its regulations for the Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP) to conform it to the 2008 Farm Bill, to add provisions for Rural Business Investment Companies (RBIC) that wish to participate in a non-leveraged capacity, and to make several clarifications to the existing rule for leveraged RBICs. In addition, this rule amends the categorical exclusions from the National Environmental Policy Act by adding categorical exclusions for the RBIP for both leveraged and non- leveraged RBICs.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act (Regulations G & H)2011-Dec-192011-31730Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. The Bureau is in the process of republishing the regulations implementing those laws with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. In light of the transfer to the Bureau of the rulemaking authority of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Comptroller of the Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act), the Bureau is publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation G (S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act--Federal Registration of Residential Mortgage Loan Originators) and a new Regulation H (S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act--State Compliance and Bureau Registration System). This interim final rule also covers employees of institutions regulated by the Farm Credit Administration. This interim final rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing S.A.F.E. Act regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs Loan Making Activities2011-Dec-022011-31046The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) loan making regulations to implement a new program and to amend existing regulations for direct and guaranteed loans as required by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). This rule establishes the loan making and servicing regulations for the new Land Contract (LC) Guarantee Program. The amendments change the farm experience requirements in the regulations for direct Farm Operating Loans (OL) and direct Farm Ownership Loans (FO), and make certain equine farmers and certain equine losses eligible for Emergency Loans (EM).
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Farmer Mac Investments and Liquidity Management2011-Nov-182011-29690The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, or we) proposes to amend our regulations governing the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac or the Corporation) in the areas of non-program investments and liquidity. We are proposing to modify the specific requirements supporting our objective to ensure that Farmer Mac maintains adequate liquidity to withstand stressful conditions in accordance with board-established risk tolerance and holds only high- quality, liquid investments in its liquidity reserve. We also propose to expand the allowable purposes of Farmer Mac's non-program investments to include investments that would add value to Farmer Mac's operations by complementing its program activities. Further, we request comments on the best approach for compliance with section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act or DFA), which requires us to remove all references to and requirements relating to credit ratings and to substitute other appropriate standards of creditworthiness. Finally, we propose significant reorganizing of sections to make the flow of the issues covered more logical.
Agriculture Department -- Disaster Designation Process2011-Nov-142011-29011The Farm Service Agency (FSA) proposes to amend the disaster designation regulations with simplified procedures for designating USDA Secretarial disaster areas. Proposed changes to the regulation would delegate the designation authority to FSA State officials, remove the requirement that a request for designation of a disaster area be initiated and submitted by a State Governor or Indian Tribal Council to the Secretary, add a simplified disaster designation in severe drought situations, and change the USDA Secretarial disaster designation process from six steps to two steps for natural disasters, including special provisions for certain drought situations. FSA proposes to move the regulations to the same chapter of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as the FSA Emergency Loan (EM) Program regulations. FSA expects the amended procedures would result in faster designations of disaster areas, and result in more timely disaster assistance.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops, Livestock and Processing)2011-Nov-082011-28800This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on October 28, 2010, and April 29, 2011. The recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to changing the annotation for one substance, tetracycline, currently allowed for use in organic crop production, and adding two substances, formic acid and attapulgite, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic livestock production and organic processing, respectively.
Agriculture Department -- Guaranteed Loan Fees2011-Sep-202011-23724The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the regulations for guaranteed loans to change the amount charged and collected in order for FSA to provide a guarantee. Except in certain limited cases, FSA currently charges a fee of 1 percent (1%) of the guaranteed amount on all guaranteed loans. The rule change is necessary for FSA to be able to offset the cost of the guaranteed loan program to maintain program funding to farmers and ranchers. Specifically, FSA is changing the current guaranteed loan fee from 1 percent to 1.5 percent.
Agriculture Department -- Modification of Interlibrary Loan Fee Schedule2011-Sep-162011-23723The Agricultural Research Service proposes to amend its regulations on the fee schedule for interlibrary loan from the collections of the National Agricultural Library. The revised fee schedule is based on the method of payment used (traditional invoicing through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) or payment through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) network's Interlibrary Fee Management program, a debit/credit program for interlibrary loan) rather than type of material requested (loan, photocopy, microform) and eliminates the current billing surcharge which is instead incorporated into the revised flat fee. The revision brings these fees up to date in order to support the current cost of providing the service and will enable customers to estimate charges more easily and distribute them more effectively within their own institutions.
Agriculture Department -- Biomass Crop Assistance Program; Corrections2011-Sep-152011-23596The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) regulation to provide specifically for prioritizing limited program funds in favor of the ``project area'' portion of BCAP. CCC is also correcting errors in the regulation.
Transportation Department -- Pilot in Command Proficiency Check and Other Changes to the Pilot and Pilot School Certification Rules2011-Aug-312011-22308This final rule amends the FAA's regulations concerning pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school certification. This rule will require pilot-in-command (PIC) proficiency checks for pilots who act as PIC of turbojet-powered aircraft except for pilots of single seat experimental jets and pilots of experimental jets who do not carry passengers. It allows pilot applicants to apply concurrently for a private pilot certificate and an instrument rating and permits pilot schools and provisional pilot schools to apply for a combined private pilot certification and instrument rating course. In addition, the rule will: Allow pilot schools to use internet-based training programs without requiring schools to have a physical ground training facility; revise the definition of ``complex airplane;'' and allow the use of airplanes with throwover control wheels for expanded flight training. The final rule also amends the FAA's regulations concerning pilot certificates to allow the conversion of a foreign pilot license to a U.S. pilot certificate under the provisions of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) and Implementing Procedures for Licensing (IPL). The FAA has determined these amendments are needed to enhance safety, respond to changes in the aviation industry, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.
Farm Credit Administration -- Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investment Management2011-Aug-182011-20965The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, our, or we) proposes to amend our regulations governing investments held by institutions of the Farm Credit System (FCS or System). We propose to strengthen our regulations governing investment management, interest rate risk management, and association investments; revise the list of eligible investments to ensure it is limited only to high-quality, liquid investments; reduce regulatory burden for investments that fail to meet eligibility criteria after purchase or are unsuitable; and make other changes that will enhance the safety and soundness of System institutions. In this proposal, we also seek comments on compliance with section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act or DFA), which requires us to remove all references to and requirements relating to credit ratings and to substitute other appropriate standards of creditworthiness. We also seek comment on other issues.
General Services Administration -- Civilian Board of Contract Appeals; Rules of Procedure of the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals-Electronic Filing of Documents2011-Aug-172011-20874This document revises the rules governing proceedings before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (Board). The rules are amended to provide procedures for the electronic filing of documents in proceedings before the Board. Electronic filing is increasingly available in judicial and administrative tribunals to provide parties with a faster, more efficient, and less costly way to submit their documents. In addition, although electronically filed documents will be docketed as received only during Board working hours, they may be transmitted at any time from any location with Internet access. This amendment is a non-substantive change to the Rules that is intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Board's programs by providing parties with an additional option for filing their documents with the Board. It does not affect any of the other methods currently available, including the delivery of documents in person, by courier or United States Postal Service, or by facsimile transmission.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2011)2011-Aug-032011-19659This final rule addresses recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and April 29, 2010. The recommendations addressed in this final rule pertain to the continued exemption (use) of 12 substances in organic production and handling. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this final rule continues the exemption (use) of 12 substances (along with any restrictive annotations) on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Agricultural Commodity Definition2011-Jul-132011-17626The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``Commission'' or ``CFTC'') is charged with proposing rules to implement new statutory provisions enacted by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act''). The Dodd-Frank Act, which amends the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''), includes provisions applicable to ``a swap in an agricultural commodity (as defined by the [CFTC]).'' Neither Congress nor the CFTC has previously defined that term for purposes of the CEA or CFTC regulations. On October 26, 2010, the Commission requested comment on a proposed definition. After reviewing the comments submitted in response to the proposed definition, the Commission has determined to issue these final rules in essentially the same form as originally proposed, subject to a minor revision to the commodity-based index provision.
Labor Department -- Standards Improvement Project-Phase III2011-Jun-082011-13517Phase III of the Standards Improvement Project (SIP-III) is the third in a series of rulemaking actions to improve and streamline OSHA standards. The Standards Improvement Project removes or revises individual requirements within rules that are confusing, outdated, duplicative, or inconsistent. OSHA identified several requirements for SIP-III (e.g., rigging, NIOSH records, and training certifications) for improvement based on the Agency's review of its standards, suggestions and comments from the public, or recommendations from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OSHA believes that improving these standards will help employers to better understand their obligations, promote safety and health for employees, lead to increased compliance, and reduce compliance costs. OSHA estimates that these changes will result in annualized savings for employers of over $45 million, and will reduce paperwork burden by 1.85 million hours annually.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Adaptation of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps2011-Jun-072011-12270The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act'' or ``DFA'') established a comprehensive new statutory framework for swaps and security-based swaps. The Dodd-Frank Act repeals some sections of the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''), amends others, and adds a number of new provisions. The DFA also requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``CFTC'' or ``Commission'') to promulgate a number of rules to implement the new framework. The Commission has proposed numerous rules to satisfy its obligations under the DFA. Because the Dodd-Frank Act makes so many changes to the existing statutory and regulatory frameworks, the proposed rules would make a number of conforming changes to the CFTC's regulations to integrate them more fully with the new statutory and regulatory framework (``Proposal'').
Transportation Department -- Regulation of Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs and On-Demand Operations; Technical Amendment2011-Jun-022011-13675The FAA is amending its regulations governing operations of aircraft in fractional ownership programs. This document corrects a technical error in the codified text of the regulations.
Farm Credit Administration -- General Provisions; Operating and Strategic Business Planning2011-May-252011-12786The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we or us) proposes to amend its regulation requiring the board of directors of each Farm Credit System (FCS or System) institution to adopt an operational and strategic business plan (business plan) to include, among other things, an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The proposed amendment would require each plan to contain a human capital plan that includes strategies and actions to achieve diversity and inclusion within the institution's workforce, management and governance structure, and an assessment of the progress the institution has made in accomplishing these strategies and actions; assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the institution's workforce, management and governance structure; and describes the institution's workforce and management succession programs. In addition, each plan would be required to include a marketing plan to, among other things, further the objective that the FCS be responsive to the credit needs of all eligible and creditworthy agricultural producers and other eligible persons with specific attention to diversity and inclusion.
Farm Credit Administration -- Loan Policies and Operations; Loan Purchases From FDIC2011-May-252011-12785The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or we) issues this final rule to amend its regulations on loan policies and operations. This final rule will permit Farm Credit System (System or FCS) institutions with direct lending authority to purchase from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) loans to farmers, ranchers, producers or harvesters of aquatic products and cooperatives that meet eligibility and scope of financing requirements. This will allow the System to provide liquidity and a stable source of funding and credit for borrowers of eligible agricultural loans in rural areas affected by the failure of their lending institution.
Farm Credit Administration -- Loan Policies and Operations; Lending and Leasing Limits and Risk Management2011-May-242011-12771The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, we, our) issues this final rule amending our regulations relating to lending and leasing limits (lending limits) and loan and lease concentration risk mitigation (risk mitigation) with a delayed effective date. The final rule lowers the limit on extensions of credit to a single borrower or lessee (collectively borrower) for each Farm Credit System (System) institution operating under title I or II of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Act). This final rule also adds new regulations requiring all titles I, II, and III System institutions to adopt written policies to effectively identify, limit, measure and monitor their exposures to loan and lease (collectively loan) concentration risks. We expect this final rule will increase the safe and sound operation of System institutions by strengthening their risk mitigation practices and abilities to withstand volatile and negative changes in increasingly complex and integrated agricultural markets.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2011-May-052011-11045This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on June 20, 2008, and May 30, 2004. The recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to establishing exemptions (uses) for two substances, fenbendazole and moxidectin, on the National List as parasiticides in organic livestock production. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would amend the National List to add these two substances, along with their restrictive annotations.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Periodic Residue Testing2011-Apr-292011-10415This proposed rule would clarify a provision of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the regulations issued thereunder that require periodic residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by accredited certifying agents. The proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to make clear that accredited certifying agents must conduct periodic residue testing of agricultural products that are to be sold, labeled, or represented as ``100 percent organic,'' organic,'' or ``made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)).'' The proposed rule would expand the amount of residue testing of organically produced agricultural products by clarifying that sampling and testing are required on a regular basis. The proposed rule would require that certifying agents, on an annual basis, sample and conduct residue testing from a minimum of five percent of the operations that they certify. This action would help further ensure the integrity of products produced and handled under the NOP regulations.
Farm Credit Administration -- Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Governance and Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; Risk-Based Capital Requirements2011-Apr-272011-10172The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, or we) issues this final rule amending our regulations on the Risk-Based Capital Stress Test (RBCST or model) used by the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). This rulemaking updates the model to ensure that it continues to appropriately reflect risk in a manner consistent with statutory requirements for calculating Farmer Mac's regulatory minimum capital level under a risk-based capital stress test. This rule updates the model to estimate the capital requirements associated with Farmer Mac's statutory authority to finance rural utility loans and to revise the treatment of certain secured general obligations held by Farmer Mac as program investments. This rule also revises the treatment of counterparty risk on non-program investments in the model by adjusting the haircuts applied to those investments to keep the model internally consistent with revisions made to stressed historical corporate bond default and recovery rates.
Labor Department -- Updating Regulations Issued Under the Fair Labor Standards Act2011-Apr-052011-6749In this final rule, the Department of Labor (Department or DOL) revises regulations issued pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and the Portal-to-Portal Act of 1947 (Portal Act) that have become out of date because of subsequent legislation. These revisions conform the regulations to FLSA amendments passed in 1974, 1977, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2007, and Portal Act amendments passed in 1996.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2011-Mar-142011-5716The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting as final, without change, an interim rule published in the Federal Register on August 24, 2010 (75 FR 51919). The interim rule amended the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) based upon a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, the interim rule revised the annotation of one substance on the National List, methionine, to extend its use in organic poultry production until October 1, 2012, at the following maximum levels of synthetic methionine per ton of feed: laying chickens--4 pounds; broiler chickens--5 pounds; turkeys and all other poultry--6 pounds.
Transportation Department -- Removal of Expired Federal Aviation Administration Regulations and References2011-Feb-162011-3467The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is making minor technical changes to its regulations by removing expired Special Federal Aviation Regulations (SFARs) and cross-references, as well as other expired or obsolete regulations. None of these changes are substantive in nature since the regulations in question have expired and are not currently in effect. This technical amendment is necessary to update our regulations. The rule will not impose any additional burden or restriction on persons or organizations affected by these regulations.
Agriculture Department -- Loan Servicing; Farm Loan Programs2011-Jan-282011-1917The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) direct loan servicing regulations to implement provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). This rule implements four amendments to the direct loan servicing regulations. The first amendment further emphasizes transitioning borrowers to private sources of credit in the shortest time practicable. The second amendment amends the Homestead Protection lease regulations by extending the right to purchase the leased property to the lessee's immediate family when the lessee is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. The third amendment amends the account liquidation regulations to suspend certain loan acceleration and foreclosure actions, including suspending interest accrual and offsets, if a borrower has filed a claim of program discrimination that has been accepted as valid by USDA and the borrower's account is at the point of acceleration or foreclosure. The fourth amendment amends the supervised bank account regulations to make the FSA regulations on insurable account limits consistent with the regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Agriculture Department -- Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program2011-Jan-242011-1212This final rule amends the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regulations for implementation of the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). This action is necessary to address the comments received on the interim final rule as published and to publish changes to the entity certification requirements. This document provides a 30 day public comment period on the entity certification requirements.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset Review (2011)2011-Jan-042010-33138This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 5, 2009, and April 29, 2010. The recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to the continued exemption (use) of 12 substances in organic production and handling. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would continue the exemption (use) of 12 substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) (along with any restrictive annotations). These substances were originally added to the National List on September 12, 2006.
Agriculture Department -- Prevention of Payments to Deceased Persons2010-Dec-292010-32760The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is amending regulations as required by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill) to clarify the regulations governing payments earned by persons who die, disappear, or are declared incompetent before the payment is made. The payments must have been timely requested by that person themselves or by an authorized representative. These amendments are intended to clarify payment provisions and to prevent incorrect payments, particularly with respect to instances where persons have died. Payment eligibility where the payment was earned by persons who have since died is the subject of a specific 2008 Farm Bill requirement addressed in this rule.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2010-Dec-132010-31196This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact six recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) from November 30, 2007, and May 22, 2008. This final rule adds aqueous potassium silicate and sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic crop production, and adds gellan gum, fortified cooking wine--Marsala, fortified cooking wine-- sherry, and tragacanth gum, along with any restrictive annotations, for use in organic handling. This final rule also removes the listing for glycerine oleate (glycerol monooleate) as the use exemption for this substance as a synthetic inert ingredient in organic crop production expired on December 31, 2006.
Agriculture Department -- Tobacco Transition Payment Program; Tobacco Transition Assessments2010-Dec-102010-31061The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is modifying the regulations for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP) to clarify, consistent with current practice and as required by the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (FETRA), that the allocation of tobacco manufacturer and importer assessments among the six classes of tobacco products will be determined using constant tax rates so as to assure that adjustments continue to be based solely on changes in the gross domestic volume of each class. This means that CCC will continue to determine tobacco class allocations using the Federal excise tax rates that applied in fiscal year 2005. These are the same tax rates used when TTPP was implemented and must be used to ensure, consistent with FETRA, that changes in the relative class assessments are made only on the basis of changes in volume, not changes in tax rates. This technical amendment does not change how the TTPP is implemented by CCC, but rather clarifies the wording of the regulation to directly address this point.
Agriculture Department -- Grassland Reserve Program2010-Nov-292010-29513The Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) published in the Federal Register on January 21, 2009, an interim final rule for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) with a 60-day public comment period. On August 21, 2009, the CCC published an amendment to the interim final rule and reopened the public comment period for an additional 60 days. The CCC is publishing a final rule that incorporates the changes associated with passage of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act) and addresses the comments received during the public comment periods.
Agriculture Department -- Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program2010-Nov-232010-29394The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a final rule for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). This final rule sets forth how NRCS, using the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), will implement WHIP in response to changes made by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Act). NRCS published an interim final rule with request for comment in the Federal Register on January 16, 2009, an amendment was published on March 12, 2009, with a request for public comment, and another amendment was published on July 15, 2009, with a request for public comment. NRCS is publishing a final rule that addresses the comments received on the interim final rule and to clarify policies to improve program implementation.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Proposed Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops and Processing)2010-Nov-082010-28042This proposed rule would amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to reflect recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on May 22, 2008, November 19, 2008, and May 6, 2009. The recommendations addressed in this proposed rule pertain to establishing exemptions (uses) for four substances in organic crop production and organic processing, amending an annotation for one allowed substance, and removing an exemption for one allowed substance. Consistent with the recommendations from the NOSB, this proposed rule would add the following four substances, along with any restrictive annotations, to the National List: Microcrystalline cheesewax; acidified sodium chlorite; dried orange pulp; and Pacific kombu seaweed. This proposed rule would also amend the annotation for lecithin--unbleached, and remove lecithin--bleached, from the National List.
Agriculture Department -- Biomass Crop Assistance Program2010-Oct-272010-26871This rule implements the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). BCAP is intended to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with the establishment and production of eligible crops in selected project areas for conversion to bioenergy, and the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. This rule specifies the requirements for eligible producers and participants, biomass conversion facilities, and eligible renewable biomass crops and materials.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission -- Agricultural Commodity Definition2010-Oct-262010-26951The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``Commission'' or ``CFTC'') is charged with proposing rules to implement new statutory provisions enacted by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act''). The Dodd-Frank Act, which amends the Commodity Exchange Act (``CEA'' or ``Act''), includes provisions applicable to ``a swap in an agricultural commodity (as defined by the [CFTC]).'' Neither Congress nor the CFTC has previously promulgated a definition of that term for purposes of the CEA or CFTC regulations. This notice reviews the statutory and regulatory history of the term ``agricultural commodity'' in the context of the CEA and Commission regulations and proposes a definition of that term for purposes of the CEA and Commission regulations.
Environmental Protection Agency -- Supplemental Determination for Renewable Fuels Produced Under the Final RFS2 Program From Canola Oil2010-Sep-282010-24310On March 26, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency published final changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. In the preamble to the final rule, EPA indicated that it had not completed the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact analysis for several specific biofuel production pathways but that this work would be completed through a supplemental final rulemaking process. This supplemental final rule describes a final GHG analysis for canola oil biodiesel. It also finalizes our regulatory determination that canola oil biodiesel meets the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel GHG reduction thresholds of 50% as compared to the baseline petroleum fuel it will replace, petroleum diesel. This final rules will allow producers or importers of canola oil biodiesel fuel to generate biomass-based diesel Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), providing that the fuel meets other definitional criteria for renewable fuel (e.g., produced from renewable biomass as defined in the RFS2 regulations, and used to reduce or replace petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel). In addition, this rule includes a new regulatory provision establishing a temporary and limited means for producers or importers of canola oil biodiesel to generate RINs for qualifying biofuel produced or imported between July 1, 2010, and the effective date of this rule.
Agriculture Department -- Farm Loan Programs Loan Making Activities2010-Sep-232010-23830The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is proposing to amend the Farm Loan Programs (FLP) loan making regulations to implement four provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill). The first proposed amendment renames, expands, and makes the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Guarantee Pilot Program permanent. The next two proposed amendments change the farm experience requirements in the regulations for direct Farm Operating Loans (OL) and direct Farm Ownership Loans (FO). The fourth proposed amendment makes some equine farmers and certain equine losses eligible for Emergency Loans (EM).
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Loan Program2010-Sep-032010-22070The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is implementing the new Conservation Loan (CL) Program authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). This interim rule adds the CL Program provisions to the existing direct and guaranteed loan regulations. These provisions will provide CL Program eligibility and servicing options for the direct and guaranteed loans made through the CL Program.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Livestock)2010-Aug-242010-20977This interim rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to incorporate a recommendation submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on April 29, 2010. Consistent with the recommendation from the NOSB, this interim rule revises the annotation of one substance on the National List, methionine, to extend its use in organic poultry production until October 1, 2012, at the following maximum levels of synthetic methionine per ton of feed: Laying chickens--4 pounds; broiler chickens--5 pounds; turkeys and all other poultry--6 pounds. Comments are requested on this interim rule. On April 29, 2010, the NOSB also recommended to extend the allowance for synthetic methionine beyond October 1, 2012, to October 1, 2015, and decrease the maximum level of synthetic methionine permitted per ton of feed ration to the following levels: 2 pounds for laying and broiler chickens, and 3 pounds for turkeys and all other poultry. The NOSB further recommended that consideration of synthetic methionine after its anticipated October 1, 2015 expiration should take place through the Board's sunset review process rather than through the petition process. The Secretary intends to incorporate the NOSB's recommended reductions in allowable levels in a subsequent rulemaking to address the allowance for synthetic methionine for the period between October 1, 2012, and October 15, 2015.
Farm Credit Administration -- Loan Policies and Operations; Lending and Leasing Limits and Risk Management2010-Aug-182010-20367The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, we, our), by the Farm Credit Administration Board, is publishing for comment proposed amendments to our regulations relating to lending and leasing limits. We propose lowering the current limit on extensions of credit to a single borrower for each Farm Credit System (System) institution operating under title I or II of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Act). The proposed rule would not affect the lending and leasing limits of title III lenders under Sec. 614.4355. However, we are proposing that all titles I, II and III System institutions adopt written policies to effectively identify, limit, measure and monitor their exposures to loan and lease concentration risks. This proposed rule, if adopted, would increase the safe and sound operation of System institutions by strengthening their risk management practices and abilities to withstand volatile and negative changes in increasingly complex and integrated agricultural markets.
Transportation Department -- Inclusion of Reference to Manual Requirements2010-Aug-122010-19912The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is making a minor technical change to a final rule published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2009. That final rule established new requirements for the certification of products and articles. In that final rule, the FAA inadvertently did not change an affected regulatory reference in one section. The FAA is issuing this technical amendment to correct that oversight.
Treasury Department -- Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators2010-Jul-282010-18148The OCC, Board, FDIC, OTS, FCA, and NCUA (collectively, the Agencies) are adopting final rules to implement the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (the S.A.F.E. Act). The S.A.F.E. Act requires an employee of a bank, savings association, credit union or Farm Credit System (FCS) institution and certain of their subsidiaries that are regulated by a Federal banking agency or the FCA (collectively, Agency-regulated institutions) who acts as a residential mortgage loan originator to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry, obtain a unique identifier, and maintain this registration. The final rule further provides that Agency- regulated institutions must: require their employees who act as residential mortgage loan originators to comply with the S.A.F.E. Act's requirements to register and obtain a unique identifier, and adopt and follow written policies and procedures designed to assure compliance with these requirements.
Agriculture Department -- Conservation Reserve Program2010-Jul-282010-18473The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is amending the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) regulations to implement provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). The 2008 Farm Bill generally extends the existing CRP through 2012 with some changes in eligibility requirements. The changes in this rule include adding alfalfa to the definition of agricultural commodity for the purposes of determining cropping history, adding incentives for limited resource farmers and Indian tribes, adding pollinator habitat incentives, adding a provision allowing preference for local residents in accepting competitive offers, adding an additional waiver provision to exclude certain acreage for CRP county acreage maximums, and clarifying the limited harvesting and grazing activities that may be allowed on CRP land. The purpose of CRP is to cost-effectively assist producers in conserving and improving soil, water, wildlife, and other natural resources by converting environmentally-sensitive acreage from the production of agricultural commodities to a long-term vegetative cover and to address issues raised by State, regional and national conservation initiatives.
Agriculture Department -- Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program2010-Jul-082010-16656This rule establishes the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) regulations for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). This is a new program authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill). The purpose of VPA-HIP is to provide grants to State and tribal governments to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm, ranch, and forest land to voluntarily make that land available for access by the public for wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting, fishing, and other compatible recreation and to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their land, under programs administered by State or tribal governments.
Agriculture Department -- National Organic Program; Amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (Crops)2010-Jul-062010-16335This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) to enact two recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on November 19, 2008, and May 6, 2009. This final rule revises the annotation for tetracycline to eliminate the parenthetical reference and add an expiration date, and adds sulfurous acid, along with a restrictive annotation, to the National List for use in organic crop production.
Leave a Reply