[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 63 (Wednesday, April 2, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 18482]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07236]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 63 / Wednesday, April 2, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 18482]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service

7 CFR Parts 1703, 1709, 1710, 1717, 1720, 1721, 1724, 1726, 1737, 
1738, 1739, 1740, 1753, 1774, 1775, 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1782

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Rural Housing Service

Rural Utilities Service

Farm Service Agency

7 CFR Parts 1924, 1940, 1942, 1944, 1948, 1951, 1955, 1962, 1970, 
and 1980

Rural Housing Service

7 CFR Parts 3550, 3560, 3565, 3570, and 3575

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

Rural Utilities Service

7 CFR Parts 4274, 4279, 4280, 4284, and 4290

RIN 0575-AC56


Environmental Policies and Procedures

AGENCY: Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, 
Rural Utilities Service, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of public comment period.

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SUMMARY: Through this action, the Rural Housing Service, Rural 
Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service 
Agency is extending the comment period for the proposed rule, 
``Environmental Policies and Procedures'' by 30 days from April 7, 2014 
to May 7, 2014.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before May 
7, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to this rule by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service 
to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-0742.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal 
Express Mail or other courier service requiring a street address to the 
Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor, Suite 701, 
Washington, DC 20024.
    All written comments will be available for public inspection during 
regular work hours at the 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor address listed 
above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark S. Plank, Director, Environmental 
and Engineering Staff, Rural Utilities Service, Stop 1571, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-1571; email: 
Mark.Plank@wdc.usda.gov; telephone: (202) 720-1649.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 4, 2014, the Rural Housing 
Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, 
and Farm Service Agency published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register (79 FR 6740), ``Environmental Policies and Procedures.''
    In the proposed rule, Rural 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.

    Dated: March 20, 2014.
Patrice Kunesh,
Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Rural Development.
    Dated: March 26, 2014.
Michael T. Scuse,
Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2014-07236 Filed 4-1-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P