[Title 7 CFR ]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - January 1, 2017 Edition]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page i]]

          
          
          Title 7

Agriculture


________________________

Part 2000 to End

                         Revised as of January 1, 2017

          Containing a codification of documents of general 
          applicability and future effect

          As of January 1, 2017
                    Published by the Office of the Federal Register 
                    National Archives and Records Administration as a 
                    Special Edition of the Federal Register

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                            Table of Contents



                                                                    Page
  Explanation.................................................      vi

  Title 7:
    SUBTITLE B--Regulations of the Department of Agriculture 
      (Continued)
          Chapter XVIII--Rural Housing Service, Rural 
          Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities 
          Service, and Farm Service Agency, Department of 
          Agriculture (Continued)                                    5
          Chapter XX--Local Television Loan Guarantee Board         23
          Chapter XXV--Office of Advocacy and Outreach, 
          Department of Agriculture                                 59
          Chapter XXVI--Office of Inspector General, 
          Department of Agriculture                                 79
          Chapter XXVII--Office of Information Resources 
          Management, Department of Agriculture                     87
          Chapter XXVIII--Office of Operations, Department of 
          Agriculture                                               93
          Chapter XXIX--Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, 
          Department of Agriculture                                101
          Chapter XXX--Office of the Chief Financial Officer, 
          Department of Agriculture                                115
          Chapter XXXI--Office of Environmental Quality, 
          Department of Agriculture                                119
          Chapter XXXII--Office of Procurement and Property 
          Management, Department of Agriculture                    127
          Chapter XXXIII--Office of Transportation, Department 
          of Agriculture                                           193

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          Chapter XXXIV--National Institute of Food and 
          Agriculture                                              207
          Chapter XXXV--Rural Housing Service, Department of 
          Agriculture                                              385
          Chapter XXXVI--National Agricultural Statistics 
          Service, Department of Agriculture                       675
          Chapter XXXVII--Economic Research Service, 
          Department of Agriculture                                683
          Chapter XXXVIII--World Agricultural Outlook Board, 
          Department of Agriculture                                689
          Chapter XLI [Reserved]
          Chapter XLII--Rural Business-Cooperative Service and 
          Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture       693
  Finding Aids:
      Table of CFR Titles and Chapters........................    1041
      Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR......    1061
      List of CFR Sections Affected...........................    1071

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                     ----------------------------

                     Cite this Code:  CFR
                     To cite the regulations in 
                       this volume use title, 
                       part and section number. 
                       Thus, 7 CFR 2003.1 refers 
                       to title 7, part 2003, 
                       section 1.

                     ----------------------------

[[Page vi]]



                               EXPLANATION

    The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and 
permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive 
departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Code is divided 
into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal 
regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually bear the 
name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into 
parts covering specific regulatory areas.
    Each volume of the Code is revised at least once each calendar year 
and issued on a quarterly basis approximately as follows:

Title 1 through Title 16.................................as of January 1
Title 17 through Title 27..................................as of April 1
Title 28 through Title 41...................................as of July 1
Title 42 through Title 50................................as of October 1

    The appropriate revision date is printed on the cover of each 
volume.

LEGAL STATUS

    The contents of the Federal Register are required to be judicially 
noticed (44 U.S.C. 1507). The Code of Federal Regulations is prima facie 
evidence of the text of the original documents (44 U.S.C. 1510).

HOW TO USE THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

    The Code of Federal Regulations is kept up to date by the individual 
issues of the Federal Register. These two publications must be used 
together to determine the latest version of any given rule.
    To determine whether a Code volume has been amended since its 
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Sections Affected (LSA),'' which is issued monthly, and the ``Cumulative 
List of Parts Affected,'' which appears in the Reader Aids section of 
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EFFECTIVE AND EXPIRATION DATES

    Each volume of the Code contains amendments published in the Federal 
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OMB CONTROL NUMBERS

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-511) requires 
Federal agencies to display an OMB control number with their information 
collection request.

[[Page vii]]

Many agencies have begun publishing numerous OMB control numbers as 
amendments to existing regulations in the CFR. These OMB numbers are 
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PAST PROVISIONS OF THE CODE

    Provisions of the Code that are no longer in force and effect as of 
the revision date stated on the cover of each volume are not carried. 
Code users may find the text of provisions in effect on any given date 
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Affected'' is published at the end of each CFR volume. For changes to 
the Code prior to the LSA listings at the end of the volume, consult 
previous annual editions of the LSA. For changes to the Code prior to 
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``[RESERVED]'' TERMINOLOGY

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INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

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if it were published in full in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 552(a)). 
This material, like any other properly issued regulation, has the force 
of law.
    What is a proper incorporation by reference? The Director of the 
Federal Register will approve an incorporation by reference only when 
the requirements of 1 CFR part 51 are met. Some of the elements on which 
approval is based are:
    (a) The incorporation will substantially reduce the volume of 
material published in the Federal Register.
    (b) The matter incorporated is in fact available to the extent 
necessary to afford fairness and uniformity in the administrative 
process.
    (c) The incorporating document is drafted and submitted for 
publication in accordance with 1 CFR part 51.
    What if the material incorporated by reference cannot be found? If 
you have any problem locating or obtaining a copy of material listed as 
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alphabetical list of agencies publishing in the CFR are also included in 
this volume.

[[Page viii]]

    An index to the text of ``Title 3--The President'' is carried within 
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    The Federal Register Index is issued monthly in cumulative form. 
This index is based on a consolidation of the ``Contents'' entries in 
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    A List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) is published monthly, keyed to 
the revision dates of the 50 CFR titles.

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INQUIRIES

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    Oliver A. Potts,
    Director,
    Office of the Federal Register.
    January 1, 2017.

                                
                                      
                            

  

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                               THIS TITLE

    Title 7--Agriculture is composed of fifteen volumes. The parts in 
these volumes are arranged in the following order: Parts 1-26, 27-52, 
53-209, 210-299, 300-399, 400-699, 700-899, 900-999, 1000-1199, 1200-
1599, 1600-1759, 1760-1939, 1940-1949, 1950-1999, and part 2000 to end. 
The contents of these volumes represent all current regulations codified 
under this title of the CFR as of January 1, 2017.

    The Food and Nutrition Service current regulations in the volume 
containing parts 210-299 include the Child Nutrition Programs and the 
Food Stamp Program. The regulations of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation are found in the volume containing parts 400-699.

    All marketing agreements and orders for fruits, vegetables and nuts 
appear in the one volume containing parts 900-999. All marketing 
agreements and orders for milk appear in the volume containing parts 
1000-1199.

    For this volume, Susannah C. Hurley was Chief Editor. The Code of 
Federal Regulations publication program is under the direction of John 
Hyrum Martinez, assisted by Stephen J. Frattini.

[[Page 1]]



                          TITLE 7--AGRICULTURE




                  (This book contains part 2000 to End)

  --------------------------------------------------------------------

  SUBTITLE B--Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued)

                                                                    Part

chapter xviii--Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-
  Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm 
  Service Agency, Department of Agriculture (Continued).....        2003

chapter xx--Local Television Loan Guarantee Board Procedures        2200

chapter xxv--Office of Advocacy and Outreach, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        2500

chapter xxvi--Office of Inspector General, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        2610

chapter xxvii--Office of Information Resources Management, 
  Department of Agriculture.................................        2700

chapter xxviii--Office of Operations, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        2810

chapter xxix--Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, 
  Department of Agriculture.................................        2900

chapter xxx--Office of the Chief Financial Officer, 
  Department of Agriculture.................................        3010

chapter xxxi--Office of Environmental Quality, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        3100

chapter xxxii--Office of Procurement and Property 
  Management, Department of Agriculture.....................        3200

chapter xxxiii--Office of Transportation, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        3300

chapter xxxiv--National Institute of Food and Agriculture...        3400

chapter xxxv--Rural Housing Service, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        3550

[[Page 2]]


chapter xxxvi--National Agricultural Statistics Service, 
  Department of Agriculture.................................        3600

chapter xxxvii--Economic Research Service, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        3700

chapter xxxviii--World Agricultural Outlook Board, 
  Department of Agriculture.................................        3800
chapter xli [Reserved]

chapter xlii--Rural Business-Cooperative Service and Rural 
  Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture..............        4274

chapter l--Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing 
  Service, and Rural Utilities Service, Department of 
  Agriculture...............................................        5001

[[Page 3]]

  Subtitle B--Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued)

[[Page 5]]



    CHAPTER XVIII--RURAL HOUSING SERVICE, RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE 
SERVICE, RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, AND FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF 
                         AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED)




  --------------------------------------------------------------------


  Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to chapter XVIII appear at 61 FR 
1109, Jan. 16, 1996, and 61 FR 2899, Jan. 30, 1996.

                SUBCHAPTER I--ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
Part                                                                Page
2000-2002       [Reserved]

2003            Organization................................           7
2018            General.....................................          17
2045            General.....................................          19
2046-2099       [Reserved]

[[Page 7]]



                 SUBCHAPTER I_ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS



                       PARTS 2000	2002 [RESERVED]



PART 2003_ORGANIZATION--Table of Contents



 Subpart A_Functional Organization of the Rural Development Mission Area

Sec.
2003.1  Definitions.
2003.2  General.
2003.3-2003.4  [Reserved]
2003.5  Headquarters organization.
2003.6  Office of the Under Secretary.
2003.7-2003.9  [Reserved]
2003.10  Rural Development State Offices.
2003.11-2003.13  [Reserved]
2003.14  Field Offices.
2003.15-2003.16  [Reserved]
2003.17  Availability of information.
2003.18  Functional organization of RHS.
2003.19-2003.21  [Reserved]
2003.22  Functional organization of RUS.
2003.23-2003.25  [Reserved]
2003.26  Functional organization of RBS.
2003.27-2003.50  [Reserved]

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 6941; and 7 CFR 2.17.

    Source: 62 FR 67259, Dec. 24, 1997, unless otherwise noted.



 Subpart A_Functional Organization of the Rural Development Mission Area



Sec. 2003.1  Definitions.

    EEO--the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2000e et seq.
    O&M--Operations and Management.
    P&P--Policy and Planning.
    RBS--Rural Business-Cooperative Development Service, USDA, or any 
successor agency.
    RHS--Rural Housing Service, USDA, or any successor agency.
    RTB--Rural Telephone Bank authorized by 7 U.S.C. 944.
    Rural Development--Rural Development mission area of USDA.
    RUS--Rural Utilities Service, USDA, or any successor agency.
    Secretary--the Secretary of USDA.
    USDA--the United States Department of Agriculture.



Sec. 2003.2  General.

    The Rural Development mission area of the Department of Agriculture 
was established as a result of the Department of Agriculture 
Reorganization Act of 1994, Title II of Pub.L. 103-354. Rural 
Development's basic organization consists of Headquarters in Washington, 
D.C. and 47 State Offices. Headquarters maintains overall planning, 
coordination, and control of Rural Development agency programs. 
Administrators head RHS, RBS, and RUS under the direction of the Under 
Secretary for Rural Development. State Directors head the State Offices 
and are directly responsible to the Under Secretary for the execution of 
all Rural Development agency programs within the boundaries of their 
states.



Secs. 2003.3-2003.4  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.5  Headquarters organization.

    (a) The Rural Development Headquarters is comprised of:
    (1) The Office of the Under Secretary;
    (2) Two Deputy Under Secretaries; and,
    (3) Three Administrators and their staffs.
    (b) The Rural Development Headquarters is located at 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. 20250-0700



Sec. 2003.6  Office of the Under Secretary.

    In accordance with 7 CFR Sec. 2.17 the Secretary has delegated to 
the Under Secretary, Rural Development, authority to manage and 
administer programs and support functions of the Rural Development 
mission area.
    (a) Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for P&P. This office is 
headed by the Deputy Under Secretary for P&P. The Under Secretary, Rural 
Development, has delegated to the Deputy Under Secretary for P&P, 
responsibility for formulation and development of short-and long-range 
rural development policies of the Department in accordance with 7 CFR 
Sec. 2.45. The Deputy Under Secretary for P&P reports directly to the 
Under Secretary, Rural

[[Page 8]]

Development, and provides guidance and supervision for research, policy 
analysis and development, strategic planning, partnerships and special 
initiatives. For budget and accounting purposes, all of the staff 
offices under the Deputy Under Secretary for P&P are housed in RBS.
    (1) The Budget Analysis Division assesses potential impacts of 
alternative policies on the mission area's programs and operations and 
develops recommendations for change. The units are headed by the Chief 
Budget Officer, who individually serves as the top policy advisor to the 
Under Secretary and Deputy Under Secretary on all matters relating to 
mission area budget policy.
    (2) The Research, Analysis and Information Division analyzes 
information on rural conditions and the strategies and techniques for 
promoting rural development. The division performs, or arranges to have 
conducted, short-term and major research studies needed to formulate 
policy.
    (3) The Reinvention and Capacity Building Division coordinates the 
mission area's strategic planning initiatives, both at the National 
level and in the State Offices. The division assists the Rural 
Development agencies in their implementation of the Government 
Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and special initiatives of the 
Administration, USDA, and the Office of the Under Secretary.
    (4) The Rural Initiatives and Partnership Division manages the 
mission area's involvement and coordination with other Federal and state 
departments and agencies to assess rural issues and develop model 
partnerships and initiatives to achieve shared rural development goals. 
The division is responsible for managing the National Rural Development 
Partnership and providing support and oversight of 37 State Rural 
Development Councils.
    (b) Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for O&M. In accordance with 
7 CFR 2.45, the Under Secretary, Rural Development, has delegated to the 
Deputy Under Secretary for O&M responsibility for providing leadership 
in planning, developing, and administering overall administrative 
management program policies and operational activities of the Rural 
Development mission area. The Deputy Under Secretary for O&M reports 
directly to the Under Secretary, Rural Development.
    (1) Office of the Deputy Administrator for O&M. Headed by the Deputy 
Administrator for O&M, this office reports directly to the Deputy Under 
Secretary for O&M, and is responsible for directing and coordinating the 
consolidated administrative and financial management functions for Rural 
Development. This office provides overall guidance and supervision for 
budget and financial management, human resources management and 
personnel services, administrative and procurement services, information 
resources management and automated data systems. For budget and 
accounting purposes, all of the staff offices under the Deputy 
Administrator for O&M are housed in RHS.
    (i) Office of the Controller. Headed by the Chief Financial Officer, 
this office supports the Deputy Administrator for O&M in executing Rural 
Development requirements related to compliance with the Chief Financial 
Officers Act of 1990 and provides leadership, coordination, and 
oversight of all financial management matters and financial execution of 
the budget for the Rural Development agencies. This office also has full 
responsibility for Rural Development agencies' accounting, financial, 
reporting, and internal controls. The office provides direct oversight 
to the Headquarters Budget Division, Financial Management Division, and 
the Office of the Assistant Controller, located in St. Louis, Missouri.
    (ii) Office of Assistant Administrator for Procurement and 
Administrative Services. Headed by the Assistant Administrator for 
Procurement and Administrative Services, this office is responsible to 
the Deputy Administrator for O&M for overseeing the Procurement 
Management Division, the Property and Supply Management Division, and 
the Support Services Division:
    (A) The Procurement Management Division is responsible for 
developing, implementing, and interpreting procurement and contracting 
policies for the Rural Development mission area. Major functions include 
planning outreach efforts and goals for small and disadvantaged 
businesses, providing

[[Page 9]]

staff assistance reviews in State and Local Offices, administering the 
Contracting Officer Professionalism Warrant program for Rural 
Development agencies, and coordinating the development of Rural 
Development's acquisition plans.
    (B) The Property and Supply Management Division is responsible for 
developing office space acquisition and utilization policies, providing 
training to field office leasing officers, administering the Leasing 
Officer Warrant program, assuring accessibility compliance in Rural 
Development's work sites, administering Rural Development's Physical 
Security program, and establishing and providing oversight to the 
worksite Energy Conservation program. This office operates a nationwide 
supply warehousing and distribution program, and oversees a nationwide 
Personal Property Management and Utilization Program, manages the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Excess Personal Property Program for 
field level activities, and provides direct support services to Rural 
Development's St. Louis facilities.
    (C) The Support Services Division has responsibility for designing, 
developing, administering, and controlling Rural Development's 
directives management and issuance system, coordinating Rural 
Development's Regulatory Agenda and Regulatory Program submissions to 
USDA and OMB, serving as Federal Register liaison, and analyzing and 
coordinating regulatory work plans for the Under Secretary. This office 
submits Paperwork Reduction Act public burden clearances to OMB, 
administers all printing programs, manages Rural Development travel 
policies and programs, and manages Freedom of Information Act, Privacy 
Act and Tort Claims programs.
    (iii) Office of Information Resources Management (IRM). Headed by 
the Chief Information Officer, this office is responsible to the Deputy 
Administrator for O&M for developing Rural Development's IRM policies, 
regulations, standards and guidelines. This office provides overall 
leadership and direction to activities assigned to the following four 
major divisions:
    (A) The Customer Services Division is responsible for direct 
customer and technical support (hardware and software).
    (B) The Management Services Division coordinates all IRM 
acquisition, budget, and policy and planning activities in support of 
Rural Development automation.
    (C) The Information Technology Division provides support technical 
services in the areas of data administration, system integrity 
management, research and development, and telecommunications.
    (D) The Systems Services Division is responsible for planning, 
directing, and controlling activities related to Rural Development's 
Automated Information Systems.
    (iv) Office of the Assistant Administrator for Human Resources. 
Headed by the Assistant Administrator for Human Resources, this office 
is responsible to the Deputy Administrator for O&M for the overall 
development, implementation, and management, of personnel and human 
resources support services for Rural Development. The office provides 
direction to the Headquarters Personnel Services, Human Resources 
Training and Mission Area Personnel Services Division, and Labor 
Relations Staff offices. The office is also responsible for the 
establishment of recruitment, retention, and development policies and 
programs supporting workforce diversity and affirmative action.
    (2) Office of Civil Rights Staff. Headed by a staff director, this 
staff has primary responsibility for providing leadership and 
administration of the Civil Rights Program for the Rural Development 
mission area. The staff conducts on-site reviews of borrowers and 
beneficiaries of Federal financial assistance to ensure compliance with 
Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title 
VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, Section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and prepares 
compliance reports. The staff conducts and evaluates Title VII 
compliance visits to insure that EEO programs are adequately 
implemented. In addition, the office develops, monitors, and evaluates 
Affirmative Employment programs for minorities, women and

[[Page 10]]

persons with disabilities, and coordinates and conducts community 
outreach activities at historically black colleges and universities. It 
also has oversight of special emphasis programs such as the Federal 
Women's Program, Hispanic Emphasis Program, and Black Emphasis Program. 
The staff director reports directly to the Deputy Under Secretary for 
O&M.
    (3) Office of Communications. Headed by a director who reports 
directly to the Deputy Under Secretary for O&M, this office has primary 
responsibility for tracking legislation and development and institution 
of policies to provide public communication and information services 
related to the Rural Development. The office maintains a constituent 
data base and conducts minority outreach efforts and administers a 
public information and media center responsible for media inquiries, 
news releases, program announcements, media advisories, and information 
retrieval. This office also serves as a liaison with Office of 
Congressional Relations (OCR), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), and 
other Departmental units involved in Congressional relations and public 
information. This office drafts testimony, prepares witnesses, and 
provides staff for hearings and markups. In addition, the office briefs 
Congressional members and staff on the Rural Development matters, 
coordinates Rural Development's legislative activities with other USDA 
agencies and OMB and develops and implements legislative strategy. The 
staff also coordinates development and production of brochures, press 
releases, and other public information materials.



Secs. 2003.7-2003.9  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.10  Rural Development State Offices.

    (a) Headed by State Directors, State Offices report directly to the 
Under Secretary, Rural Development, and are responsible to the three 
Rural Development agency Administrators for carrying out agency program 
operations at the State level, ensuring adherence to program plans 
approved for the State by the Under Secretary, and rendering staff 
advisory and manpower support to Area and Local offices. The Rural 
Development State Directors, for budget and accounting purposes, are 
housed in the RHS agency.
    (b) Program Directors within the State Office provide oversight and 
leadership on major program functions. Major program functions include: 
Single Family and Multi-Family Housing loans and grants, Community 
Facility, Water and Waste Disposal, Business and Cooperative, and the 
Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) programs.
    (c) The USDA Rural Development State Office locations are as 
follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   State                              Location
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama...................................  Montgomery, AL
Alaska....................................  Palmer, AK
Arizona...................................  Phoenix, AZ
Arkansas..................................  Little Rock, AR
California................................  Woodland, CA
Colorado..................................  Lakewood, CO
Delaware..................................  Camden, DE
Florida...................................  Gainesville, FL
Georgia...................................  Athens, GA
Hawaii....................................  Hilo, HI
Idaho.....................................  Boise, ID
Illinois..................................  Champaign, IL
Indiana...................................  Indianapolis, IN
Iowa......................................  Des Moines, IA
Kansas....................................  Topeka, KS
Kentucky..................................  Lexington, KY
Louisiana.................................  Alexandria, LA
Maine.....................................  Bangor, ME
Massachusetts.............................  Amherst, MA
Michigan..................................  East Lansing, MI
Minnesota.................................  St. Paul, MN
Mississippi...............................  Jackson, MS
Missouri..................................  Columbia, MO
Montana...................................  Bozeman, MT
Nebraska..................................  Lincoln, NE
Nevada....................................  Carson City, NV
New Jersey................................  Mt. Holly, NJ
New Mexico................................  Albuquerque, NM
New York..................................  Syracuse, NY
North Carolina............................  Raleigh, NC
North Dakota..............................  Bismarck, ND
Ohio......................................  Columbus, OH
Oklahoma..................................  Stillwater, OK
Oregon....................................  Portland, OR
Pennsylvania..............................  Harrisburg, PA
Puerto Rico...............................  Hato Rey, PR
South Carolina............................  Columbia, SC
South Dakota..............................  Huron, SD
Tennessee.................................  Nashville, TN
Texas.....................................  Temple, TX
Utah......................................  Salt Lake City, UT
Vermont...................................  Montpelier, VT
Virginia..................................  Richmond, VA
Washington................................  Olympia, WA
West Virginia.............................  Charleston, WV
Wisconsin.................................  Stevens Point, WI
Wyoming...................................  Casper, WY
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[62 FR 67259, Dec. 24, 1997; 63 FR 3256, Jan. 22, 1998]

[[Page 11]]



Secs. 2003.11-2003.13  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.14  Field Offices.

    Rural Development field offices report to their respective State 
Director and State Office Program Directors. State Directors may 
organizationally structure their offices based on the program workloads 
within their respective State. Field offices generally are patterned in 
a three or two tier program delivery structure. In a three tier system, 
Local offices report to an Area office, that reports to the State 
Office. In a two tier system, a ``Local'' or ``Area'' office reports to 
the State Office. Locations and telephone numbers of Area and Local 
Offices may be obtained from the appropriate Rural Development State 
Office.



Secs. 2003.15-2003.16  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.17  Availability of information.

    Information concerning Rural Development programs and agencies may 
be obtained from the Office of Communications, Rural Development, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, STOP 0705, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-0705.



Sec. 2003.18  Functional organization of RHS.

    (a) General. The Secretary established RHS pursuant to section 233 
of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 
6943).
    (b) Office of the Administrator. According to 7 CFR 2.49, the 
Administrator has responsibility for implementing programs aimed at 
delivering loans and grant assistance to rural Americans and their 
communities in obtaining adequate and affordable housing and community 
facilities, in accordance with Title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 
U.S.C. 1471 et seq.) and the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 
(7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.).
    (1) Legislative Affairs Staff. The duties and responsibilities of 
this staff have now been aligned under the Office of Communication, 
headed by a director who reports directly to the Under Secretary for 
O&M. The Office of Communication is responsible for providing and 
carrying out legislative, public communication, and information services 
for the Rural Development mission area.
    (2) Office of Program Support Staff. The Program Support Staff is 
headed by a staff director who is responsible to the Administrator for 
monitoring managerial and technical effectiveness of RHS programs. The 
staff coordinates review and analysis of legislation, Executive Orders, 
OMB circulars, and Department regulations for their impact on Agency 
programs. The staff develops, implements, and reports on architectural 
and environmental policies, in cooperation with the Department. Staff 
responsibilities also include managing RHS's Hazardous Waste Management 
Fund, coordinating the Debarment and Suspension process for RHS, 
tracking the use of Program Loan Cost Expense funds, and maintaining the 
RHS Internet ``Home Page.''
    (3) Office of Deputy Administrator, Single Family Housing. Headed by 
the Deputy Administrator, Single Family Housing, this office is 
responsible to the Administrator for the development and implementation 
of RHS's Single Family Housing programs, which extend supervised housing 
credit to rural people of limited resources, for adequate, modest, 
decent, safe, and sanitary homes. The office is responsible for 
administering and managing sections 502 and 504 Rural Housing direct and 
guaranteed loan and grant programs, Rural Housing and Self-Help Site 
loans, the Self-Help Technical Assistance grant program, Housing 
Application Packaging and Technical and Supervisory Assistance grants, 
and Home Improvement and Repaid loans and grants. The office directs the 
following three divisions: Single Family Housing Processing Division, 
Single Family Housing Servicing and Property Management Division, and 
Single Family Housing Centralized Servicing Center in St. Louis, Mo.
    (i) Office of Single Family Housing Processing Division. Headed by a 
division director, this division is responsible for development and 
nationwide implementation of policies on processing Single Family 
Housing direct and guaranteed program loans. In addition, the division 
provides direction on the following: the Rural Housing Targeted Area 
Set-Aside program,

[[Page 12]]

debarments, payment assistance, title clearance and loan closing, site/
subdivision development, Deferred Mortgage Payment Program; construction 
defects, credit reports, appraisals, Manufactured Housing, coordinated 
assessment reviews, Home Buyer's Counseling/Education Program, and 
allocation of loan and grant program funds.
    (ii) Office of Single Family Housing Servicing and Property 
Management Division. Headed by a division director, this division is 
responsible for the development and implementation of nationwide 
policies for servicing RHS's multi-billion dollar portfolio of Single 
Family Housing loans, and managing and selling Single Family Housing 
inventory properties. The division also conducts state program 
evaluations, identifies program weaknesses, makes recommendations for 
improvements, and identifies corrective actions.
    (iii) Office of Single Family Housing Centralized Servicing Center 
(CSC)--St. Louis, Missouri. Headed by a director, CSC is responsible for 
centrally servicing RHS's multi-billion dollar portfolio of Single 
Family Housing loans. CSC provides interest credit or payment assistance 
renewals, performs escrow activities for real estate taxes and property 
hazard insurance, oversees collection of loan payments, and grants 
interest credit, payment assistance, and moratoria.
    (4) Office of the Deputy Administrator, Multi-Family Housing 
Division. Headed by the Deputy Administrator, Multi-Family Housing, this 
office is responsible for the development and nationwide implementation 
of RHS's Multi-Family Housing programs, which extend supervised housing 
credit to rural residents an opportunity to have decent, safe, and 
sanitary rental housing. The following programs are administered and 
managed by this office: Section 515 Rural Rental Housing, Rural 
Cooperative and Congregate Housing Programs, Section 521 Rental 
Assistance, Farm Labor Housing loan and grant programs, Housing 
Preservation Grants, rural housing vouchers, and Housing Application 
Packaging Grants. This office directs the following two divisions:
    (i) Multi-Family Housing Processing Division. Headed by a division 
director, this division is responsible for the development and 
nationwide implementation of policies on processing Multi-Family Housing 
program loans. The division manages the following program areas: elderly 
and family rental housing, Farm Labor Housing loans and grants, outreach 
contacts, congregate facilities, Housing Preservation Grants, 
cooperative housing, rural housing vouchers, appraisals, Congregate 
Housing Services Grants, Rental Assistance, Housing Application 
Packaging Grants, targeted area and nonprofit set asides, Multi-Family 
Housing suspensions and debarments, title clearance and loan closing, 
allocation and monitoring of loan and grant funds, adverse decisions and 
appeals, commercial credit reports, individual credit reports, and, site 
development.
    (ii) Multi-Family Housing Portfolio Management Division. Headed by a 
division director, this division is responsible for the development and 
institution of policies on the management and servicing of the 
nationwide Multi-Family Housing programs. The Division implements 
current and long range plans for servicing Rural Rental Housing loans, 
Labor Housing loans and grants, and Rental Assistance or similar tenant 
subsidies.
    (5) Office of the Deputy Administrator, Community Programs. Headed 
by the Deputy Administrator, Community Programs, this office is 
responsible for overseeing the administration and management of 
Community Facilities loans and grants to hospitals and nursing homes, 
police and fire stations, libraries, schools, adult and child care 
centers, etc. The office monitors and evaluates the administration of 
loan and grant programs on a nationwide basis and provides guidance and 
direction for community programs through two divisions, Community 
Programs Loan Processing Division and Servicing and Special Authorities 
Division.
    (i) Community Programs Loan Processing Division. Headed by a 
director, this division is responsible for the overall administration, 
policy development, fund distribution, and processing of Community 
Facilities loans and grants and other loan and grant programs assigned 
to the Division.

[[Page 13]]

    (ii) Servicing and Special Authorities Division. Headed by a 
division director, this division is responsible for the overall 
administration, policy development, and servicing of the Community 
Facilities loan and grant programs. The division conducts program 
evaluations, identifies program weaknesses, makes recommendations for 
improvements, and identifies corrective actions. The division also 
administers and services Nonprofit National Corporation loans and 
grants.

[62 FR 67259, Dec. 24, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 32388, June 17, 1999]



Secs. 2003.19-2003.21  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.22  Functional organization of RUS.

    (a) General. The Secretary established RUS pursuant to Sec. 232 of 
the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 
6942).
    (b) Office of the Administrator. According to 7 CFR 2.47, the 
Administrator has responsibility for managing and administering the 
programs and support functions of RUS to provide financial and technical 
support for rural infrastructure to include electrification, clean 
drinking water, telecommunications, and water disposal systems, pursuant 
to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 
1921 et seq.), and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (7 
U.S.C. 901 et seq.). The office develops and implements strategic plans 
concerning the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended. The 
Administrator serves as Governor of the Rural Telephone Bank (RTB) with 
a 13-member board of directors, and exercises and performs all 
functions, powers, and duties of the RTB in accordance with 7 U.S.C. 
944.
    (1) Borrower and Program Support Services. Borrower and Program 
Support Services consist of the three following staffs which are 
responsible to the Administrator for planning and carrying out a variety 
of program and administrative services in support of all RUS programs, 
and providing expert advice and coordination for the Administrator:
    (i) Administrative Liaison Staff. Headed by a staff director, this 
staff advises the Administrator on management issues and policies 
relating to human resources, EEO, labor-management partnership, 
administrative services, travel management, automated information 
systems, and administrative budgeting and funds control.
    (ii) Program Accounting Services Division. Headed by a division 
director, this division develops and evaluates the accounting systems 
and procedures of Electric, Telecommunications, and Water and Wastewater 
borrowers; assures that accounting policies, systems, and procedures 
meet regulatory, Departmental, General Accounting Office, OMB, and 
Treasury Department requirements; examines borrowers' records and 
operations, and reviews expenditures of loans and other funds; develops 
audit requirements; and approves Certified Public Accountants to perform 
audits of borrowers.
    (iii) Program and Financial Services Staff. Headed by a staff 
director, this staff evaluates the financial conditions of troubled 
borrowers, negotiates settlements of delinquent loans, and makes 
recommendations to program Assistant Administrators on ways to improve 
the financial health of borrowers.
    (2) Office of Assistant Administrator--Electric Program. Headed by 
the Assistant Administrator--Electric Program, this office is 
responsible to the Administrator for directing and coordinating the 
Rural Electrification program of RUS nationwide. This office develops, 
maintains, and implements regulations and program procedures on 
processing and approving loans and loan-related activities for rural 
electric borrowers. The office directs the following three divisions:
    (i) Electric Regional Divisions. Headed by division directors, these 
two divisions are responsible for administering the Rural 
Electrification program in specific geographic areas and serving as the 
single point of contact for all distribution borrowers. The divisions 
provide guidance to borrowers on RUS loan policies and procedures, 
maintain oversight of borrower rate actions, and make recommendations to 
the Administrator on borrower applications for RUS financing. The 
divisions also assure that power plant, distribution,

[[Page 14]]

and transmission systems and facilities are designed and constructed in 
accordance with the terms of the loan and proper engineering practices 
and specifications.
    (ii) Power Supply Division. Headed by a division director, this 
division is responsible for administering the Rural Electrification 
program responsibilities with regard to power supply borrowers 
nationwide and serves as primary point of contact between RUS and all 
such borrowers. The division develops and maintains a loan processing 
program for Rural Electrification Act purposes, and develops and 
administers engineering and construction policies related to planning, 
design, construction, operation, and maintenance for power supply 
borrowers.
    (iii) Electric Staff Division. Headed by a division director, this 
division is responsible for engineering activities related to the 
design, construction, and technical operations and maintenance of power 
plants; distribution of power; and transmission systems and facilities, 
including load management and communications. The division develops 
criteria and techniques for evaluating the financing and performance of 
electric borrowers and forecasting borrowers' future power needs; and 
maintains financial expertise on the distribution and power supply loan 
program, and retail and wholesale rates.
    (3) Office of Assistant Administrator--Telecommunications Program. 
Headed by the Assistant Administrator--Telecommunications Program, this 
office is responsible to the Administrator for directing and 
coordinating the National Rural Telecommunications, Distance Learning, 
and Telemedicine programs of RUS. The Assistant Administrator, 
Telecommunications Program, serves as Assistant Governor of the RTB and 
is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the RTB. The office 
develops, maintains, and implements regulations and program procedures 
on the processing and approval of grants, loans, and loan-related 
activities for all rural telecommunications borrowers and grant 
recipients. The office directs the following three divisions:
    (i) Telecommunications Standards Division. Headed by a division 
director, this division is responsible for engineering staff activities 
related to the design, construction, and technical operation and 
maintenance of rural telecommunications systems and facilities. The 
office develops engineering practices, policies, and technical data 
related to borrowers' telecommunications systems; and evaluates the 
application of new communications network technology, including distance 
learning and telemedicine, to rural telecommunications systems.
    (ii) Advanced Telecommunications Services Staff. Headed by a staff 
director, this staff primarily serves the Assistant Administrator, 
Telecommunications Program in the role of the Assistant Governor of the 
RTB. The office performs analyses and makes recommendations to the AAT 
on issues raised by the RTB Governor, Board of Directors, or RTB 
borrowers. This staff maintains official records for the RTB Board and 
prepares minutes of RTB Board meetings. The staff director serves as the 
Assistant Secretary to the RTB. The staff performs the calculations 
necessary to determine the cost of money rate to RTB borrowers and 
recommends and develops program- wide procedures for loan and grant 
programs. The office is responsible for the Telecommunications Program's 
home page on the Internet.
    (iii) Telecommunications Area Offices. Headed by area directors, 
these four offices are responsible for administering the 
Telecommunications, Distance Learning, and Telemedicine programs for 
specific geographic areas, and serving as the single point of contact 
for all program applicants and borrowers within their respective areas. 
The offices provide guidance to applicants and borrowers on RUS and RTB 
loan policies and procedures, and make recommendations to the 
Administrator on applications for loans, guarantees, and grants. The 
offices assure that borrower systems and facilities are designed and 
constructed in accordance with the terms of the loan, acceptable 
engineering practices and specifications, and acceptable loan security 
standards.
    (4) Office of the Assistant Administrator--Water and Environmental 
Programs. Headed by the Assistant Administrator, Water and Environmental

[[Page 15]]

Programs, this office is responsible to the Administrator for directing 
and coordinating a nationwide Water and Waste Disposal Program for RUS 
as authorized under Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural 
Development Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1926). The office oversees 
administration of RUS policies on making and servicing loans and grants 
for water and waste facilities in rural America, and the development of 
engineering policies, and practices related to the construction and 
operation of community water and waste disposal systems. This office is 
responsible for development and coordination of environmental programs 
with regard to the Water and Waste Disposal Program and directs the 
following two divisions:
    (i) Water Programs Division. Headed by the division director, this 
division is responsible for administering the Water and Waste Disposal 
loan and grant making and servicing and special authorities activities 
nationwide. This office also makes allocation of loan and grant funds to 
field offices and manages National Office reserves.
    (ii) Engineering and Environmental Staff. Headed by a staff 
director, this staff is responsible for engineering activities at all 
stages of program implementation, including: review of preliminary 
engineering plans and specifications, procurement practices, contract 
awards, construction monitoring, and system operation and maintenance. 
The staff also develops Agency engineering practices, policies, and 
technical data related to the construction and operation of community 
water and waste disposal systems. The staff is responsible for 
coordinating environmental policy and providing technical support in 
areas such as: hazardous waste, debarment and suspension, flood 
insurance, drug free workplace requirements, and computer program 
software.



Secs. 2003.23-2003.25  [Reserved]



Sec. 2003.26  Functional organization of RBS.

    (a) General. The Secretary established RBS pursuant to section 234 
of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 
6944).
    (b) Office of the Administrator. According to 7 CFR 2.48, the 
Administrator is responsible for managing and administering the programs 
and support functions of RBS to provide assistance to disadvantaged 
communities through grants and loans and technical assistance to 
businesses and communities for rural citizens and cooperatives, pursuant 
to the following authorities: the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 940c and 950aa et seq.), the Consolidated Farm and 
Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.), the Cooperative Marketing 
Act of 1926 (7 U.S.C. 451-457), the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 
(7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), and the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1932). 
These grants, loans, and technical assistance improve community welfare 
by enhancing organizational and management skills, developing effective 
economic strategies, and expanding markets for a wide range of rural 
products and services.
    (1) Resources Coordination Staff. Headed by the staff director, this 
staff is responsible to the Administrator for preparing legislative 
initiatives and modifications for program enhancement. The staff 
monitors legislative and regulatory proposals that potentially impact 
RBS functions. The staff serves as liaison on budgetary and financial 
management matters between RBS staff and the Office of the Controller, 
and assists the Administrator in presenting and supporting RBS's budget 
and program plans. The staff also advises the Administrator and RBS 
officials on management issues and policies related to: human resources, 
labor relations, civil rights, EEO, space, equipment, travel, Senior 
Executive Service and Schedule C activities, contracting, automated 
information systems, and accounting. The staff provides analysis and 
recommendations on the effectiveness of administrative and management 
activities, and performs liaison functions between RBS and the Office of 
the Deputy Under Secretary for O&M on a wide variety of administrative 
functions.
    (2) Office of the Deputy Administrator, Business Programs. Headed by 
the Deputy Administrator, Business Programs,

[[Page 16]]

this office is responsible to the Administrator for overseeing and 
coordinating the Business and Industry Guaranteed and Direct Loan 
programs, Intermediary Relending Program loans, Rural Business 
Enterprise grants, Rural Business Opportunity grants, Rural Economic 
Development loan and grant programs, and the Rural Venture Capital 
Demonstration Program. The office participates in policy planning, and 
program development and evaluation. It also directs the following three 
divisions:
    (i) Processing Division. Headed by the division director, this 
division is responsible for developing and maintaining loan processing 
regulations, and directs the processing and approval of guaranteed and 
direct business and industry loans, and the Rural Venture Capital 
Demonstration Program. It provides technical assistance to field 
employees and borrowers on loan processing and develops approval 
criteria and performance standards for loans. The division recommends 
plans, programs, and activities related to business loan programs and 
provides environmental guidance and support.
    (ii) Servicing Division. Headed by the division director, this 
office is responsible for developing and maintaining servicing 
regulations. It directs and provides technical assistance to field 
employees and borrowers on servicing business loans and grants. The 
division reviews large, complex, or potentially controversial loan and 
grant dockets related to loan servicing and recommends servicing plans, 
programs, and activities related to business loan and grant programs.
    (iii) Specialty Lenders Division. Headed by the division director, 
this office is responsible for directing and developing and maintaining 
regulations concerning the processing and approval of Intermediary 
Relending loans, Rural Business Enterprise grants, Rural Business 
Opportunity grants, and Rural Economic Development loan and grant 
programs. The division provides technical assistance to field employees 
and borrowers on loan and grant processing and other activities. It also 
develops approval criteria and performance standards and recommends 
plans, programs, and activities related to business loan and grant 
programs.
    (3) Office of the Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Services 
Programs. Headed by the Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Services 
Programs, this office is responsible to the Administrator for providing 
service to cooperative associations by administering a program of 
research and analysis of economic, social, legal, financial, and other 
related issues concerning cooperatives. The office administers programs 
to assist cooperatives in the organization and management of their 
associations and a program for economic research and analysis of the 
marketing aspects of cooperatives. The division administers and monitors 
activities of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center and the 
Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas Program, and the Rural 
Cooperative Development Grant Program. The office directs the following 
three divisions:
    (i) Cooperative Marketing Division. Headed by the division director, 
this division is responsible for participating in the formulation of 
National policies and procedures on cooperative marketing. The division 
conducts research and analysis and gives technical assistance to farmer 
cooperatives on cooperative marketing of certain crops, livestock, 
aquaculture, forestry, poultry, semen, milk, and dairy products to 
improve their market performance and economic position.
    (ii) Cooperative Development Division. Headed by the division 
director, this division is responsible for participating in the 
formulation of National policies and procedures on cooperative 
development. The office conducts evaluations and analysis of proposed 
new cooperatives to develop plans for implementing feasible operations, 
and advises and assists rural resident groups and developing 
cooperatives in implementing sound business plans for new cooperatives. 
It provides research, analysis, and technical assistance to rural 
residents on cooperative development initiatives and strategies to 
improve economic conditions through cooperative efforts.

[[Page 17]]

    (iii) Cooperative Resource Management Division. Headed by the 
division director, this division is responsible for participating in the 
formulating of National policies and procedures on cooperative resource 
management. The division conducts research and analysis and gives 
technical assistance to cooperatives on their overall structure, 
strategic management and planning, financial issues, and operational 
characteristics to improve their use of resources, financial policies, 
and ability to adapt to market conditions. The division conducts 
research and analysis of policy, taxation, Federal laws, State statutes, 
and common laws that apply to cooperative incorporation, structure, and 
operation to assist cooperatives in meeting legal requirements.
    (4) Office of the Deputy Administrator, Community Development. 
Headed by the Deputy Administrator, Community Development, this office 
is responsible to the Under Secretary, Rural Development, for 
coordinating and overseeing all functions in the Community Outreach and 
Empowerment Program areas. The office assists in providing leadership 
and coordination to National and local rural economic and community 
development efforts. For appropriation and accounting purposes, this 
office is located under RBS. The office directs the following two 
divisions:
    (i) Empowerment Program Division. Headed by the division director, 
this division is responsible for formulating policies and developing 
plans, standards, procedures, and schedules for accomplishing RBS 
activities related to ``community empowerment programs'', including EZ/
EC, AmeriCorps, and other initiatives. The office develops informational 
materials and provides technical advice and services to support States 
on community empowerment programs. It also generates information about 
rural conditions and strategies and techniques for promoting rural 
economic development for community empowerment programs.
    (ii) Community Outreach Division. Headed by the division director, 
this division is responsible for designing and overseeing overall 
systems and developing resources to support State and community level 
implementation activities for RBS programs. The office designs program 
delivery systems and tools, removes impediments to effective community-
level action, supports field offices with specialized skills, and 
establishes partnerships with National organizations with grass-roots 
membership to assure that programs and initiatives are designed and 
implemented in a way that empowers communities. It develops methods for 
working with rural business intermediaries to assist them in providing 
technical assistance to new, small business, and provides Internet-based 
services to 1890 Land-grant universities, EZ/EC, and AmeriCorps 
volunteers, linking RBS information support to communities with high 
levels of need.
    (5) Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization 
Corporation. Headed by a director, this Corporation is responsible for 
providing and monitoring financial assistance for the development and 
commercialization of new nonfood and nonfeed products from agricultural 
and forestry commodities in accordance with 7 U.S.C. 5901 et seq. The 
Corporation acts as a catalyst in forming private and public 
partnerships and promotes new uses of agricultural materials. It expands 
market opportunities for U.S. farmers through development of value-added 
industrial products and promotes environmentally friendly products. For 
budget and accounting purposes, this office is assigned to RBS. The 
director of the Corporation is responsible to the Office of the 
Secretary.



Secs. 2003.27-2003.50  [Reserved]



PART 2018_GENERAL--Table of Contents



Subparts A-E [Reserved]

                  Subpart F_Availability of Information

Sec.
2018.251  General statement.
2018.252  Public inspection and copying.
2018.253  Indexes.
2018.254  Requests for records.
2018.255  Appeals.
2018.256-2018.300  [Reserved]

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552.

Subparts A-E [Reserved]

[[Page 18]]



                  Subpart F_Availability of Information

    Source: 61 FR 32645, June 25, 1996, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2018.251  General statement.

    In keeping with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 
the policy of Rural Development and its component agencies, Rural 
Housing Service (RHS), Rural Utilities Service (RUS), and Rural 
Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), governing access to information is 
one of nearly total availability, limited only by the countervailing 
policies recognized by the FOIA.



Sec. 2018.252  Public inspection and copying.

    Facilities for inspection and copying are provided by the Freedom of 
Information Officer (FOIO) in the National Office, by the State Director 
in each State Office, by the Rural Development Manager (formerly, 
District Director) in each District Office, and by the Community 
Development Manager (formerly, County Supervisor) in each County Office. 
A person requesting information may inspect such materials and, upon 
payment of applicable fees, obtain copies. Material may be reviewed 
during regular business hours. If any of the Rural Development materials 
requested are not located at the office to which the request was made, 
the request will be referred to the office where such materials are 
available.



Sec. 2018.253  Indexes.

    Since Rural Development does not maintain any materials to which 5 
U.S.C. 552(a)(2) applies, it maintains no indexes.



Sec. 2018.254  Requests for records.

    Requests for records are to be submitted in accordance with 7 CFR 
1.3 and may be made to the appropriate Community Development Manager, 
Rural Development Manager, State Administrative Management Program 
Director (formerly, State Administrative Officer), State Director, 
Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Specialist, or Freedom of Information 
Officer. The last two positions are located in the Rural Development 
Support Services Division, Washington, DC 20250. The phrase ``FOIA 
REQUEST'' should appear on the outside of the envelope in capital 
letters. The FOIA requests under the Farm Credit Programs (formally FmHA 
Farmer Programs) should be forwarded to the Farm Service Agency (FSA), 
Freedom of Information Officer, Room 3624, South Agriculture Building, 
14th & Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0506. Requests 
should be as specific as possible in describing the records being 
requested. The FOIO, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Specialist, each 
State Administrative Management Program Director, each State Director, 
each Rural Development Manager, and each Community Development Manager 
are delegated authority to act respectively at the national, state, 
district, or county level on behalf of Rural Development to:
    (a) Deny requests for records determined to be exempt under one or 
more provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b);
    (b) Make discretionary releases (unless prohibited by other 
authority) of such records when it is determined that the public 
interests in disclosure outweigh the public and/or private ones in 
withholding; and
    (c) Reduce or waive fees to be charged where determined to be 
appropriate.



Sec. 2018.255  Appeals.

    If all or any part of an initial request is denied, it may be 
appealed in accordance with 7 CFR 1.7 to that particular Agency 
possessing the documents. Please select the appropriate Agency to 
forward your FOIA appeal from the following addresses: Administrator, 
Rural Housing Service, Room 5014, AG Box 0701, 14th & Independence 
Avenue, SW.--South Building, Washington, DC 20250-0701; Administrator, 
Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Room 5045, AG Box 3201, 14th & 
Independence Avenue, SW.--South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3201 and 
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, Room 4501, AG Box 1510, 14th & 
Independence Avenue, SW.--South Building, Washington, DC

[[Page 19]]

20250-1510. The phrase ``FOIA APPEAL'' should appear on the front of the 
envelope in capital letters.



Secs. 2018.256-2018.300  [Reserved]



PART 2045_GENERAL--Table of Contents



Subparts A-II [Reserved]

     Subpart JJ_Rural Development_Utilization of Gratuitous Services

Sec.
2045.1751  General.
2045.1752  Policy.
2045.1753  Authority to accept gratuitous services.
2045.1754  Scope of gratuitous services performed.
2045.1755  Preparation and disposition of agreement forms.
2045.1756  Records and reports.

Exhibit A to Subpart JJ of Part 2045--Agreement Form

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1989; 42 U.S.C. 1480.

    Source: 43 FR 3694, Jan. 27, 1978, unless otherwise noted.

Subparts A-II [Reserved]



     Subpart JJ_Rural Development_Utilization of Gratuitous Services



Sec. 2045.1751  General.

    Section 331(b) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act 
(Pub. L. 92-419), and section 506(a) of the Housing Act of 1949, empower 
the Secretary of Agriculture to accept and utilize voluntary and 
uncompensated services in carrying out the provisions of the above cited 
Acts. The Secretary has delegated those authorities to the Administrator 
of the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) or its successor agency under 
Public Law 103-354 in 7 CFR 2.70(a) (1) and (2).



Sec. 2045.1752  Policy.

    Voluntary and uncompensated (gratuitous) services may be accepted 
with the consent of the agency concerned, from the following sources 
under the conditions set forth in Exhibit A, ``Agreement for Utilization 
of Employee of (Enter Official Title of Governing Body or Other 
Authorized Organization) By the Farmers Home Administration or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354'' (Agreement Form).
    (a) Any agency of State government or of any territory or political 
subdivision.
    (b) Non-profit, educational, and charitable organizations, provided 
that no partisan, political, or profit motive is involved either 
explicitly or implicitly.



Sec. 2045.1753  Authority to accept gratuitous services.

    (a) State Directors, Director, Personnel Division, and Director, 
Finance Office, are hereby authorized to accept and utilize gratuitous 
services offered by the governmental agencies listed in 
Sec. 2045.1752(a).
    (b) An offer received by an FmHA or its successor agency under 
Public Law 103-354 State or County Office from a source listed in 
Sec. 2045.1752(b) shall be transmitted to the National Office, 
Attention: Director, Personnel Division, for decision. The offer will be 
accompanied by copies of the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws (if 
the organization is incorporated), a statement that the organization 
accepts the conditions set forth in the Agreement Form, and evidence 
that the organization is financially able to meet the required fiscal 
obligations of the agreement.



Sec. 2045.1754  Scope of gratuitous services performed.

    (a) Gratuitous services accepted in accordance with this subpart may 
be utilized to perform any function performed by regular FmHA or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354 employees (excluding Committee 
members). Such services must not result in the displacement of 
employees. Most of the gratuitous services should be performed at the 
County Office level and conform to a standard FmHA or its successor 
agency under Public Law 103-354 position description. A nonstandard 
position description may be developed and used, depending on current 
agency needs in a particular office and gratuitous skills available.
    (b) Orientation and other training will be provided by FmHA or its 
successor agency under Public Law 103-354 so that gratuitous services 
may be performed in accordance with current

[[Page 20]]

FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 procedure.
    (c) Persons performing authorized gratuitous services will be held 
to the same standard as regular FmHA or its successor agency under 
Public Law 103-354 employees performing similar duties. The issuance of, 
and accountability for, identification cards and clearance of employee 
accountability will be as prescribed in FmHA or its successor agency 
under Public Law 103-354 Instruction 2024-B which is available in all 
FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 Offices. Such 
persons, except Construction Inspectors may, when under direct 
supervision of County Supervisors, act as Collection Officers and be 
allowed to use receipt books.

[43 FR 3694, Jan. 27, 1978, as amended at 68 FR 61333, Oct. 28, 2003]



Sec. 2045.1755  Preparation and disposition of agreement forms.

    (a) Agreements to accept and utilize gratuitous services must be 
identical to the attached Exhibit A (Agreement Form) with such 
exceptions as may be authorized by the Office of the General Counsel, 
Department of Agriculture.
    (b) Two copies of each signed Agreement Form will be forwarded to 
the Personnel Division. One copy will be retained in the State or 
Finance Office.



Sec. 2045.1756  Records and reports.

    The FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 official 
signing the Agreement Form will maintain records to show the names, duty 
assignments, time worked and work locations of all persons performing 
gratuitous services. Copies of time reports submitted to the persons' 
employers should suffice. These records will be necessary to respond to 
occasional requests for reports on the acceptance and utilization of 
gratuitous services in the FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 
103-354.



        Sec. Exhibit A to Subpart JJ of Part 2045--Agreement Form

  for utilization of employees of (official title of governing body or 
  other authorized organization, i.e., pickens county, ala., board of 
                             commissioners)

by the Farmers Home Administration or its successor agency under Public 
                               Law 103-354

    1. This Agreement, date ___ between, __________, a (political 
subdivision), (educational), (charitable), (or nonprofit) an 
organization of the State of______(hereinafter called the Agency) and 
the United States of America acting through Farmers Home Administration 
or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (hereinafter called the Administration) is entered into for 
the purpose of permitting certain employees of the Agency (hereinafter 
called the Agency employees) to assist in the Administration's effort to 
provide agricultural, housing and other assistance for rural people of 
the State of______in accordance with Section 331(b) of the Consolidated 
Farm and Rural Development Act and Section 506(a), Title V of the 
Housing Act of 1949.
    2. The Administration certifies that it is empowered by the current 
Federal laws cited above, and related rules and regulations, to accept 
personnel assistance from the Agency as provided in paragraphs 4 and 5 
below; and that the work assigned to Agency employees will be useful, in 
the public interest, could not otherwise be provided, and will not 
result in the displacement of employed workers.
    3. The Agency certifies that it has the authority under the laws of 
the State of______to enter into this Agreement and to provide the 
services agreed upon in the manner provided for.
    4. The Administration hereby supplies the Agency with a narrative 
description which is made a part of this Agreement as Attachment ``A,'' 
explicitly setting forth the duties, knowledge, skills, and abilities to 
be required of Agency employees.
    5. The Administration agrees to:
    (a) Provide training for and responsible supervision of qualified 
and acceptable Agency employees in accordance with Attachment ``A.''
    (b) Provide work within the State of______for qualified and 
acceptable Agency employees for periods not to exceed eight hours per 
day and 40 hours per week.
    (c) Provide the office space, tools, equipment, and supplies to be 
used by Agency employees in performing work for the Administration.
    (d) Report in the Agency, as required, the time worked by and work 
accomplishments of Agency employees.

[[Page 21]]

    (e) Consult with the Agency, as necessary, on situations involving 
delinquency, misconduct, neglect of work, and apparent conflicts of 
interest of Agency employees.
    (f) Reimburse Agency employees for proper and reasonable travel and 
per diem expenses incurred in performing official duties for the 
Administration, in accordance with Administration travel regulations.
    (g) Consider Agency employees to be Federal employees for the 
purposes of the Federal Employees Compensation Act (5 U.S.C. 8101) and 
of the Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2671-2680).
    6. The Agency agrees to:
    (a) Not discriminate against any employee or applicant for 
employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, 
physical handicap, or national origin. The Agency will take affirmative 
action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are 
treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, 
religion, sex, age, marital status, physical handicap, or national 
origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following 
Employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment 
advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of 
compensation; and selection for training including apprenticeship. The 
Agency will post in conspicuous places, available to employees and 
appliants for employment, notices setting forth the provisions of this 
nondiscriminating clause.
    (b) Obtain fingerprints, police records, and work qualifications 
checks on potential assignees, and divulge the results to the 
Administration or permit the Administration to obtain this information.
    (c) Assign only Agency employees who are acceptable to the 
Administration in terms of meeting the same ability and suitability 
standards which are applied to Federal employment.
    (d) Pay all salaries and other expenses of Agency employees and 
comply with Federal, State, and local minimum wage statutes. No monies 
will be paid by the Administration under this agreement, either to the 
Agency or its employees.
    (e) Consider any Tort claims by third parties under applicable laws 
and regulations.
    (f) Reassign or terminate the assignment of Agency employees upon 
request of the Administration.
    7. The Agency and the Administration mutually understand and agree 
that the reasons for determining that an Agency employee is unacceptable 
or unsuitable for initial or continued assignment to Administration work 
may include but shall not be limited to the following:
    (a) Practicing or appearing to practice discrimination for reasons 
of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, physical handicap, 
or national origin.
    (b) Being or becoming involved in real or apparent conflicts of 
interest, such as, engaging directly or indirectly in business 
transactions with Administration applicants or borrowers, or using or 
appearing to use the Administration work assignment for private gain.
    (c) Engaging in or having engaged in criminal, dishonest, or immoral 
conduct, or conducting himself in a manner which might embarrass or 
cause criticism of the Administration.
    (d) Being absent from duty without authorization.
    (e) Engaging in partisan political activity prohibited to Federal 
employees doing similar work.
    (f) Lack of work.
    (g) Inability of the employee to perform the duties of the 
assignment.
    8. The term of this Agreement shall commence on the date thereof. It 
shall end on________, unless extended by mutual agreement, or unless 
terminated earlier by at least (30) days advanced written notice by 
either party to the other.
    9. The Agency and the Administration respectively certify, each for 
itself, that its officer signing this Agreement is duly authorized 
thereto.

  (Enter Official Title of Agency, i.e., City Council, Modesto, Calif.)

                                          BY

                                Chairman, City Council,

                                    Modesto, Calif.

                                     FARMERS HOME

               ADMINISTRATION or its successor agency under Public Law 
                                 103-354

                                          BY

                FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103-354 
                         State Director for (  )

USDA

                       PARTS 2046	2099 [RESERVED]

[[Page 23]]



            CHAPTER XX--LOCAL TELEVISION LOAN GUARANTEE BOARD




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
2200            Access to local television signals 
                    guaranteed loan program; general 
                    policies and procedures.................          25
2201            Local television loan guarantee program--
                    program regulations.....................          36
2202-2299

  [Reserved]

[[Page 25]]



PART 2200_ACCESS TO LOCAL TELEVISION SIGNALS GUARANTEED LOAN PROGRAM;
GENERAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES--Table of Contents



Sec.
2200.1  Definitions.
2200.2  Purpose and scope.
2200.3  Composition of the Board.
2200.4  Authority of the Board.
2200.5  Offices.
2200.6  Meetings and actions of the Board.
2200.7  Officer and staff responsibilities.
2200.8  Ex parte communications.
2200.9  Amendments.
2200.10  Restrictions on lobbying.
2200.11  Government-wide debarment and suspension (nonprocurement).
2200.12  Freedom of Information Act.

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.; Pub. L. 106-553; Pub. L.107-171.

    Source: 67 FR 76105, Dec. 11, 2002, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2200.1  Definitions.

    (a) Act means the Launching Our Communities' Access to Local 
Television Act of 2000, Title X of Public Law 106-553, 114 Stat. 2762A-
128.
    (b) Administrator means the Administrator of the Rural Utilities 
Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
    (c) Board means the Launching Our Communities' Access to Local 
(LOCAL) Television Loan Guarantee Board.
    (d) Person means any individual, corporation, cooperative, 
partnership, joint venture, association, joint-stock company, limited 
liability company or partnership, trust, unincorporated organization, 
government entity, agency or instrumentality or any subdivision thereof.

[67 FR 76105, Dec. 11, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 74416, Dec. 23, 2003]



Sec. 2200.2  Purpose and scope.

    This part is issued by the Board pursuant to Section 1004 of the 
Act. This part describes the Board's organizational structure and the 
means and rules by which the Board takes actions.



Sec. 2200.3  Composition of the Board.

    The Board consists of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of 
the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Secretary of 
Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce, or their respective 
designees. An individual may be designated a member of the Board only if 
the individual is an officer of the United States pursuant to an 
appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate.



Sec. 2200.4  Authority of the Board.

    The Board is authorized to guarantee loans in accordance with the 
provisions of the Act and procedures, rules, and regulations established 
by the Board; to make the determinations authorized by the Act; and to 
take such other actions as are necessary to carry out its functions in 
accordance with the Act.



Sec. 2200.5  Offices.

    The principal offices of the Board are at the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Room 2919-S, Stop 1541; 1400 
Independence Ave., SW.; Washington, DC 20256-1590.



Sec. 2200.6  Meetings and actions of the Board.

    (a) Chair. At its initial meeting, the Board shall select a Chair by 
an affirmative vote of not less than three members of the Board.
    (b) Place and frequency. The Board meets, on the call of the Chair, 
in order to consider matters requiring action by the Board. Time and 
place for any such meeting shall be determined by the members of the 
Board.
    (c) Quorum and voting. Three voting members of the Board constitute 
a quorum for the transaction of business. All decisions and 
determinations of the Board shall be made by an affirmative vote of not 
less than three members of the Board. All votes on determinations of the 
Board required by the Act shall be recorded in the minutes. A Board 
member may request that any vote be recorded according to individual 
Board members.
    (d) Agenda of meetings. To the extent practicable, an agenda for 
each meeting shall be distributed to members of the Board at least two 
days in advance of the date of the meeting, together with copies of 
materials relevant to the agenda items.

[[Page 26]]

    (e) Minutes. The Secretary shall keep minutes of each Board meeting 
and of action taken without a meeting, a draft of which is to be 
distributed to each member of the Board as soon as practicable after 
each meeting or action. To the extent practicable, the minutes of a 
Board meeting shall be corrected and approved at the next meeting of the 
Board.
    (f) Use of conference call communications equipment. Any member may 
participate in a meeting of the Board through the use of conference 
call, telephone or similar communications equipment, by means of which 
all persons participating in the meeting can simultaneously speak to and 
hear each other. Any member so participating in a meeting shall be 
deemed present for all purposes. Actions taken by the Board at meetings 
conducted through the use of such equipment, including the votes of each 
member, shall be recorded in the usual manner in the minutes of the 
meetings of the Board.
    (g) Actions between meetings. When, in the judgment of the Chair, 
circumstances occur making it desirable for the Board to consider action 
when it is not feasible to call a meeting, the relevant information and 
recommendations for action may be transmitted to the members by the 
Secretary and the voting members may communicate their votes to the 
Chair in writing (including an action signed in counterpart by each 
Board member), electronically, or orally (including telephone 
communication). Any action taken under this paragraph has the same 
effect as an action taken at a meeting. Any such action shall be 
recorded in the minutes.
    (h) Officers and staff of the Board. The Board shall appoint a 
Secretary and may appoint such other officers and staff as it deems 
appropriate, including an Executive Director and a Legal Counsel. An 
individual may hold more than one officer or staff position.
    (i) Delegations of authority. The Board may delegate authority, 
subject to such terms and conditions as the Board deems appropriate, to 
officers and staff to take certain actions not required by the Act to be 
taken by the Board. All delegations shall be made pursuant to 
resolutions of the Board and recorded in writing, whether in the minutes 
of a meeting or otherwise. Any action taken pursuant to such delegated 
authority has the effect of an action taken by the Board.



Sec. 2200.7  Officer and staff responsibilities.

    (a) Executive Director. The Executive Director advises and assists 
the Board in carrying out its responsibilities under the Act, provides 
general direction with respect to the administration of the Board's 
actions, directs the activities of the staff, and performs such other 
duties as the Board may require.
    (b) Legal Counsel. The Legal Counsel provides legal advice relating 
to the responsibilities of the Board and performs such other duties as 
the Board may require.
    (c) Secretary. The Secretary sends notice of all meetings, prepares 
minutes of all meetings, maintains a complete record of all votes and 
actions taken by the Board, has custody of all records of the Board, has 
authority to publish documents in the Federal Register upon approval of 
the Board and performs such other duties as the Board may require.
    (d) Other. The responsibilities of any other officer or staff shall 
be defined by the Board at the time of appointment of such position.



Sec. 2200.8  Ex parte communications.

    Communication with the Board shall be conducted through the staff of 
the Board. Oral or written communication, not on the public record, 
between the Board, or any member of the Board, and any party or parties 
interested in any matter pending before the Board concerning the 
substance of that matter is prohibited.



Sec. 2200.9  Amendments.

    The Board's rules may be adopted or amended, or new rules may be 
adopted, only by the affirmative vote of not less than three members of 
the Board. Authority to adopt or amend these rules may not be delegated.



Sec. 2200.10  Restrictions on lobbying.

    (a) No funds received through a Loan guaranteed under this Program 
in this chapter may be expended by the recipient of a Federal contract, 
grant, loan,

[[Page 27]]

loan guarantee, or cooperative agreement to pay any person for 
influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any 
agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an 
employee of a Member of Congress in connection with any of the following 
covered Federal actions: the awarding of any Federal contract, the 
making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan or loan 
Guarantee, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the 
extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any 
Federal contract, grant, loan, loan Guarantee, or cooperative agreement.
    (b) Each person who requests or receives from an agency a commitment 
providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan shall file 
with that agency a statement, set forth in the application form, whether 
that person has made or has agreed to make any payment to influence or 
attempt to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of 
Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member 
of Congress in connection with that loan insurance or Guarantee.
    (c) Each person who requests or receives from an agency a commitment 
providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan shall file 
with that agency a Standard Form-LLL if that person has made or has 
agreed to make any payment to influence or attempt to influence an 
officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or 
employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in 
connection with that loan insurance or Guarantee.
    (d) Each person shall file a certification, contained in the 
application form, and a disclosure form (Standard Form-LLL), if 
required, with each submission that initiates agency consideration of 
such person for:
    (1) Award of a Federal contract, grant, or cooperative agreement 
exceeding $100,000; or
    (2) An award of a Federal loan or a commitment providing for the 
United States to insure or guarantee a loan exceeding $150,000.
    (e) Each person shall file a certification, and a disclosure form, 
if required, upon receipt by such person of:
    (1) A Federal contract, grant, or cooperative agreement exceeding 
$100,000; or
    (2) A Federal loan or a commitment providing for the United States 
to insure or guarantee a loan exceeding $150,000, unless such person 
previously filed a certification, and a disclosure form, if required, 
under paragraph (c) of this section.
    (f) Each person shall file a disclosure form at the end of each 
calendar quarter in which there occurs any event that requires 
disclosure or that materially affects the accuracy of the information 
contained in any disclosure form previously filed by such person under 
paragraphs (d) or (e) of this section. An event that materially affects 
the accuracy of the information reported includes:
    (1) A cumulative increase of $25,000 or more in the amount paid or 
expected to be paid for influencing or attempting to influence a covered 
Federal action; or
    (2) A change in the person(s) or individual(s) influencing or 
attempting to influence a covered Federal action; or
    (3) A change in the officer(s), employee(s), or Member(s) contacted 
to influence or attempt to influence a covered Federal action.

[68 FR 74416, Dec. 23, 2003]



Sec. 2200.11  Government-wide debarment and suspension (nonprocurement).

    (a) Executive Order (E.O.) 12549 provides that, to the extent 
permitted by law, Executive departments and agencies shall participate 
in a governmentwide system for nonprocurement debarment and suspension. 
A person who is debarred or suspended shall be excluded from Federal 
financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under Federal 
programs and activities. Debarment or suspension of a participant in a 
program by one agency shall have governmentwide effect. The Board shall 
review the List of Debarred entities prior to making final loan 
Guarantee decisions. Suspension or debarment may be a basis for denying 
a loan Guarantee.

[[Page 28]]

    (b) This section applies to all persons who have participated, are 
currently participating or may reasonably be expected to participate in 
transactions under Federal nonprocurement programs. For purposes of this 
section such transactions will be referred to as ``covered 
transactions.''
    (1) Covered transaction. For purposes of this section, a covered 
transaction is a primary covered transaction or a lower tier covered 
transaction. Covered transactions at any tier need not involve the 
transfer of Federal funds.
    (i) Primary covered transaction. Except as noted in paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section, a primary covered transaction is any nonprocurement 
transaction between an agency and a person, regardless of type, 
including: grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, 
contracts of assistance, loans, loan guarantees, subsidies, insurance, 
payments for specified use, donation agreements and any other 
nonprocurement transactions between a Federal agency and a person.
    (ii) Lower tier covered transaction. A lower tier covered 
transaction is:
    (A) Any transaction between a participant and a person other than a 
procurement contract for goods or services, regardless of type, under a 
primary covered transaction;
    (B) Any procurement contract for goods or services between a 
participant and a person, regardless of type, expected to equal or 
exceed the Federal procurement small purchase threshold fixed at 10 
U.S.C. 2304(g) and 41 U.S.C. 253(g) (currently $100,000) under a primary 
covered transaction;
    (C) Any procurement contract for goods or services between a 
participant and a person under a covered transaction, regardless of 
amount, under which that person will have a critical influence on or 
substantive control over that covered transaction. Such persons may 
include loan officers or chief executive officers acting as principal 
investigators and providers of federally required audit services.
    (2) Exceptions. The following transactions are not covered:
    (i) Statutory entitlements or mandatory awards (but not subtier 
awards thereunder which are not themselves mandatory), including 
deposited funds insured by the Federal Government;
    (ii) Direct awards to foreign governments or public international 
organizations, or transactions with foreign governments or foreign 
governmental entities, public international organizations, foreign 
government owned (in whole or in part) or controlled entities, entities 
consisting wholly or partially of foreign governments or foreign 
governmental entities;
    (iii) Benefits to an individual as a personal entitlement without 
regard to the individual's present responsibility (but benefits received 
in an individual's business capacity are not accepted);
    (iv) Federal employment;
    (v) Transactions pursuant to national or agency-recognized 
emergencies or disasters;
    (vi) Incidental benefits derived from ordinary governmental 
operations; and
    (vii) Other transactions where the application of this section would 
be prohibited by law.
    (3) Board covered transactions. This section applies to the Board's 
Loan Guarantees, subcontracts and transactions at any tier that are 
charges as direct or indirect costs, regardless of type.
    (c) Primary covered transactions. Except to the extent prohibited by 
law, persons who are debarred or suspended shall be excluded from 
primary covered transactions as either participants or principals 
throughout the Executive Branch of the Federal Government for the period 
of their debarment, suspension, or the period they are proposed for 
debarment under 48 CFR part 9, subpart 9.4. Accordingly, no agency shall 
enter into primary covered transactions with such excluded persons 
during such period, except as permitted pursuant to paragraph (l) of 
this section.
    (d) Lower tier covered transactions. Except to the extent prohibited 
by law, persons who have been proposed for debarment under 48 CFR part 
9, subpart 9.4, debarred or suspended shall be excluded from 
participating as either participants or principals in all lower tier 
covered transactions (see paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section for the 
period of their exclusion).

[[Page 29]]

    (e) Exceptions. Debarment or suspension does not affect a person's 
eligibility for:
    (1) Statutory entitlements or mandatory awards (but not subtier 
awards thereunder which are not themselves mandatory), including 
deposited funds insured by the Federal Government;
    (2) Direct awards to foreign governments or public international 
organizations, or transactions with foreign governments or foreign 
governmental entities, public international organizations, foreign 
government owned (in whole or in part) or controlled entities, and 
entities consisting wholly or partially of foreign governments or 
foreign governmental entities;
    (3) Benefits to an individual as a personal entitlement without 
regard to the individual's present responsibility (but benefits received 
in an individual's business capacity are not accepted);
    (4) Federal employment;
    (5) Transactions pursuant to national or agency-recognized 
emergencies or disasters;
    (6) Incidental benefits derived from ordinary governmental 
operations; and
    (7) Other transactions where the application of this section would 
be prohibited by law.
    (f) Persons who are ineligible are excluded in accordance with the 
applicable statutory, executive order, or regulatory authority.
    (g) Persons who accept voluntary exclusions are excluded in 
accordance with the terms of their settlements. The Board shall, and 
participants may, contact the original action agency to ascertain the 
extent of the exclusion.
    (h) The Board may grant an exception permitting a debarred, 
suspended, or voluntarily excluded person, or a person proposed for 
debarment under 48 CFR part 9, subpart 9.4, to participate in a 
particular covered transaction upon a written determination by the 
agency head or an authorized designee stating the reason(s) for 
deviating from the Presidential policy established by Executive Order 
12549. However, in accordance with the President's stated intention in 
the Executive Order, exceptions shall be granted only infrequently. 
Exceptions shall be reported in accordance with the Executive Order.
    (i) Notwithstanding the debarment, suspension, proposed debarment 
under 48 CFR part 9, subpart 9.4, determination of ineligibility, or 
voluntary exclusion of any person by an agency, agencies and 
participants may continue covered transactions in existence at the time 
the person was debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment under 48 CFR 
part 9, subpart 9.4, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded. A 
decision as to the type of termination action, if any, to be taken 
should be made only after thorough review to ensure the propriety of the 
proposed action.
    (j) Agencies and participants shall not renew or extend covered 
transactions (other than no-cost time extensions) with any person who is 
debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment under 48 CFR part 9, subpart 
9.4, ineligible or voluntary excluded, except as provided in paragraph 
(h) of this section.
    (k) Except as permitted under paragraphs (h) or (i) of this section, 
a participant shall not knowingly do business under a covered 
transaction with a person who is:
    (1) Debarred or suspended;
    (2) Proposed for debarment under 48 CFR part 9, subpart 9.4; or
    (3) Ineligible for or voluntarily excluded from the covered 
transaction.
    (l) Violation of the restriction under paragraph (k) of this section 
may result in disallowance of costs, annulment or termination of award, 
issuance of a stop work order, debarment or suspension, or other 
remedies as appropriate.
    (m) A participant may rely upon the certification of a prospective 
participant in a lower tier covered transaction that it and its 
principals are not debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment under 48 
CFR part 9, subpart 9.4, ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from the 
covered transaction, unless it knows that the certification is 
erroneous. An agency has the burden of proof that a participant did 
knowingly do business with a person that filed an erroneous 
certification.

[68 FR 74416, Dec. 23, 2003]

[[Page 30]]



Sec. 2200.12  Freedom of Information Act.

    (a) Definitions. All terms used in this section, which are defined 
in 5 U.S.C. 551 or 5 U.S.C. 552 shall have the same meaning in this 
section. In addition the following definitions apply to this section:
    (1) FOIA, as used in this section, means the ``Freedom of 
Information Act,'' as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552.
    (2) Commercial use request means a request from or on behalf of one 
who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, 
trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on whose 
behalf the request is made.
    (3) Direct costs mean those expenditures that the Board actually 
incurs in searching for, reviewing, and duplicating documents in 
response to a request made under paragraph (c) of this section. Direct 
costs include, for example, the labor costs of the employee performing 
the work (the basic rate of pay for the employee, plus 16 percent of 
that rate to cover benefits). Not included in direct costs are overhead 
expenses such as the costs of space and heating or lighting of the 
facility in which the records are kept.
    (4) Duplication means the process of making a copy of a document in 
response to a request for disclosure of records or for inspection of 
original records that contain exempt material or that otherwise cannot 
be inspected directly. Among others, such copies may take the form of 
paper, microfilm, audiovisual materials, or machine-readable 
documentation (e.g., magnetic tape or disk).
    (5) Educational institution means a preschool, a public or private 
elementary or secondary school, or an institution of undergraduate 
higher education, graduate higher education, professional education, or 
an institution of vocational education that operates a program of 
scholarly research.
    (6) Noncommercial scientific institution refers to an institution 
that is not operated on a ``commercial'' basis (as that term is used in 
this section) and which is operated solely for the purpose of conducting 
scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote 
any particular product or industry.
    (7) News means information about current events or that would be of 
current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include, 
but are not limited to, television or radio stations broadcasting to the 
public at large, and publishers of newspapers and other periodicals (but 
only in those instances when they can qualify as disseminators of 
``news'') who make their products available for purchase or subscription 
by the general public. ``Freelance'' journalists may be regarded as 
working for a news organization if they can demonstrate a solid basis 
for expecting publication through that organization, even though not 
actually employed by it.
    (8) Representative of the news media means any person actively 
gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish 
or broadcast news to the general public.
    (9) Review means the process of examining documents, located in 
response to a request for access, to determine whether any portion of a 
document is exempt information. It includes doing all that is necessary 
to excise the documents and otherwise to prepare them for release. 
Review does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy 
issues regarding the application of exemptions.
    (10) Search means the process of looking for material that is 
responsive to a request, including page-by-page or line-by-line 
identification within documents. Searches may be done manually or by 
computer.
    (b) Records available for public inspection and copying--(1) Types 
of records made available. The information in this section is furnished 
for the guidance of the public and in compliance with the requirements 
of the FOIA. This section sets forth the procedures the Board follows to 
make publicly available the materials specified in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). 
These materials shall be made available for inspection and copying at 
the Board's offices pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). Information 
routinely provided to the public as part of a regular Board activity 
(for example, press releases) may be provided to the public without 
following this section.
    (2) Reading room procedures. Information available under this 
section is

[[Page 31]]

available for inspection and copying, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, at 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC.
    (3) Electronic records. Information available under this section 
shall also be available on the Board's Web site found at http://
www.usda.gov/rus/localtvboard.
    (c) Records available to the public on request--(1) Types of records 
made available. All records of the Board that are not available under 
paragraph (b) of this section shall be made available upon request, 
pursuant to the procedures in this section and the exceptions set forth 
in the FOIA.
    (2) Procedures for requesting records. A request for records shall 
reasonably describe the records in a way that enables the Board's staff 
to identify and produce the records with reasonable effort and without 
unduly burdening or significantly interfering with any of the Board's 
operations. The request shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary 
of the Board at LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., STOP 1575, Room 2919-S, Washington, DC 20250-1575, or sent 
by facsimile to the Secretary of the Board at (202) 720-2734. The 
request shall be clearly marked FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST.
    (3) Contents of request. The request shall contain the following 
information:
    (i) The name and address of the requester, and the telephone number 
at which the requester can be reached during normal business hours;
    (ii) Whether the requested information is intended for commercial 
use, or whether the requester represents an educational or noncommercial 
scientific institution, or news media;
    (iii) A statement agreeing to pay the applicable fees, or a 
statement identifying any fee limitation desired, or a request for a 
waiver or reduction of fees that satisfies paragraph (f) of this 
section.
    (d) Processing requests--(1) Priority of responses. The date of 
receipt for any request, including one that is addressed incorrectly or 
that is referred to the Board by another agency, is the date the 
Secretary of the Board actually receives the request. The Secretary of 
the Board shall normally process requests in the order they are 
received. However, in the Secretary of the Board's discretion, the Board 
may use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple 
and more complex requests based on the number of pages involved, or some 
other measure of the amount of work and/or time needed to process the 
request, and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing as 
described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section. When using multitrack 
processing, the Secretary of the Board may provide requesters in the 
slower track(s) with an opportunity to limit the scope of their requests 
in order to qualify for faster processing. The Secretary of the Board 
shall contact the requester by telephone or by letter, whichever is most 
efficient in each case.
    (2) Expedited processing. (i) A person may request expedited access 
to records by submitting a statement, certified to be true and correct 
to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, that demonstrates a 
compelling need for the records, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(E)(v).
    (ii) The Secretary of the Board shall notify a requester of the 
determination whether to grant or deny a request for expedited 
processing within ten working days of receipt of the request. If the 
Secretary of the Board grants the request for expedited processing, the 
Board shall process the request for access to information as soon as 
practicable. If the Secretary of the Board denies a request for 
expedited processing, the requester may file an appeal pursuant to the 
procedures set forth in paragraph (e) of this section, and the Board 
shall respond to the appeal within twenty days after the appeal was 
received by the Board.
    (3) Time limits. The time for response to requests shall be 20 
working days, except:
    (i) In the case of expedited treatment under paragraph (d)(2) of 
this section;
    (ii) Where the running of such time is suspended for payment of fees 
pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section;
    (iii) Where the estimated charge is less than $250, and the 
requester does

[[Page 32]]

not guarantee payment pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section; 
or
    (iv) In unusual circumstances, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 
552(a)(6)(B)(iii), the time limit may be extended for a period of time 
not to exceed 10 working days as provided by written notice to the 
requester, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on 
which a determination is expected to be dispatched; or such alternative 
time period as mutually agreed to by the Secretary of the Board and the 
requester when the Secretary of the Board notifies the requester that 
the request cannot be processed in the specified time limit.
    (4) Response to request. In response to a request that satisfies 
paragraph (c) of this section, an appropriate search shall be conducted 
of records in the custody and control of the Board on the date of 
receipt of the request, and a review made of any responsive information 
located. The Secretary of the Board shall notify the requester of:
    (i) The Secretary of the Board's determination of the request and 
the reasons therefore;
    (ii) The information withheld, and the basis for withholding; and
    (iii) The right to appeal any denial or partial denial, pursuant to 
paragraph (e) of this section.
    (5) Referral to another agency. To the extent a request covers 
documents that were created by, obtained from, classified by, or is in 
the primary interest of another agency, the Secretary of the Board may 
refer the request to that agency for a direct response by that agency 
and inform the requester promptly of the referral. The Secretary of the 
Board shall consult with another Federal agency before responding to a 
requester if the Board receives a request for a record in which:
    (i) Another Federal agency subject to the FOIA has a significant 
interest, but not the primary interest; or
    (ii) Another Federal agency not subject to the FOIA has the primary 
interest or a significant interest. Ordinarily, the agency that 
originated a record will be presumed to have the primary interest in it.
    (6) Providing responsive records. (i) A copy of records or portions 
of records responsive to the request shall be sent to the requester by 
regular U.S. mail to the address indicated in the request, unless the 
requester elects to take delivery of the documents at the Board's 
Freedom of Information Office or makes other acceptable arrangements, or 
the Secretary of the Board deems it appropriate to send the documents by 
another means. The Secretary of the Board shall provide a copy of the 
record in any form or format requested if the record is readily 
reproducible in that form or format, but the Secretary of the Board need 
not provide more than one copy of any record to a requester.
    (ii) The Secretary of the Board shall provide any reasonably 
segregable portion of a record that is responsive to the request after 
deleting those portions that are exempt under the FOIA or this section.
    (iii) Except where disclosure is expressly prohibited by statute, 
regulation, or order, the Secretary of the Board may authorize the 
release of records that are exempt from mandatory disclosure whenever 
the Board or designated Board members determine that there would be no 
foreseeable harm in such disclosure.
    (iv) The Board is not required in response to the request to create 
records or otherwise to prepare new records.
    (7) Prohibition against disclosure. Except as provided in this part, 
no officer, employee, or agent of the Board shall disclose or permit the 
disclosure of any unpublished information of the Board to any person 
(other than Board officers, employees, or agents properly entitled to 
such information for the performance of official duties), unless 
required by law.
    (e) Appeals. (1) Any person denied access to Board records requested 
under paragraph (c) of this section, denied expedited processing under 
paragraph (d) of this section, or denied a waiver of fees under 
paragraph (f) of this section may file a written appeal within 30 
calendar days after the date of such denial with the Board. The written 
appeal shall prominently display the phrase FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 
APPEAL on the first page, and shall be addressed to Chairman of the 
Board, LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW.,

[[Page 33]]

STOP 1575, Room 2919-S, Washington, DC 20250-1575, or sent by facsimile 
to (202) 720-2734. The appeal shall include a copy of the original 
request, the initial denial, if any, and a statement of the reasons why 
the requested records should be made available and why the initial 
denial was in error.
    (2) The Chairman of the Board shall make a determination regarding 
any appeal within 20 working days of actual receipt of the appeal, and 
the determination letter shall notify the appealing party of the right 
to seek judicial review in event of denial.
    (f) Fee schedules and waiver of fees--(1) Fee schedule. The fees 
applicable to a request for records pursuant to paragraph (c) of this 
section are set forth in the uniform fee schedule at the end of this 
paragraph (f).
    (i) Search. (A) Search fees shall be charged for all requests other 
than requests made by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific 
institutions, or representatives of the news media, subject to the 
limitations of paragraph (f)(1)(iv) of this section. The Secretary of 
the Board shall charge for time spent searching even if no responsive 
record is located or if the Secretary of the Board withholds the 
record(s) located as entirely exempt from disclosure. Search fees shall 
be the direct costs of conducting the search by the involved employees.
    (B) For computer searches of records, requesters will be charged the 
direct costs of conducting the search, although certain requesters (as 
provided in paragraph (f)(3) of this section) will be charged no search 
fee and certain other requesters (as provided in paragraph (f)(3)) are 
entitled to the cost equivalent of two hours of manual search time 
without charge. These direct costs include the costs, attributable to 
the search, of operating a central processing unit and operator/
programmer salary.
    (ii) Duplication. Duplication fees will be charged to all 
requesters, subject to the limitations of paragraph (f)(1)(iv) of this 
section. For a paper photocopy of a record (no more than one copy of 
which need be supplied), the fee shall be 15 cents per page. For copies 
produced by computer, such as tapes or printouts, the Secretary of the 
Board shall charge the direct costs, including operator time, of 
producing the copy. For other forms of duplication, the Secretary of the 
Board will charge the direct costs of that duplication.
    (iii) Review. Review fees shall be charged to requesters who make a 
commercial use request. Review fees shall be charged only for the 
initial record review--the review done when the Secretary of the Board 
determines whether an exemption applies to a particular record at the 
initial request level. No charge will be made for review at the 
administrative appeal level for an exemption already applied. However, 
records withheld under an exemption that is subsequently determined not 
to apply may be reviewed again to determine whether any other exemption 
not previously considered applies, and the costs of that review are 
chargeable. Review fees shall be the direct costs of conducting the 
review by the involved employees.
    (iv) Limitations on charging fees. (A) No search fee will be charged 
for requests by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific 
institutions, or representatives of the news media.
    (B) No search fee or review fee will be charged for a quarter-hour 
period unless more than half of that period is required for search or 
review.
    (C) Whenever a total fee calculated under this paragraph is $25 or 
less for any request, no fee will be charged.
    (D) For requesters other than those seeking records for a commercial 
use, no fee will be charged unless the cost of search in excess of two 
hours plus the cost of duplication in excess of 100 pages totals more 
than $25.
    (2) Payment procedures. All persons requesting records pursuant to 
paragraph (c) of this section shall pay the applicable fees before the 
Secretary of the Board sends copies of the requested records, unless a 
fee waiver has been granted pursuant to paragraph (f)(6) of this 
section. Requesters must pay fees by check or money order made payable 
to the Treasury of the United States.
    (i) Advance notification of fees. If the estimated charges are 
likely to exceed $25, the Secretary of the Board shall notify the 
requester of the estimated amount, unless the requester has indicated a 
willingness to pay fees as high

[[Page 34]]

as those anticipated. Upon receipt of such notice, the requester may 
confer with the Secretary of the Board to reformulate the request to 
lower the costs. The processing of the request shall be suspended until 
the requester provides the Secretary of the Board with a written 
guarantee that payment will be made upon completion of the processing.
    (ii) Advance payment. The Secretary of the Board shall require 
advance payment of any fee estimated to exceed $250. The Secretary of 
the Board shall also require full payment in advance where a requester 
has previously failed to pay a fee in a timely fashion. If an advance 
payment of an estimated fee exceeds the actual total fee by $1 or more, 
the difference shall be refunded to the requester. The time period for 
responding to requests under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, and the 
processing of the request shall be suspended until the Secretary of the 
Board receives the required payment.
    (iii) Late charges. The Secretary of the Board may assess interest 
charges when fee payment is not made within 30 days of the date on which 
the billing was sent. Assessment of such interest will commence on the 
31st day following the day on which the billing was sent. Interest is at 
the rate prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717.
    (3) Categories of uses. The fees assessed depend upon the fee 
category. In determining which category is appropriate, the Secretary of 
the Board shall look to the identity of the requester and the intended 
use set forth in the request for records. Where a requester's 
description of the use is insufficient to make a determination, the 
Secretary of the Board may seek additional clarification before 
categorizing the request.
    (i) Commercial use requester. The fees for search, duplication, and 
review apply when records are requested for commercial use.
    (ii) Educational, non-commercial scientific institutions, or 
representatives of the news media requesters. The fees for duplication 
apply when records are not sought for commercial use, and the requester 
is a representative of the news media or an educational or noncommercial 
scientific institution, whose purpose is scholarly or scientific 
research. The first 100 pages of duplication, however, will be provided 
free.
    (iii) All other requesters. For all other requests, the fees for 
search and duplication apply. The first two hours of search time and the 
first 100 pages of duplication, however, will be provided free.
    (4) Nonproductive search. Fees for search may be charged even if no 
responsive documents are found. Fees for search and review may be 
charged even if the request is denied.
    (5) Aggregated requests. A requester may not file multiple requests 
at the same time, solely in order to avoid payment of fees. If the 
Secretary of the Board reasonably believes that a requester is 
separating a request into a series of requests for the purpose of 
evading the assessment of fees or that several requesters appear to be 
acting together to submit multiple requests solely in order to avoid 
payment of fees, the Secretary of the Board may aggregate such requests 
and charge accordingly. It is considered reasonable for the Secretary of 
the Board to presume that multiple requests by one requester on the same 
topic made within a 30-day period have been made to avoid fees.
    (6) Waiver or reduction of fees. A request for a waiver or reduction 
of the fees, and the justification for the waiver, shall be included 
with the request for records to which it pertains. If a waiver is 
requested and the requester has not indicated in writing an agreement to 
pay the applicable fees if the waiver request is denied, the time for 
response to the request for documents, as set forth in under paragraph 
(d)(4) of this section, shall not begin until a determination has been 
made on the request for a waiver or reduction of fees.
    (i) Standards for determining waiver or reduction. The Secretary of 
the Board may grant a waiver or reduction of fees where it is determined 
both that disclosure of the information is in the public interest 
because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding 
of the operation or activities of the government, and that the 
disclosure of information is not primarily in the commercial interest of

[[Page 35]]

the requester. In making this determination, the following factors shall 
be considered:
    (A) Whether the subject of the records concerns the operations or 
activities of the government;
    (B) Whether disclosure of the information is likely to contribute 
significantly to public understanding of government operations or 
activities;
    (C) Whether the requester has the intention and ability to 
disseminate the information to the public;
    (D) Whether the information is already in the public domain;
    (E) Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be 
furthered by the disclosure; and, if so,
    (F) Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of 
the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public 
interest in disclosure, that disclosure is primarily in the commercial 
interest of the requester.
    (ii) Contents of request for waiver. A request for a waiver or 
reduction of fees shall include a clear statement of how the request 
satisfies the criteria set forth in paragraph (f)(6)(i) of this section.
    (iii) Burden of proof. The burden shall be on the requester to 
present evidence or information in support of a request for a waiver or 
reduction of fees.
    (iv) Determination by Secretary of the Board. The Secretary of the 
Board shall make a determination on the request for a waiver or 
reduction of fees and shall notify the requester accordingly. A denial 
may be appealed to the Board in accordance with paragraph (e) of this 
section.
    (7) Uniform fee schedule.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Service                               Rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) Manual search.........................  Actual salary rate of
                                             employee involved, plus 16
                                             percent of salary rate.
(ii) Computerized search..................  Actual direct cost,
                                             including operator time.
(iii) Duplication of records:
    (A) Paper copy reproduction...........  $.15 per page.
    (B) Other reproduction (e.g., computer  Actual direct cost,
     disk or printout, microfilm,            including operator time.
     microfiche, or microform).
(iv) Review of records (includes employee   Actual salary rate of
 preparation for release, i.e. excising).    conducting review, plus 16
                                             percent of salary rate.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (g) Request for confidential treatment of business information--(1) 
Submission of request. Any submitter of information to the Board who 
desires confidential treatment of business information pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 552(b)(4) shall file a request for confidential treatment with 
the Board at the time the information is submitted or a reasonable time 
after submission.
    (2) Form of request. Each request for confidential treatment of 
business information shall state in reasonable detail the facts 
supporting the commercial or financial nature of the business 
information and the legal justification under which the business 
information should be protected. Conclusory statements that release of 
the information would cause competitive harm generally will not be 
considered sufficient to justify confidential treatment.
    (3) Designation and separation of confidential material. All 
information considered confidential by a submitter shall be clearly 
designated ``PROPRIETARY'' or ``BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL'' in the 
submission and separated from information for which confidential 
treatment is not requested. Failure to segregate confidential commercial 
or financial information from other material may result in release of 
the nonsegregated material to the public without notice to the 
submitter.
    (h) Request for access to confidential commercial or financial 
information--(1) Request for confidential commercial or financial 
information. A request by a submitter for confidential treatment of any 
business information shall be considered in connection with a request 
for access to that information.
    (2) Notice to the submitter. (i) The Secretary of the Board shall 
notify a submitter who requested confidential treatment of information 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), of the request for access.
    (ii) Absent a request for confidential treatment, the Secretary of 
the Board may notify a submitter of a request for

[[Page 36]]

access to submitter's business information if the Secretary of the Board 
reasonably believes that disclosure of the information may cause 
substantial competitive harm to the submitter.
    (iii) The notice given to the submitter by mail, return receipt 
requested, shall be given as soon as practicable after receipt of the 
request for access, and shall describe the request and provide the 
submitter seven working days from the date of notice, to submit written 
objections to disclosure of the information. Such statement shall 
specify all grounds for withholding any of the information and shall 
demonstrate why the information which is considered to be commercial or 
financial information, and that the information is a trade secret, is 
privileged or confidential, or that its disclosure is likely to cause 
substantial competitive harm to the submitter. If the submitter fails to 
respond to the notice within the time specified, the submitter will be 
considered to have no objection to the release of the information. 
Information a submitter provides under this paragraph may itself be 
subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
    (3) Exceptions to notice to submitter. Notice to the submitter need 
not be given if:
    (i) The Secretary of the Board determines that the request for 
access should be denied;
    (ii) The requested information lawfully has been made available to 
the public;
    (iii) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 
U.S.C. 552); or
    (iv) The submitter's claim of confidentiality under 5 U.S.C. 
552(b)(4) appears obviously frivolous or has already been denied by the 
Secretary of the Board, except that in this last instance the Secretary 
of the Board shall give the submitter written notice of the 
determination to disclose the information at least seven working days 
prior to disclosure.
    (4) Notice to requester. At the same time the Secretary of the Board 
notifies the submitter, the Secretary of the Board also shall notify the 
requester that the request is subject to the provisions of this section.
    (5) Determination by Secretary of the Board. The Secretary of the 
Board's determination whether or not to disclose any information for 
which confidential treatment has been requested pursuant to this section 
shall be communicated to the submitter and the requester immediately. If 
the Secretary of the Board determines to disclose the business 
information over the objection of a submitter, the Secretary of the 
Board shall give the submitter written notice via mail, return receipt 
requested, or similar means, which shall include:
    (i) A statement of reason(s) why the submitter's objections to 
disclosure were not sustained;
    (ii) A description of the business information to be disclosed; and
    (iii) A statement that the component intends to disclose the 
information seven working days from the date the submitter receives the 
notice.
    (6) Notice of lawsuit. The Secretary of the Board shall promptly 
notify any submitter of information covered by this section of the 
filing of any suit against the Board to compel disclosure of such 
information, and shall promptly notify a requester of any suit filed 
against the Board to enjoin the disclosure of requested documents.

[68 FR 74416, Dec. 23, 2003]



PART 2201_LOCAL TELEVISION LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM_PROGRAM REGULATIONS
--Table of Contents



                            Subpart A_General

Sec.
2201.1  Definitions.
2201.2-2201.8  [Reserved]
2201.9  Limitation on the applicability of the definition of Local 
          Television Broadcast signals.

                        Subpart B_Loan Guarantees

2201.10  Loan amount and Guarantee percentage.
2201.11  Application requirements.
2201.12  Applicant.
2201.13  Lender.
2201.14  Eligible Loan purposes.
2201.15  Ineligible Loan purposes.
2201.16  Environmental requirements.
2201.17  Submission of applications.
2201.18  Application selection.
2201.19  Loan terms.
2201.20  Collateral.

[[Page 37]]

2201.21  Fees.
2201.22  Issuance of Guarantees.
2201.23  Funding for the Program.
2201.24  Insurance.
2201.25  Performance Agreement.
2201.26  Lender standard of care.
2201.27  Assignment or transfer of Loans.
2201.28  Participation in guaranteed Loans.
2201.29  Supplemental guarantees.
2201.30  Adjustments.
2201.31  Indemnification.
2201.32  Termination of obligations.
2201.33  Defaults.
2201.34  OMB Control Number.

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.; Pub. L. 106-553; Pub. L. 107-171.

    Source: 68 FR 74422, Dec. 23, 2003, unless otherwise noted.



                            Subpart A_General



Sec. 2201.1  Definitions.

    Act means Title X of Public Law 106-553, entitled the Launching Our 
Communities' Access to Local Television (LOCAL TV) Act of 2000, as 
amended.
    Administrator means the Administrator of the Rural Utilities 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, acting pursuant to the Act and 
on behalf of the Board.
    Affiliate means any person or entity that controls, or is controlled 
by, or is under common control with, another person or entity; and may 
include any individual who is a director or senior management officer of 
an Affiliate, a shareholder controlling more than 25 percent of the 
voting securities of an Affiliate, or more than 25 percent of the 
ownership interest in an Affiliate not organized in stock form.
    Agent means that Lender authorized to take such actions, exercise 
such powers, and perform such duties on behalf and in representation of 
all Lenders party to a Guarantee of a single Loan, as is required by, or 
necessarily incidental to, the terms and conditions of the Guarantee.
    Applicant means any party that is seeking financing under the Act in 
order to provide access to Local Television Broadcast Signals for 
households in Nonserved Areas and Underserved Areas.
    Asset means anything owned by the Applicant that has commercial or 
exchange value including, but not limited to, cash flows and rights 
thereto.
    Banking Institution means a bank or bank holding company.
    Board means the LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board authorized by 
the Act to approve Guarantees to facilitate access, on a technologically 
neutral basis, to Local Television Broadcast Signals for households 
located in Nonserved Areas and Underserved Areas.
    Borrower means the entity liable for the payment of principal and 
interest on any Loan guaranteed under the Act, where such entity shall 
be a corporation, partnership, joint venture trustee or government 
entity, agency or instrumentality. An individual cannot be a Borrower.
    Collateral means all Assets economically pledged by the Applicant, 
any Affiliate of the Applicant, or both that is required under the 
provisions of the Act or the Loan Documents to secure the repayment of 
the indebtedness of the Borrower under the Loan Documents.
    Default means a failure by a Borrower, other than a Payment Default, 
on its obligations under the Loan Documents which has not been cured by 
the Borrower or duly waived by the Lender within any applicable cure 
period.
    Designated Market Area (DMA) means an area designated as such by 
Nielsen Media Research and published in the most recent Nielsen Station 
Index Directory and Nielsen Station Index United States Television 
Household Estimates.
    Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) means a common set 
of accounting standards and procedures that are either promulgated by an 
authoritative accounting rulemaking body or accepted as appropriate due 
to wide-spread application in the United States.
    Guarantee means the written agreement, including all terms and 
conditions and all exhibits thereto, guaranteeing repayment of a 
specified percentage of the principal of a Loan pursuant to the Act.
    Guaranteed Portion means the portion of the principal of a loan that 
is subject to the Guarantee.

[[Page 38]]

    High-Speed Internet means a data connection to the Internet 
providing an information rate exceeding 200 kilobits per second (kbps) 
in the consumer's connection to the network in at least one direction, 
either from the provider to the consumer (downstream) or from the 
consumer to the provider (upstream).
    Lender means an entity that has committed to make a Loan to an 
Applicant, where such entity shall be:
    (1) An entity currently engaged in commercial lending in the normal 
course of its business; or
    (2) A nonprofit corporation, including the National Rural Utilities 
Cooperative Finance Corporation, engaged primarily in commercial 
lending, but does not include any governmental entity or any Affiliate 
thereof, the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, any institution 
supervised by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the 
Federal Housing Finance Board, or any Affiliate of such entities.
    Loan means a Loan guaranteed pursuant to the Act and includes the 
funds made available to the Borrower by the Lender.
    Loan Agreement means the contract between the Lender and the 
Borrower, approved by the Board, setting forth the terms applicable to 
the Loan.
    Loan Documents means the Loan Agreement, Guarantee and all other 
instruments, and all documentation between or among the Lender, the 
Borrower, and the Board or Administrator, evidencing the making, 
disbursing, securing, collecting, or otherwise administering of the 
Loan.
    Local Television Broadcast means the signals of all Television 
Broadcast Stations located in a DMA. However, when more than one 
commercial Television Broadcast Station within the same DMA is 
affiliated with a particular Television Network, the signal of any one 
of these commercial Television Broadcast Stations will qualify as the 
Local Television Broadcast Signal of the network at that location, 
unless such stations are licensed to communities in different States, in 
which case both stations must be counted. Even if they are not 
affiliated with the same Television Network, when two or more commercial 
Television Broadcast Stations simultaneously broadcast the identical 
programming for more than 50 percent of the broadcast week, the signal 
of any one of these Television Broadcast Stations will qualify as the 
Local Television Broadcast Signal. When two or more noncommercial 
television stations simultaneously broadcast the same programming for 
more than 50 percent of prime time as defined in 47 CFR 76.5(n), and 
more than 50 percent outside of prime time over a 3-month period, the 
signal of any one of these Television Broadcast Stations will qualify as 
the Local Television Broadcast Signal. In areas not included in a DMA, 
but under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission 
(FCC), an appropriate set of Local Television Broadcast Signals will be 
determined on a case-by-case basis, subject to the approval of the 
Board.
    Low Power Television Station means a station authorized by the FCC 
under subpart G of part 74 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, 
that may retransmit the programs and signals of a Television Broadcast 
Station and that may originate programming in any amount greater than 30 
seconds per hour and/or operates a subscription service.
    Net equity means the value of the total Assets of an entity, less 
the total liabilities of that entity, as recorded under Generally 
Accepted Accounting Principles for the fiscal quarter ended immediately 
prior to the date on which the subject Loan is approved.
    Net Worth Ratio means the book value of equity over total Assets.
    Nonserved Area means any area that is outside the grade B contour 
(as determined using standards employed by the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC)) of the Local Television Broadcast Signals serving a 
particular Designated Market Area and does not have access to such 
signals by any commercial, for profit, multichannel video provider.
    Offer of Guarantee means the Board's decision to approve an 
application for, and extend a Guarantee under, the LOCAL TV Act.
    Payment Default means any failure of a Borrower to pay any amount of 
principal or interest on the Loan when and

[[Page 39]]

as due under the Loan Agreement (including, without limitation, 
following any acceleration thereunder) which has not been cured within 
any applicable cure period.
    Payment Demand means a request, by the Lender or Agent, following a 
Payment Default, in writing to the Board, for payment under the 
Guarantee in respect of the defaulted principal.
    Performance Agreement means the written agreement between the 
Administrator and the Borrower (and Lender, if applicable), pursuant to 
which the Borrower provides stipulated performance schedules with 
respect to Local Television Broadcast Signals provided through the 
Project.
    Program means the LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Program (LOCAL TV 
Program) established under the Act.
    Project means a proposal for the acquisition, improvement, 
enhancement, construction, deployment, launch, or rehabilitation of the 
means to deliver Local Television Broadcast Signals to a Nonserved Area 
or Underserved Area.
    Regulatory Capital Ratio means tier 1 and total capital ratios as 
shown on a Banking Institution's balance sheet.
    Security means all Collateral required by the provisions of the Act 
or the Loan Documents to secure repayment of any indebtedness of the 
Borrower under the Loan Documents.
    Separate Tier of Local Television Broadcast Signals means a category 
or package of services provided by the applicant, to include the Local 
Television Broadcast Signals and all over-the-air television broadcast 
signals carried pursuant to the must-carry requirement of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, offered as a distinct and 
separate service choice to the applicant's subscribers at a specified 
lower rate when compared to other program service choices.
    Television Broadcast Station means an over-the-air commercial or 
noncommercial Television Broadcast Station licensed by the FCC under 
subpart E of part 73 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, except 
that such term does not include a Low Power Television Station or 
Television Broadcast Translator Station.
    Television Broadcast Translator Station means a station in the 
broadcast service operated for the purpose of retransmitting the 
programs and signals of a Television Broadcast Station, without 
significantly altering any characteristic of the original signal other 
than its frequency and amplitude, for the purpose of providing 
television reception to the general public.
    Television Network means an entity which offers an interconnected 
program service on a regular basis for 15 or more hours per week to at 
least 25 affiliated broadcast stations in 10 or more States.
    Term Sheet means an executed agreement between the Applicant and the 
Lender or Agent that sets forth the key business terms and conditions of 
the proposed Loan. Execution of this agreement represents evidence of 
the commitment between the Applicant and Lender or Agent.
    Underserved Area means any area that is outside the grade A contour 
(as determined using standards employed by the Federal Communications 
Commission) of the Local Television Broadcast Signals serving a 
particular Designated Market Area and has access to such signals from 
not more than one commercial, for profit, multichannel video provider.
    Unguaranteed Portion means the portion of the principal of a Loan 
that is not covered by the Guarantee.



Secs. 2201.2-2201.8  [Reserved]



Sec. 2201.9  Limitation on the applicability of the definition of
Local Television Broadcast Signals.

    Notwithstanding the definition of Local Television Broadcast Signals 
provided in Sec. 2201.1 of this part, if an area is being served by 
either a satellite carrier which rebroadcasts signals of Television 
Broadcast Stations located in the DMA or a cable television system, and 
that satellite carrier or cable television system is currently in 
compliance with the rules administered by the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) as described in part 76 of title 47, Code of Federal 
Regulations, the group of signals of Television Broadcast Stations 
located in the DMA being retransmitted by such satellite carrier or 
cable television system will be considered to meet the definition of 
Local Television Broadcast

[[Page 40]]

Signals for the purposes of the regulation.



                        Subpart B_Loan Guarantees



Sec. 2201.10  Loan amount and Guarantee percentage.

    (a) Aggregate Value of Loans. The aggregate value of all Loans for 
which Guarantees are issued under the Program, including the 
Unguaranteed Portions of such Loans, may not exceed $1,250,000,000.
    (b) Guarantee Percentage. (1) A Guarantee approved by the Board may 
not exceed an amount equal to 80 percent of the principal amount of a 
Loan made to finance the acquisition, improvement, enhancement, 
construction, deployment, launch, or rehabilitation of the means by 
which Local Television Broadcast Signals are delivered to a Nonserved 
Area or Underserved Area;
    (2) If only a portion of a Loan is meant to achieve the purposes 
described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Board shall determine 
that portion of the Loan meant to achieve such purpose and may approve a 
Guarantee in an amount not exceeding 80 percent of that portion of the 
Loan.
    (3) The portion of the Loan meant to achieve the purposes described 
in paragraph (b)(1) of this section will not be lowered simply because 
the means by which Local Television Broadcast Signals are delivered to a 
Nonserved Area or Underserved Area also enable either the provision of 
signals other than Local Television Broadcast Signals or the provision 
of signals to areas other than Nonserved or Underserved Areas. However, 
any amounts of a Loan which the Board determines will be used for 
separable costs not essential to funding the means by which Local 
Television Broadcast Signals are delivered to a Nonserved Area or 
Underserved Area, will be excluded from the portion of the Loan eligible 
for a Guarantee.
    (c) Minimum Loan Amount. The Board will not approve a Guarantee for 
a Loan in an amount less than $1,000,000 (inclusive of both the 
Guaranteed and Unguaranteed Portions of the Loan).



Sec. 2201.11  Application requirements.

    A completed application consists of the following information:
    (a) An executive summary of the Project. The Applicant must provide 
the Board with a general Project overview that addresses each of the 
following six categories:
    (1) A general overview of the system to be developed and description 
of the Project including the types of equipment, technologies, and 
facilities to be used;
    (2) An explanation of how the Applicant will provide Local 
Television Broadcast Signals to Nonserved Areas and Underserved Areas;
    (3) A short description of the Applicant including a written 
narrative describing its demonstrated capability and experience in 
providing access to Local Television Broadcast Signals for households;
    (4) An explanation of the total Project cost including a breakdown 
of the Loan required and the source of funding for the remainder of the 
Project, if a portion of the Project is to be paid with non-Loan funds;
    (5) The name of the Lender or Agent (including a listing of other 
participating Lenders, if applicable) and a description of the financing 
structure of the proposed Loan; and
    (6) A general description of the geographic area to be served.
    (b) Background information. General information concerning the 
Applicant, its Affiliates, and its Lender or Agent, including a 
description of any financial and contractual arrangements among the 
parties. Specific information required of all Applicants is as follows:
    (1) Evidence of legal authority and existence of the applicant. The 
Applicant must provide evidence of its legal existence and authority to 
execute the Loan Documents under the proposed Loan and perform the 
activities proposed under the Project. Such evidence must include 
Articles of Incorporation and bylaws for incorporated Applicants; other 
types of Applicants should submit appropriate documentation for their 
forms of organization. If the Applicant is a special purpose entity 
(SPE) formed for the purpose of the Project, then the Applicant must 
provide a copy of the Deed of Partnership or Articles of Organization 
for the SPE.

[[Page 41]]

    (2) Affiliates descriptions. A listing of all Affiliates of the 
Applicant including a description of the nature of the Applicant's 
relationship to each Affiliate. Any existing or proposed contractual 
arrangements with each Affiliate should be described.
    (3) Legal name. The legal name and form of organization of the 
proposed Lender or Agent.
    (4) Cover Form. A signed copy of Standard Form 424.
    (5) Management Credentials. A description of the experience and 
capabilities of the Applicant's management to carry out the Project.
    (c) A business plan. A plan, satisfactory to the Board, presenting 
in detail the fundamentals of the business and providing sufficient 
financial data to indicate that the business will be economically 
sustainable. The business plan should include, at a minimum:
    (1) Risk Assessments. An assessment of the risks related to 
construction, performance, demand, and financing structure, including a 
narrative statement detailing planned risks mitigation strategies;
    (2) Plans. A comprehensive operations and maintenance plan, as well 
as a marketing strategy;
    (3) Economic and Financial Analysis. A review of economic and 
financial factors affecting the business in general and the Project in 
particular. Applicants should refer to economic and financial conditions 
in the past three years, and also discuss expectations of such 
conditions in the future, including:
    (i) The adequacy and stability of the business' customer base. 
Applicants should provide information on the number of subscribers, 
subscriber churn, subscriber acquisition cost or cost per gross added, 
subscriber penetration, geographic concentration of customers, nature of 
the terms of customer contracts, customer technical support, customer 
satisfaction and retention;
    (ii) The demand for services;
    (iii) The sensitivity of the business to economic cycles;
    (iv) Future capital needs;
    (v) The adequacy, competitiveness and affordability of service fees;
    (vi) An overview of the prevailing economic and demographic trends 
in the target service area; and
    (vii) Information on programming content and costs.
    (4) Project Market Analysis. A breakdown of the key elements of the 
Project, including:
    (i) All proposed services to be offered, including High-speed 
Internet Service, and whether a Separate Tier of Local Television 
Broadcast Signals will be provided;
    (ii) The total number of households, by DMA, and by Nonserved and 
Underserved Area, which will have access to Local Television Broadcast 
Signals under the Project;
    (iii) The total number of households, by DMA, and by Nonserved and 
Underserved Area, which will have access under the Project to any other 
services as described pursuant to paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section, 
including an explanation if this number is greater than the total 
identified in paragraph (c)(4)(ii);
    (iv) Estimates of the number of households identified in paragraphs 
(c)(4)(ii) and (c)(4)(iii) which will subscribe to each of the services 
identified in paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section by DMA, including a 
breakdown of Nonserved and Underserved households;
    (v) A breakdown of the Applicant's proposed pricing coupled with an 
evaluation of any competitor's services offerings and pricings; and
    (vi) A service deployment plan and a deployment performance 
schedule, by DMA, for the services to access the Local Television 
Broadcast Signals.
    (d) Financial forecast and information. The Applicant must 
demonstrate its financial ability to complete and maintain the Project 
and repay its obligations. The financial data must include the 
following:
    (1) Audited financial statements. Income statements, balance sheets, 
and cash flow statements for at least the last three years or from the 
date of inception if less than three years. If the Applicant is an SPE, 
then the Applicant must provide at least the last three years of audited 
financial statements of the shareholders or partners of the SPE. If an 
Affiliate has been designated by the Applicant as a source of

[[Page 42]]

credit support, then at least three years audited financial statements 
for the Affiliate must be submitted as well.
    (2) Plan of finance. An identification and explanation of all 
sources and uses of funds throughout the proposed loan period, 
including, but not limited to, any payments to Affiliates or 
shareholders of the Applicant, estimated Project costs, and proposed 
terms.
    (3) A Pro-forma financial forecast covering the life of the proposed 
loan, including balance sheets, income statements and cash flow 
statements, with an explanation of assumptions. These Projections must 
be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles 
and should discuss such issues as the effects of inflation, competition, 
ongoing repair and replacement needs, technological obsolescence, 
working capital requirements, and other factors that may affect the 
Applicant's ability to meet its debt service obligations.
    (4) Project budget. A detailed cost breakdown of all facilities to 
be constructed as part of the Project. This breakdown should be on a per 
unit basis. It should also clearly show what will be financed with 
guaranteed loan funds and what will be financed with other funds, 
consistent with the plan of finance in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
    (5) Commitments. The Applicant must disclose all reasonably 
foreseeable financial obligations, contingent liabilities, or other 
commitments that could affect its financial health over the proposed 
financing term. At the Board's request, the Applicant must take all 
reasonable measures to insulate the Project and the Loan from external 
factors that could affect timely payment of principal and interest. The 
Board may ask for additional detailed information on commitments where 
it is deemed necessary.
    (6) Credit enhancement. In cases where an Affiliate provides credit 
enhancement, the Applicant must provide documentation demonstrating the 
Affiliate is sufficiently capitalized and evidencing the strength, 
extent, limitations, and priority of the credit enhancement relative to 
the other obligations of the Affiliate.
    (e) A certified system plan, technical analysis, and design. 
Prepared by qualified personnel on the Applicant's staff or by a 
licensed consulting engineer, consisting of the following:
    (1) A detailed description of the proposed service area including 
maps of the service area;
    (2) A TV Signals Coverage Diagram and detailed description of all 
existing and proposed facilities. The diagram must include proposed 
route miles of cable plant, if applicable, the estimated area served, 
types of facilities to be deployed (terrestrial microwave or satellite 
microwave, wireless, translator, fiber optic cable or coaxial cable, 
electronic equipment, etc.), the capacity of the facilities (number of 
fibers, size of the cables, and intended number of channels, frequencies 
used, bandwidth capacity, etc.), and the serving area of the proposed 
facilities;
    (3) The intended capabilities of the Project's facilities, including 
bandwidth, proposed television signal topology, standards, and 
television signal transmission protocols. In addition, the Applicant 
must explain the manner in which the transmission facilities will 
deliver the proposed Local Television Broadcast Signals, including any 
equipment necessary to receive the signals which will be located at the 
subscribers' premises, and/or, near or on the subscribers' television 
sets;
    (4) A listing of all regulatory approvals required to operate 
facilities, including licenses, permits, and franchises and the status 
of any required approvals not obtained at the time of the application. 
For any approvals not yet received, the Applicant should provide details 
on the nature of the needed approval, the justification for expecting 
such an approval, the track-record of the Applicant in obtaining such 
approvals, and the contingency plan in the event the approval is 
delayed;
    (5) A description of the television signal sources (including, but 
not limited to local, regional and national television signal 
broadcasters, other television signal providers, content providers, 
cable television operators and providers, enhanced service providers, 
providers of satellite services, and the anticipated role of such 
providers in the proposed Project);

[[Page 43]]

    (6) The results of discussions, if any, with local television 
broadcasters serving the Project area;
    (7) An identification of all Local Television Broadcast Signals that 
will be carried by the Project;
    (8) An identification of the digital signal quality and capacity in 
megabits per second (Mb/s) that will be required to digitally broadcast 
all Local Television Broadcast Signals to be provided by the Project;
    (9) An identification of the net usable bandwidth, in Mb/s, that are 
surplus to the provision of the Local Television Broadcast Signals to be 
provided by the Project and that will be used to provide High Speed 
Internet Service; and
    (10) A description of the extent to which the Project will enable 
the delivery of Local Television Broadcast Signals by a means reasonably 
compatible with existing systems or devices predominantly in use for the 
reception of television signals.
    (f) Lender information--(1) Lender. The Application shall include 
the information described in Sec. 2201.13(b), (c) and (d) of this part 
concerning the Lender or Lenders.
    (2) Term Sheet. The Application shall include a signed Term Sheet.
    (3) Lender's Analysis. The Applicant shall submit the Lender's 
detailed analysis of the creditworthiness of the transaction at the time 
of application and any supporting due diligence documentation, including 
a complete underwriting analysis of the Project (assessing Applicant 
creditworthiness and Project feasibility) exercising the Lender's 
standard of care as set forth at Sec. 2201.26(a).
    (4) Certification. The Lender must certify that the information 
provided pursuant to paragraphs (f)(1), (2) and (3) of this section is 
true and accurate.
    (5) Additional Information. The Board will request any other 
information the Board deems material to its assessment of the Lender.
    (g) Other Financial Information--(1) Collateral. The Applicant shall 
provide a detailed description and valuation of all Collateral to be 
used to secure the Loan. This valuation shall be supported by an 
independent, third party appraisal for existing Assets, and/or adequate 
cost substantiation for Assets to be constructed for purposes of the 
Project, and in all cases shall be acceptable to the Board. Such a 
valuation should address, at a minimum, pledged Assets of the Applicant, 
any designated Affiliate of the Applicant, or both as identified in the 
Loan Documents, including primary Assets to be used in the delivery of 
the service for which the Loan sought would be guaranteed. The Applicant 
also must provide a depreciation schedule (as classified under and in 
accordance with GAAP) for the major Assets in order for the Board to 
determine the economically useful life of the primary Assets to be used 
in delivery of the signals concerned. Appraisals of real property must 
be prepared by State licensed or certified appraisers, and be consistent 
with the ``Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice,'' 
promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal 
Foundation.
    (2) Credit Opinion. With respect to applications for a Loan of $15 
million or more, the Applicant is required to obtain and submit to the 
Board a preliminary credit rating opinion letter on the proposed 
transaction at the time of application, prepared by a nationally 
recognized statistical rating organization (rating agency) approved by 
the Board. This preliminary credit rating opinion shall be based on the 
financing structure proposed by the Applicant for the Project absent the 
Federal Guarantee, without regard to recovery expectations. The Board 
will utilize this preliminary credit assessment to assist in evaluating 
the creditworthiness of the proposed transaction and determining whether 
it provides a reasonable assurance of repayment. In addition, applicants 
for loans less than $15 million that have a credit rating shall provide 
that credit rating to the Board. The Board will utilize this preliminary 
credit assessment (for loans over $15 million) or an existing credit 
rating (for loans less than $15 million) to assist in evaluating the 
creditworthiness of the proposed transaction and determining whether it 
provides a reasonable assurance of repayment. The Board may approve a 
Guarantee over $15 million only if it receives a final

[[Page 44]]

credit rating opinion letter from the rating agency on the Loan that is 
in form and substance acceptable to the Board.
    (3) Evidence of Lack of Credit Elsewhere. The Applicant shall 
provide the information required pursuant to Sec. 2201.12(b)(2)(v) of 
this part.
    (h) Compliance with other Federal statutes, regulations and 
Executive Orders. The Applicant must certify compliance with other 
applicable Federal statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders.
    (i) Environmental impact. The Applicant must provide information 
describing the Project's impact on the environment as required pursuant 
to Sec. 2201.16 of this part. The application may be submitted prior to 
final determination of a Project's environmental impacts; however, a 
Guarantee shall not be made and no Loan funds will be advanced prior to 
such determination and demonstrated compliance with all environmental 
statutes, regulations and executive orders.
    (j) Federal debt certification. The Applicant must provide a 
certification that it is not delinquent on any obligation owed to the 
government (7 CFR parts 3016 and 3019). No Guarantee will be made if 
either the Applicant or Lender has an outstanding, delinquent Federal 
debt until:
    (1) The delinquent account has been paid in full;
    (2) A negotiated repayment schedule is established and at least one 
payment has been received; or
    (3) Other arrangements, satisfactory to the agency responsible for 
collecting the debt, are made.
    (k) Supplemental information. The Applicant should provide any 
additional information it considers relevant to the Project and likely 
to be helpful in determining the extent to which the Project would 
further the purposes of the Act.
    (l) Additional information required by the Board. The Applicant must 
provide any additional information the Board determines is necessary to 
adequately evaluate the application.
    (m) Application Fee. For an application to be considered complete, 
the Applicant must submit a check payable to the United States Treasury 
in the amount of the application fee as set forth in Sec. 2201.21(a) of 
this part.
    (n) Incomplete application. An incomplete application, including any 
fee submitted therewith, will be returned to the Applicant without 
action.



Sec. 2201.12  Applicant.

    (a) Eligibility. (1) The Board will make a determination of 
eligibility of an Applicant to be a Borrower under the Program based 
upon the Applicant's ability to directly provide, as a result of 
financing received under the Program, Local Television Broadcast Signals 
to households in Nonserved Areas and/or Underserved Areas and the 
information provided pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.
    (2) A determination that an Applicant is eligible does not assure 
that the Board will approve a Guarantee sought, or otherwise preclude 
the Board from declining to approve a Guarantee.
    (b) Documentation for Eligibility Determination. (1) An Applicant 
must provide a Term Sheet evidencing a commitment of that Lender or 
Agent, and the Lenders it represents, to make a Loan to the Applicant 
upon an Offer of Guarantee by the Board, subject to the requirements of 
the Act and the regulations set forth in this part.
    (2) An Applicant must provide documentation demonstrating that:
    (i) The Assets, facilities, or equipment covered by the Loan will be 
utilized economically and efficiently;
    (ii) The terms, conditions, security, and schedule and amount of 
repayments of principal and the payment of interest with respect to the 
Loan protect the financial interests of the United States and are 
reasonable;
    (iii) Appropriate and adequate Collateral secures the Loan sought to 
be guaranteed;
    (iv) All necessary and required regulatory and other approvals, 
spectrum licenses, and delivery permissions for the Loan and the Project 
under the Loan have been applied for or obtained (a Guarantee shall not 
be made and no Loan funds will be advanced until all such approvals, 
licenses and permissions have been obtained);
    (v) The Loan would not be available on reasonable terms and 
conditions

[[Page 45]]

without a Guarantee under this Program. To satisfy this requirement, an 
Applicant must provide, with its application, documentation from at 
least one lending institution other than the Lender to which the 
Applicant has applied for financial assistance dated within six months 
of submission of the application, indicating that the Applicant was 
unable to obtain substantially the same Loan it is applying for on 
reasonable terms and conditions; and
    (vi) Repayment of the Loan can reasonably be expected.



Sec. 2201.13  Lender.

    (a) Eligibility. (1) The Board will make a determination of 
eligibility of a Lender to make a Loan to be guaranteed under the 
Program based upon the criteria set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of 
this section.
    (2) A determination that a Lender is eligible does not assure that 
the Board will approve a Guarantee sought, or otherwise preclude the 
Board from declining to approve a Guarantee.
    (b) Qualifications. In addition to evaluating an application 
pursuant to Sec. 2201.18, in making a determination to approve a 
Guarantee to a Lender, the Board will assess:
    (1) The Lender's Regulatory Capital Ratios, in the case of Banking 
Institutions, or Net Worth Ratios, in the case of other institutions;
    (2) Whether the Lender possesses the ability to administer the Loan, 
including its experience with loans to telecommunications companies;
    (3) The scope, volume and duration of the Lender's activity in 
administering loans, including federally guaranteed loans;
    (4) The performance of the Lender's loan portfolio, including its 
current delinquency rate;
    (5) The Lender's charge-off rate, expressed as a percentage of 
outstanding loans for its current fiscal year;
    (6) If the Lender intends to sell participation interests in the 
Loan, the plan of syndication; and
    (7) Any other matter the Board deems material to its assessment of 
the Lender.
    (c) A Loan will not be guaranteed unless:
    (1) If the Lender is not a nonprofit corporation and is subject to 
loan-to-one-borrower and Affiliate transaction restrictions under 
applicable law, the Loan is made in accordance with such restrictions;
    (2) If the Lender is not a nonprofit corporation and is not subject 
to the restrictions described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the 
Loan is made to a Borrower that is not an Affiliate of the Lender and 
the amount of the Loan, and all outstanding loans by the Lender to the 
Borrower and any of its Affiliates, does not exceed 10 percent of the 
Net Equity of the Lender; and
    (3) If the Lender is a nonprofit corporation, the Board determines 
that:
    (i) Such nonprofit corporation has one or more issues of outstanding 
long-term debt that is rated within the highest 3 rating categories of a 
nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as evidenced by 
written confirmation from the nationally recognized statistical rating 
organization, subject to updating upon request of the Board; and
    (ii) The making of the Loan would not cause a decline in the rating 
of such Lender's long-term debt below the highest 3 rating categories of 
a nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as evidenced by 
written confirmation from the nationally recognized statistical rating 
organization, subject to updating upon request of the Board.
    (d) Agent. (1) An application for a Guarantee of a single Loan that 
includes participation of more than one Lender must identify one of the 
Lenders participating in such Loan to act as Agent for all Lenders. This 
Agent is responsible for administering the Loan and shall have those 
duties and responsibilities required of an Agent, as set forth in the 
Guarantee.
    (2) If more than one Lender is seeking a Guarantee of a single Loan, 
each one of the Lenders on the application must meet the qualifications 
set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. However, only the 
Agent must meet the qualifications set forth in paragraph (b)(2) and (3) 
of this section.
    (3) Each Lender, irrespective of any indemnities or other agreements 
between the Lenders and the Agent, shall

[[Page 46]]

be bound by all actions, and/or failures to act, of the Agent. The Board 
and the Administrator shall be entitled to rely upon such actions and/or 
failures to act of the Agent as binding all Lenders.



Sec. 2201.14  Eligible Loan purposes.

    To be guaranteed under the Program, a Loan must be made for the 
purpose of financing the acquisition, improvement, enhancement, 
construction, deployment, launch, or rehabilitation of the means by 
which Local Television Broadcast Signals will be delivered to a 
Nonserved Area or Underserved Area.



Sec. 2201.15  Ineligible Loan purposes.

    (a) The proceeds of the Loan shall not be used for operating, 
advertising, or promotion expenses, or for the acquisition of licenses 
for the use of spectrum in any competitive bidding.
    (b) The Applicant shall not transfer proceeds of the Loan to any 
Affiliate(s).
    (c) The Board will not fund a Project that is designed primarily to 
serve one or more of the top 40 Designated Market Areas.
    (d) The Board will not fund a Project that would alter or remove 
National Weather Service warnings from Local Television Broadcast 
Signals.
    (e) No Guarantee may be granted or used to provide funds to a 
Project that extends, upgrades, or enhances the services provided over 
any cable system to an area that, as of the enactment of the Act, is 
covered by a cable franchise agreement that expressly obligates a cable 
operator to serve such area.



Sec. 2201.16  Environmental requirements.

    (a) General. (1) Environmental assessments of the Board's actions 
will be conducted in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations, 
and other applicable authorities. Therefore, each application for a 
Guarantee under the Program must be accompanied by information necessary 
for the Board to meet the requirements of applicable law.
    (2) Actions requiring compliance with NEPA. (i) The types of actions 
classified as ``major Federal actions'' subject to NEPA procedures are 
discussed in 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508.
    (ii) With respect to this Program, these actions typically include:
    (A) Any Project, permanent or temporary, that will involve 
construction and/or installations;
    (B) Any Project, permanent or temporary, that will involve ground 
disturbing activities; and
    (C) Any Project supporting renovation, other than interior 
remodeling.
    (3) Environmental information required from the Applicant. (i) 
Environmental data or documentation concerning the use of the proceeds 
of any Loan guaranteed under this Program must be provided by the 
Applicant to the Board to assist the Board in meeting its legal 
responsibilities.
    (ii) Such information includes:
    (A) Documentation for an environmental threshold review from 
qualified data sources, such as a Federal, State or local agency with 
expertise and experience in environmental protection, or other sources, 
qualified to provide reliable environmental information;
    (B) Any previously prepared environmental reports or data relevant 
to the Loan at issue;
    (C) Any environmental review prepared by Federal, State, or local 
agencies relevant to the Loan at issue; and
    (D) Any other information that can be used by the Board to ensure 
compliance with environmental laws.
    (iii) All information supplied by the Applicant is subject to 
verification by the Board.
    (b) The regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality 
implementing NEPA require the Board to provide public notice of the 
availability of Project specific environmental documents such as 
environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, findings of 
no significant impact, records of decision, etc., to the affected 
public. See 40 CFR 1506.6(b). Environmental information concerning 
specific Projects can be obtained from the Board by contacting: 
Secretary, LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board, 1400 Independence 
Ave., SW., Room 2919-S, Stop 1575; Washington, DC 20250-1575.
    (c) National Environmental Policy Act--(1) Purpose. The purpose of 
this paragraph (c) is to adopt procedures for

[[Page 47]]

compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq., by the Board. This paragraph supplements regulations at 40 CFR 
Chapter V.
    (2) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
    Categorical exclusion means a category of actions which do not 
individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human 
environment and for which neither an environmental assessment nor an 
environmental impact statement is required.
    Environmental assessment means a document that briefly discusses the 
environmental consequences of a proposed action and alternatives 
prepared for the purposes set forth in 40 CFR 1508.9.
    EIS means an environmental impact statement prepared pursuant to 
section 102(2)(C) of NEPA.
    FONSI means a finding of no significant impact on the quality of 
human environment after the completion of an environmental assessment.
    NEPA means the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et 
seq.
    Working capital loan means money used by an ongoing business concern 
to fund its existing operations.
    (3) Delegations to the Secretary of the Board. (i) All incoming 
correspondence from Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and other 
agencies concerning matters related to NEPA, including draft and final 
EIS, shall be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Board. 
The Secretary of the Board will prepare or, at his or her discretion, 
coordinated replies to such correspondence.
    (ii) With respect to actions of the Board, the Board will:
    (A) Ensure preparation of all necessary environmental assessments 
and EISs;
    (B) Maintain a list of actions for which environmental assessments 
are being prepared;
    (C) Revise this list at regular intervals, and send the revisions to 
the Environmental Protection Agency;
    (D) Make the list available for public inspection;
    (E) Maintain a list of EISs; and
    (F) Maintain a file of draft and final EISs.
    (4) Categorical exclusions. (i) This paragraph describes various 
classes of Board actions that normally do not have a significant impact 
on the human environment and are categorically excluded. The word 
``normally'' is stressed; there may be individual cases in which 
specific factors require contrary action.
    (ii) Subject to the limitations in paragraph (c)(4)(iii) of this 
section, the actions described in this paragraph have been determined 
not to have a significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. They are categorically excluded from the need to prepare an 
environmental assessment or an EIS under NEPA.
    (A) Guarantees of working capital loans; and
    (B) Guarantees of loans for the refinancing of outstanding 
indebtedness of the Applicant, regardless of the purpose for which the 
original indebtedness was incurred.
    (iii) Actions listed in paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section that 
otherwise are categorically excluded from NEPA review are not 
necessarily excluded from review if they would be located within, or in 
other cases, potentially affect:
    (A) A floodplain;
    (B) A wetland;
    (C) Important farmlands, or prime forestlands or rangelands;
    (D) A listed species or critical habitat for an endangered species;
    (E) A property that is listed on or may be eligible for listing on 
the National Register of Historic Places;
    (F) An area within an approved State Coastal Zone Management 
Program;
    (G) A coastal barrier or a portion of a barrier within the Coastal 
Barrier Resources System;
    (H) A river or portion of a river included in, or designated for, 
potential addition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System;
    (I) A sole source aquifer recharge area;
    (J) A State water quality standard (including designated and/or 
existing beneficial uses and anti-degradation requirements); or

[[Page 48]]

    (K) The release or disposal of regulated substances above the levels 
set forth in a permit or license issued by an appropriate regulatory 
authority.
    (5) Responsibilities and procedures for preparation of an 
environmental assessment. (i) The Board will request that the Lender and 
Applicant prepare an environmental assessment that provides information 
concerning all potentially significant environmental impacts of the 
Applicant's proposed Project. The Board, consulting at its discretion 
with CEQ, will review the information provided by the Lender and 
Applicant. Though no specific format for an environmental assessment is 
prescribed, it shall be a separate document, suitable for public review 
and should include the following in conformance with 40 CFR 1508.9:
    (A) Description of the environment. The existing environmental 
conditions relevant to the Board's analysis determining the 
environmental impacts of the proposed Project should be described. The 
no action alternative also should be discussed;
    (B) Documentation. Citations to information used to describe the 
existing environment and to assess environmental impacts should be 
clearly referenced and documented. These sources should include, as 
appropriate, but not be limited to, local, tribal, regional, State, and 
Federal agencies, as well as, public and private organizations and 
institutions;
    (C) Evaluating environmental consequences of proposed actions. A 
brief discussion should be included of the need for the proposal, of 
alternatives as required by 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(E) and their environmental 
impacts. The discussion of the environmental impacts should include 
measures to mitigate adverse impacts and any irreversible or 
irretrievable commitments of resources to the proposed Project.
    (ii) An environmental assessment, may:
    (A) Tier upon the information contained in a previous EIS, as 
described in 40 CFR 1502.20;
    (B) Incorporate by reference reasonably available material, as 
described in 40 CFR 1502.21; and/or
    (C) Adopt a previously completed EIS reasonably related to the 
Project for which the proceeds of the Loan sought to be guaranteed under 
the Program will be used, as described in 40 CFR 1506.3.
    (iii) If, on the basis of the environmental assessment, the Board 
determines that an EIS is not required, a FONSI, as described in 40 CFR 
1508.13 will be prepared. The FONSI will include the environmental 
assessment or a summary of it and be available to the public from the 
Board. The Board shall maintain a record of these decisions, making them 
available to interested parties upon request. Requests should be 
directed to LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board, 1400 Independence 
Ave., SW., Room 2919-S, Stop 1575; Washington, DC 20250-1575. Prior to a 
final Guarantee decision, a copy of the NEPA documentation shall be sent 
to the Board for consideration.
    (6) Responsibilities and procedures for preparation of an 
environmental impact statement. (i) If after the environmental 
assessment has been completed, the Board determines that an EIS is 
necessary, it and other related documentation will be prepared by the 
Board in accordance with section 102(2)(c) of NEPA, this section, and 40 
CFR parts 1500 through 1508. The Board may seek additional information 
from the Applicant in preparing the EIS. Once the document is prepared, 
the Board will transmit the document to the Environmental Protection 
Agency.
    (ii) EIS. (A) The following procedures, as discussed in 40 CFR parts 
1500 through 1508, will be followed in preparing an EIS:
    (1) The format and contents of the draft and final EIS shall be as 
discussed in 40 CFR part 1502.
    (2) The requirements of 40 CFR 1506.9 for filing of documents with 
the Environmental Protection Agency shall be followed.
    (3) The Board, consulting at its discretion with CEQ, shall examine 
carefully the basis on which supportive studies have been conducted to 
assure that such studies are objective and comprehensive in scope and in 
depth.
    (4) NEPA requires that the decision making ``utilize a systematic, 
interdisciplinary approach that will ensure the integrated use of the 
natural and social sciences and the environmental

[[Page 49]]

design arts.'' 42 U.S.C. 4332(A). If such disciplines are not present on 
the Board staff, appropriate use should be made of personnel of Federal, 
State, and local agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, or 
private industry.
    (B) Until the Board issues a record of decision as provided in 40 
CFR 1502.2 no action concerning the proposal shall be taken which would:
    (1) Have an adverse environmental impact; or
    (2) Limit the choice of reasonable alternatives.
    (3) 40 CFR 1506.10 places certain limitations on the timing of Board 
decisions on taking ``major Federal actions.'' A Guarantee shall not be 
made before the times set forth in 40 CFR 1506.10.
    (iii) A public record of decision stating what the decision was; 
identifying alternatives that were considered, including the 
environmentally preferable one(s); discussing any national 
considerations that entered into the decision; and summarizing a 
monitoring and enforcement program if applicable for mitigating the 
environmental effects of a proposal will be prepared. This record of 
decision will be prepared at the time the decision is made.



Sec. 2201.17  Submission of applications.

    (a) Applications should be submitted as follows:
    (1) Applications for Guarantees shall be submitted to the LOCAL 
Television Loan Guarantee Board, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop 
1575, Room 2919-S, Washington, DC 20250-1575. Applications should be 
marked Attention: Secretary, LOCAL Television Loan Guarantee Board.
    (2) Applications must be submitted postmarked not later than the 
application filing deadline established by the Board if the applications 
are to be considered during the period for which the application was 
submitted.
    (3) All Applicants must submit an original and two copies of a 
completed application.
    (b) Application deadline. One or more application windows will be 
announced. The duration of each application window for submission of 
applications will be approximately 120 days. Notice of an application 
window will be published in the Federal Register.



Sec. 2201.18  Application selection.

    (a) Application Priority. When evaluating applications to determine 
which Project or combinations of Projects will best facilitate access to 
Local Television Broadcast Signals, the Board shall give priority in the 
approval of Guarantees to the following categories:
    (1) First, to applications for Projects that will serve households 
in Nonserved Areas.
    (2) Second, to applications for Projects that will serve households 
in Underserved Areas.
    (3) Within each category, the Board shall balance applications for 
Projects that will serve the largest number of households with 
applications for Projects that will serve remote, isolated communities 
(including noncontiguous States) in areas that are unlikely to be served 
through market mechanisms. The Board shall consider the Project's 
estimated cost per household and shall give priority to those 
applications for Projects that provide the highest quality service at 
the lowest cost per household.
    (b) Additional Considerations. (1) The Board shall give additional 
consideration to applications for Projects that, in addition to 
providing Local Television Broadcast Signals, also provide High-speed 
Internet service.
    (2) The Board shall consider other factors, which shall include 
applications for Projects that:
    (i) Offer a separate tier of Local Television Broadcast Signals at a 
lower cost to consumers, except where prohibited by applicable Federal, 
State, or local laws or regulations; and
    (ii) Enable the delivery of Local Television Broadcast Signals 
consistent with the purpose of the Act by means reasonably compatible 
with existing systems or devices predominantly in use.
    (c) Other Considerations. All other evaluation factors and priority 
considerations being equal, the Board will give a preference in 
approving Guarantees to those applications for Projects that provide 
greater amounts and higher quality Collateral.

[[Page 50]]

    (d) Protection of United States Financial Interests. The Board may 
not approve the Guarantee of a Loan unless:
    (1) The Board has been given documentation, assurances, and access 
to information, persons, and entities necessary, as determined by the 
Board, to address issues relevant to review of the Loan by the Board for 
purposes of the Act; and
    (2) The Board makes a determination in writing that:
    (i) To the best of its knowledge upon due inquiry, the Assets, 
facilities, or equipment covered by the Loan will be utilized 
economically and efficiently;
    (ii) The terms, conditions, security, and schedule and amount of 
repayments of principal and the payment of interest with respect to the 
Loan protect the financial interests of the United States and are 
reasonable;
    (iii) The value of Collateral provided by an Applicant is at least 
equal to the unpaid balance of the Loan amount; and if the value of 
Collateral provided by an Applicant is less than the Loan amount, 
additional required Collateral is provided by the Applicant or an 
Affiliate designated by the Applicant and acceptable to the Board;
    (iv) All necessary and required regulatory and other approvals, 
spectrum licenses, and delivery permissions have been received for the 
Loan and the Project under the Loan;
    (v) The Loan would not be available on reasonable terms and 
conditions without a Guarantee under the Act; and
    (vi) Repayment of the Loan can be reasonably expected.
    (e) Non approvals. A Guarantee will not be approved if it is 
determined that:
    (1) The Applicant's proposal does not indicate financial 
feasibility, or the Collateral is determined to not adequately secure 
the Loan;
    (2) The Applicant's proposal indicates technical flaws, which, in 
the opinion of the Board, would prevent successful implementation, or 
operation of the Project;
    (3) Any other aspect of the Applicant's proposal fails to adequately 
address any requirements of the Act or the regulations in this part or 
contains inadequacies which would, in the opinion of the Board, 
undermine the ability of the Project to meet the general purpose of the 
Act or comply with requirements in this part; or
    (4) Proceeds for the Loan will be used for any of the ineligible 
purposes set forth in Sec. 2201.15.
    (f) Impact on Competition. A Loan shall not be guaranteed unless the 
proposed Project, as determined by the Board in consultation with the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is not 
likely to have a substantial adverse impact on competition that 
outweighs the benefits of improving access to Local Television Broadcast 
Signals in a Nonserved Area or Underserved Area and is commercially 
viable.



Sec. 2201.19  Loan terms.

    (a) All Loans guaranteed under the Program shall be due and payable 
in full no later than the earlier of 25 years from date of the closing 
of the Loan or the economically useful life of the primary Assets to be 
used in delivery of the signals concerned, as determined by the Board.
    (b) Loans guaranteed under the Program must:
    (1) Bear a rate of interest determined by the Board to protect the 
financial interests of the United States and to be reasonable. This 
determination will be based on the Board's comparison of the:
    (i) Difference, or interest rate spread, between the interest rate 
on the Loan sought to be guaranteed and the current average yield on 
outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable 
maturity; and
    (ii) The interest rate spread between the rates on recently issued 
and similarly rated and structured obligations and the current yields on 
outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable 
maturity.
    (2) Have terms that, in the judgment of the Board, are consistent in 
material respects with the terms of similar obligations in the private 
capital market.
    (c) So long as any principal and interest is due and payable on a 
Loan guaranteed under the Act, a Borrower shall:

[[Page 51]]

    (1) Maintain Assets, equipment, facilities, and operations on a 
continuing basis;
    (2) Not make any discretionary dividend payments that impair its 
ability to repay obligations guaranteed under the Act;
    (3) Remain sufficiently capitalized; and
    (4) Submit to and cooperate fully with any audit or Collateral 
review required by the Board.



Sec. 2201.20  Collateral.

    (a) Existence of adequate Collateral. An Applicant shall provide the 
Board such documentation as is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, 
to provide satisfactory evidence that appropriate and adequate 
Collateral secures a Loan guaranteed under the Program. Prior to 
approving a Guarantee, the Board shall require that the value of the 
Collateral pledged be at least equal to the unpaid balance of the Loan 
Amount.
    (b) Form of Collateral. Collateral required by paragraph (a) of this 
section shall consist solely of Assets of the Applicant, any Affiliate 
of the Applicant, or both, as identified in the Loan Documents, 
including primary Assets to be used in the delivery of the service for 
which the Loan is guaranteed. Such Assets may include, but are not 
limited to, the following:
    (1) Tangible Assets, including current Assets (such as cash, 
accounts receivable, and inventory), reserve funds, land, buildings, 
machinery, fixtures, and equipment;
    (2) Assignments of all relevant contractual agreements, including 
contractual rights to certain cash flows, marketing arrangements, third-
party guarantees, insurance policies, contractors' bonds, and other 
agreements or rights that may be of value;
    (3) All permits, governmental approvals, franchises and licenses, 
necessary to carry out and operate the required equipment or service; 
and
    (4) Other Assets, which, in the judgment of the Board, possess 
Collateral value suitable for securing the Loan, including a pledge of 
all or part of the Applicant's ownership interest in the Project or 
company, and any after-acquired property.
    (c) Applicant's compliance findings. An Applicant's compliance with 
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section does not assure a finding of 
reasonable assurance of repayment, or assure the Board's Guarantee of 
the Loan.
    (d) Collateral for entire loan. The same Collateral shall secure the 
entire Loan, including both the Guaranteed Portion and the Unguaranteed 
Portion.
    (e) Review of valuation. The value of Collateral securing a Loan is 
subject to review and approval by the Board, and may be adjusted 
downward by the Board if the Board reasonably believes such adjustment 
is appropriate. The Board's evaluation of the proposed Collateral for 
the Loan will be based on several factors, including but not limited to:
    (1) The expected value of the pledged Collateral in the event of 
defaults with specific consideration given to the residual value of 
Project Assets to third-parties and the liquidity of such Assets;
    (2) The cash flow characteristics of the Project;
    (3) The contractual characteristics of the Project to the extent 
Project-related agreements underpin the Project's estimated cash flows;
    (4) The competitiveness of the Project's economics and the 
associated certainty of cash flows in the future; and
    (5) The creditworthiness of any designated Affiliates(s) that 
provides services to the Applicant or provides any credit support.
    (f) Ongoing Collateral Assessment. The Board shall require that the 
value of the Collateral shall be at all times at least equal to the 
unpaid balance of the Loan Amount. To ensure that the ongoing value of 
the Collateral is properly maintained, the Board may require the 
borrower to have an ongoing third-party inspection and valuation of the 
Collateral that is acceptable to the Board. If the Collateral value at 
the measurement date is less than the unpaid balance of the Loan Amount, 
the Borrower or its designated Affiliates(s) will be required to pledge 
additional acceptable Collateral to cover any deficit.
    (g) Lien on Collateral. (1) Upon the Board's approval of a 
Guarantee, the

[[Page 52]]

Administrator shall have liens on Collateral securing the Loan, which 
shall be superior to all other liens on such Collateral. The value of 
the Collateral (based on a determination satisfactory to the Board) 
shall be at least equal to the unpaid balance of the Loan amount, giving 
significant consideration to the expected value of the Collateral in the 
event of defaults with specific consideration given to the residual 
value of the Project Assets to third-parties and the liquidity of such 
Assets.
    (2) Both the Administrator and the Lender or Agent shall have a 
perfected security interest in the Collateral fully sufficient to 
protect the financial interests of the United States and the Lenders. 
However, the security interest perfected by the Administrator shall 
ensure that the Administrator has first priority in such Collateral.



Sec. 2201.21  Fees.

    (a) Application Fee. The Board shall charge each Applicant for a 
Guarantee under the Program a non-refundable fee, payable to the United 
States Treasury, to cover the costs of making necessary determinations 
and findings with respect to an application for a Guarantee under the 
Program. The amount of the fee is $10,000 for Loans of $1 million up to 
$50 million, $15,000 for Loans of $50 million up to $100 million, 
$30,000 for Loans of $100 million up to $500 million, and $40,000 for 
Loans of $500 million or greater.
    (b) Guarantee Origination Fee. The Board shall charge and collect 
from a Borrower a Guarantee Origination Fee. The amount of such fee will 
be sufficient to cover the administrative costs of the Board associated 
with the Loan. Upon extending an offer of Guarantee, the Board and the 
Borrower shall enter into an agreement providing for the payment of the 
Guarantee Origination Fee; the agreement shall include terms relating to 
the schedule of payments and deposit of such payments into an escrow 
account. The Guarantee Origination Fee must be paid in full no later 
than and as a condition of the closing of any Loan. A Borrower will be 
responsible for paying the administrative costs of the Board regardless 
of whether the Loan actually closes.
    (c) Lender Fees. A Lender or Agent may assess and collect from the 
Borrower such fees and costs associated with the application and 
origination of the Loan as are reasonable and customary, taking into 
consideration the amount and complexity of the credit. The Board may 
take such fees and costs into consideration when determining whether to 
offer a Guarantee.



Sec. 2201.22  Issuance of Guarantees.

    (a) The Board's decision to approve an application and extend an 
Offer of Guarantee under the Program is conditioned upon:
    (1) The Lender or Agent and Applicant obtaining any required 
regulatory or judicial approvals;
    (2) The Lender or Agent and Applicant being legally authorized to 
enter into the Loan under the terms and conditions submitted to the 
Board in the application;
    (3) The Board's receipt of the Loan Documents and any related 
instruments, in form and substance satisfactory to the Board all 
properly executed by the Lender or Agent, Applicant, and any other 
required party other than the Board;
    (4) No material adverse change in the Applicant's ability to repay 
the Loan between the date of the Board's approval and the date the 
Guarantee is to be issued;
    (5) Entering into the Guarantee violates no Loan covenants or 
existing contractual obligations of the Borrower; and
    (6) Such other conditions as determined by the Board.
    (b) The Board may withdraw its approval of an application and 
rescind its Offer of Guarantee if the Board determines that the Lender 
or Agent or the Applicant cannot, or is unwilling to, provide adequate 
documentation and proof of compliance with paragraph (a) of this section 
within the time provided for in the Offer of Guarantee.
    (c) Only after receipt of all the documentation required by this 
section will the Administrator sign and deliver the Guarantee.



Sec. 2201.23  Funding for the Program.

    (a) Costs incurred by the Government. The Act provides funding for 
the costs

[[Page 53]]

incurred by the Government as a result of granting Guarantees under the 
Program. While pursuing the goals of the Act, it is the intent of the 
Board to minimize the cost of the Program to the Government. The Board 
will estimate the risk posed by the guaranteed Loans to the funds 
appropriated for the costs of the Guarantees under the Program and 
operate the Program accordingly.
    (b) Credit Risk Premium--(1) Establishment and approval. The Board 
may establish and approve the acceptance of credit risk premiums with 
respect to a Guarantee under this Act in order to offset the cost, as 
defined in section 502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, of 
the Guarantee. To the extent that appropriations of budget authority are 
insufficient to cover the cost, as so determined, of a Guarantee, and 
the Board approves such a Guarantee, credit risk premiums shall be 
accepted from a non-Federal source on behalf of a Borrower.
    (2) Credit risk premium amount--(i) General. The Board shall 
determine the amount of any credit risk premium to be accepted with 
respect to a Guarantee on the basis of:
    (A) The financial and economic circumstances of the Borrower, 
including the amount of Collateral offered;
    (B) The proposed schedule of Loan disbursements;
    (C) The business plans of the Borrower;
    (D) Any financial commitment from a broadcast signal provider; and
    (E) The concurrence of the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget as to the amount of the credit risk premium.
    (ii) Proportionality. To the extent that appropriations of budget 
authority are sufficient to cover the cost, as determined under section 
502(5) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, of Guarantees, the 
credit risk premium with respect to each Guarantee shall be reduced 
proportionately.
    (iii) Payment of premiums. Credit risk premiums under this paragraph 
shall be paid to an escrow account established in the Treasury, which 
shall accrue interest. Such interest shall be retained by the escrow 
account, subject to paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section.
    (iv) Deductions from escrow account. If a liquidation of the 
Collateral occurs pursuant to Sec. 2201.33(h), any shortfall between the 
proceeds of the liquidation net of costs and expenses relating to the 
liquidation, and the guarantee amount paid shall be deducted from funds 
in the escrow account and credited to the Administrator for payment of 
such shortfall. At such time as all Loans guaranteed under this Program 
have been repaid or otherwise satisfied in accordance with the Act and 
the regulations in this part, remaining funds in the escrow account, if 
any, shall be refunded, on a pro rata basis, to Borrowers whose Loans 
guaranteed under the Program were not in Payment Default or Default, or 
where any Payment Default or Default was cured in accordance with the 
terms of the Loan Documents.



Sec. 2201.24  Insurance.

    The Borrower of a Loan guaranteed under the Program shall obtain, at 
its expense, insurance sufficient to protect the financial interests of 
the United States, as determined by the Board.



Sec. 2201.25  Performance Agreement.

    (a) The Borrower of a Loan guaranteed under the Program shall enter 
into a Performance Agreement with the Administrator with respect to the 
Local Television Broadcast Signals to be provided through the Project.
    (b) The Administrator may assess against and collect from a Borrower 
a penalty not to exceed 3 times the interest accrued on the Loan during 
the period of noncompliance if the Borrower fails to meet its stipulated 
Performance Agreement entered into under paragraph (a) of this section.



Sec. 2201.26  Lender standard of care.

    (a) The Lender or Agent shall exercise due care and diligence in 
analyzing and administering the Loan as would be exercised by a 
responsible and prudent Banking Institution when analyzing and 
administering a secured loan of such Banking Institution's own funds 
without a Guarantee. Such standards shall also apply to any and all 
underwriting analysis, approvals,

[[Page 54]]

determinations, permissions, acceptances, requirements, or opinion made, 
given, imposed or reached by Lender.
    (b) The Lender or Agent shall have such other obligations and duties 
to the Board and the Administrator as are set forth in the Act or Loan 
Documents.



Sec. 2201.27  Assignment or transfer of Loans.

    (a) Modifications. The Loan Documents may not be modified, in whole 
or in part, without the prior written approval of the Board.
    (b) Requirements. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (c) 
and (d) of this section and other provisions of this part, a Lender or 
Agent may assign or transfer the Loan including the Loan Documents to 
another Lender that meets the eligibility requirements of Sec. 2201.13 
of this part.
    (2) Any assignment or transfer of a Loan, or any pledge or other use 
of a Loan as security, including but not limited to any derivatives 
transaction, will require the prior written approval of the Board.
    (c) The provisions of paragraph (b) of this section shall not apply 
to transfers which occur by operation of law.
    (d) The Agent must hold an interest in a Loan guaranteed under the 
Program equal to at least the lesser of $25 million or fifteen percent 
of the aggregate amount of the Loan. Of this amount, the Agent must hold 
an interest in the Unguaranteed Portion of the Loan equal to at least 
the minimum amount of the Loan required to be held by the Agent under 
the preceding sentence multiplied by the percentage of the entire Loan 
that is not guaranteed. A non-Agent Lender must hold an interest in the 
Unguaranteed Portion of the Loan representing no less than five percent 
of such Lender's total interest in the Loan; provided, that a non-Agent 
Lender may transfer its interest in the Unguaranteed Portion after 
payment of the Guaranteed Portion has been made under the Guarantee.
    (e) The Guarantee shall have no force or effect if any part of the 
Guaranteed Portion of the Loan is transferred separate and apart from 
the Unguaranteed Portion of the Loan. At least five percent of any 
assignment or transfer interest in a Loan must be unguaranteed to ensure 
that no part of the Guaranteed Portion of the Loan is transferred 
separate and apart from the Unguaranteed Portion of the Loan.



Sec. 2201.28  Participation in guaranteed Loans.

    (a) Subject to paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section, a Lender 
may distribute the risk of a portion of a Loan guaranteed under the 
Program by sale of participations therein if:
    (1) Neither the Loan note nor the Guarantee is assigned, conveyed, 
sold, or transferred in whole or in part as a result of the sale of such 
participations;
    (2) The Lender remains solely responsible for the administration of 
the Loan as an Agent; and
    (3) The Board's ability to assert any and all defenses available to 
it under the law and under the Loan Documents is not adversely affected.
    (b) The following categories of entities may purchase participation 
interests in Loans guaranteed under the Program:
    (1) Lenders that meet the eligibility requirements of Sec. 2201.13 
of this part;
    (2) Qualified institutional buyers as defined in 17 CFR 230.144A 
(a), known as Rule 144A (a) of the Securities and Exchange Commission 
and issued under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a et seq.); or
    (3) Any other entity approved by the Board on a case-by-case basis.
    (c) An Agent may not grant participations in that portion of its 
interest in a Loan that may not be assigned or transferred under 
Sec. 2201.27(d) of this part. A Lender, other than the Agent, may not 
grant participations in that portion of its interest in a Loan that may 
not be assigned or transferred under Sec. 2201.27(d) of this part.
    (d) At least five percent of any participation interest in a Loan 
must be unguaranteed.



Sec. 2201.29  Supplemental guarantees.

    The Board will allow the structure of a guaranteed Loan to include 
one or more supplemental guarantees only from a State or local 
governmental or tribal entity that cover the

[[Page 55]]

Unguaranteed Portion of the Loan, provided that:
    (a) There shall be no supplemental guarantee with respect to the 
Unguaranteed Portion required to be held by the Agent or sole Lender 
pursuant to Sec. 2201.27(d) of this part;
    (b) The Loan Documents relating to any supplemental guarantee shall 
be acceptable in form and substance to the Board; and
    (c) In approving the issuance of a Guarantee, the Board may impose 
any conditions with respect to supplemental guarantee(s) relating to the 
Loan that it considers appropriate.



Sec. 2201.30  Adjustments.

    (a) The Board must approve the adjustment of any term or condition 
of the Loan Documents under this Program, including the rate of 
interest, time of payment of principal or interest, or Collateral 
requirements. Adjustments may be approved by the Board only if:
    (1) The adjustment is consistent with the financial interests of the 
United States;
    (2) Consent has been obtained from the parties to the Loan 
Agreement;
    (3) The adjustment is consistent with the underwriting criteria 
developed for the Program;
    (4) The adjustment does not adversely affect the interest of the 
Federal Government in the Assets or Collateral of the Borrower;
    (5) The adjustment does not adversely affect the ability of the 
Borrower to repay the Loan; and
    (6) The National Telecommunications and Information Administration 
of the Department of Commerce has been consulted by the Board regarding 
the adjustment.
    (b) A Lender's decision to forego remedial action in the event of a 
breach of financial covenants required under the Loan Agreement will not 
constitute an adjustment under this section.



Sec. 2201.31  Indemnification.

    (a) The United States may be indemnified by any Affiliate of a 
Borrower designated in the Loan Documents for any losses that the United 
States incurs as a result of:
    (1) A judgment against the Borrower or any of its Affiliates;
    (2) Any breach by the Borrower or any of its Affiliates of their 
obligations under the Loan Documents;
    (3) Any violation of the provisions of the Act, or the regulations 
in this part, by the Borrower or any of its Affiliates;
    (4) Any penalties incurred by the Borrower or any of its Affiliates 
for any reason, including violation of a performance schedule stipulated 
in a Performance Agreement; and
    (5) Any other circumstances that the Board considers appropriate.
    (b) The Board may require more than one Affiliate of a Borrower to 
make the indemnifications referred to in paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) The indemnifications referred to in paragraph (a) of this 
section shall be included in the Loan Documents.



Sec. 2201.32  Termination of obligations.

    The Board shall have such rights to terminate the Guarantee as are 
set forth in the Act and Loan Documents.



Sec. 2201.33  Defaults.

    (a) In determining, following any Payment Default or Default, 
whether to accelerate the maturity of any amounts outstanding under the 
Loan Documents or otherwise to declare such amounts to be immediately 
due and payable, or pursue other remedial actions available under the 
Loan Documents, the Agent or Lender, as the case may be, shall act at 
all times in accordance with the standard of care and diligence required 
under Sec. 2201.26(a) of this part.
    (b) Following any Payment Default, the Agent or Lender shall 
promptly notify the Board and be entitled to make a Payment Demand. Any 
Payment Demand shall:
    (1) Identify the amount and due date of the defaulted payment of 
principal and the outstanding amounts of principal and interest under 
the Loan;
    (2) Describe briefly the circumstances leading to the Payment 
Default, including, without limitation,

[[Page 56]]

the nature of any precipitating Default, whether an acceleration has 
occurred, and whether a bankruptcy proceeding has been instituted or 
threatened; and
    (3) Be accompanied by a copy of each of the Loan Documents and all 
notices and other correspondence with the Borrower or other Lender 
relating to the Payment Default and any precipitating Default.
    (c) Following any Payment Demand being made, the Agent or Lender 
shall furnish to the Board promptly upon request from the Board and, in 
any event, not later than ninety (90) days from the date of such 
request, each of the following:
    (1) A written, detailed and reasonable plan for the partial or 
complete foreclosure on and liquidation of the Collateral, including, 
without limitation, detailed estimates by the Agent or Lender of the 
time and reasonable costs of collection anticipated to be necessary in 
order to carry out such plan; and
    (2) A written, detailed and reasonable work-out plan, if such a plan 
is feasible, for the continued operation of the Borrower calculated, in 
the Agent's or Lender's judgment, to assure the best prospect for 
repayment of principal and interest under the Loan without partial or 
complete foreclosure and liquidation of the Collateral, including, 
without limitation, detailed estimates of the time and expense required 
for such work-out and an assessment of the risks to the Agent or Lender 
and the Board associated therewith relative to such risks associated 
with complete foreclosure and liquidation; and, if any partial 
foreclosure and liquidation is a part of such proposed work-out plan, a 
detailed estimate of the time and reasonable costs of collection 
anticipated by the Agent or Lender to be required to effect such partial 
liquidation.
    (d) By making a Payment Demand, the Agent or Lender shall be 
conclusively deemed to have certified, with full knowledge of the 
provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1001 and 31 U.S.C. 3729 including, without 
limitation, the provisions thereof for penalties and damages, to the 
Board that it has fully and timely complied with all material provisions 
and obligations under the Guarantee and the Loan Documents, that the 
amount demanded is past due and owed by the Borrower under the Loan 
Agreement, and that the demand is properly made and required to be 
satisfied by the Board under the terms of the Guarantee.
    (e) Following receipt of any Payment Demand, the Board or, on its 
behalf, any duly authorized representative or designee, may conduct an 
audit and investigation of compliance with all material provisions and 
obligations under the Guarantee. The Agent and/or Lender shall cooperate 
fully and diligently with any such audit and investigation.
    (f) Within a reasonable period of time from receipt by the Board of 
a Payment Demand, the Board shall approve payment of the amount to be 
paid in respect of the unpaid principal amount under the Loan to which 
the Payment Demand relates. The Board may withhold such payment if any 
audit or investigation is pending or if information remains to be 
furnished by the Agent or Lender. Further, payment shall not be made to 
the extent it is determined by the Board, whether as the result of an 
audit, investigation or otherwise, that the Board's payment obligation 
has terminated. Payment shall be made by wire transfer in immediately 
available funds to the bank and account designated by the Agent or 
Lender for such purpose.
    (g) The Board may take, or direct to be taken any action in 
liquidating the Collateral that the Board determines to be necessary or 
proper, consistent with Federal law and regulations.
    (h) Pursuant to the Guarantee, upon Payment Demand by the Agent or 
Lender, and whether the Board has approved any payment under the 
Guarantee or any payment has been made under the Guarantee, the Board, 
through the Administrator, shall have the right to liquidate, or cause 
to be liquidated, the Collateral. The Board, at its sole discretion, 
shall have the right to require that the Agent or Lender, solely or with 
the Administrator, conduct to completion any liquidation of any of the 
Collateral. Such liquidation shall be conducted by the Agent or Lender 
in accordance with the standards of care specified in Sec. 2201.26(a) of 
this part.

[[Page 57]]



Sec. 2201.34  OMB Control Number.

    The information collection requirements in this part are approved by 
the Office of Management and Budget and assigned OMB control number 
0572-0135.

                       PARTS 2202	2299 [RESERVED]

[[Page 59]]



 CHAPTER XXV--OFFICE OF ADVOCACY AND OUTREACH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
2500            OAO Federal financial assistance programs--
                    general award administrative procedures.          61
2502            Agricultural Career and Employment (ACE) 
                    Grants Program..........................          74
2503-2599       [Reserved]

[[Page 61]]



PART 2500_OAO FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS_GENERAL AWARD
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES--Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
2500.001  Applicability of regulations.
2500.002  Definitions.
2500.003  Other applicable statutes and regulations.

             Subpart B_Pre-Award: Solicitation and Proposals

2500.011  Competition.
2500.012  Requests for proposals.
2500.013  Types of proposals.
2500.014  Eligibility requirements.
2500.015  Content of a proposal.
2500.016  Submission of a proposal.
2500.017  Confidentiality of proposals and awards.
2500.018  Electronic submission.

           Subpart C_Pre-Award: Proposal Review and Evaluation

2500.021  Guiding principles.
2500.022  Preliminary proposal review.
2500.023  Selection of reviewers.
2500.024  Evaluation criteria.
2500.025  Procedures to minimize or eliminate duplication of effort.
2500.026  Applicant feedback.

                             Subpart D_Award

2500.031  Administration.

                    Subpart E_Post-Award and Closeout

2500.041  Payment.
2500.042  Cost sharing and matching.
2500.043  Program income.
2500.044  Indirect costs.
2500.045  Technical reporting.
2500.046  Financial reporting.
2500.047  Project meetings.
2500.048  Review of disallowed costs.
2500.049  Prior approvals.
2500.050  Suspension, termination, and withholding of support.
2500.051  Debt collection.
2500.052  Award appeals procedures.
2500.053  Expiring appropriations.
2500.055  Audit.
2500.056  Civil rights.

Subpart F_Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and 
                            Ranchers Program

2500.101  Applicability of regulations.
2500.102  Purpose.
2500.103  Definitions.
2500.104  Eligibility requirements.
2500.105  Project types and priorities.
2500.106  Funding restrictions.
2500.107  Matching.
2500.108  Term of award.
2500.109  Program requirements.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 6934, 7 U.S.C. 2279.

    Source: 76 FR 66170, Oct. 26, 2011, unless otherwise noted.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 2500.001  Applicability of regulations.

    The regulations in subparts A through E of this part apply to the 
programs authorized under section 14013 of the FCEA to be administered 
within the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO). The purpose of this 
part is to set forth regulations for competitive and noncompetitive 
grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance agreements awarded 
through OAO.



Sec. 2500.002  Definitions.

    Applicant means the entity that has submitted a proposal in response 
to an OAO Request For Proposal (RFP).
    Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) means the Secretary or any 
employee of the Department with delegated authority to issue or modify 
award instruments on behalf of the Secretary.
    Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) means the President 
or Chief Executive Officer of the applicant organization or the 
official, designated by the President or Chief Executive Officer of the 
applicant organization, who has the authority to commit the resources of 
the organization to the project.
    Award means financial assistance that provides support to accomplish 
a public purpose. Awards may be grants, cooperative agreements, or other 
assistance agreements.
    Award agreement means the agreement between OAO and the awardee 
which sets forth the terms and conditions under which the OAO funds will 
be made available. Award agreement is used as a general term to describe 
grant agreements, cooperative agreements, and other assistance 
agreements.
    Award closeout means the process by which the award operation is 
concluded

[[Page 62]]

at the expiration of the award period or following a decision to 
terminate the award.
    Award period means the timeframe of the award from the beginning 
date to the ending date as defined in the award agreement.
    Awardee means the entity designated in the grant agreement, 
cooperative agreement, or other assistance agreement as the legal entity 
to which the award is given.
    Baseline monitoring is the minimum, basic monitoring that will take 
place on an ongoing basis throughout the lifetime of every award.
    Beginning date means the date the award agreement is executed by the 
awardee and OAO and from which costs can be incurred.
    Community-based organization means a nongovernmental organization 
with a well-defined constituency that includes all or part of a 
particular community.
    Cooperative agreement means the award of funds to an eligible 
awardee to assist in meeting the costs of conducting a project which is 
intended and designed to accomplish the purpose of the program as 
identified in the RFP, and where substantial involvement is expected 
between OAO and the awardee when carrying out the activities included in 
the agreement. This agreement may also be referred to more generally as 
an award.
    Department means the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Disallowed costs means the use of Federal financial assistance funds 
for unauthorized activities or items as stipulated in the applicable 
Federal cost principles (2 CFR part 220, 2 CFR part 225, and 2 CFR part 
230).
    Ending date means the date the award agreement is scheduled to be 
completed. It is also the latest date award funds will be provided under 
the award agreement, without an approved time extension.
    Participant means an individual or entity that participates in 
awardee-led activities funded under the award agreement. Furthermore, a 
participant is any individual or entity who has applied for, otherwise 
participated in, or received a payment, or other benefit as a result of 
participating in an activity funded by an OAO award.
    Partnering means a joint effort among two or more eligible entities 
with the capacity to conduct projects intended and designed to 
accomplish the purpose of the program.
    Program leader means the program supervisor within OAO.
    Project means activities supported under an OAO award.
    Project Director (PD) means the individual designated by the awardee 
in the proposal and award documentation, and approved by the ADO who is 
responsible for the direction and management of the award.
    Project Officer (PO) means an individual within OAO who is 
responsible for the programmatic oversight of the award on behalf of the 
Department.
    Request for Proposals (RFP) means an official USDA funding 
opportunity. At OAO discretion, funding opportunities may be referred to 
as request for proposals, request for applications, notice of funding 
availability, or funding opportunity.
    Review panel means an evaluation process involving qualified 
individuals within the relevant field to give advice on the merit of 
proposals submitted to OAO.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer 
or employee of the Department of Agriculture to whom authority may be 
delegated.
    Terminate funding means the cancellation of Federal assistance, in 
whole or in part, at any time before the ending date.



Sec. 2500.003  Other applicable statutes and regulations.

    Several Federal statutes and regulations apply to proposals for 
Federal assistance considered for review and to grants and cooperative 
agreements awarded by OAO. These include, but are not limited to:
    (a) 7 CFR Part 1, Subpart A--USDA implementation of the Freedom of 
Information Act;
    (b) 7 CFR Part 3--USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129, 
regarding debt management;
    (c) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. L. 88-352), as 
amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or 
national origin, and 7

[[Page 63]]

CFR part 15, subpart A (USDA implementation);
    (d) 7 CFR Part 3015--USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations, 
implementing OMB directives and incorporating provisions of the Federal 
Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, Public Law 95-224, 31 
U.S.C. Sec. 6301-6308, as well as general policy requirements applicable 
to awardees of Departmental financial assistance.
    (e) 7 CFR Part 3016--USDA implementation of Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local 
Governments.
    (f) 7 CFR Part 3017--USDA implementation of Governmentwide Debarment 
and Suspension (Nonprocurement).
    (g) 7 CFR Part 3018--USDA implementation of Restrictions on 
Lobbying. Imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and 
certification related to lobbying on awardees of Federal contracts, 
grants, cooperative agreements, and loans.
    (h) 7 CFR Part 3019--USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-110, 
Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with 
Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit 
Organizations (now relocated at 2 CFR part 215).
    (i) 7 CFR Part 3021--USDA implementation of Governmentwide 
Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance).
    (j) 7 CFR Part 3052--USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-133, 
Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.
    (k) 7 U.S.C. 3318--conferring upon the Secretary general authority 
to enter into contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to further 
the research, extension, or teaching programs in the food and 
agricultural sciences of the Department of Agriculture.
    (l) 29 U.S.C. 794 (Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 
CFR part 15b (USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting 
discrimination based upon physical or mental handicap in Federally 
assisted programs.
    (m) 35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, promoting the utilization 
of inventions arising from federally supported research or development; 
encouraging maximum participation of small business firms in federally 
supported research and development efforts; and promoting collaboration 
between commercial concerns and nonprofit organizations, including 
universities, while ensuring that the Government obtains sufficient 
rights in federally supported inventions to meet the needs of the 
Government and protect the public against nonuse or unreasonable use of 
inventions (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401)
    (n) Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681-1683 
and 1685-1686), as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis 
of sex;
    (o) Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101-6107), as 
amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age;
    (p) Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972 (Pub. L. 92-255), as 
amended, relating to nondiscrimination on the basis of drug abuse;
    (q) Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment 
and Rehabilitation Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-616), as amended, relating to 
nondiscrimination on the basis of alcohol abuse or alcoholism;
    (r) Sections 523 and 527 of the Public Health Service Act of 1912 
(42 U.S.C. 290dd-3 and 290ee-3), as amended, relating to confidentiality 
of alcohol and drug abuse patient records;
    (s) Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3601 et 
seq.), as amended, relating to nondiscrimination in the sale, rental or 
financing of housing;
    (t) Any other nondiscrimination provisions in the specific 
statute(s) under which proposals for Federal assistance are made, and 
the requirements of any other nondiscrimination statute(s) which may 
apply to the proposal.



             Subpart B_Pre-Award: Solicitation and Proposals



Sec. 2500.011  Competition.

    (a) Standards for competition. Except as provided in paragraph (b) 
of this section, OAO will enter into discretionary grants or cooperative 
agreement only after competition, unless restricted by statute.
    (b) Exception. The OAO ADO may make a determination in writing that

[[Page 64]]

competition is not deemed appropriate for a particular transaction. Such 
determination shall be limited to transactions where it can be 
adequately justified that a noncompetitive award is in the best interest 
of the Federal Government and necessary to the goals of the program. 
Non-competitive determinations will comply with regulations established 
in 7 CFR 3015.158(d).



Sec. 2500.012  Requests for proposals.

    (a) General. For each competitive grant or cooperative agreement, 
OAO will prepare a program solicitation (also called a request for 
proposals (RFP)). The RFP may include all or a portion of the following 
items:
    (1) Contact information.
    (2) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number.
    (3) Legislative authority and background information.
    (4) Purpose, priorities, and fund availability.
    (5) Program-specific eligibility requirements.
    (6) Program-specific restrictions on the use of funds, if 
applicable.
    (7) Matching requirements, if applicable.
    (8) Acceptable types of proposals.
    (9) Types of projects to be given priority consideration, including 
maximum anticipated awards and maximum project lengths, if applicable.
    (10) Program areas, if applicable.
    (11) Funding restrictions, if applicable.
    (12) Directions for obtaining additional requests for proposals and 
proposal forms.
    (13) Information about how to obtain proposal forms and the 
instructions for completing such forms.
    (14) Instructions and requirements for submitting proposals, 
including submission deadline(s).
    (15) Explanation of the proposal evaluation process.
    (16) Specific evaluation criteria used in the review process.
    (17) Type of Federal assistance awards (i.e., grants or cooperative 
agreements).
    (b) RFP variations. Where program-specific requirements differ from 
the requirements established in this part, program solicitations will 
also address any such variation(s). Variations may occur in the 
following:
    (1) Award management guidelines.
    (2) Restrictions on the delegation of fiscal responsibility.
    (3) Required approval for changes to project plans.
    (4) Expected program outputs and reporting requirements, if 
applicable.
    (5) Applicable Federal statutes and regulations.
    (6) Confidential aspects of proposals and awards, if applicable.
    (7) Regulatory information.
    (8) Definitions.
    (9) Minimum and maximum budget requests and whether proposals 
outside of these limits will be returned without further review.
    (c) Program announcements. Occasionally, OAO will issue a program 
announcement (PA) to alert potential applicants and the public about new 
and ongoing funding opportunities. These PAs may provide tentative due 
dates and are released without associated proposal packages. No 
proposals are solicited under a PA. PAs will be announced in the Federal 
Register or on the OAO Web site.



Sec. 2500.013  Types of proposals.

    The type of proposal acceptable may vary by funding opportunity. The 
RFP will stipulate what will be required for submission to OAO in 
response to the funding opportunity.



Sec. 2500.014  Eligibility requirements.

    Program-specific eligibility requirements appear in the subpart 
applicable to each program and in the corresponding RFPs.



Sec. 2500.015  Content of a proposal.

    The RFP provides instructions on how to access a funding 
opportunity. The funding opportunity contains the proposal package, 
which includes the forms necessary for completion of a proposal in 
response to the RFP. The RFP will be posted on http://www.Grants.gov. 
OAO may also publish the RFP in the Federal Register.



Sec. 2500.016  Submission of a proposal.

    The RFP will provide deadlines for the submission of proposals. OAO 
may issue separate RFPs and/or establish

[[Page 65]]

separate deadlines for different types of proposals, different award 
instruments, or different topics or phases of the assistance programs. 
If proposals are not received by applicable deadlines, they will not be 
considered for funding. Exceptions will be considered only when 
extenuating circumstances exist, as determined by OAO, and justification 
and supporting documentation are provided by the applicant. Conformance 
with preparation and submission instructions is required and will be 
strictly enforced unless a deviation has been approved. OAO may 
establish additional requirements. OAO may return without review 
proposals that are not consistent with the RFP instructions.



Sec. 2500.017  Confidentiality of proposals and awards.

    (a) General. Names of entities submitting proposals, as well as 
proposal contents and evaluations, except to those involved in the 
review process, will be kept confidential to the extent permissible by 
law.
    (b) Identifying confidential and proprietary information in a 
proposal. If a proposal contains proprietary information that 
constitutes a trade secret, proprietary commercial or financial 
information, confidential personal information, or data affecting the 
national security, it will be treated in confidence to the extent 
permitted by law, provided that the information is clearly marked by the 
applicant with the term ``confidential and proprietary information.'' In 
addition, the following statement must be included at the bottom of the 
project narrative or any other attachment included in the proposal that 
contains such information: ``The following pages (specify) contain 
proprietary information which (name of proposing organization) requests 
not to be released to persons outside the Government, except for 
purposes of evaluation.''
    (c) Disposition of proposals. By law, OAO is required to make the 
final decisions as to whether the information is required to be kept in 
confidence. Information contained in unsuccessful proposals will remain 
the property of the applicant. However, the Department will retain for 
three years one file copy of each proposal received; extra copies will 
be destroyed. Public release of information from any proposal submitted 
will be subject to existing legal requirements. Any proposal that is 
funded will be considered an integral part of the award and normally 
will be made available to the public upon request, except for 
information designated proprietary by OAO.
    (d) Submission of proprietary information. The inclusion of 
proprietary information is discouraged unless it is necessary for the 
proper evaluation of the proposal. If proprietary information is to be 
included, it should be limited, set apart from other text on a separate 
page, and keyed to the text by numbers. It should be confined to a few 
critical technical items that, if disclosed, could jeopardize the 
obtaining of foreign or domestic patents. Trade secrets, salaries, or 
other information that could jeopardize commercial competitiveness 
should be similarly keyed and presented on a separate page. Proposals or 
reports that attempt to restrict dissemination of large amounts of 
information may be found unacceptable by OAO and constitute grounds for 
return of the proposal without further consideration. Without assuming 
any liability for inadvertent disclosure, OAO will limit dissemination 
of such information to its employees and, where necessary for the 
evaluation of the proposal, to outside reviewers on a confidential 
basis.



Sec. 2500.018  Electronic submission.

    Applicants and awardees are encouraged, but not required, to submit 
proposals and reports in electronic form as prescribed in the RFP issued 
by OAO and in the applicable award agreement.



           Subpart C_Pre-Award: Proposal Review and Evaluation



Sec. 2500.021  Guiding principles.

    The guiding principle for Federal assistance proposal review and 
evaluation is to ensure that each proposal is treated in a consistent 
and fair manner. After the evaluation process by the review panel, OAO 
will provide an opportunity for applicant feedback in as timely a manner 
as possible.

[[Page 66]]



Sec. 2500.022  Preliminary proposal review.

    Prior to technical examination, a preliminary review will be made of 
all proposals for responsiveness to the administrative requirements set 
forth in the RFP. Proposals that do not meet the administrative 
requirements may be eliminated from program competition. However, OAO 
retains the right to conduct discussions with applicants to resolve 
technical and/or budget issues, as deemed necessary by OAO.



Sec. 2500.023  Selection of reviewers.

    (a) Requirement. OAO is responsible for performing a review of 
proposals submitted to OAO competitive award programs. The RFP will 
identify the criteria that OAO will use for the selection of the 
proposal review panel.
    (b) Confidentiality. The identities of reviewers will remain 
confidential to the maximum extent possible. Therefore, the names of 
reviewers will not be released to applicants. Names of applicants, as 
well as proposal content and evaluation comments will be kept 
confidential to the extent permitted by law, except to those involved in 
the review process. Reviewers will comply with the above-mentioned 
confidentiality guidelines.
    (c) Conflicts of interest. During the evaluation process, extreme 
care will be taken to prevent any actual or perceived conflicts of 
interest that may impact review or evaluation. Reviewers are expected to 
be in compliance with the Conflict-of-Interest process made a part of 
the RFP.



Sec. 2500.024  Evaluation criteria.

    (a) General. To ensure any project receiving funds from OAO is 
consistent with the broad goals of the funding program, the content of 
each proposal submitted to OAO will be evaluated based on a pre-
determined set of review criteria as indicated in the RFP.
    (b) Guidance for reviewers. In order that all potential applicants 
for a program have similar opportunities to compete for funds, all 
reviewers will receive an orientation from the Program Leader of the 
review criteria. Reviewers are instructed to use those same evaluation 
criteria, and only those criteria, to judge the merit of the proposals 
they review.



Sec. 2500.025  Procedures to minimize or eliminate duplication of
effort.

    OAO may implement appropriate business processes to minimize or 
eliminate the awarding of Federal assistance to projects that 
unnecessarily duplicate activities already being sponsored under other 
awards, including awards made by other Federal agencies.



Sec. 2500.026  Applicant feedback.

    Unsuccessful applicants may submit a request for applicant feedback 
in writing to OAO within 10 days after receiving written notice of not 
being selected for further processing. Applicant feedback requests are 
to be mailed to the Program Leader at the address below, unless 
otherwise stated in the ``Notice of Non-Selection'' or in the RFP. At 
OAO's discretion, either written or oral feedback will be provided to 
unsuccessful applicants.
    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Departmental Management, Office of 
Advocacy and Outreach, Attn: Program Leader (Applicant Feedback), 
Whitten Building, Rm. 520-A, stop 9821, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-9821.



                             Subpart D_Award



Sec. 2500.031  Administration.

    (a) General. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, 
the OAO ADO shall make Federal assistance awards to those responsible, 
eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most meritorious under 
the procedures set forth in the RFP. The date specified by the OAO ADO 
as the effective date of the award shall be no later than September 30th 
of the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved for support 
and funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless otherwise permitted 
by law. It should be noted that the project need not be initiated on the 
award effective date, but as soon thereafter as practical so that 
project goals may be attained within the funded project period. All 
funds awarded by OAO shall be expended solely for the

[[Page 67]]

purpose for which the funds are awarded in accordance with the approved 
statement of work and budget, the regulations, the terms and conditions 
of the OAO award agreement, the applicable Federal cost principles, and 
the Department's assistance regulations (e.g., 7 CFR parts 3015, 3016, 
and 3019).
    (b) Award agreement. The award agreement and accompanying terms and 
conditions will provide pertinent instructions and information 
including, at a minimum, the following:
    (1) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution 
to which OAO has awarded a grant or cooperative agreement.
    (2) Title of project.
    (3) Name(s) of Project Director(s).
    (4) Identifying award number assigned by OAO.
    (5) Project period.
    (6) Total amount of OAO financial assistance approved.
    (7) Legal authority under which the grant or cooperative agreement 
is awarded.
    (8) Appropriate CFDA number.
    (9) Approved budget plan (that may be referenced).
    (10) Terms and Conditions



                    Subpart E_Post-Award and Closeout



Sec. 2500.041  Payment.

    (a) General. All payments will be made in advance unless a deviation 
is accepted or as specified in paragraph (b) of this section. All 
payments to the awardee shall be made via the approved electronic funds 
transfer (EFT) method. Awardees are expected to request funds via the 
federally-approved electronic payment system for reimbursement in a 
timely manner. Exact payment method will be described in the terms and 
conditions of the award agreement.
    (b) Reimbursement method. OAO shall use the reimbursement method if 
it determines that advance payment is not feasible or that the awardee 
does not maintain or demonstrate the willingness to maintain written 
procedures that minimize the elapse of time between the transfer of 
funds and disbursement by the awardee, and financial management systems 
that meet the standards for fund control and accountability.



Sec. 2500.042  Cost sharing and matching.

    (a) General. Awardees may be required to match the Federal funds 
received under an OAO award. The required percentage of matching, type 
of matching (e.g., cash and/or in-kind contributions), sources of match 
(e.g., non-Federal), and whether OAO has any authority to waive the 
match will be specified in the subpart applicable to the specific 
Federal assistance program, as well as in the RFP.
    (b) Indirect costs as in-kind matching contributions. Indirect costs 
may be claimed under the Federal portion of the award budget. However, 
unless explicitly authorized in the RFP, indirect costs may not be 
claimed on both the Federal and nonfederal portion of the award budget.



Sec. 2500.043  Program income.

    (a) General. OAO shall apply the standards set forth in this subpart 
in requiring awardee organizations to account for program income related 
to projects financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.
    (b) Addition method. Unless otherwise provided in the authorizing 
statute, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award, 
program income earned during the project period shall be retained by the 
awardee and shall be added to funds committed to the project by OAO and 
the awardee and used to further eligible project or program objectives. 
Any specific program deviations will be identified in the individual 
subparts.
    (c) Award terms and conditions. Unless the program regulations 
identified in the individual subpart provide otherwise, awardees shall 
follow the terms and conditions of the OAO award. Such terms and 
conditions will be made a part of the OAO award agreement.



Sec. 2500.044  Indirect costs.

    Indirect cost rates for grants and cooperative agreements shall be 
determined in accordance with the applicable assistance regulations and 
cost principles, unless superseded by another authority.

[[Page 68]]



Sec. 2500.045  Technical reporting.

    All projects supported with Federal funds under this part must be 
documented according to the terms and conditions of the OAO award 
agreement.



Sec. 2500.046  Financial reporting.

    (a) SF-425, Federal Financial Report. As stated in the award terms 
and conditions of the OAO award agreement, a final SF-425, Federal 
Financial Report, is due 90 days after the expiration of the award and 
should be submitted to OAO electronically. The awardee shall report 
program outlays and program income on the same accounting basis (i.e., 
cash or accrual) that it uses in its normal accounting system. When 
submitting a final SF-425, Federal Financial Report, the total matching 
contribution, if required, should be shown in the report. The final SF-
425 must not show any unliquidated obligations. If the awardee still has 
valid obligations that remain unpaid when the report is due, it shall 
request an extension of time for submitting the report pursuant to 
paragraph (c) of this section; submit a provisional report (showing the 
unliquidated obligations) by the due date; and submit a final report 
when all obligations have been liquidated, but no later than the 
approved extension date. SF-425, Federal Financial Reports, must be 
submitted by all awardees, including Federal agencies and national 
laboratories.
    (b) Awards with required matching. For awards requiring a matching 
contribution, an annual SF-425, Federal Financial Report, is required 
and this requirement will be indicated in the terms and conditions of 
the OAO award agreement, in which case it must be submitted no later 
than 45 days following the end of the budget or reporting period.
    (c) After the due date. Requests are considered late when they are 
submitted after the 90-day period following the award expiration date. 
Requests to submit a late final SF-425, Federal Financial Report, will 
only be considered, up to 30 days after the due date, in extenuating 
circumstances. This request should include a provisional report pursuant 
to paragraph (a) of this section, as well as an anticipated submission 
date, a justification for the late submission, and a justification for 
the extenuating circumstances. If an awardee needs to request additional 
funds, procedures in paragraph (d) of this section apply.
    (d) Overdue SF-425, Federal Financial Reports. Awardees with overdue 
SF-425, Federal Financial Reports, or other required financial reports 
(as identified in the award terms and conditions), will have their 
applicable balances in the approved federal electronic funds transfer 
system restricted or placed on ``manual review,'' which restricts the 
awardee's ability to draw funds, thus requiring prior approval from OAO. 
If any remaining available balances are needed by the awardee (beyond 
the 90-day period following the award expiration date) and the awardee 
has not requested an extension to submit a final SF-425, Financial 
Status Report, the awardee will be required to contact OAO to request 
permission to draw any additional funds and will be required to provide 
justification and documentation to support the draw. Awardees also will 
need to comply with procedures in paragraph (c) of this section. OAO 
will approve these draw requests only in extenuating circumstances.
    (e) Additional reporting requirements. OAO may require forecasts of 
Federal cash requirements in the ``Remarks'' section of the report; and 
when practical and deemed necessary, OAO may require awardees to report 
in the ``Remarks'' section the amount of cash advances received in 
excess of three days (i.e., short narrative with explanations of actions 
taken to reduce the excess balances). When OAO needs additional 
information or more frequent reports, a special provision will be added 
to the award terms and conditions and identified in the OAO award 
agreement. Should OAO determine that an awardee's accounting system is 
inadequate, additional pertinent information to further monitor awards 
may be requested from the awardee until such time as the system is 
brought up to standard, as determined by OAO. This additional reporting 
requirement will be required via a special provision to the award terms 
and conditions of the OAO award agreement.

[[Page 69]]



Sec. 2500.047  Project meetings.

    In addition to reviewing and monitoring the status of progress and 
final technical reports and financial reports, OAO Project Officers may 
use regular and periodic conference calls to monitor the awardee's 
performance as well as conferences, workshops, meetings, and symposia to 
not only monitor the awards, but to facilitate communication and the 
sharing of project results. These opportunities also serve to eliminate 
or minimize OAO funding of unneeded duplicative project activities. 
Required attendance at these conference calls, conferences, workshops, 
meetings, and symposia will be identified in the RFP or award document.



Sec. 2500.048  Review of disallowed costs.

    (a) Notice. If the OAO Project Officer (PO) determines that there is 
a basis for disallowing a cost, OAO shall provide the awardee written 
notice of its intent to disallow the cost. The written notice shall 
state the amount of the cost and the factual and legal basis for 
disallowing it.
    (b) Awardee response. Within 60 days of receiving written notice of 
the PO's intent to disallow the cost, the awardee may respond with 
written evidence and arguments to show the cost is allowable, or that, 
for equitable, practical, or other reasons, shall not recover all or 
part of the amount, or that the recovery should be made in installments. 
An extension of time will be granted only in extenuating circumstances.
    (c) Decision. Within 60 days of receiving the awardee's written 
response to the notice of intent to disallow the cost, the PO shall 
issue a management decision stating whether or not the cost has been 
disallowed, the reasons for the decision, and the method of appeal that 
has been provided under this section. If the awardee does not respond to 
the written notice under paragraph (a) of this section within the time 
frame specified in paragraph (b) of this section, the PO shall issue a 
management decision on the basis of the information available to it. The 
management decision shall constitute the final action with respect to 
whether the cost is allowed or disallowed. In the case of a questioned 
cost identified in the context of an audit subject to 7 CFR part 3052, 
the management decision will constitute the management decision under 7 
CFR 3052.405(a).
    (d) Demand for payment. If the management decision under paragraph 
(c) of this section constitutes a finding that the cost is disallowed 
and, therefore, that a debt is owed to the Government, the PO shall 
provide the required demand and notice pursuant to 7 CFR 3.11.
    (e) Review process. Within 60 days of receiving the demand and 
notice referred to in paragraph (d) of this section, the awardee may 
submit a written request to the OAO Director for a review of the final 
management decision that the debt exists and the amount of the debt. 
Within 60 days of receiving the written request for a review, the OAO 
Director will issue a final decision regarding the debt. A review by the 
OAO Director or designee constitutes an administrative review for debts 
under 7 CFR part 3, subpart F.



Sec. 2500.049  Prior approvals.

    (a) Subcontracts. No more than 50 percent of the award may be 
subcontracted to other parties without prior written approval of the 
ADO. Any subcontract awarded to a Federal agency under an award must 
have prior written approval of the ADO. To request approval, a 
justification for the proposed subcontractual arrangements, a 
performance statement, and a detailed budget for the subcontract must be 
submitted to the ADO.
    (b) No-cost extensions of time--(1) General. Awardees may initiate a 
one-time no-cost extension of the expiration date of the award of up to 
12 months unless one or more of the following conditions apply: the 
terms and conditions of the award prohibit the extension; the extension 
requires additional Federal funds; and the extension involves any change 
in the approved objectives or scope of the project. For the first no-
cost extension, the awardee must notify OAO in writing with the 
supporting reasons and revised expiration date at least 10 days before 
the expiration date specified in the award.
    (2) Additional requests for no-cost extensions of time before 
expiration date. When more than one no-cost extension

[[Page 70]]

of time or an extension of more than 12 months is required, the 
extension(s) must be approved in writing by the PO. The awardee must 
submit a written request, which must be received no later than 10 days 
prior to the expiration date of the award, to the PO. The request must 
contain, at a minimum, the following information: The length of the 
additional time required to complete the project objectives and a 
justification for the extension; a summary of the progress to date; an 
estimate of the funds expected to remain unobligated on the scheduled 
expiration date; a projected timetable to complete the portion(s) of the 
project for which the extension is being requested; and signature of the 
AOR and the PD.
    (3) Requests for no-cost extensions of time after expiration date. 
OAO may consider and approve requests for no-cost extensions of time up 
to 120 days following the expiration of the award. These will be 
approved only for extenuating circumstances, as determined by OAO. The 
awardee's AOR must submit the requirements identified under paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section as well as an ``extenuating circumstance'' 
justification and a description of the actions taken by the awardee to 
minimize these requests in the future.
    (4) Other requirements. No-cost extensions of time may not be 
exercised merely for the purpose of using unobligated balances.



Sec. 2500.050  Suspension, termination, and withholding of support.

    (a) General. If an awardee has failed to materially comply with the 
terms and conditions of the award, OAO may take certain enforcement 
actions, including, but not limited to, suspending the award pending 
corrective action and terminating the award for cause.
    (b) Suspension. OAO generally will suspend (rather than immediately 
terminate) an award to allow the awardee an opportunity to take 
appropriate corrective action before OAO makes a termination decision. 
OAO may decide to terminate the award if the awardee does not take 
appropriate corrective action during the period of suspension. OAO may 
terminate, without first suspending, the award if the deficiency is so 
serious as to warrant immediate termination. Termination for cause may 
be appealed under the terms and conditions identified in the OAO award 
agreement.
    (c) Termination. An award also may be terminated, partially or 
wholly, by the awardee or by OAO with the consent of the awardee. If the 
awardee decides to terminate a portion of the award, OAO may determine 
that the remaining portion of the award will not accomplish the purposes 
for which the award was originally made. In any such case, OAO will 
advise the awardee of the possibility of termination of the entire award 
and allow the awardee to withdraw its termination request. If the 
awardee does not withdraw its request for partial termination, OAO may 
initiate procedures to terminate the entire award for cause.



Sec. 2500.051  Debt collection.

    The collection of debts owed to OAO by awardees, including those 
resulting from cost disallowances, recovery of funds, unobligated 
balances, or other circumstances, are subject to the Department's debt 
collection procedures as set forth in 7 CFR part 3, and, with respect to 
cost disallowances, Sec. 2500.048.



Sec. 2500.052  Award appeals procedures.

    (a) General. OAO permits awardees to appeal certain adverse post-
award administrative decisions made by OAO. Such adverse decisions 
include: Termination, in whole or in part, and determination that an 
award is void. An award may be terminated for failure of the awardee to 
carry out its approved project in accordance with the applicable law and 
the terms and conditions of award; or for failure of the awardee 
otherwise to comply with any law, regulation, assurance, term, or 
condition applicable to the award. Additionally, an award may be 
determined to be void if, for example, it was not authorized by statute 
or regulation or because it was fraudulently obtained. Appeals of 
determinations regarding the allowability of costs are subject to the 
procedures in Sec. 2500.048.
    (b) Appeal Procedures. The formal notification of an adverse 
determination will contain a statement of the awardee's appeal rights. 
To appeal an adverse

[[Page 71]]

determination, the awardee must submit a request for review to the OAO 
official specified in the notification, detailing the nature of the 
disagreement with the adverse determination and providing supporting 
documents in accordance with the procedures contained in the 
notification. The awardee's request to OAO for review must be received 
within 60 days after receipt of the written notification of the adverse 
determination; however, an extension may be granted if the awardee can 
show good cause why an extension is warranted. OAO will carefully 
consider the merits of all requests for appeals and further reviews. 
However, at the conclusion of the OAO appeal review process, the OAO 
decision rendered on the appeal is considered final. The awardee will be 
notified in writing by OAO of final appeal review determinations.



Sec. 2500.053  Expiring appropriations.

    (a) OAO awards supported with office appropriations. Most OAO awards 
are supported with annual appropriations. On September 30th of the 5th 
fiscal year after the period of availability for obligation ends, the 
funds for these appropriations accounts expire per 31 U.S.C. 1552 and 
the account is closed, unless otherwise specified by law. Funds that 
have not been drawn through the approved electronic funds transfer 
system, by the awardee or disbursed through any other system or method 
by August 31st of that fiscal year are subject to be returned to the 
U.S. Department of the Treasury after that date. The August 31st 
requirement also applies to awards with a 90-day period concluding on a 
date after August 31st of that fifth year. Appropriations cannot be 
restored after expiration of the accounts. More specific instructions 
are provided in the OAO award terms and conditions.
    (b) OAO awards supported with funds from other Federal agencies 
(reimbursable funds). OAO may require that all draws and reimbursements 
for awards supported with reimbursable funds (from other Federal 
agencies) be completed prior to June 30th of the 5th fiscal year after 
the period of availability for obligation ends to allow for the proper 
billing, collection, and close-out of the associated interagency 
agreement before the appropriations expire. The June 30th requirement 
also applies to awards with a 90-day period concluding on a date after 
June 30th of that fifth year. Appropriations cannot be restored after 
expiration of the accounts. More specific instructions are provided in 
the terms and conditions of the OAO award agreement.



Sec. 2500.055  Audit.

    Awardees must comply with the audit requirements of 7 CFR part 3052. 
The audit requirements apply to the years in which Federal financial 
assistance funds are received and years in which work is accomplished 
using these funds.



Sec. 2500.056  Civil rights.

    Awardees must comply with the civil rights requirements of 7 CFR 
part 15, subpart A--USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights 
Act of 1964, as amended. In accordance, no person in the United States 
shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded 
from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise 
subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the 
recipient receives Federal financial assistance and will immediately 
take any measures necessary to effectuate this agreement.



Subpart F_Outreach and Assistance For Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and 
                            Ranchers Program



Sec. 2500.101  Applicability of regulations.

    The regulations in this subpart apply to the Outreach and Assistance 
for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Program 
authorized under section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and 
Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279), as amended. Unless otherwise 
specified in this subpart, the requirements of 7 CFR part 2500 subparts 
A through E will apply in addition to the requirements discussed in this 
subpart.

[[Page 72]]



Sec. 2500.102  Purpose.

    (a) The purpose of the OASDFR Program is to make competitive awards 
to provide outreach and technical assistance to encourage and assist 
socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in:
    (1) Owning and operating farms, ranches and non-industrial forest 
lands; and
    (2) In participating equitably in the full range of agricultural 
programs offered by the Department.
    (b) The OASDFR Program awards shall be used exclusively to:
    (1) Enhance coordination of the outreach, technical assistance, and 
education efforts authorized under agriculture programs;
    (2) Assist in reaching current and prospective socially 
disadvantaged farmers, ranchers or forest landowners in a linguistically 
appropriate manner; and
    (3) Improve the participation of those farmers and ranchers in 
agricultural programs.



Sec. 2500.103  Definitions.

    The definitions provided in subpart A apply to this subpart. In 
addition, the definitions that apply specifically to the OASDFR Program 
under this subpart include:
    Agriculture programs means those programs administered within the 
Department, by agencies including but not limited to: Forest Service 
(FS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency 
(FSA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), Rural Development (RD), Rural 
Business Cooperative Service (RBCS), National Institute of Food and 
Agriculture (NIFA), and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and other 
such programs as determined by the Department on a case-by-case basis 
either at the OAO Director's initiative or in response to a written 
request with supporting explanation for inclusion of a program. (For 
further details on specific programs included under this subpart see 7 
U.S.C. 2279(e)(3) or the RFP).
    Alaska Native means a citizen of the United States who is a person 
of one-fourth or more Alaska Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut blood, or 
combination thereof. (For further specification, see 43 U.S.C 1602(b) or 
the RFP).
    Alaska Native cooperative colleges means an eligible post-secondary 
educational institution that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-
time equivalent students that is at least 20 percent Alaska Native 
students at the time of submission of a proposal.
    Assistance means providing educational and technical assistance to 
socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in (1) 
owning and operating farms, ranches, and non-industrial forest lands; 
and (2) in participating equitably in the full range of agricultural 
programs offered by the Department through workshops, site visits and 
other means of contact in a linguistically appropriate manner.
    Farmer, rancher, or forest landowner means the person who primarily 
cultivates, operates, or manages a farm, ranch, or forest for profit, 
either as owner or tenant. A farm includes livestock, dairy, poultry, 
fish, fruit, and truck farms. It also includes plantations, ranches, 
ranges, and orchards.
    Hispanic-serving institution means an eligible institution of higher 
education that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent 
students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the 
award year immediately preceding the date of submission of a proposal 
(see 20 U.S.C. 1101a(5)).
    Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other 
organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or 
regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to 
the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688) (43 U.S.C. 1601 
et seq.), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and 
services provided by the United States to Indians because of their 
status as Indians. (For further specification, see 25 U.S.C. 450b).
    Indian tribal community college means a post-secondary education 
institution which is formally controlled, or has been officially 
sanctioned, or chartered, by the governing body of an Indian tribe or 
tribes. (See 25 U.S.C. 1801(a)(4)).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution in 
any State that is a public or other nonprofit institution that is 
legally authorized and

[[Page 73]]

accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association 
to provide a program of education beyond secondary education for which 
the institution awards a bachelor's degree. (For further specification, 
see 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
    Outreach means the use of formal and informal educational materials 
and activities in a linguistically appropriate manner that serve to 
encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in:
    (1) Owning and operating farms and ranches; and in
    (2) Participating equitably in the full range of agricultural 
programs offered by the Department.
    Socially disadvantaged farmer, rancher or forest landowner means a 
farmer, rancher, or forest landowner who is a member of a socially 
disadvantaged group. (See 7 U.S.C. 2279(e)(2)).
    Socially disadvantaged group means a group whose members have been 
subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as 
members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. (See 7 
U.S.C. 2279(e)(1)).
    State means any of the 50 States of the United States, the District 
of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands 
of the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands, and federally recognized Indian tribes.
    Supplemental funding means funding to an existing awardee in 
addition to the amount of the original award contained in the grant or 
cooperative agreement. Such additional funding is intended to continue 
or expand work that is within the scope of the original agreement and 
statement of work.
    Tribal organization means the recognized governing body of any 
Indian tribe. A tribal organization is any legally established 
organization of Indians which is controlled, sanctioned, or chartered by 
such governing body or which is democratically elected by the adult 
members of the Indian community. In any case where an award is made to 
an organization to perform services benefiting more than one Indian 
tribe, the approval of each participating Indian tribe shall be a 
prerequisite to the making of such an award. (See 25 U.S.C. 1603(25).



Sec. 2500.104  Eligibility requirements.

    Proposals may be submitted by any of the following:
    (a) Any community-based organization, network, or coalition of 
community-based organizations that:
    (1) Has demonstrated experience in providing agricultural education 
or other agriculturally related services to socially disadvantaged 
farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners;
    (2) Has provided to the Secretary documentary evidence of work with, 
and on behalf of socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, or forest 
landowners during the three-year period preceding the submission of a 
proposal for assistance under this program; and
    (3) Does not engage in activities prohibited under Section 501(c)(3) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
    (b) An 1890 institution or 1994 institution (as defined in 7 U.S.C. 
7601), including West Virginia State University.
    (c) An Indian tribal community college or an Alaska Native 
cooperative college.
    (d) A Hispanic-serving institution (as defined in 7 U.S.C. 3103).
    (e) Any other institution of higher education (as defined in 20 
U.S.C. 1001) that has demonstrated experience in providing agriculture 
education or other agriculturally related services to socially 
disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in a region.
    (f) An Indian tribe (as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b) or a national 
tribal organization that has demonstrated experience in providing 
agriculture education or other agriculturally-related services to 
socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in a 
region.
    (g) Other organizations or institutions that received funding under 
this program before January 1, 1996, but only with respect to projects 
that the Secretary considers are similar to projects previously carried 
out by the entity under this program.



Sec. 2500.105  Project types and priorities.

    For each RFP, OAO may develop and include the appropriate project 
types

[[Page 74]]

and focus areas based on the critical needs of the socially 
disadvantaged farmer and rancher community. For standard OASDFR 
projects, competitive grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded 
to support programs and services, as appropriate, to encourage and 
assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the following 
focus areas:
    (a) Owning and operating farms and ranches;
    (b) Participating equitably in the full range of agricultural 
programs offered by the Department; and
    (c) Other areas as specified by the Secretary in the RFP.



Sec. 2500.106  Funding restrictions.

    Funds made available under this subpart shall not be used for the 
construction of a new building or facility or the acquisition, 
expansion, remodeling, or alteration of an existing facility (including 
site grading and improvement, and architect fees).



Sec. 2500.107  Matching.

    Matching funds are not required as a condition of receiving awards 
under this subpart.



Sec. 2500.108  Term of award.

    The award term will be defined in the OAO award agreement, and can 
be later amended upon approval of OAO.



Sec. 2500.109  Program requirements.

    Grants and cooperative agreements under this subpart shall address 
the priorities in the Department that involve providing outreach and 
technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and 
forest landowners to own and operate farms and participate equitably in 
agricultural programs; and other priorities as determined by the 
Secretary.



PART 2502_AGRICULTURAL CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT (ACE) GRANTS PROGRAM
--Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
2502.1  Applicability of regulations.
2502.2  Definitions.
2502.3  Deviations.

          Subpart B_Program Eligibility, Services and Delivery

2502.4  Program eligibility.
2502.5  Program benefits and services.
2502.6  Recipients of program benefits or services.
2502.7  Responsibilities of grantees.

             Subpart C_Grant Applications and Administration

2502.8  Pre-award, award, and post-award procedures and administration 
          of grants.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2008q-1

    Source: 76 FR 69117, Nov. 8, 2011, unless otherwise noted.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 2502.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) This part contains program-specific definitions for the ACE 
Grants Program.
    (b) Subpart B establishes the criteria to be used in determining 
eligibility for an ACE grant award and the requirements for the delivery 
of program benefits and services, including who is considered eligible 
to receive such benefits and services and what the responsibilities are 
of ACE grantees.
    (c) Subpart C establishes that, unless otherwise provided herein, 
the procedures for applying for ACE grants, the processes to be followed 
by OAO in evaluating grant proposals and awarding program funds, and the 
procedures for post-award administration of ACE grants are those set 
forth in a rule proposed ON DATE to codify provisions at 7 CFR part 
2500, subparts A, B, C, D, and E.



Sec. 2502.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part (unless otherwise indicated):
    Agency means the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO), an agency of 
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a successor 
agency.
    Agricultural Employer means any person or entity which employs, as 
defined in the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, 
29 U.S.C. 1802, individuals engaged in agricultural employment and may 
include farmers, ranchers, dairy operators, agricultural cooperatives, 
and farm labor contractors.

[[Page 75]]

    Agricultural Employment means any service or activity as defined in 
the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. 
1802, including any activity defined as ``agriculture'' in Section 3(f) 
or the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. 203(f), any activity 
defined as ``agricultural labor'' in 26 U.S.C. 3121(g) (the Internal 
Revenue Code); as well as the handling, planting, drying, packing, 
packaging, processing, freezing, or grading prior to delivery for 
storage of any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its 
unmanufactured state. Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) means the 
individual, acting within the scope of delegated authority, who is 
responsible for executing and administering awards on behalf of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture.
    Community-based organization means a non-governmental organization 
with a well-defined constituency that includes all or part of a 
particular community.
    Consortium means a group formed by entities with similar goals and 
objectives for the purpose of pooling resources to undertake a project 
that would otherwise be reasonably beyond the capabilities of any one 
member.
    Eligible entity, as described in section 379C(a) of the Consolidated 
Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2008q(a)), means a non-profit 
organization, or a consortium of nonprofit organizations, 
agribusinesses, State and local governments, agricultural labor 
organizations, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and community-based 
organizations with the capacity to train farm workers.
    Farmworker means an individual hired to perform agricultural 
employment, including migrant, seasonal, and hired family farm workers. 
The term farmworker includes individuals who are not currently employed 
as a farmworker but who are actively seeking work as such. The term does 
not include agricultural employers or individuals who are self-employed.
    Grantee means the organization designated in the grant award 
document as the responsible legal entity to which a grant is awarded.
    Legally present in the United States shall have the same meaning as 
the term ``lawfully present'' in the United States as defined at 8 CFR 
103.12(a) (addressing eligibility for Title II Social Security benefits 
under Pub. L. 104-193).
    Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) means a notice published in 
the Federal Register announcing the availability of money for the grants 
program which lists the application deadlines, eligibility requirements 
and locations where interested parties can get help in applying.
    Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) means the Office of Advocacy 
and Outreach, an office within the USDA's Departmental Management.
    Request for Proposal (RFP) refers to a grant competition and is used 
interchangeably with the phrase grant application notice and 
solicitation for grant applications (SFA).
    Retaining an agricultural job means continuing agricultural 
employment, including upgraded employment.
    Returning from an agricultural job means returning to a home area 
from a position in agricultural employment.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer 
or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture to whom the 
authority involved is delegated.
    Securing an agricultural job means obtaining agricultural 
employment.
    State means any of the States of the United States, the District of 
Columbia, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Guam.
    United States worker (U.S. worker) shall have the same meaning as 
the term U.S. worker defined by the Department of Labor at 20 CFR 655.4.
    Upgrading an agricultural job means advancement to a position in 
agricultural employment which offers more hours of work and/or better 
terms and conditions of employment and/or an increase in wages.



Sec. 2502.3  Deviations.

    Any request by the applicant or grantee for a waiver or deviation 
from any provision of this part shall be submitted to the ADO identified 
in the agency specific requirements. OAO shall review the request and 
notify the applicant/grantee whether the request to deviate has been 
approved within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt

[[Page 76]]

of the deviation request. If the deviation request is still under 
consideration at the end of 30 calendar days, OAO shall inform the 
applicant/grantee in writing of the date when the applicant/grantee may 
expect the decision.



          Subpart B_Program Eligibility, Services and Delivery



Sec. 2502.4.  Program eligibility.

    (a) Entities eligible to apply for and receive a grant under this 
part include:
    (1) A non-profit organization;
    (2) A consortium of nonprofit organizations; or
    (3) A consortium which includes a non-profit organization(s) and one 
or more of the following: agribusinesses, State and local governments, 
agricultural labor organizations, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and 
community-based organizations with the capacity to train farm workers.
    (b) Additional information about eligible entities may be included 
in the RFP. In addition, the RFP will specify the criteria by which an 
entity's capacity to train farm workers will be evaluated, but at a 
minimum, the entity shall be required to demonstrate that it has:
    (1) An understanding of the issues facing hired farmworkers and 
conditions under which they work;
    (2) Familiarity with the agricultural industry in the geographic 
area to be served, including agricultural labor needs and existing 
services for farmworkers; and
    (3) The capacity to effectively administer a program of services and 
benefits authorized by the ACE program.
    (c) An applicant will be required to submit information to OAO, as 
specified in the RFP and/or FOA as part of the grant application.



Sec. 2502.5  Program benefits and services.

    (a) The ACE grants program will be centrally administered by the 
USDA in a manner consistent with these regulations, as well as the 
pertinent requirements of 7 CFR part 3015, 7 CFR part 3016, 7 CFR part 
3018, 7 CFR part 3019 and 7 CFR 3052.
    (b) The Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) has been designated as 
the organizational unit responsible for administering the ACE program, 
including, among other things, determining the number and amount of 
grants to be awarded, the purposes for the grants to be awarded, as well 
as the criteria for the evaluation and award of grants.
    (c) Services and benefits provided under the ACE grants program are 
limited to those which will assist eligible farmworkers in securing, 
retaining, upgrading or returning from agricultural jobs.
    (d) Such services will include the following:
    (1) Agricultural labor skills development
    (2) Provision of agricultural labor market information:
    (3) Transportation:
    (4) Short-term housing while in transit to an agricultural worksite;
    (5) Workplace literacy and assistance with English as a second 
language;
    (6) Health and safety instruction, including ways of safeguarding 
the food supply of the United States;
    (7) Such other services as the Secretary deems appropriate.
    (e) Grant funds shall not be used to deliver or replace any services 
or benefits which an agricultural employer, association, contractor, or 
any other entity is legally obliged to provide.



Sec. 2502.6  Recipients of program benefits or services.

    (a) Those eligible to receive program services or benefits under the 
ACE program are farmworkers who meet the definition of ``United States 
Workers'' as set forth in Sec. 2502.2 of this part.
    (b) Grantees shall be responsible for verifying the employment of 
farmworkers who are actively employed and are seeking to participate in 
program services or benefits. Unemployed farmworkers seeking to 
participate shall be required to certify to grantees that they are 
eligible for program services and benefits as provided herein. 
Additional eligibility requirements may be included in the RFP.



Sec. 2502.7  Responsibilities of grantees.

    Each grantee is responsible for providing services and/or benefits 
authorized by this program in accord with a service delivery strategy 
described in

[[Page 77]]

its approved grant plan. The services must reflect the needs of the 
relevant farmworker population in the area to be served and be 
consistent with the goals of assisting farmworkers in securing, 
retaining, upgrading, or returning from agricultural jobs. The necessary 
components of a service delivery strategy and grant plan will be fully 
set forth in an RFP but the plan shall include, at a minimum, the 
following:
    (a) The employment and education needs of the farmworker population 
to be served;
    (b) The manner in which the proposed services to be delivered will 
assist agricultural employers and farmworkers in securing, retaining, 
upgrading or returning from agricultural jobs;
    (c) The manner in which the proposed services will be coordinated 
with other available services;
    (d) The number of participants the grantee expects to serve for each 
service provided, the results expected and the anticipated expenditures 
for each category of service.



             Subpart C_Grant Applications and Administration



Sec. 2502.8  Pre-award, award, and post-award procedures and
administration of grants.

    (a) Unless otherwise provided in this rule, the requirements 
governing pre-award solicitation and submission of proposals and/or 
applications, the review and evaluation of such, the award of grant 
funds, and post-award and close-out procedures are those set forth at 7 
CFR part 2500, subparts A, B, C, D, and E.
    (b) For purposes of the ACE Grants Program, the provisions of 
Subpart E, at 7 CFR 2500.49, ``Prior Approvals,'' shall not apply. In 
lieu of that provision, the following requirements shall apply: Awardees 
may not subcontract more than 20 percent of the award to other parties 
without prior written approval of the ADO. To request approval, a 
justification for the proposed subcontract, a performance statement, and 
a detailed budget for the subcontract must be submitted in writing to 
the ADO.

                       PARTS 2503	2599 [RESERVED]

[[Page 79]]



  CHAPTER XXVI--OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE




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                    authority...............................          81
2620            Availability of information to the public...          85
2621-2699       [Reserved]

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                       PARTS 2600	2609 [RESERVED]



PART 2610_ORGANIZATION, FUNCTIONS, AND DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY
--Table of Contents



Sec.
2610.1  General statement.
2610.2  Headquarters organization.
2610.3  Regional organization.
2610.4  Requests for service.
2610.5  Delegations of authority.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; Inspector General Act of 1978, as 
amended, 5 U.S.C. app.; 7 U.S.C. 2270.

    Source: 81 FR 93574, Dec. 21, 2016, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2610.1  General statement.

    (a) The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, 5 U.S.C. app. (IG 
Act), established an Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) and transferred to it the functions, 
powers, and duties of offices referred to in the Department as the 
``Office of Investigation'' and the ``Office of Audit,'' previously 
assigned to the OIG created by the Secretary's Memoranda 1915 and 1727, 
dated March 23, 1977, and October 5, 1977, respectively. Under the IG 
Act, OIG was established as an independent and objective unit, headed by 
the Inspector General (IG), who is appointed by the President and 
reports to and is under the general supervision of the Secretary.
    (b) OIG conducts and supervises audits and investigations relating 
to Department programs and operations; provides leadership and 
coordination and recommends policies for activities designed to promote 
economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of, and to 
prevent and detect fraud and abuse in, such programs and operations; and 
provides a means for keeping the Secretary of Agriculture and the 
Congress fully and currently informed about problems and deficiencies 
relating to the administration of such programs and operations and the 
necessity for and progress of corrective action.
    (c) The IG has specific duties, responsibilities, and authorities 
pursuant to the IG Act, including to:
    (1) Provide policy direction for, and conduct, supervise, and 
coordinate audits and investigations relating to USDA programs and 
operations.
    (2) Review existing and proposed legislation and regulations related 
to USDA programs and operations and make recommendations to the 
Secretary and the Congress on the impact such laws or regulations will 
have on the economy and efficiency of program administration or in the 
prevention and detection of fraud and abuse in USDA programs and 
operations.
    (3) Recommend policies for, and conduct, supervise, or coordinate 
other activities carried out or financed by USDA for the purpose of 
promoting economy and efficiency in the administration of, or preventing 
and detecting fraud and abuse, in USDA programs and operations.
    (4) Recommend policies for, and conduct, supervise, or coordinate 
relationships between, USDA and other Federal, State, and local 
governmental agencies and nongovernmental entities regarding the 
promotion of economy and efficiency, prevention of fraud and abuse, or 
the identification and prosecution of participants in fraud and abuse.
    (5) Keep the Secretary and the Congress fully and currently informed 
about problems, abuses, and deficiencies, and the necessity for and 
progress of corrective actions in the administration of USDA programs 
and operations.
    (6) Report expeditiously to the Attorney General any matter where 
there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of 
Federal criminal law.
    (7) Have access to all records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, 
papers, recommendations, or other material available to the Department 
which relate to programs and operations for which the IG has 
responsibility.
    (8) Make such investigations and reports relating to the 
administration of USDA programs and operations as are, in the judgment 
of the IG, necessary or desirable.
    (9) Request such information or assistance as may be necessary for 
carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the IG Act from any 
Federal,

[[Page 82]]

State, or local governmental agency or unit thereof.
    (10) Issue subpoenas for the production of information, documents, 
reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data in any 
medium (including electronically stored information, as well as any 
tangible thing) and documentary evidence necessary in the performance of 
functions assigned by the IG Act, except that procedures other than 
subpoenas shall be used to obtain documents and information from Federal 
agencies.
    (11) Whenever necessary in the performance of functions assigned by 
the IG Act, administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation, 
or affidavit, which shall have the same force and effect as if 
administered or taken by or before an officer having a seal.
    (12) Have direct and prompt access to the Secretary when necessary 
for any purpose pertaining to the performance of functions and 
responsibilities under the IG Act.
    (13) Select, appoint, and employ necessary officers and employees in 
OIG in accordance with laws and regulations governing the civil service, 
including an Assistant Inspector General for Audit (AIG/A) and an 
Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (AIG/I).
    (14) Obtain services as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3109.
    (15) Enter into contracts and other arrangements for audits, 
inspections, studies, analyses, and other services with public agencies 
and private persons, and make such payments as may be necessary to carry 
out the provisions of the IG Act, to the extent and in such amounts as 
may be provided in advance by an appropriation act.
    (16) Receive and investigate complaints or information from any 
Department employee concerning the possible existence of an activity 
constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or 
mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a 
substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety.
    (17) Designate a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman, who will 
educate Department employees about prohibitions on retaliation for 
protected disclosures; and who have made or are contemplating making a 
protected disclosure about the rights and remedies against retaliation 
for protected disclosures.
    (d) Pursuant to Sec. 2.33 of this title, the Secretary has made the 
following delegations of authority to the IG:
    (1) Advise the Secretary and General officers in the planning, 
development, and execution of Department policies and programs.
    (2) At the request of the Secretary's security office, determine the 
availability of OIG law enforcement personnel to assist the security 
office in providing for the personal security of the Secretary and 
Deputy Secretary.
    (3) Serve as liaison official for the Department for all audits of 
USDA performed by the Government Accountability Office.
    (e) The IG, under section 1337 of the Agriculture and Food Act of 
1981, Public Law 97-98, 7 U.S.C. 2270, and pursuant to rules issued by 
the Secretary in part 1a of this title, has the authority to:
    (1) Designate OIG employees who investigate alleged or suspected 
felony criminal violations of statutes administered by the Secretary of 
Agriculture or any agency of USDA, when engaged in the performance of 
official duties to:
    (i) Make an arrest without a warrant for any such criminal felony 
violation if such violation is committed, or if the employee has 
probable cause to believe that such violation is being committed, in 
his/her presence;
    (ii) Execute and serve a warrant for an arrest, for the search of 
premises, or the seizure of evidence when issued under authority of the 
United States upon probable cause to believe that such a violation has 
been committed; and
    (iii) Carry a firearm.
    (2) Issue directives and take the actions prescribed by the 
Secretary's rules.



Sec. 2610.2  Headquarters organization.

    (a) OIG has a headquarters office in Washington, DC, and regional 
offices throughout the United States. The headquarters office consists 
of the immediate office of the IG, which includes three component 
offices, and four operational units.

[[Page 83]]

    (b) Immediate Office Components. (1) The Director of the Office of 
Compliance and Integrity (OCI) performs independent quality assurance 
and internal control reviews of OIG operations. OCI also investigates 
allegations of criminal and/or serious administrative misconduct by OIG 
employees.
    (2) Section 3(g) of the IG Act mandates that each IG shall obtain 
legal advice from a counsel either reporting directly to the IG or to 
another IG. Within USDA-OIG, such legal advice is provided by the 
Counsel to the Inspector General. The Office of Counsel (OC) provides 
legal advice and representation on issues arising during the course of 
audit, investigative, and Office of Data Sciences (ODS) activities or on 
internal administrative and management issues. OC also manages OIG's 
congressional, media relations, ethics, Freedom of Information Act, and 
Privacy Act programs; and reviews proposed legislation, regulations, and 
procedures.
    (3) The Director of the Office of Diversity and Conflict Resolution 
advises OIG leadership on applying the principles of civil rights, equal 
employment opportunity, dispute resolution, diversity, and inclusion, on 
matters affecting the OIG workforce, program activities, and development 
of policy. This office also guides all OIG personnel through the use of 
the Federal sector employment discrimination complaints and dispute 
resolution processes, as needed.
    (c) Operational units. (1) The AIG/A carries out the OIG's domestic 
and foreign audit operations through a headquarters office and three 
regional offices shown in Sec. 2610.3(a). The staff provides for audit 
review of information technology (IT) security throughout USDA. Auditing 
officials conduct operational liaison on audit matters; schedule and 
conduct audits; release audit reports to management; monitor agency 
action to assure that audit reports have been properly acted upon 
through review of Department management follow up systems; monitor the 
quality of OIG audit reports; and coordinate activities with the AIG/I. 
The staff also provides an integrated approach to fraud prevention and 
detection and management improvement in USDA programs and operations; 
coordinates analyses and reports on vulnerability assessments; and 
recommends policies and provides technical assistance for audit 
operations. The Auditing headquarters office consists of the immediate 
office of the AIG/A and five staff divisions.
    (2) The Assistant Inspector General for Data Sciences carries out 
OIG's data sciences operations through a headquarters office. OIG 
officials within ODS perform predictive data analysis, statistical 
sampling, modeling, computer matching, data mining, and data warehousing 
of USDA programs and operations in support of OIG audits, 
investigations, and other activities.
    (3) The AIG/I carries out OIG's domestic and foreign investigative 
operations through a headquarters office and the five regional offices 
shown in Sec. 2610.3(b). Investigations officials conduct operational 
and intelligence liaison on investigative matters with the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, 
Interpol, and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement 
organizations; determine the need for investigative action; conduct 
investigations; prepare factual reports of investigative findings; refer 
reports for appropriate administrative or legal action; follow up on 
agency actions to assure that OIG investigative reports have been 
properly acted upon; monitor the quality of investigative reports; and 
coordinate activities with the AIG/A. The staff also conducts special 
investigations of major programs, operations, and high level officials; 
can assist the Secretary's security office in providing for the 
protection of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary; and receives and 
processes employee complaints concerning possible violations of laws, 
rules, regulations or mismanagement. The OIG Whistleblower Protection 
Ombudsman described in Sec. 2610.1(c)(17) is located within the Office 
of Investigations.
    (4) The Assistant Inspector General for Management (AIG/M) manages 
formulation of OIG policies and procedures; develops, administers and 
directs comprehensive programs for the

[[Page 84]]

management, budget, financial, personnel, systems improvement, and 
information activities and operations of OIG; and is responsible for OIG 
IT and information management systems. The staff maintains OIG's 
directives system, and Departmental Regulations and Federal Register 
issuances. The immediate office of the AIG/M and four divisions carry 
out these functions.



Sec. 2610.3  Regional organization.

    (a) Each regional Audit Director is responsible to the IG and to the 
AIG/A for supervising the performance of all OIG auditing activities 
relating to the Department's domestic and foreign programs and 
operations within an assigned geographic area. The addresses and 
telephone numbers of the three Audit regional offices and the 
territories served are as follows:

         Audit Region, Address, Telephone Number, and Territory

Eastern Region, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite 2-2230 (Mail Stop 5300), 
Beltsville, Maryland 20705-5300, (301) 504-2100; Alabama, Arkansas, 
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, 
Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North 
Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South 
Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, West 
Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Midwestern Region, 8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 3016, Kansas City, Missouri 
64114, (816) 926-7667; Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, 
Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Western Region, 1333 Broadway, Suite 400, Oakland, California 94612, 
(510) 208-6800; Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, 
Oregon, Territory of Guam, Trust Territories of the Pacific, and 
Washington.

    (b) Each regional Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC) is responsible to 
the IG and to the AIG/I for supervising the performance of all OIG 
investigative activities relating to the Department's domestic and 
foreign programs and operations within an assigned geographic area. The 
addresses and telephone numbers of the five Investigations regional 
offices and the territories served are as follows:

     Investigations Region, Address, Telephone Number, and Territory

Midwest Region, 111 N. Canal Street, Suite 325, Chicago, Illinois 60606-
7296, (312) 353-1358; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, 
North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Northeast Region, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 1409, New York, New York 10278-
0004, (212) 264-8400; Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, 
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Southeast Region, 401 W. Peachtree Street NW., Room 2329, Atlanta, 
Georgia 30308, (404) 730-3274; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, 
North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the Virgin 
Islands.
Southwest Region, 101 South Main, Room 311, Temple, Texas 76501, (254) 
743-6535; Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, 
New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Western Region, 1333 Broadway, Suite 400, Oakland, California 94612, 
(510) 208-6860; Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, 
Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Territory of Guam, Trust Territories of the 
Pacific, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.



Sec. 2610.4  Requests for service.

    (a) Heads of USDA agencies will direct requests for audit or 
investigative service to the AIG/A, AIG/I, Audit Director, SAC, or to 
other OIG audit or investigation officials responsible for providing 
service of the type desired in the geographical area where service is 
desired.
    (b) Agency officials or other employees may, at any time, direct to 
the personal attention of the IG any audit or investigation matter that 
warrants such attention.
    (c) Other persons (i.e., non-USDA personnel) may address their 
communications regarding audit or investigative matters to: The 
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Stop 2301, 
Washington, DC 20250.
    (d) OIG has established several channels for USDA employees and the 
general public to report fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in USDA 
programs, or misconduct by a USDA employee. These include a general OIG 
Hotline, a Bribery/Assault Line, and (for USDA employees) a 
Whistleblower Ombudsman.

[[Page 85]]

    (1) General fraud, waste, and abuse hotline:
    (i) File complaint online: http://www.usda.gov/oig/hotline.htm 
(click on ``Submit a Complaint'' button);
    (ii) Telephone: (800) 424-9121, (202) 690-1622, or (202) 690-1202 
(Telecommunication Device for the Deaf);
    (iii) Facsimile: (202) 690-2474; or
    (iv) Write a letter to United States Department of Agriculture, 
Office of Inspector General, P.O. Box 23399, Washington, DC 20026.
    (2) Bribery/Assault Line: (202) 720-7257 (24 hours a day).
    (3) Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman. USDA employees may contact 
the Ombudsman via email at: [email protected] Additional 
information about the Ombudsman is available online at https://
www.usda.gov/oig/ombudsman.htm.



Sec. 2610.5  Delegations of authority.

    (a) AIGs, Directors, and Counsel listed in Sec. 2610.2, and Audit 
Directors and SACs listed in Sec. 2610.3, are authorized to take 
whatever actions are necessary to carry out their assigned functions. 
This authority may be re-delegated.
    (b) The IG reserves the right to establish audit and investigation 
policies, program, procedures, and standards; to allocate appropriated 
funds; to determine audit and investigative jurisdiction; and to 
exercise any of the powers or functions or perform any of the duties 
referenced in the above delegation.



PART 2620_AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC--Table of Contents



Sec.
2620.1  General statement.
2620.2  Public inspection.
2620.3  Requests.
2620.4  Denials.
2620.5  Appeals.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; Inspector General Act of 1978, as 
amended, 5 U.S.C. app. 3.

    Source: 81 FR 94230, Dec. 23, 2016, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2620.1  General statement.

    This part supplements the regulations of the Secretary of 
Agriculture implementing the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 
(FOIA) (subpart A of part 1 of this title, including the appendix), and 
governs the availability of records of the Office of Inspector General 
(OIG) to the public upon request.



Sec. 2620.2  Public inspection.

    The FOIA requires that certain materials be made available for 
public inspection in an electronic format. OIG records are available for 
public inspection on OIG's public Web site, https://www.usda.gov/oig/
foia.htm.



Sec. 2620.3  Requests.

    Requests for OIG records shall be submitted to OIG's Office of 
Counsel and will be processed in accordance with subpart A of part 1 of 
this title. Specific guidance on how to submit requests (including 
current contact methods) is available through OIG's Web site, https://
www.usda.gov/oig/foiareq.htm, and USDA's public FOIA Web site.



Sec. 2620.4  Denials.

    If it is determined that a requested record is exempt from mandatory 
disclosure and that discretionary release would be improper, the Counsel 
to the Inspector General or the Counsel's designee shall give written 
notice of denial in accordance with subpart A of part 1 of this title.



Sec. 2620.5  Appeals.

    The denial of a requested record may be appealed in accordance with 
subpart A of part 1 of this title. Appeals shall be addressed to the 
Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., Whitten Building, Suite 441-E, Washington, DC 20250-2308. 
The Inspector General will give notice of the determination concerning 
an appeal in accordance with subpart A of part 1 of this title.

                       PARTS 2621	2699 [RESERVED]

[[Page 87]]



CHAPTER XXVII--OFFICE OF INFORMATION RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF 
                               AGRICULTURE




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2710            Availability of information to the public...          89
2711-2799       [Reserved]

[[Page 89]]



PART 2700_ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS--Table of Contents



Sec.
2700.1  General statement.
2700.2  Organization.
2700.3  Functions.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 7 CFR 2.81.

    Source: 47 FR 39128, Sept. 7, 1982, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2700.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) to provide 
guidance for the general public as to the organization and functions of 
the Office of Information Resources Management.



Sec. 2700.2  Organization.

    The Office of Information Resources Management (OIRM) was 
established on January 12, 1982. Delegations of authority to the 
Director, OIRM appear at 7 CFR 2.81. The organization is comprised of 
five headquarters divisions, an administrative staff and three computer 
centers to serve the Department. The organization is headed by the 
Director or, in the Director's absence, by the Deputy Director or, in 
the absence of both, by the Director's desginee.



Sec. 2700.3  Functions.

    (a) Director. Provides executive direction for OIRM. Develops and 
recommends Departmental information resources management principles, 
policies, and objectives; develops and disseminates Departmental 
information resources management standards, guidelines, rules, and 
regulations necessary to implement approved principles, policies, and 
programs; designs, develops, implements, and revises systems, processes, 
work methods, and techniques to improve the management of information 
resources and the operational effectiveness of the Department; provides 
telecommunications and automated data processing services to the 
Department's agencies and staff offices.
    (b) Deputy Director. Assists the Director and, in the absence of the 
Director, serves as the Acting Director.
    (c) Administrative Management Staff. Provides support for agency 
management regarding budget, accounting, personnel, and other 
administrative matters.
    (d) Planning Division. Defines, develops, guides, and administers 
the Department's long-range planning process for information resources.
    (e) Information Management Division. Develops policy, standards and 
guidelines for collection, protection, access, use and management of 
information.
    (f) Review and Evaluation Division. Reviews and evaluates 
information resources programs and activities of Department agencies and 
staff offices for conformance with plans, policies, and standards.
    (g) Agency Technical Services Division. Advises and consults with 
and assists Department agencies and staff offices on activities related 
to the development and implementation of automated information systems.
    (h) Operations and Telecommunications Division. Coordinates the 
development and implementation of programs for ADP and 
telecommunications resource planning within Departmental computer 
centers and the National Finance Center, and for the acquisition and use 
of Department-wide telecommunications facilities and services.
    (i) Departmental Computer Centers. The following centers provide ADP 
facilities and services to agencies and staff offices of the Department.
    (1) Washington Computer Center, 14th and Independence Ave., SW., Rm. 
S-107-South, Washington, DC 20250.
    (2) Fort Collins Computer Center, 3825 E. Mulberry Street (P.O. Box 
1206), Fort Collins, CO 80524.
    (3) Kansas City Computer Center, 8930 Ward Parkway (P.O. Box 205), 
Kansas City, MO 64141.



PART 2710_AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC--Table of Contents



Sec.
2710.1  General statement.
2710.2  Public inspection and copying.
2710.3  Indexes.
2710.4  Initial request for records.
2710.5  Appeals.

Appendix A to Part 2710--List of Addresses

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 7 CFR 1.1-1.16.

    Source: 47 FR 39129, Sept. 7, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

[[Page 90]]



Sec. 2710.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with 7 CFR 1.4 of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture regulations governing the availability of 
records (7 CFR 1.1-1.16 and Appendix A) under the Freedom of Information 
Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The Department's regulations, as supplemented by the 
regulations in this part, provide guidance for any person wishing to 
request records from the Office of Information Resources Management 
(OIRM).



Sec. 2710.2  Public inspection and copying.

    (a) Background. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) required that each agency make 
certain kinds of records available for public inspection and copying.
    (b) Procedure. Persons wishing to gain access to OIRM records should 
contact the Information Access & Disclosure Officer by writing to the 
address shown in 2710.4(b)(2).



Sec. 2710.3  Indexes.

    (a) Background. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also required that each agency 
maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current 
indexes providing identifying information for the public with regard to 
any records which are made available for public inspection and copying.
    (b) Procedure. Persons wishing to get an index may contact the 
division or center that maintains the records. Publication of these 
indexes as a separate document is unnecessary and impractical.



Sec. 2710.4  Initial request for records.

    (a) Background. The Information Access and Disclosure Officer is 
authorized to:
    (1) Grant or deny requests for OIRM records.
    (2) Make discretionary releases of OIRM records when it is 
determined that the public interests in disclosure outweigh the public 
and/or private ones in withholding.
    (3) Reduce or waive fees to be charged where determined to be 
appropriate.
    (b) Procedure. Persons wishing to request records from the Office of 
Information Resources Management may do so as follows:
    (1) How. Submit each initial request for OIRM records as prescribed 
in 7 CFR 1.3(a).
    (2) Where. Submit each initial request to the Information Access and 
Disclosure Officer, Office of Information Resources Management, USDA, 
14th and Independence Ave., SW., Room 407-W, Washington, DC 20250.



Sec. 2710.5  Appeals.

    Procedure. Any person whose initial request is denied in whole or in 
part may appeal that denial, in accordance with 7 CFR 1.3(e) and 1.7, to 
the Director, Office of Information Resources Management, by sending the 
appeal to the Information Access and Disclosure Officer, Office of 
Information Resources Management, USDA, 14th and Independence Ave., SW., 
Room 407-W, Washington, DC 20250. The Director, Office of Information 
Resources Management, will make the determination on the appeal.



             Sec. Appendix A to Part 2710--List of Addresses

                           Section 1. General

    This list provides the titles and mailing addresses of officials who 
have custody of OIRM records. This list also identifies the normal 
working hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, during which 
public inspection and copying of certain kinds of records, and indexes 
to those records, is permitted.

                      Section 2. List of Addresses

Director, Office of Information Resources Management, 14th and 
Independence Ave., SW., Rm. 113-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 
a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Chief, Planning Division, OIRM, 14th and Independence Ave., SW., Rm. 
446-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Chief, Review and Evaluation Division, OIRM, 14th and Independence Ave., 
SW., Rm. 442-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Chief, Agency Technical Services Division, OIRM, 14th and Independence 
Ave., SW., Rm. 416-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Chief, Operations and Telecommunications Division, OIRM, 14th and 
Independence Ave., SW., Rm. 419-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 
a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Chief, Information Management Division, OIRM, 14th and Independence 
Ave., SW., Rm. 404-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

[[Page 91]]

Chief, St. Louis Computer Center, OIRM, 1520 Market Street, Rm. 3441, 
St. Louis, MO 63101; Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:40 p.m.
Director, Kansas City Computer Center, OIRM, 8930 Ward Parkway, (P.O. 
Box 205), Kansas City, MO 64141; Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Director, Fort Collins Computer Center, OIRM, 3825 E. Mulberry Street, 
(P.O. Box 1206), Fort Collins, CO 80521; Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Director, Washington Computer Center, OIRM, 14th and Independence Ave., 
SW., Rm. S-107-S, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Information Access and Disclosure Officer, OIRM, 14th and Independence 
Ave., SW., Rm. 407-W, Washington, DC 20250; Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

                       PARTS 2711	2799 [RESERVED]

[[Page 93]]



     CHAPTER XXVIII--OFFICE OF OPERATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
2800-2809       [Reserved]

2810            Organization and functions--Office of 
                    Operations..............................          95
2811            Availability of information to the public...          95
2812            Department of Agriculture guidelines for the 
                    donation of excess research equipment 
                    under 15 U.S.C. 3710(i).................          97
2813-2899       [Reserved]

[[Page 95]]

                       PARTS 2800	2809 [RESERVED]



PART 2810_ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS_OFFICE OF OPERATIONS--
Table of Contents



Sec.
2810.1  General statement.
2810.2  Organization.
2810.3  Functions.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 552; 7 CFR 2.76.

    Source: 54 FR 52013, Dec. 20, 1989, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2810.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) to provide 
guidance for the general public as to Office of Operations (OO) 
organization and functions.



Sec. 2810.2  Organization.

    The Office of Operations (OO) was established January 12, 1982. 
Delegations of authority to the Director, OO, appear at 7 CFR 2.76. The 
organization is comprised of six divisions and one staff located at 
Department headquarters. Description of the functions of these 
organizational units are in the following section. The organization is 
headed by a Director.



Sec. 2810.3  Functions.

    (a) Director. Provides executive direction for OO. Develops and 
promulgates overall policies and provides general direction, leadership, 
oversight, and coordination of USDA management of procurement, real and 
personal property activities, mail and copier management. Provides 
executive services to the Office of the Secretary and operates 
activities providing consolidated USDA administrative functions and 
services.
    (b) Deputy Director. Assists the Director, and in the absence of the 
Director, serves as Acting Director.
    (c) Administrative Unit. Provides support for agency management 
regarding budget, accounting, personnel, and other administrative 
matters.
    (d) Executive Services Division. Provides executive services to the 
Office of the Secretary in travel arrangements, supplies, furnishings, 
communications, equipment, and records. Operates the central USDA DC 
imprest fund.
    (e) Facilities Management Division. Operates and maintains the USDA 
DC headquarters building complex, including headquarters parking. 
Oversees management and operation of USDA buildings nationwide, and 
provides DC area labor services.
    (f) Mail and Reproduction Management Division. Oversees USDA mail, 
copier, and duplicating programs. Operates DC area central activities in 
these areas.
    (g) Personal Property Management Division. Oversees USDA supply, 
motor vehicle, and personal property programs. Operates centralized 
warehouse and property rehabilitation facilities.
    (h) Procurement Division. Oversees USDA procurement programs. 
Operates centralized purchasing operations for ADP and Washington area 
activities.
    (i) Real Property Management Division. Oversees USDA real property 
management programs.



PART 2811_AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC--Table of Contents



Sec.
2811.1  General statement.
2811.2  Public inspection and copying.
2811.3  Indexes.
2811.4  Initial requests for records.
2811.5  Appeals.
2811.6  Fee schedule.

Appendix A to Part 2811--List of Addresses

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 552 (as amended); 7 CFR 1.3.

    Source: 54 FR 52014, Dec. 20, 1989, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2811.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with 7 CFR 1.3 of the Department 
of Agriculture regulations governing the availability of records (7 CFR 
1.1-1.23 and Appendix A) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 
U.S.C. 552. The Department's regulations, as supplemented by the 
regulations in this part, provide guidance for any person wishing to 
request records from Office of Operations.



Sec. 2811.2  Public inspection and copying.

    (a) Background. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) requires that each agency 
maintain and

[[Page 96]]

make available for public inspection and copying certain kinds of 
records.
    (b) Procedure. To gain access to OO records that are available for 
public inspection, contact the division that maintains them. See 
Appendix A, List of Addresses, for the location and hours of operation.



Sec. 2811.3  Indexes.

    (a) Background. 15 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also requires that each agency 
maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current 
indexes provided identifying information for the public with regard to 
any records which are made available for public inspection and copying. 
OO does not maintain any materials within the scope of these 
requirements.



Sec. 2811.4  Initial requests for records.

    (a) Background. The head of each OO division, each OO contracting 
officer, each OO leasing officer, and the OO FOIA officer is authorized 
to:
    (1) Grant or deny requests for OO records.
    (2) Make discretionary release of OO records when it is determined 
that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public and/or 
private ones in withholding.
    (3) Reduce or waive fees to be charged where determined to be 
appropriate.
    (4) Refer a request to the OO FOIA Officer for determination.
    (b) Procedures. Persons wishing to request records from the Office 
of Operations may do so as follows:
    (1) How. Submit each initial request for OO records as prescribed in 
7 CFR 1.6.
    (2) Where. Submit each initial request to the head of the unit that 
maintains the records. See Appendix A, List of Addresses. Contact the 
FOIA Officer for guidance as needed. Or, submit the request to the FOIA 
Officer for forwarding to the proper officials: FOIA Officer, Office of 
Operations, USDA, Room 134-W Administration Building, 14th & 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.



Sec. 2811.5  Appeals.

    Procedure. Any person whose initial request is denied in whole or in 
part may appeal that denial, in accordance with 7 CFR 1.6(e) and 1.8, to 
the Director, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 113-W Administration 
Building, 14th & Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.



Sec. 2811.6  Fee schedule.

    Department regulations provide for a schedule of reasonable standard 
charges for document search and duplication. See 7 CFR 1.2(b). Fees to 
be charged are set forth in 7 CFR part 1, subpart A, appendix A.



             Sec. Appendix A to Part 2811--List of Addresses

                           Section 1. General

    This list provides the titles and mailing address of officials who 
have custody of OO records. The normal working hours of these offices 
are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, exclusing holidays, 
during which public inspection and copying of certain kinds of records 
is permitted.

                      Section 2. List of Addresses

    All of the following addresses are located at 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue, Washington, DC. Address mail as follows:

Director, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 113-W Administration 
Building, Washington, DC 20250.
FOIA Officer, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 134-W Administration 
Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Administrative Unit, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 134-W, 
Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Executive Services Division, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 10-
A, Administration Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Facilities Management Division, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 
S-313 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Mail and Reproduction Management Division, Office of Operations, 
USDA, Room 1540 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Personal Property Management Division, Office of Operations, USDA 
Room 1524 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Procurement Division, Office of Operations, USDA, Room 1550 South 
Building, Washington, DC 20250.
Chief, Real Property Management Division, Office of Operations, USDA, 
Room 1566, South Building, Washington, DC 20250.

[[Page 97]]



PART 2812_DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GUIDELINES FOR THE DONATION 
OF EXCESS RESEARCH EQUIPMENT UNDER 15 U.S.C. 3710(i)--
Table of Contents



Sec.
2812.1  Purpose.
2812.2  Eligibility.
2812.3  Definitions.
2812.4  Procedures.
2812.5  Restrictions.
2812.6  Title.
2812.7  Costs.
2812.8  Accountability and recordkeeping.
2812.9  Disposal.
2812.10  Liabilities and losses.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; E.O. 12999, 61 FR 17227, 3 CFR, 1997 Comp., 
p. 180.

    Source: 60 FR 34456, July 3, 1995, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2812.1  Purpose.

    This part sets forth the procedures to be utilized by USDA agencies 
and laboratories in the donation of excess research equipment to 
educational institutions and non-profit organizations for the conduct of 
technical and scientific education and research activities as authorized 
by 15 U.S.C. 3710(i). Title to excess research equipment donated 
pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 3710(i), shall pass to the donee.



Sec. 2812.2  Eligibility.

    Eligible organizations are educational institutions or non-profit 
organizations involved in the conduct of technical and scientific 
educational and research activities.



Sec. 2812.3  Definitions.

    (a) Cannibalization. The dismantling of equipment for parts to 
repair or enhance other equipment. The residual is reported for 
disposal. Cannibalization is only authorized if the property value is 
greater when cannibalized than retention in the original condition.
    (b) Community-based educational organization means nonprofit 
organizations that are engaged in collaborative projects with pre-
kindergarten through twelfth grade educational institutions or that have 
education as their primary focus. Such organizations shall qualify as 
nonprofit educational institutions for purposes of section 203(j) of the 
Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 
484(j)).
    (c) Educational institution means a public or private, non-profit 
educational institution, encompassing pre-kindergarten through twelfth 
grade and two- and four-year institutions of higher education, as well 
as public school districts.
    (d) Educationally useful Federal equipment means computers and 
related peripheral tools (e.g., printers, modems, routers, and servers), 
including telecommunications and research equipment, that are 
appropriate for use in pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle, or 
secondary school education. It shall also include computer software, 
where the transfer of licenses is permitted.
    (e) Excess personal property. Items of personal property no longer 
required by the controlling Federal agency.
    (f) Federal empowerment zone or enterprise community (EZ/EC) means a 
rural area designated by the Secretary of Agriculture under 7 CFR part 
25.
    (g) Non-profit organization means any corporation, trust 
association, cooperative, or other organization which:
    (1) Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, 
charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest;
    (2) Is not organized primarily for profit; and
    (3) Uses its net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand its 
operations. For the purposes of this part, ``non-profit organizations'' 
may include utilities affiliated with institutions of higher education, 
or with state and local governments and federally recognized Indian 
tribes.
    (h) Research equipment. Federal property determined to be essential 
to conduct scientific or technical educational research.
    (i) Technical and scientific education and research activities. Non-
profit tax exempt public educational institutions or government 
sponsored research organizations which serve to conduct technical and 
scientific education and research.

[60 FR 34456, July 3, 1995, as amended at 65 FR 69857, Nov. 21, 2000]

[[Page 98]]



Sec. 2812.4  Procedures.

    (a) [Reserved]
    (b) Each agency head will designate in writing an authorized 
official to approve donations of excess property/equipment under this 
part.
    (c) After USDA screening has been accomplished, excess personal 
property targeted for donation under this part will be made available on 
a first-come, first-served basis. If there are competing requests, 
donations will be made to eligible recipients in the following priority 
order:
    (1) Educationally useful Federal equipment for pre-kindergarten 
through twelfth grade educational institutions and community-based 
educational organizations in rural EZ/EC communities;
    (2) Educationally useful Federal equipment for pre-kindergarten 
through twelfth grade educational institutions and community-based 
educational organizations not in rural EZ/EC areas;
    (3) All other eligible organizations.
    (d) Upon reporting property for excess screening, if the pertinent 
USDA agency has an eligible organization in mind for donation under this 
part, it shall enter ``P.L. 102-245'' in the note field. The property 
will remain in the excess system approximately 30 days, and if no USDA 
agency or cooperator requests it during the excess cycle, the 
Departmental Excess Personal Property Coordinator will send the agency a 
copy of the excess report stamped, ``DONATION AUTHORITY TO THE HOLDING 
AGENCY IN ACCORDANCE WITH P.L. 102-245.'' The holding USDA agency may 
then donate the excess property to the eligible organization.
    (e) Donations under this Part will be accomplished by preparing a 
Standard Form (SF) 122, ``Transfer Order-Excess Personal Property''.
    (f) The SF-122 should be signed by both an authorized official of 
the agency and the Agency Property Management Officer. The following 
information should also be provided.
    (1) Name and address of Donee Institution (Ship to)
    (2) Agency name and address (holding Agency)
    (3) Location of property
    (4) Shipping instructions (Donee contact person)
    (5) Complete description of property, including acquisition amount, 
serial no., condition code, quantity, and agency order no.
    (6) This statement needs to be added following property 
descriptions. ``The property requested hereon is certified to be used 
for the conduct of technical and scientific education and research 
activities. This donation is pursuant to the provisions of Pub. L. 102-
245.''
    (g) Once the excess personal property/equipment is physically 
received, the donee is required to immediately return a copy of the SF-
122 to the donating agency indicating receipt of requested items. 
Cancellations should be reported to DEPPC so the property can be 
reported to the General Services Administration (GSA).

    Note: The USDA agency shall send an informational copy of the 
transaction to GSA.

[60 FR 34456, July 3, 1995, as amended at 65 FR 69857, Nov. 21, 2000]



Sec. 2812.5  Restrictions.

    (a) The authorized official (see Sec. 2812.4(b)) will approve the 
donation of excess personal property/equipment in the following groups 
to educational institutions or nonprofit organizations for the conduct 
of technical and scientific educational and research activities.

                             Eligible Groups
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               FSC group                               Name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
19.....................................  Ships, Small Craft, Pontoons,
                                          and Floating Docks.
23.....................................  Vehicles, Trailers and Cycles.
24.....................................  Tractors.
37.....................................  Agricultural Machinery and
                                          Equipment.
43.....................................  Pumps, Compressors.
48.....................................  Valves.
58.....................................  Communication, Detection, and
                                          Coherent Radiation Equipment.
59.....................................  Electrical and Electronic
                                          Equipment Components.
65.....................................  Medical, Dental, and Veterinary
                                          Equipment and Supplies.
66.....................................  Instruments and Laboratory
                                          Equipment.
67.....................................  Photographic Equipment.
68.....................................  Chemicals and Chemical
                                          Products.
70.....................................  General Purpose Automatic Data
                                          Processing Equipment, Software
                                          Supplies, and Support
                                          Equipment.
74.....................................  Office Machines and Visible
                                          Record Equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 99]]

    Note: Requests for items in FSC Groups or Classes other than the 
above should be referred to the agency head for consideration and 
approval.
    (b) Excess personal property/equipment may be donated for 
cannibalization purposes, provided the donee submits a supporting 
statement which clearly indicates that cannibalizing the requested 
property for secondary use has greater potential benefit than 
utilization of the item in its existing form.



Sec. 2812.6  Title.

    Title to excess personal property/equipment donated under this Part 
will automatically pass to the donee once the sponsoring agency receives 
the SF-122 indicating that the donee has received the property.



Sec. 2812.7  Costs.

    Donated excess personal property/equipment is free of charge. 
However, the donee must pay all costs associated with packaging and 
transportation, unless the sponsoring agency has made other 
arrangements. The donee should specify the method of shipment.



Sec. 2812.8  Accountability and recordkeeping.

    USDA requires that property requested by a donee be placed into use 
by the donee within a year of receipt and used for at least 1 year 
thereafter. Donees must maintain accountable records for such property 
during this time period.



Sec. 2812.9  Disposal.

    When the property is no longer needed by the donee, it may be used 
in support of other Federal projects or sold and the proceeds used for 
technical and scientific education and research activities.



Sec. 2812.10  Liabilities and losses.

    USDA assumes no liability with respect to accidents, bodily injury, 
illness, or any other damages or loss related to excess personal 
property/equipment donated under this part. The donee is advised to 
insure or otherwise protect itself and others as appropriate.

                       PARTS 2813	2899 [RESERVED]

[[Page 101]]



   CHAPTER XXIX--OFFICE OF ENERGY POLICY AND NEW USES, DEPARTMENT OF 
                               AGRICULTURE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
2900            Essential agricultural uses and volumetric 
                    requirements--Natural Gas Policy Act....         103
2901            Administrative procedures for adjustments of 
                    natural gas curtailment priority........         104
2902            [Reserved]

2903            Biodiesel fuel education program............         108
2904-2999       [Reserved]

[[Page 103]]



PART 2900_ESSENTIAL AGRICULTURAL USES AND VOLUMETRIC REQUIREMENTS-
NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT--Table of Contents



Sec.
2900.1  General.
2900.2  Definitions.
2900.3  Essential agricultural uses.
2900.4  Natural gas requirements.
2900.6  Effective date.

    Authority: Pub. L. 95-621, Nov. 9, 1978.

    Source: 44 FR 28786, May 17, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2900.1  General.

    Section 401(c) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA) requires 
the Secretary of Agriculture to determine the essential uses of natural 
gas, and to certify to the Secretary of Energy and the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission (FERC) the natural gas requirements, expressed 
either as volumes or percentages of use, of persons, or classes thereof, 
for essential agricultural uses in order to meet requirements of full 
food and fiber production. This rule covers establishments performing 
functions classed as essential agricultural uses whose natural gas 
supplies are distributed through the interstate pipeline systems even 
though such establishments may receive such gas directly from an 
intrastate pipeline or local distribution company. The rule provides to 
the Secretary of Energy (for purposes of Section 401(a) of the NGPA) and 
to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the following 
certifications:
    (a) Essential agricultural uses of natural gas, expressed as classes 
of establishments that use gas for essential agricultural purposes; and
    (b) Essential agricultural current requirements of natural gas, 
expressed as percentages of use.



Sec. 2900.2  Definitions.

    (a) Full food and fiber production means the entire output of food 
and fiber produced for the domestic market, and for export, for building 
of reserves, and crops for soil building or conservation. This term also 
includes the processing of food and fiber into stable and storable 
products, and the maintenance of food quality after processing.
    (b) Establishment means an economic unit, generally at a single 
physical location where business is conducted or where service or 
industrial operations are performed (for example, a factory, mill, 
store, mine, farm, sales office, or warehouse). (Note: This is the same 
definition used in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1972 
edition).
    (c) Essential Agricultural Use Establishment means any 
Establishment, or the portion of an Establishment, which performs (or 
has the capability to perform) activities specified in Sec. 2900.3.
    (d) Current Natural Gas Requirements means the amount of natural gas 
required by an Essential Agricultural Use Establishment to perform the 
activities devoted to full food and fiber production.

(Pub. L. 95-621, Nov. 8, 1979, 92 Stat. 3350, 15 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.)

[44 FR 28786, May 17, 1979, as amended at 46 FR 47216, Sept. 25, 1981]



Sec. 2900.3  Essential agricultural uses.

    For purposes of Section 401(c) of the NGPA the following classes or 
portions of classes are certified as essential agricultural uses in 
order to meet the requirements of full food and fiber production:

                       Essential Agricultural Uses

                Industry SIC No. and Industry Description

                    Food and Natural Fiber Production

    01  Agricultural Production--Crops
    02  Agricultural Production--Livestock Excluding 0272--Horses and 
Other Equines, and Nonfood Portions of 0279--Animal Specialties, Not 
Elsewhere Classified.
    0723  Crop Preparation Services for Market, Except Cotton Ginning 
(see fiber processing).
    4971  Irrigation Systems.

                  Fertilizer and Agricultural Chemicals

                    (Process and Feedstock Use Only)

    1474  Potash, Soda, and Borate Materials.
    1475  Phosphate Rock.
    1477  Sulfur.
    2819  Industrial Inorganic Chemicals, n.e.c. (Agricultural related 
only).
    2865  Cyclic Crudes and Cyclic Intermediates, Dyes and Organic 
Pigments (Agricutural related only).

[[Page 104]]

    2869  Industrial Organic Chemicals, n.e.c. (Agricutural related 
only).
    287  Agricultural Chemicals.
    2899  Chemicals and Chemical Preparations, n.e.c. (Salt--Feed grade 
only).
    3274  Lime (Agricultural lime only).

                 Food and Natural Fiber Processing-Food

    20  Food and Kindred Products Except 2047  Dog, Cat and Other Pet 
Food, and 2048  Prepared Feeds and Feed Ingredients for Animals and 
Fowls, Not Elsewhere Classified.
    2869  Industrial Organic Chemicals (Monosodium Glutamate, Food-grade 
Citric Acid and Food-grade Enzymes only).
    2899  Chemicals and Chemical Preparations, n.e.c. (Salt for food use 
only).

                         Animal Feeds, and Food

                    (Process and Feedstock Use Only)

    2047  Dog, Cat and Other Pet Food.
    2048  Prepared Feeds and Feed Ingredients for Animals and Fowls, Not 
Elsewhere Classified.

                              Natural Fiber

    0724  Cotton Ginning.
    2141  Tobacco Stemming and Redrying.
    2299  Textile Goods, n.e.c. (wool tops, combing and converting).
    3111  Leather Tanning and Finishing.

                Food Quality Maintenance--Food Packaging

    2641  Paper Coating and Glazing (food related only).
    2643  Bags, Except Textile (food related only).
    2645  Die Cut Paper and Paperboard (food related only).
    2646  Pressed and Molded Pulp Goods (food related only).
    2649  Converted Paper Products (food related only).
    2651  Folding Paperboard Boxes (food related only).
    2653  Corrugated and Solid Fiber Boxes (food related only).
    2654  Sanitary Food Containers.
    2655  Fiber Cans, Tubes, Drums, and Similar Products (food related 
only).
    3079  Miscellaneous Plastic Products (food related only).
    3221  Glass Containers (food related only).
    3411  Metal Cans (food related only).
    3412  Metal Shipping Barrels, Drums, Kegs, and Pails (food related 
only).
    3466  Metal Crowns and Closures (Food Related Only).
    3497  Metal Foil and Leaf (food related only).
    Petroleum wax, synthetic petroleum wax and polyethylene wax (food 
grade only) as food containers.

                       Marketing and Distribution

    4221  Farm Product Warehousing and Storage.
    4222  Refrigerated Warehousing.
    514  Groceries and Related Products.
    5153  Farm Product Raw Materials--Grain.
    54  Food Stores.

                            Energy Production

    (1) Agricultural production on set-aside acreage or acreage diverted 
from the production of a commodity (as provided under the Agricultural 
Act of 1949) to be devoted to the production of any commodity for 
conversion into alcohol or hydrocarbons for use as motor fuel or other 
fuels;
    (2) Sugar refining for production of alcohol; and
    (3) Distillation of fuel-grade alcohol from food grains and other 
biomass by facilities in existence on June 30, 1980 which do not have 
the installed capability to burn coal lawfully, for a period ending June 
29, 1985.

(Pub. L. 95-621, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3350; 15 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.)

[44 FR 28786, May 17, 1979, as amended at 45 FR 5298, Jan. 23, 1980; 45 
FR 45887, 45888, July 8, 1980; 45 FR 50550, July 30, 1980; 47 FR 25320, 
June 11, 1982; 48 FR 43670, Sept. 26, 1983; 49 FR 37733, Sept. 26, 1984]



Sec. 2900.4  Natural gas requirements.

    For purposes of Section 401(c), NGPA, the natural gas requirements 
for each Essential Agricultural Use Establishment, whether such 
Essential Agricultural Use Establishment is in existence on the 
effective date of this rule or comes into existence thereafter, are 
certified to be 100 percent of Current Natural Gas Requirements.



Sec. 2900.6  Effective date.

    This rule shall become effective on May 14, 1979.



PART 2901_ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR ADJUSTMENTS OF NATURAL GAS
CURTAILMENT PRIORITY--Table of Contents



Sec.
2901.1  Purpose and scope.
2901.2  Definitions.
2901.3  Oral presentation.
2901.4  Interpretations.
2901.5  Modifications and rescissions.
2901.6  Exceptions and exemptions.
2901.7  Review of denials.
2901.8  Judicial review.
2901.9  Effective date.


[[Page 105]]


    Authority: Secs. 502, 507. Pub. L. 95-621, 92 Stat. 3397, 3405, Nov. 
9, 1978.

    Source: 44 FR 55803, Sept. 28, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 2901.1  Purpose and scope.

    The purpose of this part 2901 is to provide procedures for the 
making of certain adjustments to the Secretary of Agriculture's 
Essential Agricultural Uses and Requirements regulations in accordance 
with section 502(c) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, in order to 
prevent special hardship, inequity, or an unfair distribution of 
burdens. The procedures in this part 2901 apply to any person seeking an 
interpretation of, modification of, rescission of, exception of, or 
exemption from the Essential Agricultural Uses and Requirements 
regulations in part 2900 of this chapter.



Sec. 2901.2  Definitions.

    (a) Person means any individual, firm, sole proprietorship, 
partnership, association, company, joint venture or corporation.
    (b) Director means the Director of the Office of Energy, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture.
    (c) Secretary means the Secretary of the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture.
    (d) Adjustment means an interpretation, modification, rescission of, 
exception to or exemption from the Essential Agricultural Uses and 
Requirements regulations, part 2900 of this chapter.
    (e) NGPA means the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-621.
    (f) Petitioner means any person seeking an adjustment under this 
part 2901.



Sec. 2901.3  Oral presentation.

    Any person seeking an adjustment under this part 2901 shall be given 
an opportunity to make an oral presentation of data, views and arguments 
in support of the request for an adjustment, provided that a request to 
make an oral presentation is submitted in writing with the request for 
the adjustment. An official of the Department of Agriculture shall 
preside at such oral presentation.



Sec. 2901.4  Interpretations.

    (a) Request for an interpretation. (1) Any person seeking an 
interpretation of the Essential Agricultural Uses and Requirements 
regulations in part 2900 shall file a formal written request with the 
Director. The request should contain a full and complete statement of 
all relevant facts pertaining to the circumstances, act or transaction 
that is the subject of the request and to the action sought, and should 
state the special hardship, inequity, or unfair distribution of burdens 
that will be prevented by the interpretation sought and why the 
interpretation is consistent with the purposes of NGPA. The Director 
shall publish a notice in the Federal Register advising the public that 
a request for an interpretation has been received and that written 
comments will be accepted with respect thereto, if received within 20 
days of the notice. The Federal Register notice will provide that copies 
of the request for interpretation from which confidential information 
has been deleted in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section may 
be obtained from the petitioner.
    (2) If the petitioner wishes to claim confidential treatment for any 
information contained in the request or other documents submitted under 
this part 2901, such person shall file together with the document a 
second copy of the document from which has been deleted the information 
for which such person wishes to claim confidential treatment. The 
petitioner shall indicate in the original document that it is 
confidential or contains confidential information and may file a 
statement specifying the justification for non-disclosure of the 
information for which non-disclosure is sought. The Director shall 
consider such requests, and subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 
U.S.C. 552 and other applicable laws and regulations, shall treat such 
information as confidential.
    (b) Investigations. The Director may initiate an investigation of 
any statement in a request and utilize in his evaluation any relevant 
facts obtained in such investigation. The Director may accept 
submissions from third persons relevant to any request for 
interpretation provided that the petitioner

[[Page 106]]

is afforded an opportunity to respond to all such submissions. In 
evaluating a request for interpretation, the Director may consider any 
other source of information.
    (c) Applicability. Any interpretation issued hereunder shall be 
issued on the basis of the information provided on the request, as 
supplemented by other information brought to the attention of the 
Director during the consideration of the request. The interpretation 
shall, therefore, depend for its authority on the accuracy of the 
factual statement and may be relied upon only to the extent that the 
facts of the actual situation correspond to those upon which the 
interpretation was based.
    (d) Issuance of an interpretation. Upon consideration of the request 
for interpretation and other relevant information received or obtained 
by the Director, the Director may issue a written interpretation. A copy 
of the written interpretation shall be provided to FERC and the 
Secretary of Energy. Notice of the issuance of the written 
interpretation shall be published in the Federal Register. The granting 
of a request for issuance of an interpretation shall be considered final 
agency action for purposes of judicial review under Sec. 2901.8.
    (e) Denial of an interpretation. An interpretation shall be 
considered denied for purpose of review of such denial under Sec. 2901.7 
only if:
    (1) The Director notifies the petitioner in writing that the request 
is denied and that an interpretation will not be issued; or
    (2) The Director does not respond to a request for an 
interpretation, by (i) issuing an interpretation, or (ii) giving notice 
of when an interpretation will be issued within 45 days of the date of 
receipt of the request, or within such extended time as the Director may 
prescribe by written notice within the 45-day period.
    (f) For purposes of this part 2901 the word interpretation shall not 
be deemed to include a simple clarification of an actual or purported 
ambiguity in part 2900. The Director reserves the right to determine 
whether a request involves simple clarification and shall advise the 
requester of his decision.



Sec. 2901.5  Modifications and rescissions.

    (a) Request for modification or rescission. (1) Any person seeking a 
modification or a rescission of the Essential Agricultural Uses and 
Requirements regulations of part 2900 shall file a formal written 
request with the Director. The request shall contain a full and complete 
statement of all relevant facts pertaining to the circumstance, act or 
transaction that is the subject of the request and to the action sought. 
The request should state the special hardship, inequity or unfair 
distribution of burdens that will be prevented by making the 
modification or rescission.
    (2) If the petitioner wishes to claim confidential treatment for any 
information contained in the request or other documents submitted under 
this part 2901, such person shall file together with the document a 
second copy of the document from which has been deleted the information 
for which such person wishes to claim confidential treatment. The 
petitioner shall indicate in the original document that it is 
confidential or contains confidential information and may file a 
statement specifying the justification for non-disclosure of the 
information for which non-disclosure is sought. The Director shall 
consider such requests, and subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 
U.S.C. 552 and other applicable laws and regulations, shall treat such 
information as confidential.
    (3) The request shall be filed as a petition for rulemaking and 
treated in accordance with the procedures, as applicable, of 7 CFR part 
1, subpart B.
    (b) Institution of rulemaking. Upon consideration of the request for 
modification or rescission and other relevant information received or 
obtained by the Director, the Director may institute rulemaking 
proceedings in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act 5 
U.S.C. 551 et seq. and applicable regulations.
    (c) Denial of a modification or rescission. If the Director (1) 
denies the request for modification or rescission in writing by 
notifying the petitioner that he does not intend to institute rulemaking 
proceedings as proposed and stating the reasons therefor, or (2) does 
not respond to a request for a

[[Page 107]]

modification or rescission in accordance with paragraph (b) of this 
section or (3) notifies the petitioner in writing that the matter is 
under continuing consideration and that no decision can be made at that 
time because of the inadequacy of available information, changing 
circumstances or other reasons as set forth therein, within 45 days of 
the date of the receipt thereof, or within such extended time as the 
Director may prescribe by written notice within that 45-day period, the 
request shall be considered denied for the purpose of review of such 
denial under Sec. 2901.7.



Sec. 2901.6  Exceptions and exemptions.

    (a) Request for exception or exemption. (1) Any person seeking an 
exception or exemption from the Essential Agricultural Uses and 
Requirements regulations in part 2900 shall file a formal written 
request with the Director. The request shall contain a full and complete 
statement of all relevant facts pertaining to the circumstance, act, or 
transaction that is the subject of the request and to the action sought. 
The request should state the special hardship, inequity or unfair 
distribution of burdens that will be prevented by making the exception 
or exemption. The Director shall publish a notice in the Federal 
Register advising the public that a request for an exception or 
exemption has been received and that written comments will be accepted 
with respect thereto if received within 20 days of the notice. The 
Federal Register notice will provide that copies of the request from 
which confidential information has been deleted in accordance with 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section may be obtained from the petitioner. 
The Petitioner shall be afforded an opportunity to respond to such 
submissions.
    (2) If the petitioner wishes to claim confidential treatment for any 
information contained in the request or other documents submitted under 
this part 2901, such person shall file together with the document a 
second copy of the document from which has been deleted the information 
for which such person wishes to claim confidential treatment. The 
petitioner shall indicate in the original document that it is 
confidential or contains confidential information and may file a 
statement specifying the justification for non-disclosure of the 
information for which non-disclosure is sought. The Director shall 
consider such requests, and subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 
U.S.C. 552 and other applicable laws and regulations, shall treat such 
information as confidential.
    (b) Decision and order. Upon consideration of the request for an 
exception or exemption and other relevant information received or 
obtained during the proceedings, the Director shall issue an order 
granting or denying the request. The Director shall publish a notice in 
the Federal Register of the issuance of a decision and order on the 
request. The granting of a request for an exception or exemption shall 
be considered final agency action for purposes of judicial review under 
Sec. 2901.8.
    (c) Denial of an exception or exemption. A request for an exception 
or exemption shall be considered denied for purposes of review of such 
denial under Sec. 2901.7 only if:
    (1) The Director has notified the petitioner in writing that the 
request is denied under paragraph (b) of this section; or
    (2) The Director does not respond to a request for an exception or 
exemption by (i) granting the request for an exception or exemption 
under paragraph (b) of this section or (ii) giving notice of when a 
decision will be made within 45 days of the receipt of the request, or 
with such extended time as the Director may prescribe by written notice 
within the 45-day period.



Sec. 2901.7  Review of denials.

    (a) Request for review. (1) Any person aggrieved or adversely 
affected by a denial of a request for any interpretation under 
Sec. 2901.4 may request a review of the denial by the Secretary, within 
30 days from the date of the denial.
    (2) Any person aggrieved or adversely affected by a denial of a 
request for a modification or rescission under Sec. 2901.5, may request 
a review of the denial by the Secretary within 30 days from the date of 
the denial.
    (3) Any person aggrieved or adversely affected by a denial of a 
request for an exception or an exemption under

[[Page 108]]

Sec. 2901.6, may request a review of the denial by the Secretary within 
30 days from the date of the denial.
    (b) Procedures. Any request for review under Sec. 2901.7(a) shall be 
in writing and shall set forth the specific ground upon which the 
request is based. There is no final agency action for purposes of 
judicial review under Sec. 2901.8 until that request has been acted 
upon. If the request for review has not been acted upon within 30 days 
after it is received, the request shall be deemed to have been denied. 
That denial shall then constitute final agency action for the purpose of 
judicial review under Sec. 2901.8.



Sec. 2901.8  Judicial review.

    Any person aggrieved or adversely affected by a final agency action 
taken on a request for an adjustment under this section may obtain 
judicial review in accordance with section 506 of the Natural Gas Policy 
Act of 1978.



Sec. 2901.9  Effective date.

    This rule shall become effective on October 29, 1979.

                          PART 2902 [RESERVED]



PART 2903_BIODIESEL FUEL EDUCATION PROGRAM--Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
2903.1  Applicability of regulations.
2903.2  Purpose of the program.
2903.3  Eligibility.
2903.4  Indirect costs.
2903.5  Matching requirements.

                      Subpart B_Program Description

2903.6  Project types.
2903.7  Project objectives.

                 Subpart C_Preparation of an Application

2903.8  Program application materials.
2903.9  Content of an application.
2903.10  Submission of an application.
2903.11  Acknowledgment of applications.

               Subpart D_Application Review and Evaluation

2903.12  Application review.
2903.13  Evaluation criteria.
2903.14  Conflicts of interest and confidentiality.

                     Subpart E_Award Administration

2903.15  General.
2903.16  Organizational management information.
2903.17  Award document and notice of award.

                   Subpart F_Supplementary Information

2903.18  Access to review information.
2903.19  Use of funds; changes.
2903.20  Reporting requirements.
2903.21  Applicable Federal statutes and regulations.
2903.22  Confidential aspects of applications and awards.
2903.23  Definitions.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8104; 5 U.S.C. 301.

    Source: 68 FR 56139, Sept. 30, 2003, unless otherwise noted.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 2903.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part only apply to Biodiesel Fuel 
Education Program grants awarded under the provisions of section 9004 of 
the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA) (7 U.S.C. 
8104) which authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to 
eligible entities to educate governmental and private entities that 
operate vehicle fleets, other interested entities (as determined by the 
Secretary), and the public about the benefits of biodiesel fuel use. 
Eligibility is limited to nonprofit organizations and institutions of 
higher education (as defined in sec. 101 of the Higher Education Act of 
1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that have demonstrated both knowledge of 
biodiesel fuel production, use, or distribution and the ability to 
conduct educational and technical support programs. The Secretary 
delegated this authority to the Chief Economist, who in turn delegated 
this authority to the Director of OEPNU.
    (b) The regulations of this part do not apply to grants awarded by 
the Department of Agriculture under any other authority.



Sec. 2903.2  Purpose of the program.

    The Biodiesel Fuel Education Program seeks to familiarize public and

[[Page 109]]

private vehicle fleet operators, other interested entities, and the 
public, with the benefits of biodiesel, a relatively new fuel option in 
the United States. It will also address concerns previously identified 
by fleet operators and other potential users of this alternative fuel, 
including the need to balance the positive environmental, social and 
human health impacts of biodiesel utilization with the increased per 
gallon cost to the user. It is the Program's goal to stimulate biodiesel 
demand and encourage the further development of a biodiesel industry in 
the United States.



Sec. 2903.3  Eligibility.

    (a) Eligibility is limited to nonprofit organizations and 
institutions of higher education that have demonstrated both knowledge 
of biodiesel fuel production, use, or distribution and the ability to 
conduct educational and technical support programs.
    (b) Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible 
to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of 
the project.



Sec. 2903.4  Indirect costs.

    (a) For the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, applicants should use 
the current indirect cost rate negotiated with the cognizant Federal 
negotiating agency. Indirect costs may not exceed the negotiated rate. 
If no indirect cost rate has been negotiated, a reasonable dollar amount 
for indirect costs may be requested, which will be subject to approval 
by USDA. In the latter case, if a proposal is recommended for funding, 
an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted prior to award to 
support the amount of indirect costs requested.
    (b) A proposer may elect not to charge indirect costs and, instead, 
charge only direct costs to grant funds. Grantees electing this 
alternative will not be allowed to charge, as direct costs, indirect 
costs that otherwise would be in the grantee's indirect cost pool under 
the applicable Office of Management and Budget cost principles. Grantees 
who request no indirect costs will not be permitted to revise their 
budgets at a later date to charge indirect costs to grant funds.



Sec. 2903.5  Matching requirements.

    There are no matching funds requirements for the Biodiesel Fuel 
Education Program and matching resources will not be factored into the 
review process as evaluation criteria.



                      Subpart B_Program Description



Sec. 2903.6  Project types.

    OEPNU intends to award continuation grants to successful Biodiesel 
Fuel Education Program applicants. A continuation grant is a grant 
instrument by which the Department agrees to support a specified level 
of effort for a predetermined project period with a statement of 
intention to provide additional support at a future date, provided that 
performance has been satisfactory, appropriations are available for this 
purpose, and continued government support would be in the best interest 
of the Federal government and the public. If these three elements are 
met, OEPNU plans to provide additional support to the funded project(s).



Sec. 2903.7  Project objectives.

    (a) Successful projects will develop practical indicators or 
milestones to measure their progress towards achieving the following 
objectives:
    (1) Enhance current efforts to collect and disseminate biodiesel 
information;
    (2) Coordinate with other biodiesel educational or promotional 
programs, and with Federal, State and local programs aimed at 
encouraging biodiesel use, including the EPAct program;
    (3) Create a nationwide networking system that delivers biodiesel 
information to targeted audiences, including users, distributors and 
other infrastructure-related personnel;
    (4) Identify and document the benefits of biodiesel (e.g., lifecycle 
costing); and
    (5) Gather data pertaining to information gaps and develop 
strategies to address the gaps.
    (b) [Reserved]

[[Page 110]]



                 Subpart C_Preparation of an Application



Sec. 2903.8  Program application materials.

    OEPNU will publish periodic program announcements to notify 
potential applicants of the availability of funds for competitive 
continuation grants. The program announcement will provide information 
about obtaining program application materials.



Sec. 2903.9  Content of an application.

    (a) Applications should be prepared following the guidelines and the 
instructions in the program announcement. At a minimum, applications 
shall include: a proposal cover page, project summary, project 
description, information about key personnel, documentation of 
collaborative arrangements, information about potential conflicts-of-
interest, budget forms and a budget narrative, information about current 
and pending support, and assurance statements.
    (b) Proper preparation of applications will assist reviewers in 
evaluating the merits of each application in a systematic, consistent 
fashion. Specific instructions regarding additional application content 
requirements and the ordering of application contents will be included 
in the program announcement. These will include instructions about paper 
size, margins, font type and size, line spacing, page numbering, the 
inclusion of illustrations, and electronic submission.



Sec. 2903.10  Submission of an application.

    The program announcement will provide the deadline date for 
submitting an application, the number of copies of each application that 
must be submitted, and the address to which proposals must be submitted.



Sec. 2903.11  Acknowledgment of applications.

    The receipt of all applications will be acknowledged. Applicants who 
do not receive an acknowledgment within 60 days of the submission 
deadline should contact the program contact indicated on the program 
announcement. Once the application has been assigned a proposal number, 
that number should be cited on all future correspondence.



               Subpart D_Application Review and Evaluation



Sec. 2903.12  Application review.

    (a) Reviewers will include government and non-government 
individuals. All reviewers will be selected based upon training and 
experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, 
taking into account the following factors:
    (1) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or 
extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which 
an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension 
activities; and
    (2) The need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of 
specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension 
fields.
    (b) In addition, when selecting non-government reviewers, the 
following factors will be considered:
    (1) The need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, 
range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess 
relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program 
needs;
    (2) The need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of 
organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and 
Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and 
geographic locations;
    (3) The need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with 
regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age 
distribution; and
    (4) The need to include reviewers who can judge the effective 
usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.
    (c) Authorized departmental officers will compile application 
reviews and recommend awards to OEPNU. OEPNU will make final award 
decisions.



Sec. 2903.13  Evaluation criteria.

    (a) The following evaluation criteria will be used in reviewing 
applications submitted for the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program:

[[Page 111]]

    (1) Relevance of proposed project to current and future issues 
related to the production, use, distribution, fuel quality, and fuel 
properties of biodiesel, including:
    (i) Demonstrated knowledge about markets, state initiatives, impacts 
on local economies, regulatory issues, standards, and technical issues;
    (ii) Demonstrated knowledge about issues associated with developing 
a biodiesel infrastructure; and
    (iii) Quality and extent of stakeholder involvement in planning and 
accomplishment of program objectives.
    (2) Reasonableness of project proposal, including:
    (i) Sufficiency of scope and strategies to provide a consistent 
message in keeping with existing standards and regulations;
    (ii) Adequacy of Project Description, suitability and feasibility of 
methodology to develop and implement program;
    (iii) Clarity of objectives, milestones, and indicators of progress;
    (iv) Adequacy of plans for reporting, assessing and monitoring 
results over project's duration; and
    (v) Demonstration of feasibility, and probability of success.
    (3) Technical quality of proposed project, including:
    (i) Suitability and qualifications of key project personnel;
    (ii) Institutional experience and competence in providing 
alternative fuel education, including:
    (A) Demonstrated knowledge about programs involved in alternative 
fuel research and education;
    (B) Demonstrated knowledge about other fuels, fuel additives, engine 
performance, fuel quality and fuel emissions;
    (C) Demonstrated knowledge about Federal, State and local programs 
aimed at encouraging alternative fuel use;
    (D) Demonstrated ability in providing educational programs and 
developing technical programs; and
    (E) Demonstrated ability to analyze technical information relevant 
to the biodiesel industry.
    (iii) Adequacy of available or obtainable resources; and
    (iv) Quality of plans to administer and maintain the project, 
including collaborative efforts, evaluation and monitoring efforts.
    (b) [Reserved]



Sec. 2903.14  Conflicts of interest and confidentiality.

    (a) During the peer evaluation process, extreme care will be taken 
to prevent any actual or perceived conflicts of interest that may impact 
review or evaluation. Determinations of conflicts of interest will be 
based on the academic and administrative autonomy of an institution. The 
program announcement will specify the methodology for determining such 
autonomy.
    (b) Names of submitting institutions and individuals, as well as 
application content and peer evaluations, will be kept confidential, 
except to those involved in the review process, to the extent permitted 
by law. In addition, the identities of peer reviewers will remain 
confidential throughout the entire review process. Therefore, the names 
of the reviewers will not be released to applicants. At the end of the 
fiscal year, names of reviewers will be made available in such a way 
that the reviewers cannot be identified with the review of any 
particular application.



                     Subpart E_Award Administration



Sec. 2903.15  General.

    Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the Authorized 
Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, 
eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under 
the procedures set forth in this part. The date specified by the ADO as 
the effective date of the grant shall be no later than September 30 of 
the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved for support and 
funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless otherwise permitted by 
law. It should be noted that the project need not be initiated on the 
grant effective date, but as soon thereafter as practical so that 
project goals may be attained within the funded project period. All 
funds granted by OEPNU under this program shall be expended solely for 
the purpose for which the funds are granted in accordance

[[Page 112]]

with the approved application and budget, the regulations of this part, 
the terms and conditions of the award, the applicable Federal cost 
principles, and the applicable Department assistance regulations 
(including part 3019 of this title).



Sec. 2903.16  Organizational management information.

    Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be 
submitted on a one-time basis as part of the responsibility 
determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this 
program, if such information has not been provided previously. Copies of 
forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements will be 
provided as part of the preaward process.



Sec. 2903.17  Award document and notice of award.

    (a) The award document will provide pertinent instructions and 
information including, at a minimum, the following:
    (1) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution 
to whom OEPNU has issued an award under this program;
    (2) Title of project;
    (3) Name(s) and institution(s) of PDs chosen to direct and control 
approved activities;
    (4) Identifying award number assigned by the Department;
    (5) Project period;
    (6) Total amount of Departmental financial assistance approved by 
OEPNU during the project period;
    (7) Legal authority(ies) under which the award is issued;
    (8) Appropriate Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 
number;
    (9) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds to 
accomplish the stated purpose of the award; and
    (10) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by OEPNU and 
the Authorized Departmental Officer to carry out the awarding activities 
or to accomplish the purpose of a particular award.
    (b) [Reserved]



                   Subpart F_Supplementary Information



Sec. 2903.18  Access to review information.

    Copies of reviews, not including the identity of reviewers, and a 
summary of the comments will be sent to the applicant PD after the 
review process has been completed.



Sec. 2903.19  Use of funds; changes.

    (a) Delegation of fiscal responsibility. Unless the terms and 
conditions of the award state otherwise, the awardee may not in whole or 
in part delegate or transfer to another person, institution, or 
organization the responsibility for use or expenditure of award funds.
    (b) Changes in project plans. (1) The permissible changes by the 
awardee, PD(s), or other key project personnel in the approved project 
shall be limited to changes in methodology, techniques, or other similar 
aspects of the project to expedite achievement of the project's approved 
goals. If the awardee or the PD(s) is uncertain as to whether a change 
complies with this provision, the question must be referred to the 
Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) for a final determination. The ADO 
is the signatory of the award document, not the program contact.
    (2) Changes in approved goals or objectives shall be requested by 
the awardee and approved in writing by the ADO prior to effecting such 
changes. In no event shall requests for such changes be approved which 
are outside the scope of the original approved project.
    (3) Changes in approved project leadership or the replacement or 
reassignment of other key project personnel shall be requested by the 
awardee and approved in writing by the ADO prior to effecting such 
changes.
    (4) Transfers of actual performance of the substantive programmatic 
work in whole or in part and provisions for payment of funds, whether or 
not Federal funds are involved, shall be requested by the awardee and 
approved in writing by the ADO prior to effecting such transfers, unless 
prescribed otherwise in the terms and conditions of the award.
    (5) Changes in project period. The project period may be extended by

[[Page 113]]

OEPNU without additional financial support, for such additional 
period(s) as the ADO determines may be necessary to complete or fulfill 
the purposes of an approved project, but in no case shall the total 
project period exceed five years. Any extension of time shall be 
conditioned upon prior request by the awardee and approval in writing by 
the ADO, unless prescribed otherwise in the terms and conditions of 
award.
    (6) Changes in approved budget. Changes in an approved budget must 
be requested by the awardee and approved in writing by the ADO prior to 
instituting such changes if the revision will involve transfers or 
expenditures of amounts requiring prior approval as set forth in the 
applicable Federal cost principles, Departmental regulations, or award.



Sec. 2903.20  Reporting requirements.

    The award document will give instructions regarding the submission 
of progress reports, including the frequency and required contents of 
the reports.



Sec. 2903.21  Applicable Federal statutes and regulations.

    Several Federal statutes and regulations apply to grant applications 
considered for review and to project grants awarded under this program. 
These include, but are not limited to:
    7 CFR Part 1, subpart A--USDA implementation of the Freedom of 
Information Act.
    7 CFR Part 3--USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129 
regarding debt collection.
    7 CFR Part 15, subpart A--USDA implementation of Title VI of the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
    7 CFR Part 3017--USDA implementation of Governmentwide Debarment and 
Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-
Free Workplace (Grants).
    7 CFR Part 3018--USDA implementation of Restrictions on Lobbying. 
Imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification 
related to lobbying on recipients of Federal contracts, grants, 
cooperative agreements, and loans.
    7 CFR Part 3019--USDA implementation of OMB Circular A-110, Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements With 
Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit 
Organizations.
    7 CFR Part 3052--USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-133, 
Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations. 29 
U.S.C. 794 (sec. 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR part 15b 
(USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting discrimination based upon 
physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs. 35 U.S.C. 
200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights to 
inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted 
programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).



Sec. 2903.22  Confidential aspects of applications and awards.

    When an application results in an award, it becomes a part of the 
record of USDA transactions, available to the public upon specific 
request. Information that the Secretary determines to be of a 
confidential, privileged, or proprietary nature will be held in 
confidence to the extent permitted by law. Therefore, any information 
that the applicant wishes to have considered as confidential, 
privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked within the 
application. The original copy of an application that does not result in 
an award will be retained by the Agency for a period of one year. Other 
copies will be destroyed. Such an application will be released only with 
the consent of the applicant or to the extent required by law. An 
application may be withdrawn at any time prior to the final action 
thereon.



Sec. 2903.23  Definitions.

    For the purpose of this program, the following definitions are 
applicable:
    Authorized departmental officer or ADO means the Secretary or any 
employee of the Department who has the authority to issue or modify 
grant instruments on behalf of the Secretary.

[[Page 114]]

    Authorized organizational representative or AOR means the president 
or chief executive officer of the applicant organization or the 
official, designated by the president or chief executive officer of the 
applicant organization, who has the authority to commit the resources of 
the organization.
    Biodiesel means a monoalkyl ester that meets the requirements of an 
appropriate American Society for Testing and Materials Standard.
    Budget period means the interval of time (usually 12 months) into 
which the project period is divided for budgetary and reporting 
purposes.
    Department or USDA means the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    Education activity means an act or process that imparts knowledge or 
skills through formal or informal training and outreach.
    Grant means the award by the Secretary of funds to an eligible 
recipient for the purpose of conducting the identified project.
    Grantee means the organization designated in the award document as 
the responsible legal entity to which a grant is awarded.
    Institution of higher education, as defined in sec. 101 of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001), means an educational 
institution in any State that:
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education;
    (3) Provides an educational program for which the institution awards 
a bachelor's degree or provides not less than a two-year program that is 
acceptable for full credit toward such a degree;
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association, or if not so accredited, is an institution that has been 
granted preaccreditation status by such an agency or association that 
has been recognized by the Secretary of Education for the granting of 
preaccreditation status, and the Secretary of Education has determined 
that there is satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet the 
accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a 
reasonable time.
    OEPNU means the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses.
    Peer review is an evaluation of a proposed project performed by 
experts with the scientific knowledge and technical skills to conduct 
the proposed work whereby the technical quality and relevance to the 
program are assessed.
    Prior approval means written approval evidencing prior consent by an 
authorized departmental officer (as defined in this section).
    Program means the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program.
    Project means the particular activity within the scope of the 
program supported by a grant award.
    Project director or PD means the single individual designated by the 
grantee in the grant application and approved by the Secretary who is 
responsible for the direction and management of the project, also known 
as a principal investigator for research activities.
    Project period means the period, as stated in the award document and 
modifications thereto, if any, during which Federal sponsorship begins 
and ends.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer 
or employee of the Department to whom the authority involved may be 
delegated.

                       PARTS 2904	2999 [RESERVED]

[[Page 115]]



   CHAPTER XXX--OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF 
                               AGRICULTURE




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Part                                                                Page
3000-3010       [Reserved]

3011            Availability of information to the public...         117
3053-3099      [Reserved]

[[Page 117]]

                       PARTS 3000	3010 [RESERVED]



PART 3011_AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC--Table of Contents



Sec.
3011.1  General statement.
3011.2  Public inspection and copying.
3011.3  Indexes.
3011.4  Initial requests for records.
3011.5  Appeals.
3011.6  Fee schedule.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301 and 522; 7 CFR 1.3.

    Source: 54 FR 51869, Dec. 19, 1989, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3011.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with 7 CFR 1.3 of the Department 
of Agriculture regulations governing the availability of records (7 CFR 
1.1-1.23 and Appendix A) under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 
552, as amended). These regulations supplement the Department's 
regulations by providing guidance for any person wishing to request 
records from the Office of Finance and Management (OFM).



Sec. 3011.2  Public inspection and copying.

    (a) Background. 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) requires each agency to maintain 
and make available for public inspection and copying certain kinds of 
records.
    (b) Procedure. To gain access to OFM records that are available for 
public inspection, contact the Freedom of Information Act Officer by 
writing to the address shown in Sec. 3011.4(b) of this title.



Sec. 3011.3  Indexes.

    5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also requires that each agency maintain and make 
available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing 
identifying information for the public with regard to any records which 
are made available for public inspection and copying. OFM does not 
maintain any materials within the scope of these requirements.



Sec. 3011.4  Initial requests for records.

    (a) Background. The Freedom of Information Act Officer is authorized 
to:
    (1) Grant or deny requests for OFM records,
    (2) Make discretionary release of OFM records when the benefit to 
the public in releasing the document outweighs any harm likely to result 
from disclosure,
    (3) Reduce or waive fees to be charged where determined to be 
appropriate.
    (b) Procedures. This part provides the titles and mailing address of 
officials who are authorized to release records to the public. The 
normal working hours of these offices are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., local 
time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, during which public 
inspection and copying of certain kinds of records is permitted. Persons 
wishing to request records from the Office of Finance and Management may 
do so by submitting each initial written request for OFM records to the 
appropriate OFM official shown below:
    (1) For records held at the Washington, DC Headquarters units, 
submit initial requests to the Freedom of Information Act Officer, 
Office of Finance and Management, USDA, 14th and Independence Ave., SW., 
Room 117-W, Administration Building, Washington, DC 20250-9000.
    (2) For records held at the National Finance Center in New Orleans, 
Louisiana, submit initial requests to the Freedom of Information Act 
Officer, National Finance Center, OFM, USDA, 13800 Old Gentilly Road, 
Building 350, (P.O. Box 60,000, New Orleans, LA 70160), New Orleans, 
Louisiana 70129.

If the requester is unable to determine the official to whom the request 
should be addressed, it should be submitted to the Headquarters Freedom 
of Information Act Officer who will refer such requests to the 
appropriate officials.



Sec. 3011.5  Appeals.

    Any person whose initial request is denied in whole or in part may 
appeal that denial, in accordance with 7 CFR 1.6(e) and 1.8, to the 
Director, Office of Finance and Management, USDA, Room 117-W, 
Administration Building, 14th and Independence Ave., Washington, DC 
20250-9000.



Sec. 3011.6  Fee schedule.

    Departmental regulations provide for a schedule of reasonable 
standard

[[Page 118]]

charges for document search and duplication. See 7 CFR 1.2(b). Fees to 
be charged are set forth in 7 CFR part 1, subpart A, Appendix A.

                       PARTS 3053	3099 [RESERVED]

[[Page 119]]



CHAPTER XXXI--OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE




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Part                                                                Page
3100            Cultural and environmental quality..........         121
3101-3199       [Reserved]

[[Page 121]]



PART 3100_CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY--Table of Contents



Subparts A-B [Reserved]

   Subpart C_Enhancement, Protection, and Management of the Cultural 
                               Environment

Sec.
3100.40  Purpose.
3100.41  Authorities.
3100.42  Definitions.
3100.43  Policy.
3100.44  Implementation.
3100.45  Direction to agencies.
3100.46  Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture.

Subparts A-B [Reserved]



   Subpart C_Enhancement, Protection, and Management of the Cultural 
                               Environment

    Authority: Sec. 106, National Historic Preservation Act, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 470f); National Environmental Policy Act, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); E.O. 11593, 36 FR 8921, May 13, 1971.

    Source: 44 FR 66181, Nov. 19, 1979, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3100.40  Purpose.

    (a) This subpart establishes USDA policy regarding the enhancement, 
protection, and management of the cultural environment.
    (b) This subpart establishes procedures for implementing Executive 
Order 11593, and regulations promulgated by the Advisory Council on 
Historic Preservation (ACHP) ``Protection of Historical and Cultural 
Properties'' in 36 CFR part 800 as required by Sec. 800.10 of those 
regulations.
    (c) Direction is provided to the agencies of USDA for protection of 
the cultural environment.



Sec. 3100.41  Authorities.

    These regulations are based upon and implement the following laws, 
regulations, and Presidential directives:
    (a) Antiquities Act of 1906 (Pub. L. 59-209; 34 Stat. 225; 16 U.S.C. 
431 et seq.) which provides for the protection of historic or 
prehistoric remains or any object of antiquity on Federal lands; 
establishes criminal sanctions for unauthorized destruction or 
appropriation of antiquities; and authorizes scientific investigation of 
antiquities on Federal lands, subject to permit and regulations. 
Paleontological resources also are considered to fall within the 
authority of this Act.
    (b) Historic Sites Act of 1935 (Pub. L. 74-292; 49 Stat. 666; 16 
U.S.C. 461 et seq.) which authorizes the establishment of National 
Historic Sites and otherwise authorizes the preservation of properties 
of national historical or archeological significance; authorizes the 
designation of National Historic Landmarks; establishes criminal 
sanctions for violation of regulations pursuant to the Act; authorizes 
interagency, intergovernmental, and interdisciplinary efforts for the 
preservation of cultural resources; and other provisions.
    (c) Reservoir Salvage Act of 1960 (Pub. L. 86-521; 74 Stat. 220; 16 
U.S.C. 469-469c.) which provides for the recovery and preservation of 
historical and archeological data, including relics and specimens, that 
might be lost or destroyed as a result of the construction of dams, 
reservoirs, and attendant facilities and activities.
    (d) The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended (16 
U.S.C. 470), which establishes positive national policy for the 
preservation of the cultural environment, and sets forth a mandate for 
protection in section 106. The purpose of section 106 is to protect 
properties on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places 
through review and comment by the ACHP of Federal undertakings that 
affect such properties. Properties are listed on the National Register 
or declared eligible for listing by the Secretary of the Interior. As 
developed through the ACHP's regulations, section 106 establishes a 
public interest process in which the Federal agency proposing an 
undertaking, the State Historic Preservation Officer, the ACHP, 
interested organizations and individuals participate. The process is 
designed to insure that properties, impacts on them, and effects to them 
are identified, and that alternatives to avoid or mitigate an adverse 
effect on property eligible for the National Register are adequately 
considered in the planning process.
    (e) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (Pub. L. 
91-190; 83

[[Page 122]]

Stat. 852; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) which declares that it is the policy 
of the Federal Government to preserve important historic, cultural, and 
natural aspects of our national heritage. Compliance with NEPA requires 
consideration of all environmental concerns during project planning and 
execution.
    (f) Executive Order 11593, ``Protection and Enhancement of the 
Cultural Environment'', which gives the Federal Government the 
responsibility for stewardship of our nation's heritage resources and 
charges Federal agencies with the task of inventorying historic and 
prehistoric sites on their lands. E.O. 11593 also charges agencies with 
the task of identifying and nominating all historic properties under 
their jurisdiction, and exercising caution to insure that they are not 
transferred, sold, demolished, or substantially altered.
    (g) Historical and Archeological Data Preservation Act of 1974. 
(Pub. L. 93-291; 88 Stat. 174.) which amends the Reservoir Salvage Act 
of 1960 to extend its provisions beyond the construction of dams to any 
alteration of the terrain caused as a result of any Federal construction 
project or federally licensed activity or program. In addition, the Act 
provides a mechanism for funding the protection of historical and 
archeological data.
    (h) Presidential memorandum of July 12, 1978, ``Environmental 
Quality and Water Resource Management'' which directs the ACHP to 
publish final regulations, implementing section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and further directs each agency with 
water and related land resources responsibilities to publish procedures 
implementing those regulations.
    (i) 36 CFR part 800, ``Protection of Historic and Cultural 
Properties'' which establishes procedures for the implementation of 
section 106 of the NHPA, and directs publication of agency implementing 
procedures.
    (j) Land use policy of the USDA (Secretary's Memorandum No. 1827 
Revised, with Supplement) which establishes a commitment by the 
Department to the preservation of farms, rural communities, and rural 
landscapes.
    (k) Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act of 1976 (40 U.S.C. 611) and 
Executive Order 12072 (Federal Space Management). The Act encourages 
adaptive use of historic buildings as administrative facilities for 
Federal agencies and activities; the Executive Order directs Federal 
agencies to locate administrative and other facilities in central 
business districts.
    (l) American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 1996) 
which declares it to be the policy of the United States to protect and 
preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to 
believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American 
Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians.



Sec. 3100.42  Definitions.

    All definitions are those which appear in 36 CFR part 800. In 
addition, the following apply in this rule:
    Cultural resources (heritage resources) are the remains or records 
of districts, sites, structures, buildings, networks, neighborhoods, 
objects, and events from the past. They may be historic, prehistoric, 
archeological, or architectural in nature. Cultural resources are an 
irreplaceable and nonrenewable aspect of our national heritage.
    Cultural environment is that portion of the environment which 
includes reminders of the rich historic and prehistoric past of our 
nation.



Sec. 3100.43  Policy.

    (a) The nonrenewable cultural environment of our country constitutes 
a valuable and treasured portion of the national heritage of the 
American people. The Department of Agriculture is committed to the 
management--identification, protection, preservation, interpretation, 
evaluation and nomination--of our prehistoric and historic cultural 
resources for the benefit of all people of this and future generations.
    (b) The Department supports the cultural resource goals expressed in 
Federal legislation. Executive orders, and regulations.
    (c) The Department supports the preservation and protection of 
farms, rural landscapes, and rural communities.
    (d) The Department is committed to consideration of the needs of 
American

[[Page 123]]

Indians, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians in the practice of their 
traditional religions.
    (e) The Department will aggressively implement these policies to 
meet goals for the positive management of the cultural environment.



Sec. 3100.44  Implementation.

    (a) It is the intent of the Department to carry out its program of 
management of the cultural environment in the most effective and 
efficient manner possible. Implementation must consider natural resource 
utilization, must exemplify good government, and must constitute a 
noninflationary approach which makes the best use of tax dollars.
    (b) The commitment to cultural resource protection is vital. That 
commitment will be balanced with the multiple departmental goals of food 
and fiber production, environmental protection, natural resource and 
energy conservation, and rural development. It is essential that all of 
these be managed to reduce conflicts between programs. Positive 
management of the cultural environment can contribute to achieving 
better land use, protection of rural communities and farm lands, 
conservation of energy, and more efficient use of resources.
    (c) In reaching decisions, the long-term needs of society and the 
irreversible nature of an action must be considered. The Department must 
act to preserve future options; loss of important cultural resources 
must be avoided except in the face of overriding national interest where 
there are no reasonable alternatives.
    (d) To assure the protection of Native American religious practices, 
traditional religious leaders and other native leaders (or their 
representatives) should be consulted about potential conflict areas in 
the management of the cultural environment and the means to reduce or 
eliminate such conflicts.



Sec. 3100.45  Direction to agencies.

    (a) Each agency of the Department shall consult with OEQ to 
determine whether its programs and activities may affect the cultural 
environment. Then, if needed, the agency, in consultation with the OEQ, 
shall develop its own specific procedures for implementing section 106 
of the National Historic Preservation Act, Executive Order 11593, the 
regulations of the ACHP (36 CFR part 800), the American Indian Religious 
Freedom Act of 1978 and other relevant legislation and regulations in 
accordance with the agency's programs, mission and authorities. Such 
implementing procedures shall be published as proposed and final 
procedures in the Federal Register, and must be consistent with the 
requirements of 36 CFR part 800 and this subpart. Where applicable, each 
agency's procedures must contain mechanisms to insure:
    (1) Compliance with section 106 of NHPA and mitigation of adverse 
effects to cultural properties on or eligible for the National Register 
of Historic Places;
    (2) Clear definition of the kind and variety of sites and properties 
which should be managed;
    (3) Development of a long-term program of management of the cultural 
environment on lands administered by USDA as well as direction for 
project-specific protection;
    (4) Identification of all properties listed on or eligible for 
listing in the National Register that may be affected directly or 
indirectly by a proposed activity;
    (5) Location, identification and nomination to the Register of all 
sites, buildings, objects, districts, neighborhoods, and networks under 
its management which appear to qualify (in compliance with E.O. 11593);
    (6) The exercise of caution to assure that properties managed by 
USDA which may qualify for nomination are not transferred, sold, 
demolished, or substantially altered;
    (7) Early consultation with, and involvement of, the State Historic 
Preservation Officer(s), the ACHP, Native American traditional religious 
leaders and appropriate tribal leaders, and others with appropriate 
interests or expertise;
    (8) Early notification to insure substantive and meaningful 
involvement by the public in the agency's decisionmaking process as it 
relates to the cultural environment;

[[Page 124]]

    (9) Identification and consideration of alternatives to a proposed 
undertaking that would mitigate or minimize adverse effects to a 
property identified under paragraph (a)(4) of this section;
    (10) Funding of mitigation measures where required to minimize the 
potential for adverse effects on the cultural environment. Funds for 
mitigation shall be available and shall be spent when needed during the 
life of the project to mitigate the expected loss; and
    (11) Development of plans to provide for the management, protection, 
maintenance and/or restoration of Register sites under its management.
    (b) Each agency of the Department which conducts programs or 
activities that may have an effect on the cultural environment shall 
recruit, place, develop, or otherwise have available, professional 
expertise in anthropology, archeology, history, historic preservation, 
historic architecture, and/or cultural resource management (depending 
upon specific need). Such arrangements may include internal hiring, 
Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignments, memoranda of agreement with 
other agencies or Departments, or other mechanisms which insure a 
professionally directed program. Agencies should use Department of the 
Interior professional standards (36 CFR 61.5) as guidelines to insure 
Departmentwide competence and consistency.
    (c) Compliance with cultural resource legislation is the 
responsibility of each individual agency. Consideration of cultural 
resource values must begin during the earliest planning stages of any 
undertaking.
    (d) Agency heads shall insure that cultural resource management 
activities meet professional standards as promulgated by the Department 
of the Interior (e.g., 36 CFR parts 60, 63, 66, 1208).
    (e) Cultural resource review requirements and compliance with 
section 106 of NHPA and Executive Order 11593 shall be integrated and 
run concurrently, rather than consecutively, with the other 
environmental considerations under NEPA regulations. As such, direct and 
indirect impacts on cultural resources must be addressed in the 
environmental assessment for every agency undertaking. In meeting these 
requirements, agencies shall be guided by regulations implementing the 
procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and Department of 
Agriculture regulations (7 CFR part 3100, subpart B).
    (f) Each agency shall work closely with the appropriate State 
Historic Preservation Officer(s) in their preparation of State plans, 
determination of inventory needs, and collection of data relevant to 
general plans or specific undertakings in carrying out mutual cultural 
resource responsibilities.
    (g) Each agency shall, to the maximum extent possible, use existing 
historic structures for administrative purposes in compliance with 
Public Buildings Cooperative Use Act of 1976 and Executive Order 12072, 
``Federal Space Management''.
    (h) Each agency should consult with Native American traditional 
religious leaders or their representatives and other native leaders in 
the development and implementation of cultural resource programs which 
may affect their religious customs and practices.



Sec. 3100.46  Responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture.

    (a) Within the Department, the responsibility for the protection of 
the cultural environment is assigned to the Office of Environmental 
Quality (OEQ). The Office is responsible for reviewing the development 
and implementation of agency procedures and insuring Departmental 
commitment to cultural resource goals.
    (b) The Director of the OEQ is the Secretary's Designee to the ACHP.
    (c) In order to carry out cultural resource responsibilities, there 
will be professional expertise within the OEQ to advise agencies, aid 
the Department in meeting its cultural resource management goals, and to 
insure that all Departmental and agency undertakings comply with 
applicable cultural resource protection legislation and regulations.
    (d) The OEQ will be involved in individual compliance cases only 
where resolution cannot be reached at the agency level. Prior to the 
decision to refer a matter to the full Council of the

[[Page 125]]

ACHP, the OEQ will review the case and make recommendations to the 
Secretary regarding the position of the Department. The agency also will 
consult with the OEQ before reaching a final decision in response to the 
Council's comments. Copies of correspondence relevant to compliance with 
Section 106 shall be made available to OEQ.

                       PARTS 3101	3199 [RESERVED]

[[Page 127]]



CHAPTER XXXII--OFFICE OF PROCUREMENT AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT 
                             OF AGRICULTURE




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Part                                                                Page
3200            Department of Agriculture guidelines for the 
                    acquisition and transfer of excess 
                    personal property.......................         129
3201            Guidelines for designating biobased products 
                    for Federal procurement.................         131
3202            Voluntary labeling program for biobased 
                    products................................         175
3203            Guidelines for the transfer of excess 
                    computers or other technical equipment 
                    pursuant to section 14220 of the 2008 
                    Farm Bill...............................         188
3204-3299       [Reserved]

[[Page 129]]



PART 3200_DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GUIDELINES FOR THE ACQUISITION
AND TRANSFER OF EXCESS PERSONAL PROPERTY--Table of Contents



Sec.
3200.1  Purpose.
3200.2  Eligibility.
3200.3  Definitions.
3200.4  Procedures.
3200.5  Dollar limitation.
3200.6  Restrictions.
3200.7  Title.
3200.8  Costs.
3200.9  Accountability and record keeping.
3200.10  Disposal.
3200.11  Liabilities and losses.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 2206a.

    Source: 63 FR 57234, Oct. 27, 1998, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3200.1  Purpose.

    This Part sets forth the procedures to be utilized by Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) in the acquisition and transfer of excess property to 
the 1890 Land Grant Institutions (including Tuskegee University), 1994 
Land Grant Institutions, and the Hispanic-Serving Institutions in 
support of research, educational, technical, and scientific activities 
or for related programs as authorized by 7 U.S.C. 2206a. Title to the 
personal property shall pass to the institution.



Sec. 3200.2  Eligibility.

    Institutions that are eligible to receive Federal excess personal 
property pursuant to the provisions of this part are the 1890 Land Grant 
Institutions (including Tuskegee University), 1994 Land Grant 
Institutions, and the Hispanic-Serving Institutions conducting research, 
educational, technical, and scientific activities or related programs.



Sec. 3200.3  Definitions.

    (a) 1890 Land grant institutions--any college or university eligible 
to receive funds under the Act of August 30, 1890 (7 U.S.C. 321 et. 
seq.), including Tuskegee University.
    (b) 1994 Land grant institutions--any of the tribal colleges or 
universities as defined in section 532 of the Equity in Educational 
Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note).
    (c) Hispanic-serving institutions--institutions of higher education 
as defined in section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
U.S.C. 1059c (b)).
    (d) Property management officer--is an authorized USDA or 
institution official responsible for property management.
    (e) Screener--is an individual designated by an eligible institution 
and authorized by the General Services Administration (GSA) to visit 
property sites for the purpose of inspecting personal property intended 
for use by the institution.
    (f) Excess personal property--is any personal property under the 
control of a Federal agency that is no longer needed.
    (g) Cannibalization--is the dismantling of equipment for parts to 
repair or enhance other equipment.



Sec. 3200.4  Procedures.

    (a) To receive information concerning the availability of Federal 
excess personal property, an eligible institution's property management 
officer may contact their regional GSA, Area Utilization Officer. For 
information on USDA excess personal property, visit the USDA Web site at 
http://www.nfc.usda.gov/propexcs. USDA excess property will first be 
screened by USDA agencies through the Departmental Excess Personal 
Property Coordinator (DEPPC) using the Departmental Property Management 
Information System.
    (b) Excess property selected by screeners of eligible institutions 
should be inspected whenever possible, or the holding agency should be 
contacted to verify the condition of the items, because interpretation 
of condition codes varies among Federal agencies.
    (c) If the condition of the item is acceptable, the institution 
should ``freeze'' (reserve) items by calling the appropriate GSA office 
or USDA Departmental Excess Personal Property Coordinator (DEPPC). Since 
GSA may have several ``freezes'' on a piece of equipment, it is critical 
that the paperwork be submitted as soon as possible. Further, while 
transfers of excess personal property normally will be approved by GSA 
on a first-come-first-serve basis, consideration will be given

[[Page 130]]

to such factors as national defense requirements, emergency needs, 
preclusion of new procurement, energy conservation, equitable 
distribution, and retention of title in the Government.
    (d) Eligible institutions may submit property requests by mail or 
fax on a Standard Form 122, ``Transfer Order Excess Personal Property''.
    (e) The SF-122 should be signed by the eligible institution's 
property management officer or authorized designee.
    (1) The following information should also be provided:
    (i) Date prepared.
    (ii) GSA/DEPPC address.
    (iii) Ordering Agency and address.
    (iv) Holding Agency and address.
    (v) Name and address of Institution.
    (vi) Location of property.
    (vii) Shipping instruction (including institution contact person and 
phone number).
    (viii) Complete description of property including original 
acquisition cost, serial number, condition code, and quantity.
    (2) This statement needs to be added following the property 
description:

    ``The property requested hereon is certified to be used in support 
of research, educational, technical, and scientific activities or for 
related programs. This transfer is requested pursuant to the provisions 
of Section 923 Pub. L. 104-127 (7 U.S.C. 2206a). Also, in accordance 
with these provisions USDA authorizes transfer of title of this property 
to the college/university/institution.''

    (f) The SF-122 should be forwarded to USDA for approval and 
signature by an authorized USDA official. As confirmation of approval, 
the eligible institution's property management officer will receive a 
stamped copy of the SF-122. If the request is disapproved, it will be 
returned to the property management officer of the eligible institution 
with an appropriate explanation. All USDA approved SF-122's will be 
forwarded to DEPPC or the appropriate GSA office for final approval.
    (g) Once the excess personal property is physically received, the 
institution is required to immediately return a copy of the SF-122 to 
USDA indicating receipt of requested items. Cancellations should also be 
reported to USDA.

    Note: USDA shall send an informational copy of all SF-122's 
transactions to GSA.

[63 FR 57234, Oct. 27, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 75107, Dec. 30, 2003]



Sec. 3200.5  Dollar limitation.

    There is no dollar limitation on excess personal property obtained 
under these procedures.



Sec. 3200.6  Restrictions.

    (a) Property in the following Federal Supply Groups are prohibited 
from transfer.

                  Ineligible Federal Supply Code Groups
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 FSC Group                              Name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
10........................................  Weapons.
11........................................  Nuclear ordinance.
13........................................  Ammunition and explosives.
14........................................  Guided missiles.
18........................................  Space vehicles.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) The property in the FSC's listed below are discouraged from 
transfer and not approved on a routine basis. However, Institutions may 
request items in these FSC groups, but all requests will be referred to 
the Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management for 
consideration and approval:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 FSC Group                              Name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
15........................................  Aircraft and airframe
                                             structural components.
16........................................  Aircraft components and
                                             accessories.
17........................................  Aircraft launching, landing
                                             and ground handling
                                             equipment.
20........................................  Ship and marine equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) Excess personal property may be transferred for the purpose of 
cannibalization, provided the eligible institution submits a supporting 
statement which clearly indicates that cannibalizing the requested 
property for secondary use has greater benefit than utilization of the 
item in its existing form.
    (d) Use of the procedures in this part for the purpose of 
stockpiling of excess personal property for future cannibalization is 
prohibited. Transfer requests for the purpose of cannibalization will be 
considered, but are normally subordinate to requests for complete items.

[63 FR 57234, Oct. 27, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 75107, Dec. 30, 2003]

[[Page 131]]



Sec. 3200.7  Title.

    Title to excess personal property obtained under Part 3200 will 
automatically pass to the 1890 Land Grant Institutions (including 
Tuskegee University), 1994 Land Grant Institutions, and the Hispanic-
Serving Institutions once USDA receives the SF-122 indicating that the 
institution has received the property. Note: When competing Federal 
claims are made for particular items of excess personal property held by 
agencies other than USDA, with or without payment of reimbursement, GSA 
will give preference to the Federal agency that will retain title in the 
Government.



Sec. 3200.8  Costs.

    Excess personal property obtained under this part is provided free 
of charge. However, the institution must pay all costs associated with 
packaging and transportation. The institution should specify the method 
of shipment on the SF-122.



Sec. 3200.9  Accountability and record keeping.

    USDA requires that Federal excess personal property received by an 
eligible institution pursuant to this part shall be placed into use for 
a research, educational, technical, or scientific activity, or for a 
related purpose, within 1 year of receipt of the property, and used for 
such purpose for at least 1 year thereafter. The institution's property 
management officer must establish and maintain accountable records 
identifying the property's location, description, utilization and value. 
To ensure that the excess personal property is being used for its 
intended purpose under this part, compliance reviews will be conducted 
by an authorized representative of USDA. The review will include site 
visit inspections of the property and the accountability and record 
keeping systems.



Sec. 3200.10  Disposal.

    Once the requirements in Sec. 3200.9 are met for retention and use 
of property by the Institution and title is transferred, Federal excess 
personal property (FEPP) no longer needed by an Institution will be 
disposed of in accordance with the Institution's disposal practices. 
Regardless of ownership, FEPP must never be disposed of in any manner 
which is detrimental or dangerous to public health or safety. Also, any 
costs incurred during the disposal process are the responsibility of the 
Institution.

[68 FR 75108, Dec. 30, 2003]



Sec. 3200.11  Liabilities and losses.

    USDA assumes no liability with respect to accidents, bodily injury, 
illness, or any other damages or loss related to excess personal 
property transferred under this part.



PART 3201_GUIDELINES FOR DESIGNATING BIOBASED PRODUCTS FOR FEDERAL
PROCUREMENT--Table of Contents



                            Subpart A_General

Sec.
3201.1  Purpose and scope.
3201.2  Definitions.
3201.3  Applicability to Federal procurements.
3201.4  Procurement programs.
3201.5  Category designation.
3201.6  Providing product information to Federal agencies.
3201.7  Determining biobased content.
3201.8  Determining price, environmental and health benefits, and 
          performance.
3201.9  [Reserved]

Subpart B_Designated Product Categories and Intermediate Ingredients or 
                               Feedstocks

3201.10  Mobile equipment hydraulic fluids.
3201.11  Roof coatings.
3201.12  Water tank coatings.
3201.13  Diesel fuel additives.
3201.14  Penetrating lubricants.
3201.15  Bedding, bed linens, and towels.
3201.16  Adhesive and mastic removers.
3201.17  Plastic insulating foam for residential and commercial 
          construction.
3201.18  Hand cleaners and sanitizers.
3201.19  Composite panels.
3201.20  Fluid-filled transformers.
3201.21  Disposable containers.
3201.22  Fertilizers.
3201.23  Sorbents.
3201.24  Graffiti and grease removers.
3201.25  2-Cycle engine oils.
3201.26  Lip care products.
3201.27  Films.
3201.28  Stationary equipment hydraulic fluids.
3201.29  Disposable cutlery.
3201.30  Glass cleaners.

[[Page 132]]

3201.31  Greases.
3201.32  Dust suppressants.
3201.33  Carpets.
3201.34  Carpet and upholstery cleaners.
3201.35  Bathroom and spa cleaners.
3201.36  Concrete and asphalt release fluids.
3201.37  General purpose de-icers.
3201.38  Firearm lubricants.
3201.39  Floor strippers.
3201.40  Laundry products.
3201.41  Metalworking fluids.
3201.42  Wood and concrete sealers.
3201.43  Chain and cable lubricants.
3201.44  Corrosion preventatives.
3201.45  Food cleaners.
3201.46  Forming lubricants.
3201.47  Gear lubricants.
3201.48  General purpose household cleaners.
3201.49  Industrial cleaners.
3201.50  Multipurpose cleaners.
3201.51  Parts wash solutions.
3201.52  Disposable tableware.
3201.53  Expanded polystyrene foam recycling products.
3201.54  Heat transfer fluids.
3201.55  Ink removers and cleaners.
3201.56  Mulch and compost materials.
3201.57  Multipurpose lubricants.
3201.58  [Reserved]
3201.59  Topical pain relief products.
3201.60  Turbine drip oils.
3201.61  Animal repellents.
3201.62  Bath products.
3201.63  Bioremediation materials.
3201.64  Compost activators and accelerators.
3201.65  Concrete and asphalt cleaners.
3201.66  Cuts, burns, and abrasions ointments.
3201.67  Dishwashing products.
3201.68  Erosion control materials.
3201.69  Floor cleaners and protectors.
3201.70  Hair care products.
3201.71  Interior paints and coatings.
3201.72  Oven and grill cleaners.
3201.73  Slide way lubricants.
3201.74  Thermal shipping containers.
3201.75  Air fresheners and deodorizers.
3201.76  Asphalt and tar removers.
3201.77  Asphalt restorers.
3201.78  Blast media.
3201.79  Candles and wax melts.
3201.80  Electronic components cleaners.
3201.81  Floor coverings (non-carpet).
3201.82  Foot care products.
3201.83  Furniture cleaners and protectors.
3201.84  Inks.
3201.85  Packing and insulating materials.
3201.86  Pneumatic equipment lubricants.
3201.87  Wood and concrete stains.
3201.88  Agricultural spray adjuvants.
3201.89  Animal cleaning products.
3201.90  Deodorants.
3201.91  Dethatcher products.
3201.92  Fuel conditioners.
3201.93  Leather, vinyl, and rubber care products.
3201.94  Lotions and moisturizers.
3201.95  Shaving products.
3201.96  Specialty precision cleaners and solvents.
3201.97  Sun care products.
3201.98  Wastewater systems coatings.
3201.99  Water clarifying agents.
3201.100  Aircraft and boat cleaners.
3201.101  Automotive care products.
3201.102  Engine crankcase oil.
3201.103  Gasoline fuel additives.
3201.104  Metal cleaners and corrosion removers.
3201.105  Microbial cleaning products.
3201.106  Paint removers.
3201.107  Water turbine bearing oils.

    Source: 70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8102.



                            Subpart A_General

    Source: 70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, unless otherwise noted. 
Redesignated at 76 FR 53632, Aug. 29, 2011.



Sec. 3201.1  Purpose and scope.

    (a) Purpose. The purpose of the guidelines in this part is to assist 
procuring agencies in complying with the requirements of section 9002 of 
the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA), Public Law 
107-171, 116 Stat. 476 (7 U.S.C. 8102), as amended by the Food, 
Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Public Law 110-246, 122 Stat. 
1651, as they apply to the procurement of the products designated in 
subpart B of this part.
    (b) Scope. The guidelines in this part establish a process for 
designating categories of products that are, or can be, produced with 
biobased components and materials and whose procurement by procuring 
agencies and other relevant stakeholders will carry out the objectives 
of section 9002 of FSRIA. The guidelines also establish a process for 
designating categories of intermediate ingredients and feedstocks that 
are, or can be, used to produce final products that will be designated 
and, thus, subject to Federal preferred procurement. The guidelines also 
establish a process for calculating the biobased content of complex 
assembly products, whose biobased content cannot be measured following 
ASTM

[[Page 133]]

Standard Method D6866, and for designating complex assembly product 
categories.

[76 FR 6321, Feb. 4, 2011, as amended at 79 FR 44654, Aug. 1, 2014]



Sec. 3201.2  Definitions.

    These definitions apply to this part:
    Agricultural materials. Agricultural-based, including plant, animal, 
and marine materials, raw materials or residues used in the manufacture 
of commercial or industrial, nonfood/nonfeed products.
    ASTM International. ASTM International, a nonprofit organization 
organized in 1898, is one of the largest voluntary standards development 
organizations in the world with about 30,000 members in over 100 
different countries. ASTM provides a forum for the development and 
publication of voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, 
systems, and services.
    BEES. An acronym for ``Building for Environmental and Economic 
Sustainability,'' an analytic tool used to determine the environmental 
and health benefits and life cycle costs of products and materials, 
developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of 
Standards and Technology.
    Biobased components. Any intermediary biobased materials or parts 
that, in combination with other components, are functional parts of the 
biobased product.
    Biobased content. Biobased content shall be determined based on the 
amount of biobased carbon in the material or product as a percent of 
weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the material or product.
    Biobased product. (1) A product determined by USDA to be a 
commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is:
    (i) Composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological 
products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials and 
forestry materials; or
    (ii) An intermediate ingredient or feedstock.
    (2) The term ``biobased product'' includes, with respect to forestry 
materials, forest products that meet biobased content requirements, 
notwithstanding the market share the product holds, the age of the 
product, or whether the market for the product is new or emerging.
    Biodegradability. A quantitative measure of the extent to which a 
material is capable of being decomposed by biological agents, especially 
bacteria.
    Biological products. Products derived from living materials other 
than agricultural or forestry materials.
    Complex assembly. A system of distinct materials and components 
assembled to create a finished product with specific functional intent 
where some or all of the system inputs contain some amount of biobased 
material or feedstock.
    Designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock category. A generic 
grouping of biobased intermediate ingredients or feedstocks identified 
in subpart B of this part that, when comprising more than 50 percent (or 
another amount as specified in subpart B of this part) of a resultant 
final product, qualifies the resultant final product for the procurement 
preference established under section 9002 of FSRIA.
    Designated product category. A generic grouping of biobased 
products, including those final products made from designated 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks, or complex assemblies identified 
in subpart B of this part, that is eligible for the procurement 
preference established under section 9002 of FSRIA.
    Diluent. A substance used to diminish the strength, scent, or other 
basic property of a substance.
    Engineered wood products. Products produced with a combination of 
wood, food fibers and adhesives.
    EPA-designated recovered content product. A product, designated 
under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, that is subject to 
Federal procurement as specified in section 6002 of the Solid Waste 
Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6962), whereby Federal agencies must give 
preferred procurement to those products composed of the highest 
percentage of recovered materials practicable, subject to availability, 
cost, and performance.
    FCEA. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-
246.
    Federal agency. Any executive agency or independent establishment in 
the

[[Page 134]]

legislative or judicial branch of the Government (except the Senate, the 
House of Representatives, the Architect of the Capitol, and any 
activities under the Architect's direction).
    Filler. A substance added to a product to increase the bulk, weight, 
viscosity, strength, or other property.
    Forest product. A product made from materials derived from the 
practice of forestry or the management of growing timber. The term 
``forest product'' includes:
    (1) Pulp, paper, paperboard, pellets, lumber, and other wood 
products; and
    (2) Any recycled products derived from forest materials.
    Forest thinnings. Refers to woody materials removed from a dense 
forest, primarily to improve growth, enhance forest health, or recover 
potential mortality. (To recover potential mortality means to remove 
trees that are going to die in the near future.)
    Formulated product. A product that is prepared or mixed with other 
ingredients, according to a specified formula and includes more than one 
ingredient.
    FSRIA. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, Public 
Law 107-171, 116 Stat. 134 (7 U.S.C. 8102).
    Functional unit. A measure of product technical performance that 
provides a common reference to which all environmental and economic 
impacts of the product are scaled. This reference is necessary to ensure 
comparability of performance results across competing products. 
Comparability of results is critical when competing product alternatives 
are being assessed to ensure that such comparisons are made on a common 
basis. For example, the functional unit for competing interior paint 
products may be defined as ``protecting one square foot of interior wall 
surface for 50 years.''
    Ingredient. A component; part of a compound or mixture; may be 
active or inactive.
    Intermediate ingredient or feedstock. A material or compound made in 
whole or in significant part from biological products, including 
renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine 
materials) or forestry materials that have undergone value added 
processing (including thermal, chemical, biological, or a significant 
amount of mechanical processing), excluding harvesting operations, 
offered for sale by a manufacturer or vendor and that is subsequently 
used to make a more complex compound or product.
    ISO. The International Organization for Standardization, a network 
of national standards institutes from 145 countries working in 
partnership with international organizations, governments, industries, 
business, and consumer representatives.
    Neat product. A product that is made of only one ingredient and is 
not diluted or mixed with other substances.
    Procuring agency. Any Federal agency that is using Federal funds for 
procurement or any person contracting with any Federal agency with 
respect to work performed under the contract.
    Qualified biobased product. A product that is eligible for Federal 
preferred procurement because it meets the definition and minimum 
biobased content criteria for one or more designated product categories, 
or one or more designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock 
categories, as specified in subpart B of this part.
    Relative price. The price of a product as compared to the price of 
other products on the market that have similar performance 
characteristics.
    Relevant stakeholder. Individuals or officers of state or local 
government organizations, private non-profit institutions or 
organizations, and private businesses or consumers.
    Renewable chemical. A monomer, polymer, plastic, formulated product, 
or chemical substance produced from renewable biomass.
    Residues. That which remains after a part is taken, separated, 
removed, or designated; a remnant; a remainder; and, for this purpose, 
is from agricultural materials, biological products, or forestry 
materials.
    Secretary. The Secretary of the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    Small and emerging private business enterprise. Any private business 
which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million 
in projected annual gross revenues.
    Sustainably managed forests. Refers to the practice of a land 
stewardship ethic

[[Page 135]]

that integrates the reforestation, management, growing, nurturing, and 
harvesting of trees for useful products while conserving soil and 
improving air and water quality, wildlife, fish habitat, and aesthetics.

[70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 13704, Mar. 16, 2006; 71 
FR 42575, July 27, 2006; 76 FR 6321, Feb. 4, 2011; 79 FR 44654, Aug. 1, 
2014; 80 FR 34029, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3201.3  Applicability to Federal procurements.

    (a) Applicability to procurement actions. The guidelines in this 
part apply to all procurement actions by procuring agencies involving 
items designated by USDA in this part, where the procuring agency 
purchases $10,000 or more worth of one of these items during the course 
of a fiscal year, or where the quantity of such items or of functionally 
equivalent items purchased during the preceding fiscal year was $10,000 
or more. The $10,000 threshold applies to Federal agencies as a whole 
rather than to agency subgroups such as regional offices or subagencies 
of a larger Federal department or agency.
    (b) Exception for procurements subject to EPA regulations under the 
Solid Waste Disposal Act. For any procurement by any procuring agency 
that is subject to regulations of the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency under section 6002 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as 
amended by the Resource Conservation Act of 1976 (40 CFR part 247), 
these guidelines do not apply to the extent that the requirements of 
this part are inconsistent with such regulations.
    (c) Procuring products composed of the highest percentage of 
biobased content. Section 9002(a)(2) of FSRIA requires procuring 
agencies to procure qualified biobased products composed of the highest 
percentage of biobased content practicable or such products that comply 
with the regulations issued under section 103 of Public Law 100-556 (42 
U.S.C. 6914b-1). Procuring agencies may decide not to procure such 
qualified biobased products if they are not reasonably priced or readily 
available or do not meet specified or reasonable performance standards.
    (d) This guideline does not apply to purchases of qualified biobased 
products that are unrelated to or incidental to Federal funding; i.e., 
not the direct result of a contract or agreement with persons supplying 
items to a procuring agency or providing support services that include 
the supply or use of products.
    (e) Exemptions. The following applications are exempt from the 
preferred procurement requirements of this part:
    (1) Military equipment: Products or systems designed or procured for 
combat or combat-related missions.
    (2) Spacecraft systems and launch support equipment.

[71 FR 42575, July 27, 2006, as amended at 73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008; 76 
FR 6321, Feb. 4, 2011; 79 FR 44655, Aug. 1, 2014]



Sec. 3201.4  Procurement programs.

    (a) Integration into the Federal procurement framework. The Office 
of Federal Procurement Policy, in cooperation with USDA, has the 
responsibility to coordinate this policy's implementation in the Federal 
procurement regulations. These guidelines are not intended to address 
full implementation of these requirements into the Federal procurement 
framework. This will be accomplished through revisions to the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation.
    (b) Federal agency preferred procurement programs. (1) On or before 
July 31, 2015, each Federal agency shall develop a procurement program 
which will assure that qualified biobased products are purchased to the 
maximum extent practicable and which is consistent with applicable 
provisions of Federal procurement laws. Each procurement program shall 
contain:
    (i) A preference program for purchasing qualified biobased products;
    (ii) A promotion program to promote the preference program;
    (iii) Provisions for the annual review and monitoring of the 
effectiveness of the procurement program; and
    (iv) Provisions for reporting quantities and types of biobased 
products purchased by the Federal agency.
    (2) In developing the preference program, Federal agencies shall 
adopt one of the following options, or a substantially equivalent 
alternative, as part of the procurement program:

[[Page 136]]

    (i) A policy of awarding contracts on a case-by-case basis to the 
vendor offering a qualified biobased product composed of the highest 
percentage of biobased content practicable except when such products:
    (A) Are not available within a reasonable time;
    (B) Fail to meet performance standards set forth in the applicable 
specifications, or the reasonable performance standards of the Federal 
agency; or
    (C) Are available only at an unreasonable price.
    (ii) A policy of setting minimum biobased content specifications in 
such a way as to assure that the required biobased content of qualified 
biobased products is consistent with section 9002 of FSRIA and the 
requirements of the guidelines in this part except when such products:
    (A) Are not available within a reasonable time;
    (B) Fail to meet performance standards for the use to which they 
will be put, or the reasonable performance standards of the Federal 
agency; or
    (C) Are available only at an unreasonable price.
    (3) In implementing the preference program, Federal agencies shall 
treat as eligible for the preference biobased products from ``designated 
countries,'' as that term is defined in section 25.003 of the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation, provided that those products otherwise meet all 
requirements for participation in the preference program.
    (4) No later than June 15, 2016, each Federal agency shall establish 
a targeted biobased-only procurement requirement under which the 
procuring agency shall issue a certain number of biobased-only contracts 
when the procuring agency is purchasing products, or purchasing services 
that include the use of products, that are included in a biobased 
product category designated by the Secretary.
    (c) Procurement specifications. After the publication date of each 
designated product category and each designated intermediate ingredient 
or feedstock category, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products procured by Federal 
agencies shall ensure within a specified time frame that their 
specifications require the use of qualified biobased products, 
consistent with the guidelines in this part. USDA will specify the 
allowable time frame in each designation rule. The biobased content of 
qualified biobased products within a designated product category or a 
designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock category may vary 
considerably from product to product based on the mix of ingredients 
used in its manufacture. Likewise, the biobased content of qualified 
biobased products that qualify because they are made from materials 
within designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock categories may 
also vary significantly. In procuring qualified biobased products, the 
percentage of biobased content should be maximized, consistent with 
achieving the desired performance for the product.

[70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 42575, July 27, 2006; 76 
FR 6322, Feb. 4, 2011; 79 FR 44655, Aug. 1, 2014; 80 FR 34029, June 15, 
2015]



Sec. 3201.5  Category designation.

    (a) Procedure. Designated product categories, designated 
intermediate ingredient or feedstock categories, and designated final 
product categories composed of qualifying intermediate ingredients or 
feedstocks are listed in subpart B of this part.
    (1) In designating product categories, USDA will designate 
categories composed of generic groupings of specific products or complex 
assemblies and will identify the minimum biobased content for each 
listed category or subcategory. As product categories are designated for 
procurement preference, they will be added to subpart B of this part.
    (2) In designating intermediate ingredient or feedstock categories, 
USDA will designate categories composed of generic groupings of specific 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks, and will identify the minimum 
biobased content for each listed category or sub-category. As categories 
are designated for product qualification, they will be added to subpart 
B of this part. USDA encourages manufacturers and vendors

[[Page 137]]

of intermediate ingredients or feedstocks to provide USDA with 
information relevant to significant potential applications for 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks, including estimates of typical 
formulation rates.
    (3) During the process of designating intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock categories, USDA will also gather information on the various 
types of final products that are, or can be, made from those 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks. Final products that fall within 
existing designated product categories will be subject to the minimum 
biobased content requirements for those product categories, as specified 
in subpart B of this part. New product categories that are identified 
during the information gathering process will be listed in the Federal 
Register proposed rule for designating the intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock categories. A minimum biobased content for each of the final 
product categories will also be identified based on the amount of 
designated intermediate ingredients or feedstocks such products contain. 
Public comment will be invited on the list of potential final product 
categories, and the minimum biobased content for each, as well as on the 
intermediate ingredient and feedstock categories being proposed for 
designation. Public comments on the list of potential final product 
categories will be considered, along with any additional information 
gathered by USDA, and the list will be finalized. When the final rule 
designating the intermediate ingredient or feedstock categories, by 
adding them to subpart B of this part, is published in the Federal 
Register, the list of final product categories will also be added to 
subpart B of this part. Once these final product categories are listed 
in subpart B of this part, they will become eligible for the Federal 
procurement preference.
    (b) Considerations. (1) In designating product categories and 
intermediate ingredient or feedstock categories, USDA will consider the 
availability of qualified biobased products and the economic and 
technological feasibility of using such products, including price. USDA 
will gather information on individual qualified biobased products within 
a category and extrapolate that information to the category level for 
consideration in designating categories.
    (2) In designating product categories and intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock categories for the BioPreferred Program, USDA will consider as 
eligible only those products that use innovative approaches in the 
growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or 
application of the biobased product. USDA will consider products that 
meet one or more of the criteria in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (iv) of 
this section to be eligible for the BioPreferred Program. USDA will also 
consider other documentation of innovative approaches in the growing, 
harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or 
application of biobased products on a case-by-case basis. USDA may 
exclude from the BioPreferred Program any products whose manufacturers 
are unable to provide USDA with the documentation necessary to verify 
claims that innovative approaches are used in the growing, harvesting, 
sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or application of their 
biobased products.
    (i) Product applications. (A) The biobased product or material is 
used or applied in applications that differ from historical 
applications; or
    (B) The biobased product or material is grown, harvested, 
manufactured, processed, sourced, or applied in other innovative ways; 
or
    (C) The biobased content of the product or material makes its 
composition different from products or material used for the same 
historical uses or applications.
    (ii) Manufacturing and processing. (A) The biobased product or 
material is manufactured or processed using renewable, biomass energy or 
using technology that is demonstrated to increase energy efficiency or 
reduce reliance on fossil-fuel based energy sources; or
    (B) The biobased product or material is manufactured or processed 
with technologies that ensure high feedstock material recovery and use.

[[Page 138]]

    (iii) Environmental Product Declaration. The product has a current 
Environmental Product Declaration as defined by International Standard 
ISO 14025, Environmental Labels and Declarations--Type III Environmental 
Declarations--Principles and Procedures.
    (iv) Raw material sourcing. (A) The raw material used in the product 
is sourced from a Legal Source, a Responsible Source, or a Certified 
Source as designated by ASTM D7612-10, Standard Practice for 
Categorizing Wood and Wood-Based Products According to Their Fiber 
Sources; or
    (B) The raw material used in the product is 100% resourced or 
recycled (such as material obtained from building deconstruction); or
    (C) The raw material used in the product is from an urban 
environment and is acquired as a result of activities related to a 
natural disaster, land clearing, right-of-way maintenance, tree health 
improvement, or public safety.
    (c) Exclusions. Motor vehicle fuels, heating oil, and electricity 
are excluded by statute from this program.

[79 FR 44655, Aug. 1, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 34029, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3201.6  Providing product information to Federal agencies.

    (a) Informational Web site. An informational USDA Web site 
implementing section 9002 of FSRIA can be found at: http://
www.biopreferred.gov. USDA will maintain a voluntary Web-based 
information site for manufacturers and vendors of qualified biobased 
products and Federal agencies to exchange information, as described in 
paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section.
    (1) Product information. The Web site will, as determined to be 
necessary by the Secretary based on the availability of data, provide 
information as to the availability, price, biobased content, performance 
and environmental and public health benefits of the designated product 
categories and designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock 
categories. USDA encourages manufacturers and vendors to provide product 
and business contact information for designated categories. Instructions 
for posting information are found on the Web site itself. USDA also 
encourages Federal agencies to utilize this Web site to obtain current 
information on designated categories, contact information on 
manufacturers and vendors, and access to information on product 
characteristics relevant to procurement decisions. In addition to any 
information provided on the Web site, manufacturers and vendors are 
expected to provide relevant information to Federal agencies, subject to 
the limitations specified in Sec. 3201.8(a), with respect to product 
characteristics, including verification of such characteristics if 
requested.
    (2) National Testing Center Registry. The Web site will include an 
electronic listing of recognized industry standard testing organizations 
that will serve biobased product manufacturers such as ASTM 
International, Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American 
Petroleum Institute. USDA encourages stakeholders to submit information 
on other possible testing resources to the BioPreferred program for 
inclusion.
    (b) Advertising, labeling and marketing claims. Manufacturers and 
vendors are reminded that their advertising, labeling, and other 
marketing claims, including claims regarding health and environmental 
benefits of the product, must conform to the Federal Trade Commission 
``Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,'' 16 CFR part 
260 (see: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_08/
16cfr260_08.html). For further requirements, click on the link to the 
``Guidelines for Marketing the BioPreferred Program.''

[70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, as amended at 76 FR 6322, Feb. 4, 2011; 79 
FR 44656, Aug. 1, 2014; 80 FR 34030, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3201.7  Determining biobased content.

    (a) Certification requirements. For any qualified biobased product 
offered for preferred procurement, manufacturers and vendors must 
certify that the product meets the biobased content requirements for the 
designated product category or designated intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock category within which the qualified biobased product

[[Page 139]]

falls. Paragraph (c) of this section addresses how to determine biobased 
content. Upon request, manufacturers and vendors must provide USDA and 
Federal agencies information to verify biobased content for products 
certified to qualify for preferred procurement.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. Unless specified otherwise in the 
designation of a particular product category or intermediate ingredient 
or feedstock category, the minimum biobased content requirements in a 
specific category designation refer to the organic carbon portion of the 
product, and not the entire product.
    (c) Determining biobased content. Verification of biobased content 
must be based on third party ASTM/ISO compliant test facility testing 
using the ASTM Standard Method D6866, ``Standard Test Methods for 
Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples 
Using Radiocarbon Analysis.'' ASTM Standard Method D6866 determines 
biobased content based on the amount of biobased carbon in the material 
or product as percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon 
in the material or product.
    (1) Biobased products, intermediate ingredients or feedstocks. 
Biobased content will be based on the amount of biobased carbon in the 
product or material as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total 
organic carbon in the product or material.
    (2) Final products composed of designated intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock materials. The biobased content of final products composed of 
designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock materials will be 
determined by calculating the percentage by weight (mass) that the 
biobased component of each designated intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock material represents of the total organic carbon content of the 
final product and summing the results (if more than one designated 
intermediate ingredient or feedstock is used). If the final product also 
contains biobased content from intermediate ingredient or feedstock 
material that is not designated, the percentage by weight that these 
biobased ingredients represent of the total organic carbon content 
should be included in the calculation.
    (3) Complex assemblies. The biobased content of a complex assembly 
product, where the product has ``n'' components whose biobased and 
organic carbon content can be experimentally determined, will be 
calculated using the following equation:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR01AU14.001

Where:

Mi = mass of the nth component
BCCi = biobased carbon content of the nth component (%)
OCCi = organic carbon content of the nth component (%)

    (d) Products and intermediate ingredients or feedstocks with the 
same formulation. In the case of products and intermediate ingredients 
or feedstocks that are essentially the same formulation, but marketed 
under more than one brand name, biobased content test data need not be 
brand-name specific.

[79 FR 44656, Aug. 1, 2014]



Sec. 3201.8  Determining price, environmental and health benefits,
and performance.

    (a) Providing information on price and environmental and health 
benefits. Federal agencies may not require manufacturers or vendors of 
qualified biobased products to provide to procuring agencies more data 
than would be required of other manufacturers or vendors offering 
products for sale to a procuring agency (aside from data confirming the 
biobased contents of the products) as a condition of the purchase of 
biobased products from the manufacturer or vendor. USDA will work with 
manufacturers and vendors

[[Page 140]]

to collect information needed to estimate the price of biobased 
products, complex assemblies, intermediate materials or feedstocks as 
part of the designation process, including application units, average 
unit cost, and application frequency. USDA encourages industry 
stakeholders to provide information on environmental and public health 
benefits based on industry accepted analytical approaches including, but 
not limited to: Material carbon footprint analysis, the ASTM D7075 
standard for evaluating and reporting on environmental performance of 
biobased products, the International Standards Organization ISO 14040, 
the ASTM International life-cycle cost method (E917) and multi-attribute 
decision analysis (E1765), the British Standards Institution PAS 2050, 
and the National Institute of Standards and Technology BEES analytical 
tool. USDA will make such stakeholder-supplied information available on 
the BioPreferred Web site.
    (b) Performance test information. In assessing performance of 
qualified biobased products, USDA requires that procuring agencies rely 
on results of performance tests using applicable ASTM, ISO, Federal or 
military specifications, or other similarly authoritative industry test 
standards. Such testing must be conducted by a laboratory compliant with 
the requirements of the standards body. The procuring official will 
decide whether performance data must be brand-name specific in the case 
of products that are essentially of the same formulation.
    (c) Biodegradability information. If biodegradability is claimed by 
the manufacturer of a qualifying biobased product as a characteristic of 
that product, USDA requires that, if requested by procuring agencies, 
these claims be verified using the appropriate, product-specific ASTM 
biodegradability standard(s). Such testing must be conducted by an ASTM/
ISO-compliant laboratory. The procuring official will decide whether 
biodegradability data must be brand-name specific in the case of 
products that are essentially of the same formulation. ASTM 
biodegradability standards include:
    (1) D5338  ``Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic 
Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting 
Conditions'';
    (2) D5864  ``Standard Test Method for Determining the Aerobic 
Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components'';
    (3) D6006  ``Standard Guide for Assessing Biodegradability of 
Hydraulic Fluids'';
    (4) D6400  ``Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics'' and 
the standards cited therein;
    (5) D6139  ``Standard Test Method for Determining the Aerobic 
Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants or Their Components Using the 
Gledhill Shake Flask'';
    (6) D6868  ``Standard Specification for Biodegradable Plastics Used 
as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates''; and
    (7) D7081  ``Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable 
Plastics in the Marine Environment.''

[70 FR 1809, Jan. 11, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 13704, Mar. 16, 2006; 71 
FR 42575, July 27, 2006; 76 FR 6322, Feb. 4, 2011; 79 FR 44657, Aug. 1, 
2014]



Sec. 3201.9  [Reserved]



Subpart B_Designated Product Categories and Intermediate Ingredients or 
                               Feedstocks

    Source: 71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, unless otherwise noted. 
Redesignated at 76 FR 53632, Aug. 29, 2011.



Sec. 3201.10  Mobile equipment hydraulic fluids.

    (a) Definition. Hydraulic fluids formulated for general use in non-
stationary equipment, such as tractors, end loaders, or backhoes.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 44 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than March 16, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased mobile equipment

[[Page 141]]

hydraulic fluids. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased mobile equipment hydraulic fluids.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the following EPA-designated recovered content 
product: Re-refined Lubricating Oils. USDA is requesting that 
manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products provide information 
for the BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased products about the 
intended uses of the product, information on whether or not the product 
contains petroleum-based ingredients, re-refined oil, and/or any other 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated lubricating oils 
containing re-refined oil and which product should be afforded the 
preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Mobile equipment hydraulic fluid products 
within this designated item can compete with similar lubricating oils 
containing re-refined oil. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery 
Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
designated lubricating oils containing re-refined oil as items for which 
Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing programs. The 
designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 
CFR 247.11.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.11  Roof coatings.

    (a) Definition. Coatings formulated for use in commercial roof deck 
systems to provide a single-coat monolith coating system.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 20 
percent and shall be based on the entire product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than March 16, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased roof coatings. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased roof coatings.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the following EPA-designated recovered content 
product: Roofing Materials. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of 
these qualifying biobased products provide information for the 
BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased products about the intended 
uses of the product, information on whether or not the product contains 
any type of recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and 
performance standards against which the product has been tested. This 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a 
qualifying biobased product overlaps with recovered content roofing 
materials and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Roof coating products within this designated 
item can compete with similar roofing material products. Under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency designated roofing material containing 
recycled material as items for which Federal agencies must give 
preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be found in 
the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.12.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.12  Water tank coatings.

    (a) Definition. Coatings formulated for use in potable water storage 
systems.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 59 
percent and shall be based on the entire product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than November 20, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased water tank coatings. By 
that date, Federal agencies

[[Page 142]]

that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications 
for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications 
require the use of biobased water tank coatings.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 71 FR 67032, Nov. 20, 2006]



Sec. 3201.13  Diesel fuel additives.

    (a) Definition. (1) Any substance, other than one composed solely of 
carbon and/or hydrogen, that is intentionally added to diesel fuel 
(including any added to a motor vehicle's fuel system) and that is not 
intentionally removed prior to sale or use.
    (2) Neat biodiesel, also referred to as B100, when used as an 
additive. Diesel fuel additive does not mean neat biodiesel when used as 
a fuel or blended biodiesel fuel (e.g., B20).
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 90 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than March 16, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased diesel fuel additives. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased diesel fuel 
additives.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.14  Penetrating lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to provide light lubrication and 
corrosion resistance in close tolerant internal and external 
applications including frozen nuts and bolts, power tools, gears, 
valves, chains, and cables.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 68 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than March 16, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased penetrating lubricants. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased penetrating 
lubricants.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the following EPA-designated recovered content 
product: Re-refined Lubricating Oils. USDA is requesting that 
manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products provide information 
for the BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased products about the 
intended uses of the product, information on whether or not the product 
contains petroleum-based ingredients, re-refined oil, and/or any other 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated lubricating oils 
containing re-refined oil and which product should be afforded the 
preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Penetrating lubricant products within this 
designated item can compete with similar re-refined lubricating oil 
products. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, 
section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated re-
refined lubricating oils containing recycled material as items for which 
Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing programs. The 
designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 
CFR 247.11.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.15  Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that group of woven cloth products 
used as coverings on a bed. Bedding includes products such as blankets, 
bedspreads, comforters, and quilts.
    (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in 
bedding.

[[Page 143]]

    (3) Towels are woven cloth products used primarily for drying and 
wiping.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content is 12 
percent and shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon 
in the finished product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total 
organic carbon in the finished product. The 12 percent biobased content 
must be of a qualifying biobased feedstock. Cotton, wool, linen, and 
silk are not qualifying biobased feedstocks for the purpose of 
determining the biobased content of bedding, bed linens, and towels.
    (c) Preference effective date. No later than November 20, 2007, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased bedding, bed linens, and 
towels. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
bedding, bed linens, and towels.

[71 FR 13705, Mar. 16, 2006, as amended at 71 FR 67032, Nov. 20, 2006]



Sec. 3201.16  Adhesive and mastic removers.

    (a) Definition. Solvent products formulated for use in removing 
asbestos, carpet, and tile mastics as well as adhesive materials, 
including glue, tape, and gum, from various surface types.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 58 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased adhesive and mastic 
removers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
adhesive and mastic removers.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.17  Plastic insulating foam for residential and commercial
construction.

    (a) Definition. Spray-in-place plastic foam products designed to 
provide a sealed thermal barrier for residential or commercial 
construction applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 7 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased plastic insulating foam 
for residential and commercial construction. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased plastic insulating foam for 
residential and commercial construction.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Building Insulation. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information on the BioPreferred Web 
site of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the 
product, information on whether or not the product contains any 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated building insulation and 
which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased insulating products within this 
designated item can compete with similar insulating products with 
recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 
1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental

[[Page 144]]

Protection Agency designated building insulation containing recovered 
materials as items for which Federal agencies must give preference in 
their purchasing programs. The designation can be found in the 
Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.12. EPA provides 
recovered materials content recommendations for building insulation 
products in the Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) published for 
these products. The RMAN recommendations can be found by accessing EPA's 
Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and 
then clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.18  Hand cleaners and sanitizers.

    (a) Definitions--(1) Hand cleaners. Products formulated for personal 
care use in removing a variety of different soils, greases, and similar 
substances from human hands with or without the use of water.
    (2) Hand sanitizers. Products formulated for personal care use in 
removing bacteria from human hands with or without the use of water. 
Personal care products that are formulated for use in removing a variety 
of different soils, greases and similar substances and bacteria from 
human hands with or without the use of water are classified as hand 
sanitizers for the purposes of this rule.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content 
requirement for all hand cleaners and/or sanitizers shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. 
The applicable minimum biobased contents are:
    (1) Hand cleaners--64 percent.
    (2) Hand sanitizers (including hand cleaners and sanitizers)--73 
percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased hand cleaners and 
sanitizers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased hand 
cleaners and sanitizers.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.19  Composite panels.

    (a) Definitions--(1) Plastic lumber composite panels. Engineered 
products suitable for non-structural outdoor needs such as exterior 
signs, trash can holders, and dimensional letters.
    (2) Acoustical composite panels. Engineered products designed for 
use as structural and sound deadening material suitable for office 
partitions and doors.
    (3) Interior panels. Engineered products designed specifically for 
interior applications and providing a surface that is impact-, scratch-, 
and wear-resistant and that does not absorb or retain moisture.
    (4) Structural interior panels. Engineered products designed for use 
in structural construction applications, including cabinetry, casework, 
paneling, and decorative panels.
    (5) Structural wall panels. Engineered products designed for use in 
structural walls, curtain walls, floors and flat roofs in commercial 
buildings.
    (6) Countertops. Engineered products designed to serve as horizontal 
work surfaces in locations such as kitchens, break rooms or other food 
preparation areas, bathrooms or lavatories, and workrooms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content 
requirement for all composite panels shall be based on the amount of 
qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents are:
    (1) Plastic lumber composite panels--23 percent.
    (2) Acoustical composite panels--37 percent.
    (3) Interior panels--55 percent.
    (4) Structural interior panels--89 percent.
    (5) Structural wall panels--94 percent.
    (6) Countertops--89 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance dates. (1) No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for those qualifying biobased composite panels 
specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the

[[Page 145]]

responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased composite panels.
    (2) No later than June 11, 2014, procuring agencies, in accordance 
with this part, will give a procurement preference for those qualifying 
biobased composite panels specified in paragraph (a)(6) of this section. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased composite 
panels.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the following EPA-designated recovered content 
products: Laminated Paperboard and Structural Fiberboard; Shower and 
Restroom Dividers; and Signage. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of 
these qualifying biobased products provide information on the 
BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased products about the intended 
uses of the product, information on whether or not the product contains 
any recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and 
performance standards against which the product has been tested. This 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a 
qualifying biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated laminated 
paperboard, structural fiberboard, shower and restroom dividers, and 
signage, and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Composite panel products within this 
designated item can be made with recycled material. Under the Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency designated laminated paperboard and 
structural fiberboard, shower and restroom dividers, and signage 
containing recovered materials as items for which Federal agencies must 
give preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.12. EPA 
provides recovered materials content recommendations for laminated 
paperboard and structural fiberboard, shower and restroom dividers, and 
signage in the Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) published for 
these products. The RMAN recommendations can be found by accessing EPA's 
Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and 
then clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008, as amended at 78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.20  Fluid-filled transformers.

    (a) Definition--(1) Synthetic ester-based fluid-filled transformers. 
Electric power transformers that are designed to utilize a synthetic 
ester-based dielectric (non-conducting) fluid to provide insulating and 
cooling properties.
    (2) Vegetable oil-based fluid-filled transformers. Electric power 
transformers that are designed to utilize a vegetable oil-based 
dielectric (non-conducting) fluid to provide insulating and cooling 
properties.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content 
requirement for all fluid-filled transformers shall be based on the 
amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the 
weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents are:
    (1) Synthetic ester-based fluid-filled transformers--66 percent.
    (2) Vegetable oil-based fluid-filled transformers--95 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date--(1) Synthetic ester-based fluid-
filled transformers. Determination of the compliance date for synthetic 
ester-based fluid-filled transformers is deferred until USDA identifies 
two or more manufacturers of synthetic ester-based fluid-filled 
transformers. At that time, USDA will publish a document in the Federal 
Register announcing that Federal agencies have one year from the date of 
publication to give procurement preference to biobased synthetic ester-
based fluid-filled transformers.
    (2) Vegetable oil-based fluid-filled transformers. No later than May 
14, 2009, procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased vegetable oil-based 
fluid-filled transformers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the

[[Page 146]]

use of biobased vegetable oil-based fluid-filled transformers.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.21  Disposable containers.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to be used for temporary storage 
or transportation of materials including, but not limited to, food 
items.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 72 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Biodegradability. At the time a manufacturer offers a product 
under this item for Federal purchase under the BioPreferred Program, the 
preferred procurement product must be capable of meeting the current 
version of ASTM D6400 if disposed of in a non-marine environment, the 
current version of ASTM D7081 if disposed of in a marine environment, or 
other appropriate and applicable standard for biodegradability.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Paper and Paper Products. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information on the BioPreferred Web 
site of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the 
product, information on whether or not the product contains any 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated paper and paper products 
and which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Disposable containers can include boxes and 
packaging made from paper. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery 
Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
designated paper and paper products containing recovered materials as 
items for which Federal agencies must give preference in their 
purchasing programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive 
Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.10. EPA provides recovered materials 
content recommendations for paper and paper products in the Recovered 
Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) published for these products. The RMAN 
recommendations can be found on EPA's Web site http://www.epa.gov/
epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and then clicking on the 
appropriate product name.

    (e) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased disposable containers. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased disposable 
containers.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.22  Fertilizers.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated or processed to provide 
nutrients for plant growth and/or beneficial bacteria to convert 
nutrients into plant usable forms. Biobased fertilizers, which are 
likely to consist mostly of biobased components, may include both 
biobased and chemical components.

    Note to paragraph (a): Biobased fertilizers, as well as other 
fertilizers, may be made with recycled hazardous waste. Such fertilizers 
need to meet applicable land disposal restriction standards for any 
hazardous constituents they contain, as required under 40 CFR 266.20(d).

    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 71 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased fertilizers. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured

[[Page 147]]

shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased fertilizers.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Fertilizer. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying 
biobased products provide information on the BioPreferred Web site of 
qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance standards 
against which the product has been tested. This information will assist 
Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased 
product overlaps with EPA-designated fertilizer product and which 
product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Fertilizers within this designated item can 
be made with recycled materials. Under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency designated fertilizers containing recovered materials as items 
for which Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing 
programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline, 40 CFR 247.15. EPA provides recovered materials content 
recommendations for fertilizers in the Recovered Materials Advisory 
Notice (RMAN) published for these products. The RMAN recommendations can 
be found by accessing EPA's Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/
procure/products.htm and then clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.23  Sorbents.

    (a) Definition. Materials formulated for use in the cleanup and 
bioremediation of oil and chemical spills, the disposal of liquid 
materials, or the prevention of leakage or leaching in maintenance 
applications, shop floors, and fuel storage areas.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 89 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased sorbents. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased sorbents.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Sorbents. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying 
biobased products provide information on the BioPreferred Web site of 
qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance standards 
against which the product has been tested. This information will assist 
Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased 
product overlaps with EPA-designated sorbents and which product should 
be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Sorbents within this designated item can be 
made with recycled materials. Under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency designated sorbents containing recovered materials as items for 
which Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing 
programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17. EPA provides recovered materials content 
recommendations for sorbents in the Recovered Materials Advisory Notice 
(RMAN) published for these products. The RMAN recommendations can be 
found by accessing EPA's Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/
procure/products.htm and then clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.24  Graffiti and grease removers.

    (a) Definition. Industrial solvent products formulated to remove 
automotive,

[[Page 148]]

industrial, or kitchen soils and oils, including grease, paint, and 
other coatings, from hard surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 34 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. 
If the finished product is to be diluted before use, the biobased 
content of the remover must be determined before dilution.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying graffiti and grease removers. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased graffiti and grease 
removers.

[73 FR 27953, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.25  2-Cycle engine oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants designed for use in 2-cycle engines to 
provide lubrication, decreased spark plug fouling, reduced deposit 
formation, and/or reduced engine wear.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 34 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased 2-cycle engine oils. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased 2-cycle engine oils.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.26  Lip care products.

    (a) Definition. Personal care products formulated to replenish the 
moisture and/or prevent drying of the lips.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 82 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased lip care products. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased lip care products.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.27  Films.

    (a) Definition. (1) Products that are used in packaging, wrappings, 
linings, and other similar applications.
    (2) Films for which preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Semi-durable films. Films that are designed to resist water, 
ammonia, and other compounds, to be re-used, and to not readily 
biodegrade. Products in this item are typically used in the production 
of bags and packaging materials.
    (ii) Non-durable films. Films that are intended for single use for 
short-term storage or protection before being discarded. Non-durable 
films that are designed to have longer lives when used are included in 
this item.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
films shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased contents are:
    (1) Semi-durable films--45 percent.
    (2) Non-durable films--85 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for

[[Page 149]]

qualifying biobased semi-durable and non-durable films. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased semi-durable and non-durable 
films.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within the semi-durable films subcategory 
may overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: Plastic 
trash bags. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying 
biobased products provide information for the BioPreferred Web site of 
qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance standards 
against which the product has been tested. This information will assist 
Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased 
product overlaps with EPA-designated plastic trash bags and which 
product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased semi-durable film products within 
this designated item can compete with plastic trash bag products with 
recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 
1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated 
plastic trash bags containing recovered materials as items for which 
Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing programs. The 
designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 
CFR 247.16. EPA provides recovered materials content recommendations for 
plastic trash bags in the May 1, 1995, Recovered Materials Advisory 
Notice (RMAN I). The RMAN recommendations can be found on EPA's Web site 
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and then 
clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.28  Stationary equipment hydraulic fluids.

    (a) Definition. Fluids formulated for use in stationary hydraulic 
equipment systems that have various mechanical parts, such as cylinders, 
pumps, valves, pistons, and gears, that are used for the transmission of 
power (and also for lubrication and/or wear, rust, and oxidation 
protection).
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 44 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased stationary equipment 
hydraulic fluids. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased stationary equipment hydraulic fluids.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Re-refined lubricating oils. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of 
these qualifying biobased products provide information for the 
BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased products about the intended 
uses of the product, information on whether or not the product contains 
any recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and 
performance standards against which the product has been tested. This 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a 
qualifying biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated re-refined 
lubricating oils and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Stationary equipment hydraulic fluid products 
within this designated item can compete with hydraulic fluid products 
with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
designated re-refined lubricating oils containing recovered materials as 
items for which Federal agencies must give preference in their 
purchasing programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive 
Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.11. EPA provides recovered materials 
content recommendations for re-refined lubricating oils in the May 1, 
1995, Recovered

[[Page 150]]

Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN I). The RMAN recommendations can be 
found by accessing EPA's Web site http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/
procure/products.htm and then clicking on the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.29  Disposable cutlery.

    (a) Definition. Hand-held, disposable utensils designed for one-time 
use in eating food.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 48 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased disposable cutlery. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased disposable cutlery.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.30  Glass cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning products designed specifically for use in 
cleaning glass surfaces, such as windows, mirrors, car windows, and 
computer monitors.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 49 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. 
If the finished product is to be diluted before use, the biobased 
content of the cleaner must be determined before dilution.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased glass cleaners. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased glass cleaners.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.31  Greases.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Lubricants composed of oils thickened to a 
semisolid or solid consistency using soaps, polymers or other solids, or 
other thickeners.
    (2) Greases for which preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Food grade greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on 
food-processing equipment as a protective anti-rust film, as a release 
agent on gaskets or seals of tank closures, or on machine parts and 
equipment in locations in which there is exposure of the lubricated part 
to food.
    (ii) Multipurpose greases. Lubricants that are designed for general 
use.
    (iii) Rail track greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on 
railroad tracks or heavy crane tracks.
    (iv) Truck greases. Lubricants that are designed for use on the 
fifth wheel of tractor trailer trucks onto which the semi-trailer rests 
and pivots.
    (v) Greases not elsewhere specified. Lubricants that meet the 
general definition of greases as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section, but are not otherwise covered by paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through 
(iv) of this section.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
greases shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in 
the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased contents 
are:
    (1) Food grade grease--42 percent.
    (2) Multipurpose grease--72 percent.
    (3) Rail track grease--30 percent.
    (4) Truck grease--71 percent.
    (5) Greases not elsewhere specified--75 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased greases. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured

[[Page 151]]

shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased greases.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.32  Dust suppressants.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to reduce or eliminate the 
spread of dust associated with gravel roads, dirt parking lots, or 
similar sources of dust, including products used in equivalent indoor 
applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 85 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. 
If the finished product is to be diluted before use, the biobased 
content of the suppressant must be determined before dilution.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased dust suppressants. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased dust suppressants.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.33  Carpets.

    (a) Definition. Floor coverings composed of woven, tufted, or 
knitted fiber and a backing system.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a biobased content of at least 7 percent, which shall be based on 
the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of 
the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased carpet. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased carpet.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content product: 
Carpets (polyester). USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information for the BioPreferred 
Web site of qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the 
product, information on whether or not the product contains any 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated carpets (polyester) and 
which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased carpets within this designated item 
can compete with polyester carpet products with recycled content. Under 
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated carpets (polyester) 
containing recovered materials as items for which Federal agencies must 
give preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.12. EPA 
provides recovered materials content recommendations for carpets 
(polyester) in the May 1, 1995, Recovered Materials Advisory Notice 
(RMAN I). The RMAN recommendations can be found on EPA's Web site http:/
/www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/products.htm and then clicking on 
the appropriate product name.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.34  Carpet and upholstery cleaners.

    (a) Definition. (1) Cleaning products formulated specifically for 
use in cleaning carpets and upholstery, through a dry or wet process, 
found in locations such as houses, cars, and workplaces.
    (2) Carpet and upholstery cleaners for which preferred procurement 
applies are:
    (i) General purpose cleaners. Carpet and upholstery cleaners 
formulated for use in cleaning large areas such as the

[[Page 152]]

carpet in an entire room or the upholstery on an entire piece of 
furniture.
    (ii) Spot removers. Carpet and upholstery cleaners formulated for 
use in removing spots or stains in a small confined area.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
carpet and upholstery cleaners shall be based on the amount of 
qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents are:
    (1) General purpose cleaners--54 percent.
    (2) Spot removers--7 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased carpet and upholstery 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
carpet and upholstery cleaners.

[73 FR 27973, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.35  Bathroom and spa cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to clean and/or prevent 
deposits on surfaces found in bathrooms and spas including, but not 
necessarily limited to, bath tubs and spas, shower stalls, shower doors, 
shower curtains, and bathroom walls, floors, doors, and counter and sink 
tops. Products in this item may be designed to be applied to a specific 
type of surface or to multiple surface types. They are available both in 
concentrated and ready-to-use forms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 74 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased bathroom and spa 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
bathroom and spa cleaners.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.36  Concrete and asphalt release fluids.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to provide a lubricating 
barrier between the composite surface materials (e.g., concrete or 
asphalt) and the container (e.g., wood or metal forms, truck beds, 
roller surfaces).
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 87 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased concrete and asphalt 
release fluids. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased concrete and asphalt release fluids.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.37  General purpose de-icers.

    (a) Definition. Chemical products (e.g., salt, fluids) that are 
designed to aid in the removal of snow and/or ice, and/or in the 
prevention of the buildup of snow and/or ice, in general use 
applications by lowering the freezing point of water. Specialized de-
icer products, such as those used to de-ice aircraft and airport 
runways, are not included.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 93 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.

[[Page 153]]

    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased general purpose de-icers. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased general purpose 
de-icers.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.38  Firearm lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants that are designed for use in firearms to 
reduce the friction and wear between the moving parts of a firearm, and 
to keep the weapon clean and prevent the formation of deposits that 
could cause the weapon to jam.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 49 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased firearm lubricants. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased firearm lubricants.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.39  Floor strippers.

    (a) Definition. Products that are formulated to loosen waxes, 
resins, or varnishes from floor surfaces. They can be in either liquid 
or gel form, and may also be used with or without mechanical assistance.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 78 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased floor strippers. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased floor strippers.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.40  Laundry products.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Products that are designed to clean, condition, 
or otherwise affect the quality of the laundered material. Such products 
include but are not limited to laundry detergents, bleach, stain 
removers, and fabric softeners.
    (2) Laundry products for which preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Pretreatment/spot removers. These are laundry products 
specifically used to pretreat laundry to assist in the removal of spots 
and stains during laundering.
    (ii) General purpose laundry products. These are laundry products 
used for regular cleaning activities.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product. The applicable minimum biobased contents for the preferred 
procurement product are:
    (1) Pretreatment/spot removers--46 percent.
    (2) General purpose laundry products--34 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased laundry products. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased laundry products.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]

[[Page 154]]



Sec. 3201.41  Metalworking fluids.

    (a) Definition. (1) Fluids that are designed to provide cooling, 
lubrication, corrosion prevention, and reduced wear on the contact parts 
of machinery used for metalworking operations such as cutting, drilling, 
grinding, machining, and tapping.
    (2) Metalworking fluids for which preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Straight oils. Metalworking fluids that are not diluted with 
water prior to use and are generally used for metalworking processes 
that require lubrication rather than cooling.
    (ii) General purpose soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils. 
Metalworking fluids formulated for use in a re-circulating fluid system 
to provide cooling, lubrication, and corrosion prevention when applied 
to metal feedstock during normal grinding and machining operations.
    (iii) High performance soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils. 
Metalworking fluids formulated for use in a re-circulating fluid system 
to provide cooling, lubrication, and corrosion prevention when applied 
to metal feedstock during grinding and machining operations involving 
unusually high temperatures or corrosion potential.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product. The applicable minimum biobased contents for the preferred 
procurement product are:
    (1) Straight oils--66 percent.
    (2) General purpose soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils--57 
percent.
    (3) High performance soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils--40 
percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date--(1) Straight oils. No later than May 
14, 2009, procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased metalworking fluids--
straight oils. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased metalworking fluids--straight oils.
    (2) General purpose soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils. No 
later than May 14, 2009, procuring agencies, in accordance with this 
part, will give a procurement preference for qualifying biobased 
metalworking fluids--general purpose soluble, semi-synthetic, and 
synthetic oils. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased metalworking fluids--general purpose soluble, semi-
synthetic, and synthetic oils.
    (3) High performance soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils. 
Determination of the preference compliance date for metalworking 
fluids--high performance soluble, semi-synthetic, and synthetic oils is 
deferred until USDA identifies two or more manufacturers of biobased 
products within this subcategory. At that time, USDA will publish a 
document in the Federal Register announcing that Federal agencies have 
one year from the date of publication to give procurement preference to 
biobased metalworking fluids--high performance soluble, semi-synthetic, 
and synthetic oils.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.42  Wood and concrete sealers.

    (a) Definition. (1) Products that are penetrating liquids formulated 
to protect wood and/or concrete, including masonry and fiber cement 
siding, from damage caused by insects, moisture, and decaying fungi and 
to make surfaces water resistant.
    (2) Wood and concrete sealers for which preferred procurement 
applies are:
    (i) Penetrating liquids. Wood and concrete sealers that are 
formulated to penetrate the outer surface of the substrate.
    (ii) Membrane concrete sealers. Concrete sealers that are formulated 
to form a protective layer on the surface of the substrate.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product. The applicable minimum

[[Page 155]]

biobased contents for the preferred procurement product are:
    (1) Penetrating liquids--79 percent.
    (2) Membrane concrete sealers--11 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than May 14, 2009, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased wood and concrete 
sealers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased wood 
and concrete sealers.

[73 FR 27994, May 14, 2008]



Sec. 3201.43  Chain and cable lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to provide lubrication in such 
applications as bar and roller chains, sprockets, and wire ropes and 
cables. Products may also prevent rust and corrosion in these 
applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 77 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased chain and cable 
lubricants. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
chain and cable lubricants.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.44  Corrosion preventatives.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to prevent the deterioration 
(corrosion) of metals.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 53 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased corrosion preventatives. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased corrosion 
preventatives.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.45  Food cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Anti-microbial products designed to clean the outer 
layer of various food products, such as fruit, vegetables, and meats.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 53 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased food cleaners. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased food cleaners.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.46  Forming lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to provide lubrication during 
metalworking applications that are performed under extreme pressure. 
Such metalworking applications include tube bending, stretch forming, 
press braking, and swaging.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 68 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.

[[Page 156]]

    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased forming lubricants. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased forming lubricants.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.47  Gear lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products, such as greases or oils, that are designed 
to reduce friction when applied to a toothed machine part (such as a 
wheel or cylinder) that meshes with another toothed part to transmit 
motion or to change speed or direction.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 58 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased gear lubricants. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of gear lubricants.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products that fall under this item may, in 
some cases, overlap with the following EPA-designated recovered content 
product: Lubricating oils containing re-refined oil. USDA is requesting 
that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products provide 
information for the BioPreferred Web site of qualifying biobased 
products about the intended uses of the product, information on whether 
or not the product contains any recovered material, in addition to 
biobased ingredients, and performance standards against which the 
product has been tested. This information will assist Federal agencies 
in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased product overlaps 
with EPA-designated re-refined lubricating oils and which product should 
be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased gear lubricant products within this 
designated item can compete with similar gear lubricant products with 
recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 
1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated 
re-refined lubricating oils containing recovered materials as items for 
which Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing 
programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline, 40 CFR 247.11.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.48  General purpose household cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to clean multiple common household 
surfaces. This designated item does not include products that are 
formulated for use as disinfectants. Task-specific cleaning products, 
such as spot and stain removers, upholstery cleaners, bathroom cleaners, 
glass cleaners, etc., are not included in this item.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 39 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased general purpose household 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
general purpose household cleaners.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.49  Industrial cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products used to remove contaminants, such as 
adhesives, inks, paint, dirt, soil, and grease, from parts, products, 
tools, machinery, equipment, vessels, floors, walls, and

[[Page 157]]

other production-related work areas. The cleaning products within this 
item are usually solvents, but may take other forms. They may be used in 
either straight solution or diluted with water in pressure washers, or 
in hand wiping applications in industrial or manufacturing settings, 
such as inside vessels. Task-specific cleaners used in industrial 
settings, such as parts wash solutions, are not included in this 
definition.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 41 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased industrial cleaners. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased industrial cleaners.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.50  Multipurpose cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products used to clean dirt, grease, and grime from 
a variety of items in both industrial and domestic settings. This 
designated item does not include products that are formulated for use as 
disinfectants.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 56 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased multipurpose cleaners. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased multipurpose 
cleaners.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.51  Parts wash solutions.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to clean parts in manual 
or automatic cleaning systems. Such systems include, but are not limited 
to, soak vats and tanks, cabinet washers, and ultrasonic cleaners.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 65 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 27, 2010, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased parts wash solutions. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased parts wash 
solutions.

[74 FR 55093, Oct. 27, 2009]



Sec. 3201.52  Disposable tableware.

    (a) Definition. Products made from, or coated with, plastic resins 
and used in dining, such as drink ware and dishware, including but not 
limited to cups, plates, bowls, and serving platters, and that are 
designed for one-time use. This item does not include disposable 
cutlery, which is a separate item.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 72 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased disposable tableware. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that

[[Page 158]]

the relevant specifications require the use of biobased disposable 
tableware.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.53  Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam recycling products.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to dissolve EPS foam to reduce 
the volume of recycled or discarded EPS items.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 90 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased EPS foam recycling 
products. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased EPS 
foam recycling products.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.54  Heat transfer fluids.

    (a) Definition. Products with high thermal capacities used to 
facilitate the transfer of heat from one location to another, including 
coolants or refrigerants for use in HVAC applications, internal 
combustion engines, personal cooling devices, thermal energy storage, or 
other heating or cooling closed-loops.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 89 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased heat transfer fluids. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased heat transfer 
fluids.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.55  Ink removers and cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Chemical products designed to remove ink, haze, 
glaze, and other residual ink contaminants from the surfaces of 
equipment, such as rollers, used in the textile and printing industries.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 79 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased ink removers and 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased ink 
removers and cleaners.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.56  Mulch and compost materials.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to provide a protective covering 
placed over the soil, primarily to keep down weeds and to improve the 
appearance of landscaping. Compost is the aerobically decomposed 
remnants of organic materials used in gardening and agriculture as a 
soil amendment, and commercially by the landscaping and container 
nursery industries.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 95 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for

[[Page 159]]

qualifying biobased mulch and compost materials. By that date, Federal 
agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased mulch and compost materials.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Landscaping products--``compost'' 
and ``hydraulic mulch''. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these 
qualifying biobased products provide information on the USDA Web site of 
qualifying biobased products about the intended uses of the product, 
information on whether or not the product contains any recovered 
material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance standards 
against which the product has been tested. This information will assist 
Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased 
product overlaps with EPA-designated landscaping products and which 
product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased mulch and compost materials within 
this designated item can compete with similar landscaping products with 
recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 
1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated 
landscaping products containing recovered materials as items for which 
Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing programs. The 
designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 
CFR 247.15.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.57  Multipurpose lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to provide lubrication under a 
variety of conditions and in a variety of industrial settings to prevent 
friction or rust. Greases, which are lubricants composed of oils 
thickened to a semisolid or solid consistency using soaps, polymers or 
other solids, or other thickeners, are not included in this item. In 
addition, task-specific lubricants, such as chain and cable lubricants 
and gear lubricants, are not included in this item.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 88 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased multipurpose lubricants. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased multipurpose 
lubricants.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Re-refined lubricating oils. USDA 
is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products 
provide information on the BioPreferred Web site about the intended uses 
of the product, information on whether or not the product contains any 
recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and performance 
standards against which the product has been tested. This information 
will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a qualifying 
biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated re-refined lubricating 
oils and which product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased multipurpose lubricant products 
within this designated item can compete with similar multipurpose 
lubricant products with recycled content. Under the Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency designated re-refined lubricating oils 
containing recovered materials as items for which Federal agencies must 
give preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.11.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]

[[Page 160]]



Sec. 3201.58  [Reserved]



Sec. 3201.59  Topical pain relief products.

    (a) Definition. Products that can be balms, creams and other topical 
treatments used for the relief of muscle, joint, headache, and nerve 
pain, as well as sprains, bruises, swelling, and other aches.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 91 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased topical pain relief 
products. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
topical pain relief products.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.60  Turbine drip oils.

    (a) Definition. Products that are lubricants for use in drip 
lubrication systems for water well line shaft bearings, water turbine 
bearings for irrigation pumps, and other turbine bearing applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The preferred procurement product must 
have a minimum biobased content of at least 87 percent, which shall be 
based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a 
percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished 
product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than October 18, 2011, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased turbine drip oils. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased turbine drip oils.

[75 FR 63701, Oct. 18, 2010]



Sec. 3201.61  Animal repellents.

    (a) Definition. Products used to aid in deterring animals that cause 
destruction to plants and/or property.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 79 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased animal repellents. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased animal repellents.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.62  Bath products.

    (a) Definition. Personal hygiene products including bar soaps, 
liquids, or gels that are referred to as body washes, body shampoos, or 
cleansing lotions, but excluding products marketed as hand cleaners and/
or hand sanitizers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 61 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased bath products. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased bath products.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]

[[Page 161]]



Sec. 3201.63  Bioremediation materials.

    (a) Definition. Dry or liquid solutions (including those containing 
bacteria or other microbes but not including sorbent materials) used to 
clean oil, fuel, and other hazardous spill sites.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 86 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased bioremediation materials. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased bioremediation 
materials.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.64  Compost activators and accelerators.

    (a) Definition. Products in liquid or powder form designed to be 
applied to compost piles to aid in speeding up the composting process 
and to ensure successful compost that is ready for consumer use.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 95 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased compost activators and 
accelerators. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be 
procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use 
of biobased compost activators and accelerators.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.65  Concrete and asphalt cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Chemicals used in concrete etching as well as to 
remove petroleum-based soils, lubricants, paints, mastics, organic 
soils, rust, and dirt from concrete, asphalt, stone and other hard 
porous surfaces. Products within this item include only those marketed 
for use in commercial or residential construction or industrial 
applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 70 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased concrete and asphalt 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
concrete and asphalt cleaners.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.66  Cuts, burns, and abrasions ointments.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to aid in the healing and 
sanitizing of scratches, cuts, bruises, abrasions, sun damaged skin, 
tattoos, rashes and other skin conditions.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 84 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for

[[Page 162]]

qualifying biobased cuts, burns, and abrasions ointments. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the relevant 
specifications require the use of biobased cuts, burns, and abrasions 
ointments.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.67  Dishwashing products.

    (a) Definition. Soaps and detergents used for cleaning and clean 
rinsing of tableware in either hand washing or dishwashing.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 58 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased dishwashing products. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased dishwashing 
products.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.68  Erosion control materials.

    (a) Definition. Woven or non-woven fiber materials manufactured for 
use on construction, demolition, or other sites to prevent wind or water 
erosion of loose earth surfaces, which may be combined with seed and/or 
fertilizer to promote growth.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 77 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased erosion control 
materials. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
erosion control materials.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.69  Floor cleaners and protectors.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning solutions for either direct application or 
use in floor scrubbers for wood, vinyl, tile, or similar hard surface 
floors. Products within this item are marketed specifically for use on 
industrial, commercial, and/or residential flooring.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 77 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased floor cleaners and 
protectors. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
floor cleaners and protectors.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.70  Hair care products.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Personal hygiene products specifically 
formulated for hair cleaning and treating applications, including 
shampoos and conditioners.
    (2) Hair care products for which Federal preferred procurement 
applies are:
    (i) Shampoos. These are products whose primary purpose is cleaning 
hair. Products that contain both shampoos and conditioners are included 
in this subcategory because the primary purpose of these products is 
cleaning the hair.

[[Page 163]]

    (ii) Conditioners. These are products whose primary purpose is 
treating hair to improve the overall condition of hair.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
hair care products shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased 
carbon in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total 
organic carbon in the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased 
contents for the Federal preferred procurement products are:
    (1) Shampoos--66 percent.
    (2) Conditioners--78 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased hair care products. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased hair care products.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.71  Interior paints and coatings.

    (a) Definition. (1) Pigmented liquids, formulated for use indoors, 
that dry to form a film and provide protection and added color to the 
objects or surfaces to which they are applied.
    (2) Interior paints and coatings products for which Federal 
preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Interior latex and waterborne alkyd paints and coatings.
    (ii) Interior oil-based and solventborne alkyd paints and coatings.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
interior paints and coatings products shall be based on the amount of 
qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents for the Federal preferred 
procurement products are:
    (1) Interior latex and waterborne alkyd paints and coatings--20 
percent.
    (2) Interior oil-based and solventborne alkyd paints and coatings--
67 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased interior paints and 
coatings. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
interior paints and coatings.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying biobased products within the interior latex and 
waterborne alkyd paints and coatings subcategory may, in some cases, 
overlap with the EPA-designated recovered content products: Reprocessed 
latex paints and consolidated latex paints. USDA is requesting that 
manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products provide information 
on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased products about the intended 
uses of the product, information on whether or not the product contains 
any recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, and 
performance standards against which the product has been tested. This 
information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or not a 
qualifying biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated reprocessed 
latex paints and consolidated latex paints and which product should be 
afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased interior latex and waterborne alkyd 
paints and coatings products within this subcategory can compete with 
similar reprocessed latex paint and consolidated latex paint products 
with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
designated reprocessed latex paints and consolidated latex paints 
containing recovered materials as items for which Federal agencies must 
give preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be 
found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.12.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.72  Oven and grill cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Liquid or gel cleaning agents used on high 
temperature cooking surfaces such as barbeques, smokers, grills, stoves, 
and ovens to soften

[[Page 164]]

and loosen charred food, grease, and residue.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 66 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased oven and grill cleaners. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased oven and grill 
cleaners.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.73  Slide way lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Products used to provide lubrication and eliminate 
stick-slip and table chatter by reducing friction between mating 
surfaces, or slides, found in machine tools.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 74 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than July 23, 2012, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased slide way lubricants. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for items to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased slide way 
lubricants.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.74  Thermal shipping containers.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Insulated containers designed for shipping 
temperature-sensitive materials.
    (2) Thermal shipping containers for which Federal preferred 
procurement applies are:
    (i) Durable thermal shipping container. These are thermal shipping 
containers that are designed to be reused over an extended period of 
time.
    (ii) Non-durable thermal shipping containers. These are thermal 
shipping containers that are designed to be used once.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
thermal shipping container products shall be based on the amount of 
qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents for the Federal preferred 
procurement products are:
    (1) Durable thermal shipping containers--21 percent.
    (2) Non-durable thermal shipping containers--82 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date--(1) Durable thermal shipping 
containers. Determination of the preference compliance date for durable 
thermal shipping containers is deferred until USDA identifies two or 
more manufacturers of biobased durable thermal shipping containers. At 
that time, USDA will publish a document in the Federal Register 
announcing that Federal agencies have one year from the date of 
publication to give procurement preference to biobased durable thermal 
shipping containers.
    (2) Non-durable thermal shipping containers. Determination of the 
preference compliance date for non-durable thermal shipping containers 
is deferred until USDA identifies two or more manufacturers of biobased 
non-durable thermal shipping containers. At that time, USDA will publish 
a document in the Federal Register announcing that Federal agencies have 
one year from the date of publication to give procurement preference to 
biobased non-durable thermal shipping containers.

[76 FR 43817, July 22, 2011]



Sec. 3201.75  Air fresheners and deodorizers.

    (a) Definition. Products used to alleviate the experience of 
unpleasant odors

[[Page 165]]

by chemical neutralization, absorption, anesthetization, or masking.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 97 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased air fresheners and 
deodorizers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased air fresheners and deodorizers.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.76  Asphalt and tar removers.

    (a) Definition. Cleaning agents designed to remove asphalt or tar 
from equipment, roads, or other surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 80 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased asphalt and tar removers. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased asphalt and 
tar removers.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.77  Asphalt restorers.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to seal, protect, or restore 
poured asphalt and concrete surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 68 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased asphalt restorers. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased asphalt 
restorers.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.78  Blast media.

    (a) Definition. Abrasive particles sprayed forcefully to clean, 
remove contaminants, or condition surfaces, often preceding coating.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 94 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased blast media. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased blast media.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Miscellaneous products--blasting 
grit. USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased 
products provide information on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased 
products about the

[[Page 166]]

intended uses of the product, information on whether or not the product 
contains any recovered material, in addition to biobased ingredients, 
and performance standards against which the product has been tested. 
This information will assist Federal agencies in determining whether or 
not a qualifying biobased product overlaps with EPA-designated blasting 
grit products and which product should be afforded the preference in 
purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased blast media within this designated 
product category can compete with similar blasting grit products with 
recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 
1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated 
blasting grit products containing recovered materials as products for 
which Federal agencies must give preference in their purchasing 
programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement 
Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.79  Candles and wax melts.

    (a) Definition. Products composed of a solid mass and either an 
embedded wick that is burned to provide light or aroma, or that are 
wickless and melt when heated to produce an aroma.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 88 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased candles and wax melts. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased candles and wax 
melts.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.80  Electronic components cleaners.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to wash or remove dirt or 
extraneous matter from electronic parts, devices, circuits, or systems.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 91 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased electronic components 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased electronic components cleaners.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.81  Floor coverings (non-carpet).

    (a) Definition. Products, other than carpet products, that are 
designed for use as the top layer on a floor. Examples are bamboo, 
hardwood, and cork tiles.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 91 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased floor coverings (non-
carpet). By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
floor coverings (non-carpet).
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product.

[[Page 167]]

Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-designated 
recovered content product: Construction Products--floor tiles. USDA is 
requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products 
provide information on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased products 
about the intended uses of the product, information on whether or not 
the product contains any recovered material, in addition to biobased 
ingredients, and performance standards against which the product has 
been tested. This information will assist Federal agencies in 
determining whether or not a qualifying biobased product overlaps with 
EPA-designated floor tile products and which product should be afforded 
the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased floor coverings within this 
designated product category can compete with similar floor tile products 
with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
designated floor tile products containing recovered materials as 
products for which Federal agencies must give preference in their 
purchasing programs. The designation can be found in the Comprehensive 
Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.82  Foot care products.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to be used in the soothing or 
cleaning of feet.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 83 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased foot care products. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased foot care 
products.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.83  Furniture cleaners and protectors.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to clean and provide protection to 
the surfaces of household furniture other than the upholstery.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 71 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased furniture cleaners and 
protectors. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased furniture cleaners and protectors.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.84  Inks.

    (a) Definitions. (1) Inks are liquid or powdered materials that are 
available in several colors and that are used to create the visual image 
on a substrate when writing, printing, and copying.
    (2) Inks for which Federal preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Specialty inks. Inks used by printers to add extra 
characteristics to their prints for special effects or functions. 
Specialty inks include, but are not limited to: CD printing, erasable, 
FDA compliant, invisible, magnetic, scratch and sniff, thermochromic, 
and tree marking inks.
    (ii) Inks (sheetfed--color). Pigmented inks (other than black inks) 
used on coated and uncoated paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil to 
print in color on annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar 
materials.
    (iii) Inks (sheetfed--black). Black inks used on coated and uncoated 
paper, paperboard, some plastic, and foil to

[[Page 168]]

print in black on annual reports, brochures, labels, and similar 
materials.
    (iv) Inks (printer toner--<25 pages per minute (ppm)). Inks that are 
a powdered chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser printers, 
which is transferred onto paper to form the printed image. These inks 
are formulated to be used in printers with standard fusing mechanisms 
and print speeds of less than 25 ppm.
    (v) Inks (printer toner--25 ppm). Inks that are a powdered 
chemical, used in photocopying machines and laser printers, which is 
transferred onto paper to form the printed image. These inks are 
formulated to be used in printers with advanced fusing mechanisms and 
print speeds of 25 ppm or greater.
    (vi) Inks (news). Inks used primarily to print newspapers.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
inks shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product. The applicable minimum biobased contents for the 
Federal preferred procurement products are:
    (1) Specialty inks--66 percent.
    (2) Inks (sheetfed--color)--67 percent.
    (3) Inks (sheetfed--black)--49 percent.
    (4) Inks (printer toner--<25 ppm)--34 percent.
    (5) Inks (printer toner--25 ppm)--20 percent.
    (6) Inks (news)--32 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased inks. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased inks.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.85  Packing and insulating materials.

    (a) Definition. Pre-formed and molded materials that are used to 
hold package contents in place during shipping or for insulating and 
sound proofing applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 74 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased packing and insulating 
materials. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased packing and insulating materials.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.86  Pneumatic equipment lubricants.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants designed specifically for pneumatic 
equipment, including air compressors, vacuum pumps, in-line lubricators, 
rock drills, jackhammers, etc.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 67 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased pneumatic equipment 
lubricants. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Vehicular Products--re-refined 
lubricating oils.

[[Page 169]]

USDA is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased 
products provide information on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased 
products about the intended uses of the product, information on whether 
or not the product contains any recovered material, in addition to 
biobased ingredients, and performance standards against which the 
product has been tested. This information will assist Federal agencies 
in determining whether or not a qualifying biobased product overlaps 
with EPA-designated re-refined lubricating oil products and which 
product should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Biobased pneumatic equipment lubricants 
within this designated product category can compete with similar re-
refined lubricating oil products with recycled content. Under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency designated re-refined lubricating oil 
products containing recovered materials as products for which Federal 
agencies must give preference in their purchasing programs. The 
designation can be found in the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 
CFR 247.17.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.87  Wood and concrete stains.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed to be applied as a finish 
for concrete and wood surfaces and that contain dyes or pigments to 
change the color without concealing the grain pattern or surface 
texture.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 39 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than April 4, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased wood and concrete stains. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased wood and 
concrete stains.

[77 FR 20289, Apr. 4, 2012]



Sec. 3201.88  Agricultural spray adjuvants.

    (a) Definition. Products mixed in the spray tank with the herbicide, 
pesticide, or fertilizer formulas that will improve the efficiency and 
the effectiveness of the chemicals, including sticking agents, wetting 
agents, etc.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 50 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased agricultural spray 
adjuvants. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased agricultural spray adjuvants.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.89  Animal cleaning products.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to clean, condition, or remove 
substances from animal hair or other parts of an animal.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 57 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased animal cleaning products. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require

[[Page 170]]

the use of biobased animal cleaning products.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.90  Deodorants.

    (a) Definition. Products that are designed for inhibiting or masking 
perspiration and other body odors and that are often combined with an 
antiperspirant.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 73 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased deodorants. By that date, 
Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or reviewing 
specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that the 
relevant specifications require the use of biobased deodorants.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.91  Dethatcher products.

    (a) Definition. Products used to remove non-decomposed plant 
material accumulated in grassy areas.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 87 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased dethatchers. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased dethatchers.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.92  Fuel conditioners.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to improve the performance and 
efficiency of engines by providing benefits such as removing accumulated 
deposits, increasing lubricity, removing moisture, increasing the cetane 
number, and/or preventing microbial growths within the fuel system.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 64 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased fuel conditioners. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased fuel 
conditioners.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.93  Leather, vinyl, and rubber care products.

    (a) Definition. Products that help clean, nourish, protect, and 
restore leather, vinyl, and rubber surfaces, including cleaners, 
conditioners, protectants, polishes, waxes, etc.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 55 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased leather, vinyl, and 
rubber care products. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to 
be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the 
use of biobased

[[Page 171]]

leather, vinyl, and rubber care products.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.94  Lotions and moisturizers.

    (a) Definition. Creams and oils used to soften and treat damaged 
skin.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 59 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased lotions and moisturizers. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased lotions and 
moisturizers.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.95  Shaving products.

    (a) Definition. Products designed for every step of the shaving 
process, including shaving creams, gels, soaps, lotions, and aftershave 
balms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 92 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased shaving products. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased shaving 
products.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.96  Specialty precision cleaners and solvents.

    (a) Definition. Cleaners and solvents used in specialty 
applications. These materials may be used in neat solution, diluted with 
water, or in hand wiping applications.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 56 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased specialty precision 
cleaners and solvents. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to 
be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the 
use of biobased specialty precision cleaners and solvents.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.97  Sun care products.

    (a) Definition. Products including sunscreens, sun blocks, and 
suntan lotions that are topical products that absorb or reflect the 
sun's ultraviolet radiation to protect the skin.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 53 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased sun care products. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased sun care 
products.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]

[[Page 172]]



Sec. 3201.98  Wastewater systems coatings.

    (a) Definition. Coatings that protect wastewater containment tanks, 
liners, roofing, flooring, joint caulking, manholes and related 
structures from corrosion. Protective coatings may cover the entire 
system or be used to fill cracks in systems.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 47 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased wastewater systems 
coatings. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased wastewater systems coatings.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.99  Water clarifying agents.

    (a) Definition. Products designed to clarify and improve the quality 
of water by reducing contaminants such as excess nitrites, nitrates, 
phosphates, ammonia, and built-up sludge from decaying waste and other 
organic matter.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 92 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than November 19, 2013, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased water clarifying agents. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased water 
clarifying agents.

[77 FR 69386, Nov. 19, 2012]



Sec. 3201.100  Aircraft and boat cleaners.

    (a) Definition. (1) Aircraft and boat cleaners are products designed 
to remove built-on grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside, or 
impact soils on both interior and exterior of aircraft and/or boats.
    (2) Aircraft and boat cleaners for which Federal preferred 
procurement applies are:
    (i) Aircraft cleaners. Cleaning products designed to remove built-on 
grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside, or impact soils on both 
interior and exterior of aircraft.
    (ii) Boat cleaners. Cleaning products designed to remove built-on 
grease, oil, dirt, pollution, insect reside, or impact soils on both 
interior and exterior of boats.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
aircraft and boat cleaners shall be based on the amount of qualifying 
biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the 
total organic carbon in the finished product. The applicable minimum 
biobased contents for the Federal preferred procurement products are:
    (1) Aircraft cleaners--48 percent.
    (2) Boat cleaners--38 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased aircraft and boat 
cleaners. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased aircraft and boat cleaners.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.101  Automotive care products.

    (a) Definition. Products such as waxes, buffing compounds, polishes, 
degreasers, soaps, wheel and tire cleaners, leather care products, 
interior cleaners, and fragrances that are formulated for cleaning and 
protecting automotive surfaces.

[[Page 173]]

    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 75 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased automotive care products. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased automotive 
care products.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.102  Engine crankcase oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricating products formulated to provide 
lubrication and wear protection for four-cycle gasoline or diesel 
engines.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 25 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased engine crankcase oils. By 
that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased engine crankcase 
oils.
    (d) Determining overlap with an EPA-designated recovered content 
product. Qualifying products within this item may overlap with the EPA-
designated recovered content product: Re-refined lubricating oils. USDA 
is requesting that manufacturers of these qualifying biobased products 
provide information on the USDA Web site of qualifying biobased products 
about the intended uses of the product, information on whether or not 
the product contains any recovered material, in addition to biobased 
ingredients, and performance standards against which the product has 
been tested. This information will assist Federal agencies in 
determining whether or not a qualifying biobased product overlaps with 
EPA-designated re-refined lubricating oil products and which product 
should be afforded the preference in purchasing.

    Note to paragraph (d): Engine crankcase oils within this designated 
product category can compete with similar re-refined lubricating oil 
products with recycled content. Under the Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act of 1976, section 6002, the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency designated re-refined lubricating oil products containing 
recovered materials as products for which Federal agencies must give 
preference in their purchasing programs. The designation can be found in 
the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, 40 CFR 247.17.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.103  Gasoline fuel additives.

    (a) Definition. Chemical agents added to gasoline to increase octane 
levels, improve lubricity, and provide engine cleaning properties to 
gasoline-fired engines.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 92 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased gasoline fuel additives. 
By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting 
or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure 
that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased gasoline 
fuel additives.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]

[[Page 174]]



Sec. 3201.104  Metal cleaners and corrosion removers.

    (a) Definition. (1) Products that are designed to clean and remove 
grease, oil, dirt, stains, soils, and rust from metal surfaces.
    (2) Metal cleaners and corrosion removers for which Federal 
preferred procurement applies are:
    (i) Corrosion removers. Products that are designed to remove rust 
from metal surfaces through chemical action.
    (ii) Stainless steel cleaners. Products that are designed to clean 
and remove grease, oil, dirt, stains, and soils from stainless steel 
surfaces.
    (iii) Other metal cleaners. Products that are designed to clean and 
remove grease, oil, dirt, stains, and soils from metal surfaces other 
than stainless steel.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
metal cleaners and corrosion removers shall be based on the amount of 
qualifying biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight 
(mass) of the total organic carbon in the finished product. The 
applicable minimum biobased contents for the Federal preferred 
procurement products are:
    (1) Corrosion removers--71 percent.
    (2) Stainless steel cleaners--75 percent.
    (3) Other metal cleaners--56 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased metal cleaners and 
corrosion removers. By that date, Federal agencies that have the 
responsibility for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to 
be procured shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the 
use of biobased metal cleaners and corrosion removers.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.105  Microbial cleaning products.

    (a) Definition. (1) Cleaning agents that use microscopic organisms 
to treat or eliminate waste materials within drains, plumbing fixtures, 
sewage systems, wastewater treatment systems, or on a variety of other 
surfaces. These products typically include organisms that digest 
protein, starch, fat, and cellulose.
    (2) Microbial cleaning products for which Federal preferred 
procurement applies are:
    (i) Drain maintenance products. Products containing microbial agents 
that are intended for use in plumbing systems such as sinks, showers, 
and tubs.
    (ii) Wastewater maintenance products. Products containing microbial 
agents that are intended for use in wastewater systems such as sewer 
lines and septic tanks.
    (iii) General cleaners. Products containing microbial agents that 
are intended for multi-purpose cleaning in locations such as residential 
and commercial kitchens and bathrooms.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The minimum biobased content for all 
microbial cleaning products shall be based on the amount of qualifying 
biobased carbon in the product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the 
total organic carbon in the finished product. The applicable minimum 
biobased contents for the Federal preferred procurement products are:
    (1) Drain maintenance products--45 percent.
    (2) Wastewater maintenance products--44 percent.
    (3) General cleaners--50 percent.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased microbial cleaning 
products. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility 
for drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured 
shall ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of 
biobased microbial cleaning products.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.106  Paint removers.

    (a) Definition. Products formulated to loosen and remove paint from 
painted surfaces.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 41 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.

[[Page 175]]

    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased paint removers. By that 
date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for drafting or 
reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall ensure that 
the relevant specifications require the use of biobased paint removers.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



Sec. 3201.107  Water turbine bearing oils.

    (a) Definition. Lubricants that are specifically formulated for use 
in the bearings found in water turbines for electric power generation. 
Previously designated turbine drip oils are used to lubricate bearings 
of shaft driven water well turbine pumps.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The Federal preferred procurement 
product must have a minimum biobased content of at least 46 percent, 
which shall be based on the amount of qualifying biobased carbon in the 
product as a percent of the weight (mass) of the total organic carbon in 
the finished product.
    (c) Preference compliance date. No later than June 11, 2014, 
procuring agencies, in accordance with this part, will give a 
procurement preference for qualifying biobased water turbine bearing 
oils. By that date, Federal agencies that have the responsibility for 
drafting or reviewing specifications for products to be procured shall 
ensure that the relevant specifications require the use of biobased 
water turbine bearing oils.

[78 FR 34872, June 11, 2013]



PART 3202_VOLUNTARY LABELING PROGRAM FOR BIOBASED PRODUCTS--
Table of Contents



Sec.
3202.1  Purpose and scope.
3202.2  Definitions.
3202.3  Applicability.
3202.4  Criteria for product eligibility to use the certification mark.
3202.5  Initial approval process.
3202.6  Appeal processes.
3202.7  Requirement associated with the certification mark.
3202.8  Violations.
3202.9  Recordkeeping requirements.
3202.10  Oversight and monitoring.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 8102.

    Source: 76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011, unless otherwise noted. 
Redesignated at 76 FR 53632, Aug. 29, 2011.



Sec. 3202.1  Purpose and scope.

    The purpose of this part is to set forth the terms and conditions 
for voluntary use of the ``USDA Certified Biobased Product'' 
certification mark. This part establishes the criteria that biobased 
products must meet in order to be eligible to become certified biobased 
products to which the ``USDA Certified Biobased Product'' mark can be 
affixed, the process manufacturers and vendors must use to obtain and 
maintain USDA certification, and the recordkeeping requirements for 
manufacturers and vendors who obtain certification. In addition, this 
part establishes specifications for the correct and incorrect uses of 
the certification mark, which apply to manufacturers, vendors, and other 
entities. Finally, this part establishes actions that constitute 
voluntary labeling program violations.



Sec. 3202.2  Definitions.

    Applicable minimum biobased content. The biobased content at or 
above the level set by USDA to qualify for use of the certification 
mark.
    ASTM International (ASTM). American Society for Testing and 
Materials is a nonprofit organization that provides an international 
forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus 
standards for materials, products, systems, and services.
    Biobased content. The amount of biobased carbon in the material or 
product expressed as a percent of weight (mass) of the total organic 
carbon in the material or product. For BioPreferred Products (products 
that have been identified for Federal preferred procurement), the 
biobased content shall be defined and determined as specified in the 
applicable section of subpart B of part 3201. For all other products, 
the biobased content is to be determined using ASTM Method D6866, 
Standard Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid,

[[Page 176]]

Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis.
    Biobased product. (1) A product determined by USDA to be a 
commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is:
    (i) Composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological 
products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials and 
forestry materials; or
    (ii) An intermediate ingredient or feedstock.
    (2) The term ``biobased product'' includes, with respect to forestry 
materials, forest products that meet biobased content requirements, 
notwithstanding the market share the product holds, the age of the 
product, or whether the market for the product is new or emerging.
    Certification mark. A combination of the certification mark artwork 
(as defined in this subpart); one of three statements identifying 
whether the USDA certification applies to the product, the package, or 
both the product and package; and, where applicable, the letters ``FP'' 
to indicate that the product is within a designated product category and 
eligible for Federal preferred procurement. The certification mark is 
owned, and its use is managed by, USDA (standard trademark law 
definition applies).
    Certification mark artwork. The distinctive image, as shown in 
Figures 1-3, that identifies products as USDA Certified.

[[Page 177]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR15JN15.000

    Certified biobased product. A biobased product for which the 
manufacturer or vendor of the product has received approval from USDA to 
affix to the product the ``USDA Certified Biobased Product'' 
certification mark.
    Days. As used in this part means calendar days.

[[Page 178]]

    Designated product category. A generic grouping of biobased 
products, including those final products made from designated 
intermediate ingredients or feedstocks, or complex assemblies identified 
in subpart B of 7 CFR part 3201, that is eligible for the procurement 
preference established under section 9002 of FSRIA.
    Designated representative. An entity authorized by a manufacturer or 
vendor to affix the USDA certification mark to the manufacturer's or 
vendor's certified biobased product or its packaging.
    Forest product. A product made from materials derived from the 
practice of forestry or the management of growing timber. The term 
``forest product'' includes:
    (1) Pulp, paper, paperboard, pellets, lumber, and other wood 
products; and
    (2) Any recycled products derived from forest materials.
    Intermediate ingredient or feedstock. A material or compound made in 
whole or in significant part from biological products, including 
renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine 
materials) or forestry materials that have undergone value added 
processing (including thermal, chemical, biological, or a significant 
amount of mechanical processing), excluding harvesting operations, 
offered for sale by a manufacturer or vendor and that is subsequently 
used to make a more complex compound or product.
    ISO. The International Organization for Standardization, a network 
of national standards institutes working in partnership with 
international organizations, governments, industries, business, and 
consumer representatives.
    ISO 9001 conformant. An entity that meets all of the requirements of 
the ISO 9001 standard, but that is not required to be ISO 9001 
certified. ISO 9001 refers to the International Organization for 
Standardization's standards and guidelines relating to ``quality 
management'' systems. ``Quality management'' is defined as what the 
manufacturer does to ensure that its products or services satisfy the 
customer's quality requirements and comply with any regulations 
applicable to those products or services.
    Manufacturer. An entity that performs the necessary chemical and/or 
mechanical processes to make a final marketable product.
    Other entity. Any person, group, public or private organization, or 
business other than USDA, or manufacturers or vendors of biobased 
products that may wish to use the ``USDA Certified Biobased Product'' 
certification mark in informational or promotional material related to a 
certified biobased product.
    Program Manager. The manager of the BioPreferred Program.
    Qualified biobased product. A product that is eligible for federal 
preferred procurement because it meets the definition and minimum 
biobased content criteria for one or more designated product categories, 
or one or more designated intermediate ingredient or feedstock 
categories, as specified in subpart B of 7 CFR part 3201.
    Renewable chemical. A monomer, polymer, plastic, formulated product, 
or chemical substance produced from renewable biomass.
    USDA. The United States Department of Agriculture.
    Vendor. An entity that offers for sale final marketable biobased 
products that are produced by manufacturers.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011; 80 FR 34036, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3202.3  Applicability.

    (a) Manufacturers, vendors, and designated representatives. The 
requirements in this part apply to all manufacturers and vendors, and 
their designated representatives, who wish to participate in the USDA 
voluntary labeling program for biobased products. Manufacturers and 
vendors wishing to participate in the voluntary labeling program are 
required to obtain and maintain product certification.
    (b) Other entities. The requirements in this part apply to other 
entities who wish to use the certification mark in promoting the sales 
or the public awareness of certified biobased products.

[[Page 179]]



Sec. 3202.4  Criteria for product eligibility to use the certification
mark.

    A product must meet each of the criteria specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (c) of this section in order to be eligible to receive biobased 
product certification.
    A product must meet each of the criteria specified in paragraphs (a) 
and (b) of this section in order to be eligible to receive biobased 
product certification.
    (a) Biobased product. The product for which certification is sought 
must be a biobased product as defined in Sec. 3202.2 of this part.
    (b) Minimum biobased content. The biobased content of the product 
must be equal to or greater than the applicable minimum biobased 
content, as described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(4) of this 
section.
    (1) Qualified Biobased Products--(i) Product is within a single 
product category. If the product is within a single product category 
that, at the time the application for certification is submitted, has 
been designated by USDA for Federal preferred procurement, the 
applicable minimum biobased content is the minimum biobased content 
specified for the item as found in subpart B of 7 CFR part 3201.
    (ii) Product is within multiple product categories. If a biobased 
product is marketed within more than one product category identified for 
preferred Federal purchasing, uses the same packaging for each product, 
and the applicant seeks certification of the product, the product's 
biobased content must meet or exceed the specified minimum biobased 
content for each of the applicable product categories in order to use 
the certification mark on the product. However, if the manufacturer 
packages the product differently for each product category, then the 
applicable minimum biobased contents are those established under 
paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for each product category for which 
the applicant seeks to use the certification mark.
    (2) Finished biobased products that are not Qualified Biobased 
Products. (i) If the product is not an intermediate ingredient or 
feedstock, and is not within a product category eligible for Federal 
preferred procurement at the time the application for certification is 
submitted, the applicable minimum biobased content is 25 percent. 
Manufacturers, vendors, groups of manufacturers and/or vendors, and 
trade associations may propose an alternative applicable minimum 
biobased content for the product by developing, in consultation with 
USDA, and conducting an analysis to support the proposed alternative 
applicable minimum biobased content. If approved by USDA, the proposed 
alternative applicable minimum biobased content would become the 
applicable minimum biobased content for the product to be labeled.
    (ii) If a product certified under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this 
section is within a product category that USDA subsequently designates 
for Federal preferred procurement, the applicable minimum biobased 
content shall become, as of the effective date of the final designation 
rule, the minimum biobased content specified for the item as found in 
subpart B of 7 CFR part 3201.
    (3) Products that are intermediate ingredients or feedstocks. (i) If 
the product is an intermediate ingredient or feedstock that is not 
eligible for Federal preferred procurement at the time the application 
for certification is submitted, the applicable minimum biobased content 
is 25 percent. Manufacturers, vendors, groups of manufacturers and/or 
vendors, and trade associations may propose an alternative applicable 
minimum biobased content for the product by developing, in consultation 
with USDA, and conducting an analysis to support the proposed 
alternative applicable minimum biobased content. If approved by USDA, 
the proposed alternative applicable minimum biobased content would 
become the applicable minimum biobased content for the intermediate 
ingredient or feedstock product to be labeled.
    (ii) If a product certified under paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this 
section is within a category that USDA subsequently designates for 
Federal preferred procurement, the applicable minimum biobased content 
shall become, as of the effective date of the final designation rule, 
the minimum biobased content specified for the item as found in subpart 
B of 7 CFR part 3201.

[[Page 180]]

    (4) Finished products that are complex assemblies. (i) If the 
product is a complex assembly, as defined in subpart A of 7 CFR part 
3201, that is not eligible for federal preferred procurement at the time 
the application for certification is submitted, the applicable minimum 
biobased content is 25 percent. The biobased content shall be determined 
using the procedures specified in Sec. 3201.7(c)(3) of this chapter. 
Manufacturers, vendors, groups of manufacturers and/or vendors, and 
trade associations may propose an alternative applicable minimum 
biobased content for the product by developing, in consultation with 
USDA, and conducting an analysis to support the proposed alternative 
applicable minimum biobased content. If approved by USDA, the proposed 
alternative applicable minimum biobased content would become the 
applicable minimum biobased content for the complex assembly to be 
labeled.
    (ii) If a product certified under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this 
section is within a category that USDA subsequently designates for 
federal preferred procurement, the applicable minimum biobased content 
shall become, as of the effective date of the final designation rule, 
the minimum biobased content specified for the item as found in subpart 
B of 7 CFR part 3201.
    (c) Innovative approach. In determining eligibility for 
certification under the BioPreferred Program, USDA will consider as 
eligible only those products that use innovative approaches in the 
growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or 
application of the biobased product. USDA will consider products that 
meet one or more of the criteria in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of 
this section to be eligible for certification. USDA will also consider 
other documentation of innovative approaches in the growing, harvesting, 
sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or application of 
biobased products on a case by case basis. USDA may deny certification 
for any products whose manufacturers are unable to provide USDA with the 
documentation necessary to verify claims that innovative approaches are 
used in the growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, 
manufacturing, or application of their biobased products.
    (1) Product applications. (i) The biobased product or material is 
used or applied in applications that differ from historical 
applications; or
    (ii) The biobased product or material is grown, harvested, 
manufactured, processed, sourced, or applied in other innovative ways; 
or
    (iii) The biobased content of the product or material makes its 
composition different from products or material used for the same 
historical uses or applications.
    (2) Manufacturing and processing. (i) The biobased product or 
material is manufactured or processed using renewable, biomass energy or 
using technology that is demonstrated to increase energy efficiency or 
reduce reliance on fossil-fuel based energy sources; or
    (ii) The biobased product or material is manufactured or processed 
with technologies that ensure high feedstock material recovery and use.
    (3) Environmental Product Declaration. The product has a current 
Environmental Product Declaration as defined by International Standard 
ISO 14025, Environmental Labels and Declarations--Type III Environmental 
Declarations--Principles and Procedures.
    (4) Raw material sourcing. (i) The raw material used in the product 
is sourced from a Legal Source, a Responsible Source, or a Certified 
Source as designated by ASTM D7612--10, Standard Practice for 
Categorizing Wood and Wood-Based Products According to Their Fiber 
Sources; or
    (ii) The raw material used in the product is 100% resourced or 
recycled (such as material obtained from building deconstruction); or
    (iii) The raw material used in the product is from an urban 
environment and is acquired as a result of activities related to a 
natural disaster, land clearing, right-of-way maintenance, tree health 
improvement, or public safety.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011; 80 FR 34038, June 15, 2015]

[[Page 181]]



Sec. 3202.5  Initial approval process.

    (a) Application. Manufacturers and vendors seeking USDA approval to 
use the certification mark for an eligible biobased product must submit 
a USDA-approved application for each biobased product. A standardized 
application form and instructions are available on the USDA BioPreferred 
Program Web site (http://www.biopreferred.gov). The contents of an 
acceptable application are as specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through 
(a)(4) of this section.
    (1) General content. The applicant must provide contact information 
and product information including all brand names or other identifying 
information, intended uses of the product, information to document that 
one or more of the innovative approach criteria specified in section 
3202.4(c) has been met, and, if applicable, the corresponding product 
category classification for federal preferred procurement. The applicant 
must also provide a sample of the product to be analyzed by a third-
party, ISO 9001 conformant, testing entity for determination of the 
biobased content. In situations where a new product for which 
certification is sought is composed of the same biobased ingredients and 
has the same biobased content as a product that has already been 
certified, the manufacturer may, in lieu of having the new product 
tested, self-declare the biobased content of the new product by 
referencing the tested biobased content of the original certified 
product. Certification of the original product must have been obtained 
by either the manufacturer of the new product or by the supplier of the 
biobased ingredients used in the new product.
    (2) Certifications. The applicant must certify in the application 
that the product for which use of the certification mark is sought is a 
biobased product as defined in Sec. 3202.2 of this part.
    (3) Commitments. The applicant must sign a statement in the 
application that commits the applicant to submitting to USDA the 
information specified in paragraph (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this 
section, which USDA will post to the USDA BioPreferred Program Web site, 
and to providing USDA with up-to-date information for posting on this 
Web site.
    (4) Application fee. Effective (date to be added after authority to 
collect fee is granted), applicants must submit an application fee of 
$500 with each completed application for certification. Instructions for 
submitting the application fee are available on the USDA BioPreferred 
Program Web site (http://www.biopreferred.gov), along with the 
application form and instructions.
    (b) Evaluation of applications. (1) USDA will evaluate each 
application to determine if it contains the information specified in 
paragraph (a) of this section. If USDA determines that the application 
is not complete, USDA will return the application to the applicant with 
an explanation of its deficiencies. Once the deficiencies have been 
addressed, the applicant may resubmit the application, along with a 
cover letter explaining the changes made, for re-evaluation by USDA. 
USDA will evaluate resubmitted applications separately from first-time 
applications, and those with the earliest original application submittal 
date will be given first priority.
    (2)(i) USDA will evaluate each complete application to determine 
compliance with the criteria specified in Sec. 3202.4. USDA will provide 
a written response to each applicant within 60 days after the receipt of 
a complete application, informing the applicant of whether the 
application has been conditionally approved or has been disapproved.
    (ii) For those applications that are conditionally approved, a 
notice of certification, as specified in paragraph (c) of this section, 
must be issued before the use of the certification mark can begin.
    (iii) For those applications that are disapproved, USDA will issue a 
notice of denial of certification and will inform the applicant in 
writing of each criterion not met. Applicants who receive a notice of 
denial of certification may appeal using the procedures specified in 
Sec. 3202.6.
    (c) Notice of certification. After notification that its application 
has been conditionally approved, the applicant must provide to USDA (for 
posting by

[[Page 182]]

USDA on the USDA BioPreferred Program Web site) the information 
specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this section. Once USDA 
confirms that the information is received and complete, USDA will issue 
a notice of certification to the applicant. Upon receipt of a notice of 
certification, the applicant may begin using the certification mark on 
the certified biobased product. Paragraph (c)(5) of this section 
presents the procedures for revising the information provided under 
paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section after a notice of 
certification has been issued.
    (1) The product's brand name(s), or other identifying information.
    (2) Contact information, including the name, mailing address, email 
address, and telephone number of the applicant.
    (3) The biobased content of the product.
    (4) A hot link directly to the applicant's Web site (if available).
    (5) If at any time, during the application process or after a 
product has been certified, any of the information specified in 
paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section changes, the applicant 
must notify USDA of the change within 30 days. Such notification must be 
provided in writing to USDA.
    (d) Term of certification. (1) The effective date of certification 
is the date on which the applicant receives a notice of certification 
from USDA. Except as specified in paragraphs (d)(2)(i) through (d)(2)(v) 
of this section, certifications will remain in effect as long as the 
product is manufactured and marketed in accordance with the approved 
application and the requirements of this subpart.
    (2)(i) If the product formulation of a certified product is changed 
such that the biobased content of the product is reduced to a level 
below that reported in the approved application, the existing 
certification will not be valid for the product under the revised 
conditions and the manufacturer or vendor, as applicable, and its 
designated representatives must discontinue affixing the certification 
mark to the product and must not initiate any further advertising of the 
product using the certification mark. USDA will consider a product under 
such revised conditions to be a reformulated product, and the 
manufacturer or vendor, as applicable, must submit a new application for 
certification using the procedures specified in paragraph (a) of this 
section.
    (ii) If the product formulation of a certified product is changed 
such that the biobased content of the product is increased from the 
level reported in the approved application, the existing certification 
will continue to be valid for the product.
    (iii) If the applicable required minimum biobased content for a 
product to be eligible to display the certification mark is revised by 
USDA, manufacturers and vendors may continue to label their previously 
certified product only if it meets the new minimum biobased content 
level. In those cases where the biobased content of a certified product 
fails to meet the new minimum biobased content level, USDA will notify 
the manufacturer or vendor that their certification is no longer valid. 
Such manufacturers and vendors must increase the biobased content of 
their product to a level at or above the new minimum biobased content 
level and must re-apply for certification within 60 days if they wish to 
continue to use the certification mark. Manufacturers and vendors who 
have re-applied for certification may continue using the existing 
certification mark until they receive notification from USDA on the 
results of their re-application for certification.
    (iv) All certifications are subject to USDA periodic auditing 
activities, as described in Sec. 3202.10(d). If a manufacturer or vendor 
of a certified biobased product fails to participate in such audit 
activities or if such audit activities reveal biobased content 
violations, as specified in Sec. 3202.8(b)(1), the certification will be 
subject to suspension and revocation according to the procedures 
specified in Sec. 3202.8(c).
    (v) If USDA discovers that a certification has been issued for an 
ineligible biobased product as a result of errors on the part of USDA 
during the approval process, USDA will notify the product's manufacturer 
or vendor in

[[Page 183]]

writing that the certification is revoked effective 30 days from the 
date of the notice.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011; 80 FR 34038, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3202.6  Appeal processes.

    An applicant for certification may appeal a notice of denial of 
certification to the Program Manager. Entities that have received a 
notice of violation, and manufacturers and vendors of certified biobased 
products who have received a notice of suspension or revocation, may 
appeal to the Program Manager.
    (a)(1) Appeals to the Program Manager must be filed within 30 days 
of receipt by the appellant of a notice of denial of certification, a 
notice of violation, a notice of suspension, or a notice of revocation. 
Appeals must be filed in writing and addressed to: Program Manager, USDA 
Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products, Room 361, Reporters 
Building, 300 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20024.
    (2) All appeals must include a copy of the adverse decision and a 
statement of the appellant's reasons for believing that the decision was 
not made in accordance with applicable program regulations, policies, or 
procedures, or otherwise was not proper.
    (b)(1) If the Program Manager sustains an applicant's appeal of a 
notice of denial of certification, USDA will issue a notice of 
certification to the applicant for its biobased product.
    (2) If the Program Manager sustains a manufacturer's or vendor's 
appeal of a notice of violation, USDA will rescind the notice and no 
further action will be taken by USDA.
    (3) If the Program Manager sustains a manufacturer's or vendor's 
appeal of a notice of suspension, the manufacturer, vendor, and their 
designated representative(s) may immediately resume affixing the 
certification mark to the certified biobased product and USDA will 
reinstate the product's information to the USDA BioPreferred Program Web 
site.
    (4) If the Program Manager sustains a manufacturer's or vendor's 
appeal of a notice of revocation, the manufacturer or vendor, and its 
designated representatives may immediately resume affixing the 
certification mark to the certified biobased product and sell and 
distribute the certified biobased product with the certification mark. 
In addition, USDA will reinstate the product's information to the USDA 
BioPreferred Program Web site.
    (c) If the Program Manager sustains a manufacturer's or vendor's 
appeal of its product's exclusion from the program, the manufacturers or 
vendors may then apply for certification to use the certification mark 
on that product, as specified in Sec. 3202.5(a) of this part.
    (d) Appeals of any of the Program Manager's decisions may be made to 
the USDA Assistant Secretary for Administration. Appeals must be made, 
in writing, within 30 days of receipt of the Program Manager's decision 
and addressed to: Assistant Secretary for Administration, Room 209A, 
Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-
0103. If the Assistant Secretary for Administration sustains an appeal, 
the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section will apply.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011]



Sec. 3202.7  Requirements associated with the certification mark.

    (a) Who may use the certification mark? (1) Manufacturers and 
vendors. Only manufacturers and vendors who have received a notice of 
certification, or designated representatives of the manufacturer or 
vendor, may affix the official certification mark (in one of the three 
variations, as applicable) to the product or its packaging. A 
manufacturer or vendor who has received a notice of certification for a 
product under this part:
    (i) May use the certification mark on the product, its packaging, 
and other related materials including, but not limited to, 
advertisements, catalogs, specification sheets, procurement databases, 
promotional material, Web sites, or user manuals for that product, 
according to the requirements set forth in this section; and
    (ii) Is responsible for the manner in which the mark is used by its 
companies, as well as its designated representatives, including 
advertising

[[Page 184]]

agencies, marketing and public relations firms and subcontractors.
    (2) Other entities. (i) Other entities may use the mark to advertise 
or promote certified biobased products in materials including, but not 
limited to, advertisements, catalogs, procurement databases, Web sites, 
and promotional and educational materials, as long as the manufacturer 
or vendor of the product, or one of their designated representatives, 
has affixed the mark to the product or its packaging.
    (ii) Other entities may use the certification mark; the phrase 
``USDA Certified Biobased Product/Package/Product & Package,'' as 
applicable; and the BioPreferred Program name in general statements as 
described in paragraph (b) of this section, as long as the statements do 
not imply that a non-certified biobased product is certified.
    (b) Correct usage of the certification mark. (1) The certification 
mark can be affixed only to certified biobased products and their 
associated packaging.
    (2) The certification mark may be used in material including, but 
not limited to, advertisements, catalogs, procurement databases, Web 
sites, and promotional and educational materials to distinguish products 
that are certified for use of the label from those that are not 
certified. The certification mark may be used in advertisements for both 
certified biobased products and non-certified/labeled products if the 
advertisement clearly indicates which products are certified/labeled. 
Care must be taken to avoid implying that any non-certified products are 
certified.
    (3) The certification mark may be used without reference to a 
specific certified biobased product only when informing the public about 
the purpose of the certification mark. For example, the following or 
similar claim is acceptable: ``Look for the `USDA Certified Biobased 
Product' certification mark. It means that the product meets USDA 
standards for the amount of biobased content and the manufacturer or 
vendor has provided relevant information on the product to be posted on 
the USDA BioPreferred Program Web site.'' This exception allows 
manufacturers, vendors, and other entities to use the certification mark 
in documents such as corporate reports, but only in an informative 
manner, not as a statement of product certification.
    (4) The certification mark may appear next to a picture of the 
product(s) or text describing it.
    (5) The certification mark must stand alone and not be incorporated 
into any other certification mark or logo designs.
    (6) The certification mark may be used as a watermark provided the 
use does not violate any usage restrictions specified in this part.
    (7) The text portion of the certification mark must be written in 
English and may not be translated, even when the certification mark is 
used outside of the United States.
    (c) Incorrect usage of the certification mark. (1) The certification 
mark shall not be used on any product that has not been certified by 
USDA as a ``USDA Certified Biobased Product.''
    (2) The certification mark shall not be used on any advertisements 
or informational materials where both certified biobased products and 
non-certified products are shown unless it is clear that the 
certification mark applies to only the certified biobased product(s).
    (3) The certification mark shall not be used to imply endorsement by 
USDA or the BioPreferred Program of any particular product, service, or 
company.
    (4) The certification mark shall not be used in any form that could 
be misleading to the consumer.
    (5) The certification mark shall not be used by manufacturers or 
vendors of certified products in a manner disparaging to USDA or any 
other government body.
    (6) The certification mark shall not be used with an altered 
certification mark or incorporated into other label or logo designs.
    (7) The certification mark shall not be used on business cards, 
company letterhead, or company stationery.
    (8) The certification mark shall not be used in, or as part of, any 
company name, logo, product name, service, or Web site, except as may be 
provided for in this part.
    (9) The certification mark shall not be used in a manner that 
violates any

[[Page 185]]

of the applicable requirements contained in this part.
    (d) Imported products. The certification mark can be used only with 
a product that is certified by USDA under this part. The certification 
mark cannot be used to imply that a product meets or exceeds the 
requirements of biobased programs in other countries. Products imported 
for sale in the U.S. must adhere to the same guidelines as U.S.-sourced 
biobased products. Any product sold in the U.S. as a ``USDA Certified 
Biobased Product/Package/Product & Package'' must have received 
certification from USDA.
    (e) Contents of the certification mark. The certification mark shall 
consist of the certification mark artwork, the biobased content 
percentage, and one of the three variations of text specified in 
paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(3) of this section, as applicable.
    (1) USDA Certified Biobased Product.
    (2) USDA Certified Biobased Product: Package.
    (3) USDA Certified Biobased Product & Package.
    (f) Physical aspects of the certification mark. The certification 
mark artwork may not be altered, cut, separated into components, or 
distorted in appearance or perspective. Certification marks that are 
applied to biobased products that have been designated for preferred 
Federal procurement will include the letters ``FP'' as part of the 
certification mark artwork. The certification mark must appear only in 
the colors specified in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(3) of this 
section, unless approval is given by USDA for an exception.
    (1) A multi-color version of the certification mark is preferred. 
The certification mark colors to be applied will be stipulated in the 
``Marketing Guides'' document available on the USDA BioPreferred Program 
Web site (http://www.biopreferred.gov).
    (2) A one-color version of the certification mark may be substituted 
for the multi-color version as long as the one color used is one of the 
multi-color choices reapplied without modification. Further guidance on 
the one-color certification mark application will also be detailed in 
the ``Marketing Guides.''
    (3) A black and white version of the certification mark is 
acceptable.
    (g) Placement of the certification mark. (1) The certification mark 
can appear directly on a product, its associated packaging, in user 
manuals, and in other materials including, but not limited to, 
advertisements, catalogs, procurement databases, and promotional and 
educational materials.
    (2) The certification mark shall not be placed in a manner that is 
ambiguous about which product is a certified biobased product or that 
could indicate certification of a non-certified product.
    (3) When used to distinguish a certified biobased product in 
material including, but not limited to, advertisements, catalogs, 
procurement databases, Web sites, and promotional and educational 
materials, the certification mark must appear near a picture of the 
product or the text describing it.
    (i) If all products on a page are certified biobased products, the 
certification mark may be placed anywhere on the page.
    (ii) If a page contains a mix of certified biobased products and 
non-certified products, the certification mark shall be placed in close 
proximity to the certified biobased products. An individual 
certification mark near each certified biobased product may be necessary 
to avoid confusion.
    (h) Minimum size and clear space recommendations for the 
certification mark--(1) The certification mark may be sized to fit the 
individual application as long as the correct proportions are maintained 
and the certification mark remains legible.
    (2) A border of clear space must surround the certification mark and 
must be of sufficient width to offset it from surrounding images and 
text and to avoid confusion. If the certification mark's color is 
similar to the background color of the product or packaging, the 
certification mark in a contrasting (i.e., black, white) color may be 
used.
    (i) Where to obtain copies of the certification mark artwork. The 
certification mark artwork is available at the USDA BioPreferred Program 
Web site http://www.biopreferred.gov.

[[Page 186]]



Sec. 3202.8  Violations.

    This section identifies the types of actions that USDA considers 
violations under this part and the penalties (e.g., the suspension or 
revocation of certification) associated with such violations.
    (a) General. Violations under this section occur on a per product 
basis and the penalties are to be applied on a per product basis. 
Entities cited for a violation under this section may appeal using the 
provisions in Sec. 3202.6. If certification for a product is revoked, 
the manufacturer or vendor whose certification has been revoked may seek 
re-certification for the product using the procedures specified under 
the provisions in Sec. 3202.5.
    (b) Types of violations. Actions that will be considered violations 
of this part include, but are not limited to, the following specific 
examples:
    (1) Biobased content violations. The Program Manager will utilize 
occasional random testing of certified biobased products to compare the 
biobased content of the tested product with the product's applicable 
minimum biobased content and the biobased content reported by the 
manufacturer or vendor in its approved application. Such testing will be 
conducted using ASTM Method D6866. USDA will provide a copy of the 
results of its testing to the applicable manufacturer or vendor.
    (i) If USDA testing shows that the biobased content of a certified 
biobased product is less than its applicable minimum biobased content, 
then a violation of this part will have occurred.
    (ii) If USDA testing shows that the biobased content is less than 
that reported by the manufacturer or vendor in its approved application, 
but is still equal to or greater than its applicable minimum biobased 
content(s), USDA will provide written notification to the manufacturer 
or vendor. The manufacturer or vendor must submit, within 90 days from 
receipt of USDA written notification, a new application for the lower 
biobased content. Failure to submit a new application within 90 days 
will be considered a violation of this part.
    (A) The manufacturer or vendor can submit in the new application the 
biobased content reported to it by USDA in the written notification.
    (B) Alternatively, the manufacturer or vendor may elect to retest 
the product in question and submit the results of the retest in the new 
application. If the manufacturer or vendor elects to retest the product, 
it must test a sample of the current product.
    (2) Certification mark violations. (i) Any usage or display of the 
certification mark that does not conform to the requirements specified 
in Sec. 3202.7.
    (ii) Affixing the certification mark to any product prior to 
issuance of a notice of certification from USDA.
    (iii) Affixing the certification mark to a certified biobased 
product during periods when certification has been suspended or revoked.
    (3) Application violations. Knowingly providing false or misleading 
information in any application for certification of a biobased product 
constitutes a violation of this part.
    (4) USDA BioPreferred Program Web site violations. Failure to 
provide to USDA updated information when the information for a certified 
biobased product becomes outdated or when new information for a 
certified biobased product becomes available constitutes a violation of 
this part.
    (c) Notice of violations and associated actions. USDA will provide 
the applicable manufacturer or vendor or their designated 
representatives and any involved other entity known to USDA written 
notification of any violations identified by USDA. USDA will first issue 
a preliminary notice that apparent violations have been identified. If 
satisfactory resolution of the apparent violation is not reached within 
30 days from receipt of the preliminary notice, USDA will issue a notice 
of violation. Entities who receive a notice of violation for a biobased 
content violation must correct the violation(s) within 90 days from 
receipt of the notice of violation. Entities who receive a notice of 
violation for other types of violations also must correct the 
violation(s) within 90 days from receipt of the notice of violation. If 
the entity receiving a notice of violation is a manufacturer, a vendor, 
or a designated representative of a manufacturer or vendor, USDA will 
pursue notices of suspensions and

[[Page 187]]

revocation, as discussed in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this 
section. USDA reserves the right to further pursue action against these 
entities as provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. If the 
entity receiving a notice of violation is an ``other entity'' (i.e., not 
a manufacturer, vendor, or designated representative), then USDA will 
pursue action according to paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Entities 
that receive notices of suspension or revocation may appeal such notices 
using the procedures specified in Sec. 3202.6.
    (1) Suspension. (i) If a violation is applicable to a manufacturer, 
vendor, or designated representative and the applicable entity fails to 
make the required corrections within 90 days of receipt of a notice of 
violation, USDA will notify the manufacturer or vendor, as appropriate, 
of the continuing violation, and the USDA certification for that product 
will be suspended. As of the date that the manufacturer or vendor 
receives a notice of suspension, the manufacturer or vendor and their 
designated representatives must not affix the certification mark to any 
of that product, or associated packaging, not already labeled and must 
not distribute any additional products bearing the certification mark. 
USDA will both remove the product information from the USDA BioPreferred 
Program Web site and actively communicate the product suspension to 
buyers in a timely and overt manner.
    (ii) If, within 30 days from receipt of the notice of suspension, 
the manufacturer or vendor whose USDA product certification has been 
suspended makes the required corrections and notifies USDA that the 
corrections have been made, the manufacturer or vendor and their 
designated representatives may, upon receipt of USDA approval of the 
corrections, resume use of the certification mark. USDA will also 
restore the product information to the USDA BioPreferred Program Web 
site.
    (2) Revocation. (i) If a manufacturer or vendor whose USDA product 
certification has been suspended fails to make the required corrections 
and notify USDA of the corrections within 30 days of the date of the 
suspension, USDA will notify the manufacturer or vendor that the 
certification for that product is revoked.
    (ii) As of the date that the manufacturer or vendor receives the 
notice revoking USDA certification, the manufacturer or vendor and their 
designated representatives must not affix the certification mark to any 
of that product not already labeled. In addition, the manufacturer or 
vendor and their designated representatives are prohibited from further 
sales of product to which the certification mark is affixed.
    (iii) If a manufacturer or vendor whose product certification has 
been revoked wishes to use the certification mark, the manufacturer or 
vendor must follow the procedures required for original certification.
    (3) Other remedies. In addition to the suspension or revocation of 
the certification to use the label, depending on the nature of the 
violation, USDA may pursue suspension or debarment of the entities 
involved in accordance with 2 CFR part 417 and 48 CFR subpart 9.4. USDA 
further reserves the right to pursue any other remedies available by 
law, including any civil or criminal remedies, against any entity that 
violates the provisions of this part.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011; 80 FR 34039, June 15, 2015]



Sec. 3202.9  Recordkeeping requirements.

    (a) Records. Manufacturers and vendors shall maintain records 
documenting compliance with this part for each product that has received 
certification to use the label, as specified in paragraphs (a)(1) 
through (a)(3) of this section.
    (1) The results of all tests, and any associated calculations, 
performed to determine the biobased content of the product.
    (2) The date the applicant receives certification from USDA, the 
dates of changes in formulation that affect the biobased content of 
certified biobased products, and the dates when the biobased content of 
certified biobased products was tested.
    (3) Documentation of analyses performed by manufacturers to support 
claims of environmental or human

[[Page 188]]

health benefits, life cycle cost, sustainability benefits, and product 
performance made by the manufacturer.
    (b) Record retention. For each certified biobased product, records 
kept under paragraph (a) of this section must be maintained for at least 
three years beyond the end of the label certification period (i.e., 
three years beyond the period of time when manufacturers and vendors 
cease using the certification mark). Records may be kept in either 
electronic format or hard copy format. All records kept in electronic 
format must be readily accessible, and/or provided by request during a 
USDA audit.



Sec. 3202.10  Oversight and monitoring.

    (a) General. USDA will conduct oversight and monitoring of 
manufacturers, vendors, designated representatives, and other entities 
involved with the voluntary product labeling program to ensure 
compliance with this part. This oversight will include, but not be 
limited to, conducting facility visits of manufacturers and vendors who 
have certified biobased products, and of their designated 
representatives. Manufacturers, vendors, and their designated 
representatives are required to cooperate fully with all USDA audit 
efforts for the enforcement of the voluntary labeling program.
    (b) Biobased content testing. USDA will conduct biobased content 
testing of certified biobased products, as described in 
Sec. 3202.8(b)(1) to ensure compliance with this part.
    (c) Inspection of records. Manufacturers, vendors, and their 
designated representatives must allow Federal representatives access to 
the records required under Sec. 3202.9 for inspection and copying during 
normal Federal business hours.
    (d) Audits. USDA expects to conduct audits of the voluntary labeling 
program on an ongoing basis with audit activities conducted every other 
calendar year (bi-annually). Audit activities will include three stages 
and will be conducted in sequential order as follows:
    (1) Stage 1 auditing includes contacting all participants via email 
and requesting that they complete a ``Declaration of Conformance Form.'' 
Program participants are asked to confirm that they still manufacture 
the product and that the formulation and manufacturing processes remain 
the same. Participants are also asked to list all active products and 
advise the USDA of any complaints regarding the claim of the biobased 
content. The first Stage 1 auditing activity was completed in 2012 and 
the second Stage 1 audit will be conducted in 2018.
    (2) Stage 2 auditing consists of a random sampling of certified 
products to confirm the accuracy of biobased content percentages 
claimed. The participants whose products are selected will be required 
to submit product samples to be tested by independent testing labs at 
USDA expense. The first Stage 2 auditing activity began in 2014 and is 
scheduled to be completed during 2015 and the second Stage 2 audit will 
be conducted in 2020.
    (3) Stage 3 auditing requires manufacturers of products that have 
been certified for 5 years or more to have their products re-tested at 
their expense to confirm that the biobased content remains at or above 
the level at which the product was originally certified. The first Stage 
3 auditing activity is scheduled to be completed during 2016 and the 
second Stage 3 audit will be conducted in 2022.

[76 FR 3806, Jan. 20, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 76 FR 53632, 
Aug. 29, 2011; 80 FR 34039, June 15, 2015]



PART 3203_GUIDELINES FOR THE TRANSFER OF EXCESS COMPUTERS OR OTHER
TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 14220 OF THE 2008 FARM BILL
--Table of Contents



Sec.
3203.1  Purpose.
3203.2  Eligibility.
3203.3  Definitions.
3203.4  Procedures.
3203.5  Dollar limitation.
3203.6  Restrictions.
3203.7  Title.
3203.8  Costs.
3203.9  Accountability and recordkeeping.
3203.10  Disposal.
3203.11  Liabilities and losses.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2206b.

[[Page 189]]


    Source: 77 FR 26661, May 7, 2012, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3203.1  Purpose.

    This part sets forth the procedures to be utilized by USDA when 
transferring excess USDA computers or other technical equipment to an 
organization for the purposes of distribution to a city, town, or local 
government entity in a rural area as authorized by 7 U.S.C. 2206b.



Sec. 3203.2  Eligibility.

    To be eligible under this part:
    (a) A city, town, or local government entity must be located in a 
rural area as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A).
    (b) A designated organization must:
    (1) Have the documented capability to refurbish and distribute 
excess computers or other technical equipment;
    (2) Serve the interest of cities, towns, or local government 
entities in rural areas; and
    (3) Have been designated by an official of a city, town, or local 
government entity in a rural area to receive excess computers or other 
technical equipment under this part.



Sec. 3203.3  Definitions.

    Cannibalization means to remove serviceable parts from one item of 
equipment in order to install them on another item of equipment in order 
to repair or enhance its operability.
    City, town, or local government entity in a rural area as defined in 
7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A) means any area other than:
    (1) A city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 
inhabitants; and
    (2) Any urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or 
town described in paragraph (1) of this definition.
    Computers or other technical equipment means central processing 
units, laptops, desktops, computer mouses, keyboards, monitors, related 
peripheral tools (e.g., printers, modems, routers, servers, multimedia 
projectors, multifunctional devices, external hard drives) and fax 
machines. This term may also include computer software where the 
transfer of a license is permitted.
    Designated organization means an organization that has been selected 
by an official of a city, town, or local government entity in a rural 
area to provide refurbishing services on donated computer and technical 
equipment.
    Excess means any property under the control of a USDA agency that is 
no longer required for that agency's or another USDA agency's needs, as 
determined by the agency head or designee.
    Property Management Officer (PMO) is an eligible recipient's 
designated point of contact, responsible for adherence to procedures 
described in this part.
    Recipient means a city, town, or local government entity located in 
a rural area as defined in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A) that may receive 
excess computers or other technical equipment under this part.
    Refurbish means to make `like new' by the process of major 
maintenance or minor repair of an item, either aesthetically or 
mechanically.



Sec. 3203.4  Procedures.

    (a) Each agency head will designate, in writing, an authorized 
official to approve transfers of excess computers or other technical 
equipment under this part consistent with the Department's policies on 
personal property management.
    (b) Excess computers or other technical equipment must first be 
internally screened to ensure it is not needed elsewhere in the 
Department.
    (c) To receive information concerning the availability of USDA 
excess computers or other technical equipment, an eligible recipient's 
PMO should contact any USDA office near to its location.
    (d) The USDA employee responsible for personal property, at the 
office contacted, will review the request for eligibility of the 
recipient and the availability of excess computers or other technical 
equipment. The USDA employee will inform the requestor of the outcome of 
the review (e.g. eligibility, the availability of excess computers or 
other technical equipment).
    (e) Eligible recipients will express their interest in receiving 
property under this part by submitting a request, on letterhead paper 
(electronic

[[Page 190]]

copy is acceptable), to a USDA authorized official. All requests must 
originate from, and be signed by, a representative of an eligible 
recipient city, town, or local government entity. Requests must include:
    (1) Type of excess computers or other technical equipment requested 
(should include specifications);
    (2) Justification for eligibility (see Sec. 3203.2);
    (3) Contact information of the requestor;
    (4) Logistical information such as when and how the property will be 
picked up; and
    (5) Information on the recipient's designated organization (company 
name, contact person and phone number) that is designated to receive and 
refurbish the property for the eligible recipient along with a copy of 
the agreement between the recipient and its designated organization.
    (f) Excess computers or other technical equipment should be 
inspected before the property is transferred or the USDA agency should 
be contacted to verify the condition of the property.
    (g) If the condition of the property is acceptable, the recipient or 
its designated organization will coordinate with the USDA contact for 
transfer of the property. Since the USDA agency office may have several 
requests for property, it is critical that the recipient or its 
designated organization contact USDA as soon as possible. Property will 
usually be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, taking into 
account fair and equitable distribution of excess computers or other 
technical equipment to all eligible recipients.
    (h) Transfers will be accomplished using the appropriate USDA 
property transfer form. The transfer form must contain the following 
statement: ``Property listed on this form is being transferred pursuant 
to the provisions in 7 CFR Part 3203.'' The form must be signed by an 
authorized official of the USDA agency and an official of the recipient 
organization.
    (i) A copy of the request that transferred the property must be 
attached to the transfer order and kept in the USDA agency's files.
    (j) When property is transferred to a designated organization, a 
copy of the completed transfer document will be sent to the eligible 
recipient government entity for its records. Eligible recipients are 
responsible for following up with the designated organization they have 
designated for the final receipt of the property.
    (k) In cases where an agency receives competing requests for excess 
computers or other technical equipment, to the extent permitted by law, 
the agency shall give full consideration to such factors as national 
defense requirements, emergency needs, energy conservation, preclusion 
of new procurement, fair and equitable distribution, transportation 
costs, and retention of title in the Government.
    (l) Prior to transferring any property pursuant to this Act, the 
transferring agency must remove data from the excess computers or other 
technical equipment (memory or any kind of data storage device) 
according to accepted sanitization procedures. To the maximum extent 
practicable, the transferring agency must remove data using a means that 
does not remove, disable, destroy, or otherwise render unusable the 
excess computers or other technical equipment or components. It is 
imperative that agencies take the necessary steps to ensure that no 
personal computer, server, external storage device, or related 
electronic component is transferred that might contain sensitive or 
confidential information. See Departmental Manual 3575-001, Security 
Controls in the System Life Cycle/System Development Life Cycle, for 
additional guidance.



Sec. 3203.5  Dollar limitation.

    There is no dollar limitation on excess computers or other technical 
equipment obtained under this part.



Sec. 3203.6  Restrictions.

    (a) Only an authorized USDA official may approve the transfer of 
excess computers or other technical equipment under this part.
    (b) Excess computers or other technical equipment may be transferred 
for the purpose of cannibalization, provided that the requestor submits 
a

[[Page 191]]

statement clearly indicating that cannibalization of the requested 
property will have greater benefit than utilization of the item in its 
existing form. Cannibalization is a secondary use of equipment and, 
therefore, these requests are considered subordinate to requests for 
primary use.
    (c) Designated organizations will only receive property for 
cannibalization when it has been specifically requested by the recipient 
and the cannibalized parts must only be used in computers or other 
technical equipment destined for eligible recipients.



Sec. 3203.7  Title.

    Title of ownership to excess computers or other technical equipment 
transferred under this part shall automatically pass to the recipient 
once the transferring agency and recipient or designated organization 
sign the transfer form indicating that the designated organization has 
received the property.



Sec. 3203.8  Costs.

    The designated organization must pay any costs associated with 
packaging and transportation of the property unless it has made other 
arrangements. The designated organization must remove property from the 
USDA agency's premises within 15 calendar days after being notified that 
the property is available for pickup, unless otherwise coordinated with 
the USDA agency. If the recipient decides prior to picking up or 
removing the property that it no longer wants the property, it must 
notify the USDA agency that approved the transfer request that the 
property is no longer needed.



Sec. 3203.9  Accountability and recordkeeping.

    (a) USDA requires all excess computers or other technical equipment 
received by an eligible recipient pursuant to this part be placed into 
use within one year of receipt of the property and used for at least one 
year thereafter. The recipient's PMO must maintain accountable records 
for such property during this time period.
    (b) GSA requires that all excess personal property given to non-
federal recipients be reported each fiscal year. USDA agencies that 
transfer property under this part must report the transfers in their 
annual reports to OPPM and include both the recipient and organization 
names. OPPM will review the reports for accuracy, as well as fair and 
equitable distribution of the excess computers or other technical 
equipment, before submitting to GSA.



Sec. 3203.10  Disposal.

    When property received under this part is no longer needed by the 
recipient, it must be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner 
that is not detrimental or dangerous to public health or safety and in 
accordance with all Federal, State and local laws.



Sec. 3203.11  Liabilities and losses.

    USDA assumes no liability with respect to accidents, bodily injury, 
illness, or any other damages or loss related to excess computers or 
other technical equipment transferred under this part. The recipient/
designated organization is advised to insure or otherwise protect itself 
and others as appropriate.

                       PARTS 3204	3299 [RESERVED]

[[Page 193]]



   CHAPTER XXXIII--OFFICE OF TRANSPORTATION, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
3300            Agreement on the international carriage of 
                    perishable foodstuffs and on the special 
                    equipment to be used for such carriage 
                    (ATP); inspection, testing, and 
                    certification of special equipment......         195
3301-3399       [Reserved]

[[Page 195]]



PART 3300_AGREEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE OF PERISHABLE 
FOODSTUFFS AND ON THE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT TO BE USED FOR SUCH CARRIAGE 
(ATP); INSPECTION, TESTING, AND CERTIFICATION OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
--Table of Contents



                         Subpart A_Introduction

Sec.
3300.1  Scope of authority and purpose.
3300.4  Definitions.

              Subpart B_Procedures for Testing of Equipment

3300.7  General.
3300.10  Measurement of the K-coefficient of an insulated body.
3300.13  Determination of the efficiency of the thermal appliances as 
          installed in the insulated body.

                 Subpart C_Approval of Testing Stations

3300.16  General.
3300.19  Application for approval.
3300.22  Response to application for approval.
3300.25  Application for renewal of approval.
3300.28  Response to application for renewal of approval.
3300.31  Termination of approval.

 Subpart D_Procedures for Separate Testing of Mechanical Refrigerating 
                               Appliances

3300.34  General.
3300.37  Testing of a mechanical refrigerating appliance.

               Subpart E_Approval of Testing Laboratories

3300.40  General.
3300.43  Application for approval.
3300.46  Response to application for approval.
3300.49  Application for renewal of approval.
3300.52  Response to application for renewal of approval.
3300.55  Termination of approval.

                Subpart F_Certification of New Equipment

3300.58  General.
3300.61  Testing and verification requirements.
3300.64  Application for certificate for new equipment produced or 
          assembled in the United States or in a foreign country which 
          is not a contracting party to the ATP.
3300.67  Application for certificate for new equipment produced or 
          assembled in a foreign country which is a contracting party to 
          the ATP.
3300.70  Issuance of certificate.
3300.73  Period of validity of certificates.

             Subpart G_Certification of Equipment in Service

3300.76  General.
3300.79  Application for certificate.
3300.82  Issuance of certificate.
3300.85  Period of validity of certificates.

                       Subpart H_Other Provisions

3300.88  Fees for U.S. ATP certificates.
3300.91  List of approved testing stations, approved testing 
          laboratories, and fees for certificates.
3300.94  Appeals.

    Authority: Sec. 4, Pub. L. 97-325, International Carriage of 
Perishable Foodstuffs Act (7 U.S.C. 4403).

    Source: 51 FR 33879, Sept. 24, 1986, unless otherwise noted.



                         Subpart A_Introduction



Sec. 3300.1  Scope of authority and purpose.

    The International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs Act assigns to 
the Secretary of Agriculture the responsibility for implementation of 
the Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and 
on the Special Equipment to be Used for Such Carriage (ATP). The purpose 
of this rule is to establish procedures for the inspection, testing, and 
certification of insulated, refrigerated, mechanically refrigerated, and 
heated transport equipment in accordance with the Act and the standards 
specified in the Agreement. In the process, the intent is to utilize 
existing industry organizations and facilities for testing and 
inspection of equipment. The Secretary is the sole authority to issue 
certificates of compliance.



Sec. 3300.4  Definitions.

    Administrator means the Administrator, Office of Transportation, 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose address is: 1405 Auditors 
Building, 201 14th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250.

[[Page 196]]

    ATP means the Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable 
Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for Such Carriage 
(ATP), and the annexes and appendices thereto, done at Geneva, September 
1, 1970, under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Europe, and 
any subsequent amendments thereto. \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A copy of the agreement can be obtained by request to the ATP 
Manager, Office of Transportation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1405 
Auditors Building, 201 14th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATP manager means the person designated by the Administrator to 
manage the program established by this rule, whose address is: ATP 
Manager, Office of Transportation, U.S Department of Agriculture, 1405 
Auditors Building, 201 14th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250.
    Contracting party means a country which is signatory to the ATP.
    Domestic owner means an organization incorporated or chartered under 
the laws of, and with principal office in, the United States, and to 
which one of the following applies:
    (a) The organization owns and operates the equipment directly.
    (b) The organization owns and operates the equipment through a 
wholly owned subsidiary in a foreign country.
    (c) The organization is a lessee or bailee of the equipment, and a 
written lease or bailment provides that the organization is responsible 
for any inspection, testing, and certification of the equipment with 
respect to the ATP rule.
    Equipment means the special transport equipment that meets the 
definitions and standards set forth in ATP, Annex 1, including, but not 
limited to, railcars, trucks, trailers, semitrailers, and intermodal 
freight containers that have an insulated body only, or an insulated 
body equipped with a refrigerating, mechanically refrigerating, or 
heating appliance.
    Equipment manufacturer means an organization which producers or 
assembles the complete unit of equipment, that is, the insulated body 
with the thermal appliance installed.
    Foreign owner means an organization registered under the laws of, or 
with principal office in, a country outside the United States, and which 
owns or operates the equipment.
    Foreign-ATP certificate means a certificate issued by a foreign 
country which is a contracting party to the ATP, attesting that the 
equipment listed in the certificate complies with pertinent standards in 
the ATP.
    Identical mechanical refrigerating appliance means an appliance 
which is of the same model number and design as the reference mechanical 
refrigerating appliance.
    Insulated body means the six-sided structural component of 
equipment, consisting of insulated doors, sidewalls, roof, floor, and 
endwall, inside which perishable foodstuffs are carried.
    International carriage means transportation of perishable foodstuffs 
if such foodstuffs are loaded in equipment or the equipment containing 
them is loaded onto a rail or road vehicle, in the territory of any 
country and such foodstuffs are, or the equipment containing them is, 
unloaded in the territory of another country that is a contracting 
party, where such transportation is by:
    (a) Rail,
    (b) Road,
    (c) Any combination of rail and road, or
    (d) Any sea crossing of less than one hundred and fifty kilometers, 
if preceded or followed by one or more land journeys as referred to in 
clauses (a), (b), and (c) of this definition, and the perishable 
foodstuffs are shipped in the same equipment used for such land journeys 
without transloading of such foodstuffs.

In the case of any transportation that involves one or more sea 
crossings other than as specified in clause (d) of this definition, each 
land journey shall be considered separately.
    New equipment means equipment produced or assembled on or after the 
effective date of this rule.
    Perishable foodstuffs means the quick deep-frozen and frozen food 
products listed in Annex 2, and the chilled food products listed in 
Annex 3 to the ATP.
    Reference equipment means a unit of equipment which has passed a 
test in an approved testing station, and can thereby serve as a basis 
for certification of related serially-produced equipment.

[[Page 197]]

    Reference insulated body means an insulated body which has passed a 
test in an approved testing station for measurement of the K-coefficient 
of the body, and can thereby serve as the basis for approval of 
serially-produced bodies in the case in which the body and the 
mechanical refrigerating appliance of the equipment are tested 
separately.
    Reference mechanical refrigerating appliance means an appliance 
which has passed a test in an approved testing laboratory, and can 
thereby serve as the basis for approval of identical mechanical 
refrigerating appliances in the case in which the appliance and the 
insulated body of the equipment are tested separately.
    Serially-produced bodies means insulated bodies which meet the 
definition in ATP, Annex 1 Appendix 1, paragraph 2(c)(i).
    Serially-produced equipment means equipment of a specific type 
(container, semi-trailer, trailer, truck, or container), which meets the 
definition in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 2(c), (i), (ii), 
(iii), and (iv).
    Thermal appliance means the refrigerating, mechanical refrigerating, 
or heating appliance which is installed in the insulated body of the 
equipment.
    United States means the fifty States of the United States, the 
District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American 
Samoa, the Virgin Islands of the United States, the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the 
United States.
    U.S. ATP certificate means a certificate issued by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, attesting that the equipment listed in the 
certificate complies with pertinent standards in the ATP.
    U.S. ATP testing laboratory means a facility in the United States 
which has been approved by the Administrator to conduct tests of 
mechanical refrigerating appliances.
    U.S. ATP testing station means a facility in the United States which 
has been approved by the Administrator to conduct tests of equipment.



              Subpart B_Procedures for Testing of Equipment



Sec. 3300.7  General.

    Testing of equipment according to the ATP is basically done in two 
phases:
    (a) Measurement of the insulating capacity, that is, the K-
coefficient, of the insulated body.
    (b) Determination of the efficiency of the thermal appliance as 
installed in the insulated body. In the case of mechanically 
refrigerated equipment, the mechanical refrigerating appliance may be 
tested separate from the body.



Sec. 3300.10  Measurement of the K-coefficient of an insulated body.

    The K-coefficient shall be measured according to the procedures in 
ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2, paragraphs 1-28, and the following shall 
apply:
    (a) The internal heating method shall be used.
    (b) In ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2, paragraph 8, last line, ``about + 
20  deg.C for the mean temperature of the walls of the body shall be 
interpreted to mean between + 19  deg.C ( + 66  deg.F) and 21  deg.C ( + 
70  deg.F).
    (c) A report of each test shall be completed on a form corresponding 
to the pertinent test report model prescribed in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 
2. Report forms may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager.



Sec. 3300.13  Determination of the efficiency of the thermal
appliances as installed in the insulated body.

    In determining the efficiency of a thermal appliance with respect to 
maintaining a prescribed temperature inside the body, the procedures in 
ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2, paragraphs 31-40 and 43-47 shall be used. A 
report of each test shall be completed on a form corresponding to the 
pertinent test report model prescribed in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2. 
Report forms may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager.

[[Page 198]]



                 Subpart C_Approval of Testing Stations



Sec. 3300.16  General.

    Any public or private organization incorporated or chartered under 
the laws of, and with principal office in, the United States may apply 
to have one or more of its facilities in the United States designated as 
a U.S. ATP testing station.



Sec. 3300.19  Application for approval.

    An application by an officer of the organization shall be submitted 
to the Administrator for each facility for which approval is sought. 
Copies of the Form, Application for Approval as a U.S. ATP Testing 
Station, may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager. The following 
information must be supplied in the application:
    (a) A statement that the organization is incorporated or chartered 
under the laws of, and that it has its principal office in, the United 
States, including the name, address, and telephone number of the 
principal office.
    (b) The address and telephone number of the testing station, and 
name and title of person in charge of the station.
    (c) A summary of experience at the facility which would indicate the 
capability to conduct tests of equipment according to Subpart B of this 
rule.
    (d) A general description of the station, including drawings on 
letter size (8 \1/2\  x  11 inches) paper to show the floor plan and 
cross-sections of the test chamber, basic dimensions, location of heat 
exchangers and instruments, and any other pertinent information.
    (e) An indication of which of the following types of equipment, as 
defined in ATP, Annex 1, that the station is capable of testing: 
intermodal freight containers, semi-trailers, trailers, railcars, and 
trucks.
    (f) A statement that the ATP manager or other representative of the 
Administrator may, before a decision is made concerning the application, 
observe a test at the station of a Class ``C'' mechanically refrigerated 
container or semi-trailer, with Class ``C'' being defined as in ATP, 
Annex 1, paragraph 3.
    (g) A statement that the station will be open to public use, that 
is, to manufacturers and owners of equipment which may apply to have 
equipment tested.
    (h) A statement that the fees to be charged by the organization for 
testing will be reasonable with respect to costs involved, and that such 
fees will be payable directly to the organization by those who seek 
testing of their equipment.
    (i) A statement that the station will maintain records of basic data 
developed in each test conducted under this rule, such records to be 
available for review by the ATP manager or other representative of the 
Administrator upon request. The record for each test shall be maintained 
for a period of three years.
    (j) A statement that the organization will advise the ATP manager as 
soon as practicable of its intent to conduct a test under this rule and 
that it will, as soon as possible, advise when a firm test date has been 
set so that the ATP manager or other representative of the Administrator 
may observe the test.
    (k) A statement that the organization will send to the ATP manager a 
copy of each test report for equipment tested at the station according 
to this rule, within 30 days after completion of the test.
    (l) A statement that, should any significant change occur in the 
facility with respect to structure or test equipment as a result of 
redesign or other cause during the period of approval, the organization 
will so advise the ATP manager within 30 days after such change.
    (m) Any other pertinent information.



Sec. 3300.22  Response to application for approval.

    The Administrator will, within 30 days of receipt of the application 
and any relevant information required, advise the applicant whether or 
not the facility is approved as a testing station. Approval is for a 5-
year period.



Sec. 3300.25  Application for renewal of approval.

    If an organization wishes to have an approval renewed at the end of 
a 5-year

[[Page 199]]

period, it shall submit a request for renewal to the Administrator 90 
days before expiration of the existing approval. The request for renewal 
shall contain the same type of information as required in the original 
application, that is, the information called for in Sec. 3300.19 of 
subpart C.



Sec. 3300.28  Response to application for renewal of approval.

    The Administrator will, within 30 days of receipt of application and 
any relevant information required, advise the applicant whether or not 
approval is renewed. A renewal is good for 5 years.



Sec. 3300.31  Termination of approval.

    An approved testing station may at any time withdraw as an approved 
testing station by written notice to the Administrator. Similarly, the 
Administrator may suspend or terminate for cause the approved status of 
a testing station by written notice to the organization, setting forth 
the reasons for such action. Examples of causes for suspension or 
termination of approval of a testing station would be a change in 
equipment or operations at the station which would render the station 
incapable of performing tests according to the standards in the ATP, or 
noncompliance of the station with pertinent portions of this rule.



 Subpart D_Procedures for Separate Testing of Mechanical Refrigerating 
                               Appliances



Sec. 3300.34  General.

    ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2, paragraph 41, provides that approval of 
mechanically refrigerated equipment may be done on the basis of separate 
testing of the mechanical refrigerating appliance.



Sec. 3300.37  Testing of a mechanical refrigerating appliance.

    For separate testing of a mechanical refrigerating appliance, the 
following shall pertain:
    (a) The calibrated-box method shall be used, as set forth in ARI 
Standard 1110, Standard for Mechanical Refrigeration Units, of the Air-
Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.
    (b) The appliance shall be rated according to the class, or classes, 
of service for which the appliance is intended, with classes being 
defined as in ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 3.
    (c) A report of each test shall be completed on a form corresponding 
to the pertinent test report model prescribed in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 
2. Report forms may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager.



               Subpart E_Approval of Testing Laboratories



Sec. 3300.40  General.

    Any public or private organization incorporated or chartered under 
the laws of, and with principal office in, the United States may apply 
to have one or more of its facilities in the United States designated as 
a U.S. ATP testing laboratory.



Sec. 3300.43  Application for approval.

    An application by an officer of the organization shall be submitted 
to the Administrator for each facility for which approval is sought. 
Copies of the Form, Application for Approval as a U.S. ATP Testing 
Laboratory, may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager. The 
following information must be supplied in the application:
    (a) A statement that the organization is incorporated or chartered 
under the laws of, and that it has its principal office in, the United 
States, including the address and telephone number of the principal 
office.
    (b) The address and telephone number of the testing laboratory, and 
name and title of person in charge of the laboratory.
    (c) A summary of the experience at the facility which would indicate 
a capability to conduct tests of mechanical refrigerating appliances 
according to subpart D of this rule.
    (d) A general description of the laboratory, including drawings on 
letter size (8\1/2\  x  11 inches) paper to show the floor plan and 
cross-section of the test chamber, basic dimensions, location of heat 
exchangers and instruments, and any other pertinent information.
    (e) A statement that the ATP manager or other representative of the 
Administrator may, before a decision is

[[Page 200]]

made concerning the application, observe a test at the laboratory of a 
mechanical refrigerating appliance for a Class ``C'' mechanically 
refrigerated container or trailer, with Class ``C'' as defined in ATP, 
Annex 1, paragraph 3.
    (f) A statement that the laboratory will maintain records of basic 
data developed in each test conducted under this rule, such records to 
be available for review by the ATP manager or other representative of 
the Administrator, upon request. The record for each test shall be 
maintained for a period of three years.
    (g) A statement that the organization will advise the ATP manager as 
soon as practicable of its intent to conduct a test under this rule and 
that it will, as soon as possible, advise when a firm test has been set 
so that the ATP manager or other representative of the Administrator may 
observe the test.
    (h) A statement that the organization will send to the ATP manager a 
copy of each test report for an appliance tested at the laboratory 
according to this rule, within 30 days after completion of the test.
    (i) A statement that, should any significant change occur in the 
facility with respect to structure or test equipment as a result of 
redesign or other cause during the period of approval, the organization 
will so advise the ATP manager within 30 days after such change.
    (j) Any other pertinent information.



Sec. 3300.46  Response to application for approval.

    The Administrator will, within 30 days of receipt of an application 
and any relevant information required, advise the applicant whether or 
not the facility is approved as a testing laboratory. Approval is for a 
5-year period from date of approval.



Sec. 3300.49  Application for renewal of approval.

    If an organization wishes to have an approval renewed at the end of 
a 5-year period, it shall submit a request for renewal to the 
Administrator 90 days before expiration of the existing approval. The 
request for renewal shall contain the same type of information as 
required in the original application, that is, the information called 
for in Sec. 3300.43 of subpart E.



Sec. 3300.52  Response to application for renewal of approval.

    The Administrator will, within 30 days of receipt of application and 
any relevant information required, advise the applicant whether or not 
approval is renewed. A renewal extends the period of approval for 5 
years.



Sec. 3300.55  Termination of approval.

    An approved testing laboratory may at any time withdraw as an 
approved testing laboratory by written notice to the Administrator. 
Similarly, the Administrator may suspend or terminate for cause the 
approved status of a testing laboratory by written notice to the 
organization, setting forth the reasons for such action. Examples of 
causes for suspension or termination of approval would be a change in 
equipment or operations at the laboratory which would render it 
incapable of performing tests according to the standards in the ATP, or 
noncompliance of the laboratory with pertinent portions of this rule.



                Subpart F_Certification of New Equipment



Sec. 3300.58  General.

    The following shall apply for certification of new equipment:
    (a) Domestic owners are eligible to receive U.S. ATP certificates 
for equipment produced or assembled in the United States or in a foreign 
country.
    (b) Foreign owners are eligible to receive U.S. ATP certificates 
only for equipment produced or assembled in the United States.
    (c) For equipment manufactured (i.e., produced or assembled) in the 
United States:
    (1) When the complete unit of equipment is tested, the test shall be 
performed in a U.S. ATP testing station.
    (2) When the mechanical refrigerating appliance and the insulated 
body are tested separately, such tests shall be performed in approved 
testing facilities in the United States or in test facilities located 
in, and approved by, a foreign country which is a Contracting Party.

[[Page 201]]

    (d) For equipment manufactured in a foreign country which is a 
Contracting Party, a domestic owner may receive a U.S. ATP certiticate 
in exchange for the Foreign-ATP certificate issued by the country of 
manufacture.
    (e) For equipment manufactured in a foreign country which is not a 
Contracting Party, tests shall be performed in approved testing 
facilities in the United States or in facilities located in and approved 
by a foreign country which is a Contracting Party.
    (f) In accordance with ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 2(a) and 
(d), the validity of a test report for a reference equipment shall 
expire at the end of a period of 3 years or at the end of the 
manufacture of 1,000 units of serially-produced equipment, whichever 
occurs first.
    (g) The validity of a test report for a reference mechanical 
refrigerating appliance shall expire at the end of a period of three 
years, or at the end of the manufacture of 1,000 identical mechanical 
refrigerating appliances, whichever occurs first.
    (h) The validity of a test report for a reference insulated body 
shall expire at the end of a period of three years, or at the end of the 
manufacture of 1,000 serially-produced bodies, whichever occurs first.
    (i) Serially-produced equipment shall be produced or assembled by 
the same manufacturer and at the same manufacturing plant as the 
reference equipment.
    (j) Identical mechanical refrigerating appliances shall be 
manufactured by the same manufacturer and at the same manufacturing 
plant as the reference mechanical refrigerating appliance.
    (k) Serially-produced bodies shall be manufactured by the same 
manufacturer and at the same manufacturing plant as the reference 
insulated body.
    (l) Equipment manufacturers shall notify the ATP manager 30 days 
before start of manufacture so that the ATP manager or other 
representative of the Administrator may observe the manufacturing 
operation.
    (m) Owners who receive a U.S. ATP certificate have the 
responsibility to manitain the equipment in good repair and operating 
condition with the understanding that the certificate is valid only so 
long as:
    (1) The insulated body and the thermal appliance are maintained in 
good condition;
    (2) No material alteration is made to the thermal appliance which 
decreases its refrigerating capacity, and;
    (3) If the thermal appliance is replaced, it is replaced by an 
appliance of equal or greater refrigerating capacity.



Sec. 3300.61  Testing and verification requirements.

    In accordance with ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 1, 1(a), 
2(a), 2(b), 2(c) and 3, and Appendix 2, paragraph 41, certification of 
new equipment is based upon the following:
    (a) For a unit of equipment, a test of the equipment in an approved 
testing station.
    (b) For serially-produced equipment:
    (1) A test of one unit of equipment in an approved testing station, 
such unit to serve as the reference equipment.
    (2) Verification that production of other units of equipment is in 
conformity with the reference equipment.
    (c) For mechanically refrigerated equipment, certification may be 
based upon a separate test of the mechanical refrigerating appliance and 
a separate test of the insulated body.



Sec. 3300.64  Application for certificate for new equipment produced
or assembled in the United States or in a foreign country which is
not a contracting party to the ATP.
          

    Application for certification shall be submitted to the ATP manager 
by an officer in the organization of the owner of the equipment. In the 
case of equipment manufactured in the United States, application may be 
made by an officer in the organization of the equipment manufacturer, 
acting on behalf of the owner. Copies of the Form, Application for U.S. 
ATP Certificate for New Equipment Produced or Assembled in the United 
States or in a Foreign Country Which is not a Contracting Party to the 
ATP, may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager. The following 
information must be supplied in the application:
    (a) A statement whether the owner is a domestic owner or a foreign 
owner, with the name, address and telephone

[[Page 202]]

number of its principal office, and the name and title of person to 
contact.
    (b) If the operator of the equipment is different from the owner, 
the name and address of the operator.
    (c) Type of equipment (intermodal freight container, semi-trailer, 
trailer, railcar, or truck).
    (d) Total number of units of equipment.
    (e) Definition and distinguishing mark of the equipment for which 
certification is sought, referring to ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 3 and 
Appendix 4.
    (f) Name, address, and telephone number of the principal office of 
the equipment manufacturer, and name and title of the person to contact.
    (g) Name and address of the plant at which the equipment was 
manufactured.
    (h) In the case of a unit of equipment (i.e., the insulated body 
with its mechanical refrigerating appliance installed) that has been 
tested to serve as the reference equipment for serially-produced 
equipment:
    (1) The original or certified true copy of the test report for the 
reference equipment.
    (2) For the serially-produced equipment:
    (i) The manufacturer's make and model number for the equipment, 
including a brief description of the equipment and enclosure of any 
brochure on the equipment which might be available.
    (ii) The basis upon which the equipment meets the definition of 
serially-produced equipment, with respect to the reference equipment.
    (iii) A statement that the equipment was manufactured at the same 
plant at which the reference equipment was manufactured.
    (iv) A statement that production of the equipment was in conformity 
with the reference equipment.
    (i) In the case where the mechanical refrigerating appliance and the 
insulated body have been tested separately:
    (1) For the reference mechanical refrigerating appliance:
    (i) The original or certified true copy of the test report.
    (ii) From the test report, the effective refrigerating capacity, W, 
in watts, of the appliance at an outside temperature of + 30  deg.C and 
the inside temperature (see ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 3 and Appendix 4) 
for the class of equipment for which certification is sought. ``W'' must 
be equal to, or greater than, the increased heat transfer rate, 
Hi, for the reference insulated body. See paragraph (3)(iii) 
below.
    (2) For the identical mechanical refrigerating appliances:
    (i) Name and address of the plant at which the identical appliances 
and reference appliance were manufactured.
    (ii) The manufacturer's make, model number, and a brief description 
of the appliances with enclosure of any brochure on the appliances which 
might be available.
    (iii) A statement that the appliances meet the definition of 
identical mechanical refrigerating appliances.
    (3) For the reference insulated body:
    (i) The original or certified true copy of the test report.
    (ii) The total heat transfer rate of the body, Ht = S  x  
K  x  D T, in watts, where: ``S'' is the mean surface area of the body, 
from the test report; ``K'' is the heat transfer coefficient of the 
body, from the test report; and, ``D T'' is the difference in degrees 
Kelvin between an outside temperature of + 30  deg.C and the inside 
temperature for the class of equipment for which certification is 
sought.
    (iii) The increased beat transfer rate, Hi, obtained by 
multiplying the total heat transfer rate Ht, by the factor of 
1.75.
    (4) For the serially-produced insulated bodies:
    (i) Name and address of the plant at which the serially-produced 
bodies and reference body were manufactured.
    (ii) The manufacturer's make, model number, and a brief description 
of the bodies, with any brochure on the bodies which might be available.
    (iii) The basis upon which the bodies meet the definition of 
serially-produced bodies, with respect to the reference insulated body.
    (iv) A statement that production of the bodies was in conformity 
with the reference insulated body.
    (j) Information on the equipment after manufacture:

[[Page 203]]

    (1) A statement that each mechanical refrigerating appliance, after 
it was installed in the body, was operated and thoroughly checked and 
that each appliance functioned properly.
    (2) A statement that each body and each appliance has affixed to it 
a manufacturer's plate or other means of identification which shows the 
items of information required by ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 6.
    (3) A statement that each unit of equipment, before it is put into 
service, will have affixed to it a certification plate and 
distinguishing mark as specified in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 
4 and 5, and Appendixes 3 and 4.
    (4) A list showing, for each unit of equipment, the serial number of 
the body and the corresponding owner's equipment identification number.



Sec. 3300.67  Application for certificate for new equipment produced
or assembled in a foreign country which is a contracting party to
the ATP.

    An application for certification of equipment shall be submitted to 
the ATP manager by an officer in the organization of the owner of the 
equipment. Copies of the Form, Application for U.S. ATP Certificate for 
New Equipment Produced or Assembled in a Foreign Country Which is a 
Contracting Party, may be obtained by a request to the ATP manager. The 
following information must be submitted in the application:
    (a) A statement that the owner is a domestic owner, with the name, 
address and telephone number of its principal office, and the name and 
title of the person to contact.
    (b) If the operator of the equipment is different from the owner, 
the name and address of the operator.
    (c) The type of equipment (intermodal freight container, trailer, 
semi-trailer, railcar, or truck.)
    (d) Total number of units of equipment.
    (e) Definition of the equipment for which certification is sought, 
referring to ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 3, and Appendix 4.
    (f) Name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer of the 
equipment, and the name and title of the person to contact.
    (g) The manufacturer's make and model number for the equipment, 
including a brief description of the equipment and any brochure on the 
equipment which might be available.
    (h) The original or certified true copy of the test report for the 
reference equipment.
    (i) The original or certified true copy of the Foreign-ATP 
certificate issued for the equipment.
    (j) A statement that each unit of equipment, before it is put into 
service, will have affixed to it a certification plate and 
distinguishing mark as specified in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 
4 and 5, and Appendixes 3 and 4.
    (k) A list showing, for each unit of equipment, the serial number of 
the body and the corresponding owner's equipment identification number.



Sec. 3300.70  Issuance of certificate.

    The ATP manager will evaluate the documents received and, for 
equipment deemed qualified, will issue a U.S. ATP certificate to the 
applicant within 30 days of the receipt of an application and any 
relevant information required. The certificate will be in the format 
prescribed in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 3. For equipment deemed not 
qualified, the applicant will be advised of the reasons for non-
qualification within 30 days of the receipt of an application and any 
relevant information required.



Sec. 3300.73  Period of validity of certificates.

    In accordance with ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 1(a) and 
1(b), certificates issued for new equipment are valid for a period of 6 
years from date of issue.



             Subpart G_Certification of Equipment in Service



Sec. 3300.76  General.

    Only domestic owners are eligible to receive U.S. ATP certificates 
for equipment in service, with certification based upon the following:
    (a) For equipment which has not previously been certified:
    (1) For each unit of equipment, a test in a U.S. ATP testing station 
or in a testing station located in and approved by a country which is a 
Contracting

[[Page 204]]

Party, to measure the K-coefficient of the insulated body and the 
efficiency of the thermal appliance in accordance with Sec. 3300.10 and 
Sec. 3300.13 of this rule.
    (2) If the equipment consists of serially-produced equipment 
manufactured by a particular equipment manufacturer, and belonging to 
one owner, certification may be based upon the following:
    (i) A test of 1 percent of the units of equipment as prescribed in 
preceding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the units tested to serve as 
reference equipment.
    (ii) An inspection of each unit of equipment, using the procedures 
set forth in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 2, paragraphs 29 and 49. The 
inspections shall be performed by one of the following, at the choice of 
the owner:
    (A) Persons in the owner's organization whom the owner deems 
qualified to perform inspections, or;
    (B) By an independent inspection agency which the owner deems 
competent to perform inspections. Fees charged by such inspection agency 
shall be payable directly to the agency by the owner.
    (iii) A report of each inspection shall be completed on a form 
corresponding to the pertinent test report model in ATP, Annex 1, 
Appendix 2. Report forms may be obtained by a request to the ATP 
manager.
    (b) For renewal of a U.S. ATP certificate which is nearing its 
expiration date, any of the following three procedures:
    (1) For each unit of equipment, a test as prescribed in preceding 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or;
    (2) If the equipment is serially-produced by a particular 
manufacturer and belongs to one owner, test and inspection of the 
equipment according to the procedures prescribed in preceding paragraphs 
(a)(2)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section, or;
    (3) An inspection of each unit of equipment as prescribed in 
paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section.
    (c) For equipment which is currently certified according to a U.S. 
ATP certificate, and which has been transferred from one domestic owner 
to another, the new owner may obtain a U.S. ATP certificate by 
submitting the original or certified true copy of the certificate issued 
to the previous owner, and by performing an inspection and submitting an 
inspection report for each unit of equipment.
    (d) For equipment which is currently certified according to a 
Foreign-ATP certificate, and which has been transferred from a foreign 
owner to a domestic owner, the domestic owner may obtain a U.S. ATP 
certificate by submitting the original or certified true copy of the 
test report for the reference equipment and the original or certified 
true copy of the foreign certificate, and by performing an inspection 
and submitting an inspection report for each unit of equipment.
    (e) Owners who receive a U.S. ATP certificate have the 
responsibility to maintain equipment in good repair and operating 
condition with the understanding that the certificate is valid only so 
long as:
    (1) The insulated body and the thermal appliance are maintained in 
good condition;
    (2) No material alteration is made to the thermal appliance which 
decreases its refrigeration capacity, and;
    (3) If the thermal appliance is replaced, it is replaced by an 
appliance of equal or greater refrigerating capacity.



Sec. 3300.79  Application for certificate.

    An application shall be submitted to the ATP manager by an officer 
in the organization of the owner of the equipment. Copies of the Form, 
Application for U.S. ATP Certificate for Equipment in Service, may be 
obtained by a request to the ATP manager. The following information is 
requested in the application:
    (a) A statement that the owner is a domestic owner, with the name, 
address, and telephone number of its principal office, and name and 
title of person to contact.
    (b) If the operator of the equipment is different from the owner, 
the name and address of the operator.
    (c) The type of equipment (intermodal freight container, trailer, 
semi-trailer, railcar, or truck).
    (d) The total number of units of equipment.

[[Page 205]]

    (e) The definition of the equipment for which certification is 
sought, referring to ATP, Annex 1, paragraph 3 and Appendix 4.
    (f) For equipment which has not been previously certified, one of 
the following:
    (1) For each unit of equipment, the original or certified true copy 
of the test report, or;
    (2) If the equipment is serially-produced by one manufacturer:
    (i) Name of manufacturer.
    (ii) The original or certified true copy of the test report(s) of 1 
percent of the equipment which was tested to serve as reference 
equipment.
    (iii) A report of inspection for each unit of equipment.
    (g) For renewal of a U.S. ATP Certificate which is nearing its 
expiration date:
    (1) The original or certified true copy of that certificate, and;
    (2) One of the following, (i) (ii), or (iii):
    (i) For each unit of equipment, the original or certified true copy 
of the test report.
    (ii) If the equipment is serially-produced by one manufacturer:
    (A) Name of manufacturer.
    (B) The original or certified true copy of the test report(s) of 1 
percent of the equipment which was tested to serve as reference 
equipment.
    (C) A report of inspection from each unit of equipment.
    (iii) A report of inspection for each unit of equipment.
    (h) For equipment which is currently certified according to a U.S. 
ATP certificate, and which has been transferred from one domestic owner 
to another:
    (1) The original or certified true copy of that certificate.
    (2) A report of inspection for each unit of equipment.
    (i) For equipment which is currently certified according to a 
Foreign-ATP certificate, and which has been transferred from a foreign 
owner to a domestic owner:
    (1) The original or certified true copy of the test report for the 
reference equipment.
    (2) The original or certified true copy of the Foreign-ATP 
certificate.
    (3) A report of inspection for each unit of equipment.
    (j) A statement that each unit of equipment has, or will have, 
affixed to it a certification plate and distinguishing mark as 
prescribed in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 4 and 5, and 
Appendices 3 and 4.
    (k) A list showing, for each unit of equipment, the serial number of 
the body and the corresponding owner's equipment identification number.



Sec. 3300.82  Issuance of certificate.

    The ATP manager will evaluate documents received and, for equipment 
deemed qualified, will issue a U.S. ATP certificate to the applicant 
within 30 days of receipt of the application and any relevant 
information required. The certificate will be in the format prescribed 
in ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 3. For equipment deemed not qualified, the 
applicant will be advised of reasons for non-qualification within 30 
days of receipt of an application and any relevant information required.



Sec. 3300.85  Period of validity of certificates.

    In accordance with ATP, Annex 1, Appendix 1, paragraphs 1(b), and 
Appendix 2, paragraphs 29(c) and 49(b) and (d), considered in 
combination, certificates will be valid for periods as follows:
    (a) For equipment which passes a test, 6 years.
    (b) For serially-produced equipment of which 1 percent have passed a 
test, and all units have been inspected and passed such inspection, 6 
years.
    (c) For renewal of a U.S. ATP certificate which is nearing its 
expiration date, where the equipment has passed an inspection but has 
not been tested, 3 years.
    (d) For equipment currently certified according to a U.S. ATP 
certificate, where the equipment has been transferred from one domestic 
owner to another and the equipment has passed an inspection, 3 years or 
the date of expiration of the current U.S. ATP certificate, whichever 
gives the later expiration date on the new U.S. ATP certificate.

[[Page 206]]

    (e) For equipment currently certified according to a Foreign-ATP 
certificate, where the equipment has been transferred from a foreign 
owner to a domestic owner and the equipment has passed an inspection, 3 
years or the date of expiration of the foreign certificate, whichever 
gives the later expiration date on the newly issued U.S. ATP 
certificate.



                       Subpart H_Other Provisions



Sec. 3300.88  Fees for U.S. ATP certificates.

    The fee schedule for issuance of U.S. ATP certificates by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture will be calculated according to the criteria 
in Circular A-25 \2\, issued by the Office of Management and Budget. 
Fees may be revised as required on an annual basis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ A copy of Circular A-25 can be obtained by a request to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), 17th Street and Pennsylvania 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20503.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------



Sec. 3300.91  List of approved testing stations, approved testing 
laboratories, and fees for certificates.

    A current list of U.S. ATP testing stations, U.S. ATP testing 
laboratories, and fees for issuance of U.S. ATP certificates may be 
obtained by request to the ATP manager.



Sec. 3300.94  Appeals.

    Any organization aggrieved by an action in connection with this rule 
may obtain a review of such action by submitting pertinent information 
by letter to the Administrator. The decision of the Administrator is the 
final agency action.

                       PARTS 3301	3399 [RESERVED]

[[Page 207]]



        CHAPTER XXXIV--NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------
Part                                                                Page
3400            Special Research Grants Program.............         209
3401            Rangeland Research Grants Program...........         219
3402            Food and Agricultural Sciences National 
                    Needs Graduate and Postgraduate 
                    Fellowship Grants Program...............         229
3403            Small Business Innovation Research Grants 
                    Program.................................         238
3404            Public information..........................         253
3405            Higher Education Challenge Grants Program...         254
3406            1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants 
                    Program.................................         270
3407            Implementation of National Environmental 
                    Policy Act..............................         300
3411

National Research Initiative Competition Grants Program [Reserved]

3415            Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research 
                    Grants Program..........................         305
3418            Stakeholder input requirements for 
                    recipients of agricultural research, 
                    education, and extension formula funds..         316
3419            Matching funds requirement for agricultural 
                    research and extension formula funds at 
                    1890 land-grant institutions, including 
                    Tuskegee University, and at 1862 land-
                    grant institutions in insular areas.....         317
3430            Competitive and noncompetitive non-formula 
                    Federal assistance programs--general 
                    award administrative provisions.........         319
3431            Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program..         370
3434            Hispanic-serving agricultural colleges and 
                    universities certification process......         379
3435-3499       [Reserved]

[[Page 209]]



PART 3400_SPECIAL RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM--Table of Contents



                            Subpart A_General

Sec.
3400.1  Applicability of regulations.
3400.2  Definitions.
3400.3  Eligibility requirements.
3400.4  How to apply for a grant.
3400.5  Evaluation and disposition of applications.
3400.6  Grant awards.
3400.7  Use of funds; changes.
3400.8  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3400.9  Other conditions.

     Subpart B_Scientific Peer Review of Research Grant Applications

3400.10  Establishment and operation of peer review groups.
3400.11  Composition of peer review groups.
3400.12  Conflicts of interest.
3400.13  Availability of information.
3400.14  Proposal review.
3400.15  Review criteria.

          Subpart C_Peer and Merit Review Arranged by Grantees

3400.20  Grantee review prior to award.
3400.21  Scientific peer review for research activities.
3400.22  Merit review for education and extension activities.

                        Subpart D_Annual Reports

3400.23  Annual reports.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450i(c).

    Source: 56 FR 58147, Nov 15, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3400 appear at 76 FR 
4806, Jan. 27, 2011.



                            Subpart A_General



Sec. 3400.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part apply to special research grants 
awarded under the authority of subsection (c) of the Competitive, 
Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 450i 
(c)), to facilitate or expand promising breakthroughs in areas of the 
food and agricultural sciences of importance to the United States. 
Subparts A and B, excepting this section, apply only to special research 
grants awarded under subsection (c)(1)(A). Subpart C, Peer and Merit 
Review Arranged by Grantees, and Subpart D, Annual Reports, apply to all 
grants awarded under subsection (c).
    (b) Each year the Director of NIFA shall determine and announce 
through publication of a Notice in such publications as the Federal 
Register, professional trade journals, agency or program handbooks, the 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or any other appropriate means, 
research program areas for which proposals will be solicited 
competitively, to the extent that funds are available.
    (c) The regulations of this part do not apply to research, extension 
or education grants awarded by the Department of Agriculture under any 
other authority.

[64 FR 34103, June 24, 1999]



Sec. 3400.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    (a) Director means the Director of the National Institute of Food 
and Agriculture (NIFA) and any other officer or employee of the 
Department of Agriculture to whom the authority involved may be 
delegated.
    (b) Department means the Department of Agriculture.
    (c) Principal investigator means a single individual designated by 
the grantee in the grant application and approved by the Director who is 
responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the project.
    (d) Grantee means the entity designated in the grant award document 
as the responsible legal entity to whom a grant is awarded under this 
part.
    (e) Research project grant means the award by the Director of funds 
to a grantee to assist in meeting the costs of conducting, for the 
benefit of the public, an identified project which is intended and 
designed to establish, discover, elucidate, or confirm information or 
the underlying mechanisms relating to a research program area identified 
in the annual solicitation of applications.
    (f) Project means the particular activity within the scope of one or 
more of the research program areas identified in the annual solicitation 
of applications, which is supported by a grant award under this part.

[[Page 210]]

    (g) Project period means the total length of time that is approved 
by the Director for conducting the research project as outlined in an 
approved grant application.
    (h) Budget period means the interval of time (usually 12 months) 
into which the project period is divided for budgetary and reporting 
purposes.
    (i) Awarding official means the Director and any other officer or 
employee of the Department to whom the authority to issue or modify 
research project grant instruments has been delegated.
    (j) Peer review group means an assembled group of experts or 
consultants qualified by training and experience in particular 
scientific or technical fields to give expert advice, in accordance with 
the provisions of this part, on the scientific and technical merit of 
grant applications in those fields.
    (k) Ad hoc reviewers means experts or consultants qualified by 
training and experience in particular scientific or technical fields to 
render special expert advice, whose written evaluations of grant 
applications are designed to complement the expertise of the peer review 
group, in accordance with the provisions of this part, on the scientific 
or technical merit of grant applications in those fields.
    (l) Research means any systematic study directed toward new or 
fuller knowledge and understanding of the subject studied.
    (m) Methodology means the project approach to be followed and the 
resources needed to carry out the project.

[56 FR 58147, Nov. 15, 1991, as amended at 76 FR 4806, Jan. 27, 2011]



Sec. 3400.3  Eligibility requirements.

    (a) Except where otherwise prohibited by law, any State agricultural 
experiment station, all colleges and universities, other research 
institutions and organizations, Federal agencies, private organizations 
or corporations, and individuals, shall be eligible to apply for and to 
receive a special research project grant under this part, provided that 
the applicant qualifies as a responsible grantee under the criteria set 
forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) To qualify as responsible, an applicant must meet the following 
standards as they relate to a particular project:
    (1) Have adequate financial resources for performance, the necessary 
experience, organizational and technical qualifications, and facilities, 
or a firm commitment, arrangement, or ability to obtain such (including 
proposed subagreements);
    (2) Be able to comply with the proposed or required completion 
schedule for the project;
    (3) Have a satisfactory record of integrity, judgment, and 
performance, including, in particular, any prior performance under 
grants and contracts from the Federal Government;
    (4) Have an adequate financial management system and audit procedure 
which provides efficient and effective accountability and control of all 
property, funds, and other assets; and
    (5) Be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive a research 
project grant under applicable laws and regulations.
    (c) Any applicant who is determined to be not responsible will be 
notified in writing of such findings and the basis therefor.



Sec. 3400.4  How to apply for a grant.

    (a) A request for proposals will be prepared and announced through 
publications such as the Federal Register, professional trade journals, 
agency or program handbooks, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, 
or any other appropriate means of solicitation, as early as practicable 
each fiscal year. It will contain information sufficient to enable all 
eligible applicants to prepare special research grant proposals and will 
be as complete as possible with respect to:
    (1) Descriptions of specific research program areas which the 
Department proposes to support during the fiscal year involved, 
including anticipated funds to be awarded;
    (2) Deadline dates for having proposal packages postmarked;
    (3) Name and address where proposals should be mailed;
    (4) Number of copies to be submitted;
    (5) Forms required to be used when submitting proposals; and
    (6) Special requirements.

[[Page 211]]

    (b) Grant Application Kit. A Grant Application Kit will be made 
available to any potential grant applicant who requests a copy. This kit 
contains required forms, certifications, and instructions applicable to 
the submission of grant proposals.
    (c) Format for research grant proposals. Unless otherwise stated in 
the specific program solicitation, the following applies:
    (1) Grant Application. All research grant proposals submitted by 
eligible applicants should contain a Grant Application form, which must 
be signed by the proposing principal investigator(s) and endorsed by the 
cognizant authorized organizational representative who possesses the 
necessary authority to commit the applicant's time and other relevant 
resources.
    (2) Title of Project. The title of the project must be brief (80-
character maximum), yet represent the major thrust of the research. This 
title will be used to provide information to the Congress and other 
interested parties who may be unfamiliar with scientific terms; 
therefore, highly technical words or phraseology should be avoided where 
possible. In addition, phrases such as ``investigation of'' or 
``research on'' should not be used.
    (3) Objectives. Clear, concise, complete, enumerated, and logically 
arranged statement(s) of the specific aims of the research must be 
included in all proposals.
    (4) Procedures. The procedures or methodology to be applied to the 
proposed research plan should be explicitly stated. This section should 
include but not necessarily be limited to:
    (i) A description of the proposed investigations and/or experiments 
in the sequence in which it is planned to carry them out;
    (ii) Techniques to be employed, including their feasibility;
    (iii) Kinds of results expected;
    (iv) Means by which data will be analyzed or interpreted;
    (v) Pitfalls which might be encountered; and
    (vi) Limitations to proposed procedures.
    (5) Justification. This section should describe:
    (i) The importance of the problem to the needs of the Department and 
to the Nation, including estimates of the magnitude of the problem.
    (ii) The importance of starting the work during the current fiscal 
year, and
    (iii) Reasons for having the work performed by the proposing 
organization.
    (6) Literature review. A summary of pertinent publications with 
emphasis on their relationship to the research should be provided and 
should include all important and recent publications. The citations 
should be accurate, complete, written in acceptable journal format, and 
be appended to the proposal.
    (7) Current research. The relevancy of the proposed research to 
ongoing and, as yet, unpublished research of both the applicant and any 
other institutions should be described.
    (8) Facilities and equipment. All facilities, including 
laboratories, which are available for use or assignment to the proposed 
research project during the requested period of support, should be 
reported and described. Any materials, procedures, situations, or 
activities, whether or not directly related to a particular phase of the 
proposed research, and which may be hazardous to personnel, must be 
fully explained, along with an outline of precautions to be exercised. 
All items of major instrumentation available for use or assignment to 
the proposed research project during the requested period of support 
should be itemized. In addition, items of nonexpendable equipment needed 
to conduct and bring the proposed project to a successful conclusion 
should be listed.
    (9) Collaborative arrangements. If the proposed project requires 
collaboration with other research scientists, corporations, 
organizations, agencies, or entities, such collaboration must be fully 
explained and justified. Evidence should be provided to assure peer 
reviewers that the collaborators involved agree with the arrangements. 
It should be specifically indicated whether or not such collaborative 
arrangements have the potential for any conflict(s) of interest. 
Proposals which indicate collaborative involvement must state

[[Page 212]]

which proposer is to receive any resulting grant award, since only one 
eligible applicant, as provided in Sec. 3400.3 of this part, may be the 
recipient of a research project grant under one proposal.
    (10) Research timetable. The applicant should outline all important 
research phases as a function of time, year by year.
    (11) Personnel support. All personnel who will be involved in the 
research effort must be clearly identified. For each scientist involved, 
the following should be included:
    (i) An estimate of the time commitments necessary;
    (ii) Vitae of the principal investigator(s), senior associate(s), 
and other professional personnel to assist reviewers in evaluating the 
competence and experience of the project staff. This section should 
include curricula vitae of all key persons who will work on the proposed 
research project, whether or not Federal funds are sought for their 
support. The vitae are to be no more than two pages each in length, 
excluding publications listings; and
    (iii) A chronological listing of the most representative 
publications during the past five years shall be provided for each 
professional project member for whom a curriculum vitae appears under 
this section. Authors should be listed in the same order as they appear 
on each paper cited, along with the title and complete reference as 
these usually appear in journals.
    (12) Budget. A detailed budget is required for each year of 
requested support. In addition, a summary budget is required detailing 
requested support for the overall project period. A copy of the form 
which must be used for this purpose, along with instructions for 
completion, is included in the Grant Application Kit identified under 
Sec. 3400.4(b) of this part and may be reproduced as needed by 
applicants. Funds may be requested under any of the categories listed, 
provided that the item or service for which support is requested is 
allowable under applicable Federal cost principles and can be identified 
as necessary for successful conduct of the proposed research project. No 
funds will be awarded for the renovation or refurbishment of research 
spaces; purchases or installation of fixed equipment in such spaces; or 
for the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction 
of a building or facility. All research project grants awarded under 
this part shall be issued without regard to matching funds or cost 
sharing.
    (13) Research involving special considerations. A number of 
situations encountered in the conduct of research require special 
information and supporting documentation before funding can be approved 
for the project. If such situations are anticipated, the proposal must 
so indicate. It is expected that a significant number of special 
research grant proposals will involve the following:
    (i) Recombinant DNA molecules. All key personnel identified in a 
proposal and all endorsing officials of a proposed performing entity are 
required to comply with the guidelines established by the National 
Institutes of Health entitled, ``Guidelines for Research Involving 
Recombinant DNA Molecules,'' as revised. The Grant Application Kit, 
identified above in Sec. 3400.4(b), contains forms which are suitable 
for such certification of compliance.
    (ii) Human subjects at risk. Responsibility for safeguarding the 
rights and welfare of human subjects used in any research project 
supported with grant funds provided by the Department rests with the 
performing entity. Regulations have been issued by the Department under 
7 CFR Part 1c, Protection of Human Subjects. In the event that a project 
involving human subjects at risk is recommended for award, the applicant 
will be required to submit a statement certifying that the research plan 
has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the 
proposing organization or institution. The Grant Application Kit, 
identified above in Sec. 3400.4(b), contains forms which are suitable 
for such certification.
    (iii) Laboratory animal care. The responsibility for the humane care 
and treatment of any laboratory animal, which has the same meaning as 
``animal'' in section 2(g) of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended 
(7 U.S.C. 2132(g)), used in any research project supported with Special 
Research Grants Program funds rests with the

[[Page 213]]

performing organization. In this regard, all key personnel identified in 
a proposal and all endorsing officials of the proposed performing entity 
are required to comply with applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare 
Act of 1966, as amended (7 U.S.C. 2131 et. seq.) and the regulation 
promulgated thereunder by the Secretary of Agriculture in 9 CFR parts 1, 
2, 3, and 4. In the event that a project involving the use of a 
laboratory animal is recommended for award, the applicant will be 
required to submit a statement certifying such compliance. The Grant 
Application Kit, identified above in Sec. 3400.4(b), contains forms 
which are suitable of such certification.
    (14) Current and pending support. All proposals must list any other 
current public or private research support, in addition to the proposed 
project, to which key personnel listed in the proposal under 
consideration have committed portions of their time, whether or not 
salary support for the person(s) involved is included in the budgets of 
the various projects. This section must also contain analogous 
information for all projects underway and for pending research proposals 
which are currently being considered by, or which will be submitted in 
the near future to, other possible sponsors, including other 
Departmental programs or agencies. Concurrent submission of identical or 
similar projects to other possible sponsors will not prejudice its 
review or evaluation by the Director or experts or consultants engaged 
by the Director for this purpose. The Grant Application Kit, identified 
above in Sec. 3400.4(b), contains a form which is suitable for listing 
current and pending support.
    (15) Additions to project description. Each project description is 
expected by the Director, members of peer review groups, and the 
relevant program staff to be complete in itself. However, in those 
instances in which the inclusion of additional information is necessary, 
the number of copies submitted should match the number of copies of the 
application requested in the annual solicitation of proposals as 
indicated in Sec. 3400.4(a)(4). Each set of such materials must be 
identified with the title of the research project as it appears in the 
Grant Application and the name(s) of the principal investigator(s). 
Examples of additional materials may include photographs which do not 
reproduce well, reprints, and other pertinent materials which are deemed 
to be unsuitable for inclusion in the proposal.
    (16) Organizational management information. Specific management 
information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one-time 
basis prior to the award of a research project grant identified under 
this part if such information has not been provided previously under 
this or another program for which the sponsoring agency is responsible. 
Copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling the requirements 
contained in this section will be provided by the agency specified in 
this part once a research project grant has been recommended for 
funding.

[56 FR 58147, Nov 15, 1991, as amended at 80 FR 81738, Dec. 31, 2015]



Sec. 3400.5  Evaluation and disposition of applications.

    (a) Evaluation. All proposals received from eligible applicants in 
accordance with eligible research problem or program areas and deadlines 
established in the applicable request for proposals shall be evaluated 
by the Director through such officers, employees, and others as the 
Director determines are uniquely qualified in the areas of research 
represented by particular projects. To assist in equitably and 
objectively evaluating proposals and to obtain the best possible balance 
of viewpoints, the Director shall solicit the advice of peer scientists, 
ad hoc reviewers, or others who are recognized specialists in the 
research program areas covered by the applications received and whose 
general roles are defined in Secs. 3400.2(j) and 3400.2(k). Specific 
evaluations will be based upon the criteria established in subpart B 
Sec. 3400.15, unless NIFA determines that different criteria are 
necessary for the proper evaluation of proposals in one or more specific 
program areas, and announces such criteria and their relative importance 
in the annual program solicitation. The overriding purpose of such 
evaluations is to provide information upon which the Director can make

[[Page 214]]

informed judgments in selecting proposals for ultimate support. 
Incomplete, unclear, or poorly organized applications will work to the 
detriment of applicants during the peer evaluation process. To ensure a 
comprehensive evaluation, all applications should be written with the 
care and thoroughness accorded papers for publication.
    (b) Disposition. On the basis of the Director's evaluation of an 
application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the 
Director will
    (1) Approve support using currently available funds,
    (2) Defer support due to lack of funds or a need for further 
evaluations, or
    (3) Disapprove support for the proposed project in whole or in part.

With respect to approved projects, the Director will determine the 
project period (subject to extension as provided in Sec. 3400.7(c)) 
during which the project may be supported. Any deferral or disapproval 
of an application will not preclude its reconsideration or a 
reapplication during subsequent fiscal years.



Sec. 3400.6  Grant awards.

    (a) General. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, 
the awarding official shall make research project grants to those 
responsible, eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most 
meritorious in the announced program areas under the evaluation criteria 
and procedures set forth in this part. The date specified by the 
Director as the beginning of the project period shall be no later than 
September 30 of the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved 
for support and funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless 
otherwise permitted by law. All funds granted under this part shall be 
expended solely for the purpose for which the funds are granted in 
accordance with the approved application and budget, the regulations of 
this part, the terms and conditions of the award, the applicable Federal 
cost principles, and 2 CFR part 20 (part 3015 of this title).
    (b) Grant award document and notice of grant award--(1) Grant award 
document. The grant award document shall include at a minimum the 
following:
    (i) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution 
to whom the Director has awarded a special research project grant under 
the terms of this part;
    (ii) Title of project;
    (iii) Name(s) and address(es) of principal investigator(s) chosen to 
direct and control approved activities;
    (iv) Identifying grant number assigned by the Department;
    (v) Project period, which specifies how long the Department intends 
to support the effort without requiring recompetition for funds;
    (vi) Total amount of Departmental financial assistance approved by 
the Director during the project period;
    (vii) Legal authority(ies) under which the research project grant is 
awarded to accomplish the purpose of the law;
    (viii) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds 
to accomplish the stated purpose of the research project grant award; 
and
    (ix) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by the 
Department to carry out its granting activities or to accomplish the 
purpose of a particular research project grant.
    (2) Notice of grant award. The notice of grant award, in the form of 
a letter, will be prepared and will provide pertinent instructions or 
information to the grantee that is not included in the grant award 
document.
    (c) Categories of grant instruments. The major categories of grant 
instruments shall be as follows:
    (1) Standard grant. This is a grant instrument by which the 
Department agrees to support a specified level of research effort for a 
predetermined project period without the announced intention of 
providing additional support at a future date. This type of research 
project grant is approved on the basis of peer review and recommendation 
and is funded for the entire project period at the time of award.
    (2) Renewal grant. This is a document by which the Department agrees 
to provide additional funding under a standard grant as specified in 
paragraph (c)(1) of this section for a project period beyond that 
approved in an original or amended award, provided that the cumulative 
period does not exceed the statutory limitation. When a

[[Page 215]]

renewal application is submitted, it should include a summary of 
progress to date under the previous grant instrument. Such a renewal 
shall be based upon new application, de novo peer review and staff 
evaluation, new recommendation and approval, and a new award instrument.
    (3) Continuation grant. This is a grant instrument by which the 
Department agrees to support a specified level of effort for a 
predetermined period of time with a statement of intention to provide 
additional support at a future date, provided that performance has been 
satisfactory, appropriations are available for this purpose, and 
continued support would be in the best interests of the Federal 
Government and the public. It involves a long-term research project that 
is considered by peer reviewers and Departmental officers to have an 
unusually high degree of scientific merit, the results of which are 
expected to have a significant impact on the food and agricultural 
sciences, and it supports the efforts of experienced scientists with 
records of outstanding research accomplishments. This kind of document 
will normally be awarded for an initial one-year period and any 
subsequent continuation research project grants will also be awarded in 
one-year increments. The award of a continuation research project grant 
to fund an initial or succeeding budget period does not constitute an 
obligation to fund any subsequent budget period. A grantee must submit a 
separate application for continued support for each subsequent fiscal 
year. Requests for such continued support must be submitted in duplicate 
at least three months prior to the expiration date of the budget period 
currently being funded. Such requests must include: an interim progress 
report detailing all work performed to date; a Grant Application; a 
proposed budget for the ensuing period, including an estimate of funds 
anticipated to remain unobligated at the end of the current budget 
period; and current information regarding other extramural support for 
senior personnel. Decisions regarding continued support and the actual 
funding levels of such support in future years will usually be made 
administratively after consideration of such factors as the grantee's 
progress and management practices and within the context of available 
funds. Since initial peer reviews were based upon the full term and 
scope of the original special research grant application, additional 
evaluations of this type generally are not required prior to successive 
years' support. However, in unusual cases (e.g., when the nature of the 
project or key personnel change or when the amount of future support 
requested substantially exceeds the grant application originally 
reviewed and approved), additional reviews may be required prior to 
approving continued funding.
    (4) Supplemental grant. This is an instrument by which the 
Department agrees to provide small amounts of additional funding under a 
standard, renewal, or continuation grant as specified in paragraphs 
(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this section and may involve a short-term 
(usually six months or less) extension of the project period beyond that 
approved in an original or amended award, but in no case may the 
cumulative period of the project, including short term extensions, 
exceed the statutory time limitation. A supplement is awarded only if 
required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work and 
if there is sufficient justification of need to warrant such action. A 
request of this nature normally does not require additional peer review.
    (d) Obligation of the Federal Government. Neither the approval of 
any application nor the award of any research project grant shall commit 
or obligate the United States in any way to make any renewal, 
supplemental, continuation, or other award with respect to any approved 
application or portion of an approved application.

[56 FR 58147, Nov. 15, 1991, as amended at 79 FR 75997, Dec. 26, 2014]



Sec. 3400.7  Use of funds; changes.

    (a) Delegation of fiscal responsibility. The grantee may not 
delegate or transfer in whole or in part, to another person, 
institution, or organization the responsibility for use or expenditure 
of grant funds.
    (b) Change in project plans. (1) The permissible changes by the 
grantee,

[[Page 216]]

principal investigator(s), or other key project personnel in the 
approved research project grant shall be limited to changes in 
methodology, techniques, or other aspects of the project to expedite 
achievement of the projects' approved goals. If the grantee or the 
principal investigator(s) is uncertain as to whether a change complies 
with this provision, the question must be referred to the Director for a 
final determination.
    (2) Changes in approved goals, or objectives, shall be requested by 
the grantee and approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting 
such changes. In no event shall requests for such changes be approved 
which are outside the scope of the original approved project.
    (3) Changes in approved project leadership or the replacement or 
reassignment of other key project personnel shall be requested by the 
grantee and approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting 
such changes.
    (4) Transfers of actual performance of the substantive programmatic 
work in whole or in part and provisions for payment of funds, whether or 
not Federal funds are involved, shall be requested by the grantee and 
approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting such changes, 
except as may be allowed in the terms and conditions of the grant award.
    (c) Changes in project period. The project period determined 
pursuant to Sec. 3400.5(b) may be extended by the Director without 
additional financial support for such additional period(s) as the 
Director determines may be necessary to complete or fulfill the purposes 
of an approved project. Any extension, when combined with the originally 
approved or amended project period shall not exceed three (3) years (the 
limitation established by statute) and shall be further conditioned upon 
prior request by the grantee and approval in writing by the Department, 
unless prescribed otherwise in the terms and conditions of a grant 
award.
    (d) Changes in approved budget. The terms and conditions of a grant 
will prescribe circumstances under which written Departmental approval 
will be requested and obtained prior to instituting changes in an 
approved budget.

[56 FR 58147, Nov. 15, 1991, as amended at 64 FR 34103, June 24, 1999]



Sec. 3400.8  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.

    (a) The Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') issued guidance on 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 on December 26, 2013. 
In 2 CFR 400.1, the Department adopted OMB's guidance in subparts A 
through F of 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by 2 CFR part 400, as the 
Department's policies and procedures for uniform administrative 
requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal 
awards. As a result, this regulation contains references to 2 CFR part 
200 as it has regulatory effect for the Department's programs and 
activities.''
    (b) Several other Federal statutes and/or regulations apply to grant 
proposals considered for review or to research project grants awarded 
under this part. These include but are not limited to:

2 CFR part 200--Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
2 CFR part 180 and Part 417--OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-
Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement 
Debarment and Suspension.
7 CFR part 1c--USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the 
Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1--USDA Implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR part 3--USDA Implementation of OMB Circular A-129 Regarding Debt 
Collection.
7 CFR part 15, subpart A--USDA Implementation of Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.
7 CFR part 3407--NIFA procedures to implement the National Environmental 
Policy Act.
29 U.S.C. 794, section 504--Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and 7 CFR part 
15B (USDA implementation of statute), prohibiting discrimination based 
upon physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs.
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights 
to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted

[[Page 217]]

programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).

[79 FR 75997, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3400.9  Other conditions.

    The Director may, with respect to any research project grant or to 
any class of awards, impose additional conditions prior to or at the 
time of any award when, in the Director's judgment, such conditions are 
necessary to assure or protect advancement of the approved project, the 
interests of the public, or the conservation of grant funds.



     Subpart B_Scientific Peer Review of Research Grant Applications



Sec. 3400.10  Establishment and operation of peer review groups.

    Subject to Sec. 3400.5, the Director will adopt procedures for the 
conduct of peer reviews and the formulation of recommendations under 
Sec. 3400.14.



Sec. 3400.11  Composition of peer review groups.

    (a) Peer review group members will be selected based upon their 
training and experience in relevant scientific or technical fields, 
taking into account the following factors:
    (1) The level of formal scientific or technical education by the 
individual;
    (2) The extent to which the individual has engaged in relevant 
research, the capacities in which the individual has done so (e.g., 
principal investigator, assistant), and the quality of such research;
    (3) Professional recognition as reflected by awards and other honors 
received from scientific and professional organizations outside of the 
Department;
    (4) The need of the group to include within its membership experts 
from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific or 
technical fields;
    (5) The need of the group to include within its membership experts 
from a variety of organizational types (e.g., universities, industry, 
private consultant(s)) and geographic locations; and
    (6) The need of the group to maintain a balanced membership, e.g., 
minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution.
    (b) [Reserved]



Sec. 3400.12  Conflicts of interest.

    Members of peer review groups covered by this part are subject to 
relevant provisions contained in Title 18 of the United States Code 
relating to criminal activity, Department regulations governing employee 
responsibilities and conduct (part O of this title), and Executive Order 
11222, as amended.



Sec. 3400.13  Availability of information.

    Information regarding the peer review process will be made available 
to the extent permitted under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 
552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and implementing Departmental 
regulations (part 1 of this title).



Sec. 3400.14  Proposal review.

    (a) All research grant applications will be acknowledged. Prior to 
technical examination, a preliminary review will be made for 
responsiveness to the request for proposals (e.g., relationship of 
application to research program area). Proposals which do not fall 
within the guidelines as stated in the annual request for proposals will 
be eliminated from competition and will be returned to the applicant. 
Proposals whose budgets exceed the maximum allowable amount for a 
particular program area as announced in the request for proposals may be 
considered as lying outside the guidelines.
    (b) All applications will be carefully reviewed by the Director, 
qualified officers or employees of the Department, the respective peer 
review group, and ad hoc reviewers, as required. Written comments will 
be solicited from ad hoc reviewers when required, and individual written 
comments and in-depth discussions will be provided by peer review group 
members prior to recommending applications for funding. Applications 
will be ranked and support levels recommended within the limitation of 
total available funding for each research program area as announced in 
the applicable request for proposals.
    (c) No awarding official will make a research project grant based 
upon an application covered by this part unless the application has been 
reviewed by a

[[Page 218]]

peer review group and/or ad hoc reviewers in accordance with the 
provisions of this part and said reviewers have made recommendations 
concerning the scientific merit of such application.
    (d) Except to the extent otherwise provided by law, such 
recommendations are advisory only and are not binding on program 
officers or on the awarding official.



Sec. 3400.15  Review criteria.

    (a) Subject to the varying conditions and needs of States, Federal 
funded agricultural research supported under these provisions shall be 
designed to, among other things, accomplish one or more of the following 
purposes:
    (1) Continue to satisfy human food and fiber needs;
    (2) Enhance the long-term viability and competitiveness of the food 
production and agricultural system of the United States within the 
global economy;
    (3) Expand economic opportunities in rural America and enhance the 
quality of life for farmers, rural citizens, and society as a whole;
    (4) Improve the productivity of the American agricultural system and 
develop new agricultural crops and new uses for agricultural 
commodities;
    (5) Develop information and systems to enhance the environment and 
the natural resource base upon which a sustainable agricultural economy 
depends; or
    (6) Enhance human health.

In carrying out its review under Sec. 3400.14, the peer review group 
will use the following form upon which the evaluation criteria to be 
used are enumerated, unless pursuant to Sec. 3400.5(a), different 
evaluation criteria are specified in the annual solicitation of 
proposals for a particular program.

                         Peer Panel Scoring Form

Proposal Identification No._____________________________________________

Institution and Project Title___________________________________________

                          I. Basic Requirement:

    Proposal falls within guidelines? _____ Yes _____ No. If no, explain 
why proposal does not meet guidelines under comment section of this 
form.

                         II. Selection Criteria:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Score X
                                       Score   Weight   weight  Comments
                                       1-10    factor   factor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Overall scientific and technical   ......       10
 quality of proposal................
2. Scientific and technical quality   ......       10
 of the approach....................
3. Relevance and importance of        ......        6
 proposed research to solution of
 specific areas of inquiry..........
4. Feasibility of attaining           ......        5  .......  ........
 objectives; adequacy of
 professional training and
 experience, facilities and
 equipment..........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Score___________________________________________________________________

Summary Comments________________________________________________________

    (b) Proposals satisfactorily meeting the guidelines will be 
evaluated and scored by the peer review panel for each criterion 
utilizing a scale of 1 through 10. A score of one (1) will be considered 
low and a score of ten (10) will be considered high for each selection 
criterion. A weighted factor is used for each criterion.



          Subpart C_Peer and Merit Review Arranged by Grantees

    Source: 64 FR 34104, June 24, 1999, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 3400.20  Grantee review prior to award.

    (a) Review requirement. Prior to the award of a standard or 
continuation grant by NIFA, any proposed project shall have undergone a 
review arranged by the grantee as specified in this subpart. For 
research projects, such review must be a scientific peer review 
conducted in accordance with Sec. 3400.21. For education and extension 
projects, such review must be a merit review conducted in accordance 
with Sec. 3400.22.
    (b) Credible and independent. Review arranged by the grantee must 
provide for a credible and independent assessment of the proposed 
project. A credible review is one that provides an appraisal of 
technical quality and relevance sufficient for an organizational 
representative to make an informed judgment as to whether the proposal 
is

[[Page 219]]

appropriate for submission for Federal support. To provide for an 
independent review, such review may include USDA employees, but should 
not be conducted solely by USDA employees.
    (c) Notice of completion and retention of records. A notice of 
completion of review shall be conveyed in writing to NIFA either as part 
of the submitted proposal or prior to the issuance of an award, at the 
option of NIFA. The written notice constitutes certification by the 
applicant that a review in compliance with these regulations has 
occurred. Applicants are not required to submit results of the review to 
NIFA; however, proper documentation of the review process and results 
should be retained by the applicant.
    (d) Renewal and supplemental grants. Review by the grantee is not 
automatically required for renewal or supplemental grants as defined in 
Sec. 3400.6. A subsequent grant award will require a new review if, 
according to NIFA, either the funded project has changed significantly, 
other scientific discoveries have affected the project, or the need for 
the project has changed. Note that a new review is necessary when 
applying for another standard or continuation grant after expiration of 
the grant term.



Sec. 3400.21  Scientific peer review for research activities.

    Scientific peer review is an evaluation of a proposed project for 
technical quality and relevance to regional or national goals performed 
by experts with the scientific knowledge and technical skills to conduct 
the proposed research work. Peer reviewers may be selected from an 
applicant organization or from outside the organization, but shall not 
include principals, collaborators or others involved in the preparation 
of the application under review.



Sec. 3400.22  Merit review for education and extension activities.

    Merit review is an evaluation of a proposed project or elements of a 
proposed program whereby the technical quality and relevance to regional 
or national goals are assessed. The merit review shall be performed by 
peers and other individuals with expertise appropriate to evaluate the 
proposed project. Merit reviewers may not include principals, 
collaborators or others involved in the preparation of the application 
under review.



                        Subpart D_Annual Reports



Sec. 3400.23  Annual reports.

    (a) Reporting requirement. The recipient shall submit an annual 
report describing the results of the research, extension, or education 
activity and the merit of the results.
    (b) Report type and content. Unless otherwise stipulated, grant 
recipients will have met the reporting requirement under this subpart by 
complying with the reporting requirements as set forth in the terms and 
conditions of the grant at the time of award.

[64 FR 34104, June 24, 1999]



PART 3401_RANGELAND RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM--Table of Contents



                            Subpart A_General

Sec.
3401.1   Applicability of regulations of this part.
3401.2   Definitions.
3401.3   Eligibility requirements.
3401.4   Matching funds requirement.
3401.5   Indirect costs and tuition remission costs.
3401.6   How to apply for a grant.
3401.7   Evaluation and disposition of applications.
3401.8   Grant awards.
3401.9   Use of funds; changes.
3401.10  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3401.11  Other conditions.

  Subpart B_Scientific Peer Review of Research Applications for Funding

3401.12  Establishment and operation of peer review groups.
3401.13  Composition of peer review groups.
3401.14  Conflicts of interest.
3401.15  Availability of information.
3401.16  Proposal review.
3401.17  Review criteria.

    Authority: Section 1470 of the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3316).

    Source: 61 FR 27753, May 31, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3401 appear at 76 FR 
4806, Jan. 27, 2011.

[[Page 220]]



                            Subpart A_General



Sec. 3401.1  Applicability of regulations of this part.

    (a) The regulations of this part apply to rangeland research grants 
awarded under the authority of section 1480 of the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 
U.S.C. 3333) to land-grant colleges and universities, State agricultural 
experiment stations, and colleges, universities, and Federal 
laboratories having a demonstrable capacity in rangeland research, as 
determined by the Secretary, to carry out rangeland research. The 
Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) shall 
determine and announce, through publication each year of a Notice in the 
Federal Register, professional trade journals, agency or program 
handbooks, the catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance or any other 
appropriate means, research program areas for which proposals will be 
solicited, to the extent that funds are available.
    (b) The regulations of this part do not apply to research grants 
awarded by the Department of Agriculture under any other authority.



Sec. 3401.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    (a) Director means the Director of NIFA and any other officer or 
employee of the Department of Agriculture to whom the authority involved 
may be delegated.
    (b) Department means the Department of Agriculture.
    (c) Principal investigator means a single individual designated by 
the grantee in the application for funding and approved by the Director 
who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the 
project.
    (d) Grantee means the entity designated in the grant award document 
as the responsible legal entity to whom a grant is awarded under this 
part.
    (e) Research project grant means the award by the Director of funds 
to a grantee to assist in meeting the costs of conducting, for the 
benefit of the public, an identified project which is intended and 
designed to establish, discover, elucidate, or confirm information or 
the underlying mechanisms relating to a research program area identified 
in the annual solicitation of applications.
    (f) Project means the particular activity within the scope of one or 
more of the research program areas identified in the annual solicitation 
of applications, which is supported by a grant award under this part.
    (g) Project period means the total length of time that is approved 
by the Director for conducting the research project as outlined in an 
approved application for funding.
    (h) Budget period means the interval of time (usually 12 months) 
into which the project period is divided for budgetary and reporting 
purposes.
    (i) Awarding official means the Director and any other officer or 
employee of the Department to whom the authority to issue or modify 
research project grant instruments has been delegated.
    (j) Peer review group means an assembled group of experts or 
consultants qualified by training or experience in particular scientific 
or technical fields to give expert advice, in accordance with the 
provisions of this part, on the scientific and technical merit of 
applications for funding in those fields.
    (k) Ad hoc reviewers means experts or consultants qualified by 
training or experience in particular scientific or technical fields to 
render special expert advice, whose written evaluations of applications 
for funding are designed to complement the expertise of the peer review 
group, in accordance with the provisions of this part, on the scientific 
or technical merit of applications for Funding in those fields.
    (l) Research means any systematic study directed toward new or 
fuller knowledge and understanding of the subject studied.
    (m) Methodology means the project approach to be followed and the 
resources needed to carry out the project.



Sec. 3401.3  Eligibility requirements.

    (a) Except where otherwise prohibited by law, any land-grant college 
and university, State agricultural experiment station, and college, 
university,

[[Page 221]]

and Federal laboratory having a demonstrable capacity in rangeland 
research, as determined by the Secretary, shall be eligible to apply for 
and to receive a project grant under this part, provided that the 
applicant qualifies as a responsible grantee under the criteria set 
forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) To qualify as responsible, an applicant must meet the following 
standards as they relate to a particular project:
    (1) Have adequate financial resources for performance, the necessary 
experience, organizational and technical qualifications, and facilities, 
or a firm commitment, arrangement, or ability to obtain such (including 
proposed subagreements);
    (2) Be able to comply with the proposed or required completion 
schedule for the project;
    (3) Have a satisfactory record of integrity, judgment, and 
performance, including, in particular, any prior performance under 
grants and contracts from the Federal government;
    (4) Have an adequate financial management system and audit procedure 
which provides efficient and effective accountability and control of all 
property, funds, and other assets; and
    (5) Be otherwise qualified and eligible to receive a research 
project grant under applicable laws and regulations.
    (c) Any applicant who is determined to be not responsible will be 
notified in writing of such findings and the basis therefor.



Sec. 3401.4  Matching funds requirement.

    In accordance with section 1480 of the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 
U.S.C. 3333), except in the case of Federal laboratories, each grant 
recipient must match the Federal funds expended on a research project 
based on a formula of 50 percent Federal and 50 percent non-Federal 
funding.



Sec. 3401.5  Indirect costs and tuition remission costs.

    Pursuant to section 1473 of the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3319), 
funds made available under this program to recipients other than Federal 
laboratories shall not be subject to reduction for indirect costs or 
tuition remission costs. Since indirect costs and tuition remission 
costs, except in the case of Federal laboratories, are not allowable 
costs for purposes of this program, such costs may not be used to 
satisfy the matching requirement set forth in Sec. 3401.4.



Sec. 3401.6  How to apply for a grant.

    (a) General. After consultation with the Rangeland Research Advisory 
Board, established pursuant to section 1482 of the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 
U.S.C. 3335), a request for proposals will be prepared and announced 
through publications such as the Federal Register, professional trade 
journals, agency or program handbooks, the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance, or any other appropriate means of solicitation, as early as 
practicable each fiscal year. It will contain information sufficient to 
enable all eligible applicants to prepare rangeland research grant 
proposals and will be as complete as possible with respect to:
    (1) Descriptions of specific research program areas which the 
Department proposes to support during the fiscal year involved, 
including anticipated funds to be awarded;
    (2) Deadline dates for having proposal packages postmarked;
    (3) Name and address where proposals should be mailed;
    (4) Number of copies to be submitted;
    (5) Forms required to be used when submitting proposals; and
    (6) Special requirements.
    (b) Application kit. An Application Kit will be made available to 
any potential grant applicant who requests a copy. This kit contains 
required forms, certifications, and instructions applicable to the 
submission of grant proposals.
    (c) Format for research grant proposals. Unless otherwise stated in 
the specific program solicitation, the following format applies:
    (1) Application for funding. All research grant proposals submitted 
by eligible applicants should contain an Application for Funding form, 
which must

[[Page 222]]

be signed by the proposing principal investigator(s) and endorsed by the 
cognizant authorized organizational representative who possesses the 
necessary authority to commit the applicant's time and other relevant 
resources.
    (2) Title of project. The title of the project must be brief (80-
character maximum), yet represent the major thrust of the research. This 
title will be used to provide information to the Congress and other 
interested parties who may be unfamiliar with scientific terms; 
therefore, highly technical words or phraseology should be avoided where 
possible. In addition, phrases such as ``investigation of'' or 
``research on'' should not be used.
    (3) Objectives. Clear, concise, complete, enumerated, and logically 
arranged statement(s) of the specific aims of the research must be 
included in all proposals.
    (4) Procedures. The procedures of methodology to be applied to the 
proposed research plan should be stated explicitly. This section should 
include but not necessarily be limited to:
    (i) A description of the proposed investigations and/or experiments 
in the sequence in which it is planned to carry them out;
    (ii) Techniques to be employed, including their feasibility;
    (iii) Kinds of results expected;
    (iv) Means by which data will be analyzed or interpreted;
    (v) Pitfalls which might be encountered; and
    (vi) Limitations to proposed procedures.
    (5) Justification. This section of the grant proposal should 
describe:
    (i) The importance of the problem to the needs of the Department and 
to the Nation, including estimates of the magnitude of the problem;
    (ii) The importance of starting the work during the current fiscal 
year; and
    (iii) Reasons for having the work performed by the proposing 
organization.
    (6) Literature review. A summary of pertinent publications with 
emphasis on their relationship to the research should be provided and 
should include all important and recent publications. The citations 
should be accurate, complete, written in acceptable journal format, and 
be appended to the proposal.
    (7) Current research. The relevancy of the proposed research to 
ongoing and, as yet, unpublished research of both the applicant and any 
other institutions should be described.
    (8) Facilities and equipment. All facilities, including 
laboratories, that are available for use or assignment to the proposed 
research project during the requested period of support, should be 
reported and described. Any materials, procedures, situations, or 
activities, whether or nor directly related to a particular phase of the 
proposed research, and which may be hazardous to personnel, must be 
explained fully, along with an outline of precautions to be exercised. 
All items of major instrumentation available for use or assignment to 
the proposed research project during the requested period of support 
should be itemized. In addition, items of nonexpendable equipment needed 
to conduct and bring the proposed project to a successful conclusion 
should be listed.
    (9) Collaborative arrangements. If the proposed project requires 
collaboration with other research scientists, corporations, 
organizations, agencies, or entities, such collaboration must be 
explained fully and justified. Evidence should be provided to assure 
peer reviewers that the collaborators involved agree with the 
arrangements. It should be specifically indicated whether or not such 
collaborative arrangements have the potential for any conflict(s) of 
interest. Proposals which indicate collaborative involvements must state 
which applicant is to receive any resulting grant award, since only one 
eligible applicant, as provided in Sec. 3401.3 may be the recipient of a 
research project grant under one proposal.
    (10) Research timetable. The applicant should outline all important 
research phases as a function of time, year by year.
    (11) Personnel support. All personnel who will be involved in the 
research effort must be identified clearly. For each scientist involved, 
the following should be included:
    (i) An estimate of the time commitments necessary;

[[Page 223]]

    (ii) Vitae of the principal investigator(s), senior associate(s), 
and other professional personnel to assist reviewers in evaluating the 
competence and experience of the project staff. This section should 
include curricula vitae of all key persons who will work on the proposed 
research project, whether or not Federal funds are sought for their 
support. The vitae are to be no more than two pages each in length, 
excluding publication listings; and
    (iii) A chronological listing of the most representative 
publications during the past five years shall be provided for each 
professional project member of whom a curriculum vitae appears under 
this section. Authors should be listed in the same order as they appear 
on each paper cited, along with the title and complete reference as 
these usually appear in journals.
    (12) Budget. A detailed budget is required for each year of 
requested support. In addition, a summary budget is required detailing 
requested support for the overall project period. A copy of the form 
which must be used for this purpose, along with instructions for 
completion, is included in the Application Kit identified under 
Sec. 3401.6(b) and may be reproduced as needed by applicants. Funds may 
be requested under any of the categories listed, provided that the item 
or service for which support is requested is allowable under applicable 
Federal cost principles and can be identified as necessary for 
successful conduct of the proposed research project. As stated in 
Sec. 3401.4 each grant recipient must match the Federal funds expended 
on a research project based on a formula of 50 percent Federal and 50 
percent non-Federal funding. As stated in Sec. 3401.5, indirect costs 
and tuition remission costs are not allowable costs for purposes of this 
program and , thus, may not be used to satisfy the matching requirement 
set forth in Sec. 3401.4.
    (13) Research involving special considerations. A number of 
situations encountered in the conduct of research require special 
information and supporting documentation before funding can be approved 
for the project. If such situations are anticipated, the proposal must 
so indicate. It is expected that a significant number of rangeland grant 
proposals will involve the following:
    (i) Recombinant DNA molecules. All key personnel identified in a 
proposal and all endorsing officials of a proposed performing entity are 
required to comply with the guidelines establishing by the National 
Institutes of Health entitled, ``Guidelines for Research Involving 
Recombinant DNA Molecules,'' as revised. The Application Kit, identified 
above in Sec. 3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for such 
certification of compliance. In the event a project involving 
recombinant DNA and RNA molecules results in a grant award, the 
Institutional Biosafety Committee must approve the research before NIFA 
funds will be released.
    (ii) Human subjects at risk. Responsibility for safeguarding the 
rights and welfare of human subjects used in any research project 
supported with grant funds provided by the Department rests with the 
performing entity. Regulations have been issued by the Department under 
7 CFR part 1c, Protection of Human Subjects. In the event that a project 
involving human subjects at risk is recommended for award, the applicant 
will be required to submit a statement certifying that the research plan 
has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the 
proposing organization or institution. The Application Kit, identified 
above in Sec. 3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for such 
certification. In the event a project involving human subjects results 
in a grant award, funds will be released only after the Institutional 
Committee has approved the project.
    (iii) Laboratory animal care. The responsibility for the humane care 
and treatment of any laboratory animal, which has the same meaning as 
``animal'' in section 2(g) of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as amended 
(7 U.S.C. 2132(g)), used in any research project supported with 
Rangeland Research Grant Program funds rests with the performing 
organization. In this regard, all key personnel identified in a proposal 
and all endorsing officials of the proposed performing entity are 
required to comply with the applicable provisions of the Animal Welfare 
Act of 1966, as amended (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.)

[[Page 224]]

and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Secretary of 
Agriculture in 9 CFR parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. In the event that a project 
involving the use of a laboratory animal is recommended for award, the 
applicant will be required to submit a statement certifying such 
compliance. The Application Kit, identified above in Sec. 3401.6(b), 
contains a form which is suitable for such certification. In the event a 
project involving the use of living vertebrate animals results in a 
grant award, funds will be released only after the Institutional Animal 
Care and Use Committee has approved the project.
    (14) Current and pending support. All proposals must list any other 
current public or private research support, in addition to the proposed 
project, to which key personnel listed in the proposal under 
consideration have committed portions of their time, whether or not 
salary support for the person(s) involved is included in the budgets of 
the various projects. This section must also contain analogous 
information for all projects underway and for pending research proposals 
which are currently being considered by, or which will be submitted in 
the near future to, other possible sponsors, including other 
Departmental programs or agencies. Concurrent submission of identical or 
similar projects to other possible sponsors will not prejudice its 
review or evaluation by the Director or experts or consultants engaged 
by the Director for this purpose. The Application Kit, identified above 
in Sec. 3401.6(b), contains a form which is suitable for listing current 
and pending support.
    (15) Additions to project description. Each project description is 
expected by the Director, members of peer review groups, and the 
relevant program staff to be complete in itself. However, in those 
instances in which the inclusion of additional information is necessary, 
the number of copies submitted should match the number of copies of the 
application requested in the annual solicitation of proposals as 
indicated in Sec. 3401.6(a)(4). Each set of such materials must be 
identified with the title of the research project as it appears in the 
Application for Funding and the name(s) of the principal 
investigator(s). Examples of additional materials may include 
photographs which do not reproduce well, reprints, and other pertinent 
materials which are deemed to be unsuitable for inclusion in the 
proposal.
    (16) National Environmental Policy Act. As outlined in NIFA's 
implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) at 7 CFR part 3407, environmental data or documentation for 
the proposed project is to be provided to NIFA in order to assist NIFA 
in carrying out its responsibilities under NEPA. These responsibilities 
include determining whether the project requires an Environmental 
Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement or whether it can be 
excluded from this requirement on the basis of several categorical 
exclusions listed in 7 CFR part 3407. In this regard, the applicant 
should review the categories defined for exclusion to ascertain whether 
the proposed project may fall within one or more of the exclusions, and 
should indicate if it does so on the National Environmental Policy Act 
Exclusions Form (Form NIFA--1234) provided in the Application Kit. Even 
though the applicant considers that a proposed project may fall within a 
categorical exclusion, NIFA may determine that an Environmental 
Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary for a 
proposed project should substantial controversy on environmental grounds 
exist or if other extraordinary conditions or circumstances are present 
that may cause such activity to have a significant environmental effect.
    (17) Organizational management information. Specific management 
information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on an one-time 
basis prior to the award of a research project grant identified under 
this part if such information has not been provided previously under 
this or another program for which the sponsoring agency is responsible. 
Copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling the requirements 
contained in this section will be provided by the agency specified in 
this part once a research project grant has been recommended for 
funding.

[[Page 225]]



Sec. 3401.7  Evaluation and disposition of applications.

    (a) Evaluation. All proposals received from eligible applicants in 
accordance with eligible research problem or program areas and deadlines 
established in the applicable request for proposals shall be evaluated 
by the Director through such officers, employees, and others as the 
Director determines are particularly qualified in the areas of research 
represented by particular projects. To assist in equitably and 
objectively evaluating proposals and to obtain the best possible balance 
of viewpoints, the Director may solicit the advice of peer scientists, 
ad hoc reviewers, or others who are recognized specialists in the 
research program areas covered by the applications received. Specific 
evaluations will be based upon the criteria established in subpart B of 
this part, Sec. 3401.17, unless NIFA determines that different criteria 
are necessary for the proper evaluation of proposals in one or more 
specific program areas, and announces such criteria and their relative 
importance in the annual program solicitation. The overriding purpose of 
such evaluations is to provide information upon which the Director can 
make informed judgments in selecting proposals for ultimate support. 
Incomplete, unclear, or poorly organized applications will work to the 
detriment of applicants during the peer evaluation process. To ensure a 
comprehensive evaluation, all applications should be written with the 
care and thoroughness accorded papers for publication.
    (b) Disposition. On the basis of the Director's evaluation of an 
application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, the 
Director will approve using currently available funds, defer support due 
to lack of funds or a need for further evaluations, or disapprove 
support for the proposed project in whole or in part. With respect to 
approved projects, the Director will determine the project period 
(subject to extension as provided in Sec. 3401.9(c)) during which the 
project may be supported. Any deferral or disapproval of an application 
will not preclude its reconsideration or a reapplication during 
subsequent fiscal years.



Sec. 3401.8  Grant awards.

    (a) General. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, 
the awarding official shall make research project grants to those 
responsible, eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most 
meritorious in the announced program areas under the evaluation criteria 
and procedures set forth in this part. The date specified by the 
Director as the beginning of the project period shall be no later than 
September 30 of the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved 
for support and funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless 
otherwise permitted by law. All funds granted under this part shall be 
expended solely for the purpose for which the funds are granted in 
accordance with the approved application and budget, the regulations of 
this part, the terms and conditions of the award, the applicable Federal 
cost principles, and 2 CFR part 200 (parts 3015 and 3019 of this title).
    (b) Grant award document and notice of grant award--(1) Grant award 
documents. The grant award document shall include at a minimum the 
following:
    (i) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution 
to whom the Director has awarded a rangeland research project grant 
under the terms of this part;
    (ii) Title of project;
    (iii) Name(s) and address(es) of principal investigator(s) chosen to 
direct and control approved activities;
    (iv) Identifying grant number assigned by the Department;
    (v) Project period, which specifies how long the Department intends 
to support the effort without requiring recompetition for funds;
    (vi) Total amount of Departmental financial assistance approved by 
the Director during the project period;
    (vii) Legal authority(ies) under which the research project grant is 
awarded to accomplish the purpose of the law;
    (viii) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds 
to accomplish the stated purpose of the research project grant award; 
and
    (ix) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by the 
Department to carry out its granting activities or to accomplish the 
purpose of a particular research project grant.

[[Page 226]]

    (2) Notice of grant award. The notice of grant award, in the form of 
a letter, will be prepared and will provide pertinent instructions or 
information to the grantee that is not included in the grant award 
document.
    (c) Categories of grant instruments. The major categories of grant 
instruments by which the Department may provide support are as follows:
    (1) Standard grant. This is a grant instrument by which the 
Department agrees to support a specified level of research effort for a 
predetermined project period without the announced intention of 
providing additional support at a future date. This type of research 
project grant is approved on the basis of peer review and recommendation 
and is funded for the entire project period at the time of award.
    (2) Renewal grant. This is a document by which the Department agrees 
to provide additional funding under a standard grant as specified in 
paragraph (c)(1) of this section for a project period beyond that 
approved in an original or amended award, provided that the cumulative 
period does not exceed the statutory limitation. When a renewal 
application is submitted, it should include a summary of progress to 
date under the previous grant instrument. Such a renewal shall be based 
upon new application, de novo peer review and staff evaluation, new 
recommendation and approval, and a new award instrument.
    (3) Continuation grant. This is a grant instrument by which the 
Department agrees to support a specified level of effort for a 
predetermined period of time with a statement of intention to provide 
additional support at a future date, provided that performance has been 
satisfactory, appropriations are available for this purpose, and 
continued support would be in the best interests of the Federal 
government and the public. It involves a long-term research project that 
is considered by peer reviewers and Departmental officers to have an 
unusually high degree of scientific merit, the results of which are 
expected to have a significant impact on the productivity of the 
Nation's rangelands, and it supports the efforts of experienced 
scientists with records of outstanding research accomplishments. This 
kind of document normally will be awarded for an initial one-year period 
and any subsequent continuation research project grants also will be 
awarded in one-year increments, but in no case may the cumulative period 
of the project exceed the statutory limit. The award of a continuation 
research project grant to fund an initial or succeeding budget period 
does not constitute an obligation to fund any subsequent budget period. 
A grantee must submit a separate application for continued support for 
each subsequent fiscal year. Requests for such continued support must be 
submitted in duplicate at least three months prior to the expiration 
date of the budget period currently being funded. Such requests must 
include: an interim progress report detailing all work performed to 
date; an Application for Funding; a proposed budget for the enuring 
period, including an estimate of funds anticipated to remain unobligated 
at the end of the current budget period; and current information 
regarding other extramural support for senior personnel. Decisions 
regarding continued support and the actual funding levels of such 
support in future years usually will be made administratively after 
consideration of such factors as the grantee's progress and management 
practices and within the context of available funds. Since initial peer 
reviews were based upon the full term and scope of the original 
rangeland research application for funding, additional evaluations of 
this type generally are not required prior to successive years' support. 
However, in unusual cases (e.g., when the nature of the project or key 
personnel change or when the amount of future support requested 
substantially exceeds the application for funding originally reviewed 
and approved), additional reviews may be required prior to approval of 
continued funding.
    (4) Supplemental grant. This is an instrument by which the 
Department agrees to provide small amounts of additional funding under a 
standard, renewal, or continuation grant as specified in paragraphs 
(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this section and may involve a short-term 
(usually six months or less) extension of the project period beyond

[[Page 227]]

that approved in an original or amended award, but in no case may the 
cumulative period of the project, including short term extensions, 
exceed the statutory time limitation. A supplement is awarded only if 
required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work and 
if there is sufficient justification of need to warrant such action. A 
request of this nature normally does not require additional peer review.
    (d) Obligation of the Federal government. Neither the approval of 
any application nor the award of any research project grant shall commit 
or obligate the United States in any way to make any renewal, 
supplemental, continuation, or other award with respect to any approved 
application or portion of an approved application.

[61 FR 27753, May 31, 1996, as amended at 79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3401.9  Use of funds; changes.

    (a) Delegation of fiscal responsibility. The grantee may not 
delegate or transfer in whole or in part, to another person, 
institution, or organization the responsibility for use or expenditure 
of grant funds.
    (b) Change in project plans. (1) The permissible changes by the 
grantee, principal investigator(s), or other key project personnel in 
the approved research project grant shall be limited to changes in 
methodology, techniques, or other aspects of the project to expedite 
achievement of the projects' approved goals. If the grantee or the 
principal investigator(s) is uncertain as to whether a change complies 
with this provision, the question shall be referred to the Director for 
a final determination.
    (2) Changes in approved goals, or objectives, shall be requested by 
the grantee and approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting 
such changes. In no event shall requests for such changes be approved 
which are outside the scope of the original approved project.
    (3) Changes in approved project leadership or the replacement or 
reassignment of other key project personnel shall be requested by the 
grantee and approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting 
such changes.
    (4) Transfers of actual performance of the substantive programmatic 
work in whole or in part and provisions for payment of funds, whether or 
not Federal funds are involved, shall be requested by the grantee and 
approved in writing by the Department prior to effecting such changes, 
except as may be allowed in the terms and conditions of a grant award.
    (c) Changes in project period. The project period determined 
pursuant to Sec. 3401.7(b) may be extended by the Director without 
additional financial support, for such additional period(s) as the 
Director determines may be necessary to complete, or fulfill the 
purposes of, an approved project. Any extension, when combined with the 
originally approved or amended project period, shall be conditioned upon 
prior request by the grantee and approval in writing by the Department, 
unless prescribed otherwise in the terms and conditions of a grant 
award.
    (d) Changes in approved budget. The terms and conditions of a grant 
will prescribe circumstances under which written Departmental approval 
will be requested and obtained prior to instituting changes in an 
approved budget.



Sec. 3401.10  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.

    (a) The Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') issued guidance on 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 on December 26, 2013. 
In 2 CFR 400.1, the Department adopted OMB's guidance in subparts A 
through F of 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by 2 CFR part 400, as the 
Department's policies and procedures for uniform administrative 
requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal 
awards. As a result, this regulation contains references to 2 CFR part 
200 as it has regulatory effect for the Department's programs and 
activities.''
    (b) Several other Federal statutes and/or regulations apply to grant 
proposals considered for review or to research project grants awarded 
under this part. These include but are not limited to:


[[Page 228]]


2 CFR part 200--Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
And Audit Requirements For Federal Awards.
2 CFR part 180 and Part 417--OMB Guidelines To Agencies On Government-
Wide Debarment And Suspension (Nonprocurement) And USDA Nonprocurement 
Debarment And Suspension
7 CFR part 1c--USDA implementation of the Federal Policy for the 
Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1--USDA implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR part 3--USDA implementation of OMB Circular A-129 regarding debt 
collection.
7 CFR part 15, subpart A--USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.
7 CFR part 3407--NIFA procedures to implement the National Environmental 
Policy Act;
29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR part 
15B (USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting discrimination based 
upon physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs; and
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights 
to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted 
programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).

[79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3401.11  Other conditions.

    The Director may, with respect to any research project grant or to 
any class of awards, impose additional conditions prior to or at the 
time of any award when, in the Director's judgment, such conditions are 
necessary to assure or protect advancement of the approved project, the 
interests of the public, or the conservation of grant funds.



  Subpart B_Scientific Peer Review of Research Applications for Funding



Sec. 3401.12  Establishment and operation of peer review groups.

    Subject to Sec. 3401.7, the Director will adopt procedures for the 
conduct of peer reviews and the formulation of recommendations under 
Sec. 3401.16.



Sec. 3401.13  Composition of peer review groups.

    Peer review group members will be selected based upon their training 
or experience in relevant scientific or technical fields, taking into 
account the following factors:
    (a) The level of formal scientific or technical education by the 
individual;
    (b) The extent to which the individual has engaged in relevant 
research, the capacities in which the individual has done so (e.g., 
principal investigator, assistant), and the quality of such research;
    (c) Professional recognition as reflected by awards and other honors 
received from scientific and professional organizations outside of the 
Department;
    (d) The need of the group to include within its membership experts 
from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific or 
technical fields;
    (e) The need of the group to include within its membership experts 
from a variety of organizational types (e.g., universities, industry, 
private consultant(s)) and geographic locations; and
    (f) The need of the group to maintain a balanced membership, e.g., 
minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution.



Sec. 3401.14  Conflicts of interest.

    Members of peer review groups covered by this part are subject to 
relevant provisions contained in Title 18 of the United States Code 
relating to criminal activity, Department regulations governing employee 
responsibilities and conduct (part 0 of this title), and Executive Order 
11222 (3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 306), as amended. Administration of 
the peer review group must be in accordance with the Department's 
conflict of interest policy, 2 CFR 400.2.

[61 FR 27753, May 31, 1996, as amended at 79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3401.15  Availability of information.

    Information regarding the peer review process will be made available 
to the extent permitted under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 
552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a.), and

[[Page 229]]

implementing Departmental regulations (part 1 of this title).



Sec. 3401.16  Proposal review.

    (a) All research Applications for Funding will be acknowledged. 
Prior to technical examination, a preliminary review will be made for 
responsiveness to the request for proposals (e.g., relationship of 
application to research program area). Proposals that do not fall within 
the guidelines as stated in the annual request for proposals will be 
eliminated from competition and will be returned to the applicant. 
Proposals whose budgets exceed the maximum allowable amount for a 
particular program area as announced in the request for proposals may be 
considered as lying outside the guidelines.
    (b) All applications will be reviewed carefully by the Director , 
qualified officers or employees of the Department, the respective merit 
review panel, and ad hoc reviewers, as required. Written comments will 
be solicited from ad hoc reviewers, when required, and individual 
written comments and in-depth discussions will be provided by peer 
review group members prior to recommending applications for funding. 
Applications will be ranked and support levels recommended within the 
limitation of total available funding for each research program area as 
announced in the applicable request for proposals.
    (c) Except to the extent otherwise provided by law, such 
recommendations are advisory only and are not binding on program 
officers or on the awarding official.



Sec. 3401.17  Review criteria.

    (a) Federally funded research supported under these provisions shall 
be designed to, among other things, accomplish one or more of the 
following purposes:
    (1) Improve management of rangelands as an integrated system and/or 
watershed;
    (2) Remedy unstable or unsatisfactory rangeland conditions;
    (3) Increase revegetation and/or rehabilitation of rangelands;
    (4) Examine the health of rangelands; and
    (5) Define economic parameters associated with rangelands.
    (b) In carrying out its review under Sec. 3401.16, the peer review 
panel will use the following form upon which the evaluation criteria to 
be used are enumerated, unless, pursuant to Sec. 3401.7(a), different 
evaluation criteria are specified in the annual solicitation of 
proposals for a particular program:

                         Peer Panel Scoring Form

Proposal Identification No._____________________________________________

Institution and Project Title___________________________________________

                          I. Basic Requirement:

    Proposal falls within guidelines? _____ Yes _____ No. If no, explain 
why proposal does not meet guidelines under comment section of this 
form.

                         II. Selection Criteria:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Score X
                                       Score   Weight   weight  Comments
                                       1-10    factor   factor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Overall scientific and technical   ......       10
 quality of proposal................
2. Scientific and technical quality   ......       10
 of the approach....................
3. Relevance and importance of        ......        6
 proposed research to solution of
 specific areas of inquiry..........
4. Feasibility of attaining           ......        5  .......  ........
 objectives; adequacy of
 professional training and
 experience, facilities and
 equipment..........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Score___________________________________________________________________

Summary Comments________________________________________________________

    (c) Proposals satisfactorily meeting the guidelines will be 
evaluated and scored by the peer review panel for each criterion 
utilizing a scale of 1 through 10. A score of one (1) will be considered 
low and a score of ten (10) will be considered high for each selection 
criterion. A weighted factor is used for each criterion.



PART 3402_FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES NATIONAL NEEDS GRADUATE
AND POSTGRADUATE FELLOWSHIP GRANTS PROGRAM--Table of Contents



                     Subpart A_General Introduction

Sec.
3402.1  Applicability of regulations.

[[Page 230]]

3402.2  Definitions.
3402.3  Institutional eligibility.

                      Subpart B_Program Description

3402.4  Food and agricultural sciences areas targeted for National Needs 
          Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program support.
3402.5  Overview of National Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship 
          Grants Program.
3402.6  Overview of the special international study and/or thesis/
          dissertation research travel allowance.
3402.7  Fellowship appointments.
3402.8  Fellowship activities.
3402.9  Financial provisions.

                 Subpart C_Preparation of an Application

3402.10  Application package.
3402.11  Proposal cover page.
3402.12  Project summary.
3402.13  National need narrative.
3402.14  Budget and budget narrative.
3402.15  Faculty vitae.
3402.16  Appendix.

          Subpart D_Submission and Evaluation of an Application

3402.17  Where to submit an application.
3402.18  Evaluation criteria.

                   Subpart E_Supplementary Information

3402.19  Terms and conditions of grant awards.
3402.20  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3402.21  Confidential aspects of applications and awards.
3402.22  Access to peer review information.
3402.23  Documentation of progress on funded projects.
3402.24  Evaluation of program.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 3316.

    Source: 69 FR 62537, Oct. 26, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3402 appear at 76 FR 
4807, Jan. 27, 2011.



                     Subpart A_General Introduction



Sec. 3402.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part apply to competitive grants awarded 
under the provisions of section 1417(b)(6) of the National Agricultural 
Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended, 7 
U.S.C. 3152(b)(6). The Act designates the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) as the lead Federal agency for agricultural research, extension, 
and teaching in the food and agricultural sciences. Section 1417(b)(6) 
authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, who has delegated the authority 
to theNational Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), to make 
competitive grants to land-grant colleges and universities, colleges and 
universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable 
capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, 
and to other colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to 
carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, to administer 
and conduct graduate and postdoctoral fellowship programs to help meet 
the Nation's needs for development of scientific and professional 
expertise in the food and agricultural sciences. The Graduate 
Fellowships are intended to encourage outstanding students to pursue and 
complete graduate degrees in the areas of food and agricultural sciences 
designated by NIFA through the Office of Higher Education Programs (HEP) 
as national needs. The postdoctoral Fellowships are intended to provide 
additional mentoring and training to outstanding USDA Graduate Fellows 
who completed their doctoral degrees no more than five (5) years before 
they begin the postdoctoral Fellowships.
    (b) The regulations of this part do not apply to grants awarded by 
the Department of Agriculture under any other authority.



Sec. 3402.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    Citizen or national of the United States means--
    (1) A citizen or native resident of a State; or,
    (2) A person defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 
U.S.C. 1101(a)(22), who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes 
permanent allegiance to the United States.
    College and university means an educational institution in any State 
which--
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate,

[[Page 231]]

    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education,
    (3) Provides an educational program for which a bachelor's degree or 
any other higher degree is awarded,
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution, and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association.
    Food and agricultural sciences means basic, applied, and 
developmental research, extension, and teaching activities in the food, 
agricultural, renewable natural resources, forestry, and physical and 
social sciences in the broadest sense of these terms including but not 
limited to research, extension and teaching activities concerned with 
the production, processing, marketing, distribution, conservation, 
consumption, research, and development of food and agriculturally 
related products and services, inclusive of programs in agriculture, 
natural resources, aquaculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, home 
economics, rural development, and closely allied fields.
    Graduate degree means a master's or doctoral degree.
    State means any one of the fifty States, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, 
the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall 
Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Virgin Islands of the United States, 
and the District of Columbia.
    Teaching activities means formal classroom instruction, laboratory 
instruction, and practicum experience specific to the food and 
agricultural sciences and matters relating thereto conducted by colleges 
and universities offering baccalaureate or higher degrees.



Sec. 3402.3  Institutional eligibility.

    Applications may be submitted by land-grant colleges and 
universities, by colleges and universities having significant minority 
enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of 
food and agricultural sciences, and by other colleges and universities 
having a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and 
agricultural sciences. All applicants must be institutions that confer a 
graduate degree in at least one area of the food and agricultural 
sciences targeted for National Needs Fellowships, that have a 
significant on-going commitment to the food and agricultural sciences 
generally, and that have a significant ongoing commitment to the 
specific subject area for which a grant application is made. It is the 
objective to award grants to colleges and universities which have 
notable teaching and research competencies in the food and agricultural 
sciences. The Graduate Fellowships are specifically intended to support 
programs that encourage outstanding students to pursue and complete a 
graduate degree at such institutions in an area of the food and 
agricultural sciences for which there is a national need for the 
development of scientific and professional expertise. The postdoctoral 
Fellowships are designed to support academic programs that provide 
additional training and mentoring to USDA Graduate Fellows and have 
notable teaching and research competencies in the NIFA designated 
national need areas. Institutions which currently have excellent 
programs of graduate study and training in the food and agricultural 
sciences dealing with targeted national needs are particularly 
encouraged to apply for all National Needs Fellowships.



                      Subpart B_Program Description



Sec. 3402.4  Food and agricultural sciences areas targeted for National
Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program support.

    Areas of the food and agricultural sciences, including 
multidisciplinary studies, appropriate for Fellowship grant applications 
are those in which developing shortages of expertise have been 
determined and targeted by HEP for National Needs Graduate and 
Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program support. When funds are available 
and HEP determines that a new competition is warranted, the specific 
areas and funds per area will be identified in a funding opportunity 
announcement announcing the program and soliciting program applications.

[[Page 232]]



Sec. 3402.5  Overview of National Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral
Fellowship Grants Program.

    (a) The program will provide funds for a limited number of grants to 
support graduate student stipends and cost-of-education institutional 
allowances. These grants will be awarded competitively to eligible 
institutions. In order to encourage the development of special 
activities that are expected to contribute to Fellows' advanced degree 
objectives, the program will also provide competitive, special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowances 
for a limited number of USDA Graduate Fellows. To encourage academic 
institutions to provide additional training/mentoring to outstanding 
USDA Graduate Fellows who have completed their doctoral degrees, the 
program will also provide postdoctoral Fellowship grants to a limited 
number of USDA Graduate Fellows.
    (b) Based on the amount of funds appropriated in any fiscal year, 
HEP will determine:
    (1) Whether new competitions for graduate Fellowships, postdoctoral 
Fellowships, and/or special international study or thesis/dissertation 
research travel allowances will be held during that fiscal year;
    (2) The degree level(s) to be supported--master's, doctoral and/or 
postdoctoral;
    (3) The proportion of appropriations to be targeted for Fellowship 
stipends for each respective degree level supported;
    (4) The proportion of appropriations to be targeted for the cost-of-
education institutional allowances for each respective degree level 
supported;
    (5) The proportion of appropriations to be targeted for the special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowances 
for each respective degree level supported;
    (6) The allowable stipend amount for each respective degree level 
supported, the cost-of-education institutional allowance for each 
respective degree level supported, and the maximum funds available for 
each special international study or thesis/dissertation research travel 
allowance for each respective degree level supported;
    (7) The activities for which the cost-of-education allowance may be 
used for awards made in that year; and
    (8) The maximum total funds that may be awarded to an institution 
under the program in a given fiscal year.
    (c) HEP will also determine:
    (1) The maximum number of national needs areas for which funding may 
be requested in a single application;
    (2) The degree levels for which funding may be requested in a single 
application;
    (3) The minimum and maximum number of fellowships for which an 
institution may apply in a single application; and
    (4) The limits on the total number of applications that can be 
submitted by an institution, college, school, or other administrative 
unit.
    (d) These determinations will be published as a part of the 
solicitation, which will be available at http://www.grants.gov.



Sec. 3402.6  Overview of the special international study and/or
thesis/dissertation research travel allowance.

    (a) For each USDA Graduate Fellow who desires to be considered for a 
special international study or thesis/dissertation research travel 
allowance, the Project Director must apply to HEP for a supplemental 
grant in accordance with instructions published in the solicitation. 
Postdoctoral Fellows are not eligible to receive the special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowance. 
Each application must include a ``Proposal Cover Page'' (Form NIFA-
2002), ``Project Summary'' (Form NIFA-2003), ``Budget'' (Form NIFA-2004) 
and National Environmental Policy Act Exclusions Form (Form NIFA--2006).
    (1) To provide HEP with sufficient information upon which to 
evaluate the merits of the requests for a special international study or 
thesis/dissertation research travel allowance, each application for a 
supplemental grant must contain a narrative which provides the 
following:
    (i) The specific destination(s) and duration of the travel;

[[Page 233]]

    (ii) The specific study or thesis/dissertation research activities 
in which the Fellow will be engaged;
    (iii) How the international experience will contribute to the 
Fellow's program of study;
    (iv) A budget narrative specifying and justifying the dollar amount 
requested for the travel;
    (v) Summary credentials of the faculty or other professionals with 
whom the Fellow will be working during the international experience 
(summary credentials must not exceed three pages per person);
    (vi) A letter from the dean of the Fellow's college or equivalent 
administrative unit supporting the Fellow's travel request and 
certifying that the travel experience will not jeopardize the Fellow's 
satisfactory progress toward degree completion; and
    (vii) A letter from the fellowship grant Project Director certifying 
the Fellow's eligibility, the accuracy of the Fellow's travel request, 
and the relevance of the travel to the Fellow's advanced degree 
objectives.
    (2) The narrative portion of the application must not exceed the 
page limitation included in the program solicitation.
    (b) All complete requests will be evaluated by professional staff 
from USDA or other Federal agencies, as appropriate. Evaluation criteria 
will be published in the solicitation. HEP will award grants in 
accordance with evaluation criteria and to the extent possible based on 
availability of funds.
    (c) Any current Fellow with sufficient time to complete the 
international experience before the termination date of the grant under 
which he/she is supported is eligible for a special international study 
or thesis/dissertation research travel allowance. Before the 
international study or thesis/dissertation research travel may commence, 
a Fellow must have completed one academic year of full-time study, as 
defined by the institution, under the Fellowship appointment and 
arrangements must have been formalized for the Fellow to study and/or 
conduct research in the foreign location(s).



Sec. 3402.7  Fellowship appointments.

    (a)(1) Fellows must be identified and Fellowships must be awarded 
within 18 months of the effective date of a grant. Institutions failing 
to meet this deadline will be required to refund monies associated with 
any unawarded Fellowship(s). Graduate Fellowship appointments may be 
held only by persons who enroll and pursue full-time study in a graduate 
degree program in the national need area and at the degree level 
supported by the grant. Postdoctoral Fellowship appointments may be held 
only by persons who pursue full-time traineeship in research, teaching 
or extension in the national need area and are supervised by the mentor 
indicated in the grant application.
    (2) It will be the responsibility of the grantee institution to 
award fellowships to students of superior academic ability.
    (3) Graduate Fellows:
    (i) Must be appointed before completing two semesters or equivalent 
hours of full-time study, as defined by the institution, or immediately 
after passing of candidacy/qualifying examinations, whichever is later;
    (ii) Must be citizens or nationals of the United States as 
determined in accordance with Federal law; and
    (iii) Must have strong interest, as judged by the institution, in 
pursuing a degree in a targeted national need area and in preparing for 
a career as a food or agricultural scientist or professional.
    (4) Postdoctoral Fellows:
    (i) Must have been USDA Graduate Fellows who successfully completed 
their doctoral degrees in areas of the food and agricultural sciences 
designated by NIFA as national need areas;
    (ii) Must not have obtained their doctoral degrees more than five 
years prior to beginning their postdoctoral Fellowships;
    (iii) Must have strong interest, as judged by the institution, in 
preparing for a career in agricultural research, teaching or extension.
    (5)(i) A doctoral level Graduate Fellow who maintains satisfactory 
progress in his or her course of study is eligible for support for a 
maximum of 36 months within a 42-month period. A

[[Page 234]]

master's level Fellow who maintains satisfactory progress in his or her 
course of study is eligible for support for a maximum of 24 months 
during a 30-month period. A postdoctoral Fellow who achieves his or her 
training objectives is eligible for support for a maximum of 36 months 
during a 60-month period. It is the intent of this program that Graduate 
Fellows pursue full-time uninterrupted study or thesis/dissertation 
research, including time spent pursuing USDA-funded special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research activities.
    (ii) Postdoctoral Fellowship appointments may be held only by 
persons who pursue full-time traineeship in research, teaching, or 
extension in the national need area and are supervised by the mentor 
indicated in the grant application.
    However, during the period of support, USDA Graduate and 
Postdoctoral Fellows are permitted, at the discretion of their 
institutions, to accept additional supplemental employment that would 
positively contribute to their training or research and provide 
eligibility for tuition waivers (e.g., full or partial tuition waivers 
with research or teaching assignments).
    (iii) For graduate Fellows requiring additional time to complete a 
degree, it is expected that the institution will endeavor to continue 
supporting individuals originally appointed to Fellowships through such 
other institutional means as teaching assistantships and research 
assistantships. For postdoctoral Fellows who terminate the Fellowships 
prematurely, the institution must return all unexpended monies to USDA. 
For USDA Graduate Fellows who complete the program of study early (less 
than 24 months for master's degree or 36 months for doctoral degree) or 
terminate their Fellowships prematurely, the institution may use any 
unexpended monies, within the time remaining on the project grant, to 
support pursuit of a doctoral degree in a discipline in the food and 
agricultural sciences by a master's degree level Fellow at the grantee 
institution; or a replacement Graduate Fellow. Where less than one 
semester/quarter remains before the expiration date of the Graduate 
Fellowship grant, the institution must refund any unexpended monies to 
the granting agency. Such funds cannot be used to increase the annual 
stipend amounts for current USDA Graduate or Postdoctoral Fellows.
    (b) Within the framework of the regulations in this part, all 
decisions with respect to the appointment of Fellows will be made by the 
institution. However, institutions are urged to take maximum advantage 
of opportunities for awarding Fellowships to members of underrepresented 
groups at the graduate and postdoctoral level in the food and 
agricultural sciences, particularly minorities and women. Throughout a 
USDA Graduate Fellow's tenure, the institution should satisfy itself 
that the Fellow is making satisfactory academic progress, and carrying 
out, or planning to carry out, national needs related research. If an 
institution finds it necessary to terminate support of a USDA Graduate 
Fellow or a postdoctoral Fellow for insufficient progress or by decision 
on the part of the Fellow, the Fellow may no longer receive funds from 
the active grant. However, termination does not automatically disqualify 
a Fellow from receiving future grant support under this program. If a 
graduate or postdoctoral Fellow finds it necessary to interrupt his or 
her program of study because of health, personal reasons, or outside 
employment, the institution must reserve the funds for the purpose of 
allowing the Fellow to resume funded training any time within a six (6) 
month period. However, a USDA Graduate or Postdoctoral Fellow who finds 
it necessary to interrupt his/her program of training more than one time 
cannot exceed a total of six (6) months' cumulative leave status without 
forfeiting eligibility. For a USDA Graduate Fellowship terminated 
because of insufficient progress, by decision on the part of the Fellow, 
or reserved due to an interrupted program but not resumed within the 
required time period, the institution may use any unexpended monies to 
support, within the time remaining on the project grant, and subject to 
the limitations above, a replacement Fellow at the same master's or 
doctoral levels. For postdoctoral Fellowships terminated

[[Page 235]]

because of insufficient progress, by decision on the part of the Fellow, 
or reserved due to an interrupted program but not resumed within the 
required time period, the institution must return all the unexpended 
monies to NIFA.
    (c) Only Fellows enrolled in master's programs of study may be 
supported under master's Fellowship grants. Master's degree level 
Fellows who complete their degree early may be supported under master's 
Fellowship grants, if they are enrolled in Ph.D. programs in areas of 
the food and agricultural sciences designated as national need areas. 
Only Fellows enrolled in doctoral programs of study may be supported 
under doctoral degree Fellowship grants. Only USDA Graduate Fellows who 
have completed their doctoral degrees may be supported under 
postdoctoral Fellowship grants.



Sec. 3402.8  Fellowship activities.

    A USDA Graduate Fellow shall be enrolled as a full-time graduate 
student, as defined by the institution, at all times during the tenure 
of the Fellowship in the national need area and at the degree level 
supported by the grant. This includes the time used for special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research, if the 
international travel is funded through a special international study or 
thesis/dissertation research travel allowance under this grant program. 
However, the normal requirement for formal registration during part of 
this tenure may be waived if permitted by the policy of the Fellowship 
institution, provided that the Graduate Fellow is making satisfactory 
progress toward degree completion and remains engaged in appropriate 
full-time Fellowship activities such as thesis/dissertation research. 
Postdoctoral Fellowship appointments may be held only by persons who 
pursue full-time traineeship in research, teaching, or extension in the 
national need area and are supervised by the mentor indicated in the 
grant application. Graduate and postdoctoral Fellows in academic 
institutions are not entitled to vacations as such. They are entitled to 
the short normal student holidays observed by the institution. The time 
between academic semesters or quarters is to be utilized as an active 
part of the grant period. During the period of support, USDA Graduate 
and Postdoctoral Fellows are permitted, at the discretion of their 
institutions, to accept additional supplemental employment that would 
positively contribute to their training or research and provide 
eligibility for tuition waivers (e.g., full or partial tuition waivers 
provided with research or teaching assignments). A Fellow may accept 
from any other entity a grant supporting the Fellow's research costs.



Sec. 3402.9  Financial provisions.

    An institution may elect to apply the cost-of-education/training 
institutional allowance to a Fellow's tuition, fees and laboratory 
expenses and to defray other program expenses (e.g., recruitment, 
travel, publications, or salaries of project personnel), unless stated 
otherwise in the solicitation. Tuition and fees are the responsibility 
of the Fellow unless an institution elects to use its cost-of-education 
institutional allowance for this purpose or elects to pay such costs out 
of non-USDA monies. No dependency allowances are provided to any USDA 
Graduate or Postdoctoral Fellows. Stipend payments and special 
international study or thesis/dissertation research travel allowances 
may be made to Fellows by the institution, in accordance with standard 
institutional procedures for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships and 
assistantships.



                 Subpart C_Preparation of an Application



Sec. 3402.10  Application package.

    Applications will be available at http://www.grants.gov and through 
the NIFA Web site. An application package will be made available to any 
potential grant applicant upon request. This package will include all 
necessary forms and instructions to apply for a grant under this 
program.



Sec. 3402.11  Proposal cover page.

    The Proposal Cover Page, Form NIFA-2002, must be completed in its

[[Page 236]]

entirety, including all authorizing signatures. One copy of each grant 
application must contain the original pen-and-ink signatures, or 
approved electronic equivalent, of:
    (a) The Project Director(s); and
    (b) The Authorized Organizational Representative for the 
institution.



Sec. 3402.12  Project summary.

    Using the Project Summary, Form NIFA-2003, applicants must summarize 
the proposed graduate program of study and/or the academic and research 
strengths of the institution in the national need area for which funding 
is requested. To the extent possible, applicants should emphasize the 
uniqueness of the proposed program of training. The summary should not 
include any reference to the specific number of fellowships requested. 
The information on Form NIFA-2003 will be used in assigning the most 
appropriate panelists to review an application. If an application is 
supported, this Form may be used in program publications.



Sec. 3402.13  National need narrative.

    HEP will determine the composition of the narrative for each 
competition, including page limits, font size, the number and the order 
of sections, and other supporting information that may be required. 
Detailed instructions for preparing the narrative will be published in 
the solicitation.



Sec. 3402.14  Budget and budget narrative.

    Applicants must prepare the Budget, Form NIFA-2004, and a budget 
narrative identifying all costs associated with the application. 
Instructions for completing the Budget are provided with the form.



Sec. 3402.15  Faculty vitae.

    This section should include a Summary Vita, no more than 2 pages 
excluding publications listing, for each faculty member contributing 
significantly to institutional competence at the level of graduate study 
for the national need area addressed in the application. Applicants 
should arrange the faculty vitae with the Project Director(s) first, 
followed by the remaining faculty, in alphabetical order.



Sec. 3402.16  Appendix.

    Any additional supporting information deemed essential to enhancing 
the application should be included in an Appendix and referenced in the 
national need narrative.



          Subpart D_Submission and Evaluation of an Application



Sec. 3402.17  Where to submit an application.

    The solicitation will indicate the date for submission of 
applications and the number of application copies required to apply for 
a grant. In addition, the solicitation will provide the address to which 
the application, the required number of accompanying duplicate copies, 
and any other required forms and materials should be sent.



Sec. 3402.18  Evaluation criteria.

    Applications addressing a particular national need area at a 
particular Fellowship level (master's, doctoral or postdoctoral) will be 
evaluated in competition with other applications addressing the same 
national need area at the same level. Both USDA internal staff and the 
panelists will evaluate applications on the basis of the criteria 
published in the solicitation.



                   Subpart E_Supplementary Information



Sec. 3402.19  Terms and conditions of grant awards.

    Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the awarding 
official shall make project grants to those responsible, eligible 
applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious according to 
evaluation criteria stated in the solicitation. The beginning of the 
project period shall be no later than September 30 of the Federal fiscal 
year in which the project is approved for support. All funds granted 
under this part shall be expended solely for the purpose for which the 
funds are granted in accordance with the approved application and 
budget, the regulations of this part, the terms and conditions of the 
award, the applicable Federal cost principles, and 2 CFR part 200.

[[Page 237]]



Sec. 3402.20  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.

    (a) The Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') issued guidance on 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 on December 26, 2013. 
In 2 CFR 400.1, the Department adopted OMB's guidance in subparts A 
through F of 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by 2 CFR part 400, as the 
Department's policies and procedures for uniform administrative 
requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal 
awards. As a result, this regulation contains references to 2 CFR part 
200 as it has regulatory effect for the Department's programs and 
activities.
    (b) Several other Federal statutes and/or regulations apply to grant 
proposals considered for review or to research project grants awarded 
under this part. These include but are not limited to:

2 CFR part 200--Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
2 CFR part 180 and Part 417--OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-
Wide Debarment And Suspension (Nonprocurement) And USDA Nonprocurement 
Debarment And Suspension
7 CFR part 1c--USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the 
Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1--USDA Implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR part 3--USDA Implementation of OMB Circular A-129 Regarding Debt 
Collection.
7 CFR part 15, subpart A--USDA Implementation of Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.
7 CFR part 3407--NIFA procedures to implement the National Environmental 
Policy Act;
29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR part 
15B (USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting discrimination based 
upon physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs; and
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights 
to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted 
programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).

[79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3402.21  Confidential aspects of applications and awards.

    When an application results in a grant, the application and 
supporting information become part of the record of NIFA transactions, 
and available to the public upon specific request. Information that the 
Secretary determines to be of a confidential, privileged, or proprietary 
nature will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. 
Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes to have considered 
as confidential, privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked 
within the application. The original copy of an application that does 
not result in a grant will be retained by the Agency for a period of one 
year. Other copies will be destroyed. Such an application will be 
released only with the consent of the applicant or to the extent 
required by law. An application may be withdrawn at any time prior to 
the final action thereon.



Sec. 3402.22  Access to peer review information.

    After final decisions have been announced, HEP will, upon request, 
inform the PD of the reasons for its decision on an application. 
Verbatim copies of summary reviews, not including the identity of the 
reviewers, will be made available to respective PDs upon specific 
request.



Sec. 3402.23  Documentation of progress on funded projects.

    (a) Fellowships/Scholarships Entry/Exit Forms (Form NIFA-2010) are 
available from NIFA upon request. Upon request by HEP, Project Directors 
awarded Graduate Fellowship (excluding supplemental international and 
postdoctoral) grants under the program shall complete and submit this 
form.
    (1) Appointment Information shall be submitted to HEP within 3 
months of appointment of a Fellow;
    (2) The Project Director shall submit an annual update of each 
Fellow's progress to HEP by September 30 each year. Additional progress 
reports may be needed to assess continuing progress of Fellows supported 
by any special

[[Page 238]]

international study or thesis/dissertation research allowance and/or 
institutional adherence to program guidelines.
    (3) Exit Information shall be completed and submitted to HEP by the 
Project Director for each Fellow supported by a grant as soon as a 
Fellow either: Graduates; is officially terminated from the Fellowship 
or the academic program due to unsatisfactory academic progress; or 
voluntarily withdraws from the Fellowship or the academic program. If a 
Fellow has not completed all degree requirements at the end of the five-
year grant duration, HEP may request a preliminary exit report. In such 
a case, a final exit report shall be required at a later date. When a 
final exit report for each Fellow supported by a grant has been accepted 
by HEP, the grantee will have satisfied the requirement of a final 
performance report for the grant. Additional follow-up reports to track 
Fellows' career patterns may be requested.
    (b) All grantees (supplemental international, graduate, and 
postdoctoral) shall submit initial project information and annual and 
summary reports to NIFA' Current Research Information System (CRIS). The 
CRIS database contains narrative project information, progress/impact 
statements, and final technical reports that are made available to the 
public. For applications recommended for funding, instructions on 
preparation and submission of project documentation will be provided to 
the applicant by the agency contact. Documentation must be submitted to 
CRIS before NIFA funds will be released. Project reports will be 
requested by the CRIS office when required. For more information about 
CRIS, visit http://cris.nifa.usda.gov.



Sec. 3402.24  Evaluation of program.

    Grantees should be aware that HEP may, as a part of its own program 
evaluation activities, carry out in-depth evaluations of assisted 
activities through independent third parties. Thus, grantees should be 
prepared to cooperate with evaluators retained by HEP to analyze both 
the institutional context and the impact of any supported project.



PART 3403_SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM--
Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
3403.1  Applicability of regulations.
3403.2  Definitions.
3403.3  Eligibility requirements.

                      Subpart B_Program Description

3403.4  Three-phase program.

                   Subpart C_Preparation of Proposals

3403.5  Program solicitation.
3403.6  Content of proposals.
3403.7  Proposal format for phase I applications.
3403.8  Proposal format for phase II applications.

            Subpart D_Submission and Evaluation of Proposals

3403.9  Submission of proposals.
3403.10  Proposal review.
3403.11  Availability of information.

                   Subpart E_Supplementary Information

3403.12  Terms and conditions of grant awards.
3403.13  Notice of grant awards.
3403.14  Use of funds; changes.
3403.15  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3403.16  Other considerations.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 638.

    Source: 72 FR 20703, Apr. 26, 2007, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3403 appear at 76 FR 
4807, Jan. 27, 2011.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 3403.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part apply to small business innovation 
research grants awarded under the general authority of section 630 of 
the Act making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, and 
Related Agencies' programs for fiscal year ending 1987, and for other 
purposes as made applicable by section 101(a) of Pub. L. 99-591, 100 
Stat. 3341, and the provisions of the Small Business Innovation 
Development Act of 1982, as amended (15

[[Page 239]]

U.S.C. 638), and the Small Business Innovation Research Program 
Reauthorization Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-554, which extends the SBIR 
Program through September 30, 2008. The Small Business Innovation 
Development Act of 1982, as amended, mandates that each Federal agency 
with an annual extramural budget for research or research and 
development in excess of $100 million participate in a Small Business 
Innovation Research (SBIR) program by reserving a statutory percentage 
of its annual extramural budget for award to small business concerns for 
research or research and development in order to stimulate technological 
innovation, use small business to meet Federal research and development 
needs, increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived 
from Federal research and development, and foster and encourage the 
participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business 
concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological 
innovation. The Department will participate in this program through the 
issuance of competitive research grants which will be administered by 
NIFA.
    (b) The regulations of this part do not apply to research grants 
awarded by the Department under any other authority.

[72 FR 20703, Apr. 26, 2007, as amended at 79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3403.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    Ad hoc reviewers means experts or consultants, qualified by training 
and experience in particular scientific or technical fields to render 
expert advice on the scientific technical merit of the grant 
applications in those fields, who review on an individual basis one or 
several of the eligible proposals submitted to this program in their 
area of expertise and who submit to the Department written evaluations 
of such proposals.
    Applicant is the organizational entity that, at the time of award, 
will qualify as a small business concern and that submits a grant 
application for a funding agreement under the SBIR Program.
    Authorized departmental officer (ADO) means the Secretary or any 
employee of the Department who has the authority to issue or modify 
grant instruments on behalf of the Secretary. The ADO is also referred 
to as the Funding Agreement Officer.
    Authorized organizational representative (AOR) means the president, 
director, or chief executive officer or other designated official of the 
applicant organization who has the authority to commit the resources of 
the organization.
    Budget Period means the interval of time into which the project 
period is divided for budgetary and reporting purposes.
    Commercialization is the process of developing marketable products 
or services and producing and delivering products or services for sale 
(whether by the originating party or by others) to Government or 
commercial markets.
    Department means the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Essentially equivalent work occurs when:
    (1) Substantially the same research is proposed for funding in more 
than one grant application submitted to the same Federal agency;
    (2) Substantially the same research is submitted to two or more 
different Federal agencies for review and funding consideration; or
    (3) A specific research objective and the research design for 
accomplishing an objective are the same or closely related in two or 
more proposals or awards, regardless of the funding source.
    Funding agreement is any contract, grant, or cooperative agreement 
entered into between any Federal agency and any small business concern 
for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work, 
including products or services funded in whole or in part by the Federal 
Government.
    A grant is a financial assistance mechanism providing money, 
property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out the approved 
project or activity, and substantial programmatic involvement by 
Government is not anticipated.
    Grantee means the small business concern designated in the grant 
award

[[Page 240]]

document as the responsible legal entity to whom the grant is awarded 
under this part.
    Innovation is something new or improved, having marketable potential 
including:
    (1) Development of new technologies;
    (2) Refinement of existing technologies; or
    (3) Development of new applications for existing technologies.
    Intellectual property means the separate and distinct types of 
intangible property that are referred to collectively as ``intellectual 
property,'' including but not limited to: Patents, trademarks, 
copyrights, trade secrets, SBIR technical data (as defined in this 
section), ideas, designs, know-how, business, technical and research 
methods, other types of intangible business assets, and all types of 
intangible assets either proposed or generated by a small business 
concern as a result of its participation in the SBIR Program.
    Joint venture is an association of concerns with interests in any 
degree or proportion by way of contract, express or implied, consorting 
to engage in and carry out a single specific business venture for joint 
profit, for which purpose they combine their efforts, property, money, 
skill, or knowledge, but not on a continuing or permanent basis for 
conducting business generally. A joint venture is viewed as a business 
entity in determining power to control its management.
    NIFA means the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
    Outcomes are the measure of long-term, eventual, program impact.
    Outputs are the measures of near-term program impact.
    Peer review group means experts or consultants, qualified by 
training and experience in particular scientific or technical fields to 
give expert advice on the scientific and technical merit of grant 
applications to those fields, who assemble as a group to discuss and 
evaluate all of the eligible proposals submitted to this program in 
their area of expertise.
    Principal investigator/project director is the one individual 
designated by the applicant to provide the scientific and technical 
direction to a project supported by the funding agreement.
    Professional Employer Organization is an organization that provides 
an integrated approach to the management and administration of the human 
resources and employer risk of its clients, by contractually assuming 
substantial employer rights, responsibilities, and risk, through the 
establishment and maintenance of an employer relationship with the 
workers assigned to its clients.
    Program solicitation is a formal request for proposals whereby an 
agency notifies the small business community of its research or research 
and development needs and interests in broad and selected areas, as 
appropriate to the agency, and requests proposals from small business 
concerns in response to these needs and interests.
    Project period means the total length of time that is approved by 
the Department for conducting the research project as outlined in an 
approved grant application.
    Prototype is a model of something to be further developed, which 
includes designs, protocols, questionnaires, software, and devices.
    Research or research and development (R/R&D) means any activity 
which is:
    (1) A systematic, intensive study directed toward greater knowledge 
or understanding of the subject studied;
    (2) A systematic study directed specifically toward applying new 
knowledge to meet a recognized need; or
    (3) A systematic application of knowledge toward the production of 
useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, 
development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet 
specific requirements.
    Research project grant means the award by the Department of funds to 
a grantee to assist in meeting the costs of conducting for the benefit 
of the public an identified project which is intended and designed to 
establish, discover, elucidate, or confirm information or the underlying 
mechanisms relating to a research topic area identified in the annual 
solicitation of applications.
    SBIR Participants are business concerns that have received SBIR 
awards or that have submitted SBIR proposals/applications.

[[Page 241]]

    SBIR Technical Data is defined as all data generated during the 
performance of an SBIR award.
    SBIR Technical Data Rights are the rights a small business concern 
obtains in data generated during the performance of any SBIR award that 
an awardee delivers to the Government during or upon completion of a 
Federally-funded project, and to which the government receives a 
license.
    Small business concern (SBC) means a concern that, on the date of 
award for both Phase I and Phase II funding agreements:
    (1) Is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the 
United States, which operates primarily within the United States, or 
which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy 
through the payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or 
labor;
    (2) Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, 
partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, 
association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint 
venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by foreign 
business entities in the joint venture;
    (3) Is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more 
individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the 
United States, except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity 
in the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more 
individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in the 
United States; and
    (4) Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees. The 
term ``affiliates'' is defined in greater detail in 13 CFR 121.103. The 
term ``number of employees'' is defined in 13 CFR 121.106.
    Socially and economically disadvantaged small business concern is 
defined in 13 CFR part 124-8(A) Business Development/Small Disadvantaged 
Business Status Determinations, Sec. 124.103 (Who is socially 
disadvantaged?) and Sec. 124.104 (Who is economically disadvantaged?).
    United States means the 50 states, the territories and possessions 
of the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District 
of Columbia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States 
of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
    Women-owned small business concern means a small business concern 
that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more women, or in the case 
of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock is 
owned by women, and women control the management and daily business 
operations.

[72 FR 20703, Apr. 26, 2007, as amended at 76 FR 4808, Jan. 27, 2011]



Sec. 3403.3  Eligibility requirements.

    (a) Eligibility of organization. (1) To receive SBIR funds, each 
awardee of a SBIR Phase I or Phase II must qualify as a small business 
concern.
    (2) For Phase I, a minimum of two-thirds of the research or 
analytical effort, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the 
awardee. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur, and 
must be approved in writing by the ADO after consultation with the 
agency SBIR National Program Leader.
    (3) For Phase II, a minimum of one-half of the research or 
analytical effort, as measured by the budget, must be performed by the 
awardee. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur, and 
must be approved in writing by the ADO after consultation with the 
agency SBIR National Program Leader.
    (4) For both Phase I and Phase II, the primary employment of the 
principal investigator must be with the SBC at the time of award and 
during the conduct of the proposed project. Primary employment means 
that more than one-half of the principal investigator's time is spent in 
the employ of the SBC. This precludes full-time employment with another 
organization. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur, 
and must be approved in writing by the ADO after consultation with the 
agency SBIR National Program Leader. Further, an SBC may replace the 
principal investigator on an SBIR Phase I or Phase II award, subject to 
approval in writing by the ADO after consultation with the SBIR National 
Program Leader. For purposes of the SBIR Program, personnel obtained 
through a Professional Employer Organization or other similar personnel

[[Page 242]]

leasing company must be considered employees of the awardee. This is 
consistent with SBA's size regulations, 13 CFR 121.106--Small Business 
Size Regulations.
    (5) For both Phase I and Phase II, the R/R&D must be performed in 
the United States. However, based on a rare and unique circumstance, ADO 
approval may be granted to perform a particular portion of the research 
or research and development work outside of the United States, for 
example, if a supply of material or other item or project requirement is 
not available in the United States. The ADO, after consultation with the 
agency SBIR National Program Leader, must approve each such specific 
condition in writing.
    (b) [Reserved]



                      Subpart B_Program Description



Sec. 3403.4  Three-phase program.

    The Small Business Innovation Research Grants Program is carried out 
in three separate phases described in this section. The first two phases 
are designed to assist USDA in meeting its research or research and 
development objectives and will be supported with SBIR Program funds. 
The purpose of the third phase is to pursue the commercial applications 
or objectives of the research carried out in Phases I and II through the 
use of private or Federal non-SBIR funds.
    (a) Phase I. Phase I involves a solicitation of grant applications 
(hereinafter referred to as proposals) to conduct feasibility-related 
experimental research and development related to described agency 
requirements. These requirements, as defined by agency topics contained 
in the solicitation, may be general or narrow in scope, depending on 
USDA needs. The object of this phase is to determine the scientific and 
technical merit and feasibility of the proposed effort and the quality 
of performance of the small business concern with a relatively small 
agency investment before consideration of further Federal support in 
Phase II.
    (b) Phase II is the principal research or research and development 
effort in which the results from Phase I are expanded upon and further 
pursued, normally for a period not to exceed 24 months. Only SBIR 
awardees in Phase I are eligible to participate in Phase II. This 
includes those awardees identified via a ``novated'' or ``successor in 
interest'' or similarly-revised funding agreement, or those that have 
reorganized with the same key staff, regardless of whether they have 
been assigned a different tax identification number. For each Phase I 
project funded, the awardee may apply for a Phase II award only once. 
Phase I awardees who for valid reasons cannot apply for Phase II support 
in the next fiscal year funding cycle may normally apply for support no 
later than the second fiscal year funding cycle.
    (c) Phase III refers to work that derives from, extends, or 
logically concludes effort(s) performed under prior SBIR funding 
agreements, but is funded by sources other than the SBIR Program. Phase 
III work is typically oriented towards commercialization of SBIR 
research or technology. This portion of a project is funded by a non-
SBIR source through the use of a follow-on funding commitment. A follow-
on funding commitment is an agreement between the small business concern 
and a provider of the follow-on capital for a specified amount of funds 
to be made available to the small business concern for future 
development of their effort upon achieving certain mutually agreed upon 
technical objectives.



                   Subpart C_Preparation of Proposals



Sec. 3403.5  Program solicitation.

    (a) Phase I. A program solicitation requesting Phase I proposals 
will be prepared each fiscal year in which funds are made available for 
this purpose. This solicitation will contain information sufficient to 
enable eligible applicants to prepare grant proposals and will include 
descriptions of specific research topic areas which the Department will 
support during the fiscal year involved. A notice of solicitation, and 
the entire contents of the program solicitation will be published, at a 
minimum, on the agency's Web site.
    (b) Phase II. For each fiscal year in which funds are made available 
for this

[[Page 243]]

purpose, the Department will send correspondence requesting Phase II 
proposals from the Phase I grantees eligible to apply for Phase II 
funding in that fiscal year. The correspondence will contain information 
sufficient to enable eligible applicants to prepare grant proposals.



Sec. 3403.6  Content of proposals.

    (a) The proposed research must be responsive to one of the USDA 
program interests stated in the research topic descriptions of the 
program solicitation.
    (b) Proposals must cover only scientific/technological research 
activities. A small business concern must not propose product 
development, technical assistance, demonstration projects, classified 
research, or patent applications. Many of the research projects 
supported by the SBIR program lead to the development of new products 
based upon the research results obtained during the project. However, 
projects that seek funding solely for product development where no 
research is involved, i.e., funds are needed to permit the development 
of a project based on previously completed research, will not be 
accepted. Literature surveys should be conducted prior to preparing 
proposals for submission and must not be proposed as a part of the SBIR 
Phase I or Phase II effort. Proposals principally for the development of 
proven concepts toward commercialization or for market research should 
not be submitted since such efforts are considered the responsibility of 
the private sector and therefore are not supported by USDA.
    (c) A proposal must be limited to only one topic. The same proposal 
may not be submitted under more than one topic as defined in the 
solicitation. However, an organization may submit separate proposals on 
the same topic. Where similar research is discussed under more than one 
topic, the proposer should choose that topic whose description appears 
most relevant to the proposer's research concept. USDA will not consider 
funding duplicate (essentially equivalent work) proposals. In addition, 
essentially equivalent work funded by another entity will be returned to 
the applicant without review.



Sec. 3403.7  Proposal format for phase I applications.

    (a) The following items relate to Phase I applications. Further 
instructions or descriptions for these items as well as any additional 
items to be included will be provided in the annual solicitation, as 
necessary.
    (1) SF-424 R&R Cover. Applicants must submit basic proposal 
identification information on the first page of the proposals. 
Applicants must also certify on the first page of the proposals that 
they meet the definition of a small business concern as stated in the 
solicitation, and must certify as to whether or not they qualify as 
socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns, or 
women-owned small business concerns.
    (2) Project Summary/Abstract. The technical abstract should include 
a brief description of the problem or opportunity, project objectives, 
and a description of the effort. Anticipated results and potential 
commercial applications of the proposed research also should be 
summarized in the space provided. Keywords should characterize the most 
important aspects of the project. The project summary of successful 
proposals may be published by USDA and therefore should not contain 
proprietary information.
    (3) Project Narrative. The main body of the proposal should include:
    (i) Identification and significance of the problem or opportunity.
    (ii) Background and rationale.
    (iii) Relationship with future research or research and development.
    (iv) Phase I technical objectives.
    (v) Phase I work plan.
    (vi) Related research or research and development.
    (vii) References. For each reference cited in the Proposal, provide 
the complete name for each author, the date of publication, the full 
title of the article, name of the journal, etc.
    (4) Key personnel and bibliography. Identify key personnel involved 
in the effort, including information on their directly related education 
and experience. For each key person, provide a chronological list of the 
most recent

[[Page 244]]

representative publications in the topic area.
    (5) Facilities and equipment. Describe the types, location, and 
availability of instrumentation and physical facilities necessary to 
carry out the work proposed. Items of equipment to be purchased must be 
fully justified under this section.
    (6) Outside services. Involvement of university or other consultants 
in the planning and research stages of the project as consultants or 
through subcontracting arrangements is permitted and may be particularly 
helpful to small business concerns that have not previously received 
Federal research awards. If such involvement is intended, it should be 
described in detail.
    (7) Satisfying the public interest. Specify how the proposed 
research will satisfy one or more of the following objectives:
    (i) Develops sustainable agriculture production systems;
    (ii) Protects natural resources and the environment;
    (iii) Creates a safe, nutritious and affordable food supply;
    (iv) Develops value-added food and non-food products from 
agricultural materials;
    (v) Enhances global competitiveness; and
    (vi) Enhances economic opportunity and quality of life, especially 
for people in rural areas.
    (8) Potential post applications. Briefly describe the 
commercialization potential of the proposed research. Indicate whether 
and by what means there appears to be a potential for the Federal 
Government to use the proposed research. Include a brief description of 
the proposing company (e.g., date founded, number of employees) and its 
field of interest. What are the major competitive products in this 
field, and what advantages will the proposed research have over existing 
technology (in application, performance, technique, efficiency or cost)?
    (9) Similar Proposals or Awards. (i) WARNING--While it is 
permissible with proposal notification to submit identical proposals 
containing a significant amount of essentially equivalent work for 
consideration under numerous Federal program solicitations, it is 
unlawful to enter into funding agreements requiring essentially 
equivalent work. If there is any question concerning this, it must be 
disclosed to the soliciting agency or agencies before award. If an 
applicant elects to submit identical proposals or proposals containing a 
significant amount of essentially equivalent work under other Federal 
program solicitations, a statement must be included in each such 
proposal indicating:
    (A) Name and address of the agency(ies) to which the proposal was 
submitted, or will be submitted, or from which an award is expected or 
has been received.
    (B) Date of actual or anticipated proposal submission or date of 
award, as appropriate.
    (C) Title of proposal or award, identifying number assigned to the 
solicitation or proposal by the agency involved, and the date the 
proposal(s) were submitted or the award was received.
    (D) Applicable research topic area for each proposal submitted or 
award received.
    (E) Titles of research projects.
    (F) Name and title of principal investigator for each proposal 
submitted or award received.
    (ii) USDA will not make awards that duplicate research funded (or to 
be funded) by other Federal agencies.
    (10) Cost breakdown on proposal budget. Complete a budget form for 
the phase under which you are currently applying. (An applicant for 
Phase I funding should not submit both Phase I and Phase II budgets.) A 
budget narrative with supporting detail for each budget category must be 
included.
    (11) Special Considerations. If the proposed research will include 
laboratory animals or human subjects at risk, the applicant may be 
required to have the research plan reviewed and approved by an 
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or Institutional 
Review Board (IRB) prior to commencing actual substantive work. If such 
approval is required, USDA may not release funds for the award until 
proper documentation is submitted and accepted by USDA. It is suggested 
that applicants contact local universities,

[[Page 245]]

colleges, or nonprofit research organizations which have established 
reviewing mechanisms to have this service performed.
    (12) Proprietary information. (i) If proprietary information is 
provided by an applicant in a proposal which constitutes a trade secret, 
proprietary commercial or financial information, confidential personal 
information, or data affecting the national security, it will be treated 
in confidence to the extent permitted by law. This information must be 
clearly marked by the applicant with the term ``confidential proprietary 
information'' and the following legend must appear on the title page of 
the proposal: ``These data shall not be disclosed outside the Government 
and shall not be duplicated, used, or disclosed in whole or in part for 
any purpose other than evaluation of this proposal. If a funding 
agreement is awarded to this applicant as a result of or in connection 
with the submission of these data, the Government shall have the right 
to duplicate, use, or disclose the data to the extent provided in the 
funding agreement and pursuant to applicable law. This restriction does 
not limit the Government's right to use information contained in the 
data if it is obtained from another source without restriction. The data 
subject to this restriction are contained on pages __ of this 
proposal.''
    (ii) USDA, by law, is required to make the final decision as to 
whether the information is required to be kept in confidence. 
Information contained in unsuccessful proposals will remain the property 
of the applicant. However, USDA will retain for three years one copy of 
all proposals received; extra copies will be destroyed. Public release 
of information for any proposal submitted will be subject to existing 
statutory and regulatory requirements. Any proposal which is funded will 
be considered an integral part of the award and normally will be made 
available to the public upon request through the Freedom of Information 
Act, except for designated proprietary information.
    (iii) The inclusion of proprietary information is discouraged unless 
it is necessary for the proper evaluation of the proposal. If 
proprietary information is to be included, it should be limited, set 
apart from other text on a separate page, and keyed to the text by 
numbers. It should be confined to a few critical technical items which, 
if disclosed, could jeopardize the obtaining of foreign or domestic 
patents. Trade secrets, salaries, or other information which could 
jeopardize commercial competitiveness should be similarly keyed and 
presented on a separate page. Proposals or reports which attempt to 
restrict dissemination of large amounts of information may be found 
unacceptable by USDA.
    (13) Rights in data developed under SBIR funding agreement. The 
legend (or statements) in the SBIR datarights clause included in the 
SBIR award must be affixed to any submissions of technical data. Where 
such legend is affixed, rights in technical data, including software 
developed under the terms of any funding agreement resulting from a 
proposal submitted in response to the program solicitation shall remain 
with the grantee. The Government may not use, modify, reproduce, 
release, perform, display, or disclose technical data or computer 
software marked with this legend for 4 years. After expiration of the 4-
year period, the Government has a royalty-free license to use, and to 
authorize others to use on its behalf, these data for Government 
purposes, and is relieved of all disclosure prohibitions and assumes no 
liability for unauthorized use of these data by third parties, except 
that any such data that is also protected and referenced under a 
subsequent SBIR award shall remain protected through the protection of 
that subsequent SBIR award.
    (14) Patents and Inventions. Allocation of rights to inventions 
shall be in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 202 through 206 and the Department 
of Commerce implementing regulations entitled ``Rights to Inventions 
Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms under 
Government Grants, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements'' at 37 CFR part 
401. These regulations provide that small businesses normally may retain 
the principal worldwide patent rights to any invention developed with 
USDA support. USDA receives a royalty-free license

[[Page 246]]

for Federal Government use, reserves the right to require the patentee 
to license others in certain circumstances, and requires that anyone 
exclusively licensed to sell the invention in the United States must 
normally manufacture it domestically. To the extent authorized by 35 
U.S.C. 205, USDA will not make public any information disclosing a USDA-
supported invention for a four-year period. SBIR awardees must report 
inventions to the awarding agency within two months of the inventor's 
report to the awardee. The reporting of inventions shall be made through 
submission to Interagency Edison as specified in the terms and 
conditions of the grant.
    (15) Organizational management information. Before the award of an 
SBIR funding agreement, USDA requires the submission of certain 
organizational management, personnel, and financial information to 
assure responsibility of the applicant. This information is not required 
unless a project is recommended for funding, and then it is submitted on 
a one-time basis only. However, new information should be submitted if a 
small business concern has undergone significant changes in 
organization, personnel, finance or policies, including those relating 
to civil rights.
    (16) Documentation of commercialization record of firms with 
multiple phase II awards. A small business concern submitting a proposal 
for a Phase I award that has received more than 15 Phase II SBIR awards 
during the preceding five fiscal years must document the extent to which 
it was able to secure Phase III funding to develop concepts resulting 
from previous Phase II SBIR awards.
    (b) [Reserved]



Sec. 3403.8  Proposal format for phase II applications.

    (a) The following items relate to Phase II applications. Further 
instructions or descriptions for these items as well as any additional 
items to be included will be identified in the annual program 
solicitation as necessary. See Sec. 3403.9.
    (1) SF-424 R&R cover sheet. Follow instructions found in 
Sec. 3403.7(a)(1).
    (2) Project summary. Follow instructions found at Sec. 3403.7(a)(2).
    (3) Phase I results. The proposal should contain an extensive 
section that lists Phase I objectives and makes detailed presentation of 
the Phase I results. This section should establish the degree to which 
Phase I objectives were met and feasibility of the proposed research 
project was established.
    (4) Proposal. Since Phase II is the principal research and 
development effort, proposals should be more comprehensive than those 
submitted under Phase I. However, the outline and information contained 
in Sec. 3403.7(a)(3)-(9) and Sec. 3403.7(a)(11)-(14) should be followed, 
tailoring the information requested to the Phase II project.
    (5) Cost breakdown on proposal budget. For Phase II, a detailed 
budget is required for each year of requested support. In addition, a 
summary budget is required detailing the requested support for the 
overall project period. A budget narrative, with supporting budget 
detail for each budget category must be included.
    (6) Organizational management information. Each Phase II awardee 
will be asked to submit an updated statement of financial condition 
(such as the latest audit report, financial statements or balance sheet) 
and report any changes in management or principals.
    (7) Commercialization Plan. A succinct commercialization plan must 
be included in each SBIR Phase II proposal moving toward 
commercialization. Elements of a commercialization plan may include the 
following:
    (i) Company information. Focused objectives/core competencies; size; 
specialization area(s); products with significant sales; and history of 
previous Federal and non-Federal funding; regulatory experience; and 
subsequent commercialization.
    (ii) Customer and competition. Clear description of key technology 
objectives, current competition, and advantages compared to competing 
products or services; description of hurdles to acceptance of the 
innovation.
    (iii) Market. Milestone, target dates, analyses of market size, and 
estimated market share after first year sales and after five years; 
explanation of plan to obtain market share.
    (iv) Intellectual property. Patent status, technology lead, trade 
secrets or

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other demonstration of a plan to achieve sufficient protection to 
realize the commercialization state and attain at least a temporary 
competitive advantage.
    (v) Financing. Plans for securing necessary funding in Phase III.
    (vi) Assistance and mentoring. Plans for securing needed technical 
or business assistance through mentoring, partnering, or through 
arrangements with state assistance programs, Small Business Development 
Centers, Federally-funded research laboratories, manufacturing extension 
Partnership Centers, or other assistance providers.
    (8) Data Collection. Each Phase II applicant will be required to 
provide information to the Tech-Net Database System (http://
technet.sba.gov) per OMB No. 3245-03356. The following are examples of 
the data to be entered by applicants into Tech-Net:
    (i) Any business concern or subsidiary established for the 
commercial application of a product or service for which an SBIR award 
is made;
    (ii) Revenue from the sale of new products or services resulting 
from the research conducted under each Phase II award;
    (iii) Additional investment from any source, other than Phase I or 
Phase II awards, to further the research and development conducted under 
each Phase II award; and
    (iv) Updates to information in the Tech-Net database for any prior 
Phase II award received by the small business concern.
    (b) [Reserved]



            Subpart D_Submission and Evaluation of Proposals



Sec. 3403.9  Submission of proposals.

    The SBIR program solicitation for Phase I proposals and the 
correspondence requesting Phase II proposals will provide the deadline 
date for submitting proposals, and instructions for submitting the 
proposal to NIFA for funding consideration.



Sec. 3403.10  Proposal review.

    (a) The receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged.
    (b) All Phase I and II proposals will be evaluated and judged on a 
competitive basis. Proposals will be initially screened to determine 
responsiveness. Proposals passing this initial screening will be 
technically evaluated by scientists to determine the most promising 
technical and scientific approaches. Each proposal will be judged on its 
own merit. USDA is under no obligation to fund any proposal or any 
specific number of proposals in a given topic. It also may elect to fund 
several or none of the proposed approaches to the same topic or 
subtopic.
    (c) Phase I and II proposal evaluation criteria will be published in 
the ``Method of Selection and Evaluation Criteria'' section of the 
program solicitation.
    (d) External peer reviewers may be used during the technical 
evaluation stage of this process. Selections will be made from among 
recognized specialists who are uniquely qualified by training and 
experience in their respective fields to render expert advice on the 
merit of proposals received. It is anticipated that such experts will 
include those located in universities, government, and nonprofit 
research organizations. If possible, USDA intends that peer review 
groups shall be balanced with minority and female representation and 
with an equitable age distribution.
    (e) Reviewers will base their conclusions and recommendations on 
information contained in the Phase I or Phase II proposal. It cannot be 
assumed that reviewers are acquainted with any experiments referred to 
within a proposal, with key individuals, or with the firm itself. 
Therefore, the proposals should be self-contained and written with the 
care and thoroughness accorded papers for publication.
    (f) Final decisions will be made by USDA based upon the rating 
assigned by reviewers in consideration of the technical and commercial 
potential of the application, duplication of research, any critical USDA 
requirements, resubmission and budget limitation. In the event that two 
or more proposals are of approximately equal merit, the existence of a 
cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with a USDA 
laboratory will

[[Page 248]]

be an important consideration. The existence of a follow-on funding 
commitment for continued development in Phase III will also be an 
important consideration. The value of any commitment will depend upon 
the degree of financial commitment made by investors, with the maximum 
value resulting from a signed agreement with reasonable terms for an 
amount at least equal to funding requested from USDA in Phase II.



Sec. 3403.11  Availability of information.

    Information regarding the peer review process will be made available 
to the extent permitted under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 
552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), the SBIR Policy Directive, and 
implementing Departmental and other Federal regulations. Implementing 
Departmental regulations are found at 7 CFR part 1.



                   Subpart E_Supplementary Information



Sec. 3403.12  Terms and conditions of grant awards.

    Within the limit of funds available for such purposes, the 
Authorized Departmental Officer shall make research project grants to 
those responsible, eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most 
meritorious in the announced program areas under the evaluation criteria 
and procedures set forth in the annual program solicitation. The 
beginning of the project period shall be no later than September 30 of 
the Federal fiscal year in which the project is approved for support. 
All funds granted under this part shall be expended solely for the 
purpose for which funds are granted in accordance with the approved 
application and budget, the regulations of this part, the terms and 
conditions of award, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (48 CFR part 
31), and 2 CFR part 200.

[72 FR 20703, Apr. 26, 2007, as amended at 79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3403.13  Notice of grant awards.

    (a) The grant award document may include the following:
    (1) Legal name and address of performing organization or 
institution;
    (2) Title of project;
    (3) Name and institution of Project Director's chosen to direct and 
control approved activities;
    (4) Identifying grant number assigned by the Department;
    (5) Project period, specifying the amount of time the Department 
intends to support the project;
    (6) Total amount of Departmental financial assistance approved for 
the project period;
    (7) Legal authority(ies) under which the grant is awarded;
    (8) Appropriate Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) 
number;
    (9) Applicable award terms and conditions;
    (10) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds 
to accomplish the stated purpose of the grant award; and
    (11) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by NIFA to 
carry out its respective granting activities or to accomplish the 
purpose of a particular grant.
    (b) [Reserved]



Sec. 3403.14  Use of funds; changes.

    (a) Delegation of fiscal responsibility. Unless the terms and 
conditions of the grant state otherwise, the grantee may not in whole or 
in part delegate or transfer to another person, institution, or 
organization the responsibility for use or expenditure of grant funds.
    (b) Changes in Project Plans. (1) The permissible changes by the 
grantee, Project Director, or other key project personnel in the 
approved project grant shall be limited to changes in methodology, 
techniques, or other similar aspects of the project to expedite 
achievement of the project's approved goals. If the grantee or the 
Project Director (PD) is uncertain as to whether a change complies with 
this provision, the question must be referred to the Authorized 
Departmental Officer (ADO) for a final determination. The signatory of 
the award document is the ADO, not the program contact.
    (2) Changes in approved goals or objectives shall be requested by 
the grantee and, in consultation with the NIFA SBIR National Program 
Leader,

[[Page 249]]

approved in writing by the ADO prior to effecting such changes. In no 
event shall requests for such changes be approved which are outside the 
scope of the original approved project.
    (3) Changes in approved project leadership or the replacement or 
reassignment of other key project personnel shall be requested by the 
grantee and, in consultation with the NIFA SBIR National Program Leader, 
approved in writing by the ADO prior to effecting such changes.
    (4) Transfers of actual performance of the substantive programmatic 
work in whole or in part and provisions for payment of funds, whether or 
not Federal funds are involved, shall be requested by the grantee and, 
in consultation with the NIFA SBIR National Program Leader, approved in 
writing by the ADO prior to effecting such transfers, unless prescribed 
otherwise in the terms and conditions of the grant.
    (c) Changes in Project Period. The project period may be extended by 
NIFA without additional financial support, for such additional period(s) 
as the ADO determines may be necessary to complete or fulfill the 
purposes of an approved project provided Federal funds remain. Any 
extension of time shall be conditioned upon prior request by the grantee 
and approval in writing by the ADO unless otherwise noted in the award 
terms and conditions. In such cases the extension will not normally 
exceed 12 months. The Phase I award will still be limited to the 
approved award amount, and the submission of a Phase II proposal will 
normally be delayed by no more than one year. The extension allows the 
grantee to continue expending the remaining Federal funds for the 
intended purpose over the extension period. In instances where no 
Federal funds remain, it is unnecessary to approve an extension since 
the purpose of the extension is to continue using Federal funds. The 
grantee may opt to continue the Phase I project after the grant's 
termination and closeout, however, the grantee would have to do so 
without additional Federal funds. In the latter case, no communication 
with USDA is necessary.
    (d) Changes in approved budget. Changes in an approved budget must 
be requested by the grantee and approved in writing by the ADO prior to 
instituting such changes if the revision will involve transfers or 
expenditures of amounts requiring prior approval as set forth in the 
applicable Federal cost principles, Departmental regulations, or grant 
award.
    (e) Use of Change of Name and Novation Agreement. (1) Occasionally, 
after an award has been made the name of the Awardee may change. NIFA 
requires execution of a ``Change of Name Agreement'' in such instances. 
The specific circumstances of each situation will determine which kind 
of agreement should be executed. This decision will be determined by the 
ADO.
    (i) A Change of Name Agreement is a legal instrument executed by the 
Awardee and the Government that recognizes a change of the legal name of 
the Awardee without disturbing the original rights and obligations of 
the parties. If only a change of the Awardee's name is involved and the 
Government's and Awardee's rights and obligations remain unaffected, the 
parties should execute an agreement to reflect the name change.
    (ii) In order to execute the actual Change of Name Agreement with 
USDA, the Awardee is required to submit the following information:
    (A) The document effecting the name change, authenticated by a 
proper official of the State having jurisdiction;
    (B) The opinion of the Grantee's legal counsel stating that the 
change of name was properly effected under applicable law and showing 
the effective date;
    (C) A list of all affected awards between the Grantee and NIFA.
    (iii) When NIFA is notified that a change of name has taken place, 
the ADO will request the aforementioned information from the Grantee. 
Upon receipt and review of this information, parties will properly 
execute a Change of Name Agreement and the appropriate changes will be 
made to the Agency's records. The following suggested format for an 
agreement may be adapted for specific cases:
    CHANGE OF NAME AGREEMENT
    THE ABC CORPORATION (Grantee), a corporation duly organized and 
existing under the laws of ______ (insert State), and theNATIONAL 
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND

[[Page 250]]

AGRICULTURE, USDA (Government) enter into this Agreement as of ______ 
(insert date when the change of name became effective under applicable 
State law).

              (a) THE PARTIES AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING FACTS:

    1. The Government, represented by the ADO, has entered into certain 
awards with XYZ CORPORATION, namely ______ (insert award number or 
delete ``namely'' and insert ``as shown in the attached list marked 
`Exhibit A' and incorporated in this Agreement by reference.'') The term 
``the awards,'' as used in this Agreement, means the above awards and 
all other awards, including all modifications, made by the Government 
and the Grantee before the effective date of this Agreement (whether or 
not performance and payment have been completed and releases executed if 
the Government or the Grantee has any remaining rights, duties, or 
obligations under these awards.)
    2. The XYZ CORPORATION, by an amendment to its certificate of 
incorporation, dated ____, 20__, has changed its corporate name to ABC 
CORPORATION.
    3. This amendment accomplishes a change of corporate name only and 
all rights and obligations of the Government and of the Grantee under 
the awards are unaffected by this change.
    4. Documentary evidence of this change of corporate name has been 
filed with the Government.

      (b) IN CONSIDERATION OF THESE FACTS, THE PARTIES AGREE THAT:

    1. The awards covered by this Agreement are amended by substituting 
the name ``ABC CORPORATION'' for the name ``XYZ CORPORATION'' wherever 
it appears in the awards; and
    2. Each party has executed this Agreement as of the day and year 
first above written.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, USDA

 BY:____________________________________________________________________
 TITLE:_________________________________________________________________
ABC CORPORATION
 BY:____________________________________________________________________
 TITLE:_________________________________________________________________

CERTIFICATE

    I, ______, certify that I am the Secretary of ABC CORPORATION, that 
______ , who signed this Agreement for this corporation, was then ______ 
of this corporation; and that this Agreement was duly signed for and on 
behalf of this corporation by authority of its governing body and within 
the scope of its corporation powers.

    WITNESS MY HAND, and the seal of this corporation, this ___ day of 
______, 20__.

 BY:____________________________________________________________________

(CORPORATE SEAL)

    (2) From time to time the legal entity performing the research under 
the award may have to be changed. In such instances, USDA will ensure 
that all parties properly execute a Novation Agreement (Successor in 
Interest Agreement).
    (i) A Novation Agreement is a legal instrument executed by the 
Grantee (transferor), the successor in interest (transferee), and the 
Government by which, among other things, the transferor guarantees 
performance of the award, the transferee assumes all obligations under 
the award, and the Government recognizes the transfer of the award and 
related assets. This occurs when the third party's interest in the award 
arises out of the transfer of all the Grantee's assets or the entire 
portion of the assets involved in performing the award. Examples 
include, but are not limited to: the sale of these assets with a 
provision for assuming liabilities; the transfer of these assets 
incident to a merger or corporate consolidation; and the incorporation 
of a proprietorship or partnership, or the formation of a partnership.
    (ii) When a Grantee asks the Government to recognize a successor in 
interest, the responsible ADO shall obtain the following from the 
Grantee:
    (A) An authenticated copy of the instrument effecting the transfer 
of assets; e.g., bill of sale, certificate of merger, contract, deed, 
agreement, or court decree;
    (B) A list of all affected awards;
    (C) A certified copy of each resolution of the corporate parties' 
boards of directors authorizing the transfer of assets;
    (D) A certified copy of the minutes of each corporate party's 
stockholder meeting necessary to approve the transfer of assets;
    (E) The opinion of legal counsel for the transferor and transferee 
stating that the transfer was properly effected under applicable law and 
the effective date of transfer;
    (F) An authenticated copy of the transferee's certificate and 
articles of incorporation, if a corporation was formed for the purpose 
of receiving the

[[Page 251]]

assets involved in performing the Government award;
    (G) Evidence of transferee's capability to perform the award; and
    (H) Balance sheets of the transferor and transferee as of the dates 
immediately before and after the transfer of assets, certified for 
accuracy by independent accountants.
    (iii) The ADO will review the Agency's financial records concerning 
the correct cash-on-hand balances held by the transferor to ensure that 
they are properly accounted for in the transfer process. If recognizing 
a successor in interest to a Government award is consistent with the 
Government's interest, the ADO will prepare a Novation Agreement for 
execution by all three parties. The agreement will provide that:
    (A) The transferee assumes all the transferor's obligations under 
the award(s);
    (B) The transferor waives all rights under the award against the 
Government;
    (C) The transferor guarantees performance of the award by the 
transferee (a satisfactory performance bond may be accepted instead of 
the guarantee); and
    (D) Nothing in the agreement shall relieve the transferor or 
transferee from compliance with any Federal law.
    (E) The following suggested format for an agreement may be adapted 
for specific cases:
    NOVATION AGREEMENT (SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST AGREEMENT)
    THE ABC CORPORATION (Transferor), a corporation duly organized and 
existing under the laws of ______ (insert state) with its principal 
office in ______ (insert city); the XYZ CORPORATION (Transferee), a 
corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of ______ (insert 
state) with its principal office in ______ (insert city); and 
theNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, USDA (Government) enter 
into this Agreement as of ______ (insert the date transfer of assets 
became effective under applicable State law).

              (a) THE PARTIES AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING FACTS:

    1. The Government, represented by the ADO has entered into certain 
awards with the Transferor, namely: ______ (insert award number or 
delete ``namely'' and insert ``as shown in the attached list marked 
`Exhibit A' and incorporated in this Agreement by reference.'') The term 
``the awards,'' as used in this Agreement, means the above awards and 
all other awards, including all modifications, made between the 
Government and Transferor before the effective date of this Agreement 
(whether or not performance and payment have been completed and releases 
executed if the Government or the Transferor has any remaining rights, 
duties, or obligations under these awards.) Included in the term 
``award'' are also all modifications made under the terms and conditions 
of these awards between the Government and the Transferor, on or after 
the effective date of this Agreement.
    2. As of ______, 20__, the Transferor has transferred to the 
Transferee all the assets of the Transferor by virtue of a ______ 
(insert terms or legal transaction involved) between the Transferor and 
the Transferee.
    3. The Transferee has acquired all the assets of the Transferor by 
virtue of the above transfer.
    4. The Transferee has assumed all obligations and liabilities of the 
Transferor under the awards by virtue of the above transfer.
    5. The Transferee is in a position to fully perform all obligations 
that may exist under the awards.
    6. It is consistent with the Government's interest to recognize the 
Transferee as the successor party to the awards.
    7. Evidence of the above transfer has been filed with the 
Government.

  (b) IN CONSIDERATION OF THESE FACTS, THE PARTIES AGREE THAT BY THIS 
                               AGREEMENT:

    1. The Transferor confirms the transfer to the Transferee, and 
waives any claims and rights against the Government that it now has or 
may have in the future in connection with the awards.
    2. The Transferee agrees to be bound by and to perform each award in 
accordance with the conditions contained in the awards. The Transferee 
also assumes all obligations and liabilities of, and all claims against, 
the Transferor under the awards as if the Transferee were the original 
party to the awards.
    3. The Transferee ratifies all previous actions taken by the 
Transferor with respect to the awards, with the same force and effect as 
if the action had been taken by the Transferee.
    4. The Government recognizes the Transferee as the Transferor's 
successor in interest in and to the awards. The Transferee by this 
Agreement becomes entitled to all rights, titles, and interests of the 
Transferor in and to the awards as if the Transferee were the original 
party to the awards. Following the effective date of this Agreement, the 
term Grantee, as used in the awards, shall refer to the Transferee.

[[Page 252]]

    5. Except as expressly provided in this Agreement, nothing in it 
shall be construed as a waiver of any rights of the Government against 
the Transferor.
    6. All payments and reimbursements previously made by the Government 
to the Transferor, and all other previous actions taken by the 
Government under the awards, shall be considered to have discharged 
those parts of the Government's obligations under the awards. All 
payments and reimbursements made by the Government after the date of 
this Agreement in the name of or to the Transferor shall have the same 
force and effect as if made to the Transferee, and shall constitute a 
complete discharge of the Government's obligations under the awards, to 
the extent of the amounts paid or reimbursed.
    7. The Transferor and the Transferee agree that the Government is 
not obligated to pay or reimburse either of them for, or otherwise give 
effect to, any costs, taxes, or other expenses, or any related 
increases, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from the 
transfer or this Agreement, other than those that the Government in the 
absence of this transfer or Agreement would have been obligated to pay 
or reimburse under the terms of the awards.
    8. The Transferor guarantees payment of all liabilities and the 
performance of all obligations that the Transferee (i) assumes under 
this Agreement or (ii) may undertake in the future should these awards 
be modified under their terms and conditions. The Transferor waives 
notice of, and consents to, any such future modifications.
    9. The awards shall remain in full force and effect, except as 
modified by this Agreement. Each party has executed this Agreement as of 
the day and year first above written.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE, USDA

 BY:____________________________________________________________________

 TITLE:_________________________________________________________________

ABC CORPORATION

 BY:____________________________________________________________________

 TITLE:_________________________________________________________________

XYZ CORPORATION

 BY:____________________________________________________________________

 TITLE:_________________________________________________________________
    CERTIFICATE
    I, ______, certify that I am the Secretary of ABC CORPORATION, that 
______, who signed this Agreement for this corporation, was then______ 
of this corporation; and that this Agreement was duly signed for and on 
behalf of this corporation by authority of its governing body and within 
the scope of its corporation powers. WITNESS MY HAND, and the seal of 
this corporation, this ______day of ______, 20__

BY:_____________________________________________________________________

(CORPORATE SEAL)
    CERTIFICATE
    I, ______, certify that I am the Secretary of XYZ CORPORATION, that 
______, who signed this Agreement for this corporation, was then______ 
of this corporation; and that this Agreement was duly signed for and on 
behalf of this corporation by authority of its governing body and within 
the scope of its corporation powers. WITNESS MY HAND, and the seal of 
this corporation, this ______day of ______, 20__

BY:_____________________________________________________________________

(CORPORATE SEAL)



Sec. 3403.15  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.

    (a) The Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') issued guidance on 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200 on December 26, 2013. 
In 2 CFR 400.1, the Department adopted OMB's guidance in subparts A 
through F of 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by 2 CFR part 400, as the 
Department's policies and procedures for uniform administrative 
requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal 
awards. As a result, this regulation contains references to 2 CFR part 
200 as it has regulatory effect for the Department's programs and 
activities.''
    (b) Several other Federal statutes and/or regulations apply to grant 
proposals considered for review or to research project grants awarded 
under this part. These include but are not limited to:

2 CFR part 200--Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
2 CFR part 180 and Part 417--OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-
Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement 
Debarment And Suspension
7 CFR part 1c--USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the 
Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1--USDA Implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR part 3--USDA Implementation of OMB Circular A-129 Regarding Debt 
Collection.
7 CFR part 15, subpart A--USDA Implementation of Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.

[[Page 253]]

7 CFR part 3407--NIFA Procedures to Implement the National Environmental 
Policy Act;
29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR part 
15B (USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting discrimination based 
upon physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs; and
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights 
to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted 
programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).

[79 FR 75998, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3403.16  Other considerations.

    The Department may, with respect to any research project grant, 
impose additional conditions prior to or at the time of any award when, 
in the Department's judgment, such conditions are necessary to assure or 
protect advancement of the approved project, the interests of the 
public, or the conservation of grant funds.



PART 3404_PUBLIC INFORMATION--Table of Contents



Sec.
3404.1  General statement.
3404.2  Public inspection, copying, and indexing.
3404.3  Requests for records.
3404.4  Multitrack processing.
3404.5  Denials.
3404.6  Appeals.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 7 CFR part 1, subpart A and appendix A 
thereto.

    Source: 66 FR 57842, Nov. 19, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3404 appear at 76 FR 
4808, Jan. 27, 2011.



Sec. 3404.1  General statement.

    This part is issued in accordance with the regulations of the 
Secretary of Agriculture in part 1, subpart A of this title and appendix 
A thereto, implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 
552). The Secretary's regulations, as implemented by the regulations in 
this part, govern the availability of records of the National Institute 
of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to the public.



Sec. 3404.2  Public inspection, copying, and indexing.

    5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) requires that certain materials be made available 
for public inspection and copying and that a current index of these 
materials be published quarterly or otherwise be made available. Members 
of the public may request access to such materials maintained by NIFA at 
the following office: Information Staff, ARS, REE, USDA, Room 1-2248, 
Mail Stop 5128, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-5128; 
Telephone (301) 504-1640 or (301) 504-1655; TTY-VOICE (301) 504-1743. 
Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information maintained in our 
electronic reading room can be accessed at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/
foia/Electronic.



Sec. 3404.3  Requests for records.

    Requests for records of NIFA under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) shall be made 
in accordance with Sec. 1.5 of this title and submitted to the FOIA 
Coordinator, Information Staff, ARS, REE, USDA, Room 1-2248, Mail Stop 
5128, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705-5128; Telephone (301) 
504-1640 or (301) 504-1655; TTY-VOICE (301) 504-1743; Facsimile (301) 
504-1648; or E-mail [email protected] The FOIA Coordinator is 
delegated authority to make determinations regarding such requests in 
accordance with Sec. 1.3(c) of this title.

[66 FR 57842, Nov. 19, 2001, as amended at 76 FR 4808, Jan. 27, 2011]



Sec. 3404.4  Multitrack processing.

    (a) When NIFA has a significant number of requests, the nature of 
which precludes a determination within 20 working days, the requests may 
be processed in a multitrack processing system, based on the date of 
receipt, the amount of work and time involved in processing the request, 
and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing.
    (b) NIFA may establish as many processing tracks as appropriate; 
processing within each track shall be based on a first-in, first-out 
concept, and rank-ordered by the date of receipt of the request.
    (c) A requester whose request does not qualify for the fastest track 
may

[[Page 254]]

be given an opportunity to limit the scope of the request in order to 
qualify for the fastest track. This multitrack processing system does 
not lessen agency responsibility to exercise due diligence in processing 
requests in the most expeditious manner possible.
    (d) NIFA shall process requests in each track on a ``first-in, 
first-out'' basis, unless there are unusual circumstances as set forth 
in Sec. 1.16 of this title, or the requester is entitled to expedited 
processing as set forth in Sec. 1.9 of this title.



Sec. 3404.5  Denials.

    If the FOIA Coordinator determines that a requested record is exempt 
from mandatory disclosure and that discretionary release would be 
improper, the FOIA Coordinator shall give written notice of denial in 
accordance with Sec. 1.7(a) of this title.



Sec. 3404.6  Appeals.

    Any person whose request is denied shall have the right to appeal 
such denial. Appeals shall be made in accordance with Sec. 1.14 of this 
title and should be addressed as follows: Director, NIFA, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.



PART 3405_HIGHER EDUCATION CHALLENGE GRANTS PROGRAM--Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
3405.1  Applicability of regulations.
3405.2  Definitions.
3405.3  Institutional eligibility.

                      Subpart B_Program Description

3405.4  Purpose of the program.
3405.5  Matching funds.
3405.6  Scope of program.
3405.7  Joint project proposals.
3405.8  Complementary project proposals.
3405.9  Use of funds for facilities.

                   Subpart C_Preparation of a Proposal

3405.10  Program application materials.
3405.11  Content of a proposal.

                   Subpart D_Submission of a Proposal

3405.12  Intent to submit a proposal.
3405.13  When and where to submit a proposal.

                Subpart E_Proposal Review and Evaluation

3405.14  Proposal review.
3405.15  Evaluation criteria.

                   Subpart F_Supplementary Information

3405.16  Access to peer review information.
3405.17  Grant awards.
3405.18  Use of funds; changes.
3405.19  Monitoring progress of funded projects.
3405.20  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3405.21  Confidential aspects of proposals and awards.
3405.22  Evaluation of program.

    Authority: Sec. 1470, National Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3316).

    Source: 62 FR 39317, July 22, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3405 appear at 76 FR 
4808, Jan. 27, 2011.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 3405.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part only apply to competitive Higher 
Education Challenge Grants awarded under the provisions of section 
1417(b)(1) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (NARETPA)(7 U.S.C. 3152(b)(1)), 
to strengthen institutional capacities, including curriculum, faculty, 
scientific instrumentation, instruction delivery systems, and student 
recruitment and retention. Section 1405 of NARETPA (7 U.S.C. 3121) 
designates the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the lead Federal 
agency for agricultural research, extension, and teaching in the food 
and agricultural sciences. Section 1417 of NARETPA (7 U.S.C. 3152) 
authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, who has delegated the authority 
to theDirector of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), 
to make competitive grants to land-grant colleges and universities, to 
colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a 
demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural 
sciences, and to other colleges and universities having a demonstrable 
capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences,

[[Page 255]]

for a period not to exceed 5 years, to administer and conduct programs 
to respond to identified State, regional, national, or international 
educational needs in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (b) To the extent that funds are available, each year NIFA will 
publish a Federal Register notice announcing the program and soliciting 
grant applications.
    (c)(1) Based on the amount of funds appropriated in any fiscal year, 
NIFA will determine and cite in the program announcement:
    (i) The targeted need area(s) to be supported or, if the entire 
scope of a particular targeted need area is not to be supported, the 
specific special interest(s) within that targeted need area to be 
supported;
    (ii) The degree level(s) to be supported;
    (iii) The maximum project period a proposal may request;
    (iv) The maximum amount of funds that may be requested by an 
institution under a regular, complementary, or joint project proposal; 
and
    (v) The maximum total funds that may be awarded to an institution 
under the program in a given fiscal year, including how funds awarded 
for complementary and for joint project proposals will be counted toward 
the institutional maximum.
    (2) The program announcement will also specify the deadline date for 
proposal submission, the number of copies of each proposal that must be 
submitted, the address to which a proposal must be submitted, and 
whether or not Form NIFA-711, ``Intent to Submit a Proposal,'' is 
requested.
    (d)(1) If it is deemed by NIFA that, for a given fiscal year, 
additional determinations are necessary, each, as relevant, will be 
stated in the program announcement. Such determinations may include:
    (i) Limits on the subject matter/emphasis areas to be supported;
    (ii) The maximum number of proposals that may be submitted on behalf 
of the same school, college, or equivalent administrative unit within an 
institution;
    (iii) The maximum total number of proposals that may be submitted by 
an institution;
    (iv) The minimum project period a proposal may request;
    (v) The minimum amount of funds that may be requested by an 
institution under a regular, complementary, or joint project proposal;
    (vi) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or available 
to, regular, complementary, and joint project proposals;
    (vii) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or available 
to, projects in each announced targeted need area;
    (viii) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or 
available to, each subject matter/emphasis area;
    (ix) The maximum number of grants that may be awarded to an 
institution under the program in a given fiscal year; and
    (x) Limits on the use of grant funds for travel or to purchase 
equipment, if any.
    (2) The program announcement also will contain any other limitations 
deemed necessary by NIFA for proper conduct of the program in the 
applicable year.
    (e) The regulations of this part do not apply to grants awarded by 
the Department of Agriculture under any other authority.



Sec. 3405.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    (a) Authorized departmental officer means the Secretary or any 
employee of the Department who has the authority to issue or modify 
grant instruments on behalf of the Secretary.
    (b) Authorized organizational representative means the president of 
the institution or the official, designated by the president of the 
institution, who has the authority to commit the resources of the 
institution.
    (c) Budget period means the interval of time (usually 12 months) 
into which the project period is divided for budgetary and reporting 
purposes.
    (d) Cash contributions means the applicant's cash outlay, including 
the outlay of money contributed to the applicant by non-Federal third 
parties.

[[Page 256]]

    (e) Citizen or national of the United States means:
    (1) A citizen or native resident of a State; or,
    (2) A person defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 
U.S.C. 1101(a)(22), who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes 
permanent allegiance to the United States.
    (f) College or University means an educational institution in any 
State which:
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education;
    (3) Provides an educational program for which a baccalaureate degree 
or any other higher degree is awarded;
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association.
    (g) Complementary project proposal means a proposal for a project 
which involves coordination with one or more other projects for which 
funding was awarded under this program in a previous fiscal year, or for 
which funding is requested under this program in the current fiscal 
year.
    (h) Department or USDA means the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    (i) Eligible institution means a land-grant or other U.S. college or 
university offering a baccalaureate or first professional degree in at 
least one discipline or area of the food and agricultural sciences. The 
definition includes a research foundation maintained by an eligible 
college or university.
    (j) Eligible participant means, for purposes of Sec. 3405.6(b), 
Faculty Preparation and Enhancement for Teaching, and Sec. 3405.6(f), 
Student Recruitment and Retention, an individual who: Is a citizen or 
national of the United States, as defined in Sec. 3405.2(e); or is a 
citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the 
Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau. Where eligibility is claimed 
under Sec. 3405.2(e)(2), documentary evidence from the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service as to such eligibility must be made available to 
NIFA upon request.
    (k) Food and agricultural sciences means basic, applied, and 
developmental research, extension, and teaching activities in the food, 
agricultural, renewable natural resources, forestry, and physical and 
social sciences, in the broadest sense of these terms, including but not 
limited to, activities concerned with the production, processing, 
marketing, distribution, conservation, consumption, research, and 
development of food and agriculturally related products and services, 
and inclusive of programs in agriculture, natural resources, 
aquaculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, home economics, rural 
development, and closely allied disciplines.
    (l) Grantee means the eligible institution designated in the grant 
award document as the responsible legal entity to which a grant is 
awarded.
    (m) Joint project proposal means a proposal for a project, which 
will involve the applicant institution and two or more other colleges, 
universities, community colleges, junior colleges, or other 
institutions, each of which will assume a major role in the conduct of 
the proposed project, and for which the applicant institution will 
transfer at least one-half of the awarded funds to the other 
institutions participating in the project. Only the applicant 
institution must meet the definition of ``eligible institution'' as 
specified in Sec. 3405.2(i); the other institutions participating in a 
joint project proposal are not required to meet the definition of 
``eligible institution'' as specified in Sec. 3405.2(i), nor required to 
meet the definition of ``college'' or ``university'' as specified in 
Sec. 3405.2(f).
    (n) Land-grant colleges and universities means those institutions 
eligible to receive funds under the Act of July 2, 1862 (12 Stat. 503-
505, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 301-305, 307 and 308), or the Act of August 
30, 1890 (26 Stat. 417-419, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 321-326 and 328), 
including Tuskegee University.
    (o) Matching or Cost-sharing means that portion of project costs not 
borne by the Federal Government, including the value of in-kind 
contributions.

[[Page 257]]

    (p) Peer review panel means a group of experts or consultants, 
qualified by training and experience in particular fields of science, 
education, or technology to give expert advice on the merit of grant 
applications in such fields, who evaluate eligible proposals submitted 
to this program in their personal area(s) of expertise.
    (q) Prior approval means written approval evidencing prior consent 
by an authorized departmental officer as defined in Sec. 3405.2(a) of 
this part.
    (r) Project means the particular activity within the scope of one or 
more of the targeted areas supported by a grant awarded under this 
program.
    (s) Project director means the single individual designated by the 
grantee in the grant application and approved by the Secretary who is 
responsible for the direction and management of the project.
    (t) Project period means the period, as stated in the award document 
and modifications thereto, if any, during which Federal sponsorship 
begins and ends.
    (u) Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other 
officer or employee of the Department of Agriculture to whom the 
authority involved may be delegated.
    (v) State means any one of the fifty States, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Marianas, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the District of 
Columbia.
    (w) Teaching means formal classroom instruction, laboratory 
instruction, and practicum experience in the food and agricultural 
sciences and matters related thereto (such as faculty development, 
student recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional 
materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methodologies) 
conducted by colleges and universities offering baccalaureate or higher 
degrees.
    (x) Third party in-kind contributions means non-cash contributions 
of property or services provided by non-Federal third parties, including 
real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, 
directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to a funded project or 
program.
    (y) United States means the several States, the territories and 
possessions of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, 
American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Virgin 
Islands of the United States, and the District of Columbia.



Sec. 3405.3  Institutional eligibility.

    Proposals may be submitted by land-grant and other U.S. colleges and 
universities offering a baccalaureate or first professional degree in at 
least one discipline or area of the food and agricultural sciences. Each 
applicant must have a demonstrable capacity for, and a significant 
ongoing commitment to, the teaching of food and agricultural sciences 
generally and to the specific need and/or subject area(s) for which a 
grant is requested. Awards may be made only to eligible institutions as 
defined in Sec. 3405.2(i).



                      Subpart B_Program Description



Sec. 3405.4  Purpose of the program.

    The Department of Agriculture is designated as the lead Federal 
agency for higher education in the food and agricultural sciences. In 
this context, NIFA has specific responsibility to initiate and support 
projects to strengthen college and university teaching programs in the 
food and agricultural sciences. One national initiative for carrying out 
this responsibility is the competitive Higher Education Challenge Grants 
Program. A primary goal of the program is to attract and ensure a 
continual flow of outstanding students into food and agricultural 
sciences higher education programs and to provide them with an education 
of the highest quality available anywhere in the world and which 
reflects the unique needs of the Nation. It is designed to stimulate and 
enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education 
necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates 
capable of strengthening the Nation's food and agricultural scientific 
and professional work force. It is intended that projects supported by 
the program will:

[[Page 258]]

    (a) Address a State, regional, national, or international 
educational need;
    (b) Involve a creative or nontraditional approach toward addressing 
that need which can serve as a model to others;
    (c) Encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the 
university science and education community, as well as between 
universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and 
supplement available resources; and
    (d) Result in benefits which will likely transcend the project 
duration and USDA support.



Sec. 3405.5  Matching funds.

    Each application must provide for matching support from a non-
Federal source. NIFA will cite in the program announcement the required 
percentage of institutional cost sharing.



Sec. 3405.6  Scope of program.

    This program supports projects related to strengthening 
undergraduate or graduate teaching programs as specified in the annual 
program announcement. Only proposals addressing one or more of the 
specific targeted need areas(s) identified in the program announcement 
will be funded. Proposals may focus on any subject matter area(s) in the 
food and agricultural sciences unless limited by determinations as 
specified in the annual program announcement. A proposal may address a 
single targeted need area or multiple targeted need areas, and may be 
focused on a single subject matter area or multiple subject matter 
areas, in any combination (e.g., curriculum development in horticulture; 
curriculum development, faculty enhancement, and student experiential 
learning in animal science; faculty enhancement in food science and 
agribusiness management; or instruction delivery systems and student 
experiential learning in plant science, horticulture, and entomology). 
Targeted need areas will consist of one or more of the following:
    (a) Curricula design and materials development. (1) The purpose of 
this initiative is to promote new and improved curricula and materials 
to increase the quality of, and continuously renew, the Nation's 
academic programs in the food and agricultural sciences. The overall 
objective is to stimulate the development and facilitate the use of 
exemplary education models and materials that incorporate the most 
recent advances in subject matter, research on teaching and learning 
theory, and instructional technology. Proposals may emphasize: the 
development of courses of study, degree programs, and instructional 
materials; the use of new approaches to the study of traditional 
subjects; or the introduction of new subjects, or new applications of 
knowledge, pertaining to the food and agricultural sciences.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to, curricula and 
materials that promote:
    (i) Raising the level of scholastic achievement of the Nation's 
graduates in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (ii) Addressing the special needs of particular groups of students, 
such as minorities, gifted and talented, or those with educational 
backgrounds that warrant enrichment.
    (iii) Using alternative instructional strategies or methodologies, 
including computer-assisted instruction or simulation modeling, media 
programs that reach large audiences efficiently and effectively, 
activities that provide hands-on learning experiences, and educational 
programs that extend learning beyond the classroom.
    (iv) Using sound pedagogy, particularly with regard to recent 
research on how to motivate students to learn, retain, apply, and 
transfer knowledge, skills, and competencies.
    (v) Building student competencies to integrate and synthesize 
knowledge from several disciplines.
    (b) Faculty preparation and enhancement for teaching. (1) The 
purpose of this initiative is to advance faculty development in the 
areas of teaching competency, subject matter expertise, or student 
recruitment and advising skills. Teachers are central to education. They 
serve as models, motivators, and mentors--the catalysts of the learning 
process. Moreover, teachers are agents for developing, replicating, and 
exchanging effective teaching materials and methods. For these reasons, 
education can be

[[Page 259]]

strengthened only when teachers are adequately prepared, highly 
motivated, and appropriately recognized and rewarded.
    (2) Each faculty recipient of support for developmental activities 
under Sec. 3405.6(b) must be an ``eligible participant'' as defined in 
Sec. 3405.2(j) of this part.
    (3) Examples of developmental activities include, but are not 
limited to, those which enable teaching faculty to:
    (i) Gain experience with recent developments or innovative 
technology relevant to their teaching responsibilities.
    (ii) Work under the guidance and direction of experts who have 
substantial expertise in an area related to the developmental goals of 
the project.
    (iii) Work with scientists or professionals in government, industry, 
or other colleges or universities to learn new applications in a field.
    (iv) Obtain personal experience working with new ideas and 
techniques.
    (v) Expand competence with new methods of information delivery, such 
as computer-assisted or televised instruction.
    (vi) Increase understanding of the special needs of non-traditional 
students or students from groups that are underrepresented in the food 
and agricultural sciences workforce.
    (c) Instruction delivery systems. (1) The purpose of this initiative 
is to encourage the use of alternative methods of delivering instruction 
to enhance the quality, effectiveness, and cost efficiency of teaching 
programs. The importance of this initiative is evidenced by advances in 
educational research which have substantiated the theory that 
differences in the learning styles of students often require alternative 
instructional methodologies. Also, the rising costs of higher education 
strongly suggest that colleges and universities undertake more efforts 
of a collaborative nature in order to deliver instruction which 
maximizes program quality and reduces unnecessary duplication. At the 
same time, advancements in knowledge and technology continue to 
introduce new subject matter areas which warrant consideration and 
implementation of innovative instruction techniques, methodologies, and 
delivery systems.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Use of computers.
    (ii) Teleconferencing.
    (iii) Networking via satellite communications.
    (iv) Regionalization of academic programs.
    (v) Mobile classrooms and laboratories.
    (vi) Individualized learning centers.
    (vii) Symposia, forums, regional or national workshops, etc.
    (d) Scientific instrumentation for teaching. (1) The purpose of this 
initiative is to provide students in science-oriented courses the 
necessary experience with suitable, up-to-date equipment in order to 
involve them in work central to scientific understanding and progress. 
This program initiative will support the acquisition of instructional 
laboratory and classroom equipment to assure the achievement and 
maintenance of outstanding food and agricultural sciences higher 
education programs. A proposal may request support for acquiring new, 
state-of-the-art instructional scientific equipment, upgrading existing 
equipment, or replacing non-functional or clearly obsolete equipment.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Rental or purchase of modern instruments to improve student 
learning experiences in courses, laboratories, and field work.
    (ii) Development of new ways of using instrumentation to extend 
instructional capabilities.
    (iii) Establishment of equipment-sharing capability via consortia or 
centers that develop innovative opportunities, such as mobile 
laboratories or satellite access to industry or government laboratories.
    (e) Student experiential learning. (1) The purpose of this 
initiative is to further the development of student scientific and 
professional competencies through experiential learning programs which 
provide students with opportunities to solve complex problems in the 
context of real-world situations. Effective experiential learning is 
essential

[[Page 260]]

in preparing future graduates to advance knowledge and technology, 
enhance quality of life, conserve resources, and revitalize the Nation's 
economic competitiveness. Such experiential learning opportunities are 
most effective when they serve to advance decision-making and 
communication skills as well as technological expertise.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to, projects which:
    (i) Provide opportunities for students to participate in research 
projects, either as a part of an ongoing research project or in a 
project designed especially for this program.
    (ii) Provide opportunities for students to complete apprenticeships, 
internships, or similar participatory learning experiences.
    (iii) Expand and enrich courses which are of a practicum nature.
    (iv) Provide career mentoring experiences that link students with 
outstanding professionals.
    (f) Student recruitment and retention. (1) The purpose of this 
initiative is to strengthen student recruitment and retention programs 
in order to promote the future strength of the Nation's scientific and 
professional work force. The Nation's economic competitiveness and 
quality of life rest upon the availability of a cadre of outstanding 
research scientists, university faculty, and other professionals in the 
food and agricultural sciences. A substantial need exists to supplement 
efforts to attract increased numbers of academically outstanding 
students to prepare for careers as food and agricultural scientists and 
professionals. It is particularly important to augment the racial, 
ethnic, and gender diversity of the student body in order to promote a 
robust exchange of ideas and a more effective use of the full breadth of 
the Nation's intellectual resources.
    (2) Each student recipient of monetary support for education costs 
or developmental purposes under Sec. 3405.6(f) must be enrolled at an 
eligible institution and meet the requirement of an ``eligible 
participant'' as defined in Sec. 3405.2(j) of this part.
    (3) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Special outreach programs for elementary and secondary students 
as well as parents, counselors, and the general public to broaden 
awareness of the extensive nature and diversity of career opportunities 
for graduates in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (ii) Special activities and materials to establish more effective 
linkages with high school science classes.
    (iii) Unique or innovative student recruitment activities, 
materials, and personnel.
    (iv) Special retention programs to assure student progression 
through and completion of an educational program.
    (v) Development and dissemination of stimulating career information 
materials.
    (vi) Use of regional or national media to promote food and 
agricultural sciences higher education.
    (vii) Providing financial incentives to enable and encourage 
students to pursue and complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in 
an area of the food and agricultural sciences.
    (viii) Special recruitment programs to increase the participation of 
students from non-traditional or underrepresented groups in courses of 
study in the food and agricultural sciences.



Sec. 3405.7  Joint project proposals.

    Applicants are encouraged to submit joint project proposals as 
defined in Sec. 3405.2(m), which address regional or national problems 
and which will result overall in strengthening higher education in the 
food and agricultural sciences. The goals of such joint initiatives 
should include maximizing the use of limited resources by generating a 
critical mass of expertise and activity focused on a targeted need 
area(s), increasing cost-effectiveness through achieving economies of 
scale, strengthening the scope and quality of a project's impact, and 
promoting coalition building likely to transcend the project's lifetime 
and lead to future ventures.



Sec. 3405.8  Complementary project proposals.

    Institutions may submit proposals that are complementary in nature 
as

[[Page 261]]

defined in Sec. 3405.2(g). Such complementary project proposals may be 
submitted by the same or by different eligible institutions.



Sec. 3405.9  Use of funds for facilities.

    Under the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program, the use of 
grant funds to plan, acquire, or construct a building or facility is not 
allowed. With prior approval, in accordance with the cost principles set 
forth in 2 CFR part 200, some grant funds may be used for minor 
alterations, renovations, or repairs deemed necessary to retrofit 
existing teaching spaces in order to carry out a funded project. 
However, requests to use grant funds for such purposes must demonstrate 
that the alterations, renovations, or repairs are incidental to the 
major purpose for which a grant is made.

[62 FR 39317, July 22, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 75999, Dec. 19, 2014]



                   Subpart C_Preparation of a Proposal



Sec. 3405.10  Program application materials.

    Program application materials in an application package will be made 
available to eligible institutions upon request. These materials include 
the program announcement, the administrative provisions for the program, 
and the forms needed to prepare and submit grant applications under the 
program.



Sec. 3405.11  Content of a proposal.

    (a) Proposal cover page. (1) Form NIFA-712, ``Higher Education 
Proposal Cover Page,'' must be completed in its entirety. Note that 
providing a Social Security Number is voluntary, but is an integral part 
of the NIFA information system and will assist in the processing of the 
proposal.
    (2) One copy of the Form NIFA-712 must contain the pen-and-ink 
signatures of the Project Director(s) and authorized organizational 
representative for the applicant institution.
    (3) The title of the project shown on the ``Higher Education 
Proposal Cover Page'' must be brief (80-character maximum) yet represent 
the major thrust of the project. This information will be used by the 
Department to provide information to the Congress and other interested 
parties.
    (4) In block 7. of Form NIFA-712, enter ``Higher Education Challenge 
Grants Program.''
    (5) In block 8.a. of Form NIFA-712, enter ``Teaching.'' In block 
8.b. identify the code for the targeted need area(s) as found on the 
reverse of the form. If a proposal focuses on multiple targeted need 
areas, enter each code associated with the project and place an asterisk 
(*) immediately following the code for the primary targeted need area. 
In block 8.c. identify the major area(s) of emphasis as found on the 
reverse of the form. If a proposal focuses on multiple areas of 
emphasis, enter each code associated with the project. This information 
will be used by program staff for the proper assignment of proposals to 
peer reviewers.
    (6) In block 9. of Form NIFA-712, indicate if the proposal is a 
complementary project proposal or a joint project proposal as defined in 
Sec. 3405.2(g) and Sec. 3405.2(m), respectively, of this part. If it is 
not a complementary project proposal or a joint project proposal, 
identify it as a regular project proposal.
    (7) In block 13. of Form NIFA-712, indicate if the proposal is a 
new, first-time submission or if the proposal is a resubmission of a 
proposal that has been submitted to, but not funded under, the Higher 
Education Challenge Grants Program in a previous competition.
    (b) Table of contents. For ease in locating information, each 
proposal must contain a detailed table of contents just after the 
Proposal Cover Page. The Table of Contents should include page numbers 
for each component of the proposal. Pagination should begin immediately 
following the Table of Contents.
    (c) Project summary. (1) A Project Summary should immediately follow 
the Table of Contents. The information provided in the Project Summary 
may be used by the program staff for a variety of purposes, including 
the proper assignment of proposals to peer reviewers and providing 
information to peer reviewers prior to the peer panel meeting. The name 
of the institution, the targeted need area(s), and the title of

[[Page 262]]

the proposal must be identified exactly as shown on the ``Higher 
Education Proposal Cover Page.''
    (2) If the proposal is a complementary project proposal, as defined 
in Sec. 3405.2(g) of this part, indicate such and identify the other 
complementary project(s) by citing the name of the submitting 
institution, the title of the project, the project director, and the 
grant number (if funded in a previous year) exactly as shown on the 
cover page of the complementary project so that appropriate 
consideration can be given to the interrelatedness of the proposals in 
the evaluation process.
    (3) If the proposal is a joint project proposal, as defined in 
Sec. 3405.2(m) of this part, indicate such and identify the other 
participating institutions and the key faculty member or other 
individual responsible for coordinating the project at each institution.
    (4) The Project Summary should be a concise description of the 
proposed activity suitable for publication by the Department to inform 
the general public about awards under the program. The text must not 
exceed one page, single-spaced. The Project Summary should be a self-
contained description of the activity which would result if the proposal 
is funded by USDA. It should include: The objectives of the project; a 
synopsis of the plan of operation; a description of how the project will 
strengthen higher education in the food and agricultural sciences in the 
United States; and the plans for disseminating project results. The 
Project Summary should be written so that a technically literate reader 
can evaluate the use of Federal funds in support of the project.
    (d) Resubmission of a proposal--(1) Resubmission of previously 
unfunded proposals. If a proposal has been submitted previously, but was 
not funded, such should be indicated in block 13. on Form NIFA-712, 
``Higher Education Proposal Cover Page,'' and the following information 
should be included in the proposal: The fiscal year(s) in which the 
proposal was submitted previously; a summary of the peer reviewers' 
comments; and how these comments have been addressed in the current 
proposal, including the page numbers in the current proposal where the 
peer reviewers' comments have been addressed. This information may be 
provided as a section of the proposal following the Project Summary and 
preceding the proposal narrative or it may be placed in the Appendix 
(see Sec. 3405.11(i)). In either case, the location of this information 
should be indicated in the Table of Contents. Further, when possible, 
the information should be presented in tabular format. Applicants who 
choose to resubmit proposals that were previously submitted, but not 
funded, should note that resubmitted proposals must compete equally with 
newly submitted proposals. Submitting a proposal that has been revised 
based on a previous peer review panel's critique of the proposal does 
not guarantee the success of the resubmitted proposal.
    (2) Resubmission of previously funded proposals. The Higher 
Education Challenge Grants Program is not designed to support activities 
that essentially are repetitive in nature over multiple grant awards. 
Project directors who have had their projects funded previously are 
discouraged from resubmitting relatively identical proposals for further 
funding. Proposals that are sequential continuations or new stages of 
previously funded Challenge Grants Program projects must compete with 
first-time proposals. Therefore, project directors should thoroughly 
demonstrate how the project proposed in the current application expands 
substantially upon a previously funded project (i.e., demonstrate how 
the new project will advance the former project to the next level of 
attainment or will achieve expanded goals). The proposal must also show 
the degree to which the new phase promotes innovativeness and creativity 
beyond the scope of the previously funded project.
    (e) Narrative of a proposal. The narrative portion of the proposal 
is limited to 20 pages in length. The one-page Project Summary is not 
included in the 20-page limitation. The narrative must be typed on one 
side of the page only, using a font no smaller than 12 point, and 
double-spaced. All margins must be at least one inch. All pages 
following the Table of Contents must be paginated. It should be noted 
that peer reviewers will not be required to read

[[Page 263]]

beyond 20 pages of the narrative to evaluate the proposal. The narrative 
should contain the following sections:
    (1) Potential for advancing the quality of education--(i) Impact. 
(A) Identify the targeted need area(s).
    (B) Clearly state the specific instructional problem or opportunity 
to be addressed.
    (C) Describe how and by whom the focus and scope of the project were 
determined. Summarize the body of knowledge which substantiates the need 
for the proposed project.
    (D) Describe ongoing or recently completed significant activities 
related to the proposed project for which previous funding was received 
under this program.
    (E) Discuss how the project will be of value at the State, regional, 
national, or international level(s).
    (F) Discuss how the benefits to be derived from the project will 
transcend the applicant institution or the grant period. Also discuss 
the probabilities of the project being adapted by other institutions. 
For example, can the project serve as a model for others?
    (ii) Continuation plans. Discuss the likelihood of, or plans for, 
continuation or expansion of the project beyond USDA support. For 
example, does the institution's long-range budget or academic plan 
provide for the realistic continuation or expansion of the initiative 
undertaken by this project after the end of the grant period, are plans 
for eventual self-support built into the project, are plans being made 
to institutionalize the program if it meets with success, and are there 
indications of other continuing non-Federal support?
    (iii) Innovation. Describe the degree to which the proposal reflects 
an innovative or non-traditional approach to solving a higher education 
problem or strengthening the quality of higher education in the food and 
agricultural sciences.
    (iv) Products and results. Explain the expected products and results 
and their potential impact on strengthening food and agricultural 
sciences higher education in the United States.
    (2) Overall approach and cooperative linkages--(i) Proposed 
approach--(A) bjectives. Cite and discuss the specific objectives to be 
accomplished under the project.
    (B) Plan of operation. (1) Describe procedures for accomplishing the 
objectives of the project.
    (2) Describe plans for management of the project to ensure its 
proper and efficient administration.
    (3) Describe the way in which resources and personnel will be used 
to conduct the project.
    (C) Timetable. Provide a timetable for conducting the project. 
Identify all important project milestones and dates as they relate to 
project start-up, execution, evaluation, dissemination, and close-out.
    (ii) Evaluation plans. (A) Provide a plan for evaluating the 
accomplishment of stated objectives during the conduct of the project. 
Indicate the criteria, and corresponding weight of each, to be used in 
the evaluation process, describe any data to be collected and analyzed, 
and explain the methodology that will be used to determine the extent to 
which the needs underlying the project are met.
    (B) Provide a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the end 
results upon conclusion of the project. Include the same kinds of 
information requested in Sec. 3405.11(e)(2)(ii)(A).
    (iii) Dissemination plans. Discuss plans to disseminate project 
results and products. Identify target audiences and explain methods of 
communication.
    (iv) Partnerships and collaborative efforts. (A) Explain how the 
project will maximize partnership ventures and collaborative efforts to 
strengthen food and agricultural sciences higher education (e.g., 
involvement of faculty in related disciplines at the same institution, 
joint projects with other colleges or universities, or cooperative 
activities with business or industry). Also explain how it will 
stimulate academia, the States, or the private sector to join with the 
Federal partner in enhancing food and agricultural sciences higher 
education.
    (B) Provide evidence, via letters from the parties involved, that 
arrangements necessary for collaborative partnerships or joint 
initiatives have been discussed and realistically can be expected to 
come to fruition, or actually

[[Page 264]]

have been finalized contingent on an award under this program. Letters 
must be signed by an official who has the authority to commit the 
resources of the organization. Such letters should be referenced in the 
plan of operation, but the actual letters should be included in the 
Appendix section of the proposal. Any potential conflict(s) of interest 
that might result from the proposed collaborative arrangements must be 
discussed in detail.
    (3) Institutional commitment and resources--(i) Institutional 
commitment. Discuss the institution's commitment to the project. For 
example, substantiate that the institution attributes a high priority to 
the project, discuss how the project will contribute to the achievement 
of the institution's long-term (five-to ten-year) goals, explain how the 
project will help satisfy the institution's high-priority objectives, or 
show how this project is linked to and supported by the institution's 
strategic plan.
    (ii) Institutional resources. Document the commitment of 
institutional resources to the project, and show that the institutional 
resources to be made available to the project, when combined with the 
support requested from USDA, will be adequate to carry out the 
activities of the project. Discuss institutional facilities, equipment, 
computer services, and other appropriate resources available to the 
project.
    (f) Key personnel. A Form NIFA-708, ``Summary Vita--Teaching 
Proposal,'' should be included for each key person associated with the 
project.
    (g) Budget and cost-effectiveness--(1) Budget form. (i) Prepare Form 
NIFA-713, ``Higher Education Budget,'' in accordance with instructions 
provided with the form. Proposals may request support for a period to be 
identified in each year's program announcement. A budget form is 
required for each year of requested support. In addition, a summary 
budget is required detailing the requested total support for the overall 
project period. Form NIFA-713 may be reproduced as needed by proposers. 
Funds may be requested under any of the categories listed on the form, 
provided that the item or service for which support is requested is 
allowable under the authorizing legislation, the applicable Federal cost 
principles, and these administrative provisions, and can be justified as 
necessary for the successful conduct of the proposed project.
    (ii) The approved negotiated instruction rate or the rate allowed by 
law should be used when computing indirect costs. If a reduced rate of 
indirect costs is voluntarily requested from USDA, the remaining 
allowable indirect costs may be used as matching funds.
    (2) Matching funds. When documenting matching contributions, use the 
following guidelines:
    (i) When preparing the column of Form NIFA-713 entitled ``Applicant 
Contributions to Matching Funds,'' only those costs to be contributed by 
the applicant for the purposes of matching should be shown. The total 
amount of this column should be indicated in item M.
    (ii) In item N of Form NIFA-713, show a total dollar amount for Cash 
Contributions from both the applicant and any third parties; also show a 
total dollar amount (based on current fair market value) for Non-cash 
Contributions from both the applicant and any third parties.
    (iii) To be counted toward the matching requirements stated in 
Sec. 3405.5 of this part, proposals must include written verification of 
any actual commitments of matching support (including both cash and non-
cash contributions) from third parties. Written verification means--
    (A) For any third party cash contributions, a separate pledge 
agreement for each donation, signed by the authorized organizational 
representative(s) of the donor organization and the applicant 
institution, which must include:
    (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the donor;
    (2) The name of the applicant institution;
    (3) The title of the project for which the donation is made;
    (4) The dollar amount of the cash donation; and
    (5) A statement that the donor will pay the cash contribution during 
the grant period; and

[[Page 265]]

    (B) For any third party non-cash contributions, a separate pledge 
agreement for each contribution, signed by the authorized organizational 
representative(s) of the donor organization and the applicant 
institution, which must include:
    (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the donor;
    (2) The name of the applicant institution;
    (3) The title of the project for which the donation is made;
    (4) A good faith estimate of the current fair market value of the 
non-cash contribution; and
    (5) A statement that the donor will make the contribution during the 
grant period.
    (iv) All pledge agreements referenced in Sec. 3405.11(g)(2)(iii) (A) 
and (B) must be placed in the proposal immediately following Form NIFA-
713. The sources and amounts of all matching support from outside the 
applicant institution should be summarized in the Budget Narrative 
section of the proposal.
    (v) Applicants should refer to 2 CFR part 200 and part 400 for 
further guidance and other requirements relating to matching and 
allowable costs.
    (3) Chart on shared budget for joint project proposal. For a joint 
project proposal, a plan must be provided indicating how funds will be 
distributed to the participating institutions. The budget section of a 
joint project proposal should include a chart indicating: The names of 
the participating institutions; the amount of funds to be disbursed to 
those institutions; and the way in which such funds will be used in 
accordance with items A through L of Form NIFA-713, ``Higher Education 
Budget.'' If a proposal is not for a joint project, such a chart is not 
required.
    (4) Budget narrative. (i) Discuss how the budget specifically 
supports the proposed project activities. Explain how such budget items 
as professional or technical staff, travel, equipment, etc., are 
essential to achieving project objectives.
    (ii) Justify that the total budget, including funds requested from 
USDA and any matching support provided, will be adequate to carry out 
the activities of the project. Provide a summary of sources and amounts 
of all third party matching support.
    (iii) Justify the project's cost-effectiveness. Show how the project 
maximizes the use of limited resources, optimizes educational value for 
the dollar, achieves economies of scale, or leverages additional funds. 
For example, discuss how the project has the potential to generate a 
critical mass of expertise and activity focused on a targeted need area, 
or to promote coalition building that could lead to future ventures.
    (iv) Include the percentage of time key personnel will work on the 
project, both during the academic year and summer. When salaries of 
university personnel will be paid by a combination of USDA and 
institutional funds, the total compensation must not exceed the faculty 
member's regular annual compensation. In addition, the total commitment 
of time devoted to the project, when combined with time for teaching and 
research duties, other sponsored agreements, and other employment 
obligations to the institution, must not exceed 100 percent of the 
normal workload for which the employee is compensated, in accordance 
with established university policies and applicable Federal cost 
principles.
    (v) If the proposal addresses more than one targeted need area 
(e.g., student experiential learning and instruction delivery systems), 
estimate the proportion of the funds requested from USDA that will 
support each respective targeted need area.
    (h) Current and pending support. Each applicant must complete Form 
NIFA-663, ``Current and Pending Support,'' identifying any other current 
public- or private-sponsored projects, in addition to the proposed 
project, to which key personnel listed in the proposal under 
consideration have committed portions of their time, whether or not 
salary support for the person(s) involved is included in the budgets of 
the various projects. This information should also be provided for any 
pending proposals which are currently being considered by, or which will 
be submitted in the near future to other possible sponsors, including 
other USDA programs or agencies. Concurrent submission of identical or 
similar projects

[[Page 266]]

to other possible sponsors will not prejudice the review or evaluation 
of a project under this program.
    (i) Appendix. Each project narrative is expected to be complete in 
itself and to meet the 20-page limitation. Inclusion of material in an 
Appendix should not be used to circumvent the 20-page limitation of the 
proposal narrative. However, in those instances where inclusion of 
supplemental information is necessary to guarantee the peer review 
panel's complete understanding of a proposal or to illustrate the 
integrity of the design or a main thesis of the proposal, such 
information may be included in an Appendix. Examples of supplemental 
material are photographs, journal reprints, brochures and other 
pertinent materials which are deemed to be illustrative of major points 
in the narrative but unsuitable for inclusion in the proposal narrative 
itself. Information on previously submitted proposals may also be 
presented in the Appendix (refer to Sec. 3405.11(d)). When possible, 
information in the Appendix should be presented in tabular format. A 
complete set of the Appendix material must be attached to each copy of 
the grant application submitted. The Appendix must be identified with 
the title of the project as it appears on Form NIFA-712 of the proposal 
and the name(s) of the project director(s). The Appendix must be 
referenced in the proposal narrative.

[62 FR 39317, July 22, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 75999, Dec. 19, 2014]



                   Subpart D_Submission of a Proposal



Sec. 3405.12  Intent to submit a proposal.

    To assist NIFA in preparing for the review of proposals, 
institutions planning to submit proposals may be requested to complete 
Form NIFA-711, ``Intent to Submit a Proposal,'' provided in the 
application package. NIFA will determine each year if Intent to Submit a 
Proposal forms will be requested and provide such information in the 
program announcement. If Intent to Submit a Proposal forms are required, 
one form should be completed and returned for each proposal an 
institution anticipates submitting. Submitting this form does not commit 
an institution to any course of action, nor does failure to send this 
form prohibit an institution from submitting a proposal.



Sec. 3405.13  When and where to submit a proposal.

    The program announcement will provide the deadline date for 
submitting a proposal, the number of copies of each proposal that must 
be submitted, and the address to which proposals must be submitted.



                Subpart E_Proposal Review and Evaluation



Sec. 3405.14  Proposal review.

    The proposal evaluation process includes both internal staff review 
and merit evaluation by peer review panels comprised of scientists, 
educators, business representatives, and Government officials. Peer 
review panels will be selected and structured to provide optimum 
expertise and objective judgment in the evaluation of proposals.



Sec. 3405.15  Evaluation criteria.

    The maximum score a proposal can receive is 200 points. Unless 
otherwise stated in the annual solicitation published in the Federal 
Register, the peer review panel will consider the following criteria and 
weights to evaluate proposals submitted:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Evaluation Criterion                        Weight
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Potential for advancing the quality of
 education:
    This criterion is used to assess the
     likelihood that the project will have a
     substantial impact upon and advance the
     quality of food and agricultural sciences
     higher education by strengthening
     institutional capacities through promoting
     education reform to meet clearly delineated
     needs.
        (1) Impact--Does the project address a      20 points.
         targeted need area(s)? Is the problem or
         opportunity clearly documented? Does the
         project address a State, regional,
         national, or international problem or
         opportunity? Will the benefits to be
         derived from the project transcend the
         applicant institution and/or the grant
         period? Is it probable that other
         institutions will adapt this project for
         their own use? Can the project serve as a
         model for others?.

[[Page 267]]

 
        (2) Continuation plans--Are there plans     10 points.
         for continuation or expansion of the
         project beyond USDA support? Are there
         indications of external, non-Federal
         support? Are there realistic plans for
         making the project self-supporting?.
        (3) Innovation--Are significant aspects of  20 points.
         the project based on an innovative or a
         non-traditional approach toward solving a
         higher education problem or strengthening
         the quality of higher education in the
         food and agricultural sciences? If
         successful, is the project likely to lead
         to education reform?.
        (4) Products and results--Are the expected  20 points.
         products and results of the project
         clearly explained? Do they have the
         potential to strengthen food and
         agricultural sciences higher education?
         Are the products likely to be of high
         quality? Will the project contribute to a
         better understanding of or improvement in
         the quality, distribution, effectiveness,
         or racial, ethnic, or gender diversity of
         the Nation's food and agricultural
         scientific and professional expertise
         base?.
(b) Overall approach and cooperative linkages:
    This criterion relates to the soundness of the
     proposed approach and the quality of the
     partnerships likely to evolve as a result of
     the project.
        (1) Proposed approach--Do the objectives    20 points.
         and plan of operation appear to be sound
         and appropriate relative to the targeted
         need area(s) and the impact anticipated?
         Are the procedures managerially,
         educationally, and/or scientifically
         sound? Is the overall plan integrated
         with or does it expand upon other major
         efforts to improve the quality of food
         and agricultural sciences higher
         education? Does the timetable appear to
         be readily achievable?.
        (2) Evaluation--Are the evaluation plans    10 points.
         adequate and reasonable? Do they allow
         for continuous and/or frequent feedback
         during the life of the project? Are the
         individuals involved in project
         evaluation skilled in evaluation
         strategies and procedures? Can they
         provide an objective evaluation? Do
         evaluation plans facilitate the
         measurement of project progress and
         outcomes?.
        (3) Dissemination--Does the proposed        10 points.
         project include clearly outlined and
         realistic mechanisms that will lead to
         widespread dissemination of project
         results, including national electronic
         communication systems, publications,
         presentations at professional
         conferences, and/or use by faculty
         development or research/teaching skills
         workshops.
        (4) Partnerships and collaborative          20 points.
         efforts--Will the project expand
         partnership ventures among disciplines at
         a university, between colleges and
         universities, or with the private sector?
         Will the project lead to long-term
         relationships or cooperative partnerships
         that are likely to enhance program
         quality or supplement resources available
         to food and agricultural sciences higher
         education?.
(c) Institutional commitment and resources:
    This criterion relates to the institution's
     commitment to the project and the adequacy of
     institutional resources available to carry
     out the project.
        (1) Institutional commitment--Is there      10 points.
         evidence to substantiate that the
         institution attributes a high-priority to
         the project, that the project is linked
         to the achievement of the institution's
         long-term goals, that it will help
         satisfy the institution's high-priority
         objectives, or that the project is
         supported by the institution's strategic
         plans?.
        (2) Institutional resources--Will the       10 points.
         project have adequate support to carry
         out the proposed activities? Will the
         project have reasonable access to needed
         resources such as instructional
         instrumentation, facilities, computer
         services, library and other instruction
         support resources?.
(d) Key personnel:                                  20 points.
    This criterion relates to the number and
     qualifications of the key persons who will
     carry out the project. Are designated project
     personnel qualified to carry out a successful
     project? Are there sufficient numbers of
     personnel associated with the project to
     achieve the stated objectives and the
     anticipated outcomes?
(e) Budget and cost-effectiveness:
    This criterion relates to the extent to which
     the total budget adequately supports the
     project and is cost-effective.
        (1) Budget--Is the budget request           10 points.
         justifiable? Are costs reasonable and
         necessary? Will the total budget be
         adequate to carry out project activities?
         Are the source(s) and amount(s) of non-
         Federal matching support clearly
         identified and appropriately documented?
         For a joint project proposal, is the
         shared budget explained clearly and in
         sufficient detail?.
        (2) Cost-effectiveness--Is the proposed     10 points.
         project cost-effective? Does it
         demonstrate a creative use of limited
         resources, maximize educational value per
         dollar of USDA support, achieve economies
         of scale, leverage additional funds or
         have the potential to do so, focus
         expertise and activity on a targeted need
         area, or promote coalition building for
         current or future ventures?.
(f) Overall quality of proposal:                    10 points.
    This criterion relates to the degree to which
     the proposal complies with the application
     guidelines and is of high quality. Is the
     proposal enhanced by its adherence to
     instructions (table of contents,
     organization, pagination, margin and font
     size, the 20-page limitation, appendices,
     etc.); accuracy of forms; clarity of budget
     narrative; well prepared vitae for all key
     personnel associated with the project; and
     presentation (are ideas effectively
     presented, clearly articulated, and
     thoroughly explained, etc.)?
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 268]]



                   Subpart F_Supplementary Information



Sec. 3405.16  Access to peer review information.

    After final decisions have been announced, NIFA will, upon request, 
inform the project director of the reasons for its decision on a 
proposal. Verbatim copies of summary reviews, not including the identity 
of the peer reviewers, will be made available to respective project 
directors upon specific request.



Sec. 3405.17  Grant awards.

    (a) General. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, 
the authorized departmental officer shall make project grants to those 
responsible, eligible applicants whose proposals are judged most 
meritorious in the announced targeted need areas under the evaluation 
criteria and procedures set forth in this part. The beginning of the 
project period shall be no later than September 30 of the Federal fiscal 
year in which the project is approved for support. All funds granted 
under this part shall be expended solely for the purpose for which the 
funds are granted in accordance with the approved application and 
budget, the regulations of this part, the terms and conditions of the 
award, the applicable Federal cost principles, and 2 CFR part 200.
    (b) Organizational management information. Specific management 
information relating to a proposing institution shall be submitted on a 
one-time basis prior to the award of a project grant identified under 
this part if such information has not been provided previously under 
this or another program for which the sponsoring agency is responsible. 
Copies of the forms used to fulfill this requirement will be sent to the 
proposing institution by the sponsoring agency as part of the pre-award 
process.
    (c) Notice of grant award. The grant award document shall include at 
a minimum the following:
    (1) Legal name and address of performing organization.
    (2) Title of project.
    (3) Name(s) and address(es) of project director(s).
    (4) Identifying grant number assigned by the Department.
    (5) Project period, which specifies how long the Department intends 
to support the effort without requiring reapplication for funds.
    (6) Total amount of Federal financial assistance approved during the 
project period.
    (7) Legal authority(ies) under which the grant is awarded.
    (8) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds to 
accomplish the stated purpose of the grant award.
    (9) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by the 
Department to carry out its granting activities or to accomplish the 
purpose of this particular project grant.
    (d) Obligation of the Federal Government. Neither the approval of 
any application nor the award of any project grant shall legally commit 
or obligate NIFA or the United States to provide further support of a 
project or any portion thereof.

[62 FR 39317, July 22, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 75999, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3405.18  Use of funds; changes.

    (a) Delegation of fiscal responsibility. The grantee may not in 
whole or in part delegate or transfer to another person, institution, or 
organization the responsibility for use or expenditure of grant funds.
    (b) Change in project plans. (1) The permissible changes by the 
grantee, project director(s), or other key project personnel in the 
approved project grant shall be limited to changes in methodology, 
techniques, or other aspects of the project to expedite achievement of 
the project's approved goals. If the grantee or the project director(s) 
are uncertain as to whether a change complies with this provision, the 
question must be referred to the Department for a final determination.
    (2) Changes in approved goals, or objectives, shall be requested by 
the grantee and approved in writing by the authorized departmental 
officer prior to effecting such changes. In no event shall requests for 
such changes be approved that are outside the scope of the approved 
project.
    (3) Changes in approved project leadership or the replacement or 
reassignment of other key project personnel

[[Page 269]]

shall be requested by the grantee and approved in writing by the 
authorized departmental officer prior to effecting such changes.
    (4) Transfers of actual performance of the substantive programmatic 
work in whole or in part and provisions for payment of funds, whether or 
not Federal funds are involved, shall be requested by the grantee and 
approved in writing by the authorized departmental officer prior to 
effecting such transfers.
    (c) Changes in project period. The project period may be extended by 
the authorized departmental officer without additional financial support 
for such additional period(s) as the authorized departmental officer 
determines may be necessary to complete or fulfill the purposes of an 
approved project. However, due to statutory restriction, no grant may be 
extended beyond five years from the original start date of the grant, or 
pre-award date, if applicable. Grant extensions shall be conditioned 
upon prior request by the grantee and approval in writing by the 
authorized departmental officer, unless prescribed otherwise in the 
terms and conditions of a grant.
    (d) Changes in approved budget. Changes in an approved budget shall 
be requested by the grantee and approved in writing by the authorized 
departmental officer prior to instituting such changes if the revision 
will:
    (1) Involve transfers of amounts budgeted for indirect costs to 
absorb an increase in direct costs;
    (2) Involve transfers of amounts budgeted for direct costs to 
accommodate changes in indirect cost rates negotiated during a budget 
period and not approved when a grant was awarded; or
    (3) Involve transfers or expenditures of amounts requiring prior 
approval as set forth in the applicable Federal cost principles, 
Departmental regulations, or in the grant award.



Sec. 3405.19  Monitoring progress of funded projects.

    (a) During the tenure of a grant, project directors must attend at 
least one national project directors meeting, if offered, in Washington, 
DC or any other announced location. The purpose of the meeting will be 
to discuss project and grant management opportunities for collaborative 
efforts, future directions for education reform, and opportunities to 
enhance dissemination of exemplary end products/results.
    (b) An Annual Performance Report must be submitted to the USDA 
program contact person within 90 days after the completion of the first 
year of the project and annually thereafter during the life of the 
grant. Generally, the Annual Performance Reports should include a 
summary of the overall progress toward project objectives, current 
problems or unusual developments, the next year's activities, and any 
other information that is pertinent to the ongoing project or which may 
be specified in the terms and conditions of the award.
    (c) A Final Performance Report must be submitted to the USDA program 
contact person within 90 days after the expiration date of the project. 
The expiration date is specified in the award documents and 
modifications thereto, if any. Generally, the Final Performance Report 
should be a summary of the completed project, including: A review of 
project objectives and accomplishments; a description of any products 
and outcomes resulting from the project; activities undertaken to 
disseminate products and outcomes; partnerships and collaborative 
ventures that resulted from the project; future initiatives that are 
planned as a result of the project; the impact of the project on the 
project director(s), the institution, and the food and agricultural 
sciences higher education system; and data on project personnel and 
beneficiaries. The Final Performance Report should be accompanied by 
samples or copies of any products or publications resulting from or 
developed by the project. The Final Performance Report must also contain 
any other information which may be specified in the terms and conditions 
of the award.



Sec. 3405.20  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.

    (a) The Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') issued guidance on 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR

[[Page 270]]

part 200 on December 26, 2013. In 2 CFR 400.1, the Department adopted 
OMB's guidance in subparts A through F of 2 CFR part 200, as 
supplemented by 2 CFR part 400, as the Department's policies and 
procedures for uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and 
audit requirements for federal awards. As a result, this regulation 
contains references to 2 CFR part 200 as it has regulatory effect for 
the Department's programs and activities.''
    (b) Several other Federal statutes and/or regulations apply to grant 
proposals considered for review or to research project grants awarded 
under this part. These include but are not limited to:

2 CFR part 200--Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, 
and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
2 CFR part 180 and Part 417--OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-
Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement 
Debarment and Suspension
7 CFR part 1c--USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the 
Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1--USDA Implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR part 3--USDA Implementation of OMB Circular A-129 Regarding Debt 
Collection.
7 CFR part 15, subpart A--USDA Implementation of Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964.
7 CFR part 3407--NIFA Procedures To Implement The National Environmental 
Policy Act;
29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR part 
15B (USDA implementation of statute)--prohibiting discrimination based 
upon physical or mental handicap in Federally assisted programs; and
35 U.S.C. 200 et seq.--Bayh-Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights 
to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic 
nonprofit organizations, including universities, in Federally assisted 
programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR part 401).

[79 FR 75999, Dec. 19, 2014]



Sec. 3405.21  Confidential aspects of proposals and awards.

    When a proposal results in a grant, it becomes a part of the record 
of the Agency's transactions, available to the public upon specific 
request. Information that the Secretary determines to be of a privileged 
nature will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. 
Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes to have considered 
as privileged should be clearly marked as such and sent in a separate 
statement, two copies of which should accompany the proposal. The 
original copy of a proposal that does not result in a grant will be 
retained by the Agency for a period of one year. Other copies will be 
destroyed. Such a proposal will be released only with the consent of the 
applicant or to the extent required by law. A proposal may be withdrawn 
at any time prior to the final action thereon.



Sec. 3405.22  Evaluation of program.

    Grantees should be aware that NIFA may, as a part of its own program 
evaluation activities, carry out in-depth evaluations of assisted 
activities. Thus, grantees should be prepared to cooperate with NIFA 
personnel, or persons retained by NIFA, evaluating the institutional 
context and the impact of any supported project. Grantees may be asked 
to provide general information on any students and faculty supported, in 
whole or in part, by a grant awarded under this program; information 
that may be requested includes, but is not limited to, standardized 
academic achievement test scores, grade point average, academic 
standing, career patterns, age, race/ethnicity, gender, citizenship, and 
disability.



PART 3406_1890 INSTITUTION CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS PROGRAM--
Table of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Information

Sec.
3406.1  Applicability of regulations.
3406.2  Definitions.
3406.3  Institutional eligibility.

                      Subpart B_Program Description

3406.4  Purpose of the program.
3406.5  Matching support.
3406.6  USDA agency cooperator requirement.
3406.7  General scope of program.
3406.8  Joint project proposals.
3406.9  Complementary project proposals.
3406.10  Use of funds for facilities.

[[Page 271]]

              Subpart C_Preparation of a Teaching Proposal

3406.11  Scope of a teaching proposal.
3406.12  Program application materials--teaching.
3406.13  Content of a teaching proposal.

         Subpart D_Review and Evaluation of a Teaching Proposal

3406.14  Proposal review--teaching.
3406.15  Evaluation criteria for teaching proposals.

              Subpart E_Preparation of a Research Proposal

3406.16  Scope of a research proposal.
3406.17  Program application materials--research.
3406.18  Content of a research proposal.

         Subpart F_Review and Evaluation of a Research Proposal

3406.19  Proposal review--research.
3406.20  Evaluation criteria for research proposals.

         Subpart G_Submission of a Teaching or Research Proposal

3406.21  Intent to submit a proposal.
3406.22  When and where to submit a proposal.

                   Subpart H_Supplementary Information

3406.23  Access to peer review information.
3406.24  Grant awards.
3406.25  Use of funds; changes.
3406.26  Monitoring progress of funded projects.
3406.27  Other Federal statutes and regulations that apply.
3406.28  Confidential aspects of proposals and awards.
3406.29  Evaluation of program.

    Authority: Sec. 1470, National Agricultural Research, Extension, and 
Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3316).

    Source: 62 FR 39331, July 22, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

    Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to part 3406 appear at 76 FR 
4809, Jan. 27, 2011.



                      Subpart A_General Information



Sec. 3406.1  Applicability of regulations.

    (a) The regulations of this part apply only to capacity building 
grants awarded to the 1890 land-grant institutions and Tuskegee 
University under the provisions of section 1417(b)(4) of the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as 
amended (NARETPA) (7 U.S.C. 3152(b)(4)) and pursuant to annual 
appropriations made available specifically for an 1890 capacity building 
program. Section 1417(b)(4) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, who 
has delegated the authority to theDirector of the National Institute of 
Food and Agriculture (NIFA), to make competitive grants to land-grant 
colleges and universities, to colleges and universities having 
significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry 
out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, and to other 
colleges and universities having a demonstrable capacity to carry out 
the teaching of food and agricultural sciences, for a period not to 
exceed 5 years, to design and implement food and agricultural programs 
to build teaching and research capacity at colleges and universities 
having significant minority enrollments. Based on and subject to the 
express provisions of the annual appropriations act, only 1890 land-
grant institutions and Tuskegee University are eligible for this grants 
program.
    (b) To the extent that funds are available, each year NIFA will 
publish a Federal Register notice announcing the program and soliciting 
grant applications.
    (c)(1) Based on the amount of funds appropriated in any fiscal year, 
NIFA will determine and cite in the program announcement:
    (i) The program area(s) to be supported (teaching, research, or 
both);
    (ii) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or available 
to, teaching projects and research projects;
    (iii) The targeted need area(s) in teaching and in research to be 
supported;
    (iv) The degree level(s) to be supported;
    (v) The maximum project period a proposal may request;
    (vi) The maximum amount of funds that may be requested by an 
institution under a regular, complementary, or joint project proposal; 
and
    (vii) The maximum total funds that may be awarded to an institution 
under the program in a given fiscal

[[Page 272]]

year, including how funds awarded for complementary and for joint 
projects will be counted toward the institutional maximum.
    (2) The program announcement will also specify the deadline date for 
proposal submission, the number of copies of each proposal that must be 
submitted, the address to which a proposal must be submitted, and 
whether or not Form NIFA-711, ``Intent to Submit a Proposal,'' is 
requested.
    (d)(1) If it is deemed by NIFA that, for a given fiscal year, 
additional determinations are necessary, each, as relevant, will be 
stated in the program announcement. Such determinations may include:
    (i) Limits on the subject matter/emphasis areas to be supported;
    (ii) The maximum number of proposals that may be submitted on behalf 
of the same school, college, or equivalent administrative unit within an 
institution;
    (iii) The maximum total number of proposals that may be submitted by 
an institution;
    (iv) The maximum number of proposals that may be submitted by an 
individual in any one targeted need area;
    (v) The minimum project period a proposal may request;
    (vi) The minimum amount of funds that may be requested by an 
institution under a regular, complementary, or joint project proposal;
    (vii) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or available 
to, regular, complementary, and joint project proposals;
    (viii) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or 
available to, projects in each announced targeted need area;
    (ix) The proportion of the appropriation reserved for, or available 
to, each subject matter/emphasis area;
    (x) The maximum number of grants that may be awarded to an 
institution under the program in a given fiscal year, including how 
grants awarded for complementary and joint projects will be counted 
toward the institutional maximum; and
    (xi) Limits on the use of grant funds for travel or to purchase 
equipment, if any.
    (2) The program announcement also will contain any other limitations 
deemed necessary by NIF for proper conduct of the program in the 
applicable year.
    (e) The regulations of this part prescribe that this is a 
competitive program; it is possible that an institution may not receive 
any grant awards in a particular year.
    (f) The regulations of this part do not apply to grants for other 
purposes awarded by the Department of Agriculture under section 1417 of 
the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act 
of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3152) or any other authority.



Sec. 3406.2  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    Authorized departmental officer means the Secretary or any employee 
of the Department who has the authority to issue or modify grant 
instruments on behalf of the Secretary.
    Authorized organizational representative means the president of the 
1890 Institution or the official, designated by the president of the 
institution, who has the authority to commit the resources of the 
institution.
    Budget period means the interval of time (usually 12 months) into 
which the project period is divided for budgetary and reporting 
purposes.
    Cash contributions means the applicant's cash outlay, including the 
outlay of money contributed to the applicant by non-Federal third 
parties.
    Citizen or national of the United States means:
    (1) A citizen or native resident of a State; or,
    (2) a person defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 
U.S.C. 1101(a)(22), who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes 
permanent allegiance to the United States.
    College or University means an educational institution in any State 
which:
    (1) Admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of 
graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the 
recognized equivalent of such a certificate;

[[Page 273]]

    (2) Is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of 
education beyond secondary education;
    (3) Provides an educational program for which a baccalaureate degree 
or any other higher degree is awarded;
    (4) Is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
    (5) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association.
    Complementary project proposal means a proposal for a project which 
involves coordination with one or more other projects for which funding 
was awarded under this program in a previous fiscal year, or for which 
funding is requested under this program in the current fiscal year.
    Cost-sharing or Matching means that portion of project costs not 
borne by the Federal Government, including the value of in-kind 
contributions.
    Department or USDA means the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    1890 Institution or 1890 land-grant institution or 1890 colleges and 
universities means one of those institutions eligible to receive funds 
under the Act of August 30, 1890 (26 Stat. 417-419, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 
321-326 and 328), or a research foundation maintained by such 
institution, that are the intended recipients of funds under programs 
established in Subtitle G of the National Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3221 et 
seq.), including Tuskegee University.
    Eligible participant means, for purposes of Sec. 3406.11(b), Faculty 
Preparation and Enhancement for Teaching, and Sec. 3406.11(f), Student 
Recruitment and Retention, an individual who:
    (1) Is a citizen or national of the United States, as defined in 
this section; or
    (2) Is a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic 
of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau. Where eligibility is 
claimed under paragraph (2) of the definition of ``citizen or national 
of the United States'' as specified in this section, documentary 
evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service as to such 
eligibility must be made available to NIFA upon request.
    Food and agricultural sciences means basic, applied, and 
developmental research, extension, and teaching activities in the food, 
agricultural, renewable natural resources, forestry, and physical and 
social sciences, in the broadest sense of these terms, including but not 
limited to, activities concerned with the production, processing, 
marketing, distribution, conservation, consumption, research, and 
development of food and agriculturally related products and services, 
and inclusive of programs in agriculture, natural resources, 
aquaculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, home economics, rural 
development, and closely allied disciplines.
    Grantee means the 1890 Institution designated in the grant award 
document as the responsible legal entity to which a grant is awarded.
    Joint project proposal means a proposal for a project, which will 
involve the applicant 1890 Institution and two or more other colleges, 
universities, community colleges, junior colleges, or other 
institutions, each of which will assume a major role in the conduct of 
the proposed project, and for which the applicant institution will 
transfer at least one-half of the awarded funds to the other 
institutions participating in the project. Only the applicant 
institution must meet the definition of ``1890 Institution'' as 
specified in this section; the other institutions participating in a 
joint project proposal are not required to meet the definition of ``1890 
Institution'' as specified in this section, nor required to meet the 
definition of ``college'' or ``university'' as specified in this 
section.
    Peer review panel means a group of experts or consultants, qualified 
by training and experience in particular fields of science, education, 
or technology to give expert advice on the merit of grant applications 
in such fields, who evaluate eligible proposals submitted to this 
program in their personal area(s) of expertise.
    Principal investigator/project director means the single individual 
designated by the grantee in the grant application and approved by the 
Secretary who is responsible for the direction and management of the 
project.

[[Page 274]]

    Prior approval means written approval evidencing prior consent by an 
``authorized departmental officer'' as defined in this section.
    Project means the particular teaching or research activity within 
the scope of one or more of the targeted areas supported by a grant 
awarded under this program.
    Project period means the period, as stated in the award document and 
modifications thereto, if any, during which Federal sponsorship begins 
and ends.
    Research means any systematic inquiry directed toward new or fuller 
knowledge and understanding of the subject studied.
    Research capacity means the quality and depth of an institution's 
research infrastructure as evidenced by its: faculty expertise in the 
natural or social sciences, scientific and technical resources, research 
environment, library resources, and organizational structures and reward 
systems for attracting and retaining first-rate research faculty or 
students at the graduate and post-doctorate levels.
    Research project grant means a grant in support of a project that 
addresses one or more of the targeted need areas or specific subject 
matter/emphasis areas identified in the annual program announcement 
related to strengthening research programs including, but not limited 
to, such initiatives as: Studies and experimentation in food and 
agricultural sciences, centralized research support systems, technology 
delivery systems, and other creative projects designed to provide needed 
enhancement of the Nation's food and agricultural research system.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer 
or employee of the Department of Agriculture to whom the authority 
involved may be delegated.
    State means any one of the fifty States, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, 
the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the District of Columbia.
    Teaching means formal classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, 
and practicum experience in the food and agricultural sciences and 
matters related thereto (such as faculty development, student 
recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional 
materials and equipment, and innovative teaching methodologies) 
conducted by colleges and universities offering baccalaureate or higher 
degrees.
    Teaching capacity means the quality and depth of an institution's 
academic programs infrastructure as evidenced by its: Curriculum, 
teaching faculty, instructional delivery systems, student experiential 
learning opportunities, scientific instrumentation for teaching, library 
resources, academic standing and racial, ethnic, or gender diversity of 
its faculty and student body as well as faculty and student recruitment 
and retention programs provided by a college or university in order to 
achieve maximum results in the development of scientific and 
professional expertise for the Nation's food and agricultural system.
    Teaching project grant means a grant in support of a project that 
addresses one or more of the targeted need areas or specific subject 
matter/emphasis areas identified in the annual program announcement 
related to strengthening teaching programs including, but not limited 
to, such initiatives as: Curricula design and materials development, 
faculty preparation and enhancement for teaching, instruction delivery 
systems, scientific instrumentation for teaching, student experiential 
learning, and student recruitment and retention.
    Third party in-kind contributions means non-cash contributions of 
property or services provided by non-Federal third parties, including 
real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, 
directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to a funded project or 
program.
    USDA agency cooperator means any agency or office of the Department 
which has reviewed and endorsed an applicant's request for support, and 
indicates a willingness to make available non-monetary resources or 
technical assistance throughout the life of a project to ensure the 
accomplishment

[[Page 275]]

of the objectives of a grant awarded under this program.

[62 FR 39331, July 22, 1997, as amended at 76 FR 4810, Jan. 27, 2011]



Sec. 3406.3  Institutional eligibility.

    Proposals may be submitted by any of the 16 historically black 1890 
land-grant institutions and Tuskegee University. The 1890 land-grant 
institutions are: Alabama A&M University; University of Arkansas--Pine 
Bluff; Delaware State University; Florida A&M University; Fort Valley 
State College; Kentucky State University; Southern University and A&M 
College; University of Maryland--Eastern Shore; Alcorn State University; 
Lincoln University; North Carolina A&T State University; Langston 
University; South Carolina State University; Tennessee State University; 
Prairie View A&M University; and Virginia State University. An 
institution eligible to receive an award under this program includes a 
research foundation maintained by an 1890 land-grant institution or 
Tuskegee University.



                      Subpart B_Program Description



Sec. 3406.4  Purpose of the program.

    (a) The Department of Agriculture and the Nation depend upon sound 
programs in the food and agricultural sciences at the Nation's colleges 
and universities to produce well trained professionals for careers in 
the food and agricultural sciences. The capacity of institutions to 
offer suitable programs in the food and agricultural sciences to meet 
the Nation's need for a well trained work force in the food and 
agricultural sciences is a proper concern for the Department.
    (b) Historically, the Department has had a close relationship with 
the 1890 colleges and universities, including Tuskegee University. 
Through its role as administrator of the Second Morrill Act, the 
Department has borne the responsibility for helping these institutions 
develop to their fullest potential in order to meet the needs of 
students and the needs of the Nation.
    (c) The institutional capacity building grants program is intended 
to stimulate development of quality education and research programs at 
these institutions in order that they may better assist the Department, 
on behalf of the Nation, in its mission of providing a professional work 
force in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (d) This program is designed specifically to build the institutional 
teaching and research capacities of the 1890 land-grant institutions 
through cooperative programs with Federal and non-Federal entities. The 
program is competitive among the 1890 Institutions and encourages 
matching funds on the part of the States, private organizations, and 
other non-Federal entities to encourage expanded linkages with 1890 
Institutions as performers of research and education, and as developers 
of scientific and professional talent for the United States food and 
agricultural system. In addition, through this program, NIFA will strive 
to increase the overall pool of qualified job applicants from 
underrepresented groups in order to make significant progress toward 
achieving the objectives of work force diversity within the Federal 
Government, particularly the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



Sec. 3406.5  Matching support.

    The Department strongly encourages and may require non-Federal 
matching support for this program. In the annual program solicitation, 
NIFA will announce any incentives that may be offered to applicants for 
committing their own institutional resources or securing third party 
contributions in support of capacity building projects. NIFA may also 
announce any required fixed dollar amount or percentage of institutional 
cost sharing, if applicable.



Sec. 3406.6  USDA agency cooperator requirement.

    (a) Each application must provide documentation that at least one 
USDA agency or office has agreed to cooperate with the applicant 
institution on the proposed project. The documentation should describe 
the expected benefits of the partnership venture for the USDA agency and 
for the 1890 Institution, and describe the partnership effort between 
USDA and the 1890 Institution in regard to the proposed

[[Page 276]]

project. Such USDA agency cooperation may include, but is not limited 
to, assisting the applicant institution with proposal development, 
identifying possible sources of matching funds, securing resources, 
implementing funded projects, providing technical assistance and 
expertise throughout the life of the project, participating in project 
evaluation, and disseminating project results.
    (b) The designated NIFA agency contact can provide suggestions to 
institutions seeking to secure a USDA agency cooperator on a particular 
proposal.
    (c) USDA 1890 Liaison Officers, and other USDA employees serving on 
the campuses of the 1890 colleges and universities, may assist with 
proposal development and project execution to satisfy the cooperator 
requirement, in whole or in part, but may not serve as project directors 
or principal investigators.
    (d) Any USDA office responsible for administering a competitive or 
formula grants program specifically targeted to 1890 Institutions may 
not be a cooperator for this program.



Sec. 3406.7  General scope of program.

    This program supports both teaching project grants and research 
project grants. Such grants are intended to strengthen the teaching and 
research capabilities of applicant institutions. Each 1890 Institution 
may submit one or more grant applications for either category of grants 
(as allowed by the annual program notice). However, each application 
must be limited to either a teaching project grant proposal or a 
research project grant proposal.



Sec. 3406.8  Joint project proposals.

    Applicants are encouraged to submit joint project proposals as 
defined in Sec. 3406.2, which address regional or national problems and 
which will result overall in strengthening the 1890 university system. 
The goals of such joint initiatives should include maximizing the use of 
limited resources by generating a critical mass of expertise and 
activity focused on a targeted need area(s), increasing cost-
effectiveness through achieving economies of scale, strengthening the 
scope and quality of a project's impact, and promoting coalition 
building likely to transcend the project's lifetime and lead to future 
ventures.



Sec. 3406.9  Complementary project proposals.

    Institutions may submit proposals that are complementary in nature 
as defined in Sec. 3406.2. Such complementary project proposals may be 
submitted by the same or by different eligible institutions.



Sec. 3406.10  Use of funds for facilities.

    Under the 1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program, the use 
of grant funds to plan, acquire, or construct a building or facility is 
not allowed. With prior approval, in accordance with the cost principles 
set forth in 2 CFR part 200, some grant funds may be used for minor 
alterations, renovations, or repairs deemed necessary to retrofit 
existing teaching or research spaces in order to carry out a funded 
project. However, requests to use grant funds for such purposes must 
demonstrate that the alterations, renovations, or repairs are incidental 
to the major purpose for which a grant is made.

[62 FR 39331, July 22, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 75999, Dec. 19, 2014]



              Subpart C_Preparation of a Teaching Proposal



Sec. 3406.11  Scope of a teaching proposal.

    The teaching component of the program will support the targeted need 
area(s) related to strengthening teaching programs as specified in the 
annual program announcement. Proposals may focus on any subject matter 
area(s) in the food and agricultural sciences unless limited by 
determinations as specified in the annual program announcement. A 
proposal may address a single targeted need area or multiple targeted 
need areas, and may be focused on a single subject matter area or 
multiple subject matter areas, in any combination (e.g., curriculum 
development in horticulture; curriculum development, faculty 
enhancement, and student experiential learning in animal science; 
faculty enhancement in food science

[[Page 277]]

and agribusiness management; or instruction delivery systems and student 
experiential learning in plant science, horticulture, and entomology). 
Applicants are also encouraged to include a library enhancement 
component related to the teaching project in their proposals. A proposal 
may be directed toward the undergraduate or graduate level of study as 
specified in the annual program announcement. Targeted need areas for 
teaching programs will consist of one or more of the following:
    (a) Curricula design and materials development. (1) The purpose of 
this need area is to promote new and improved curricula and materials to 
increase the quality of, and continuously renew, the Nation's academic 
programs in the food and agricultural sciences. The overall objective is 
to stimulate the development and facilitate the use of exemplary 
education models and materials that incorporate the most recent advances 
in subject matter, research on teaching and learning theory, and 
instructional technology. Proposals may emphasize: The development of 
courses of study, degree programs, and instructional materials; the use 
of new approaches to the study of traditional subjects; or the 
introduction of new subjects, or new applications of knowledge, 
pertaining to the food and agricultural sciences.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to, curricula and 
materials that promote:
    (i) Raising the level of scholastic achievement of the Nation's 
graduates in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (ii) Addressing the special needs of particular groups of students, 
such as minorities, gifted and talented, or those with educational 
backgrounds that warrant enrichment.
    (iii) Using alternative instructional strategies or methodologies, 
including computer-assisted instruction or simulation modeling, media 
programs that reach large audiences efficiently and effectively, 
activities that provide hands-on learning experiences, and educational 
programs that extend learning beyond the classroom.
    (iv) Using sound pedagogy, particularly with regard to recent 
research on how to motivate students to learn, retain, apply, and 
transfer knowledge, skills, and competencies.
    (v) Building student competencies to integrate and synthesize 
knowledge from several disciplines.
    (b) Faculty preparation and enhancement for teaching. (1) The 
purpose of this need area is to advance faculty development in the areas 
of teaching competency, subject matter expertise, or student recruitment 
and advising skills. Teachers are central to education. They serve as 
models, motivators, and mentors--the catalysts of the learning process. 
Moreover, teachers are agents for developing, replicating, and 
exchanging effective teaching materials and methods. For these reasons, 
education can be strengthened only when teachers are adequately 
prepared, highly motivated, and appropriately recognized and rewarded.
    (2) Each faculty recipient of support for developmental activities 
under Sec. 3406.11(b) must be an ``eligible participant'' as defined in 
Sec. 3406.2 of this part.
    (3) Examples of developmental activities include, but are not 
limited to, those which enable teaching faculty to:
    (i) Gain experience with recent developments or innovative 
technology relevant to their teaching responsibilities.
    (ii) Work under the guidance and direction of experts who have 
substantial expertise in an area related to the developmental goals of 
the project.
    (iii) Work with scientists or professionals in government, industry, 
or other colleges or universities to learn new applications in a field.
    (iv) Obtain personal experience working with new ideas and 
techniques.
    (v) Expand competence with new methods of information delivery, such 
as computer-assisted or televised instruction.
    (c) Instruction delivery systems. (1) The purpose of this need area 
is to encourage the use of alternative methods of delivering instruction 
to enhance the quality, effectiveness, and cost efficiency of teaching 
programs. The importance of this initiative is evidenced by advances in 
educational research which have substantiated the theory that 
differences in the learning styles of students often require alternative

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instructional methodologies. Also, the rising costs of higher education 
strongly suggest that colleges and universities undertake more efforts 
of a collaborative nature in order to deliver instruction which 
maximizes program quality and reduces unnecessary duplication. At the 
same time, advancements in knowledge and technology continue to 
introduce new subject matter areas which warrant consideration and 
implementation of innovative instruction techniques, methodologies, and 
delivery systems.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Use of computers.
    (ii) Teleconferencing.
    (iii) Networking via satellite communications.
    (iv) Regionalization of academic programs.
    (v) Mobile classrooms and laboratories.
    (vi) Individualized learning centers.
    (vii) Symposia, forums, regional or national workshops, etc.
    (d) Scientific Instrumentation for teaching. (1) The purpose of this 
need area is to provide students in science-oriented courses the 
necessary experience with suitable, up-to-date equipment in order to 
involve them in work central to scientific understanding and progress. 
This program initiative will support the acquisition of instructional 
laboratory and classroom equipment to assure the achievement and 
maintenance of outstanding food and agricultural sciences higher 
education programs. A proposal may request support for acquiring new, 
state-of-the-art instructional scientific equipment, upgrading existing 
equipment, or replacing non-functional or clearly obsolete equipment.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Rental or purchase of modern instruments to improve student 
learning experiences in courses, laboratories, and field work.
    (ii) Development of new ways of using instrumentation to extend 
instructional capabilities.
    (iii) Establishment of equipment-sharing capability via consortia or 
centers that develop innovative opportunities, such as mobile 
laboratories or satellite access to industry or government laboratories.
    (e) Student experiential learning. (1) The purpose of this need area 
is to further the development of student scientific and professional 
competencies through experiential learning programs which provide 
students with opportunities to solve complex problems in the context of 
real-world situations. Effective experiential learning is essential in 
preparing future graduates to advance knowledge and technology, enhance 
quality of life, conserve resources, and revitalize the Nation's 
economic competitiveness. Such experiential learning opportunities are 
most effective when they serve to advance decision-making and 
communication skills as well as technological expertise.
    (2) Examples include, but are not limited to, projects which:
    (i) Provide opportunities for students to participate in research 
projects, either as a part of an ongoing research project or in a 
project designed especially for this program.
    (ii) Provide opportunities for students to complete apprenticeships, 
internships, or similar participatory learning experiences.
    (iii) Expand and enrich courses which are of a practicum nature.
    (iv) Provide career mentoring experiences that link students with 
outstanding professionals.
    (f) Student recruitment and retention. (1) The purpose of this need 
area is to strengthen student recruitment and retention programs in 
order to promote the future strength of the Nation's scientific and 
professional work force. The Nation's economic competitiveness and 
quality of life rest upon the availability of a cadre of outstanding 
research scientists, university faculty, and other professionals in the 
food and agricultural sciences. A substantial need exists to supplement 
efforts to attract increased numbers of academically outstanding 
students to prepare for careers as food and agricultural scientists and 
professionals. It is particularly important to augment the racial, 
ethnic, and gender diversity of the student body in order to promote a 
robust exchange of ideas and a more effective

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use of the full breadth of the Nation's intellectual resources.
    (2) Each student recipient of monetary support for education costs 
or developmental purposes under Sec. 3406.11(f) must be enrolled at an 
eligible institution and meet the requirement of an ``eligible 
participant'' as defined in Sec. 3406.2 of this part.
    (3) Examples include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Special outreach programs for elementary and secondary students 
as well as parents, counselors, and the general public to broaden 
awareness of the extensive nature and diversity of career opportunities 
for graduates in the food and agricultural sciences.
    (ii) Special activities and materials to establish more effective 
linkages with high school science classes.
    (iii) Unique or innovative student recruitment activities, 
materials, and personnel.
    (iv) Special retention programs to assure student progression 
through and completion of an educational program.
    (v) Development and dissemination of stimulating career information 
materials.
    (vi) Use of regional or national media to promote food and 
agricultural sciences higher education.
    (vii) Providing financial incentives to enable and encourage 
students to pursue and complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in 
an area of the food and agricultural sciences.



Sec. 3406.12  Program application materials--teaching.

    Program application materials in an application package will be made 
available to eligible institutions upon request. These materials include 
the program announcement, the administrative provisions for the program, 
and the forms needed to prepare and submit teaching grant applications 
under the program.



Sec. 3406.13  Content of a teaching proposal.

    (a) Proposal cover page. (1) Form NIFA-712, ``Higher Education 
Proposal Cover Page,'' must be completed in its entirety. Note that 
providing a Social Security Number is voluntary, but is an integral part 
of the NIFA information system and will assist in the processing of the 
proposal.
    (2) One copy of the Form NIFA-712 must contain the pen-and-ink 
signatures of the project director(s) and authorized organizational 
representative for the applicant institution.
    (3) The title of the teaching project shown on the ``Higher 
Education Proposal Cover Page'' must be brief (80-character maximum) yet 
represent the major thrust of the project. This information will be used 
by the Department to provide information to the Congress and other 
interested parties.
    (4) In block 7. of Form NIFA-712, enter ``1890 Institution Capacity 
Building Grants Program.''
    (5) In block 8.a. of Form NIFA-712, enter ``Teaching.'' In block 
8.b. identify the code for the targeted need area(s) as found on the 
reverse of the form. If a proposal focuses on multiple targeted need 
areas, enter each code associated with the project. In block 8.c. 
identify the major area(s) of emphasis as found on the reverse of the 
form. If a proposal focuses on multiple areas of emphasis, enter each 
code associated with the project; however, limit the selection to three 
areas. This information will be used by program staff for the proper 
assignment of proposals to reviewers.
    (6) In block 9. of Form NIFA-712, indicate if the proposal is a 
complementary project proposal or a joint project proposal as defined in 
Sec. 3406.2 of this part. If it is not a complementary project proposal 
or a joint project proposal, identify it as a regular project proposal.
    (7) In block 13. of Form NIFA-712, indicate if the proposal is a 
new, first-time submission or if the proposal is a resubmission of a 
proposal that has been submitted to, but not funded under, the 1890 
Institution Capacity Building Grants Program in a previous competition.
    (b) Table of contents. For ease in locating information, each 
proposal must contain a detailed table of contents just after the 
Proposal Cover Page. The Table of Contents should include page numbers 
for each component of the proposal. Pagination should begin immediately 
following the summary documentation of USDA agency cooperation.

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    (c) USDA agency cooperator. To be considered for funding, each 
proposal must include documentation of cooperation with at least one 
USDA agency or office. If multiple agencies are involved as cooperators, 
documentation must be included from each agency. When documenting 
cooperative arrangements, the following guidelines should be used:
    (1) A summary of the cooperative arrangements must immediately 
follow the Table of Contents. This summary should:
    (i) Bear the signatures of the Agency Head (or his/her designated 
authorized representative) and the university project director;
    (ii) Indicate the agency's willingness to commit support for the 
project;
    (iii) Identify the person(s) at the USDA agency who will serve as 
the liaison or technical contact for the project;
    (iv) Describe the degree and nature of the USDA agency's involvement 
in the proposed project, as outlined in Sec. 3406.6(a) of this part, 
including its role in:
    (A) Identifying the need for the project;
    (B) Developing a conceptual approach;
    (C) Assisting with project design;
    (D) Identifying and securing needed agency or other resources (e.g., 
personnel, grants/contracts; in-kind support, etc.);
    (E) Developing the project budget;
    (F) Promoting partnerships with other institutions to carry out the 
project;
    (G) Helping the institution launch and manage the project;
    (H) Providing technical assistance and expertise;
    (I) Providing consultation through site visits, E-mail, conference 
calls, and faxes;
    (J) Participating in project evaluation and dissemination of final 
project results; and
    (K) Seeking other innovative ways to ensure the success of the 
project and advance the needs of the institution or the agency; and
    (v) Describe the expected benefits of the partnership venture for 
the USDA agency and for the 1890 Institution.
    (2) A detailed discussion of these partnership arrangements should 
be provided in the narrative portion of the proposal, as outlined in 
paragraph (f)(2)(iv)(C) of this section.
    (3) Additional documentation, including letters of support or 
cooperation, may be provided in the Appendix.
    (d) Project summary. (1) A Project Summary should immediately follow 
the summary documentation of USDA agency cooperation section. The 
information provided in the Project Summary will be used by the program 
staff for a variety of purposes, including the proper assignment of 
proposals to reviewers and providing information to reviewers prior to 
the peer panel meeting. The name of the institution, the targeted need 
area(s), and the title of the proposal must be identified exactly as 
shown on the ``Higher Education Proposal Cover Page.''
    (2) If the proposal is a complementary project proposal, as defined 
in Sec. 3406.2 of this part, indicate such and identify the other 
complementary project(s) by citing the name of the submitting 
institution, the title of the project, the project director, and the 
grant number (if funded in a previous year) exactly as shown on the 
cover page of the complementary project so that appropriate 
consideration can be given to the interrelatedness of the proposals in 
the evaluation process.
    (3) If the proposal is a joint project proposal, as defined in 
Sec. 3406.2 of this part, indicate such and identify the other 
participating institutions and the key faculty member or other 
individual responsible for coordinating the project at each institution.
    (4) The Project Summary should be a concise description of the 
proposed activity suitable for publication by the Department to inform 
the general public about awards under the program. The text must not 
exceed one page, single-spaced. The Project Summary should be a self-
contained description of the activity which would result if the proposal 
is funded by USDA. It should include: The objectives of the project; a 
synopsis of the plan of operation; a statement of how the project will 
enhance the teaching capacity of the institution; a description of how

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the project will strengthen higher education in the food and 
agricultural sciences in the United States; a description of the 
partnership efforts between, and the expected benefits for, the USDA 
agency cooperator(s) and the 1890 Institution; and the plans for 
disseminating project results. The Project Summary should be written so 
that a technically literate reader can evaluate the use of Federal funds 
in support of the project.
    (e) Resubmission of a proposal--(1) Resubmission of previously 
unfunded proposals. (i) If a proposal has been submitted previously, but 
was not funded, such should be indicated in block 13. on Form NIFA-712, 
``Higher Education Proposal Cover Page,'' and the following information 
should be included in the proposal:
    (A) The fiscal year(s) in which the proposal was submitted 
previously;
    (B) A summary of the peer reviewers' comments; and
    (C) How these comments have been addressed in the current proposal, 
including the page numbers in the current proposal where the peer 
reviewers' comments have been addressed.
    (ii) This information may be provided as a section of the proposal 
following the Project Summary and preceding the proposal narrative or it 
may be placed in the Appendix (see paragraph (j) of this section). In 
either case, the location of this information should be indicated in the 
Table of Contents, and the fact that the proposal is a resubmitted 
proposal should be stated in the proposal narrative. Further, when 
possible, the information should be presented in tabular format. 
Applicants who choose to resubmit proposals that were previously 
submitted, but not funded, should note that resubmitted proposals must 
compete equally with newly submitted proposals. Submitting a proposal 
that has been revised based on a previous peer review panel's critique 
of the proposal does not guarantee the success of the resubmitted 
proposal.
    (2) Resubmission of previously funded proposals. Recognizing that 
capacity building is a long-term ongoing process, the 1890 Institution 
Capacity Building Grants Program is interested in funding subsequent 
phases of previously funded projects in order to build institutional 
capacity, and institutions are encouraged to build on a theme over 
several grant awards. However, proposals that are sequential 
continuations or new stages of previously funded Capacity Building 
Grants must compete with first-time proposals. Therefore, project 
directors should thoroughly demonstrate how the project proposed in the 
current application expands substantially upon a previously funded 
project (i.e., demonstrate how the new project will advance the former 
project to the next level of attainment or will achieve expanded goals). 
The proposal must also show the degree to which the new phase promotes 
innovativeness and creativity beyond the scope of the previously funded 
project. Please note that the 1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants 
Program is not designed to support activities that are essentially 
repetitive in nature over multiple grant awards. Project directors who 
have had their projects funded previously are discouraged from 
resubmitting relatively identical proposals for further funding.
    (f) Narrative of a teaching proposal. The narrative portion of the 
proposal is limited to 20 pages in length. The one-page Project Summary 
is not included in the 20-page limitation. The narrative must be typed 
on one side of the page only, using a font no smaller than 12 point, and 
double-spaced. All margins must be at least one inch. All pages 
following the summary documentation of USDA agency cooperation must be 
paginated. It should be noted that peer reviewers will not be required 
to read beyond 20 pages of the narrative to evaluate the proposal. The 
narrative should contain the following sections:
    (1) Potential for advancing the quality of education--(i) Impact. 
(A) Identify the targeted need area(s).
    (B) Clearly state the specific instructional problem or opportunity 
to be addressed.
    (C) Describe how and by whom the focus and scope of the project were 
determined. Summarize the body of knowledge which substantiates the need 
for the proposed project.

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    (D) Describe ongoing or recently completed significant activities 
related to the proposed project for which previous funding was received 
under this program.
    (E) Discuss how the project will be of value at the State, regional, 
national, or international level(s).
    (F) Discuss how the benefits to be derived from the project will 
transcend the proposing institution or the grant period. Also discuss 
the probabilities of its adaptation by other institutions. For example, 
can the project serve as a model for others?
    (ii) Continuation plans. Discuss the likelihood of, or plans for, 
continuation or expansion of the project beyond USDA support. For 
example, does the institution's long-range budget or academic plan 
provide for the realistic continuation or expansion of the initiative 
undertaken by this project after the end of the grant period, are plans 
for eventual self-support built into the project, are plans being made 
to institutionalize the program if it meets with success, and are there 
indications of other continuing non-Federal support?
    (iii) Innovation. Describe the degree to which the proposal reflects 
an innovative or non-traditional approach to solving a higher education 
problem or strengthening the quality of higher education in the food and 
agricultural sciences.
    (iv) Products and results. Explain the kinds of results and products 
expected and their impact on strengthening food and agricultural 
sciences higher education in the United States, including attracting 
academically outstanding students and increasing the ethnic, racial, and 
gender diversity of the Nation's food and agricultural scientific and 
professional expertise base.
    (2) Overall approach and cooperative linkages--(i) Proposed 
approach--(A) Objectives. Cite and discuss the specific objectives to be 
accomplished under the project.
    (B) Plan of operation. (1) Describe procedures for accomplishing the 
objectives of the project.
    (2) Describe plans for management of the project to enhance its 
proper and efficient administration.
    (3) Describe the way in which resources and personnel will be used 
to conduct the project.
    (C) Timetable. Provide a timetable for conducting the project. 
Identify all important project milestones and dates as they relate to 
project start-up, execution, dissemination, evaluation, and close-out.
    (ii) Evaluation plans. (A) Provide a plan for evaluating the 
accomplishment of stated objectives during the conduct of the project. 
Indicate the criteria, and corresponding weight of each, to be used in 
the evaluation process, describe any data to be collected and analyzed, 
and explain the methodology that will be used to determine the extent to 
which the needs underlying the project are met.
    (B) Provide a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the end 
results upon conclusion of the project. Include the same kinds of 
information requested in paragraph (f) (2)(ii)(A) of this section.
    (iii) Dissemination plans. Discuss plans to disseminate project 
results and products. Identify target audiences and explain methods of 
communication.
    (iv) Partnerships and collaborative efforts. (A) Explain how the 
project will maximize partnership ventures and collaborative efforts to 
strengthen food and agricultural sciences higher education (e.g., 
involvement of faculty in related disciplines at the same institution, 
joint projects with other colleges or universities, or cooperative 
activities with business or industry). Also explain how it will 
stimulate academia, the States, or the private sector to join with the 
Federal partner in enhancing food and agricultural sciences higher 
education.
    (B) Provide evidence, via letters from the parties involved, that 
arrangements necessary for collaborative partnerships or joint 
initiatives have been discussed and realistically can be expected to 
come to fruition, or actually have been finalized contingent on an award 
under this program. Letters must be signed by an official who has the 
authority to commit the resources of the organization. Such letters 
should be referenced in the plan of operation, but the actual letters 
should be included in the Appendix section of

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the proposal. Any potential conflict(s) of interest that might result 
from the proposed collaborative arrangements must be discussed in 
detail. Proposals which indicate joint projects with other institutions 
must state which proposer is to receive any resulting grant award, since 
only one submitting institution can be the recipient of a project grant 
under one proposal.
    (C) Explain how the project will create a new or enhance an existing 
partnership between the USDA agency cooperator(s) and the 1890 
Institution(s). This section should expand upon the summary information 
provided in the documentation of USDA agency cooperation section, as 
outlined in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. This is particularly 
important because the focal point of attention in the peer review 
process is the proposal narrative. Therefore, a comprehensive discussion 
of the partnership effort between USDA and the 1890 Institution should 
be provided.
    (3) Institutional capacity building--(i) Institutional enhancement. 
Explain how the proposed project will strengthen the teaching capacity, 
as defined in Sec. 3406.2 of this part, of the applicant institution 
and, if applicable, any other institutions assuming a major role in the 
conduct of the project. For example, describe how the proposed project 
is intended to strengthen the institution's academic infrastructure by 
expanding the current faculty's expertise base, advancing the scholarly 
quality of the institution's academic programs, enriching the racial, 
ethnic, or gender diversity of the student body, helping the institution 
establish itself as a center of excellence in a particular field of 
education, helping the institution maintain or acquire state-of-the-art 
scientific instrumentation or library collections for teaching, or 
enabling the institution to provide more meaningful student experiential 
learning opportunities.
    (ii) Institutional commitment. (A) Discuss the institution's 
commitment to the project and its successful completion. Provide, as 
relevant, appropriate documentation in the Appendix. Substantiate that 
the institution attributes a high priority to the project.
    (B) Discuss how the project will contribute to the achievement of 
the institution's long-term (five- to ten-year) goals and how the 
project will help satisfy the institution's high-priority objectives. 
Show how this project is linked to and supported by the institution's 
strategic plan.
    (C) Discuss the commitment of institutional resources to the 
project. Show that the institutional resources to be made available to 
the project will be adequate, when combined with the support requested 
from USDA, to carry out the activities of the project and represent a 
sound commitment by the institution. Discuss institutional facilities, 
equipment, computer services, and other appropriate resources available 
to the project.
    (g) Key personnel. A Form NIFA-708, ``Summary Vita--Teaching 
Proposal,'' should be included for each key person associated with the 
project.
    (h) Budget and cost-effectiveness--(1) Budget form. (i) Prepare Form 
NIFA-713, ``Higher Education Budget,'' in accordance with instructions 
provided with the form. Proposals may request support for a period to be 
identified in each year's program announcement. A budget form is 
required for each year of requested support. In addition, a summary 
budget is required detailing the requested total support for the overall 
project period. Form NIFA-713 may be reproduced as needed by proposers. 
Funds may be requested under any of the categories listed on the form, 
provided that the item or service for which support is requested is 
allowable under the authorizing legislation, the applicable Federal cost 
principles, the administrative provisions in this part, and can be 
justified as necessary for the successful conduct of the proposed 
project.
    (ii) The approved negotiated instruction rate or the maximum rate 
allowed by law should be used when computing indirect costs. If a 
reduced rate of indirect costs is voluntarily requested from USDA, the 
remaining allowable indirect costs may be used as matching funds.
    (2) Matching funds. When documenting matching contributions, use the 
following guidelines:

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    (i) When preparing the column entitled ``Applicant Contributions to 
Matching Funds'' of Form NIFA-713, only those costs to be contributed by 
the applicant for the purposes of matching should be shown. The total 
amount of this column should be indicated in item M.
    (ii) In item N of Form NIFA-713, show a total dollar amount for Cash 
Contributions from both the applicant and any third parties; also show a 
total dollar amount (based on current fair market value) for Non-cash 
Contributions from both the applicant and any third parties.
    (iii) To qualify for any incentive benefits stemming from matching 
support or to satisfy any cost sharing requirements, proposals must 
include written verification of any actual commitments of matching 
support (including both cash and non-cash contributions) from third 
parties. Written verification means--
    (A) For any third party cash contributions, a separate pledge 
agreement for each donation, signed by the authorized organizational 
representative(s) of the donor organization (or by the donor if the gift 
is from an individual) and the applicant institution, which must 
include:
    (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the donor;
    (2) The name of the applicant institution;
    (3) The title of the project for which the donation is made;
    (4) The dollar amount of the cash donation; and
    (5) A statement that the donor will pay the cash contribution during 
the grant period; and
    (B) For any third party non-cash contributions, a separate pledge 
agreement for each contribution, signed by the authorized organizational 
representative(s) of the donor organization (or by the donor if the gift 
is from an individual) and the applicant institution, which must 
include:
    (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the donor;
    (2) The name of the applicant institution;
    (3) The title of the project for which the donation is made;
    (4) A good faith estimate of the current fair market value of the 
non-cash contribution; and
    (5) A statement that the donor will make the contribution during the 
grant period.
    (iv) All pledge agreements must be placed in the proposal 
immediately following Form NIFA-713. The sources and amounts of all 
matching support from outside the applicant institution should be 
summarized in the Budget Narrative section of the proposal.
    (v) Applicants should refer to OMB Circulars A-110, ``Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions 
of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-profit Organizations,'' and 
A-21, ``Cost Principles for Educational Institutions,'' for further 
guidance and other requirements relating to matching and allowable 
costs.
    (3) Chart on shared budget for joint project proposal. (i) For a 
joint project proposal, a plan must be provided indicating how funds 
will be distributed to the participating institutions. The budget 
section of a joint project proposal should include a chart indicating:
    (A) The names of the participating institutions;
    (B) the amount of funds to be disbursed to those institutions; and
    (C) the way in which such funds will be used in accordance with 
items A through L of Form NIFA-713, ``Higher Education Budget.''
    (ii) If a proposal is not for a joint project, such a chart is not 
required.
    (4) Budget narrative. (i) Discuss how the budget specifically 
supports the proposed project activities. Explain how each budget item 
(such as salaries and wages for professional and technical staff, 
student stipends/scholarships, travel, equipment, etc.) is essential to 
achieving project objectives.
    (ii) Justify that the total budget, including funds requested from 
USDA and any matching support provided, will be adequate to carry out 
the activities of the project. Provide a summary of sources and amounts 
of all third party matching support.

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    (iii) Justify the project's cost-effectiveness. Show how the project 
maximizes the use of limited resources, optimizes educational value for 
the dollar, achieves economies of scale, or leverages additional funds. 
For example, discuss how the project has the potential to generate a 
critical mass of expertise and activity focused on a targeted need area 
or promote coalition building that could lead to future ventures.
    (iv) Include the percentage of time key personnel will work on the 
project, both during the academic year and summer. When salaries of 
university project personnel will be paid by a combination of USDA and 
institutional funds, the total compensation must not exceed the faculty 
member's regular annual compensation. In addition, the total commitment 
of time devoted to the project, when combined with time for teaching and 
research duties, other sponsored agreements, and other employment 
obligations to the institution, must not exceed 100 percent of the 
normal workload for which the employee is compensated, in accordance 
with established university policies and applicable Federal cost 
principles.
    (v) If the proposal addresses more than one targeted need area 
(e.g., student experiential learning and instruction delivery systems), 
estimate the proportion of the funds requested from USDA that will 
support each respective targeted need area.
    (i) Current and pending support. Each applicant must complete Form 
NIFA-663, ``Current and Pending Support,'' identifying any other current 
public- or private-sponsored projects, in addition to the proposed 
project, to which key personnel listed in the proposal under 
consideration have committed portions of their time, whether or not 
salary support for the person(s) involved is included in the budgets of 
the various projects. This information should also be provided for any 
pending proposals which are currently being considered by, or which will 
be submitted in the near future to, other possible sponsors, including 
other USDA programs or agencies. Concurrent submission of identical or 
similar projects to other possible sponsors will not prejudice the 
review or evaluation of a project under this program.
    (j) Appendix. Each project narrative is expected to be complete in 
itself and to meet the 20-page limitation. Inclusion of material in an 
Appendix should not be used to circumvent the 20-page limitation of the 
proposal narrative. However, in those instances where inclusion of 
supplemental information is necessary to guarantee the peer review 
panel's complete understanding of a proposal or to illustrate the 
integrity of the design or a main thesis of the proposal, such 
information may be included in an Appendix. Examples of supplemental 
material are photographs, journal reprints, brochures and other 
pertinent materials which are deemed to be illustrative of major points 
in the narrative but unsuitable for inclusion in the proposal narrative 
itself. Information on previously submitted proposals may also be 
presented in the Appendix (refer to paragraph (e) of this section). When 
possible, information in the Appendix should be presented in tabular 
format. A complete set of the Appendix material must be attached to each 
copy of the grant application submitted. The Appendix must be identified 
with the title of the project as it appears on Form NIFA-712 of the 
proposal and the name(s) of the project director(s). The Appendix must 
be referenced in the proposal narrative.



         Subpart D_Review and Evaluation of a Teaching Proposal



Sec. 3406.14  Proposal review--teaching.

    The proposal evaluation process includes both internal staff review 
and merit evaluation by peer review panels comprised of scientists, 
educators, business representatives, and Government officials who are 
highly qualified to render expert advice in the areas supported. Peer 
review panels will be selected and structured to provide optimum 
expertise and objective judgment in the evaluation of proposals.



Sec. 3406.15  Evaluation criteria for teaching proposals.

    The maximum score a teaching proposal can receive is 150 points. 
Unless

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otherwise stated in the annual solicitation published in the Federal 
Register, the peer review panel will consider the following criteria and 
weights to evaluate proposals submitted:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Evaluation criterion                        Weight
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Potential for advancing the quality of
 education:
    This criterion is used to assess the
     likelihood that the project will have a
     substantial impact upon and advance the
     quality of food and agricultural sciences
     higher education by strengthening
     institutional capacities through promoting
     education reform to meet clearly delineated
     needs.
        (1) Impact--Does the project address a      15 points.
         targeted need area(s)? Is the problem or
         opportunity clearly documented? Does the
         project address a State, regional,
         national, or international problem or
         opportunity? Will the benefits to be
         derived from the project transcend the
         applicant institution or the grant
         period? Is it probable that other
         institutions will adapt this project for
         their own use? Can the project serve as a
         model for others?
        (2) Continuation plans--Are there plans     10 points.
         for continuation or expansion of the
         project beyond USDA support with the use
         of institutional funds? Are there
         indications of external, non-Federal
         support? Are there realistic plans for
         making the project self-supporting?
        (3) Innovation--Are significant aspects of  10 points.
         the project based on an innovative or a
         non-traditional approach toward solving a
         higher education problem or strengthening
         the quality of higher education in the
         food and agricultural sciences? If
         successful, is the project likely to lead
         to education reform?
        (4) Products and results--Are the expected  15 points.
         products and results of the project
         clearly defined and likely to be of high
         quality? Will project results be of an
         unusual or unique nature? Will the
         project contribute to a better
         understanding of or an improvement in the
         quality, distribution, or effectiveness
         of the Nation's food and agricultural
         scientific and professional expertise
         base, such as increasing the
         participation of women and minorities?
(b) Overall approach and cooperative linkages:
    This criterion relates to the soundness of the
     proposed approach and the quality of the
     partnerships likely to evolve as a result of
     the project.
        (1) Proposed approach--Do the objectives    15 points.
         and plan of operation appear to be sound
         and appropriate relative to the targeted
         need area(s) and the impact anticipated?
         Are the procedures managerially,
         educationally, and scientifically sound?
         Is the overall plan integrated with or
         does it expand upon other major efforts
         to improve the quality of food and
         agricultural sciences higher education?
         Does the timetable appear to be readily
         achievable?
        (2) Evaluation--Are the evaluation plans    5 points.
         adequate and reasonable? Do they allow
         for continuous or frequent feedback
         during the life of the project? Are the
         individuals involved in project
         evaluation skilled in evaluation
         strategies and procedures? Can they
         provide an objective evaluation? Do
         evaluation plans facilitate the
         measurement of project progress and
         outcomes?
        (3) Dissemination--Does the proposed        5 points.
         project include clearly outlined and
         realistic mechanisms that will lead to
         widespread dissemination of project
         results, including national electronic
         communication systems, publications,
         presentations at professional
         conferences, or use by faculty
         development or research/teaching skills
         workshops?
        (4) Partnerships and collaborative          15 points.
         efforts--Does the project have
         significant potential for advancing
         cooperative ventures between the
         applicant institution and a USDA agency?
         Does the project workplan include an
         effective role for the cooperating USDA
         agency(s)? Will the project expand
         partnership ventures among disciplines at
         a university, between colleges and
         universities, or with the private sector?
         Will the project lead to long-term
         relationships or cooperative partnerships
         that are likely to enhance program
         quality or supplement resources available
         to food and agricultural sciences higher
         education?
(c) Institutional capacity building:
    This criterion relates to the degree to which
     the project will strengthen the teaching
     capacity of the applicant institution. In the
     case of a joint project proposal, it relates
     to the degree to which the project will
     strengthen the teaching capacity of the
     applicant institution and that of any other
     institution assuming a major role in the
     conduct of the project.
        (1) Institutional enhancement--Will the     15 points.
         project help the institution to: Expand
         the current faculty's expertise base;
         attract, hire, and retain outstanding
         teaching faculty; advance and strengthen
         the scholarly quality of the
         institution's academic programs; enrich
         the racial, ethnic, or gender diversity
         of the faculty and student body; recruit
         students with higher grade point
         averages, higher standardized test
         scores, and those who are more committed
         to graduation; become a center of
         excellence in a particular field of
         education and bring it greater academic
         recognition; attract outside resources
         for academic programs; maintain or
         acquire state-of-the-art scientific
         instrumentation or library collections
         for teaching; or provide more meaningful
         student experiential learning
         opportunities?
        (2) Institutional commitment--Is there      15 points.
         evidence to substantiate that the
         institution attributes a high-priority to
         the project, that the project is linked
         to the achievement of the institution's
         long-term goals, that it will help
         satisfy the institution's high-priority
         objectives, or that the project is
         supported by the institution's strategic
         plans? Will the project have reasonable
         access to needed resources such as
         instructional instrumentation,
         facilities, computer services, library
         and other instruction support resources?
(d) Personnel Resources: This criterion relates to  10 points.
 the number and qualifications of the key persons
 who will carry out the project. Are designated
 project personnel qualified to carry out a
 successful project? Are there sufficient numbers
 of personnel associated with the project to
 achieve the stated objectives and the anticipated
 outcomes?
(e) Budget and cost-effectiveness:

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    This criterion relates to the extent to which
     the total budget adequately supports the
     project and is cost-effective.
        (1) Budget--Is the budget request           10 points.
         justifiable? Are costs reasonable and
         necessary? Will the total budget be
         adequate to carry out project activities?
         Are the source(s) and amount(s) of non-
         Federal matching support clearly
         identified and appropriately documented?
         For a joint project proposal, is the
         shared budget explained clearly and in
         sufficient detail?
        (2) Cost-effectiveness--Is the proposed     5 points.
         project cost-effective? Does it
         demonstrate a creative use of limited
         resources, maximize educational value per
         dollar of USDA support, achieve economies
         of scale, leverage additional funds or
         have the potential to do so, focus
         expertise and activity on a targeted need
         area, or promote coalition building for
         current or future ventures?
(f) Overall quality of proposal: This criterion     5 points.
 relates to the degree to which the proposal
 complies with the application guidelines and is
 of high quality. Is the proposal enhanced by its
 adherence to instructions (table of contents,
 organization, pagination, margin and font size,
 the 20-page limitation, appendices, etc.);
 accuracy of forms; clarity of budget narrative;
 well prepared vitae for all key personnel
 associated with the project; and presentation
 (are ideas effectively presented, clearly
 articulated, and thoroughly explained, etc.)?
------------------------------------------------------------------------



              Subpart E_Preparation of a Research Proposa