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USDA/RBS RIN: 0570-AA73 Publication ID: Fall 2009 
Title: Biorefinery Assistance Program--Section 9003 
Abstract: The purpose of section 9003 is to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels. Advanced biofuels are fuels derived from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch. The program will increase energy independence, promote resource conservation, diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products, create jobs, and enhance economic development in rural economies. Assistance includes grants and guaranteed loans. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Eligible entities include individuals, entities, Indians tribes, units of State or local governments, farm cooperatives, farmer cooperative organizations, association of agricultural producers, National Laboratories, institutions of higher learning, rural electric cooperatives, public power entities, or a consortium of any of the entities. Regulatory implementation may include certain requirements identified in existing Rural Business-Cooperative Service regulations for the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan and the Rural Energy for America programs. 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.
Legal Authority: PL 110-246 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The program will increase energy independence, promote resource conservation, diversify markets for agricultural and forestry products, create jobs, and enhance economic development in rural economies. The program was originally announced in the Federal Register as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on November 20, 2008.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Biorefinery Assistance program was authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which made available $75,000,000 in mandatory funding for 2009 and $245,000,000 in mandatory funding for 2010, till expended. Additionally, the 2008 Farm Bill provided an authorization to appropriate up to $150,000,000 in discretionary funding for each fiscal year 2009 through 2012. The program provides loan guarantees for the development, construction and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries, and grants to help pay for the development and construction costs of demonstration-scale biorefineries. The purpose is to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels.

Alternatives: A Notice of Funding Availability was published in the Federal Register on November 20, 2008, to implement the program for fiscal year 2009. Permanent regulation need to be implemented to provide funding in 2010 and further clarify of the program

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: It is anticipated that there will be costs directly attributable to the contractor, which is assisting with drafting the proposed rule. Other costs would be internal costs associated with the promulgation of the proposed rule. The Agency is confident that the regulations contain sufficient safeguards to mitigate any risk associated with a proposed rule and would be a benefit to the agency as well as potential applicants considering applying for payments under this program. Benefits accruing to the publishing of a proposed rule would clarify the process, payments, eligibility and understanding of any ambiguity conveyed in the initial announcement of the program. Additional benefits stem from the ability of the public and interested parties to comment on program and consider issues concerning the geographic location and demographic composition of locatable projects as well as the ownership criteria.

Risks: The proposed action does not mitigate risk to the public health or safety or to the environment.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  11/20/2008  73 FR 70542 
ANPRM Comment Period End  01/20/2009   
NPRM  01/00/2010   
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
William C. Smith
Director
Department of Agriculture
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
STOP 3224, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-3224
Phone:202 205-0903
Fax:202 720-6003
Email: william.smith@wdc.usda.gov

 
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