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USDA/RBS RIN: 0570-AA75 Publication ID: Fall 2009 
Title: Rural Business Contracts for Payments for the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels--Section 9005 
Abstract: The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels directs the Secretary of Agriculture to make payments to eligible producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels. Advanced biofuels are defined as 'fuel derived from renewable biomass other than corn kernel starch' in The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. 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. To receive a payment, an eligible producer shall enter into a contract with the Secretary of Agriculture for production of advanced biofuels. The basis for payments under this program are the quantity and duration of production of biofuel produced by an eligible producer, the net nonrenewable energy content of the advanced biofuel, and other appropriate factors as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture. 
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 110-234 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The new regulations for the program known as the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels will clarify the application process, eligibility, payment formula’s and eligible products and provide substantive rules and regulation regarding the payment process. These regulations are essential to allow for verification and measurement of the advanced biofuel development promoted by this program.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels program was authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which made mandatory funding available of $55,000,000 in for fiscal year (FY) 2009, $55,000,000 in FY 2010, $85,000,000 in FY 2011 and $105,000,000 in FY 2012. A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was published on June 12, 2009 and that made $35 million available in 2009. The remaining $20 million will be available in 2010 in addition to $55 million for 2010, included in the Farm Bill. An additional $25,000,000 in discretionary funding is authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal year 2009 through 2012 may be made available. The program provides for the payments to support and ensure expanding the production of advanced biofuels.

Alternatives: A NOFA was published in June 2009 for immediate program implementation. Permanent regulations are required to provide funding for 2010.

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
NPRM  12/00/2009   
NPRM Comment Period End  02/00/2010   
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:
Diane Berger
Loan/Grant Analyst
Department of Agriculture
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
STOP 3225, STOP 3225, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-3225
Phone:202 260-1508
Fax:202 720-6003
Email: diane.berger@wdc.usda.gov

 
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