Section 6001: Water, Waste Disposal, and Wastewater
Extends program through 2012.
Section 6002: SEARCH Grants
Limits eligibility to communities that have populations of
no more than 2,500 and are subject to financial distress. Funding is limited to
4% of money made available in a fiscal year for water and waste-disposal and
essential community facilities programs. Grants fund up to 100% of project costs
and they are subject tothe lowest amount of documentation practicable. Eligible
uses of funds include predevelopment planning grants for feasibility studies,
design assistance, and technical assistance.
Section 6003: Rural Business Opportunity Grants
Extends program through 2012.
Section 6004: Child Day Care Facility Grants, Loans,
and Loan Guarantees
Extends current set-aside from April 1 to June 1.
Section 6005: Community Facility Grants to Advance
Further clarifies the authority of Community Programs.
Strikes reference to dial up Internet access
Section 6006: Rural Water and Wastewater Circuit Rider
Extends Circuit Rider program and increases authorization
for appropriations to $25 million per year for Fiscal Years 2008-2012.
Section 6007: Tribal College and University Essential
Changes program provision to prohibit Secretary from
requiring more than 5% of funding for a facility to come from non-Federal
Section 6008: Emergency and Imminent Community Water
Assistance Grant Program
Extends program through 2012.
Section 6009: Water Systems for Rural and Native
Villages in Alaska
Authorizes funding for the Denali Commission to provide
grant assistance for solid waste disposal systems that lessen solid waste
contamination of water.
Section 6010: Grants to Nonprofit Organizations to
Finance the Construction, Refurbishing, and Servicing of Individually-Owned
Household Water Well Systems in Rural Areas for Individuals with Low or Moderate
Continues homeowner water well systems program, increasing
the amount that can be loaned to homeowners for improvements on each well from
$8,000 to $11,000.
Section 6011: Interest Rates for Water and Waste
Disposal Facilities Loans
Ties interest rates for new intermediate and poverty-rate
water and waste disposal loans to current market rate. Change increases subsidy
on such loans.
Section 6012: Cooperative Equity Security Guarantee
Allows Business and Industry loan guarantees to be made for
the purchase of equity issued by a cooperative organization or a fund that
invests primarily in cooperative organizations. Statutory provisions have been
incorporated into Delivery Enhancement Taskforce Loan Guarantee Consolidation
interim final rule targeted for publication in December 2008.
Section 6013: Rural Cooperative Development Grants
Modifies Rural Cooperative Development Grant rules to
encourage networking and multi-state/multi-organization approaches, while
reserving up to 20 percent of appropriated funds for cooperative development
centers, individual cooperatives and groups of cooperatives that serve the
socially disadvantaged. Provides authority to award multi-year grants, but not
for a period longer than three years.
Section 6014: Grants to Broadcasting Systems
Authorizes extension of the program through 2012.
Section 6015: Locally or Regionally Produced
Agricultural Food Products
Gives priority to loans and loan guarantees for locally or
regionally produced food projects with components benefiting underserved
communities. At least 5% of program funds must be reserved until April 1 each
year for projects promoting locally for regionally produced agricultural
products. Statutory provisions have been incorporated into Delivery Enhancement
Taskforce Loan Guarantee Consolidation interim final rule targeted for
publication in December 2008.
Section 6016: Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural
Makes permanent existing program, with modifications
focusing on reduced input costs, conserving energy resources, diversifying
operations through new energy crops and energy generation facilities, and
expanding agricultural commodity markets for producers using practices that
enhance environment, natural resource base, and quality of life. Defines
several specific characteristics of organization to provide assistance to
Section 6017: Rural Economic Area Partnership Zones
Continues authorization for existing Rural Economic Area
Partnerships (REAPs) in New York, North Dakota, and Vermont, through FY 2012.
No new REAPs are authorized.
Section 6018: Definitions
Retains standard definition of "rural" used for business
and other select programs that exclude cities of 50,000 or more and any
urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to city of 50,000 or more. Exceptions are
made for narrow strips of urbanized areas and the city of Honolulu, Hawaii and
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Treats as “rural” certain fringe areas in
Gives USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development ability to
determine if urbanized area is rural in character following consultation with
the State or regional USDA director and the governor of the respective state
Eligibility for water and waste disposal loans and grants
and community facilities programs is unchanged. Retains definition of rural for
community facilities program by excluding cities or towns in excess of 20,000.
Gives Secretary authority to also exclude areas excluded by the business
programs definition. Gives the Secretary power to exclude from the definition of
“rural” certain areas of urban sprawl.
Section 6019: National Rural Development Partnership
Extends authority to appropriate funds for FY 2008-2012.
Section 6020: Historic Barn Preservation
Changes qualifications for Historic Barn Preservation
Grants to emphasize projects that identify, document, research, and review
evaluation methods and best practices.
Section 6021: Grants for NOAA Weather Radio
Extends through 2012.
Section 6022: Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance
Authorizes a rural entrepreneurship and microenterprise
program to offer grants and loans to qualified microenterprise-development
organizations that will provide technical and financial assistance to rural
microentrepreneurs. Provides $15 million in CCC mandatory funding ($4 million
annually for FY 2009-2011 and $3 million for FY 2012). The agency is considering
a public meeting similar to Title IX Public Meeting to solicit public input on
implementation of Section 6022 and Section 6023.
Section 6023: Grants for Expansion of Employment
Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities in Rural Areas
Authorizes a new grant program to nonprofit organizations
to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in rural
areas. The agency is considering a public meeting similar to Title IX Public
Meeting to solicit public input on implementation of Section 6022 and Section
Section 6024: Health Care Services
Creates new health care services grants aimed at
consortiums of regional institutions to allow them to develop health-related
services, education, and training programs, and public health facilities in
Mississippi Delta region.
Section 6025: Delta Regional Authority
Extends and expands Delta Regional Authority, adding new
counties to region.
Section 6026: Northern Great Plains Regional Authority
Continues authorization for Northern Great Plains Regional
Authority, with provisions to expedite authority’s startup if federal and Indian
representatives are not confirmed quickly. Promotes assistance for Northern
Great Plains Regional Authority on particular regional economic issues, such as
renewable energy, transportation, land management, higher education, and
information technology. Grants could go to both local and multi-state entities.
Adds some Missouri counties to region.
Section 6027: Rural Business Investment Program
Modifies the fee structure.
Section 6028: Rural Collaborative Investment Program
Replaces Rural Strategic Investment Program with Rural
Collaborative Investment Program (RCIP) to support comprehensive regional
investment strategies for achieving rural competativeness. RCIP funds a
“National Institute” to provide technical assistance in administering the
program. The section adds rural heritage to program goals.
Section 6029: Funding of Pending Rural Development Loan
and Grant Applications
Authorizes $120 million in CCC funds for a one-time
reduction in backlog of qualified, pending applications for water and waste
disposal grants and loans and emergency community water assistance. Priority for
this funding goes first to water systems and next to waste disposal systems.
Section 6101: Energy Efficiency Programs
Extends loans to energy efficiency programs.
Section 6102: Reinstatement of Rural Utility Services
Replaces the Federal Financing Bank guaranteed loan program
and reinstates direct lending.
Section 6103: Deferment of Payments to Allow Loans for
Improved Energy Efficiency and Demand Reduction and for Energy Efficiency and
Authorizes deferment of principal and interest payments on
existing loans for 60 months so that borrowers can make loans to residential,
commercial, and industrial consumers to install energy-efficient measures or
devices that reduce demand on electric systems.
Section 6104: Rural Electrification Assistance
For rural electrification assistance programs, rural areas
are defined as excluding cities or towns of 20,000 or more, or are within
service area of borrower who has an outstanding loan made under Titles I through
V of Rural Electric Act.
Section 6105: Substantially Underserved Trust Areas
Defines “substantially underserved trust areas” as Native
American trust lands where more than 20% of population does not have electric,
telecommunications, broadband, or water service. Secretary may offer such areas
lower interest rate loans and waive “non-duplication of service” requirements.
Section 6106: Guarantees for Bonds and Notes Issued for
Electrification or Telephone Purposes
Extends eligibility for portfolio guarantees of eligible
lenders. Replaces a formula cap on the amount of bonds or notes that can be
guaranteed with an annual authorization of $1 billion.
Section 6107: Expansion of 911 Access
Expands eligibility to various entities for facilities and
equipment to expand or improve 911 access, interoperable emergency
communications, homeland security communications, transportation safety
communication and location technologies used in rural areas.
Section 6108: Electric Loans for Renewable Energy
Allows Rural Utilities Services to make loans to rural
electric cooperatives for electric generation from renewable sources. Redefines
eligible renewable energy sources as energy conversion systems fueled from
solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, or geothermal sources.
Section 6109: Bonding Requirements
Authorizes Secretary to review bonding requirements for all
RUS Rural Electric Act programs to assure Federal Interests are protected by
product warrantees, and costs do not exceed benefits of bonds.
Section 6110: Access to Broadband Telecommunications
Services in Rural Areas
Reauthorizes grant, loan, and loan guarantee program while
making several changes that redefine eligibility and prioritization. Authorizes
appropriation of $25 million annually for FY 2008-2012.
Section 6111: National Center for Rural
Authorizes a National Center for Rural Telecommunications
Section 6112: Comprehensive Rural Broadband Strategy
Directs the FCC to develop a national rural broadband
strategy in consultation with the Secretary.
Section 6113: Study on Rural Electric Power Generation
Mandates a study of electric power generation needs for
rural areas, looking at rural electric cooperatives’ issues, financing issues,
impact of electricity costs on consumers and local economic development, and the
ability of fuel feedstock technology to meet regulatory requirements, such as
carbon capture and sequestration.
Section 6201: Distance Learning and Telemedicine
Reauthorizes the program through 2012. Specifically
authorizes assistance to public libraries in rural areas, in addition to
existing coverage for telemedicine and distance learning.
Section 6202: Value-Added Agricultural Market
Development Program Grants
Provides mandatory funding of $15 million available on
October 1, 2008 from CCC for use until expended. Establishes a priority for
socially disadvantaged and new farmers. 10% of funding shall be reserved for
projects benefiting beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,
and 10% shall be reserved for projects developing mid-tier value chains.
Section 6203: Agriculture Innovation Center
Authorizes appropriations for an Agriculture Innovation
Center Demonstration Program.
Section 6204: Rural Firefighters and Emergency Medical
Service Assistance Program
Changes eligibility to exclude for-profit entities,
redefines program purposes, and reduces amount of allowable administrative
Section 6205: Insurance of Loans for Housing and
Related Facilities for Domestic Farm Labor
Broadens eligibility for farm labor housing program to
include projects for low-income individuals who receive a substantial portion of
their income from processing agricultural or aquacultural commodities.
Section 6206: Study of Rural Transportation Issues
Mandates a study by the Departments of Transportation and
Agriculture to examine the importance of freight transportation (railroad,
barge, and truck) for agriculture products, renewable fuels, and electricity,
and to address other transportation issues important for rural communities and
economic development. Requires a report to Congress one year after date of
Section 6301: Short Title
“Housing Assistance Council Authorization Act of 2008”
includes Section 6301 through 6305.
Section 6302: Assistance to Housing Assistance Council
Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
to provide financial assistance to the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) to
support community-based housing development organizations’ community development
and affordable housing projects and programs in rural areas.
Section 6303: Audits and Reports
Requires the Comptroller General to audit any institution
receiving funds from the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and a GAO report on
the use of any funds appropriated to HAC over the past 10 years. Allows the GAO
to use private, independent audits for the review of HAC.
Section 6304: Persons Not Lawfully Present in the
Prohibits funds from Sections 6301-6305 from being used to
provide housing assistance to persons not lawfully present in the United States.
Section 6305: Limitation on Use of Authorized Amounts
Prohibits funds from Section 6301-6305 from being used to
lobby or retain a lobbyist for the purpose of influencing a governmental entity
Section 9003: Biorefinery Assistance
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.
Provides mandatory funding of $75 million in FY 2009 and $245 million in FY
2010 for commercial-scale biorefinery loan guarantees. It also authorizes
funding of $150 million per year starting in FY 2009 and continuing through
FY 2012 for both demonstration- and commercial scale biorefineries.
Section 9004: Repowering Assistance
Provides for payments to biorefineries (that were in
existence at the time the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted) to replace fossil fuels
used to produce heat or power to operate the biorefineries with renewable
biomass. The bill provides $35 million for FY 2009 that will remain available
until the funds are exhausted. The bill also authorizes additional funding of
$15 million per year, from FY 2009 through 2012.
Section 9005: Bioenergy Program For Advanced Biofuels
Provides for payments to be made to eligible agricultural
producers to support and ensure an expanding production of advanced biofuels.
The bill provides $55 million in FYs 2009 and 2010, $85 million in FY 2011, and
$105 million in FY 2012. Additionally, the bill authorizes additional funds in
the amount of $25 million per year, from FY 2009 to 2012.
Section 9007: Rural Energy for America Program
Provides grants and loan guarantees for energy audits,
feasibility studies and project development of renewable energy systems and
energy efficiency improvements. Expands and renames the program formerly called
the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. Under
the expansion, hydroelectric source technologies will be added as eligible;
energy audits will be included as eligible costs, and; loan limits will be
increased. The bill provides $55 million for FY 2009, $60 million for FY 2010,
and $70 million for FYs 2011 and 2012. It also authorizes additional funds of
$25 million per year, from FY 2009 through 2012.
Section 9008: Biomass Research and Development
Provides competitive grants, contracts and financial
assistance to eligible entities to carry out research on and development and
demonstration of biofuels and biobased products, and the methods, practices and
technologies for their production. Establishes a Biomass Research and
Development Board and the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory
Committee. The bill provides $20 million in funds in FY 2009; $28 million in FY
2010; $30 million in FY 2011 and $40 million in FY 2012. In addition, there is a
funding authorization of $35 million per year, from FY 2009 through 2012.
(Delegated to Rural Development through 9/30/08)
Section 9009: Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative
Provides grants for the purpose of enabling eligible rural
communities to increase energy self-sufficiency. The bill authorizes an
appropriation of $5 million per year, beginning in FY 2009 and continuing
through FY 2012.