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Rural Business Opportunity Grants; Definition of “Rural and Rural Area”

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.


Final rule.


The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) revises its regulation to amend the definition of rural and rural area. This action is needed to comply with the amendment to Section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)) made by Section 6020 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. The intended effect of this action is to provide a consistent definition of rural and rural area for programs administered by RBS under the Rural Community Advancement Program. This action will result in additional eligible areas and demand for the RBOG Program.


October 15, 2002.

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Amy Cavanaugh, Rural Development Specialist, Specialty Lenders Division, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 3225, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250, Telephone (202) 690-2516. The TDD number is (800) 877-8339 or (202) 708-9300.

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This rule has been determined to be non-significant under Executive Order 12866 and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Programs Affected

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the program impacted by this action is 10.773, Rural Business Opportunity Grants.

Paperwork Reduction Act

There are no reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with this final rule.

Intergovernmental Review

The Rural Business Opportunity Grants Program is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. RBS will conduct Start Printed Page 63538intergovernmental consultation in the manner delineated in RD Instruction 1940-J, “Intergovernmental Review of Rural Development Programs and Activities,” and in the notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-602), the undersigned has determined and certified by signature of this document that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. New provisions included in this rule will not impact a substantial number of small entities to a greater extent than large entities. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not performed.

Civil Justice Reform

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. In accordance with this rule: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted, (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule, and (3) administrative proceedings in accordance with 7 CFR part 11 must be exhausted before bringing suit in court challenging action taken under this rule, unless those regulations specifically allow bringing suit at an earlier time.

Environmental Impact Statement

This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, “Environmental Program.” RBS has determined that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Pub. L 91-190, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Pub. L. 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, RBS must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector of $100 million or more in any 1 year. When such a statement is needed for a rule, section 205 of UMRA generally requires RBS to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, more cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule.

This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of title II of the UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

It has been determined under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The provisions contained in this rule will not have a substantial direct effect on States or their political subdivisions or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.


This regulatory package is an initiative mandated from Congress to provide a consistent definition of rural and rural area for programs administered by RBS under the Rural Community Advancement Program. This action will increase eligible areas and demand for the Rural Business Opportunity Grants Program by amending the definition of rural and rural areas. The current definition of rural and rural areas limits eligible areas to any area of a State that is not within the boundaries of a city with a population in excess of 10,000 inhabitants. The amended definition will increase the eligible area to 50,000 or less inhabitants.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 4284

  • Business and industry
  • Economic development
  • Grant programs—Housing and community development
  • Rural areas
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Accordingly, Chapter XLII, title 7, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 4284 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 7 U.S.C. 1989, 7 U.S.C. 1991, 16 U.S.C. 1005.

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Subpart G—Rural Business Opportunity Grants

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2. Section 4284.603 is amended by revising the definition of “rural and rural area” to read as follows:

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Rural and rural area. Any area other than a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants including the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town. The population figure used must be in accordance with the latest decennial census of the United States.

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Dated: October 4, 2002.

Thomas C. Dorr,

Under Secretary, Rural Development.

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[FR Doc. 02-26109 Filed 10-11-02; 8:45 am]