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Seismic Safety

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Rural Utilities Service, USDA.


Notice of confirmation of direct final rule.


The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, gives notice that no adverse comments were received regarding the direct final rule amending its regulations to update the seismic safety requirements of the agency, and confirms the effective date of the direct final rule.


The direct final rule published in the Federal Register on April 30, 2004, (69 FR 23641) was effective on June 14, 2004.

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Mr. Donald Heald, Structural Engineer, Transmission Branch, Electric Staff Division, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1569, Washington, DC 20250-1569. Telephone: (202) 720-9102. Fax: (202) 720-7491.

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RUS requires borrowers and grant recipients to meet applicable requirements mandated by Federal statutes and regulations to obtain RUS financing. One such requirement is compliance with building safety provisions of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) as implemented pursuant to Executive Order 12699, Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building Construction (3 CFR, 1990 Comp., pg. 269).

Subpart C of 7 CFR Part 1792 codifies the policies and requirements that RUS and RTB borrowers and grant recipients must meet for new building construction when using funds provided or guaranteed by RUS or RTB, or when obtained through a lien accommodation or subordination approved by RUS or RTB.

The Executive Order requires all Federal agencies to ensure that any new building which is leased for Federal uses or purchased or constructed with Federal assistance is designed and constructed in accordance with appropriate seismic design standards. Those standards must be equivalent to or exceed the seismic safety levels in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) recommended provisions for the development of seismic regulations for new buildings. The Executive Order charges the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC) with recommending appropriate and cost-effective seismic design, construction standards and practices.

According to a recent study commissioned by the ICSSC, the model codes and standards that are equivalent to the 1997 NEHRP Recommended Provisions are the 2000 International Building Code and the ASCE 7-98 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. These codes will be added to the list of codes equivalent to the 1994 or 1997 NEHRP Recommended Provisions. In addition, clarification is added to the acknowledgment.

Confirmation of Effective Date

This is to confirm the effective date of June 14, 2004, for the direct final rule, 7 CFR 1792, Seismic Safety, published in the Federal Register on April 30, 2004.

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Dated: June 18, 2004.

Hilda Gay Legg,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-14323 Filed 6-23-04; 8:45 am]