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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 5959 February 2, 2007.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Rural Utilities Service

Title: RUS Form 444, “Wholesale Power Contracts.”

OMB Control Number: 0572-0089.

Summary of Collection: The Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (RE Act) as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), authorizes the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make and guarantee loans that will enable rural consumers to obtain electric power. Rural consumers formed non-profit electric distribution cooperatives, groups of these distribution cooperatives banded together to form Generation and Transmission cooperatives (G&T's) that generate or purchase power and transmit the power to the distribution systems. All RUS and G&T borrowers will enter into a Wholesale Power Contract with their distribution members by using RUS Form 444.

Need and Use of the Information: To fulfill the purposes of the RE Act RUS will collect information to improve the credit quality and credit worthiness of loans and loan guarantees to G&T borrowers. RUS works closely with lending institutions that provide supplemental loan funds to borrowers.

Description of Respondents: Not-for profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 33.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Quarterly.

Total Burden Hours: 198.

Rural Utility Service

Title: Water and Waste Disposal Programs Guaranteed Loans.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0122.

Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is authorized by Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1926) to make loans to public agencies, nonprofit corporations, and Indian tribes for the development of water and waste disposal facilities primarily servicing rural residents. The Waste and Water Disposal Programs (WW) of RUS provide insured loan and grant funds through the WW program to finance many types of projects varying in size and complexity. The Waste and Water Disposal Guaranteed Program is implemented through 7 CFR 1779. The guaranteed loan program encourages lender participation and provides specific guidance in the processing and servicing of guaranteed WW loans.

Need and Use of the Information: Rural Development's field offices will collect information from applicants/borrowers, lenders, and consultants to determine eligibility, project feasibility and to ensure borrowers operate on a sound basis and use loan funds for authorized purposes. There are agency forms required as well as other requirements that involve certifications from the borrower, lenders, and other parties. Failure to collect proper information could result in improper determinations of eligibility, improper use of funds and or unsound loans.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

Number of Respondents: 15.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 858.

Rural Utilities Service

Title: Technical Assistance Program, 7 CFR part 1775.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0112.

Summary of Collection: Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), 7 U.S.C. 1926, authorizes Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to make loans and grants to public agencies, American Indian tribes, and nonprofit corporations. The loans and grants fund the development of drinking water, wastewater, and solid waste disposal facilities in rural areas with populations of up to 10,000 residents. Nonprofit organizations receive Technical Assistance and Training (TAT) and Solid Waste Management (SWM) grants to help small rural communities or areas identify and solve problems relating to community drinking water, wastewater, or solid waste disposal systems. The technical assistance is intended to improve the management and operation of the systems and reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources. TAT and SWM are competitive grant programs administered by RUS.

Need and Use of the Information: Nonprofit organizations applying for TAT and SWM grants must submit a pre-application, which includes an application form, narrative proposal, various other forms, certifications and supplemental information. RUS will Start Printed Page 5960collect information to determine applicant eligibility, project feasibility, and the applicant's ability to meet the grant and regulatory requirements. RUS will review the information, evaluate it, and, if the applicant and project are eligible for further competition, invite the applicant to submit a formal application. Failure to collect proper information could result in improper determinations of eligibility, improper use of funds, or hindrances in making grants authorized by the TAT and SWM program.

Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents: 118.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Quarterly.

Total Burden Hours: 5,556.

Start Signature

Charlene Parker,

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-2091 Filed 2-7-07; 8:45 am]