USDA Public Input on New Water Infrastructure Farm Bill Provisions

USDA Rural Development is holding a listening session to hear comments on the 2014 Farm Bill provision that requires the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to encourage private financing of rural water and waste disposal facilities and how it impacts USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant programs. Included in Section 6019 of the Farm Bill, the requirement would:

• Maximize the use of loan guarantees to finance eligible projects in rural communities with populations in excess of 5,500;
• Maximize the use of direct loans to finance projects in cases where there would be a significant impact on rate payers when
compared to a loan guarantee;
• Establish and apply a definition of “material impact” to determine when to maximize loans;
• Require projects requiring over $500,000 in interim financing to seek private financing; and
• Determine whether a borrower can refinance with a private lender before RUS funding occurs.

For more information, please refer to the Request for Information (RFI) at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/10/2014-26612/project-financing-loans-grants-and-loan-guarantees (page 66692 of the November 10, 2014 Federal Register), or visit the USDA RUS website here. Written comments may be filed in paper or written format as directed in the RFI.

USDA hopes to hear your thoughts on the implementation of the new Farm Bill Section 6019 provisions affecting RUS funding of water and wastewater projects. This Listening Session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to address these additional funding options for rural water and waste water systems, which are designed to offer more immediate private investment in rural areas. The details are below.

Event: Public Input on New Water Infrastructure Farm Bill Provisions
Date: December 10, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Where: U.S. Department of Agriculture
South Building, Room 5141-South
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250

We can accommodate call-in attendees; please RSVP to receive the call-in number.
ENTRANCE: South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Wing 4. Please allow additional time to get through security.

Please RSVP by 5pm December 8, 2014. Please email your RSVP to WEPFarmBill@wdc.usda.gov. Please indicate in your RSVP if you require a call-in number.

Because of security procedures, we request that you check in with security at the 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Wing 4 entrance by 12:45 pm. Please present a valid form of identification. Street parking is very limited. The closest metro is Smithsonian Metro Station.

Information on the listening session is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDFarmBill.html

If you have any questions, please email WEPFarmBill@wdc.usda.gov