(a) Duties and functions of Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Energy over projects
(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), in the case of any financial assistance under this subchapter for a biomass energy project, the Secretary concerned shall be—
(A)the Secretary of Agriculture, in the case of any biomass energy project which will have an anticipated annual production capacity of less than 15,000,000 gallons of ethanol (or the energy equivalent of other forms of biomass energy) and which will use feedstocks other than aquatic plants; and
(B)the Secretary of Energy, in the case of any biomass energy project which will use aquatic plants as feedstocks or which will have an anticipated annual production capacity of 15,000,000 gallons or more of ethanol (or the energy equivalent of other forms of biomass energy).
(A)Either the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of Energy may be the Secretary concerned in the case of any biomass energy project which will have an anticipated annual production capacity of 15,000,000 gallons or more of ethanol (or the energy equivalent of other forms of biomass energy) and—
(i)which will use wood or wood wastes or residue, or
(ii)which is owned and operated by a cooperative and will use feedstocks other than aquatic plants.
(B)Financial assistance may not be provided by either Secretary under subparagraph (A) without the written concurrence of the other Secretary. Such concurrence shall be granted or denied by such Secretary in accordance with subparagraph (C) and on the same standards as that Secretary applies in making his own awards of financial assistance under this paragraph.
(i)In the case of a project described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary concerned shall provide the other Secretary a copy of the application and such supporting information as may be material, and shall provide the other Secretary at least 15 days to review the project. If during such 15-day period the reviewing Secretary provides written notification to the Secretary concerned specifying reasons why such project should not proceed, the Secretary concerned shall defer the final decision on the application for an additional 30 days. During such 30-day period, both Secretaries shall attempt to reach agreement regarding all issues raised in the written notice. Before the end of the 30-day period, the reviewing Secretary shall notify the Secretary concerned of his decision regarding concurrence. If the reviewing Secretary fails to provide such notice before the end of such period, concurrence shall be deemed to have been given.
(ii)The project applicant may reapply for financial assistance for such project, after making such modifications to the project as may be necessary to address issues raised by the reviewing Secretary in the original notice of objection. The subsequent review of such project by the reviewing Secretary shall be limited to the issues originally raised by the reviewing Secretary and any issues raised by changed circumstances.
(D)Both Secretaries may jointly act as the Secretary concerned in accordance with such procedures as the Secretaries may jointly prescribe, in which case—
(i)subparagraphs (B) and (C) and subsection (c) of this section shall not apply, and
(ii)the proportion of financial assistance provided by each Secretary shall be determined in accordance with the procedures jointly prescribed.
(b) Procedural requirements applicable
(1)Each Secretary shall take such action as may be necessary to assure that—
(A)guidelines for soliciting and receiving applications for financial assistance are established within 90 days after June 30, 1980;
(B)applications for financial assistance for biomass energy projects are initially solicited within 30 days after such guidelines are established;
(C)additional applications for financial assistance are solicited within 1 year after the date of the initial solicitation;
(D)any application is evaluated and a decision made on such application within 120 days after the receipt of the application, including review under subsections (a)(2)(C), (a)(2)(D), or (c) of this section; and
(E)all interested persons are provided the easiest possible access to the application process, including procedures which assure that—
(i)information concerning financial assistance from either Secretary is available through all appropriate offices of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy, and other regional and local offices of the Federal Government, as may be appropriate;
(ii)all such locations where such information is available will be able to accept and file applications, and will forward them to the Secretary concerned; and
(iii)the procedures established for accepting, evaluating, and awarding financial assistance will provide for categories of biomass energy projects, according to size and provide to the maximum extent practicable the simplest procedures for small producers.
(2)The procedural requirements of subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (1) shall not apply to either Secretary to the extent that the Secretary finds that other procedures are adopted for the solicitation, evaluation, and awarding of financial assistance which will result in applications being processed more expeditiously.
(c) Notice to and reviewing functions of other Secretary concerning application for financial assistance
(1)After evaluating any application and before awarding any financial assistance on the basis of that application, the Secretary concerned shall provide the other Secretary with—
(A)a copy of the application and such supporting material as may be appropriate, and
(B)an opportunity of not less than 15 days to review the application.
This subsection shall not apply in the case of a project subject to review under subsection (a)(2)(C) of this section.
(2)If the reviewing Secretary provides written notice specifying any issues regarding matters subject to the Secretary’s review to the Secretary concerned before the end of the 15-day review period, the Secretary concerned shall defer a final decision on the application for an additional 30 days to provide an opportunity for both Secretaries to answer and resolve such issues. At the expiration of the 30-day period, the Secretary concerned may make a final decision with respect to the application, using the best judgment of the Secretary concerned to resolve any remaining issues.
(3)Reviews of projects under the provisions of subsection (a)(2)(C) of this section or paragraph (1)(B) by the Secretary of Agriculture shall be for the purpose of considering the national, regional, and local agricultural policy impacts of such project on agricultural supply, production, and use, and reviews by the Secretary of Energy under such provisions shall be for the purpose of considering national energy policy impacts and the technical feasibility of the project.
(4)The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy may jointly establish categories of projects to which paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not apply. Within 90 days after June 30, 1980, the Secretaries shall identify potential categories and make an initial determination of exempted categories.
(d) Notification of applicant upon disapproval of application for financial assistance
If any application for financial assistance under this subchapter is disapproved, the applicant shall be provided written notice of the reasons for the disapproval.
(e) Implementation of functions assigned to Secretary of Agriculture by administrative entities within Department of Agriculture; issuance of regulations; coordination of functions by designated entities
(1)The functions assigned under this subchapter to the Secretary of Agriculture may be carried out by any of the administrative entities in the Department of Agriculture which the Secretary of Agriculture may designate. Within 30 days after June 30, 1980, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make such designations and notify the Congress of the administrative entity or entities so designated and the officials in such administrative entity or entities who are to be responsible for such functions.
(2)The Secretary of Agriculture may issue such regulations as are necessary to carry out functions assigned to the Secretary of Agriculture under this subchapter.
(3)The entities or entity designated under paragraph (1) shall coordinate the administration of functions assigned to it under this subsection with any other biomass energy programs within the Department of Agriculture established under other provisions of law.
(f) Implementation of functions assigned to Secretary of Energy by Office of Alcohol Fuels
The functions under this subchapter which are assigned to the Secretary of Energy and which relate to alcohol production shall be carried out by the Office of Alcohol Fuels.
(g) Energy equivalency determinations respecting biomass energy and ethanol
For purposes of this subchapter, the quantity of any biomass energy which is the energy equivalent to 15,000,000 gallons of ethanol shall be prescribed jointly by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy within 30 days after June 30, 1980.
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