7 CFR § 1780.1 - General.

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§ 1780.1 General.

(a) This part outlines the policies and procedures for making and processing direct loans and grants for water and waste projects. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) shall cooperate fully with State and local agencies in making loans and grants to assure maximum support to the State strategy for rural development. Agency officials and their staffs shall maintain coordination and liaison with State agency and substate planning districts.

(b) The income data used in this part to determine median household income must be that which most accurately reflects the income of the service area. The median household income of the service area and the nonmetropolitan median household income of the State will be determined from income data from 5-year income data from the American Community Survey (ACS) or, if needed, other Census Bureau data. If there is reason to believe that the ACS or other Census Bureau data does not accurately represent the median household income within the area to be served, the reasons will be documented and the applicant may furnish, or RD may obtain, additional information regarding such median household income data. Information must consist of reliable data from local, regional, State or Federal sources or from a survey conducted by a reliable impartial source. The nonmetropolitan median household income of the State may only be updated on a national basis by the RUS National Office. This will be done only when median household income data for the same year for all Bureau of the Census areas is available from the Bureau of the Census or other reliable sources. Bureau of the Census areas would include areas such as: Counties, County Subdivisions, Cities, Towns, Townships, Boroughs, and other places.

(c) RUS debt instruments will require an agreement that if at any time it shall appear to the Government that the borrower is able to refinance the amount of the indebtedness to the Government then outstanding, in whole or in part, by obtaining a loan for such purposes from responsible cooperative or private credit sources, at reasonable rates and terms for loans for similar purposes and periods of time, the borrower will, upon request of the Government, apply for and accept such loan in sufficient amount to repay the Government and will take all such actions as may be required in connection with such loan.

(d) Funds allocated for use under this part are also for the use of Indian tribes within the State, regardless of whether State development strategies include Indian reservations within the State's boundaries. Native Americans residing on such reservations must have equal opportunity to participate in the benefits of these programs as compared with other residents of the State. Such tribes might not be subject to State and local laws or jurisdiction. However, any requirements of this part that affect applicant eligibility, the adequacy of RUS's security, or the adequacy of service to users of the facility and all other requirements of this part must be met.

(e) RUS financial programs must be extended without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, age, or physical or mental handicap.

(f) Any processing or servicing activity conducted pursuant to this part involving authorized assistance to Agency employees, members of their families, known close relatives, or business or close personal associates, is subject to the provisions of subpart D of part 1900 of this title. Applicants for assistance are required to identify any known relationship or association with a RUS employee.

(g) Water and waste facilities will be designed, installed, and operated in accordance with applicable laws which include but are not limited to the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

(h) RUS financed facilities will be consistent with any current development plans of State, multijurisdictional areas, counties, or municipalities in which the proposed project is located.

(i) Each RUS financed facility will be in compliance with appropriate State or Federal agency regulations which have control of the appropriation, diversion, storage and use of water and disposal of excess water.

(j) Water and waste applicants must demonstrate that they possess the financial, technical, and managerial capability necessary to consistently comply with pertinent Federal and State laws and requirements. In developing water and waste systems, applicants must consider alternatives of ownership, system design, and the sharing of services.

(k) Applicants should be aware of and comply with other Federal statute requirements including but not limited to:

(1) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794 et seq.), no handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of their handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving RUS financial assistance;

(2) Civil Rights Act of 1964. All borrowers are subject to, and facilities must be operated in accordance with, title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.) and subpart E of part 1901 of this title, particularly as it relates to conducting and reporting of compliance reviews. Instruments of conveyance for loans and/or grants subject to the Act must contain the covenant required by § 1901.202(e) of this title;

(3) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government services, public transportation, public accommodations, facilities, and telecommunications. Title II of the Act applies to facilities operated by State and local public entities which provides services, programs and activities. Title III of the Act applies to facilities owned, leased, or operated by private entities which accommodate the public; and

(4) Age Discrimination Act of 1975. This Act (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) provides that no person in the United States shall on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

(l) Applicants for grant assistance will be required to comply with the following requirements as applicable:

(1) 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 400, ” Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”.

(2) 2 CFR part 415 - General Program Administrative Regulations.

(3) 2 CFR part 421-Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance).

(m) Applicants for loan or grant assistance will be required to comply with the following requirements as applicable:

(1) 2 CFR part 200, subpart F, “Audit Requirements.”

(2) 2 CFR part 180, as adopted by USDA through 2 CFR part 417, Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension, implementation of Executive Order 12549 and Executive Order 12689 on debarment and suspension.

(3) 2 CFR part 418, New Restrictions on Lobbying.

[62 FR 33478, June 19, 1997, as amended at 79 FR 76006, Dec. 19, 2014; 80 FR 9863, Feb. 24, 2015; 81 FR 7697, Feb. 16, 2016]

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