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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1710Subpart F → §1710.250

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart F—Construction Work Plans and Related Studies

§1710.250   General.

(a) An ongoing, integrated planning system is needed by borrowers to determine their short-term and long-term needs for plant additions, improvements, replacements, and retirements. The primary components of the system consist of long-range engineering plans, construction work plans (CWPs), CWP amendments, and special engineering and cost studies. Long range engineering plans identify plant investments required over a period of 10-20 years or more. CWPs specify and document plant requirements for the short-term, usually 4 years, and special engineering and cost studies are used to support CWPs and to identify and document requirements for specific items or purposes, such as load management equipment, System Control and Data Acquisition equipment, sectionalizing investments, and additions of generation capacity and associated transmission plant.

(b) A long range engineering plan specifies and supports the major system additions, improvements, replacements, and retirements needed for an orderly transition from the existing system to the system required 10 or more years in the future. The planned future system should be based on the most technically and economically sound means of serving the borrower's long-range loads in a reliable and environmentally acceptable manner, and it should ensure that planned facilities will not become obsolete prematurely.

(c) A CWP shall include investment cost estimates and supporting engineering and cost studies to demonstrate the need for each proposed facility or activity and the reasonableness of the investment projections and the engineering assumptions used in sizing the facilities. The CWP must be consistent with the borrower's long range engineering plan and both documents must be consistent with the borrower's RUS-approved power requirements study.

(d) Applications for a loan or loan guarantee from RUS (new loans or budget reclassifications) must be supported by a current CWP approved by RUS. RUS approval of these plans relates only to the facilities, equipment, and other purposes to be financed by RUS, and means that the plans provide an adequate basis from a planning and engineering standpoint to support RUS financing. RUS approval of the plans does not mean that RUS approves of the facilities, equipment, or other purposes for which the borrower is not seeking RUS financing. If RUS disagrees with a borrower's estimate of the cost of one or more facilities for which RUS financing is sought, RUS may adjust the estimate after consulting with the borrower and explaining the reasons for the adjustment.

(e) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, to be eligible for RUS financing, the facilities, including equipment and other items, included in a CWP must be approved by RUS and receive Environmental Clearance before the start of construction. This requirement also applies to any amendments to a CWP required to add facilities to a CWP or to make significant physical changes in the facilities already included in a CWP. Provision for funding of “minor projects” under an RUS loan guarantee is permitted on the same basis as that discussed for insured loan funds in 7 CFR part 1721, Post-Loan Policies and Procedures for Insured Electric Loans.

(f) In the case of damage caused by storms and other natural catastrophes, a borrower may proceed with emergency repair work before a CWP or CWP amendment is prepared by the borrower and approved by RUS, without losing eligibility for RUS financing of the repairs. The borrower must notify the RUS regional office in writing after the natural catastrophe, of its preliminary estimates of damages and repair costs. Not later than 120 days after the natural catastrophe, the borrower must submit to RUS for approval, a CWP or CWP amendment detailing the repairs.

(g) A CWP may be amended or augmented when the borrower can demonstrate the need for the changes.

(h) A borrower's CWP or special engineering studies must be supported by the appropriate level of environmental review documentation, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970.

(i) All engineering activities required by this subpart must be performed by qualified engineers, who may be staff employees of the borrower or outside consultants. All engineering services must be reviewed by a licensed professional engineer.

(j) Upon written request from a borrower, RUS may waive in writing certain requirements with respect to long-range engineering plans and CWPs if RUS determines that such requirements impose a substantial burden on the borrower and that waiving the requirements will not significantly affect the accomplishment of the objectives of this subpart. For example, if a borrower's load is forecast to remain constant or decline during the planning period, RUS may waive those portions of the plans that relate to load growth.

[84 FR 32611, July 9, 2019]

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