U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 16, 2024

§ 4279.202 - Definitions and abbreviations.

Terms used in this subpart are defined in this section. Terms used in this subpart that have the same meaning as the terms defined in this section have been capitalized in this subpart.

Administrator. The Administrator of Rural Business-Cooperative Service within the Rural Development mission area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Advanced biofuel. Fuel derived from Renewable Biomass, other than corn kernel starch, to include:

(1) Biofuel derived from cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin;

(2) Biofuel derived from sugar and starch (other than ethanol derived from corn kernel starch);

(3) Biofuel derived from waste material, including crop residue, other vegetative waste material, animal waste, food waste, and yard waste;

(4) Diesel-equivalent fuel derived from Renewable Biomass, including vegetable oil and animal fat;

(5) Biogas (including landfill gas and sewage waste treatment gas) produced through the conversion of organic matter from Renewable Biomass;

(6) Butanol or other alcohols produced through the conversion of organic matter from Renewable Biomass; and

(7) Other fuel derived from cellulosic biomass.

Affiliate. An entity that is related to another entity by owning shares or having an interest in the entity, by common ownership, or by any means of control.

Agency. The Rural Business-Cooperative Service or successor Agency assigned by the Secretary of Agriculture to administer the Program. References to the National or State Office should be read as prefaced by “Agency” or “Rural Development” as applicable.

Agricultural producer. An individual or entity directly engaged in the production of agricultural products, including crops (including farming); livestock (including ranching); forestry products; hydroponics; nursery stock; or aquaculture, whereby 50 percent or greater of their gross income is derived from the operations.

Annual renewal fee. A fee that is paid once a year by the Lender and is required to maintain the enforceability of the Loan Note Guarantee.

Arm's length transaction. A transaction between ready, willing, and able disinterested parties that are not affiliated with or related to each other and have no security, monetary, or stockholder interest in each other.

Assignment Guarantee Agreement. Form RD 4279-6, “Assignment Guarantee Agreement,” is the signed agreement between the Agency, the Lender, and the Holder containing the terms and conditions of an assignment of a guaranteed portion of a loan, using the single Promissory Note system.

Association of Agricultural Producers. An organization that represents Agricultural Producers and whose mission includes working on behalf of such producers and the majority of whose membership and board of directors is comprised of Agricultural Producers.

BAP. Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program.

Biobased product. A product determined by the Secretary to be a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is either:

(1) Composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products, including renewable domestic agricultural materials and forestry materials; or

(2) An intermediate ingredient or feedstock.

Biobased product manufacturing. The use of Technologically New Commercial-Scale processing and manufacturing equipment and required facilities to convert Renewable Chemicals and other biobased outputs of Biorefineries into end-user products on a Commercial Scale.

Biofuel. A fuel derived from Renewable Biomass.

Biogas. Renewable Biomass converted to gaseous fuel.

Biorefinery. A facility (including equipment and processes) that converts Renewable biomass or an intermediate ingredient or feedstock of Renewable biomass into any one or more, or a combination, of Biofuels, Renewable chemicals or Biobased products, and may produce electricity.

Bond. A form of debt security in which the authorized issuer (Borrower) owes the Bond holder (Lender) a debt and is obligated to repay the principal and Interest (coupon) at a later date(s) (maturity). An explanation of the type of Bond and other Bond stipulations must be attached to the Bond issuance.

Borrower. The Person that borrows, or seeks to borrow, money from the Lender, including any party liable for the loan except for guarantors.

Byproduct. An incidental or secondary product generated under normal operations of the proposed Project that can be reasonably measured and monitored other than: Advanced Biofuel, Program-eligible Biobased Products including Renewable Chemicals, and Program-eligible end-user products produced by Biobased Product Manufacturing facilities. Byproducts may or may not have a readily identifiable commercial use or value.

Calendar quarter. Four three-month periods in each calendar year as follows:

(1) Quarter 1 begins on January 1 and ends on March 31;

(2) Quarter 2 begins on April 1 and ends on June 30;

(3) Quarter 3 begins on July 1 and ends on September 30; and

(4) Quarter 4 begins on October 1 and ends on December 31.

Collateral. The asset(s) pledged by the Borrower to secure the loan.

Commercial-scale (commercial scale). An operation is considered to be a Commercial-Scale operation if it demonstrates that its sole or chief emphasis is on salability and profit and:

(1) Its revenue will be sufficient to recover the full cost of the Project over its expected life and result in an anticipated annual rate of return sufficient to encourage investors or Lenders to provide funding for the Project;

(2) It will be able to operate profitably without public and private sector subsidies upon completion of construction (volumetric excise tax is not included as a subsidy);

(3) Contracts for feedstock are adequate to address proposed off-take; and

(4) It has the ability to achieve market entry, suitable infrastructure to transport product to its market is available, and the technology and related products are generally competitive in the market.

Conditional Commitment. Form RD 4279-3, “Conditional Commitment,” is the Agency's notice to the Lender that the loan guarantee it has requested is approved subject to the completion of all conditions and requirements set forth by the Agency and outlined in the attachment to the Conditional Commitment.

Conflict of interest. A situation in which a Person has competing personal, professional, or financial interests that prevents the Person from acting impartially.

Default. The condition that exists when a Borrower is not in compliance with the Promissory Note, the Loan Agreement, security documents, or other documents evidencing the loan. Default could be a monetary or non-monetary Default.

Deficiency judgment. A monetary judgment rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction after foreclosure and liquidation of all Collateral securing the loan.

Delinquency. A loan for which a scheduled loan payment is more than 30 days past due and cannot be cured within 30 days.

Eligible project costs. Those expenses approved by the Agency for the Project as set forth in § 4279.210(d) and do not include the costs set forth in § 4279.210(e).

Eligible technology. The term “Eligible technology” means, as determined by the Secretary:

(1) A technology that is being adopted in a viable Commercial-scale operation of a Biorefinery that produces any one or more, or a combination, of an Advanced biofuel; a Renewable chemical; or a Biobased product; and

(2) A technology not described in paragraph (1) of this definition that has been demonstrated to have technical and economic potential for commercial application in a Biorefinery that produces any one or more, or a combination, of an Advanced biofuel, a Renewable chemical or a Biobased product.

Fair market value. The price that could reasonably be expected for an asset in an Arm's-Length Transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller under ordinary economic and business conditions.

Farm cooperative. A business owned and controlled by Agricultural Producers that is incorporated, or otherwise recognized by the State in which it operates, as a cooperatively-operated business.

Farmer Cooperative Organization. An organization whose membership is composed of Farm Cooperatives.

Feasibility study. An analysis by an independent qualified consultant or consultants of the economic, market, technical, financial, and management feasibility of a proposed Project or business in terms of its expectation for success.

Federal debt. Debt owed to the Federal government that is subject to collection under the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq. Once the Agency determines a debt is Federal Debt and provides notice to the Lender, that Federal Debt is excluded from Future Recovery.

Future recovery. Funds anticipated to be collected by the Lender after a final loss claim is processed.

Good cause. A justification representing a reasonable approach given:

(1) The reasonably available alternatives;

(2) All known relevant factors;

(3) Program requirements; and

(4) The best interests of the government. Good cause must be approved by the Agency. Without prior approval by the Agency, alternatives that require the Agency to increase its guarantee, in either the Conditional Commitment or Loan Note Guarantee (including an increase of its subsidy costs under the Credit Reform Act of 1990), or provide additional assistance, will not be considered reasonable available alternatives under paragraph (1) of this definition or in the best interests of the government under paragraph (4) of this definition.

Grossly negligent loan origination. A serious carelessness in originating the loan which is so great as to appear to be conscious. The term includes not only the concept of a failure to act, but also not acting in a timely manner.

Grossly negligent loan servicing. A serious carelessness in servicing the loan which is so great as to appear to be conscious. The term includes not only the concept of a failure to act, but also not acting in a timely manner.

Guaranteed Loan Report of Loss. Form RD 449-30, “Guaranteed Loan Report of Loss,” used by Lenders when reporting a financial loss under an Agency guarantee.

Holder. A Person, other than the Lender, who owns all or part of the guaranteed portion of the loan with no servicing responsibilities.

Immediate family(ies). Individuals who live in the same household or who are closely related by blood, marriage, or adoption, such as a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin.

Indian tribe. This term has the meaning as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b.

In-house expenses. Expenses associated with activities that are routinely the responsibility of a Lender's internal staff or its agents. In-house expenses include, but are not limited to, employees' salaries, staff lawyers, travel, and overhead.

Institution of higher education. This term has the meaning as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1002(a).

Interest. A fee paid by a Borrower to a Lender as a form of compensation for the use of money. When money is borrowed, Interest is typically paid as a fee over a certain period of time (typically months or years) to the Lender as percentage of the principal amount owed. The term Interest does not include Default or penalty Interest or late payment fees or charges.

Interest Termination Date. The date on which no further interest will be payable under the Loan Note Guarantee.

(1) If the Lender owns all or a portion of the guaranteed interest in the guaranteed loan or makes a Protective Advance, then the Loan Note Guarantee will not cover Interest to the Lender accruing after 90 days from the most recent Delinquency effective date as reported by the Lender.

(2) If the guaranteed loan has a Holder(s), the Lender, or the Agency, at its sole discretion, will issue an interest termination letter to the Holder(s) establishing the termination date for Interest accrual. The Loan Note Guarantee will not cover Interest to the Holder(s) accruing after the greater of:

(i) 90 days from the date of the most recent Delinquency effective date as reported by the Lender or

(ii) 30 days from the date of the interest termination letter.

Lender. The entity approved, or seeking to be approved, by the Agency to make, service, and collect the Agency guaranteed loan that is subject to this subpart.

Lender's Agreement. Form RD 4279-4, “Lender's Agreement,” or predecessor form, between the Agency and the Lender setting forth the Lender's loan responsibilities.

Liquidation expenses. Costs directly associated with the liquidation of Collateral, including preparing Collateral for sale (e.g., repairs and transport) and conducting the sale (e.g., advertising, public notices, auctioneer expenses, and foreclosure fees). Liquidation Expenses do not include In-House Expenses. Legal/attorney fees are considered Liquidation Expenses provided that the fees are reasonable, as determined by the Agency, and cover legal issues pertaining to the liquidation that could not be properly handled by the Lender and its in-house counsel.

Loan agreement. The agreement between the Borrower and Lender containing the terms and conditions of the loan and the responsibilities of the Borrower and Lender.

Loan classification. The process by which loans are examined and categorized by degree of potential loss in the event of Default.

Loan Note Guarantee. Form RD 4279-5, “Loan Note Guarantee,” or predecessor form, issued and executed by the Agency containing the terms and conditions of the guarantee.

Loan packager. A Person, other than the applicant Borrower or Lender, that prepares a loan application package.

Loan service provider. A Person, other than the Lender of record, that provides loan servicing activities to the Lender.

Local government. A county, municipality, town, township, village, or other unit of general government below the State level, or Indian Tribe governments.

Local owner. An individual who owns any portion of an eligible Biorefinery and whose primary residence is located within a certain distance from the Biorefinery as specified by the Agency in a Notice published in the Federal Register.

Market value. The amount for which a property will sell for its highest and best use at a voluntary sale in an Arm's Length Transaction.

Material adverse change. Any change in circumstance associated with a guaranteed loan, including the Borrower's financial condition or Collateral that could be reasonably expected to jeopardize loan performance.

NAD. National Appeals Division, or successor agency, in the United States Department of Agriculture.

Negligent Loan Origination. The failure to perform those actions which a reasonably prudent lender would perform in originating its own portfolio of loans that are not guaranteed. The term includes not only the concept of a failure to act but also acting in a manner contrary to the manner in which a reasonably prudent lender would act.

Negligent Loan Servicing. The failure to perform those services which a reasonably prudent lender would perform in servicing (including liquidation of) its own portfolio of loans that are not guaranteed. The term includes not only the concept of a failure to act, but also not acting in a timely manner, or acting in a manner contrary to the manner in which a reasonably prudent lender would act.

Off-take agreement. The terms and conditions governing the sale and transportation of Biofuels, Biobased Products including Renewable Chemicals, Biobased Product Manufacturing end-user products, and electricity produced by the Borrower to another party.

Parity. A lien position whereby two or more Lenders share a security interest of equal priority in Collateral.

Participate. Sale of an interest in a loan by the lead Lender to one or more Lenders wherein the lead Lender retains the Promissory Note, Collateral securing the Promissory Note, and all responsibility for managing and servicing the loan. Participants are dependent upon the lead Lender for protection of their interests in the loan.

Person. An individual or entity.

Program. Biorefinery Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program often abbreviated as BAP.

Project. The facility or portion of a facility receiving funding under this subpart.

Pro rata. On a proportional basis.

Promissory note. Evidence of debt with stipulated repayment terms. “Note” or “Promissory Note” shall also be construed to include “Bond” or other evidence of debt, where appropriate.

Protective advance. An advance made by the Lender for the purpose of preserving and protecting the Collateral where the Borrower has failed to, and will not or cannot, meet its obligations to protect or preserve Collateral. Protective advances include, but are not limited to, advances affecting the Collateral made for property taxes, rent, hazard and flood insurance premiums, and annual assessments. Legal/attorney fees are not a Protective Advance. Holders do not have an interest in Protective Advances.

Public body. A municipality, county, or other political subdivision of a State; a special purpose district; or an Indian Tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other Federally-recognized Indian Tribe; or an organization controlled by any of the above. A Local Government would also be a Public Body.

Renewable biomass. (1) Materials, pre-commercial thinnings, or invasive species from National Forest System land or public lands (as defined in section 103 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702)) that:

(i) Are byproducts of preventive treatments that are removed to reduce hazardous fuels; to reduce or contain disease or insect infestation; or to restore ecosystem health;

(ii) Would not otherwise be used for higher-value products; and

(iii) Are harvested in accordance with applicable law and land management plans and the requirements for old-growth maintenance, restoration, and management direction of paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (e) of section 102 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6512) and large-tree retention of subsection (f) of section 102; or

(2) Any organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis from non-Federal land or land belonging to an Indian or Indian Tribe that is held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, including:

(i) Renewable plant material, including feed grains; other agricultural commodities; other plants and trees; and algae; and

(ii) Waste material, including crop residue; other vegetative waste material (including wood waste and wood residues); animal waste and byproducts (including fats, oils, greases, and manure); and food waste and yard waste.

Renewable chemical. A monomer, polymer, plastic, formulated product, or chemical substance produced from Renewable Biomass.

Retrofitting. The modification of a building or equipment to incorporate functions not included in the original design.

Rural Development. The mission area of USDA that is comprised of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, and Rural Utilities Service and is under the policy direction and operational oversight of the Under Secretary for Rural Development.

Rural or rural area. As described in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A), (D), (H) and (I).

Secretary. The Secretary of the Department of the Agriculture.

Semi-work scale. A facility operating on a limited scale to provide final tests of a product or process.

Spreadsheet. A table containing data from a series of financial statements of a business over a period of time. Financial statement analysis normally contains Spreadsheets for balance sheet and income statement items and includes a cash flow analysis and commonly used ratios. The Spreadsheets enable a reviewer to easily scan the data, spot trends, and make comparisons.

State. Any of the 50 States of the U.S., the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Subordination. The reduction of the Lender's lien priority on certain assets pledged to secure payment of the guaranteed loan to a position junior to, or on Parity with, the lien position of another loan in order for the Borrower to obtain additional financing, not guaranteed by the Agency, from the Lender or a third party.

Technologically New. New or significantly improved equipment, process or production method to deliver a product, or adoption of equipment, process or production method to deliver a new or significantly improved product, of which the first Commercial-Scale use in the United States is within the last five years and is used in not more than three Commercial-Scale facilities in the United States.

Total project costs. The sum of all costs associated with a completed Project.

Transfer and assumption. The conveyance by a Borrower to an assuming Borrower of the assets, Collateral, and liabilities of the loan in return for the assuming Borrower's binding promise to pay the outstanding loan debt approved by the Agency.

USDA Lender Interactive Network Connection (LINC). The portal Web site currently at https://usdalinc.sc.egov.usda.gov/ used by Lenders to update loan data in the Agency's Guaranteed Loan System. Current capabilities include loan closing and status reporting.

Well capitalized. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) requirements used to determine if a lending institution has enough capital on hand to withstand negative effects in the market, and which the Agency uses to determine Lender eligibility. The criteria are specified in the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and are currently at 12 CFR 325.103, or subsequent regulation.

Working capital. Current assets available to support a business's operations. Working Capital is calculated as current assets less current liabilities.

[80 FR 36425, June 24, 2015, as amended at 85 FR 29595, May 18, 2020; 87 FR 38644, June 29, 2022]