Section .0100 – General Provisions

Link to law: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title 04 - commerce/chapter 08 - rural electrification authority/chapter 08 rules.html
Published: 2015

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CHAPTER 08 – RURAL ELECRIFICATION AUTHORITY

 

SECTION .0100 – GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

04 NCAC 08 .0101             PURPOSE

(a)  The purpose of the North Carolina Rural Electrification

Authority ("the Authority") is to secure and continue to provide

dependable electric and telephone services to customers served by the electric

membership corporations ("EMCs") and the telephone membership

corporations ("TMCs") in predominately rural areas of the state at

the lowest possible cost and on a nondiscriminatory basis, as set forth in G.S.

117-16.1.  To accomplish this purpose, the Authority shall act as an agent in

securing loans or grants from any agency of the United States Government.  The

Authority also serves as a forum to receive and investigate complaints from

members of the electric cooperatives to arrive at a just and satisfactory

solution to the member complaints.

(b)  The Authority, pursuant to the Telecommunications Act

of 1996, Pub. LA. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996) ("the Act") shall

establish procedural schedules for Petitions for Arbitration of interconnection

agreements between TMCs and other local and wireless providers.  The Authority

shall render final decisions for these arbitrations based on information

received from testimony, discovery and hearings.  The Authority shall review

and approve the interconnection agreements and their amendments in accordance

with Section 252(e) of the Telecommunications Act.

(c)  The Board of the Authority shall choose a Secretary,

who is also the Administrator of the Authority.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑2; 117-2(11a);

117-3.1; 117-4; 117-26; 117-31; 117-32; 47 U.S.C. 251;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

04 NCAC 08 .0102             ADDRESS OF THE

AUTHORITY

(a)  The office of the Authority is located in Raleigh,

North Carolina at 120 Penmarc Drive, Suite 104 and the mailing address is 4321

Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4321.

(b)  The website address for the Authority is www.ncrea.net.

(c)  All correspondence shall be addressed to the attention

of the Administrator or to the Chairman of the Authority. The office is open to

the public Monday through Friday during the normal business hours of 8:00 a.m.

to 5:00 p.m. and is closed on all state holidays.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-1;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0103             RURAL ELECTRIFICATION AUTHORITY

CREATED

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑1;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0104             TERM OF OFFICE

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑1;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0105             ORGANIZATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑4;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0106             COMPENSATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑5; 138‑5;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0107             MEETINGS

(a)  The Authority shall not meet more than 12 times per

year.  The meetings will be held at the office, offsite, or via conference

call.

(b)  The Administrator shall send a notice of the date and

location of the meeting to all Authority Board members, cooperatives and

interested parties, which include the telephone coalition, the North Carolina

Electric Membership Corporation, and members of the USDA, four weeks prior to

the meeting.

(c)  Anyone with a matter to present to the Board shall

ensure the Authority receives all pertinent documents three weeks prior to the

meeting where the matter will be presented to the Board.

(d)  A copy of public documents maintained by this office is

available to the general public at actual cost.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-4; 117-5; 150B-19(5)b;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0108             NOTIFICATION OF MEETINGS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-5;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0109             DUTIES OF THE ADMINISTRATOR

The Administrator is responsible for directing the staff of

the Authority and overseeing the functions of the office.

(1)           The Administrator shall oversee the application of

the electric and telephone cooperatives rules and regulations to ensure they

are administered according to the manner in which they are written.

(2)           The Administrator shall investigate and respond to

complaints such as requests for deposits, meter tampering disputes, boundary

issues, disputed bills and power surges from EMC members and shall request any

additional information from the cooperative needed by the Authority to respond

to the complaints.

(3)           The Administrator may attend any annual meeting or

Board meeting of an individual electric or telephone cooperative.

(4)           The Administrator shall review all Federal grant or

loan applications from electric and telephone cooperatives, request any

additional information needed for those applications, and present the grant and

loan requests to the Board for review and approval.

(5)           The Administrator is responsible for reviewing

interconnection agreements and amendments between the TMCs and competing local

providers (CLPs) and commercial mobile radio service providers (CMRS) as

defined in 47 U.S.C 252 in accordance with Section 252(e) of the Act and

present those documents to the Board of the authority for approval.

(6)           In situations where the Authority is requested to

arbitrate an interconnection agreement pursuant to Section 252(b)(1) of the Act

or pursuant to a valid contractual agreement between a TMC and another

telecommunications carrier, the Administrator is responsible for reviewing the

petitions for arbitration.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(10); 117-2(11a);

117-2(12); 117-3.1(a); 117-26; 117-31; 117-32; 47 U.S.C 252;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0110             CORRESPONDENCE AND COMMUNICATION

04 NCAC 08 .0111             BOARD PROCEEDINGS

04 NCAC 08 .0112             MEMBER VISITATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

SECTION .0200 ‑ ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATIONS

 

04 NCAC 08 .0201             DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Section, the following definitions

apply:

(1)           "Domestic corporation" means an electric

membership corporation granted privilege by the State of North Carolina under

Chapter 117 of the General Statutes to render its service to its members only

in the territory assigned to it by the Authority.

(2)           "Domesticated corporation" means a foreign

electric membership corporation created under G.S. 117 in the State of North

Carolina to serve members within a defined area whose main charter is in

another state.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2; 117-9; 117-28;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0202             LOAN APPLICATIONS AND CATEGORIES

(a)  All EMCs, both domestic and domesticated, shall

petition the Authority to apply for any funds in the form of grants or loans issued

from any agency of the United States Government for use in the State.  The EMC

shall send all loan documents to the Administrator three weeks prior to the

Board meeting in accordance with Rule .0107 of this Chapter.

(b)  Domesticated corporations shall include only the funds

for use in this State in its petition for the loan or grant.

(c)  A checklist for Rural Utility Service (RUS) loans and

Rural Economic Development Loans and Grants (REDLG) may be found on the

Authority's website.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-26; 117-28;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0203             LOAN CATEGORIES

04 NCAC 08 .0204             DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR LOAN

APPLICATIONS

04 NCAC 08 .0205             PRESENTATION OF DOCUMENTS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(10); 117-2(11);

117-26;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0206             OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS

The EMCs shall provide the following information to the

Authority:

(1)           A copy of the Financial and Statistical Report (RUS

Form 7) and Annual Supplement to Financial and Statistical Report (RUS Form 7a)

for periods ending December 31 and June 30 of each year. These forms can be

found on the USDA's website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UEP_Support_DCS.html

and can be accessed free of charge.

(2)           A copy of the EMC's current operating rules and

regulations.  EMCs shall file copies of revised rules and regulations within 30

days of revision.

(3)           A copy of the current EMC bylaws.  Changes to the

bylaws must be filed within 30 days of the revision.

(4)           A copy of the current EMC rate schedules.  Changes

to the rate schedules must be filed within 30 days of the revision.

(5)           An annual data sheet showing growth trends in miles

of line, facilities and consumers served.

(6)           Each EMC is required to provide a current operating

budget report to the Authority at the time of a loan application.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(12); 117-26;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0207             OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS

04 NCAC 08 .0208             BYLAWS

04 NCAC 08 .0209             RATE SCHEDULES

04 NCAC 08 .0210             COMPLAINTS

04 NCAC 08 .0211             DATA SHEETS FOR PROGRESS REPORTS

04 NCAC 08 .0212             OPERATING BUDGET

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11); 117-2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

SECTION .0300 ‑ TELEPHONE MEMBERSHIP CORPORATIONS

 

04 NCAC 08 .0301             DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Section, the following definitions

apply:

(1)           "Commercial Mobile Radio Service Provider

(CMRS)" means a carrier whose wireless network is connected to the public

switched telephone network.

(2)           "Competing Local Provider (CLP)" means a

telephone company that competes with the already established local telephone

company by providing its own network and switching.

(3)           "Domestic corporation" means a telephone

membership corporation (TMC) established in the State by G.S. 117 to render its

services to its members only in the territory assigned to it by the Authority.

(4)           "Domesticated corporation" means a

foreign TMC created under G.S. 117 to serve members within a defined area in

the State whose main charter is in another state.

(5)           "Interconnection Agreement" means the

negotiation of agreements and subsequent amendments between requesting telecommunications

carriers (such as CLPs or CMRS providers) and TMCs for interconnection services

or network elements pursuant to Section 251 of the Act.

(6)           "Tariff" means a schedule of charges

imposed on members of the TMC by the TMCs.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(12); 117-28; 47 CFR

20.3; 47 U.S.C. 251; 47 U.S.C. 252;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0302             LOAN APPLICATIONS

(a)  All TMCs shall petition the Authority to apply for any

funds in the form of grants or loans issued from any agency of the United

States government for use in the State.

(b)  The TMC shall send all loan documents to the

Administrator three weeks prior to the Board meeting in accordance with Rule

.0107 of this Chapter.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0303             LOAN CATEGORIES

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0304             LOAN APPLICATIONS and categories

A checklist for applications made pursuant to Rule .0302 of

this Section for Rural Utility Service (RUS) loans and Rural Economic

Development Loans and Grants (REDLG) may be found on the Authority's website.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-32;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015;

Amended Eff. November 1, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0305             PRESENTATION OF DOCUMENTS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0306             required disclosures

The TMCs shall provide the following information to the

Authority:

(1)           A copy of the Financial and Statistical Report for

Telephone Borrowers (RUS Form 479), the Annual Supplement to the December 31

Financial and Statistical Report (RUS Form 479a) and Employment Data (RUS Form

15).  These forms can be found on the USDA's website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UEP_Support_DCS.html

and can be accessed at no charge. This information shall be provided to the

Authority by December 31st and June 30th of each year and

is used when reviewing loan and grant requests.

(2)           A copy of the current TMC bylaws.  Changes to the

bylaws must be filed within 30 days of the revision.

(3)           A copy of the current TMC tariffs.  Changes to the

tariffs must be filed within 30 days of the revision.

(4)           Each TMC shall provide all negotiated

interconnection agreements and their amendments to the Authority for review and

approval in accordance with 47 U.S.C. 252.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11); 117-31; 47

U.S.C. 252;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0307             OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS

04 NCAC 08 .0308             BYLAWS

04 NCAC 08 .0309             TARIFFS

04 NCAC 08 .0310             COMPLAINTS

04 NCAC 08 .0311             DATA SHEETS FOR PROGRESS REPORTS

04 NCAC 08 .0312             OPERATING BUDGET

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(11); 117-2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. March 1, 2014.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0313             ARBITRATION POLICIES

The Authority shall arbitrate any interconnection disputes

between a TMC and other telecommunications carriers as described in Section 252

of the 1996 Telecommunications Act ("the Act").  This Rule sets forth

the procedures for that process.

(1)           When the Authority is requested to arbitrate an

interconnection agreement pursuant to Section 252(b)(1) of the Act or pursuant

to a valid contractual agreement between a North Carolina cooperative and

another telecommunication carrier, the petitioning party shall provide the

Authority with the information required under Section 252(b)(2) of the Act and

the non-petitioning party shall have the opportunity to respond in the

timeframe set forth in Section 252(b)(3).

(2)           The Authority shall send each party a list of

approved arbitrators.  The parties shall have 15 days to review the list,

strike names they object to, rank the remaining names in the order of preference

and return the list to the Authority.  The Authority shall then select the

arbitrator agreed to by the parties.  If the parties do not agree on the

selection, the Authority shall select an arbitrator of its choosing from the

list.

(3)           The parties seeking the arbitration shall be held

accountable for any financial obligations, and each shall be responsible for an

equal portion of the arbitrator fee, regardless of the outcome of the

recommendation submitted to the Authority.  The fee shall be paid directly to

the arbitrator.

(4)           At the request of any party, or at the discretion

of the arbitrator, the arbitrator may:

(a)           schedule a preliminary hearing with the

parties or its representatives;

(b)           direct the production of documents and other

information and the identification of any witnesses to be called at the

hearing; or

(c)           order the parties to attend a formal

arbitration hearing.

(5)           The parties shall respond to requests for hearing

dates by the deadline established by the Authority or the arbitrator, be

cooperative in scheduling the earliest practical hearing date, and adhere to

the established hearing schedule.  The arbitrator shall send a notice of

hearing to the parties at least 20 calendar days in advance of the hearing

date, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.  At least five business days

prior to the arbitration hearing, the parties shall exchange copies of all

exhibits each party intends to submit at the hearing.

(6)           The arbitrator shall conclude the resolution of any

unresolved issues no later than nine months following the date on which the

request for arbitration was originally received by the Authority.

(7)           The petitioning party shall present evidence to

support its petition.  The non-petitioning party shall then present evidence in

response.  The arbitrator has the discretion to vary this procedure, but each

party shall have the right to be heard and be given an opportunity to present his

or her case.

(8)           The arbitrator shall make a decision on the issues

presented for arbitration that contains applicable findings of fact and

conclusions of law and forward this recommended decision to the Authority.

(9)           The Authority shall consider the decision of the

arbitrator to be a recommendation.  The Authority shall make the final decision

in any arbitration hearing and may order additional written or oral testimony

from the parties in order to render the decision. The Authority may accept the

recommended decision from the arbitrator as its final decision, amend the

recommended decision, or reject the recommended decision and render its own

independent decision.

(10)         In accordance with 47 U.S.C. 252, a resolution of

any unresolved issues shall be reached not later than nine months following the

date on which the request for arbitration was originally received by the

Authority.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-31; 47 U.S.C. 252;

Eff. June 1, 2014.

 

SECTION .0400 ‑ PETITIONS: HEARINGS: TEMPORARY RULES:

DECLARATORY RULINGS: CONTESTED CASES

 

04 NCAC 08 .0401             PETITIONS FOR RULE-MAKING HEARINGS

(a)  Any person wishing to submit a petition requesting the

adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule by the Authority shall address the

petition to: Administrator, North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority,

4321 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4321.

(b)  The petition shall contain the following information:

(1)           a draft of the proposed rule;

(2)           effect on the existing rules and practices;

(3)           the name(s) and address(es) of

petitioner(s); and

(4)           the date.

(c)  The Authority shall determine within 120 days of

submission whether the public interest will be served by granting the request. 

The Authority will consider all the contents of the submitted petition, plus

any additional information it deems relevant.

(d)  If the decision is to deny the petition, the

Administrator shall notify the petitioner in writing, stating the reasons

therefor.  If the decision is to grant the petition, the Authority shall

initiate a rule-making proceeding as required by G.S. 150B.

(e)  Upon a determination to hold a rule-making proceeding,

either in response to a petition or otherwise, the Authority shall follow the

procedures in G.S. 150B.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(12); 150B-20;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive

public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0402             RULE‑MAKING HEARINGS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0403             TEMPORARY RULES

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).

 

 

 

04 NCAC 08 .0404             DECLARATORY RULINGS

(a)  Any person aggrieved by a statute administered by a

rule of the Authority may request a declaratory ruling for the following

reasons:

(1)           to determine the validity of a rule;

(2)           to determine the applicability to a given

set of facts of a statute, rule or order administered by the agency; or

(3)           to resolve a conflict or inconsistency

within the agency regarding interpretation of a law of rule adopted by the

agency.

(b)  All requests for declaratory rulings shall be written

and mailed to: Administrator, North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority,

4321 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-4321.

(c)  All requests for a declaratory ruling must include the

following information:

(1)           the name and address of petitioner;

(2)           the statute, rule or order to which the

petition relates;

(3)           the concise statement of the manner in

which petitioner is aggrieved by the statute, rule or order or its potential

application to him or her;

(4)           a statement of whether an oral hearing is

desired, and if so the reasons for such an oral hearing; and

(5)           the date.

(d)  The Authority shall respond to a request for a

declaratory ruling as follows:

(1)           within 30 days of receipt of the request

for a declaratory ruling, the Authority shall make a written decision to grant

or deny the request.  If the Authority fails to make a written decision to

grant or deny the request within 30 days, the failure shall be deemed a

decision to deny the request.

(2)           If the Authority denies the request, the

decision is immediately subject to judicial review in accordance with Article 4

of this Chapter.

(3)           If the Authority grants the request, the

Authority shall issue a written ruling on the merits within 45 days of the

decision to grant the request.  A declaratory ruling is subject to judicial

review in accordance with Article 4 of G.S. 150B.

(4)           If the Authority fails to issue a

declaratory ruling within 45 days, the failure shall be deemed a denial on the

merits and the person aggrieved may seek judicial review pursuant to Article 4

of G.S. 150B. Upon review of the Authority's failure to issue a declaratory

ruling, the court shall not consider any basis for the denial that was not

presented in writing to the person aggrieved.

(e)  The Board shall refuse to issue a declaratory ruling

under the following circumstances:

(1)           when the Board has already made a

controlling decision on substantially similar facts in a contested case;

(2)           when the facts underlying the request for a

ruling were specifically considered at the time of the adoption of the rule in

question; or

(3)           when the subject matter of the request is

involved in pending litigation in North Carolina.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117-2(12); 150B-4;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. March 1, 2014;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without

substantive public interest Eff. May 23, 2015.

 

04 NCAC 08 .0405             CONTESTED CASES

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 117‑2(12);

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Repealed Eff. July 16, 1988 in accordance with G.S. 150B‑59(c).