Federal Register Vol. 80, No.102,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 102 (May 28, 2015)

Page Range30327-30604
FR Document

80_FR_102
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 30331 - Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Risk of Nuclear Proliferation Created by the Accumulation of a Large Volume of Weapons-Usable Fissile Material in the Territory of the Russian FederationPDF
80 FR 30329 - Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 30327 - National Hurricane Preparedness Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 30432 - Double-Crested Cormorant Management Plan To Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary Final Environmental Impact Statement; Record of DecisionPDF
80 FR 30389 - Special Conditions: Pratt and Whitney Canada, PW210A; Flat 30-Second and 2-Minute One Engine Inoperative RatingPDF
80 FR 30545 - Advisory Group to the Internal Revenue Service Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE); MeetingPDF
80 FR 30544 - Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grant Program; Availability of 2016 Grant Application Package; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 30542 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Notice 2015-XXPDF
80 FR 30541 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8931PDF
80 FR 30543 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 30452 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Hot Mix Asphalt Facilities (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 30453 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 30544 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 30501 - Combined License Application for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7PDF
80 FR 30455 - Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; RFS2 Voluntary RIN Quality Assurance ProgramPDF
80 FR 30333 - Final Affordability Determination-Energy Efficiency Standards; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 30438 - Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Rescission of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2014PDF
80 FR 30434 - Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.; Subzone 29F (Automotive Battery Management Systems); Harrodsburg, KentuckyPDF
80 FR 30538 - Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Renewal of Annual Report for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline SystemsPDF
80 FR 30465 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30497 - Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach (ACVETEO)PDF
80 FR 30482 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Flood Insurance Program Call Center and Agent Referral Enrollment FormPDF
80 FR 30539 - National Freight Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 30476 - West Virginia; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 30481 - West Virginia; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 30481 - Connecticut; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 30480 - West Virginia; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 30480 - Kentucky; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 30459 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 30352 - Removal of Obsolete RegulationsPDF
80 FR 30479 - Kentucky; Amendment No. 2 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 30481 - Georgia; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 30477 - Changes in Flood Hazard DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 30525 - Privacy Act; System of Records: Official Gift Records and Gift Donor Vetting Records, State-80PDF
80 FR 30527 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 30527 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “The Holocaust” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 30502 - Amendment to Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 30473 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30472 - National Institute on Drug Abuse; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30472 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30487 - Call For Nominations and Comments for the 2015 National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Oil and Gas Lease SalePDF
80 FR 30458 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 30457 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 30447 - Secretary of Energy Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 30447 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PaducahPDF
80 FR 30461 - Federal Procurement Data System Product Service Code Manual UpdatePDF
80 FR 30457 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30541 - Additional Designations, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation ActPDF
80 FR 30451 - Cumberland System of ProjectsPDF
80 FR 30497 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 30487 - Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
80 FR 30440 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30492 - Levi Strauss & Company Eugene, Oregon; Notice of Negative Determination on ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 30490 - Pixel Playground, Inc., Woodland Hills, California; Notice of Revised Determination on ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 30490 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 30489 - Avery Dennison, Retail Branding and Information Solutions (Rbis) Division, Including On-Site Leased Workers of Adecco, Lenior, North Carolina; Leased Workers of Manpower and Zero Chaos, Working On-Site at Avery Dennison, Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) Division, Lenior, North Carolina; Notice of Revised Determination on ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 30490 - A Schulman, Inc. Including Workers Whose Wages Are Reported Under Ferro Corp. Stryker, Ohio; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 30492 - Hewlett-Packard Co. HP Enterprise Group Americas Supply Chain Houston Manufacturing Including On-Site Leased Workers From Advantage Technical Resourcing, Bucher and Christian Consulting, Inc., CBSI LLC, Manpower, National Employment Service, Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc., and Staff Management (a Subsidiary of Seaton, LLC) Houston, Texas; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 30488 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 30493 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; YouthBuild Reporting SystemPDF
80 FR 30441 - Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem RatesPDF
80 FR 30539 - Proposed Information Collections; Comment Request (No. 53)PDF
80 FR 30379 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies SpecificationsPDF
80 FR 30367 - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan RegulationsPDF
80 FR 30441 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30528 - Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 30528 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
80 FR 30527 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
80 FR 30448 - Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725G); Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30451 - Southern Company Services, Inc.; KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company; The Empire District Electric Company; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 30450 - Town of Stuyvesant, New York; Albany Engineering Corporation; Notice of Teleconference To Discuss Article 301 Extension of Time Request and Notice Soliciting Comments, Protests, or Motions To Intervene on Article 301 Extension of Time RequestPDF
80 FR 30485 - Receipt of an Incidental Take Permit Application for Participation in the Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan for the American Burying Beetle in OklahomaPDF
80 FR 30391 - Airworthiness Directives; Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 30463 - NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings: Proposed Additions to the NIOSH Hazardous Drug List 2016; Request for CommentPDF
80 FR 30529 - Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: State Commercial Driver's License Program PlanPDF
80 FR 30532 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection; Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle OperatorsPDF
80 FR 30466 - Radiation Biodosimetry Devices; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 30470 - Integrated Food Safety System Online Collaboration DevelopmentPDF
80 FR 30353 - Medical Devices; Gastroenterology-Urology Devices; Classification of the Vibrator for Climax Control of Premature EjaculationPDF
80 FR 30435 - PDF
80 FR 30383 - Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid AssetsPDF
80 FR 30483 - Habitat Conservation Plan for the Morro Shoulderband Snail; Kroll Parcel, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 30467 - Pediatric Studies of Meropenem Conducted in Accordance With the Public Health Service Act; Availability of Summary Report and Requested Labeling ChangesPDF
80 FR 30529 - Notice to Rescind Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement: Polk County, IAPDF
80 FR 30495 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Notification of Methane Detected in Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mine AtmospheresPDF
80 FR 30494 - Proposed Information Collection; Underground RetortsPDF
80 FR 30494 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal MinesPDF
80 FR 30439 - Request for Information Regarding Online Platforms To Promote Federal Science and Technology Facilities, Products, and ServicesPDF
80 FR 30485 - Proposed Collection of Information Collection: Tribal Evaluation of Indian Trust Programs Compacted by TribesPDF
80 FR 30519 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Appointment Process Utilized by the ExchangePDF
80 FR 30511 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Appointment Process Utilized by the ExchangePDF
80 FR 30508 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade the Shares of the Tuttle Tactical Management Multi-Strategy Income ETF of ETFis Series Trust IPDF
80 FR 30505 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Clarify That Participants Are Required To Participate in Operational Testing by DTC, Including Testing of DTC's Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery PlansPDF
80 FR 30506 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Delay Implementation of Rule 15.2APDF
80 FR 30514 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rules Related to Order TicketsPDF
80 FR 30503 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Regarding Audit Trail Retention RequirementsPDF
80 FR 30511 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Penny Pilot Options Fees and RebatesPDF
80 FR 30519 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of the SPDR SSgA Global Managed Volatility ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600PDF
80 FR 30517 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
80 FR 30487 - Saccharin From ChinaPDF
80 FR 30488 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
80 FR 30355 - Ratemaking Procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet ContractsPDF
80 FR 30399 - Proposed Priority-Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality AssurancePDF
80 FR 30333 - Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting ProceduresPDF
80 FR 30499 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review; Reinstatement of a Previously Approved Collection; Comment Request; Loans in Areas Having Special Flood HazardsPDF
80 FR 30431 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30432 - Dow AgroSciences LLC: Availability of a Preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Draft Environmental Assessment, Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact, and Preliminary Determination of Nonregulated Status for Cotton Genetically Engineered for Resistance to 2,4-D and GlufosinatePDF
80 FR 30394 - Changes to the Application Requirements for Authorization to Operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum AirspacePDF
80 FR 30498 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; for Reinstatement, With Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; Notice of Change of Officials and Senior Executive Officers FormsPDF
80 FR 30431 - Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 30360 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Harvey, LAPDF
80 FR 30404 - Partial Approval and Disapproval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revision to the State Implementation Plan Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Revocation of the PM10PDF
80 FR 30476 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 30464 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 30462 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 30336 - Federal Home Loan Bank Community Support Program-Administrative AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 30475 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30472 - National Eye Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30475 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 30471 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 30473 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30473 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30475 - National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 30475 - National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 30454 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Inorganic Arsenic Emissions From Glass Manufacturing Plants (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 30454 - Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Requirements for Generators, Transporters, and Waste Management Facilities Under the RCRA Hazardous Waste Manifest System (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 30539 - Advisory Board; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 30446 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Pell Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites InitiativePDF
80 FR 30536 - Agency Request for Emergency Processing of Collection of Information by the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 30364 - Systems for Telephonic Notification of Unsafe Conditions at Highway-Rail and Pathway Grade CrossingsPDF
80 FR 30534 - Emergency Order Under 49 U.S.C. 20104 Establishing Requirements for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation To Control Passenger Train Speeds at Certain Locations Along the Northeast CorridorPDF
80 FR 30465 - M7 Assessment and Control of DNA Reactive (Mutagenic) Impurities in Pharmaceuticals to Limit Potential Carcinogenic Risk; International Conference on Harmonisation; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 30440 - Endangered Species; File No. 18136PDF
80 FR 30468 - Molecular Characterization of Multiple Myeloma Black/African Ancestry DisparityPDF
80 FR 30459 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 30537 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MARTHA R; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 30347 - Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca S.A. Turboshaft EnginesPDF
80 FR 30345 - Airworthiness Directives; Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines (Type Certificate Previously Held by Textron Lycoming Division, AVCO Corporation)PDF
80 FR 30361 - Safety Zone; Loading and Outbound Transit of TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, Savannah River; Savannah, GAPDF
80 FR 30574 - Guidance for Executive Order 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces”PDF
80 FR 30548 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay and Safe WorkplacesPDF
80 FR 30416 - Amendments to the HUD Acquisition Regulation (HUDAR)PDF
80 FR 30349 - Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Seats France (Formerly Sicma Aero Seat) Passenger Seat AssembliesPDF

Issue

80 102 Thursday, May 28, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30431 2015-12813 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30431-30432 2015-12818
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30539-30541 2015-12873 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dow AgroSciences LLC; Cotton Genetically Engineered for Resistance to 2,4-D and Glufosinate, 30432-30434 2015-12817 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Double-crested Cormorant Management Plan to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary, 30432 2015-13000 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30462-30465 2015-12808 2015-12809 Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings; Proposed Additions, 30463-30464 2015-12857 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30465 2015-12924 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Harvey, LA., 30360-30361 2015-12812 Safety Zones: Loading and Outbound Transit of TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, Savannah River, Savannah, GA, 30361-30364 2015-12637 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department RULES Ratemaking Procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet Contracts, 30355-30360 2015-12825 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30441 2015-12868 Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates, 30441-30446 2015-12874 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria: Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance, 30399-30403 2015-12824 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Evaluation of the Pell Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative, 30446-30447 2015-12777 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Determinations on Reconsideration: Avery Dennison, Lenoir, NC, et al., 30489-30490 2015-12881 Levi Strauss and Co., Eugene, OR, 30492-30493 2015-12884 Pixel Playground, Inc., Woodland Hills, CA, 30490 2015-12883 Worker Adjustment and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance; Determinations, 30490-30492 2015-12882 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Amended Certifications: A Schulman, Inc., Stryker, OH, 30490 2015-12880 Hewlett-Packard Co., HP Enterprise Group, Americas Supply Chain Houston Manufacturing, Houston, TX, 30492 2015-12879 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Investigations, 30488-30489 2015-12878 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

See

Southeastern Power Administration

NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah, KY; Correction, 30447 2015-12892 Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 30447-30448 2015-12893
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Nebraska; Revision to the State Implementation Plan Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Revocation of the PM10 Annual Standard and Adoption of the 24 Hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 30404-30416 2015-12811 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: NESHAP for Inorganic Arsenic Emissions from Glass Manufacturing Plants, 30454 2015-12792 NESHAP for Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production, 30453-30454 2015-12943 NSPS for Hot Mix Asphalt Facilities, 30452-30453 2015-12945 Requirements for Generators, Transporters, and Waste Management Facilities under the RCRA Hazardous Waste Manifest System, 30454-30455 2015-12791 RFS2 Voluntary RIN Quality Assurance Program, 30455-30457 2015-12934 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30457 2015-12890 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting Procedures, 30333-30336 2015-12823 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Final Affordability Determinations: Energy Efficiency Standards; Correction, 30333 2015-12931 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines (Type Certificate Previously Held by Textron Lycoming Division, AVCO Corporation), 30345-30347 2015-12651 Turbomeca S.A. Turboshaft Engines, 30347-30349 2015-12654 Zodiac Seats France (formerly Sicma Aero Seat) Passenger Seat Assemblies, 30349-30352 2015-11392 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airplanes, 30391-30394 2015-12859 Changes to the Application Requirements for Authorization to Operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace, 30394-30399 2015-12816 Special Conditions: Pratt and Whitney Canada, PW210A; Flat 30-second and 2-minute One Engine Inoperative Rating, 30389-30391 2015-12986 NOTICES Meetings: Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, 30528 2015-12866 Petition for Exemption; Summaries, 30527-30529 2015-12864 2015-12865 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30457-30459 2015-12894 2015-12895 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Flood Insurance Program Call Center and Agent Referral Enrollment Form, 30482-30483 2015-12922 Flood Hazard Determinations; Changes, 30477-30479 2015-12911 Major Disaster Declarations: Connecticut; Amendment 1, 30481 2015-12918 Georgia; Amendment 1, 30481-30482 2015-12912 Kentucky, 30480 2015-12916 Kentucky; Amendment 2, 30479-30480 2015-12913 West Virginia, 30476-30477, 30481 2015-12919 2015-12920 West Virginia; Amendment 2, 30480 2015-12917 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30448-30449 2015-12863 Complaints: Southern Co. Services, Inc., et al., v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 30451 2015-12862 Meetings: Town of Stuyvesant, NY; Albany Engineering Corp.; Teleconferences, Hydroelectric Proceedings, 30450 2015-12861 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Polk County, IA, 30529 2015-12846 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Federal Home Loan Bank Community Support Program; Administrative Amendments, 30336-30345 2015-12807 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 30459 2015-12915 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Commercial Driver's License Program Plan, 30529-30532 2015-12856 Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators, 30532-30534 2015-12855 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration RULES Systems for Telephonic Notification of Unsafe Conditions at Highway-Rail and Pathway Grade Crossings, 30364-30367 2015-12775 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30536-30537 2015-12776 Emergency Orders: Requirements for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation to Control Passenger Train Speeds at Certain Locations Along the Northeast Corridor, 30534-30536 2015-12774 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets, 30383-30389 2015-12850 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30459-30461 2015-12738 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Habitat Conservation Plans: Morro Shoulderband Snail; Kroll Parcel, Community of Los Osos, San Luis Obispo County, CA, 30483-30485 2015-12849 Permit Applications: American Burying Beetle in Oklahoma; Oil and Gas Industry Conservation Plan, 30485 2015-12860 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Gastroenterology-Urology Devices; Classification of the Vibrator for Climax Control of Premature Ejaculation, 30353-30355 2015-12852 NOTICES Funding Availability: Integrated Food Safety System Online Collaboration Development, 30470-30471 2015-12853 Molecular Characterization of Multiple Myeloma Black/African Ancestry Disparity, 30468-30469 2015-12742 Guidance for Industry and Food and Staff: Radiation Biodosimetry Devices, 30466-30467 2015-12854 Guidance for Industry and Staff: M7 Assessment and Control of DNA Reactive (Mutagenic) Impurities in Pharmaceuticals to Limit Potential Carcinogenic Risk, 30465-30466 2015-12752 Pediatric Studies of Meropenem Conducted in Accordance with the Public Health Service Act, 30467-30468 2015-12848 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 30541 2015-12889 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., Subzone 29F, Harrodsburg, KY, 30434-30435 2015-12927 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulations: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, 30548-30572 2015-12560 NOTICES Federal Procurement Data System Product Service Code Manual Update, 30461-30462 2015-12891 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Amendments to the HUD Acquisition Regulation, 30416-30430 2015-12275 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Modification of Temporary Denial Order to Add Additional Respondents, 30435-30438 2015-12851 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Tribal Evaluation of Indian Trust Programs Compacted by Tribes, 30485-30486 2015-12838
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30541-30544 2015-12940 2015-12947 2015-12949 2015-12951 2015-12952 Funding Availability: Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grant Program; Grant Application Package; Correction, 30544 2015-12953 Meetings: Advisory Group to the Internal Revenue Service Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, 30545 2015-12954 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China, 30438-30439 2015-12930 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Saccharin from China, 30487 2015-12827 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act, 30487-30488 2015-12886 Proposed Consent Decree under CERCLA, 30488 2015-12826 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

See

Veterans Employment and Training Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: YouthBuild Reporting System, 30493-30494 2015-12875 Guidance: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, 30574-30604 2015-12562
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES 2015 National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Oil and Gas Lease Sale, 30487 2015-12896 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MARTHA R, 30537-30538 2015-12730 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Notification of Methane Detected in Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mine Atmospheres, 30495-30497 2015-12842 Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines, 30494-30495 2015-12840 Underground Retorts, 30494 2015-12841 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration RULES Removal of Obsolete Regulations, 30352-30353 2015-12914 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 30497-30498 2015-12887 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Change of Officials and Senior Executive Officers Forms, 30498-30499 2015-12814 Loans in Areas Having Special Flood Hazards, 30499-30501 2015-12821 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Online Platforms to Promote Federal Science and Technology Facilities, Products, and Services, 30439-30440 2015-12839 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 30473-30475 2015-12795 National Cancer Institute, 30475-30476 2015-12800 National Eye Institute, 30472 2015-12799 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 30476 2015-12810 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 30475 2015-12794 National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 30475 2015-12793 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 30472-30473 2015-12898 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 30473 2015-12796 National Institute on Aging, 30471, 30475 2015-12797 2015-12798 National Institute on Drug Abuse, 30472-30473 2015-12899 2015-12900 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications, 30379-30382 2015-12871 Takes of Marine Mammals: Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, 30367-30379 2015-12869 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30440 2015-12885 Permits: Endangered Species; File No. 18136, 30440 2015-12744 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Combined License Application for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7, 30501-30502 2015-12935 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Report for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems, 30538-30539 2015-12925 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Postal Products; Amendments, 30502-30503 2015-12906 2015-12907 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Hurricane Preparedness Week (Proc. 9286), 30327-30328 2015-13051 Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day (Proc. 9287), 30329-30330 2015-13053 EXECUTIVE ORDERS Russian Federation, Weapons-Usable Fissile Material; Termination of National Emergency (EO 13695), 30331 2015-13055 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Final Affordability Determinations: Energy Efficiency Standards; Correction, 30333 2015-12931 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Final Affordability Determinations: Energy Efficiency Standards; Correction, 30333 2015-12931 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Final Affordability Determinations: Energy Efficiency Standards; Correction, 30333 2015-12931 Saint Lawrence Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Board, 30539 2015-12782 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: CBOE Futures Exchange, LLC, 30503-30505 2015-12831 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 30506-30508, 30514-30519 2015-12828 2015-12832 2015-12833 Depository Trust Co., 30505-30506 2015-12834 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 30511-30514 2015-12830 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 30508-30511 2015-12835 NYSE Arca, Inc., 30511, 30519-30525 2015-12829 2015-12836 NYSE MKT LLC, 30519 2015-12837 Southeastern Southeastern Power Administration NOTICES Cumberland System of Projects, 30451-30452 2015-12888 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael, 30527 2015-12909 The Holocaust, 30527 2015-12908 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 30525-30526 2015-12910 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

NOTICES Charter Renewals: National Freight Advisory Committee, 30539 2015-12921
Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veterans Employment Veterans Employment and Training Service NOTICES Charter Renewals: Advisory Committee on Veterans' Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach, 30497 2015-12923 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II General Services Administration, 30548-30572 2015-12560 Part III Labor Department, 30574-30604 2015-12562 Reader Aids

Consult the Reader Aids section at the end of this page for phone numbers, online resources, finding aids, reminders, and notice of recently enacted public laws.

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents LISTSERV electronic mailing list, go to http://listserv.access.thefederalregister.org and select Online mailing list archives, FEDREGTOC-L, Join or leave the list (or change settings); then follow the instructions.

80 102 Thursday, May 28, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 1924 RIN 0575-ZA00 Final Affordability Determination—Energy Efficiency Standards; Correction AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

ACTION:

Notice of final determination; correction.

SUMMARY:

On May 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), published a joint notice of final determination regarding adoption of the 2009 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for single family homes and the 2007 edition of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1 for multifamily buildings. A clerical error in production resulted in the wrong CFR attribution for USDA in the document's heading. This correction carries the proper CFR citation in its heading.

DATES:

This correction is effective May 28, 2015, and applicable beginning May 6, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Meghan Walsh, Rural Housing Service, Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 6900-S, Washington, DC 20250; telephone number 202-205-9590 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On May 6, 2015, at 80 FR 25901, USDA and HUD published a joint notice of final determination. A clerical error in production caused the document to publish with USDA's CFR citation in the heading as “7 CFR Chapter 0,” and no agencies were assigned to that chapter. As represented in the heading of this correction, the correct USDA agencies and CFR citation are Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency and 7 CFR part 1924.

Dated: May 22, 2015. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: May 22, 2015. Alexis M. Taylor, Acting Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-12931 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 611 RIN 3052-AC85 Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting Procedures AGENCY:

Farm Credit Administration.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, Agency or our) amends FCA's regulations to clarify and enhance Farm Credit System (Farm Credit or System) bank and association stockholder voting procedures for tabulating votes, the use of tellers committees, and other items as identified.

DATES:

Effective Date: The regulation will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register during which either one or both Houses of Congress are in session. We will publish a notice of the effective date in the Federal Register.

Compliance Date: All provisions of this regulation require compliance on or before January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas R. Risdal, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA, (703) 883-4257, TTY (703) 883-4056; or Nancy Tunis, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4061, TTY (703) 883-4056.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Objectives

The primary objective of this rule is to clarify § 611.340 of our regulations regarding confidentiality and security in stockholder voting procedures and facilitate their safe and sound implementation by System institutions. Specifically, this final rule clarifies that:

• A System bank or association may use a tellers committee to tabulate ballots and still maintain confidentiality and security of the voting process; and

• A small number of administrative employees of a bank or association may assist a tellers committee in verifying a stockholder's eligibility to vote.

II. Background

The Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Act),1 authorizes the FCA to issue regulations implementing the Act's provisions.2 Our regulations are intended to ensure the safe and sound operation of System institutions. In order to fulfill our responsibility to maintain the safety and soundness of System institutions and safeguard stockholders' right to a secret ballot, the FCA's regulations provide that banks and associations must ensure the confidentiality and security of stockholder voting, while maintaining cooperative principles.3

1 Public Law 92-181, 85 Stat. 583 (1971), 12 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.

2 Section 5.17(a)(9) of the Act authorizes the FCA to prescribe rules and regulations necessary or appropriate for carrying out the Act.

3 Section 4.20 of the Act requires that “[i]n any election or merger vote, or other proceeding subject to a vote of the stockholders . . . the institution (1) may not use signed ballots; and (2) shall implement measures to safeguard the voting process for the protection of the right of stockholders . . . to a secret ballot.”

Section 611.340 of the FCA's regulations requires that the board of directors of each System bank and association adopt policies and procedures to ensure the confidentiality and security of all records and materials related to a stockholder vote including, but not limited to, ballots, proxy ballots, and other related materials. Also, this section requires that System bank and association policies and procedures ensure that ballots and proxy ballots are provided only to stockholders who are eligible to vote as of the record date set for the stockholder vote. Banks and associations must ensure the confidentiality of all information and materials regarding how or whether an individual stockholder has voted, including protecting the information from disclosure to anyone, except vote tabulators and the FCA.

III. Comments and Our Responses

The comment period for the proposed rule closed on December 15, 2014. We received three comment letters on our proposed rule: One letter from the Farm Credit Council (Council) on behalf of its members; one letter from a Farm Credit bank; and one letter from a Farm Credit association. One commenter supported the proposed rule and two commenters supported the proposed rule with suggested changes and/or clarifications. After careful consideration of the comments, the proposed rule is finalized as proposed with the exception of a clarification in § 611.340(a)(4), discussed below in Section B.

A. Persons Allowed To Perform Certain Roles

The Farm Credit bank commented that because we had clearly prohibited employees, directors, director-nominees and nominating committee members from serving as members of the tellers committee, we should clarify that these same categories of people are prohibited from serving as members of an independent third party vote tabulator. While we agree that such categories of persons would not be allowed to participate as an independent third party vote tabulator, we do not believe that such language needs to be included in the regulation, as it is inherent in the generally understood concept of an “independent” third party. We believe it is clear that under no circumstance could an employee, director, director-nominee or member of the nominating committee of an institution ever fall within a reasonable interpretation of “independent.” As an example, one dictionary definition defines “independent,” in part, as: “(1) Not subject to control by others: Self-governing; (2) not affiliated with a larger controlling unit. . . .” 4 This definition is used as an illustrative example only, but confirms that categories of individuals such as those highlighted by the Farm Credit bank would not, under any reasonable interpretation, fall within the commonly understood meaning of “independent.” So, while we do not believe it is necessary to specifically include this in the regulation text, we invite any System bank or association with questions regarding whether an independent third party vote tabulator is truly independent to contact the Agency to discuss any specific instance on which the institution seeks guidance.

4http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/independent.

The Farm Credit bank also commented that it was unclear whether the administrative employees who may assist the tellers committee are allowed to be stockholders as well. We agree that an employee who happens to also be a stockholder could effectively perform the administrative duties of voter eligibility verification so long as there is no particular conflict of interest in that employee's ability to serve in that role.

In the proposed rule preamble, we clarified certain limitations on these employees such as that they could not be part of management or principally involved in the loan-making, pricing or servicing functions of the institution. We did not state that the administrative employees could not be stockholders and, since the tellers committee is made up entirely of stockholders, it would seem counter-intuitive that there would be such a prohibition on the administrative support staff of the tellers committee. We agree with the commenter that there is no reason to prohibit employee-stockholders from serving as the administrative support for the tellers committee, but have concluded clarifying language is not needed in the regulation text since no such prohibition exists in the current language.

The Farm Credit association commenter took issue with the limitation imposed on the administrative employees assisting the tellers committee in that they cannot be part of the institution's management. The association stated that “[t]his language would prohibit the Association's corporate secretary (who in some institutions is a member of the Association's leadership team) from being involved in and insuring that the duties and responsibilities of the tellers committee are accurately performed.” The association asked that we amend the regulation text to specifically carve out an exception for the corporate secretary to serve as one of the administrative employees allowed to assist the tellers committee with voter eligibility verification.

The function of the corporate secretary contemplated by the commenter, such as “insuring that the duties and responsibilities of the tellers committee are accurately performed” is not the intended purpose behind allowing a small number of administrative staff to assist the tellers committee with voter eligibility verification. The assistance provided by the limited number of administrative employees is to perform certain ministerial tasks involved in voter eligibility verification, such as checking the name or identity code of a voter on an outer envelope of a ballot to confirm that the voter is an eligible voting stockholder. However, the institution could include in its policies and procedures that the corporate secretary, for example, is responsible for training the tellers committee's members and designated administrative staff on their appropriate roles. Alternatively, the corporate secretary could be responsible for reviewing the institution's policies and procedures for compliance with the regulation. In order to promote the goal of a confidential voting process free of undue influence, we believe that the administrative employees assisting the tellers committee with voter eligibility verification should not be members of an institution's management or leadership team. As such, we did not make the requested change to carve out an exception for the corporate secretary to perform this role.

B. List of Eligible Voting Stockholders

The Farm Credit bank commented that the proposed rule may result in the list of eligible voting stockholders as of the voting record date to be submitted multiple times to different individuals or groups during the election process. The proposed rule stated that a list of eligible voting stockholders as of the voting record date must be provided to either the tellers committee or the independent third party, whichever group will be tabulating the vote, in order for the group to determine the validity of the votes cast. In the event that a tellers committee tabulates the votes and decides to utilize the services of a small number of administrative employees to assist with voter eligibility verification, it would be the tellers committee's responsibility to provide the list to those administrative employees. The proposed regulation did not contemplate that the list would be given by the institution directly to the administrative employees. The proposed rule simply gave the tellers committee the option to use a small number of administrative employees from the institution to assist the members in performing their duties.

The commenter further suggested that we clarify that the voter eligibility verification process can be performed in advance of the tellers committee's tabulation and certification. The proposed regulation text provided that if a tellers committee is used, verification of voter eligibility must be done separate and apart from the opening and tabulating of the actual ballots. However, we agree with the commenter that we should clarify that the separate verification can be performed in advance of the actual vote tabulation. As such, we have added language to the regulation text at § 611.340(a)(4) to clarify that verification of voter eligibility may be done in advance of the vote tabulation any time after the list of eligible voting stockholders has been provided to the tellers committee.

C. Signatures

The Farm Credit bank suggested that the regulation be modified to specifically state that, like identity codes, signatures can be used as part of the authentication process, as long as the signatures are separate from the ballot to maintain voter confidentiality. It is our understanding that this is a common practice amongst institutions. However, there is no need for this to be specifically stated in the regulation text because the regulation has always required, and continues to require, System institutions to adopt policies and procedures that ensure “that all information and materials regarding how or whether an individual stockholder has voted remain[s] confidential . . .” and the regulation has also always prohibited the use of signed ballots. If institutions wish to adopt policies and procedures regarding the use of signatures on outer envelopes (not the ballot itself), so that the prohibition on signed ballots is not violated, it is certainly within an institution's prerogative to do so. However, we believe it is best left to each individual institution to create its own policies and procedures that meet all of the requirements of this regulation regarding confidentiality and security in voting.

D. Confidentiality Certification

The Farm Credit bank expressed support for the confidentiality certification contained in new § 611.340(c). However, the bank commented that the certification may prohibit communication with stockholders about their own ballot or voting process. The certification requirement previously applied only to independent third party vote tabulators. We concluded that this requirement should be extended to any individual involved in tabulating votes or verification of voter eligibility. The certification reinforces the significance of the regulation, which requires that all information regarding how or whether an individual stockholder has voted remains confidential. The importance of the confidentiality provision and accompanying certification is to ensure that members of the tellers committee and employees assisting the tellers committee do not disclose how or whether a stockholder has voted in order to preserve the stockholder's secret ballot. If a stockholder initiated contact with a tellers committee member, or administrative employee assisting the tellers committee, the confidentiality certification would not prohibit that individual from responding to the stockholder on a question about that stockholder's own ballot. It would, however, prohibit responding to a question from the stockholder about any other stockholder's ballot.

E. General Support

The Council supported the proposed changes to the regulation. Specifically, the Council commented that the changes would clarify a System institution's option to utilize a tellers committee in the tabulation of votes. The Council also commented that appropriate safeguards were included in the regulation to allow for administrative employees to assist the tellers committee.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the FCA hereby certifies that the final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Each of the banks in the Farm Credit System, considered together with its affiliated associations, has assets and annual income in excess of the amounts that would qualify them as small entities. Therefore, Farm Credit System institutions are not “small entities” as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 611

Agriculture, Banks, Banking, Rural areas.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 611 of chapter VI, title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 611—ORGANIZATION 1. The authority citation for part 611 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.12, 1.13, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.10, 2.11, 2.12, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.21, 4.3A, 4.12, 4.12A, 4.15, 4.20, 4.21, 4.25, 4.26, 4.27, 4.28A, 5.9, 5.17, 5.25, 7.0-7.13, 8.5(e) of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2002, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2020, 2021, 2071, 2072, 2073, 2091, 2092, 2093, 2121, 2122, 2123, 2124, 2128, 2129, 2130, 2142, 2154a, 2183, 2184, 2203, 2208, 2209, 2211, 2212, 2213, 2214, 2243, 2252, 2261, 2279a-2279f-1, 2279aa-5(e)); secs. 411 and 412 of Public Law 100-233, 101 Stat. 1568, 1638; sec. 414 of Public Law 100-399, 102 Stat. 989, 1004.

2. Section 611.340 is revised to read as follows:
§ 611.340 Confidentiality and security in voting.

(a) Each Farm Credit bank and association's board of directors must adopt policies and procedures that:

(1) Ensure the security of all records and materials related to a stockholder vote including, but not limited to, ballots, proxy ballots, and other related materials.

(2) Ensure that ballots and proxy ballots are provided only to stockholders who are eligible to vote as of the record date set for the stockholder vote.

(3) Provide for the establishment of a tellers committee or an independent third party who will be responsible for validating ballots and proxies and tabulating voting results. A tellers committee may only consist of voting stockholders who are not employees, directors, director-nominees, or members of that election cycle's nominating committee.

(4) Ensure that a list of eligible voting stockholders (or identity codes of eligible voting stockholders) as of the voting record date is provided to the tellers committee or independent third party that will be tabulating the vote to ensure the validity of the votes cast. A small number of specifically authorized administrative employees of the institution may assist the tellers committee in such verifications, provided the institution implements procedures to ensure the confidentiality and security of the information made available to the employees. If an institution is using a tellers committee, verification of voter eligibility must be done separate and apart from the opening and tabulating of the actual ballots and may be done in advance of the vote tabulation, any time after the list of eligible voting stockholders has been provided to the tellers committee.

(5) Ensure that all information and materials regarding how or whether an individual stockholder has voted remain confidential, including protecting the information from disclosure to the institution's directors, stockholders, or employees, or any other person except:

(i) A duly appointed tellers committee;

(ii) A small number of specifically authorized administrative employees assisting the tellers committee by validating stockholders' eligibility to vote;

(iii) An independent third party tabulating the vote; or

(iv) The Farm Credit Administration.

(b) No Farm Credit bank or association may use signed ballots in stockholder votes. A bank or association may use balloting procedures, such as an identity code, that can be used to identify whether an individual stockholder is eligible to vote or has previously submitted a vote. In weighted voting, the votes must be tabulated by an independent third party.

(c) An independent third party or each member of the tellers committee that tabulates the votes, and any administrative employees assisting the tellers committee in verifying stockholder eligibility to vote, must sign a certificate declaring that such party, member, or employee will not disclose to any person (including the institution, its directors, stockholders, or employees) any information about how or whether an individual stockholder has voted, except that the information must be disclosed to the Farm Credit Administration, if requested.

(d) Once a Farm Credit bank or association receives a ballot, the vote of that stockholder is final, except that a stockholder may withdraw a proxy ballot before balloting begins at a stockholders' meeting. A Farm Credit bank or association may give a stockholder voting by proxy an opportunity to give voting discretion to the proxy of the stockholder's choice, provided that the proxy is also a stockholder eligible to vote.

(e) Ballots and proxy ballots must be safeguarded before the time of distribution or mailing to voting stockholders and after the time of receipt by the bank or association until disposal. When stockholder meetings are held for the purpose of conducting elections or other votes, only proxy ballots may be accepted prior to any or all sessions of the stockholders' meeting and mail ballots may only be distributed after the conclusion of the meeting. In an election of directors, ballots, proxy ballots, and election records must be retained at least until the end of the term of office of the director. In other stockholder votes, ballots, proxy ballots, and records must be retained for at least 3 years after the vote.

(f) An institution and its officers, directors, and employees may not make any public announcement of the results of a stockholder vote before the tellers committee or independent third party has validated the results of the vote.

Dated: May 21, 2015. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
[FR Doc. 2015-12823 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Part 1290 RIN 2590-AA38 Federal Home Loan Bank Community Support Program—Administrative Amendments AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing a final rule amending its community support regulation to streamline and simplify the administrative process requirements under the regulation. The amendments will not affect the substantive requirements of the regulation, which include FHFA review and assessment of applicable members of the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) every two years, or change the criteria for determining member compliance with the community support standards and eligibility for access to long-term Bank advances. The amendments will replace the current process of selecting one-eighth of all applicable members for eight quarterly reviews by FHFA over a two-year review cycle, with a new process of FHFA reviewing all applicable members at the same time every two years.

DATES:

This final rule will become effective on June 29, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melissa Allen, Principal Program Analyst, (202) 649-3130, Charles McLean, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director, (202) 649-3155, #[email protected], Division of Housing Mission and Goals, or Kevin Sheehan, Associate General Counsel, (202) 649-3086, Office of General Counsel, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. (These are not toll-free numbers.) The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background A. Community Support Regulation Established Under the Bank Act

Section 10(g) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (Bank Act) requires FHFA to adopt regulations establishing standards of community investment or service for members of Banks to maintain access to long-term Bank advances. 12 U.S.C. 1430(g). Section 10(g) states that such regulations “shall take into account factors such as a member's performance under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 [(CRA)] and the member's record of lending to first-time homebuyers.”

FHFA's current community support regulation implements section 10(g). 12 CFR part 1290. The regulation details the CRA and first-time homebuyer standards that have been established pursuant to section 10(g). Each Bank member, except as provided in the regulation, must meet these standards in order to maintain access to long-term Bank advances. A long-term Bank advance is defined as an advance with a term to maturity greater than one year. 12 CFR 1290.1. The regulation sets forth the process that FHFA follows in reviewing, evaluating, and communicating each member's community support performance.1

1 In addition, the community support regulation requires each Bank to establish and maintain a community support program that provides technical assistance to its members and promotes and expands affordable housing finance.

B. CRA and First-Time Homebuyer Standards Under the Current Regulation

A member meets the CRA standard if the rating in the member's most recent CRA evaluation was “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory.” 12 CFR 1290.3(b). Only members subject to the CRA must meet the CRA standard. Id.

A member meets the first-time homebuyer standard if it has an established record of lending to first-time homebuyers or if it performs one or more of the first-time homebuyer support activities specified in the regulation. 12 CFR 1290.3(c). A member that is subject to the CRA is deemed to meet the first-time homebuyer standard if its most recent CRA rating was “Outstanding.” Id. All members subject to community support review, including those not subject to the CRA (e.g., insurance companies and credit unions), must meet the first-time homebuyer standard. Id.

Members that have been certified as community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are deemed to be in compliance with the community support requirements and are not subject to community support review, unless the CDFI member is also an insured depository institution or a CDFI credit union. 12 CFR 1290.2(e).

C. Review Process Under the Current Regulation 1. Quarterly Reviews and Notices to Members

The current regulation requires FHFA to select a member for community support review approximately once every two years. Approximately one-eighth of all members are required to be reviewed in each calendar quarter of a two-year review cycle. FHFA does not review a member until it has been a member of a Bank for at least one year. Each member selected for review is required to submit a Community Support Statement to FHFA evidencing the member's most recent CRA rating, if any, and its first-time homebuyers support activities.

Members selected for review are notified in two ways of the requirement to submit Community Support Statements to FHFA. First, FHFA publishes a quarterly Notice in the Federal Register of the members selected for community support review and the deadline for submission of their Community Support Statements to FHFA, and notifies each Bank of the members within its district selected for community support review during the calendar quarter. Second, within 15 days of the publication of the Notice in the Federal Register, each Bank must provide written notice to its members selected for community support review of the deadline for submission of the Community Support Statements to FHFA. The Federal Register Notice requires each Bank to provide to members a blank Community Support Statement Form, which also is available on FHFA's Web site and, upon a member's request, to assist the member in completing the Community Support Statement. Many of the Banks maintain regular contacts with their members throughout the community support review process.

2. Public Comments on Members' Community Support Performance

FHFA reviews each member's completed Community Support Statement for compliance with the community support standards. 12 CFR 1290.4. As part of its review, FHFA is also required to take into consideration any public comments received concerning the member. 12 CFR 1290.2(d). The Federal Register Notice informs the public that comments may be submitted to FHFA on the selected members' community support performance. The Notice and regulation also provide that, to encourage the submission of public comments, each Bank shall provide written notice to its Advisory Council, and to nonprofit housing developers, community groups, and other interested parties in its district, of the members selected for community support review. 12 CFR 1290.2(b)(2)(ii). FHFA has received relatively few public comments on members' community support performance, and most have been supportive of their performance.

3. Sanctions for Failure To Comply With the Current Regulation

A member that does not meet the requirements of the community support regulation may be placed “on probation” or “on restriction.” Typically, less than one percent of members are on probation or restriction at any given time. The regulation provides for members to be placed on probation if: (i) Their most recent CRA rating is “Needs to Improve”; or (ii) their first-time homebuyer performance is unsatisfactory. If a member is placed on probation, the member may continue to obtain long-term Bank advances. A member that is on probation as a result of its CRA rating will remain on probation until its next CRA review. If the new rating for the member fails to meet the CRA standard, the member will be placed on restriction. 12 CFR 1290.3(b)(2). A member that is on probation due to a failure to meet the first-time homebuyer standard will remain on probation for one year. If the member fails to demonstrate compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard at the end of the probationary period, the member will be placed on restriction. 12 CFR 1290.3(c)(2).

Under the regulation, a member is placed on restriction if: (i) It does not submit a Community Support Statement; (ii) it provides no evidence of first-time homebuyer performance; (iii) its most recent CRA rating is “Substantial Noncompliance”; or (iv) it fails to comply with either the CRA standard or the first-time homebuyer standard at the end of a probationary period. If a member is placed on restriction, it may not obtain long-term Bank advances until it meets the requirements for CRA ratings or first-time homebuyers activities. 12 CFR 1290.3(b)(3), (c)(3); 1290.5(a).

II. Proposed Rule and Comments

On November 10, 2011, FHFA published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would have made substantive and administrative changes to the community support regulation. 76 FR 70069. The proposed rule would have replaced the requirement for members to submit their most recent CRA ratings in Community Support Statements to FHFA with a requirement that the Banks verify members' CRA ratings using publicly available information from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council or the member's primary Federal banking regulatory agency. Members would still have been required to submit a statement every two years describing their first-time homebuyer support activities, but the Banks rather than FHFA would have been responsible for reviewing those statements to evaluate members' compliance with the first-time homebuyer support requirements.

In conjunction with the proposed transfer of responsibility for community support review and evaluation, the proposed rule would have eliminated the quarterly FHFA reviews of selected members and the accompanying Federal Register Notices. The proposed rule would have added a requirement that the Banks post notices on their public Web sites soliciting public comments on members' community support performance. The proposed rule would have required the Banks to notify their members of the results of the Banks' community support reviews by providing that a Bank could not approve a member's request for long-term advances unless the Bank had determined that the member complies with the first-time homebuyer standard and the CRA standard, as applicable.

FHFA received 114 comments on the proposed rule. The twelve Banks submitted a joint comment letter, and a majority of the other comments were submitted by Bank members or by associations representing Bank members. Comments were also submitted by nonprofits, Bank Advisory Council members, and state housing agencies. Most of the comments, including those of the twelve Banks, opposed the proposed shift in responsibility for reviewing and assessing members' community support compliance from FHFA to the Banks. Commenters contended that the determination of whether a member complies with the community support requirements is a regulatory function best suited to FHFA and that the Banks should not be evaluating their own members. Commenters stated that each Bank would be required to adopt its own standards and procedures, resulting in unnecessary duplication of effort among the Banks. Commenters also objected to the Banks soliciting public comments on members' community support performance because they did not support transferring the responsibility to determine compliance to the Banks. Commenters were generally silent on the proposed administrative changes, including the discontinuation of the quarterly review rounds and accompanying Federal Register Notices.

III. Analysis of Final Rule

The final rule does not make any of the changes to substantive requirements that were proposed in the 2011 proposed rule. FHFA will continue to be responsible for reviewing and assessing member compliance with the community support requirements, with members continuing to be reviewed every two years. However, consistent with the proposed rule, the final rule makes a number of revisions that streamline and simplify the administrative process requirements, which will facilitate the use of electronic submissions and evaluations.

The specific administrative changes are the following: Eliminating the eight quarterly review rounds; eliminating the accompanying quarterly FHFA Federal Register Notices; requiring the Banks to solicit public comments (to be sent to FHFA) on their public Web sites; requiring the Banks, rather than FHFA, to communicate FHFA's review results to members; and eliminating specific deadlines for FHFA's review of members' Community Support Statements and notifications of the results to members.

The final rule also makes organizational and other technical language changes in the regulation for greater clarity in administering the review process. These technical changes include codifying FHFA's long-standing policy for treatment of new Bank members, which has been to exclude members from community support reviews until they have been Bank members for more than one year. The technical changes also include codifying long-standing agency practice with respect to the consequences for failure to comply with the first-time homebuyer standard, by eliminating provisions that suggested some failures to comply would result in probation rather than restriction for the member.

The changes in the final rule will make it easier for FHFA to transition from a paper-based administrative process to a fully electronic process. An electronic submission process will further reduce the administrative process requirements. FHFA will work with the Banks to ensure that all members are able to comply with any such changes.

The specific changes made by the final rule are described in the section-by-section analysis below.

A. Definitions—§ 1290.1

Section 1290.1 of the final rule continues to set forth definitions applicable to the community support requirements in part 1290. The final rule removes the definitions for “appropriate Federal banking agency” and “appropriate State regulator” from § 1290.1 because those terms are defined in 12 CFR part 1201, which includes general definitions applicable to all FHFA regulations.

B. Community Support Requirements—§ 1290.2

Section 1290.2 of the final rule sets forth administrative process requirements applicable to the Banks and members under the community support regulation.

1. Bank Notices to Members

Section 1290.2(a) of the final rule provides that by the effective date of the final rule, and by March 31, 2017, and every two years thereafter, each Bank must provide written notice to all of its members subject to community support review that each such member must submit to FHFA a completed Community Support Statement in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. As further discussed under paragraph (b), FHFA will no longer review selected members' community support performance on a quarterly schedule, and instead will review all members subject to community support review at approximately the same time every two years. Accordingly, FHFA will no longer be required to notify the Banks, or publish quarterly Notices in the Federal Register, of the members selected for community support review and the submission deadlines for the Community Support Statements. Paragraph (a) retains the requirement in current paragraph (b)(2) for the Banks to provide notices to members, but simplifies the requirement because all members will receive the same notice at the same time, with the same deadline for submission of their Community Support Statements.

Section 1290.2(a) also provides that, unless instructed otherwise by FHFA, the Bank shall provide to members a blank Community Support Statement Form, which also is available on FHFA's Web site. Section 1290.2(a) further provides that at the request of a member the Bank shall assist the member in completing the Community Support Statement. These requirements, which currently are in the quarterly Federal Register Notices, are included in the final rule because the Notices will be discontinued.

2. Members' Submission of Community Support Statements to FHFA

Currently, § 1290.2(a) provides that FHFA will select a member for community support review approximately once every two years. Section 1290.2(b)(1) of the final rule does not change the frequency of this review. However, instead of requiring FHFA to select members for review, the paragraph is revised to specify the deadline for members to submit to FHFA their completed Community Support Statements and any other information FHFA may require. These Statements will be due to FHFA no later than December 31, 2015, and December 31 every two years thereafter. The final rule also simplifies the existing regulatory language by incorporating current paragraph (c) on signing of the Statement in revised paragraph (b)(1).

This change means that, instead of different members being required to submit their Community Support Statements in different quarters spread over a two-year period, all members subject to community support review will be required to submit their Community Support Statements by the same deadline every two years. This change is consistent with the 2011 proposed rule, which provided for review of members' first-time homebuyers performance every two years but did not require that the Banks conduct the reviews on a quarterly basis. Reviewing all members subject to community support review on the same schedule every two years will significantly simplify and streamline the current administrative process. It will eliminate the need for FHFA to maintain and track eight separate lists of members for each quarterly round, as well as the need to publish quarterly Notices in the Federal Register identifying the members subject to review in that quarter. It will simplify FHFA tracking of members' Community Support Statement submissions and compliance, and it will simplify compliance for the members by avoiding any possible confusion among the Banks and members about whether a member is subject to review in a particular quarter. The change to a single submission deadline every two years will also eliminate the administrative complications of preparing for a new quarterly round while still processing member Community Support Statement submissions from the previous round.

3. Transition Provision

FHFA is in the middle of the review cycle covering 2014 and 2015 under the current community support regulation. Starting on the effective date of the final rule, FHFA will apply the final rule's new review process for the remainder of the 2014-2015 review period. New § 1290.2(b)(2) of the final rule provides for a transition period for members that were selected for review during the 2014-2015 review cycle under the current regulation. Members that were selected for review prior to the effective date of the final rule are required to submit completed Community Support Statements as provided in the applicable Federal Register Notice. Members that have submitted or submit completed Community Support Statements to FHFA as required by such Federal Register Notice are not required to submit a second Community Support Statement to FHFA by the December 31, 2015 deadline. Instead, these members will be required to submit their next Community Support Statements to FHFA by December 31, 2017. Based on past community support review experience, the likelihood of members changing status from compliance to noncompliance is very small. Members determined to be in noncompliance are permitted under the regulation to submit subsequent evidence of compliance to FHFA at any time. After this transition period, all members subject to community support review will be required to submit their Community Support Statements to FHFA on the same schedule, once every two years. The first review to be conducted entirely under the new review process will be in 2017.

4. Notices to Public

Section 1290.2(c)(1) of the final rule continues the requirement in current paragraph (b)(2) that the Banks notify their Advisory Councils, nonprofit housing developers, community groups, and other interested parties in their districts, of the community support review of members. However, the process is simplified in that, unlike under the current regulation, the notice is only required to be provided every two years rather than quarterly, reflecting the elimination of the quarterly review schedule.

Consistent with the proposed rule, § 1290.2(c)(1) of the final rule requires the Banks to also post notices on their Web sites inviting public comments on any member's community support programs and activities. Because FHFA will continue to conduct the community support reviews under the final rule, the Bank's notices shall include instructions for the public to submit any comments to FHFA.

Section 1290.2(c)(2) of the final rule provides that FHFA may publish a notice in the Federal Register as an additional means of notifying the public of the opportunity to submit comments on any member's community support programs and activities. FHFA currently includes this notice in the quarterly Federal Register Notices under the existing regulation. The final rule allows FHFA to publish a similar notice as necessary, while allowing FHFA flexibility to forego the notice if it is no longer an effective means of informing the public of the opportunity to submit comments on individual members.

Section 1290.2(c)(3) of the final rule provides that FHFA will consider any comments it receives in reviewing members for compliance with the community support requirement. This provision is substantially the same as the provision currently located in paragraph (d).

5. Non-Depository Community Development Financial Institutions

Section 1290.2(d) of the final rule continues to provide that members that have been certified as CDFIs by the CDFI Fund and that are not insured depository institutions or CDFI credit unions are deemed to be in compliance with the community support requirements. Accordingly, such non-depository CDFIs are not required to submit Community Support Statements to FHFA and are not subject to review by FHFA under the community support regulation. The final rule renumbers existing paragraph (e) as paragraph (d) and makes non-substantive changes to the paragraph for greater clarity. For additional discussion of this provision, see the Federal Register notice describing the final rule entitled “Federal Home Loan Bank Membership for Community Development Financial Institutions.” 75 FR 678, 689-690 (Jan. 5, 2010).

6. New Bank Members

The final rule adds a new § 1290.2(e) that incorporates into the regulation the long-standing agency policy that new members of a Bank are not subject to community support review until after the first year of Bank membership. The Federal Register notice describing the 1996 proposed rule on the community support regulation stated that an institution would be subject to review “only after it has been a [Bank] member for one year.” 61 FR 60229. The Federal Register notice describing the 1997 final community support rule noted that several commenters supported this approach, 62 FR 28983, and the policy has been followed consistently since that time.

Section 1290.2(e) of the final rule provides that a member of a Bank is not required to submit a Community Support Statement under paragraph (b) unless the institution has been a member of a Bank for at least one year as of March 31 of the year in which submissions are due under paragraph (b). An institution that becomes a member after the applicable cut-off date will be subject to community support review during the succeeding review.

C. Community Support Standards—§ 1290.3

Current § 1290.3 sets forth the standards for member compliance with the community support regulation, as well as the circumstances under which a member will be placed on probation or restriction from access to long-term Bank advances. Current § 1290.5 sets forth additional provisions and procedures related to restricting access to long-term advances based on noncompliance with the community support regulation. The final rule maintains the existing standards for compliance and circumstances giving rise to probation or restriction, but these sections have been reorganized for greater clarity. As reorganized, § 1290.3 sets out the standards for member compliance with the community support regulation, and § 1290.5 sets out the circumstances under which a member will be placed on probation or restriction, as well as the procedures applicable in those circumstances.

1. CRA Standard

Section 1290.3(b) of the final rule continues to provide that a member meets the CRA standard if it received a rating of “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory” in its most recent CRA evaluation. As under the current regulation, members such as credit unions and insurance companies that are not subject to the CRA will not have a CRA rating and, therefore, are subject only to the first-time homebuyer standard.

2. First-Time Homebuyer Standard

Section 1290.3(c) of the final rule continues to set forth the specific first-time homebuyer programs and activities that are eligible to meet the first-time homebuyer standard and clarifies some of the language consistent with current practice. The final rule provides that a member meets the first-time homebuyer standard if the member received a rating of “Outstanding” in its most recent CRA evaluation. For other members, FHFA evaluates whether the member has engaged in at least one of the listed eligible first-time homebuyer programs or activities.

Section 1290.3(c)(4)(vii) of the final rule clarifies that the first-time homebuyer standard can be met by participating or investing in service organizations that assist credit unions in providing mortgages to first-time homebuyers or to low- or moderate-income households. This clarification is consistent with FHFA's current interpretation of the regulation, which considers mortgages to low- or moderate-income households a proxy for mortgages to first-time homebuyers under the community support regulation.

The final rule also includes a new paragraph (c)(5) for other member activities supporting first-time homebuyer financing that may not be covered by the list of specified activities in the regulation. This “other activities” category is currently included in the Community Support Statement Form and is added in the final rule so that all eligible activities are set forth comprehensively in one place in the rule.

The final rule also moves the language in current § 1290.3(c)(1) on mitigating factors affecting a member's ability to meet the first-time homebuyer standard to new § 1290.3(c)(6). FHFA may determine that mitigating factors affect a member's ability to engage in activities to assist first-time or potential first-time homebuyers as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5).

The final rule also simplifies the current regulatory language in § 1290.3 by deleting redundant language describing the various elements of the Community Support Statement and information that FHFA must consider in its evaluation of a member's community support performance. FHFA will continue to evaluate all information submitted by a member, as well as any public comments or other information, as relevant to the member's performance under the first-time homebuyer standard.

D. FHFA Review and Decision on Community Support Statements—§ 1290.4

Section 1290.4 of the final rule continues to set forth the process for FHFA review and evaluation of member compliance with the community support requirements. Currently, § 1290.4 includes specific timeframes applicable to FHFA's review. Consistent with the current regulation, § 1290.4(a) of the final rule provides that FHFA will review each member approximately once every two years for compliance with the community support requirements. The final rule simplifies the existing regulatory language by eliminating unnecessarily detailed descriptions of each step in the review process, including the deadlines for FHFA review, which will no longer be applicable as members will be able to submit their Community Support Statements to FHFA for review and decision at any time after being notified by the Bank up until the December 31st deadline.

Section 1290.4(b) of the final rule continues to provide that a Community Support Statement is considered complete when a member has provided to FHFA all of the information required by this part.

Section 1290.4(c) of the final rule provides that FHFA will notify the Banks of the results of FHFA's community support determinations. Section 1290.4(c) of the final rule also requires the Banks to promptly notify their members of FHFA's determinations. Under current § 1290.4(b), FHFA notifies the members and their Banks of the results. Requiring the Banks, rather than FHFA, to notify their members of FHFA's determinations is consistent with the proposed rule. The Banks have the customer relationships with their members, and it is the Banks' responsibility to make or restrict advances to their members and communicate the status of members' access to advances.

Section 1290.4(c) of the final rule clarifies that FHFA's written notice of determination on a Community Support Statement will identify the reasons for FHFA's determination only if a member is being placed on probation or restriction. The notice will not provide specific reasons if a member is in compliance with the community support standards. The community support regulation clearly states the criteria for compliance with the community support requirements, so it is unnecessary for FHFA to further describe its rationale if FHFA determines that a member is in compliance with the community support requirements.

E. Probation or Restriction on Member Access to Long-Term Bank Advances—§ 1290.5

Currently, § 1290.5 sets out requirements and procedures applicable to restrictions on access to long-term Bank advances. As discussed above, the final rule revises § 1290.5 to consolidate the various provisions in current §§ 1290.3 and 1290.5 applicable to both probation and restriction. The final rule does not make any substantive changes to the criteria or procedures applicable to either probation or restriction.

1. Probation

The final rule adds a new § 1290.5(a) listing the circumstances under which FHFA will place a member on probation. Currently, § 1290.3(b)(2) provides that a member with a most recent CRA rating of “Needs to Improve” continues to have access to long-term advances but is placed on probation, which extends until the member receives its next CRA rating. The final rule includes this provision in § 1290.5(a).

Separately, current § 1290.5(d)(2) provides that a member on restriction due to a CRA rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” will be moved to probationary status if the member's subsequent CRA rating is “Needs to Improve,” and the member either had not previously received a CRA rating or had received an “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory” rating immediately prior to the CRA rating leading to restriction. The final rule includes this provision in § 1290.5(d)(3), restated for clarity and to remove a cross-reference that is no longer necessary.

Section 1290.3(c)(2) currently provides that a member is subject to probation if FHFA deems the evidence of first-time homebuyer performance to be unsatisfactory, while § 1290.3(c)(3) currently provides that a member is subject to restriction if the member provides no evidence of first-time homebuyer performance. These provisions are replaced by § 1290.5(b)(5) in the final rule, as further discussed under the restriction criteria below.

2. Restriction on Access to Long-Term Bank Advances

The final rule reorders existing paragraph (a) of § 1290.5 as paragraph (b), listing the circumstances under which FHFA will restrict a member's access to long-term Bank advances.

Section 1290.5(b)(1) of the final rule provides that members that fail to submit completed Community Support Statements will be placed on restriction from access to long-term advances. This provision is relocated from § 1290.5(a) in the current regulation. The final rule clarifies that a member will be placed on restriction if it: (i) Submits a Community Support Statement to FHFA that has not been signed; (ii) submits a Community Support Statement to FHFA that fails to include a CRA rating if the member is subject to the CRA; or (iii) fails to submit a Community Support Statement at all to FHFA.

Sections 1290.5(b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(4) of the final rule provide that a member is required to be placed on restriction from access to long-term advances if it has: (i) A CRA rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” on its most recent CRA evaluation; (ii) CRA ratings of “Needs to Improve” on its two most recent consecutive CRA evaluations; or (iii) CRA ratings of “Substantial Noncompliance” and a subsequent “Needs to Improve” on its two most recent consecutive CRA evaluations, if the CRA rating preceding the “Substantial Noncompliance” rating was “Needs to Improve” or “Substantial Noncompliance.” These provisions are relocated from §§ 1290.3(b)(3) and 1290.5(a)(3), respectively, in the current regulation.

Section 1290.5(b)(5) of the final rule provides that a member that fails to demonstrate compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard is required to be placed on restriction from access to long-term advances. This provision replaces §§ 1290.3(c)(2), 1290.3(c)(3), and 1290.5(a)(4) in the current regulation. Section 1290.3(c)(2) currently provides that a member is subject to probation if FHFA deems the evidence of first-time homebuyer performance to be unsatisfactory, while § 1290.3(c)(3) currently provides that a member is subject to restriction if the member provides no evidence of first-time homebuyer performance. Section 1290.5(a)(4) currently addresses the status of members at the end of a probationary period under § 1290.3(c)(2).

In practice, FHFA has found there to be no meaningful distinction between “unsatisfactory evidence” and “no evidence” of first-time homebuyer performance because under either criterion the member has not demonstrated compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard, resulting in restriction under the regulation (and would have resulted in restriction under the 2011 proposed rule). Either term could be interpreted to cover many of the same situations, potentially creating confusion about the proper application of the regulation. To minimize confusion and codify FHFA's long-standing practice, the final rule eliminates the distinction between “unsatisfactory evidence” and “no evidence.” Section 1290.5(b)(5) of the final rule simplifies and clarifies the existing regulatory language and provides that a member that fails to demonstrate compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard will be placed on restriction.

Section 1290.5(c) of the final rule revises current paragraph (c), which sets forth the effective date for members placed on restriction, to include the effective dates applicable for both probation and restriction. Paragraph (c)(1) provides that the probationary period under § 1290.5(a) will extend until the member's appropriate Federal banking agency completes its next CRA evaluation and issues a rating. The member will be eligible to receive long-term advances during the probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, the member would either meet the CRA standard under § 1290.3(b) or would be placed on restriction pursuant to § 1290.5(b)(3). Probation will take effect on the date the notice required under § 1290.4(c) is sent by FHFA to the Bank.

Paragraph (c)(2) provides that a restriction on access to long-term advances will take effect 30 days after notice is sent by FHFA to the Bank, unless the member demonstrates compliance before the end of the 30-day period.

3. Removal of Restriction on Access to Long-Term Bank Advances

Currently, § 1290.5(d) sets out the criteria and procedures for removing restrictions on members' access to long-term Bank advances. The final rule consolidates the substance of paragraph (d)(2) with the rest of the provisions regarding probation and restriction in paragraphs (a) and (b) of that section.

Section 1290.5(d)(1) of the final rule retains the current provision that a restriction may be removed if FHFA determines, upon written request from a member, that application of the restriction may adversely affect the safety and soundness of the member.

Section 1290.5(d)(2) of the final rule retains the current provision that a restriction may be removed if FHFA determines, upon written request from a member, that the member subsequently has complied with the requirements of this part, e.g., the member has received a CRA rating of “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory” on its next CRA evaluation, or the member has demonstrated compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard.

Section 1290.5(d)(3) of the final rule provides that FHFA will remove a restriction on a member's access to long-term advances and place the member on probation if the member is subject to the CRA and the member received a rating of “Needs to Improve” in its most recent CRA evaluation, its immediately preceding CRA rating was “Substantial Noncompliance,” and either the member has not received any other CRA rating or the CRA rating before the rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” was “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory.” This provision retains the requirements in current § 1290.5(d)(2).

Section 1290.5(d)(4) of the final rule retains the provision in current § 1290.5(d)(3) requiring FHFA to provide written notice to the member's Bank of a determination by FHFA to remove a restriction on the member's access to long-term advances. The final rule revises the current provision by requiring the Bank, rather than FHFA, to provide notice promptly to the member of FHFA's determination to remove a restriction. The determination to remove a restriction takes effect on the date the notice is sent by FHFA to the Bank.

4. Bank Affordable Housing Programs and Other Bank Community Investment Cash Advance Programs

Section 1290.5(e) of the current regulation provides that a member that is subject to restriction on access to long-term Bank advances due to a failure to meet the community support requirements is not eligible to submit new applications under the Bank's Community Investment Cash Advance (CICA) programs under 12 CFR part 1291 or 12 CFR part 952. Section 1290.5(e) of the final rule retains the current provision, with two technical clarifications. The final rule states explicitly that part 1291 is the regulation for the Bank Affordable Housing Programs (AHP). The AHP is included under the definition of CICA program, as described in 12 CFR 1292.1. The final rule also updates the cross-reference to the CICA regulation from part 952 to part 1292.

F. Bank Community Support Programs—§ 1290.6

Section 1290.6 of the final rule sets out the requirements for the Banks' community support programs, including requirements that each Bank's program: provide technical assistance to members; promote and expand affordable housing finance; and include an annual Targeted Community Lending Plan. The final rule does not make any changes to current § 1290.6.

G. Bank Advisory Council Annual Reports—§ 1290.7

Section 1290.7 of the final rule sets out a requirement that each Annual Report submitted by a Bank's Advisory Council to FHFA pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)) must include an analysis of the Bank's targeted community lending and affordable housing activities. The final rule makes non-substantive changes to current § 1290.7 for greater clarity.

IV. Notice and Public Participation

Most of the specific administrative changes in the final rule have already been subject to prior public notice and comment as part of the 2011 proposed rule. 76 FR 70069. As discussed in more detail above, in adopting this final rule, FHFA has considered all of the comments that were received on the 2011 proposed rule. However, even if the changes in the final rule had not been included in the 2011 proposed rule, they would be exempt from the prior public notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Section 553(b)(A) of the APA provides that when a regulation involves matters of agency organization, procedure, or practice, the agency may publish the regulation in final form without prior public notice and comment. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). This final rule involves matters of agency procedure and practice. The final rule does not make any change to the substantive standards for compliance with the community support regulation. The changes in the final rule are limited to administrative changes in the process that FHFA itself uses to evaluate members. As a result, FHFA finds that the final rule is exempt from the public notice and comment provisions of section 553.

In addition, section 553(b)(B) of the APA provides that when an agency for good cause finds that notice and comment are impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest, the agency may publish the regulation in final form without prior public notice and comment. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Many of the changes in this final rule are limited to reorganizing and restating existing provisions for clarity and, therefore, are insignificant in nature and impact. As a result, FHFA finds that public notice and comment on those changes are unnecessary.

V. Regulatory Impacts A. Paperwork Reduction Act

FHFA currently collects information from Bank members regarding their compliance with the community support requirements under existing part 1290. Existing part 1290 also permits Bank members whose access to long-term advances has been restricted for failure to meet the community support requirements to apply directly to FHFA to remove the restriction under certain circumstances. The current collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the control number, OMB No. 2590-0005, will expire on February 29, 2016. The final rule amends the community support provisions in part 1290 but does not substantively or materially modify the approved information collection with respect to the members' information collection burden. Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any request to revise the information collection to OMB for review and approval.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of this final rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. FHFA certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities because the regulation is applicable only to the Banks, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1290

Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information, and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4526, FHFA revises part 1290 of title 12, chapter XII of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows:

PART 1290—COMMUNITY SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS Sec. 1290.1 Definitions. 1290.2 Community support requirements. 1290.3 Community support standards. 1290.4 FHFA review and decision on Community Support Statements. 1290.5 Probation or restriction on member access to long-term Bank advances. 1290.6 Bank community support programs. 1290.7 Bank Advisory Council Annual Reports. Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1430(g), 4511, 4513.

§ 1290.1 Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

Advisory Council means the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)), and part 1291 of this chapter.

CDFI Fund means the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund established under section 104(a) of the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 (12 U.S.C. 4703(a)).

Community development financial institution or CDFI means an institution that is certified as a community development financial institution by the CDFI Fund under the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1994 (12 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.).

CRA means the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, as amended (12 U.S.C. 2901, et seq.).

CRA evaluation means the public disclosure portion of the CRA performance evaluation provided by a member's appropriate Federal banking agency.

Displaced homemaker means an adult who has not worked full-time, full-year in the labor force for a number of years, and during that period, worked primarily without remuneration to care for a home and family, and currently is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.

First-time homebuyer means:

(1) An individual and his or her spouse, if any, who has had no present ownership interest in a principal residence during the three-year period prior to purchase of a principal residence.

(2) A displaced homemaker who, except for owning a residence with his or her spouse or residing in a residence owned by his or her spouse, meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this definition.

(3) A single parent who, except for owning a residence with his or her spouse or residing in a residence owned by his or her spouse, meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this definition.

Long-term advance means an advance with a term to maturity greater than one year.

Restriction on access to long-term advances means a member may not borrow long-term advances or renew any maturing advance for a term to maturity greater than one year.

Single parent means an individual who is unmarried or legally separated from a spouse and has custody or joint custody of one or more minor children or is pregnant.

Targeted community lending means providing financing for economic development projects for targeted beneficiaries.

§ 1290.2 Community support requirements.

(a) Bank notice to members. By June 29, 2015, and by March 31, 2017, and every two years thereafter, each Bank must provide written notice to all of its members subject to community support review that each such member must submit to FHFA a completed Community Support Statement in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. Unless instructed otherwise by FHFA, the Bank must provide to each member a blank Community Support Statement Form, which will also be available on FHFA's Web site. Upon a member's request, the Bank must provide assistance to the member in completing the Community Support Statement.

(b) Community Support Statement.—(1) Submission requirements. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each member that is subject to community support review must submit to FHFA a completed Community Support Statement and any other related information FHFA may require by December 31, 2015, and by December 31 every two years thereafter. The member's completed Community Support Statement must be executed by an appropriate senior officer of the member and must be submitted to FHFA pursuant to FHFA's submission instructions.

(2) Transition provision. Members that were selected for community support review during the 2014-2015 review cycle prior to June 29, 2015 are required to submit completed Community Support Statements as provided in the applicable Federal Register Notice. Members that have submitted or submit completed Community Support Statements to FHFA as required in the applicable Federal Register Notice for the 2014-2015 review cycle are not required to submit a second Community Support Statement to FHFA by the December 31, 2015 deadline.

(c) Notice to public.—(1) By the Banks. By June 29, 2015, and by March 31, 2017, and every two years thereafter, each Bank must provide written notice to its Advisory Council, and to interested nonprofit housing developers, community groups, and other interested parties in its district, and include a notice on its public Web site, of the opportunity to submit comments on the community support programs and activities of Bank members, with the name and address of each member subject to community support review and the deadline and FHFA contact information for submission of any comments to FHFA.

(2) By FHFA. FHFA may publish a notice in the Federal Register notifying the public of the opportunity to submit comments on the community support programs and activities of Bank members, with the deadline and FHFA contact information for submission of any comments to FHFA.

(3) Consideration of comments. In reviewing a member for compliance with the community support requirements, FHFA will take into consideration any public comments it has received concerning the member.

(d) Non-Depository Community Development Financial Institutions. A member that has been certified as a community development financial institution by the CDFI Fund, other than a member that also is an insured depository institution or a CDFI credit union (as defined in 12 CFR 1263.1), is deemed to be in compliance with the community support requirements of section 10(g) of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(g)) and this part, by virtue of that certification. Such non-depository CDFIs, therefore, are not required to submit Community Support Statements to FHFA under paragraph (b) of this section and are not subject to community support review under this part.

(e) New Bank members. A member of a Bank is not required to submit a Community Support Statement under paragraph (b) of this section unless the institution has been a member of a Bank for at least one year as of March 31 of the year in which submissions are due under paragraph (b) of this section.

§ 1290.3 Community support standards.

(a) In general. A member subject to community support review meets the community support requirements of this part if it submits a completed Community Support Statement that demonstrates to FHFA's satisfaction that the member complies with both the CRA standard, if the member is subject to the requirements of the CRA, and the first-time homebuyer standard.

(b) CRA standard. A member meets the CRA standard if it is subject to the requirements of the CRA and the rating in the member's most recent CRA evaluation is “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory.”

(c) First-time homebuyer standard. A member meets the first-time homebuyer standard if at least one of the following is satisfied:

(1) The member is subject to the requirements of the CRA and the rating in the member's most recent CRA evaluation is “Outstanding”;

(2) The member has an established record of lending to first-time homebuyers;

(3) The member has a program whereby it actively seeks to lend or support lending to first-time homebuyers, including, but not limited to, the following—

(i) Providing special credit products with flexible underwriting standards for first-time homebuyers;

(ii) Participating in Federal, State, or local government, or nationwide homeownership lending programs that benefit, serve, or are targeted to, first-time homebuyers; or

(iii) Participating in loan consortia for first-time homebuyer loans or loans that serve predominantly low- or moderate-income borrowers;

(4) The member has a program whereby it actively seeks to assist or support organizations that assist potential first-time homebuyers to qualify for mortgage loans, including, but not limited to, the following—

(i) Providing, participating in, or supporting special counseling programs or other homeownership education activities that benefit, serve, or are targeted to, first-time homebuyers;

(ii) Providing or participating in marketing plans and related outreach programs targeted to first-time homebuyers;

(iii) Providing technical assistance or financial support to organizations that assist first-time homebuyers;

(iv) Participating with or financially supporting community or nonprofit groups that assist first-time homebuyers;

(v) Holding investments or making loans that support first-time homebuyer programs;

(vi) Holding mortgage-backed securities that may include a pool of loans to low- and moderate-income homebuyers;

(vii) Participating or investing in service organizations that assist credit unions in providing mortgages to first-time homebuyers or low- or moderate-income households; or

(viii) Participating in a Bank Affordable Housing Program or other Bank targeted community investment or development program;

(5) The member engages in other activities, not covered by paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this section, that demonstrate to FHFA's satisfaction the member's support for first-time homebuyers financing; or

(6) FHFA determines that mitigating factors affect the member's ability to engage in activities to assist first-time or potential first-time homebuyers as described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) of this section.

§ 1290.4 FHFA review and decision on Community Support Statements.

(a) Review by FHFA. FHFA will review each member approximately once every two years for compliance with the community support requirements of this part.

(b) Complete Community Support Statements. A Community Support Statement is complete when a member has provided to FHFA all of the information required by this part.

(c) Decision on Community Support Statements. FHFA will provide written notice to the member's Bank of FHFA's determination regarding the Community Support Statement submitted by the member. A notice placing a member on probation or restricting the member's access to long-term Bank advances will identify the reasons for FHFA's determination. The Bank must promptly notify the member of FHFA's determination regarding the member's Community Support Statement.

§ 1290.5 Probation or restriction on member access to long-term Bank advances.

(a) Probation. FHFA will place a member on probation if the member is subject to the CRA, its most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve,” and either the member has not received any other CRA rating or its second-most recent CRA rating was “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory.”

(b) Restriction. FHFA will restrict a member's access to long-term advances if:

(1) The member failed to sign its Community Support Statement submitted to FHFA pursuant to § 1290.2(b)(1), failed to include its CRA rating in its Community Support Statement submitted to FHFA if subject to the CRA, or failed to submit a Community Support Statement at all to FHFA;

(2) The member is subject to the CRA and its most recent CRA rating was “Substantial Noncompliance”;

(3) The member is subject to the CRA, its most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve,” and its second-most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve”;

(4) The member is subject to the CRA, its most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve,” its second-most recent CRA rating was “Substantial Noncompliance,” and its third-most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve” or “Substantial Noncompliance”; or

(5) The member has not demonstrated compliance with the first-time homebuyer standard.

(c) Effective dates.—(1) Probation. A probationary period under § 1290.5(a) will extend until the member's appropriate Federal banking agency completes its next CRA evaluation and issues a rating for the member. Probation will take effect on the date the notice required under § 1290.4(c) is sent by FHFA to the Bank. The member will be eligible to receive long-term advances during the probationary period.

(2) Restriction. A restriction on access to long-term advances will take effect 30 days after the date the notice required under § 1290.4(c) is sent by FHFA to the Bank, unless the member demonstrates compliance with the requirements of this part before the end of the 30-day period.

(d) Removing a restriction.—(1) FHFA may remove a restriction on a member's access to long-term advances imposed under this section if FHFA determines that application of the restriction may adversely affect the safety and soundness of the member. A member may submit a written request to FHFA to remove a restriction on access to long-term advances under this paragraph (d)(1). The written request must include a clear and concise statement of the basis for the request and a statement that application of the restriction may adversely affect the safety and soundness of the member from the member's appropriate Federal banking agency or the member's appropriate State regulator for a member that is not subject to regulation or supervision by a Federal regulator. FHFA will consider each written request within 30 calendar days of receipt.

(2) FHFA may remove a restriction on a member's access to long-term advances imposed under this section if FHFA determines that the member subsequently has complied with the requirements of this part. A member may submit a written request to FHFA to remove a restriction on access to long-term advances under this paragraph (d)(2). The written request must state with specificity how the member has complied with the requirements of this part. FHFA will consider each written request within 30 calendar days of receipt.

(3) FHFA may remove a restriction on a member's access to long-term advances imposed under this section and place the member on probation if the member is subject to the CRA, its most recent CRA rating was “Needs to Improve,” its second-most recent CRA rating was “Substantial Noncompliance,” and either the member has not received any other CRA rating or its third-most recent CRA rating was “Outstanding” or “Satisfactory.”

(4) FHFA will provide written notice to the member's Bank of any determination to remove a restriction under this paragraph (d). The Bank shall promptly notify the member of FHFA's determination to remove a restriction. FHFA's determination shall take effect on the date the notice is sent by FHFA to the Bank.

(e) Bank Affordable Housing Programs and other Bank Community Investment Cash Advance Programs. A member that is subject to a restriction on access to long-term advances under this part is not eligible to participate in the Bank's Affordable Housing Program (AHP) under part 1291 of this chapter or in other Bank Community Investment Cash Advance (CICA) programs offered under part 1292 of this chapter. The restriction in this paragraph (e) does not apply to AHP or other CICA applications or funding approved before the date the restriction is imposed.

§ 1290.6 Bank community support programs.

(a) Requirement. Consistent with the safe and sound operation of the Bank, each Bank shall establish and maintain a community support program. A Bank's community support program shall:

(1) Provide technical assistance to members;

(2) Promote and expand affordable housing finance;

(3) Identify opportunities for members to expand financial and credit services in underserved neighborhoods and communities;

(4) Encourage members to increase their targeted community lending and affordable housing finance activities by providing incentives such as awards or technical assistance to nonprofit housing developers or community groups with outstanding records of participation in targeted community lending or affordable housing finance partnerships with members; and

(5) Include an annual Targeted Community Lending Plan, approved by the Bank's board of directors and subject to modification, which shall require the Bank to—

(i) Conduct market research in the Bank's district;

(ii) Describe how the Bank will address identified credit needs and market opportunities in the Bank's district for targeted community lending;

(iii) Consult with its Advisory Council and with members, housing associates, and public and private economic development organizations in the Bank's district in developing and implementing its Targeted Community Lending Plan; and

(iv) Establish quantitative targeted community lending performance goals.

(b) Notice. A Bank shall provide annually to each of its members a written notice:

(1) Identifying CICA programs and other Bank activities that may provide opportunities for a member to meet the community support requirements and to engage in targeted community lending; and

(2) Summarizing targeted community lending and affordable housing activities undertaken by members, housing associates, nonprofit housing developers, community groups, or other entities in the Bank's district that may provide opportunities for a member to meet the community support requirements and to engage in targeted community lending.

§ 1290.7 Bank Advisory Council Annual Reports.

Each Annual Report submitted by a Bank's Advisory Council to FHFA pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)) must include an analysis of the Bank's targeted community lending and affordable housing activities.

Dated: May 19, 2015. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
[FR Doc. 2015-12807 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0940; Directorate Identifier 2014-NE-15-AD; Amendment 39-18162; AD 2015-10-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Lycoming Engines Reciprocating Engines (Type Certificate Previously Held by Textron Lycoming Division, AVCO Corporation) AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engines. This AD was prompted by several reports of cracked engine exhaust pipes. This AD requires inspection of the engine exhaust pipes for cracks and replacement of the turbocharger mounting bracket. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the exhaust system due to cracking, which could lead to uncontrolled engine fire, harmful exhaust gases entering the cabin resulting in crew incapacitation, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 2, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 2, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Lycoming Engines, 652 Oliver Street, Williamsport, PA 17701; phone: 800-258-3279; fax: 570-327-7101; Internet: www.lycoming.com/Lycoming/SUPPORT/TechnicalPublications/ServiceBulletins.aspx. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0940.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0940; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norm Perenson, Aerospace Engineer, New York Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: 516-228-7337; fax: 516-794-5531; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2015 (80 FR 5489). The NPRM was prompted by several reports of cracked engine exhaust pipes. The NPRM proposed to require inspection of the engine exhaust pipes for cracks and replacement of the turbocharger mounting bracket. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the exhaust system due to cracking, which could lead to uncontrolled engine fire, harmful exhaust gases entering the cabin resulting in crew incapacitation, and damage to the airplane.

Related Service Information Under CFR Part 51

We reviewed Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 614A, dated October 10, 2014. This service bulletin describes procedures for exhaust system inspection and turbocharger mounting bracket replacement. It also provides for the return of the turbocharger mounting bracket to Lycoming. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 5489, February 2, 2015) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects about 111 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 8 hours per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Parts replacement will cost about $6,782 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $828,282. Our cost estimate is exclusive of possible warranty coverage.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-10-06 Lycoming Engines (Type Certificate previously held by Textron Lycoming Division, AVCO Corporation): Amendment 39-18162; Docket No. FAA-2014-0940; Directorate Identifier 2014-NE-15-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective July 2, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engines listed by engine serial number (S/N) in Figure 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD and to any TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engine with a replacement turbocharger mounting bracket installed that was purchased between April 5, 2012 and May 29, 2014.

Figure 1 to Paragraph (c)—Lycoming TIO-540-AJ1A Engine S/Ns L-6748-61E L-13828-61E L-13832-61E L-13843-61E L-13817-61E L-13831-61E L-13833-61E L-13847-61E L-13819-61E L-13823-61E L-13839-61E L-13855-61E L-13856-61E L-13947-61E L-14011-61E RL-2551-61E L-13857-61E L-13948-61E L-14013-61E RL-2848-61E L-13866-61E L-13949-61E L-14014-61E RL-3450-61E L-13867-61E L-13950-61E L-14015-61E RL-4138-61E L-13873-61E L-13960-61E L-14017-61E RL-7243-61E L-13882-61E L-13961-61E L-14024-61E RL-7512-61E L-13883-61E L-13962-61E L-14025-61E RL-8435-61E L-13884-61E L-13967-61E L-14026-61E RL-8767-61E L-13885-61E L-13973-61E L-14028-61E RL-8914-61E L-13886-61E L-13975-61E L-14034-61E RL-8979-61E L-13895-61E L-13976-61E L-14054-61E RL-9399-61E L-13896-61E L-13979-61E L-14055-61E RL-9466-61E L-13898-61E L-13981-61E L-14056-61E RL-9618-61E L-13900-61E L-13983-61E L-14057-61E RL-9663-61E L-13902-61E L-13984-61E L-14062-61E RL-10098-61E L-13907-61E L-13993-61E L-14063-61E RL-10194-61E L-13913-61E L-13996-61E L-14066-61E RL-10249-61E L-13915-61E L-13997-61E L-14067-61E RL-10615-61E L-13930-61E L-13998-61E L-14069-61E RL-11011-61E L-13931-61E L-13999-61E L-14071-61E RL-12121-61E L-13934-61E L-14000-61E L-14076-61E RL-12163-61E L-13936-61E L-14001-61E L-14077-61E RL-12343-61E L-13938-61E L-14003-61E RL-1726-61E RL-13352-61E L-13939-61E L-14004-61E RL-1810-61E RL-13601-61E L-13946-61E L-14005-61E RL-1862-61E (d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by several reports of cracked engine exhaust pipes. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the exhaust system due to cracking, which could lead to uncontrolled engine fire, harmful exhaust gases entering the cabin resulting in crew incapacitation, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(1) For affected engines with an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD with 400 hours or less time since new (TSN) or time since last overhaul (TSLO), and for any TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engine with a replacement turbocharger mounting bracket installed that was purchased between April 5, 2012 and May 29, 2014, that has accumulated 400 hours or less time-in-service (TIS), within 25 hours after the effective date of this AD, replace the turbocharger mounting bracket with a part eligible for installation, and inspect the exhaust pipes for cracks. Use Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 614A, dated October 10, 2014, Exhaust System Disassembly and Removal, paragraphs 1 through 22 to replace the bracket, and Exhaust System Inspection, paragraphs 1 through 5 to do the inspection.

(2) For affected engines with an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD with more than 400 hours TSN or TSLO, and for any TIO-540-AJ1A reciprocating engine with a replacement turbocharger mounting bracket installed that was purchased between April 5, 2012 and May 29, 2014, that has accumulated more than 400 hours TIS, replace the turbocharger mounting bracket with a part eligible for installation, and inspect the exhaust pipes for cracks at the next engine overhaul, separation of the crankcase halves, or twelve years from the effective date of this AD, whichever comes first. Use Lycoming Engines MSB No. 614A, dated October 10, 2014, Exhaust System Disassembly and Removal, paragraphs 1 through 22 to replace the bracket, and Exhaust System Inspection, paragraphs 1 through 5 to do the inspection.

(f) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not return to service any TIO-540-AJ1A engine with a turbocharger mounting bracket that was removed from an engine identified in Figure 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD or that was purchased between April 5, 2012 and May 29, 2014.

(g) Credit for Previous Action

(1) If, before the effective date of this AD, you replaced the turbocharger mounting bracket with one eligible for installation you may take credit for your prior corrective action. No further turbocharger mounting bracket replacement is required.

(2) If, before the effective date of this AD, you performed the crack inspection using either of the following:

(i) Lycoming Engines MSB No. 614A, dated October 10, 2014, Exhaust System Inspection, paragraphs 1 through 5, or

(ii) Cessna Service Letter No. SEL-78-01, dated May 30, 2014, you may take credit for your prior corrective action. No further inspection is required. However, you must still replace the turbocharger mounting bracket.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request.

(i) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Norm Perenson, Aerospace Engineer, New York Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: 516-228-7337; fax: 516-794-5531; email: [email protected]

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 614A, dated October 10, 2014.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Lycoming Engines service information identified in this AD, contact Lycoming Engines, 652 Oliver Street, Williamsport, PA 17701; phone: 800-258-3279; fax: 570-327-7101; Internet: www.lycoming.com/Lycoming/SUPPORT/TechnicalPublications/ServiceBulletins.aspx.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on May 12, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Assistant Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-12651 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2013-1003; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-33-AD; Amendment 39-18163; AD 2015-10-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Turbomeca S.A. Turboshaft Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2014-01-01 for all Turbomeca S.A. Arrius 2F turboshaft engines. AD 2014-01-01 required a one-time inspection of the ejector assembly nozzle of certain serial number (S/N) lubricating devices and, if a discrepancy was found, removal and replacement of the affected ejector assembly nozzle with a part eligible for installation. This AD requires the same action as AD 2014-01-01 and expands the list of affected S/N lubricating devices. This AD was prompted by the determination that additional lubricating devices, identifiable by S/N, may have an incorrect bonding of the nozzle on the ejector assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the ejector assembly nozzle, which could lead to an in-flight shutdown (IFSD) of the engine, damage to the engine, and damage to the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD is effective June 12, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 12, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of February 6, 2014 (79 FR 3481, January 22, 2014).

We must receive any comments on this AD by July 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Turbomeca S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; phone: 33 (0)5 59 74 40 00; telex: 570 042; fax: 33 (0)5 59 74 45 15. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-1003.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-1003; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information, regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Philip Haberlen, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7770; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments before it becomes effective. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-1003; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-33-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this AD.

Discussion

On January 2, 2014, we issued AD 2014-01-01, Amendment 39-17724 (79 FR 3481, January 22, 2014), (“AD 2014-01-01”), for all Turbomeca S.A. Arrius 2F turboshaft engines. AD 2014-01-01 required a one-time inspection of the ejector assembly nozzle of certain S/N lubricating devices and, if a discrepancy was found, removal and replacement of the affected ejector assembly nozzle with a part eligible for installation. AD 2014-01-01 resulted from an IFSD of an Arriel 1 engine. We issued AD 2014-01-01 to prevent failure of the ejector assembly nozzle, which could lead to an IFSD of the engine, damage to the engine, and damage to the helicopter.

Actions Since AD 2014-01-01 Was Issued

Since we issued AD 2014-01-01 it has been determined that additional lubricating devices, identifiable by S/N, may have the same unsafe condition, an incorrect bonding of the nozzle on the ejector assembly. Also since we issued AD 2014-01-01, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued AD 2015-0057, dated April 1, 2015, which requires inspection, and replacement as necessary, of the affected lubricating devices.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Turbomeca S.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 319 79 4835, Version B, dated February 12, 2015. The MSB describes procedures for inspecting the ejector assembly nozzle and, if necessary, replacing the ejector assembly nozzle. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

FAA's Determination

We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

AD Requirements

This AD requires a one-time inspection of the ejector assembly nozzle of certain S/N lubricating devices and, for any ejector assembly nozzle that fails inspection, removal and replacement with a part eligible for installation.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because of the short compliance time requirement. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 96 engines installed on helicopters of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Required parts cost about $563 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $62,208.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, Section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2014-01-01, Amendment 39-17724 (79 FR 3481, January 22, 2014), and adding the following new AD: 2015-10-07 Turbomeca S.A.: Amendment 39-18163; Docket No. FAA-2013-1003; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-33-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 12, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD supersedes AD 2014-01-01, Amendment 39-17724 (79 FR 3481, January 22, 2014).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Turbomeca S.A. Arrius 2F turboshaft engines.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by the determination that additional lubricating devices, identifiable by serial number (S/N), may have an incorrect bonding of the nozzle on the ejector assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the ejector assembly nozzle, which could lead to an in-flight shutdown of the engine, damage to the engine, and damage to the helicopter.

(e) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(1) For engines equipped with a lubricating device having an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD, within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect the ejector assembly nozzle and the tightening torque. Use paragraphs 4.4.2.1 through 4.4.2.3.4.2 of Turbomeca Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 319 79 4835, Version B, dated February 12, 2015, to do the inspection.

(2) For any part that fails the inspection required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD, before further flight, remove and replace the failed part with a part eligible for installation.

Figure 1 to Paragraph (e)—S/N's of Affected Lubricating Devices 100 140M 185M 247 436M 105M 141M 190M 255M 443M 106 142B 191M 266M 445M 107B 146M 195M 278M 451M 109M 147M 198M 292M 467M 112B 156M 202M 304M 477M 112M 159M 204M 330M 479M 114B 164M 207M 334M 483M 124B 178 210M 369M 484M 125M 178M 213M 384M 512M 129M 180 218M 391M 526M 135B 180M 222M 392M 563M 135M 181M 244M 417M (f) Credit for Previous Actions

If you inspected the ejector assembly nozzle of any lubricating device having an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD before the effective date of this AD, using the instructions of Turbomeca S.A. MSB No. 319 79 4835, Version A, dated May 22, 2013, you met the requirements of paragraph (e) of this AD for that S/N lubricating device.

(g) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not return to service any engine having a lubricating device with an S/N listed in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD, unless the engine has been inspected per the requirements of paragraph (e) of this AD.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected].

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Philip Haberlen, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7770; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

(2) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency AD 2015-0057, dated April 1, 2015, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2013-1003.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on June 12, 2015.

(i) Turbomeca S.A. Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) No. 319 79 4835, Version B, dated February 12, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on February 6, 2014 (79 FR 3481, January 22, 2014).

(i) Turbomeca S.A. MSB No. 319 79 4835, Version A, dated May 22, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(5) For Turbomeca S.A. service information identified in this AD, contact Turbomeca S.A., 40220 Tarnos, France; phone: 33 (0)5 59 74 40 00; telex: 570 042; fax: 33 (0)5 59 74 45 15.

(6) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

(7) You may view this service information at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on May 13, 2015. Colleen M. D'Alessandro, Assistant Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-12654 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1282; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-007-AD; Amendment 39-18157; AD 2015-10-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Zodiac Seats France (Formerly Sicma Aero Seat) Passenger Seat Assemblies AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-20-11, for Zodiac Seats France 9140, 9166, 9173, 9174, 9184, 9188, 9196, 91B7, 91B8, 91C0, 91C2, 91C4, 91C5, 91C9, 9301, and 9501 series passenger seat assemblies. AD 2014-20-11 required a general visual inspection for cracking of backrest links; replacement with new links if cracking is found; and eventual replacement of all links with new links. This AD was prompted by a determination that a model designation specified in paragraph (c)(1) of that AD was incorrect. This new AD identifies the correct model designation. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the backrest links, which could affect the structural integrity of seat backrests. Failure of the backrest links could result in injury to an occupant during emergency landing conditions.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective June 12, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 22, 2014 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014).

We must receive comments on this AD by July 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Zodiac Seats France, 7, Rue Lucien Coupet, 36100 ISSOUDUN, France; telephone +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 39; fax +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 00; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.sicma.zodiacaerospace.com/en/. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1282; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ian Lucas, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) ANE-150, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7757; fax: 781-238-7170; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

On September 23, 2014, we issued AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), to supersede AD 2011-07-05, Amendment 39-16642 (76 FR 18020, April 1, 2011). AD 2014-20-11 applied to certain Zodiac Seats France 9140, 9166, 9173, 9174, 9184, 9188, 9196, 91B7, 91B8, 91C0, 91C2, 91C4, 91C5, 91C9, 9301, and 9501 series passenger seat assemblies; identified in Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012, of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012. AD 2014-20-11 was prompted by a report that new seat backrest links could be affected by cracks similar to those identified on the backrest links with the previous design. AD 2014-20-11 required a general visual inspection for cracking of backrest links, which includes new seat backrest links; replacement with new links if cracking is found; and eventual replacement of all links with new links. We issued AD 2014-20-11 to detect and correct cracking of backrest links, which could affect the structural integrity of seat backrests. Failure of the backrest links could result in injury to an occupant during emergency landing conditions.

AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), corresponds to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2012-0038, dated March 12, 2012. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1282.

Since we issued AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), we have determined that, in paragraph (c)(1) of AD 2014-20-11, a model designation incorrectly specified “A320-300” instead of “A330-300” as one of the models that the affected passenger seats might be installed on. Therefore, we have determined that paragraph (c)(1) of this AD should read as follows: Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes.

We have also re-designated paragraph (l) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), as paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. We also added a new paragraph (l)(2) to this AD to provide information on the availability of service information that is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of airplanes that are equipped with this product, notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1282; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-007-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 0 seat assemblies installed on, but not limited to, transport airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), and retained in this AD take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $227 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 2014-20-11 is $312 per product.

Since this AD only clarifies airplane models on which the affected passenger seat assemblies might be installed, this AD adds no additional economic burden.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. “Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs,” describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), and adding the following new AD: 2015-10-02 Zodiac Seats France (formerly Sicma Aero Seat): Amendment 39-18157. Docket No. FAA-2015-1282; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-007-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective June 12, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Zodiac Seats France 9140, 9166, 9173, 9174, 9184, 9188, 9196, 91B7, 91B8, 91C0, 91C2, 91C4, 91C5, 91C9, 9301, and 9501 series passenger seat assemblies; identified in Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012, of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012. These passenger seat assemblies are installed on, but not limited to, the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes.

(3) The Boeing Company Model 777-200, 777-200LR, 777-300, 777-300ER, and 777F series airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/Furnishings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of cracks in the backrest links on certain seats and also by a determination that a model designation specified in paragraph (c)(1) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014) was incorrect. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the backrest links, which could affect the structural integrity of seat backrests. Failure of the backrest links could result in injury to an occupant during emergency landing conditions.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Retained Repetitive Inspections, With No Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), with no changes. At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Do a general visual inspection for cracking of seat backrest links having part number (P/N) 90-000200-104-1, P/N 90-000200-104-2, P/N 90-000202-104-1, and P/N 90-000202-104-2, in accordance with the “PART ONE: GENERAL INTERMEDIATE CHECKING PROCEDURE” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012. If no cracking is found on any link, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 900 flight hours on the seat or 5 months since the most recent inspection, whichever occurs later, until the replacement specified in paragraph (i) of this AD is done.

(1) Within 6,000 flight hours on the seat or 2 years, whichever occurs later after the seat manufacturing date or after the backrest link replacement.

(2) Within 900 flight hours on the seat after October 22, 2014 (the effective date AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014)), but no later than 5 months after October 22, 2014.

(h) Retained Corrective Actions, With No Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), with no changes.

(1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any cracking is found on the link and no crack length exceeds the lock-out pin-hole as specified in Figure 2 or 4, as applicable, of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012: Within 600 flight hours on the seat or 3 months, whichever occurs later after crack identification, replace the cracked link with a new link, in accordance with “PART TWO: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (EXCEPT FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” or “PART THREE: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012.

(2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any cracking is found on the link and any crack length exceeds the lock-out pin-hole as specified in Figure 2 or 4, as applicable, of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012: Before further flight, replace the cracked link with a new link, in accordance with “PART TWO: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (EXCEPT FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” or “PART THREE: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012.

(i) Retained Replacement, With No Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), with no changes. At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD: Replace all seat backrest links, having P/N 90-000200-104-1, P/N 90-000200-104-2, P/N 90-000202-104-1, and P/N 90-000202-104-2, with new links, in accordance with “PART TWO: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (EXCEPT FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” or “PART THREE: ROUTINE REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE (FOR SERIES 91B7, 91B8 & 91C5)” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012.

(1) Within 12,000 flight hours on the seat or 4 years, whichever occurs later after the seat manufacturing date or after the backrest link replacement.

(2) Within 3,500 flight hours on the seat after October 22, 2014 (the effective date AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), but no later than 18 months after October 22, 2014.

(j) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

This paragraph restates the credit provided in paragraph (j) of AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before October 22, 2014 (the effective date AD 2014-20-11, Amendment 39-17984 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014), using the service information specified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), or (j)(3) of this AD.

(1) Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 3, dated October 3, 2001, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(2) Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 4, dated December 19, 2001, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 5, dated March 19, 2004, including Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2011-07-05, Amendment 39-16642 (76 FR 18020, April 1, 2011).

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the ACO, send it to ATTN: Ian Lucas, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO, ANE-150, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7757; fax: 781-238-7170; email: [email protected]. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Boston ACO, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0038, dated March 12, 2012, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1282.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(4) and (m)(5) of this AD.

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on October 22, 2014 (79 FR 60322, October 7, 2014).

(i) Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-012, Issue 6, dated January 25, 2012, including Annex 1, Issue 3, dated January 25, 2012.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) For service information identified in this AD, contact Zodiac Seats France, 7, Rue Lucien Coupet, 36100 ISSOUDUN, France; telephone +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 39; fax +33 (0) 2 54 03 39 00; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.sicma.zodiacaerospace.com/en/.

(5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(6) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 4, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-11392 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 14 CFR Part 1216 RIN 2700-AE20 [Docket No. NASA-2015-0002] Removal of Obsolete Regulations AGENCY:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

This direct final rule makes non-substantive changes by removing regulations that are captured in NASA internal requirements. The revisions to this rule are part of NASA's retrospective plan completed in August 2011 under Executive Order (E.O.) 13563. NASA's full plan can be accessed on the Agency's open Government Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/open/.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective on July 27, 2015. Comments due on or before June 29, 2015. If adverse comments are received, NASA will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Comments must be identified with RIN 2700-AE20 and may be sent to NASA via the Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Please note that NASA will post all comments on the Internet with changes, including any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nanette Jennings, 202-358-0819.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Direct Final Rule Adverse Comments

NASA has determined this rulemaking meets the criteria for a direct final rule because it involves non-substantive changes to remove a section from 14 CFR part 1216 that is captured in internal NASA requirements. No opposition to the changes and no significant adverse comments are expected. However, if the Agency receives a significant adverse comment, it will withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the direct final rule is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the direct final rule will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a comment necessitates withdrawal of this direct final rule, NASA will consider whether it warrants a substantive response in a notice and comment process.

Background

On January 18, 2011, President Obama signed E.O. 13563, Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review, directing agencies to develop a plan for a retrospective analysis of existing regulations. NASA developed its plan and published it on the Agency's open Government Web site at http://www.nasa.gov/open/. The Agency conducted an analysis of its existing regulations to comply with the Order and determined that subpart 1216.2, Floodplain and Wetlands Management, should be repealed.

Subpart 1216.2 was promulgated January 4, 1979, [44 FR 1089] in response to Executive Order (E.O.) 11988, Floodplain Management, and E.O. 11990, Protection of Wetlands. Neither E.O. mandates that these requirements be codified in the CFR. For example, E.O. 11988 subsection 2(d) states in pertinent part “. . . each agency shall issue or amend existing regulations and procedures . . .;” and E.O. 11990 section 6 states in pertinent part “. . . agencies shall issue or amend their existing procedures . . .” Therefore, this subpart will be repealed because it is now captured in NASA Interim Directive (NID) 8500.100, Floodplain and Wetlands Management. NID 8500.100 is accessible at http://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/OPD_docs/NID_8500_100_.pdf.

Statutory Authority

The National Aeronautics and Space Act (the Space Act), 51 U.S.C. 20113 (a), authorizes the Administrator of NASA to make, promulgate, issue, rescind, and amend rules and regulations governing the manner of its operations and the exercise of the powers vested in it by law.

Regulatory Analysis Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563, Improvement Regulation and Regulation Review

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits of reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated as “not significant” under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866.

Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to be published at the time the proposed rule is published. This requirement does not apply if the agency “certifies that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities” (5 U.S.C. 603). This rule removes two subparts from Title 14 of the CFR that are already reflected in existing NASA internal requirements and, therefore, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

This direct final rule does not contain any information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Review Under E.O. 13132

E.O. 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999) requires regulations be reviewed for Federalism effects on the institutional interest of states and local governments, and if the effects are sufficiently substantial, preparation of the Federal assessment is required to assist senior policy makers. The amendments will not have any substantial direct effects on state and local governments within the meaning of the E.O. Therefore, no Federalism assessment is required.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 1216

Flood plains.

PART 1216—ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY Accordingly, under the authority of the National Aeronautics and Space Act, as amended (51 U.S.C. 20113), NASA amends 14 CFR part 1216 by removing and reserving subpart 1216.2, consisting of §§ 1216.200 through 1216.205. Cheryl E. Parker, NASA Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-12914 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 876 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1297] Medical Devices; Gastroenterology-Urology Devices; Classification of the Vibrator for Climax Control of Premature Ejaculation AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final order.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is classifying the vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation into class II (special controls). The special controls that will apply to the device are identified in this order and will be part of the codified language for the classification of the vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation. The Agency is classifying the device into class II (special controls) in order to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device.

DATES:

This order is effective May 28, 2015. The classification was applicable on March 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tuan Nguyen, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. G118, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5174, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)), devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976), generally referred to as postamendments devices, are classified automatically by statute into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until the device is classified or reclassified into class I or II, or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent, in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and part 807 (21 CFR part 807) of the regulations.

Section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, as amended by section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-144), provides two procedures by which a person may request FDA to classify a device under the criteria set forth in section 513(a)(1). Under the first procedure, the person submits a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act for a device that has not previously been classified and, within 30 days of receiving an order classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1), the person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2). Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a premarket notification under section 510(k) and then a request for classification under the first procedure, the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence and requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. If the person submits a request to classify the device under this second procedure, FDA may decline to undertake the classification request if FDA identifies a legally marketed device that could provide a reasonable basis for review of substantial equivalence with the device or if FDA determines that the device submitted is not of “low-moderate risk” or that general controls would be inadequate to control the risks and special controls to mitigate the risks cannot be developed.

In response to a request to classify a device under either procedure provided by section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA will classify the device by written order within 120 days. This classification will be the initial classification of the device. On November 21, 2013, Ergon Medical, Ltd., submitted a request for classification of the ProlongTM under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. The manufacturer recommended that the device be classified into class II (Ref. 1).

In accordance with section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1). FDA classifies devices into class II if general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. After review of the information submitted in the request, FDA determined that the device can be classified into class II with the establishment of special controls. FDA believes these special controls, in addition to general controls, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

Therefore, on March 20, 2015, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding 21 CFR 876.5025.

Following the effective date of this final classification order, any firm submitting a premarket notification (510(k)) for a vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation will need to comply with the special controls named in this final order. The device is assigned the generic name vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation, and it is identified as a device used for males who suffer from premature ejaculation. It is designed to increase the time between arousal and ejaculation using the stimulating vibratory effects of the device on the penis.

FDA has identified the following risks to health associated specifically with this type of device, as well as the measures required to mitigate these risks in table 1.

Table 1—Vibrator for Climax Control of Premature Ejaculation Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risk Mitigation measures Pain or Discomfort due to Misuse of Device Labeling. Burns Electrical and Thermal Safety Testing.
  • Labeling.
  • Electrical Shock Electrical Safety Testing.
  • Labeling.
  • Adverse Skin Reactions Biocompatibility Testing. Patient Injury due to Device Breakage or Failure Mechanical Safety Testing.
  • Labeling.
  • Interference With Other Devices/Electrical Equipment Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing.
  • Labeling.
  • FDA believes that the following special controls, in combination with the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness:

    • The labeling must include specific instructions regarding the proper placement and use of the device.

    • The portions of the device that contact the patient must be demonstrated to be biocompatible.

    • Appropriate analysis/testing must demonstrate electromagnetic compatibility safety, electrical safety, and thermal safety of the device.

    • Mechanical safety testing must demonstrate that the device will withstand forces encountered during use.

    Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act provides that FDA may exempt a class II device from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act, if FDA determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. For this type of device, FDA has determined that premarket notification is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. Therefore, this device type is not exempt from premarket notification requirements. Persons who intend to market this type of device must submit to FDA a premarket notification, prior to marketing the device, which contains information about the vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation they intend to market.

    II. Environmental Impact

    The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120, and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 801, regarding labeling have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    IV. Reference

    The following reference has been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

    1. DEN130047: De Novo Request per 513(f)(2) from Ergon Medical Ltd., dated November 21, 2013. List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 876

    Medical devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 876 is amended as follows:

    PART 876—GASTROENTEROLOGY—UROLOGY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 876 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 360l, 371.

    2. Add § 876.5025 to subpart F to read as follows:
    § 876.5025 Vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation.

    (a) Identification. A vibrator for climax control of premature ejaculation is used for males who suffer from premature ejaculation. It is designed to increase the time between arousal and ejaculation using the stimulating vibratory effects of the device on the penis.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls for this device are:

    (1) The labeling must include specific instructions regarding the proper placement and use of the device.

    (2) The portions of the device that contact the patient must be demonstrated to be biocompatible.

    (3) Appropriate analysis/testing must demonstrate electromagnetic compatibility safety, electrical safety, and thermal safety of the device.

    (4) Mechanical safety testing must demonstrate that the device will withstand forces encountered during use.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12852 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 243 [Docket ID: DOD-2013-OS-0130] RIN 0790-AJ08 Ratemaking Procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet Contracts AGENCY:

    USTRANSCOM, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Section 366 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 directs the Secretary of Defense to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment for airlift services provided to the Department of Defense by air carriers who are participants in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet Program. The Department of Defense (the Department or DoD) is promulgating regulations to establish ratemaking procedures for civil reserve air fleet contracts as required by Section 366(a) in order to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on June 29, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Richard Gates, Chief, Acquisition Law, USTRANSCOM/TCJA, (618) 220-3982 or Mr. Jeff Beyer, Chief, Business Support and Policy Division, USTRANSCOM/TCAQ, (618) 220-7021.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) is a wartime readiness program, based on the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, (50 U.S.C. App. 2601 et seq.), and Executive Order 13603 (National Defense Resource Preparedness), March 16, 2012, to ensure quantifiable, accessible, and reliable commercial airlift capability to augment DoD airlift and to assure a mobilization base of aircraft available to the Department of Defense for use in the event of any level of national emergency or defense-orientated situations. As a readiness program, CRAF quantifies the number of passenger and cargo commercial assets required to support various levels of wartime requirements and thus allows DoD to account for their use when developing and executing contingency operations and war plans. In addition, the CRAF program identifies how DoD gains access to these commercial assets for operations by defining the authorities and procedures for CRAF activation. Finally, the program helps ensure that the DoD has reliable lines of communication and a common understanding of procedures with the carriers.

    The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) negotiates and structures award of aircraft service contracts with certificated civilian air carriers willing to participate in the CRAF program in order to ensure that a mobilization base of aircraft is capable of responding to any level of defense-orientated situations.

    The ability to set rates maintains the CRAF program's great flexibility to have any air carrier in the program able to provide aircraft within 24 hours of activation to fly personnel and cargo to any location in the world at a set rate per passenger or ton mile, regardless of where the air carrier normally operates. It also provides the Secretary of Defense the ability to respond rapidly to assist in emergencies and approved humanitarian operations, both in the United States and overseas where delay could result in more than monetary losses. The Government-set rate allows contracts to any location, sometimes awarded within less than an hour, and provides substantial commercial capability on short notice.

    During the initial CRAF program years (between 1955 and 1962), ratemaking to price DoD airlift service relied upon price competition to meet its commercial airlift needs. This procurement method resulted in predatory pricing issues and failed to provide service meeting safety and performance requirements. Congressional Subcommittee hearings held at the time determined price competition to be non-compensatory and destructive to the industry. As a result, the ratemaking process was implemented under the regulatory authority of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). Ratemaking continued under the CAB until deregulation in 1980. At that time, civil air carriers and DoD's contracting agency for long-term international airlift, the Military Airlift Command (MAC), agreed by a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that CAB methodologies by which rates for DoD airlift were established produced fair and reasonable rates and furthered the objectives of the CRAF program; and therefore, the parties agreed to continue to use CAB methodologies for establishing MAC uniform negotiated rates under an MOU renewed every five years. MAC became Air Mobility Command (AMC) on June 1, 1992. Ratemaking continued under AMC until January 1, 2007, when DoD's contracting authority for long-term international airlift was transferred from AMC to USTRANSCOM. On December 31, 2011, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12 NDAA) (Pub. L. 112-81) was signed into law. Section 366 of the FY12 NDAA, codified at 10 U.S.C. 9511a, authorized and directed the Secretary of Defense to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment made to participants in the CRAF program. This rule effectuates Section 366.

    This rule broadly tracks the longstanding ratemaking procedures for CRAF contracts in all substantial elements and the ratemaking methodologies supporting the pricing of airlift services as described in previous and current MOUs between certificated civilian air carriers willing to participate in the CRAF program and USTRANSCOM and USTRANSCOM predecessor entities.

    In addition to compliance with this rule, CRAF participants, consistent with past practice, will be expected to enter into a MOU with USTRANSCOM where they will be expected to furnish USTRANSCOM, as a condition of its continued participation in the CRAF program, with the financial and operational information required by USTRANSCOM to adequately make a determination of fairness and reasonableness of price. This rule will have no impact on air operators or certificated air carriers not participating in the CRAF program. Nor does it impact non-CRAF services provided by CRAF participants.

    Section 366, Ratemaking Procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet, is being amended by adding a new section that authorizes the Secertary of Defense to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment for airlift services provided to the Department of Defense by air carriers who are participants in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program; and authority to prescribe regulations to implement rate making procedures.

    USTRANSCOM published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on May 14, 2014 (79 FR 27516). The proposed rule effectuates Section 366 of the FY12 NDAA, codified at 10 U.S.C. 9511a, which authorized and directed the Secretary of Defense to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment made to participants in the CRAF program.

    Comment and Responses

    In the proposed rule, which published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2014 (79 FR 27516-27521), USTRANSCOM provided the public a 60-day comment period which ended July 14, 2014. USTRANSCOM received one comment.

    Comment: The comment recommends clarification to the introduction provided in § 243.8, Application of FAR Cost Principles. The commentor believes the proposed rule, which states “. . . procedures differ from the following provisions . . .” is ambiguous, and recommended a clarification that portions of the cost principles identified in that section are applicable and exceptions are appropriate only when the unique ratemaking requirements of the CRAF program prohibit their application. The commentor believes this change will preserve allow-ability considerations in the cost principles not affected by the unique CRAF program requirements.

    Response: The Rule provides that USTRANSCOM may utilize principles contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), as supplemented, in establishing the rate of payment for aircraft supporting CRAF. The Rule clearly notes that procedures used in establishing rates differ from the provisions of FAR Part 31 and DFARS Part 231 identified in § 243.8. This is necessary because airline accounting systems are established to report costs in accordance with the Department of Transportation requirements found at 14 CFR part 241. However, nothing in § 243.8 limits in any manner, USTRANSCOM's use or application of the identified cost principles or portions thereof, as appropriate, in establishing fair and reasonable rates of payment. No further clarification is required.

    Description of the Regulation, by Section

    Sections 243.1 through 243.3. Purpose, Applicability, and Definitions. No further descriptions are provided in this section. These sections of the regulation are self explanatory.

    Section 243.4(a). In establishing fair and reasonable rate of payments for airlift service contracts in support of CRAF, USTRANSCOM may utilize the principles contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, as supplemented. Specific differences are as noted at § 243.8 of the regulation.

    Sections 243.4(c) and (d) Analysis and Rates. Details for the current ratemaking cycle can be located on FedBizOps under the Proposed Uniform Rates and Rules and Final Uniform Rates and Rules, which can be located at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=3ae87338a903f3e6e43a2627941dbb1c&tab=core&_cview=1.

    Sections 243.4(e)(1) through (e)(6) Components of the Rate. Additional insight in this area is included in the current Memorandum of Understanding (FY13 through FY17), which can be found at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=3ae87338a903f3e6e43a2627941dbb1c&tab=core&_cview=1.

    Section 243.4(f) Contingency Rates. Authority is reserved to the Commander, USTRANSCOM, to implement a higher temporary rate if USTRANSCOM determines that the established rate of payment is insufficient to allow successful mission operations. These temporary contingency rates are used at the Commander, USTRANSCOM's discretion during conditions such as outbreak of war, armed conflict, insurrection, civil or military strife, emergencies, or similar conditions and are adjusted to reflect possible limited backhaul opportunities. These rates would continue until it is determined by the Commander, USTRANSCOM that such rates are no longer needed to ensure mission accomplishment or sufficient data has been obtained to establish a new rate, after which the contingency rates would cease.

    Section 243.5 Commitment of Aircraft as a Business Factor. For the purpose of rate making, the average fleet cost of aircraft proposed by the carriers for the forecast year is used. Actual awards to CRAF carriers are based upon the aircraft accepted into the CRAF program. Aircraft are assigned to stages in a manner designed to spread the risk among all carriers proportionate to the airline total commitment and capability; as an example, all air carriers are required to have a minimum of one aircraft in Stage I but each carrier's total aircraft in Stage I cannot exceed ~15% of the passenger or cargo requirement.

    Section 243.6 Exclusions from the uniform negotiated rate. No further description is provided in this section. This section of the regulation is self explanatory.

    Section 243.7 Inapplicable provisions of law. Consistent with the requirements of Section 366, this section provides that determining the rate of payment for an airlift service contract will not be subject to the provisions of Section 2306a of Title 10, United States Code, entitled Cost or Pricing Data: Truth in Negotiations Act or subsections (a) and (b) of Section 1502 of Title 41, United States Code, entitled Cost Accounting Standards.

    Section 243.8 Application of FAR cost principles. Some FAR cost principles contained in FAR Part 31 and DFARS 231 are modified for use in the ratemaking process. There are two primary reasons for this:

    First, compliance with certain principles is not possible for airline carriers. Airline accounting systems are established to report costs in accordance with the Department of Transportation requirements found at 14 CFR part 241. These requirements generally do not allow carriers to assign costs directly to a final cost objective, or contract. Contractors who do not assign costs directly to a contract cannot comply with FAR 31.202. Additionally, 14 CFR part 241 directs an air carrier to financially account for property taxes in General and Administrative expense, whereas FAR 31.205-41(c) directs contractors to account for these taxes directly to a final cost objective. Therefore, simply by complying with requirements of 14 CFR part 241 (required by the Department of Transportation), CRAF carriers cannot be in compliance with certain principles at FAR 31 and DFARS 231.

    Secondly, selected cost principles must be modified in order to maintain uniformity across the industry when developing a uniform rate of payment. An example of this can be found at FAR 31.205-11, Depreciation. This principle requires contractors limit depreciation to the amount used for financial accounting purposes and in a manner consistent with depreciation policies and procedures followed in the same segment of non-Government business. Under the Department's ratemaking process, all depreciation values are pre-established in order to maintain uniformity within the rate. These depreciation values are as indicated in the MOU. Therefore, the FAR cost principle outlining depreciation requirements cannot be applicable to the ratemaking process.

    Section 243.9 Carrier site visits. No further description is provided in this section. This section of the regulation is self explanatory.

    Sections 243.10 and 243.11 Disputes and Appeals of USTRANSCOM Contracting Officer Decisions regarding rates. The disputes and appeals provision of the proposed ratemaking procedures follows long established protocol that was previously reflected in MOUs executed between CRAF air carrier participants and the government. In sum, carriers with ratemaking concerns are required to first present their concerns to the ratemaking team for resolution. If the matter is not resolved by the ratemaking team, the carrier can in turn request resolution by the USTRANSCOM contracting officer. If satisfactory resolution is still absent, the carrier should address their matter to the USTRANSCOM Ombudsman who is appointed to hear and facilitate resolution of such issues. If needed, the Director of Acquisition, USTRANSCOM, issues a final agency decision in unresolved matters presented by any carrier still seeking satisfactory resolution of a ratemaking issue.

    Statutory Certification Executive Order 12866 “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563 “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, and if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E. O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. It has been determined that 32 CFR part 243 is not an economically significant regulatory action and is also not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804, nor is it a significant rule that requires review by OMB. The rule does not:

    (1) Have an annual affect to the economy in excess of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local or tribal governments or communities;

    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency;

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.

    Additionally, participation in the CRAF program is voluntary. All willing carriers meeting the technical requirements of CRAF will receive a contract. The final rule does not add additional requirements to those that have been historically required by the CRAF contract and ratemaking process. The final rule clarifies existing and historical procedures utilized by USTRANSCOM for carriers participating in the CRAF program.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4)

    It has been certified that this rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    DoD certifies this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq, because the rule does not change or add any policies or procedures. This rule merely implements Section 366 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Pub. L. 112-81) using historically established ratemaking methodologies and procedures. According to the most recent records, there are 28 certified civilian air carriers willing to participate in the CRAF program for FY2013, of which 12 qualify as small businesses. Because the rule does not change or add any policies or procedures there is not a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and a regulatory flexibility analysis was not performed. Furthermore, any airline meeting the CRAF technical requirements, regardless of business size, will be awarded a contract with rates of payment prescribed by this rule.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    The rule does not impose any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Executive Order 13132 Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 requires that Executive departments and agencies identify regulatory actions that have significant federalism implications. A regulation has federalism implications if it has substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship or distribution of power between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government.

    The provisions of this part, as required by 10 U.S.C. 9511a, have no substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship or distribution of power between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government. Therefore, the Department has determined that the proposed part has no federalism implications that warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment in accordance with Executive Order 13132.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 243

    Air fleet, Armed forces reserves, Contracts.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations is amended by adding part 243 to read as follows:

    PART 243—DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RATEMAKING PROCEDURES FOR CIVIL RESERVE AIR FLEET CONTRACTS Sec. 243.1 Purpose. 243.2 Applicability. 243.3 Definitions. 243.4 Ratemaking procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet contracts. 243.5 Commitment of aircraft as a business factor. 243.6 Exclusions from the uniform negotiated rate. 243.7 Inapplicable provisions of law. 243.8 Application of FAR cost principles. 243.9 Carrier site visits. 243.10 Disputes. 243.11 Appeals of USTRANSCOM Contracting Officer Decisions regarding rates. 243.12 Required records retention. Authority:

    Section 366 National Defense Authorization Act for FY12 (Pub. L. 112-81)

    10 U.S.C. Chap 931, Section 9511a.

    § 243.1 Purpose.

    The Secretary of Defense (Secretary) is required to determine a fair and reasonable rate of payment for airlift services provided to the Department of Defense (DoD) by civil air carriers and operators (hereinafter collectively referred to as “air carriers”) who are participants in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program (CRAF). This regulation provides the authority and methodology for such ratemaking and designates the United Stated Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) as the rate setter for negotiated uniform rates for DoD airlift service contracts in support of the CRAF. This methodology supports a viable CRAF mobilization base that ensures sufficient capacity in time of war, contingency and humanitarian relief efforts.

    § 243.2 Applicability.

    This section governs all contracts with the Department of Defense where awards to the air carriers, either through individual contracts or teaming arrangements, are commensurate with the relative amount of airlift capability committed to the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).

    § 243.3 Definitions.

    Air carrier. “Air carrier” is defined in 49 U.S.C. 40102(a)(2) as “a citizen of the United States undertaking by any means, directly or indirectly, to provide air transportation.” Specifically to this ratemaking procedure, individuals or entities that operate commercial fixed and rotary wing aircraft in accordance with the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR chapter I) or equivalent regulations issued by a country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and which provide air transportation services are included. Commercial air carriers under contract with, or operating on behalf of, the DoD shall have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or CAA certificate. The policy contained in this directive applies only to air carriers operating fixed wing aircraft under CRAF international airlift services.

    Aircraft class. Distinct categories of aircraft with similar broad characteristics established for ratemaking purposes. These categories include aircraft such as large passenger, medium passenger, large cargo, etc. They are determined by USTRANSCOM and identified in Published Uniform Rates and Rules for International Service Appendix A (Published in FedBizOps).

    Civil Reserve Air Fleet International Airlift Services. Those services provided in support of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet contract, whereby contractors provide personnel, training, supervision, equipment, facilities, supplies and any items and services necessary to perform international long-range and short-range airlift services during peacetime and during CRAF activation in support of the Department of Defense (DoD). Implements the Fly CRAF Act. See 49 U.S.C. 41106.

    Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) Assured Business Guarantees. See 10 U.S.C. 9515.

    Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) Program. The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) is a wartime readiness program, based on the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, (50 U.S.C. App. 2601 et seq.), and Executive Order 13603 (National Defense Resource Preparedness), March 16, 2012, to ensure quantifiable, accessible, and reliable commercial airlift capability to augment DoD airlift and to assure a mobilization base of aircraft available to the Department of Defense for use in the event of any level of national emergency or defense-orientated situations. As a readiness program, CRAF quantifies the number of passenger and cargo commercial assets required to support various levels of wartime requirements and thus allows DoD to account for their use when developing and executing contingency operations/war plans. The CRAF is composed of U.S. registered aircraft owned or controlled by U.S. air carriers specifically allocated (by FAA registration number) for this purpose by the Department of Transportation. As used herein, CRAF aircraft are those allocated aircraft, which the carrier owning or otherwise controlling them, has contractually committed to the DoD, under stated conditions, to meet varying emergency needs for civil airlift augmentation of the military airlift capability. The contractual commitment of the aircraft includes the supporting resources required to provide the contract airlift. In return for a commitment to the CRAF program, airlines are afforded access to day-to-day business under various DoD contracts.

    Historical Costs. Those allowable costs for airlift services for a 12 month period, gathered from Department of Transportation (DOT) Uniform System of Accounts and Reports (USAR) (hereinafter referred to as “Form 41”) reporting (required by 14 CFR parts 217 and 241).

    Long-range aircraft. Aircraft equipped with navigation, communication, and life support systems/emergency equipment required to operate in trans-oceanic airspace, and on international routes, for a minimum distance of 3,500 nautical miles, while carrying a productive payload (75 percent of the maximum payload it is capable of carrying.) Additionally aircraft must be equipped and able to operate worldwide (e.g. in EUROCONTROL and North Atlantic Minimum Navigation Performance Specification airspace and possess the applicable VHF, Mode-S, RNP, and RVSM communication and navigation capabilities.)

    Memorandum of Understanding with attachment (MOU). A written agreement between certificated air carriers willing to participate in the CRAF program and USTRANSCOM with the purpose of establishing guidelines to facilitate establishment of rates for airlift services (e.g. passenger, cargo, combi, and aeromedical evacuation.)

    Operational data. Those statistics that are gathered from DOT Form 41 reporting, USTRANSCOM reported monthly round trip (S-1) and one-way (S-2) mileage reports, monthly fuel reports or other data deemed necessary by the USTRANSCOM contracting officer.

    Participating carriers. Any properly certified and DoD approved air carrier in the CRAF program which complies with the conditions of the MOU and executes a USTRANSCOM contract.

    Projected rates. The estimated rates proposed by carriers based upon historical cost and operational data as further described in § 243.4(a) through (g).

    Ratemaking methodologies. The methodologies agreed to by USTRANSCOM and air carriers in the MOU for the treatment of certain cost elements to determine the estimated price for the DoD for airlift services.

    Short-range aircraft. Aircraft equipped for extended over-water operations and capable of flying a minimum distance of 1,500 nautical miles while carrying a productive payload (75 percent of the maximum payload it is capable of carrying).

    § 243.4 Ratemaking procedures for Civil Reserve Air Fleet contracts.

    The ratemaking procedures contained within this section apply only to Airlift Service contracts awarded based on CRAF commitment. Competitively awarded contracts may be used by the Department of Defense when it considers such contracts to be in the best interest of the government. See §§ 243.5(b) and 243.6 for exclusions to ratemaking.

    (a) Rates of payment for airlift services. USTRANSCOM may utilize the principles contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), as supplemented, in establishing fair and reasonable rate of payments for airlift service contracts in support of CRAF. Specific exceptions to FAR are noted in § 243.8 of this rule. To facilitate uniformity within the ratemaking process, USTRANSCOM will execute a MOU with air carriers to institute the basis for methods upon which the rates will be established. An updated MOU will be executed as warranted and published for public comment on FedBizOps. Under the MOU, air carriers agree to furnish historical cost and operational data, as well as their projected rates for the ensuing fiscal year. USTRANSCOM will conduct a review of air carriers' historical and projected costs and negotiate with the carriers to establish rates using ratemaking methodologies contained in the attachment to the MOU.

    (b) Obtaining data from participating carriers. USTRANSCOM will annually notify those participating carriers to provide data using the USTRANSCOM cost package and related instructions. The data provided includes pricing data, cost data, and judgmental information necessary for the USTRANSCOM contracting officer to determine a fair and reasonable price or to determine cost realism. Carriers will be provided 60 calendar days to act upon the request.

    (c) Analysis. (1) USTRANSCOM will consider carrier reported DOT Form 41 costs as well as other applicable costs directly assigned to performance in USTRANSCOM service. These costs will be reviewed and analyzed by USTRANSCOM for allowability, allocability, and reasonableness. Costs may also be audited by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), as necessary, in accordance with the DCAA Contract Audit Manual 7640.01.

    (2) To determine allocation of these costs to USTRANSCOM service, USTRANSCOM considers carrier reported DOT Form 41 operational data, as well as USTRANSCOM S-1, S-2 mileage reports, fuel reports, and other relevant information requested by the contracting officer.

    (d) Rates. Rates will be determined by aircraft class (e.g. large passenger, medium passenger, large cargo, etc.) based on the average efficiency of all participating carriers within the specified class. Application of these rates, under varying conditions (e.g. ferry, one-way, etc), are addressed in the Final Rates published in accordance with § 243.4(h).

    (e) Components of the rate—(1) Return on Investment (ROI). ROI for USTRANSCOM service is intended to adequately compensate carriers for cost of capital. USTRANSCOM will apply a minimum return applied to the carrier's total operating costs. If a full return on investment applied to a carrier's capital investment base is provided in the MOU, the carrier will receive whichever is greater.

    (i) Full ROI. The full ROI will be computed using an optimal capital structure of 45 percent debt and 55 percent equity. The cost-of-debt and cost-of-equity are calculated from revenues of major carriers as reported to the Department of Transportation.

    (A) Cost-of-Debt (COD). COD will be calculated considering the Risk Free Rate (RFR) plus the weighted debt spread, with the formula as agreed upon in the MOU.

    (B) Cost-of-Equity (COE). COE will be determined by a formula agreed upon in the MOU, which considers RFR, weighted betas, annualized equity risk premium and a future expected return premium.

    (C) Owned/Capital/Long-Term Leased Aircraft. New airframes and related support parts will receive full ROI on the net book value of equipment at mid-point of forecast year. USTRANSCOM will apply the economic service life standards to aircraft as indicated in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

    (D) Short-term leased aircraft. As a return on annual lease payments, short-term leased equipment will receive the Full ROI less the cost of money rate per the Secretary of the Treasury under Public Law 92-41 (85 Stat. 97), as provided by the Office of Management and Budget, in accordance with the MOU.

    (E) Working capital. Working capital will be provided in the investment base at an established number of days provided in the MOU. The investment base will be computed on total operating cash less non cash expenses (depreciation) as calculated by USTRANSCOM.

    (ii) Minimum Return. USTRANSCOM will determine minimum return utilizing the Weighted Guidelines methodology as set forth in DFARS Subpart 215.4, Contract Pricing, or successor and as provided in the MOU.

    (2) Depreciation. USTRANSCOM will apply economic life standards for new aircraft at 14 years, 2 percent residual (narrowbody) and 16 years and 10 percent residual (widebody) aircraft. USTRANSCOM will apply economic life standards for used aircraft as indicated in the MOU.

    (3) Utilization. Utilization considers the number of airborne hours flown per aircraft per day. USTRANSCOM will calculate aircraft utilization in accordance with the DOT Form 41 reporting and the MOU.

    (4) Cost escalation. Escalation is the percentage increase or decrease applied to the historical base year costs to reliably estimate the cost of performance in the contract period. Yearly cost escalation will be calculated in accordance with the MOU.

    (5) Weighting of rate. Rates will be weighted based upon the direct relationship between contract performance and cost incurred in execution of the contract. The specific weighting will be as defined in the MOU.

    (6) Obtaining data from participating carriers. Carriers participating in USTRANSCOM acquisitions subject to ratemaking shall provide, other than certified cost and pricing data for USTRANSCOM, rate reviews as required in the MOU.

    (f) Contingency rate. Authority is reserved to the Commander, USTRANSCOM, at his discretion, during conditions such as outbreak of war, armed conflict, insurrection, civil or military strife, emergency, or similar conditions, to use a temporary contingency rate in order to ensure mission accomplishment. Any such temporary rate would terminate at the Commander's discretion upon his determination that such rate is no longer needed.

    (g) Proposed rate. Once the data is analyzed and audit findings considered, USTRANSCOM will prepare a package setting forth proposed airlift rates and supporting data. The proposed rates will be approved by the USTRANSCOM contracting officer and posted publicly on FedBizOps for comment. The comment period will be as specified in the proposed rate package.

    (h) Final rate. Upon closing of the comment period, comments and supporting rationale will be addressed and individual negotiations conducted between USTRANSCOM and the air carriers. After negotiations have concluded, USTRANSCOM will prepare a rate package setting forth final airlift rates for each aircraft class, along with supporting data consisting of individual carrier cost elements. Comments and disposition of those comments will be included in the final rate package. The final rates will be approved by the USTRANSCOM contracting officer and publicly posted on FedBizOps for use in the ensuing contract.

    § 243.5 Commitment of aircraft as a business factor.

    For the purpose of rate making, the average fleet cost of aircraft proposed by the carriers for the forecast year is used. Actual awards to CRAF carriers are based upon the aircraft accepted into the CRAF program. The Secretary may, in determining the quantity of business to be received under an airlift services contract for which the rate of payment is determined in accordance with subsection (a) of 10 U.S.C. 9511a, use as a factor the relative amount of airlift capability committed by each air carrier to the CRAF.

    (a) Adjustments in commitment to target specific needs of the contract period. The amount of business awarded in return for commitment to the program under a CRAF contract may be adjusted prior to the award of the contract to reflect increased importance of identified aircraft categories (e.g., Aeromedical Evacuation) or performance factors (e.g., flyer's bonus, superior on-time performers, etc.). These adjustments will be identified in the solicitation.

    (b) Exclusions of categories of business from commitment based awards. Where adequate competition is available and USTRANSCOM determines some part of the business is more appropriate for award under competitive procedures, the rate-making will not apply. Changes to areas of business will be reflected in the solicitation.

    § 243.6 Exclusions from the uniform negotiated rate.

    Domestic CRAF is handled differently than international CRAF in that aircraft committed does not factor into the amount of business awarded during peacetime. If domestic CRAF is activated, carriers will be paid in accordance with pre-negotiated prices that have been determined fair and reasonable, not a uniform rate.

    § 243.7 Inapplicable provisions of law.

    An airlift services contract for which the rate of payment is determined in accordance with subsection (a) of 10 U.S.C. 9511a shall not be subject to the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 2306a, or to the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of 41 U.S.C. 1502. Specifically, contracts establishing rates for services provided by air carriers who are participants in the CRAF program are not subject to the cost or pricing data provision of the Truth in Negotiations Act (10 U.S.C. 2306a) or the Cost Accounting Standards (41 U.S.C. 1502). CRAF carriers will, however, continue to submit data in accordance with the MOU and the DOT, Form 41.

    § 243.8 Application of FAR cost principles.

    In establishing fair and reasonable rate of payments for airlift service contracts in support of CRAF, USTRANSCOM, in accordance with10 U.S.C. 9511a, procedures differ from the following provisions of FAR Part 31 and DFARS Part 231, as supplemented:

    FAR 31.202, Direct Costs FAR 31.203, Indirect Costs FAR 31.205-6, Compensation for Personal Services, subparagraphs (g), (j), and (k) FAR 31.205-10, Cost of Money FAR 31.205-11, Depreciation FAR 31.205-18, Independent Research and Development and Bid and Proposal Costs FAR 31.205-19, Insurance and Indemnification FAR 31.205-26, Material Costs FAR 31.205-40, Special Tooling and Special Test Equipment Costs FAR 31.205-41, Taxes DFARS 231.205-18, Independent research and development and bid and proposal costs
    § 243.9 Carrier site visits.

    USTRANSCOM may participate in carrier site visits, as required to determine the reasonableness or verification of cost and pricing data.

    § 243.10 Disputes.

    Carriers should first address concerns to the ratemaking team for resolution. Ratemaking issues that are not resolved to the carrier's satisfaction through discussions with the ratemaking team may be directed to the USTRANSCOM contracting officer.

    § 243.11 Appeals of USTRANSCOM Contracting Officer Decisions regarding rates.

    If resolution of ratemaking issues cannot be made by the USTRANSCOM contracting officer, concerned parties shall contact the USTRANSCOM Ombudsman appointed to hear and facilitate the resolution of such concerns. In the event a ratemaking issue is not resolved through the ombudsman process, the carrier may request a final agency decision from the Director of Acquisition, USTRANSCOM.

    § 243.12 Required records retention.

    The air carrier is required to retain copies of data submitted to support rate determination for a period identified in Subpart 4.7 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Contractor Records Retention.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12825 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [USCG-2015-0448] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Harvey, LA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Harvey Canal Railroad Bascule Bridge across Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, mile 0.2 west of Harvey Lock (Harvey Canal), at Harvey, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. This deviation provides for the bridge to remain closed to navigation for 175 consecutive hours to replace the north side bronze pinion bearing bushing to the drawbridge.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from noon on Friday, June 19, 2015 until 7 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0448] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Donna Gagliano, Bridge Specialist, Coast Guard; telephone 504-671-2128, email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railway Company has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule for the Harvey Canal Railroad Bascule Bridge across Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, mile 0.2 west of Harvey Lock (Harvey Canal), at Harvey, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 9 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and 75 feet above mean high water in the open-to-navigation position.

    Presently, the bridge opens on signal according to operating regulation Tile 33 CFR 117.5. This deviation is effective from noon on Friday, June 19, 2015 until 7 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015. This deviation provides for the bridge to remain closed-to-navigation for 175 consecutive hours.

    For the duration of the replacement of the bronze pinion bearing bushings, vessels will not be allowed to pass through the bridge in order to complete the needed replacement.

    The closure is necessary in order to replace the north side bronze pinion bearing bushing to the drawbridge essential for the continued safe operation of the draw span of the railroad bridge. The Coast Guard has coordinated the closure with waterway users, industry, and other Coast Guard units. It has been determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on vessel traffic.

    Navigation on the waterway consists mainly of tugs with tows. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is an alternate route available via the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Algiers Alternate Route) to avoid unnecessary delays.

    The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulation is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

    Dated: May 21, 2015 David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12812 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0280] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Loading and Outbound Transit of TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, Savannah River; Savannah, GA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS during the loading and outbound transit of three oversized ship to shore (STS) cranes on the Savannah River from the Georgia Ports Authority, Garden City Terminal. This safety zone facilitates the safe loading and outbound transit of three oversized STS cranes from the Port of Savannah. A fixed safety zone will be enforced during the loading of the cranes on the barge and a moving safety zone will be enforced while the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS are transiting outbound the Savannah River. This regulation is necessary to protect life and property on the navigable waters of the Savannah River due to the hazards associated with the transport of these oversized cranes. Entry into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Savannah or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from May 28, 2015 until 11:59 p.m., July 1, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from May 14, 2015 until May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2014-0280. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email LT Christopher McElvaine, Marine Safety Unit Savannah Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (912) 652-4353 ext 221, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM  Notice of proposed rulemaking A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard did not receive notice of the transit until April 6, 2015. Publishing a NPRM and delaying its effective date would be impracticable and contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to protect the TUG THOMAS, BARGE OCEANUS, other vessels, and mariners from the hazards associated with the transit operations of three STS cranes from Georgia Ports Authority.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register for the same reasons discussed above.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish regulated navigation areas and other limited access areas: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    The purpose of the rule is to ensure the safety of life and vessels on a navigable waterway of the United States during the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS ship to shore crane loading and outbound transit.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing this safety zone to facilitate the safe loading of cranes and outbound transit of the TUG THOMAS and the BARGE OCEANUS on the Savannah River. The large STS cranes pose a danger to other vessels that may meet, pass or attempt to overtake the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS in the narrow waterway of the Savannah River. This safety zone is necessary to protect the safety of lives and persons during this transit.

    A moving and fixed safety zone will be established when the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS commence loading operations and begin outbound transit. It will cover all waters of the Savannah River one nautical mile ahead and astern of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS. During crane loading operations no vessel may pass TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS unless authorized by the COTP Savannah or designated representative and during the vessel's outbound transit, no other vessel may meet, pass, or overtake the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, unless authorized by the COTP Savannah or a designated representative.

    Entry into the safety zone is prohibited for all vessels unless specifically authorized by the COTP Savannah or a designated representative. U.S. Coast Guard assets or designated representatives will enforce this safety zone, and coordinate vessel movements into the zone when safe to minimize the zone's impact on vessel movements. Persons or vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone may contact the Captain of the Port Savannah by telephone at (912) 652-4353, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone is granted by the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative. The Coast Guard will provide notice of the safety zones by Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    This rule will only be enforced during loading operations and the outbound transit of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS and will remain in effect until the vessels have left the harbor. The COTP Savannah or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notice to mariners of the enforcement periods for this safety zone.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on these statutes and executive orders.

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders.

    The economic impact of this rule is not significant for the following reasons: This safety zone will only be enforced during times of loading operations and the outbound transit of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS on the Savannah River. Once the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS have exited the Savannah River, the safety zone will be terminated. The transit of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS is expected to take six to eight hours.

    The Coast Guard has notified the Georgia Ports Authority and Savannah Pilots Association of the needs, conditions, and effective dates and times of the safety zone so that they may schedule arriving and departing vessels that may be affected by this safety zone to minimize shipping delays. The presence of other moored vessels is not expected to impede the safe loading and outbound transit of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, and sufficient channel width is anticipated while the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS are moored so that other vessels may transit through the area.

    Notifications of the enforcement periods of this safety zone will be made to the marine community through broadcast notice to mariners. Representatives of the COTP will be on-scene to coordinate the movements of vessels seeking to enter the safety zone. These representatives will authorize vessel transits into the zone to the maximum safely allowable during the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

    The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the Savannah River while TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS is transiting outbound on the Savannah River and while moored at Georgia Ports Authority. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: (1) The COTP Savannah may consider granting vessels permission to enter into the moving and fixed safety zone if conditions allow for such transit to be conducted safely, and (2) the Coast Guard will issue a broadcast notice to mariners informing the public of the safety zone.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

    6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    8. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

    9. Civil Justice Reform

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    10. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that may disproportionately affect children.

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    12. Energy Effects

    This action is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

    13. Technical Standards

    This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves the creation of a temporary safety zone. This rule is categorically excluded, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add a temporary § 165.T07-0280 to read as follows:
    § 165.T07-0280 Safety Zone; STS Crane Loading and Outbound Transit of TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS, Savannah River, Savannah, GA.

    (a) Regulated area. The fixed safety zone will be centered on TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS while moored and conducting loading operations, extending 500 yards in all directions. The moving safety zone will cover all waters of the Savannah River one nautical mile ahead and astern of the TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS while transiting outbound with the ship to shore (STS) cranes onboard.

    (b) Definition. The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Savannah in the enforcement of the regulated area.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the safety zones unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zones may contact the Captain of the Port Savannah by telephone at (912) 652-4353, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the safety zone is granted by the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Savannah or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated areas by Broadcast Notice to Mariners and on-scene designated representatives.

    (e) Effective period. This rule is effective on April 21, 2015 through May 31, 2015. This rule will be enforced when STS operations commence until TUG THOMAS and BARGE OCEANUS depart the Savannah River.

    Dated: May 14, 2015. A.M. Beach, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Savannah.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12637 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA-2009-0041-N-4] 49 CFR Part 234 RIN 2130-AC50 Systems for Telephonic Notification of Unsafe Conditions at Highway-Rail and Pathway Grade Crossings AGENCY:

    Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this document is to update the current schedule of civil penalties for violations of FRA's grade crossing safety regulations by adding recommended civil penalty amounts for violations of specific requirements contained in a recently added subpart. That subpart prescribes requirements that certain railroads establish emergency notification systems (ENS) for receiving toll-free telephone calls reporting various unsafe conditions at highway-rail grade crossings and pathway grade crossings, and for taking certain actions in response to those calls.

    DATES:

    Effective May 28, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Beth Crawford, Transportation Specialist, Grade Crossing Safety and Trespass Prevention, Office of Safety Analysis, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 25, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6288), [email protected]; or Sara Mahmoud-Davis, Trial Attorney, Office of Chief Counsel, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Mail Stop 10, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-366-1118), [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FRA is revising the penalty schedule at appendix A to 49 CFR part 234 to add recommended civil penalty amounts for violations of specific requirements contained in subpart E, Emergency Notification Systems [ENS] for Telephonic Reporting of Unsafe Conditions at Highway-Rail and Pathway Grade Crossings. (See FRA's final rule published on June 12, 2012, 77 FR 35164; March 15, 2013, 78 FR 16414.) The recommended civil penalties are for violations related to the various requirements of an ENS, which includes the: (1) Sign(s) placed at the grade crossing that display the information necessary for the public to report an unsafe condition to the appropriate railroad; (2) method the railroad uses to receive and process a telephone call reporting the unsafe condition; (3) remedial action the appropriate railroad or railroads take to address the report of the unsafe conditions; and (4) recordkeeping conducted by the railroad(s).

    Under authority delegated from the Secretary of Transportation, FRA adds these recommended penalty amounts to the penalty schedule consistent with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 21301(a)(2), which provides, in pertinent part, that:

    [t]he Secretary of Transportation shall include in, or make applicable to, each regulation prescribed . . . under chapter 201 of this title a civil penalty for a violation. * * * The amount of the penalty shall be at least $500 but not more than $25,000. However, when a grossly negligent violation or a pattern of repeated violations has caused an imminent hazard of death or injury to individuals, or has caused death or injury, the amount may be not more than $100,000. See delegation from the Secretary to the Administrator of FRA at 49 CFR 1.89(a).

    Under the separate authority of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended, FRA has periodically adjusted for inflation the amounts of the minimum, ordinary maximum, and aggravated maximum civil penalties for a violation of this part. Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890, 28 U.S.C. 2461, note, as amended by Section 31001(s)(1) of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-373, April 26, 1996. Currently, the minimum penalty is $650, the ordinary maximum civil penalty is $25,000; and the aggravated maximum civil penalty is $105,000. See, e.g., 73 FR 76704, Dec. 30, 2008; 77 FR 24422, Apr. 24, 2012. As provided for in footnote 1 to appendix A, the Administrator specifically reserves the authority to assess the maximum penalty of $105,000 for any specific violation if the circumstances of the particular violation warrant.

    After FRA issues a civil penalty against an entity, FRA may adjust or compromise the amount of the civil penalty based on a wide variety of mitigating factors, which include: (1) The nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation; (2) with respect to the entity, the degree of culpability, any history of violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue to do business; and (3) other matters that justice requires. 49 U.S.C. 21301(a)(3).

    FRA's revision of appendix A is a general statement of policy under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A). Consequently, notice and an opportunity for comment are not required, and this amendment is made effective upon publication.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 234

    Highway safety, Penalties, Railroad safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, State and local governments.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FRA amends part 234 of chapter II, subtitle B of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 234—GRADE CROSSING SAFETY 1. The authority citation for part 234 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 20103, 20107, 20152, 20160, 21301, 21304, 21311, 22501 note; Pub. L. 110-432, Div. A., Sec. 202; 28 U.S.C. 2461, note; and 49 CFR 1.89.

    2. Amend appendix A to part 234 by: a. Adding, after the end of the entry for subpart D, an entry for subpart E; b. Revising footnote 1; and c. Adding footnotes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 234—Schedule of Civil Penalties 1 Section Violation Willful
  • violation
  • * * * * * * * Subpart E—Emergency Notification Systems for Telephonic Reporting of Unsafe Conditions at Highway-Rail and Pathway Grade Crossings  234.303 Emergency notification systems (ENS) for telephonic reporting of unsafe conditions at highway-rail and pathway grade crossings: (a) Dispatching railroad fails to establish and maintain a toll-free telephone service by which the railroad can directly and promptly receive telephone calls (calls) from the public of reports of unsafe conditions at crossings 15,000 25,000 (a)(1) Dispatching railroad fails to have either a live person answer calls directly and promptly, or use an automated answering system or third-party telephone service for receiving calls from the public of reports of unsafe conditions at crossings 10,000 15,000 (a)(2) Dispatching railroad improperly uses an automated answering system 10,000 15,000 (b)(1)-(2) Excepted dispatching railroad improperly uses answering machine to receive calls of unsafe conditions at crossings 5,000 7,500 (b)(2) Excepted dispatching railroad fails to use proper method to receive calls of unsafe conditions at crossings during either operational or non-operational hours 5,000 7,500 (e) Dispatching railroad improperly uses local telephone number to receive calls of unsafe conditions at crossings 5,000 7,500  234.305 Remedial actions in response to reports of unsafe conditions at highway-rail and pathway grade crossings: Response to credible report of warning system malfunction at a highway-rail grade crossing. (a)(1) Maintaining railroad fails under subpart C to follow subpart C of this part 2 5,000 7,500 (a)(2)(i) Dispatching railroad fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (ii) Dispatching railroad fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad and inform it of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 Response to public report of warning system malfunction at a highway-rail grade crossing. (b)(1)(i) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the malfunction, and take the appropriate remedial action 5,000 7,500 (b)(2)(i) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad and inform it of the reported malfunction 5,000 7,500 (iv) Maintaining railroad fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the malfunction, and take the appropriate remedial action 5,000 7,500 Response to report of warning system failure at a pathway grade crossing. (c)(1)(i) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported failure 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported failure 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the failure, and without undue delay repair the active warning system if necessary 5,000 7,500 (c)(2)(i) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported failure 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported failure 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad and inform it of the reported failure 5,000 7,500 (iv) Maintaining railroad fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the failure, and without undue delay repair the active warning system if necessary 5,000 7,500 Response to report of a disabled vehicle or other obstruction blocking a railroad track at a highway-rail or pathway grade crossing. (d)(1)(i) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported obstruction 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported obstruction 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the obstruction, and without undue delay take the necessary action to have the obstruction removed 5,000 7,500 (d)(2)(i) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact all trains authorized to operate through the crossing and inform them of the reported obstruction 5,000 7,500 (ii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and inform it of the reported obstruction 5,000 7,500 (iii) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad and inform it of the reported obstruction 5,000 7,500 (iv) Maintaining railroad fails to promptly investigate the report, determine the nature of the obstruction, and without undue delay take the necessary action to have the obstruction removed 5,000 7,500 Special rule on contacting a train that is not required to have communication equipment. (e) Having received a report pursuant to § 234.303(c)(1), (c)(2), (d)(1), or (d)(2), railroad fails to promptly contact the occupied controlling locomotive of the train by the quickest means available consistent with § 220.13(a) of this chapter 5,000 7,500 Response to report of an obstruction of view at a highway-rail or pathway grade crossing. (f)(1) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to timely investigate the report and remove the obstruction if it is lawful and feasible to do so 5,000 7,500 (f)(2)(i) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad 5,000 7,500 (ii) Maintaining railroad fails to timely investigate the report and remove the obstruction if it is lawful and feasible to do so 5,000 7,500 Response to report of other unsafe condition at a highway-rail or pathway grade crossing. (g)(1) Railroad with both maintaining and dispatching responsibilities fails to timely investigate the report, and timely correct the unsafe condition if it is lawful and feasible to do so 5,000 7,500 (g)(2) Railroad with only dispatching responsibility fails to promptly contact the maintaining railroad 5,000 7,500 (g)(3) Maintaining railroad fails to timely investigate the report, and timely correct the unsafe condition if it is lawful and feasible to do so 5,000 7,500 Maintaining railroad's responsibilities for receiving reports of unsafe conditions at highway-rail and pathway grade crossings. (h)(1)(i) Maintaining railroad fails to provide sufficient contact information to dispatching railroad, by which the dispatching railroad may timely contact the maintaining railroad upon receipt of a report 5,000 7,500 (ii) Maintaining railroad fails either to have a live person answer calls directly and promptly, or to use an automated answering system for receiving calls from the dispatching railroad of a report of an unsafe condition 10,000 15,000 (iii) Dispatching railroad improperly uses an automated answering system 10,000 15,000 (h)(2)(i)-(ii) Excepted maintaining railroad fails to use proper method to receive calls of unsafe conditions at crossings during operational or non-operational hours 5,000 7,500  234.306 Multiple dispatching or maintaining railroads with respect to the same highway-rail or pathway grade crossing; appointment of responsible railroad: (a)(1) Each of the dispatching railroads for the crossing fails to appoint a primary dispatching railroad for the crossing 10,000 15,000 (a)(1)(i)-(iv) The primary dispatching railroad for the crossing fails to carry out one of the prescribed duties 5,000 7,500 (a)(2) Another pertinent dispatching railroad for the crossing fails to carry out remedial action as required by § 234.305 5,000 7,500 (b)(1) Each of the maintaining railroads for the crossing fails to appoint one maintaining railroad responsible for the placement and maintenance of the ENS sign(s) 5,000 7,500 (b)(2) The assigned maintaining railroad in § 234.306(b)(1) fails to display on the ENS sign(s) the emergency telephone number of the dispatching railroad or primary dispatching railroad for the crossing 5,000 7,500 (c)(1) The dispatching railroad or primary dispatching railroad fails to promptly contact and inform the appropriate maintaining railroad(s) for the crossing of the reported problem 5,000 7,500 (c)(2) The maintaining railroad fails to carry out remedial action as required by § 234.305 10,000 15,000  234.307 Use of third-party telephone service by dispatching and maintaining railroads 3: (a)(1) Dispatching railroad improperly uses third-party telephone service 10,000 15,000 (a)(2) Dispatching railroad fails to ensure third-party telephone service compliance with § 234.307 10,000 15,000 (b)(1) Maintaining railroad improperly uses third-party telephone service 10,000 15,000 (b)(2) Maintaining railroad fails to ensure third-party telephone service compliance with § 234.307 10,000 15,000 (d)(1) Railroad fails to provide sufficient contact information to third-party telephone service 2,500 5,000 (d)(2)(i) Railroad fails to inform FRA in writing before the implementation of a third-party telephone service 2,500 5,000 (ii) Railroad fails to provide FRA with contact information for the third-party telephone service 2,500 5,000 (iii) Railroad fails to provide FRA with information identifying the crossings about which the third-party telephone service will receive reports 2,500 5,000 (d)(3) Railroad fails to inform FRA in writing within 30 days following any changes in the use of, or the discontinuance of, third-party telephone service 2,500 5,000 (d)(4) 4 Dispatching or maintaining railroad fails to take appropriate action required by § 234.305. (e) 5 Railroad fails to ensure third-party telephone service compliance with § 234.313 or § 234.315, as applicable.  234.309 ENS signs in general: (a) Dispatching railroad fails to provide ENS telephone number to the maintaining railroad a minimum of 180 days prior to the required implementation date of the ENS 2,500 5,000 (b)(1)-(3) 6 Responsible railroad fails to display minimum required information on ENS sign 5,000 7,500 (c)(1)-(4) 7 Responsible railroad fails to display ENS sign that meets size and other physical requirements 5,000 7,500  234.311 ENS sign placement and maintenance: (a)(1)-(2) Responsible railroad fails to place and maintain required number of sign(s) at the crossing or entrance(s) to facility 5,000 7,500 (b)(1)-(2) Responsible railroad fails to properly locate and maintain the sign(s) at the crossing 5,000 7,500  234.313 Recordkeeping: (a)(1)-(9) Railroad fails to maintain in its records the minimum information required for each ENS report received 2,500 5,000 (c)(1)-(2) Responsible railroad(s) fail(s) to record in writing an appointment of a railroad, pursuant to § 234.306, or properly retain a copy of the document 2,500 5,000 (d)(1) Railroad fails to properly retain records 2,500 5,000 (d)(2) Railroad fails to provide FRA access to records 2,500 5,000  234.315 Electronic recordkeeping: (a)-(b) Railroad fails to comply with electronic recordkeeping requirements 2,500 5,000 1 A penalty may be assessed against an individual only for a willful violation. The Administrator reserves the right to assess a penalty of up to $105,000 for any violation where circumstances warrant. See 49 CFR part 209, appendix A. To facilitate the assessment of penalty amounts, the specific types of violations of a given section are sometimes designated by the paragraph of the section (e.g., “(a)”) and a code not corresponding to the legal citation for the violation (e.g., “(1)”), so that the complete citation in the penalty schedule is e.g., “(a)(1).” FRA reserves the right to revise the citation of the violation in the Summary of Alleged Violations issued by FRA in the event of litigation. 2 Either this section or the parallel section of subpart C of this part may be cited, but not both. 3 FRA does not plan to assess civil penalties against a third-party telephone service, under § 234.307(c) or (e). However, FRA plans to assess violations against the dispatching and maintaining railroads for failing to ensure that the third-party telephone service complies with the requirements of §§ 234.307, 234.313, or 234.315, if applicable. See § 234.307(a), (b), (e). 4 For a violation of § 234.307(d)(4), a penalty should be assessed for the specific type of violation according to the penalty schedule for a violation of § 234.305. 5 For a violation of § 234.307(e) pertaining to recordkeeping, a penalty should be assessed for the specific type of violation in the penalty schedule for a violation of §§ 234.313 or 234.315, as applicable. 6 FRA reserves the right to cite a violation for each item of required information omitted from a sign. 7 FRA reserves the right to cite a violation for each physical characteristic that is nonconforming.
    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2015. Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12775 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 229 [Docket No. 150122067-5453-02] RIN 0648-BE83 Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Regulations AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this final rule to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This action will change the minimum number of traps per trawl to allow fishing with a single trap in certain Massachusetts and Rhode Island state waters; and modifies the requirement to use one endline on trawls within certain areas in Massachusetts state waters. Also, this rule creates a 1/4 mile buffer in waters surrounding certain islands in Maine to allow fishing with a single trap. In addition, this rule includes additional gear marking requirements for those waters allowing single traps as well as two new high use areas for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective May 28, 2015, except for the amendment to § 229.32(b)(3), which is effective July 1, 2015, and the amendment to § 229.32(b)(1)(i) and (ii), which is effective September 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the supporting documents for this action, as well as the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team meeting summaries and supporting documents, may be obtained from the Plan Web site (http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected/whaletrp/index.html). Written comments regarding the burden hour estimates or other aspects of the collection of information requirements contained in this final rule can be submitted to Kimberly Damon-Randall, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Dr, Gloucester, MA 10930 or Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs by email at [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kate Swails, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 978-282-8481, [email protected]; or, Kristy Long, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 206-526-4792, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    NMFS published an amendment to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan (Plan) on June 27, 2014 (79 FR 36586) to address large whale entanglement risks associated with vertical line (or buoy lines) from commercial trap/pot fisheries. This amendment included gear modifications, gear setting requirements, a seasonal closure (Massachusetts Restricted Area) and gear marking for both the trap/pot and the gillnet fisheries.

    In consultation with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team (Team), NMFS developed protocols for considering modifications or exemptions to the regulations implementing the Plan. Following these protocols, on August 18, 2014, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) submitted a proposal to modify the Massachusetts Bay Restricted Area and to exempt several areas from the gear setting requirements to address safety and economic concerns raised by their industry members.

    The DMF proposal adequately addressed the Team's established protocols and criteria for considering modifications or exemptions to the Plan's regulations, which enabled NMFS to consult with the Team on the DMF proposal. We decided to address the modifications to the Massachusetts Restricted Area and the exemption of the minimum number of traps per trawl requirements separately, beginning with the Massachusetts Restricted Area. After discussions with the Team, NMFS published an amendment to the Plan on December 12, 2014 (79 FR 73848) changing the timing and size of the Massachusetts Restricted Area.

    Along with the DMF proposal, NMFS also received proposals from other state partners requesting certain waters be exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirements due to safety concerns. The conservation members of the Team also submitted a proposal in an effort to offset this potential increase in vertical lines should NMFS approve the proposed state exemptions. NMFS convened the Team in January 2015 to discuss these proposals. At the conclusion of the January meeting, the Team, by near consensus, recommended that we amend the Plan as proposed by the states. The Team also recommended that the current gear marking scheme be updated to include unique marks for those fishing single traps in the proposed exempted areas and a unique mark for both gillnets and trap/pots fished in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin. The Team's recommendations form the basis for the action described below.

    Changes to the Plan for Trap/Pot Gear

    This action exempts Rhode Island state waters and portions of Massachusetts state waters from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement and allow single traps to be fished in certain state waters (see Figures 1 and 2, respectively). This exemption is based on safety and financial concerns raised by the industry. In addition, in Rhode Island state waters and portions of Massachusetts state waters (particularly in Southern Massachusetts waters) the co-occurrence of fishing effort and whale distribution is minimal. According to DMF, along the Outer Cape there are dynamic tides and featureless substrate that dictate the use of single traps in this area. Massachusetts also has a student lobster permit that allows for permit holders to fish alone and with small boats. Single traps are used in this fishery and other inshore waters as a matter of safety.

    In addition, those fishing in all Massachusetts state waters are required to have one endline for trawls less than or equal to three traps. The current requirement of one endline for trawls less than or equal to five traps remains in place in all other management areas. Larger trawls (i.e., ≥6 traps/pots) will not be required to have only one endline.

    An exemption from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement is also granted for a 1/4 mile buffer in waters surrounding the following islands in Maine—Matinicus Island Group (Metinic, Small Green, Large Green, Seal, and Wooden Ball) and Isles of Shoals Island Group (Duck, Appledore, Cedar, and Smuttynose).

    Boats within this 1/4 mile buffer are allowed to continue fishing single traps rather than multiple trap trawls due to safety issues since these waters are generally less than 30 fathoms deep with rocky edges and boats fishing close to shore areas are usually small. A similar exemption for the inhabited islands of Monhegan, Matinicus, and Ragged Islands was established in the June 2014 rule. The islands in this current rule have the same bottom habitat as the previously exempted islands and many residents from many island communities fish around these islands. Similarly, the New Hampshire side of the Isles of Shoals group was also exempted from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in the June 2014 rule. Allowing the islands in the chain that fall on the Maine side of the border to have the same exemption would provide parity to fishermen using islands on both sides of the border. Maine Department of Marine Resources (ME DMR) estimates that the fishing effort within the proposed buffer areas is small (0.3% of total vertical lines in the Northeast), consists of around 20 fishermen and has peak use in the summer months. In addition, ME DMR is pursuing funding for aerial surveys that would determine the use by marine mammals of these coastal areas and document the gear density.

    Changes to the Plan for Gear Marking

    This action implements a gear marking scheme that builds off the current color combinations and the size and frequency of the current gear marking requirements. In an effort to learn if entanglements occur in these newly exempted areas, this action adds a unique gear mark to those single vertical lines fished in the exempted areas of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Matinicus Island Group, Maine. Also, this action proposes unique trap/pot and gillnet gear marking in two important high use areas for both humpback and right whales—Jeffreys Ledge (Figure 3) and Jordan Basin (Figure 4). The mark must equal 12-inches (30.5 cm) in length and buoy lines must be marked three times (top, middle, bottom) with the appropriate unique color combination for that area.

    There will be a phased-in implementation of the new gear marking. Industry would have until July 1, 2015 to mark gear fished in the newly exempted areas and until September 1, 2015 to mark gear in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin areas.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS published the proposed rule to amend the Plan in the Federal Register on March 19, 2015 (80 FR 14345). Upon its publication, NMFS issued a press email announcing the proposed rule; posted the proposed rule on the Plan Web site; and notified affected fishermen and interested parties via several NMFS email distribution outlets. The publication of the proposed rule was followed by a 30-day public comment period, which ended on April 20, 2015. NMFS received ten substantive comments via electronic submission. All comments received were thoroughly reviewed by NMFS. Most comments were in full support of the action or in partial support of the action with some concerns. One commenter was unsupportive of the rule. The comments addressed several topics including the need for enforcement of the measures and time required to implement new gear marking scheme. The comments received are summarized below, followed by NMFS's responses.

    Adequacy of Co-Occurrence Model

    Comment 1: Two commenters questioned the adequacy of the co-occurrence model and the data used to develop the model. The commenters stated that the model remains flawed due to lack of updated data, inappropriate spatial scaling of data, and assumptions about whale distribution. Despite this, the commenters recognized that NMFS uses the co-occurrence model as the basis for assessing relative risk and did not object to its use for analysis of the states' proposals. The commenters suggested that NMFS update the model with new data for both whale distribution and fishing effort, being sure to factor in recent management changes to the fishing industry.

    Response 1: We believe the information in the model is accurate but does have some limitations. We previously provided model documentation describing the fishing effort data upon which the model relies, including a detailed discussion of the models limitations. Despite these limitations, the data are the best information available. We updated the sightings per unit effort (SPUE) data since the previous rule and plan on updating the model with more current fishing effort information as time allows for future rulemakings.

    Gear Marking

    Comment 2: Most commenters were in support of the new gear marking scheme, stating it is a step in the right direction to determine specific spatial resolution of the origin of entanglements. One commenter suggested the color scheme for single traps be `sunsetted' after five or more years if analyses reveal that inshore single trap/pot gear is not resulting in increased entanglement risk.

    Response 2: We will continue to monitor the Plan via our Monitoring Strategy. This strategy includes both annual monitoring reports and a multi-year status summary intended to review the Plan's effectiveness and compliance over a 5-year timeframe. If analyses determine that the amended Plan is not achieving its goals, NMFS will review the multi-year status summary to evaluate the potential causes for not achieving the management objectives and consult with the Team on the development of appropriate actions to address any identified shortcomings of the Plan and its amendments.

    Comment 3: One commenter suggested that NMFS consider allowing Massachusetts lobstermen to put the second color in the middle of the 12″ mark instead of having each mark equal 6″ as currently written.

    Response 3: The two color marking scheme has been used in the Southeast fisheries since the beginning of the Plan. For consistency in marking schemes across regions we feel the current marking scheme of abutting colors is adequate. NMFS and the Team will evaluate any future gear marking scheme and make necessary adjustments through a future rulemaking if warranted.

    Comment 4: One commenter disagreed with the proposed action to mark gear in Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin due to their significance as `high use areas' stating it goes against the intent of the Team to evaluate management actions in terms of co-occurrence.

    Response 4: We disagree. The Team chose to develop the June 2014 vertical line management measures using the co-occurrence model. The development of the gear marking scheme in `high use areas' was an outgrowth of discussions at the January 2015 meeting in response to exemption requests submitted by our state partners. These gear marking areas were a compromise for allowing state exemption requests to move forward and do not go against the intent of the Team when evaluating management options.

    Comment 5: One commenter reluctantly agreed to the new gear marking scheme, stating that the Canadian lobster industry is not required to follow similar procedures. He stated that efforts need to be initiated to address trans-boundary aspects of this problem.

    Response 5: Coordination between Canada and the U.S. concerning transboundary issues has been ongoing since the mid-1990s. We are continuing to work with the Canadian government to develop and implement protective measures for right whales in Canadian waters.

    Comment 6: One commenter stated that gear marking requirements do nothing to reduce immediate entanglement risk. They recommended developing new gear marking requirements for all fishermen to mark lines on all traps and gillnets, including in all exempted areas beyond the COLREG line, which reflects a systematic, region-wide approach to maximize information on the location, fishery, and gear part of lines found on entangled whales.

    Response 6: Although gear marking will not reduce entanglements by itself, it is expected to facilitate monitoring of entanglement rates and assist in designing future entanglement reduction measures in targeted areas deemed important by the Team. We feel that the proposed gear marking combined with the current gear marking scheme is sufficient and will help us target specific areas for future management if further measures are deemed necessary.

    Implementation Date

    Comment 7: Two commenters requested a delayed implementation date for the gear marking portion of the rule. They stated that having a start date of 30-days and 90-days from publication is operationally restrictive in the middle of a fishing year and instead suggested a start date of June 2016.

    Response 7: The gear marking will go into effect 30-days from publication for those fishing singles in the proposed exempted inshore areas and 90-days from publication for those fishing in the high use areas of Jeffreys Ledge and Jordan Basin. NMFS feels this is timing is adequate, particularly because states have encouraged their inshore industry to mark their gear in anticipation of the final rule and NMFS has already provided a year for fishermen to comply with its gear marking scheme implemented in the June 2014 final rule.

    Exemption Areas

    Comment 8: One commenter noted that the Maine island exemption areas are not consistently identified in state and Federal rules. He also suggested that this rule be amended to clarify that islets and ledges adjacent to Matinicus Island but not within 1/4 mile (Two Bush Island, No Man's Land, Ten Pound Island, Black Ledge and others) be included in the exemption request.

    Response 8: We will work with our partners at Maine Department of Marine Resources to ensure that state and Federal rules mirror each other. We believe that, working with DMR, we have identified the appropriate islands and island groups for the 1/4 mile island buffer provision and are not amending the exemption request.

    Comment 9: One commenter stated that it is not feasible for a small vessel to fish ten trap trawls and should be allowed to fish 5 to 6 traps as is currently commonplace.

    Response 9: This rule is in response to proposals from state partners to address safety concerns of small boats in inshore waters fishing singles. The proposals did not address those fishing 5 or 6 traps.

    Comment 10: One commenter does not support the proposed rule. The commenter stated that the proposals requested state waters be exempt from the Plan; however, the proposals did not provide adequate measures to compensate for a potential for reduced protection of large whales as a result of these exemption requests. The commenter felt that the states' proposals should be deferred until each state had developed options that that would reduce the potential for entanglement risks (i.e, a trade-off).

    Response 10: We disagree. The Team felt that there was little increase in overall entanglement risk with improved safety, economics and operational considerations for the smaller vessels. That said, some were concerned about the conservation implications of any increase in lines; therefore, the proposals triggered extensive discussions about the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to improve the NMFS ability to identify the likely source of entanglements if an increase in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals. This unique gear marking discussed at the January meeting (in particular the marking in two new `high use areas') is the approach the Team agreed was an appropriate “trade-off” for the potential for an increased risk. The Team identified the need for distinct and unique gear-markings to improve the NMFS ability to identify the likely source of entanglements if an increase in lines were to occur as a result of the proposals.

    Enforcement and Monitoring

    Comment 11: One commenter stated that if the combination of the sinking groundline and vertical line rule do not reduce serious injuries and mortalities then NMFS will be required to take further action.

    Response 11: We agree and are committed to monitoring the Plan to ensure that it is effective. See response to comment 2.

    Comment 12: One commenter stated that there is a need for strict enforcement of compliance with the rules and suggested non-regulatory measures expressed at the January meeting. The commenter suggested that the Plan's provisions require robust monitoring and enforcement efforts.

    Response 12: We agree that the efficacy of the Plan depends on strong monitoring and enforcement of the regulations. NMFS works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement and state partners through Joint Enforcement Agreements to enforce the regulations. See response to comment 2.

    NEPA/ESA Analysis

    Comment 13: One commenter was concerned with the analysis the Agency conducted for this action under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) saying that it is not sufficient. The commenter stressed that changes to the Plan require a reinitiation of the ESA Section 7 consultation and the Draft EA omitted several factors not considered in the previous Environmental Impact Statement.

    Response 13: We believe that the changes to the Plan being made by this rule do not constitute a modification to the operation of the Plan that would have an effect on ESA-listed species or critical habitat that was not considered in the previous consultations. Further, we completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the proposed modifications to the regulations implementing the Plan. We consulted previously on the Plan, resulting in our issuance of a biological opinion (Opinion) on July 15, 1997. Five subsequent informal consultations have been completed in 2004, 2008, and 2014, when we changed several measures to the Plan. Based on NMFS' analysis of the re-initiation triggers, we have determined that these proposed modifications to the Plan will not cause any effects that were not already considered in the Opinion and subsequent informal consultations. None of the other reinitiation triggers have been met; therefore, reinitiation of consultation is not necessary. The conclusions reached in the Opinion remain valid, and no further consultation is necessary at this time. Should activities under this action change or new information become available that changes the basis for this determination, then consultation will be reinitiated. Therefore, the measures in this rule do not trigger reinitiation of consultation. In addition, while we believe the analysis conducted for this action is sufficient under NEPA, we have updated sections of the Final EA to respond to the commenter's concerns.

    Classification

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that this action is not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    This action contains collection of information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), specifically, the marking of fishing gear. The collection of information requirement was approved by OMB under control number (0648-0364). Public comment was sought regarding whether this proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance and function of the agency, including: the practical utility of the information; the accuracy of the burden estimate; the opportunities to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSEES) and by email to [email protected], or fax to (202) 395-7285.

    This revision to the collection of information requirement applies to a total of 399 vessels. The estimated number of vessels affected by the overall gear marking provisions in the Plan is 4,008. The estimated number of those vessels affected only by the proposed amendment is 399. Model vessel types were developed for gillnet fisheries, lobster trap/pot fisheries, and other trap/pot fisheries. Total burden hours for all affected vessels in the Plan are 35,571 hours over three years or 11,857 hours per year. Total cost burden for all affected vessels in the Plan is $24,758 over three years or $8,253 per year. The total cost burden for those vessels affected by the proposed amendment is $3,450 over three years or $1,150 per year. For more information, please see the PRA approval associated with this rulemaking.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, NMFS prepared a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for this final rule.

    A description of this action, its objectives, and the legal basis for this action can be found in the Summary section and earlier in the Supplementary Information section of this final rule, and are not repeated here. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other federal rules.

    The small entities affected by this rule are commercial gillnet and trap/pot fishermen. The geographic range of the action is the Northeast Atlantic waters. By changing the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement to allow single traps in the lobster trap/pot fishery there are potentially 182 vessels that would be affected. Additionally, in the other trap/pot fisheries, there are potentially 123 vessels that would be affected. All vessels are assumed to be small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Alternatives were evaluated using model vessels, each of which represents a group of vessels that share similar operating characteristics and would face similar requirements under a given regulatory alternative. Both an upper and lower bound of annual economic savings for lobster and other trap/pot were analyzed. A summary of analysis describing the potential range of savings resulting from allowing singles to be fished follows:

    1. NMFS considered a “no action” or status quo alternative (Alternative 1) that would result in no changes to the current measures under the Plan and, as such, would result in no additional economic effects on the fishing industry.

    2. Alternative 2, the preferred alternative, will modify the Plan by allowing the use of single traps in Rhode Island state waters, in most Massachusetts state waters, and some waters around Maine Islands. This change will constitute an exemption to the minimum two-trap-per-trawl requirement specified for these areas under the 2014 vertical line rulemaking. Those who until now have fished single traps in these areas will avoid the costs associated with converting their gear from single traps to double traps, and would also avoid other possible costs, such as a loss in revenue due to a reduction in catch. The action also revises gear marking requirements that would apply to vessels fishing in waters that would be exempt from trawling requirements, as well as to vessels fishing in two additional regions (Jordan Basin and Jeffreys Ledge). The changes will require the use of colors that will differentiate gear set in these areas from gear fished in other waters. NMFS has determined, however, that the marking requirements will introduce minimal additional burden for the affected vessels; thus, a substantial increase in compliance costs is unlikely. The rule does not include any other reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements.

    Overall, the economic impacts of the preferred alternative results in a vessel cost savings that will equal or range from $163,200 to $345,700 for lobster trap/pot vessels and $257,00 to $512,500 for other trap/pot vessels when compared to the no action alternative, resulting in a largely positive impact.

    NMFS has determined that this action is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the approved coastal management programs of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. This determination was submitted for review by the responsible state agencies under section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The following state agreed with NMFS's determination: New Hampshire. Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island did not respond; therefore, consistency is inferred.

    This final rule contains policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132. Accordingly, the Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs provided notice of the proposed action to the appropriate official(s) of affected state, local, and/or tribal governments. No concerns were raised by the states contacted; hence, NMFS will infer that these states concur with the finding that the regulations for amending the Plan were consistent with fundamental federalism principles and federalism policymaking criteria.

    An informal consultation under the ESA for this final rule to modify the Plan was concluded on March 30, 2015. As a result of the informal consultation, the Regional Administrator determined that the measures to modify the Plan do not meet the triggers for reinitiation of consultation. NMFS completed an ESA Section 7 consultation on the implementation of the Plan on July 15, 1997, and concluded that the action was not likely to adversely affect any ESA-listed species under NMFS jurisdiction. Two subsequent consultations were completed in 2004 and 2008, when NMFS changed some of the measures in the Plan. An informal consultation on the most recent vertical line rule was completed on August 16, 2013. NMFS, as both the action agency and the consulting agency, reviewed the changes and determined that the measures as revised through rulemaking would not affect ESA-listed species under NMFS jurisdiction in a manner that had not been previously considered.

    The Assistant Administrator finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness. The contents of this action serve to remove existing commercial fishing restrictions and to prevent negative safety impacts from otherwise occurring as the current minimum trap per trawl requirements would have been effective beginning June 1, 2015. Delaying the effectiveness of this rule is contrary to the public interest, because any delay will prevent the removal of the ban on single traps in certain state waters implemented by this rule, thereby increasing safety risk, and providing no additional meaningful benefit to large whales. Accordingly, the 30-day delay in effectiveness is both unnecessary and contrary to the public interest, and as such, portions of this rule will become effective immediately.

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P ER28MY15.000 ER28MY15.001 ER28MY15.002 ER28MY15.003 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 229

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Fisheries, Marine mammals, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 229 is amended as follows:

    PART 229—AUTHORIZATION FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERIES UNDER THE MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 229 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.; § 229.32(f) also issued under 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    2. In § 229.32, paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(6), (b), and (c)(2) are revised to read as follows:
    § 229.32 Atlantic large whale take reduction plan regulations.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Exempted waters. (i) The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of the 72 COLREGS demarcation lines (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972), as depicted or noted on nautical charts published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Coast Charts 1:80,000 scale), and as described in 33 CFR part 80 with the exception of the COLREGS lines for Casco Bay (Maine), Portsmouth Harbor (New Hampshire), Gardiners Bay and Long Island Sound (New York), and the state of Massachusetts.

    (ii) Other exempted waters.

    Maine

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line connecting the following points (Quoddy Narrows/US-Canada border to Odiornes Pt., Portsmouth, New Hampshire):

    44°49.67′ N. lat., 66°57.77′ W. long. (R N “2”, Quoddy Narrows) 44°48.64′ N. lat., 66°56.43′ W. long. (G “1” Whistle, West Quoddy Head) 44°47.36′ N. lat., 66°59.25′ W. long. (R N “2”, Morton Ledge) 44°45.51′ N. lat., 67°02.87′ W. long. (R “28M” Whistle, Baileys Mistake) 44°37.70′ N. lat., 67°09.75′ W. long. (Obstruction, Southeast of Cutler) 44°27.77′ N. lat., 67°32.86′ W. long. (Freeman Rock, East of Great Wass Island) 44°25.74′ N. lat., 67°38.39′ W. long. (R “2SR” Bell, Seahorse Rock, West of Great Wass Island) 44°21.66′ N. lat., 67°51.78′ W. long. (R N “2”, Petit Manan Island) 44°19.08′ N. lat., 68°02.05′ W. long. (R “2S” Bell, Schoodic Island) 44°13.55′ N. lat., 68°10.71′ W. long. (R “8BI” Whistle, Baker Island) 44°08.36′ N. lat., 68°14.75′ W. long. (Southern Point, Great Duck Island) 43°59.36′ N. lat., 68°37.95′ W. long. (R “2” Bell, Roaring Bull Ledge, Isle Au Haut) 43°59.83′ N. lat., 68°50.06′ W. long. (R “2A” Bell, Old Horse Ledge) 43°56.72′ N. lat., 69°04.89′ W. long. (G “5TB” Bell, Two Bush Channel) 43°50.28′ N. lat., 69°18.86′ W. long. (R “2 OM” Whistle, Old Man Ledge) 43°48.96′ N. lat., 69°31.15′ W. long. (GR C “PL”, Pemaquid Ledge) 43°43.64′ N. lat., 69°37.58′ W. long. (R “2BR” Bell, Bantam Rock) 43°41.44′ N. lat., 69°45.27′ W. long. (R “20ML” Bell, Mile Ledge) 43°36.04′ N. lat., 70°03.98′ W. long. (RG N “BS”, Bulwark Shoal) 43°31.94′ N. lat., 70°08.68′ W. long. (G “1”, East Hue and Cry) 43°27.63′ N. lat., 70°17.48′ W. long. (RW “WI” Whistle, Wood Island) 43°20.23′ N. lat., 70°23.64′ W. long. (RW “CP” Whistle, Cape Porpoise) 43°04.06′ N. lat., 70°36.70′ W. long. (R N “2MR”, Murray Rock) 43°02.93′ N. lat., 70°41.47′ W. long. (R “2KR” Whistle, Kittery Point) 43°02.55′ N. lat., 70°43.33′ W. long. (Odiornes Pt., Portsmouth, New Hampshire) New Hampshire

    New Hampshire state waters are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. Harbor waters landward of the following lines are exempt from all the regulations in this section.

    A line from 42°53.691′ N. lat., 70°48.516′ W. long. to 42°53.516′ N. lat., 70°48.748′ W. long. (Hampton Harbor) A line from 42°59.986′ N. lat., 70°44.654′ W. long. to 42°59.956′ N., 70°44.737′ W. long. (Rye Harbor) Rhode Island

    Rhode Island state waters are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section. Harbor waters landward of the following lines are exempt from all the regulations in this section.

    A line from 41°22.441′ N. lat., 71°30.781′ W. long. to 41°22.447′ N. lat., 71°30.893′ W. long. (Pt. Judith Pond Inlet) A line from 41°21.310′ N. lat., 71°38.300′ W. long. to 41°21.300′ N. lat., 71°38.330′ W. long. (Ninigret Pond Inlet) A line from 41°19.875′ N. lat., 71°43.061′ W. long. to 41°19.879′ N. lat., 71°43.115′ W. long. (Quonochontaug Pond Inlet) A line from 41°19.660′ N. lat., 71°45.750′ W. long. to 41°19.660′ N. lat., 71°45.780′ W. long. (Weekapaug Pond Inlet) A line from 41°26.550′ N. lat., 71°26.400′ W. long. to 41°26.500′ N. lat, 71°26.505′ W. long. (Pettaquamscutt Inlet) New York

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line that follows the territorial sea baseline through Block Island Sound (Watch Hill Point, RI, to Montauk Point, NY).

    Massachusetts

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of the first bridge over any embayment, harbor, or inlet in Massachusetts. The following Massachusetts state waters are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section:

    From the New Hampshire border to 70° W longitude south of Cape Cod, waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 1 and the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area (as defined in the American Lobster Fishery regulations under § 697.18 of this title), from the shoreline to 3 nautical miles from shore, and including waters of Cape Cod Bay southeast of a straight line connecting 41° 55.8′ N lat., 70°8.4′ W long. and 41°47.2′ N lat., 70°19.5′ W long.

    From 70° W longitude south of Cape Cod to the Rhode Island border, all Massachusetts state waters in EEZ Nearshore Management Area 2 and the Outer Cape Lobster Management Area (as defined in the American Lobster Fishery regulations under § 697.18 of this title), including federal waters of Nantucket Sound west of 70° W longitude.

    South Carolina

    The regulations in this section do not apply to waters landward of a line connecting the following points from 32°34.717′ N. lat., 80°08.565′ W. long. to 32°34.686′ N. lat., 80°08.642′ W. long. (Captain Sams Inlet)

    (6) Island buffer. Those fishing in waters within 1/4 nautical miles of the following Maine islands are exempt from the minimum number of traps per trawl requirement in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section: Monhegan Island, Matinicus Island Group (Metinic Island, Small Green Island, Large Green Island, Seal Island, Wooden Ball Island, Matinicus Island, Ragged Island) and Isles of Shoals Island Group (Duck Island, Appledore Island, Cedar Island, Smuttynose Island).

    (b) Gear marking requirements—(1) Specified areas. The following areas are specified for gear marking purposes: Northern Inshore State Trap/Pot Waters, Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area, Massachusetts Restricted Area, Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area, Northern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Great South Channel Restricted Trap/Pot Area, Great South Channel Restricted Gillnet Area, Great South Channel Sliver Restricted Area, Southern Nearshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Offshore Trap/Pot Waters Area, Other Northeast Gillnet Waters Area, Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters Area, Other Southeast Gillnet Waters Area, Southeast U.S. Restricted Areas, and Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area.

    (i) Jordan Basin. The Jordan Basin Restricted Area is bounded by the following points connected by straight lines in the order listed:

    Point N. Lat. W. Long. JBRA1 43°15′ 68°50′ JBRA2 43°35′ 68°20′ JBRA3 43°25′ 68°05′ JBRA4 43°05′ 68°20′ JBRA5 43°05′ 68°35′ JBRA1 43°15′ 68°50′

    (ii) Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area—The Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area is bounded by the following points connected by a straight line in the order listed:

    Point N. Lat. W. Long. JLRA1 43°15′ 70°25′ JLRA2 43°15′ 70°00′ JLRA3 42°50′ 70°00′ JLRA4 42°50′ 70°25′ JLRA1 43°15′ 70°25′

    (2) Markings. All specified gear in specified areas must be marked with the color code shown in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. The color of the color code must be permanently marked on or along the line or lines specified below under paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section. Each color mark of the color codes must be clearly visible when the gear is hauled or removed from the water, including if the color of the rope is the same as or similar to the respective color code. The rope must be marked at least three times (top, middle, bottom) and each mark must total 12-inch (30.5 cm) in length. If the mark consists of two colors then each color mark may be 6-inch (15.25 cm) for a total mark of 12-inch (30.5 cm). In marking or affixing the color code, the line may be dyed, painted, or marked with thin colored whipping line, thin colored plastic, or heat-shrink tubing, or other material; or a thin line may be woven into or through the line; or the line may be marked as approved in writing by the Assistant Administrator. A brochure illustrating the techniques for marking gear is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request.

    (i) Buoy line markings. All buoy lines must be marked as stated above. Shark gillnet gear in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and Other Southeast Gillnet Waters, greater than 4 feet (1.22 m) long must be marked within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the top of the buoy line (closest to the surface), midway along the length of the buoy line, and within 2 feet (0.6 m) of the bottom of the buoy line.

    (ii) Net panel markings. Shark gillnet gear net panels in the Southeast U.S. Restricted Area S, Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area and Other Southeast Gillnet Waters is required to be marked. The net panel must be marked along both the floatline and the leadline at least once every 100 yards (91.4 m).

    (iii) Surface buoy markings. Trap/pot and gillnet gear regulated under this section must mark all surface buoys to identify the vessel or fishery with one of the following: The owner's motorboat registration number, the owner's U.S. vessel documentation number, the Federal commercial fishing permit number, or whatever positive identification marking is required by the vessel's home-port state. When marking of surface buoys is not already required by state or Federal regulations, the letters and numbers used to mark the gear to identify the vessel or fishery must be at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height in block letters or arabic numbers in a color that contrasts with the background color of the buoy. A brochure illustrating the techniques for marking gear is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request.

    (3) Color code. Gear must be marked with the appropriate colors to designate gear types and areas as follows:

    Color Code Scheme Plan management area Color Trap/Pot Gear Massachusetts Restricted Area Red. Northern Nearshore Red. Northern Inshore State Red. Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area Red. Great South Channel Restricted Area overlapping with LMA 2 and/or Outer Cape Red. Exempt RI state waters (single traps) Red and Blue. Exempt MA state waters in LMA 1 (single traps) Red and White. Exempt MA state waters in LMA 2 (single traps) Red and Black. Exempt MA state waters in Outer Cape (single traps) Red and Yellow. Isles of Shoals, ME (single traps) Red and Orange. Southern Nearshore Orange. Southeast Restricted Area North (State Waters) Blue and Orange. Southeast Restricted Area North (Federal Waters) Green and Orange. Offshore Black. Great South Channel Restricted Area overlapping with LMA 2/3 and/or LMA 3 Black. Jordan Basin Black and Purple (LMA 3); Red and and Purple (LMA 1). Jeffreys Ledge Red and Green. Gillnet excluding shark gillnet Cape Cod Bay Restricted Area Green. Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area Green. Great South Channel Restricted Area Green. Great South Channel Restricted Sliver Area Green. Other Northeast Gillnet Waters Green. Jordan Basin Green and Yellow. Jeffreys Ledge Green and Black. Mid/South Atlantic Gillnet Waters Blue. Southeast US Restricted Area South Yellow. Other Southeast Gillnet Waters Yellow. Shark Gillnet (with webbing of 5″ or greater) Southeast US Restricted Area South Green and Blue. Southeast Monitoring Area Green and Blue. Other Southeast Waters Green and Blue.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Area specific gear requirements. Trap/pot gear must be set according to the requirements outlined below and in the table in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (i) Single traps and multiple-trap trawls. All traps must be set according to the configuration outlined in the Table (c)(2)(iii) of this section. Trawls up to and including 5 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line unless specified otherwise in Table (c)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (ii) Buoy line weak links. All buoys, flotation devices and/or weights (except traps/pots, anchors, and leadline woven into the buoy line), such as surface buoys, high flyers, sub-surface buoys, toggles, window weights, etc., must be attached to the buoy line with a weak link placed as close to each individual buoy, flotation device and/or weight as operationally feasible and that meets the following specifications:

    (A) The breaking strength of the weak links must not exceed the breaking strength listed in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section for a specified management area.

    (B) The weak link must be chosen from the following list approved by NMFS: swivels, plastic weak links, rope of appropriate breaking strength, hog rings, rope stapled to a buoy stick, or other materials or devices approved in writing by the Assistant Administrator. A brochure illustrating the techniques for making weak links is available from the Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region upon request.

    (C) Weak links must break cleanly leaving behind the bitter end of the line. The bitter end of the line must be free of any knots when the weak link breaks. Splices are not considered to be knots for the purposes of this provision.

    (iii) Table of Area Specific Gear Requirements

    Location Mgmt area Minimum number traps/trawl Weak link strength ME State and Pocket Waters 1 Northern Inshore State 2 (1 endline) ≤600 lbs. ME Zones A-G (3-6 miles)  1 Northern Nearshore 3 (1 endline) ≤600 lbs. ME Zones A-C (6-12 miles) 1 Northern Nearshore 5 (1 endline) ≤600 lbs. ME Zones D-G (6-12 miles) 1 Northern Nearshore 10 ≤600 lbs. ME Zones A-E (12+ miles) Northern Nearshore and Offshore 15 ≤600 lbs (≤1500 lbs in offshore, 2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). ME Zones F-G (12+ miles) Northern Nearshore and Offshore 15 (Mar 1-Oct 31) 20 (Nov 1-Feb 28/29) ≤600 lbs (≤1500 lbs in offshore, 2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). MA State Waters 2 Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area No minimum number of traps per trawl. Trawls up to and including 3 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line ≤600 lbs. Other MA State Waters Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area 2 (1 endline) Trawls up to and including 3 or fewer traps must only have one buoy line ≤600 lbs. NH State Waters Northern Inshore State No minimum trap/trawl ≤600 lbs. LMA 1 (3-12 miles) Northern Nearshore and Massachusetts Restricted Area and Stellwagen Bank/Jeffreys Ledge Restricted Area 10 ≤600 lbs. LMA 1 (12+ miles) Northern Nearshore 20 ≤600 lbs. LMA1/OC Overlap (0-3 miles) Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area No minimum number of traps per trawl ≤600 lbs. OC (0-3 miles) Northern Inshore State and Massachusetts Restricted Area No minimum number of traps per trawl ≤600 lbs. OC (3-12 miles) Northern Nearshore and Massachusetts Restricted Area 10 ≤600 lbs. OC (12+ miles) Northern Nearshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area 20 ≤600 lbs. RI State Waters Northern Inshore State No minimum number of traps per trawl. ≤600 lbs. LMA 2 (3-12 miles) Northern Nearshore 10 ≤600 lbs. LMA 2 (12+ miles) Northern Nearshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area 20 ≤600 lbs. LMA 2/3 Overlap (12+ miles) Offshore and Great South Channel Restricted Area 20 ≤1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). LMA 3 (12+ miles) Offshore waters North of 40° and Great South Channel Restricted Area 20 ≤1500 lbs (2,000 lbs if red crab trap/pot). LMA 4,5,6 Southern Nearshore ≤600 lbs. FL State Waters Southeast US Restricted Area North i 1 ≤200 lbs. GA State Waters Southeast US Restricted Area North 3 1 ≤600 lbs. SC State Waters Southeast US Restricted Area North 3 1 ≤600 lbs. Federal Waters off FL, GA, SC Southeast US Restricted Area North 3 1 ≤600 lbs. 1 The pocket waters and 6-mile line as defined in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)-(a)(2)(iii) of this section. 2 MA State waters as defined as paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section. 3 See § 229.32(f)(1) for description of area.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12869 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150205118-5443-02] RIN 0648-BE87 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule implements the New England Fishery Management Council's recommended fishing year 2015-2017 specifications and management measures for the small-mesh multispecies fishery, clarifies what measures can be modified in a specifications package, and corrects the northern red hake accountability measure. This action is necessary to ensure that catch of these species does not exceed applicable limits.

    DATES:

    Effective May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the specifications document, consisting of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and other supporting documents, are available on request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. This document is also available from the following internet addresses: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/or www.nefmc.org. Copies of the small entity compliance guide are available from John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason Berthiaume, Fishery Management Specialist, (978) 281-9177.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The small-mesh multispecies fishery is managed primarily through a serious of exemptions from the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The small-mesh multispecies fishery is composed of five stocks of three species of hakes (northern and southern silver hake, northern and southern red hake, and offshore hake). It is managed separately from the other stocks of groundfish such as cod, haddock, and flounders, primarily because the fishing is done with much smaller mesh and the fishery does not generally catch these other stocks. Amendment 19 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP (April 4, 2013; 78 FR 20260) established a process and framework for setting the small-mesh multispecies catch specifications.

    The New England Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) met on August 26, 2014, to discuss the specifications and to recommend ABCs for the 2015-2017 small-mesh fishery. The FMP's implementing regulations require the involvement of an SSC in the specification process. Following the SSC, the Whiting Oversight Committee met on September 9 and October 30, 2014, to discuss and recommend small-mesh specifications. The Council approved the final specifications for recommendation to NMFS on November 17, 2014.

    The purpose of this action is to set the specifications for small-mesh multispecies for the 2015-2017 fishing years. These specifications include overfishing limit (OFL), acceptable biological catch (ABC), and total allowable landings (TAL) for each of the small-mesh multispecies stocks. In 2012 and 2013, northern red hake catch rates exceeded the annual catch limits (ACL) and the ABC. Northern red hake was also determined to be experiencing overfishing. To reduce the risk of continued overfishing on this stock and better constrain catch to the ACL, this action implements the Council's recommended reduction of the northern red hake possession limit from 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) to 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) per trip. It also creates a new trigger point at which possession limits are reduced inseason such that when landings of northern red hake reach 45 percent of the TAL, the possession limit will be reduced to 1,500 lb (680 kg). The possession limits and inseason trigger accountability measures for the other stocks of small-mesh multispecies remain unchanged from 2012-2014.

    This final rule also includes a correction to the small-mesh accountability measures and clarifies what measures can be modified in a small-mesh multispecies specifications action.

    Final Measures 1. 2015-2017 Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications

    The Council process for developing its specifications recommendations for small-mesh multispecies can be found in the proposed rule for this action published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 18801), and is not repeated here. These specifications remain effective for fishing years 2015-2017 unless otherwise changed during that time.

    Table 1—Summary of the Small-Mesh Multispecies Specifications for 2015-2017 [All weights in metric tons] Stock OFL ABC ACL Percent change from 2012-2014 Discard rate
  • (percent)
  • TAL Percent change from 2012-2014
    N. Silver Hake 43,608 24,383 23,161 85 11.2 19,948.7 122.3 N. Red Hake 331 287 273 2.6 60.6 104.2 15.4 S. Whiting * 60,148 31,180 29,621 −8.2 17.1 23,833.4 −12.6 S. Red Hake 3,400 3,179 3,021 −2.4 55.3 1,309.4 −2.0 * Southern whiting includes southern silver hake and offshore hake.
    2. Northern Red Hake Possession Limit Reduction

    This action reduces the northern red hake possession limit from 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) in place for fishing year 2014 to 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) for fishing years 2015-2017. This reduction in possession limit is intended to delay the in-season accountability measure (AM) until later in the year and to reduce the potential for northern red hake catches to exceed the ACL (as occurred in fishing years 2012 and 2013).

    3. Additional Northern Red Hake Possession Limit Reduction Trigger

    This measure implements an additional inseason possession limit reduction trigger for northern red hake when 45 percent of the TAL is reached. For fishing years 2015-2017 the northern red hake possession limit will be reduced from 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to 1,500 lb (680 kg) when landings reach this point.

    4. Clarification on Modifications in a Specifications Action

    When developing the rulemaking for this action, we determined that the current regulations governing the specifications process do not fully reflect the Council's intent in Amendment 19 regarding the scope of measures that can be implemented through the specifications process. Amendment 19 specified that the Council shall specify on at least a 3-year basis the OFL, ABC, ACLs, and TALs for each small-mesh multispecies stock as well as the corresponding possession limits, including inseason possession limit triggers to be consistent with the revised specification recommendations and estimates of scientific and management uncertainty from the SSC. However, the implementing regulations for Amendment 19 did not specify that adjustments to possession limits and the inseason possession limit triggers were among the items that could be modified in a specifications action. Consistent with section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, this rule corrects this inconsistency by including possession limits and inseason possession limit triggers in small-mesh multispecies specifications regulations.

    5. Regulatory Correction

    When the specifications were being developed, the Whiting Plan Development Team identified an error in the previous set of specifications (i.e., for fishing years 2012-2014). The details of this error can be found in the proposed rule for this action published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 18801), and are not repeated here. Using Magnuson-Stevens Act section 305(d) authority, this action corrects the AM. This changes the possession limit reduction trigger point for reducing the possession limit for northern red hake to 400 lb (181 kg) from 45 to 62.5 percent of the TAL. Future AMs for fishing years in which the catch exceeds the ACL will be deducted from the corrected 62.5-percent trigger, as outlined in the small-mesh AM regulations at § 648.90.

    Comments and Responses

    On April 8, 2015, NMFS published proposed specifications for public notice and comment. One comment was received. This comment was not relevant to the rule.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, determined that this final rule is necessary for the conservation and management of the small-mesh multispecies fishery and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this action is not significant for the purpose of E.O. 12866.

    The Assistant Administrator also finds good cause under authority contained in 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to waive the otherwise effective 30-day delay in effective date. Because the fishing year began on May 1, 2015, delaying the effectiveness of this action, particularly the northern red hake measures (possession limit reduction, implement additional possession limit trigger, correct accountability measures trigger rate) would not be in the best interest of the fishery resource or vessels fishing for small-mesh multispecies. NMFS could not promulgate this rule sooner because necessary information from the Council was not delivered until the end of March 2015. Although some of the northern red hake measures are restrictive in nature because they reduce the possession limit and implement an additional possession limit reduction trigger, they are designed to slow catch rates and thus increase the length of the overall season for the benefit of the fishermen and the fishery. Delaying implementation of these red hake measures could undermine in the short-term the intended benefits of extending the fishing season and creating better market conditions. In 2012 and 2013, northern red hake catch rates exceeded the ACL and ABC and the possession limit was reduced to the incidental level earlier in the season than anticipated. Delaying these measures again could result in northern red hake ABC and ACL overages and the reduction of the northern red hake possession limits to incidental levels earlier in the season than desired as occurred in 2012 and 2013, thus undermining the intent of the rule. Therefore, although the northern red hake measures impose some restrictions, having the measures effective upon publication is expected to be beneficial for the industry by extending the season and beneficial for the resource by helping to prevent ACL and ABC overages.

    Because the specifications for the three other stocks remain the same or, as for northern silver hake, increased, a delay is not needed because they automatically remain in place or relieve a restriction. Thus there would be no benefit to delaying the effectiveness of the specifications because they do not impose any new restrictions.

    A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) was prepared pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 604(a), and incorporates the IRFA, a summary of the significant issues raised by the public comments in response to the IRFA, NMFS's responses to those comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support the action. A copy of the EA/IRFA is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES).

    The preamble to the proposed rule included a detailed summary of the analyses contained in the IRFA, and that discussion is not repeated here.

    Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis A Summary of the Significant Issues Raised by the Public in Response to the IRFA, a Summary of the Agency's Assessment of Such Issues, and a Statement of Any Changes Made in the Final Rule as a Result of Such Comments

    NMFS received no comments in response to the IRFA. One comment was received on this rule, which was not relevant to the rule or the IRFA.

    Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule Would Apply

    On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33467). The rule increased the size standard from $19.0 million to $20.5 million for finfish fishing, from $5.0 to $5.5 million for shellfish fishing, and from $7.0 million to $7.5 million for other marine fishing, for-hire businesses, and marinas. The small-mesh multispecies fishery falls under the finfish category and, thus, has a threshold of $20.5 million for determining small versus large entities. However, having different size standards for different types of commercial fishing activities creates difficulties in categorizing business that participate in multiple fishing related activities, which is typically the case in the fishing industry.

    In order to fish for small-mesh multispecies, a vessel owner must be issued either one of the limited access category Northeast multispecies permits or an open access Northeast Multispecies Category K Permit; however, there are many vessels issued both of these types of permits that may not actually fish for small-mesh multispecies. Based on ownership data for 2011-2013, there were 1,087 distinct ownership entities based on calendar year 2013 permits that could potentially target small mesh multispecies. Of these, 1,069 are categorized as small and 18 are categorized as large entities per the SBA guidelines. While 1,087 commercial entities are directly regulated by the proposed action, not all of these entities land small-mesh multispecies and are not likely to be directly impacted by this rule. To estimate the number of commercial entities that may experience impacts from the proposed action, active small-mesh multispecies entities are defined as those entities containing permits that are directly regulated and that landed any silver hake or red hake in 2013 for commercial sale. There are 298 potentially impacted, directly regulated commercial entities, 295 of which are classified as small entities.

    Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    No reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements are included in this final rule.

    Description of the Steps the Agency Has Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities Consistent With the Stated Objectives of Applicable Statutes

    During the development of these specifications, NMFS and the Council considered ways to reduce the regulatory burden on, and provide flexibility for, the regulated entities in this action. The specifications and alternatives are described in detail in the specifications document, which includes an EA, RIR, and IRFA (available at ADDRESSES). The measures implemented by this final rule minimize the economic impacts on small entities to the extent practicable.

    This action revises the ACL specifications for northern and southern stocks of silver and red hakes for fishing years 2015-2017. The specifications are largely unchanged from previous years with the exception of northern silver hake, which is significantly increased. The specifications do not reduce the quotas and are therefore not restrictive in nature and, therefore, are not expected to result in significant positive or minor economic impacts on small entities.

    In general, the remainder of the measures in this action involves preventing northern red hake overages. Overall, this rule minimizes economic impacts by slowing the catch rate of northern red hake while still allowing small-mesh vessels to land northern red hake at more sustainable levels. The previous measures were resulting in ABC and ACL overages and the implementation of restrictive accountability measure possession limit reductions earlier in the fishing season than desired. The red hake measures in this action are designed to slow catch rates and extend the length of the season creating the anticipated more consistent market conditions and prices that are expected should be beneficial for the small-mesh fishery. Alternatives to these measures were analyzed and the final combination of northern red hake measures in this rule were determined to be the optimum combination of alternatives to prevent future ACL and ABC overages and minimize the economic impact on small entities.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.86, paragraphs (d)(1)(i) introductory text, (d)(1)(ii) introductory text, (d)(1)(iii) introductory text, and (d)(4) introductory text are revised and paragraph (d)(5) is added to read as follows:
    § 648.86 NE Multispecies possession restrictions.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) Vessels possessing on board or using nets of mesh size smaller than 2.5 in (6.35 cm). Owners or operators of a vessel may possess and land not more than 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) of red hake, and not more than 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) of combined silver hake and offshore hake, if either of the following conditions apply:

    (ii) Vessels possessing on board or using nets of mesh size equal to or greater than 2.5 in (6.35 cm) but less than 3 in (7.62 cm). An owner or operator of a vessel that is not subject to the possession limit specified in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section may possess and land not more than 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) of red hake, and not more than 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) of combined silver hake and offshore hake if either of the following conditions apply:

    (iii) Vessels possessing on board or using nets of mesh size equal to or greater than 3 in (7.62 cm). An owner or operator of a vessel that is not subject to the possession limits specified in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section may possess and land not more than 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) of red hake, and not more than 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) of combined silver hake and offshore hake when fishing in the Gulf of Maine or Georges Bank Exemption Areas, as described in § 648.80(a), and not more than 40,000 lb (18,144 kg) of combined silver hake and offshore hake when fishing in the Southern New England or Mid-Atlantic Exemption Areas, as described in § 648.80(b)(10) and (c)(5), respectively, if both of the following conditions apply:

    (d) * * *

    (4) Accountability Measure In-season adjustment of small-mesh multispecies possession limits. If the Regional Administrator projects that an in-season adjustment TAL trigger level for any small-mesh multispecies stock, as specified in § 648.90(b)(5)(iii), has been reached or exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall reduce the possession limit of that stock to the incidental level for that stock, as specified in this paragraph (d)(4), for the remainder of the fishing year through notice consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, unless such a reduction in the possession limit would be expected to prevent the TAL from being reached.

    (5) In-season adjustment of Northern Red Hake Possession Limits. In addition to the accountability measure in-season adjustment of small-mesh multispecies possession limits specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, if the Regional Administrator projects that 45 percent of the northern red hake TAL has been reached or is exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall reduce the possession limit for northern red hake to 1,500 lb (680 kg) for the remainder of the fishing year unless further reduced to the incidental possession limit according to the accountability measure in-season adjustment of small-mesh multispecies possession limits specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

    3. In § 648.90, paragraphs (b)(4)(i) and (b)(5)(iii) are revised to read as follows:
    § 648.90 NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures and specifications, and flexible area action system.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Specifications package. (i) The Whiting PDT shall prepare a specification package, including a SAFE Report, at least every 3 years. Based on the specification package, the Whiting PDT shall develop and present to the Council recommended specifications as defined in paragraph (a) of this section for up to 3 fishing years. The specifications package shall be the primary vehicle for the presentation of all updated biological and socio-economic information regarding the small-mesh multispecies fishery. The specifications package shall provide source data for any adjustments to the management measures that may be needed to continue to meet the goals and objectives of the FMP. The specifications package may include modifications to the OFL, ABC, ACL, TAL, possession limits, and in-season possession limit triggers.

    (5) * * *

    (iii) Small-mesh multispecies in-season adjustment triggers. The small-mesh multispecies inseason accountability measure adjustment triggers are as follow:

    Species In-season
  • adjustment
  • trigger
  • (percent)
  • Northern Red Hake 62.5 Northern Silver Hake 90 Southern Red Hake 90 Southern Whiting 90
    [FR Doc. 2015-12871 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 102 Thursday, May 28, 2015 Proposed Rules FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 249 [Docket No. R-1514; Regulation WW] RIN 7100 AE-32 Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Treatment of U.S. Municipal Securities as High-Quality Liquid Assets AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) invites public comment on a proposed rule (proposed rule) that would amend the Board's liquidity coverage ratio requirement (LCR) to include certain U.S. municipal securities as high-quality liquid assets (HQLA). This proposed rule includes as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR general obligation securities of a public sector entity that meet the same criteria as corporate debt securities that are included as level 2B liquid assets, subject to limits that are intended to address the unique structure of the U.S. municipal securities market. This proposed rule would apply to all Board-regulated institutions that are subject to the LCR, which include: (1) Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies described in (1); and (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR by rule or order. This proposed rule would also permit bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies, in each case with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are subject to the Board's modified liquidity coverage ratio to rely on the proposed expanded definition of HQLA.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking must be received by July 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    When submitting comments, please consider submitting your comments by email or fax because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Board may be subject to delay. You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1514, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Robert de V. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW. (between 18th and 19th Street NW.), Washington, DC 20006 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Constance Horsley, Assistant Director, (202) 452-5239, Adam S. Trost, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3814, or J. Kevin Littler, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 475-6677, Risk Policy, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; Dafina Stewart, Counsel, (202) 452-3876, or Adam J. Cohen, Senior Attorney, (202) 912-4658, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets, Washington, DC 20551. For the hearing impaired only, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Proposed Criteria for Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as Eligible HQLA A. Criteria for Inclusion as Level 2B Liquid Assets 1. U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities 2. Investment Grade U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities 3. Proven Record as a Reliable Source of Liquidity 4. Not an Obligation of a Financial Sector Entity or Its Consolidated Subsidiaries B. Limitations on a Company's Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities as Eligible HQLA 1. Limitation on the Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities With the Same CUSIP Number as Eligible HQLA 2. Limitation on the Inclusion of the U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities of a Single Issuer as Eligible HQLA 3. Limitation on the Amount of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities That Can Be Included in the HQLA Amount III. Plain Language IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act V. Paperwork Reduction Act I. Background

    On September 3, 2014, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) adopted a final rule that implemented a quantitative liquidity requirement 1 (LCR) consistent with the liquidity coverage ratio standard established by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel III Liquidity Framework).2 The LCR is designed to promote the short-term resilience of the liquidity risk profile of large and internationally active banking organizations, and to further improve the measurement and management of liquidity risk, thereby improving the banking sector's ability to absorb shocks arising during periods of significant stress. The LCR requires a company subject to the rule to maintain an amount of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) (the numerator of the ratio) 3 that is no less than 100 percent of its total net cash outflows over a prospective 30 calendar-day period of significant stress (the denominator of the ratio). Community banking organizations are not subject to the LCR.4

    1 79 FR 61440 (October 10, 2014).

    2 Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Basel III: The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and liquidity risk monitoring tools” (January 2013), available at http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs238.htm.

    3 A company's HQLA amount is calculated according to section 249.21 of the LCR.

    4 The LCR applies to large and internationally active banking organizations, generally: (1) Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and depository institutions that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) depository institutions with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies described in (1); and (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR by rule or order. In addition, the Board adopted a modified minimum liquidity coverage ratio requirement for bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies that, in each case, have $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets but that do not meet the threshold for large and internationally active firms (together with the entities described in (1), (2), (3) above, covered companies).

    Under the LCR, only a limited number of asset classes that have historically been used as a source of liquidity in the United States during periods of significant stress and have a demonstrable record of liquidity are included as HQLA. In identifying the types of assets that qualify as HQLA under the Basel III Liquidity Framework the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision considered several factors, including the asset's risk profile and characteristics of the market for the asset (e.g., active sale or repurchase markets at all times, significant diversity in market participants, and high trading volume). The agencies considered similar factors in developing the LCR. In addition, the agencies developed certain other criteria, such as operational requirements, that assets must meet for inclusion as eligible HQLA.

    The LCR divides HQLA into three categories of assets: Level 1, level 2A, and level 2B liquid assets. Specifically, level 1 liquid assets are limited to balances held at a Federal Reserve Bank and foreign central bank withdrawable reserves, all securities issued or unconditionally guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by the U.S. Government, and certain highly liquid, high credit quality sovereign, international organization and multilateral development bank debt securities. Level 1 liquid assets, which are the highest quality and most liquid assets, may be included in a covered company's HQLA amount without limit and without haircuts. Level 2A and 2B liquid assets have characteristics that are associated with being relatively stable and significant sources of liquidity, but not to the same degree as level 1 liquid assets. Level 2A liquid assets include certain obligations issued or guaranteed by a U.S. government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) and certain obligations issued or guaranteed by a sovereign entity or a multilateral development bank that are not eligible to be treated as level 1 liquid assets. The LCR subjects level 2A liquid assets to a 15 percent haircut and limits the aggregate of level 2A and level 2B liquid assets to no more than 40 percent of the total HQLA amount. Level 2B liquid assets, which are liquid assets that generally exhibit more volatility than level 2A liquid assets, are subject to a 50 percent haircut and may not exceed 15 percent of the total HQLA amount. Under the LCR, level 2B liquid assets include certain corporate debt securities and certain common equity shares of publicly traded companies. Level 2 liquid assets, including all level 2B liquid assets, must be liquid and readily marketable as defined in the LCR to be included as HQLA.5 Other classes of assets, such as debt securities issued or guaranteed by a U.S. public sector entity (U.S. municipal securities), are not treated as HQLA. The LCR final rule defines a public sector entity to include any state, local authority, or other governmental subdivision below the U.S. sovereign entity level.6

    5 The liquid and readily marketable standard is defined in section 249.3 of the LCR final rule and is discussed in section II.B.2 of the Supplementary Information section. 79 FR 61440, 61451 (October 10, 2014).

    6 12 CFR 249.3.

    The agencies received a substantial number of comments in connection with the LCR rulemaking 7 from U.S. and foreign firms, public officials (including state and local governments and members of the U.S. Congress), public interest groups, private individuals, and other interested parties requesting that U.S. municipal securities be treated as HQLA. Commenters asserted that U.S. municipal securities exhibit liquidity characteristics consistent with those considered by the agencies in identifying assets as HQLA and presented data to demonstrate the liquidity of U.S. municipal securities. In particular, some commenters indicated that certain U.S. municipal securities trade more often and in greater volumes than some corporate debt securities that qualify as HQLA under the LCR. In addition, commenters argued that the exclusion of U.S. municipal securities from HQLA could lead to higher funding costs for U.S. municipalities, which could affect local economies and infrastructure.

    7 78 FR 71818 (November 29, 2013).

    In the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section to the LCR final rule, the agencies expressed concern that covered companies would be limited in their ability to rapidly monetize U.S. municipal securities during a period of significant stress. For example, the funding of many U.S. municipal securities in the repurchase market is limited, which lessens the opportunity for companies to convert the securities to cash quickly during a period of significant stress. Accordingly, the LCR final rule did not include U.S. municipal securities as HQLA.

    However, the Board indicated a willingness to continue to study the question of whether at least some U.S. municipal securities should be permitted under some circumstances to be included as HQLA. The Board now proposes to allow Board-regulated institutions to include as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR U.S. general obligation municipal securities that exhibit characteristics that are comparable to other asset classes included as level 2B liquid assets. The proposal contains a variety of criteria and limitations designed to ensure that U.S. general obligation municipal securities included as HQLA are liquid and appropriately valued for purposes of the LCR.

    This proposed rule would apply to all Board-regulated institutions that are subject to the LCR, which include: (1) Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies subject to the LCR described in (1); and (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR by rule or order. This proposed rule would also allow bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies, in each case with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, that are subject to the Board's modified minimum liquidity coverage ratio to take advantage of the proposed expanded definition of HQLA.

    II. Proposed Criteria for Inclusion of U.S. Municipal Securities as Eligible HQLA

    As described in more detail below, this proposed rule would include limited amounts of U.S. general obligation municipal securities as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR if the securities meet certain criteria. The Board invites comment on all aspects of the proposal including whether these criteria and limitations are appropriate, reasonable, and achieve their intended purposes.

    The Board proposes to include U.S. general obligation municipal securities as level 2B liquid assets, rather than as level 2A liquid assets. Municipal securities are less liquid than assets that are included as level 2A liquid assets. For example, the daily trading volume of securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. GSEs far exceeds that of U.S. municipal securities.

    As a threshold matter, to qualify as HQLA under the proposal, U.S. general obligation municipal securities must be liquid and readily marketable and meet other criteria consistent with the criteria for corporate debt securities that are included as level 2B liquid assets. These criteria help to ensure comparable treatment between U.S. general obligation municipal securities and corporate debt securities included as HQLA.8 In addition, to help ensure sufficient liquidity of the U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are included in the total HQLA amount, this proposed rule would impose certain limits on the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities that a Board-regulated institution may include as eligible HQLA.9 This proposed rule would not limit the amount of U.S. municipal securities a Board-regulated institution could hold for other purposes.

    8See 12 CFR 249.20(c)(1).

    9 The LCR final rule defines eligible HQLA as those high-quality liquid assets that meet the requirements set forth in section 249.22.

    A. Criteria for Inclusion as Level 2B Liquid Assets 1. U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities

    Under this proposed rule, U.S. municipal securities would qualify as HQLA only if they are general obligations of the issuing entity. General obligations of U.S. public sector entities, which include bonds or similar obligations that are backed by the full faith and credit of the public sector entities, are assigned a 20 percent risk weight under the Board's risk-based capital rules.10 This provision, which is consistent with the Basel III Liquidity Framework, is designed to limit the liquidity and credit risk associated with U.S. municipal securities included in the HQLA amount.

    10See 12 CFR part 217.

    Revenue obligations, which include bonds or similar obligations that are obligations of U.S. public sector entities, but which the public sector entities have committed to repay with revenues from a specific project rather than from general tax funds, are assigned a 50 percent risk weight under the Board's risk-based capital rules.11 Revenue obligations are assigned a higher risk weight than general obligations because repayment of revenue obligations is dependent on revenue from an underlying project without an obligation from a public sector entity to repay these obligations from other revenue sources.12 The Board has proposed to exclude revenue obligations because, during a period of significant stress, revenue derived from a particular project, such as a stadium, may fall dramatically as domestic consumption declines and the associated revenue bond may experience significant price declines and become less liquid.

    11Id.

    12 78 FR 62018, 62086 (October 11, 2013).

    2. Investment Grade U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities

    Consistent with the requirements for corporate debt securities included as level 2B liquid assets, this proposed rule would require that U.S. general obligation municipal securities be “investment grade” under 12 CFR part 1 as of the calculation date.13 This criterion requires an issuer of a U.S. general obligation municipal security to have adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments under the security for the projected life of the security, which is met by showing a low risk of default and an expectation of the timely repayment of principal and interest.

    13 12 CFR 1.2(d). In accordance with section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, this regulation does not rely on credit ratings as a standard of credit-worthiness. Rather, the regulation relies on an assessment by the bank of the capacity of the issuer to meet its financial commitments.

    3. Proven Record as a Reliable Source of Liquidity

    Consistent with the requirements for corporate debt securities included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR, this proposed rule would require that U.S. general obligation municipal securities included as level 2B liquid assets be issued by an entity whose obligations have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity in repurchase or sales markets during a period of significant stress. A Board-regulated institution would be required to demonstrate this record of liquidity reliability and lower volatility during periods of significant stress by showing that the market price of the U.S. general obligation municipal securities or equivalent securities of the issuer declined by no more than 20 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress, or that the market haircut demanded by counterparties to secured lending and secured funding transactions that were collateralized by such debt securities or equivalent securities of the issuer increased by no more than 20 percentage points during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress. This percentage decline in value and percentage increase in haircut is the same as those applicable to corporate debt securities included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR.14 This limitation is meant to exclude volatile U.S. municipal securities because their volatility indicates these assets may not hold their value during a period of significant stress, thereby over-estimating the amount of HQLA actually available to the banking entity.

    14 Under the LCR, equity securities included as level 2B liquid assets have a similar criteria. However, the covered company would be required to demonstrate that the market price of the security or equivalent securities of the issuer declined by no more than 40 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress, or that the market haircut demanded by counterparties to securities borrowing and lending transactions that are collateralized by the publicly traded common equity shares or equivalent securities of the issuer increased by no more than 40 percentage points, during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress.

    As discussed in the Supplementary Information section to the LCR final rule, a Board-regulated institution may demonstrate a historical record that meets this criterion through reference to historical market prices and available funding haircuts of the U.S. general obligation municipal security during periods of significant stress, such as the 2007-2009 financial crisis.15 Board-regulated institutions should also look to other periods of systemic and idiosyncratic stress to see if the asset under consideration has proven to be a reliable source of liquidity. As noted above, HQLA include only those assets that have demonstrated an ability to maintain relatively stable prices such that they can be rapidly sold by a Board-regulated institution to meet its obligations during a period of significant stress.

    15 79 FR 61440, 61459 (October 10, 2014).

    4. Not an Obligation of a Financial Sector Entity or Its Consolidated Subsidiaries

    Under this proposed rule, U.S. general obligation municipal securities would qualify as HQLA only if they are not obligations of a financial sector entity and not obligations of a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity. For purposes of this provision, the Board considers a security that is issued or guaranteed by a financial sector entity to be an obligation of the financial sector entity. The LCR defines a financial sector entity to include a regulated financial company, investment company, non-regulated fund, pension fund, investment adviser, or a company that the Board has determined should be treated the same as the foregoing for the purposes of the LCR. Thus, if a bond insurer insures the general obligation municipal securities of a U.S. public sector entity (such insurance is commonly referred to as a “wrap”), the securities would not be eligible for inclusion in HQLA. The Board has proposed to include this criterion in order to exclude U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are valued, in part, based on guarantees provided by financial sector entities, because these financial sector entity guarantees could exhibit similar risks and correlation with Board-regulated institutions (wrong-way risk) during a liquidity stress period, thus overestimating the amount of HQLA that would be available to the banking entity during a liquidity stress period. This criterion is consistent with the Basel III Liquidity Framework and with the requirements imposed on corporate debt securities and publicly traded common equity shares that are included as level 2B liquid assets under the LCR.

    1. How should the Board supplement or amend the proposed criteria for including U.S. general obligation municipal securities as HQLA?

    2. Is it appropriate to exclude U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are guaranteed (or “wrapped”) by bond insurers or other financial sector entities from HQLA because of wrong-way risk? Why or why not? How else could the Board address concerns regarding the wrong-way risk associated with such securities?

    B. Limitations on a Company's Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities as Eligible HQLA

    This proposed rule would limit the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities a Board-regulated institution could include as eligible HQLA based on the total amount outstanding of U.S. general obligation municipal securities with the same CUSIP number, on the average daily trading volume of general obligation municipal securities issued by a particular U.S. municipal issuer, and on a percentage of the institution's total HQLA amount. These limitations are intended to address the unique structure of the U.S. municipal securities market and designed to help ensure sufficient liquidity of the U.S. general obligation municipal securities included in the HQLA amount under the LCR.

    1. Limitation on the Inclusion of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities With the Same CUSIP Number as Eligible HQLA

    Individual issuances of U.S. municipal securities (those with the same CUSIP number) by a single public sector entity are frequently far smaller and more numerous than issuances of debt securities by a single corporate issuer and exhibit a diverse array of maturity dates and interest rates. This is in part due to legal and other restrictions on the size of individual issuances by public sector entities and because U.S. municipal securities are frequently marketed to retail or smaller institutional investors. For example, a very large issuer of U.S. municipal securities (such as a state or large city) may have several hundred individual issuances outstanding. In contrast, a single corporate issuer may have a comparable dollar amount of securities outstanding but with only 20 to 30 individual issuances outstanding. Investors in U.S. municipal securities sometimes purchase a large percentage, including more than 50 percent of the outstanding amount, of the individual issuance.

    The Board is concerned that a Board-regulated institution would not be able to monetize a concentration in the holding of a particular issuance of U.S. general obligation municipal securities during a period of significant stress without a material impact on the securities' price. This proposed rule therefore would permit a Board-regulated institution to count U.S. general obligation municipal securities as eligible HQLA only to the extent the fair value of the institutions' securities with the same CUSIP number do not exceed a maximum of 25 percent of the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number. Under the proposal, this threshold for inclusion as eligible HQLA would be calculated prior to application of the 50 percent haircut applicable to level 2B liquid assets that is set forth in § 249.21(a)(3) of the LCR final rule. This requirement is designed to ensure that a Board-regulated institution does not include in its HQLA amount a concentration of an individual issuance of U.S. general obligation municipal securities.

    2. Limitation on the Inclusion of the U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities of a Single Issuer as Eligible HQLA

    The Board is proposing a limit on the amount of securities issued by a single U.S. public sector entity that a Board-regulated institution may include as eligible HQLA, based on the trading volume that the secondary market for the entity's general obligation municipal securities could be expected to withstand before prices materially decline. For each U.S. public sector entity, this proposed rule would limit the aggregate fair value of the general obligation securities that a Board-regulated institution could include as eligible HQLA to two times the average daily trading volume, as measured over the previous four quarters, of all general obligation municipal securities issued by that public sector entity.

    The LCR was designed to include as eligible HQLA assets that remain relatively liquid and have multiple buyers and sellers during periods of significant stress, as a covered company may be expected to sell HQLA to meet its cash outflows during such periods. To remain consistent with the design of the LCR, the proposal seeks to include U.S. general obligation municipal securities as eligible HQLA to the extent that they would exhibit liquidity without dramatic loss in value during periods of significant stress. The U.S. municipal securities market includes a large diversity of issuers, size of issuances, and volumes of secondary market trading. The Board analyzed data on the historical trading volume of municipal securities in order to determine the general level of increased sales of municipal securities that could be absorbed by the market during periods of significant stress before prices would materially decline. The proposal would limit the aggregate fair value of the U.S. general obligation municipal securities of a public sector entity that may be included as eligible HQLA to two times the average daily trading volume of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by that public sector entity because, based on the Board's analysis, a holding of two times the average daily trading volume could likely be absorbed by the market within a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress without materially disrupting the functioning of the market.

    Rather than proposing an average daily trading volume limitation on a per-security basis, the Board is proposing a limitation based on the average daily trading volume of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities issued by the public sector entity. Due to the smaller size of many U.S. municipal securities issuances, applying this limit on a per-security basis may unnecessarily restrict a covered company's ability to invest in a particular security that meets the Board-regulated institution's investment criteria and liquidity needs. However, as discussed above, the Board has proposed a separate limitation on the amount of an individual issuance that may be included as eligible HQLA to address the concern that a high concentration of an individual U.S. general obligation municipal security could be included as eligible HQLA.

    3. Limitation on the Amount of U.S. General Obligation Municipal Securities That Can Be Included in the HQLA Amount

    The Board is proposing to limit the amount of U.S. general obligation municipal securities that are included in a Board-regulated institution's HQLA amount to no more than five percent of its total HQLA amount. This limit is in addition to the 40 percent limit on the aggregate amount of level 2A and level 2B liquid assets and the 15 percent limit on level 2B liquid assets that can be included in the HQLA amount. It also complements the other two limits on U.S. general obligation municipal securities described above, which relate solely to a particular issuance and individual issuers. Although the Board has concluded that certain U.S. general obligation municipal securities are sufficiently liquid to be included as eligible HQLA, the Board proposes to limit the aggregate amount of all U.S. general obligation municipal securities that may be included in the HQLA amount to ensure appropriate diversification of asset classes within a Board-regulated institution's HQLA amount. Consistent with the LCR's limits on level 2A and level 2B liquid assets, this proposed five percent limit applies both on an unadjusted basis and after adjusting the composition of the HQLA amount upon the unwind of certain secured funding transactions, secured lending transactions, asset exchanges and collateralized derivatives transactions.16

    16See 12 CFR 249.21(g).

    The proposed five percent limit would be applied to the calculation of the HQLA amount by amending the definitions of the unadjusted excess HQLA amount and the adjusted excess HQLA amount.17 Under this proposed rule, the unadjusted excess HQLA amount would equal the sum of the level 2 cap excess amount, the level 2B cap excess amount and the public sector entity security cap excess amount. The method of calculating the public sector entity security cap excess amount is set forth in § 249.21(f) of this proposed rule. Under this provision, the public sector entity security cap excess amount would be calculated as the greater of: (1) The public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the level 2 cap excess amount minus level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 (or 5/95, which is the ratio of the maximum allowable public sector entity security liquid assets to the level 1 liquid assets and other level 2 liquid assets) times the sum of (i) the level 1 liquid asset amount, (ii) the level 2A liquid asset amount, and (iii) the level 2B liquid asset amount minus the public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or (2) zero.

    17See 12 CFR 249.21(c) and (f).

    Under this proposed rule, the adjusted excess HQLA amount would equal the sum of the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount, the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount, and the adjusted public sector entity cap excess amount. The method of calculating the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount is set forth in § 249.21(k) of this proposed rule. Under this provision, the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount would be calculated as the greater of: (1) The adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount minus the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 (or 5/95, which is the ratio of the maximum allowable adjusted public sector entity security liquid assets to the adjusted level 1 liquid assets and other adjusted level 2 liquid assets) times the sum of (i) the adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount, (ii) the adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount, and (iii) the adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount minus the adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or (2) zero.

    3. What additional or alternative limitations should the Board consider relating to the inclusion of individual and aggregate issuances of U.S. public sector entities as eligible HQLA and in a Board-regulated institution's HQLA amount? How else could the Board address concerns regarding concentrations and minimizing market price movements associated with sales of HQLA?

    III. Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (Pub L. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809) requires the Board to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board invites your comments on how to make this proposal easier to understand. For example:

    • Has the Board organized the material to suit your needs? If not, how could this material be better organized?

    • Are the requirements in the proposed rule clearly stated?

    • If not, how could the proposed rule be more clearly stated?

    • Does the proposed rule contain language or jargon that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?

    • Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the proposed rule easier to understand? If so, what changes to the format would make the proposed rule easier to understand?

    • What else could the Board do to make the regulation easier to understand?

    IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act 18 (RFA), requires an agency to either provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with a proposed rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking is required or to certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include banks with assets less than or equal to $550 million). In accordance with section 3(a) of the RFA, the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with respect to this proposed rule. Based on its analysis and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Nevertheless, the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. A final regulatory flexibility analysis will be conducted after commenters received during the public comment period have been considered.

    18 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    As discussed above, this proposed rule would amend the liquidity coverage ratio rule to include certain high-quality general obligation U.S. municipal securities as high-quality liquid assets for the purposes of the LCR.

    Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration, a “small entity” includes a depository institution, bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total assets of $550 million or less (a small banking organization). As of December 31, 2014, there were approximately 664 small state member banks, 3,832 small bank holding companies, and 275 small savings and loan holding companies.

    This proposed rule does not apply to “small entities” and would apply only to Board-regulated institutions subject to the LCR, which include: (1) Bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and state member banks that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) state member banks with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of bank holding companies subject to the LCR; and (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR by rule or order. This proposed rule also would apply to bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, which are subject to the modified minimum liquidity coverage ratio. Companies that are subject to this proposed rule therefore substantially exceed the $550 million asset threshold at which a banking entity is considered a “small entity” under SBA regulations.

    As noted above, because this proposed rule is not likely to apply to any company with assets of $550 million or less, if adopted in final form, it is not expected to apply to any small entity for purposes of the RFA. The Board is aware of no other Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule. In light of the foregoing, the Board does not believe that this proposed rule, if adopted in final form, would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities supervised and therefore believes that there are no significant alternatives to this proposed rule that would reduce the economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.

    The Board welcomes comment on all aspects of its analysis. A final regulatory flexibility analysis will be conducted after consideration of comments received during the public comment period.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (PRA), the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Board reviewed this proposed rule and determined that it would not introduce any new collection of information pursuant to the PRA.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 249

    Administrative practice and procedure; Banks, banking; Federal Reserve System; Holding companies; Liquidity; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information section, the Board proposes to amend part 249 of chapter II of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 249—LIQUIDITY RISK MEASUREMENT STANDARDS (REGULATION WW) 1. The authority citation for part 249 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 248(a), 321-338a, 481-486, 1467a(g)(1), 1818, 1828, 1831p-1, 1831o-1, 1844(b), 5365, 5366, 5368.

    2. Amend § 249.20, by redesignating paragraph (c)(2) as paragraph (c)(3) and adding new paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 249.20 High-quality liquid asset criteria.

    (c) * * *

    (2) A general obligation security issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity where the security is:

    (i) Investment grade under 12 CFR part 1 as of the calculation date;

    (ii) Issued or guaranteed by a public sector entity whose obligations have a proven record as a reliable source of liquidity in repurchase or sales markets during stressed market conditions, as demonstrated by:

    (A) The market price of the security or equivalent securities of the issuer declining by no more than 20 percent during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress; or

    (B) The market haircut demanded by counterparties to secured lending and secured funding transactions that are collateralized by the security or equivalent securities of the issuer increasing by no more than 20 percentage points during a 30 calendar-day period of significant stress; and

    (iii) Not an obligation of a financial sector entity and not an obligation of a consolidated subsidiary of a financial sector entity.

    3. Amend § 249.21, by: a. Adding paragraph (b)(4); b. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (c)(2) and adding in its place a semicolon and the word “plus”; c. Adding paragraph (c)(3); d. Redesignating paragraphs (f) through (i) and as paragraphs (g) through (j) respectively and adding new paragraph (f); e. Adding paragraph (g)(4); f. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (h)(2) and adding in its place a semicolon and the word “plus”; g. Adding paragraphs (h)(3); and (k);

    The additions read as follows:

    § 249.21 High-quality liquid asset amount.

    (b) * * *

    (4) Public sector entity security liquid asset amount. The public sector entity security liquid asset amount equals 50 percent of the fair value of all general obligation securities issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity that are eligible HQLA.

    (c) * * *

    (3) The public sector entity security cap excess amount.

    (f) Calculation of the public sector entity security cap excess amount. As of the calculation date, the public security entity security cap excess amount equals the greater of:

    (1) The public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the level 2 cap excess amount minus level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 times the sum of:

    (i) The level 1 liquid asset amount;

    (ii) The level 2A liquid asset amount; and

    (iii) The level 2B liquid asset amount minus the public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or

    (2) 0.

    (g) * * *

    (4) Adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount. A [BANK]'s adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount equals 50 percent of the fair value of all general obligation securities issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity that would be eligible HQLA and would be held by the [BANK] upon the unwind of any secured funding transaction (other than a collateralized deposit), secured lending transaction, asset exchange, or collateralized derivatives transaction that matures within 30 calendar days of the calculation date where the [BANK] will provide an asset that is eligible HQLA and the counterparty will provide an asset that will be eligible HQLA.

    (h) * * *

    (3) The adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount.

    (k) Calculation of the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount. As of the calculation date, the adjusted public sector entity security cap excess amount equals the greater of:

    (1) The adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount minus the adjusted level 2 cap excess amount minus the adjusted level 2B cap excess amount minus 0.0526 times the sum of:

    (i) The adjusted level 1 liquid asset amount;

    (ii) The adjusted level 2A liquid asset amount: and

    (iii) The adjusted level 2B liquid asset amount minus the adjusted public sector entity security liquid asset amount; or

    (2) 0.

    4. Amend § 249.22, by redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d) and adding new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 249.22 Requirements for eligible high-quality liquid assets.

    (c) Securities of public sector entities as eligible HQLA. A Board-regulated institution may include as eligible HQLA a general obligation security issued by, or guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest by, a public sector entity if each of the following is satisfied:

    (1) The fair value of a single issuance of securities that are included as eligible HQLA by the Board-regulated institution is no greater than 25 percent of the total amount of outstanding securities with the same CUSIP number at the calculation date; and

    (2) The fair value of the aggregate amount of securities of a single public sector entity issuer that are included as eligible HQLA by the Board-regulated institution is no greater than two times the average daily trading volume during the previous four quarters of all general obligation securities issued by that public sector entity.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 18, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12850 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 33 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1771; Notice No. 33-15-01-SC] Special Conditions: Pratt and Whitney Canada, PW210A; Flat 30-Second and 2-Minute One Engine Inoperative Rating AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed special conditions.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes special conditions for the Pratt and Whitney Canada PW210A engine model. This engine will have a novel or unusual design feature—an additional one engine inoperative (OEI) rating that combines the 30-second and 2-minute OEI ratings into a single rating. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

    DATES:

    Send your comments on or before June 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-1771 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this proposed rule, contact Tara Fitzgerald, ANE-111, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-5213; telephone (781) 238-7130; facsimile (781) 238-7199. For legal questions concerning this proposed rule, contact Vincent Bennett, ANE-7, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7044; facsimile (781) 238-7055; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

    We will consider all comments received in the docket on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

    Background

    On February 14, 2013, Pratt and Whitney Canada applied for an amendment to Type Certificate No. E00083EN-E to include the new PW210A engine model. The PW210A, which is a derivative of the PW210S currently approved under E00083EN-E, is intended for rotorcraft use. For their PW210A engine model, Pratt and Whitney Canada requests an additional OEI rating that combines the 30-second and 2-minute OEI rating into a single rating to satisfy the rotorcraft requirements for increased power in OEI scenarios. This additional OEI rating is named “Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI.”

    These special conditions are necessary because the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for combining the requirements of the flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI rating.

    Type Certification Basis

    Under the provisions of § 21.101, Pratt and Whitney Canada must show that the PW210A meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 33, as amended by Amendments 33-1 through 33-30. These regulations will be incorporated into Type Certificate No. E00083EN after type certification approval of the PW210A. The regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.” The regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. E00083NE are as follows:

    Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR part 33), effective February 1, 1965, Amendments 33-1 through 33-24 and two special conditions: 33-008-SC: For on ground engine operation in auxiliary power unit (APU) mode, and 33-009-SC: For 30-minutes all engines operating (AEO) hovering power engine rating.

    For the PW210A the certification basis is:

    1. Airworthiness Standards: 14 CFR part 33, effective February 1, 1965, Amendments 33-1 through 33-30, inclusive.

    2. Environmental Standards: 14 CFR part 34, effective September 10, 1990, as amended by 34-1 through 34-4 and 40 CFR part 87, effective (ICAO Annex 16, Volume II—Aircraft Engine Emissions, as amended up to and including Amendment 6).

    In addition, the certification basis includes other regulations, special conditions and exemptions that are not relevant to these proposed special conditions. Type Certificate No. E00083EN will be updated to include a complete description of the certification basis for this model engine.

    If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 33) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the PW210A because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

    Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

    Accordingly, should type certificate E00083EN be amended to include another model that incorporates the “Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI,” the special conditions as defined would apply to models whose certification basis is amendment 33-25 or later.

    The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

    Novel or Unusual Design Features

    The PW210A will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: The design feature is a “Flat 30-second and 2-minute” one engine inoperative (OEI) rating. The Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI rating represents a case where the power levels and associated operating limitations for the 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI ratings (defined in Part 33) are the same.

    Discussion

    These proposed special conditions are necessary because current part 33 regulations do not contain airworthiness standards for extending the 2-minute OEI rating for 30-seconds. These special conditions extend the time dependent requirements applicable to the 30-second OEI or 2-minute OEI to the 2.5 minutes time duration of the “Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI” Power.

    The 2.5 minutes time duration for the rating may affect the engine's structural and operational characteristics that are time dependent, such as the values for transients, time duration for stabilization to steady state, and part growth due to deformation. To address these aspects, we propose special conditions based on revised requirements of §§ 33.27, 33.87(a)(7), and 33.88(b).

    The 2.5 minutes time duration for the rating affects the test conducted for the endurance test. For the 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI the test schedule of § 33.87(f) is divided among the two ratings. We propose special conditions based on revised requirements of § 33.87(f) to ensure the test will be run for 2.5 minutes duration with no interruption.

    The 2.5 minutes time duration for the rating necessitates extending the time duration requirement of § 33.28(k) applicable to the 30-second OEI rating from 30 seconds to 2.5 minutes. This proposed requirement is for automatic availability and control of the engine for the entire duration of the rating's usage.

    The 2.5 minutes time duration for the rating necessitates extending the requirements of § 33.29(c) that are applicable to 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI ratings to the single Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating. We propose special conditions to ensure that the instrumentation requirements normally reserved for 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI ratings are applied to the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating over its whole duration. The pilot does not have to be alerted at the end of 30 seconds use of the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating, only after the entire 2 minutes 30 seconds has expired.

    Paragraph 2.(e)(3) of these special conditions states that the engine must provide means or provision of means to alert maintenance of use of the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating, `alert' means after the aircraft lands, so any required maintenance actions can be completed before next flight.

    Applicability

    As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the PW210A. Should Pratt and Whitney Canada apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

    Certification of the PW210A is currently scheduled for May 1, 2015. The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the notice and public-comment procedure in a prior instance. Therefore, because a delay would significantly affect the applicant's both installation of the system and certification of the airplane, we are shortening the public-comment period to 10 days.

    Conclusion

    This action affects only the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI design features on the PW210A engine model. It is not a rule of general applicability and applies only to Pratt and Whitney Canada, who requested FAA approval of this engine feature.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 33

    Air Transportation, Aircraft, Aviation, Aviation safety, Safety.

    The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

    The Proposed Special Conditions

    Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Pratt and Whitney Canada PW210A engine model.

    Flat 30-Second and 2-Minute OEI 1. Part 1.1 Definitions

    “Rated Flat 30-second and 2-minute One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Power,” with respect to rotorcraft turbine engines, means (1) a single rating for which the shaft horsepower and associated operating limitations of the 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI ratings are equal, and (2) the shaft horsepower is that developed under static conditions at the altitude and temperature for the hot day, and within the operating limitations established under Part 33. The rating is for continuation of flight operation after the failure or shutdown of one engine in multiengine rotorcraft, for up to three periods of use no longer than 2.5 minutes each in any one flight, and followed by mandatory inspection and prescribed maintenance action.

    2. Part 33 Requirements

    (a) The airworthiness standards in Part 33 Amendment 30 for the 30-second OEI and 2-minute OEI ratings are applicable to the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating. In addition the following special conditions apply;

    (b) Section 33.7 Engine ratings and operating limitations. Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating and operating limitations are established for power, torque, rotational speed, gas temperature, and time duration.

    (c) Section 33.27 Turbine, compressor, fan, and turbosupercharger rotor overspeed. The requirements of § 33.27, except that following the test, the rotor may not exhibit conditions such as cracking or distortion which preclude continued safe operation.

    (d) Section 33.28 Engine controls systems. Must incorporate a means, or a provision for a means, for automatic availability and automatic control of the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power within the declared operating limitations.

    (e) Section 33.29 Instrument Connection. In lieu of the requirements of 33.29(c) the PW210A must incorporate a means or a provision for a means to:

    (1) Alert the pilot when the engine is at the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power level, when the event begins, and when the time interval expires;

    (2) Automatically record each usage and duration of power at the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating;

    (3) Following each flight when the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power rating is used, alert maintenance personnel in a positive manner that the engine has been operated at the Flat 30-second and 2-minute OEI Power level, and permit retrieval of the recorded data; and

    (4) Enable routine verification of the proper operation of the above means.

    (f) Section 33.87 Endurance test. The requirements applicable to 30-second and 2-minute OEI ratings, except for:

    (1) The test of § 33.87(a)(7) for the purposes of temperature stabilization, must be run with a test period time of 2.5 minutes.

    (2) The tests in § 33.87(f)(2) and (3) must be run continuously for the duration of 2.5 minutes, and

    (3) The tests in § 33.87(f)(6) and (7) must be run continuously for the duration of 2.5 minutes.

    (g) Section 33.88 Engine overtemperature test. The requirements of § 33.88(b) except that the test time is 5 minutes instead of 4 minutes.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on May 18, 2015. Carlos Pestana, Acting Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12986 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1425; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-185-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Model 188 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that a certain circumferential fuselage splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require an inspection for corrosion and previous repairs, severed stringers, cracking, and loose or distressed fasteners of the forward and aft ends of the stringer splices of certain stringers, inspection for cracking and modification of certain fastener holes common to the stringer and splice member at the forward and aft ends of the splice, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of residual strength of a certain circumferential fuselage splice, which could lead to rapid decompression of the cabin and potential loss of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Airworthiness Office, Dept. 6A0M, Zone 0252, Column P-58, 86 S. Cobb Drive, Marietta, GA 30063; phone: 770-494-5444; fax: 770-494-5445; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ams/tools/TechPubs.html. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1425; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carl Gray, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-117A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5554; fax: 404-474-5605; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-1425; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-185-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

    This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the circumferential fuselage splice at fuselage-station (FS) 695 is subject to WFD. The root cause of this WFD is fatigue cracks manifesting and growing simultaneously at similar structural details and stress levels at the circumferential fuselage splice. Fatigue cracking is increasingly likely as the airplane is operated and aged, and without intervention, fatigue cracking could lead to loss of residual strength of the circumferential fuselage splice at FS 695, which could lead to rapid decompression of the cabin area and potential loss of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014. This service bulletin describes procedures for doing the following actions:

    • A general visual inspection (GVI) for corrosion and previous repairs, severed stringers, cracking, and loose or distressed fasteners of the forward and aft ends of the stringer splices of stringers 1-7 and 66-72, and corrective actions if necessary.

    • At stringers 1-7 and 66-72, removing the four rivets common to the stringer and splice member at the forward and aft ends of the splice and doing a bolt hole eddy current (BHEC) inspection or an equivalent inspection procedure for cracking in each of the fastener holes, and corrective actions if necessary.

    • Corrective actions for cracked holes include reaming to the maximum permissible hole diameter of the next larger size rivet. If a crack indication remains after reaming, this service information specifies repairing the cracked stringer.

    • If a severed stringer is found during the GVI, doing related investigative actions of an eddy current surface scan inspection for cracking of the fuselage skin at the skin-to-stringer attachments immediately forward and aft of the stringer break and confirming skin cracks with a dye penetrant inspection. Corrective actions include repairing the severed stringer or skin cracks.

    • For holes without crack indications, other specified actions include modifying the fastener holes by reaming to a certain maximum permissible hole diameter of the same size rivet and installing replacement fasteners; or if original hole is larger than the maximum permissible diameter, installing the next rivet size and type.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Although Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, specifies that crack indications should be confirmed by an alternate inspection method, this proposed AD would not require that action.

    Operators should note that, although the Accomplishment Instructions of Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, describe procedures for submitting a report of damage, this proposed AD would not require that action.

    Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, does not describe corrective actions if any corrosion or previous repair is found, and if any loose or distressed fastener is found. This proposed AD would require repair.

    Explanation of Proposed Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the modification specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is replaced before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 4 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspections and Modification 18 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,530 $5,000 $6,530 $26,120

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    Regulatory Findings

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-1425; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-185-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 13, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Model 188A and 188C airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 1001 and subsequent.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the circumferential fuselage splice at fuselage-station (FS) 695 is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of residual strength of the circumferential fuselage splice at FS 695, which could lead to rapid decompression of the cabin and potential loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

    (g) Inspections, Modification, Related Investigative Actions, and Corrective Actions

    Before the accumulation of 38,200 total flight hours or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do a general visual inspection for corrosion and previous repairs, severed stringers, cracking, and loose or distressed fasteners of the forward and aft ends of the stringer splices of stringers 1-7 and 66-72; remove the four rivets common to the stringer and splice member at the forward and aft ends of the splice and do a bolt hole eddy current inspection or an equivalent inspection procedure for cracking in each of the fastener holes; modify the fastener holes; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions and other specified actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions and other specified actions before further flight. If any repairs exceed the repair limits specified in Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (h) Corrective Action

    (1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any corrosion or previous repair is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any loose or distressed fastener is found, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (i) Exception

    Although Lockheed Martin Electra Service Bulletin 88/SB-722, dated April 30, 2014, specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, Carl Gray, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-117A, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: 404-474-5554; fax: 404-474-5605; email: [email protected].

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Lockheed Martin Corporation/Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Airworthiness Office, Dept. 6A0M, Zone 0252, Column P-58, 86 S. Cobb Drive, Marietta, GA 30063; phone: 770-494-5444; fax: 770-494-5445; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ams/tools/TechPubs.html. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 19, 2015. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12859 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-1746; Notice No. 15-05] RIN 2120-AK54 Changes to the Application Requirements for Authorization to Operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action would revise the FAA's requirements for an application to operate in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) airspace. This proposal would eliminate the burden and expense of developing, processing, and approving RVSM maintenance programs. As a result of this proposed revision, an applicant to operate in RVSM airspace would no longer be required to develop and submit an RVSM maintenance program solely for the purpose of an RVSM authorization. Because of other, independent FAA airworthiness regulations, all aircraft operators would nevertheless continue to be required to maintain RVSM equipment in an airworthy condition.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-1746 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Charles Fellows, Aviation Safety Inspector, Avionics Branch, Aircraft Maintenance Division, Flight Standards Services, AFS-360, Federal Aviation Administration, 950 L'Enfant Plaza North SW., Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-1706; email [email protected]

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Benjamin Jacobs, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Chief Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-7240; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Sections 106(f), 40113, and 44701 authorize the FAA Administrator to prescribe regulations necessary for aviation safety. Section 40103 authorizes the Administrator to prescribe regulations to enhance the efficiency of the national airspace. This rulemaking is within the scope of these authorities because it would remove existing safety and airspace-related regulations that the FAA no longer finds necessary to protect aviation safety.

    I. Executive Summary A. Summary of Proposed Rule

    This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to remove the requirement in Appendix G of part 91 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) that any operator seeking Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) authorization must develop and submit an RVSM maintenance program for FAA approval. Currently, any applicant for RVSM authorization must include such a program as part of the application. This requirement was first promulgated in 1997, when most aircraft required significant design changes or inspections to qualify for RVSM operation. The FAA, therefore, required operators to submit for FAA approval a detailed plan for the maintenance of RVSM systems and equipment. Since then, RVSM operations have become much more common. RVSM systems are now incorporated into aircraft type designs or supplemental type designs, and operators must properly maintain those systems as part of their airworthiness obligations.

    In light of these developments, the requirement that RVSM applicants submit specialized maintenance plans to the FAA is no longer necessary. Eliminating this requirement would reduce both operators' costs and FAA workload, while maintaining the existing high level of safety.

    B. Summary of Costs and Benefits

    This proposed rulemaking is a retrospective regulatory review. Because the RVSM maintenance plan requirement is no longer necessary, this proposed rulemaking would eliminate the considerable burden and expense of developing, processing, and approving RVSM maintenance programs. The proposed rulemaking, therefore, promotes cost savings for both part 91 operators and the FAA. The total cost savings are estimated to be $76.1 million over a five-year period ($66.8 million present value).

    II. Background A. Scope of the Problem

    As RVSM technology has become integral to the design of aircraft capable of flying in RVSM airspace, the current requirement that any aircraft operator seeking RVSM authorization must submit an RVSM maintenance plan to the FAA is no longer necessary. More specifically, now that RVSM technology is incorporated into aircraft type designs, the FAA's airworthiness and maintenance regulations require any operator of an aircraft incorporating that technology to maintain the RVSM equipment in a condition for safe operation. The FAA, with input from industry, has determined that eliminating the redundant maintenance plan component of RVSM authorization will improve efficiency and reduce costs for both the agency and operators.

    B. History of Vertical Separation Standards

    Vertical separation standards establish the vertical distance that must separate aircraft routes in the national airspace system. In the early 1970's, rising air-traffic volume and fuel costs sparked an interest in reducing vertical separation standards for aircraft operating above flight level (FL) 290. Above 18,000 feet, flight levels are a measure of altitude assigned in 500-feet increments; FL290 represents an altitude of 29,000 feet. At the time, the FAA required aircraft operating above FL290 to maintain a minimum of 2000 ft. of vertical separation between routes. These high-altitude routes were desirable, because the diminished atmospheric drag at high altitudes results in a corresponding decrease in fuel consumption. Operators, therefore, sought and continue to seek not only the most direct routes, but also the most efficient altitudes for their aircraft. Higher demand for these high-altitude routes resulted in greater congestion.

    In 1973, the Air Transport Association of American petitioned the FAA to reduce the vertical separation of high altitude routes to 1000 feet. The FAA denied the petition in 1977, in part, because of insufficient standards and technology, including aircraft altitude-keeping standards, maintenance and operational standards, and altitude correction technology. In mid-1981, however, the FAA initiated the Vertical Studies Program. This program, in conjunction with the RTCA (formerly the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics) Special Committee (SC)-150 and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Review of General Concept of Separation Panel (RGCSP), determined:

    • RVSM was “technically feasible without imposing unreasonably demanding technical requirements on the equipment”;

    • RVSM could provide “significant benefits in terms of economy and en-route airspace capacity”; and

    • Implementation of RVSM would require “sound operational judgment supported by an assessment of system performance based on: aircraft altitude-keeping capability, operational considerations, system performance monitoring, and risk assessment.” 1

    1Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Operations, 62 FR 17480, 17481 (Apr. 9, 1997).

    Following these determinations, the FAA began a two-phase implementation of RVSM operations for aircraft registered in the United States (U.S.). In 1997, in the first phase, the FAA published two amendments to part 91 of 14 CFR. The first amendment added appendix G (Operations in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace), containing a set of operational, aircraft design, and other standards applicable to operators and those seeking to operate in RVSM airspace. Among other things, appendix G requires all applicants for RVSM authorization to submit to the FAA an approved RVSM maintenance plan. In addition, the FAA promulgated § 91.706 (Operations within airspace designed as Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum Airspace), which, among other things, allows operators of U.S.-registered aircraft to fly in RVSM airspace outside of the U.S., in accordance with the requirements of appendix G.

    The second phase of RVSM implementation occurred in October 2003, with a second RVSM-related FAA rulemaking. The 2003 rule introduced RVSM airspace over the U.S. and, like the 1997 rulemaking, requires all U.S.-registered RVSM operators to comply with the application, operations, and aircraft design requirements of part 91, appendix G.2 The FAA's RVSM program allows for 1000 feet of vertical separation for aircraft between FL290 and FL410. Before the 2003 rule, air traffic controllers could only assign Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft flying at FL290 and above to FL290, 310, 330, 350, 370, 390, and 410 because the existing vertical separation standard was 2000 feet. After the rule changes, IFR aircraft could also fly at FL300, 320, 340, 360, 380, and 400—nearly doubling capacity within this particular segment of airspace. The changes both mitigated the fuel penalties attributed to flying at sub-optimum altitudes, and increased the flexibility of air traffic control.

    2Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum in Domestic Airspace, 68 FR 61304 (Oct. 27, 2003).

    In 2008, the FAA reviewed its RVSM program and operator authorization policies. At the time, the FAA database contained more than 7,000 active RVSM authorizations, covering in excess of 15,000 U.S.-registered aircraft. The FAA's evaluation found the existing processes ensured compliance with the RVSM operating requirements.

    At the same time, FAA representatives began meeting with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to develop ways to streamline the RVSM application process to lower operators' burden to obtain authorization and reduce the FAA's workload associated with processing and granting authorizations. The parties formed the RVSM Process Enhancement Team (PET), tasking it to focus on changes that could be accomplished without rulemaking. The PET completed its tasks in 2013. Among other things, it revised existing policies and guidance to facilitate more efficient processing of operators' requests to change existing authorizations, and created a job aid to assist inspectors and standardize their review of operator applications.

    III. Discussion of the Proposal

    This proposed rulemaking would address another element identified by the PET: reducing the burden on part 91 operators to create and obtain approval of an RVSM-specific maintenance program. The PET could not address this issue because the workgroup's charter limited the PET to changes that could be made through guidance and without rulemaking action. However, both the FAA and the NBAA agreed that RVSM-related airworthiness standards, applicable to all part 91 operators, should be treated more like other, substantially similar aircraft maintenance requirements, while maintaining an equivalent level of safety.

    Under current requirements, section 3 (Operator Authorization) of appendix G contains application requirements for an operator seeking RVSM authorization. As described above, this section requires any RVSM applicant to develop and submit for FAA approval an RVSM maintenance program. The program must outline service and maintenance procedures and include acceptable maintenance practices, a quality assurance program for test equipment, and procedures for return to service.

    During the early implementation of RVSM, most aircraft required upgrades, modifications, or the application of service bulletins to meet the FAA's RVSM system safety standards. In 1997, requiring operators to create RVSM maintenance programs was essential to ensure that operators satisfied these standards and, by extension, the continued airworthiness of their aircraft. Today, however, nearly 17 years since first implementation, RVSM systems are the standard among aircraft capable of operating between FL290 and FL410. Additionally, most RVSM-capable aircraft are either newly built or have been modified, under a supplemental type certificate, to meet RVSM performance requirements by original design. All of these aircraft designs have Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA)—maintenance instructions to which aircraft operators must adhere—providing operators with detailed instructions for maintaining any RVSM equipment. And, most importantly, the continued airworthiness of RVSM-capable aircraft is also ensured by the FAA's airworthiness regulations, which require operators to maintain each aircraft in accordance with its type design and in a condition for safe operation.

    The specific terms of the FAA's maintenance requirements vary according to the type of operator involved. Commercial operators are required to use a structured, organizational approach to maintenance that may include named oversight personnel, manuals, and an FAA-approved maintenance program. Both currently and under this proposal, these maintenance programs must account for the maintenance of RVSM equipment. On the other hand, non-commercial operators—such as those operating privately—are not required to create an organizational maintenance structure, but are instead required (both currently and if this proposal goes into effect) to have their aircraft inspected in accordance with part 91, and to have repairs executed in accordance with part 43. Ultimately, all operators' RVSM-related obligations under these airworthiness regulations are substantially identical to the independent maintenance requirements of section 3 of appendix G. The FAA has determined, therefore, that an independent requirement to develop and submit RVSM-specific maintenance programs for FAA approval is no longer necessary or justified.

    In light of the foregoing, the FAA proposes to revise section 3 of appendix G by removing the requirement that an applicant submit an approved RVSM maintenance program, currently codified as § 3(b)(1)-(3). The FAA proposal would reserve § 3(b)(1) and leave in place the other application-related requirements and paragraphs. The FAA does not intend for this proposal to affect the other elements of an application for RVSM authorization.

    IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this proposed rule.

    DOT Order 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. Because this proposed rulemaking is a retrospective regulatory review, the expected outcome would be a cost savings with positive net benefits. The FAA has, therefore, determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, and is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. The FAA requests comments with supporting justification about the FAA determination of the proposed rule providing a cost savings. The reasoning for this determination follows:

    This proposed rulemaking would remove the requirement in Appendix G of part 91 that operators seeking RVSM authorization must develop and submit an RVSM maintenance plan for FAA approval. It would eliminate the considerable burden and expense to operators and FAA safety inspectors of developing, processing, and approving RVSM maintenance plans.

    When the current requirement was established, RVSM systems were yet to be incorporated into aircraft type design. This is no longer the case. RVSM systems are now incorporated into aircraft type designs and supplemental type designs, and operators must properly maintain these systems as part of their airworthiness obligation. In light of these developments, the requirement in Appendix G of part 91 for RVSM applicants to submit specialized maintenance plans is redundant.

    To quantify the relief to part 91 operators and FAA safety inspectors from the streamlining of regulations, the FAA has estimated three variables, which are: (1) The number of RVSM maintenance programs approved for calendar year (CY) 2014, (2) the costs per operator of submitting an RVSM maintenance program for FAA approval, and (3) the average number of hours expended by an FAA safety inspector to review and approve an RVSM maintenance program. The value for each of these variables is shown below.

    CY 2014—Number of maintenance programs submitted to FAA for approval 3 Operator cost for submitting a maintenance program to the FAA for approval 4 Hours expended by FAA safety inspectors reviewing maintenance programs for approval 5 2,821 $5,000 6 12

    Applying these estimates, the FAA anticipates that operators would experience cost savings of approximate $14.1 million in year one of implementation. We calculated this figure by multiplying the estimated number of maintenance approvals submitted to the FAA during CY 2014 (2,821 approvals) by each operator's cost for submitting a RVSM maintenance program to the FAA for approval ($5,000).

    3 FAA National Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (NPTRS). Actual data was available through October. Estimates were made for November and December.

    4 National Business Aviation Association—Part 91 Operator Cost for Submitting an RVSM Approval.

    5 FAA Safety Inspectors involved in RVSM authorization processing at FAA Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO).

    6 This amount consists of $3,123 in operator costs for submitting an application form and supporting documentation to a RVSM manual preparation service, and then reading, understanding, signing, and submitting the completed RVSM maintenance program manual to the FAA for approval. The remaining $1,977 is an approximation of the amount paid by an operator for RVSM manual preparation services. The estimate of $1,977 is an average of quotes provided on the Internet by seven companies providing this service. These seven quotes ranged from $795 to $3,850.

    In addition to the cost savings realized by operators, eliminating the requirement would free 33,852 hours for FAA safety inspectors to perform alternative tasks during year one of implementation. The hours are calculated by multiplying the average number of hours FAA safety inspectors expend reviewing and approving each RVSM maintenance program submitted (12 hours) by the number of RVSM maintenance program approvals estimated for CY 2014 (2,821 approvals). The annual cost savings of $1.1 million to the FAA equals the 33,852 hours multiplied by the FAA fully-burdened wage of $33.06.7

    7 2014 General Schedule Salary Table as published by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management. The salary used for calculating costs savings is the fully-burdened hourly wage for a GS 12 Step 5, which is the mid-range salary for this position.

    Based on these calculations, the cost savings to operators during the first five years of the rule's implementation would be approximately $70.5 million ($61.9 million present value), and the FAA cost savings would total $5.6 million ($4.9 million present value). The results are presented below.

    Cost Savings Due to Proposed Rule—Millions of $ 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Total Operator Cost Savings $14.1 $14.1 $14.1 $14.1 $14.1 $70.5 Present Value 7%—(Millions of $) 14.1 13.2 12.3 11.5 10.8 61.9 FAA Cost Savings 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 5.6 Present Value 7%—(Millions of $) 1.1 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9 4.9 Note: Details may not add due to rounding. B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation.” To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.”

    The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If an agency anticipates such an impact, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA. Section 603 of the RFA requires agencies to prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) describing the impact of proposed rule on small entities. This rule is relieving. The FAA is issuing this rule to eliminate duplicative requirements. The FAA estimates that this rule would reduce firm's costs by $5,000 to develop and submit an RVSM maintenance plan. Under Section 603(b), this initial analysis must account for the following issues, which are addressed below:

    • Description of Reasons the Agency Is Considering the Action

    All part 91 operator RVSM-related obligations are required by FAA airworthiness regulations to maintain RVSM equipment in an airworthy condition. Thus, the requirement in section 3 of Appendix G, that operators seeking RVSM authorization to develop and submit an RVSM maintenance plan for FAA approval342 is redundant. The FAA estimates that the removal of this redundant requirement will save each affected small entity $5,000 per RVSM authorization.

    • Statement of the Legal Basis and Objectives for the Proposed Rule

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in 49 U.S.C. Sections 106, 40113, and 44701 therein authorize the FAA Administrator to prescribe regulations necessary for aviation safety. Section 40103 authorizes the Administrator to prescribe regulations to enhance the efficiency of the national airspace. This rulemaking is within the scope of these authorities because it removes existing safety and airspace-related regulations that the FAA no longer finds necessary to protect aviation safety.

    • Description of the Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there would be no new requirement for information collection associated with this proposed rule.

    • All Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    The FAA is not aware of any Federal rules that would duplicate, overlap or conflict with this proposed change. This rule would reduce duplicative requirements saving firms about $5,000.

    • Description and an Estimated Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rule Would Apply

    Under the RFA, the FAA must determine whether a proposed rule significantly affects a substantial number of small entities. This determination is typically based on small entity size and revenue thresholds that vary depending on the affected industry.8 In most cases, the FAA cannot determine the size of part 91 operators because financial and employment data for privately held entities is sparse. Nevertheless, we believe the number of small business entities is substantial.

    8 Thresholds are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The NAICS is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

    • Alternatives Considered

    Alternative 1: Do Nothing.

    Analysis: Without changes to Appendix G of part 91, any operator seeking RVSM authorization would continue to be required to develop and submit an RVSM maintenance program. A non-commercial operator with no requirement to hold a maintenance program for any other performance-based authorization would nevertheless be required to develop and obtain FAA approval of an RVSM maintenance program—despite the fact that the operator is already required by FAA regulations to maintain RVSM equipment in accordance with its type designation and in a condition for safe operation. Furthermore, the review and approval of this information would continue to consume FAA resources.

    Alternative 2: Replace the current Appendix G requirement that operators include an “approved RVSM maintenance program” with a requirement that operators “identify practices” for the maintenance of RVSM equipment

    Analysis: Relaxing Appendix G application requirements to allow operators to “identify practices” for the maintenance of RVSM equipment would allow a non-commercial operator to cite the applicable manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness. This alternative would likely reduce the time and resources spent by operators and the FAA in compiling and reviewing RVSM applications. This alternative is undesirable, however, because it fails to address the absence of any safety benefits associated with continuing to require RVSM maintenance programs as a component of an RVSM application.

    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. This rule would eliminate an existing duplicative requirement. In doing so, this rule would, reduce a firm's costs by $5,000; hence the rule reduces costs. Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because this rule is cost relieving.

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule and determined that it would have the same impact on domestic and international entities and thus has a neutral trade impact.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $151.0 million in lieu of $100 million. This proposed rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires the FAA to consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined no PRA requirement for information collection associated with this proposed rule. Specifically, the cost of preparing and obtaining approval of a maintenance program was never evaluated as a paperwork burden in the original PRA Supporting Statement of RVSM (OMB Control no. 2120-0679).

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    (1) In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and has identified no differences with these proposed regulations.

    (2) Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

    G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312d (regulatory documents covering administrative or procedural requirements) and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

    V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this proposed rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this action would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, would not have Federalism implications.

    B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it would not be a “significant energy action” under the executive order and would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this NPRM. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD-ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under DOT procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies or

    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 91

    Air traffic control, Aircraft, Aviation safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 91—GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES 1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 1155, 40103, 40113, 40120, 44101, 44111, 44701, 44704, 44709, 44711, 44712, 44715, 44716, 44717, 44722, 46306, 46315, 46316, 46504, 46506-46507, 47122, 47508, 47528-47531, 47534, articles 12 and 29 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (61 Stat. 1180), (126 Stat. 11).

    2. Amend Appendix G, Section 3 by removing and reserving paragraph (b)(1). Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40113 and 44701 in Washington, DC, on May 20, 2015. John S. Duncan, Director, Flight Standards Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12816 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0048] Proposed Priority—Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance [CFDA Number: 84.263B.] AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Proposed priority.

    SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority under the Experimental and Innovative Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the priority to support a Training and Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance (PEQA).

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Are you new to the site?”

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Don Bunuan, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5046, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Don Bunuan. Telephone: (202) 245-6616 or by email: [email protected].

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this priority. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment addresses.

    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice by accessing regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in person in room 5040, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Purpose of Program: This program is designed to (a) develop new types of training programs for rehabilitation personnel and to demonstrate the effectiveness of these new types of training programs for rehabilitation personnel in providing rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; and (b) develop new and improved methods of training rehabilitation personnel so that there may be a more effective delivery of rehabilitation services by State and other rehabilitation agencies.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR parts 385 and 387.

    Proposed Priority:

    This notice contains one proposed priority.

    Training and Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance (PEQA).

    Background:

    Federal agencies are increasingly being called upon to implement accountability systems designed to assess and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs they administer. Legislation such as the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 have provided a performance management framework that holds Federal agencies accountable for achieving program results.

    The recently enacted Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) made major changes to improve accountability for performance of the core programs of the Federal workforce system, including the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program. In particular, WIOA amendments to section 106 of the Rehabilitation Act eliminate the VR program's evaluation standards and indicators and make the program subject to the common performance accountability measures, established in section 116(b) of WIOA, that are applicable to all core programs of the workforce development system.

    In addition to required evaluation activities under the Rehabilitation Act, section 116(e)(1) of WIOA requires States, in coordination with local boards and the State agencies responsible for the administration of the core programs, to conduct ongoing evaluations of activities carried out under such programs “in order to promote, establish, implement, and utilize methods for continuously improving core program activities in order to achieve high-level performance within, and high-level outcomes from, the workforce development system.”

    To carry out the WIOA performance accountability and evaluation requirements, State VR agencies will need to build their capacity to develop and evaluate methods to achieve high-level performance and program outcomes, including the effective and efficient use of program resources. In particular, State VR agencies will need personnel with the knowledge and skills to improve agency performance management systems through rigorous program evaluation and the implementation of quality assurance systems.

    In anticipation of the increased focus on improving performance management, in 2011, the 36th Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) study group recommended that (1) the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) work with the rehabilitation field to improve performance management systems and tools, and (2) State agencies embrace continuous improvement practices to properly inform public policy development and measurement of effectiveness (IRI, 2011). The 36th IRI described how bolstering program evaluation and quality assurance within State agencies could improve the quality of service delivery and better achieve successful employment for VR consumers. For example, trained evaluators could provide agencies with valuable data and analysis to use in planning and forecasting, to tailor training to meet the needs of staff, to evaluate staff performance, to respond to policy initiatives, and to monitor overall performance of the agency. As a result, State VR agencies will be more accountable, efficient, and successful.

    The demand for program evaluation and quality assurance skill development is also evidenced by the growing number of grassroots communities of practice. These communities of practice, which usually consist of VR agency staff, have identified that one of the greatest needs of State VR agencies is structured program evaluation training specifically tailored for existing staff.

    For State VR agencies, a workforce with skills focused on performance evaluation and quality assurance is essential. There is a demonstrated interest and need in the field for additional, structured training opportunities for new and existing State VR agency staff, and RSA believes a training and technical assistance center would be ideally suited to meet this need.

    Reference:

    Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (2011). Performance management: Program evaluation and quality assurance in vocational rehabilitation. Hot Springs, AR: University of Arkansas CURRENTS.

    Proposed Priority:

    The purpose of this proposed priority is to fund a cooperative agreement for a training and technical assistance center that will assist State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to improve performance management by building their capacity to carry out high quality program evaluations and quality assurance practices that promote continuous program improvement.

    The Training and Technical Assistance Center for Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance (PEQA) will assist State VR agencies in building this capacity through professional education and training of vocational rehabilitation evaluators. To this end, PEQA will:

    (a) Provide educational opportunities for State VR staff from recognized experts in program evaluation and quality assurance;

    (b) Develop interagency collaboration networks and work teams committed to the improvement of quality assurance systems and tools; and

    (c) Deliver technical, professional, and continuing educational support to State VR program evaluators.

    Project Activities:

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the PEQA must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

    Basic Certification Program:

    (a) Develop a one-year certificate program in VR program evaluation that will result in increasing the numbers and qualifications of program evaluators in State VR agencies. At a minimum, this certificate program must:

    (1) Be designed to develop key competencies necessary for successful implementation of program evaluation and quality assurance activities, including, but not limited to:

    (i) Knowledge of the State-Federal VR program;

    (ii) Data collection methodologies;

    (iii) Data analysis and interpretation;

    (iv) Making evaluative judgments and recommendations;

    (v) Effective communication of results (including presentations, drafting reports, and building partnerships); and

    (vi) Ethical practice.

    (2) Be responsive to the prior knowledge and skills of participants;

    (3) Incorporate adult learning principles and opportunities for practice into training;

    (4) Be delivered through multiple modalities and in an accessible format;

    (5) Assess, at regular intervals, the progress of training participants toward attainment of the key competencies; and

    (6) Require the completion of a capstone project in order to successfully complete the program. The capstone project must:

    (i) Be completed within one year of the completion of formal coursework for the certificate program;

    (ii) Be conducted on a topic responsive to the needs of the State VR agency and agreed to by the PEQA, the participant, and the State VR agency; and

    (iii) Be completed as part of the normal work duties of the participant in the State VR agency.

    (7) Be provided at no cost to participants, excluding travel and per diem costs, which may be provided by the sponsoring agency.

    (b) Provide training through the certificate program to a cohort of eight to ten working professionals in each year of the project.

    (c) Select participants for the certificate program based, in part, on the considered recommendation of their employing State VR agencies.

    Special Topical Training:

    (a) Develop a series of special training opportunities for intermediate-level program evaluators. These training opportunities must, at a minimum:

    (1) Be designed to develop higher-level knowledge, skills, and abilities of program participants;

    (2) Be focused on a range of topics determined by the PEQA with input from State VR agencies and other relevant groups or organizations;

    (3) Provide opportunities for hands-on application of the competencies discussed in the trainings;

    (4) Be of sufficient duration and intensity to ensure that participants obtain the competencies discussed in the trainings; and

    (5) Assess the progress of program participants in attaining the competencies discussed in the trainings.

    Note:

    For purposes of this priority, an “intermediate-level program evaluator” is a program evaluator working for a State VR agency with the knowledge, skills, and abilities typically expected of a professional who has been in such a position for at least five years.

    (b) Conduct no fewer than four special training opportunities each year of the project.

    Coordination Activities:

    (a) Establish a community of practice that will act as a vehicle for communication, exchange of information among program evaluation professionals, and a forum for sharing the results of capstone projects that are in progress or have been completed. This community of practice must be focused on challenges facing project evaluation professionals and the development of key competencies to address such challenges;

    (b) Maintain a Web site that, at a minimum:

    (1) Provides a central location for later reference and use of capstone projects, resources from special training opportunities, and other relevant materials; and

    (2) Ensures peer-to-peer access between State VR project evaluation professionals.

    (c) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other relevant Department-funded projects and those supported by the Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Health and Human Services; and

    (d) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and other RSA staff as required.

    Application Requirements:

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application and administrative requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Address State VR agencies' capacity to conduct high quality program evaluation and data analysis activities. To address this requirement, the applicant must:

    (i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in program evaluation and quality assurance;

    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current State VR and other efforts designed to improve evaluation and performance management practices.

    (2) Increase the number of program evaluators working in State VR agencies who have obtained a certificate in their field of work and the number and quality of program evaluation activities performed by State VR agencies.

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes; and

    (iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with relevant training programs and communities of practice, State VR agencies, and other RSA partners.

    (2) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework.

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe:

    (i) How the current research about adult learning principles and implementation science will inform the proposed training; and

    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and evidence-based practices in the development and delivery of its products and services.

    (4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed curriculum for a certificate program for VR evaluation professionals;

    (ii) Its proposed plan for recruiting and selecting trainees for the certification program;

    (iii) Its proposed plan for collecting information on the impact of capstone projects;

    (iv) Its proposed plan for identifying, selecting and addressing the special topical program evaluation and quality assurance related training needs of State VR agency staff;

    (v) Its proposed plan for annual follow-up with participants in special training opportunities;

    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration.

    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the training provided. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed approach to—

    (i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of training activities;

    (ii) Analyzing and reporting data on the effectiveness of training, including any proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

    (2) Collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the project, including measuring and tracking the effectiveness of the training provided. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses;

    (ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

    (iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

    (iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual training activities achieved their intended outcomes.

    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;

    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits.

    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.

    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, technical assistance providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.

    Types of Priorities:

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Final Priority:

    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:

    This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563:

    Regulatory Impact Analysis:

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that would maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing this proposed priority only on a reasoned determination that their benefits would justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

    The benefits of a grant under the Rehabilitation Training program have been established over the years through the successful completion of similar training projects funded for the purpose of improving the skills of State VR agency staff. The proposed priority would specifically improve the skills of State VR agency evaluators. A project of this type will be particularly beneficial to State VR agencies in this era of increased emphasis on accountability and program results.

    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Sue Swenson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12824 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0269; FRL-9928-33-Region 7] Partial Approval and Disapproval of Nebraska Air Quality Implementation Plans; Revision to the State Implementation Plan Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards; Revocation of the PM10 Annual Standard and Adoption of the 24 Hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing action on three Nebraska State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions. First, EPA is proposing to partially approve and partially disapprove portions of two SIP submissions from the state of Nebraska addressing the applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the 1997 and 2006 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated or revised by the EPA. These SIPs are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIPs. The infrastructure requirements are designed to ensure that the structural components of each state's air quality management program are adequate to meet the state's responsibilities under the CAA. EPA is proposing to disapprove Nebraska's SIP as it relates to section 110 with respect to visibility, for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is also proposing to approve an additional SIP submission from Nebraska, addressing the revocation of the PM10 annual standard and adoption of the 24 hour PM2.5 standard.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0269, by one of the following methods:

    1. http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected].

    3. Mail: Mr. Gregory Crable, Air Planning and Development Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, Air and Waste Management Division, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219.

    4. Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to Mr. Gregory Crable, Air Planning and Development Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, Air and Waste Management Division, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0269. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through http://www.regulations.gov or email information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and should be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least 24 hours in advance.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Gregory Crable, Air Planning and Development Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66219; telephone number: (913) 551-7391; fax number: (913) 551-7065; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following questions:

    I. What is being addressed in this document? II. What are the applicable elements under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) related to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's evaluation of how the state addressed the relevant elements of Sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? V. What are the additional provisions of the November 14, 2011 SIP submission that EPA is proposing to take action on? VI. What action is EPA proposing? VII. Statutory and Executive Order Review VIII. Statutory Authority I. What is being addressed in this document?

    In this proposed rulemaking, EPA is proposing to take action on three Nebraska SIP submissions. EPA received the first submission on April 3, 2008, addressing the infrastructure SIP requirements relating to the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQs. EPA received the second SIP submission on August 29, 2011, addressing the infrastructure SIP requirements relating to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQs. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). If EPA takes final action as proposed, we will have acted on both the April 3, 2008 and August 8, 2011 SIP submission in their entirety.

    The third submission was received by EPA on November 14, 2011, as a part of a larger submission dealing with various title 129 revisions, which we will address at a later date. This submission revises Chapter 4, Title 129 of the Nebraska Administrative Code. The change will repeal the annual NAAQS for PM10 which was revoked by the EPA on December 2006 and adopt the new 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS which was issued by EPA in December 2006.

    II. What are the applicable elements under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) related to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS?

    On October 2, 2007, EPA issued guidance to address infrastructure SIP elements required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS.1 On September 25, 2009, EPA issued guidance to address infrastructure SIP elements required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.2 EPA will address these elements below under the following headings: (A) Emission limits and other control measures; (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system; (C) Program for enforcement of control measures (PSD, New Source Review for nonattainment areas, and construction and modification of all stationary sources); (D) Interstate and international transport; (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight; (F) Stationary source monitoring system; (G) Emergency authority; (H) Future SIP revisions; (I) Nonattainment areas; (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, prevention of significant deterioration (PSD), and visibility protection; (K) Air quality and modeling/data; (L) Permitting fees; and (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities.

    1 William T. Harnett, Director, Air Quality Policy Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” Memorandum to EPA Air Division Directors, Regions I-X, October 2, 2007 (2007 Memo).

    2 William T. Harnett, Director, Air Quality Policy Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” Memorandum to EPA Regional Air Division Directors, Regions I-X, September 25, 2009 (2009 Memo).

    III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated new PM2.5 primary and secondary NAAQS (62 FR 38652). On October 17, 2006, EPA made further revisions to the primary and secondary NAAQS for PM2.5 (71 FR 61144). EPA is proposing action on Nebraska's April 3, 2008, 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submission and the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP, submitted August 29, 2011. The April 3, 2008, SIP submission became complete as a matter of law on October 3, 2008, while the August 29, 2011 submittal was reviewed and found to be administratively and technically complete on August 30, 2011.

    The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.3 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission. The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.4 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.5 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    3 For example: section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    4 See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOx SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    5 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.6 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.7

    6 See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    7 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The state's attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants, for example because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.8

    8 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.9 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).10 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. While today's proposed action relies on the specific guidance issued for the 1997 and 2006 NAAQS, we have also considered this more recent 2013 guidance where applicable (although not specifically issued for the PM2.5 NAAQS) and have found no conflicts between the issued guidance and our review of Nebraska's SIP submissions. Within the 2013 guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.11 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    9 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    10 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    11 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the D.C. Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's SIP appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and New Source Review (NSR) pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs). By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, inter alia, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor NSR program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.12 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    12 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    With respect to element[s] C and J, EPA interprets the CAA to require each state to make an infrastructure SIP submission for a new or revised NAAQS that demonstrates that the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program meeting the current requirements for all regulated NSR pollutants. The requirements of element D(i)(II) may also be satisfied by demonstrating the air agency has a complete PSD permitting program correctly addressing all regulated NSR pollutants. Nebraska has shown that it currently has a PSD program in place that covers all regulated NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases (GHGs).

    On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the application of PSD permitting requirements to GHG emissions. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427. The Supreme Court said that the EPA may not treat GHGs as an air pollutant for purposes of determining whether a source is a major source required to obtain a PSD permit. The Court also said that the EPA could continue to require that PSD permits, otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs, contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of Best Available Control Technology (BACT). In order to act consistently with its understanding of the Court's decision pending further judicial action to effectuate the decision, the EPA is not continuing to apply EPA regulations that would require that SIPs include permitting requirements that the Supreme Court found impermissible. Specifically, EPA is not applying the requirement that a state's SIP-approved PSD program require that sources obtain PSD permits when GHGs are the only pollutant (i) that the source emits or has the potential to emit above the major source thresholds, or (ii) for which there is a significant emissions increase and a significant net emissions increase from a modification (e.g. 40 CFR 51.166(b)(48)(v)). EPA anticipates a need to revise Federal PSD rules in light of the Supreme Court opinion. In addition, EPA anticipates that many states will revise their existing SIP-approved PSD programs in light of the Supreme Court's decision. The timing and content of subsequent EPA actions with respect to the EPA regulations and state PSD program approvals are expected to be informed by additional legal process before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. At this juncture, EPA is not expecting states to have revised their PSD programs for purposes of infrastructure SIP submissions and is only evaluating such submissions to assure that the state's program correctly addresses GHGs consistent with the Supreme Court's decision.

    At present, EPA has determined the Nebraska's SIP is sufficient to satisfy elements C, D(i)(II), and J with respect to GHGs because the PSD permitting program previously approved by EPA into the SIP continues to require that PSD permits (otherwise required based on emissions of pollutants other than GHGs) contain limitations on GHG emissions based on the application of BACT. Although Nebraska's approved PSD permitting program may currently contain provisions that are no longer necessary in light of the Supreme Court decision, this does not render the infrastructure SIP submission inadequate to satisfy elements C, (D)(i)(II), and J. The SIP contains the necessary PSD requirements at this time, and the application of those requirements is not impeded by the presence of other previously-approved provisions regarding the permitting of sources of GHGs that EPA does not consider necessary at this time in light of the Supreme Court decision. Accordingly, the Supreme Court decision does not affect EPA's proposed approval of Nebraska's infrastructure SIP as to the requirements of elements C, D(i)(II), and J.

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.13 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.14 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.15

    13 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    14 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    15 See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (January 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's evaluation of how the state addressed the relevant elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    On April 3, 2008, EPA Region 7 received Nebraska's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 PM2.5 standard. On August 29, 2011, EPA Region 7 received Nebraska's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2006 PM2.5 standard. EPA has reviewed Nebraska's infrastructure SIP submissions and the relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in those submissions or referenced in Nebraska's SIP. Below is EPA's evaluation of how the state addressed the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) for both the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    (A) Emission limits and other control measures: Section 110(a)(2)(A) requires SIPs to include enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means or techniques, schedules for compliance and other related matters as needed to implement, maintain and enforce each NAAQS.16

    16 The specific nonattainment area plan requirements of section 110(a)(2)(I) are subject to the timing requirements of section 172, not the timing requirement of section 110(a)(1). Thus, section 110(a)(2)(A) does not require that states submit regulations or emissions limits specifically for attaining the 1997 or 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Those SIP provisions are due as part of each state's attainment plan, and will be addressed separately from the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A). In the context of an infrastructure SIP, EPA is not evaluating the existing SIP provisions for this purpose. Instead, EPA is only evaluating whether the state's SIP has basic structural provisions for the implementation of the NAAQS.

    The state of Nebraska's statutes and Air Quality Regulations authorize the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) to regulate air quality and implement air quality control regulations. Section 81-1504 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes authorizes NDEQ to act, among other things, as the state air pollution control agency for all purposes of the CAA and to develop comprehensive programs for the prevention, control and abatement of new or existing pollution to the air of the state. Air pollution is defined in section 81-1502 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes as the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more air contaminants or combinations thereof in such quantities and of such duration as are or may tend to be injurious to human, plant, or animal life, property, or the conduct of business.

    Section 81-1505(1) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes authorizes the Nebraska Environmental Quality Council (EQC) to adopt and promulgate rules which set air standards that will protect public health and welfare. The EQC is also authorized to classify air contaminant sources according to levels and types of discharges, emissions or other characteristics.

    The 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS specified in 40 CFR 50.7 was proposed and adopted into Nebraska title 129 chapter 4, section 001.02 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, by the EQC on September 7, 2001, with an effective date of April 1, 2002. The 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS specified in 40 CFR 50.13 was proposed and adopted into Nebraska title 129 chapter 4, section 001.02 of the Nebraska Administrative Code, by the EQC on July 1, 2008, with an effective date of August 18, 2008. Therefore, PM2.5 is an air contaminant which may be regulated under Nebraska law.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that the Nebraska SIP adequately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element in the April 3, 2008 and August 29, 2011 SIP submissions.

    (B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: Section 110(a)(2)(B) requires SIPs to include provisions to provide for establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors, collection and analysis of ambient air quality data, and making these data available to EPA upon request.

    To address this element, section 81-1505(12)(o) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes provides the enabling authority necessary for Nebraska to fulfill the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B). This provision gives the EQC the authority to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the monitoring of emissions. The Air Quality Division within NDEQ implements these requirements. Along with their other duties, the monitoring program within NDEQ's Air Compliance and Enforcement Program collects air monitoring data, quality assures the results, and reports the data. In accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR part 58 appendix D, section 4.7.1(b), Nebraska operates seven PM2.5 monitors throughout the state.

    NDEQ submits annual monitoring network plans to EPA for approval, including plans for its PM2.5 monitoring network, as required by 40 CFR 58.10. Prior to submission to EPA, Nebraska makes the plans available for public review on NDEQ's Web site. See, http://deq.ne.gov/Publica.nsf/Pubs_Air_Amb.xsp, for NDEQ's 2014 Ambient Air Monitoring Network Plan. This Plan includes, among other things, the locations for the PM2.5 monitoring network. On February 9, 2015, EPA approved Nebraska's 2014 ambient air network monitoring plan. NDEQ also conducts five-year monitoring network assessments, including the PM2.5 monitoring network, as required by 40 CFR 58.10(d). Title 129, chapter 4, section 001.02 of the NAC requires that attainment with the PM2.5 standard be determined in accordance with the applicable Federal regulations in 40 CFR part 50, appendix N. Nebraska submits air quality data to EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) quarterly, pursuant to the provisions of work plans developed in conjunction with EPA grants to the state.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that the Nebraska SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(B) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve this element in the April 3, 2008 and August 29, 2011 submissions.

    (C) Program for enforcement of control measures (PSD, New Source Review for nonattainment areas, and construction and modification of all stationary sources): Section 110(a)(2)(C) requires states to include the following three elements in the SIP: (1) A program providing for enforcement of all SIP measures described in section 110(a)(2)(A); (2) a program for the regulation of the modification and construction of stationary sources as necessary to protect the applicable NAAQS (i.e., state-wide permitting of minor sources); and (3) a permit program to meet the major source permitting requirements of the CAA (for areas designated as attainment or unclassifiable for the NAAQS in question).17

    17 As discussed previously, this infrastructure SIP rulemaking will not address the Nebraska program for nonattainment area related provisions, since EPA considers evaluation of these provisions to be outside the scope of infrastructure SIP actions.

    (1) Enforcement of SIP Measures. With respect to enforcement of requirements of the SIP, the Nebraska statutes provide authority to enforce the requirements of section 81-1504(1) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes provide authority for NDEQ to enforce the requirements of the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act, and any regulations, permits, or final compliance orders issued under the provisions of that law. In addition, section 81-1504(7) authorizes NDEQ to issue orders prohibiting or abating discharges of waste into the air and requiring the modification, extension or adoption of remedial measures to prevent, control, or abate air pollution. Section 81-1507 authorizes NDEQ to commence an enforcement action for any violations of the Environmental Protection Act, any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, or any orders issued by NDEQ. This enforcement action can not only seek civil penalties, but also require that the recipient take corrective action to address the violation. See section 81-1507(1) and 81-1508.02. Section 81-1508.01 provides for criminal penalties for knowing or willful violations of the statute, regulations or permit conditions, in addition to other acts described in that section.

    (2) Minor New Source Review. Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires that the SIP include measures to regulate construction and modification of stationary sources to protect the NAAQS. With respect to smaller state-wide minor sources (Nebraska's major source permitting program is discussed in (3) below), Nebraska has a program under title 129, chapter 17 of the NAC that requires such sources to first obtain a construction permit from NDEQ. The permitting process is designed to ensure that new and modified sources will not interfere with NAAQS attainment. NDEQ has the authority to require the source applying for the permit to undergo an air quality impact analysis. If NDEQ determines that emissions from a constructed or modified source interfere with attainment of the NAAQS, it may deny the permit until the source makes the necessary changes to obviate the objections to the permit issuance. See chapter 17, sections 008 and 009 of the NAC.

    EPA has determined that Nebraska's minor new source review (NSR) program adopted pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act regulates emissions of NAAQS pollutants. EPA has also determined that certain provisions of the state's minor NSR program adopted pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(C) of the Act likely do not meet all the requirements found in EPA's regulations implementing that provision. See 40 CFR 51.160-51.164. EPA previously approved Nebraska's minor NSR program into the SIP, and at the time there was no objection to the provisions of this program. See 37 FR 10842 (May 31, 1972) and 60 FR 372 (January 4, 1995). Since then, the state and EPA have relied on the existing state minor NSR program to assure that new and modified sources not captured by the major NSR permitting programs do not interfere with attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS.

    In this action, EPA is proposing to approve Nebraska's infrastructure SIP for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that regulates the modification and construction of any stationary source as necessary to assure that the NAAQS are achieved. In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove the state's existing minor NSR program to the extent that it is inconsistent with EPA's regulations governing this program. EPA has maintained that the CAA does not require that new infrastructure SIP submissions correct any defects in existing EPA-approved provisions of minor NSR programs in order for EPA to approve the infrastructure SIP for element (C) (e.g., 76 FR 41076-76 FR 41079).

    (3) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit program. Nebraska also has a program approved by EPA as meeting the requirements of part C, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality. In order to demonstrate that Nebraska has met this sub-element, this PSD program must cover requirements not just for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, but for all other regulated NSR pollutants as well.

    Nebraska's implementing rule, title 129, chapter 19, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality, incorporates the relevant portions of the Federal rule, 40 CFR 52.21 by reference. In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any state rules with regard to NSR reform requirements. EPA will act on NSR reform submittals through a separate rulemaking process. For Nebraska, we have previously approved Nebraska's NSR reform rules for attainment areas, see 76 FR 15852 (March 22, 2011).

    The Nebraska SIP also contains a permitting program for major sources and modifications in nonattainment areas (see Title 129, chapter 17, section 013). This section is currently not applicable to Nebraska because all areas of Nebraska are currently in attainment with the NAAQS. Even if it were applicable, the SIP's discussion of nonattainment areas is not addressed in this rulemaking (see discussion of the section 110(a)(2)(I) requirements for nonattainment areas, below).

    With respect to the PSD program, title 129, chapter 19, of the NAC provides for the permitting of construction of a new major stationary source or a major modification of an existing major stationary source. Further, chapter 19, section 010 of the NAC establishes threshold emissions for establishing whether the construction project is a major source of regulated NSR pollutants, including but not limited to PM2.5.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, with respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(C) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA is proposing to approve this element in the April 3, 2008 and August 29, 2011, submissions.

    (D) Interstate and international transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) includes four requirements referred to as prongs 1 through 4. Prongs 1 and 2 are provided at section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I); Prongs 3 and 4 are provided at section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires SIPs to include adequate provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment, or interfering with maintenance, of any NAAQS in another state. Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) requires SIPs to include adequate provisions prohibiting any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from interfering with measures required of any other state to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or to protect visibility.

    With respect to 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2, EPA acted on this issue as it relates to Nebraska on August 8, 2011. See 76 FR 48208.

    With respect to the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3, EPA notes that Nebraska's satisfaction of the applicable infrastructure SIP PSD requirements for attainment/unclassifiable areas of the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS have been detailed in the section addressing section 110(a)(2)(C). As discussed above for element (C)(3), EPA has previously approved Nebraska's NSR reform rules for attainment areas, and, as previously stated, Nebraska currently has no nonattainment areas See 76 FR 15852 (March 22, 2011). EPA also notes that the proposed action in that section related to PSD is consistent with the proposed approval related to PSD for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Therefore, EPA is proposing to approve the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 3.18

    18 On August 31, 2011, by letter from Shelley Schneider, Air Quality Division Administrator of NDEQ, to Becky Weber, Director of the Air and Waste Management Division of EPA, NDEQ clarified that its August 29, 2011 SIP submission addressed the PSD requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    EPA is proposing to disapprove Nebraska's SIP as it relates to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) with respect to visibility, or “Prong 4” of the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D). In its SIP submittal, Nebraska refers to its submittal of a SIP revision in July, 2011, addressing the regional haze requirements. An approved regional haze SIP that fully meets the regional haze requirements in 40 CFR 51.308 would satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for visibility protection as such a SIP would ensure that emissions from the state will not interfere with measures required to be included in other state SIPs to protect visibility. EPA has not, however, fully approved Nebraska's Regional Haze SIP.

    On July 6, 2012, after reviewing Nebraska's submittal of a Regional Haze SIP, EPA published the “Approval, Disapproval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of Nebraska; Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; Federal Implementation Plan for Best Available Retrofit Technology Determination; Final Rule” (77 FR 40150). In that action, EPA partially approved the SIP revision as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements set forth in sections 169A and 169B of the Act and in the Federal regulations codified at 40 CFR 51.308, and the requirements of 40 CFR part 51, subpart F and appendices V and Y. EPA disapproved the SO2 BART determinations for units 1 and 2 of the Gerald Gentleman Station (GGS) because they do not comply with EPA's regulations. EPA also disapproved Nebraska's long-term strategy insofar as it relied on the deficient SO2 BART determination at GGS. Instead, EPA finalized a FIP relying on the Transport Rule as an alternative to BART for SO2 emissions from GGS to address these deficiencies. Given this, EPA cannot approve Nebraska's SIP as meeting the prong 4 requirements based on the absence of a fully approved Regional Haze SIP.

    In the absence of a fully approved Regional Haze SIP, a State may meet the requirements of prong 4 by showing that its SIP contains adequate provisions to prevent emission from within the State from interfering with other state's measures to protect visibility. See, e.g., 76 FR 8326 (February 14, 2011). Nebraska did not, however, provide a demonstration in its infrastructure SIP that emissions within its jurisdiction do not interfere with other States' plans to protect visibility.

    Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) also requires that the SIP insure compliance with the applicable requirements of sections 126 and 115 of the CAA, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement, respectively.

    Section 126(a) of the CAA requires new or modified sources to notify neighboring states of potential impacts from sources within the state. Although Nebraska sources have not been identified by EPA as having any interstate or international impacts under section 126 or section 115 in any pending actions relating to the 1997 or 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, the Nebraska regulations address abatement of the effects of interstate pollution. Title 129, chapter 14, section 010.03 of the NAC requires NDEQ, after receiving a complete PSD permit application, to notify EPA, as well as officials and agencies having cognizance where the proposed construction is to occur. This includes state or local air pollution control agencies and the chief executives of the city and county where the source would be located; any comprehensive regional land use planning agency; and any state, Federal Land Manager, or Indian governing body whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification. Finally, we believe that Nebraska could use the same statutory authorities previously discussed, primarily section 81-1505 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, to respond to any future findings with respect to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Section 115 of the CAA authorizes EPA to require a state to revise its SIP under certain conditions to alleviate international transport into another country. There are no final findings under section 115 of the CAA against Nebraska with respect to any air pollutant. Thus, the state's SIP does not need to include any provisions to meet the requirements of section 115.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA is not proposing to take action, at this time, as it relates to section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2 and proposes to disapprove 110(a)(i)(II)—prong 4. However, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address sections 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—Prong 3 and 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008 submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for those elements as indicated above.

    (E) Adequate authority, resources, implementation, and oversight: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that SIPs provide for the following: (1) necessary assurances that the state (and other entities within the state responsible for implementing the SIP) will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state or local law to implement the SIP, and that there are no legal impediments to such implementation; (2) requirements that the state comply with the requirements relating to state boards, pursuant to section 128 of the CAA; and (3) necessary assurances that the state has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of any plan provision for which it relies on local governments or other entities to carry out that portion of the plan.

    (1) Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) requires states to establish that they have adequate personnel, funding and authority. With respect to adequate authority, we have previously discussed Nebraska's statutory and regulatory authority to implement the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, primarily in the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(A) above. Neither Nebraska nor EPA has identified any legal impediments in the state's SIP to implementation of the NAAQS.

    With respect to adequate resources, NDEQ asserts that it has adequate personnel to implement the SIP. State statutes provide NDEQ the authority to establish bureaus, divisions and/or sections to carry out the duties and powers granted by the Nebraska state law to address the control of air pollution, to be administered by full-time salaried, bureau, division or section chiefs. See Nebraska Revised Statutes section 81-1504(14). NDEQ's Air Quality Division is currently divided into the Permitting Section, the Compliance Section, and the Program Planning and Development Unit.

    With respect to funding, the Nebraska statutes require the EQC to establish various fees for sources, in order to fund the reasonable costs of implementing various air pollution control programs. For example, section 81-1505(12)(e) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes requires the EQC to establish a requirement for sources to pay fees sufficient to pay the reasonable direct and indirect costs of developing and administering the air quality operating permit program. These costs include overhead charges for personnel, equipment, buildings and vehicles; enforcement costs; costs of emissions and ambient monitoring; and modeling analyses and demonstrations. See Nebraska Revised Statutes section 81-1505.04(2)(b). Similarly, section 81-1505(12)(a) requires the EQC to establish application fees for air contaminant sources seeking to obtain a permit prior to construction.

    Section 81-1505.05 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes provides that all fees collected pursuant to section 81-1505.04 be credited to the “Clean Air Title V Cash Fund” to be used solely to pay for the direct and indirect costs required to develop and administer the air quality permit program. Similarly, section 81-1505.06 provides that all fees collected pursuant to section 81-1505(12) be deposited in the “Air Quality Permit Cash Fund.”

    Nebraska uses funds in the non-Title V subaccounts, along with General Revenue funds and EPA grants under, for example, sections 103 and 105 of the Act, to fund the programs. EPA conducts periodic program reviews to ensure that the state has adequate resources and funding to, among others, implement the SIP.

    (2) Conflict of interest provisions—Section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) requires that each state SIP meet the requirements of section 128, relating to representation on state boards and conflicts of interest by members of such boards. Section 128(a)(1) requires that any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA must have at least a majority of members who represent the public interest and do not derive any “significant portion” of their income from persons subject to permits and enforcement orders under the CAA. Section 128(a)(2) requires that members of such a board or body, or the head of an agency with similar powers, adequately disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

    On October 21, 2014, EPA approved Nebraska's SIP revision addressing section 128 requirements. For a detailed analysis concerning Nebraska's section 128 provisions, see EPA's approval of Nebraska's 2008 Lead infrastructure SIP (79 FR 62832).

    (3) With respect to assurances that the state has responsibility to implement the SIP adequately when it authorizes local or other agencies to carry out portions of the plan, section 81-1504(18) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes grants NDEQ the authority to encourage local units of government to handle air pollution problems within their own jurisdictions. NDEQ may delegate, by contract with governmental subdivisions which have adopted air pollution control programs, the enforcement of state-adopted air pollution control regulations within a specified region surrounding the jurisdictional area of the governmental subdivision. See section 81-1504(23). However, the Nebraska statutes also retain authority in NDEQ to carry out the provisions of state air pollution control law. Section 81-1504(1) gives NDEQ “exclusive general supervision” of the administration and enforcement of the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act. In addition, section 81-1504(4) designates NDEQ as the air pollution control agency for the purposes of the CAA.

    The State of Nebraska relies on two local agencies for assistance in implementing portions of the air pollution control program: Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department and Omaha Air Quality Control. NDEQ oversees the activities of these local agencies to ensure adequate implementation of the plan. NDEQ utilizes sub-grants to the local agencies to provide adequate funding, and as an oversight mechanism. EPA conducts reviews of the local program activities in conjunction with its oversight of the state program.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in these submissions or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(E) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS submitted and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008 submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (F) Stationary source monitoring system: Section 110(a)(2)(F) requires states to establish a system to monitor emissions from stationary sources and to submit periodic emission reports. Each SIP shall require the installation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment, and the implementation of other necessary steps, by owners or operators of stationary sources, to monitor emissions from such sources. The SIP shall also require periodic reports on the nature and amounts of emissions and emissions-related data from such sources, and requires that the state correlate the source reports with emission limitations or standards established under the CAA. These reports must be made available for public inspection at reasonable times. To address this element, section 81-1505(12)(o) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes gives the EQC the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for air pollution control, including requirements for owner or operator testing and monitoring of emissions. It also gives the EQC the authority to promulgate similar rules and regulations for the periodic reporting of these emissions. See section 81-1505(12)(l). Title 129 chapter 34, section 002 of the NAC incorporates various EPA reference methods for testing source emissions, including methods for PM2.5. The Federal test methods in 40 CFR part 60, appendix A are referenced in title 129, chapter 34 section 002.02.

    The Nebraska regulations also require that all Class I and Class II operating permits include requirements for monitoring of emissions. See title 129, chapter 8, sections 004.01 and 015 of the NAC. Furthermore, title 129, chapter 34, section 001 of the NAC allows NDEQ to order an emissions source to make or have tests made to determine the rate of contaminant emissions from the source whenever NDEQ has reason to believe that the existing emissions from the source exceed the applicable emissions limits.

    The Nebraska regulations also impose reporting requirements on sources subject to permitting requirements. See title 129, chapter 6, section 001; chapter 8, sections 004.03 and 015 of the NAC. Nebraska makes all monitoring reports submitted as part of Class I or Class II permit a publicly available document. Although sources can submit a claim of confidentiality for some of the information submitted, Nebraska regulations specifically exclude emissions data from being entitled to confidential protection. See title 129, chapter 7, section 004 of the NAC. Nebraska uses this information to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, developing control and maintenance strategies, identifying sources and general emission levels, and determining compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(F) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS submitted and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (G) Emergency authority: Section 110(a)(2)(G) requires SIPs to provide for authority to address activities causing imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare or the environment (comparable to the authorities provided in section 303 of the CAA), and to include contingency plans to implement such authorities as necessary.

    Section 81-1507(4) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes states that whenever the Director of NDEQ finds that an emergency exists requiring immediate action to protect the public health and welfare, he or she may issue an order requiring that such action be taken as the Director deems necessary to meet the emergency. Title 129, chapter 38, section 003 of the NAC states that the conditions justifying the proclamation of an air pollution alert, air pollution warning, or air pollution emergency exist whenever the Director determines that the accumulation of air pollutants in any place is attaining or has attained levels which could, if such levels are sustained or exceeded, lead to a substantial threat to the health of persons. This regulation also establishes action levels for various air pollutants. The action levels (which include “Air Pollution Alert,” “Air Pollution Warning,” and “Air Pollution Emergency”) and associated contingency measures vary depending on the severity of the concentrations. Appendix I to title 129 of the NAC provides an Emergency Response Plan with actions to be taken under each of the severity levels. These steps are designed to prevent the excessive build-up of air pollutants to concentrations which can result in imminent and substantial danger to public health. Both the regulation at chapter 38 and the Emergency Response Plan are contained in the Federally approved SIP.

    Based on EPA's experience to date with the PM2.5 NAAQS and designated PM2.5 nonattainment areas, EPA expects that an emergency event involving PM2.5 would be unlikely, and if it were to occur, would be the result of a malfunction or other emergency situation at a relatively large source of PM2.5. Accordingly, EPA believes that the central components of a contingency plan would be to reduce emissions from the source at issue (if necessary, by curtailing operations) and public communication as needed. EPA believes that Nebraska's statutes referenced above provide the requisite authority to NDEQ to address such situations.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in that submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that the Nebraska SIP adequately addresses section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS submitted and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008 submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (H) Future SIP revisions: Section 110(a)(2)(H) requires states to have the authority to revise their SIPs in response to changes in the NAAQS, availability of improved methods for attaining the NAAQS, or in response to an EPA finding that the SIP is substantially inadequate to attain the NAAQS.

    As discussed previously, section 81-1504 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes authorizes NDEQ to regulate air quality and implement air quality control regulations. It also authorizes NDEQ to act as the state air pollution control agency for all purposes of the CAA. Section 81-1505(1) gives the EQC the authority to adopt and promulgate rules which set air standards that will protect public health and welfare. This authority includes the authority to revise rules as necessary to respond to a revised NAAQS.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has adequate authority to address section 110(a)(2)(H) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS submitted and is proposing to approve this element in regard to the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (I) Nonattainment areas: Section 110(a)(2)(I) requires that in the case of a plan or plan revision for areas designated as nonattainment areas, states must meet applicable requirements of part D of the CAA, relating to SIP requirements for designated nonattainment areas.

    As noted earlier, EPA does not expect infrastructure SIP submissions to address subsection (I). The specific SIP submissions for designated nonattainment areas, as required under CAA title I, part D, are subject to different submission schedules than those for section 110 infrastructure elements. Instead, EPA will take action on part D attainment plan SIP submissions through a separate rulemaking governed by the requirements for nonattainment areas, as described in part D.

    (J) Consultation with government officials, public notification, PSD and visibility protection: Section 110(a)(2)(J) requires SIPs to meet the applicable requirements of the following CAA provisions: (1) section 121, relating to interagency consultation regarding certain CAA requirements; (2) section 127, relating to public notification of NAAQS exceedances and related issues; and (3) part C of the CAA, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection.

    (1) With respect to interagency consultation, the SIP should provide a process for consultation with general-purpose local governments, designated organizations of elected officials of local governments, and any Federal Land Manager having authority over Federal land to which the SIP applies. Section 81-1504(3) authorizes NDEQ to advise and consult and cooperate with other Nebraska state agencies, the Federal government, other states, interstate agencies, and with affected political subdivisions, for the purpose of implementing its air pollution control responsibilities. Nebraska also has appropriate interagency consultation provisions in its preconstruction permit program. See, e.g., title 129, chapter 14 section 010 of the NAC (requiring NDEQ to send a copy of a notice of public comment on construction permit applications to any state or local air pollution control agency; the chief executives of the city and county in which the source would be located; any comprehensive regional land use planning agency; and any state, Federal Land Manager, or Indian governing body whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification).

    (2) With respect to the requirements for public notification in CAA section 127, title 129 chapter 38 of the NAC, discussed previously in connection with the state's authority to address emergency episodes, contains provisions for public notification of elevated ozone and other air pollutant levels. Appendix I to title 129 of the NAC includes measures which can be taken by the public to reduce concentrations. In addition, information regarding air pollution and related issues, is provided on an NDEQ Web site, http://www.deq.state.ne.us/NDEQSite.nsf/AirDivSecProg?OpenView&Start=1&ExpandView&Count=500. NDEQ also prepares an annual report on air quality in the state which is available to the public on its Web site, at http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Publica.nsf/c4afc76e4e077e11862568770059b73f/a12a5ada6cce1c1686257a47004e0633!OpenDocument.

    (3) With respect to the applicable requirements of part C, relating to prevention of significant deterioration of air quality and visibility protection, we previously noted in the discussion of section 110(a)(2)(C) (relating to enforcement of control measures) how the Nebraska SIP meets the PSD requirements, incorporating the Federal rule by reference. Regarding the prevention of significant deterioration requirements, EPA previously approved Nebraska's PM2.5 PSD program as found at 79 FR 45108. On January 22, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated and remanded the provisions at 40 CFR 51.166(k)(2) and 52.21(k)(2) concerning implementation of the PM2.5 SILs and vacated the provisions at 40 CFR 51.166(i)(5)(i)(c) and 52.21 (i)(5)(i)(c) (adding the PM2.5 SMCs) that were promulgated as part of the October 20, 2010, rule, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for Particulate Matter less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)—Increments, Significant Impact Levels and Significant Monitoring Concentrations, 75 CFR 64864. Consistent with the court's ruling, on June 27, 2013, Nebraska submitted a request to not include the SIP provisions relating the Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentrations (SMCs).

    With respect to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J), Nebraska stated in its 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP submittals that the “Visibility Protection” requirements of chapter 43 of title 129 of the Nebraska Administrative Code met part C visibility requirements of element J. The “Visibility Protection” requirements of chapter 43 were submitted by Nebraska for incorporation into the Nebraska SIP on November 8, 2011, and will be addressed in a separate rulemaking.

    EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility and regional haze program requirements under part C of the CAA. However, when EPA establishes or revises a NAAQS, these visibility and regional haze requirements under part C do not change. EPA believes that there are no new visibility protection requirements under part C as a result of a revised NAAQS. Therefore, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations pursuant to element J after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. As such, EPA is proposing to find that Nebraska's SIP meets the visibility requirements of element J with respect to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS as there are no new applicable requirements triggered by the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has met the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2)(J) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in the state and is therefore proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (K) Air quality and modeling/data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling, as prescribed by EPA, to predict the effects on ambient air quality of any emissions of any NAAQS pollutant, and for submission of such data to EPA upon request.

    Nebraska has authority to conduct air quality modeling and report the results of such modeling to EPA. Section 81-1504(5) provides NDEQ with the authority to encourage, participate in, or conduct studies, investigations, research and demonstrations relating to air pollution and its causes and effects. As an example of regulatory authority to perform modeling for purposes of determining NAAQS compliance, the regulations at title 129, chapter 19, section 019 provide for the use of EPA-approved air quality models (e.g., those found in 40 CFR part 51, appendix W) for PSD construction permitting. If the use of these models is inappropriate, the model may be modified or an alternate model may be used with the approval of NDEQ and EPA.

    The Nebraska regulations also give NDEQ the authority to require that modeling data be submitted for analysis. Title 129, chapter 19, section 021.02 states that upon request by NDEQ, the owner or operator of a proposed source or modification must provide information on the air quality impact of the source or modification, including all meteorological and topographical data necessary to estimate such impact.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(K) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (L) Permitting Fees: Section 110(a)(2)(L) requires SIPs to require each major stationary source to pay permitting fees to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, to cover the cost of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and, if the permit is issued, the costs of implementing and enforcing the terms of the permit. The fee requirement applies until a fee program established by the state pursuant to title V of the CAA, relating to operating permits, is approved by EPA.

    Section 81-1505 of the Nebraska Revised States provides authority for NDEQ to collect permit fees, including title V fees. For example, section 81-1505(12)(e) requires that the EQC establish fees sufficient to pay the reasonable direct and indirect of developing and administering the air quality permit program. Nebraska's title V program, including the fee program addressing the requirements of the Act and 40 CFR 70.9 relating to title V fees, was approved by EPA on October 18, 1995 (60 FR 53872).

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(L) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    (M) Consultation/participation by affected local entities: Section 110(a)(2)(M) requires SIPs to provide for consultation and participation by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP.

    Section 81-1504(5) of the Nebraska Revised Statutes gives NDEQ the authority to encourage local governments to handle air pollution problems within their respective jurisdictions and at the same time provide them with technical and consultative assistance. NDEQ is also authorized to delegate the enforcement of air pollution control regulations down to governmental subdivisions which have adopted air pollution control programs. As discussed previously, NDEQ currently relies on two local agencies for assistance in implementing portions of the air pollution control program: Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department and Omaha Air Quality Control.

    In addition, as previously noted in the discussion about section 110(a)(2)(J), Nebraska's statutes and regulations require that NDEQ consult with local political subdivisions for the purposes of carrying out its air pollution control responsibilities.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submission for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in the submission or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the adequate infrastructure needed to address section 110(a)(2)(M) for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS and is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, submission regarding the 1997 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements and the August 29, 2011, submission regarding the 2006 PM2.5 infrastructure SIP requirements for this element.

    V. What are the additional provisions of the November 14, 2011, SIP submission that EPA is proposing to take action on?

    On November 14, 2011, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality submitted a request for the approval of revisions to chapter 4 of title 129. The revision to chapter 4, section 001.01, repeals the annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM10, which was revoked by EPA effective December 18, 2006 and at section 001.02 of chapter 4, adopt the new 24 hour NAAQS for PM2.5 which was issued by EPA also effective December 18, 2006. See 71 FR 61144. The proposed revisions to title 129, chapter 4, are consistent with Federal standards and therefore EPA is proposing to approve NDEQ's request in regards to the repeal of the annual NAAQS for PM10 and adoption of the 24 hour NAAQS of PM2.5.

    VI. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is proposing to approve the April 3, 2008, and August 29, 2011, infrastructure SIP submissions from Nebraska which address the requirements of CAA sections 110 (a)(1) and (2) as applicable to the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is proposing to approve the following infrastructure elements, or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II)—Prong 3, (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). As discussed in each applicable section of this rulemaking, EPA is not proposing to take action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I)—prongs 1 and 2, and 110(a)(2)(I)—Nonattainment Area Plan, or Plan Revisions under part D. And finally, EPA is proposing to disapprove 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II)—prong 4, as it relates to the protection of visibility.

    Based upon review of the state's infrastructure SIP submissions and relevant statutory and regulatory authorities and provisions referenced in those submissions or referenced in Nebraska's SIP, EPA believes that Nebraska has the infrastructure to address all applicable required elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) (except otherwise noted) to ensure that the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS are implemented in the state.

    In addition, EPA is proposing to approve an additional SIP submission from Nebraska which repeals the annual PM10 NAAQS and adopts the 24 hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

    We are hereby soliciting comments on this proposed action. Final rulemaking will occur after consideration of any comments.

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Review

    In this action, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the EPA approved Nebraska regulations for Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the EPA approved Nebraska nonregulatory provisions described in the proposed amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason this proposed action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

    • does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and

    • does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    VIII. Statutory Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is provided by section 110 of the CAA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7410).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 15, 2015. Mark Hague, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 7.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 52 as set forth below:

    Chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et. seq.

    Subpart CC—Nebraska 2. Amend § 52.1420 by: a. Under paragraph (c), in the table entitled “EPA-Approved Nebraska Regulations”, revising the entry for “129-4”; and b. Under paragraph (e), in the table entitled “EPA-Approved Nebraska Nonregulatory Provisions”, adding an entry for “(28)” in numerical order.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 52.1420 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Nebraska Regulations Nebraska
  • citation
  • Title State effective date EPA approval date Explanation
    STATE OF NEBRASKA Department of Environmental Quality Title 129—Nebraska Air Quality Regulations *         *         *         *         *         *         * 129-4 Ambient Air Quality Standards 8/18/08 5/28/15, [Insert Federal Register citation] This revision to Chapter 4 repeals the annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM10 and adopts the Federal 24-hour NAAQS for PM2.5. The standard was reduced from 65 to 35 micrograms per cubic meter by EPA on December 18, 2006. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved Nebraska Nonregulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP
  • provision
  • Applicable geographic area or nonattainment area State submittal date EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (28) Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Statewide 4/3/2008, 8/29/2011 5/28/2015, [Insert Federal Register citation] This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(i)(II), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).
    [FR Doc. 2015-12811 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 48 CFR Parts 2404, 2406, 2408, 2409, 2411, 2415, 2427, 2428, 2432, 2437, 2444, 2452 [Docket No. FR-5814-P-01] RIN 2501-AD73 Amendments to the HUD Acquisition Regulation (HUDAR) AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would amend the HUDAR to implement miscellaneous changes necessary to update the HUDAR. These changes include a correction to the designation of Source Selection Authorities, limited delegation of Head of Contracting Activity authorities, incorporation of the HUDAR Matrix, addition of new clauses, certain administrative corrections, and incorporation of Alternates to various clauses to allow for electronic invoicing.

    DATES:

    Comment due date: July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposed rule to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Communications must refer to the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting public comments. All submissions must refer to the above docket number and title.

    1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500.

    2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Note:

    To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the rule.

    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (FAX) comments are not acceptable.

    Public Inspection of Public Comments. All properly submitted comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 800-877-8339. Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and downloading at www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa D. Maguire, Assistant Chief Procurement Officer for Policy, Systems and Risk Management, Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202-708-0294 (this is not a toll-free number) and fax number 202-708-8912. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access Ms. Maguire's telephone number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The uniform regulation for the procurement of supplies and services by federal departments and agencies, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), was promulgated on September 19, 1983 (48 FR 42102). The FAR is codified in title 48, chapter 1, of the Code of Federal Regulations. HUD promulgated its regulation to implement the FAR on March 1, 1984 (49 FR 7696).

    The HUDAR (title 48, chapter 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations) is prescribed under section 7(d) of the Department of HUD Act (42 U.S.C. 3535(d)); section 205(c) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 121(c)); and the general authorization in FAR 1.301. The HUDAR was last revised by final rule published on December 10, 2012 (77 FR 73524), and a subsequent correcting amendment published on August 15, 2013 (78 FR 49697).

    II. This Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would amend the HUDAR at 48 CFR chapter 24, as follows:

    The rule proposes several administrative corrections, including: Revising section 2404.7001 to refer to the correct contract clause 2452.204-70, “Preservation of, and Access to, Contract Records (Tangible and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Formats),” and removing the title and redesignating the clause that is codified at section 2432.705-70 as 2432.705-70(a).

    In part 2406, the rule would add section 2406.303 which requires the use of HUD Form 24012 1 for justifications for other than full and open competition, and section 2406.304(a)(3), which designates the HUD Deputy Chief Procurement Officer as the responsible official with the authority to approve, in writing, justifications for other than full and open procurements for proposed contracts over $12.5 million, but not exceeding $62.5 million.

    1 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=24012.pdf.

    In part 2408, this rule would add subpart 2408.4, “Federal Supply Schedules,” and, in that subpart, would add section 2408.405-6(c)(2), which requires the use of HUD form 24013 for justifications for limiting sources exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold when using the Federal Supply Schedules.2 This rule would also add section 24(d)(3) which designates the HUD Deputy Chief Procurement Officer as the responsible official with the authority to approve, in writing, justifications for Limited Source considerations for proposed Federal Supply Schedule order or Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with an estimated value exceeding $12.5 million, but not exceeding $62.5 million.

    2 See http://www.acquisition.gov/far/html/Subpart%2038_1.html#wp1075980.

    In part 2409, this rule would add subpart 2409.1, entitled “Responsible Prospective Contractors,” and, within that subpart, section 2409.105, “Procedures,” which includes information to be collected in determining financial responsibility.

    This rule would also:

    Revise section 2415.303(a) to HUDAR section 2415.303(a)(1) and, except for those acquisitions identified in HUDAR section 2415.303(a)(2), designate HUD Assistant Secretaries, or their equivalent, as the Source Selection Authorities for selections made using the tradeoff process and to allow Assistant Secretaries to delegate this function to other departmental officials;

    Add section 2415.303(a)(2) to designate HUD's General Counsel as the Source Selection Authority, regardless of contract amount, in all Headquarters procurements for legal services, unless the General Counsel specifically designates another agency official to perform that function;

    Clarify section 2415.305(a)(5) to apply to Best Value Tradeoff technical evaluations;

    Add part 2444 and, within that part, section 2444.204 entitled “Subcontracting Policies and Procedures”; and

    Codify a class deviation approved by HUD's Chief Procurement Officer dated April 10, 2013 to add Alternate 1 to clauses 2452.232-70 and 2452.232-71.

    In part 2452, the proposed rule would:

    Add clause 2452.232-74, entitled “Not to Exceed Limitation,” and, in part 2432, add a reference to that clause and requirements regarding its use at section 2432.705;

    Revise clause 2452.237-77(c)(1)(A) to change “21 days per month” to “number of business days in the month”;

    Add clause 2452.237-79, “Post-Award Conference,” and a reference to that clause and requirements regarding its use at section 2437.110(e)(5);

    Add clause 2452.237-81, “Labor Categories, Unit Prices Per Hour and Payment,” and a reference to that clause and requirements regarding its use at section 2437.110(e)(6);

    Add section 2452.244-70, “Consent to Subcontract,” and a reference to that clause and requirements regarding its use at section 2444.204; and

    Incorporate a new HUDAR matrix under subpart 2452.3.

    III. Findings and Certifications Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    The information collection requirements contained in this proposed rule are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) and assigned OMB control number 2535-0091. The information collection requirements for the HUDAR are currently approved by OMB under control number 2535-0091. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless the collection displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531- 1538) (UMRA) establishes requirements for federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. This rule does not impose any federal mandate on any state, local, or tribal government or the private sector within the meaning of UMRA.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule makes technical changes to existing contracting procedures and does not make any major changes that would significantly impact businesses. Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Notwithstanding HUD's determination that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, HUD specifically invites comments regarding less burdensome alternatives to this rule that will meet HUD's objectives as described in this preamble.

    Environmental Impact

    This proposed rule does not direct, provide for assistance or loan and mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate real property acquisition, disposition, leasing, rehabilitation, alteration, demolition, or new construction, or establish, revise, or provide for standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured housing, or occupancy. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(1), this proposed rule is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule imposes substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments and is not required by statute, or the rule preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. This proposed rule would not have federalism implications and would not impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments or preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order.

    List of Subjects 48 CFR Part 2404

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2406

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2408

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2409

    Government Procurement

    48 CFR Part 2411

    Government Procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2415

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2432

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2437

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2444

    Government procurement.

    48 CFR Part 2452

    Government procurement.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, and pursuant to the authority under 42 U.S.C. 3535(d), HUD proposes to amend 48 CFR chapter 24 as follows:

    PART 2404—ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS 1. The authority citation for part 2404 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2404.7—Contractor Records Retention 2. Revise section 2404.7001 to read as follows:
    2404.7001 Contract clause.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 2452.204-70, “Preservation of, and Access to, Contract Records (Tangible and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Formats),” in all solicitations and contracts exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. The contracting officer shall use the basic clause with its Alternate I in cost-reimbursement type contracts. The contracting officer shall use the basic clause with its Alternate II in labor-hour and time-and-materials contracts.

    PART 2406—COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS 3. The authority citation for part 2406 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2406.3—Other Than Full and Open Competition 4. Add section 2406.303 to read as follows:
    2406.303 Justifications.

    Justifications for Other Than Full and Open Competition must be prepared and approved using the latest version of HUD Form 24012.

    5. Add paragraph (a)(3) to section 2406.304 to read as follows:
    2406.304 Approval of the justification.

    (a)(3) HUD's Chief Procurement Officer, as the Head of Contracting Activity, has delegated the authority to the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer to approve, in writing, justifications for other than full and open competition procurements for proposed contracts over $12.5 million, but not exceeding $62.5 million.

    PART 2408—REQUIRED SOURCES OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES 6. The authority citation for part 2408 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    7. Add subpart 2408.4 to read as follows: Subpart 2408.4—Federal Supply Schedules
    2408.404 Pricing.

    (d) Supplies offered on the schedule are listed at fixed prices. Services offered on the schedule are priced either at hourly rates, or at fixed price for performance of a specific task (e.g., installation, maintenance, and repair). GSA has determined the prices of supplies and fixed-price services, and rates for services offered at hourly rates, to be fair and reasonable for the purpose of establishing the schedule contract. GSA's determination does not relieve the ordering activity contracting officer from the responsibility of making a determination of fair and reasonable pricing for individual orders, BPAs, and orders under BPAs. Contracting Officers shall follow the general principles and techniques outlined in FAR Section 15.404-1, Proposal Analysis Techniques, to ensure that the final agreed-to price is fair and reasonable, keeping in mind that the complexity and circumstances of each acquisition should determine the level of detail of the analysis required.

    2408.405-6 Limiting sources.

    (c)(2) Justifications for Limiting Sources, under the Federal Supply Schedules when exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold, must be prepared and approved using the latest version of HUD Form 24013.

    (d)(3) HUD's Chief Procurement Officer, as the Head of Contracting Activity, has delegated the authority to the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer to approve, in writing, justifications for Limited Source considerations for a proposed Federal Supply Schedule order or Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with an estimated value exceeding $12.5 million, but not exceeding $62.5 million.

    PART 2409—CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS 8. The authority citation for part 2409 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    9. Add subpart 2409.1 to read as follows: Subpart 2409.1—Responsible Prospective Contractors
    2409.105 Procedures.

    (a) The contracting officer shall perform a financial review when the contracting officer does not otherwise have sufficient information to make a positive determination of financial responsibility. In addition, the contracting officer shall consider performing a financial review—

    (1) Prior to award of a contract, when—

    (A) The contractor is on a list requiring pre-award clearance or other special clearance before award;

    (B) The contractor is listed on the Consolidated List of Contractors Indebted to the Government, or is otherwise known to be indebted to the Government;

    (C) The contractor may receive Government assets such as contract financing payments or Government property;

    (D) The contractor is experiencing performance difficulties on other work; or

    (E) The contractor is a new company or a new supplier of the item.

    (2) At periodic intervals after award of a contract, when—

    (A) Any of the conditions in paragraphs (1)(B) through (1)(E) of this subsection are applicable; or

    (B) There is any other reason to question the contractor's ability to finance performance and completion of the contract.

    (b) The contracting officer shall obtain the type and depth of financial and other information that is required to establish a contractor's financial capability or disclose a contractor's financial condition. While the contracting officer should not request information that is not necessary for protection of the Government's interests, the contracting officer must insist upon obtaining the information that is necessary. The unwillingness or inability of a contractor to present reasonably requested information in a timely manner, especially information that a prudent business person would be expected to have and to use in the professional management of a business, may be a material fact in the determination of the contractor's responsibility and prospects for contract completion.

    (c) The contracting officer shall obtain the following information to the extent required to protect the Government's interest. In addition, if the contracting officer concludes that information not listed herein is required to determine financial responsibility, that information should be requested. The information must be for the person(s) who are legally liable for contract performance. If the contractor is not a corporation, the contracting officer shall obtain the required information for each individual/joint venturer/partner:

    (1) Balance sheet and income statement—

    (A) For the current fiscal year (interim);

    (B) For the most recent fiscal year and, preferably, for the 2 preceding fiscal years. These should be certified by an independent public accountant or by an appropriate officer of the firm; and

    (C) Forecasted for each fiscal year for the remainder of the period of contract performance.

    (2) Summary history of the contractor and its principal managers, disclosing any previous insolvencies—corporate or personal, and describing its products or services.

    (3) Statement of all affiliations disclosing—

    (A) Material financial interests of the contractor;

    (B) Material financial interests in the contractor;

    (C) Material affiliations of owners, officers, members, directors, major stockholders; and

    (D) The major stockholders if the contractor is not a widely-traded, publicly-held corporation.

    (4) Statement of all forms of compensation to each officer, manager, partner, joint venturer, or proprietor, as appropriate—

    (A) Planned for the current year;

    (B) Paid during the past 2 years; and

    (C) Deferred to future periods.

    (5) Business base and forecast that—

    (A) Shows, by significant markets, existing contracts and outstanding offers, including those under negotiation; and

    (B) Is reconcilable to indirect cost rate projections.

    (6) Cash forecast for the duration of the contract.

    (7) Financing arrangement information that discloses—

    (A) Availability of cash to finance contract performance;

    (B) Contractor's exposure to financial crisis from creditor's demands;

    (C) Degree to which credit security provisions could conflict with Government title terms under contract financing;

    (D) Clearly stated confirmations of credit with no unacceptable qualifications; and

    (E) Unambiguous written agreement by a creditor if credit arrangements include deferred trade payments or creditor subordinations/repayment suspensions.

    (8) Statement of all state, local, and Federal tax accounts, including special mandatory contributions, e.g., environmental superfund.

    (9) Description and explanation of the financial effect of issues such as—

    (A) Leases, deferred purchase arrangements, or patent or royalty arrangements;

    (B) Insurance, when relevant to the contract;

    (C) Contemplated capital expenditures, changes in equity, or contractor debt load;

    (D) Pending claims either by or against the contractor;

    (E) Contingent liabilities such as guarantees, litigation, environmental, or product liabilities;

    (E) Validity of accounts receivable and actual value of inventory, as assets; and

    (F) Status and aging of accounts payable.

    (10) Significant ratios such as—

    (A) Inventory to annual sales;

    (B) Inventory to current assets;

    (C) Liquid assets to current assets;

    (D) Liquid assets to current liabilities;

    (E) Current assets to current liabilities; and

    (F) Net worth to net debt.

    PART 2411—DESCRIBING AGENCY NEEDS 10. The authority citation for part 2411 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2411.4—Delivery or Performance Schedules
    2411.404 [Removed]
    11. Remove section 2411.404. PART 2415—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 12. The authority citation for part 2415 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 3301-3306 and 3105; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2415.2—Solicitation and Receipt of Proposals and Quotations 13. Revise section 2415.209(a)(1) to read as follows:
    2415.209 Solicitation provisions.

    (a)(1) The Contracting Officer shall insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 2452.215-70, Proposal Content, in all solicitations for negotiated procurements expected to exceed the simplified acquisition limit. The provision may be used in simplified acquisitions when it is necessary to obtain business proposal information in making the award selection. If the proposed contract requires work on, or access to, HUD systems or applications (see the clause at 2452.239-70), the provision shall be used with its Alternate I. When the contracting officer has determined that it is necessary to limit the size of the technical and management portion of offers submitted by offerors, the provision shall be used with its Alternate II.

    Subpart 2415.3—Source Selection 14. In section 2415.303, redesignate paragraph (a) as (a)(1); revise the redesignated paragraph; and add section 2415.303(a)(2), all to read as follows:
    2415.303 Responsibilities.

    (a)(1) Except as identified in HUDAR Section 2415.303(a)(2), HUD's Chief Procurement Officer, as the Senior Procurement Executive, designates Assistant Secretaries, or their equivalent, for requiring activities as the Source Selection Authorities for selections made using the tradeoff process. Assistant Secretaries may delegate this function to other departmental officials. This designation also applies to acquisitions not performed under the requirements of FAR Part 15, but utilizing tradeoff analysis.

    (a)(2) HUD's Chief Procurement Officer, as the Senior Procurement Executive, designates HUD's Office of General Counsel (OGC) as the Source Selection Authority, regardless of contract amount, in all Headquarters procurements for legal services, unless (s)he specifically designates another agency official to perform that function. Any Headquarters office desiring to procure outside legal services for the Department shall obtain OGC approval before advertising or soliciting proposals for such services. OGC shall determine whether the services are necessary and the extent of OGC involvement in the procurement.

    15. In section 2415.305, revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
    2415.305 Proposal evaluation.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Technical evaluation when tradeoffs are performed. The TEP shall rate each proposal based on the evaluation factors specified in the solicitation. The TEP shall identify each proposal as being acceptable, unacceptable but capable of being made acceptable, or unacceptable. A proposal shall be considered unacceptable if it is so clearly deficient that it cannot be corrected through written or oral discussions. Under the tradeoff process, predetermined threshold levels of technical acceptability for proposals shall not be employed. A technical evaluation report, which complies with FAR 15.305(a)(3), shall be prepared and signed by the technical evaluators, furnished to the contracting officer, and maintained as a permanent record in the official procurement file.

    PART 2432—CONTRACT FINANCING 19. The authority citation for part 2432 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 3901-3905; 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2432.7—Contract Funding 16. Revise section 2432.705 to read as follows and remove section 2432.705-70:
    2432.705 Contract clauses.

    (a) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 2452.232-72, “Limitation of Government's Obligation,” in solicitations and resultant incrementally funded fixed-price contracts as authorized by 2432.703-1. The contracting officer shall insert the information required in the table in paragraph (b) and the notification period in paragraph (c) of the clause.

    (b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 2452.232-74, “Not To Exceed Limitation” in all solicitations and contracts where the total estimated funds needed for the performance period are not yet obligated.

    2432.705-70 [Removed]
    PART 2437—SERVICE CONTRACTING 17. The authority citation for part 2437 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2437.1—Service Contracts—General 18. Revise section 2437.110(e)(2); add paragraphs 2437.111(e)(5) and (e)(6); all to read as follows:
    2437.110 Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.

    (e)(1) * * *

    (2) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 2452.237-73, “Conduct of Work and Technical Guidance,” in all solicitations and contracts for services.

    (3) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (5) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 2452.237-79, “Post Award Conference,” in all solicitations and contracts for services when the CO deems that a Post Award Conference is necessary.

    (6) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 2452.237-81, “Labor Categories, Unit Prices Per Hour and Payment,” in all indefinite quantity and requirements solicitations and contracts when level of effort task orders will be issued.

    19. Add part 2444 and heading to read as follows: PART 2444—SUBCONTRACTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2444.2—Contract Clauses
    2444.204 Contract clauses.

    (a) Insert HUDAR clause 2452.244-70 Consent to Subcontract, in contracts and task orders with an estimated value exceeding $10,000,000.

    PART 2452—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 29. The authority citation for part 2452 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    Subpart 2452.2—Texts of Provisions and Clauses
    2452.211-70 [Removed]
    20. Remove section 2452.211-70 including Alternate I. 21. Revise section 2452.215-70 to read as follows:
    2452.215-70 Proposal content.

    As prescribed in 2415.209(a), insert a provision substantially the same as the following:

    PROPOSAL CONTENT ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule],)

    (a) Proposals shall be submitted in two parts as described in paragraphs (c) and (d) below. Each of the parts must be complete in itself so that evaluation of each part may be conducted independently, and so the identified parts of each proposal may be evaluated strictly on its own merit. Proposals shall be submitted in the format, if any, prescribed elsewhere in this solicitation. Proposals shall be enclosed in sealed packaging and addressed to the office specified in the solicitation. The offeror's name and address, the solicitation number and the date and time specified in the solicitation for proposal submission must appear in writing on the outside of the package.

    (b) The number of proposals required are an original and [insert number] copies of Part I, and [insert number] copies of Part II.

    (c) Part I—Technical Proposal

    (1) The offeror shall submit the information required in Instructions to Offerors designated under Part I—Technical Proposal.

    (d) Part II—Business Proposal

    (1) The offeror shall complete the Representations and Certifications provided in Section K of this solicitation and include them in Part II, Business Proposal.

    (2) The offeror shall provide information to support the offeror's proposed costs or prices as prescribed elsewhere in Instructions to Offerors for Part II—Business Proposal.

    (3) The offeror shall submit any other information required in Instructions to Offerors designated under Part II—Business Proposal.

    (End of provision)

    Alternate I ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    As prescribed in 2415.209(a), if the proposed contract requires work on, or access to, sensitive automated systems as described in 2452.239-70, add the following subparagraph, numbered sequentially, to paragraph (d):

    The offeror shall describe in detail how the offeror will maintain the security of automated systems as required by clause 2452.239-70 in Section I of this solicitation and include it in Part II, Business Proposal.

    (End of Provision)

    Alternate II ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    As prescribed in 2415.209(a), add the following paragraph (e) when the size of any proposal Part I or Part II will be limited:

    (e) Size limits of Parts I and II.

    (1) Offerors shall limit submissions of Parts I and II of their initial proposals to the page limitations identified in the Instructions to Offerors. Offerors are cautioned that if any Part of their proposal exceeds the stipulated limits for that Part, the Government will evaluate only the information contained in the pages up through the permitted number. Pages beyond that limit will not be evaluated.

    (2) A page shall consist of one side of a single sheet of 81/2″ x 11″ paper, single spaced, using not smaller than 12 point type font, and having margins at the top, bottom, and sides of the page of no less than one inch in width.

    (3) Any exemptions from this limitation are stipulated under the Instructions to Offerors.

    (4) Offerors are encouraged to use recycled paper and to use both sides of the paper (see the FAR clause at 52.204-4).

    (End of Provision)
    22. Revise section 2452.232-70 to read as follows:
    2452.232-70 Payment schedule and invoice submission (Fixed-Price).

    As prescribed in 2432.908(c)(2), insert the following clause in all fixed-price solicitations and contracts:

    PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND INVOICE SUBMISSION (FIXED-PRICE) ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) Payment Schedule. Payment of the contract price (see Section B of the contract) will be made upon completion and acceptance of all work unless a partial payment schedule is included below.

    [Contracting Officer insert schedule information]:

    Partial payment number Applicable
  • contract
  • deliverable
  • Delivery date Pay
  • amount
  • 1. 2. 3.

    [Continue as necessary]

    (b) Submission of Invoices.

    (1) The Contractor shall submit invoices as follows: Original to the payment office and one copy each to the Contracting Officer and a copy to the Government Technical Representative (GTR) identified in the contract. To constitute a proper invoice, the invoice must include all items required by the FAR clause at 52.232-25, “Prompt Payment.”

    (2) To assist the government in making timely payments, the contractor is also requested to include on each invoice the appropriation number shown on the contract award document (e.g., block 14 of the Standard Form (SF) 26, block 21 of the SF-33, or block 25 of the SF-1449). The contractor is also requested to clearly indicate on the mailing envelope that an invoice is enclosed.

    (c) Contractor Remittance Information. The contractor shall provide the payment office with all information required by other payment clauses or other supplemental information (e.g., contracts for commercial services) contained in this contract.

    (d) Final Invoice Payment. The final invoice shall not be paid prior to certification by the Contracting Officer that all work has been completed and accepted.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule]). Delete paragraph (b)(1) of HUDAR Clause 2452.232-70 Payment Schedule and Invoice Submission (Fixed-price) and replace with the following Alternate, when requiring invoices to be submitted electronically via email, in fixed price contracts other than performance-based contracts under which performance-based payments will be used:

    The contractor shall submit invoices electronically via email to the email addresses shown on the contract award document (e.g., block 12 of the Standard Form (SF) 26, block 25 of the SF-33, or block 18a of the SF-1449) and carbon copy the Contracting Officer and the Government Technical Representative (GTR). To constitute a proper invoice, the invoice must include all items required by the FAR clause at 52.232-25, “Prompt Payment.” The contractor shall clearly include in the Subject line of the email: INVOICE INCLUDED; CONTRACT/ORDER #: _____, INVOICE NUMBER _____ and Contract Line Item Number(s) ____.

    (End of Alternate)
    23. Revise section 2452.232-71 to read as follows:
    2452.232-71 Voucher submission (cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour).

    As prescribed in 2432.908(c)(3), insert the following clause in all cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour solicitations and contracts:

    VOUCHER SUBMISSION (COST-REIMBURSEMENT, TIME-AND-MATERIALS, AND LABOR HOUR) ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) Voucher Submission.

    (1) The contractor shall submit, _____ [Contracting Officer insert billing period, e.g., monthly], an original and two copies of each voucher. In addition to the items required by the clause at FAR 52.232-25, “Prompt Payment,” the voucher shall show the elements of cost for the billing period and the cumulative costs to date. The Contractor shall submit all vouchers, except for the final voucher, as follows: Original to the payment office and one copy each to the Contracting Officer and the Government Technical Representative (GTR) identified in the contract. The contractor shall submit all copies of the final voucher to the Contracting Officer.

    (2) To assist the government in making timely payments, the contractor is requested to include on each voucher the applicable appropriation number(s) shown on the award or subsequent modification document (e.g., block 14 of the Standard Form (SF) 26, or block 21 of the SF-33). The contractor is also requested to clearly indicate on the mailing envelope that a payment voucher is enclosed.

    (b) Contractor Remittance Information.

    (1) The Contractor shall provide the payment office with all information required by other payment clauses contained in this contract.

    (2) For cost reimbursement, time-and-materials and labor-hour contracts, the Contractor shall aggregate vouchered costs by the individual task for which the costs were incurred and clearly identify the task or job.

    (c) Final Payment. The final payment shall not be made until the Contracting Officer has certified that the contractor has complied with all terms of the contract.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule]). Delete paragraph (a)(1) of HUDAR clause 2452.232-71, Voucher Submission (Cost-Reimbursement, Time-and-Materials, and Labor-Hour).) and replace with the following Alternate, when requiring invoices to be submitted electronically via email, in all cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour type solicitations and contracts:

    The contractor shall submit invoices electronically via email to the email addresses shown on the contract award document (e.g., block 12 of the Standard Form (SF) 26, block 25 of the SF-33, or block 18a of the SF-1449) and carbon copy the Contracting Officer and the Government Technical Representative. To constitute a proper invoice, the invoice must include all items required by the FAR clause at 52.232-25, “Prompt Payment.” The contractor shall clearly include in the Subject line of the email: INVOICE INCLUDED; CONTRACT/ORDER #: _____, INVOICE NUMBER _____ and Contract Line Item Number(s) _____. In addition to the items required by the clause at FAR 52.232-25, Prompt Payment, the voucher shall show the elements of cost for the billing period and the cumulative costs to date. The contractor shall also submit supporting documentation such as time cards to verify the hours/costs vouchered.

    (End of Alternate)
    24. Add section 2452.232-74 to read as follows:
    2452.232-74 Not to exceed limitation.

    As prescribed in 2432.705(b), insert the following clause in all solicitations and contracts where the total estimated funds needed for the performance of the contract are not yet obligated.

    NOT TO EXCEED LIMITATION ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) The total estimated funds needed for the performance of this contract are not yet obligated. The total obligation of funds available at this time for performance of work or deliveries is [FILLIN#1#Insert Amount]. The Government shall not order, nor shall the contractor be required to accept orders for, or perform work or make deliveries that exceed the stated funding limit.

    (b) The Government may unilaterally increase the amount obligated through contract modification(s) until the full contract value has been obligated.

    (End of clause)
    25. Revise section 2452.237-73 to read as follows:
    2452.237-73 Conduct of work and technical guidance.

    As prescribed in 2437.110(e)(2), insert the following clause in all contracts for services:

    CONDUCT OF WORK AND TECHNICAL GUIDANCE ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) The Contracting Officer will provide the contractor with the name and contact information of the Government Technical Representative (GTR) assigned to this contract. The GTR will serve as the contractor's liaison with the Contracting Officer with regard to the conduct of work. The Contracting Officer will notify the contractor in writing of any change to the current GTR's status or the designation of a successor GTR.

    (b) The GTR for liaison with the contractor as to the conduct of work is [to be inserted at time of award] or a successor designated by the Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer will notify the contractor in writing of any change to the current GTR's status or the designation of a successor GTR.

    (c) The GTR will provide guidance to the contractor on the technical performance of the contract. Such guidance shall not be of a nature which:

    (1) Causes the contractor to perform work outside the statement of work or specifications of the contract;

    (2) Constitutes a change as defined in FAR 52.243 1;

    (3) Causes an increase or decrease in the cost of the contract;

    (4) Alters the period of performance or delivery dates; or

    (5) Changes any of the other express terms or conditions of the contract.

    (d) The GTR will issue technical guidance in writing or, if issued orally, he/she will confirm such direction in writing within five calendar days after oral issuance. The GTR may issue such guidance via telephone, facsimile (fax), or electronic mail.

    (e) Other specific limitations [to be inserted by Contracting Officer]:

    (f) The contractor shall promptly notify the Contracting Officer whenever the contractor believes that guidance provided by any government personnel, whether or not specifically provided pursuant to this clause, is of a nature described in paragraph (b) above.

    (End of clause)
    26. Revise paragraph 2452.237-77(c)(1)(A) to read as follows:
    2452.237-77 Temporary closure of HUD facilities. ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (A) The deduction rate in dollars per day will be equal to the per month contract price divided by the number of business days in each month.

    27. Add section 2452.242-79 to read as follows:
    2452.237-79 Post award conference.

    As prescribed in 2437.110(e)(5), insert the following clause in all contracts for services:

    POST AWARD CONFERENCE ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    The Contractor shall be required to attend a post-award conference on DATE _____ to be held at ADDRESS _____, unless other arrangements are made. All Contractors must have a valid ID for security clearance into the building.

    (End of clause)
    28. Add section 2452.237-81 to read as follows:
    2452.237-81 Labor categories, unit prices per hour and payment.

    As prescribed in 2437.110(e)(6), insert the following clause in all indefinite quantity and requirements solicitations and contracts when level of effort task orders will be issued.

    LABOR CATEGORIES, UNIT PRICES PER HOUR AND PAYMENT ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    The contractor shall provide the following types of labor at the corresponding unit price per hour in accordance with the terms of this contract:

    The unit price per hour is inclusive of the hourly wage plus any applicable labor overhead, General and Administrative (G&A) expenses, and profit. Payment shall be made to the contractor upon delivery to, and acceptance by, the Government office requesting services. The total amounts billed shall be derived by multiplying the actual number of hours worked per category by the corresponding price per hour.

    (End of clause) 29. Revise section 2452.239-70 to read as follows:
    2452.239-70 Access to HUD systems.

    As prescribed in 2439.107(a), insert the following clause:

    ACCESS TO HUD SYSTEMS ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) Definitions: As used in this clause—

    “Access” means the ability to obtain, view, read, modify, delete, and/or otherwise make use of information resources.

    “Application” means the use of information resources (information and information technology) to satisfy a specific set of user requirements (see OMB Circular A-130).

    “Contractor employee” means an employee of the prime contractor or of any subcontractor, affiliate, partner, joint venture, or team members with which the contractor is associated. It also includes consultants engaged by any of those entities.

    “Mission-critical system” means an information technology or telecommunications system used or operated by HUD or by a HUD contractor, or organization on behalf of HUD, that processes any information, the loss, misuse, disclosure, or unauthorized access to, or modification of which would have a debilitating impact on the mission of the agency.

    “NACI” means a National Agency Check with Inquiries, the minimum background investigation prescribed by OPM.

    “PIV Card” means the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card, the Federal Government-issued identification credential (i.e., identification badge).

    “Sensitive information” means any information of which the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to, or modification of, could adversely affect the national interest, the conduct of federal programs, or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under section 552a of title 5, United States Code (the Privacy Act), but which has not been specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order or an Act of Congress to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.

    “System” means an interconnected set of information resources under the same direct management control, which shares common functionality. A system normally includes hardware, software, information, data, applications, communications, and people (see OMB Circular A-130). System includes any system owned by HUD or owned and operated on HUD's behalf by another party.

    (b) General.

    (1) The performance of this contract requires contractor employees to have access to a HUD system or systems. All such employees who do not already possess a current PIV Card acceptable to HUD shall be required to provide personal background information, undergo a background investigation (NACI or other OPM-required or approved investigation), including an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check, and obtain a PIV Card prior to being permitted access to any such system in performance of this contract. HUD may accept a PIV Card issued by another Federal Government agency but shall not be required to do so. No contractor employee will be permitted access to any HUD system without a PIV Card.

    (2) All contractor employees who require access to mission-critical systems or sensitive information contained within a HUD system or application(s) are required to have a more extensive background investigation. The investigation shall be commensurate with the risk and security controls involved in managing, using, or operating the system or applications(s).

    (c) Citizenship-related requirements. Each affected contractor employee as described in paragraph (b) of this clause shall be:

    (1) A United States (U.S.) citizen; or,

    (2) A national of the United States (see 8 U.S.C. 1408); or,

    (3) An alien lawfully admitted into, and lawfully permitted to be employed in the United States, provided that for any such individual, the Government is able to obtain sufficient background information to complete the investigation as required by this clause. Failure on the part of the contractor to provide sufficient information to perform a required investigation or the inability of the Government to verify information provided for affected contractor employees will result in denial of their access.

    (d) Background investigation process.

    (1) The Government Technical Representative (GTR) shall notify the contractor of those contractor employee positions requiring background investigations.

    (i) For each contractor employee requiring access to HUD information systems, the contractor shall submit the following properly completed forms: Standard Form (SF) 85, “Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions,” FD 258 (Fingerprint Chart), and a partial Optional Form (OF) 306 (Items 1, 2, 6, 8-13, 16, and 17).

    (ii) For each contractor employee requiring access to mission-critical systems and/or sensitive information contained within a HUD system and/or application(s), the contractor shall submit the following properly completed forms: SF-85P, “Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions;” FD 258; and a Fair Credit Reporting Act form (authorization for the credit-check portion of the investigation). Contractor employees shall not complete the Medical Release behind the SF-85P.

    (iii) The SF-85, 85P, and OF-306 are available from OPM's Web site, http://www.opm.gov. The GTR will provide all other forms that are not obtainable via the Internet.

    (2) The contractor shall deliver the forms and information required in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause to the GTR.

    (3) Affected contractor employees who have had a federal background investigation without a subsequent break in federal employment or federal contract service exceeding 2 years may be exempt from the investigation requirements of this clause subject to verification of the previous investigation. For each such employee, the contractor shall submit the following information in lieu of the forms and information listed in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause: Employee's full name, Social Security number, and place and date of birth.

    (4) The investigation process shall consist of a range of personal background inquiries and contacts (written and personal) and verification of the information provided on the investigative forms described in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause.

    (5) Upon completion of the investigation process, the GTR will notify the contractor if any contractor employee is determined to be unsuitable to have access to the system(s), application(s), or information. Such an employee may not be given access to those resources. If any such employee has already been given access pending the results of the background investigation, the contractor shall ensure that the employee's access is revoked immediately upon receipt of the GTR's notification.

    (6) Failure of the GTR to notify the contractor (see subparagraph (d)(1)) of any employee who should be subject to the requirements of this clause and is known, or should reasonably be known, by the contractor to be subject to the requirements of this clause, shall not excuse the contractor from making such employee(s) known to the GTR. Any such employee who is identified and is working under the contract, without having had the appropriate background investigation or furnished the required forms for the investigation, shall cease to perform such work immediately and shall not be given access to the system(s)/application(s) described in paragraph (b) of this clause until the contractor has provided the investigative forms required in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause for the employee to the GTR.

    (7) The contractor shall notify the GTR in writing whenever a contractor employee for whom a background investigation package was required and submitted to HUD, or for whom a background investigation was completed, terminates employment with the contractor or otherwise is no longer performing work under this contract that requires access to the system(s), application(s), or information. The contractor shall provide a copy of the written notice to the Contracting Officer.

    (e) PIV Cards.

    (1) HUD will issue a PIV Card to each contractor employee who is to be given access to HUD systems and does not already possess a PIV Card acceptable to HUD (see paragraph (b) of this clause). HUD will not issue the PIV Card until the contractor employee has successfully cleared an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check, and HUD has initiated the background investigation for the contractor employee. Initiation is defined to mean that all background information required in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause has been delivered to HUD. The employee may not be given access prior to those two events. HUD may issue a PIV Card and grant access pending the completion of the background investigation. HUD will revoke the PIV Card and the employee's access if the background investigation process (including adjudication of investigation results) for the employee has not been completed within 6 months after the issuance of the PIV Card.

    (2) PIV Cards shall identify individuals as contractor employees. Contractor employees shall display their PIV Cards on their persons at all times while working in a HUD facility, and shall present cards for inspection upon request by HUD officials or HUD security personnel.

    (3) The contractor shall be responsible for all PIV Cards issued to the contractor's employees and shall immediately notify the GTR if any PIV Card(s) cannot be accounted for. The contractor shall promptly return PIV Cards to HUD as required by the FAR clause at 52.204-9. The contractor shall notify the GTR immediately whenever any contractor employee no longer has a need for his/her HUD-issued PIV Card (e.g., the employee terminates employment with the contractor, the employee's duties no longer require access to HUD systems). The GTR will instruct the contractor as to how to return the PIV Card. Upon expiration of this contract, the GTR will instruct the contractor as to how to return all HUD-issued PIV Cards not previously returned. Unless otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer, the contractor shall not return PIV Cards to any person other than the GTR.

    (f) Control of access. HUD shall have and exercise full and complete control over granting, denying, withholding, and terminating access of contractor employees to HUD systems. The GTR will notify the contractor immediately when HUD has determined that an employee is unsuitable or unfit to be permitted access to a HUD system. The contractor shall immediately notify such employee that he/she no longer has access to any HUD system, physically retrieve the employee's PIV Card from the employee, and provide a suitable replacement employee in accordance with the requirements of this clause.

    (g) Incident response notification. An incident is defined as an event, either accidental or deliberate, that results in unauthorized access, loss, disclosure, modification, or destruction of information technology systems, applications, or data. The contractor shall immediately notify the GTR and the Contracting Officer of any known or suspected incident, or any unauthorized disclosure of the information contained in the system(s) to which the contractor has access.

    (h) Nondisclosure of information.

    (1) Neither the contractor nor any of its employees shall divulge or release data or information developed or obtained during performance of this contract, except to authorized government personnel with an established need to know, or upon written approval of the Contracting Officer. Information contained in all source documents and other media provided by HUD is the sole property of HUD.

    (2) The contractor shall require that all employees who may have access to the system(s)/applications(s) identified in paragraph (b) of this clause sign a pledge of nondisclosure of information. The employees shall sign these pledges before they are permitted to perform work under this contract. The contractor shall maintain the signed pledges for a period of 3 years after final payment under this contract. The contractor shall provide a copy of these pledges to the GTR.

    (i) Security procedures.

    (1) The Contractor shall comply with applicable federal and HUD statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures governing the security of the system(s) to which the contractor's employees have access including, but not limited to:

    (i) The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002;

    (ii) OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources, Appendix III, Security of Federal Automated Information Resources;

    (iii) HUD Handbook 2400.25, Information Technology Security Policy;

    (iv) HUD Handbook 732.3, Personnel Security/Suitability;

    (v) Federal Information Processing Standards 201 (FIPS 201), Sections 2.1 and 2.2;

    (vi) Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12); and

    (vii) OMB Memorandum M-05-24, Implementing Guidance for HSPD-12. The HUD Handbooks are available online at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/ or from the GTR.

    (2) The contractor shall develop and maintain a compliance matrix that lists each requirement set forth in paragraphs, (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i)(1), and (m) of this clause with specific actions taken, and/or procedures implemented, to satisfy each requirement. The contractor shall identify an accountable person for each requirement, the date upon which actions/procedures were initiated/completed, and certify that information contained in this compliance matrix is correct. The contractor shall ensure that information in this compliance matrix is complete, accurate, and up-to-date at all times for the duration of this contract. Upon request, the contractor shall provide copies of the current matrix to the contracting officer and/or government technical representative.

    (3) The Contractor shall ensure that its employees, in performance of the contract, receive annual training (or once if the contract is for less than one year) in HUD information technology security policies, procedures, computer ethics, and best practices in accordance with HUD Handbook 2400.25.

    (j) Access to contractor's systems. The Contractor shall afford authorized personnel, including the Office of Inspector General, access to the Contractor's facilities, installations, operations, documentation (including the compliance matrix required under paragraph (i)(2) of this clause), databases, and personnel used in performance of the contract. Access shall be provided to the extent required to carry out, but not limited to, any information security program activities, investigation, and audit to safeguard against threats and hazards to the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of HUD data and systems, or to the function of information systems operated on behalf of HUD, and to preserve evidence of computer crime.

    (k) Contractor compliance with this clause. Failure on the part of the contractor to comply with the terms of this clause may result in termination of this contract for default.

    (l) Physical access to Federal Government facilities. The contractor and any subcontractor(s) shall also comply with the requirements of HUDAR clause 2452.237-75 when the contractor's or subcontractor's employees will perform any work under this contract on site in a HUD or other Federal Government facility.

    (m) Subcontracts. The contractor shall incorporate this clause in all subcontracts where the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section are applicable to performance of the subcontract.

    (End of clause)
    30. Add section 2452.244-70 to read as follows:
    2452.244-70 Consent to subcontract.

    As prescribed in HUDAR Section 2444.204(a), insert the following clause in contracts and task orders with an estimated value exceeding $10,000,000.

    CONSENT TO SUBCONTRACT ([Insert month and year of publication of final rule])

    (a) Due to the substantive nature of subcontracting that may be necessary during performance of this contract, the Contracting Officer has determined that a consent for individual subcontracts is required to adequately protect the Government. Consent is required for—

    (1) Cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, or labor-hour subcontracts, or combination of such, in excess of $150,000 per year to a single subcontractor or consultant;

    (2) Fixed price subcontracts in excess of 25% of the annual contract value to a single subcontractor or consultant.

    (b) If subcontracts meeting the above parameters were not provided during the negotiation of the original contract award, the Contractor shall obtain post award consent and provide signed copies of the subcontract agreements within 10 days of consent.

    (c) The Contractor shall provide the Contracting Officer with 30 days advance notification prior to changing subcontractors or existing subcontracting agreements, unless precluded due to circumstances beyond the control of the contractor. If advance notification is not feasible, the Contractor shall provide notification to the Contracting Officer no later than 10 days after the Contractor identifies the need to replace a subcontractor. The notification shall include a copy of the proposed new subcontracting agreement. Upon consent and finalization of the final subcontract agreement, the Contractor shall provide a copy of the signed agreement to the Contracting Officer.

    (d) The Contracting Officer's consent to a subcontract does not constitute a determination of the acceptability of the subcontract terms or price, or of the allowability of costs.

    (e) If not required elsewhere in the contract, no more than 30 calendar days after award, the Contractor shall provide a separate continuity of services plan to the Contracting Officer that will ensure services performed by subcontractors that cost more than 25% of the cost/price of the contract will continue uninterrupted in the event of performance problems or default by the subcontractor.

    (End of clause)
    31. Add subpart 2452.3 to read as follows: Subpart 2452.3—Matrix 32. Add section 2452.3 to read as follows:
    2452.3 Provision and clause matrix.

    HUDAR Matrix.

    BILLING CODE 4210-67-P EP28MY15.004 EP28MY15.005 EP28MY15.006 EP28MY15.007 EP28MY15.008
    Dated: April 13, 2015. Keith W. Surber, Acting Chief Procurement Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12275 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-C
    80 102 Thursday, May 28, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No.: AMS-DA-15-0020] Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request a revision to the currently approved information collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading Services of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products, and the Certification of Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Equipment Used in the Slaughter, Processing, and Packaging of Livestock and Poultry Products.

    DATES:

    Comments received by July 27, 2015 will be considered.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments concerning this information collection document. Comments should be submitted online at www.regulations.gov or sent to Diane D. Lewis, USDA/AMS/Dairy Programs, Dairy Grading and Standardization Division, Room 2747-South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0230; Tel: (202) 690-0530, Fax: (202) 720-2643, or via email at [email protected].

    All comments will be posted without change, including any personal information provided, online at http://www.regulations.gov and will be made available for public inspection at the above physical address during business hours.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diane D. Lewis, at the above physical address, by telephone (202) 690-0530, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Reporting Requirements Under Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading Services of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products.

    OMB Number: 0581-0126.

    Expiration Date of Approval: October 31, 2015.

    Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA) of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.) directs the Department to develop programs which will provide for and facilitate the marketing of agricultural products. One of these programs is the USDA voluntary inspection and grading program for dairy products, its regulations are contained in (7 CFR part 58). The regulations governing the certification of sanitary design and fabrication of equipment used in the slaughter, processing, and packaging of livestock and poultry products are contained in (7 CFR part 54). In order for a voluntary inspection program to perform satisfactorily, there must be written requirements and rules for both Government and industry. The information requested is used to identify the products offered for grading; to identify a request from a manufacturer of equipment used in dairy, meat or poultry industries for evaluation regarding sanitary design and construction; to identify and contact the party responsible for payment of the inspection, grading or equipment evaluation fee and expense; and to identify applicants who wish to be authorized for the display of official identification on product packaging, materials, equipment, utensils, or on descriptive promotional materials.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .03 hours per response.

    Respondents: Dairy product manufacturers, consultants, installers, dairy equipment fabricators and meat and poultry processing equipment fabricators.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 681.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 13229.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 19.42.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 457 hours.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Erin M. Morris, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12813 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 21, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if they are received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296), Congress added a new Section [42 U.S.C. 179d] to develop and evaluate innovative strategies to “reduce the risk of childhood hunger or provide a significant improvement to the food security status of households with children.” This section mandates research on the causes and consequences of childhood hunger and the testing of innovative strategies to end childhood hunger and food insecurity.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will use the information gathered in the data collection activities to describe the five demonstration projects; to determine if the demonstration projects reduced food insecurity among children or households food insecurity for households with children; and to compare the relative effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the demonstration project across sites. The data being collected is necessary to meet the congressionally mandated requirement. Without the information, FNS will not be able to produce the required annual Report to Congress.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Not-for-profit institutions; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 22,593.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 32,144.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12818 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0037] Double-Crested Cormorant Management Plan To Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary Final Environmental Impact Statement; Record of Decision AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice advises the public of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's record of decision for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Double-Crested Cormorant Management Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement.

    DATES:

    Effective May 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may read the final environmental impact statement and the record of decision in our reading room. The reading room is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    The record of decision, final environmental impact statement, and supporting information may also be found by visiting the APHIS Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlifedamage/nepa. To obtain copies of the documents, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. David A. Bergsten, Assistant Chief, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238; (301) 851-3136.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register (80 FR 8081, Docket No. 2015-03068) a notice of the availability of an environmental impact statement (EIS) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for the Double-crested Cormorant Management Plan to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary. That notice was amended on February 20, 2015 (80 FR 9266-9267, Docket No. 2015-03524), to correctly identify the EIS as a final environmental impact statement (FEIS). The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) was a cooperating agency in the development of the Corps' FEIS and adopted the FEIS pursuant to the EPA notice published on May 1, 2015 (80 FR 24915, Docket 2015-10218).

    Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing regulations in 40 CFR 1506.10, an Agency must wait a minimum of 30 days between publication of the EPA's notice of an FEIS and an Agency decision on an action covered by the FEIS. Accordingly, this notice advises the public that the waiting period has elapsed, and USDA-WS has issued a record of decision to assist the Corps in the implementation of the preferred alternative of the Corps' FEIS.

    USDA-WS' record of decision has been prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of May 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-13000 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2013-0113] Dow AgroSciences LLC: Availability of a Preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment, Draft Environmental Assessment, Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact, and Preliminary Determination of Nonregulated Status for Cotton Genetically Engineered for Resistance to 2,4-D and Glufosinate AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a preliminary determination regarding a request from Dow AgroSciences LLC seeking a determination of nonregulated status for cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicides 2,4-D and glufosinate. We are also making available for public review and comment our preliminary plant pest risk assessment, draft environmental assessment, and preliminary finding of no significant impact for the preliminary determination of nonregulated status.

    DATES:

    We will consider any information that we receive on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit any information by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0113.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your information to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0113, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents for this petition and any other information we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0113 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    Supporting documents for this petition are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 13-262-01p.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3954, email: [email protected]. To obtain copies of the petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3892, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, “Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,” regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered “regulated articles.”

    The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. APHIS received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 13-262-01p) from Dow AgroSciences LLC (DAS) of Indianapolis, IN, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to certain broadleaf herbicides in the phenoxy auxin group (particularly the herbicide 2,4-D) and resistance to the herbicide glufosinate. The petition states that information collected during field trials and laboratory analyses indicates that cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7 is not likely to be a plant pest or result in weediness potential and therefore should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

    According to our process 1 for soliciting public comment when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status of GE organisms, APHIS accepts written comments regarding a petition once APHIS deems it complete. In a notice 2 published in the Federal Register on March 18, 2014 (79 FR 15096-15097, Docket No. APHIS-2013-0113), APHIS announced the availability of the DAS petition for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days ending on May 19, 2014, in order to help identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition. APHIS received 193 comments on the petition; 1 comment from a consumer organization included an attached petition with 31,947 signatures and 2,643 unique comments. Relevant issues raised by commenters focused on potential impacts to cotton plants from off-target drift, weed management, human health considerations from exposure to herbicides, and domestic and international economic impacts associated with the development and marketing of a new herbicide-resistant product. APHIS has evaluated the issues raised during the comment period and, where appropriate, has provided a discussion of these issues in our draft environmental assessment (EA).

    1 On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing our public review process for soliciting public comments and information when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms. To view the notice, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0129.

    2 To view the notice, the petition, and the comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0113.

    After public comments are received on a completed petition, APHIS evaluates those comments and then provides a second opportunity for public involvement in our decisionmaking process. According to our public review process (see footnote 1), the second opportunity for public involvement follows one of two approaches, as described below.

    If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises no substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 1 for public involvement. Under Approach 1, APHIS announces in the Federal Register the availability of APHIS' preliminary regulatory determination along with its draft EA, preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI), and its preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for a 30-day public review period. APHIS will evaluate any information received related to the petition and its supporting documents during the 30-day public review period. For this petition, we are using Approach 1.

    If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 2. Under Approach 2, APHIS first solicits written comments from the public on a draft EA and preliminary PPRA for a 30-day comment period through the publication of a Federal Register notice. Then, after reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and preliminary PPRA and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA and, based on the final EA, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement).

    As part of our decision making process regarding a GE organism's regulatory status, APHIS prepares a PPRA to assess the plant pest risk of the article. APHIS also prepares the appropriate environmental documentation—either an EA or an environmental impact statement—in accordance with NEPA, to provide the Agency and the public with a review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts that may result if the petition request is approved.

    APHIS has prepared a preliminary PPRA and has concluded that cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicides 2,4-D and glufosinate, is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. In section 403 of the Plant Protection Act, “plant pest” is defined as any living stage of any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of the foregoing.

    APHIS has also prepared a draft EA in which we present two alternatives based on our analysis of data submitted by DAS, a review of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight, and comments received on the petition. APHIS is considering the following alternatives: (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not change the regulatory status of cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7.

    The EA was prepared in accordance with (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). Based on our draft EA and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has prepared a preliminary FONSI with regard to the preferred alternative identified in the EA.

    Based on APHIS' analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by DAS, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the draft EA, the preliminary PPRA, comments provided by the public on the petition, and discussion of issues in the draft EA, APHIS has determined that cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. We have therefore reached a preliminary decision to make a determination of nonregulated status of cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, whereby cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7 would no longer be subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain GE organisms.

    We are making available for a 30-day review period APHIS' preliminary regulatory determination of cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, along with our preliminary PPRA, draft EA, and preliminary FONSI for the preliminary determination of nonregulated status. The draft EA, preliminary FONSI, preliminary PPRA, and our preliminary determination for cotton designated as DAS-8191Ø-7, as well as the DAS petition and the comments received on the petition, are available as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. Copies of these documents may also be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    After the 30-day review period closes, APHIS will review and evaluate any information received during the 30-day review period. If, after evaluating the information received, APHIS determines that we have not received substantive new information that would warrant APHIS altering our preliminary regulatory determination or FONSI, substantially changing the proposed action identified in the draft EA, or substantially changing the analysis of impacts in the draft EA, APHIS will notify the public through an announcement on our Web site of our final regulatory determination. If, however, APHIS determines that we have received substantive new information that would warrant APHIS altering our preliminary regulatory determination or FONSI, substantially changing the proposed action identified in the draft EA, or substantially changing the analysis of impacts in the draft EA, then APHIS will notify the public of our intent to conduct additional analysis and to prepare an amended EA, a new FONSI, and/or a revised PPRA, which would be made available for public review through the publication of a notice of availability in the Federal Register. APHIS will also notify the petitioner.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 21st day of May 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12817 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-34-2015] Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc.; Subzone 29F (Automotive Battery Management Systems); Harrodsburg, Kentucky

    The Louisville and Jefferson County Riverport Authority, grantee of FTZ 29, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. (HIAMS-HK), operator of Subzone 29F, at its facilities located in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 5, 2015.

    HIAMS-HK already has authority to produce various automotive components, including electric-hybrid drive systems, mass air sensors, throttle bodies and chambers, starter motors, motor/generator units, alternators, distributors, static converters, inverter modules, rotors/stators, batteries, ignition coils, sensors and modules, fuel injectors, emissions control equipment, valves, pumps, and electronic control units for engines and transmissions within Subzone 29F. The current request would add a new finished product (automotive battery management systems) and foreign components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt HIAMS-HK from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, HIAMS-HK would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to automotive battery management systems (1.7%) for the foreign status inputs noted below and in the existing scope of authority. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components sourced from abroad are: Battery management covers and bases (duty rate—1.7%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 7, 2015.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Pierre Duy at [email protected] or (202) 482-1378.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12927 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security

    In the matter of:

    Mahan Airways, Mahan Tower, No. 21, Azadegan St., M.A. Jenah Exp. Way, Tehran, Iran; Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard, a/k/a Kosarian Fard, P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Mahmoud Amini, G#22 Dubai Airport Free Zone, P.O. Box 393754, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mohamed Abdulla Alqaz Building, Al Maktoum Street, Al Rigga, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kerman Aviation, a/k/a GIE Kerman Aviation, 42 Avenue Montaigne 75008, Paris, France, Sirjanco Trading LLC, P.O. Box 8709, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ali Eslamian, 4th Floor, 33 Cavendish Square, London, W1G0PW, United Kingdom, and 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road St. Johns Wood, London NW87RY, United Kingdom, Mahan Air General Trading LLC, 19th Floor Al Moosa Tower One, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai 40594, United Arab Emirates, Skyco (UK) Ltd., 4th Floor, 33 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0PV, United Kingdom, Equipco (UK) Ltd., 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road, London, NW8 7RY, United Kingdom, Mehdi Bahrami, Mahan Airways—Istanbul Office, Cumhuriye Cad. Sibil Apt No: 101 D:6, 34374 Emadad, Sisli Istanbul, Turkey, Al Naser Airlines, a/k/a al-Naser Airlines, a/k/a Alnaser Airlines and Air Freight Ltd., Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Al Amirat Street, Section 309, St. 3/H.20, Al Mansour, Baghdad, Iraq and P.O. Box 28360, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and P.O. Box 911399, Amman 11191, Jordan, Ali Abdullah Alhay, a/k/a Ali Alhay, a/k/a Ali Abdullah Ahmed Alhay, Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Anak Street, Qatif, Saudi Arabia 61177, Bahar Safwa General Trading, PO Box 113212, Citadel Tower, Floor-5, Office #504, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and PO Box 8709, Citadel Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Modification of Temporary Denial Order To Add Additional Respondents

    Pursuant to Section 766.24 of the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2015) (“EAR” or the “Regulations”),1 I hereby grant the request of the Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”) to modify the January 16, 2015 Order Temporarily Denying the Export Privileges of Mahan Airways, Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard, Mahmoud Amini, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, Ali Eslamian, Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., Equipco (UK) Ltd., and Mehdi Bahrami.2 I find that modification of the Temporary Denial Order (“TDO”) is necessary in the public interest to prevent an imminent violation of the EAR. Specifically, I find it necessary to add the following persons as additional Respondents:

    1 The Regulations, currently codified at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2015), originally issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. app. §§ 2401-2420 (2000)). Since August 21, 2001, the Act has been in lapse and the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001 (3 CFR, 2001 Comp. 783 (2002)), which has been extended by successive Presidential Notices, the most recent being that of August 7, 2014 (79 FR 46,959 (Aug. 11, 2014)), has continued the Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701, et seq. (2006 & Supp. IV 2010)).

    2 The January 16, 2015 Renewal Order was published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 Fed Reg. 3552, Jan. 23, 2015).

    Al Naser Airlines, a/k/a al-Naser Airlines, a/k/a Alnaser Airlines and Air Freight Ltd., Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Al Amirat Street, Section 309, St. 3/H.20, Al Mansour, Baghdad, Iraq and P.O. Box 28360, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 911399, Amman 11191, Jordan Ali Abdullah Alhay, a/k/a Ali Alhay, a/k/a Ali Abdullah Ahmed Alhay, Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq and Anak Street, Qatif, Saudia Arabia 61177 Bahar Safwa General Trading, PO Box 113212, Citadel Tower, Floor-5, Office #504, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 8709, Citadel Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates I. Procedural History

    On March 17, 2008, Darryl W. Jackson, the then-Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement (“Assistant Secretary”), signed a TDO denying Mahan Airways' export privileges for a period of 180 days on the grounds that its issuance was necessary in the public interest to prevent an imminent violation of the Regulations. The TDO also named as denied persons Blue Airways, of Yerevan, Armenia (“Blue Airways of Armenia”), as well as the “Balli Group Respondents,” namely, Balli Group PLC, Balli Aviation, Balli Holdings, Vahid Alaghband, Hassan Alaghband, Blue Sky One Ltd., Blue Sky Two Ltd., Blue Sky Three Ltd., Blue Sky Four Ltd., Blue Sky Five Ltd., and Blue Sky Six Ltd., all of the United Kingdom. The TDO was issued ex parte pursuant to Section 766.24(a), and went into effect on March 21, 2008, the date it was published in the Federal Register.

    The TDO subsequently has been renewed in accordance with Section 766.24(d), including most recently on January 16, 2015.3 As of March 9, 2010, the Balli Group Respondents and Blue Airways were no longer subject to the TDO. As part of the February 25, 2011 TDO renewal, Gatewick LLC (a/k/a Gatewick Freight and Cargo Services, a/k/a Gatewick Aviation Services), Mahmoud Amini, and Pejman Mahmood Kosarayanifard (“Kosarian Fard”) were added as related persons in accordance with Section 766.23 of the Regulations.4 On July 1, 2011, the TDO was modified by adding Zarand Aviation as a respondent in order to prevent an imminent violation.5 As part of the August 24, 2011 renewal, Kerman Aviation, Sirjanco Trading LLC, and Ali Eslamian were added to the TDO as related persons. Mahan Air General Trading LLC, Skyco (UK) Ltd., and Equipco (UK) Ltd. were added as related persons on April 9, 2012. Mehdi Bahrami was added to the TDO as a related person as part of the February 4, 2013 renewal order.

    3 The TDO was renewed or modified in accordance with Section 766.24 of the Regulations on September 17, 2008, March 16, 2009, September 11, 2009, March 9, 2010, September 3, 2010, February 25, 2011, July 1, 2014, August 24, 2011, February 15, 2012, August 9, 2012, February 4, 2013, July 31, 2013, January 24, 2014, July 22, 2014, and most recently on January 16, 2015. Each renewal or modification order was published in the Federal Register.

    4 As of January 16, 2015, Gatewick LLC was no longer subject to the TDO. On August 13, 2014, BIS and Gatewick LLC resolved administrative charges against Gatewick, including a charge for acting contrary to the terms of a BIS denial order (15 CFR 764.2(k)). In addition to the payment of a civil penalty, the settlement includes a seven-year denial order. The first two years of the denial period are active, with the remaining five years suspended on condition that Gatewick LLC pays the civil penalty in full and timely fashion and commits no further violation of the Regulations during the seven-year denial period. The Gatewick LLC Final Order was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2014. See 79 FR 49283 (Aug. 20, 2014).

    5 As of July 22, 2014, Zarand Aviation was no longer subject to the TDO.

    On May 13, 2015, OEE submitted a written request seeking to modify the January 16, 2015 Renewal Order. OEE is specifically requesting that Al Naser Airlines (a/k/a al-Naser Airlines a/k/a Alnaser Airlines and Air Freight Ltd.), Ali Abdullah Alhay (a/k/a Ali Alhay a/k/a Ali Abdullah Ahmed Alhay), and Bahar Safwa General Trading be added to the TDO.

    II. Modification of the January 16, 2015 Renewal Order A. Legal Standard

    Pursuant to Section 766.24, BIS may issue or renew an order temporarily denying a respondent's export privileges upon a showing that the order is necessary in the public interest to prevent an “imminent violation” of the Regulations. 15 CFR 766.24(b)(1) and 776.24(d). “A violation may be `imminent' either in time or degree of likelihood.” 15 CFR 766.24(b)(3). BIS may show “either that a violation is about to occur, or that the general circumstances of the matter under investigation or case under criminal or administrative charges demonstrate a likelihood of future violations.” Id. As to the likelihood of future violations, BIS may show that the violation under investigation or charge “is significant, deliberate, covert and/or likely to occur again, rather than technical or negligent [.]” Id. A “lack of information establishing the precise time a violation may occur does not preclude a finding that a violation is imminent, so long as there is sufficient reason to believe the likelihood of a violation.” Id.

    B. OEE's Request To Add Additional Respondents to TDO

    In support of its request to modify the January 16, 2015 Renewal Order, OEE has presented evidence detailing apparent efforts by Al Naser Airlines and one of its principals, Ali Abdullah Alhay, acting together with Bahar Safwa General Trading, to obtain aircraft subject to the Regulations for export or reexport directly or indirectly to Mahan Airways or to facilitate or support such activities in violation of the TDO and the Regulations. The January 16, 2015 Renewal Order, like the July 22, 2014 Renewal Order (and the prior renewal order and original TDO), provides inter alia, that no person may, directly or indirectly, export or reexport to or on behalf of Mahan Airways any item subject to the EAR, or take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by Mahan of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby Mahan acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control. In addition, the export or reexport of the aircraft at issue and discussed further below requires U.S. Government authorization, including pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

    OEE's investigation indicates that at least two aircraft, specifically an Airbus A321 bearing manufacturer's serial number (“MSN”) 550 and an Airbus A340 bearing MSN 164, were purchased by Al Naser Airlines in late 2014/early 2015 and are currently located in Iran under the possession, control, and/or ownership of Mahan Airways.6

    6 Both of these aircraft are powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under Export Control Classification Number (“ECCN”) 9A991.d. Both aircraft contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR regardless of their location. The aircraft are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or re-export of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

    OEE has presented evidence that Ali Abdullah Alhay is a twenty-five percent owner of Al Naser Airlines, and has presented copies of sales agreements for the aircraft that have been obtained from the seller and show that Ali Abdullah Alhay signed both agreements for Al Naser Airlines.

    The sales agreement for Airbus A321 (MSN 550) is dated November 24, 2014, and lists a “Final Sale Date” of January 30, 2015. Payment information for the aircraft reveals that between November 2014 and January 2015, Ali Abdullah Alhay made two electronic funds transfers (“EFT”) in the amounts of $815,000 and $600,000 respectively. The majority of the purchase price for this aircraft was then paid via a January 20, 2015 EFT made by Bahar Safwa General Trading in the amount of $2.5 million.

    The sales agreement for the Airbus A340 (MSN 164) is dated December 17, 2014, and lists a “Final Sale Date” of December 23, 2014. Payment information also reveals a November 28, 2014 EFT from Bahar Safwa General Trading in the amount of $650,000.

    Aviation industry databases indicate that in or about May 2015, Mahan Airways acquired at least possession and/or control of MSNs 550 and 164, and that both aircraft are now physically located in Tehran, Iran.

    The proposed respondents also have been attempting to obtain other controlled aircraft, including aircraft physically located in the United States in similarly-patterned transactions during the same recent time period involving two Airbus A320s bearing MSNs 82 and 99, respectively.7 Transactional documents OEE has obtained from the seller again show Ali Abdullah Alhay signing all documents for Al Naser Airlines. Ali Abdullah Alhay signed an October 19, 2014 Letter of Intent for MSNs 82 and 99, as well as subsequent sales agreements each dated February 19, 2015.8 Both sales agreements list a “Final Sale Date” of March 6, 2015. A review of the payment information for these aircraft reveal three EFTs that follow the pattern described for MSNs 550 and 164 as discussed supra. The first EFT was a $450,000 commitment fee payment made by Ali Abdullah Alhay pursuant to the October 19, 2014 Letter of Intent. Subsequent EFTs in the amounts of $2 million and $986,000, respectively, were wired by Bahar Safwa General Trading in late February 2015, and specifically referenced MSNs 82 and 99.

    7 Both aircraft were physically located in the United States and therefore are subject to the Regulations pursuant to Section 734.3(a)(1). Moreover, these Airbus A320s are powered by U.S.-origin engines that are subject to the Regulations and classified under Export Control Classification Number (“ECCN”) 9A991.d. The Airbus A320s contain controlled U.S.-origin items valued at more than 10 percent of the total value of the aircraft and as a result are subject to the EAR regardless of the their location. The aircraft are classified under ECCN 9A991.b. The export or re-export of these aircraft to Iran requires U.S. Government authorization pursuant to Sections 742.8 and 746.7 of the Regulations.

    8 The October 19, 2014 Letter of Intent signed by Ali Abdullah Alhay also indicated that Al Naser Airlines intended to purchase a third Airbus A320 (MSN 317). This aircraft is not part of the sales agreements that have been obtained.

    Based on the risk of diversion to Iran, including specifically to Mahan Airways, both Airbus A320s were detained by OEE Special Agents prior to their planned export from the United States. This risk of diversion presented by these intended exports has been corroborated by the evidence presented in connection with the Airbus aircraft bearing MSNs 164 and 550 discussed, supra. In addition, recent reputable press reports have indicated that as many as seven other Airbus aircraft also were recently exported or reexported to Iran on behalf of or for the benefit of Mahan.

    C. Findings

    I find that the evidence presented by OEE demonstrates continued efforts to evade the TDO and that additional violations are imminent. Adding Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading to the TDO is necessary to give notice to persons and companies in the United States and abroad that they should cease dealing with these parties in export and re-export transactions involving items subject to the EAR or other activities prohibited by the TDO. Doing so is consistent with the public interest to preclude future violations of the EAR and prevent Mahan Airways' active efforts to evade the TDO.

    The export privileges of Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading are being temporarily denied on an ex parte basis without a hearing based upon BIS's showing of an imminent violation in accordance with Section 766.24 of the Regulations.

    IV. ORDER

    It is therefore ordered:

    First, that MAHAN AIRWAYS, Mahan Tower, No. 21, Azadegan St., M.A. Jenah Exp. Way, Tehran, Iran; PEJMAN MAHMOOD KOSARAYANIFARD A/K/A KOSARIAN FARD, P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; MAHMOUD AMINI, G#22 Dubai Airport Free Zone, P.O. Box 393754, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 52404, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mohamed Abdulla Alqaz Building, Al Maktoum Street, Al Rigga, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; KERMAN AVIATION A/K/A GIE KERMAN AVIATION, 42 Avenue Montaigne 75008, Paris, France; SIRJANCO TRADING LLC, P.O. Box 8709, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; ALI ESLAMIAN, 4th Floor, 33 Cavendish Square, London W1G0PW, United Kingdom, and 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road St. Johns Wood, London NW87RY, United Kingdom; MAHAN AIR GENERAL TRADING LLC, 19th Floor Al Moosa Tower One, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai 40594, United Arab Emirates; SKYCO (UK) LTD., 4th Floor, 33 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0PV, United Kingdom; EQUIPCO (UK) LTD., 2 Bentinck Close, Prince Albert Road, London, NW8 7RY, United Kingdom; MEHDI BAHRAMI, Mahan Airways- Istanbul Office, Cumhuriye Cad. Sibil Apt No: 101 D:6, 34374 Emadad, Sisli Istanbul, Turkey; AL NASER AIRLINES A/K/A AL-NASER AIRLINES A/K/A ALNASER AIRLINES AND AIR FREIGHT LTD., Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, and Al Amirat Street, Section 309, St. 3/H.20, Al Mansour, Baghdad, Iraq, and P.O. Box 28360, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and P.O. Box 911399, Amman 11191, Jordan; ALI ABDULLAH ALHAY A/K/A ALI ALHAY A/K/A ALI ABDULLAH AHMED ALHAY, Home 46, Al-Karrada, Babil Region, District 929, St 21, Beside Al Jadirya Private Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq, and Anak Street, Qatif, Saudi Arabia 61177; and BAHAR SAFWA GENERAL TRADING, P.O. Box 113212, Citadel Tower, Floor-5, Office #504, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and P.O. Box 8709, Citadel Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and when acting for or on their behalf, any successors or assigns, agents, or employees (each a “Denied Person” and collectively the “Denied Persons”) may not, directly or indirectly, participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology (hereinafter collectively referred to as “item”) exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), or in any other activity subject to the EAR including, but not limited to:

    A. Applying for, obtaining, or using any license, License Exception, or export control document;

    B. Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR; or

    C. Benefitting in any way from any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the EAR, or in any other activity subject to the EAR.

    Second, that no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

    A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of a Denied Person any item subject to the EAR;

    B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by a Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby a Denied Person acquires or attempts to acquire such ownership, possession or control;

    C. Take any action to acquire from or to facilitate the acquisition or attempted acquisition from a Denied Person of any item subject to the EAR that has been exported from the United States;

    D. Obtain from a Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the EAR with knowledge or reason to know that the item will be, or is intended to be, exported from the United States; or

    E. Engage in any transaction to service any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by a Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the EAR that has been or will be exported from the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, servicing means installation, maintenance, repair, modification or testing.

    Third, that, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in section 766.23 of the EAR, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to a Denied Person by affiliation, ownership, control, or position of responsibility in the conduct of trade or related services may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order.

    Fourth, that this Order does not prohibit any export, reexport, or other transaction subject to the EAR where the only items involved that are subject to the EAR are the foreign-produced direct product of U.S.-origin technology.

    In accordance with the provisions of Sections 766.24(e) of the EAR, Al Naser Airlines, Bahar Safwa General Trading, and/or Ali Abdullah Alhay may, at any time, appeal this Order by filing a full written statement in support of the appeal with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Coast Guard ALJ Docketing Center, 40 South Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022.

    In accordance with the provisions of Section 766.24(d) of the EAR, BIS may seek renewal of this Order by filing a written request not later than 20 days before the expiration date. A renewal request may be opposed by Al Nasser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, or Bahar Safwa General Trading as provided in Section 766.24(d), by filing a written submission with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, which must be received not later than seven days before the expiration date of the Order.

    A copy of this Order shall be provided to Al Naser Airlines, Ali Abdullah Alhay, and Bahar Safwa General Trading and shall be published in the Federal Register. This Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until July 14, 2015, unless renewed in accordance with Section 766.24(d) of the Regulations.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. David W. Mills, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12851 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-929] Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Rescission of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On September 30, 2014, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated the antidumping duty new shipper review of small diameter graphite electrodes from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period of review (POR) of February 1, 2014, through August 31, 2014, for Xuzhou Jianglong Carbon Products Co., Ltd. (Jianglong).1 We preliminarily determine that Jianglong does not qualify as a new shipper and we are preliminarily rescinding this new shipper review.

    1See Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review, 79 FR 58742 (September 30, 2014) (Initiation Notice).

    DATES:

    Effective date: May 28, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hermes Pinilla or Minoo Hatten, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3477 or (202) 482-1690, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the order includes all small diameter graphite electrodes of any length, whether or not finished, of a kind used in furnaces, with a nominal or actual diameter of 400 millimeters (16 inches) or less, and whether or not attached to a graphite pin joining system or any other type of joining system or hardware. The subject merchandise is currently classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 8545.11.0010 2 and 3801.10. The HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, but the written description of the scope is dispositive. A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.3

    2 The scope described in the order refers to the HTSUS subheading 8545.11.0000. We note that, starting in 2010, imports of small diameter graphite electrodes are classified in the HTSUS under subheading 8545.11.0010 and imports of large diameter graphite electrodes are classified under subheading 8545.11.0020.

    3See Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review: Small Diameter Graphite Electrodes from the People's Republic of China” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with these results and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Methodology

    We are conducting this new shipper review in accordance with section 751(a)(2)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.214. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and in the Central Records Unit, Room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be found at http://www.enforcment.trade.gov/frn/.

    Preliminary Rescission of Review

    Based on information placed on the record by interested parties in the context of this new shipper review, we determine that Jianglong does not meet the minimum requirements in its request for a new shipper review under 19 CFR 351.214(b)(2)(iv)(A) and (C). Therefore, we preliminarily determine that it is appropriate to rescind the new shipper review with respect to Jianglong.4

    4 We have not conducted a detailed bona fides analysis for these preliminary results due to the preliminary decision that Jianglong is not eligible for a new shipper review. See Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We will disclose analysis performed to parties to the proceeding, normally not later than ten days after the day of the public announcement of, or, if there is no public announcement, within five days after the date of publication of, this notice.5

    5See 19 CFR 351.224(b)

    Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results and submit written arguments or case briefs within 30 days after the publication of this notice, unless otherwise notified by the Department.6 Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, will be due five days later.7 Parties who submit case or rebuttal briefs are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; and (2) a brief summary of the argument. Parties are requested to provide a summary of the arguments not to exceed five pages and a table of statutes, regulations, and cases cited.

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Any interested party who wishes to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request within 30 dates after the day of publication of this notice. A request should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed.8 Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in case briefs.

    8See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    We will issue the final rescission of this new shipper review or final results of this new shipper review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised in any briefs, within 90 days after the date on which this preliminary rescission is issued, unless the deadline for the final results is extended.9

    9See 19 CFR 351.214(i).

    Assessment Rates

    Jianglong's entries are currently subject to the PRC-wide rate. Although we intend to rescind this new shipper review, we initiated an administrative review for the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015, which also covers the entries subject to this new shipper review.10 Accordingly, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend entries during the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015, of subject merchandise exported by Jianglong until CBP receives instructions relating to the administrative review covering the period February 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015.

    10See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 18202, 18212 (April 3, 2015).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Effective upon publication of the final rescission or the final results of this new shipper review, we will instruct CBP to discontinue the option of posting a bond or security in lieu of a cash deposit for entries of subject merchandise by Jianglong. If we proceed to a final rescission of this new shipper review, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the PRC-wide rate for Jianglong. If we issue final results of the new shipper review, we will instruct CBP to collect cash deposits, effective upon the publication of the final results, at the rate established therein.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    This new shipper review and notice are in accordance with sections 751(a)(2)(B) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.214(f).

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Discussion of Methodology 5. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-12930 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket No. 150515451-5451-01] RIN 0693-XC049 Request for Information Regarding Online Platforms To Promote Federal Science and Technology Facilities, Products, and Services AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice; Request for Information (RFI)

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other member laboratories of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) offer a variety of specialized scientific and technical facilities, products, and services to the public, including access to instrumentation, reference materials, software, and calibrations. Access to such services is provided in a variety of ways, and may require the payment of fees or other costs and/or an application or agreement. NIST and other members of the FLC request information from the public regarding recommendations for online platforms that can broaden awareness and make it easier for the public to search for, locate, learn about, and obtain access to these facilities, products, and services. The information received in response to this RFI will be provided by NIST to various interagency groups for consideration and used to publicize various federal facilities and resources.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on June 29, 2015. Written comments in response to the RFI should be submitted according to the instructions in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Submissions received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic comments regarding the RFI should be addressed to Dr. Courtney Silverthorn by email to [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Courtney Silverthorn, Senior Interagency Policy Specialist, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Technology Partnerships Office, 100 Bureau Drive MS 2200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, 301-975-4189, or by email to [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Private sector online platforms could improve the availability of scientific and technical resources and services in a number of ways. For example, a private sector online platform might maintain a database of such resources and provide a simple way for a member of the public to initiate access. NIST and other member laboratories will evaluate submitted platforms for technology and research capability matches and may contact appropriate platforms directly to arrange for possible publication of specific facilities, products, and/or services. NIST and other members of the FLC are especially interested in recommendations that can broaden awareness and improve access at no cost to the government.

    As part of the Open Data initiative, NIST and other members of the FLC can make data about the resources of interest available to the public. For examples, see:

    https://flcbusiness.federallabs.org/FLCBiz/app/search-equipment-and-facilities

    http://www.nist.gov/user-facilities.cfm

    http://www.nist.gov/calibrations/

    http://www.nist.gov/srm/index.cfm

    http://www.nist.gov/srd/index.cfm

    To respond to this RFI, please submit written comments by email to Dr. Courtney Silverthorn at [email protected] in any of the following formats: ASCII; Word; RTF; or PDF. Please include your name, organization's name (if any), and cite “Online Technology Platforms RFI” in the subject line of all correspondence.

    NIST is specifically interested in receiving input pertaining to the following questions:

    (1) What is the web address of the online platform you are recommending? Is the platform specific to a particular research sector (i.e. molecular biology, physical sciences, calibration services, etc.) or is it a general platform?

    (2) What is the cost model of the online platform you are recommending? Is there a listing fee, a percentage of the service fee retained, or is it a no-cost information listing only?

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 3710(g).

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12839 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD075 Endangered Species; File No. 18136 AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of permit modification.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Larry Wood, LDWood BioConsulting, Inc., 425 Kennedy Street, Jupiter, FL 33468 has been issued a modification to scientific research Permit No. 18136.

    ADDRESSES:

    The modification and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone: (301) 427-8401; fax: (301) 713-0376.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Hapeman or Brendan Hurley; phone: (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On February 3, 2015, notice was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 5739) that a modification of Permit No. 18136, issued September 30, 2014 (79 FR 74712), had been requested by the above-named individual. The requested modification has been granted under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226).

    Permit No. 18136 authorizes the permit holder to continue to describe the abundance and movements of an aggregation of hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) found on the barrier reefs of southeast Florida. Up to 50 sea turtles may be approached during dives for observation and photographs annually. Up to 25 additional animals may be hand captured, measured, flipper and passive integrated transponder tagged, photographed, tissue sampled, and released annually. Twelve hawksbills may be captured for the above procedures and fitted with a satellite transmitter prior to their release annually. The permit has been modified to authorize work in the waters of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The permit is valid through September 30, 2019.

    Issuance of this modification, as required by the ESA was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered or threatened species, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

    Dated: May 19, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12744 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Gulf of Alaska Trawl Groundfish Fishery Rationalization Social Study—Catcher Processor Socio-Cultural Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (request for a new information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 495.

    Average Hours per Response: Catcher-Processor Company Management survey, 1 hour; Catcher-Processor Shipboard Management and Catcher-Processor Deck and Processing Crew surveys, 30 minutes each.

    Burden Hours: 255.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for a new information collection.

    Historically, changes in fisheries management regulations have been shown to result in impacts to individuals within the fishery. An understanding of social impacts in fisheries—achieved through the collection of data on fishing communities, as well as on individuals who fish—is a requirement under several federal laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) (as amended 2007). The collection of this data not only helps to inform legal requirements for the existing management actions, but will inform future management actions requiring equivalent information.

    Fisheries rationalization programs have an impact on those individuals participating in the affected fishery, as well as their communities and may also have indirect effects on other fishery participants. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering the implementation of a new, yet to be defined, rationalization program for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish trawl fishery. A data collection was conducted in 2014 (OMB Control No. 0648-0685) to obtain relevant socio-cultural information about current participants in most sectors of this fishery.

    The proposed data collection complements this 2014 effort by collecting comparable information from individuals participating in the catcher processor fleet that operates in the North Pacific. The data collected will be used to develop a baseline description of the catcher processor sector operating in the North Pacific that can be used to analyze impacts that future fisheries management changes, such as the new bycatch management changes being developed for the Gulf of Alaska trawl fishery, may have on catcher processor businesses, as well as individuals and communities that are dependent on this sector. The measurement of these changes, combined with those noted in the 2014 survey, will lead to a greater understanding of the social impacts new management measures may have on the individuals and communities.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12885 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID DoD-2015-OS-0027] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by June 29, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Department of Defense Inventory of Contracts for Services Compliance; OMB Control Number 0704-0491.

    Type of Request: Extension.

    Number of Respondents: 48,884.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 48,884.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 4,074.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to allow all DoD organizations to fully implement sections 235 and 2330a of title 10, United States Code. The information requested, such as the Reporting Period, Contract number, Task/Delivery Order Number, Customer Name and Address, Contracting Office Name and Address, Federal Supply Class or Service Code, Contractor Name and Address, Value of Contract Instrument, and the Number and Value of Direct Labor Hours will be used to facilitate the accurate identification of the function performed and to facilitate the estimate of the reliability of the data. The Direct Labor Hours are requested for use in calculating contractor manpower equivalents. This information is reported directly from the contractor because this is the most credible data source.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Not-for profit institutions.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra at the Office of Management and Budget, Desk Officer for DoD, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    You may also submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by the following method:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    DOD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12868 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates AGENCY:

    Defense Travel Management Office, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Revised Non-Foreign Overseas Per Diem Rates.

    SUMMARY:

    The Defense Travel Management Office is publishing Civilian Personnel Per Diem Bulletin Number 296. This bulletin lists revisions in the per diem rates prescribed for U.S. Government employees for official travel in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and Possessions of the United States when applicable. AEA changes announced in Bulletin Number 194 remain in effect. Bulletin Number 296 is being published in the Federal Register to assure that travelers are paid per diem at the most current rates.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Sonia Malik, 571-372-1276.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document gives notice of revisions in per diem rates prescribed by the Defense Travel Management Office for non-foreign areas outside the contiguous United States. It supersedes Civilian Personnel Per Diem Bulletin Number 295. Per Diem Bulletins published periodically in the Federal Register now constitute the only notification of revisions in per diem rates to agencies and establishments outside the Department of Defense. For more information or questions about per diem rates, please contact your local travel office. Civilian Bulletin 296 includes updated rates for American Samoa, Hawaii, Midway Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Maximum Per Diem Rates for Official Travel in Alaska, Hawaii, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Islands and Possessions of the United States by Federal Government Civilian Employees Locality Maximum lodging amount
  • (A)
  • + Meals and incidentals rate
  • (B)
  • = Maximum per diem rate
  • (C)
  • Effective date
    ALASKA: [OTHER] 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 ADAK 11/01-03/31 150 70 220 03/01/2015 04/01-10/31 192 74 266 03/01/2015 ANCHORAGE [INCL NAV RES] 05/16-09/30 190 102 292 12/01/2013 10/01-05/15 99 93 192 12/01/2013 BARROW 01/01-12/31 177 78 255 03/01/2015 BARTER ISLAND LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 04/01/2015 BETHEL 01/01-12/31 179 94 273 03/01/2015 BETTLES 01/01-12/31 175 79 254 03/01/2015 CAPE LISBURNE LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 CAPE NEWENHAM LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 CAPE ROMANZOF LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 CLEAR AB 01/01-12/31 90 82 172 10/01/2006 COLD BAY LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 COLDFOOT 01/01-12/31 165 70 235 10/01/2006 COPPER CENTER 05/15-09/15 130 79 209 03/01/2015 09/16-05/14 89 75 164 03/01/2015 CORDOVA 01/01-12/31 95 77 172 03/01/2015 CRAIG 04/01-09/30 129 77 206 06/01/2014 10/01-03/31 85 72 157 06/01/2014 DEADHORSE 01/01-12/31 170 70 240 05/01/2014 DELTA JUNCTION 05/01-09/30 169 60 229 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 139 57 196 03/01/2015 DENALI NATIONAL PARK 06/01-08/31 185 89 274 03/01/2015 09/01-05/31 109 82 191 03/01/2015 DILLINGHAM 05/15-10/15 185 111 296 01/01/2011 10/16-05/14 169 109 278 01/01/2011 DUTCH HARBOR—UNALASKA 01/01-12/31 135 79 214 03/01/2015 EARECKSON AIR STATION 01/01-12/31 90 77 167 06/01/2007 EIELSON AFB 05/15-09/15 154 85 239 03/01/2015 09/16-05/14 75 77 152 03/01/2015 ELFIN COVE 01/01-12/31 225 68 293 03/01/2015 ELMENDORF AFB 05/16-09/30 190 102 292 12/01/2013 10/01-05/15 99 93 192 12/01/2013 FAIRBANKS 05/15-09/15 154 85 239 03/01/2015 09/16-05/14 75 77 152 03/01/2015 FOOTLOOSE 01/01-12/31 175 18 193 10/01/2002 FORT YUKON LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 FT. GREELY 05/01-09/30 169 60 229 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 139 57 196 03/01/2015 FT. RICHARDSON 05/16-09/30 190 102 292 12/01/2013 10/01-05/15 99 93 192 12/01/2013 FT. WAINWRIGHT 05/15-09/15 154 85 239 03/01/2015 09/16-05/14 75 77 152 03/01/2015 GAMBELL 01/01-12/31 133 59 192 03/01/2015 GLENNALLEN 09/16-05/14 89 75 164 03/01/2015 05/15-09/15 130 79 209 03/01/2015 HAINES 01/01-12/31 107 101 208 01/01/2011 HEALY 06/01-08/31 185 89 274 03/01/2015 09/01-05/31 109 82 191 03/01/2015 HOMER 05/01-09/30 159 91 250 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 89 84 173 03/01/2015 JB ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON 05/16-09/30 190 102 292 12/01/2014 10/01-05/15 99 93 192 12/01/2014 JUNEAU 10/01-04/30 135 88 223 03/01/2015 05/01-09/30 159 90 249 03/01/2015 KAKTOVIK 01/01-12/31 165 86 251 10/01/2002 KAVIK CAMP 01/01-12/31 250 71 321 03/01/2015 KENAI-SOLDOTNA 05/01-10/31 194 107 301 03/01/2015 11/01-04/30 84 96 180 03/01/2015 KENNICOTT 01/01-12/31 229 102 331 03/01/2015 KETCHIKAN 04/01-10/01 140 90 230 03/01/2015 10/02-03/31 99 85 184 03/01/2015 KING SALMON 10/02-04/30 125 81 206 10/01/2002 05/01-10/01 225 91 316 10/01/2002 KING SALMON LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 KLAWOCK 10/01-03/31 85 72 157 06/01/2014 04/01-09/30 129 77 206 06/01/2014 KODIAK 05/01-09/30 180 82 262 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 100 74 174 03/01/2015 KOTZEBUE 01/01-12/31 219 95 314 03/01/2015 KULIS AGS 05/16-09/30 190 102 292 12/01/2013 10/01-05/15 99 93 192 12/01/2013 MCCARTHY 01/01-12/31 229 102 331 03/01/2015 MCGRATH 01/01-12/31 160 82 242 07/01/2014 MURPHY DOME 09/16-05/14 75 77 152 03/01/2015 05/15-09/15 154 85 239 03/01/2015 NOME 01/01-12/31 165 108 273 03/01/2015 NUIQSUT 01/01-12/31 233 69 302 03/01/2015 OLIKTOK LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 PETERSBURG 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 POINT BARROW LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 POINT HOPE 01/01-12/31 181 81 262 06/01/2014 POINT LAY 01/01-12/31 265 72 337 07/01/2014 POINT LAY LRRS 01/01-12/31 265 72 337 04/01/2015 POINT LONELY LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 PORT ALEXANDER 01/01-12/31 155 61 216 03/01/2015 PORT ALSWORTH 01/01-12/31 135 88 223 10/01/2002 PRUDHOE BAY 01/01-12/31 170 70 240 05/01/2014 SELDOVIA 10/01-04/30 89 84 173 03/01/2015 05/01-09/30 159 91 250 03/01/2015 SEWARD 05/01-09/30 207 104 311 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 169 100 269 03/01/2015 SITKA-MT. EDGECUMBE 05/15-09/15 200 99 299 03/01/2015 09/16-05/14 139 93 232 03/01/2015 SKAGWAY 04/01-10/01 140 90 230 03/01/2015 10/02-03/31 99 85 184 03/01/2015 SLANA 10/01-04/30 99 55 154 02/01/2005 05/01-09/30 139 55 194 02/01/2005 SPARREVOHN LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 SPRUCE CAPE 10/01-04/30 100 74 174 03/01/2015 05/01-09/30 180 82 262 03/01/2015 ST. GEORGE 01/01-12/31 220 68 288 03/01/2015 TALKEETNA 01/01-12/31 100 89 189 10/01/2002 TANANA 01/01-12/31 165 108 273 03/01/2015 TATALINA LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 TIN CITY LRRS 01/01-12/31 110 99 209 03/01/2015 TOK 05/15-09/30 100 72 172 03/01/2015 10/01-05/14 79 70 149 03/01/2015 UMIAT 01/01-12/31 350 80 430 03/01/2015 VALDEZ 09/17-04/15 109 90 199 03/01/2015 04/16-09/16 189 98 287 03/01/2015 WAINWRIGHT 01/01-12/31 175 83 258 01/01/2011 WASILLA 05/01-09/30 125 92 217 03/01/2015 10/01-04/30 90 89 179 03/01/2015 WRANGELL 04/01-10/01 140 90 230 03/01/2015 10/02-03/31 99 85 184 03/01/2015 YAKUTAT 01/01-12/31 105 94 199 01/01/2011 AMERICAN SAMOA: AMERICAN SAMOA 01/01-12/31 139 69 208 06/01/2015 GUAM: GUAM (INCL ALL MIL INSTAL) 01/01-12/31 159 84 243 12/01/2013 JOINT REGION MARIANAS (ANDERSEN) 01/01-12/31 159 84 243 04/01/2015 JOINT REGION MARIANAS (NAVAL BASE) 01/01-12/31 159 84 243 04/01/2015 HAWAII: [OTHER] 01/01-12/31 142 108 250 06/01/2015 CAMP H M SMITH 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 EASTPAC NAVAL COMP TELE AREA 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 FT. DERUSSEY 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 FT. SHAFTER 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 HICKAM AFB 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 HONOLULU 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 ISLE OF HAWAII: HILO 01/01-12/31 142 108 250 06/01/2015 ISLE OF HAWAII: OTHER 01/01-12/31 189 142 331 06/01/2015 ISLE OF KAUAI 01/01-12/31 305 146 451 06/01/2015 ISLE OF MAUI 01/01-12/31 259 146 405 06/01/2015 ISLE OF OAHU 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 JB PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 KEKAHA PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FAC 01/01-12/31 305 146 451 06/01/2015 KILAUEA MILITARY CAMP 01/01-12/31 142 108 250 06/01/2015 LANAI 01/01-12/31 229 103 332 06/01/2015 LUALUALEI NAVAL MAGAZINE 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 MCB HAWAII 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 MOLOKAI 01/01-12/31 157 86 243 06/01/2015 NAS BARBERS POINT 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 PEARL HARBOR 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 PMRF BARKING SANDS 01/01-12/31 305 146 451 06/01/2015 SCHOFIELD BARRACKS 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD 01/01-12/31 177 117 294 06/01/2015 MIDWAY ISLANDS: MIDWAY ISLANDS 01/01-12/31 125 81 206 06/01/2015 NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS: [OTHER] 01/01-12/31 99 97 196 08/01/2014 ROTA 01/01-12/31 130 104 234 08/01/2014 SAIPAN 01/01-12/31 140 96 236 12/01/2013 TINIAN 01/01-12/31 99 97 196 08/01/2014 PUERTO RICO: [OTHER] 01/01-12/31 109 112 221 06/01/2012 AGUADILLA 01/01-12/31 124 76 200 10/01/2012 BAYAMON 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 CAROLINA 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 CEIBA 01/01-12/31 139 92 231 10/01/2012 CULEBRA 01/01-12/31 150 98 248 03/01/2012 FAJARDO [INCL ROOSEVELT RDS NAVSTAT] 01/01-12/31 139 92 231 10/01/2012 FT. BUCHANAN [INCL GSA SVC CTR, GUAYNABO 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 HUMACAO 01/01-12/31 139 92 231 10/01/2012 LUIS MUNOZ MARIN IAP AGS 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 LUQUILLO 01/01-12/31 139 92 231 10/01/2012 MAYAGUEZ 01/01-12/31 109 112 221 09/01/2010 PONCE 01/01-12/31 149 89 238 09/01/2012 RIO GRANDE 01/01-12/31 169 123 292 06/01/2012 SABANA SECA [INCL ALL MILITARY] 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 SAN JUAN & NAV RES STA 01/01-12/31 195 128 323 09/01/2010 VIEQUES 01/01-12/31 175 95 270 03/01/2012 VIRGIN ISLANDS (U.S.): ST. CROIX 04/15-12/14 247 110 357 06/01/2015 12/15-04/14 299 116 415 06/01/2015 ST. JOHN 04/15-12/14 163 98 261 05/01/2006 12/15-04/14 220 104 324 05/01/2006 ST. THOMAS 04/15-12/14 240 105 345 05/01/2006 12/15-04/14 299 111 410 05/01/2006 WAKE ISLAND: WAKE ISLAND 01/01-12/31 173 66 239 07/01/2014
    [FR Doc. 2015-12874 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0071] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Evaluation of the Pell Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0071 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E115, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Daphne Garcia, (202) 219-2024.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Evaluation of the Pell Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0892.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 4,904.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,416.

    Abstract: The Pell Grant Experiments evaluation is a two-part, seven-year demonstration study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on the effects of expanded access to Pell grants on students' educational outcomes, employment and earnings. The primary outcome of interest is (1) educational enrollment and completion, and (2) measures of student debt and financial aid while secondary outcomes include (3) the employment status and earnings of students who participate in the study.

    This study consists of two experiments, each of which will examine the impact of a single change to the Pell grant eligibility criteria. The first experiment will relax the prohibition on receipt of Pell grants by students with a bachelors' degree. Individuals eligible for the first experiment must have a bachelor's degree, be unemployed or underemployed, and pursue a vocational training program up to one year in duration. The second experiment will reduce the minimum duration and intensity levels of programs that Pell grant recipients must participate in from 15 weeks with 600 minimum clock hours to 8 weeks with 150 minimum clock hours. Each experiment will operate through a set of PGE schools that provide education and training services that qualify as PGE programs.

    Participants in both experiments will be randomly assigned to either (1) a treatment group, which will have expanded access to Pell grants; or (2) a control group, which will not have access. Within both experiments, the treatment group will be very similar to the control at the time of random assignment except for access to Pell grants. Subsequent differences in the employment and earnings outcomes between treatment and control group members can then be attributed to Pell grant access. The first experiment will involve roughly 27 PGE schools with an average of 25 students participating per school. The second experiment will involve roughly 27 PGE schools with an average of 100 participating students per school. The expected sample of both experiments combined is approximately 3,375 students. Data for this evaluation will come from participants' FAFSA applications, PGE school administrative records, and SSA earnings statements. The study participant enrollment period is expected to last from November 2012 to June 2016. A data extracts from FAFSA applications will occur in July 2018. Administrative data extracts from PGE schools will occur between January and March during years 2015-2018.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12777 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting: correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 15, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of open meeting announcing a meeting on June 18, 2015 of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Paducah (80 FR 27941). This document makes a correction to that notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Woodard, Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Paducah Site Office, 1017 Majestic Drive, Suite 200, Lexington, Kentucky 40513, (270) 441-6820.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of May 15, 2015, in FR Doc. 2015-11788, on page 27942, please make the following correction:

    In that notice under DATES, first column, second paragraph, the meeting date has been changed. The new date is June 25, 2015 instead of June 18, 2015.

    Issued at Washington, DC on May 20, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12892 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). SEAB was reestablished pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) (the Act). This notice is provided in accordance with the Act.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    Applied Research Center, 301 Gateway Drive, Garden Room, Aiken, SC 29808.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Gibson, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone (202) 586-3787; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Board was established to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department's basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues, and other activities as directed by the Secretary.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the quarterly meeting of the Board.

    Tentative Agenda: The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on June 17th. The tentative meeting agenda includes updates on the work of the SEAB task forces, briefings on topics of interest from DOE and Savannah River National Laboratory, and an opportunity for comments from the public. The meeting will conclude at 12:30 p.m. Agenda updates will be posted on the SEAB Web site prior to the meeting: www.energy.gov/seab.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Individuals who would like to attend must RSVP to Karen Gibson no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at [email protected] Please provide your name, organization, citizenship, and contact information. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present government issued identification.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 5 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should register to do so beginning at 8:30 a.m. on June 17th.

    Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Karen Gibson, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20585, email to [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available on the SEAB Web site or by contacting Ms. Gibson. She may be reached at the postal address or email address above, or by visiting SEAB's Web site at www.energy.gov/seab.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12893 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RD15-2-000] Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-725G); Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of information collection and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D) and the Office of Management and Budget's implementing regulations, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the information collection, FERC-725G (Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: PRC Standards), as modified in this docket. The Commission previously published a notice in the Federal Register (80 FR 13528, 3/16/2015) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding the proposed revision to this information collection must be received on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by Docket Number RD15-2, may be filed in the following ways:

    eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.

    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/help/submission-guide.asp. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support by email at [email protected], or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Brown may be reached by email at [email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: FERC-725G (Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: PRC Standards).

    OMB Control No.: 1902-0252.

    Type of Request: Three-year extension of the FERC-725G information collection requirements as modified in Docket No. RD15-2.

    Abstract: The Commission is submitting Reliability Standard PRC-006-2 to OMB under FERC-725G 1 for review of the reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    1 In 2012, the Commission initially approved Reliability Standard PRC-006-1. Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding and Load Shedding Plans Reliability Standards, Order No. 763, 139 FERC ¶ 61,098, order granting clarification, 140 FERC ¶ 61,164 (2012). The Commission included Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 under FERC-725A (OMB Control No. 1902-0244). The entire burden associated with Reliability Standard PRC-006-2 (for new requirements as well as those unchanged from PRC-006-1) will be added to FERC-725G. In the future, the burden (an estimated 12,672 hours) associated with Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 will be removed from FERC-725A, to remove the temporary double counting of those hours.

    The Commission requires the information collected by the FERC-725G to implement the statutory provisions of section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA).2 On August 8, 2005, Congress enacted into law the Electricity Modernization Act of 2005, which is Title XII, Subtitle A, of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005).3 EPAct 2005 added a new section 215 to the FPA, which required a Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, which are subject to Commission review and approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by the ERO subject to Commission oversight, or the Commission can independently enforce Reliability Standards.4

    2 16 U.S.C. 824o (2012).

    3 Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-58, Title XII, Subtitle A, 119 Stat. 594, 941 (codified at 16 U.S.C. 824o).

    4 16 U.S.C. 824o(e)(3).

    On February 3, 2006, the Commission issued Order No. 672, implementing section 215 of the FPA.5 Pursuant to Order No. 672, the Commission certified one organization, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), as the ERO.6 The Reliability Standards developed by the ERO and approved by the Commission apply to users, owners and operators of the Bulk-Power System as set forth in each Reliability Standard.

    5Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,212 (2006).

    6North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062, order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), order on compliance, 118 FERC ¶ 61,190, order on reh'g, 119 FERC ¶ 61,046 (2007), aff'd sub nom. Alcoa Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

    In Order No. 763, the Commission approved Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, but directed NERC to include explicit language in a subsequent version of the Reliability Standard clarifying that applicable entities are required to implement corrective actions identified by the planning coordinator in accordance with a schedule established by the same planning coordinator.

    NERC filed a petition on December 15, 2014 requesting approval of proposed Reliability Standard PRC-006-2 addressing the Commission's directive in Order No. 763. The NERC petition states that the “[p]roposed Reliability Standard PRC-006-2, through proposed new Requirement R15, and proposed enhanced language of the existing Requirements R9 and R10, requires the Planning Coordinator to develop a schedule for implementation of any necessary corrective actions, and requires that the applicable entities will implement these corrective actions according to the schedule established by the Planning Coordinator.”

    Reliability Standard PRC-006-2 was approved on 3/4/2015 in a Delegated Order.7

    7 The Order in Docket No. RD15-2 is available at http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/opennat.asp?fileID=13793463.

    Type of Respondents: Planning coordinators, UFLS entities (as they are defined in the proposed Reliability Standard) and transmission owners that own elements identified in the underfrequency load shedding programs established by the planning coordinators.

    Estimate of Annual Burden:8 Our estimate below regarding the number of respondents is based on the NERC compliance registry as of May 5, 2015. According to the NERC compliance registry, there are 80 planning coordinators. The individual burden estimates are based on the time needed to gather data, develop corrective action plans and schedules to perform assessments of the underfrequency load shedding programs. Additionally, documentation and the review of underfrequency load shedding program results by supervisors and management is included in the administrative estimations. These are consistent with estimates for similar tasks in other Commission approved standards.

    8 The Commission defines “burden” as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a federal agency. For additional information, see 5 CFR 1320.3.

    Estimates for the additional burden and cost imposed by the order in Docket No. RD15-2-000 follow.9

    9 The only changes to Requirements R9 and R10 and associated measures and evidence retention in Reliability Standard PRC-006-2 (from PRC-006-1) were enhancements to the language which do not impact the cost of implementation. The modifications provide additional clarity and do not affect burden or cost.

    10 The number of respondents is based on the NERC compliance registry as January 30, 2015.

    11 The estimates for cost per hour (salary plus benefits) are based on the May 2013 figures of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (posted as of February 9, 2015 at http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics3_221000.htm).

    • $72.92/hour [($84.96 + $60.87)/2], the average of the salary plus benefits for a manager ($84.96/hour) and an electrical engineer ($60.87/hour), is used for the hourly cost for the reporting requirements associated with Requirement R15 and Measure M15.

    • $29.01/hour, the salary plus benefits for a file clerk, is used for the hourly cost for the evidence retention requirements associated with Requirement R15 and Measure M15.

    12 The requirements include: Requirement R15 and Measure M15 and evidence retention (planning coordinator that conducts underfrequency load shedding design assessment under Requirements R4, R5, or R12 and determines underfrequency load shedding program does not meet the performance characteristics in Requirement R3, develops corrective action plans and schedule for implementation by UFLS entities within its area).

    FERC-725G, as Modified in RD15-2 [Due to approval of PRC-006-2] Number and type of
  • respondent 10
  • Annual number of responses per respondent Total
  • number of
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (hours)
  • Total annual burden
  • (hours)
  • Total annual cost 11
    (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) ($) Reporting and recordkeeping requirements 12 80 planning coordinators 1 80 52 hrs. (47 hrs. for reporting requirements, and 5 hrs. for record retention requirements) 4,160 hrs. (3,760 hrs. for reporting requirements, and 400 hrs. for record retention requirements) $285,783 ($274,179 for reporting requirements, and $11,604 for record retention requirements). Total 80 planning coordinators 4,160 $285,783.
    Dated: May 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12863 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2696-033] Town of Stuyvesant, New York; Albany Engineering Corporation; Notice of Teleconference To Discuss Article 301 Extension of Time Request and Notice Soliciting Comments, Protests, or Motions To Intervene on Article 301 Extension of Time Request

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric proceeding has been initiated by the Commission:

    a. Type of Proceeding: Notice of Teleconference and Notice Soliciting Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene on Article 301 Extension of Time Request.

    b. Project No.: 2696-033.

    c. Article 301 extension of time request filed: April 10, 2015. Also, see supplemental filing on: April 28, 2015.

    d. Licensees: Town of Stuyvesant, New York, and Albany Engineering Corporation.

    e. Name and Location of Project: The Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Project is located on Kinderhook Creek in Columbia County, New York.

    f. Filed Pursuant to: Article 301 of the license.

    g. Licensees Contact Information: Mr. James A. Besha, President, Albany Engineering Corporation, 5 Washington Square, Albany, NY (518) 456-7712, ext. 402.

    h. FERC Contact: Jennifer Polardino, (202) 502-6437, [email protected]

    i. Deadline for filing comments, protests, or motions to intervene is 30 days from the issuance of this notice by the Commission.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, protests, and motions to intervene using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. you must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2696-033.

    j. Date and Time of Teleconference: Wednesday, June 17, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) and concluding at 10:30 a.m. (EDT).

    k. A summary of the meeting will be prepared for the project record.

    l. All local, state, and federal agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties are invited to participate in the teleconference. Please call Jennifer Polardino at (202) 502-6437 or send an email to [email protected] by June 11, 2015, to register your attendance for the teleconference.

    m. FERC conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free (866) 208-3372 (voice) or (202) 208-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to (202) 208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    n. Description of Proceeding: On April 10, 2015, the Town of Stuyvesant, New York and Albany Engineering Corporation, licensees for the Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Project, filed an extension of time request to comply with license articles 301, 401(a) and 406, 401(a) and 407, 410, 411, 412, 413, and 414 pursuant to an Order Issuing New License (143 FERC ¶ 62,016). On April 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Interior (Interior) filed a notice of intervention and protest on behalf of its component bureau, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the licensees' April 10, 2015 extension of time requests. On April 28, 2015, the licensees filed a revised extension of time request to comply with several license articles, including Article 301 of the license. On May 11, 2015, Interior filed a modified protest in response to the licensees' revised extension of time request. In its filing, Interior does not object to the request for an extension of time to comply with license articles 401(a) and 406, 401(a) and 407, 410, 411, 412, and 413. Therefore, Commission staff will address these extension of time requests in a separate proceeding. However, Interior continues to object to the extension of time requested to commence and complete construction of fish protection and passage facilities pursuant to Article 301. For that reason, Commission staff are scheduling a teleconference to discuss the extension of time request for Article 301 on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 beginning at 9:00 a.m. (EDT) and concluding at 10:30 a.m. (EDT). All interested entities are invited to join the teleconference as discussed above.

    o. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    p. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .212, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular proceeding.

    q. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents—Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST,” or “MOTIONS TO INTERVENE”, as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the project number of the proceeding to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting, or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. All comments, protests, or motions to intervene should relate to project works which are the subject of the termination of exemption. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served on each representative of the specified in item “g” above. A copy of all other filings in reference to this notice must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    r. Agency Comments—Federal, state, and local agencies are invited to file comments on the described proceeding. If any agency does not file comments within the time specified for filing comments, it will be presumed to have no comments.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12861 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-66-000] Southern Company Services, Inc.; KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company; The Empire District Electric Company; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on May 20, 2015, pursuant to sections 309, 205, and 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824(e), 824(d), and 825(h) and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Southern Company Services, Inc., as agent for Alabama Power Company, Georgia Power Company, Gulf Power Company, Mississippi Power Company, and Southern Power Company (Southern Companies), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, The Empire District Electric Company, and Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (collectively, Complainants), filed a formal complaint against Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., as agent and tariff administrator of the MISO Open-Access Transmission Tariff (MISO or Respondent), alleging that: (1) Respondent has levied unlawful charges upon Complainants in violation of section 205 of the FPA, and; (2) Respondent's rates for transmission service are unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory and preferential and in violation of established precedent under FPA sections 205 and 206.

    The Complainants certify that a copy of the complaint has been served on the Respondent.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 9, 2015.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12862 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Southeastern Power Administration Cumberland System of Projects AGENCY:

    Southeastern Power Administration, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rates, public forum, and opportunities for public review and comment.

    SUMMARY:

    Southeastern Power Administration (Southeastern) proposes to revise existing schedules of rates and charges applicable to the sale of power from the Cumberland System of Projects effective for a one-year period, October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016. Interested persons may review the rates and supporting studies and submit written comments. Southeastern will evaluate all comments received in this process.

    DATES:

    Written comments are due on or before August 26, 2015. A public information and comment forum will be held at 2:00 p.m., on June 30, 2015. Persons desiring to attend the forum should notify Southeastern at least seven (7) days before the scheduled forum date. Persons desiring to speak at the forum should notify Southeastern at least three (3) days before the scheduled forum date, so that a list of forum participants can be prepared. Others may speak if time permits.

    ADDRESSES:

    The forum will be held at: The Inn at Opryland, 2401 Music Valley Drive, Nashville, TN 37214-1002. Written comments should be submitted to: Administrator, Southeastern Power Administration, Department of Energy, 1166 Athens Tech Road, Elberton, GA 30635-6711.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Virgil G. Hobbs III, Southeastern Power Administration, Department of Energy, 1166 Athens Tech Road, Elberton, GA 30635-6711, (706) 213-3800.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background of Existing Rates: The existing schedules of rates and charges applicable to the sale of power from the Cumberland System of Projects are effective through September 30, 2015. On December 22, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirmed and approved on a final basis, Wholesale Power Rate Schedules CBR-1-H, CSI-1-H, CEK-1-H, CM-1-H, CC-1-I, CK-1-H, CTV-1-H, CTVI-1-A, and Replacement-3 applicable to Cumberland System of Projects power for a period ending September 30, 2013 (137 FERC ¶ 62,249). On July 10, 2013, the Deputy Secretary approved an extension of the rate schedules to September 30, 2015 (78 FR 42764).

    Operational Impact of Dam Safety Issues: In February 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) lowered pool levels at the Wolf Creek and Center Hill Projects to reduce the risk of imminent failure of the dams due to seepage issues. At that time the Corps also began the process of mitigating the seepage issues at the Wolf Creek and Center Hill Projects. Under normal pool levels, the marketing policy for the Cumberland System provides peaking capacity, along with 1500 or 1800 hours of energy annually with each kilowatt of capacity, to customers outside the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) transmission system. All remaining energy is scheduled by TVA for the benefit of customers inside the TVA system. As a consequence of lowered pool levels due to dam repairs, Southeastern was not able to provide peaking capacity and firm energy to the outside customers due to operational restrictions. Southeastern implemented an Interim Operating Plan for the Cumberland System to provide these customers with energy that did not include capacity.

    In March 2014, the Corps lifted operating restrictions on the Wolf Creek Project. The operating restrictions on the Center Hill Project remain in effect. As a consequence, Southeastern implemented a Revised Interim Operating Plan that provides reduced capacity and schedulable energy to the outside customers.

    Repayment Study: Existing rate schedules are predicated upon an August 2011 repayment study and other supporting data contained in FERC docket number EF11-13-000. The annual revenue requirement in this study is $59,600,000. An updated repayment study, dated January 2015, indicates rates are not adequate to recover cost increases that have been identified and therefore do not meet repayment criteria. The additional costs are due to numerous factors. Corps Operation & Maintenance expenses have exceeded estimates and current rate schedules did not include costs associated with the dam safety repairs of the Wolf Creek and Center Hill Projects. The dam repair costs, after the application of the Dam Safety Act (Water Resources Development Act of 1986 section 1203), are a combined $83,200,000. The Corps has also provided Southeastern with an updated plan of major replacements for the Cumberland System with the total cost of these planned replacements at $868,000,000. Also, TVA notified Southeastern on March 5, 2015 they will charge $1,009,850 per month for delivery of capacity and energy to the outside TVA customers. A revised repayment study demonstrates that a revenue increase to $78,500,000 per year will meet repayment criteria. The increase in the annual revenue requirement is $18,900,000 per year, or about 32 percent.

    Applicability of the Dam Safety Act: Under section 1203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, otherwise known as the Dam Safety Act, Congress capped the percentage of dam repair costs that may be assigned to project purposes (such as hydropower) at 15 percent. This cap applies to dam modification costs, “the cause of which results from new hydrologic or seismic data or changes in the state-of-the-art design or construction criteria deemed necessary for safety purposes”. 33 U.S.C. 467n(a). When applicable, the Dam Safety Act requires that dam safety repair costs be recovered within thirty years of completion of the work. If the Dam Safety Act is not applied, 100 percent of all costs are assigned to project purposes for cost recovery but the thirty-year cost recovery requirement does not attach.

    Southeastern continues to discuss, analyze and seek guidance on the issue from other relevant agencies.

    Proposed Rates: Southeastern is proposing three rate scenarios per rate schedule. All of the rate scenarios have an annual revenue requirement of $78,500,000. This annual revenue requirement was calculated using the lower bound of possible costs associated with the Wolf Creek and Center Hill Dam repairs: 15 percent assigned to project purposes and recovered within thirty years of completion, an amount that may be adjusted upward pending final determination of the Dam Safety Act's applicability.

    The first rate scenario includes the rates necessary to recover costs under the Revised Interim Operating Plan. Under this scenario, the capacity rate at the TVA border is $2.28 per kilowatt per month and the energy charge is 14.79 mills per kilowatt-hour. The outside customers would pay their portion of the transmission credit provided TVA for delivery of capacity and energy to neighboring system interconnection points, as agreed by contract between Southeastern and TVA. This rate would remain in effect under the Revised Interim Operating Plan.

    The second rate scenario would recover cost from capacity and energy. The revenue requirement under this alternative would be $78,500,000 per year. This scenario would be in effect if Southeastern changes the Revised Interim Operating Plan.

    The third rate scenario is based on the original Cumberland Marketing Policy. All costs are recovered from capacity and excess energy. The rates under this alternative would be as follows:

    Cumberland System Rates Third Scenario—Return to Original Marketing Policy Inside TVA Preference Customers Capacity and Base Energy: $3.733 per kW/Month Additional Energy: 13.914 mills per kWh Transmission: Pass-through Outside TVA Preference Customers (Excluding Customers served through Carolina Power & Light Company or East Kentucky Power Cooperative) Capacity and Base Energy: $3.733 per kW/Month Additional Energy: 13.914 mills per kWh Transmission: Monthly TVA Transmission Charge divided by 545,000 Customers Served Through Carolina Power & Light Company Capacity and Base Energy: $4.249 per kW/Month TVA Transmission: TVA rate at border as computed above, adjusted for DEP delivery. DEP Transmission: $1.546 per kW/Month (As of 2/1/2015 and provided for illustrative purposes) East Kentucky Power Cooperative: Capacity: $1.994 per kW/Month Energy: 13.914 mills per kWh

    These rates would go into effect once the Corps lifts the restrictions on the operation of the Wolf Creek and Center Hill Projects and the Revised Interim Operating Plan and Southeastern returns to normal operations.

    The referenced repayment studies are available for examination at 1166 Athens Tech Road, Elberton, Georgia 30635-6711. The Proposed Rate Schedules CBR-1-I, CSI-1-I, CEK-1-I, CM-1-I, CC-1-J, CK-1-I, CTV-1-I, CTVI-1-B, and Replacement-3 are also available.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Kenneth E. Legg, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12888 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0040; FRL-9928-41-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NSPS for Hot Mix Asphalt Facilities (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NSPS for Hot Mix Asphalt Facilities (40 CFR part 60, subpart I) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1127.11, OMB Control No. 2060-0083) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 30117) on May 27, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0040, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: These regulations apply to hot mix asphalt facilities comprised only of a combination of the following: Dryers; systems for screening, handling, storing, and weighing hot aggregate; systems for loading, transferring, and storing mineral filler; systems for mixing hot mix asphalt; and the loading, transfer, and storage systems associated with emission control systems.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Hot mix asphalt facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 60, subpart I).

    Estimated number of respondents: 4,640 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially and occasionally.

    Total estimated burden: 19,000 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $1,893,000 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is an adjustment increase in the estimated burden as currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved Burdens. The increase is not due to any program changes. The change in burden occurred because the number of respondents subject to the standard has increased since the last ICR renewal period. In addition, the use of more updated labor rates results in an increase in total labor costs.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12945 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0079; FRL-9927-84-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Wet-Formed Fiberglass Mat Production (40 CFR part 63, subpart HHHH) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1964.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0496), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 30117) on May 27, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may neither conduct nor sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0079, to: (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI), or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit: http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The affected entities are subject to the General Provisions of the NESHAP (40 CFR part 63, subpart A), and any changes, or additions, to the Provisions specified at 40 CFR part 63, subpart HHHH. Owners or operators of the affected facilities must submit an initial notification report, performance tests, and periodic reports and results. Owners or operators are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. Reports, at a minimum, are required semiannually.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Wet-formed fiberglass mat production facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 63, subpart HHHH).

    Estimated number of respondents: 14 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, semiannually and annually.

    Total estimated burden: 2,800 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $285,000 (per year), includes $0 for both annualized capital and operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a small adjustment decrease in burden from the previous ICR because we have modified the calculation methodology associated with the five-year repeat performance test requirement. The previous ICR assumed all 14 sources will have to conduct the performance test during the ICR renewal period. Since this requirement only occurs once every five years, we have revised the estimates to reflect this frequency: (14 sources)/(5 years) = 2.8 sources per year. This results in a decrease in the respondent burden.

    There is also an increase of six responses due to a correction. The previous ICR did not account for the five-year performance test notifications and reports in calculating the number of responses.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting-Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12943 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0038; FRL-9928-40-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Inorganic Arsenic Emissions From Glass Manufacturing Plants (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “NESHAP for Inorganic Arsenic Emissions from Glass Manufacturing Plants (40 CFR part 61, subpart N) (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 1081.11, OMB Control No. 2060-0043) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 30117) on May 27, 2014 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0038, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick Yellin, Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, Mail Code 2227A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2970; fax number: (202) 564-0050; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: The affected entities are subject to the General Provisions of the NESHAP at 40 CFR part 61, subpart A, and any changes, or additions to the General Provisions specified at 40 CFR part 61, subpart N. Owners or operators of the affected facilities must submit initial notification, performance tests, and periodic reports and results. Owners or operators are also required to maintain records of the occurrence and duration of any startup, shutdown, or malfunction in the operation of an affected facility, or any period during which the monitoring system is inoperative. Reports, at a minimum, are required semiannually.

    Form Numbers: None.

    Respondents/affected entities: Glass manufacturing plants.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (40 CFR part 61, subpart N).

    Estimated number of respondents: 16 (total).

    Frequency of response: Initially, occasionally, semiannually and annually.

    Total estimated burden: 3,100 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $365,000 (per year), includes $56,000 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in the respondent burden hours in this ICR compared to the previous ICR. However, there is an adjustment increase in the estimated labor costs from using more updated labor rates. In addition, there is an adjustment increase in the Agency burden due to a correction. The previous ICR underestimated the number of uncontrolled arsenic emission rate reports reviewed by the Agency. These reports are submitted by 15 of the 16 subject sources. This ICR assumes the Agency reviews reports submitted by all 15 sources.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12792 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-RCRA-2014-0925; FRL-9927-83-OEI] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Requirements for Generators, Transporters, and Waste Management Facilities Under the RCRA Hazardous Waste Manifest System (Renewal) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), “Requirements for Generators, Transporters, and Waste Management Facilities under the RCRA Hazardous Waste Manifest System (Renewal)” (EPA ICR No. 0801.20, OMB Control No. 2050-0039) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (80 FR 8306) on February 17, 2015 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2014-0925, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to [email protected] Address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bryan Groce, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Program Implementation and Information Division, (5303P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 308-8750; fax number: (703) 308-0514; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Abstract: This ICR covers recordkeeping and reporting activities for the hazardous waste manifest paper system, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA's authority to require use of a manifest system stems primarily from RCRA 3002(a)(5) (also RCRA Sections 3003(a)(3) and 3004). Regulations are found in 40 CFR part 262 (registrant organizations and generators), part 263 (transporters), and parts 264 and 265 (TSDFs). The manifest lists the wastes that are being shipped and the treatment, storage, or disposal facility (TSDF) to which the wastes are bound. Generators, transporters, and TSDFs handling hazardous waste are required to complete the data requirements for manifests and other reports primarily to: (1) Track each shipment of hazardous waste from the generator to a designated facility; (2) provide information requirements sufficient to allow the use of a manifest in lieu of a Department of Transportation (DOT) shipping paper or bill of lading, thereby reducing the duplication of paperwork to the regulated community; (3) provide information to transporters and waste management facility workers on the hazardous nature of the waste; (4) inform emergency response teams of the waste's hazard in the event of an accident, spill, or leak; and (5) ensure that shipments of hazardous waste are managed properly and delivered to their designated facilities.

    On February 7, 2014, EPA published the electronic manifest (e-Manifest) Final Rule. The final rule established new manifest requirements that authorized the use of electronic manifests (or e-Manifests) as a means to track off-site shipments of hazardous waste from a generator's site to the site of the receipt and disposition of the hazardous waste. EPA is taking action now to establish the national e-Manifest system, but unknown variables (e.g., funding contingencies for e-Manifest system development) could delay the actual deployment of the system. Therefore, until EPA announces that the e-Manifest system is available for use in a subsequent Federal Register document, all respondents under the information collection requirements covered in this ICR (i.e., hazardous waste generators, transporters, and treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs)) must continue to comply with the current paper-based manifest system and use the existing paper manifests forms for the off-site transportation of hazardous waste shipments. The EPA anticipates that the initial system will become available for use no later than spring 2018.

    Form Numbers: Form 8700-22 and 8700-22A.

    Respondents/affected entities: Business or other for-profit facilities.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory (RCRA 3002(a)(5)).

    Estimated number of respondents: 83,500.

    Frequency of response: Once per shipment.

    Total estimated burden: 2,555,959 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $85,553,718 (per year), includes $2,658,577 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 917,618 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease resulted primarily from a decrease in the annual number of generators preparing manifests.

    Courtney Kerwin, Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12791 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-1158; FRL-9928-36-OAR] Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; RFS2 Voluntary RIN Quality Assurance Program AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), “RFS2 Voluntary RIN Quality Assurance Program” (EPA ICR No.2473.03, OMB Control No. 2060-0688 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through December 31, 2017. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0161, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Manners, USEPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory/OAR, 2565 Plymouth Road, Rm #N07, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: 734-214-4288; fax number: 734-214-4873; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Supporting documents which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g. permitting electronic submission of responses. EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB.

    Abstract: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program began in 2006 pursuant to the requirements in Clean Air Act (CAA) section 211(o) which were added through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). The statutory requirements for the RFS program were subsequently modified through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), resulting in the promulgation of major revisions to the regulatory requirements on March 26, 2010.

    The RFS program requires that specified volumes of renewable fuel be used as transportation fuel, heating oil, and/or jet fuel each year. To accomplish this, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes applicable percentage standards annually that apply to the sum of all gasoline and diesel produced or imported. The percentage standards are set so that if every obligated party meets the percentages, then the amount of renewable fuel, cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel used will meet the volumes required on a nationwide basis.

    Obligated parties demonstrate compliance with the standards through the acquisition of unique Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) assigned by the producer or importer to every batch of renewable fuel produced or imported. Validly generated RINs show that a certain volume of qualifying renewable fuel was produced or imported. The RFS program also includes provisions stipulating the conditions under which RINs are invalid, the liability carried by a party that transfers or uses an invalid RIN, and how invalid RINs must be treated.

    The RIN system within the RFS program contains unique features that make it somewhat challenging for the obligated parties that need RINs for compliance purposes to verify that those RINs have been validly generated. Several cases of fraudulently generated RINs have compelled some obligated parties to limit their business relationships to only those parties that appear most trustworthy. This reaction by the obligated parties made it more difficult for smaller renewable fuel producers to sell their RINs and reduced the overall liquidity of the RIN market. To ensure that RINs are validly generated, individual obligated parties are now conducting their own audits of renewable fuel production facilities, potentially duplicating one another's efforts. These circumstances have created inefficiencies in the RIN market, prompting requests for an additional regulatory mechanism that would reduce the risk of potentially invalid RINs, return liquidity to the RIN market, and reduce the cost of verifying the validity of RINs.

    Form Numbers: 8.

    RFS 1400—RFS Renewable Fuel Producers Reporting Fuels—5900-354. RFS 1500—RFS Renewable Fuel producers Reporting Fuels (Finished Fuel Blending)—5900-355. RFS 1600—RFS Renewable Fuel producers Reporting Fuels (Blending Contact)—5900-356. RFS 2000—RFS Independent Third Party Batch Verification—5900-357. RFS 2100—RFS Independent Third Party Batch Verification Aggregate RIN Verification—5900-358. RFS 2200—RFS Independent Third Party On-Site Audit Report—5900-359. RFS 2300—RFS Independent Third Party List of Potentially Invalid RINs—5900-360. RFS 2400—Independent Third Party Mass Balance—5900-361.

    Respondents/affected entities: Renewable Producers, obligated parties.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

    Estimated number of respondents: 1313 (total).

    Frequency of response: On occasion.

    Total estimated burden: 263,744 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

    Total estimated cost: $22,386,702 (per year), includes no annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    Changes in Estimates: This regulation will allow EPA to monitor compliance with the RFS program. The quality assurance program would help to ensure that the RIN system operates as originally intended. The primary impacts of the quality assurance program would be improved liquidity in the RIN market and improved opportunities for smaller renewable fuel producers to sell their RINs. The data generated by the QAP program will assist obligated parties and smaller renewable fuel producers comply with the requirements of the RFS program by supporting the validity of RINs. This regulation will allow regulated parties to voluntary submit Quality Assurance Plans (QAPs) to EPA to demonstrate the validity of the RINs they generate. This is a new collection with no industry cost for comparison.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Byron Bunker, Director, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12934 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice 2015-6004] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 84-01 Joint Application for Export Working Capital Guarantee.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a joint application form for working capital loan guarantees provided by Ex-Im Bank and the Small Business Administration. This collection of information is necessary, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 635(a)(1) and 15 U.S.C. 636(a)(14), to determine eligibility of the applicant for Ex-Im Bank or SBA assistance.

    The Export-Import Bank has made a change to the report to have the applicant provide the number of employees or annual sales volume. That information is needed to determine whether or not they meet the SBA's definition of a small business. The applicant already provides their name, address and industry code (NAICS). These additional pieces of information will allow Ex-Im Bank to better track the extent to which its support assists U.S. small businesses.

    The other change that Ex-Im Bank has made is to require the applicant to indicate whether it is a minority-owned business, women-owned business and/or veteran-owned business. Although answers to the questions are mandatory, the company may choose any one of the three answers: Yes/No/Not Disclosed. The option of “Not Disclosed” allows a company to consciously decline to answer the specific question should they not wish to provide that information.

    The application tool can be reviewed at: http://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/pub/pending/eib84-01.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 27, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Michele Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 84-01 Joint Application for Export Working Capital Guarantee.

    OMB Number: 3048-0013.

    Type of Review: Renewal.

    Need and Use: This form provides Ex-Im Bank and Small Business Administration staff with the information necessary to determine if the application and transaction are eligible for Ex-Im Bank and SBA assistance under their export working capital guarantee programs.

    Affected Public:

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Ex-Im Bank SBA Annual Number of Respondents 475 188. Estimated Time per Respondent 2.5 hours 2.5 hours. Annual Burden Hours 1,188 hours 470 hours. Frequency of Reporting of Use Annually Annually.

    Government Expenses:

    Ex-Im Bank SBA Reviewing time per year 950 hours 376 Average Wages per Hour $42.50 $35.00 Average Cost per Year (time*wages) $40,375 $13,160 Benefits and Overhead 20% 100% Total Agency Cost $48,450 $26,320 Total Government Cost $74,770 Bonita Jones-McNeil, Program Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12890 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0745] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before July 27, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0745.

    Title: Implementation of the Local Exchange Carrier Tariff Streamlining Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, CC Docket No. 96-187.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents: 50 respondents; 1,536 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 hours-5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i) and 204(a)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 4,054 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $728,000.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission is not requesting respondents to submit confidential information to the FCC. If the Commission requests respondents to submit information which respondents believe is confidential, respondents may request confidential treatment of such information under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: In CC Docket No. 96-187, the Commission adopted measures to streamline tariff filing requirements for local exchange carriers (LECs) pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In order to achieve a streamlined and deregulatory environment for LEC tariff filings, local exchange carriers are required to file tariffs electronically. There are eight information collection requirements that contain reporting, third party disclosure and recordkeeping requirements. They are follows: (1) Electronic filing requirement for LECs to file tariffs seven and fifteen days' notice; (2) requirement that carriers desiring tariffs proposing rate decreases to be effective seven days file separate transmittals; (3) requirement that carriers identify transmittals filed pursuant to the streamlined provisions of the 1996 Act; (4) requirement that price cap LECs file their Tariff Review Plans prior to filing their annual access tariffs; (5) filing petitions and replies electronically (reporting requirement); (6) filing petitions and replies electronically (third party disclosure requirement); (7) recordkeeping requirement (standard protective order); and (8) reporting requirement (standard protective order). The information collected via electronic filing will facilitate access to tariff and associated documents by the public, especially by interested persons or parties who do not have ready access to the Commission's public reference center, and state and federal regulators. Electronic access to carrier tariffs should also facilitate the compilation of aggregate data for industry analysis purposes without imposing new reporting requirements on carriers. Carriers desiring tariffs proposing rate decreases to be effective in seven days must file a separate transmittal. This requirement will ensure that a tariff filing proposing a rate decrease is given the shortest notice period possible under the 1996 Act. The Commission also adopted the requirement that carriers identify transmittals filed pursuant to the streamlining provisions of the 1996 Act. All of the requirements help to ensure that local exchange carriers comply with their obligations under the Communications Act and that the Commission is able to ensure compliance within the streamlined timeframes established in the 1996 Act.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12894 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0647] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before July 27, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0647.

    Title: Annual Survey of Cable Industry Prices, FCC Form 333.

    Form Number: FCC Form 333.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; State, local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 776 respondents and 776 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 7 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Annual reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,432 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. The statutory authority for this information collection is in Sections 4(i) and 623(k) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: If individual respondents to this survey wish to request confidential treatment of any data provided in connection with this survey, they can do so upon written request, in accordance with Sections 0.457 and 0.459 of the Commission's rules. To request confidential treatment of their data, respondents must describe the specific information they wish to protect and provide an explanation of why such confidential treatment is appropriate. If a respondent submits a request for confidentiality, the Commission will review it and make a determination.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 (“Cable Act”) requires the Commission to publish annually a report on average rates for basic cable service, cable programming service, and equipment. The report must compare the prices charged by cable operators subject to effective competition and those that are not subject to effective competition. The Annual Cable Industry Price Survey is intended to collect the data needed to prepare that report. The data from these questions are needed to complete this report.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12895 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011539-019.

    Title: HLAG/NYK/MSC Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: Companhia Libra de Navegacao; Comania Libra de Navegacion Uruguay S.A.; Hapag-Lloyd AG; Nippon Yusen Kaisha; and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor, 1627 I Street NW.; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would add MSC as a party to the agreement and change the vessel provision and space allocation accordingly. It would also revise the duration of the agreement, restate the agreement, and make other corresponding changes.

    Agreement No.: 012334.

    Title: Hyundai Glovis/Hoegh Transpacific Westbound Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Hoegh Autoliners AS and Hyundai Glovis Co. Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to one another for the transport of vehicles from the U.S. West Coast to China and Japan.

    Agreement No.: 012335.

    Title: Gulf Coast/ECSA Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: Hamburg Sudamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG; Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltda. e CIA; MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The agreement would authorize the parties to operate a service in the trade between the U.S. Gulf Coast on the one hand, and Panama, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico on the other hand. The parties have requested expedited review.

    Agreement No.: 012336.

    Title: Zim/OOCL Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Zim Integrated Shipping Service Limited and Orient Overseas Container Line Limited.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes Zim to charter space to OOCL in the trade between China, Vietnam, Singapore, and Sri Lanka on the one hand and the U.S. Atlantic Coast on the other hand.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12915 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) its approval authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the PRA Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by FR 4199, by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    • Email: [email protected]. Include OMB number in the subject line of the message.

    • FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    • Mail: Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW.) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Acting Clearance Officer—Mark Tokarski—Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The following information collection, which is being handled under this delegated authority, has received initial Board approval and is hereby published for comment. At the end of the comment period, the proposed information collection, along with an analysis of comments and recommendations received, will be submitted to the Board for final approval under OMB delegated authority. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or start up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Report

    Report title: Basel II Interagency Pillar 2 Supervisory Guidance.

    Agency form number: FR 4199.

    OMB control number: 7100-0320.

    Frequency: Annual.

    Reporters: State member banks, bank holding companies (BHCs).

    Estimated annual reporting hours: 5,460.

    Estimated average hours per response: 420.

    Number of respondents: 13.

    General description of report: The Board's Legal Division has determined that the FR 4199 is authorized by section 9(6) of the Federal Reserve Act and section 5 of the Bank Holding Company Act. Section 9(6) of the Federal Reserve Act requires state member banks to “comply with the reserve and capital requirements of this chapter” and to make reports of condition “in such form” and “contain[ing] such information” as the Board may require (12 U.S.C. 324). Section 5 of the Bank Holding Company Act authorizes the Board to “issue regulations and orders relating to the capital requirement for bank holding companies” and requires BHCs to “keep the Board informed as to [their] financial condition, systems for monitoring and controlling financial and operating risks . . .” (12 U.S.C. 1844 (b) & (c)). Because the recordkeeping requirements are contained within guidance (and not a statute or regulation), they are voluntary. Because the FR 4199 recordkeeping requirements require that banks and BHCs retain their own records, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would only be implicated if the Federal Reserve's examiners retained a copy of the records as part of an examination or supervision of a bank or BHC. However, records obtained as a part of an examination or supervision of a bank or BHC are exempt from disclosure under FOIA exemption (b)(8), for examination material (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)). In addition, the records may also be exempt under (b)(4), which exempts from disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential,” and under (b)(6) for non-public personal information regarding owners, shareholders, directors, officers or employees if the disclosure would “constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) and (b)(6)).

    Abstract: The advanced approaches framework requires certain banks and BHCs to use an internal ratings-based approach to calculate regulatory credit risk capital requirements and advance measurement approaches to calculate regulatory operational risk capital requirements, and to meet the higher of the minimum requirements under the general risk-based capital rules and the minimum requirements under the advanced approaches framework.

    A bank is required to comply with the advanced approaches framework if it meets either of two independent threshold criteria: (1) Consolidated total assets of $250 billion or more, as reported on the most recent year-end regulatory reports; or (2) consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more at the most recent year-end.

    A BHC is required to comply with the advanced approaches framework if the BHC has (1) consolidated total assets (excluding assets held by an insurance underwriting subsidiary) of $250 billion or more, as reported on the most recent year-end regulatory reports; (2) consolidated total on-balance sheet foreign exposure of $10 billion or more at the most recent year-end; or (3) a subsidiary depository institution (DI) that is meets the criteria to be subject to the advanced approaches rule, or elects to adopt the advanced approaches. As of September 30, 2014, 13 BHCs meet the above criteria and are therefore subject to the advanced approaches rule.1

    1 Regulation YY permits a bank holding company that is a subsidiary of a foreign banking organization to elect not to comply with the advanced approaches rule prior to formation of an IHC with the prior approval of the Board. 12 CFR 252.153(e)(2)(C).

    Also, some banks or BHCs may voluntarily decide to adopt the advanced approaches framework. Both mandatory and voluntary respondents are required to meet certain qualification requirements before they can use the advanced approaches framework for risk-based capital purposes.

    The Pillar 2 Guidance sets the expectation that respondents maintain certain documentation as described in paragraphs 37, 41, 43, and 46 of this portion of the guidance. Details of the expectations for each section are provided below.

    Setting and Assessing Capital Adequacy Goals That Relate to Risk

    Paragraph 37. In analyzing capital adequacy, a banking organization should evaluate the capacity of its capital to absorb losses. Because various definitions of capital are used within the banking industry, each banking organization should state clearly the definition of capital used in any aspect of its internal capital adequacy assessment process (ICAAP).2 Since components of capital are not necessarily alike and have varying capacities to absorb losses, a banking organization should be able to demonstrate the relationship between its internal capital definition and its assessment of capital adequacy. If a banking organization's definition of capital differs from the regulatory definition, the banking organization should reconcile such differences and provide an analysis to support the inclusion of any capital instruments that are not recognized under the regulatory definition. Although common equity is generally the predominant component of a banking organization's capital structure, a banking organization may be able to support the inclusion of other capital instruments in its internal definition of capital if it can demonstrate a similar capacity to absorb losses. The banking organization should document any changes in its internal definition of capital, and the reason for those changes.

    2 A bank holding company with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more is required to develop and maintain a capital plan, which must set forth a capital adequacy process. 76 FR 74631 (December 1, 2011). ICAAP would constitute an internal capital adequacy process for purposes of the final rule, and bank holding companies that have a satisfactory ICAAP generally would be considered to have a satisfactory internal capital adequacy process for purposes of the final rule.

    Ensuring Integrity of Internal Capital Adequacy Assessments

    Paragraph 41. A banking organization should maintain thorough documentation of its ICAAP to ensure transparency. At a minimum, this should include a description of the banking organization's overall capital-management process, including the committees and individuals responsible for the ICAAP; the frequency and distribution of ICAAP-related reporting; and the procedures for the periodic evaluation of the appropriateness and adequacy of the ICAAP. In addition, where applicable, ICAAP documentation should demonstrate the banking organization's sound use of quantitative methods (including model selection and limitations) and data-selection techniques, as well as appropriate maintenance, controls, and validation. A banking organization should document and explain the role of third-party and vendor products, services and information—including methodologies, model inputs, systems, data, and ratings—and the extent to which they are used within the ICAAP. A banking organization should have a process to regularly evaluate the performance of third-party and vendor products, services and information. As part of the ICAAP documentation, a banking organization should document the assumptions, methods, data, information, and judgment used in its quantitative and qualitative approaches.

    Paragraph 43. The board of directors and senior management have certain responsibilities in developing, implementing, and overseeing the ICAAP. The board should approve the ICAAP and its components. The board or its appropriately delegated agent should review the ICAAP and its components on a regular basis, and approve any revisions. That review should encompass the effectiveness of the ICAAP, the appropriateness of risk tolerance levels and capital planning, and the strength of control infrastructures. Senior management should continually ensure that the ICAAP is functioning effectively and as intended, under a formal review policy that is explicit and well documented. Additionally, a banking organization's internal audit function should play a key role in reviewing the controls and governance surrounding the ICAAP on an ongoing basis.

    Paragraph 46. As part of the ICAAP, the board or its delegated agent, as well as appropriate senior management, should periodically review the resulting assessment of overall capital adequacy. This review, which should occur at least annually, should include an analysis of how measures of internal capital adequacy compare with other capital measures (such as regulatory, accounting-based or market-determined). Upon completion of this review, the board or its delegated agent should determine that, consistent with safety and soundness, the banking organization's capital takes into account all material risks and is appropriate for its risk profile. However, in the event a capital deficiency is uncovered (that is, if capital is not consistent with the banking organization's risk profile or risk tolerance) management should consult and adhere to formal procedures to correct the capital deficiency.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 21, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12738 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [Notice-2015-QVO-01; Docket No. 2015-0002; Sequence 12] Federal Procurement Data System Product Service Code Manual Update AGENCY:

    Federal Acquisition Service; General Services Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Product and Service Codes (PSC) Manual, which provides codes to describe products, services, and research and development purchased by the government, is in the process of being updated. The General Services Administration (GSA), which maintains the PSC Manual, is in the process of updating the manual. The update includes the addition, deletion or revisions of codes. The revised PSC Manual will be effective October 1, 2015 (FY 2016).

    DATES:

    Effective: May 28, 2015.

    Comments: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addresses shown below on or before June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, June 29, 2015, identified by Notice-2015-QVO-01, Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual Update, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for Notice-2015-QVO-01. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Notice-2015-QVO-01, Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual Update”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Notice-2015-QVO-01, Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual Update,” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Notice-2015-QVO-01, Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual Update, in all correspondence related to this notice. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Pat Brooks at [email protected] or 703-605-3406.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Product and Service Codes (PSC) Manual provides codes to describe products, services, and research and development purchased by the government. The codes are one of the data elements reported in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). The GSA, which maintains the PSC Manual, is in the process of updating the manual. The update includes the addition, deletion or revisions of codes.

    The list of PSC code revisions is titled “Notice-2015-QVO-01; Docket No. 2015-0002; Sequence 12, Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual” and is viewable and searchable on regulation.gov. The current manual titled “Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual, August 2011 Edition” is also posted on regulation.gov. A thirty (30) day comment period is available.

    Dated: May 19, 2015. Karen Kopf, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Award Environment, Federal Acquisition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12891 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-89-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-14APJ] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Using Rapid Assessment Methods to Understand Issues in HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment in the United States—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requests approval for a 3-year clearance to collect data using rapid qualitative inquiries to understand issues related to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in the United States. Rapid inquiries are concentrated data collection and iterative data analytic efforts focused on timely and relevant responses to urgent issues and research questions. Although we will collect the majority of data using qualitative methods, many studies covered under this generic information collection, will involve a mixed methods approach for data collection.

    The rapid inquiries will include multiple well-established qualitative methodologies, which may include but not be limited to in-depth individual interviews, focus groups, direct observations, case studies, document reviews, or brief quantitative surveys assessing demographics, behaviors, attitudes, intentions, beliefs, or other attributes of the respondents. In some assessments, additional contextual information may be collected, such as information about the respondents' community, workplaces, or organizations and places where they interact. CDC expects to collect qualitative data from approximately 1,800 respondents, assuming three research studies per year with each research study collecting data from 200 respondents.

    For all proposed studies under this generic information collection, our efforts are expected to provide insight regarding a wide array of HIV-related programs designed for various populations throughout the United States, including but not limited to: Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH); persons at elevated risk for acquiring new HIV infection or transmitting existing HIV infection to others; clinicians or other HIV care providers; men who have sex with men (MSM); transgender persons; injection and noninjection drug users; incarcerated populations or ex-prisoners; commercial sex workers; male and female heterosexual groups at high risk for HIV infection; and other providers and organizations (e.g., health departments, community-based organizations, public and private health clinics, advocacy groups, community groups, or other governmental and nongovernmental organizations) serving or otherwise interacting with persons at greatest need for HIV prevention, care, and treatment.

    Recruitment procedures will vary slightly based on the target population and research design of each information collection submitted under this generic information collection. Partner organizations such as public and private health clinics and community-based organizations that serve the target populations in the respective geographic locations may be contacted for their assistance in recruitment of potential respondents. Respondents may be identified and selected as key informants and invited to participate by contractor staff members.

    Sampling recruitment methods may include, but not be limited to: Use of social networking sites, the Internet, print marketing materials, and other methods to find and enroll respondents into the research study.

    All data collection tools will be pretested and interviews conducted by trained personnel. The data collection will take place at a time and place that is convenient to the respondent. Locations will be private. Data collection may be audio-recorded and transcribed with the consent of the respondent.

    The data collections supported under this generic information collection will be used to provide insight regarding barriers and facilitators to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in the United States and territories, and thus suggest ways CDC might improve programmatic activities along the continuum of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

    The total estimated annualized burden hours are 918. There are no costs to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • General Public—Adults Study Screener 1,600 1 5/60 General Public—Adults Contact Information Form 600 1 1/60 General Public—Adults Consent Form 600 1 5/60 General Public—Adults Demographic Survey 500 1 15/60 General Public—Adults Interview Guide 500 1 1 General Public—Adults Provider Demographic Survey 100 1 15/60 General Public—Adults Provider Interview Guide 100 1 45/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12808 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC-2015-0034; NIOSH 233-A] NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings: Proposed Additions to the NIOSH Hazardous Drug List 2016; Request for Comment AGENCY:

    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice of draft document available for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the availability of the following draft document for public comment entitled “NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings: Proposed Additions to the NIOSH Hazardous Drug List 2016.” The document and instructions for submitting comments can be found at www.regulations.gov.

    This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law.

    Table of Contents

    • DATES:

    • ADDRESSES:

    • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    • SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    DATES:

    Electronic or written comments must be received by July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by CDC-2015-0034 and Docket Number NIOSH 233-A, by either of the two following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Docket Office, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-34, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.

    Instructions: All information received in response to this notice must include the agency name and the docket number (CDC-2015-0034; NIOSH 233-A). All relevant comments received will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. All electronic comments should be formatted as Microsoft Word. Please make reference to CDC-2015-0034 and Docket Number NIOSH 233-A. All information received in response to this notice will also be available for public examination and copying at the NIOSH Docket Office, 1150 Tusculum Avenue, Room 155, Cincinnati, OH 45226.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barbara MacKenzie, NIOSH, Division of Applied Research and Technology, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 1090 Tusculum Avenue, MS C-26, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226. (513) 533-8132 (not a toll free number). Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NIOSH Alert: “Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings” was published in September 2004 (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-165/). This Alert contained Appendix A which was a list of drugs that were deemed to be hazardous and may require special handling. This list of hazardous drugs was updated in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and covered all new approved drugs and drugs with new warnings up to December 2011 (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-138). Between January 2012 and December 2013, 60 new drugs received FDA approval and 270 drugs received new warnings based on reported adverse effects in patients. From this list of 330 drugs, 44 drugs were identified by NIOSH as potential hazardous drugs. In addition to these 44 drugs, the panel members were asked to comment on the addition of one drug requested by several stakeholders. Three additional drugs had safe handling recommendations from the manufacturer and NIOSH is following these recommendations. Therefore, these 3 drugs will be listed as hazardous without requiring further review. A panel consisting of peer reviewers and stakeholders was asked to review and comment on the 45 potentially hazardous drugs. Reviewers were not asked to provide a consensus opinion and NIOSH made the final determination regarding proposed additions to the 2016 hazardous drug list.

    NIOSH reviewed the recommendations of the peer reviewers and stakeholders and determined that 33 drugs in addition to the 3 drugs with manufacturer's warnings, were determined to have one or more characteristics of a hazardous drug and this list of 36 drugs is being published for comment in CDC-2015-0034 and NIOSH Docket Number 233-A. The list of proposed additions can be found at www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. John Howard, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12857 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-19-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-15KZ] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Research on the Efficacy and Feasibility of Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers—New—National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seeks a two-year OMB approval to conduct a new information collection for a study entitled, “Research on the Efficacy and Feasibility of Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers”.

    Child maltreatment is both widespread and impactful. It is estimated that 1 in 58 U.S. children had been maltreated in a 1-year period (i.e., victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect). Millions of other American children are exposed to maltreatment that does not meet thresholds for clinical significance, but is nonetheless detrimental to child health.

    Parent training is arguably the single most effective prevention initiative developed to date. Although there are potentially far-reaching impacts of parent training to improve public health, empirically-supported parent training is not widely available. The public health challenge is how to make the content of these empirically-supported parent training programs—which largely focus on the same parenting skills and approaches—accessible to the majority of American parents.

    To leverage the strength of empirically supported parent training as a broadly disseminated prevention tool, the CDC has developed a resource tool called “Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers (EFP)”. This web-based resource includes the typical content of empirically supported parent training programs and uses a psychoeducational approach including modeling (through its videos) and practice (through its activities).

    This study is an empirical evaluation using an intensive repeated measures design to test the efficacy, feasibility, and use of EFP as administered in guided and unguided formats. The proposed data collection fits into NCIPC's research agenda's priorities in preventing child maltreatment.

    There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annual burden hours are 2,050.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Parents (both Natural Navigation [NN] and Guided Navigation [GN] groups) Form 1—Screening and Demographics Questionnaires—Attachment I1 400 1 15/60 Form 2—Detailed Assessment Measures—Attachment I2 200 2 45/60 Form 3—Core Assessment Measures (Rotating)—Attachment I3 200 18 15/60 Form 4—Parental EFP Skills Knowledge Scale—Attachment I4 200 8 15/60 Form 5—Parental EFP Skills Usefulness Scale—Attachment I5 200 6 15/60 Form 6—Therapy Attitude Inventory and System Usability Scale—Attachment I6 200 1 15/60
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science,Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12809 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects

    Title: Head Start Facilities Construction, Purchase and Major Renovation.

    OMB No.: 0970-0193.

    Description: The Office of Head Start within the Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services, is proposing to renew authority to collect information on funding for the purchase, construction or renovation of facilities. All information is collected electronically through the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES). The information required is in conformance with Section 644(f) and (g) of the Act. Federal funding officials use the information to determine that the proposed purchase has resulted in savings when compared to the costs that would be incurred to acquire the use of an alternative facility, or that the lack of alternative facilities will prevent, or would have prevented, the operation of the program. The rule further describes the assurances which are necessary to protect the Federal interest in real property and the conditions under which federal interest may be subordinated and protected when grantees make use of debt instruments when purchasing facilities. The information is used by funding officials to determine if grantee's arrangements adequately conform to other applicable statutes which apply to the expenditure of public funds for the purchase of real property.

    Respondents: Head Start and Early Head Start program grant recipients.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instruments Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Administrative Requirements 225 1 41 9225

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9225.

    Cost per respondent is $40 estimated at 2 hours × $20.00 per hour.

    In compliance with the requirements of Section 506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. Email address: [email protected] All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12924 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-D-0369] M7 Assessment and Control of DNA Reactive (Mutagenic) Impurities in Pharmaceuticals to Limit Potential Carcinogenic Risk; International Conference on Harmonisation; Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a guidance entitled “M7 Assessment and Control of DNA Reactive (Mutagenic) Impurities in Pharmaceuticals to Limit Potential Carcinogenic Risk.” The guidance was prepared under the auspices of the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). The guidance emphasizes considerations of both safety and quality risk management in establishing levels of mutagenic impurities that are expected to pose negligible carcinogenic risk. It outlines recommendations for assessment and control of mutagenic impurities that reside or are reasonably expected to reside in a final drug substance or product, taking into consideration the intended conditions of human use. The guidance is intended to provide guidance for new drug substances and new drug products during their clinical development and subsequent applications for marketing.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments on Agency guidances at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Division of Drug Information (HFD-240), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993; or the Office of Communication, Outreach, and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist the office in processing your requests. The guidance may also be obtained by mail by calling CBER at 1-800-835-4709 or 240-402-7800. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Regarding the guidance: Aisar Atrakchi, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bldg. 22, Rm. 4118, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-1036.

    Regarding the ICH: Michelle Limoli, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, International Programs, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 1174, Rockville, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-8377.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In recent years, many important initiatives have been undertaken by regulatory authorities and industry associations to promote international harmonization of regulatory requirements. FDA has participated in many meetings designed to enhance harmonization and is committed to seeking scientifically based harmonized technical procedures for pharmaceutical development. One of the goals of harmonization is to identify and then reduce differences in technical requirements for drug development among regulatory agencies.

    ICH was organized to provide an opportunity for tripartite harmonization initiatives to be developed with input from both regulatory and industry representatives. FDA also seeks input from consumer representatives and others. ICH is concerned with harmonization of technical requirements for the registration of pharmaceutical products among three regions: The European Union, Japan, and the United States. The six ICH sponsors are the European Commission; the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations; the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare; the Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association; CDER and CBER, FDA; and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The ICH Secretariat, which coordinates the preparation of documentation, is provided by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA).

    The ICH Steering Committee includes representatives from each of the ICH sponsors and the IFPMA, as well as observers from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the European Free Trade Area.

    In the Federal Register of April 15, 2013 (72 FR 22269), FDA published a notice announcing the availability of a draft guidance entitled “M7 Assessment and Control of DNA Reactive (Mutagenic) Impurities in Pharmaceuticals to Limit Potential Carcinogenic Risk” The notice gave interested persons an opportunity to submit comments by June 14, 2013. Changes made to the guidance took into consideration written comments received. Minor editorial changes were made to improve clarity.

    After consideration of the comments received and revisions to the guidance, a final draft of the guidance was submitted to the ICH Steering Committee and endorsed by the three participating regulatory agencies in June 2014.

    The guidance provides guidance on the regulation of genotoxic impurities in new drug substances and drug products.

    This guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The guidance represents the current thinking of FDA on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at http://www.regulations.gov, http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12752 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-2065] Radiation Biodosimetry Devices; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reopening the comment period for an additional 30 days, for the notice of availability entitled “Radiation Biodosimetry Devices; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability”, published in the Federal Register of December 30, 2014. In that document, FDA announced the availability of a draft guidance for industry and FDA staff and requested comments. The Agency is taking this action in response to a request for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.

    DATES:

    FDA is reopening and extending the comment period on the draft guidance. Submit either electronic or written comments by June 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    An electronic copy of the guidance document is available for download from the Internet. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for information on electronic access to the guidance. Submit written requests for a single hard copy of the draft guidance document entitled “Radiation Biodosimetry Devices” to the Office of the Center Director, Guidance and Policy Development, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5431, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your request.

    Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Dickey, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5262, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5028.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In the Federal Register of December 30, 2014 (79 FR 78448), FDA published a notice with a 90-day comment period to request comments on the draft guidance for industry and FDA staff entitled “Radiation Biodosimetry Devices”.

    The Agency received a request for an extension of the comment period for the draft guidance (Docket No. FDA-2014-D-2065-0005). The request conveyed concern that the current 90-day comment period does not allow sufficient time to respond. FDA has considered the request and is reopening and extending the comment period for the draft guidance for 30 days. The Agency believes that a 30-day extension allows adequate time for interested persons to submit comments without significantly delaying further FDA action on this guidance document.

    II. Electronic Access

    Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the draft guidance may do so by downloading an electronic copy from the Internet. A search capability for all Center for Devices and Radiological Health guidance documents is available at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm. Guidance documents are also available at http://www.regulations.gov. Persons unable to download an electronic copy of “Radiation Biodosimetry Devices” may send an email request to [email protected] to receive an electronic copy of the document. Please use the document number 1400045 to identify the guidance you are requesting.

    III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12854 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0918] Pediatric Studies of Meropenem Conducted in Accordance With the Public Health Service Act; Availability of Summary Report and Requested Labeling Changes AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is publishing a summary report of the pediatric studies of meropenem conducted in accordance with the Public Health Service Act (the PHS Act) and is making available requested labeling changes for meropenem. The Agency is making this information available consistent with the PHS Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lori Gorski, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 6415, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2200, FAX: 301-796-9855, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Meropenem Summary Review

    In the Federal Register of August 13, 2003 (68 FR 48402), meropenem was identified as a drug that needed further study in pediatrics. The approved labeling lacked adequate information on dosing, pharmacokinetic, tolerability, and safety data in newborns and young infants with complicated intra-abdominal infections.

    A written request for pediatric studies of meropenem was issued on September 10, 2004, to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, the holder of the new drug application (NDA) for meropenem. FDA did not receive a response to the written request. Accordingly, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for proposals to conduct the pediatric studies described in the written request on August 15, 2005, and awarded funds to Duke University and Stanford University on September 28, 2007, to complete the studies described in the written request.

    On completion of the studies, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) submitted a final clinical study report for meropenem to FDA for review under investigational new drug application (IND) 101043: (NICHD-2005-18) “A Multiple Dose PK Study of Meropenem In Young Infants (less than 91 days of age) With Suspected or Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections.”

    In the Federal Register of February 27, 2012 (77 FR 11556), FDA announced the opening on February 17, 2012, of docket FDA-2011-N-0918 for submission of data from pediatric studies of meropenem. The data submitted to the docket by NIH were submitted in accordance with section 409I of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 284m) and were the same data submitted to IND 101043, with the exception that personal privacy information had been redacted from the data submitted to the docket.

    The meropenem docket remained opened for public comment from February 27, 2012, until March 28, 2012. There were no comments submitted to the docket during that time. The key findings of this final clinical study report are:

    The submitted study was an open-label, non-comparative, multicenter, prospective, multiple pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety study in infants less than 91 days of age. The study enrolled 200 infants with a median postnatal age of 21 days (range 1 to 92 days) and a median gestation age (GA) of 27.8 weeks (range 22.5 to 40 weeks). Infants with complicated intra-abdominal infections who were receiving meropenem based on local standard of care were eligible for enrollment. Complicated intra-abdominal infections were defined per the protocol as physical, radiologic, or bacteriologic findings of complicated intra-abdominal infection to include peritonitis, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) grade II or higher by Bell's criteria, Hirschsprung's disease with perforation, spontaneous perforation, meconium ileus with perforation, bowel obstruction with perforation, as evidenced by free peritoneal air on abdominal radiograph, intestinal pneumatosis, or portal venous gas on abdominal radiographic examination, or possible NEC.

    The study was not statistically powered to establish efficacy because the Division of Anti-Infective Products agreed that extrapolation of efficacy to pediatric populations from adult populations was acceptable. However, clinical efficacy endpoints were also evaluated. The efficacy assessment included a comparison of the clinical status at study baseline and at day 28 or after a minimum of 7 days of treatment, using a combination of an assessment using the Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology II tool and other protocol specified outcome criteria. The clinical endpoint was defined as the patient being alive, with negative bacterial cultures from a sterile body fluid, and a presumptive clinical cure. Clinical failure was defined as death, change in antibiotic therapy while on study drug, or lack of presumptive clinical cure. The addition of treatment directed against Gram-positive pathogens from a non-abdominal source was not considered to represent treatment failure. Using these criteria, 195/200 patients or 97.5 percent were considered to have achieved the clinical endpoint. Of the 195 patients included in the efficacy population, 192 (98.5 percent) were evaluated for efficacy. The overall efficacy success rate for the study was 84.4 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 78.5 to 89.2 percent).

    Analysis of safety was a primary objective of the study. The following assessments were included in the study: Monitoring for adverse events, serious adverse events, and death; documentation of seizures; acute abdominal complications; development of resistant bacterial infection or candidiasis; treatment failure; physical examination; clinical laboratory values; cultures from sterile sites, and concomitant medications. There were 11 deaths in the study; all occurred in patients less than 32 weeks GA. The most common cause of death was multi-organ failure. None of the deaths were related to meropenem administration. The following adverse events occurred with a frequency in the study that differed from that seen in previous pediatric and adult studies: Convulsion (seizures), 5 percent, hyperbilirubinemia, 4.5 percent and vomiting, 2.5 percent. Study oversight included a safety committee and an independent data safety monitoring board.

    The Division of Anti-Infective Products agreed that meropenem was well-tolerated in the pediatric population enrolled in the study. Of the 10 patients with seizures, 8 patients were adjudicated to have developed seizures possibly due to the study medication. Because cerebrospinal fluid was only evaluated in a limited number of patients with seizures, it is not possible to determine if the seizure threshold may have changed due to possible underlying meningitis and the administration of meropenem.

    II. Recommendation

    This study supports the use of meropenem in neonates and infants less than 91 days of age for complicated intra-abdominal infections. However, infants with complicated intra-abdominal infections are anticipated to have different physiological characteristics than patients with meningitis that may impact the PK of meropenem; as such, it may not be appropriate to apply the PK findings from this population to a patient population with meningitis. The Division recommended that the evaluation of meropenem in infants less than 91 days of age be limited to the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections at this time.

    FDA's requested labeling changes, including dosing recommendations for the use of meropenem in neonates and infants less than 91 days of age for complicated intra-abdominal infections, are available on the FDA Web site at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/DevelopmentResources/ucm379088.htm and in the docket (Ref. 1).

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12848 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0012] Molecular Characterization of Multiple Myeloma Black/African Ancestry Disparity AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of grant funds for the support of the efforts of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). FDA is announcing its intent to accept and consider a single-source application for the award of a grant to the Multiple Myeloma Service of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute. The goal of the cooperative agreement between CDER and the Multiple Myeloma Service of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute is to support the development of appropriate methodologies to conduct clinical trial design evaluation and determine extrapolation of findings from the general population to the U.S. Black population.

    DATES:

    Important dates are as follows:

    1. The application due date is July 20, 2015.

    2. The anticipated start date is August 2015.

    3. The opening date is May 18, 2015.

    4. The expiration date is July 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit electronic applications to: http://www.Grants.gov. For more information, see section III of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dickran Kazandjian, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 2320, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-5272; or Vieda Hubbard, Division of Acquisition Support and Grants (HFA-500), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 240-402-7588.

    For more information on this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and to obtain detailed requirements, please refer to the full FOA located at: http://www.grants.gov. Search by Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-FD-15-029.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Funding Opportunity Description

    RFA-FD-15-029

    93.103

    A. Background

    Multiple Myeloma (MM) is mainly a disease of older adults with a median diagnosis age of 65 years and patients younger than 40 represent only 2 percent of diagnoses. In the United States, 20,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Although the etiology of MM remains elusive, clinical features, observed racial disparity patterns of incidence, reported familial clustering, and younger incidence in patients of Black/African ancestry suggests a role for susceptibility genes. Novel therapies have revolutionized treatment of MM and much of current research is focused on identifying not only efficacious drugs but also on the most efficacious time to initiate treatment. MM is a spectrum of disease which is first manifested by its precursor state Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) which then evolves into smoldering myeloma and then finally symptomatic myeloma and therefore some paradigms of treatment initiation are evolving. Much of this work involves identifying the molecular aberrations, which classify patients' risks. However, this work has mostly been done on the population as a whole. Despite that MM in patients of Black ancestry clearly has a biologically different natural history; clinically Blacks are assessed using the same genetic approaches as the whole population. The proposed project will afford us the opportunity to identify and characterize MM in the Black population with much higher genetic and molecular resolution. It will answer questions such as whether Blacks have, in general, better survival because of the presence of more low risk genetic aberrations and whether these changes alter the effect of treatment drug. Our conclusions may have immense regulatory impact. For example, certain MM therapies may be indicated sooner in the treatment course in Blacks. Alternatively, some therapies may be found to have minimal efficacy and indication in Blacks with certain molecular subtypes. This proposal will be the first study to characterize the molecular subtypes of MM in Blacks in a systematic fashion, investigate the effect of these on novel therapy outcomes, and potentially have major impact on regulatory approvals of future therapies. Therefore, it is imperative to focus on this under-represented population and at least begin to understand the differences in MM pathophysiology, which may ultimately lead to improved outcomes.

    The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute has established a cohort of Black/African ancestry patients diagnosed with MM. These patients have been previously enrolled onto clinical trials and bone marrow biopsy tissue samples are available along with peripheral blood samples all banked. Furthermore, there has been close monitoring of these patients and detailed clinical data already exist. This is crucial to the project. Memorial Sloan Kettering is uniquely positioned to provide FDA much required data both by their novel technical platform and also by their available unique patient cohort and biopsy samples. Finally, organized involvement among a number of Sloan Kettering/National Cancer Institute (NCI)/FDA working groups on issues related to endpoints in MM which provides the unique ability to collaboratively engage FDA, patients, academics, government and industry so that any important findings may distributed to the community will be required.

    B. Research Objectives

    The research objective is to characterize the molecular subtypes of MM in patients of Black/African ancestry and investigate the effect of these on prognosis and novel therapy outcomes.

    C. Eligibility Information

    The following organization is eligible to apply: The Multiple Myeloma Service of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute. This is a sole source request for application because the Multiple Myeloma Service of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute is uniquely situated to support FDA's scientific mission of protecting and promoting the public health by initiating and facilitating research into demographic subpopulations of the United States. It has both the required patient population and the proprietary technical assays required to perform the proposed work.

    II. Award Information/Funds Available A. Award Amount

    It is anticipated that FDA/CDER will fund this Cooperative Agreement up to $172,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and $106,000 in FY 2016 in support of this program project. It is anticipated that only one award will be made, not to exceed $278,000 (direct plus indirect) for total costs. Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds.

    B. Length of Support

    Two-year period of performance beginning on August 2015 or date of award.

    III. Electronic Application, Registration, and Submission

    Only one electronic application will be accepted. To submit an electronic application in response to this FOA, the applicant should first review the full announcement located at http://www.Grants.gov. Search by Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-FD-15-029. (FDA has verified the Web site addresses throughout this document, but FDA is not responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web sites after this document publishes in the Federal Register.) For the electronically submitted application, the following steps are required.

    • Step 1: Obtain a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) Number

    • Step 2: Register With System for Award Management (SAM)

    • Step 3: Obtain Username & Password on http://www.Grants.gov

    • Step 4: Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) Authorization

    • Step 5: Track AOR Status

    • Step 6: Register With Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons

    Steps 1 through 5, in detail, can be found at http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp. Step 6, in detail, can be found at https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/registration/registrationInstructions.jsp. After you have followed these steps, submit the electronic application to: http://www.grants.gov.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-12742 Filed 5-27-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0480] Integrated Food Safety System Online Collaboration Development AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of grant funds for the support of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD). The goal of the NCFPD is to provide well-established and high-level access to Food/Agriculture Sector Organizations and coordination of electronic collaborative tools; collaborative support from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NCFPD also has past experience directly supporting the President's Food Safety Working Group Objectives to integrate the food safety system at all levels.

    DATES:

    Important dates are as follows:

    1. The application due date is July 15, 2015.

    2. The anticipated start date is September 2015.

    3. The opening date is May 15, 2015.

    4. The expiration date is July 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit electronic applications to: http://www.grants.gov. For more information, see section III of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nicola Areshenko, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs, 253-987-7921, email: [email protected]; or Dan Lukash, Grants Management Specialist, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Acquisitions & Grant Services, 240-402-7596, [email protected]

    For more information on this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and to obtain detailed requirements, please refer to the full FOA located at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide (select the “Request for Applications” link), http://www.grants.gov (see “For Applicants” section), and http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=rfa-fd-15-024.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Funding Opportunity Description

    RFA-FD-15-021<