Federal Register Vol. 80, No.111,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 111 (June 10, 2015)

Page Range32855-33153
FR Document

80_FR_111
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 32953 - SUNSHINE ACT NOTICE BAC 6735-01PDF
80 FR 32978 - Government In the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 32995 - Sunshine Act Meeting; Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of GovernorsPDF
80 FR 32950 - Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for the State of ArkansasPDF
80 FR 32949 - National Environmental Education Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 32870 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate MatterPDF
80 FR 32994 - Submission for Review: Standard Form 2809, Health Benefits Election Form, 3206-0160PDF
80 FR 32946 - Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Transfer of DataPDF
80 FR 32995 - Submission for Review: Federal Annuitant Benefits SurveyPDF
80 FR 32949 - Diclofop-methyl; Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
80 FR 32859 - Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Rate Setting for Community-Rated PlansPDF
80 FR 33026 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked PersonsPDF
80 FR 33025 - Unblocking of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons Pursuant to the Cuban Assets Control RegulationsPDF
80 FR 32937 - Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013PDF
80 FR 32983 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Power Uprates; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 32980 - Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power DistrictPDF
80 FR 32937 - Certain Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014PDF
80 FR 32980 - Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1PDF
80 FR 32981 - Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric & Gas CompanyPDF
80 FR 32979 - Advisory Committee On Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee On Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 32952 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 32979 - Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Future Plant Designs; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 32973 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: TSA Claims Management Branch ProgramPDF
80 FR 32954 - Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching AgreementPDF
80 FR 32955 - Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching AgreementPDF
80 FR 33006 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 33006 - Determination by the Secretary of State Relating to Iran SanctionsPDF
80 FR 32974 - 60-Day Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection for HUD Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Proposed New HUD Services or ProductsPDF
80 FR 33007 - U.S. National Commission for UNESCO; Notice of Closed Teleconference MeetingPDF
80 FR 32971 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Cargo Manifest/Declaration, Stow Plan, Container Status Messages and Importer Security FilingPDF
80 FR 32933 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Direct Investment Surveys: BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 32958 - The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Announces the State Median Income Estimates for Federal Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 32967 - Center for Scientific Review: Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 32967 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 32944 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Borrower Defenses against Loan RepaymentPDF
80 FR 32929 - Information Collection Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on the Farm Service Agency Service DeliveryPDF
80 FR 33015 - Confidential Business Information Reporting Requirements-BTS' Response to Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 32861 - Rulemaking Procedures-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; Treatment of Confidential Business InformationPDF
80 FR 32867 - Revisions to the Electronic Submission of the Import Request of Shell EggsPDF
80 FR 33009 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 32936 - In the Matter of: Luis Armando Collins-Avila, Inmate Number-98902-308, Big Spring, Correctional Institution, 2001 Rickabaugh Drive, Big Spring, TX 79720PDF
80 FR 32977 - Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service Lost and Found ReportPDF
80 FR 33008 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 32943 - Notice of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Disposal and Reuse of Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) Willow Grove, PennsylvaniaPDF
80 FR 32977 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
80 FR 32969 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 32968 - Proposed collection; 60-day comment request Information Program on Clinical Trials: Maintaining a Registry and Results Databank (NLM)PDF
80 FR 33011 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 33007 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 32932 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2015-2017 Business Research and Development and Innovation SurveysPDF
80 FR 32944 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Talent Search (TS) Annual Performance ReportPDF
80 FR 32935 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Chemical Weapons Convention Provisions of the Export Administration RegulationsPDF
80 FR 33013 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32945 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 32855 - Proceedings Before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Rules Relating to Suspension or Disbarment From Appearance and PracticePDF
80 FR 32941 - Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification WorkshopsPDF
80 FR 32866 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
80 FR 32976 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Indian Reservation RoadsPDF
80 FR 32975 - Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Student Transportation FormPDF
80 FR 32951 - Application for Final Commitment for a Long-Term Loan or Financial Guarantee in Excess of $100 Million: AP089004XXPDF
80 FR 32959 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32934 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Direct Investment Surveys: BE-11, Annual Survey of U.S. Direct Investment AbroadPDF
80 FR 32930 - Recreation Resource Advisory CommitteesPDF
80 FR 32931 - National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning RulePDF
80 FR 32962 - Determination That Ondansetron (Ondansetron Hydrochloride) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 Milligrams in 50 Milliliters, Was Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
80 FR 32966 - Baxter Healthcare Corporation et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of One New Drug Application and Four Abbreviated New Drug ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 32868 - Homeopathic Product Regulation: Evaluating the Food and Drug Administration's Regulatory Framework After a Quarter-Century; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 33027 - Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Advisory Committee on Structural Safety of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 32941 - Marine Mammals; File No. 19108; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 32956 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32991 - Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit 3PDF
80 FR 32989 - FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 33003 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Intermarket Order RoutingPDF
80 FR 32995 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 13.8 Describing a Communication and Routing Service Known as BATS ConnectPDF
80 FR 33001 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 13.8 Describing a Communication and Routing Service Known as BATS ConnectPDF
80 FR 32997 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Solicitation Auction MechanismPDF
80 FR 33005 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Seventh Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the New York Stock Exchange LLCPDF
80 FR 33001 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change To Modify the Opening ProcessPDF
80 FR 32983 - In the Matter of Issuance of a Non-Manufacturing and Distribution Service Provider OrderPDF
80 FR 33016 - Final Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the AgenciesPDF
80 FR 32963 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Establishment of a Tobacco User PanelPDF
80 FR 32939 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32940 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32962 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval Comparative Price Information in Direct-to-Consumer and Professional Prescription Drug AdvertisementsPDF
80 FR 33027 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32943 - Procurement List; Additions and DeletionPDF
80 FR 32957 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32953 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 32945 - Chasm Hydro Partnership; Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC; Notice of Transfer of ExemptionPDF
80 FR 32952 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10404, Piedmont Community Bank, Gray, GeorgiaPDF
80 FR 32978 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Settlement Agreement Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
80 FR 32963 - Identification of Alternative In Vitro Bioequivalence Pathways Which Can Reliably Ensure In Vivo Bioequivalence of Product Performance and Quality of Non-Systemically Absorbed Drug Products for Animals; Reopening of the Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 32961 - Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Dystrophinopathies: Developing Drugs for Treatment; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 32969 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 32947 - Notice of Receipt of Requests for Amendments To Terminate Uses in Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
80 FR 32951 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active IngredientsPDF
80 FR 32954 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
80 FR 32869 - Intercountry Adoptions: Regulatory Change To Prevent Accreditation and Approval Renewal Requests From Coming Due at the Same TimePDF
80 FR 32909 - Federal Acquisition Regulation: Small Business Subcontracting ImprovementsPDF
80 FR 32960 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request; State Developmental Disabilities Council-Annual Program Performance Report (PPR)PDF
80 FR 33014 - Request for Comments on the Reinstatement of an OMB Control Number for an Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 33099 - Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2017PDF
80 FR 32874 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Kansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan Revision and 2014 Five-Year Progress ReportPDF
80 FR 32879 - Significant New Use Rule on Certain Chemical SubstancesPDF
80 FR 32922 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating Critical Habitat on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe for 135 SpeciesPDF
80 FR 33029 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional OvensPDF
80 FR 32885 - Relay Services for Deaf-Blind IndividualsPDF
80 FR 32857 - Relay Services for Deaf-Blind IndividualsPDF

Issue

80 111 Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Electronic Submission of the Import Request of Shell Eggs, 32867-32868 2015-14180 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: 2015-2017 Business Research and Development and Innovation Surveys, 32932-32933 2015-14166 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 32954 2015-14087 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assets for Independence Program Evaluation, 32957-32958 2015-14117 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Carryover and Reallotment Report, 32959-32960 2015-14149 National Youth in Transition Database and Youth Outcome Survey, 32956-32957 2015-14140 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Programs: State Median Income Estimates for Federal Fiscal Year 2016, 32958-32959 2015-14187 Privacy Act; Computer Matching Agreement, 32954-32955 2015-14200 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 32955-32956 2015-14199 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 32943 2015-14118 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Commission Proceedings: Suspension or Disbarment from Appearance and Practice, 32855-32857 2015-14159 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Developmental Disabilities Council; Annual Program Performance Report, 32960-32961 2015-14051 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation: Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 32909-32922 2015-14055
Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Direct Investment Surveys -- Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 32933-32934 2015-14188 Direct Investment Surveys -- Annual Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, 32934-32935 2015-14148 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Borrower Defenses against Loan Repayment, 32944-32945 2015-14184 Talent Search Annual Performance Report, 32944 2015-14165 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Conventional Ovens, 33030-33098 2015-13764
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Kansas—Regional Haze Revision and 2014 Five-Year Progress Report, 32874-32879 2015-13943 Washington—Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter, 32870-32874 2015-14225 Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and Biomass-based Diesel Volume for 2017, 33100-33153 2015-13956 Significant New Use Rule on Certain Chemical Substances, 32879-32885 2015-13941 NOTICES Data Transfers: Eastern Research Group, Inc., 32946-32947 2015-14222 Meetings: National Environmental Education Advisory Council, 32949 2015-14226 Pesticide Product Registrations: Amendments to Terminate Uses in Certain Pesticide Registrations, 32951 Applications for New Active Ingredients, 32951 2015-14091 Pesticide Registrations: Diclofop-methyl Product Cancellation Order, 32949-32950 2015-14220 Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for the State of Arkansas, 32950-32951 2015-14227 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Applications for Long-Term Loans or Financial Guarantees in Excess of $100 Million, 32951-32952 2015-14152 Farm Service Farm Service Agency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Customer Feedback on the Farm Service Agency Service Delivery, 32929-32930 2015-14183 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, 32857-32859 2015-13717 PROPOSED RULES Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, 32885-32909 2015-13718 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 Terminations of Receiverships: Piedmont Community Bank, Gray, GA, 32952 2015-14105 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 32945-32946 2015-14160 Exemption Transfers: Chasm Hydro Partnership; Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro, LLC, 32945 2015-14107 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 32952 2015-14204 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32953 2015-14309 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Rulemaking Procedures: Treatment of Confidential Business Information, 32861-32865 2015-14181 NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 33007-33013 2015-14167 2015-14168 2015-14173 2015-14179 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33013-33014 2015-14161 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32953-32954 2015-14113 Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Designating Critical Habitat on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe for 135 Species, 32922-32928 2015-13850 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Homeopathic Product Regulation: Evaluating the Food and Drug Administration's Regulatory Framework After a Quarter-Century, 32868-32869 2015-14143 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Comparative Price Information in Direct-to-Consumer and Professional Prescription Drug Advertisements, 32962-32963 2015-14122 Establishment of a Tobacco User Panel, 32963-32966 2015-14125 Determinations that Products Were Withdrawn from Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: Ondansetron (Ondansetron Hydrochloride) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 Milligrams in 50 Milliliters, 32962 2015-14145 Drug Application Withdrawals: Baxter Healthcare Corporation et al., 32966-32967 2015-14144 Guidance: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Dystrophinopathies - Developing Drugs for Treatment, 32961 2015-14100 Identification of Alternative In Vitro Bioequivalence Pathways which can Reliably Ensure in Vivo Bioequivalence of Product Performance and Quality of Non-Systemically Absorbed Drug Products for Animals, 32963 2015-14101 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 33025-33027 2015-14215 2015-14216 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Charter Renewals; Requests for Nominations: Recreation Resource Advisory Committees, 32930-32931 2015-14147 Meetings: National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule, 32931-32932 2015-14146 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation: Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 32909-32922 2015-14055 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Qualitative Feedback on Proposed New HUD Services or Products, 32974-32975 2015-14192 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Indian Reservation Roads, 32976-32977 2015-14154 Student Transportation Form, 32975-32976 2015-14153 Industry Industry and Security Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Chemical Weapons Convention Provisions of the Export Administration Regulations, 32935-32936 2015-14164 Denials of Export Privileges: Luis Armando Collins-Avila, 32936-32937 2015-14177 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 32937 2015-14208 Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea, 32937-32939 2015-14214 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32978 2015-14304 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Settlement Agreements under CERCLA, 32978-32979 2015-14102 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Survey: Oregon/Washington, 32977 2015-14171 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Acquisition Regulation: Small Business Subcontracting Improvements, 32909-32922 2015-14055 National Credit National Credit Union Administration NOTICES Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Information Program on Clinical Trials—Maintaining a Registry and Results Databank, 32968-32969 2015-14169 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 32969-32971 2015-14095 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 32967-32969 2015-14170 2015-14185 2015-14186 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 32866 2015-14155 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 32939-32941 2015-14123 2015-14124 Meetings: Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops, 32941-32942 2015-14158 Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 19108; Correction, 32941 2015-14141 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Park Service Lost and Found Report, 32977-32978 2015-14175 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Disposal and Reuse of Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, PA, 32943-32944 2015-14172 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Licenses: Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric and Gas Co., 32981-32983 2015-14206 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, 32989-32991 2015-14138 License Amendment Applications: Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit 3, 32991-32994 2015-14139 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Future Plant Designs, 32979 2015-14203 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Power Uprates, 32983 2015-14210 Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials, 32979 2015-14205 Non-Manufacturing and Distribution Service Provider Orders, 32983-32989 2015-14129 Petitions; Denials: Omaha Public Power District, Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1, 32980-32981 2015-14207 Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, 32980 2015-14209 Personnel Personnel Management Office RULES Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Rate Setting for Community-Rated Plans, 32859-32861 2015-14219 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Federal Annuitant Benefits Survey, 32995 2015-14221 Health Benefits Election Form, 32994 2015-14223 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 32995 2015-14240 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 33016-33025 2015-14126 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 33001-33003 2015-14134 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 32995-32997 2015-14135 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 32997-33001 2015-14133 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 33003-33005 2015-14136 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 33001 2015-14131 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 33005-33006 2015-14132 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES Intercountry Adoptions: Regulatory Change to Prevent Accreditation and Approval Renewal Requests from Coming Due at the Same Time, 32869-32870 2015-14066 NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: Out of the Box—The Rise of Sneaker Culture, 33006-33007 2015-14196 Determination by the Secretary of State Relating to Iran Sanctions, 33006 2015-14195 Meetings: U.S. National Commission for UNESCO; Teleconferences, 33007 2015-14191 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Transportation Statistics Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33014 2015-13990
Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claims Management Branch Program, 32973-32974 2015-14201 Transportation Statistics Transportation Statistics Bureau NOTICES Confidential Business Information Reporting Requirements, 33015-33016 2015-14182 Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 33027 2015-14120
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Cargo Manifest/Declaration, Stow Plan, Container Status Messages and Importer Security Filing, 32971-32973 2015-14189 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Structural Safety of Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities, 33027-33028 2015-14142 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Energy Department, 33030-33098 2015-13764 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 33100-33153 2015-13956 Reader Aids

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80 111 Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Rules and Regulations COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 14 RIN 3038-AE21 Proceedings Before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Rules Relating to Suspension or Disbarment From Appearance and Practice AGENCY:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission” or “CFTC”) amends its regulations to clarify the standard used for determining when an accountant has engaged in “unethical or improper professional conduct”—grounds for a temporary or permanent denial of the privilege to practice before the Commission. The amendment enhances transparency by codifying the standard used in Commission adjudications of accountant conduct under the Commission's regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective July 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jason Gizzarelli, Director, Office of Proceedings, (202) 418-5395, [email protected], Office of the Executive Director, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Part 14 of the Commission's regulations addresses the circumstances under which the Commission may deny attorneys and accountants, temporarily or permanently, the privilege of practicing their respective professions before it. Rule 14.8 specifically provides that the Commission, after notice and opportunity for a hearing and an adverse finding by a preponderance of the evidence, may bar an attorney or accountant found: (a) Not to possess the requisite qualifications to represent others; or (b) to be lacking in character or integrity; or (c) to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct either in the course of an adjudicatory, investigative, rulemaking, or other proceeding before the Commission or otherwise.1

1 17 CFR 14.8.

Prior to this amendment, rule 14.8 did not further articulate what constitutes “unethical or improper professional conduct” by an accountant under paragraph (c). However, since 1996, the Commission has filed six administrative actions alleging violations of rule 14.8 against accountants appearing and practicing before it.2 In each case, the Commission accepted a settlement banning the defendants from practicing before it for a specified time period.

2In re Deloitte & Touche and Thomas Lux, CFTC Docket No. 96-10, 1996 WL 547883 (CFTC September 25, 1996); In re Sherald Griffin, CPA & Donna Laubscher, CPA, CFTC Docket No. 98-12, 1998 WL 161709 (CFTC April 8, 1998); In re Anatoly Osadchy, CPA, CFTC Docket No. 99-2, 1998 WL 754637 (CFTC October 29, 1998); In re G. Victor Johnson and Altschuler, Melvoin & Glasser, LLP, CFTC Docket No. 04-29, 2005 WL 1398672 (CFTC June 13, 2005); In re G. Victor Johnson II, McGladrey & Pullen, LLP and Altshuler, Melvoin & Glasser, LLP, CFTC Docket No. 11-01, 2010 WL 3903905 (CFTC October 4 2010; In re Jeannie Veraja-Snelling, CFTC Docket No. 13-29, 2013 WL 4647784 (CFTC filed Aug. 26, 2013).

Section 201.102(e) of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (“SEC's”) regulations (“SEC rule of practice 102(e)”) 3 addresses the standard of conduct for accountants practicing before that commission. Parallel to Commission rule 14.8, SEC rule of practice 102(e)(1)(ii) sets out “unethical or improper professional conduct” as grounds for accountant suspension and disbarment from practice before the SEC. As amended in 1998,4 the SEC regulation further provides that with respect to persons licensed to practice as accountants, “improper professional conduct” under SEC rule of practice 102(e)(1)(ii) means intentional or knowing conduct, including reckless conduct, that results in a violation of applicable professional standards; or either of the following two types of negligent conduct: A single instance of highly unreasonable conduct that results in a violation of applicable professional standards in circumstances in which an accountant knows, or should know, that heightened scrutiny is warranted; or repeated instances of unreasonable conduct, each resulting in a violation of applicable professional standards, that indicate a lack of competence to practice before the Commission.5

3 17 CFR 201.102(e).

4See Amendment to Rule 102(e) of the Commission's Rule of Practice, 63 FR 57164 (Oct. 26, 1998).

5 17 CFR 201.102(e)(1)(iv).

The standard for accountant “improper professional conduct” expressed in SEC rule of practice 102(e)(1) is consistent with that applied by the Commission in its earlier-referenced adjudications of accountant conduct under rule 14.8.

II. The Proposed Amendment to Rule 14.8; Consideration of Comments

On October 23, 2014, the Commission published a proposed amendment to rule 14.8 (“the Proposal”) for public comment.6 As proposed, the amendment sought to add language to rule 14.8(c) to clarify the meaning of accountant “improper professional conduct.” As explained in the Proposal, the proposed amendment mirrors in substance the standard prescribed in SEC rule of practice 102(e)(1)(iv), and comports with the standard historically applied by the Commission in adjudications of accountant conduct.

6 Proceedings before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Rules Relating to Suspension or Disbarment from Appearance and Practice, 79 FR 63343 (Oct. 23, 2014).

The Commission received three comments on the Proposal.7 Each commenter supported the amended rule as proposed without raising substantive issues. For example Deloitte LLP stated that it “support[s] the CFTC's decision to seek regulatory consistency by adopting a definition that is identical to the definition provided under Rule 102(e) of the Rules of Practice of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.” 8 Ernst & Young LLP wrote that “[a]dopting a rule that is modeled after SEC Rule 102(e), which would be the case with respect to the proposed amendment, strikes us as a reasonable approach given the lengthy history and background of the SEC's rule.” 9 A third commenter wrote that the proposed rule “requires the accountant to act with integrity and perform its duties with competence and care and will promote market integrity, ensure regulators consistency (with the SEC), enhance customer protection and improve risk management.” 10 Accordingly, the Commission is adopting the amendment to rule 14.8, as proposed.

7 The three commenters on the proposed rule amendment were Ernst & Young LLP, Deloitte LLP and Chris Barnard.

8 Deloitte LLP Comment Letter at 1 (November 24, 2014).

9 Ernst & Young LLP Comment Letter at 1 (November 24, 2014).

10 Chris Barnard Comment Letter at 2 (November 4, 2014).

III. Role of and Standards Applied to Accountants

Accountants auditing Commission registrants perform a critical gatekeeper role in protecting the financial integrity of the derivatives markets and the investing public. Accountants appearing before the Commission in this capacity must understand the business operations of their clients and conduct financial audits both in accordance with applicable professional principles and standards and in satisfaction of all the requirements of the Commission's regulations.11

11 The current professional principles and standards applicable to accountants appearing before the Commission include Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, International Accounting Standards, the Code of Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the rules and standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Rule 14.8 can be an effective remedial tool to ensure that the accountants appearing before the Commission are competent to do so and do not pose a threat to the Commission's registration and examination functions. Accountants who engage in intentional or knowing misconduct, which includes reckless conduct, clearly pose such a threat, as do accountants who engage in certain specified types of negligent conduct.

The Commission believes that a single, highly unreasonable error in judgment or other act made in circumstances warranting heightened scrutiny conclusively demonstrates a lack of competence to practice before the Commission. Repeated unreasonable conduct may also indicate a lack of competence. Therefore, if the Commission finds that an accountant acted egregiously in a single instance or unreasonably in more than one instance and that this conduct indicates a lack of competence, then that accountant engaged in improper professional conduct under rule 14.8's standard.

The amendment to rule 14.8 is not meant, however, to encompass every professional misstep. A single judgment error, for example, even if unreasonable when made, may not indicate a lack of competence to practice before the Commission sufficient to require Commission action. The amendment seeks to provide greater clarity with respect to the Commission's standard for assessing accountant conduct, as developed to-date through administrative adjudications. At the same time, however, like the SEC regulation after which the amendment is modeled, the amendment elaborates standards that are to be applied in adjudications on a case-by-case basis, a method that promotes equitable application of the standards as warranted upon full consideration of the facts of each case.

Similarly, as the SEC noted when it amended its rule of practice in 1998,12 the Commission does not seek to use rule 14.8 to establish new standards for the accounting profession. The rule itself imposes no new professional standards on accountants. Accountants who appear or practice before the Commission are already subject to professional standards, and rule 14.8(c) is intended to apply in a manner consistent with those existing standards.

12See 63 FR 33305 (June 18, 1998); 63 FR 57164 (Oct. 26, 1998).

IV. Related Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to consider whether the rules they may adopt will have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities.13 This amendment simply clarifies the standard by which the Commission determines whether accountants have engaged in “improper professional conduct” and does not impose any additional burdens on small businesses. Accordingly, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), that the amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses.

13 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

The amendment to Rule 14.8 does not establish a collection of information for which the Commission would be obligated to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act.14

14 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

C. Consideration of Costs and Benefits

Section 15(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) requires the Commission to “consider the costs and benefits” of its actions before promulgating a regulation under the CEA or issuing certain orders.15 Section 15(a) further specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) Protection of market participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (3) price discovery; (4) sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest considerations. The Commission considers the costs and benefits resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the section 15(a) factors.

15 7 U.S.C. 19(a).

Reckless accounting practices threaten serious harm to market participants and, potentially, to the financial system as a whole.16 Rule 14.8, which encompasses “improper professional conduct” of accountants that practice before the Commission, is one of the Commission's tools to guard against such harm. The amendment does not substantively change the standard that the Commission has employed to date under rule 14.8(c) in assessing accountant conduct. Rather, as discussed above, the amendment—which closely tracks language in the SEC's analogous rule 17 —simply expands upon the pre-existing language of rule 14.8(c) to articulate the standard more specifically and in a manner consistent with the standard the Commission has applied in past administrative adjudications considering accountant behavior.18

16 For example, accounting professionals who prepare or assist in the preparation of misleading auditing reports or financial statements—either deliberately or due to their incompetence—may help cover up fraudulent practices that result in loss of customer funds. In addition, misleading auditing reports or financial statements may result in excessive risks being undertaken, because certain risk measures or decisions regarding risk management are based on accounting data.

17 17 CFR 201.102(e)(1)(iv).

18See note 2, supra.

Accordingly, the amendment's chief benefit derives from clarifying the specific contours of the Commission's existing rule 14.8(c) standard as applied to accountant behavior and by codifying this refined approach in the Commission's regulations. Through this codification, the standard will be more transparent and accessible to professional practitioners, market participants, and the public generally. As a result, accountants appearing before the Commission will have the benefit of prominent notice of the specific standards of conduct to which they are held, and the consequences of failing to meet them. To the extent an accountant inclined to test the bounds of professional conduct may have previously perceived loopholes or ambiguity for exploitation under the generally-stated standard of rule 14.8(c), the clarifying amendment provides a deterrent against such potentially damaging conduct—a benefit for market participants and the public. Further, such clear, specific notice forecloses to a great degree potential for an offending accounting practitioner, in defense of improper conduct, to argue confusion or uncertainty about what specifically the Commission's standard requires, thus supporting Commission enforcement efficiency.

The Commission anticipates no material cost burden attributable to the amendment for market participants or accounting professionals to whom the amendment is addressed. Again, this amendment merely articulates with more precision the contours of the more generally-stated standard of rule 14.8(c) as it has existed prior to this amendment; further, this pre-existing standard has encompassed standards governing the accounting profession generally and with which accounting professionals have needed to comply. Since the clarifying amendment effects no substantive change to the rule 14.8 standard, accountants practicing before the Commission should already be in compliance. Consequently, they should experience no cost to change their behavior to comply with the rule as amended.

In the following, the Commission considers the amendment relative to the CEA section 15(a) factors.

(1) Protection of Market Participants and the Public

As noted, improper accounting practices may help to cover up financial frauds or foster improper managerial decisions and may pose a threat to the safety of customer funds. By articulating the Commission's standards in more specific, codified, and readily accessible form, the amendment safeguards against accountants professing lack of knowledge of the applicable standards—or exploiting perceived ambiguities in them—to the detriment of market participants and the public.

(2) Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Futures Markets

Threats to the safety of customer funds generate public distrust in financial market integrity. To the extent this rule amendment better informs accountants and fosters their understanding of the Commission's standards and the consequences of improper actions—actions that potentially could threaten the safety of customer funds—the amendment promotes the integrity of financial markets.

(3) Price Discovery

The Commission does not foresee that the amendment will directly impact price discovery.

(4) Sound Risk Management Practices

As noted, improper accounting practices may lead to unnecessary risks being undertaken, as certain risk measures or managerial decisions are based on accounting data. To the extent the amendment improves accountants' understanding of the Commission's standards, thereby deterring improper conduct that potentially could result in unnecessary risks being undertaken, the amendment promotes sound risk management practices.

(5) Other Public Interest Considerations

By harmonizing the rule 14.8(c) standard for accountants with that of SEC rule of practice 102(e), the amendment helps to ensure consistency and reduces potential for confusion.

List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 14

Administrative practice and procedure, Professional conduct and competency standards, Ethical conduct, Penalties.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission amends 17 CFR part 14 as set forth below:

PART 14—RULES RELATING TO SUSPENSION OR DISBARMENT FROM APPEARANCE AND PRACTICE 1. The authority citation for part 14 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

Pub. L. 93-463, sec. 101(a)(11), 88 Stat. 1391, 7 U.S.C. 4a(j).

2. Amend § 14.8 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 14.8 Lack of requisite qualifications, character and integrity.

(c) To have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct either in the course of any adjudicatory, investigative or rulemaking or other proceeding before the Commission or otherwise. With respect to the professional conduct of persons licensed to practice as accountants, “unethical or improper professional conduct” means:

(1) Intentional or knowing conduct, including reckless conduct, that results in a violation of applicable professional principles or standards; or

(2) Either of the following two types of negligent conduct:

(i) A single instance of highly unreasonable conduct that results in a violation of applicable professional principles or standards in circumstances in which an accountant knows, or should know, that heightened scrutiny is warranted.

(ii) Repeated instances of unreasonable conduct, each resulting in a violation of applicable professional principles or standards, which indicate a lack of competence to practice before the Commission.

Issued in Washington, DC, on June 5, 2015, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Note:

The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Appendix to Proceedings Before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Rules Relating to Suspension or Disbarment From Appearance and Practice—Commission Voting Summary

On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Wetjen, Bowen, and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

[FR Doc. 2015-14159 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [CG Docket No. 10-210; FCC 15-57] Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission extends the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) as a pilot program for one additional year. The NDBEDP provides up to $10 million annually to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Extending the pilot program enables the NDBEDP to continue providing communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind without interruption while the Commission considers whether to adopt rules to govern a permanent NDBEDP.

DATES:

Effective June 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rosaline Crawford, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, at 202-418-2075 or email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's document FCC 15-57, Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Order (Order), adopted on May 21, 2015 and released on May 27, 2015, in CG Docket No. 10-210. The full text of document FCC 15-57 will be available for public inspection and copying via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), through the Commission's Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/, and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Document FCC 15-57 can also be downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at http://www.fcc.gov/ndbedp. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

Synopsis I. Background

1. Section 105 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) added section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which directed the Commission to establish rules to provide up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Public Law 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010); 47 U.S.C. 620. In 2011, the Commission established the NDBEDP as a two-year pilot program, with an option to extend it for an additional year. Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, Report and Order, published at 76 FR 26641, May 9, 2011 (NDBEDP Pilot Program Order); 47 CFR 64.610 (NDBEDP pilot program rules). The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) launched the pilot program on July 1, 2012. To implement the program, the Bureau certified 53 entities to participate in the NDBEDP—one entity to distribute communications equipment in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, hereinafter referred to as “state programs” or “certified programs”—and selected a national outreach coordinator to support the outreach and distribution efforts of these state programs. On February 7, 2014, the Bureau extended the pilot program for a third year, until June 30, 2015. Many individuals who have received equipment and training through the NDBEDP have reported that this program has vastly improved their daily lives, significantly enhancing their ability to live independently and expanding their educational and employment opportunities.

2. On August 1, 2014, the Bureau released a Public Notice inviting comment on which rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program should be retained and which should be modified to make the permanent NDBEDP more effective and more efficient. Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 9451 (CGB 2014). In response to the Public Notice, the Commission received over 40 comments from disability organizations, certified programs, and individual consumers, which will help to inform the preparation of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish a permanent NDBEDP when the pilot program ends.

II. Extension of Pilot Program

3. In the Order, the Commission extends the existing NDBEDP pilot program rules for one additional year, until June 30, 2016. As noted in the Order, the Commission has sought comment on whether certain changes should be made when the NDBEDP transitions from a pilot to a permanent program. Completion of this rulemaking and implementation of any new rules may take longer than June 30, 2015, when the rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program will expire. Extending the pilot program will provide time to receive and thoroughly consider public input on proposed rules for a permanent program, as well as to implement final rules for the permanent NDBEDP without interrupting the distribution of communications equipment and provision of related services to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind, which the Commission finds serves the public interest. The extension will also provide greater programmatic certainty to entities that are currently certified to participate in the NDBEDP and enable the Commission to provide a smooth transition from the NDBEDP pilot program to a permanent program. The Commission commits to continue the pilot NDBEDP as long as necessary to ensure a seamless transition between the pilot and permanent programs to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of equipment to this target population. When the Commission adopts final rules for the permanent program, it will consider the extent to which the pilot program needs to be extended further. To provide reasonable notice to the certified programs operating under the pilot program rules prior to June 30, 2015, this extension of the pilot program rules shall be effective June 10, 2015.

Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

The Commission currently has an Office and Management and Budget (OMB) collection 3060-1146 pending OMB's review and approval of an extension submitted to OMB on April 22, 2015. This collection contains information collection requirements for the NDBEDP pilot program, which are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Public Law 104-13. However, document FCC 15-57 does not modify the existing information collection requirements contained in OMB collection 3060-1146, and it does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the PRA. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002. Public Law 107-198. See also 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

Congressional Review Act

The Commission will not send a copy of FCC 15-57 pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, because the Commission adopted no rules therein. See 5 U.S.C 801(a)(1)(A). Rather than adopting rules, the Commission exercised its statutory authority to extend the NDBEDP as a pilot program by Order for one additional year.

Ordering Clause

Pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), and 719 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), and 620, that document FCC 15-57 is adopted.

Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-13717 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 48 CFR Parts 1602, 1615, and 1652 RIN 3206-AN00 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Rate Setting for Community-Rated Plans AGENCY:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a final rule that makes changes to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Acquisition Regulation (FEHBAR). These changes: define which subscriber groups may be included for consideration as similarly sized subscriber groups (SSSGs); require the SSSG to be traditional community rated; establish that traditional community rated (TCR) Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans must select only one rather than two SSSGs; and make conforming changes to FEHB contract language to account for the new medical loss ratio (MLR) standard for most community rated FEHB plans.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Wenqiong Fu, Policy Analyst, at [email protected] or (202) 606-0004.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is issuing a final rule to update the Federal Employees Health Benefits Acquisition Regulation to accommodate the new FEHB specific medical loss ratio (MLR) requirement for most community rated plans as well as to update the similarly sized subscriber group (SSSG) requirement for traditional community rated plans.

Comments on FEHB Premium Impacts

OPM received a comment regarding the impact the regulation will have on future premiums in the FEHB Program. Based on the analysis, OPM does not believe that there will be a significant impact in aggregate on the entire FEHBP, and as such, it is unlikely that there will be any major substantive impacts on future premium increases in the FEHBP as a whole.

Comment on Traditional Community Rating Plans on FEHB Groups

A commenter raised a concern that, by utilizing TCR plans, OPM may potentially cost the government more money. The commenter's justification was that insurers will adjust rates to the highest expected rate if they have to provide the same rates to all groups. Traditional Community Rating is guided by state law and all groups pay the average cost of coverage for the community. As such, it is not believed plans will adjust rates to the highest expected rate.

Comments on Recommended Language

A commenter suggested that (1) OPM should exclude customers of carrier subsidiaries from SSSG consideration and (2) OPM should also exclude from SSSG analysis “[an] entity that maintains a contractual arrangement with the carrier to provide healthcare benefits.”

OPM declines to make this change. We require these entities to be considered for SSSG comparison because we do not want businesses to form distinct entities under a corporate umbrella for the sole purposes of getting a lower rate for non-FEHBP groups. Our goal is to identify one non-FEHBP subscriber group (employer groups covered by an issuer) that is closest in size to the FEHBP group and, if the group received a discounted rate, the carrier must provide the discount to the FEHBP. We feel that, if carriers have the ability to shift groups under a corporate umbrella, the most appropriate SSSG will not be available for comparison to the FEHBP group and the FEHB program will be at greater risk. OPM also is not amending 48 CFR 1602.170-13(b)(1)(iv). Our intention is not to include SSSGs of entities with whom a Carrier contracts to provide health insurance coverage for its own employees. Additionally, we do not intend to set up a reinsurance arrangement. Our intent is to include entities where a Carrier has contracted provision of benefits to its customers to a third-party entity.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

OPM certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation only affects health insurance carriers in the FEHB Program.

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Review

This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 12866. OPM has examined the impact of this final rule as required by Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563, which 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). A regulatory impact analysis must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects of $100 million or more in any one year. This rule is not considered a major rule because there will be no increased costs to Federal agencies, Federal Employees, or Federal retirees in their health insurance premiums.

Federalism

We have examined this rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132, Federalism, and have determined that this rule will not have any negative impact on the rights, roles, and responsibilities of State, local, or tribal governments.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1602, 1615, and 1652

Government employees, Government procurement, Health insurance reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Katherine Archuleta, Director.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, OPM amends chapter 16 of title 48 CFR (FEHBAR) as follows:

PART 1602—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS 1. The authority citation for part 1602 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 8913; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 48 CFR 1.301.

2. Revise § 1602.170-13 to read as follows:
§ 1602.170-13 Similarly sized subscriber groups.

(a) A Similarly sized subscriber group (SSSG) is a non-FEHB employer group that:

(1) As of the date specified by OPM in the rate instructions, has a subscriber enrollment closest to the FEHBP subscriber enrollment;

(2) Uses traditional community rating; and,

(3) Meets the criteria specified in the rate instructions issued by OPM.

(b) Any group with which an entity enters into an agreement to provide health care services is a potential SSSG (including groups that are traditional community rated and covered by separate lines of business, government entities, groups that have multi-year contracts, and groups having point-of-service products) except as specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(1) An entity's subscriber groups may be included as an SSSG if the entity is any of the following:

(i) The carrier;

(ii) A division or subsidiary of the carrier;

(iii) A separate line of business or qualified separate line of business of the carrier; or

(iv) An entity that maintains a contractual arrangement with the carrier to provide healthcare benefits.

(2) A subscriber group covered by an entity meeting any of the criteria under paragraph (b)(1) of this section may be included for comparison as a SSSG if the entity meets any of the following criteria:

(i) It reports financial statements on a consolidated basis with the carrier; or

(ii) Shares, delegates, or otherwise contracts with the carrier, any portion of its workforce that involves the management, design, pricing, or marketing of the healthcare product.

(c) The following groups must be excluded from SSSG consideration:

(1) Groups the carrier rates by the method of retrospective experience rating;

(2) Groups consisting of the carrier's own employees;

(3) Medicaid groups, Medicare-only groups, and groups that receive only excepted benefits as defined at 26 U.S.C. 9832(c);

(4) A purchasing alliance whose rate-setting is mandated by the State or local government;

(5) Administrative Service Organizations (ASOs);

(6) Any other group excluded from consideration as specified in the rate instructions issued by OPM.

(d) OPM shall determine the FEHBP rate by selecting the lowest rate derived by using rating methods consistent with those used to derive the SSSG rate.

(e) In the event that a State-mandated TCR carrier has no SSSG, then it will be subject to the FEHB specific MLR requirement.

3. In § 1602.170-14, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1602.170-14 FEHB-specific medical loss ratio threshold calculation.

(a) Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) means the ratio of plan incurred claims, including the carrier's expenditures for activities that improve health care quality, to total premium revenue determined by OPM, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services in 45 CFR part 158.

PART 1615—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 4. The authority citation for part 1615 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 8913; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 48 CFR 1.301; 5 U.S.C. 8902.

5. In § 1615.402, revise paragraphs (c)(2), (c)(3)(i)(A) and (B), and (c)(4) to read as follows:
§ 1615.402 Pricing policy.

(c) * * *

(2) For contracts with fewer than 1,500 enrollee contracts for which the FEHB Program premiums for the contract term will be at or above the threshold at FAR 15.403-4(a)(1), OPM will require the carrier to submit its rate proposal, utilization data, and a certificate of accurate cost or pricing data required in 1615.406-2. In addition, OPM will require the carrier to complete the proposed rates form containing cost and pricing data, and the Community-Rate Questionnaire, but will not require the carrier to send these documents to OPM. The carrier will keep the documents on file for periodic auditor and actuarial review in accordance with 1652.204-70. OPM will perform a basic reasonableness test on the data submitted. Rates that do not pass this test will be subject to further OPM review.

(3) * * *

(i) * * *

(A) For contracts with 1,500 or more enrollee contracts for which the FEHB Program premiums for the contract term will be at or above the threshold at FAR 15.403-4(a)(1), OPM will require the carrier to provide the data and methodology used to determine the FEHB Program rates. OPM will also require the data and methodology used to determine the rates for the carrier's SSSG. The carrier will provide cost or pricing data required by OPM in its rate instructions for the applicable contract period. OPM will evaluate the data to ensure that the rate is reasonable and consistent with the requirements in this chapter. If necessary, OPM may require the carrier to provide additional documentation.

(B) Contracts will be subject to a downward price adjustment if OPM determines that the Federal group was charged more than it would have been charged using a methodology consistent with that used for the SSSG. Such adjustments will be based on the rate determined by using the methodology (including discounts) the carrier used for the SSSG.

(4) Contracts will be subject to a downward price adjustment if OPM determines that the Federal group was charged more than it would have been charged using a methodology consistent with that used for the similarly-sized subscriber group (SSSG). Such adjustments will be based on the rate determined by using the methodology (including discounts) the carrier used for the SSSG.

6. In § 1615.406-2, revise the first certificate following paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 1615.406-2 Certificates of accurate cost or pricing data for community rated carriers. (Beginning of first certificate) Certificate of Accurate Cost or Pricing Data for Community-Rated Carriers (SSSG methodology)

This is to certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief: (1) The cost or pricing data submitted (or, if not submitted, maintained and identified by the carrier as supporting documentation) to the Contracting officer or the Contracting officer's representative or designee, in support of the __* FEHB Program rates were developed in accordance with the requirements of 48 CFR Chapter 16 and the FEHB Program contract and are accurate, complete, and current as of the date this certificate is executed; and (2) the methodology used to determine the FEHB Program rates is consistent with the methodology used to determine the rates for the carrier's Similarly Sized Subscriber Group.

* Insert the year for which the rates apply.

Firm: Name: Signature: Date of Execution: (End of first certificate)
PART 1652—CONTRACT CLAUSES 7. The authority citation for part 1652 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 8913; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 48 CFR 1.301.

8. In § 1652.215-70, revise paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 1652.215-70 Rate Reduction for Defective Pricing or Defective Cost or Pricing Data.

(a) If any rate established in connection with this contract was increased because:

(1) The Carrier submitted, or kept in its files in support of the FEHBP rate, cost or pricing data that were not complete, accurate, or current as certified in one of the Certificates of Accurate Cost or Pricing Data (FEHBAR 1615.406-2);

(2) The Carrier submitted, or kept in its files in support of the FEHBP rate, cost or pricing data that were not accurate as represented in the rate reconciliation documents or MLR Calculation;

(3) The Carrier developed FEHBP rates for traditional community rated plans with a rating methodology and structure inconsistent with that used to develop rates for a similarly sized subscriber group (see FEHBAR 1602.170-13) as certified in the Certificate of Accurate Cost or Pricing Data for Community Rated Carriers;

(4) The Carrier, who is not mandated by the State to use traditional community rating, developed FEHBP rates with a rating methodology and structure inconsistent with its State-filed rating methodology (or if not required to file with the State, their standard written and established rating methodology) or inconsistent with the FEHB specific medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements (see FEHBAR 1602.170-13); or

(5) The Carrier submitted or, kept in its files in support of the FEHBP rate, data or information of any description that were not complete, accurate, and current—then, the rate shall be reduced in the amount by which the price was increased because of the defective data or information.

(c) When the Contracting Officer determines that the rates shall be reduced and the Government is thereby entitled to a refund or that the Government is entitled to a MLR penalty, the Carrier shall be liable to and shall pay the FEHB Fund at the time the overpayment is repaid or at the time the MLR penalty is paid—

(1) Simple interest on the amount of the overpayment from the date the overpayment was paid from the FEHB Fund to the Carrier until the date the overcharge is liquidated. In calculating the amount of interest due, the quarterly rate determinations by the Secretary of the Treasury under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(2) applicable to the periods the overcharge was retained by the Carrier shall be used;

(2) A penalty equal to the amount of overpayment, if the Carrier knowingly submitted cost or pricing data which was incomplete, inaccurate, or noncurrent; and,

(3) Simple interest on the MLR penalty from the date on which the penalty should have been paid to the FEHB Fund to the date on which the penalty was or will be actually paid to the FEHB fund. The interest rate shall be calculated as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

9. In § 1652.216-70, revise paragraphs (b)(2), (3), (7), and (8) to read as follows:
§ 1652.216-70 Accounting and price adjustment.

(b) * * *

(2). Effective January 1, 2013 all community rated plans must develop the FEHBP's rates using their State-filed rating methodology or, if not required to file with the State, their standard written and established rating methodology. A carrier who mandated by the State to use traditional community rating will be subject to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this clause. All other carriers will be subject to paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this clause.

(i) The subscription rates agreed to in this contract shall meet the FEHB-specific MLR threshold as defined in FEHBAR 1602.170-14. The ratio of a plan's incurred claims, including the carrier's expenditures for activities that improve health care quality, to total premium revenue shall not be lower than the FEHB-specific MLR threshold published annually by OPM in its rate instructions.

(ii) The subscription rates agreed to in this contract shall be equivalent to the subscription rates given to the carrier's similarly sized subscriber group (SSSG) as defined in FEHBAR 1602.170-13. The subscription rates shall be determined according to the carrier's established policy, which must be applied consistently to the FEHBP and to the carrier's SSSG. If the SSSG receives a rate lower than that determined according to the carrier's established policy, it is considered a discount. The FEHBP must receive a discount equal to or greater than the carrier's SSSG discount.

(3) If subject to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this clause, then:

(i) If, at the time of the rate reconciliation, the subscription rates are found to be lower than the equivalent rates for the SSSG, the carrier may include an adjustment to the Federal group's rates for the next contract period, except as noted in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this clause.

(ii) If, at the time of the rate reconciliation, the subscription rates are found to be higher than the equivalent rates for the SSSG, the carrier shall reimburse the Fund, for example, by reducing the FEHB rates for the next contract term to reflect the difference between the estimated rates and the rates which are derived using the methodology of the SSSG, except as noted in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this clause.

(iii) Carriers may provide additional guaranteed discounts to the FEHBP that are not given to the SSSG. Any such guaranteed discounts must be clearly identified as guaranteed discounts. After the beginning of the contract year for which the rates are set, these guaranteed FEHBP discounts may not be adjusted.

(7) Carriers may provide additional guaranteed discounts to the FEHBP. Any such guaranteed discounts must be clearly identified as guaranteed discounts. After the beginning of the contract year for which the rates are set, these guaranteed FEHBP discounts may not be adjusted.

(8) Carriers may not impose surcharges (loadings not defined based on an established rating method) on the FEHBP subscription rates or use surcharges in the rate reconciliation process. If the carrier is subject to the SSSG rules and imposes a surcharge on the SSSG, the carrier cannot impose the surcharge on FEHB.

[FR Doc. 2015-14219 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-63-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 389 [Docket No. FMCSA-2015-0168] RIN 2126-AB79 Rulemaking Procedures—Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; Treatment of Confidential Business Information AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA amends its Rulemaking Procedures by adding a new section establishing the standards and procedures that the Agency will use regarding the submission of certain confidential commercial or financial information that is referred to in this rule as “confidential business information” (CBI). This rule also sets forth the procedures for asserting a claim of confidentiality by parties who voluntarily submit CBI to the Agency in connection with a notice-and-comment rulemaking and in a manner consistent with the standards adopted in today's rule.

DATES:

This final rule is effective June 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kim McCarthy, Office of Chief Counsel, Regulatory Affairs Division (MC-CCR), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590; by telephone at 202-366-0834. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the public docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Legal Basis for Rulemaking

Section 552(b)(4) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exempts from public disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential”. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). There is a substantial body of Federal case law interpreting and upholding this exemption, commonly referred to as “FOIA Exemption 4.” An underlying theme of the FOIA Exemption 4 cases is that the exemption is “intended to protect the government as well as the individual,” including advancing the efficiency of government operations. National Parks & Conservation Ass'n v. Morton, 498 F.2d 765, 767 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

Like other Federal agencies, FMSCA has adopted procedural rules implementing the FOIA. 49 CFR 389.7. Agencies' procedures for exempting CBI from disclosure under FOIA vary. In today's rule, FMCSA establishes procedures that the Agency will use for the submission of certain CBI that is presumptively exempt from public disclosure under FOIA Exemption 4. These procedures apply to information voluntarily submitted to the Agency in response to a notice-and-comment rulemaking and that falls within the designated classes of information established in accordance with the rule.

Today's rule incorporates the confidentiality standard for CBI adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Critical Mass Energy Project v. NRC, 975 F.2d 871 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (en banc), in which the court distinguished between information the government compels and that which is voluntarily submitted to help further government functions, such as rulemakings. The court held that information voluntarily submitted to the government should be treated as confidential under FOIA Exemption 4 as long as the submitter can show that it is not customarily released to the general public. Id. at 880.

This regulation is published as a final rule and effective on June 10, 2015. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), agencies may promulgate final rules only after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment. 5 U.S.C. 553(b) and (c). This requirement does not apply, however, to “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure or practice.” 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) (emphasis added). Today's final rule establishes procedures for submitting CBI, and FMCSA therefore determines that notice and comment is unnecessary. In addition, this rule makes no substantive changes to the motor carrier safety regulations and is therefore not a substantive rule subject to the APA's requirement that publication be made at least 30 days before its effective date. 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

Before prescribing any regulations, FMCSA must also consider their benefits and costs. 49 U.S.C. 31136(c)(2)(A) and 31502(d). Those factors are discussed in this final rule.

Background Information

FMCSA has a recurring occasional need to receive CBI in order to improve the Agency's ability to promulgate regulations that: (1) Are evidence-based; (2) take into account the operational and financial realities of regulated parties; and (3) result in improved safety for motor carriers, drivers, and the general public. Historically, FMCSA has received limited amounts of usable data submitted as part of the rulemaking comment process, even in response to specific requests for data on particular topics. FMCSA believes that the procedures and confidentiality protections set forth in today's rule will optimize the Agency's ability to receive necessary CBI in response to notice-and-comment rulemakings.

The Agency recognizes the need to add confidentiality assurances to commenters who provide CBI. Today's rule balances the interests of FMCSA, persons who choose to submit CBI to the Agency, and the public. First, this rule responds to FMCSA's need for pertinent data by facilitating its ability to obtain information necessary for the development of particular rulemakings. Today's rule authorizes the FMCSA Administrator to define classes of information, which are presumptively confidential, based on the confidentiality standard for voluntarily submitted information adopted by the D.C. Circuit in Critical Mass, as noted above. Under the procedures adopted, the specific items of information included within a class will be determined on an as needed basis, depending on the informational requirements of each particular rulemaking. Because the Agency will invite the submission of CBI that is specifically calibrated to inform the rulemaking, FMCSA believes this procedure will significantly enhance the efficacy of responsive comments and, ultimately, the final rule.

Second, by making confidential class determinations, this rule will alleviate the burden on commenters to submit individual claims for confidential treatment, as well as the Agency's burden to evaluate requests for confidential treatment submitted on an individual basis.

Third, this rule responds to the interests of commenters who wish to protect their submitted information from disclosure in the public domain because it is confidential within the meaning of the FOIA. It establishes the standards and procedures by which submitters of CBI must substantiate their request for confidential treatment. Today's rule also states that, if those qualifying requirements are met and maintained, the Agency will not disclose the CBI in the public docket or in response to a FOIA request.

Fourth, this rule responds to the public's interest in transparency and disclosure in the rulemaking process. It requires FMCSA to describe through summarization, aggregation, or some other de-identified means, any CBI submitted in accordance with these procedures and on which the Agency relies in developing a final rule. FMCSA must also explain how such CBI assisted in formulating that final rule.

Finally, this rule permits the public disclosure of information initially designated as confidential by the submitter if the Agency finds that the submitter fails to meet or maintain the confidentiality criteria established in this rule. In addition, to the extent that commenters who choose to submit CBI in accordance with the adopted procedures also wish to provide non-confidential information, their comments must be segregated and filed in the rulemaking's public docket.

Regulatory Analyses Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

FMCSA considered the impact of this procedural rule under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and DOT's regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979). The Agency has determined this rule does not constitute a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, or DOT's regulatory policies and procedures.

FMCSA expects that the economic impact of this rule will be minimal, as it merely codifies the procedures by which CBI may be voluntarily submitted to FMCSA in connection with notice-and-comment rulemakings. This rule does not alter the confidentiality threshold established by FOIA Exemption 4, as currently reflected in the FOIA procedures of both FMCSA (49 CFR 389.5(b)) and the DOT (49 CFR part 7). It is adopted to address the concerns of potential submitters of CBI as well as the Agency's need to receive certain commercial and financial information that is eligible for confidential treatment under FOIA Exemption 4.

Today's rule imposes a minimal additional burden on parties who elect to submit CBI to FMCSA since they will now be required to complete a standardized affidavit certifying that the submitted information meets the confidentiality threshold established by FOIA Exemption 4. FMCSA expects that the amount of time and resources that CBI submitters will devote to completing the standardized CBI affidavit will be minimal. This rule does not change the current burden imposed on submitters to ensure that the information they designate as confidential meets the established FOIA criteria.

The Agency may realize additional costs associated with its use of resources to review submitted CBI, subjected to request for public disclosure under the FOIA, in order to confirm that the information is withheld from the public in accordance with FOIA Exemption 4. We expect the increase in the use of Agency resources devoted to FOIA review will be minimal. Although this rule does not change the Agency's current role in reviewing confidential information subject to request for disclosure under the FOIA, we anticipate that the volume of FOIA requests may increase due to the fact that FMCSA will specifically solicit CBI for submission under informational categories established in accordance with today's final rule. Today's rule is intended to increase the amount of CBI submitted to the Agency. FMCSA expects any additional FOIA review costs will be minimal, however, since CBI will be submitted under informational categories already determined by the Agency to be presumptively confidential.

FMCSA believes the potential marginal increase in costs associated with the adoption of this rule is more than outweighed by the benefits for both submitters of CBI and for the Agency. In addition, this rule enhances FMCSA's ability to promulgate rules that are data-driven and evidence-based; therefore, regulated entities and the public will also benefit.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857), FMCSA is not required to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 604(a) for this final rule because the agency has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking prior to this action. FMCSA has therefore determined that it has good cause to adopt the rule without notice-and-comment.

Assistance to Small Entities

In accordance with section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, FMCSA wants to assist small entities in understanding this final rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on themselves and participate in the rulemaking initiative. If the final rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult the FMCSA point of contact, Ms. Kim McCarthy, listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule.

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 $151 million (which is the value equivalent of $100 million in 1995, adjusted for inflation to 2012 levels) 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule will call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

A rule has implications for Federalism under Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132 if it has “substantial direct effects 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.” FMCSA has determined that this final rule will not have substantial direct costs on or for States, nor would it limit the policymaking discretion of States. Nothing in this document preempts any State law or regulation. Therefore, this rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

This final 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.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 1997), requires agencies issuing “economically significant” rules, if the regulation also concerns an environmental health or safety risk that an agency has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, to include an evaluation of the regulation's environmental health and safety effects on children. The Agency determined this final rule is not economically significant. Therefore, no analysis of the impacts on children is required. In any event, the Agency does not anticipate that this regulatory action could in any respect present an environmental or safety risk that could disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

FMCSA reviewed this final rule in accordance with E.O. 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications.

Privacy

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, (Pub. L. 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note) requires the Agency to conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not involve the collection of personally identifiable information (PII).

The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies and any non-Federal agency which receives records contained in a system of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program.

The E-Government Act of 2002, Public Law 107-347, § 208, 116 Stat. 2899, 2921 (Dec. 17, 2002), requires Federal agencies to conduct a privacy impact assessment for new or substantially changed technology that collects, maintains, or disseminates information in an identifiable form. No new or substantially changed technology would collect, maintain, or disseminate information as a result of this rule. Accordingly, FMCSA has not conducted a privacy impact assessment.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs)

The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs do not apply to this program.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution or Use)

FMCSA has analyzed this final rule under E.O. 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under E.O. 13211.

Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 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.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Technical Standards)

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) are standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

Environment (NEPA, CAA, Environmental Justice)

FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined that this action is categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004), Appendix 2, paragraph (6b) that covers editorial and procedural regulations. The CE is available for inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov Web site listed under ADDRESSES.

FMCSA also analyzed this action under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of criteria pollutants.

Under E.O. 12898, each Federal agency must identify and address, as appropriate, “disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations” in the United States, its possessions, and territories. FMCSA evaluated the environmental justice effects of this rule in accordance with the E.O. and has determined that no environmental justice issue is associated with this rule, nor is there any collective environmental impact that would result from its promulgation.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 389

Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety.

In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA amends 49 CFR part 389 to read as follows:

PART 389—RULEMAKING PROCEDURES—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION 1. The authority citation for part 389 continues to read as follows: Authority:

49 U.S.C. 113, 501 et seq., subchapters I and III of chapter 311, chapter 313, and 31502; 42 U.S.C. 4917; and 49 CFR 1.87.

2. Add a definition of “Confidential business information” to § 389.3 in alphabetical order to read as follows:
§ 389.3 Definitions.

Confidential business information means trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential, as described in 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). Commercial or financial information is considered confidential if it was voluntarily submitted and is the type of information that is customarily not released to the general public by the person or entity from whom it was obtained.

3. Add § 389.9 to subpart A to read as follows:
§ 389.9 Treatment of confidential business information.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes the standards and procedures by which the Agency will solicit and receive certain confidential commercial or financial information, as that term is used in the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)), categorically referred to below as “confidential business information,” and the manner in which the Agency will protect such information from public disclosure in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

(b) Confidential class determinations. The Administrator may make and issue a class determination, which shall pertain to a specified rulemaking and shall clearly identify categories of information included within the class. Information submitted under the class determination and conforming to the characteristics of the class will be treated as presumptively confidential and accorded the non-disclosure protections described in paragraph (h) of this section. The Administrator may establish a class upon finding that:

(1) FMCSA seeks to obtain related items of commercial or financial information as described in 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4);

(2) The class determination would facilitate the voluntary submission of information necessary to inform the rulemaking; and

(3) One or more characteristics common to each item of information in the class will necessarily result in identical treatment, and that it is therefore appropriate to treat all such items as a class under this section.

(c) Frequency and content of class determinations. Class determinations may be defined by the Administrator on an as needed basis and shall include substantive criteria established in accordance with the informational needs of the particular rulemaking.

(d) Modification or amendment. The Administrator may amend or modify any class determination established under this section.

(e) Publication. Once the Administrator has made a class determination, the Agency shall publish the class determination in the Federal Register. If the Administrator amends or modifies any class determination established and published in accordance with this section, such changes will be published in the Federal Register.

(f) Submission of confidential business information. Persons wishing to submit information in accordance with a class determination established under authority of this section must complete and sign, under penalties of perjury, an Affidavit in Support of Request for Confidentiality (Affidavit), as set forth in Appendix A to this part. In the event that information is submitted under more than one designated class, each submission must include an executed Affidavit, asserting, among other factors, that:

(1) The information is submitted to the Agency voluntarily;

(2) The information is of a type customarily not disclosed to the public by the submitter;

(3) The information, to the best of the submitter's knowledge and belief, has not been disclosed to the public; and

(4) The information satisfies the substantive criteria for the class as established by the Administrator under authority of paragraph (b) of this section.

(g) Submission of comments not containing confidential business information. If a submitter elects to provide commentary in addition to the confidential business information submitted under one or more classes designated under this section, any portion of a submitter's additional commentary that does not contain confidential business information shall be filed in the public docket in the form and manner set forth in the rulemaking.

(h) Non-disclosure of confidential business information. In accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), information submitted under this section shall not be available for inspection in the public docket, nor shall such information be provided by the Agency in response to any request for the information submitted to the Agency under 5 U.S.C. 552, except as provided for in paragraph (j) of this section.

(1) If a requester brings suit to compel the disclosure of information submitted under this section, the Agency shall promptly notify the submitter.

(2) The submitter may be joined as a necessary party in any suit brought against the Department of Transportation or FMCSA for non-disclosure.

(i) Use of confidential business information. To the extent that the Agency relies upon confidential business information submitted under paragraph (f) of this section in formulating a particular rule, the Agency shall, in the preamble of the final rule, disclose its receipt of such information under a designated class and shall describe the information in a de-identified form, including by summary, aggregation or other means, as necessary, to sufficiently explain the Agency's reasoning while maintaining the confidentiality of the information.

(j) Disclosure of confidential business information. (1) If the Administrator finds that information submitted to the Agency under paragraph (f) of this section fails to satisfy the requirements set forth in paragraphs (f)(2), (3) or (4), or that the Affidavit accompanying the information submitted under paragraph (f) is false or misleading in any material respect, the Agency shall disclose the non-conforming information by placing it in the public docket for the particular rulemaking, within 20 days following written notice to the submitter of its decision to do so, except that:

(i) Submitters may, within 10 days of receipt of such notice, provide the Agency with a written statement explaining why the submitted information conforms to the requirements of paragraph (f) of this section and thus, should not be disclosed. The Agency shall continue to withhold the information from the public docket until completing its review of the submitter's statement. The Agency may, following timely review of the submitter's statement, determine that disclosure is not required under this paragraph. In any event, the Agency shall advise the submitter in writing of its decision concerning whether the information shall be disclosed in the public docket.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) Notice of the Agency's intention to disclose the submitted information is not required if the Administrator determines that the entity submitting such information has authorized its disclosure to the public.

(3) If, at the time the Administrator determines that the submitted information fails to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (f), such information is the subject of a FOIA request, the requirements of 49 CFR 7.29 shall apply.

4. Add Appendix A to Part 389 to read as follows: APPENDIX A TO PART 389 AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF REQUEST FOR CONFIDENTIALITY

I, _______, pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR part 389, section 389.9, state as follows:

(1) I am [insert official's name, title] and I am authorized by [insert name of entity] to execute this Affidavit on its behalf;

(2) I certify that the information contained in the document(s) attached to this Affidavit is submitted voluntarily, with the claim that the information is entitled to confidential treatment under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4);

(3) I certify that the information contained in the documents attached to this Affidavit is of a type not customarily disclosed to the general public by [insert name of entity];

(4) I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, the information contained in the documents attached to this Affidavit, for which confidential treatment is claimed, has never been released to the general public or been made available to any unauthorized person outside [insert name of entity];

(5) I certify that this information satisfies the substantive criteria set forth in the notice published in the Federal Register on ___[insert date of rule-specific publication in month/day/year format] under FMCSA Docket Number [insert docket number].

(6) I make no representations beyond those made in this Affidavit, and, in particular, I make no representations as to whether this information may become available outside [insert name of entity] due to unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure; and

(7) I certify under penalties of perjury that the foregoing statements are true and correct.

Executed on this __day of __, __.

_________(signature of official)

Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87. May 27, 2015. T.F. Scott Darling III, Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2015-14181 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XD974 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Kamchatka Flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2015 Kamchatka flounder initial total allowable catch (ITAC) in the BSAI.

DATES:

Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), June 6, 2015, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

The 2015 Kamchatka flounder ITAC in the BSAI is 5,525 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2015 Kamchatka flounder ITAC in the BSAI will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 2,000 mt, and is setting aside the remaining 3,525 mt as incidental catch. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Kamchatka flounder in the BSAI.

After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

Classification

This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the closure of Kamchatka flounder to directed fishing in the BSAI. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of June 4, 2015.

The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: June 4, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14155 Filed 6-5-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
80 111 Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 57 [Doc. No. AMS-LPS-14-0055] Revisions to the Electronic Submission of the Import Request of Shell Eggs AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This proposed rule invites comments on revising the regulations (7 CFR part 57) governing the inspection of eggs. This rule would streamline the importation process for table eggs, hatching eggs and inedible liquid egg by requiring that applications for inspection be submitted electronically.

DATES:

Comments on this proposed rule must be received by August 10, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments concerning this proposed rule by using the electronic process available at http://www.regulations.gov. Written comments may also be sent to Michelle Degenhart, Assistant to the Director, Quality Assessment Division (QAD), Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250 or by facsimile to (202) 690-2746. All comments should reference the docket number (AMS-LPS-14-0055), the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All comments will become a matter of public record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michelle Degenhart, Assistant to the Director, QAD, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250 or by facsimile to (202) 690-2746 or via email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers the Shell Egg Surveillance Program, a mandatory inspection program for shell eggs under the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.). This inspection program ensures that shell eggs sold to consumers contain no more restricted eggs than are permitted in the standards for consumer grades. Restricted eggs may contain dirty or cracked shells, eggs leaking internal contents, and eggs with meat or blood spots in the interior. Regulations governing the EPIA are contained in 7 CFR part 57.

On February 19, 2014, the President signed Executive Order 13659 (EO), streamlining the export/import process for America's businesses. EO 13659 outlines the use of the International Trade Data System (ITDS) to modernize and simplify the import and export of cargo. ITDS will allow traders to make a single electronic report and the relevant data will be distributed to the appropriate agencies. Costs will be reduced for business and government. An agency will obtain data more quickly through electronic filings. Automated processing will enhance an agency's ability to process cargo more expeditiously and to identify unsafe, dangerous, or prohibited shipments. This information will be assessed electronically by the relevant government agency resulting in border related decisions which will be electronically sent back to the trade. AMS will incorporate electronic filing of import requests for shell eggs to comply with EO 13659.

Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Interface

AMS has participated in the development of the ITDS, a government-wide project to build an electronic “single-window” for collecting and sharing trade data for reporting imports and exports among Federal agencies. The goal of the ITDS is to eliminate the redundant reporting of data, replacing multiple filings, many of which are on paper, with a single electronic filing. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has developed the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), a U.S. commercial trade processing system that automates border processing of products. The ACE system connects the trade community and participating government agencies by providing a single, centralized, online access point. When applicants file entries with the CBP through ACE, relevant data is electronically distributed to appropriate government agencies. AMS considers any electronic data entered in ACE as certified by the applicant. In addition, AMS considers any electronic records, digital images, data, or information from a foreign government for foreign inspection and foreign establishment certification to be equivalent to paper records and certified by the foreign government. When developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic information technology (EIT), Federal agencies are required by Section 508(a) (1) (a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) to ensure that EIT is accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. The ACE interface meets these requirements.

Therefore, for the reasons specified above, we are proposing to amend the shell egg import regulations to include that applicants may submit LPS Form 222-Import Request electronically.

Executive Order 12866, 13563 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act

This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 603 we have performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis regarding economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities. Copies of the analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).

Based on the information we have, the AMS Administrator has made a preliminary determination that, this proposed rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Executive Order 12988

This proposal has been reviewed under executive order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If adopted, this rule: would have no retroactive effects: and would not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule. Pursuant to section 23 of the EPIA (21 U.S.C. 1052), states or local jurisdictions are preempted from requiring the use of standards of quality, condition, weight, quantity, or grade which are in addition to or different from Federal standards for any eggs which have moved or are moving in interstate or foreign commerce.

Executive Order 13175

This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175. Consultation and coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation will not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and will not have significant Tribal implications.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection and recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule, and there are no new requirements. Should any changes become necessary they would be submitted to OMB for approval. The assigned OMB control number is 0581-0113.

AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which requires Government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible.

E-Government Act

AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 57

Eggs and egg products, Exports, Food grades and standards, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in this Proposed Rule, it is proposed that 7 CFR part 57 be amended as follows:

PART 57—INSPECTION OF EGGS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) 1. The authority citation for part 57 continues to read as follows: Authority:

21 U.S.C. 1031-1056.

2. Revise § 57.920 to read as follows:
§ 57.920 Importer to make application for inspection of imported eggs.

Each person importing any eggs as defined in these regulations, unless exempted by § 57.960 shall make application for inspection upon LPS Form 222—Import Request, to the Chief, Grading Branch, Poultry Programs, AMS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, or to the Poultry Programs, Grading Branch office nearest the port where the product is to be offered for importation. The application may be filed through electronic submission via [email protected], or by accessing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's International Trade Data System. Application shall be made as far in advance as possible prior to the arrival of the product. Each application shall state the approximate date of product arrival in the United States, the name of the ship or other carrier, the country from which the product was shipped, the destination, the quantity and class of product, and the point of first arrival in the United States.

Dated: June 5, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14180 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 15 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0540] Homeopathic Product Regulation: Evaluating the Food and Drug Administration's Regulatory Framework After a Quarter-Century; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice of public hearing; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period for the notice of public hearing that appeared in the Federal Register of March 27, 2015. In the notice of public hearing, FDA requested comments on a number of specific questions identified in the document. The Agency is taking this action in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.

DATES:

FDA is extending the comment period on the notice of public hearing published March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16327). Submit either electronic or written comments by August 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

Written Submissions

Submit written submissions in the following ways:

Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. (FDA-2015-N-0540) for this notice of public hearing. All comments received may be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For additional information on submitting comments, see the “Comments” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number(s), found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lesley DeRenzo, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 5161, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-4612.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

In the Federal Register of March 27, 2015, FDA published a notice of public hearing with a 60-day comment period following the public hearing and requested comments on a number of specific questions identified throughout the document. Comments on the notice of public hearing will inform FDA's decision about whether and how to adjust the current enforcement policies for drug products labeled as homeopathic to reflect changes in the homeopathic product marketplace over the last approximately 25 years.

FDA is extending the comment period for an additional 60 days, until August 21, 2015. The Agency believes that an additional 60-day extension of the comment period for the notice of public hearing will allow adequate time for interested persons to submit comments without significantly delaying Agency decision making on these important issues.

II. Request for 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). You should annotate and organize your comments to identify the specific questions or topic to which they refer. 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: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2015-14143 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 96 [Public Notice 9165] RIN 1400-AD82 Intercountry Adoptions: Regulatory Change To Prevent Accreditation and Approval Renewal Requests From Coming Due at the Same Time AGENCY:

Department of State.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

This proposed rule would amend the Department of State (Department) regulation on the accreditation and approval of adoption service providers in intercountry adoptions. Most agencies and persons currently accredited received that accreditation at approximately the same time, which has resulted in a surge of concurrent renewal applications for consideration by the Council on Accreditation (COA), the designated accrediting entity. Permitting some agencies or persons to qualify for an extension by one year of the accreditation or approval period will result in a more even distribution of applications for renewal in a given year. By distributing renewals, and the resources needed to process them, COA will be further enabled to effectively and consistently carry out its other functions.

DATES:

Comments are due by July 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Internet: You may view this proposed rule and submit your comments by visiting the Regulations.gov Web site at www.regulations.gov, and searching for docket number DOS-2014-0015.

Mail or Delivery: You may send your paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to the following address: Comments on Proposed Rule 22 CFR part 96, Office of Legal Affairs, Overseas Citizen Services, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/L, SA-17, Floor 10, Washington, DC 20522-1710.

• All comments should include the commenter's name and the organization the commenter represents (if applicable). If the Department is unable to read your comment for any reason, the Department might not be able to consider your comment. Please be advised that all comments will be considered public comments and might be viewed by other commenters; therefore, do not include any information you would not wish to be made public. After the conclusion of the comment period, the Department will publish a final rule (in which it will address relevant comments) as expeditiously as possible.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carine Rosalia, Office of Legal Affairs, Overseas Citizen Services, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/L, SA-17, Floor 10, Washington, DC 20522-1710; (202) 485-6079.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Why is the Department promulgating this rulemaking?

This proposed rule amends procedural aspects of the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation Regulations concerning the length of accreditation or approval found in 22 CFR part 96. Subpart G governs decisions on applications for accreditation and approval. Section 96.60 provides for accreditation or approval for a period of four years. Section 96.60 does not currently provide the opportunity to stagger the renewal applications, which results in many renewal applications coming due at the same time.

This proposed rule will aid the accrediting entity in managing its workload. In particular, the amendments to this section will allow for a one-year extension of previously-granted accreditation or approval, not to exceed five years total, based on criteria included in the rule, and summarized here.

There will be criteria for selecting which agencies or persons are eligible for the one-year extension. As a threshold matter, only agencies and persons that have no pending adoption-related complaint investigations or adverse actions will be eligible for an extension under this procedure. Also, those entities that have undergone a change in corporate or internal structure (such as a merger or a leadership change in chief executive or chief financial officer) since their initial accreditation/approval or last renewal will not qualify for an extension under this procedure. If the agency or person meets the threshold criteria, in order to ensure that the extension achieves its purpose of staggering renewals thereafter, the Secretary, in his discretion may consider additional factors including, but not limited to, the agency's or person's volume of intercountry adoption cases in the year preceding the application for renewal or extension, the agency's or person's U.S. state licensure record, and the number of extensions available.

Since the President signed into law the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, approximately 40 new agencies received accreditation, all in the same year. The resulting surge in the number of agencies requiring review in certain years argued strongly for establishing a mechanism that would allow COA to better manage the distribution of renewals. The procedure outlined in this rulemaking will allow a more even distribution of the number of renewals an accrediting entity must review in a given year.

The Department invites comment on the procedures described above.

Administrative Procedure Act

The Department is publishing this notice of proposed rulemaking with a 30-day period for public comments.

Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business

Consistent with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department certifies that this proposed rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For the small business entities affected by the amendments, the cost is neutral because it does not change the cost per year of accreditation or renewal, but in only potentially the year in which renewal takes place.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1532) does not apply to this rulemaking.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121).

Executive Order 12866

The Department of State has reviewed this proposed rule to ensure its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth in Executive Order 12866 and has determined that the benefits of this final regulation justify its costs. The Department does not consider this rulemaking to be an economically significant action under the Executive Order. The proposed rule will not add any new legal requirements to Part 96; it merely adds administrative flexibility to the work of the Department-designated accrediting entity.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor will it have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Orders 12372 and No. 13132.

Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

The Department has reviewed the proposed rule in light of Executive Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

The Department has considered this proposed rule in light of Executive Order 13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that it is consistent with the guidance therein.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed rule does not impose information collection requirements subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 96

Adoption, Child welfare, Children, Immigration, Foreign persons, Accreditation, Approval.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of State proposes to amend 22 CFR part 96 as follows:

PART 96—INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACCREDITATION OF AGENCIES AND APPROVAL OF PERSONS 1. The authority citation for part 96 continues to read as follows: Authority:

The Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (done at the Hague, May 29, 1993), S. Treaty Doc. 105-51 (1998), 1870 U.N.T.S. 167 (Reg. No. 31922 (1993)); The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. 14901-14954; The Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-276, 42 U.S.C. 14925.

2. Revise § 96.60 to read as follows:
§ 96.60 Length of accreditation or approval period.

(a) The accrediting entity will accredit or approve an agency or person for a period of four years, except as provided in § 96.60(b). The accreditation or approval period will commence on the date that the agency or person is granted accreditation or approval.

(b) In order to stagger the renewal requests from agencies and persons applying for accreditation or approval and to prevent the renewal requests from coming due at the same time, the accrediting entity may extend the period of accreditation it has previously granted for no more than one year and such that the total period of accreditation does not exceed five years, as long as the agency or person remains in substantial compliance with the applicable standards in subpart F of this part. The only agencies and persons that may qualify for an extension are:

(1) Those that have no pending Complaint Registry investigations or adverse actions (see § 96.70); and

(2) Those that have not undergone a change in corporate or internal structure (such as a merger or change in chief executive or financial officer) during their current accreditation or approval period. For agencies and persons that meet these two criteria, the Secretary, in his or her discretion, may consider additional factors in deciding upon an extension including, but not limited to, the agency's or person's volume of intercountry adoption cases in the year preceding the application for renewal or extension, the agency's or person's state licensure record, and the number of extensions available.

Dated: June 2, 2015. Michele T. Bond, Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2015-14066 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0330; FRL-9928-95-Region 10] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Washington: Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires each State Implementation Plan (SIP) to contain adequate provisions prohibiting air emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. On May 11, 2015, the State of Washington submitted a SIP revision to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address these interstate transport requirements with respect to the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The EPA is proposing to find that Washington has adequately addressed certain CAA interstate transport requirements for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0330, by any of the following methods:

www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Email: [email protected]

Mail: Jeff Hunt, EPA Region 10, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics (AWT-150), 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101.

Hand Delivery/Courier: EPA Region 10 9th Floor Mailroom, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle WA, 98101. Attention: Jeff Hunt, Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, AWT—150. Such deliveries are only accepted during normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OAR-2015-0330. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 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 information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the 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 the EPA without going through 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, the 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 the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information the disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Office of Air, Waste and Toxics, EPA Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeff Hunt at (206) 553-0256, [email protected], or the above EPA, Region 10 address.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document wherever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, it is intended to refer to the EPA. Information is organized as follows:

Table of Contents I. Background A. 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS and Interstate Transport B. Rules Addressing Interstate Transport for the 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS C. Guidance II. State Submittal III. EPA Evaluation A. Identification of Nonattainment and Maintenance Receptors B. Evaluation of Significant Contribution to Nonattainment C. Evaluation of Interference with Maintenance IV. Proposed Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background A. 2006 24-Hour PM2.5 NAAQS and Interstate Transport

On September 21, 2006, the EPA promulgated a final rule revising the 1997 24-hour primary and secondary NAAQS for PM2.5 from 65 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) to 35 µg/m3 (October 17, 2006, 71 FR 61144). Section 110(a)(1) of the CAA requires each state to submit to the EPA, within three years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a primary or secondary NAAQS or any revision thereof, a SIP that provides for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The EPA refers to these specific submittals as “infrastructure” SIPs because they are intended to address basic structural SIP requirements for new or revised NAAQS. For the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, these infrastructure SIPs were due on September 21, 2009. CAA section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan submission” must meet.

The interstate transport provisions in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) (also called “good neighbor” provisions) require each state to submit a SIP that prohibits emissions that will have certain adverse air quality effects in other states. CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) identifies four distinct elements related to the impacts of air pollutants transported across state lines. In this action, the EPA is addressing the first two elements of this section, specified at CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I),1 for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

1 This proposed action does not address the two elements of the interstate transport SIP provision in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) regarding interference with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or to protect visibility in another state. We previously addressed CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(I)(II) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in a final action dated May 12, 2015 (80 FR 27102).

The first element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires that each SIP for a new or revised NAAQS contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity within the state from emitting air pollutants that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” of the NAAQS in another state. The second element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requires that each SIP contain adequate provisions to prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in the state from emitting air pollutants that will “interfere with maintenance” of the applicable NAAQS in any other state.

B. Rules Addressing Interstate Transport for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS

The EPA has addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in past regulatory actions.2 The EPA promulgated the final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (Transport Rule) to address CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) in the eastern portion of the United States with respect to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, and the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (August 8, 2011, 76 FR 48208). The Transport Rule was intended to replace the earlier Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) which was judicially remanded.3 See North Carolina v. EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008). On August 21, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a decision vacating the Transport Rule. See EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. E.P.A., 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012). The Court also ordered the EPA to continue implementing CAIR in the interim. However, on April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded the DC Circuit's ruling and upheld the EPA's approach in the Transport Rule for the issues that were in front of the Supreme Court for review.4 On October 23, 2014, the DC Circuit lifted the stay on the Transport Rule.5 While our evaluation is consistent with the Transport Rule approach, the State of Washington was not covered by either CAIR or the Transport Rule, and the EPA made no determinations in either rule regarding whether emissions from sources in Washington significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in another state, nor did it attempt to quantify Washington's obligation.6

2See NOX SIP Call, 63 FR 57371 (October 27, 1998); Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), 70 FR 25172 (May 12, 2005); and Transport Rule or Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

3 CAIR addressed the 1997 annual and 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, and the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. It did not address the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. For more information on CAIR, please see our July 30, 2012 proposal for Arizona regarding interstate transport for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (77 FR 44551, 44552).

4EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S.Ct. 1584 (2014).

5 USCA Case #11-1302, Document # 1518738, Filed 10/23/2014.

6 Transport Rule or Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011).

C. Guidance

On September 25, 2009, the EPA issued a guidance memorandum that addressed the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (“2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidance” or “Guidance”).7 With respect to the requirement in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) that state SIPs contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions that would contribute significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in any other state, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidance essentially reiterated the recommendations for western states made by the EPA in previous guidance addressing the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone and 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.8 The 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidance advised states outside of the CAIR region to include in their CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIPs adequate technical analyses to support their conclusions regarding interstate pollution transport, e.g., information concerning emissions in the state, meteorological conditions in the state and in potentially impacted states, monitored ambient pollutant concentrations in the state and in potentially impacted states, distances to the nearest areas not attaining the NAAQS in other states, and air quality modeling.9 With respect to the requirement in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) that state SIPs contain adequate provisions prohibiting emissions that would interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS by any other state, the Guidance stated that SIP submissions must address this independent requirement of the statute and provide technical information appropriate to support the state's conclusions, such as information concerning emissions in the state, meteorological conditions in the state and in potentially impacted states, monitored ambient concentrations in the state and in potentially impacted states, and air quality modeling. See footnotes 5 and 6.

7See Memorandum from William T. Harnett entitled “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),” September 25, 2009, available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/caaa/t1/memoranda/20090925_harnett_pm25_sip_110a12.pdf.

8See Memorandum from William T. Harnett entitled “Guidance for State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submission to Meet Current Outstanding Obligations Under Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” August 15, 2006, available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/caaa/t1/memoranda/section110a2di_sip_guidance.pdf.

9 The 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidance stated that EPA was working on a new rule to replace CAIR that would address issues raised by the Court in the North Carolina case and that would provide guidance to states in addressing the requirements related to interstate transport in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. It also noted that states could not rely on the CAIR rule for section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) submissions for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS because the CAIR rule did not address this NAAQS. See 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidanceat 4.

In this action, the EPA is proposing to use the conceptual approach to evaluating interstate pollution transport under CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS with respect to Washington that the EPA explained in the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS Infrastructure Guidance. The EPA believes that the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIP submission from Washington for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS may be evaluated using a “weight of the evidence” approach that takes into account available relevant information. Such information may include, but is not limited to, the amount of emissions in the state relevant to the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the meteorological conditions in the area, the distance from the state to the nearest monitors in other states that are appropriate receptors, or such other information as may be probative to consider whether sources in the state may contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in other states. These submissions may rely on modeling when acceptable modeling technical analyses are available, but if not available, other available information can be sufficient to evaluate the presence or degree of interstate transport in a specific situation for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. For further explanation of this approach, see the technical support document (TSD) in the docket for this action.

II. State Submittal

CAA sections 110(a)(1) and (2) and section 110(l) require that revisions to a SIP be adopted by the state after reasonable notice and public hearing. The EPA has promulgated specific procedural requirements for SIP revisions in 40 CFR part 51, subpart F. These requirements include publication of notices, by prominent advertisement in the relevant geographic area, a public comment period of at least 30 days, and an opportunity for a public hearing.

On May 11, 2015, Washington submitted a SIP to address the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS (Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal).10 The Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal included documentation of a public comment period from March 9, 2015 through April 10, 2015, and opportunity for public hearing. We find that the process followed by Washington in adopting the SIP submittal complies with the procedural requirements for SIP revisions under CAA section 110 and the EPA's implementing regulations.

10 The Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal only addressed the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) interstate transport requirements of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. The EPA previously addressed CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS in a separate action (May 12, 2015, 80 FR 27102). In addition, we previously approved the Washington SIP for 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with respect to the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS on January 13, 2009 (74 FR 1591). Finally, Washington did not submit a CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) demonstration with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, which the State intends to address in a future action.

With respect to the requirement in CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), the Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal referred to the applicable rules in the Washington SIP, meteorological and other characteristics of areas with nonattainment problems for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in surrounding states, and Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) data from the regional haze program that provides additional information on how Washington sources influence monitored PM2.5 levels in National Parks and wilderness areas surrounding Washington to assess potential interstate transport. The Washington submittal concluded that, based on the weight of the evidence, the Washington SIP adequately addresses the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. A detailed discussion of the Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal can be found in the technical support document (TSD) in the docket for this action.

III. EPA Evaluation

To determine whether the CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements are satisfied, the EPA must determine whether a state's emissions will contribute significantly to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance in other states. If this factual finding is in the negative, then CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) does not require any changes to a state's SIP. Consistent with the EPA's approach in the 1998 NOX SIP call, the 2005 CAIR, and the 2011 Transport Rule, the EPA is evaluating these impacts with respect to specific monitors identified as having nonattainment and/or maintenance problems, which we refer to as “receptors.” See footnote 2.

With respect to this proposed action, the EPA notes that no single piece of information is by itself dispositive of the issue. Instead, the total weight of all the evidence taken together is used to evaluate significant contributions to nonattainment or interference with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in another state. Our proposed action takes into account the Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal, a supplemental evaluation of monitors in other states that are appropriate “nonattainment receptors” or “maintenance receptors,” and a review of monitoring data considered representative of background. Based on the analysis in our TSD in the docket for this action, we believe that it is reasonable to conclude that emissions from sources in Washington do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in any other state.

A. Identification of Nonattainment and Maintenance Receptors

The EPA evaluated data from existing monitors over three overlapping three-year periods (i.e., 2009-2011, 2010-2012, and 2011-2013) to determine which areas were violating the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS and which areas might have difficulty maintaining the standard. If a monitoring site measured a violation of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS during the most recent three-year period (2011-2013), then this monitor location was evaluated for purposes of the significant contribution to nonattainment element of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). If, on the other hand, a monitoring site showed attainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS during the most recent three-year period (2011-2013) but a violation in at least one of the previous two three-year periods (2009-2011 or 2010-2012), then this monitor location was evaluated for purposes of the interference with maintenance element of the statute.

The State of Washington was not covered by the modeling analyses available for the CAIR and the Transport Rule. The approach described above is similar to the approach utilized by the EPA in promulgating the CAIR and the Transport Rule. By this method, the EPA has identified those areas with monitors to be considered “nonattainment receptors” or “maintenance receptors” for evaluating whether the emissions from sources in another state could significantly contribute to nonattainment in, or interfere with maintenance in, that particular area.

B. Evaluation of Significant Contribution to Nonattainment

The EPA reviewed the Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport submittal and additional technical information to evaluate the potential for emissions from sources in Washington to contribute significantly to nonattainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS at specified monitoring sites in the western United States.11 The EPA first identified as “nonattainment receptors” all monitoring sites in the western states that had recorded PM2.5 design values above the level of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (35 μg/m3) during the years 2011-2013.12 Please see the TSD in the docket for a more detailed description of the EPA's methodology for selection of nonattainment receptors. All of the nonattainment receptors we identified in western states are in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Utah.13

11 The EPA has also considered potential PM2.5 transport from Washington to the nearest nonattainment and maintenance receptors located in the eastern, midwestern, and southern states covered by the Transport Rule and believes it is reasonable to conclude that, given the significant distance from Washington to the nearest such receptor (in Illinois) and the relatively insignificant amount of emissions from Washington that could potentially be transported such a distance, emissions from Washington sources do not significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS at this location. These same factors also support a finding that emissions from Washington sources neither contribute significantly to nonattainment nor interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS at any location further east. See TSD at Section II.C.

12 Because CAIR did not cover states in the western United States, these data are not significantly impacted by the remanded CAIR at the time and thus could be considered in this analysis.

13 As this analysis is focused on interstate transport, the EPA did not evaluate the impact of Washington emissions on nonattainment or maintenance receptors within Washington.

Based on the analysis in our TSD, we believe it is reasonable to conclude that emissions from sources in Washington do not significantly contribute to nonattainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in any other western state. We also evaluated nonattainment receptors in eastern states, as detailed in the TSD, and we believe it is reasonable to conclude that emissions from sources in Washington do not significantly contribute to nonattainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in any eastern state. Based on the analysis in our TSD, we are proposing to determine that Washington's SIP adequately addresses the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

C. Evaluation of Interference With Maintenance

The EPA reviewed the Washington 2006 PM2.5 Interstate Transport SIP and additional technical information to evaluate the potential for Washington emissions to interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS at specified monitoring sites in the western United States. The EPA first identified as “maintenance receptors” all monitoring sites in the western states that had recorded PM2.5 design values above the level of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS (35 μg/m3) during the 2009-2011 and/or 2010-2012 periods but below this standard during the 2011-2013 period. Please see our TSD for more information regarding the EPA's methodology for selection of maintenance receptors. All of the maintenance receptors we identified in western states are located in California, Montana, and Utah.

As detailed in the TSD, we believe it is reasonable to conclude that emissions from sources in Washington do not interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in these states. We also evaluated maintenance receptors in eastern states, as detailed in the TSD, and we believe it is reasonable to conclude that emissions from sources in Washington do not interfere with maintenance of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS in any eastern state.

IV. Proposed Action

The EPA is proposing to find that Washington has adequately addressed the interstate transport requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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, the 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 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 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 it does not involve technical standards; and

• does not provide the 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 in Washington except for as specifically noted below and is also not approved to apply in any other area where the 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). Washington's SIP is approved to apply on non-trust land within the exterior boundaries of the Puyallup Indian Reservation, also known as the 1873 Survey Area. Under the Puyallup Tribe of Indians Settlement Act of 1989, 25 U.S.C. 1773, Congress explicitly provided state and local agencies in Washington authority over activities on non-trust lands within the 1873 Survey Area.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Dated: May 29, 2015. Dennis J. McLerran, Regional Administrator, Region 10.
[FR Doc. 2015-14225 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0299; FRL-9928-91-Region 7] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Kansas Regional Haze State Implementation Plan Revision and 2014 Five-Year Progress Report AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the Kansas State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted to EPA by the State of Kansas on March 10, 2015, documenting that the State's existing plan is making adequate progress to achieve visibility goals by 2018. The Kansas SIP revision addressed the Regional Haze Rule (RHR) requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) to submit a report describing progress in achieving reasonable progress goals (RPGs) to improve visibility in Federally designated areas in nearby states that may be affected by emissions from sources in Kansas. EPA is proposing to approve Kansas' determination that the existing RH SIP is adequate to meet the visibility goals and requires no substantive revision at this time.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0299, by one of the following methods:

1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

2. Email: [email protected]

3. Mail or Hand Delivery: Stephen Krabbe, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0299. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 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 information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 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 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 be free of any defects or viruses.

Docket. All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 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 in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219. EPA requests that you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. 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:

Stephen Krabbe, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at 913-551-7991, or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

I. What is being addressed in this document? A. Background on Regional Haze B. Background on Regional Haze Plans C. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Reports II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met? A. EPA's Evaluation of Kansas' Progress Report 1. Status of Control Measures 2. Emissions Reductions and Progress 3. Visibility Progress 4. Emissions Tracking 5. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visibility Progress 6. Assessment of Current Strategy 7. Review of Current Monitoring Strategy B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan C. Consultation With Federal Land Managers III. What action is EPA taking? I. What is being addressed in this document?

EPA is proposing to approve the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's (KDHE) determination that the existing Kansas RH SIP is adequate to achive the established Reasonable Progress Goals (RPGs) for Class I areas affected by Kansas sources, and therefore requires no substantive revision at this time. EPA's proposed approval is based on the Kansas State Implementation Plan Revision for the Attainment and Maintenance of NAAQS for Regional Haze (2014 Progress Report) (“Progress Report or “Report”) submitted by KDHE to EPA on March 10, 2015, that addresses 51.308(g) and (h) of the RHR. The Progress Report demonstrates that the emission control measures in the existing RH SIP are sufficient to enable other states with Class I areas affected by emissions from sources in Kansas to meet all established RPGs for 2018. We are also proposing to find that Kansas fulfilled the requirements in 51.308(i)(2), (3), and (4) to provide Federal Land Managers (FLMs) with an opportunity to consult on the RH SIP revision, describe how KDHE addressed the FLMs' comments, and provide procedures for continuing consultation.

A. Background on Regional Haze

Regional haze is a visibility impairment produced by many sources and activities located across a broad geographic area that emit fine particulates that impair visibility by scattering and absorbing light, thereby reducing the clarity, color, and visible distance that one can see. These fine particles also can cause serious health effects and mortality in humans and contribute to environmental impacts, such as acid deposition and eutrophication of water bodies.

The RHR uses the deciview as the principle metric for measuring visibility and for the RPGs that serve as interim visibility goals toward meeting the national visibility goal of reaching natural conditions by 2064. A deciview expresses uniform changes in haziness in terms of common increments across the entire range of visibility conditions, from pristine to extremely hazy conditions. Deciviews are determined by using air quality measurements to estimate light extinction, and then transforming the value of light extinction using a logarithmic function. Deciview is a more useful measure for tracking progress in improving visibility than light extinction because each deciview change is an equal incremental change in visibility perceived by the human eye. Most people can detect a change in visibility at one deciview.

B. Background on Regional Haze Plans

In section 169A(a)(1) of the CAA amendmnets of 1977, Congress created a program to protect visibility in designated national parks and wilderness areas, establishing as a national goal the “prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.” In accordance with section 169A of the CAA and after consulting with the Departmnet of Interior, EPA promulgated a list of 156 mandatory Class I Federal areas where visibility is identified as an important value (44 FR 69122, November 30, 1979). In this notice, we refer to mandatory Class I Federal areas as “Class I areas.” Kansas does not have any Class I areas within the state.

With the CAA amendments of 1990, Congress added section 169B to address regional haze issues. EPA promulgated a rule to address regional haze on July 1, 1999, known as the Regional Haze Rule (64 FR 35713). The RHR revised the existing visibility regulations in 40 CFR 51.308 to integrate provisions addressing regional haze impairment and to establish a comprehensive visibility protection program for Class I areas.

KDHE submitted its initial RH SIP to EPA on October 26, 2009, in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308 for the first regional haze planning period ending in 2018. EPA approved the Kansas RH SIP for the first planning period on December 27, 2011 (76 FR 80754). The Progress Report from KDHE is the first evaluation of whether the existing Kansas RH SIP is sufficient to enable other states affected by emissions from sources in Kansas to meet the established visibility goals for 2018.

C. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Reports

States are required to submit a progress report in the form of a SIP revision every five years that evaluates progress towards the RPGs for each mandatory Class I Federal area within the state and in each mandatory Class I Federal area outside the state which may be affected by emissions from within the state. 40 CFR 51.308(g). States are also required to submit, at the same time as the progress report, a determination of the adequacy of the state's existing regional haze SIP. 40 CFR 51.308(h). The first progress report SIP is due five years after submittal of the initial regional haze SIP. In summary,1 the seven elements are: (1) A description of the status of measures in the approved regional haze SIP; (2) a summary of emissions reductions achieved; (3) an assessment of visibility conditions for each Class I area in the state; (4) an analysis of changes in emissions from sources and activities within the state; (5) an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have limited or impeded progress in Class I areas impacted by the state's sources; (6) an assessment of the sufficiency of the approved regional haze SIP; and (7) a review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy.

1 Please refer to 40 CFR 51.308(g) for the exact Rule requirements.

Under 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to submit, at the same time as the progress report SIP, a determination of the adequacy of their existing regional haze SIP and to take one of four possible actions based on information in the progress report. In summary,2 these actions are to: (1) Submit a negative declaration to EPA that no further substantive revision to the state's existing regional haze SIP is needed; (2) provide notification to EPA (and other state(s) that participated in the regional planning process) if the state determines that its existing regional haze SIP is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress at one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources in other state(s) that participated in the regional planning process, and collaborate with these other state(s) to develop additional strategies to address deficiencies; (3) provide notification with supporting information to EPA if the state determines that its existing regional haze SIP is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress at one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources in another country; or (4) revise its regional haze SIP to address deficiencies within one year if the state determines that its existing regional haze SIP is or may be inadequate to ensure reasonable progress in one or more Class I areas due to emissions from sources within the state.

2 Please refer to 40 CFR 51.308(h) for the exact Rule requirements.

A state must document that it provided FLMs with an opportunity for consultation prior to holding a public hearing on an RH SIP or plan revision as required in 40 CFR 51.308(i)(2). In addition, a state must include a description of how it addressed any comments from the FLMs, and provide procedures for continuing consultation with the FLMs as required in 40 CFR 51.208(i)(3) and (4).

II. Have the requirements for approval of a SIP revision been met?

The state submission has met the public notice requirements for SIP submissions in accordance with 40 CFR 51.102. The submission also satisfied the completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V. In addition, as explained above, the revision meets the substantive SIP requirements of the CAA, including section 110 and implementing regulations.

A. EPA's Evaluation of Kansas' Progress Report

This section describes Kansas' Progress Report and EPA's evaluation of the Report in relation to the seven elements listed in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and the determination of adequacy in 40 CFR 51.308(h). We also review the requirement in 40 CFR 51.308(i)(2) for state and FLM coordination on a plan revision.

1. Status of Control Measures

40 CFR 51.308(g)(1) requires a description of the status of implementation of all measures included in the regional haze SIP for achieving RPGs for Class I areas both within and outside the state. Kansas evaluated the status of all measures included in its 2009 regional haze SIP in accordance with 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1). In its Progress Report, Kansas summarizes the long-term strategy for emissions reductions of all air pollutants that may affect visibility. The state notes that Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) are the most important pollutants in reducing visibility and includes details of the strategies implemented to reduce those pollutants. The measures include both state and Federal programs. The state programs include unit-specific emissions limits for the five electric generating units that are subject to BART and were included in agreements between KDHE and the owners of the EGU's, which were later modified by an enforcement settlement between EPA and Westar Energy. The measures also include applicable Federal programs (e.g., Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards, the 2007 Heavy-Duty Highway Rule, Tier 2 Vehicle and Gasoline Sulfur Program, and the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule). The state documents the implementation status of measures from its regional haze SIP as well as describes significant measures resulting from EPA regulations other than the regional haze program as they pertain to the state's sources. Kansas describes the implementation status of measures from its regional haze SIP, including the status of control measures to meet BART and reasonable progress requirements, as well as the status of significant measures resulting from EPA regulations.

EPA proposes to find that Kansas' analysis adequately addresses 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1) for reasons discussed above.

2. Emissions Reductions and Progess

40 CFR 51.308(g)(2) requires a summary of the emissions reductions achieved in the state through the measures subject to 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1). In its regional haze SIP and Progress Report, Kansas focuses its assessment on NOX and SO2 emissions from stationary sources because the state determined that these sources accounted for the majority of the visibility-impairing pollution from Kansas. SO2 emissions from subject-to-BART facilities decreased in Kansas from 80,828 tons in 2003 to 17,026 tons in 2012, a 79 percent decrease. Also, NOX emissions decreased from 60,936 tons in 2002 to 16,434 tons in 2012, a 73 percent decrease. Kansas noted that reasonable progress units declined 60 percent for NOX and 77 percent for SO2 from 2002 to 2012. Much of these reductions were not mandated by the Regional Haze SIP, but by the 2010 Westar Energy settlement 3 and closure of the Lafarge Midwest-Fredonia Portland cement kilns.

3 U.S. v. Westar Energy, Inc. 09-CV-2059 (D. Kan.)

EPA proposes to conclude that Kansas has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(2). The state provides actual emissions reductions of NOX and SO2 from EGUs and other large NOX and SO2 sources in Kansas that have occurred since Kansas submitted its regional haze SIP. The state also provides estimates of emissions of NOX and SO2 for 2018. Kansas appropriately focused on NOX and SO2 emissions from its EGUs and other stationary sources in its progress report SIP because it previously identified these emissions as the most significant contributors to visibility impairment at those Class I areas that Kansas sources impact.

Given the large NOX and SO2 reductions at subject-to-BART EGUs and other sources that have actually occurred, further analysis of emissions from other sources or other pollutants was ultimately unnecessary in this first implementation period. Because no additional controls were found to be necessary for reasonable progress for the first implementation period for evaluated sources in Kansas, EPA proposes to find that no further discussion of emissions reductions from controls was necessary in the Progress Report.

3. Visibility Progress

40 CFR 51.308(g)(3) requires that states with Class I areas provide the following information for the most impaired and least impaired days for each area, with values expressed in terms of five-year averages of these annual values: current visibility conditions; the difference between current visibility conditions and baseline visibility conditions; and the change in visibility impairment over the past five years.

Kansas does not have any Class I areas within its boundaries, and as this section pertains only to states containing Class I areas, therefore, no further discussion is necessary. However, Kansas noted in its Progress Report that it is beneficial to have a record of visibility conditions at the Class I areas that are most affected by Kansas sources. The state analyzed four Class I areas, with a focus on the Wichita Mountains Wilderness area (the nearest Class I area to Kansas and most impacted by Kansas sources). The state compared the slope of the glide path of natural visibility conditions in 2064 to the slope of the best-fit line of five-year visibility averages from 2002 to 2011 (in deciviews) for the 20 percent worst days and 20 percent best days. The analysis showed that visibility at all four Class I areas was improving at a rate faster than the glide path for the 20 percent worst days. Only the Wichita Mountains Wilderness area was not improving faster than the glidepath for the 20 percent best days, although visibility was still improving in the area.

EPA proposes to conclude that Kansas has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(3).

4. Emissions Tracking

40 CFR 51.308(g)(4) requires an analysis tracking emissions changes of visibility-impairing pollutants from the state's sources by type or category over the past five years based on the most recent updated emissions inventory. In its Progress Report, Kansas presents data from a statewide emissions inventory developed for the year 2002 and compares this data to the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) 2011 version 1 (dated September 30, 2013), or simply the 2011 NEIv1. For both the 2002 dataset and the 2011 NEIv1 data, pollutants inventoried include NOX, Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Coarse Particulate Matter (PM10), Ammonia (NH3), and SO2. The emissions inventories from both the 2002 dataset and the 2011 NEIv1 include all point, nonpoint, onroad, and nonroad sources. The state interpolated values for 2009 through 2013 based on emissions inventory data. This shows that emissions of the key visibility-impairing pollutants identified by Kansas, NOX and SO2, continued to drop from 2009 to 2013 (decreasing 32,227 and 64,359 tons, respectively). Kansas noted that emissions of NOX and SO2, the primary contributors to visibility impairment from anthropogenic sources, are down significantly (10 percent for NOX and 59.6 percent for SO2). However, the state noted that NH3 and particulate matter (PM) emissions were reported up from the 2002 to 2011 inventories and need to be addressed. The state cited changes in the way that these pollutants were reported for each inventory as the reason for most of the reported increases in NH3 and PM. Accounting for the differing reporting methods shows that PM2.5 and PM10 emissions from fires is slightly up by 2011, however, this pollutant source is highly variable.

While ideally the five-year period to be analyzed for emissions inventory changes is the time period since the current regional haze SIP was submitted, there is an inevitable time lag in developing and reporting complete emissions inventories once equality-assured emissions data becomes available. Therefore, EPA believes that there is some flexibility in the five-year time period that states can select. Kansas tracked changes in emissions of visibility-impairing pollutants using the 2011 NEIv1, which was the most recent updated inventory of actual emissions for the state at the time that it developed the progress report SIP. EPA believes that Kansas's use of the five-year period from 2009 to 2013 reflects an accurate picture of the actual emissions realized between 2002-2013, and as in many cases, Kansas had already reached or surpassed their 2018 goals by 2013. EPA proposes to conclude that Kansas has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(4).

5. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visbility Progress

40 CFR 51.308(g)(5) requires an assessment of any significant changes in anthropogenic emissions within or outside the state that have occurred over the past five years that have limited or impeded progress in reducing pollutant emissions and improving visibility in Class I areas impacted by the state's sources.

In its Progress Report, Kansas addresses the changes in anthropogenic emissions between 2009 and 2013 throughout the Midwest, especially due to sources installing controls to comply with present and near-future air quality standards (the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule and the Clean Air Interstate Rule). Kansas noted that there have been significant reductions among anthropogenic emissions source categories, especially EGU's, with decreases in SO2 of 17.5 percent and NOX of 30.9 percent in Kansas and bordering states combined.

Kansas demonstrated that there are no significant changes in anthropogenic emissions that have impeded progress in reducing emissions and improving visibility in Class I areas impacted by Kansas and bordering state sources. The state referenced its analyses in the progress report SIP identifying an overall downward trend in these emissions from 2009 to 2013 in Kansas. Further, the progress report SIP shows that Kansas is on track to meeting its 2018 emissions projections.

EPA proposes to find that Kansas has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(5).

6. Assessment of Current Strategy

40 CFR 51.308(g)(6) requires an assessment of whether the current regional haze SIP is sufficient to enable Kansas, or other states, to meet the RPGs for Class I areas affected by emissions from the state. In its Progress Report, Kansas states that it believes that the elements and strategies outlined in its original regional haze SIP are sufficient to enable Kansas and other neighboring states to meet all of the established RPGs and no further revision to the initial Kansas Regional Haze SIP is needed at this time. To support this conclusion, Kansas notes that anthropogenic emissions of NOX has dropped 10 percent and SO2 has dropped 59.6 percent.

EPA views this requirement as a qualitative assessment that should evaluate emissions and visibility trends and other readily available information, including expected emissions reductions associated with measures with compliance dates that have not yet become effective. Kansas referenced the improving visibility trends at affected Class I areas and the downward emissions trends in the state, with a focus on NOX and SO2 emissions from Kansas' EGUs that support Kansas' determination that its regional haze SIP is sufficient to meet RPGs for Class I areas outside the state impacted by Kansas sources. EPA believes that Kansas' conclusion regarding the sufficiency of the regional haze SIP is appropriate because of the calculated visibility improvement using the latest available data and the downward trend in NOX and SO2 emissions from sources in Kansas. EPA proposes to conclude that Kansas has adequately addressed 40 CFR 51.308(g)(6).

7. Review of Current Monitoring Strategy

40 CFR 51.308(g)(7) requires a review of the state's visibility monitoring strategy and an assessment of whether any modifications to the monitoring strategy are necessary. In its progress report SIP, Kansas summarizes the existing IMPROVE monitoring network and its intended continued reliance on IMPROVE for visibility planning. Kansas operates two IMPROVE Protocol sampling sites, one at Cedar Bluff State Park in Trego County and the other at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills region of eastern Kansas. Kansas has updated its monitoring plan annually and will consider the need to operate two IMPROVE sites with increasingly constrained finances.

EPA proposes to conclude that Kansas has adequately addressed the sufficiency of its monitoring strategy as required by 40 CFR 51.308(g)(7).

B. Determination of Adequacy of Existing Regional Haze Plan

Under 40 CFR 51.308(h), states are required to take one of four possible actions based on the information gathered and conclusions made in the progress report SIP. The following section summarizes: (1) The action taken by Kansas under 40 CFR 51.308(h); (2) Kansas's rationale for the selected action; and (3) EPA's analysis and proposed determination regarding the state's action.

In its Progress Report, Kansas took the action provided for by 40 CFR 51.308(h)(1), which allows a state to submit a negative declaration to EPA if the state determines that the existing regional haze SIP requires no further substantive revision at this time to achieve the RPGs for Class I areas affected by the state's sources. The basis for Kansas' negative declaration is the findings from the progress report (as discussed in section II. A. of this action), including the findings that: NOX and SO2 emissions from Kansas's sources have decreased beyond original projections; and the NOX and SO2 emissions from EGUs in Kansas are already below the levels projected for 2018 in the regional haze SIP and are expected to continue to trend downward for the next five years.

Based on these findings, EPA proposes to agree with Kansas' conclusion under 40 CFR 51.308(h) that no further substantive changes to its regional haze SIP are required at this time.

C. Consultation With Federal Land Managers

On November 25, 2014, KDHE provided to the FLMs, a revision to Kansas' SIP reporting on progress made during the first implementation period toward RPGs for Class I areas in the state and Class I areas outside the state that are affected by emissions from Kansas's sources. Notification was published in the Kansas Register, regional newspapers, and the KDHE Web site on October 23, 2014. A public hearing was not held because KDHE received no requests for a public hearing and the public comment period ended on November 21, 2014. On March 10, 2015, KDHE submitted the SIP to EPA.

Kansas' Progress Report includes the FLMs comments and KDHE's response to those comments in Appendix I to the Progress Report. In the section 3.8 Federal Land Manager (FLM) Coordination, KDHE commits to continuing policy discussions with the FLMs.

EPA proposes to find that KDHE has addressed the requirements in 51.308(i)(2), (3), and (4) to provide FLMs with an opportunity for consultation in person and at least 60 days prior to a public hearing on the SIP revision; include a description in the SIP revision of how it addressed any comments from the FLMs; and provide procedures for continuing consultation between the State and FLMs.

III. What action is EPA taking?

EPA is proposing approval of a revision to the Kansas SIP, submitted by the State of Kansas on March 10, 2015, as meeting the applicable regional haze requirements as set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g) and 51.308(h). We are processing this as a proposed action because we are soliciting comments on this proposed action. Final rulemaking will occur after consideration of any comments.

Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

• Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) 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 Clean Air Act; 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).

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this proposed action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This proposed action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 10, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this proposed rule does not affect the finality of this rulemaking for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such future rule or action. This proposed action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: May 28, 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 R—KANSAS 2. In § 52.870 the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding new entry (40) at the end of the table to read as follows:
§ 52.870 Identification of plan.

(e) * * *

EPA-Approved Kansas Nonregulatory Provisions Name of nonregulatory SIP provision Applicable geographic or Nonattainment area State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * (40) State Implementation Plan (SIP) Revision for the Attainment and Maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Regional Haze (2014 Five-Year Progress Report) Statewide 3/10/15 6/10/15 [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2015-13943 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 721 [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0390; FRL-9927-60] RIN 2070-AB27 Significant New Use Rule on Certain Chemical Substances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 30 chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs). This action would require persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process any of the chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this proposed rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit the activity before it occurs.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0390, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kenneth Moss, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-9232; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture, process, or use the chemical substances contained in this proposed rule. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Manufacturers (including importers) or processors of one or more subject chemical substances (NAICS codes 325 and 324110), e.g., chemical manufacturing and petroleum refineries.

    This action may also affect certain entities through pre-existing import certification and export notification rules under TSCA. Chemical importers are subject to the TSCA section 13 (15 U.S.C. 2612) import certification requirements promulgated at 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 and 19 CFR 127.28. Chemical importers must certify that the shipment of the chemical substance complies with all applicable rules and orders under TSCA. Importers of chemicals subject to these SNURs must certify their compliance with the SNUR requirements. The EPA policy in support of import certification appears at 40 CFR part 707, subpart B. In addition, any persons who export or intend to export a chemical substance to a proposed or final rule are subject to the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b)) (see § 721.20), and must comply with the export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Background A. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is proposing these SNURs under TSCA section 5(a)(2) for 30 chemical substances which were the subject of PMNs P-13-793, P-14-72, P-14-89, P-14-90, P-14-91, P-14-92, P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, P-14-162, P-14-163, P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-176, P-14-177, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-180, P-14-181, P-14-182, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-188, P-14-190, P-14-191, P-14-192, and P-14-193. These SNURs would require persons who intend to manufacture or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. In accordance with the procedures at § 721.160(c)(3)(i), in the Federal Register publication of October 27, 2014 (79 FR 63821) (FRL-9914-56) EPA issued direct final SNURs on these chemical substances, which are the subject of PMNs. EPA received notices of intent to submit adverse comments on these SNURs. Therefore, as required by § 721.160(c)(3)(ii), EPA withdrew the direct final SNURs in the Federal Register of December 23, 2014 (79 FR 76900) (FRL-9920-6325), and is now issuing this proposed rule on these 30 chemical substances. The records for the direct final SNURs on these 30 chemical substances were established as docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0390. Those records include information considered by the Agency in developing the direct final rule. Adverse comments received regarding these substances and the direct final rule are discussed in Unit IV.

    B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(2)) authorizes EPA to determine that a use of a chemical substance is a “significant new use.” EPA must make this determination by rule after considering all relevant factors, including the four bulleted TSCA section 5(a)(2) factors listed in Unit III. Once EPA determines that a use of a chemical substance is a significant new use, TSCA section 5(a)(1)(B) requires persons to submit a significant new use notice (SNUN) to EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture or process the chemical substance for that use. Persons who must report are described in § 721.5.

    C. Applicability of General Provisions

    General provisions for SNURs appear in 40 CFR part 721, subpart A. These provisions describe persons subject to the rule, recordkeeping requirements, exemptions to reporting requirements, and applicability of the rule to uses occurring before the effective date of the final rule. Provisions relating to user fees appear at 40 CFR part 700. According to § 721.1(c), persons subject to these SNURs must comply with the same SNUN requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as submitters of PMNs under TSCA section 5(a)(1)(A). In particular, these requirements include the information submission requirements of TSCA section 5(b) and 5(d)(1), the exemptions authorized by TSCA section 5(h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(5), and the regulations at 40 CFR part 720. Once EPA receives a SNUN, EPA may take regulatory action under TSCA section 5(e), 5(f), 6, or 7 to control the activities for which it has received the SNUN. If EPA does not take action, EPA is required under TSCA section 5(g) to explain in the Federal Register its reasons for not taking action.

    III. Significant New Use Determination

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA states that EPA's determination that a use of a chemical substance is a significant new use must be made after consideration of all relevant factors, including:

    • The projected volume of manufacturing and processing of a chemical substance.

    • The extent to which a use changes the type or form of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.

    • The extent to which a use increases the magnitude and duration of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.

    • The reasonably anticipated manner and methods of manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce, and disposal of a chemical substance.

    In addition to these factors enumerated in TSCA section 5(a)(2), the statute authorized EPA to consider any other relevant factors.

    To determine what would constitute a significant new use for the chemical substances that are the subject of these SNURs, EPA considered relevant information about the toxicity of the chemical substances, likely human exposures and environmental releases associated with possible uses, and the four bulleted TSCA section 5(a)(2) factors listed in this unit.

    IV. Substances Subject to This Proposed Rule

    EPA is proposing significant new use and recordkeeping requirements for 30 chemical substances in 40 CFR part 721, subpart E. In this unit, EPA provides the following information for each chemical substance:

    • PMN number.

    • Chemical name (generic name, if the specific name is claimed as CBI).

    • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry number (assigned for non-confidential chemical identities).

    • Public comments and EPA's response to comments on the 30 direct final SNURs subject to PMNs P-13-793, P-14-72, P-14-89, P-14-90, P-14-91, P-14-92, P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, P-14-162, P-14-163, P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-176, P-14-177, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-180, P-14-181, P-14-182, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-188, P-14-190, P-14-191, P-14-192, and P-14-193

    • Basis for the TSCA non-section 5(e) SNURs (i.e., SNURs without TSCA section 5(e) consent orders).

    • Tests recommended by EPA to provide sufficient information to evaluate the chemical substance (see Unit VII. for more information).

    • CFR citation assigned in the regulatory text section of this proposed rule.

    The regulatory text section of this proposed rule specifies the activities designated as significant new uses. Certain new uses, including production volume limits (i.e., limits on manufacture and importation volume) and other uses designated in this proposed rule, may be claimed as CBI.

    PMN Number P-13-793

    Chemical name: Functionalized carbon nanotubes (generic).

    CAS number: Claimed confidential.

    Public comment: A notice of intent to adversely comment has been submitted.

    EPA response: EPA awaits the adverse comment during the open comment period for this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Basis for action: The PMN states that the substance will be used as a thin film for electronic device applications. Based on structure activity relationship (SAR) analysis of test data on analogous carbon nanotubes and other respirable poorly soluble particulates, EPA identified potential lung effects, developmental toxicity, and dermal toxicity from exposure to the PMN substance via inhalation, dermal, and oral routes. Further, EPA predicts toxicity to aquatic organisms via releases of the PMN substance to surface water. Although there is potential for dermal exposure, EPA does not expect significant occupational exposures due to the use of impervious gloves, and because the PMN is used in liquid form and is not spray applied. Further, EPA does not expect environmental releases during the use identified in the PMN submission. Therefore, EPA has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk human health or the environment. EPA has determined, however, that any use of the substance without the use of impervious gloves, where there is a potential for dermal exposure; manufacturing the PMN substance for use other than as a thin film for electronic device applications; manufacturing, processing, or using the PMN substance in a form other than a liquid; use of the PMN substance involving an application method that generates a mist, vapor, or aerosol; or any release of the PMN substance into surface waters may cause serious health effects or significant adverse environmental effects. Based on this information, the PMN substance meets the concern criteria in § 721.170 (b)(3)(ii) and (b)(4)(ii).

    Recommended testing: EPA has determined that the results of an oral and inhalation pharmacokinetic test (OPPTS Test Guideline 870.7485); a 90-day inhalation toxicity test (OPPTS Test Guideline 870.3465); a fish early-life stage toxicity test (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1400); a daphnid chronic toxicity test (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1300); an algal toxicity test (OCSPP Test Guideline 850.4500); and a surface charge by electrophoresis by either the (ASTM Test Guideline E2865-12) or measuring the zeta potential of nanoparticles (Nanotechnology Characterization Library (NCL) Method PCC-2) (located in the Docket under Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0390); would help characterize the human health and environmental effects of the PMN substance.

    CFR citation: 40 CFR 721.10776.

    PMN Number P-14-72

    Chemical name: Propaneperoxoic acid, 2,2-dimethyl-, 1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl ester.

    CAS number: 22288-41-1.

    Public comment: A notice of intent to adversely comment has been submitted.

    EPA response: EPA awaits the adverse comment during the open comment period for this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Basis for action: The PMN states that the use of the substance will be as a polymerization initiator for the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene resin. Based on test data on the PMN substance, as well as ecological SAR analysis of test data on analogous peroxy esters, EPA predicts toxicity to aquatic organisms may occur at concentrations that exceed 3 parts per billion (ppb) of the PMN substance in surface waters. As described in the PMN, releases of the substance are not expected to result in surface water concentrations that exceed 3 ppb. Therefore, EPA has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk. EPA has determined, however, that any use of the substance resulting in surface waters concentrations exceeding 3 ppb may result in significant adverse environmental effects. Based on this information, the PMN substance meets the concern criteria at § 721.170 (b)(4)(i) and (b)(4)(ii).

    Recommended testing: EPA has determined that the results of a ready biodegradability test (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test Guideline 301C) with product-specific chemical analytics to validate the degradation products (including intermediate products) and the rates of degradation (including intermediate degradation rates); and a hydrolysis as a function of pH and temperature test (OPPTS Test Guideline 835.2130) would help characterize the environmental effects of the PMN substance.

    CFR citation: 40 CFR 721.10780.

    PMN Numbers P-14-89, P-14-90, P-14-91, and P-14-92

    Chemical names: Fatty acid amide hydrochlorides (generic).

    CAS numbers: Claimed confidential.

    Public comment: A notice of intent to adversely comment has been submitted, by the PMN submitter. The comment expressed concern that EPA's approach for these SNURs changed from that transmitted in writing by EPA during the PMN review period. As a result, the PMN submitter was not given the opportunity to discuss, provide pertinent information on, respond to, or comment on this change.

    EPA response: EPA met with the PMN submitter on December 17, 2014 to discuss procedural and policy issues raised in connection with the withdrawn SNURs. EPA awaits formal comment during the open comment period for this proposed rule.

    Basis for action: The consolidated PMN states that the substances will be used as surfactants for use in asphalt emulsions. Based on ecological SAR analysis of test data on analogous aliphatic amines, EPA predicts toxicity to aquatic organisms may occur at concentrations that exceed the following values of the PMN substances in surface waters:

    PMN No. Concentration
  • of concern
  • P-14-89, P-14-92 110 ppb. P-14-90 240 ppb. P-14-91 53 ppb.

    For the use described in the PMNs, releases of the substances are not expected to result in surface water concentrations that exceed these values. Therefore, EPA has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk. EPA has determined, however, that any use of the substances resulting in surface water concentrations exceeding the aforementioned concentrations of concern may result in significant adverse environmental effects. Based on this information, the PMN substances meet the concern criteria at § 721.170(b)(4)(ii).

    Recommended testing: EPA has determined that the results of a fish acute toxicity test, freshwater and marine (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1075); an aquatic invertebrate acute toxicity test, freshwater daphnids (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1010); and an algal toxicity test (OCSPP Test Guideline 850.4500) would help characterize the environmental effects of the PMN substances. EPA also recommends that the guidance document on aquatic toxicity testing of difficult substances and mixtures (OECD Test Guideline 23) be followed.

    CFR citation: 40 CFR 721.10781.

    PMN Numbers P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, P-14-162, and P-14-163

    Chemical names: Fatty acid amides (generic).

    CAS numbers: Claimed confidential.

    Public comment: A notice of intent to adversely comment has been submitted, by the PMN submitter. The comment expressed concern that EPA's approach for these SNURs changed from that transmitted in writing by EPA during the PMN review period. As a result, the PMN submitter was not given the opportunity to discuss, provide pertinent information on, respond to, or comment on this change.

    EPA response: EPA met with the PMN submitter on December 17, 2014 to discuss procedural and policy issues raised in connection with the withdrawn SNURs. EPA awaits formal comment during the open comment period for this proposed rule.

    Basis for action: The consolidated PMN states that the substances will be used as chemical intermediates and additives for flotation products. Based on ecological SAR analysis of test data on analogous amides and aliphatic amines, EPA predicts toxicity to aquatic organisms may occur at concentrations that exceed the following values of the PMN substances in surface waters:

    PMN No. Concentration
  • of concern
  • P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, P-14-163 1 ppb. P-14-162 140 ppb.

    For the use described in the PMNs, releases of the substances are not expected to result in surface water concentrations that exceed these values. Therefore, EPA has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk. EPA has determined, however, that any use of the substances resulting in surface water concentrations exceeding the aforementioned concentrations of concern may result in significant adverse environmental effects. Based on this information, the PMN substances meet the concern criteria at § 721.170(b)(4)(ii).

    Recommended testing: EPA has determined that the results of (1) a water solubility: Column elution method; shake flask method test (OPPTS Test Guideline 830.7840) or a water solubility generator column method test (OPPTS Test Guideline 830.7860); and (2) a determination of the partition coefficient (n-octanol/water) by shake flask method (OPPTS Test Guideline 830.7550), or generator column method (OPPTS Test Guideline 830.7560), or estimation by liquid chromatography (OPPTS Test Guideline 830.7570) would help characterize the physical/chemical properties of the PMN substances. Depending upon the results of these data, the results of a fish early-life stage toxicity test (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1400); a daphnid chronic toxicity test (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1300); and an algal toxicity test (OCSPP Test Guideline 850.4500) may be recommended to help characterize the environmental effects of the PMN substances.

    CFR citation: 40 CFR 721.10782.

    PMN Numbers P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-176, P-14-177, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-180, P-14-181, P-14-182, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-188, P-14-190, P-14-191, P-14-192, and P-14-193

    Chemical names: Fatty acid amide acetates (generic).

    CAS numbers: Claimed confidential.

    Public comment: A notice of intent to adversely comment has been submitted, by the PMN submitter. The comment expressed concern that EPA's approach for these SNURs changed from that transmitted in writing by EPA during the PMN review period. As a result, the PMN submitter was not given the opportunity to discuss, provide pertinent information on, respond to, or comment on this change.

    EPA response: EPA met with the PMN submitter on December 17, 2014 to discuss procedural and policy issues raised in connection with the withdrawn SNURs. EPA awaits formal comment during the open comment period for this proposed rule.

    Basis for action: The PMNs state that the substances will be used as flotation additives for use in mineral processing. Based on ecological SAR analysis of test data on analogous amides and aliphatic amines, EPA predicts toxicity to aquatic organisms may occur at concentrations that exceed the following values of the PMN substances in surface waters:

    PMN No. Concentration of concern P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-181, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-192, P-14-193 1 ppb. P-14-176, P-14-180, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-190 2 ppb. P-14-177, P-14-188 3 ppb. P-14-191 4 ppb. P-14-182 140 ppb.

    For the use described in the PMNs, releases of the substances are not expected to result in surface water concentrations that exceed these values. Therefore, EPA has not determined that the proposed manufacturing, processing, or use of the substance may present an unreasonable risk. EPA has determined, however, that any use of the substances resulting in surface water concentrations exceeding the aforementioned concentrations of concern may result in significant adverse environmental effects. Based on this information, the PMN substances meet the concern criteria at § 721.170(b)(4)(ii).

    Recommended testing: EPA has determined that the results of a fish acute toxicity test, freshwater and marine (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1075); an aquatic invertebrate acute toxicity test, freshwater daphnids (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1010); and an algal toxicity test (OCSPP Test Guideline 850.4500) on P-14-184, and any one of the remaining PMN substances, would help characterize the environmental effects of the PMN substances. Further, EPA determined that the results of a fish acute toxicity mitigated by humic acid test (OPPTS Test Guideline 850.1085) on PMN P-14-184 would help characterize the environmental effects of the PMN substance. EPA also recommends that the guidance document on aquatic toxicity testing of difficult substances and mixtures (OECD Test Guideline 23) be followed.

    CFR citation: 40 CFR 721.10783.

    V. Rationale and Objectives of the Proposed Rule A. Rationale

    During review of the PMNs submitted for the chemical substances that are subject to these SNURs, EPA determined that one or more of the criteria of concern established at §  721.170 were met. For additional discussion on these chemical substances, see Units II. and IV. of this proposed rule.

    B. Objectives

    EPA is proposing these SNURs for specific chemical substances which have undergone premanufacture review because the Agency wants to achieve the following objectives with regard to the significant new uses designated in this proposed rule:

    • EPA would receive notice of any person's intent to manufacture or process a listed chemical substance for the described significant new use before that activity begins.

    • EPA would have an opportunity to review and evaluate data submitted in a SNUN before the notice submitter begins manufacturing or processing a listed chemical substance for the described significant new use.

    • EPA would be able to regulate prospective manufacturers or processors of a listed chemical substance before the described significant new use of that chemical substance occurs, provided that regulation is warranted pursuant to TSCA sections 5(e), 5(f), 6, or 7.

    Issuance of a SNUR for a chemical substance does not signify that the chemical substance is listed on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory). Guidance on how to determine if a chemical substance is on the TSCA Inventory is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/existingchemicals/pubs/tscainventory/index.html.

    VI. Applicability of the Proposed Rule to Uses Occurring Before the Effective Date of the Final Rule

    To establish a significant new use, EPA must determine that the use is not ongoing. The chemical substances subject to this proposed rule have undergone premanufacture review. In cases where EPA has not received a notice of commencement (NOC) and the chemical substance has not been added to the TSCA Inventory, no person may commence such activities without first submitting a PMN. Therefore, for chemical substances for which an NOC has not been submitted EPA concludes that the designated significant new uses are not ongoing.

    When chemical substances identified in this proposed rule are added to the TSCA Inventory, EPA recognizes that, before the rule is effective, other persons might engage in a use that has been identified as a significant new use. The identities of 29 of the 30 chemical substances subject to this proposed rule have been claimed as confidential and EPA has received no post-PMN bona fide submissions (per §§ 720.25 and 721.11). Based on this, the Agency believes that it is highly unlikely that any of the significant new uses described in the regulatory text of this proposed rule are ongoing.

    Therefore, EPA designates June 10, 2015 as the cutoff date for determining whether the new use is ongoing. Persons who begin commercial manufacture or processing of the chemical substances for a significant new use identified as of that date would have to cease any such activity upon the effective date of the final rule. To resume their activities, these persons would have to first comply with all applicable SNUR notification requirements and wait until the notice review period, including any extensions, expires. If such a person met the conditions of advance compliance under § 721.45(h), the person would be considered exempt from the requirements of the SNUR. Consult the Federal Register document of April 24, 1990 (55 FR 17376) for a more detailed discussion of the cutoff date for ongoing uses.

    VII. Test Data and Other Information

    EPA recognizes that TSCA section 5 does not require developing any particular test data before submission of a SNUN. The two exceptions are:

    1. Development of test data is required where the chemical substance subject to the SNUR is also subject to a test rule under TSCA section 4 (see TSCA section 5(b)(1)).

    2. Development of test data may be necessary where the chemical substance has been listed under TSCA section 5(b)(4) (see TSCA section 5(b)(2)).

    In the absence of a TSCA section 4 test rule or a TSCA section 5(b)(4) listing covering the chemical substance, persons are required only to submit test data in their possession or control and to describe any other data known to or reasonably ascertainable by them (see 40 CFR 720.50). However, upon review of PMNs and SNUNs, the Agency has the authority to require appropriate testing. Descriptions of tests are provided for informational purposes. EPA strongly encourages persons, before performing any testing, to consult with the Agency pertaining to protocol selection. To access the OCSPP test guidelines referenced in this document electronically, please go to http://www.epa.gov/ocspp and select “Test Methods and Guidelines.” The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guidelines are available from the OECD Bookshop at http://www.oecdbookshop.org or SourceOECD at http://www.sourceoecd.org. ASTM International standards are available at http://www.astm.org/Standard/index.shtml.

    The recommended tests specified in Unit IV. may not be the only means of addressing the potential risks of the chemical substance. However, submitting a SNUN without any test data may increase the likelihood that EPA will take action under TSCA section 5(e), particularly if satisfactory test results have not been obtained from a prior PMN or SNUN submitter. EPA recommends that potential SNUN submitters contact EPA early enough so that they will be able to conduct the appropriate tests.

    SNUN submitters should be aware that EPA will be better able to evaluate SNUNs which provide detailed information on the following:

    • Human exposure and environmental release that may result from the significant new use of the chemical substances.

    • Potential benefits of the chemical substances.

    • Information on risks posed by the chemical substances compared to risks posed by potential substitutes.

    VIII. SNUN Submissions

    According to §  721.1(c), persons submitting a SNUN must comply with the same notification requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as persons submitting a PMN, including submission of test data on health and environmental effects as described in 40 CFR 720.50. SNUNs must be submitted on EPA Form No. 7710-25, generated using e-PMN software, and submitted to the Agency in accordance with the procedures set forth in 40 CFR 720.40 and 721.25. E-PMN software is available electronically at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/newchems.

    IX. Economic Analysis

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUN requirements for potential manufacturers and processors of the chemical substances subject to this proposed rule, during the development of the direct final rule. EPA's complete economic analysis is available in the docket under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2014-0390.

    X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule would establish SNURs for 30 chemical substances that were the subject of PMNs. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    According to PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information that requires OMB approval under PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, and included on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable.

    The information collection requirements related to this proposed rule have already been approved by OMB pursuant to PRA under OMB control number 2070-0012 (EPA ICR No. 574). This proposed rule would not impose any burden requiring additional OMB approval. If an entity were to submit a SNUN to the Agency, the annual burden is estimated to average between 30 and 170 hours per response. This burden estimate includes the time needed to review instructions, search existing data sources, gather and maintain the data needed, and complete, review, and submit the required SNUN.

    Send any comments about the accuracy of the burden estimate, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondent burden, including through the use of automated collection techniques, to the Director, Collection Strategies Division, Office of Environmental Information (2822T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. Please remember to include the OMB control number in any correspondence, but do not submit any completed forms to this address.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    On February 18, 2012, EPA certified pursuant to RFA section 605(b) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), that promulgation of a SNUR does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities where the following are true:

    1. A significant number of SNUNs would not be submitted by small entities in response to the SNUR.

    2. The SNUR submitted by any small entity would not cost significantly more than $8,300.

    A copy of that certification is available in the docket for this proposed rule.

    This proposed rule is within the scope of the February 18, 2012 certification. Based on the Economic Analysis discussed in Unit IX. and EPA's experience promulgating SNURs (discussed in the certification), EPA believes that the following are true:

    • A significant number of SNUNs would not be submitted by small entities in response to the SNUR.

    • Submission of the SNUN would not cost any small entity significantly more than $8,300.

    Therefore, the promulgation of the SNUR would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Based on EPA's experience with proposing and finalizing SNURs, State, local, and Tribal governments have not been impacted by these rulemakings, and EPA does not have any reasons to believe that any State, local, or Tribal government would be impacted by this proposed rule. As such, EPA has determined that this proposed rule would not impose any enforceable duty, contain any unfunded mandate, or otherwise have any effect on small governments subject to the requirements of UMRA sections 202, 203, 204, or 205 (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    E. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule would not have a substantial direct effect on 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).

    F. Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule would not have Tribal implications because it is not expected to have substantial direct effects on Indian Tribes. This proposed rule would not significantly nor uniquely affect the communities of Indian Tribal governments, nor would it involve or impose any requirements that affect Indian Tribes. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), do not apply to this proposed rule.

    G. Executive Order 13045

    This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because this is not an economically significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866, and this proposed rule does not address environmental health or safety risks disproportionately affecting children.

    H. Executive Order 13211

    This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because this proposed rule is not expected to affect energy supply, distribution, or use and because this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    In addition, since this proposed rule would not involve any technical standards, NTTAA section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note), would not apply to this proposed rule.

    J. Executive Order 12898

    This proposed rule does not entail special considerations of environmental justice related issues as delineated by Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: June 1, 2015. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:

    PART 721—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c).

    2. Add § 721.10776 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10776 Functionalized carbon nanotubes (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as functionalized carbon nanotubes (PMN P-13-793) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. The requirements of this section do not apply to quantities of the PMN substance after they have been completely reacted (cured).

    (2) The significant new uses are:

    (i) Protection in the workplace. Requirements as specified in § 721.63 (a)(1), (a)(2)(i), and (a)(3). When determining which persons are reasonably likely to be exposed as required for § 721.63 (a)(1), engineering control measures (e.g., enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation) or administrative control measures (e.g., workplace policies and procedures) shall be considered and implemented to prevent exposure, where feasible.

    (ii) Industrial, commercial, and consumer activities. Requirements as specified in § 721.80(j) (a significant new use is use other than as a thin film for electronic device applications), (v)(1), (v)(2), (w)(1), (w)(2), (x)(1), (x)(2), and (y)(1).

    (iii) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(1), (b)(1), and (c)(1).

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a) through (e), (i), and (k) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of this substance.

    (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section.

    3. Add § 721.10780 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10780 Propaneperoxoic acid, 2,2-dimethyl-, 1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl ester.

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified as propaneperoxoic acid, 2,2-dimethyl-, 1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl ester (PMN P-14-72; CAS No. 22288-41-1) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new uses are:

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (N=3).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a), (b), (c), and (k) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of this substance.

    (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section.

    4. Add § 721.10781 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10781 Fatty acid amide hydrochlorides (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as fatty acid amide hydrochlorides (PMNs P-14-89, P-14-90, P-14-91 and P-14-92) are subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new uses are:

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (where N = 110 for PMNs P-14-89 and P-14-92; N = 240 for PMN P-14-90; N = 53 for PMN P-14-91).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a), (b), (c), and (k) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of these substances.

    (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section.

    5. Add § 721.10782 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10782 Fatty acid amides (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as fatty acid amides (PMN P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, P-14-162, and P-14-163) are subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new uses are:

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (where N = 1 for PMNs P-14-158, P-14-159, P-14-161, and P-14-163; N = 140 for PMN P-14-162).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a), (b), (c), and (k) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of these substances.

    (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section.

    6. Add § 721.10783 to subpart E to read as follows:
    § 721.10783 Fatty acid amide acetates (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as fatty acid amide acetates (PMNs P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-176, P-14-177, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-180, P-14-181, P-14-182, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-188, P-14-190, P-14-191, P-14-192 and P-14-193) are subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (2) The significant new uses are:

    (i) Release to water. Requirements as specified in § 721.90(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(4) (where N = concentration of concern as follows):

    PMN No. Concentration
  • of concern
  • P-14-173, P-14-175, P-14-178, P-14-179, P-14-181, P-14-183, P-14-184, P-14-192, P-14-193 1 ppb. P-14-176, P-14-180, P-14-185, P-14-186, P-14-187, P-14-190 2 ppb. P-14-177, P-14-188 3 ppb. P-14-191 4 ppb. P-14-182 140 ppb.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (b) Specific requirements. The provisions of subpart A of this part apply to this section except as modified by this paragraph.

    (1) Recordkeeping. Recordkeeping requirements as specified in § 721.125(a), (b), (c), and (k) are applicable to manufacturers and processors of these substances.

    (2) Limitations or revocation of certain notification requirements. The provisions of § 721.185 apply to this section.

    [FR Doc. 2015-13941 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 64 [CG Docket No. 10-210; FCC 15-58] Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission proposes to amend its rules to continue the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) on a permanent basis. The NDBEDP is currently a pilot program that supports the distribution of communications devices to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.

    DATES:

    Comments are due July 27, 2015 and reply comments are due August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by CG Docket No. 10-210, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), through the Commission's Web site http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal service mailing address, and CG Docket No. 10-210.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rosaline Crawford, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, at 202-418-2075 or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    • Commercial Mail sent by overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    This is a summary of the Commission's document FCC 15-58, Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), adopted on May 21, 2015 and released on May 27, 2015, in CG Docket No. 10-210. The full text of document FCC 15-58 will be available for public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Document FCC 15-58 can also be downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at http://www.fcc.gov/ndbedp.

    This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    Document FCC 15-58 seeks comment on proposed rule amendments that may result in modified information collection requirements. If the Commission adopts any modified information collection requirements, the Commission will publish another notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to comment on the requirements, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. Public Law 104-13, 109 Stat. 163; 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, the Commission seeks comment on how it might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. Public Law 107-198, 116 Stat. 729; 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    Synopsis I. Introduction

    1. In the (NPRM), the Commission seeks comment on proposed rules to govern the NDBEDP on a permanent basis. The NDBEDP supports programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The NDBEDP has operated as a pilot program since July 2012.

    II. Background

    2. Section 105 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) added section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which directed the Commission to establish rules to provide up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Public Law 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010); 47 U.S.C. 620. In 2011, the Commission established the NDBEDP as a two-year pilot program, with an option to extend it for an additional year. Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, Report and Order, published at 76 FR 26641, May 9, 2011 (NDBEDP Pilot Program Order); 47 CFR 64.610 (NDBEDP pilot program rules). The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) launched the pilot program on July 1, 2012. To implement the program, the Bureau certified 53 entities to participate in the NDBEDP—one entity to distribute equipment in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, hereinafter referred to as “state programs” or “certified programs”—and selected a national outreach coordinator to support the outreach and distribution efforts of these state programs. On February 7, 2014, the Bureau extended the pilot program for a third year, until June 30, 2015. Many individuals who received communications devices through the NDBEDP have reported that this program has vastly improved their daily lives, significantly enhancing their ability to live independently and expanding their educational and employment opportunities.

    3. On August 1, 2014, the Bureau released a Public Notice inviting comment on which rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program should be retained and which should be modified to make the permanent NDBEDP more effective and more efficient. Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, CG Docket No. 10-210, Public Notice, 29 FCC Rcd 9451 (CGB 2014). Comments filed in response to the Public Notice helped to inform the preparation of the NPRM. The Commission proposes to retain the NDBEDP pilot program rules for the permanent program, except as discussed in the NPRM.

    4. On May 21, 2015, the Commission extended the pilot program for one additional year, until June 30, 2016. Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, Order, FCC 15-57 (rel. May 27, 2015). The Commission commits to continue the pilot NDBEDP as long as necessary to ensure a seamless transition between the pilot and permanent programs to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of equipment to this target population. When the Commission adopts final rules for the permanent program it will consider the extent to which the pilot program needs to be extended further. The Commission invites comment on the need to extend the pilot program beyond June 30, 2016.

    5. In establishing a permanent NDBEDP, the Commission also seeks comment on performance goals for all elements of the program along with performance measures that are clearly linked to each performance goal. Specifically, the Commission proposes the following goals: (1) Ensuring that the program effectively increases access to covered services by the target population; (2) ensuring that the program is administered efficiently; and (3) ensuring that the program is cost-effective. Funds available through the program come from contributions made by telecommunications service providers to the TRS Fund, and the Commission has a responsibility to ensure these funds are spent efficiently and effectively. Ensuring that certified programs use available funds in cost-effective ways maximizes the impact of program funds and helps ensure that as many eligible recipients as possible are able to receive the support they need. The Commission believes that clear performance goals and measures will enable it to determine whether the program is being used for its intended purpose and whether the funding for the program is accomplishing the intended results. To the extent that these proposed goals or other goals that commenters may propose may be in tension with each other, commenters should suggest how the Commission should prioritize or balance them. The Commission invites comment on what performance measures it should adopt to support these proposed goals, and whether it should adopt measures based on the information that certified programs are required to report to the Commission. The Commission also seeks comment on ways to manage and share data to track our progress in meeting these goals. Finally, the Commission proposes to periodically review whether it is making progress in addressing these goals by measuring the specific outcomes.

    III. Program Structure A. Certified Programs

    6. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission certifies one entity per state as the sole authorized entity to participate in the NDBEDP and receive support from the TRS Fund for the distribution of equipment and provision of related services to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Certified programs have primary oversight and responsibility for compliance with program requirements, but may fulfill their responsibilities directly or through collaboration, partnership, or contract with other individuals or entities within or outside of their states or territories. Services related to the distribution of equipment include outreach, assessment, installation, and training. Certified programs also perform administrative functions, including submitting reimbursement claims and reports, and conducting annual audits.

    7. The Commission proposes to retain the current structure of the NDBEDP, certifying one entity to be responsible for the administration of the program, distribution of equipment, and provision of related services within each of the states and territories covered by the NDBEDP. The Commission believes that the localized approach that has been in place for almost three years has been successful in meeting the needs of eligible low-income individuals who are deaf-blind and that state entities are more likely to be familiar with their unique demographics and their available resources, and consequently are in a better position to respond to the localized needs of their residents. The Commission also believes that greater efficiencies and expanded capabilities can be achieved through a centralized database for reporting and reimbursement and through greater support for training, discussed further in the NPRM, without having to restructure the program from a state-based to a national system. The Commission seeks comment on this approach.

    8. Thus far, 10 of the 53 state programs have relinquished their certifications, requiring the Commission to seek replacements in those states. The Commission recognizes that some adjustments have had to be made during the pilot program, a result that was not unexpected given that the NDBEDP is an entirely new program. However, on balance, the Commission believes that the success of NDBEDP, as evidenced by the delivery of equipment and services to thousands of deaf-blind individuals, shows that the system has been working well. To help reduce the incidence of program departures, as discussed further in the NPRM, the Commission proposes to establish a centralized database to facilitate the filing of reimbursement claims and semi-annual reports to the Commission. In addition, to minimize the risk of a lapse in service to deaf-blind individuals that might result during any future transitions from one certified state program to another, the Commission proposes that a certified program seeking to relinquish its certification provide written notice to the Commission at least 90 days in advance of its intent to do so. Further, the Commission proposes that such entities be required to transfer NDBEDP-purchased equipment, information, files, and other data to the newly-certified entity in its state within 30 days after the effective date of its certification to ensure a smooth transition and reduce any potential for a lapse in service. Finally, the Commission proposes requiring that all entities relinquishing their certifications comply with NDBEDP requirements necessary for the ongoing functioning of the program that they are exiting, including the submission of final reimbursement claims and six-month reports. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals, as well as other steps that the Commission should take to reduce the number of entities that relinquish their certifications and measures the Commission should adopt to minimize the impact on consumers when this occurs.

    9. For the pilot program, the Bureau selected entities to participate in the NDBEDP that were located within and outside of the states that they served. Currently, of the 53 certified programs, 33 are administered by entities located within the states they serve and 20 are administered by entities located outside those states. For all but three of these 20 programs, the out-of-state entity selected was the sole applicant. The Commission proposes to continue allowing qualified out-of-state entities, in addition to in-state entities, to apply for certification to administer the NDBEDP, in collaboration with individuals or entities within or outside of their states or territories. It believes that this flexible approach assists those states that may not have sufficient resources on their own to provide the services required by the NDBEDP. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and any alternatives that would ensure that the NDBEDP is able to serve the residents of each state.

    10. The Commission authorized the NDBEDP pilot program to operate in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, noting that each of these jurisdictions administered an intrastate TRS program. The Commission reached this result because, like the TRS state programs, the NDBEDP certified programs are supported by the TRS Fund. Because residents of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are also eligible to make and receive calls through one or more forms of relay services that are supported by the TRS Fund, the Commission proposes to expand the operation of the NDBEDP to these jurisdictions. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal, particularly from interested stakeholders who reside in these three territories, including entities that provide services to deaf-blind individuals.

    B. Certification Criteria

    11. Pursuant to the Commission's rules, the Bureau reviews applications and determines whether to grant NDBEDP certification based on the ability of a program to meet the following qualifications, either directly or in coordination with other programs or entities, as evidenced in the application and any supplemental materials, including letters of recommendation: (i) expertise in the field of deaf-blindness; (ii) the ability to communicate effectively with people who are deaf-blind; (iii) staffing and facilities sufficient to administer the program; (iv) experience with the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment; (v) experience in how to train users on how to set up and use the equipment; and (vi) familiarity with the telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services that will be used with the distributed equipment. The Commission believes that these criteria have been effective in informing the Bureau's selection of qualified entities and proposes to retain these criteria to evaluate an entity's qualifications for certification as a state program. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    12. In addition, the Commission seeks comment on how it can supplement these criteria to better ensure that certain certified programs serve the full spectrum of people who are deaf-blind. Should the Commission establish minimum standards for the personnel providing services in these programs? For example, should individuals providing service have certain levels of linguistic competency? The Commission asks commenters to describe any difficulties they have experienced securing equipment or services from their state's certified program resulting from a lack of expertise in deaf-blindness or communications skills, and to be specific in recommending changes that may be necessary in the Commission's certification criteria to reduce these difficulties.

    13. The Commission also seeks comment on the addition of certification criteria that address the ability of certified programs to administer a statewide program, the capacity to manage the financial requirements of a state program, expertise in assistive technology, and experience with equipment distribution capabilities. In particular, the Commission proposes to add administrative and financial management experience to the requirements for certification. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Should applicants also be required to demonstrate that they are capable of operating a statewide program or that they follow standard financial principles? To what extent would such requirements strengthen the NDBEDP? For example, would these reduce the likelihood of selected entities relinquishing their certification before completion of their terms? Conversely, would requiring such skills exclude too many otherwise qualified applicants? Finally, the Commission seeks comment on any other criteria that should be added to ensure the selection of certified entities that will be both responsive to the deaf-blind community's needs and capable of achieving full compliance with the Commission's NDBEDP rules.

    14. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission prohibited certified programs from accepting financial arrangements from a vendor that could incentivize the purchase of particular equipment. The Commission continues to believe that such incentives could impede a certified program's ability to provide equipment that fully meets the unique needs of the deaf-blind persons it is serving. In addition to this rule, the Commission also requested that applicants for NDBEDP certification disclose in their initial certification application and thereafter, as necessary, any actual or potential conflicts of interest with manufacturers or providers of equipment that may be distributed under the NDBEDP. The Commission proposes to require such disclosures in applications for initial and continued certification under the permanent NDBEDP. To the extent that financial arrangements in which the applicant is a part create the risk of impeding the applicant's objectivity in the distribution of equipment or compliance with NDBEDP requirements—such as when the applicant is partially or wholly owned by an equipment manufacturer or vendor—the Commission proposes that it reject such applicant for NDBEDP certification. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    C. Duration of Certification

    15. At present, all NDBEDP programs are certified for the duration of the pilot program. Consistent with the TRS certification rules for state TRS providers, to improve program accountability, and avoid unnecessary administrative burdens that may result from a certification period of two or three years, the Commission proposes that NDBEDP programs be certified for a period of five years. The Commission seeks comment on alternative timeframes other than five years including shorter timeframes, and asks about the pros and cons of opening the window up earlier than every five years. In the event that a certified program decides not to seek re-certification at the end of its five-year term, the Commission proposes requiring that such entities transfer NDBEDP-purchased equipment, information, files, and other data to the newly-certified entity in its state within 30 days after the effective date of certification of the new entity to ensure a smooth transition and reduce any potential for a lapse in service. This is consistent with the Commission's proposal to require the transfer of such materials when a certified program relinquishes its certification during its five-year term, discussed in the NPRM. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    D. Certification Renewals

    16. Because the permanent NDBEDP may have some rule modifications, the Commission believes that it is appropriate to require each such entity to demonstrate its ability to meet all of the selection criteria anew, and to affirm its commitment to comply with all Commission rules governing the permanent program. Accordingly, the Commission proposes requiring that each entity certified under the pilot program re-apply for certification or notify the Commission of its intent not to participate under the permanent program within 30 days after the effective date of the permanent rules. The rules will be effective upon notice in the Federal Register announcing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Alternatively, should the Commission require each entity to certify that it continues to satisfy all current certification criteria that the Commission retains under the permanent NDBEDP, to demonstrate its ability to meet any new criteria the Commission may establish, and to affirm its commitment to comply with the permanent NDBEDP rules that the Commission adopts? In addition, the Commission proposes to permit other entities to apply for certification as the sole authorized entity for a state to distribute equipment under the NDBEDP during the 30-day time period following the effective date of the permanent rules. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    17. Consistent with the Commission's requirements for TRS providers, the Commission proposes to require each state program, once certified, to report any substantive change to its program within 60 days of when such change occurs. The Commission proposes that substantive changes include those that might bear on the qualifications of the entity to meet the Commission's criteria for certification, such as changes in the entity's ability to distribute equipment across its state or significant changes in its staff and facilities. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and the types of substantive changes that should trigger such notice to the Commission. The Commission also seeks comment on the extent to which this requirement would help to ensure that programs continue to meet the Commission's criteria for certification when substantial changes are made.

    18. Finally, the Commission proposes that one year prior to the expiration of each five-year certification period, a certified program intending to stay in the NDBEDP be required to request renewal of its certification by submitting to the Commission an application with sufficient detail to demonstrate its continued ability to meet all criteria required for certification, either directly or in coordination with other programs or entities. This approach is consistent with the TRS certification rules for state TRS providers. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. In addition, the Commission proposes to permit other entities to apply for certification as the sole authorized entity for a state to distribute equipment under the NDBEDP one year prior to the expiration of a certified entity's five-year certification period. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    E. Notifying Consumers About State Program Changes

    19. Under the pilot program rules, the Commission may suspend or revoke a certification if it determines that such certification is no longer warranted after notice and opportunity for hearing. The Commission seeks comment on whether, in place of an opportunity for an administrative hearing, there are alternatives that would provide programs an opportunity to be heard, such as a reasonable time to present views or objections to the Commission in writing before suspension or decertification. The Commission's interest in finding an alternative stems from its concern that a requirement for a hearing could unintentionally result in eligible residents being denied equipment pending this administrative action. Would providing a program with reasonable time to present its views and objections to the Commission in writing satisfy due process requirements and enable the Commission to take action without undue delay?

    20. The Commission has not initiated any decertification proceedings under the pilot program. When state programs have voluntarily relinquished their certifications, the Bureau has released public notices to invite applications to replace these entities, selected replacements after careful review of the applications received, and released a second public notice announcing the newly-certified entities. In addition to releasing such public notices, should the Commission take other measures to notify consumers in the affected states when a certified entity exits the program and a replacement is selected? For example, should the Commission require the formerly certified entity to notify consumers in their states who received equipment or who have applied to receive equipment about the newly-certified entity? The Commission seeks comment on how best to ensure that consumers are aware when these changes are made to their state NDBEDP programs.

    F. NDBEDP Centralized Database for Reporting and Reimbursement

    21. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, state programs must submit reimbursement claims to the TRS Fund Administrator and reports to the Commission. Currently, reports from state programs are presented to the Commission with inconsistent formatting, making aggregation of data difficult and inefficient. The Commission proposes that a centralized national database be created to assist state programs in the generation of their reports to the Commission, to enable the submission of those reports electronically to the NDBEDP Administrator, and to allow for the aggregation and analysis of nationwide data on the NDBEDP. To ensure that all of the information collected can be aggregated and analyzed for the effective and efficient operation of the NDBEDP, the Commission further proposes that, if the Commission adopts this approach, all certified programs be required to use the centralized database for their reporting obligations. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. Do NDBEDP stakeholders agree that these advantages would accrue from utilizing a centralized database? The Commission also seeks comment generally on the costs and any other benefits or disadvantages that would be associated with both the establishment and maintenance of such a database. Further, the Commission seeks comment on any lessons learned from other experiences setting up databases and whether a centralized database could be used for other purposes or programs.

    22. Much of the data needed to generate reimbursement claims is also required to generate the required reports. Because the data overlap, the Commission also proposes that the centralized database be available to assist state programs in generating their reimbursement claims for submission to the TRS Fund Administrator. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Would having the centralized database available to generate reimbursement claims lead to faster reimbursement and benefit state programs in other ways? The TRS Fund Administrator is currently able to aggregate reimbursement claim data, even in the absence of a centralized database. For this reason, the Commission proposes to enable and permit, but not require, certified programs to use the centralized database to generate reimbursement claims. Alternatively, would requiring all certified programs to use the centralized database for their claims make the process of aggregating reimbursement claim data more efficient? Could reimbursement claim data be transmitted electronically from the centralized database to the TRS Fund Administrator, along with the necessary supporting documentation? The Commission seeks comment on the costs and benefits of utilizing the centralized database to facilitate the creation of reimbursement claims, as well as the best approach for utilizing this database to ensure the effective and efficient oversight of the permanent NDBEDP.

    23. The Commission also seeks comment about the type of data that state programs should be required to input into a centralized database. In order for state programs to generate reimbursement claims under the pilot NDBEDP, they must submit the costs of equipment and related expenses (including maintenance, repairs, warranties, refurbishing, upgrading, and replacing equipment distributed to consumers); assessments; equipment installation and consumer training; loaner equipment; state outreach efforts; and program administration. Should this same data be entered into the database? Are there other types of data that should be populated into the database for the purpose of generating reimbursement claims? Similarly, what data should be input by state programs to the database to effectively generate reports about state program activities? Under the Commission's current rules, state programs must report to the Commission information about equipment recipients and the people attesting that those individuals are deaf-blind; the equipment distributed; the cost, time and other resources allocated to various activities; the amount of time between assessment and equipment delivery; the types of state outreach undertaken; the nature of equipment upgrades; a summary of equipment requests denied and complaints received; and the number of qualified applicants on waiting lists to receive equipment. To the extent that the Commission continues requiring that such data be reported in the permanent NDBEDP, should certified programs be required to input all of this data into the centralized database?

    24. Should certain data be excluded from the centralized database, and if so, why? For example, even though the Commission complies with the requirements of the Privacy Act with respect to the protection of personally identifiable information that the Commission receives in connection with the NDBEDP, would it be more appropriate for state programs to maintain records of names and addresses of their equipment recipients, along with the identity of the people who attest that those recipients are deaf-blind, rather than put this information into a centralized location? Should individuals who receive equipment instead be given a unique identifying number, which could be entered into the database in lieu of their names and other personally identifiable information? Additionally, the Commission seeks comment on whether any certified program may be prohibited by state regulation from storing data out of state and whether these prohibitions would prevent the input of the types of data described above—or any other related types of data—into a centralized database. Are there any other reasons that any of the currently certified programs would not be able to comply with requirements for the submission of such data into a centralized system? What are the costs and benefits of gathering the categories of information listed above?

    25. The Commission proposes to permit the NDBEDP Administrator and other appropriate FCC staff to search this database and generate reports to analyze nationwide data on the NDBEDP, and seeks comment on this proposal. To what extent should a certified program also be permitted access to the database to execute searches of data that it did not input into the database? For example, if the Commission permits entry of data on deaf-blind individuals receiving equipment, should a certified program be permitted to conduct a search to determine whether the applicant is receiving equipment and services from another state? Similarly, should a certified program be permitted to access the database to determine the types of equipment being distributed by other states or the length of time typically used for assessments and training by other certified programs? The Commission proposes that access to the NDBEDP centralized database be limited to authorized entities, and be permitted only under tightly controlled conditions. To ensure the privacy and confidentiality of financial and other sensitive information about consumers that may be entered into the database, the Commission seeks comment on which entities and under what conditions those entities should be permitted access to the database. The Commission proposes that the database administrator be tasked with establishing procedures, protocols, and other safeguards, such as password protection and encryption, to ensure database access is in fact restricted according to the Commission's guidelines. The Commission seeks comment on this approach, and the extent to which the NDBEDP Administrator should be given some discretion to determine when entities other than the Administrator or FCC staff can access the database.

    26. Decisions regarding information to be included in a centralized database used for administration of the program and the individuals who may be granted access to the database can raise questions regarding compliance with Government-wide statutory and regulatory guidance with respect to privacy issues and the use of information technology. Parties commenting on the centralized database should ensure that their recommendations are consistent with Government-wide privacy and information technology statutory and regulatory guidance.

    27. The Perkins School for the Blind (Perkins), which provides database services for 32 certified programs, estimated that the cost of establishing and maintaining an NDBEDP centralized database will be between $285,000 and $380,000 annually. The Commission seeks comment on whether this amount of funding will be sufficient to perform the proposed functions of the database, and whether there will be start-up costs that result in higher costs during the first year of the database's operations. If the Commission does not develop its own database for the NDBEDP, the Commission proposes to authorize the Bureau to set aside up to $380,000 per year from the NDBEDP's annual allocation for the development of the database during the last year of the pilot program to enable the implementation of the database functions for the permanent NDBEDP in a timely manner. If this approach is adopted, certified programs now paying to use an existing database, the costs of which are currently assessed against their 15% cap on administrative costs, would no longer need to do so. At the same time, the Commission proposes that certified programs continue to be permitted to seek reimbursement for the time spent entering data into and generating reports and reimbursement claims from the database as part of their administrative costs, up to the 15% cap. The Commission seeks comment on these various proposals.

    28. As an alternative to undertaking the development and maintenance of an NDBEDP database using existing staff and resources, the Commission will also consider a variety of approaches to satisfy the program requirements. For example, the Commission could engage another agency with information technology experience to provide administrative support for the program including database development and maintenance through an Interagency agreement. The Commission could also procure the database through a competitive procurement. In addition, the Commission may evaluate whether to modify a contract with an existing contractor to satisfy the program requirements—either through direct performance by the main contractor or a subcontractor. Or the Commission may wish to invite entities, via a public notice, to submit applications for the development and maintenance of a centralized database, from which the Commission would then select a database administrator. The Commission will consider using a combination of any of these in-house, regulatory, or procurement strategies where efficient and lawful to do so.

    29. Regardless of the precise mechanism chosen for obtaining a centralized database for the program, the Commission seeks input on the performance goals along with performance measures that should be used for this project. Other issues on which the Commission seeks input include the implementation schedule for the work; budget for the first three years of work related to the development and maintenance of the database; prerequisite experience needed for staff employed in creating and managing a complex database capable of receiving large amounts of data. The Commission also seeks input regarding database query and data mining capabilities; and database design best practices to ensure that certified programs can generate reimbursement claims and submit them electronically to the TRS Fund Administrator using the database. The Commission also seeks input on the report functionality required for the database; and best practices with respect to data management, security, privacy, confidentiality, backup, and accessibility, including compliance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    IV. Consumer Eligibility A. Definition of Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind

    30. To participate in the NDBEDP, the CVAA requires that individuals must be “deaf-blind,” as that term is defined in the Helen Keller National Center Act (HKNC Act). 29 U.S.C. 1905(2). The Commission's NDBEDP pilot program rules also direct NDBEDP certified programs to consider an individual's functional abilities with respect to using telecommunications, advanced communications, and Internet access services in various environments when determining whether an individual is “deaf-blind.” The Commission proposes to retain this definition and seeks comment on this proposal.

    B. Verification of Disability

    31. The NDBEDP pilot program rules require that individuals seeking equipment under the NDBEDP must provide disability verification from a professional (e.g., community-based service provider, vision or hearing related professional, vocational rehabilitation counselor, educator, and medical or health professional) who has direct knowledge of and can attest to the individual's disability. Such professionals must attest, either to the best of their knowledge or under penalty of perjury, that the applicant is an individual who is deaf-blind, as that term is defined in the Commission's rules. A disability verification must include the attester's name, title, and contact information, including address, phone number, and email address. As verification of disability, certified programs may also accept documentation already in the applicant's possession, such as individualized education programs and Social Security determination letters. The Commission tentatively concludes that the Commission should retain the current requirements for verification of disability from a professional with direct knowledge or through documentation already in the applicant's possession, and seeks comment on this tentative conclusion. Nonetheless, the Commission seeks comment on whether a professional's attestation that an individual is deaf-blind should include the basis of the attesting professional's knowledge. The Commission also proposes that the disability verification must include the professional's full name, title, and contact information, including business address, phone number, and email address. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Finally, the Commission asks whether certified programs should be required to re-verify an individual's disability eligibility each time the recipient applies for new equipment, or whether there is a period of time after an initial verification that such verification should be deemed sufficient to prove disability in the event that the recipient seeks additional equipment. For this purpose, the Commission proposes to require certified programs to re-verify an individual's disability eligibility when the individual applies for new equipment three years or more after the program last verified the individual's disability. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    C. Income Eligibility

    32. To participate in the NDBEDP, the CVAA requires that individuals must be “low income.” The NDBEDP pilot program rules define low-income individuals as having “an income that does not exceed 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).” 47 CFR 64.610(d)(2). In addition, the Bureau has provided guidance to state programs that defines “income” as all income received by all members of a household, and defines a “household” as any individual or group of individuals who are living together at the same address as one economic unit.

    33. The Commission seeks comment on how to define the “low income” threshold for purposes of eligibility in the permanent program. Should it, for example, continue to use a threshold of 400% of the FPG like it did in the pilot program? The Commission is sensitive to concerns about the high cost of medical and disability-related expenses for this population, as well as the high cost of the equipment that these consumers need. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission concluded “that the unusually high medical and disability-related costs incurred by individuals who are deaf-blind . . . together with the extraordinarily high costs of specialized [customer premises equipment] typically needed by this population, support an income eligibility rule of 400 percent of the FPG for the NDBEDP pilot program. In order to give this program the meaning intended by Congress—`to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to utilize fully the essential advanced technologies that have developed since the passage of the ADA and subsequent statutes addressing communications accessibility'—we must adopt an income threshold that takes into account these unusually high medical and disability-related expenses, which significantly lower one's disposable income.”

    34. The Commission notes that, in 2013, the median household income in the United States was $52,250. Can the Commission define a household as “low income” if its income exceeds the median? Should the Commission use the median as a cap on eligibility, or just adopt the median as a threshold? Alternatively, how do other federal programs define “low income” households? For example, the FCC's low-income universal service program (known as Lifeline) defines a household as low income only if it is below 135% of the FPG (or the household qualifies for one of several federal low-income programs). Should the Commission adopt that threshold here? What effect would adjusting the income eligibility threshold have on otherwise-eligible deaf-blind individuals? As the program approaches the maximum funding level each year, what effect would adjusting the income eligibility threshold have on prioritizing scarce resources?

    35. The Commission seeks comment on whether “taxable income”—rather than total, gross, or net income—be used to determine eligibility, while retaining the limitation that such income not be greater than 400% of the FPG. For these purposes, the Commission seeks comment on whether the term “taxable income” should be defined as gross income minus allowable deductions, as defined by the U.S. Tax Code. In other words, taxable income for the purposes of the NDBEDP would be the amount that is used to compute the amount of tax due. The amount of tax due may be offset further by tax credits, but tax credits do not alter the amount of your taxable income. The Commission seeks comment on how to address non-disability related exemptions or exclusions in the tax code. For example, should otherwise-non-taxable municipal-bond income be included in a household's taxable income for purposes of eligibility? Should mortgage-interest deductions or state-income-tax deductions be included? The Commission asks whether this modification appropriately considers an applicant's disability-related and medical expenses, given that taxable income includes allowable deductions for such expenses for individuals who itemize their deductions. For those individuals who do not itemize deductions, in addition to the basic standard deduction, an additional standard deduction is permitted for individuals who are blind, which may help to ameliorate the burden of additional expenses incurred by such individuals and result in less taxable income. The Commission asks for comment as to whether this would address these cost concerns, without conflicting with statutory limitations and congressional intent, or if there are other proposals that might achieve this goal. The Commission also asks whether this approach will impose any additional administrative burdens on either the certified programs or consumers, and whether those burdens are justified by the benefits of adopting these financial eligibility criteria. The Commission also seeks comment on how other federal programs define income for determining whether a household is “low income” and whether any other federal program uses “taxable income” for that purpose.

    36. The Commission also addresses concerns about its use of household income in lieu of personal income to determine income eligibility for the NDBEDP, because the former can result in disqualification of adult applicants who live in multi-person households and other adult applicants who are not dependent financially. The Commission proposes to clarify that multiple adults living together as roommates or in a multi-person home are not an “economic unit” and therefore not a “household” for purposes of determining income eligibility. An “economic unit” consists of all adult individuals contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses of a household. In situations where an adult applicant lives in a multi-person home but does not have access to the financial resources of others, he or she is not “contributing to and sharing in the income and expenses” of the group but instead maintaining financially distinct identities despite a shared living space. In contrast, where an adult applicant is financially dependent on another adult or their finances are intertwined (as with a spouse), the incomes of all members of that household must be considered. The Commission asks for comment on this approach or alternatives to this approach that would be consistent with the congressional mandate requiring the NDBEDP to serve only low-income individuals.

    D. Verification of Income Eligibility

    37. The NDBEDP pilot program rules allow automatic income eligibility for individuals enrolled in federal subsidy programs with income thresholds that do not exceed 400% of the FPG. When applicants are not already enrolled in a qualifying low-income program, low-income eligibility must be verified by the certified program using appropriate and reasonable means, for example, by reviewing the individual's most recent income tax return.

    38. The Commission tentatively concludes that it should continue permitting individuals enrolled in federal subsidy programs with income thresholds lower than 400% of the FPG to be deemed income eligible for the NDBEDP. The Commission believes that this approach is reasonable and reliable, simplifies the income verification process for applicants and certified programs, and is consistent with the approach adopted for its Universal Service low-income program. Further, the Commission proposes to continue to require certified programs to verify low-income eligibility using appropriate and reasonable means, for example, by reviewing the individual's most recent income tax return, when applicants are not already enrolled in a qualifying low-income program. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. The Commission seeks comment on whether a third-party should determine income eligibility just as the Commission proposes to retain the requirement for a third party to verify an individual's disability. If the Commission decides to use a third party to verify income, it seeks comment on whether this should be done by a state agency, such as during the time of enrollment in other programs, or through another mechanism. The Commission seeks comment on the potential impact on program applicants and the potential costs and benefits of doing so, including the potential administrative savings to the programs of relieving them of this responsibility. The Commission further notes that it's Universal Service low-income program lists, as acceptable documentation to prove income eligibility, “the prior year's state, federal, or Tribal tax return; current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub; a Social Security statement of benefits; a Veterans Administration statement of benefits; a retirement/pension statement of benefits; an Unemployment/Workers' Compensation statement of benefit; federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance; or a divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information.” 47 CFR 54.410(b)(1)(i)(B). Would these forms of documentation be appropriate to prove income eligibility for NDBEDP equipment recipients? Additionally, the Universal Service low-income program rules specify that, if the documentation presented “does not cover a full year, such as current pay stubs, the [applicant] must present the same type of documentation covering three consecutive months within the previous twelve months.” 47 CFR 54.410(b)(1)(i)(B). Should such eligibility criteria be applied across all certified programs nationwide? Finally, the Commission asks whether certified programs should be required to re-verify an equipment recipient's income eligibility when that individual applies for new equipment. Is there is a period of time following an initial verification that such income verification should be deemed sufficient if the recipient seeks additional equipment? For this purpose, the Commission proposes to require certified programs to re-verify an individual's income eligibility when the individual applies for new equipment one year or more after the program last verified the individual's income. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    E. Other Eligibility Criteria

    39. To ensure that the equipment provided will be usable, the Commission proposes to continue, under the permanent NDBEDP, to permit certified programs to require that NDBEDP equipment recipients demonstrate that they have access to the telecommunications, advanced communications, or Internet access services (Internet or phone service) that the equipment is designed to use and make accessible. Considering the unemployment and underemployment challenges of the population sought to be served by the NDBEDP, the Commission also proposes, under the permanent NDBEDP, to prohibit certified programs from imposing employment-related eligibility requirements for individuals to participate in the program. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.

    40. In the pilot NDBEDP, the Commission granted states considerable flexibility in deciding how best to distribute equipment and provide related services to as many of their eligible residents as possible, given their jurisdiction's demographics and the inherent constraints of NDBEDP funding allocations, qualified personnel, time, and other limited resources. The Commission proposes to continue following this approach because it believes it has been effective in allowing states to address the wide range of variability that exists within and between state populations and resources, as well as the diversity within the population of individuals who are deaf-blind. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Should the Commission take measures to prioritize the use of funding in the event that demand for funding exceeds the $10 million funding limitation? If so, for what purpose and when should priorities be set? For example, should priorities be designed to maximize the number of equipment recipients per year or the number of new equipment recipients per year or both? Should the Commission consider taking measures to target the lowest-income individuals? For example, should the Commission consider lowering the income eligibility threshold? Should the Commission consider establishing caps on the amount of equipment or related services an individual may receive to achieve that goal? The Commission seeks comment on these or other alternatives the Commission should consider to maximize the number of low-income consumers who can receive equipment under the permanent program.

    41. At the same time, the Commission acknowledges a need for greater transparency with respect to any unique criteria or priorities used by state programs for the distribution of equipment and related services. The Commission, therefore, proposes that each certified program be required to make public on its Web site, if one is maintained by the certified program, or as part of its other local outreach efforts, a brief narrative description of any criteria or priorities that it uses to distribute equipment, as well as strategies established to ensure the fair distribution of equipment to eligible applicants within its jurisdiction. The Commission seeks comment on whether this proposal would assist consumers to better understand what benefits they may be able to secure from their state programs. The Commission also seeks comment on whether the administrative burdens of such an approach would be outweighed by its benefits.

    42. The Commission cautions, however, that strategies to serve eligible applicants in a state must be consistent with the NDBEDP rules. For example, a certified program whose state education department provides deaf-blind students with all of the communications equipment and related services they need may determine that it should focus its NDBEDP resources to meet the needs of low-income deaf-blind adults. The Commission believes this would be consistent with the principle, adopted in the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, that the NDBEDP is supplementing rather than supplanting other resources. However, a program restriction disallowing the distribution of equipment to any persons under the age of 18 could exclude otherwise eligible deaf-blind individuals in need of this equipment. The Commission tentatively concludes that state programs generally should not be permitted to adopt such sweeping limitations, and seeks comment on this tentative conclusion. In addition, the Commission proposes to require certified programs to serve eligible applicants of any age whose communications equipment needs are not being met through other available resources and the Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Finally, the Commission seeks comment on whether it should address in its rules for the permanent NDBEDP any other specific state program restrictions that currently exclude individuals who may otherwise qualify for NDBEDP equipment and related services.

    V. Equipment and Related Services A. Outreach 1. National Outreach

    43. During each year of the pilot program, the Commission has set aside $500,000 of the $10 million available annually for national outreach efforts to promote the NDBEDP. Significant initial funding for outreach was necessary to launch the pilot program, because eligible individuals needed to become informed about the availability of the program before distribution of equipment could take place. Accordingly, in addition to permitting the state programs to use some of their funding for outreach to their communities, the Commission authorized national outreach efforts to supplement those local efforts. The Bureau selected Perkins to conduct this national outreach. This outreach effort by Perkins, in partnership with others, has resulted in an NDBEDP (“iCanConnect”) Web site that promotes the NDBEDP, provides information about and referral to state programs, shares news about the program and personal stories of equipment recipients, and includes an overview of the types of communications equipment the program can provide. The national outreach effort has also resulted in the establishment of an 800 number and a call center for program inquiries and referrals, marketing materials for and monthly conference calls with state programs, social media presence, and public service announcements (PSAs), as well as advertisements on billboards and in magazines.

    44. Based on both the extensive efforts of the national outreach program to alert and educate consumers about the availability of NDBEDP equipment through state programs, and the generally high praise for these efforts conveyed by others, the Commission proposes to continue funding for national outreach efforts as part of the permanent program and for the NDBEDP Administrator to oversee these efforts. The Commission will consider a variety of approaches to satisfy the national outreach requirements for the program including using existing Commission staff and resources, engaging another agency with expertise in this area through an Interagency agreement, acquiring these services through a competitive procurement, evaluating whether to modify a contract with an existing contractor to satisfy the program requirements—either through direct performance by the main contractor or a subcontractor. The Commission may also wish to invite entities, via a public notice, to submit applications for the role of national outreach coordinator. The Commission will consider using a combination of any of these in-house, regulatory, or procurement strategies where efficient and lawful to do so. Regardless of the precise approach used to obtain national outreach services, the Commission seeks input on the performance goals along with performance measures that would be helpful in facilitating oversight of national outreach efforts.

    45. At the same time, the Commission believes that, because national outreach efforts, combined with state and local outreach efforts conducted by certified programs, have made significant progress in publicizing the NDBEDP, less national outreach may be needed going forward. The Commission therefore proposes to reduce the amount of money spent on national outreach to $250,000 for each of the first three years of the permanent program, and seeks comment on this proposal. Do commenters agree that this reduction in the national outreach allocation is appropriate given the limited amount of annual funding available to the NDBEDP and, if so, would $250,000 per year be an appropriate level of funding? What effect would such a reduction in funds have on the types of national outreach efforts that were made under the pilot program? For example, will this amount of money be sufficient to continue the outreach activities that Perkins identifies as “critical,” including maintenance of the iCanConnect Web site; the 800 number and call center; marketing materials; monthly conference calls; and support to states to gather and promote success stories? How can the Commission ensure that these or other national outreach efforts undertaken under the permanent program are cost effective? Should the Commission conduct an assessment during the third year to determine whether and to what extent to continue such funding support beyond this period? Will two years be sufficient to gather the data necessary to make this determination during the third year? If the Commission takes this approach, it seeks comment on how it should, in the third year, evaluate the efficacy of national outreach efforts for this purpose.

    46. The Commission seeks comment on whether national outreach efforts should target specific groups, such as American Sign Language users, non-English language users, and medical and elder service professionals and, if so, why. Would the proposed reduction in funding limit national outreach to these targeted groups? Should other populations be targeted? What specific methods of communication or activities should be used to reach these groups? How can the Commission ensure that outreach reaches eligible consumers who do not specifically identify as deaf-blind? The Commission also seeks comment on whether and to what national outreach should be coordinated with the state program efforts, including the costs and benefits of having to take such measures.

    47. Finally, performance goals should be defined for the national outreach program along with performance measures that are clearly linked to each performance goal. Evaluating a program against quantifiable metrics is part of the Commission's normal oversight functions. As such, the Commission seeks input on the data it should collect in order to effectively oversee the outreach efforts. Should the Commission collect data on factors such as increases in the number of program participants, inquiries through the 800 number/call center, referrals through the iCanConnect Web site, consumer applications to state programs, the proportion of consumers in specified groups, such as by age or language spoken, Web site traffic, growth in social channels, and media impressions? If so, at what intervals are reports on such data useful?? What are the costs and benefits of collecting and evaluating this data? Commenters should explain the connection between performance measures proposed and clearly defined program goals.

    2. Local Outreach

    48. In addition to setting aside $500,000 per year for national outreach during the pilot program, the Commission has required certified programs participating in the pilot program to conduct local outreach to inform state residents about the NDBEDP, and has provided reimbursement for the reasonable costs of this outreach. Given the overwhelming endorsement of such efforts in the record, the Commission tentatively concludes that it should continue to require certified programs participating in the permanent NDBEDP to conduct outreach to state residents, and to reimburse these programs for the reasonable costs of such outreach. The Commission seeks comment on this tentative conclusion.

    49. The Commission also seeks comment on the level of funding for state and local outreach that should be considered reasonable for purposes of reimbursement under the permanent NDBEDP. Overall, certified programs spent a combined average of approximately 10% of their total fund allocations on state and local outreach during the second year of the pilot program. Given that outreach activities at the state level have made significant progress in publicizing the NDBEDP, the Commission proposes that such outreach expenditures be capped at 10% of each state's funding allocation during the first two years of the permanent program, after which the Commission proposes that the NDBEDP Administrator be required to reassess this level of funding authorization. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals, as well as the specific metrics and criteria that should be used to evaluate the success of these outreach efforts, such as the percentage of a state program's funding allocation actually used. How can the Commission ensure that local outreach efforts undertaken under the permanent program have met such metrics, and are cost effective? Are there other criteria, including the criteria proposed above for the assessment of national outreach activities, that can be applied to evaluating the success of state outreach efforts?

    50. Finally, in the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission explained that state and local outreach may include the development and maintenance of a program Web site that contains information about the NDBEDP certified program, contact information and information about available equipment, as well as ways to apply for that equipment and related services provided by the program. The Commission believes such Web sites have been very helpful in both informing state residents about the existence of the NDBEDP and instructing them on how to apply for equipment and related services from their local programs. The Commission tentatively concludes that its rules should continue to allow reimbursement for the development and maintenance of a program Web site. The Commission also required that the outreach information and materials that a certified program disseminates to potential equipment recipients be provided in accessible formats and it tentatively concludes that its rules should continue to require accessible outreach materials. The Commission notes that certified programs already are required to ensure accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. See 42 U.S.C. 12131-12134 (state and local government services), 12181-12189 (public accommodations and services operated by private entities). The Commission seeks comment on these proposals and any other matters regarding state and local outreach.

    B. Assessments

    51. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission's rules permit reimbursement for the reasonable costs of individualized assessments of a deaf-blind individual's communications needs by qualified assistive technology specialists. Reimbursable assessment costs under the pilot program include the reasonable travel costs of state program staff and contractors who conduct assessments and provide support services (such as qualified interpreters). Individual assessments are needed to ensure an appropriate match between the particular type of technology distributed and the unique accessibility needs of each consumer, given the wide range of abilities and hearing and vision disabilities across the deaf-blind population. Further, the Commission continues to believe that reimbursement of the reasonable costs of travel by program staff and contractors to conduct assessments of individuals located in rural or remote areas is necessary to achieve the goal of accessible communications under the CVAA. The Commission tentatively concludes that the permanent NDBEDP should continue to permit reimbursement for these assessment and related travel costs, and seeks comment on this tentative conclusion. The Commission asks commenters who do not believe that such funding support should be continued to explain why it should be discontinued. Further, the Commission asks how it can ensure that conducting assessments under the permanent program is cost effective or how it can improve the cost effectiveness of such assessments. The Commission also seeks comment on any other matters related to conducting individualized assessments under the NDBEDP.

    52. The Commission presently does not allow reimbursement for the costs of deaf-blind consumers traveling to the assessor's location. The record shows that, in some instances, it would be preferable for consumers to travel to a location away from their homes, such as to the state program's office, to have their needs assessed before receiving equipment. The Commission proposes to allow but not require certified programs to pay for and request reimbursement for the reasonable costs of in-state travel for consumers (and their support service providers, if needed) when doing so would be more efficient and effective than conducting the assessment in the consumer's home. Would allowing such coverage benefit consumers, for example, by making a wideessors or support services? Should there be a cap on the amount a state program can spend on assessment-related cr array of communication devices available for such assessments? To what extent would allowing these costs provide consumers with access to more skilled assonsumer travel? To what extent should the Commission's rules define the permissible costs that would be considered reasonable for such travel, and what costs should be considered “reasonable”? Are there other federal programs that are instructive with respect to addressing similar travel costs? The Commission assumes that most travel could occur from the consumer's location to the NDBEDP center and back to the consumer's location within a single day, given that travel is within a single state, and seeks comment on whether this assumption is correct. For example, what is the average distance and duration for consumers to travel to the assessment location? How likely is it that a consumer would need overnight lodging for the purpose of completing such assessment, and if such lodging is necessary, should this be covered by NDBEDP funds? To what extent have consumers traveled to another location for the purpose of obtaining assessments at their own expense during the pilot program, and to what extent are they likely to need such travel in the future? Are certified programs already paying for consumer travel, without seeking reimbursement for those costs? Are state programs able to estimate projected costs for future consumer travel if the Commission's proposal to permit these costs is adopted? Are any of these expenses able to be reimbursed by other federal programs?

    53. Although the Commission believes that reimbursing programs for the reasonable costs of consumer travel and support service providers, when needed and appropriate, can benefit both consumers and certified programs, given the limited NDBEDP funding available to each certified program, the Commission is hesitant to allow such compensation without the careful review and prior approval of each program pursuant to clearly defined guidelines. The Commission therefore proposes that a consumer's travel costs be reimbursed only if those costs are first pre-approved by the certified program, which should occur only after a determination by the program that the reasonable costs of this travel would be more efficient and effective than having the assessor travel to the consumer. Moreover, the Commission seeks comment on specific guidelines certified programs should follow or factors they should consider to make such determinations. For example, how should certified programs weigh possible benefits to a consumer that travels to receive an assessment (e.g., to try out a variety of equipment or receive a more timely assessment), against a comparison of program personnel travel versus consumer travel costs? Finally, the Commission proposes that pre-approval for such travel costs by the NDBEDP Administrator not be required, but may be requested by state programs, particularly if they have questions as to whether the requested travel would comport with the established guidelines. The Commission suggests this approach because it believes that state programs are in the best position to know when consumer travel is either necessary or will achieve the best efficiencies for its program. The Commission seeks comment on these and any other matters related to the reimbursement for the cost of consumers' in-state travel for purposes of obtaining assessments.

    54. The Commission seeks comment on the reasons that a consumer may need to travel out-of-state for an assessment, and the number of consumers who already do so or are likely to do so, if reimbursement were allowed. Because the costs of traveling greater distances are likely to be higher than for in-state travel, should certified programs be required to seek pre-approval from the NDBEDP Administrator for out-of-state travel to ensure that the costs are reasonable? The Commission seeks comment on these and any other matters related to the need for and appropriateness of having the NDBEDP reimburse state programs for the out-of-state travel expenses of consumers relating to assessments.

    C. Equipment

    55. The NDBEDP provides support for the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment needed to make telecommunications services, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services accessible to people who are deaf-blind. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission reimburses certified programs for the reasonable cost of equipment, which may be hardware, software, or applications, separate or in combination, mainstream or specialized, as long as it meets the needs of the deaf-blind individual to achieve access to NDBEDP covered services. Certified programs may not impose restrictions on the types of communications technology that a recipient may receive, disable features or functions needed to access covered services, or accept financial arrangements from a vendor that could incentivize the purchase of particular equipment. Certified programs may lend or transfer ownership of the distributed equipment to eligible recipients, but must prohibit recipients from transferring equipment received under the NDBEDP to another person through sale or otherwise. Certified programs are permitted to distribute multiple pieces of equipment to eligible consumers, as needed. Equipment-related expenses, including maintenance, repairs, warranties, returns, maintaining an inventory of loaner equipment, as well as refurbishing, upgrading, and replacing equipment distributed to consumers are also reimbursable. When a recipient relocates to another state, certified programs must permit the transfer of the recipient's account and any control of the distributed equipment to the new state's certified program. The Commission did not establish equipment or funding caps for individual recipients during the pilot program. Rather, certified programs may distribute more than one device to an individual, within the constraints of the state's annual funding allocation and the desire to make communications accessible for as many individuals who are deaf-blind as possible.

    56. The Commission tentatively concludes that it should retain all of the equipment distribution provisions of the NDBEDP pilot program noted above. The Commission believes that placing restrictions on the number of devices that each recipient should be permitted to receive or the frequency with which they should be allows to receive them at this time would be inconsistent with the goal of the program to ensure access to communications services to all eligible low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The better approach, the Commission believes, is to continue allowing the flexibility inherent in the existing provisions, which permits each certified program to determine how many pieces of equipment to provide and with what frequency, to meet the varied needs of the individuals in their communities. The Commission seeks comment on this approach. The commission also seeks comment on how it can ensure that the purchase of equipment under the permanent program is cost effective or how it can improve the cost effectiveness of such equipment purchases. The Commission further invites comment on whether certified programs should be required to reassess the communications needs of an equipment recipient when new issues, such as developmental, medical, or other changes, result in equipment no longer meeting the recipient's needs. The Commission also seeks comment on alternatives that might address these concerns.

    57. The record reflects a desire that the centralized database contain a functionality that lists and frequently updates types of compensable equipment, and that allows certified programs, consumers, and industry to post suggestions for new equipment for consideration and evaluation, as well as comments, information, instructions or suggestions regarding existing equipment. The Commission notes that the database proposed in the NPRM, if established, will be populated with information about equipment that has been distributed by certified programs across the country. If the Commission extends its pilot program reporting rules, this information will include the equipment's name, serial number, brand, function, and cost, the type of communications service with which it is used, and the type of relay service it can access. The Commission seeks comment on whether certified programs should be permitted to query the proposed database to generate a list of equipment that has been provided through the NDBEDP. In addition, the iCanConnect Web site, which is maintained as part of the NDBEDP national outreach effort, provides general information about different kinds of equipment that may be provided under the NDBEDP. The iCanConnect Web site also provides consumers with examples of specific communication devices commonly used by people who are deaf-blind, and therefore are likely to be reimbursable through the NDBEDP. Given the speed with which technology evolves, the Commission proposes that this list be kept reasonably up to date, though it need not be exhaustive. The Commission seeks comment on this approach and whether the iCanConnect Web site should provide other functionalities for state programs and consumers to aid in their equipment selection, such as the ability to compare and contrast different communication devices used by people who are deaf-blind. Should consumers be able to comment on equipment and, if so, to what extent should the comments be moderated, and by whom? How can the information about specific devices be kept up to date? Should equipment updates be provided by the Web site administrator, certified programs, consumers, industry, or all of the above? What are the costs and benefits of such functionalities, and would they be achievable with the amount of national outreach funding proposed in the NPRM?

    58. The Commission cautions, however, that the appearance of a specific piece of equipment in the centralized database or on the iCanConnect Web site will not automatically make it eligible for reimbursement for all applicants. Rather, because equipment distribution determinations must be made based on individual case-by-case assessments, it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify specific types of equipment that will be reimbursable for all eligible applicants. Indeed, the same piece of equipment may be suitable for one individual, yet inappropriate for another. Thus, the Commission proposes that equipment reports produced by the centralized database, as well as equipment listings on the iCanConnect Web site, include a clear and conspicuous notice that the selection of and reimbursement for any piece of equipment distributed under the NDBEDP must be based on an individual case-by-case assessment and consistent with the NDBEDP rules. Consistent with this principle, under the pilot program, when it is not obvious that the equipment can be or is commonly used by individuals who are deaf-blind to access covered services, certified programs have been required to support their reimbursement claims with documentation that describes how the equipment they distribute makes telecommunications, advanced communications, or the Internet accessible to the individual who is deaf-blind. The Commission proposes that this requirement be carried into the permanent program. The Commission further proposes that certified programs be permitted to continue consulting with the NDBEDP Administrator about whether the NDBEDP will reimburse the cost of a particular piece of equipment for an eligible individual before purchasing the equipment. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.

    59. Finally, the Commission asks how certified programs can ensure that the individuals they serve do not sell or otherwise transfer the equipment they receive under the NDBEDP to another person. The Commission proposes that equipment recipients be required to execute a standard attestation that they will not sell, give, lend, or transfer their interest in any equipment they receive under this program. For this purpose, and to ensure the truthfulness and accuracy of each consumer's application for equipment, the Commission seeks comment on the following uniform attestation that it proposes to be included on all consumer application forms. Commenters who believe alternate attestation language is appropriate should explain why such alternatives are appropriate in lieu of this proposal:

    I certify that all information provided on this application, including information about my disability and income eligibility to receive equipment, is true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. Program officials have my permission to verify the information provided. If I am eligible for services, I agree to use these services solely for the purposes intended. I further understand that I may not sell, give, lend, or transfer interest in any equipment provided to me. Falsification of any records or failure to comply with these provisions will result in immediate termination of service. In addition, I understand that if I purposely provide false information I may be subject to legal action. I certify that I have read, understand, and accept all conditions associated with iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

    60. Should programs be required to verify on a regular basis that the equipment continues to reside in the recipient's possession? Would a requirement for such verification be burdensome or impractical, given the rapid evolution of technology, which frequently requires equipment to be upgraded or replaced on a regular basis, such as every few years?

    D. Installation and Training

    61. The NDBEDP pilot program permits reimbursement for the reasonable costs of installing NDBEDP distributed equipment, individualized consumer training on how to use such equipment, and the reasonable travel costs of trainers and support services. Having equipment set-up and providing training in person are essential to ensuring that deaf-blind individuals effectively benefit from the NDBEDP and to prevent the underutilization or abandonment of equipment. Given its critical importance to the success of the NDBEDP and the recognition that the amount of time it takes to train individuals who are deaf-blind on new communications equipment depends on a variety of factors, including a wide range of capabilities and experiences with communications technologies, the Commission refrained from establishing caps on such training. For these same reasons, the Commission concluded that reimbursable installation and training costs under the pilot program would include the reasonable travel costs of trainers and individuals providing support services, such as qualified interpreters. The Commission proposes to continue to permit reimbursement for the reasonable costs of equipment installation, consumer training, and travel by trainers and support services, such as qualified interpreters. The Commission seeks comment on its proposal to continue providing compensation for these costs. The Commission also seeks comment on how it can ensure that installation and training conducted under the permanent program is cost effective or how it can improve the cost effectiveness of such installation and training.

    62. The Commission did not permit reimbursement under the pilot program for the costs of having consumers travel to receive training. The record shows, however, that, in some instances, it is preferable for consumers to travel to a location away from their homes to get their equipment installed or to receive training. The Commission proposes that a consumer's travel costs be reimbursed only if those costs are first pre-approved by the consumer's certified program, which should occur only after a determination by the program that the reasonable costs of this travel would be more efficient and effective than in-home installation and training. The Commission seeks comment on this approach, as well as a proposal that pre-approval by the NDBEDP Administrator not be required but may be requested. The Commission also seeks comment on specific guidelines certified programs should follow or factors they should consider to make such determinations. For example, how should certified programs weigh possible benefits to a consumer that travels to receive training, against a comparison of program personnel travel versus consumer travel costs? Would allowing reimbursement for consumer travel benefit consumers, for example, by increasing training opportunities for consumers? To what extent would allowing these costs provide consumers with access to more skilled trainers or support services? Should there be a cap on the amount a state program can spend on training-related consumer travel? To what extent should the Commission's rules define the permissible costs that would be considered reasonable for such travel, and what costs should be considered “reasonable”? Are there other federal programs that are instructive with respect to addressing similar travel costs? Would consumers need to travel on more than one day for training and, if so, why? What is the average distance and duration for consumers to travel to the training location? To the extent that training needs to occur over a series of days, or the travel distance is considerable (even within the same state), should the costs of lodging and or meals be covered, or just the costs of transportation? The Commission requests certified programs to share any information they may have on the extent to which consumers have traveled to another location at their own expense, the extent to which state programs presently reimburse consumers for these costs, and to what extent they expect consumers are likely to need such travel in the future. Are state programs able to estimate projected costs for future consumer travel if the Commission's proposal to permit these costs is adopted? Are any of these expenses able to be reimbursed by other federal programs? The Commission seeks comment on these and any other matters related to the need for and appropriateness of reimbursing state programs for consumers' travel expenses relating to installation and training.

    63. The Commission seeks comment on the reasons that a consumer may need to travel out-of-state for training, and the number of consumers who already do so or would do so, if reimbursement were allowed. Because the costs of traveling greater distances are likely to be higher than for in-state travel, should certified programs be required to seek pre-approval from the NDBEDP Administrator for out-of-state travel for training to ensure that the costs are reasonable? The Commission seeks comment on these and any other matters related to the need for and appropriateness of having the NDBEDP reimburse state programs for the out-of-state travel expenses of consumers relating to training.

    E. Training Trainers

    64. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission declined to set aside NDBEDP pilot program funds to cover the cost of teaching NDBEDP personnel how to train NDBEDP equipment recipients on the use of their equipment—i.e., a “train-the-trainer” program—because of the limited funding available. At the time, the Commission understood that there was a shortage of qualified individuals who could carry out this training function, particularly with respect to training NDBEDP equipment recipients who communicate receptively and/or expressively in Braille or American Sign Language. The Commission continues to believe that training individuals who are deaf-blind how to use the equipment they receive under the NDBEDP promotes access to communication and furthers the purposes of the CVAA. The current record confirms the critical importance of having sufficient numbers of qualified trainers, but notes that the current number of qualified trainers is inadequate. To address these concerns, the Commission proposes to authorize up to 2.5% of the $10 million annual funding allocation ($250,000) for each of the first three years of the permanent program to support train-the-trainer programs, including the reasonable costs of travel for such training, and the Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    65. One of the purposes of the CVAA is to help ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to fully utilize communications services and equipment. To give full effect and meaning to this purpose, and in particular to the mandate contained in section 105 of the CVAA and section 719 of the Communications Act, directing the Commission to address the unmet communications access needs of persons who are deaf-blind through a national equipment distribution program, the Commission has allowed some of the funding support provided for this program to be used for assessments, equipment installation, and consumer training. The Commission found their financial support necessary because they are essential to the efficient and effective distribution of equipment for use by people who are deaf-blind. Similarly, because equipment training cannot be achieved in the absence of qualified personnel to conduct such training, it would appear that the Commission can use its authority to financially support programs that distribute specialized customer premises equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind by mitigating the current shortage of qualified training personnel through the allocation of funding for this purpose. The Commission seeks comment on the use of its authority under section 719 of the Communications Act for such purpose. Is such financial support necessary to give full effect and meaning to the CVAA's objectives and to achieve the purpose of section 719?

    66. During the pilot program, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults (HKNC) established a train-the-trainer program using a grant from a private foundation, which some certified programs are using, but others cannot afford. Are additional funds available from public or private sources other than the NDBEDP for this purpose? Besides HKNC, are any other entities offering train-the-trainer programs to more than one certified program? Do such entities provide individual training, group training, and distance training through online resources, or other forms of training? Approximately how often do these programs provide training seminars or sessions? What is the cost to certified programs to attend training sessions or access training materials?

    67. The Commission believes $250,000 to be reasonable and sufficient for train-the-trainer programs, and seeks comment on whether this amount is appropriate as an initial step. The Commission proposes addressing concerns about funding train-the-trainer activities to the detriment of funding for the distribution of equipment and provision of related services by re-allocating a portion of funding previously used for national outreach, discussed above in the Notice, which is less needed now than it was at the start of the pilot program. The Commission seeks comment on whether increasing the total number of qualified trainers nationwide may result in a reduction in overall program costs because the small number of currently available trainers would no longer have to travel to multiple states to provide training. The Commission also seeks comment on whether capping the annual funding at 2.5% of NDBEDP funding is advisable to preserve remaining funds for other program activities related directly to the distribution of consumer equipment. The Commission seeks comment on any other matters related to the amount of funding that should be set aside to train trainers under the permanent program.

    68. The Commission seeks comment on whether providing funding support for the first three years of the permanent program will be sufficient to accomplish the desired objectives. If the Commission moves forward with this approach, should it conduct an assessment during the third year to determine whether and to what extent to continue such funding support beyond this period? Will two years be sufficient to gather the data necessary to make this determination during the third year? If the Commission takes this approach, it seeks comment on how it should, in the third year, evaluate the efficacy of train-the-trainer programs for this purpose.

    69. State Allocations for Train-the-Trainer Programs. Next, the Commission seeks comment on how NDBEDP support can be used to teach individuals how to train NDBEDP equipment recipients on the use of their equipment. The Commission proposes to allow certified programs to use a portion of their NDBEDP funding allocations for train-the-trainer activities as they deem appropriate. For example, under this approach, each certified program could use approximately 2.5% of its annual allocation, or a maximum of $250,000 annually for all certified programs, for train-the-trainer activities. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. Should these train-the-trainer expenditures be treated as an administrative cost and, if so, should the Commission raise the cap on administrative costs from 15% by 2.5% to 17.5% for that purpose, rather than require separate accounting for train-the-trainer activities? Should the Commission permit such reimbursement for enrolling personnel in a train-the-trainer activity conducted by HKNC or another entity, as well as for train-the-trainer activities that the certified program may develop and conduct? If the $250,000 is allocated solely to and used by certified programs for training purposes, would that influx of money to existing training programs, such as the one operated by HKNC, be sufficient to motivate the development of new training activities? Should the Commission prohibit reimbursement for training that is provided by equipment manufacturers or vendors because of the risk of having certified programs favor these manufacturers or vendors in their selection of equipment?

    70. Nationally Coordinated Train-the-Trainer Program. Alternatively, the Commission seeks comment on whether to establish or coordinate a train-the-trainer program at the national level, including the costs and benefits of having one or more entities provide train-the-trainer activities similar to those offered by HKNC. If the Commission adopts this approach, it seeks comment generally on how to use such funding. Should the amount of training provided to each certified program be equal across every state, should it be proportional to the program's NDBEDP annual funding allocation, or should it depend on population size, the current number of trainers in a state or region, or some other criteria? Should the funding provided cover the cost of individual participation in the train-the-trainer programs, including the reasonable costs of travel? Approximately how many hours of training can be delivered to how many personnel with a set-aside of $250,000?

    71. If the Commission establishes or coordinates a train-the-trainer program at the national level, the Commission will consider a variety of approaches to satisfy the requirements for the program including using existing Commission staff and resources, engaging another agency with expertise in this area through an Interagency agreement, acquiring these services through a competitive procurement, evaluating whether to modify a contract with an existing contractor to satisfy the program requirements—either through direct performance by the main contractor or a subcontractor. The Commission may also wish to invite entities, via a public notice, to submit applications to establish or coordinate a train-the-trainer program. The Commission will consider using a combination of any of these in-house, regulatory, or procurement strategies where efficient and lawful to do.

    72. If the Commission establishes or coordinates a train-the-trainer program, what are the essential criteria for the staff and/or entity selected to perform the role? HKNC recommends that the following criteria are essential: Experience with the target population; familiarity with Braille and Braille devices; familiarity with emerging communications technologies and end user equipment; staff who are skilled in American Sign Language as well as other communication methodologies; and a track record of multi-modal training and ability to maintain pace with the technology? Are these criteria appropriate and sufficient to make such selection? If not, what other criteria should the Commission use?

    73. Regardless of whether the Commission supports a nationally coordinated train-the-trainer program or allocates funds to certified programs for train-the-trainer activities, or some combination of both, should the Commission require or permit training in a variety of formats, such as individual training, group training, and distance training through online resources? Should NDBEDP funding be used for that purpose? Should national or state entities providing training be required to establish a system for evaluating the outcomes of the training? It appears that train-the-trainer activities could ultimately lead to the increased employment of individuals with disabilities. Are there actions that the Commission could take to promote such efforts? Should the Commission encourage either national or state entities to train individuals who are deaf-blind, including NDBEDP equipment recipients, as trainers? The Commission invites comments on how best to establish and support train-the-trainer activities for the permanent NDBEDP.

    VI. Funding A. Allocation of Funding

    74. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission set aside $500,000 of the $10 million available annually for the NDBEDP for national outreach efforts during each year of the pilot program. The remaining $9.5 million of the $10 million was divided among each of the NDBEDP certified programs by allocating a minimum base amount of $50,000 for each jurisdiction plus an amount in proportion to each state's population. The Commission generally proposes to maintain the current mechanism for allocating NDBEDP funds—setting aside funds first for certain national efforts, allocating a minimum of $50,000 for each certified program, and allocating the remaining funds to the certified programs in proportion to each state's population. National efforts may include a centralized database, national outreach, and train-the-trainer activities. The Commission invites comment on its proposal to maintain the current allocation mechanism.

    75. In addition, the Commission takes this opportunity to remind program participants and commenters that TRS funds, are permanent and indefinite appropriations and, like other appropriated funds, come with certain restrictions. While some of these restrictions are longstanding and codified in the United States Code, other restrictions on use of appropriated funds (including permanent indefinite appropriations) may be included in annual appropriation acts. Parties commenting on the proposals in this Notice should ensure that their recommendations are consistent with Government-wide statutory and regulatory restrictions on the use of appropriated funds.

    B. Reallocation of Funding

    76. Under the pilot program, the Commission delegated authority to the Bureau to reduce, raise, or reallocate funding allocations to any certified program as it deemed necessary and appropriate. During the first year of the pilot program, almost 70% of the $10 million available to support the NDBEDP was used by certified programs and for national outreach. Approximately 90% of the $10 million annual allocation was used during the second year of the pilot program. During each of the first two years of the pilot program, the NDBEDP Administrator reviewed funding data as it became available and worked with certified programs and the Bureau to reallocate funding between state programs when necessary to maximize the use of available funding.

    77. During the first year of the pilot program, few entities reached or exceeded their annual allocation of funds. Only three entities requested and received additional funds. In the first half of the second year of the pilot program, the NDBEDP Administrator approved several requests for reallocations of funds from one certified entity to another (“voluntary” reallocations). During the third quarter of the second year, after notice, the NDBEDP Administrator reduced the allocations of certified programs that had not used at least half of their annual allocation and reallocated those funds to satisfy requests from certified programs that reached or exceeded their annual allocations (“involuntary” reallocations). Specifically, the formula currently used by the NDBEDP Administrator reduces by 50% the allocations of programs that have spent less than 25% during the first half of the year, and reduces by 25% the allocations of programs that have spent more than 25% but less than 50% during the first half of the year. Certified programs have an opportunity to request that the NDBEDP Administrator consider increasing or reducing the proposed change in allocation. The Commission seeks comment on this method and formula, or any alternative methods or formulas for making involuntary reallocations in the permanent NDBEDP. Commenters that suggest alternatives should explain how these would lead to effective results for the intended community and how such standards would add to the efficiency of the program. The Commission tentatively concludes that these reallocations have helped requesting programs meet their needs and have not prevented programs with decreased funding from satisfying the needs of their constituents.

    78. Approximately one month after the first half of the Fund year ends, the Bureau has the requisite data from all certified programs to determine whether and to what extent involuntary funding reallocations may be appropriate. This is because, as discussed further the Notice, state programs have the option of filing their reimbursement claims on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. The Bureau needs full information on the amounts requested by every program through the first half of the Fund year to determine the amount of remaining funds available for involuntary reallocations. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to allow voluntary reallocations between certified programs at any time during the Fund year with the approval of the NDBEDP Administrator, in consultation with the TRS Fund Administrator, as needed. The Commission also proposes to continue making involuntary reallocations as necessary when individual program performance indicates that NDBEDP funds could be more fully utilized by other certified programs. Further, the Commission proposes to continue its current practice of notifying and coordinating with the potentially impacted certified programs prior to making involuntary reallocations of funding. The Commission seeks comment on these reallocation proposals.

    C. Reimbursement Mechanism

    79. When it established the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission considered two funding mechanisms: (1) Distributing funds to certified programs at the start of each Fund year and letting the programs use the funds as they saw fit; or (2) reimbursing programs up to each state's allocation for the equipment they distribute. The Commission concluded that the reimbursement approach was more appropriate both because it would provide incentives for certified programs to actively locate eligible participants and would achieve greater accountability and protection against fraud, waste, and abuse. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission reimburses programs for the costs incurred for authorized equipment and related services, up to each certified program's initial or adjusted allocation. Each reimbursement claim must be accompanied by a declaration made under penalty of perjury attesting to the truth and accuracy of the submission. Certified programs may elect to seek reimbursement monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.

    80. The Commission proposes to continue using the present reimbursement mechanism to fund equipment distribution and related services under the permanent NDBEDP because a system that advances funds presents challenges relating to returning or reallocating unspent funds and would result in more complicated recordkeeping, and a reimbursement mechanism is more likely to keep certified programs accountable and deter fraud, waste, and abuse. The Commission further proposes that the current requirement for certified programs to support their reimbursement claims with documentation, a reasonably detailed explanation of incurred costs, and a declaration be carried into the permanent program. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals and other guidelines that may be needed with respect to the submission and processing of reimbursement claims to ensure that certified programs operate in a cost-efficient manner and maintain the financial integrity of the program. The record reflects that there was some frustration with delays in the processing of reimbursement claims at the start of the pilot program, but the timeliness of payments has since improved. The Commission does not propose a specific period by which reimbursement claims must be paid, but notes that, when a claim is submitted with sufficient documentation and does not require further clarification, it expects the Bureau and the TRS Fund Administrator to be able to process that claim within 30 days, and claims requiring additional documentation or clarification generally will be processed within 60 days. As discussed in the Notice, the Commission proposes to permit each certified program to populate a centralized database with claim-related data, from which it may generate its reimbursement claims. Timely reimbursement is more likely to occur for claims submitted in such a uniform manner.

    81. To continue meeting the individualized needs of these programs, the Commission proposes to continue allowing certified entities to elect, upon certification and at the beginning of each Fund year, whether to submit claims on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis and to require submission within 30 days after each elected period. The TRS Fund Administrator recommends that certified programs be required to submit monthly claims and to request a waiver to submit claims less frequently. Only 10 programs have elected to submit claims monthly, with the other 43 programs opting for quarterly or semi-annual schedules. The Commission seeks comment on the reasons that these 43 programs have not elected to submit claims on a monthly basis and whether all programs should be required to begin filing monthly, for example, for the sake of program consistency. Alternatively, is each certified program best suited to determine the frequency with which it needs to be reimbursed? The Commission seeks comment on the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining the current practice or whether the Commission should revise its rules to require all programs to adhere to a single schedule for filing reimbursement claims. In particular the Commission asks parties to comment on the extent to which a requirement to follow a single filing schedule would be more efficient or impose difficulties on programs with limited resources.

    D. Administrative Costs

    82. Under the Commission's rules for the NDBEDP pilot program, certified programs may be compensated for administrative costs up to 15% of their total reimbursable costs (i.e., not their total allocation) for equipment and related services. The Commission has defined administrative costs to include reporting requirements, accounting, regular audits, oversight, and general administration. To track and ensure that appropriate administrative costs are reimbursed, the TRS Fund Administrator has procedures to “bank” reimbursement claims for administrative costs that exceed 15% of reimbursable costs and to pay those claims later if the amount of reimbursable costs increases with later submissions.

    83. Given the general accomplishments of the 53 certified programs in distributing communications equipment to their deaf-blind residents, the Commission is no longer concerned that basing the cap of administrative costs on the full funding allocation for each certified program will eliminate the necessary incentives to carry out the NDBEDP's objectives. Accordingly, the Commission proposes to reimburse administrative costs as they are incurred and claimed, based on the annual allocation rather than the amount of reimbursable costs, thereby eliminating the need for the TRS Fund Administrator to “bank” unearned administrative costs. The Commission seeks comment on that proposal.

    84. The Commission further acknowledges that some programs have reported operating at a loss as a result of the 15% cap on administrative expenses, and recognizes that this could potentially act as a disincentive to participate in the NDBEDP. During the second year of the pilot program, certified programs that exceeded the 15% cap had about 3% more administrative costs than were allowed by the cap. To respond to these concerns, rather than raise the cap by the 3% needed to cover those overages, the Commission believes that its proposal to create a centralized database for certified programs to generate reports and reimbursement claims may alleviate the administrative burdens for certified programs operating in the permanent NDBEDP. If adopted, certified programs that have been incurring costs associated with the use of a database, such as the Perkins database discussed in the NPRM, would no longer need to do so, nor have those costs assessed against their 15% cap on administrative costs. Other programs that have expended funds to develop databases on their own to generate reports and reimbursement claims may also similarly experience a reduction in the costs associated with these tasks. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and, in particular, asks whether it will help to meet the financial needs of certified programs, particularly programs that have found the 15% cap on administrative costs to be a barrier to their effective participation in the NDBEDP. The Commission also seeks comment on whether its proposal regarding administrative costs, including the types of costs included in this category of expenses (such as costs associated with reporting requirements, accounting, regular audits, oversight, and general administration) is consistent with other similar programs. Similarly, the Commission seeks comment on whether there are any best practices that should be employed in this area.

    VII. Oversight and Reporting A. Reporting

    85. The NDBEDP pilot program rules require all certified programs to report certain information to the Commission in an electronic format every six months. The report must include, among other things, information about NDBEDP equipment recipients; distributed equipment; the cost, time and other resources allocated to outreach activities, assessment, equipment installation and training, and for equipment maintenance, repair, refurbishment, and upgrades; equipment requests that have been rejected; complaints; and waiting lists. Each report must be accompanied by a declaration made under penalty of perjury attesting to the truth and accuracy of the submission. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission concluded that such reporting is necessary for the effective administration of the NDBEDP pilot program, to assess the effectiveness of the program, to ensure the integrity of the TRS Fund, to ensure compliance with the NDBEDP pilot program rules, and to inform the Commission's rulemaking for the permanent NDBEDP.

    86. The Commission proposes to retain the six-month reporting requirement. During the pilot program, it has been useful for the Commission to gather the required information to effectively evaluate NDBEDP operations. The Commission believes that continuing to receive this data will be useful to the permanent program as well, because this will allow the Commission to ensure that NDBEDP certified programs continue to operate efficiently and that they effectively meet consumer needs. As discussed in the NPRM, the Commission proposes to require certified programs to submit report-related data to and generate reports from a centralized database, which will enable the Commission to examine the data from all certified programs in the aggregate. With all program data bundled together in a uniform report generated by the database, the Commission believes that it will be better able to assess and manage the NDBEDP. The Commission invites comment on its proposal to retain the reporting requirement.

    87. The Commission seeks comment on whether it should modify the information these reports should include. In particular, are there differences in the pilot and permanent programs that should cause the Commission to change the nature of the data required by these reporting obligations? The Commission also seeks comment on ways that the provision of data required for reimbursement claims and reporting requirements can be streamlined through the design of a centralized database or by other means. For example, should state programs be permitted to submit reports at the same frequency as reimbursement claims to streamline these requirements further? What are the advantages or disadvantages of allowing certified programs to submit reimbursement claims and reports on a monthly, quarterly, or biannual basis? Should the reporting period be the same for all certified programs to ensure consistency of data? If so, what should that period be? Alternatively, now that the Commission is transitioning the NDBEDP to a permanent program, would it serve the program just as well if submission of the reports were required annually instead of every six months?

    88. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission requires certified programs to submit a certification with each report executed by “the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other senior executive of the certified program, such as a director or manager, with first-hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the report,” as follows:

    I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity and that I have examined the foregoing reports and that all requested information has been provided and all statements of fact are true and an accurate statement of the affairs of the above-named certified program.

    89. Consistent with the Commission's Universal Service low-income program rules, and to clarify what “affairs” means in this context, the Commission propose to amend the certification as follows:

    I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity, and that the entity has policies and procedures in place to ensure that recipients satisfy the NDBEDP eligibility requirements, that the entity is in compliance with the Commission's NDBEDP rules, that I have examined the foregoing reports and that all requested information has been provided, and all statements of fact are true and an accurate statement of the business activities conducted pursuant to the NDBEDP by the above-named certified program.

    90. Similarly, the Commission proposes to amend the certification required with reimbursement claims to clarify that the “affairs” of the certified program means the “business activities conducted pursuant to the NDBEDP” by the certified program. The Commission seeks feedback on this and any other matters pertaining to the reporting obligations not discussed above, including the costs and benefits of retaining these requirements.

    B. Audits

    91. During the pilot program, certified programs have been required to engage an independent auditor to perform annual audits designed to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Certified programs must also make their NDBEDP-related records available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Commission. The Commission proposes to continue to require certified programs to engage an independent auditor to perform annual audits. As recommended by the TRS Fund Administrator, the Commission also proposes that each certified program submit a copy of its annual audit to the TRS Fund Administrator and the NDBEDP Administrator. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.

    92. Further, the Commission proposes to clarify that NDBEDP certified programs are not required to conduct their annual audits using a more rigorous audit standard, such as a forensic standard, specifically designed to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse. The Commission seeks comment on its proposal to affirm the following guidance provided by the Bureau in November 2012 to certified programs regarding their annual audit requirement:

    For purposes of complying with the NDBEDP audit rule, an independent auditor must conduct a program audit that includes a traditional financial statement audit, as well as an audit of compliance with the NDBEDP rules that have a direct and material impact on NDBEDP expenditures and a review of internal controls established to ensure compliance with the NDBEDP rules.

    Compliance areas to be audited include, but are not limited to, allowable costs, participant eligibility, and reporting. The audit report must describe any exceptions found, such as unallowable costs, lack of participant eligibility documentation, and missing reports. The report also must include the certified program's view as to whether each compliance exception is material and whether any internal control deficiencies are material.

    If the auditor finds evidence of fraud, waste, or abuse, the auditor must take appropriate steps to discuss it with the certified program management and the FCC and report the auditor's observations as required under professional auditing standards. This program audit standard is comparable to that required for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 audits. The Commission believes that such audits of NDBEDP certified programs, conducted annually by an independent auditor, will detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, which will satisfy the NDBEDP audit rule.

    93. Commenters note that the Commission should provide guidance with respect to whether certified programs must comply with OMB Circular A-133 audit requirements. Because the program audit criteria described above are similar to that of an OMB Circular A-133 audit, the Commission proposes to require that audits under the permanent NDBEDP be performed in accordance with OMB Circular A-133. The Commission invites comment on this proposal. Commenters that disagree with this proposal are asked to explain why.

    94. In addition, the Commission proposes to continue to require each program to submit to an audit at any time deemed necessary by the Commission or its delegated authorities. This proposal is consistent with the Commission's TRS rules. This approach could also be implemented by performing audits either as needed or on a regular basis at intervals longer that one year. A full audit of an NDBEDP certified entity, as directed by the Commission or a delegated authority may be appropriate, for example, to obtain financial information needed for the FCC's consolidated annual financial audit, which also includes the financial results for the TRS Fund. As another example, a full audit may also be appropriate when the TRS Fund Administrator and the NDBEDP Administrator agree that reimbursement claims submitted by a certified program contain a pattern of errors or indicia reflecting a lack of accountability, fraud, waste, or abuse. The Commission further proposes that any program that fails to fully cooperate in such audits, for example, by failing to provide documentation necessary for verification upon reasonable request, be subject to an automatic suspension of NDBEDP payments until sufficient documentation is provided. The Commission believes that this automatic suspension policy, which is currently applied to the TRS program, would promote transparency and accountability in the compensation process. The Commission seeks comment on the costs and benefits of adopting this approach.

    95. To further prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse, and ensure compliance with the NDBEDP rules, the Commission proposes to retain the provision in the pilot program rules requiring certified programs to submit documentation demonstrating ongoing compliance with the Commission's rules. Because the Commission may choose to initiate an investigation at its discretion and on its own motion, the Commission proposes to eliminate the example that appears in the pilot program rules from the permanent NDBEDP rules that suggests that “evidence that a state program may not be in compliance with those rules” is a prerequisite to such an investigation. 47 CFR 64.610(j)(3). The Commission seeks comment on these proposals.

    96. Finally, to further prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse, the Commission proposes to retain the whistleblower protections in the NDBEDP rules. Those protections require certified programs to permit individuals to disclose to appropriate officials, without reprisal, known or suspected violations of the Commission's rules or any other activity the individual believes to be unlawful, wasteful, fraudulent, or abusive, or that could result in the improper distribution of equipment, provision of services, or billing to the TRS Fund. Certified programs must include these whistleblower protections with the information they provide about the program in any employee handbooks or manuals, on their Web sites, and in other appropriate publications. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    C. Record Retention

    97. As part of the pilot program, the Commission adopted a rule requiring all certified programs to retain all records associated with the distribution of equipment and provision of related services under the pilot program for two years following the termination of the pilot program, without specifying the format in which they must be retained, but with the goal of promoting greater transparency and accountability. Consistent with the Commission's TRS rules, the Commission proposes to require certified programs to retain all records associated with the distribution of equipment and provision of related services under the permanent program for a minimum of five years. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal and whether such records should be retained for a longer or shorter period of time. Certified programs need such records to support their reimbursement claims, to generate reports required to be filed with the Commission, and to comply with audit requirements. The Commission has also found that such records are needed for responding to inquiries and complaints. As such, and consistent with the Commission's Universal Service low-income program rules and the NDBEDP pilot program rules, the Commission also proposes that certified programs document compliance with all Commission requirements governing the NDBEDP and provide this documentation to the Commission upon request. Record retention is also necessary in the event that questions arise about a program's compliance with NDBEDP rules or the propriety of requests for payment. The Commission seeks comment on this proposal.

    98. The Commission believes that records also are needed to transfer information to another certified program when an eligible consumer moves to another state or to transfer information to a newly-certified program when a certified entity either relinquishes its certification or decides not to seek re-certification. Should the Commission's rules require NDBEDP applications to include a release that would permit disclosure of information about the applicant by the certified program, as needed, to minimize any interruption in service if such individual moves to another state or a new entity takes over certification for that individual's state? Alternatively, if the Commission adopts a centralized database for processing reimbursement claims or reporting purposes, the Commission seeks comment on whether it will continue to be necessary for certified programs to retain a copy of these records. If so, which records should be retained by certified programs and for what period of time? Should the Commission specify that records must be retained in paper or electronic format, or should it allow each certified program to decide the format in which to retain its records? The Commission seeks comment on these and any other matters related to the retention of records under the permanent program.

    VIII. Logistics and Responsibilities

    99. The Bureau designated an NDBEDP Administrator, who has been responsible for, among other things, reviewing applications from entities for certification to receive NDBEDP funding, allocating NDBEDP funding, reviewing reimbursement claims, maintaining the NDBEDP Web site, resolving stakeholder issues, and serving as the Commission point of contact for the NDBEDP. The NDBEDP Administrator has worked with the current TRS Fund Administrator, who has been responsible for, among other things, reviewing cost submissions and releasing funds under the NDBEDP for distributed equipment and related services, including outreach efforts.

    100. The Commission seeks comment on whether the Bureau should continue to implement and administer the permanent NDBEDP, and to retain authority over NDBEDP policy matters and the functions of the NDBEDP Administrator. For example, the Bureau may task the NDBEDP Administrator with oversight of the development and maintenance of a centralized database, as well as the support for train-the-trainer programs that may be authorized under the Commission's final rules in this proceeding. The Commission also seeks comment on whether the administration of the NDBEDP should be consolidated with the administration of the other TRS programs in order to achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings. The Commission recognizes that after adoption of rules establishing the pilot program in 2011, in 2013, the Commission delegated financial oversight of the TRS Fund to the Office of Managing Director (OMD). Thus, the Commission also seeks comment on ensuring that administration of the permanent NDBEDP be conducted in a manner that ensures the Bureau's continued oversight over policy matters relating to the program while at the same time ensuring that the Commission satisfies its financial management responsibilities for the TRS program as a whole, complies with all Government-wide financial requirements, and achieves efficiencies and savings in the administrative costs of the NDBEDP.

    101. For the permanent NDBEDP, like other TRS programs, financial oversight must be consistent with TRS orders, rules, and policies, and that OMD should consult with the Bureau on issues that potentially could impact the availability, provision, and continuity of services to consumers. Consistent with such direction, the Commission proposes that financial oversight of the NDBEDP be required to be consistent with NDBEDP orders, rules, and policies, and that OMD and the Bureau closely coordinate on any issues that could potentially impact the distribution of equipment or provision of related services to consumers under the NDBEDP. Finally, consistent with the current practice under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission proposes that the Bureau remain responsible for advising the TRS Fund Administrator on funding allocations and reallocations; payments; and any payment withholdings under the permanent NDBEDP, to the extent that such actions can be made consistently with Government-wide financial requirements and existing contractual obligations and requirements. Currently, the TRS Fund Administrator conducts a quantitative review to determine if the requested dollar amount is accurate and recommends payment, and the NDBEDP Administrator conducts a qualitative review to ensure that the claimed costs are consistent with the NDBEDP rules and approves payment. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals. The Commission also seeks comment on whether it should establish a process for certified programs to appeal payment withholdings, denials, or suspensions by the NDBEDP Administrator. If so, what should that process be? For example, should a certified program be permitted to appeal such decisions to the Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau? The Commission presently maintains a process for the handling of appeals in response to the suspension or withholding of TRS payments, and asks commenters whether a similar or alternative appeals process should be applied to compensation withheld, suspended, or denied under the NDBEDP.

    IX. Other Considerations A. Complaints

    102. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the NDBEDP Administrator is responsible for responding to consumer complaints filed directly with the Commission. Complaints might be filed for various reasons, such as complaints about unskilled trainers or interpreters, or to appeal a certified program's eligibility determination or denial of equipment. The Commission proposes to adopt rules for the permanent NDBEDP to facilitate the receipt and processing of such consumer complaints and appeals.

    103. For this purpose, the Commission proposes to adopt informal and formal complaint procedures, modeled after the Commission's processes for the handling of complaints against telecommunications and TRS providers, as follows. First, the Commission proposes that an informal complaint filed with the Commission must include the name and contact information of the complainant; the name of the NDBEDP certified program; a statement describing how the NDBEDP certified program violated the Commission's rules; what the complainant wants the NDBEDP certified program to do to resolve the complaint; and the complainant's preferred format or method of response, such as by letter, fax, telephone, TTY, or email. The Commission will forward complete complaints to the NDBEDP certified program for a response. When it appears that an informal complaint has been resolved, the Commission may consider the matter closed. In all other cases, the Commission will inform the complainant and the NDBEDP certified program about its review and disposition of the complaint. If a complainant is not satisfied with the NDBEDP certified program's response and the Commission's disposition of the informal complaint, the complainant may file a formal complaint with the Commission in accordance with the Commission's rules for filing formal complaints. See 47 CFR 1.720-1.736. The Commission may also conduct inquiries and hold proceedings that it deems necessary to enforce the NDBEDP requirements. The Commission seeks comment on these proposed informal and formal complaint procedures.

    B. Research and Development

    104. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission declined to allocate funds for research and development (R&D) efforts. Although the Commission recognized the need to stimulate innovation to fill existing equipment and technology gaps to meet the communications technology access needs of individuals who are deaf-blind, it concluded that R&D funding was not appropriate because of insufficient information about those gaps and the kinds of research and funding needed to fill them. Likewise, because the amount of NDBEDP funding available each year is very limited, and because the potential gaps between existing technology and technology needed to meet the communications needs of individuals who are deaf-blind are not apparent on the record at this time, the Commission tentatively concludes that funding is more appropriately allocated to the distribution of equipment to consumers and related services than to R&D and seeks comment on this tentative conclusion.

    C. Advisory Group

    105. The Commission recently announced the formation of a Disability Advisory Committee, which will provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability matters, including the NDBEDP. In addition, the Commission's rulemaking proceedings are open to the public for comment, and feedback from administrators of certified programs is always welcome. For example, during the NDBEDP pilot program, the sharing of expertise and ideas for the NDBEDP has been accomplished through informal monthly conference calls among certified programs that the Commission proposes to continue under the permanent program. For these reasons, the Commission does not see the need to establish a separate workgroup of state NDBEDP programs to advise the Commission at this time. The Commission seeks comment on this approach.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibiity Certification

    106. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice-and-comment rulemaking proceedings, unless 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. 605(b). The RFA generally defines “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 5 U.S.C. 601(6). In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. 5 U.S.C. 601(3). A “small business concern” is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). 15 U.S.C. 632.

    107. In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on its proposal to further implement section 105 of the CVAA that requires the Commission to take various measures to ensure that people with disabilities have access to emerging communications technologies in the 21st Century. Section 105 of the CVAA adds section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and is codified at 47 U.S.C. 620. Pursuant to section 105, in 2011, the Commission established the NDBEDP as a pilot program to provide up to $10 million annually from the TRS Fund for the distribution of communications devices to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. 47 CFR 64.610 (NDBEDP pilot program rules). A person who is “deaf-blind” has combined vision and hearing loss, as defined in the Helen Keller National Center Act. 47 U.S.C. 620(b); 29 U.S.C. 1905(2). The Commission authorized up to 53 certified programs to participate in the pilot program—one entity to distribute equipment in each state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and selected Perkins School for the Blind as the national outreach coordinator to support the outreach and distribution efforts of these state programs. Through the pilot program, thousands of low-income individuals who are deaf-blind have received equipment used for distance communications or the Internet and training on how to operate this equipment.

    108. On August 1, 2014, the Commission released a Public Notice inviting comment on which rules governing the NDBEDP pilot program should be retained and which should be modified to make the permanent NDBEDP more effective and more efficient. On May 21, 2015, the Commission extended the pilot program until June 30, 2016. Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, Order, FCC 15-57 (rel. May 27, 2015). The Commission commits to continue the pilot NDBEDP as long as necessary to ensure a seamless transition between the pilot and permanent programs to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of equipment to this target population. When the Commission adopts final rules for the permanent program it will consider the extent to which the pilot program needs to be extended further.

    109. Currently, programs are certified to distribute equipment in all the states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The NPRM proposes to expand NDBEDP programs and funding to the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands because residents of these territories are also eligible for services supported by the TRS Fund.

    110. The NPRM proposes that current programs and other entities that want to apply for certification seek certification for a five-year period and every five years after that. The NPRM proposes that, if a current program seeks to renew its certification or another entity wants to apply for certification, it must, one year prior to the expiration of a certification, submit an application explaining why it is still eligible to participate in the NDBEDP.

    111. The NPRM proposes that the Commission create, by itself or by engaging a third party, a centralized database that would assist the programs in performing two functions. First, all programs would be able to submit information into the database and use the database to generate the reports that must be submitted to the Commission every six months. Second, all programs would be able to submit data regarding their expenses into the database and generate reimbursement claims that must be submitted to the TRS Fund Administrator. Submission of data into a central database in a uniform manner would diminish administrative costs for the programs. Collecting data in a uniform manner from the programs would enable the Commission to analyze aggregate data. The NPRM invites comment on the development and functions of the database, and estimates that the database will cost between $285,000 and $380,000 annually.

    112. The NPRM proposes that each certified program be required to make public on its Web site, if one is maintained by the certified program, or as part of its other local outreach efforts a brief narrative description of any criteria, priorities, or strategies it uses to ensure the fair distribution of equipment to low-income residents who are deaf-blind. The NPRM invites comment on whether any burdens placed on the program by such a requirement would be outweighed by the benefits.

    113. In the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, the Commission concluded that without training recipients on how to use the communications equipment they receive, such as Braille readers, recipients will not be able to use the equipment, and the equipment will be underutilized or abandoned. The NDBEDP pilot program permits reimbursement for the reasonable costs of installing NDBEDP-distributed equipment and individualized consumer training on how to use such equipment. To help address a shortage of qualified trainers, the NPRM proposes to set aside 2.5% of the $10 million annual funding allocation ($250,000) for each of the first three years of the permanent program to support train-the-trainer activities, including the reasonable costs of travel for such training, and seeks comment on this proposal. The Notice invites comment on whether to support train-the-trainer programs provided by one or more entities, or to reimburse state programs for train-the-trainer activities they select.

    114. Under the Commission's rules for the NDBEDP pilot program, certified programs are compensated for 100% of their expenses, up to each program's annual allocation set by the NDBEDP Administrator. Within this annual allocation amount, the Commission did not establish any caps for costs associated with outreach, assessments, equipment, installation, or training, but did establish a cap for administrative costs. The NPRM proposes to limit local outreach conducted by certified programs to 10% of their annual allocations. The Commission, in a previous NDBEDP order, defined administrative costs to include reporting requirements, accounting, regular audits, oversight, and general administration. Programs may be compensated for administrative costs up to 15% of their total reimbursable costs (i.e., not their total allocation) for equipment and related services actually provided. The 15% cap does not apply to, and there is no cap for, costs associated with outreach, assessments, equipment, installation, or training. The NPRM proposes to reimburse certified programs for administrative costs up to 15% of their annual allocation, regardless of the amount of equipment and related services they actually provide. The NPRM recognizes that during the first two years of the NDBEDP pilot, some programs' administrative costs exceeded the allowable 15% reimbursable amount. To respond to these concerns, the NPRM proposes the creation of a centralized database to be used by certified programs for generating reports and reimbursement claims, which may alleviate the administrative burdens for certified programs operating in the permanent NDBEDP by making it easier to operate without a loss within the 15% administrative cap. If adopted, certified programs would no longer have these costs and therefore would have more money under their 15% cap on administrative costs.

    115. During each year of the pilot program, the Commission has set aside $500,000 of the $10 million available annually for Perkins School for the Blind, as the outreach coordinator selected by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau), to perform national outreach to promote the NDBEDP. As the Commission explained in the NDBEDP Pilot Program Order, significant initial funding for outreach was necessary to inform eligible individuals about the availability of the program so that distribution of equipment could take place. Based on the successful efforts of the national outreach program, the NPRM proposes to continue funding for national outreach efforts at a reduced level. The NPRM therefore proposes to reduce the amount of money spent on national outreach to $250,000 for each of the first three years of the permanent program, and seeks comment on this proposal.

    116. The NDBEDP pilot program rules require all certified programs to report their status every six months. The NPRM finds that continuing to receive this data will be useful to the permanent program as well because this will allow the Commission to ensure that NDBEDP certified programs continue to operate efficiently and that they effectively meet consumer needs. The NPRM finds that any current reporting burden on the certified programs will be diminished by the creation of a centralized database.

    117. During the pilot program, certified programs have been required to engage an independent auditor to perform annual audits designed to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. The NPRM proposes to continue to require certified programs to engage an independent auditor to perform annual audits. It also proposes that each certified program submit a copy of its annual audit to the TRS Fund Administrator and the NDBEDP Administrator and to continue to require each program to submit to an audit at any time deemed necessary by the Commission or its delegated authorities. The NPRM invites comments on this proposal and any alternative proposals.

    118. Under the current NDBEDP, 53 certified programs provide communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Under the NPRM, this number may be expanded to 56 certified programs. One entity performs national outreach to promote the NDBEDP and serve as a resource to the certified programs. The NPRM proposes to create a centralized database and the Commission may engage a third-party for that purpose. The NPRM also proposes that the Commission may select an entity to train the certified programs' trainers. The Commission will pay all of these entities for their costs to perform these duties from the TRS Fund so that all their NDBEDP costs are reimbursed up to the annual funding allocations established for these purposes.

    119. The Commission finds that the rules proposed in the NPRM will not have a significant economic impact on these entities because the Commission will reimburse them for all of their NDBEDP expenses from the TRS Fund, up to their annual funding allocations. The proposals in the NPRM are intended to reduce the administrative burden on certified programs. The changes the Commission proposes are of an administrative nature, and will not have a significant economic impact on small entities. If there is an economic impact on small entities as a result of these proposals, however, the Commission expects the impact to be a positive one.

    120. The Commission therefore certifies, pursuant to the RFA, that the proposals in the NPRM, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    121. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including a copy of this initial certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA

    Ordering Clauses

    Pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), and 719 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), and 620, that document FCC 15-58 IS ADOPTED.

    The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of document FCC 15-58, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

    Individuals with disabilities; Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS 1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    47 U.S.C. 154, 254(k); 403(b)(2)(B), (c), Pub. L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 218, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 254(k), 616, 620, and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise § 64.610 to read as follows:
    § 64.610 National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

    (a) The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) is established to distribute specialized customer premises equipment (CPE) used for telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.

    (b) Certification to receive funding. For each state, including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, the Commission will certify a single program as the sole authorized entity to participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for its program's activities from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund). Such entity will have full oversight and responsibility for distributing equipment and providing related services, such as outreach, assessments, installation, and training, in that state, either directly or through collaboration, partnership, or contract with other individuals or entities in-state or out-of-state, including other NDBEDP certified programs.

    (1) Public programs, including, but not limited to, equipment distribution programs, vocational rehabilitation programs, assistive technology programs, or schools for the deaf, blind or deaf-blind; or private entities, including but not limited to, organizational affiliates, independent living centers, or private educational facilities, may apply to the Commission for certification as the sole authorized entity for the state to participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for its activities from the TRS Fund.

    (2) The Commission shall review applications and determine whether to grant certification based on the ability of a program to meet the following qualifications, either directly or in coordination with other programs or entities, as evidenced in the application and any supplemental materials, including letters of recommendation:

    (i) Expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, including familiarity with the culture and etiquette of people who are deaf-blind, to ensure that equipment distribution and the provision of related services occurs in a manner that is relevant and useful to consumers who are deaf-blind;

    (ii) The ability to communicate effectively with people who are deaf-blind (for training and other purposes), by among other things, using sign language, providing materials in Braille, ensuring that information made available online is accessible, and using other assistive technologies and methods to achieve effective communication;

    (iii) Administrative and financial management experience;

    (iv) Staffing and facilities sufficient to administer the program, including the ability to distribute equipment and provide related services to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind throughout the state, including those in remote areas;

    (v) Experience with the distribution of specialized CPE, especially to people who are deaf-blind;

    (vi) Experience in training consumers on how to use the equipment and how to set up the equipment for its effective use; and

    (vii) Familiarity with the telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services that will be used with the distributed equipment.

    (3) Certification granted under this section shall remain in effect for five years. One year prior to the expiration of the certification, a program may apply for renewal of its certification as prescribed by paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (4) A certified program must notify the Commission within 60 days of any substantive change that bears on its ability to meet the qualifications necessary for certification under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

    (5) A program may relinquish its certification by providing written notice to the Commission at least 90 days in advance of its intent to do so. This program must transfer NDBEDP-related data and equipment to the newly-certified state program within 30 days of its certification and comply with the reimbursement and reporting requirements prescribed by paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section.

    (c) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

    (1) Equipment. Hardware, software, and applications, whether separate or in combination, mainstream or specialized, needed by an individual who is deaf-blind to achieve access to telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, as these services have been defined by the Communications Act.

    (2) Individual who is deaf-blind.

    (i) Any person:

    (A) Who has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses, or a field defect such that the peripheral diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees, or a progressive visual loss having a prognosis leading to one or both these conditions;

    (B) Who has a chronic hearing impairment so severe that most speech cannot be understood with optimum amplification, or a progressive hearing loss having a prognosis leading to this condition; and

    (C) For whom the combination of impairments described in paragraphs (c)(2)(i)(A) and (B) of this section cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation.

    (ii) The definition in this paragraph also includes any individual who, despite the inability to be measured accurately for hearing and vision loss due to cognitive or behavioral constraints, or both, can be determined through functional and performance assessment to have severe hearing and visual disabilities that cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining vocational objectives. An applicant's functional abilities with respect to using telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services in various environments shall be considered when determining whether the individual is deaf-blind under paragraphs (c)(2)(i)(B) and (C) of this section.

    (3) Specialized customer premises equipment (CPE). For purposes of this section, specialized CPE means equipment employed on the premises of a person, which is commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access to telecommunications service, Internet access service, or advanced communications.

    (d) Eligibility criteria.

    (1) Verification of disability. Individuals claiming eligibility under the NDBEDP must provide verification of disability from a professional with direct knowledge of the individual's disability.

    (i) Such professionals may include, but are not limited to, community-based service providers, vision or hearing related professionals, vocational rehabilitation counselors, educators, audiologists, speech pathologists, hearing instrument specialists, and medical or health professionals.

    (ii) Such professionals must attest, either to the best of their knowledge or under penalty of perjury, that the applicant is an individual who is deaf-blind (as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section). Such professionals may also include, in the attestation, information about the individual's functional abilities to use telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services in various settings.

    (iii) Existing documentation that a person is deaf-blind, such as an individualized education program (IEP) or a statement from a public or private agency, such as a Social Security determination letter, may serve as verification of disability.

    (iv) The verification of disability must include the attesting professional's full name, title, and contact information, including business name, address, phone number, and email address.

    (2) Verification of low income status. An individual claiming eligibility under the NDBEDP must provide verification that he or she has taxable income that does not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or that he or she is enrolled in a federal program with an income eligibility requirement that is less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, such as the Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; Medicaid; National School Lunch Program's free lunch program; Supplemental Security Income; or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The NDBEDP Administrator may identify state or other federal programs with income eligibility thresholds that do not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for determining income eligibility for participation in the NDBEDP. Where an applicant is not already enrolled in a qualifying low-income program, low-income eligibility may be verified by the certified program using appropriate and reasonable means.

    (3) Prohibition against requiring employment. No program certified under the NDBEDP may impose a requirement for eligibility in this program that an applicant be employed or actively seeking employment.

    (4) Access to communications services. A program certified under the NDBEDP may impose, as a program eligibility criterion, a requirement that telecommunications, Internet access, or advanced communications services are available for use by the applicant.

    (5) Age. A program certified under the NDBEDP may not establish criteria that exclude low-income individuals who are deaf-blind of a certain age from applying for or receiving equipment when the needs of such individuals are not being met through other available resources.

    (e) Equipment distribution and related services.

    (1) Each program certified under the NDBEDP must:

    (i) Distribute specialized CPE and provide related services needed to make telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services or advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible to individuals who are deaf-blind;

    (ii) Obtain verification that NDBEDP applicants meet the definition of an individual who is deaf-blind contained in paragraph (c)(2) of this section at least once every three years and the income eligibility requirements contained in paragraph (d)(2) of this section at least once each year;

    (iii) Permit the transfer of a recipient's account and any control of the distributed equipment to another state's certified program when a recipient relocates to that state;

    (iv) Permit the transfer of a recipient's account and any control of the distributed equipment from another state's NDBEDP certified program when a recipient relocates to its state;

    (v) Prohibit recipients from transferring equipment received under the NDBEDP to another person through sale or otherwise, and include the following attestation on all consumer application forms:

    I certify that all information provided on this application, including information about my disability and income eligibility to receive equipment, is true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. Program officials have my permission to verify the information provided.

    If I am eligible for services, I agree to use these services solely for the purposes intended. I further understand that I may not sell, give, lend, or transfer interest in any equipment provided to me. Falsification of any records or failure to comply with these provisions will result in immediate termination of service. In addition, I understand that if I purposely provide false information I may be subject to legal action. I certify that I have read, understand, and accept all conditions associated with iCanConnect, the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program;

    (vi) Conduct outreach, in accessible formats, to inform their state residents about the NDBEDP, which may include the development and maintenance of a program Web site;

    (vii) Include a brief narrative description on its Web site of any criteria, priorities, or strategies to ensure the fair distribution of equipment to low-income residents who are deaf-blind;

    (viii) Engage an independent auditor to conduct an annual audit, submit a copy of the annual audit to the TRS Fund Administrator and the NDBEDP Administrator, and submit to audits as deemed appropriate by the Commission or its delegated authorities;

    (ix) Document compliance with all Commission requirements governing the NDBEDP, retain all records associated with the distribution of equipment and provision of related services under the NDBEDP, including records that support reimbursement claims as required under paragraph (f) of this section and that are needed to generate the reports required under paragraph (g) of this section, for a minimum of five years, and provide such documentation to the Commission upon request; and

    (ix) Comply with the reporting requirements contained in paragraph (g) of this section.

    (2) Each program certified under the NDBEDP may not:

    (i) Impose restrictions on specific brands, models or types of communications technology that recipients may receive to access the communications services covered in this section;

    (ii) Disable or otherwise intentionally make it difficult for recipients to use certain capabilities, functions, or features on distributed equipment that are needed to access the communications services covered in this section, or direct manufacturers or vendors of specialized CPE to disable or make it difficult for recipients to use certain capabilities, functions, or features on distributed equipment that are needed to access the communications services covered in this section; or

    (iii) Accept any type of financial arrangement from equipment vendors that could incentivize the purchase of particular equipment.

    (f) Payments to NDBEDP certified programs.

    (1) Programs certified under the NDBEDP shall be reimbursed for the cost of equipment that has been distributed to low-income individuals who are deaf blind and authorized related services, up to the state's funding allocation under this program as determined by the Commission or any entity authorized to act for the Commission on delegated authority.

    (2) Upon certification and at the beginning of each Fund year, state programs may elect to submit reimbursement claims on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis;

    (3) Within 30 days after the end of each reimbursement period during the Fund year, each certified program must submit documentation that supports its claim for reimbursement of the reasonable costs of the following:

    (i) Equipment and related expenses, including maintenance, repairs, warranties, returns, refurbishing, upgrading, and replacing equipment distributed to consumers;

    (ii) Individual needs assessments;

    (iii) Installation of equipment and individualized consumer training;

    (iv) Maintenance of an inventory of equipment that can be loaned to the consumer during periods of equipment repair;

    (v) Outreach efforts to inform state residents about the NDBEDP;

    (vi) Train-the-trainer activities, but not to exceed 2.5 percent of the certified program's funding allocation;

    (vii) Travel expenses; and

    (viii) Administration of the program, but not to exceed 15 percent of the certified program's funding allocation.

    (4) With each request for payment, the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other senior executive of the certified program, such as a manager or director, with first-hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the claim in the request, must certify as follows:

    I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity, and that I have examined all cost data associated with equipment and related services for the claims submitted herein, and that all such data are true and an accurate statement of the business activities conducted pursuant to the NDBEDP by the above-named certified program.

    (g) Reporting requirements.

    (1) Each program certified under the NDBEDP must submit the following data electronically to the Commission, as instructed by the NDBEDP Administrator, every six months:

    (i) For each piece of equipment distributed, the full name of the equipment recipient and contact information, including the recipient's residential street and email addresses, and personal phone number;

    (ii) For each piece of equipment distributed, the full name of the professional attesting to the disability of the individual who is deaf-blind and business contact information, including street and email addresses, and phone number;

    (iii) For each piece of equipment distributed, the model name, serial number, brand, function, and cost, the type of communications service with which it is used, and the type of relay service it can access;

    (iv) For each piece of equipment distributed, the amount of time, following any assessment conducted, that the requesting individual waited to receive that equipment;

    (v) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to assessing an individual's equipment needs;

    (vi) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to installing equipment and training deaf-blind individuals on using equipment;

    (vii) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to maintain, repair, cover under warranty, and refurbish equipment;

    (viii) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to outreach activities related to the NDBEDP, and the type of outreach efforts undertaken;

    (ix) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to upgrading the distributed equipment, along with the nature of such upgrades;

    (x) To the extent that the program has denied equipment requests made by their deaf-blind residents, a summary of the number and types of equipment requests denied and reasons for such denials;

    (xi) To the extent that the program has received complaints related to the program, a summary of the number and types of such complaints and their resolution; and

    (xii) The number of qualified applicants on waiting lists to receive equipment.

    (2) With each report, the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other senior executive of the certified program, such as a director or manager, with first-hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the report, must certify as follows:

    I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity, and that the entity has policies and procedures in place to ensure that recipients satisfy the NDBEDP eligibility requirements, that the entity is in compliance with the Commission's NDBEDP rules, that I have examined the foregoing reports and that all requested information has been provided and all statements of fact are true and an accurate statement of the business activities conducted pursuant to the NDBEDP by the above-named certified program.

    (h) Administration of the program. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau shall designate a Commission official as the NDBEDP Administrator to ensure the effective, efficient, and consistent administration of the program, and shall advise the TRS Fund Administrator on funding allocations and reallocations, payments, and any payment withholdings under the NDBEDP.

    (i) Complaints. Complaints against NDBEDP certified programs for alleged violations of this subpart may be either informal or formal.

    (1) Informal complaints.

    (i) An informal complaint may be transmitted to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau by any reasonable means, such as letter, fax, telephone, TTY, or email.

    (ii) Content. An informal complaint shall include the name and address of the complainant; the name of the NDBEDP certified program against whom the complaint is made; a statement of facts supporting the complainant's allegation that the NDBEDP certified program has violated or is violating section 719 of the Act and/or the Commission's rules; the specific relief or satisfaction sought by the complainant; and the complainant's preferred format or method of response to the complaint by the Commission and the NDBEDP certified program, such as by letter, fax, telephone, TTY, or email.

    (iii) Service. The Commission shall promptly forward any complaint meeting the requirements of this subsection to the NDBEDP certified program named in the complaint and call upon the program to satisfy or answer the complaint within the time specified by the Commission.

    (iv) Review and disposition of informal complaints.

    (A) Where it appears from the NDBEDP certified program's answer, or from other communications with the parties, that an informal complaint has been satisfied, the Commission may, in its discretion, consider the matter closed without response to the complainant or NDBEDP certified program. In all other cases, the Commission shall inform the parties of its review and disposition of a complaint filed under this subpart. Where practicable, this information shall be transmitted to the complainant and NDBEDP certified program in the manner requested by the complainant.

    (B) A complainant unsatisfied with the NDBEDP certified program's response to the informal complaint and the Commission's disposition of the informal complaint may file a formal complaint with the Commission pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section.

    (2) Formal complaints. Formal complaints against an NDBEDP certified program may be filed in the form and in the manner prescribed under §§ 1.720 through 1.736 of this chapter. Commission staff may grant waivers of, or exceptions to, particular requirements under §§ 1.720 through 1.736 of this chapter for good cause shown; provided, however, that such waiver authority may not be exercised in a manner that relieves, or has the effect of relieving, a complainant of the obligation under §§ 1.720 and 1.728 of this chapter to allege facts which, if true, are sufficient to constitute a violation or violations of section 719 of the Act or this subpart.

    (3) Actions by the Commission on its own motion. The Commission may on its own motion conduct such inquiries and hold such proceedings as it may deem necessary to enforce the requirements of this subpart and section 719 of the Communications Act. The procedures to be followed by the Commission shall, unless specifically prescribed in the Act and the Commission's rules, be such as in the opinion of the Commission will best serve the purposes of such inquiries and proceedings.

    (j) Whistleblower protections.

    (1) NDBEDP certified programs shall permit, without reprisal in the form of an adverse personnel action, purchase or contract cancellation or discontinuance, eligibility disqualification, or otherwise, any current or former employee, agent, contractor, manufacturer, vendor, applicant, or recipient, to disclose to a designated official of the certified program, the NDBEDP Administrator, the TRS Fund Administrator, the Commission's Office of Inspector General and Enforcement Bureau, or to any federal or state law enforcement entity, any known or suspected violations of the Act or Commission rules, or any other activity that the reporting person reasonably believes to be unlawful, wasteful, fraudulent, or abusive, or that otherwise could result in the improper distribution of equipment, provision of services, or billing to the TRS Fund.

    (2) NDBEDP certified programs shall include these whistleblower protections with the information they provide about the program in any employee handbooks or manuals, on their Web sites, and in other appropriate publications.

    (k) Suspension or revocation of certification.

    (1) The Commission may suspend or revoke NDBEDP certification if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted.

    (2) In the event of suspension or revocation, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this subpart, to ensure continuity of the NDBEDP for the state whose program has been suspended or revoked.

    (3) The Commission may, at its discretion and on its own motion, require a certified program to submit documentation demonstrating ongoing compliance with the Commission's rules.

    [FR Doc. 2015-13718 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 1, 2, 15, 19, and 52 [FAR Case 2014-003; Docket No. 2014-0003, Sequence No. 1] RIN 9000-AM91 Federal Acquisition Regulation: Small Business Subcontracting Improvements AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration, which provide for a Governmentwide policy on small business subcontracting.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at one of the addresses shown below on or before August 10, 2015 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FAR case 2014-003 by any of the following methods:

    • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching “FAR Case 2014-003”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2014-003.” Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2014-003” on your attached document.

    • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F. Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2014-003, in all correspondence related to this case. 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. Mahruba Uddowla, Procurement Analyst, at 703-605-2868 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAR Case 2014-003.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to revise the FAR to implement regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in its final rule at 78 FR 42391, dated July 16, 2013, concerning small business subcontracting. Among other things, SBA's final rule implements the statutory requirements set forth at sections 1321 and 1322 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Jobs Act), (Pub. L. 111-240).

    • Section 1321 of the Jobs Act requires promulgation of regulations on subcontracting compliance relating to small business concerns, including assignment of compliance responsibilities between contracting offices, small business offices, and program offices and periodic oversight and review activities.

    • Section 1322 of the Jobs Act amends the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(6)) to require as part of a subcontracting plan that a prime contractor make a good faith effort to utilize a small business subcontractor during performance of a contract to the same degree the prime contractor relied on the small business in preparing and submitting its bid or proposal. If a prime contractor does not utilize a small business subcontractor as described above, the prime contractor is required to explain, in writing, to the contracting officer the reasons why it is unable to do so.

    SBA's final rule revised 13 CFR 125.3, and also implemented changes aimed at improving subcontracting regulations to increase small business opportunities. These changes include:

    • Authorizing contracting officers to establish subcontracting goals in terms of total contract dollars in addition to the required goals in terms of total subcontracted dollars, for individual plans.

    • Providing contracting officers discretion to require a subcontracting plan in instances where a prime contractor's size status changes from small to other than small business as a result of rerepresentation.

    • Requiring subcontracting plans, to the extent that subcontracting opportunities exist, when a modification causes the overall contract value to exceed the subcontracting plan threshold, even if the modification's value is less than the threshold.

    • Requiring prime contractors to assign North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes to subcontracts.

    • Providing that prime contractors cannot prohibit a subcontractor from discussing payment or utilization matters with the contracting officer.

    • Requiring prime contractors to resubmit a corrected subcontracting report within 30 days of receiving the contracting officer's notice of report rejection.

    • Clarifying a requirement that prime contractors notify unsuccessful offerors for subcontracts in writing.

    • Requiring prime contractors with individual subcontracting plans to report order level subcontracting information.

    • Clarifying that failure to comply in good faith with the subcontracting plan shall be a material breach of the contract and may be considered in any past performance evaluation of the prime contractor.

    The proposed rule will implement a change in the method that Federal agencies will receive small business subcontracting credit. Historically, the agency that awards the contract also receives the small business subcontracting credit. The proposed rule changes this model by allowing the funding agency to receive the small business credit. SBA implemented this change of providing funding agency credit in its final rule in deference to the concerns expressed by the users of multi-agency contracts (MACs) and Government-wide acquisition contracts (GWACs), who have long been of the opinion that the agencies using these vehicles, i.e., the funding agencies, should receive the small business subcontracting credit. For consistency, this proposed FAR rule implements the requirement for funding agencies receiving small business subcontracting credit for all contract vehicles, not just MACs and GWACs.

    This proposed FAR rule also changes the requirement for a prime contractor to submit Summary Subcontract Reports (SSRs) for DoD and NASA contracts to be annually rather than semi-annually, and deletes the requirement for a prime contractor to submit a separate report to each DoD component for construction and related maintenance and repair contracts.

    II. Discussion and Analysis

    Amendments to FAR subparts 1.1, 2.1, 15.3, 19.3, 19.7, and 52.2 are proposed by this rule. The proposed changes are summarized in the following paragraphs.

    A. FAR Subpart 1.1, Purpose, Authority, Issuance. Section 1.106 under this subpart is amended to reflect the new Paperwork Burden OMB clearance number associated with the requirement of section 1322 of the Jobs Act.

    B. FAR Subpart 2.1, Definitions. This subpart is amended to revise the definitions of HUBZone contract and HUBZone small business concern to clarify that HUBZone status is not a self-certification. The clarification is necessary due to instances of some small business concerns located in HUBZones identifying themselves as HUBZone small business concerns without realizing that business concerns may not self-certify as a HUBZone small business concern. A certified HUBZone small business concern is one on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration. This subpart is also amended to revise the definition of “small business subcontractor.”

    C. FAR Subpart 15.3, Source Selection.

    • FAR 15.304, Evaluation factors and significant subfactors. This section is amended to make minor editorial changes.

    D. FAR Subpart 19.3, Determination of Small Business Status for Small Business Programs.

    • FAR 19.301-2, Rerepresentation by a contractor that represented itself as a small business concern. This subsection is amended to give contracting officers the discretionary authority to require a subcontracting plan in the event a prime contractor's size changes from small to other than small as a result of a size rerepresentation on a contract that contains FAR clause 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan.

    E. FAR Subpart 19.7, The Small Business Subcontracting Program.

    • FAR 19.701, Definitions. This section is amended to reflect the common usage name of “individual subcontracting plans” instead of “individual contract plans” and clarify that a “master plan” refers to a “master subcontracting plan.” This section also adds a definition for the term “total contract dollars” which is introduced in 19.704 in this case.

    • FAR 19.702, Statutory requirements. This section is amended to be more consistent with SBA's revised regulations on requiring subcontracting plans when a modification causes the value of a contract without a subcontracting plan to exceed the subcontracting threshold. This section is also amended to remove an outdated reference to clauses in contracts awarded before 1978.

    • FAR 19.703, Eligibility requirements for participating in the program. This section is amended to implement SBA's regulatory changes regarding prime contractors' responsibility in assigning NAICS codes and corresponding size standards to subcontracts. In addition, new guidance is added regarding acceptable sources of information a prime contractor may use to determine a subcontractor's size and socioeconomic status and the old language is removed. This section is also amended to correct outdated information and to move language regarding protest of the disadvantaged status of a proposed subcontractor to new paragraph (e).

    • FAR 19.704, Subcontracting plan requirements. This section is amended to implement various SBA regulatory changes and clarifications including—

    ○ Explicitly authorizing contracting officers to establish additional subcontract goals in terms of total contract dollars for individual subcontracting plans;

    ○ A requirement for prime contractors to report order-level subcontracting information for multiple-award contracts intended for use by multiple agencies;

    ○ A requirement for prime contractors to resubmit a corrected subcontracting report within 30 days of receiving the contracting officer's notice of report rejection;

    ○ Changing the requirement for semi-annual submission of the SSR for DoD and NASA to be annual;

    ○ A requirement that prime contractors make good faith efforts to utilize the small business subcontractors to the same or greater extent they were used in preparing the bid or proposal;

    ○ A requirement for the prime contractor to provide the contracting officer with a written explanation if it does not use a small business subcontractor to the same extent as described in the prime contractor's bid or proposal; and

    ○ Restricting prime contractors from prohibiting a subcontractor from discussing payment or utilization matters with the contracting officer.

    • FAR 19.705, Responsibilities of the contracting officer under the subcontracting assistance program.

    ○ FAR 19.705-1, General support of the program. This subsection is amended to revise the title of the subsection and to implement SBA's regulatory requirements regarding subcontracting plans for indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts exceeding the subcontracting threshold and discretion of ordering contracting officers to establish subcontracting goals for individual orders.

    ○ FAR 19.705-2, Determining the need for a subcontracting plan. This subsection is amended to implement SBA's regulatory requirement to establish a subcontracting plan when a modification of any value causes the contract to exceed the subcontracting plan threshold, and there are potential subcontracting opportunities. Language is added to explicitly require the rationale to be placed in the contract file for determining that no subcontracting opportunities exist. This subsection is also amended to clarify that while changes made to an existing subcontracting plan do not apply retroactively, the contractor's achievements prior to the modification will be factored into its overall achievement on the plan. This subsection also adds language clarifying that when a subcontracting plan is required for a contract as a result of a size rerepresentation or a modification which causes the value of the contract to exceed the threshold for a subcontracting plan, the goals in the subcontracting plan apply from the date of incorporation of the plan into the contract and the contractor is to report its subcontracting achievement from the date the plan is incorporated into the contract.

    ○ FAR 19.705-4, Reviewing the subcontracting plan. This subsection makes conforming changes to paragraphs (b) and (c).

    ○ FAR 19.705-6, Postaward responsibilities of the contracting officer. This subsection implements the SBA's regulatory requirements for contracting officers to ensure prime contractors meet their obligations under their subcontracting plan. This subsection is amended as follows—

    New language is added clarifying that upon receipt of the prime contractor's subcontracting reports into eSRS, the contracting officer shall review the submitted reports within 60 days of the report ending date and ensure that an explanation is provided in the event the contracting officer rejects a submitted report; and

    New language is added to require the contracting officer to evaluate a prime contractor's written explanation concerning its failure to use a small business concern in the performance of a contract when that small business concern was used to prepare the bid or proposal.

    • FAR 19.708, Contract Clauses. This section is amended to add a prescription for the newly-created Alternate IV to clause 52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan.

    F. FAR Subpart 52.2, Text of Provisions and Clauses.

    • FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders-Commercial Items. This clause is amended to reflect the updated 52.219-8 and 52.219-9.

    • FAR 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns. This clause is amended to make conforming changes based on changes to FAR 2.101 and 19.703.

    • FAR 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan. This clause is amended to incorporate corresponding guidance and policy changes made to section 19.704 and SBA's regulatory guidance regarding inclusion of indirect costs and awards made by affiliates in ISRs and SSRs. This clause is also amended to reflect the change of DoD's and NASA's semi-annual submission requirement for Summary Subcontract Reports (SSR) and eliminate a unique DoD requirement for a separate SSR for construction contracts. In addition, an Alternate IV to the clause is created for use in contracts where a subcontracting plan will be required when a modification causes the contract to exceed the threshold for a subcontracting plan and there are subcontracting opportunities.

    III. Applicability to Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

    This rule proposes to amend the clauses at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns, and 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, in order to implement sections 1321 and 1322 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, pursuant to the authority granted in 41 U.S.C. 1906 and the Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, pursuant to the authority granted in 41 U.S.C. 1907, have determined that the application of these statutory provisions to contracts for commercial items and commercially available off-the-shelf items, is in the best interests of the Federal Government.

    IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 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, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The change may 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. The Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) is summarized as follows:

    DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the FAR to provide uniform guidance consistent with SBA's final rule at 78 FR 42391, dated July 16, 2013, which implements Sections 1321 and 1322 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-240). SBA's final rule also implements other changes intended to help small business subcontractors by explicitly authorizing procuring agencies to consider proposed small business participation when evaluating offers from other than small business concerns and to require other than small prime contractors to report data on small business subcontracting in connection with orders.

    The objectives of this proposed rule are to implement statutory requirements as well as make improvements to increase subcontracting opportunities for small businesses. The authorizing legislation for this action are sections 1321 and 1322 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-240).

    This rule may have a positive economic impact on any small business entity that wishes to participate in the Federal procurement arena as a subcontractor. Analysis of the System for Award Management (SAM) database indicates there are over 297,181 small business registrants. It is unknown how many of these concerns participate in small business subcontracting. Firms do not need to register in the SAM database to participate in subcontracting. Thus, the number of firms participating in subcontracting may be greater than or lower than the number of firms registered in the SAM database.

    This rule does not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small businesses. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules.

    The Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat Division. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

    DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule consistent with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2014-003), in correspondence.

    VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) applies. This proposed rule contains information collection requirements. Accordingly, the Regulatory Secretariat Division has submitted a request for approval of one new and two revised information collection requirements concerning FAR Case 2014-003 Small Business Subcontracting Improvements to the Office of Management and Budget.

    A1. Request for approval of new information collection requirement 9000-00xx. Public reporting burden for the collection of information regarding a contractor's utilization of small business subcontractors to the same degree the prime contractor relied on the small business in preparing and submitting its bid or proposal is estimated to be $202,464. FPDS for FY 2013 lists 5,327 actions with small business subcontracting plans. However, it is estimated that at most 50 percent of these contracts with subcontracting plans may have instances of the prime contractor not using a small business subcontractor to the same extent used in preparing the bid or proposal. Using this method provides the number of respondents as 2,664. It is estimated that the average time required to read and prepare information for this collection is two hours. It is also estimated that the responses per respondent would be once a year since prime contractors have until 30 days of contract completion to submit the written explanation.

    The annual reporting burden is estimated as follows:

    Respondents: 2,664.

    Responses per respondent: 1.

    Total annual responses: 2,664.

    Preparation hours per response: 2.

    Total response burden hours: 5,328.

    Cost per hour: $38.

    Total annual burden: $202,464.

    A2. Revision to existing OMB Clearance 9000-0006. Based on the proposed revisions to the FAR as well as a more accurate basis for estimation, an upward adjustment is being made to the average burden hours for reporting and recordkeeping per response but a downward adjustment is being made to the number of respondents (i.e., subcontracting plans and the individual subcontracting reports associated with them). As a result, a downward adjustment is being made to the estimated annual reporting burden since the notice regarding an extension to this clearance published in the Federal Register at 78 FR 17668, on March 22, 2013.

    Respondents: 59,336.

    Responses per respondent: 3.

    Total annual responses: 178,008.

    Preparation hours per response: 13.5.

    Total response burden hours: 2,403,108.

    Cost per hour: $30.

    Total annual burden: $72,093,240.

    A3. Revision to existing OMB Clearance 9000-0007. Based on the proposed revisions to the FAR as well as a more accurate basis for estimation, a downward adjustment is being made to the number of respondents (i.e., summary subcontracting reports). Since the proposed revisions to the FAR do not require additional information in the Summary Subcontract Report, the estimated preparation hours per response remains unchanged. As a result, a downward adjustment is being made to the estimated annual reporting burden since the notice regarding an extension to this clearance published in the Federal Register at 78 FR 17668, on March 22, 2013.

    Respondents: 59,336.

    Responses per respondent: 1.

    Total annual responses: 59,336.

    Preparation hours per response: 9.0.

    Total response burden hours: 534,024.

    Cost per hour: $30.

    Total annual burden: $16,020,720.

    B. Request for Comments Regarding Paperwork Burden. Submit comments, including suggestions for reducing this burden, no later than August 10, 2015 to: FAR Desk Officer, OMB, Room 10102, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503, and a copy to the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F. Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether these collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of these collections of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, or clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Requesters may obtain a copy of the supporting statements from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F. Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405. Please cite OMB Control Number 9000-00XX, Utilization of Small Business Subcontractors, 9000-0006, Subcontracting Plans/Subcontract Report For Individual Contracts, or 9000-0007, Summary Subcontract Report, as applicable, in all correspondence.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1, 2, 15, 19, and 52

    Government procurement.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. William Clark Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend 48 CFR parts 1, 2, 15, 19, and 52, as set forth below:

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 1, 2, 15, 19, and 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

    PART 1—FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATIONS SYSTEM
    1.106 [Amended]
    2. Amend section 1.106 by removing from the table “19.7” and “52.219-9” and their corresponding OMB Control Numbers “9000-0006 and 9000-0007” and adding, in numerical sequence, “19.7” and “52.219-9” with their corresponding control numbers “9000-00xx, 9000-0006, and 9000-0007”, respectively. PART 2—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS 3. Amend section 2.101 in paragraph (b) by— a. Revising the introductory paragraph of the definition “HUBZone Contract”; b. Revising the definition “HUBZone small business concern”; and c. Revising the definition “Small business subcontractor”.

    The revised text reads as follows:

    2.101 Definitions.

    HUBZone contract means a contract awarded to a SBA certified “HUBZone small business concern” through any of the following procurement methods:

    HUBZone small business concern means a small business concern, certified by the Small Business Administration, that appears on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration (13 CFR 126.103).

    Small business subcontractor means a concern that does not exceed the size standard for the North American Industry Classification Systems code that the prime contractor determines best describes the product or service being acquired by the subcontract.

    PART 15—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION 4. Amend section 15.304 by— a. Revising paragraph (c)(3)(i); and b. Removing from paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) and (c)(4) “must” and adding “shall” in their places.

    The revised text reads as follows:

    15.304 Evaluation factors and significant subfactors.

    (c) * * *

    (3)(i) Past performance, except as set forth in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section, shall be evaluated in all source selections for negotiated competitive acquisitions expected to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

    PART 19—THE SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS 5. Amend section 19.301-2 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    19.301-2 Rerepresentation by a contractor that represented itself as a small business concern.

    (e) A change in size status does not change the terms and conditions of the contract. However, the contracting officer may require a subcontracting plan for a contract containing 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, if a prime contractor's size status changes from small to other than small as a result of a size rerepresentation.

    19.305 [Amended]
    6. Amend section 19.305 by removing from paragraph (c) “19.703(a)(2)” and “19.703(b)” and adding “19.703(e)” and “19.703(c)” in their places, respectively. 7. Amend section 19.701 by— a. Revising the heading of the definition “Individual contract plan” to read “Individual subcontracting plan”; b. Revising the heading of “Master plan” to read “Master subcontracting plan”; and revising the definition; and c. Adding, in alphabetical order, the definition “Total contract dollars”.

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.701 Definitions.

    Master subcontracting plan means a subcontracting plan that contains all the required elements of an individual subcontracting contract plan, except goals, and may be incorporated into individual subcontracting contract plans, provided the master plan has been approved.

    Total contract dollars means the final anticipated dollar value, including the dollar value of all options.

    8. Amend section 19.702 by— a. Removing from paragraph (a) introductory text the word “Section” and adding “section” in its place; b. Removing from paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) “a contract or contract modification that individually is” and adding “a contract is” in their places wherever they appear; c. Adding paragraph (a)(3); and d. Revising paragraph (b)(4).

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.702 Statutory requirements.

    (a) * * *

    (3) Each contract modification that causes the value of a contract without a subcontracting plan to exceed $650,000 ($1.5 million for construction), shall require the contractor to submit an acceptable subcontracting plan for the contract, if the contracting officer determines that subcontracting opportunities exist.

    (b) * * *

    (4) For modifications to contracts within the general scope of the contract that do not contain the clause at 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns.

    9. Amend section 19.703 by— a. Adding a sentence to the end of paragraph (a)(1); b. Revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (b); c. Removing from paragraph (d)(1) “System for Award Management” and adding “SAM” in its place; d. Removing from paragraph (d)(1)(i) “or http://www.sba.gov/hubzone”; e. Removing from paragraph (d)(1)(ii) “HUB” and adding “HUBZone Program” in its place; f. Removing from paragraph (d)(2) “13 CFR 121.411” and adding “13 CFR 126.801” in its place; and g. Adding paragraph (e).

    The added and revised text reads as follows:

    19.703 Eligibility requirements for participating in the program.

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * * For subcontracting purposes, a concern is small if it does not exceed the size standard for the NAICS code that the prime contractor determines best describes the product or service being acquired by the subcontract.

    (2)(i) The prime contractor may accept a subcontractor's representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business in the System for Award Management (SAM) if:

    (A) The subcontractor is registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations made in SAM (or any successor system) are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (ii) The prime contractor may accept a subcontractor's written representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business if:

    (A) The subcontractor is not registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations provided with its offer are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (b) The contractor, the contracting officer, or any other interested party can challenge a subcontractor's size status representation by filing a protest, in accordance with 13 CFR 121.1001 through 121.1008.

    (e) The contracting officer or the SBA may protest the disadvantaged status of a proposed subcontractor. Protests challenging a subcontractor's small disadvantaged business representation must be filed in accordance with 13 CFR 124.1007 through 124.1014. Other interested parties may submit information to the contracting officer or the SBA in an effort to persuade the contracting officer or the SBA to initiate a protest. Such protests, in order to be considered timely, must be submitted to the SBA prior to completion of performance by the intended subcontractor.

    10. Amend section 19.704 by— a. Revising the introductory text of paragraph (a); b. Revising paragraphs (a)(2) and (3); c. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(10)(iii) through (vi) as paragraphs (a)(10)(iv) through (vii), respectively; d. Adding new paragraph (a)(10)(iii); e. Removing from the newly designated paragraph (a)(10)(iv) “eSRS;” and adding “eSRS.” in its place; f. Adding a sentence to the end of the newly designated paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(A); g. Revising the newly designated paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B); h. Removing from the newly designated paragraph (a)(10)(vii) “plans.” and adding “plans;” in its place; i. Removing from paragraph (a)(11) “them.” and adding “them;”; j. Adding paragraphs (a)(12) through (14); k. Removing from paragraph (b) “master” and “Master” adding “master subcontracting” and “Master subcontracting” in their places, respectively, wherever they appear; and l. Revising the last sentence of paragraph (c).

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.704 Subcontracting plan requirements.

    (a) Each subcontracting plan required under 19.301-2(e) and 19.702(a)(1), (2), and (3) shall include—

    (1) * * *

    (2) A statement of the total dollars planned to be subcontracted and a statement of the total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes) and women-owned small business concerns, as a percentage of total subcontract dollars. For individual subcontracting plans, a contracting officer may require the goals referenced in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to be established as a percentage of total contract dollars, in addition to the goals established as a percentage of total subcontract dollars;

    (3) The NAICS code and corresponding size standard of each subcontract that best describes the principal purpose, including the supplies and services to be subcontracted, and an identification of types of supplies or services planned for subcontracting to small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business (including ANCs and Indian tribes), and women-owned small business concerns;

    (10) * * *

    (iii) Include subcontracting data for each order when reporting subcontracting achievements for multiple-award contracts intended for use by multiple agencies;

    (iv) * * *

    (A) * * * When a contracting officer rejects an ISR due the report being incomplete or incorrect, the contractor is required to submit a revised ISR within 30 days of receiving the notice of the ISR rejection.

    (B) The SSR shall be submitted annually by October 30 for the twelve-month period ending September 30. When a contracting officer rejects an SSR due to the report being incomplete or incorrect, the contractor is required to submit a revised SSR within 30 days of receiving the notice of SSR rejection;

    (12) Assurances that the offeror will make a good faith effort to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services, or materials, or obtain the performance of construction work from the small business concerns that the offeror used in preparing the bid or proposal, in the same or greater scope, amount, and quality used in preparing and submitting the bid or proposal. Responding to a request for a quote does not constitute use in preparing a bid or proposal. An offeror used a small business concern in preparing the bid or proposal if—

    (i) The offeror identifies the small business concern as a subcontractor in the bid or proposal or associated small business subcontracting plan, to furnish certain supplies or perform a portion of the contract; or

    (ii) The offeror used the small business concern's pricing or cost information or technical expertise in preparing the bid or proposal, where there is written evidence of an intent or understanding that the small business concern will be awarded a subcontract for the related work if the offeror is awarded the contract;

    (13) A requirement for the contractor to provide the contracting officer with a written explanation if the contractor fails to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services or materials or obtain the performance of construction work as described in (a)(12) of this section. This written explanation shall be submitted to the contracting officer within 30 days of contract completion; and

    (14) Assurances that the contractor will not prohibit a subcontractor from discussing with the contracting officer any material matter pertaining to payment to or utilization of a subcontractor.

    (c) * * * If a subcontracting plan is necessary and the offeror is submitting an individual subcontracting plan, the individual subcontracting plan shall contain all the elements required by paragraph (a) of this section and shall contain separate statements and goals for the basic contract and for each option.

    11. Amend section 19.705-1 by— a. Revising the heading; b. Redesignating the introductory paragraph as paragraph (a); and c. Adding paragraph (b).

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.705-1 General.

    (a) * * *

    (b)(1) Except where a contractor has a commercial plan, the contracting officer shall require a subcontracting plan for each indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract (including task or delivery order contracts, FSS, GWACs, and MACs), when the estimated value of the contract meets the subcontracting plan thresholds at 19.702(a)(1) and small business subcontracting opportunities exist.

    (2) Contracting officers placing orders may establish small business subcontracting goals for each order.

    12. Amend section 19.705-2 by— a. Removing from the introductory text “must” and adding “shall” in its place; b. Revising paragraph (a); c. Adding paragraph (b)(3); d. Revising paragraphs (c) and (e); and e. Adding paragraph (f).

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.705-2 Determining the need for a subcontracting plan.

    (a)(1) Determine whether the proposed total contract dollars will exceed the subcontracting plan threshold in 19.702(a).

    (2) Determine whether a proposed modification will cause the total contract dollars to exceed the subcontracting plan threshold (see 19.702(a)).

    (b) * * *

    (3) Whether the firm can acquire the items to be furnished by contract with minimal or no disruption of contract performance (with consideration given to the time remaining until contract completion), and at fair market value, when a determination is made in accordance with paragraph (a)(2).

    (c)(1) When adding a subcontracting plan pursuant to 19.705-2(a)(2), the subcontracting goals apply from the date of incorporation of the subcontracting plan into the contract.

    (2) If it is determined that there are no subcontracting possibilities, the determination shall include a detailed rationale, be approved at a level above the contracting officer, and placed in the contract file.

    (e) A contract may have no more than one subcontracting plan. When a contract modification exceeds the subcontracting plan threshold (see 19.702(a)), or an option is exercised, the goals of an existing subcontracting plan shall be amended to reflect any new subcontracting opportunities. These goal changes do not apply retroactively.

    (f) If a subcontracting plan has been added to the contract due to a modification (see 19.702(a)(3)) or a size re-representation (see 19.301-2(e)), the contractor's achievements must be reported on the ISR (or the SF-294, if applicable) on a cumulative basis from the date of incorporation of the subcontracting plan into the contract.

    19.705-4 [Amended]
    13. Amend section 19.705-4 by removing from paragraph (b) “11 required” and adding “14 required” in its place; and removing from paragraph (c) “11 elements” and adding “14 elements” in its place. 14. Amend section 19.705-6 by— a. Revising the introductory paragraph; b. Removing from paragraph (a) “Notifying” and adding “Notify” in its place; c. Removing from paragraph (b) “Forwarding” and adding “Forward” in its place; d. Removing from the introductory text of paragraph (c) “Giving” and adding “Give” in its place; e. Removing from paragraph (d) “Notifying” and adding “Notify” in its place; f. Removing from paragraph (e) “Forwarding” and adding “Forward” in its place; g. Redesignating paragraphs (f) through (h) as paragraphs (h) through (j), respectively; h. Adding new paragraphs (f) and (g); i. Removing from newly redesignated paragraph (h) “Initiating” and adding “Initiate” in its place; j. Removing from newly redesignated paragraph (i) “Taking” and adding “Take” in its place; and k. Removing from newly redesignated paragraph (j) “Acknowledging receipt of or rejecting” and adding “Acknowledge receipt of or reject” in its place.

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    19.705-6 Postaward responsibilities of the contracting officer.

    After a contract or contract modification containing a subcontracting plan is awarded or an existing subcontracting plan is amended, the contracting officer shall do the following:

    (f) Monitor the prime contractor's compliance with its subcontracting plan, to include the following:

    (1) Ensure that subcontracting reports are submitted into the eSRS (or any successor system) within 30 days after the report ending date (e.g., by October 30th for the fiscal year ended September 30th).

    (2) Review ISRs, and where applicable, SSRs, in eSRS (or any successor system) within 60 days of the report ending date (e.g., by November 30th for a report submitted for the fiscal year ended September 30th).

    (3) Either acknowledge receipt of or reject the reports in accordance with subpart 19.7, 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, and the eSRS instructions (www.esrs.gov).

    (i) The authority to acknowledge or reject SSRs for commercial plans resides with the contracting officer who approved the commercial plan.

    (ii) If a report is rejected, the contracting officer must provide an explanation for the rejection to allow the prime contractor the opportunity to respond specifically to perceived deficiencies.

    (g) Evaluate the prime contractor's compliance with its subcontracting plan, to include the following:

    (1) Assess whether the prime contractor made a good faith effort to comply with its small business subcontracting plan (see 13 CFR 125.3(d)(3)).

    (2) Assess the prime contractor's written explanation concerning the prime contractor's failure to use a small business concern in the performance of the contract in the same scope, amount, and quality used in preparing and submitting the bid or proposal, if applicable.

    15. Amend section 19.708 by— a. Removing from paragraph (b)(1) “facility),” and adding “facility)” in its place; b. Removing the period at the end of paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) and adding a semicolon in their places; c. Removing from paragraph (b)(1)(iii) “Alternate III.” and adding “Alternate III; or” in its place; d. Adding a new paragraph (b)(1)(iv); e. Removing from paragraph (b)(2) “Alternate I, II, or III.” and adding “Alternate I, II, III, or IV.” in its place.

    The added text reads as follows:

    19.708 Contract clauses.

    (b)(1) * * *

    (iv) Incorporating a subcontracting plan due to a modification as provided for in 19.702(a)(3), the contracting officer shall use the clause with its Alternate IV.

    PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 16. Amend section 52.212-5 by revising the date of the clause; and revising paragraphs (b) (16) and (17) to read as follows:
    52.212-5 Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders—Commercial Items. Contract Terms and Conditions Required To Implement Statutes or Executive Orders—Commercial Items (Date)

    (b) * * *

    __(16) 52.219-8, Utilization of Small Business Concerns (Date) (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(2) and (3)).

    __(17)(i) 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan (Date) (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(4)).

    __(ii) Alternate I (Date) of 52.219-9.

    __(iii) Alternate II (Date) of 52.219-9.

    __(iv) Alternate III (Date) of 52.219-9.

    __(v) Alternative IV (Date) of 52.219-9.

    17. Amend section 52.219-8 by— a. Revising the date of the clause; b. Revising the definition in paragraph (a) of “HUBZone small business concern”; c. Revising paragraph (d)(1); d. Redesignating paragraph (d)(2) as (d)(3); and e. Adding a new paragraph (d)(2).

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    52.219-8 Utilization of Small Business Concerns. Utilization of Small Business Concerns (Date)

    (a) * * *

    HUBZone small business concern means a small business concern, certified by the Small Business Administration, that appears on the List of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the Small Business Administration.

    (d)(1) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business in the System for Award Management (SAM) if:

    (i) The subcontractor is registered in SAM; and

    (ii) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations made in SAM (or any successor system) are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (2) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's written representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business if:

    (i) The subcontractor is not registered in SAM; and

    (ii) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations provided with its offer are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    18. Amend section 52.219-9 by— a. Revising the section heading; b. Revising the date of the clause; c. Revising paragraphs (b), (c), and (d); d. Revising paragraphs (e)(4) and (6); e. Revising paragraphs (f), (i), (k), and (l); f. Revising Alternates I, II, and III; and g. Adding Alternate IV.

    The revised and added text reads as follows:

    52.219-9 Small Business Subcontracting Plan. Small Business Subcontracting Plan (Date)

    (b) Definitions. As used in this clause—

    Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) means any Regional Corporation, Village Corporation, Urban Corporation, or Group Corporation organized under the laws of the State of Alaska in accordance with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.) and which is considered a minority and economically disadvantaged concern under the criteria at 43 U.S.C. 1626(e)(1). This definition also includes ANC direct and indirect subsidiary corporations, joint ventures, and partnerships that meet the requirements of 43 U.S.C. 1626(e)(2).

    Commercial item means a product or service that satisfies the definition of commercial item in section 2.101 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

    Commercial plan means a subcontracting plan (including goals) that covers the Offeror's fiscal year and that applies to the entire production of commercial items sold by either the entire company or a portion thereof (e.g., division, plant, or product line).

    Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) means the Governmentwide, electronic, web-based system for small business subcontracting program reporting. The eSRS is located at http://www.esrs.gov.

    Indian tribe means any Indian tribe, band, group, pueblo, or community, including native villages and native groups (including corporations organized by Kenai, Juneau, Sitka, and Kodiak) as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), that is recognized by the Federal Government as eligible for services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in accordance with 25 U.S.C. 1452(c). This definition also includes Indian-owned economic enterprises that meet the requirements of 25 U.S.C. 1452(e).

    Individual subcontracting plan means a subcontracting plan that covers the entire contract period (including option periods), applies to a specific contract, and has goals that are based on the Offeror's planned subcontracting in support of the specific contract, except that indirect costs incurred for common or joint purposes may be allocated on a prorated basis to the contract.

    Master subcontracting plan means a subcontracting plan that contains all the required elements of an individual subcontracting plan, except goals, and may be incorporated into individual subcontracting plans, provided the master plan has been approved.

    Subcontract means any agreement (other than one involving an employer-employee relationship) entered into by a Federal Government prime Contractor or subcontractor calling for supplies or services required for performance of the contract or subcontract.

    Total contract dollars means the final anticipated dollar value, including the dollar value of all options.

    (c)(1) The Offeror, upon request by the Contracting Officer, shall submit and negotiate a subcontracting plan, where applicable, that separately addresses subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. If the Offeror is submitting an individual subcontracting plan, the plan must separately address subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns, with a separate part for the basic contract and separate parts for each option (if any). The subcontracting plan shall be included in and made a part of the resultant contract. The subcontracting plan shall be negotiated within the time specified by the Contracting Officer. Failure to submit and negotiate the subcontracting plan shall make the Offeror ineligible for award of a contract.

    (2)(i) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business in the System for Award Management (SAM) if:

    (A) The subcontractor is registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations made in SAM (or any successor system) are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (ii) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's written representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business if:

    (A) The subcontractor is not registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations provided with its offer are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (d) The Offeror's subcontracting plan shall include the following:

    (1) Separate goals, expressed in terms of total dollars subcontracted, and as a percentage of total planned subcontracting dollars, for the use of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns as subcontractors. For individual subcontracting plans, and if required by the Contracting Officer, goals also be expressed in terms of percentage of total contract dollars, in addition to the goals expressed as a percentage of total subcontract dollars. The Offeror shall include all sub-contracts that contribute to contract performance, and may include a proportionate share of products and services that are normally allocated as indirect costs. In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 1626:

    (i) Subcontracts awarded to an ANC or Indian tribe shall be counted towards the subcontracting goals for small business and small disadvantaged business (SDB) concerns, regardless of the size or Small Business Administration certification status of the ANC or Indian tribe.

    (ii) Where one or more subcontractors are in the subcontract tier between the Contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate the appropriate Contractor(s) to count the subcontract towards its small business and small disadvantaged business subcontracting goals.

    (A) In most cases, the appropriate Contractor is the Contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe.

    (B) If the ANC or Indian tribe designates more than one Contractor to count the subcontract toward its goals, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate only a portion of the total subcontract award to each Contractor. The sum of the amounts designated to various Contractors cannot exceed the total value of the subcontract.

    (C) The ANC or Indian tribe shall give a copy of the written designation to the Contracting Officer, the prime Contractor, and the subcontractors in between the prime Contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe within 30 days of the date of the subcontract award.

    (D) If the Contracting Officer does not receive a copy of the ANC's or the Indian tribe's written designation within 30 days of the subcontract award, the Contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe will be considered the designated Contractor.

    (2) A statement of—

    (i) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted for an individual contract plan; or the Offeror's total projected sales, expressed in dollars, and the total value of projected subcontracts to support the sales for a commercial plan;

    (ii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes);

    (iii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to service-disabled veteran-owned small business;

    (v) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to HUBZone small business concerns;

    (vi) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes); and

    (vii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to women-owned small business concerns.

    (3) The NAICS code and corresponding size standard of each subcontract that best describes the principal purpose, including the types of supplies and services to be subcontracted, and an identification of the types planned for subcontracting to—

    (i) Small business concerns;

    (ii) Veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iii) Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) HUBZone small business concerns;

    (v) Small disadvantaged business concerns; and

    (vi) Women-owned small business concerns.

    (4) A description of the method used to develop the subcontracting goals in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause.

    (5) A description of the method used to identify potential sources for solicitation purposes (e.g., existing company source lists, the System for Award Management (SAM), veterans service organizations, the National Minority Purchasing Council Vendor Information Service, the Research and Information Division of the Minority Business Development Agency in the Department of Commerce, or small, HUBZone, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business trade associations). A firm may rely on the information contained in SAM as an accurate representation of a concern's size and ownership characteristics for the purposes of maintaining a small, veteran-owned small, service-disabled veteran-owned small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business source list. Use of SAM as its source list does not relieve a firm of its responsibilities (e.g., outreach, assistance, counseling, or publicizing subcontracting opportunities) in this clause.

    (6) A statement as to whether or not the Offeror in included indirect costs in establishing subcontracting goals, and a description of the method used to determine the proportionate share of indirect costs to be incurred with—

    (i) Small business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes);

    (ii) Veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iii) Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) HUBZone small business concerns;

    (v) Small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes); and

    (vi) Women-owned small business concerns.

    (7) The name of the individual employed by the Offeror who will administer the Offeror's subcontracting program, and a description of the duties of the individual.

    (8) A description of the efforts the Offeror will make to assure that small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns have an equitable opportunity to compete for subcontracts.

    (9) Assurances that the Offeror will include the clause of this contract entitled “Utilization of Small Business Concerns” in all subcontracts that offer further subcontracting opportunities, and that the Offeror will require all subcontractors (except small business concerns) that receive subcontracts in excess of $650,000 ($1.5 million for construction of any public facility) with further subcontracting possibilities to adopt a subcontracting plan that complies with the requirements of this clause.

    (10) Assurances that the Offeror will—

    (i) Cooperate in any studies or surveys as may be required;

    (ii) Submit periodic reports so that the Government can determine the extent of compliance by the Offeror with the subcontracting plan;

    (iii) Include subcontracting data for each order when reporting subcontracting achievements for multiple-award contracts intended for use by multiple agencies;

    (iv) Submit the Individual Subcontract Report (ISR) and/or the Summary Subcontract Report (SSR), in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause using the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) at http://www.esrs.gov. The reports shall provide information on subcontract awards to small business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that are not small businesses), veteran-owned small business concerns, service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, HUBZone small business concerns, small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that have not been certified by SBA as small disadvantaged businesses), women-owned small business concerns, and for NASA only, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions. Reporting shall be in accordance with this clause, or as provided in agency regulations;

    (v) Ensure that its subcontractors with subcontracting plans agree to submit the ISR and/or the SSR using eSRS;

    (vi) Provide its prime contract number, its DUNS number, and the email address of the Offeror's official responsible for acknowledging receipt of or rejecting the ISRs, to all first-tier subcontractors with subcontracting plans so they can enter this information into the eSRS when submitting their ISRs; and

    (vii) Require that each subcontractor with a subcontracting plan provide the prime contract number, its own DUNS number, and the email address of the subcontractor's official responsible for acknowledging receipt of or rejecting the ISRs, to its subcontractors with subcontracting plans.

    (11) A description of the types of records that will be maintained concerning procedures that have been adopted to comply with the requirements and goals in the plan, including establishing source lists; and a description of the Offeror's efforts to locate small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns and award subcontracts to them. The records shall include at least the following (on a plant-wide or company-wide basis, unless otherwise indicated):

    (i) Source lists (e.g., SAM), guides, and other data that identify small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns.

    (ii) Organizations contacted in an attempt to locate sources that are small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or women-owned small business concerns.

    (iii) Records on each subcontract solicitation resulting in an award of more than $150,000, indicating—

    (A) Whether small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (B) Whether veteran-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (C) Whether service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (D) Whether HUBZone small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (E) Whether small disadvantaged business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (F) Whether women-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not; and

    (G) If applicable, the reason award was not made to a small business concern.

    (iv) Records of any outreach efforts to contact—

    (A) Trade associations;

    (B) Business development organizations;

    (C) Conferences and trade fairs to locate small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business sources; and

    (D) Veterans service organizations.

    (v) Records of internal guidance and encouragement provided to buyers through—

    (A) Workshops, seminars, training, etc.; and

    (B) Monitoring performance to evaluate compliance with the program's requirements.

    (vi) On a contract-by-contract basis, records to support award data submitted by the Offeror to the Government, including the name, address, and business size of each subcontractor. Contractors having commercial plans need not comply with this requirement.

    (12) Assurances that the Offeror will make a good faith effort to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services, or materials, or obtain the performance of construction work from the small business concerns that it used in preparing the bid or proposal, in the same or greater scope, amount, and quality used in preparing and submitting the bid or proposal. Responding to a request for a quote does not constitute use in preparing a bid or proposal. The Offeror used a small business concern in preparing the bid or proposal if—

    (i) The Offeror identifies the small business concern as a subcontractor in the bid or proposal or associated small business subcontracting plan, to furnish certain supplies or perform a portion of the subcontract; or

    (ii) The Offeror used the small business concern's pricing or cost information or technical expertise in preparing the bid or proposal, where there is written evidence of an intent or understanding that the small business concern will be awarded a subcontract for the related work if the Offeror is awarded the contract.

    (13) A requirement for the Contractor to provide the Contracting Officer with a written explanation if the Contractor fails to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services or materials or obtain the performance of construction work as described in (d)(12) of this clause. This written explanation must be submitted to the Contracting Officer within 30 days of contract completion.

    (14) Assurances that the Contractor will not prohibit a subcontractor from discussing with the Contracting Officer any material matter pertaining to payment to or utilization of a subcontractor.

    (e) * * *

    (4) Confirm that a subcontractor representing itself as a HUBZone small business concern is certified by SBA as a HUBZone small business concern in accordance with 52.219-8(d)(2).

    (6) For all competitive subcontracts over the simplified acquisition threshold in which a small business concern received a small business preference, upon determination of the successful subcontract Offeror, the Contractor must inform each unsuccessful small business subcontract Offeror in writing of the name and location of the apparent successful Offeror and if the successful subcontract Offeror is a small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or women-owned small business concern, prior to award of the subcontract.

    (f) A master subcontracting plan on a plant or division-wide basis that contains all the elements required by paragraph (d) of this clause, except goals, may be incorporated by reference as a part of the subcontracting plan required of the Offeror by this clause; provided—

    (1) The master subcontracting plan has been approved,

    (2) The Offeror ensures that the master subcontracting plan is updated as necessary and provides copies of the approved master plan, including evidence of its approval, to the Contracting Officer, and

    (3) Goals and any deviations from the master subcontracting plan deemed necessary by the Contracting Officer to satisfy the requirements of this contract are set forth in the individual subcontracting plan.

    (i) A contract may have no more than one subcontracting plan. When a contract modification exceeds the subcontracting plan threshold in 19.702(a), or an option is exercised, the goals of the existing subcontracting plan shall be amended to reflect any new subcontracting opportunities. When the goals in a subcontracting plan are amended, these goal changes do not apply retroactively.

    (k) The failure of the Contractor or subcontractor to comply in good faith with—

    (1) The clause of this contract entitled “Utilization Of Small Business Concerns”; or

    (2) An approved plan required by this clause, shall be a material breach of the contract and may be considered in any past performance evaluation of the Contractor.

    (l) The Contractor shall submit ISRs and SSRs using the web-based eSRS at http://www.esrs.gov. Purchases from a corporation, company, or subdivision that is an affiliate of the Contractor or subcontractor are not included in these reports. Subcontract awards by affiliates shall be treated as subcontract awards by the Contractor. Subcontract award data reported by the Contractors and subcontractors shall be limited to awards made to their immediate next-tier subcontractors. Credit cannot be taken for awards made to lower tier subcontractors, unless the Contractor or subcontractor has been designated to receive a small business or small disadvantaged business credit from an ANC or Indian tribe. Only subcontracts involving performance in the United States or its outlying areas should be included in these reports with the exception of subcontracts under a contract awarded by the State Department or any other agency that has statutory or regulatory authority to require subcontracting plans for subcontracts performed outside the United States and its outlying areas.

    (1) ISR. This report is not required for commercial plans. The report is required for each contract containing an individual subcontract plan.

    (i) The report shall be submitted semi-annually during contract performance for the periods ending March 31 and September 30. A report is also required for each contract within 30 days of contract completion. Reports are due 30 days after the close of each reporting period, unless otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer. Reports are required when due, regardless of whether there has been any subcontracting activity since the inception of the contract or the previous reporting period. When the Contracting Officer rejects an ISR, the Contractor shall submit a corrected report shall within 30 days of receiving the notice of ISR rejection.

    (ii)(A) When a subcontracting plan contains separate goals for the basic contract and each option, as prescribed by 19.704(c), the dollar goal inserted on this report shall be the sum of the base period through the current option; for example, for a report submitted after the second option is exercised, the dollar goal would be the sum of the goals for the basic contract, the first option, and the second option.

    (B) If a subcontracting plan has been added to the contract pursuant to 19.705-2(c) or 19.301-2(e), the Contractor's achievements must be reported in the ISR on a cumulative basis from the date of incorporation of the subcontracting plan into the contract.

    (iii) When a subcontracting plan includes indirect costs in the goals, these costs must be included in this report.

    (iv) The authority to acknowledge receipt or reject the ISR resides—

    (A) In the case of the prime Contractor, with the Contracting Officer; and

    (B) In the case of a subcontract with a subcontracting plan, with the entity that awarded the subcontract.

    (2) SSR. (i) Reports submitted under individual subcontracting plans.

    (A) This report encompasses all subcontracting under prime contracts and subcontracts with an executive agency, regardless of the dollar value of the subcontracts. This report also includes indirect costs on a prorated basis when the indirect costs are excluded from the subcontracting goals;

    (B) The report may be submitted on a corporate, company or subdivision (e.g. plant or division operating as a separate profit center) basis, unless otherwise directed by the agency.

    (C) If the Contractor or a subcontractor is performing work for more than one executive agency, a separate report shall be submitted to each executive agency covering only that agency's contracts, provided at least one of that agency's contracts is over $650,000 (over $1.5 million for construction of a public facility) and contains a subcontracting plan. For DoD, a consolidated report shall be submitted for all contracts awarded by military departments/agencies and/or subcontracts awarded by DoD prime Contractors.

    (D) The report shall be submitted annually by October 30 for the twelve month period ending September 30. When a Contracting Officer rejects an SSR, the Contractor shall submit a revised report within 30 days of receiving the notice of SSR rejection.

    (F) The authority to acknowledge or reject SSRs in eSRS, including SSRs submitted by subcontractors with subcontracting plans, resides with the Government agency awarding the prime contracts unless stated otherwise in the contract.

    (ii) Reports submitted under a commercial plan.

    (A) The report shall include all subcontract awards under the commercial plan in effect during the Government's fiscal year and all indirect costs.

    (B)The report shall be submitted annually, within thirty days after the end of the Government's fiscal year.

    (C) If a Contractor has a commercial plan and is performing work for more than one executive agency, the Contractor shall specify the percentage of dollars attributable to each agency.

    (D) The authority to acknowledge or reject SSRs for commercial plans resides with the Contracting Officer who approved the commercial plan.

    (End of clause)

    Alternate I (Date). As prescribed in 19.708(b)(1)(i), substitute the following paragraph (c)(1) for paragraph (c)(1) of the basic clause:

    (c)(1) The apparent low bidder, upon request by the Contracting Officer, shall submit a subcontracting plan, where applicable, that separately addresses subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. If the bidder is submitting an individual subcontracting plan, the plan must separately address subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns, with a separate part for the basic contract and separate parts for each option (if any). The plan shall be included in and made a part of the resultant contract. The subcontracting plan shall be submitted within the time specified by the Contracting Officer. Failure to submit the subcontracting plan shall make the bidder ineligible for the award of a contract.

    Alternate II (Date). As prescribed in 19.708(b)(1)(ii), substitute the following paragraph (c)(1) for paragraph (c)(1) of the basic clause:

    (c)(1) Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation shall include a subcontracting plan that separately addresses subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. If the Offeror is submitting an individual subcontracting plan, the plan must separately address subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns, with a separate part for the basic contract and separate parts for each option (if any). The plan shall be included in and made a part of the resultant contract. The subcontracting plan shall be negotiated within the time specified by the Contracting Officer. Failure to submit and negotiate a subcontracting plan shall make the Offeror ineligible for award of a contract.

    Alternate III (Date). As prescribed in 19.708(b)(1)(iii), substitute the following paragraphs (d)(10) and (l) for paragraphs (d)(10) and (l) in the basic clause;

    (d)(10) Assurances that the Offeror will—

    (i) Cooperate in any studies or surveys as may be required;

    (ii) Submit periodic reports so that the Government can determine the extent of compliance by the Offeror with the subcontracting plan;

    (iii) Submit Standard Form (SF) 294 Subcontracting Report for Individual Contract in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause. Submit the Summary Subcontract Report (SSR), in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause using the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) at http://www.esrs.gov. The reports shall provide information on subcontract awards to small business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that are not small businesses), veteran-owned small business concerns, service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, HUBZone small business concerns, small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that have not been certified by the Small Business Administration as small disadvantaged businesses), women-owned small business concerns, and for NASA only, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions. Reporting shall be in accordance with this clause, or as provided in agency regulations; and

    (iv) Ensure that its subcontractors with subcontracting plans agree to submit the SF 294 in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause. Ensure that its subcontractors with subcontracting plans agree to submit the SSR in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause using the eSRS.

    (l) The Contractor shall submit a SF 294. The Contractor shall submit SSRs using the web-based eSRS at http://www.esrs.gov. Purchases from a corporation, company, or subdivision that is an affiliate of the Contractor or subcontractor are not included in these reports. Subcontract awards by affiliates shall be treated as subcontract awards by the prime Contractor. Subcontract award data reported by Contractors and subcontractors shall be limited to awards made to their immediate next-tier subcontractors. Credit cannot be taken for awards made to lower tier subcontractors, unless the Contractor or subcontractor has been designated to receive a small business or small disadvantaged business credit from an ANC or Indian tribe. Only subcontracts involving performance in the U.S. or its outlying areas should be included in these reports with the exception of subcontracts under a contract awarded by the State Department or any other agency that has statutory or regulatory authority to require subcontracting plans for subcontracts performed outside the United States and its outlying areas.

    (1) SF 294. This report is not required for commercial plans. The report is required for each contract containing an individual subcontract plan. For Contractors the report shall be submitted to the Contracting Officer, or as specified elsewhere in this contract. In the case of a subcontract with a subcontracting plan, the report shall be submitted to the entity that awarded the subcontract.

    (i) The report shall be submitted semi-annually during contract performance for the periods ending March 31 and September 30. A report is also required for each contract within 30 days of contract completion. Reports are due 30 days after the close of each reporting period, unless otherwise directed by the Contracting Officer. Reports are required when due, regardless of whether there has been any subcontracting activity since the inception of the contract or the previous reporting period. When a Contracting Officer rejects a report, the Contractor shall submit a revised report within 30 days of receiving the notice of report rejection.

    (ii) When a subcontracting plan contains separate goals for the basic contract and each option, as prescribed by 19.704(c), the dollar goal inserted on this report shall be the sum of the base period through the current option; for example, for a report submitted after the second option is exercised, the dollar goal would be the sum of the goals for the basic contract, the first option, and the second option.

    (iii) When a subcontracting plan includes indirect costs in the goals, these costs must be included in this report.

    (2) SSR. (i) Reports submitted under individual subcontracting plans.

    (A) This report encompasses all subcontracting under prime contracts and subcontracts with an executive agency, regardless of the dollar value of the subcontracts. This report also includes indirect costs on a prorated basis when the indirect costs are excluded from the subcontracting goals.

    (B) The report may be submitted on a corporate, company or subdivision (e.g. plant or division operating as a separate profit center) basis, unless otherwise directed by the agency.

    (C) If the Contractor and/or subcontractor is performing work for more than one executive agency, a separate report shall be submitted to each executive agency covering only that agency's contracts, provided at least one of that agency's contracts is over $550,000 (over $1,000,000 for construction of a public facility) and contains a subcontracting plan. For DoD, a consolidated report shall be submitted for all contracts awarded by military departments/agencies and/or subcontracts awarded by DoD prime Contractors.

    (D) The report shall be submitted annually by October 30, for the twelve month period ending September 30. When a Contracting Officer rejects an SSR, the Contractor is required to submit a revised SSR within 30 days of receiving the notice of report rejection.

    (E) Subcontract awards that are related to work for more than one executive agency shall be appropriately allocated.

    (F) The authority to acknowledge or reject SSRs in the eSRS, including SSRs submitted by subcontractors with subcontracting plans, resides with the Government agency awarding the prime contracts unless stated otherwise in the contract.

    (ii) Reports submitted under a commercial plan.

    (A) The report shall include all subcontract awards under the commercial plan in effect during the Government's fiscal year and all indirect costs.

    (B) The report shall be submitted annually, within thirty days after the end of the Government's fiscal year.

    (C) If a Contractor has a commercial plan and is performing work for more than one executive agency, the Contractor shall specify the percentage of dollars attributable to each agency.

    (D) The authority to acknowledge or reject SSRs for commercial plans resides with the Contracting Officer who approved the commercial plan.

    Alternate IV (Date). As prescribed in 19.708(b)(1)(iv), substitute the following paragraphs (c) and (d) for paragraphs (c) and (d) of the basic clause:

    (c)(1) The Contractor, upon request by the Contracting Officer, shall submit and negotiate a subcontracting plan, where applicable, that separately addresses subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns. If the Contractor is submitting an individual subcontracting plan, the plan shall separately address subcontracting with small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns, with a separate part for the basic contract and separate parts for each option (if any). The subcontracting plan shall be incorporated into the contract. The subcontracting plan shall be negotiated within the time specified by the Contracting Officer.

    (2)(i) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business in the System for Award Management (SAM) if:

    (A) The subcontractor is registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations made in SAM (or any successor system) are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (ii) The prime Contractor may accept a subcontractor's written representations of its small business size and status as a small disadvantaged business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or a woman-owned small business if:

    (A) The subcontractor is not registered in SAM; and

    (B) The subcontractor represents that the size and status representations provided with its offer are current, accurate and complete as of the date of the offer for the subcontract.

    (d) The Contractor's subcontracting plan shall include the following:

    (1) Separate goals, expressed in terms of total dollars subcontracted and as a percentage of total planned subcontracting dollars, for the use of small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns as subcontractors. For individual subcontracting plans, and if required by the Contracting Officer, goals also be expressed in terms of percentage of total contract dollars, in addition to the goals expressed as a percentage of total subcontract dollars. The Contractor shall include all subcontracts that contribute to contract performance, and may include a proportionate share of products and services that are normally allocated as indirect costs. In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 1626—

    (i) Subcontracts awarded to an ANC or Indian tribe shall be counted towards the subcontracting goals for small business and small disadvantaged business concerns, regardless of the size or Small Business Administration certification status of the ANC or Indian tribe; and

    (ii) Where one or more subcontractors are in the subcontract tier between the prime Contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate the appropriate Contractor(s) to count the subcontract towards its small business and small disadvantaged business subcontracting goals.

    (A) In most cases, the appropriate Contractor is the Contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe.

    (B) If the ANC or Indian tribe designates more than one Contractor to count the subcontract toward its goals, the ANC or Indian tribe shall designate only a portion of the total subcontract award to each Contractor. The sum of the amounts designated to various Contractors cannot exceed the total value of the subcontract.

    (C) The ANC or Indian tribe shall give a copy of the written designation to the Contracting Officer, the Contractor, and the subcontractors in between the prime Contractor and the ANC or Indian tribe within 30 days of the date of the subcontract award.

    (D) If the Contracting Officer does not receive a copy of the ANC's or the Indian tribe's written designation within 30 days of the subcontract award, the Contractor that awarded the subcontract to the ANC or Indian tribe will be considered the designated Contractor.

    (2) A statement of—

    (i) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted for an individual subcontracting plan; or the Contractor's total projected sales, expressed in dollars, and the total value of projected subcontracts to support the sales for a commercial plan;

    (ii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes);

    (iii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to service-disabled veteran-owned small business;

    (v) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to HUBZone small business concerns;

    (vi) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes); and

    (vii) Total dollars planned to be subcontracted to women-owned small business concerns.

    (3) The NAICS code and corresponding size standard of each subcontract that best describes the principal purpose, including the types of supplies and services to be subcontracted, and an identification of the types planned for subcontracting to—

    (i) Small business concerns;

    (ii) Veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iii) Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) HUBZone small business concerns;

    (v) Small disadvantaged business concerns; and

    (vi) Women-owned small business concerns.

    (4) A description of the method used to develop the subcontracting goals in paragraph (d)(1) of this clause.

    (5) A description of the method used to identify potential sources for solicitation purposes (e.g., existing company source lists, SAM, veterans service organizations, the National Minority Purchasing Council Vendor Information Service, the Research and Information Division of the Minority Business Development Agency in the Department of Commerce, or small, HUBZone, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business trade associations). The Contractor may rely on the information contained in SAM as an accurate representation of a concern's size and ownership characteristics for the purposes of maintaining a small, veteran-owned small, service-disabled veteran-owned small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business source list. Use of SAM as its source list does not relieve a firm of its responsibilities (e.g., outreach, assistance, counseling, or publicizing subcontracting opportunities) in this clause.

    (6) A statement as to whether or not the Contractor included indirect costs in establishing subcontracting goals, and a description of the method used to determine the proportionate share of indirect costs to be incurred with—

    (i) Small business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes);

    (ii) Veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iii) Service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns;

    (iv) HUBZone small business concerns;

    (v) Small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANC and Indian tribes); and

    (vi) Women-owned small business concerns.

    (7) The name of the individual employed by the Contractor who will administer the Contractor's subcontracting program, and a description of the duties of the individual.

    (8) A description of the efforts the Contractor will make to assure that small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns have an equitable opportunity to compete for subcontracts.

    (9) Assurances that the Contractor will include the clause of this contract entitled “Utilization of Small Business Concerns” in all subcontracts that offer further subcontracting opportunities, and that the Contractor will require all subcontractors (except small business concerns) that receive subcontracts in excess of $650,000 ($1.5 million for construction of any public facility) with further subcontracting possibilities to adopt a subcontracting plan that complies with the requirements of this clause.

    (10) Assurances that the Contractor will—

    (i) Cooperate in any studies or surveys as may be required;

    (ii) Submit periodic reports so that the Government can determine the extent of compliance by the Contractor with the subcontracting plan;

    (iii) Include subcontracting data for each order when reporting subcontracting achievements for a multiple-award contract intended for use by multiple agencies;

    (iv) Submit the Individual Subcontract Report (ISR) and/or the Summary Subcontract Report (SSR), in accordance with paragraph (l) of this clause using the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) at http://www.esrs.gov. The reports shall provide information on subcontract awards to small business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that are not small businesses), veteran-owned small business concerns, service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, HUBZone small business concerns, small disadvantaged business concerns (including ANCs and Indian tribes that have not been certified by SBA as small disadvantaged businesses), women-owned small business concerns, and for NASA only, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions. Reporting shall be in accordance with this clause, or as provided in agency regulations;

    (v) Ensure that its subcontractors with subcontracting plans agree to submit the ISR and/or the SSR using eSRS;

    (vi) Provide its prime contract number, its DUNS number, and the email address of the Contractor's official responsible for acknowledging receipt of or rejecting the ISRs, to all first-tier subcontractors with subcontracting plans so they can enter this information into the eSRS when submitting their ISRs; and

    (vii) Require that each subcontractor with a subcontracting plan provide the prime contract number, its own DUNS number, and the email address of the subcontractor's official responsible for acknowledging receipt of or rejecting the ISRs, to its subcontractors with subcontracting plans.

    (11) A description of the types of records that will be maintained concerning procedures that have been adopted to comply with the requirements and goals in the plan, including establishing source lists; and a description of the Contractor's efforts to locate small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns and award subcontracts to them. The records shall include at least the following (on a plant-wide or company-wide basis, unless otherwise indicated):

    (i) Source lists (e.g., SAM), guides, and other data that identify small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, and women-owned small business concerns.

    (ii) Organizations contacted in an attempt to locate sources that are small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, or women-owned small business concerns.

    (iii) Records on each subcontract solicitation resulting in an award of more than $150,000, indicating—

    (A) Whether small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (B) Whether veteran-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (C) Whether service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (D) Whether HUBZone small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (E) Whether small disadvantaged business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not;

    (F) Whether women-owned small business concerns were solicited and, if not, why not; and

    (G) If applicable, the reason award was not made to a small business concern.

    (iv) Records of any outreach efforts to contact—

    (A) Trade associations;

    (B) Business development organizations;

    (C) Conferences and trade fairs to locate small, HUBZone small, small disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran-owned, and women-owned small business sources; and

    (D) Veterans service organizations.

    (v) Records of internal guidance and encouragement provided to buyers through—

    (A) Workshops, seminars, training, etc.; and

    (B) Monitoring performance to evaluate compliance with the program's requirements.

    (vi) On a contract-by-contract basis, records to support award data submitted by the Contractor to the Government, including the name, address, and business size of each subcontractor. Contractors having commercial plans need not comply with this requirement.

    (12) Assurances that the Contractor will make a good faith effort to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services, or materials, or obtain the performance of construction work from the small business concerns that it used in preparing or proposal for the modification, in the same or greater scope, amount, and quality used in preparing and submitting the modification proposal. Responding to a request for a quote does not constitute use in preparing a proposal. The Contractor used a small business concern in preparing the proposal for a modification if—

    (i) The Contractor identifies the small business concern as a subcontractor in the proposal or associated small business subcontracting plan, to furnish certain supplies or perform a portion of the subcontract; or

    (ii) The Contractor used the small business concern's pricing or cost information or technical expertise in preparing the proposal, where there is written evidence of an intent or understanding that the small business concern will be awarded a subcontract for the related work when the modification is executed.

    (13) A requirement for the Contractor to provide the Contracting Officer with a written explanation if the Contractor fails to acquire articles, equipment, supplies, services or materials or obtain the performance of construction work as described in paragraph (d)(12) of this clause. This written explanation must be submitted to the Contracting Officer within 30 days of contract completion.

    (14) Assurances that the Contractor will not prohibit a subcontractor from discussing with the contracting officer any material matter pertaining to the payment to or utilization of a subcontractor.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14055 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2013-0003; 4500030113] RIN 1018-AZ25 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating Critical Habitat on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe for 135 Species AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the reopening of the comment period on our June 11, 2012 (77 FR 34464), proposal to designate or revise critical habitat for 135 plant and animal species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). These 135 species include 2 plant species for which we reaffirmed their endangered listing status on May 28, 2013 (78 FR 32014); 37 plant and animal species we proposed for listing on June 11, 2012, and subsequently listed as endangered on May 28, 2013 (78 FR 32014); 11 plant and animal species that are also already listed as endangered but do not have critical habitat designations; and 85 plant species that are already listed as endangered or threatened and have designated critical habitat, but for which we proposed revisions to critical habitat. We are reopening the comment period to allow all interested parties further opportunity to comment on areas that we are considering for exclusion in the final rule. Comments previously submitted on the proposed rule do not need to be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.

    DATES:

    Written Comments: We will consider comments received or postmarked on or before June 25, 2015. Please note comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES section, below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. If you are submitting your comments by hard copy, please mail them by June 25, 2015, to ensure that we receive them in time to give them full consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Document Availability: You may obtain copies of the June 11, 2012, proposed rule, this document, and the draft economic analysis of the proposed designation of critical habitat at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket Number FWS-R1-ES-2013-0003, from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office's Web site (http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands/), or by contacting the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office directly (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Written Comments: You may submit written comments by one of the following methods, or at the public information meeting or public hearing:

    (1) Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2013-0003, which is the docket number for this rulemaking, and follow the directions for submitting a comment.

    (2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R1-ES-2013-0003; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will post all comments we receive on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section, below, for more information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristi Young, Acting Field Supervisor, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122, Honolulu, HI 96850; by telephone at 808-792-9400; or by facsimile at 808-792-9581. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comments

    We will accept written comments and information during this reopened comment period on our proposed designation of critical habitat for 135 species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe (collectively, “Maui Nui”) that was published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2012 (77 FR 34464). In that proposed rule, we proposed to list 38 species as endangered, reaffirm the listing of 2 endemic Hawaiian plants currently listed as endangered, and designate critical habitat for 39 of these 40 plant and animal species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Maui; and to designate critical habitat for 11 plant and animal species that are already listed as endangered, and revise critical habitat for 85 plant species that are already listed as endangered or threatened on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe. On May 28, 2013, we published a final rule listing 38 Maui Nui species (35 plants and 3 tree snails) as endangered and reaffirming the listing of 2 plant species as endangered (78 FR 32014). Critical habitat has not yet been finalized. We have previously extended or reopened the comment period on the proposed critical habitat twice: once for 30 days, on August 9, 2012 (77 FR 47587), and again for 30 days on January 31, 2013 (78 FR 6785).

    In particular we are seeking public comment on the areas that we are considering for exclusion from the final designation of critical habitat. Although we had previously indicated that we were considering the possible exclusion of non-Federal lands, especially areas in private ownership, and asked for comment on the broad public benefits of encouraging collaborative conservation efforts with local and private partners, we are now offering an additional opportunity for public comment on this issue. We will consider information and recommendations from all interested parties.

    We are particularly interested in comments concerning whether the benefits of excluding any particular area from critical habitat outweigh the benefits of including that area as critical habitat under section 4(b)(2) of the Act (16 U.S. C. 1531 et se.), after considering the potential impacts and benefits of the proposed critical habitat designation. We are considering the possible exclusion of non-Federal lands, especially areas in private ownership, and whether the benefits of exclusion may outweigh the benefits of inclusion of those areas. We, therefore, request specific information on:

    • The benefits of including any specific areas in the final designation and supporting rationale.

    • The benefits of excluding any specific areas from the final designation and supporting rationale.

    • Whether any specific exclusions may result in the extinction of the species and why.

    For non-Federal lands in particular, we are interested in information regarding the potential benefits of including such lands in critical habitat versus the benefits of excluding such lands from critical habitat. This information does not need to include a detailed technical analysis of the potential effects of designated critical habitat on non-Federal property. In weighing the potential benefits of exclusion versus inclusion of non-Federal lands, the Service may consider whether existing partnership agreements provide for the management of the species. This consideration may include, for example, the status of conservation efforts, the effectiveness of any conservation agreements to conserve the species, and the likelihood of the conservation agreement's future implementation. In addition, we may consider the formation or fostering of partnerships with non-Federal entities that result in positive conservation outcomes for the species, as evidenced by the development of conservation agreements, as a potential benefit of exclusion. We request comment on the broad public benefits of encouraging collaborative efforts and encouraging local and private conservation efforts.

    Our final determination concerning the designation of critical habitat for 135 species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe will take into consideration all written comments and information we receive during all comment periods; from peer reviewers; and during the public information meeting, as well as comments and public testimony we received during the public hearing, that we held in Kihei, Maui, on February 21, 2013 (see 78 FR 6785; January 31, 2013). The comments will be included in the public record for this rulemaking, and we will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determination. On the basis of peer reviewer and public comments, as well as any new information we may receive, we may, during the development of our final determination concerning critical habitat, find that areas within the proposed critical habitat designation do not meet the definition of critical habitat, that some modifications to the described boundaries are appropriate, or that areas may or may not be appropriate for exclusion under section 4(b)(2) of the Act.

    If you submitted comments or information on the proposed rule (June 11, 2012; 77 FR 34464) during any of the previous open comment periods from June 11, 2012, through September 10, 2012 (77 FR 34464 and 77 FR 47587), from January 31, 2013, through March 4, 2013 (78 FR 6785), or at the public information meeting or hearing on February 21, 2013, please do not resubmit them. We will fully consider them in the preparation of our final determinations.

    You may submit your comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—on http://www.regulations.gov. If you submit your comment via U.S. mail, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such as your street address, phone number, or email address from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-R1-ES-2013-0003, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Background

    The topics discussed below are relevant to designation of critical habitat for 135 species on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe. For more information on previous Federal actions concerning these species, refer to the proposed listing and designation of critical habitat published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2012 (77 FR 34464), and the final listing rule for 38 species on Molokai, Lanai, and Maui published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2013 (78 FR 32014), both of which are available online at http://www.regulations.gov (at Docket Number FWS-R1-ES-2011-0098), or from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    Previous Federal Actions

    On June 11, 2012, we published a proposed rule (77 FR 34464) to list 38 species as endangered and designate or revise critical habitat for 135 plant and animal species. We proposed to designate a total of 271,062 acres (ac) (109,695 hectares (ha)) on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe (collectively called Maui Nui) as critical habitat. Approximately 47 percent of the area proposed as critical habitat is already designated as critical habitat for other species, including 85 plant species for which critical habitat was designated in 1984 (49 FR 44753; November 9, 1984) and 2003 (68 FR 1220, January 9, 2003; 68 FR 12982, March 18, 2003; 68 FR 25934, May 14, 2003). Within that proposed rule, we announced a 60-day comment period, which we subsequently extended for an additional 30 days (77 FR 47587; August 9, 2012); in total, the comment period began on June 11, 2012, and ended on September 10, 2012. On January 31, 2013, we announced the availability of the draft economic analysis on the proposed designation of critical habitat, and reopened the comment period on our proposed rule, the draft economic analysis, and amended required determinations for another 30 days, through March 4, 2013 (78 FR 6785). On January 31, 2013, we also announced a public information meeting in Kihei, Maui, which we held on February 21, 2013, followed by a public hearing on that same day.

    Critical Habitat

    Section 3 of the Act defines critical habitat as the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by a species, at the time it is listed in accordance with the Act, on which are found those physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species and that may require special management considerations or protection, and specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed, upon a determination that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. If the proposed rule is made final, section 7 of the Act will prohibit destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat by any activity funded, authorized, or carried out by any Federal agency unless it is exempted pursuant to the provisions of the Act (16 U.S. C. 1536(e)-(n) and (p)). Federal agencies proposing actions affecting critical habitat must consult with us on the effects of their proposed actions, under section 7(a)(2) of the Act.

    Consistent with the best scientific data available, the standards of the Act, and our regulations, we have initially identified, for public comment, a total of 271,062 ac (109,695 ha) in 100 units for the 130 plants, 44 units for each of the 2 forest birds, 5 units for each of the Lanai tree snails, and 1 unit for the Maui tree snail, located on the Hawaiian Islands of Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe, that meet the definition of critical habitat for the 135 plant and animal species. In addition, the Act provides the Secretary with the discretion to exclude certain areas from the final designation after taking into consideration economic impacts, impacts on national security, and any other relevant impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat.

    Consideration of Impacts Under Section 4(b)(2) of the Act

    Section 4(b)(2) of the Act requires that we designate or revise critical habitat based upon the best scientific data available, after taking into consideration the economic impact, impact on national security, or any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. We may exclude an area from critical habitat if we determine that the benefits of excluding the area outweigh the benefits of including the area as critical habitat, provided such exclusion will not result in the extinction of the species.

    When considering the benefits of inclusion for an area, we consider the additional regulatory benefits that area would receive from the protection from adverse modification or destruction as a result of actions with a Federal nexus (activities conducted, funded, permitted, or authorized by Federal agencies), the educational benefits of mapping areas containing essential features that aid in the recovery of the listed species, and any benefits that may result from designation due to State or Federal laws that may apply to critical habitat. In the case of the 135 Maui Nui species, the benefits of critical habitat include public awareness of the presence of one or more of these species and the importance of habitat protection, and, where a Federal nexus exists, increased habitat protection for the species due to protection from adverse modification or destruction of critical habitat. In practice, situations with a Federal nexus exist primarily on Federal lands or for projects undertaken by Federal agencies.

    Under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, when considering the benefits of exclusion, we consider, among other things, whether exclusion of a specific area is likely to result in conservation; the continuation, strengthening, or encouragement of conservation partnerships; or implementation of a management plan. We also consider the potential economic impacts that may result from the designation of critical habitat.

    In weighing the benefits of exclusion versus inclusion, we consider a number of factors, including whether the landowners have developed any habitat conservation plans (HCPs) or other management plans for the area, or whether there are conservation partnerships that would be encouraged by designation of, or exclusion from, critical habitat. We consider the establishment and encouragement of strong conservation partnerships with non-Federal landowners to be especially important in the State of Hawaii, where there are relatively few lands under Federal ownership; we cannot achieve the conservation and recovery of listed species in Hawaii without the help and cooperation of non-Federal landowners. We consider building partnerships and promoting voluntary cooperation of landowners essential to understanding the status of species on non-Federal lands and necessary to implement recovery actions, such as the reintroduction of listed species, habitat restoration, and habitat protection.

    Many non-Federal landowners derive satisfaction from contributing to endangered species recovery. Conservation agreements with non-Federal landowners, safe harbor agreements, other conservation agreements, easements, and State and local regulations enhance species conservation by extending species protections beyond those available through section 7 consultations. We encourage non-Federal landowners to enter into conservation agreements based on a view that we can achieve greater species conservation on non-Federal lands through such partnerships than we can through regulatory methods alone, particularly for listed plants which are not subject to the Act's section 9 prohibition on taking (USFWS and NOAA 1996c (61 FR 63854; December 2, 1996)).

    Because so many important conservation areas for the Maui Nui species occur on lands managed by non-Federal entities, collaborative relationships are essential for their recovery. The Maui Nui species and their habitat are expected to benefit substantially from voluntary land management actions that implement appropriate and effective conservation strategies, or that add to our knowledge of the species and their ecological needs. The conservation benefits of critical habitat, on the other hand, are primarily regulatory or prohibitive in nature. Where consistent with the discretion provided by the Act, the Service believes it is both desirable and necessary to implement policies that provide positive incentives to non-Federal landowners and land managers to voluntarily conserve natural resources and to remove or reduce disincentives to conservation (Wilcove et al. 1996, pp. 1-14; Bean 2002, p. 2). Thus, we believe it is imperative for the recovery of the Maui Nui species to support ongoing conservation activities such as those with non-Federal partners, and to provide positive incentives for other non-Federal land managers who might be considering implementing voluntary conservation activities but have concerns about incurring incidental regulatory, administrative, or economic impacts. Many landowners perceive critical habitat as an unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burden, particularly if those landowners are already developing and implementing conservation and management plans that benefit listed species on their lands. In certain cases, we believe the exclusion of non-Federal lands that are under positive conservation management is likely to strengthen the partnership between the Service and the landowner, which may encourage other conservation partnerships with that landowner in the future. As an added benefit, by modeling positive conservation partnerships that may result in exclusion from critical habitat, such exclusion may also help encourage the formation of new partnerships with other landowners, with consequent benefits to the listed species. For all of these reasons, we place great weight on the value of conservation partnerships with non-Federal landowners when considering the potential benefits of inclusion versus exclusion of areas in critical habitat.

    In the proposed rule (June 11, 2012; 77 FR 34464), we identified several specific areas under consideration for exclusion from critical habitat, totaling approximately 40,973 ac (16,582 ha) of private lands under perpetual conservation easement, voluntary conservation agreement, conservation or watershed preserve designation, or similar conservation protection. The areas initially identified for potential exclusion, as detailed in our proposed rule, included lands owned or managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Ulupalakua Ranch, Haleakala Ranch Company, and East Maui Irrigation Company.

    In the document reopening the comment period on our proposed rule, published January 31, 2013 (78 FR 6785), we specifically noted that we are considering the possible exclusion of non-Federal lands, especially areas in private ownership, and whether the benefits of exclusion may outweigh the benefits of inclusion of those areas. We asked for public comment on such potential exclusions, and for information regarding the potential benefits of including private lands in critical habitat versus the benefits of excluding such lands from critical habitat. We further noted that exclusions in the final rule would not necessarily be limited to those we had initially identified in the proposed rule. Subsequent to publication of the proposed rule on June 11, 2012 (77 FR 34464), we have identified additional private or non-Federal lands that we are considering for exclusion from critical habitat. These include lands owned or managed by Nuu Mauka Ranch; Kaupo Ranch; Wailuku Water Company; County of Maui, Department of Water Supply; Kamehameha Schools; Makila Land Company; Kahoma Land Company; and Lanai Resorts (Pulama Lanai) and Castle and Cooke Properties. In total, the areas being considered for exclusion from the final critical habitat amount to roughly 85,000 ac (34,400 ha), including approximately 59,500 ac (24,080 ha) on the islands of Maui and Molokai, and 25,413 ac (10,284 ha) on the island of Lanai (which would result in the exclusion of all lands proposed as critical habitat on Lanai). No lands are currently under consideration for exclusion on Kahoolawe. Here we present brief descriptions of the additional non-Federal lands under consideration for exclusion from critical habitat.

    Nuu Mauka Ranch—Native Watershed Forest Restoration at Nuu Mauka Conservation Plan, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership Management Plan, and Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project

    We are considering exclusion of 2,094 ac (848 ha) of lands that are owned by Nuu Mauka Ranch. The ongoing management under the Native Watershed Forest Restoration Conservation Plan, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership (LHWRP) management plan, and the Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project agreement for Nuu Mauka Ranch lands on east Maui provides for the conservation of 46 plants and the 2 forest birds and their habitat, and demonstrates the positive benefits of the conservation partnership that has been established with Nuu Mauka Ranch.

    Nuu Mauka Ranch is involved in several important voluntary conservation agreements with the Service and other agencies, and is currently carrying out activities on their lands for the conservation of rare and endangered species and their habitats. In 2008, the Ranch worked with the United States Geological Survey (USGS)-Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop cost-effective, substrate appropriate restoration methodologies for establishment of native koa (Acacia koa) forests in degraded pasturelands. Nuu Mauka Ranch is a current partner of the LHWRP, with the main goal of protection and restoration of leeward Haleakala's upland watershed. In 2012, Nuu Mauka Ranch obtained a conservation district use permit for a watershed protection project. The ultimate goal of this project is to improve water quality and groundwater recharge through the restoration of degraded agricultural land to a native forest community. Nuu Mauka Ranch has contributed approximately $500,000 of their own funds, and received additional funding through the Service and NRCS, for construction of a 7.6-mile (12-kilometer) long deer-proof fence to prevent access by deer and goats into a 1,023-ac (414-ha), upper elevation watershed area on the south slopes of leeward Haleakala (Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project). Nuu Mauka Ranch has also prepared a conservation plan, “Native Watershed Forest Restoration at Nuu Mauka” (2012), and has appended it to the LHWRP management plan. Restoration activities outlined in the plan include mechanical and chemical control of invasive plant species, which are known threats to the 48 species and their habitat. Currently, Nuu Mauka Ranch conducts removal of feral ungulates from all fenced areas, along with fence monitoring and follow-up monitoring to assess erosion rates. Also, with fencing and ungulate removal completed, the plan includes continued restoration activities such as replanting and seed scattering of common native plant species.

    Kaupo Ranch—Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership Management Plan and Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project

    We are considering exclusion of 931 ac (377 ha) of lands that are owned or managed by Kaupo Ranch. Kaupo Ranch has undertaken voluntary conservation measures on their lands, demonstrating their value as a partner through participation in the LHWRP management plans and the appended written commitments by Kaupo Ranch, and the Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project for Kaupo Ranch lands on east Maui. These actions provide positive conservation benefits for 25 plant species and their habitat.

    Kaupo Ranch is a current partner of the LHWRP, with the main goal of protection and restoration of leeward Haleakala's upland. Kaupo Ranch has identified the following conservation actions that will be appended to the LHWRP: (1) Fence existing native koa forest and remove ungulates. Kaupo Ranch also plans to expand koa forest restoration on their lands. These actions will benefit adjacent koa forest managed by the State (Kipahulu Forest Reserve (FR)). (2) Continue nonnative plant control, not only to improve their pasturelands, but to benefit adjacent conservation lands (Haleakala National Park (HNP) and Kipahulu FR) by serving as a buffer area. (3) Fence areas dominated by native vegetation on Kaupo Ranch lands, with some fencing already completed in cooperation with HNP and Nuu Mauka Ranch. (4) Fence some of their coastal lands and control feral goats.

    In addition, Kaupo Ranch has been a long time cooperator with HNP, providing access to the park's Kaupo Gap hiking trail across their private lands. This trail extends from the park's boundary near the summit of Haleakala through Kaupo Ranch lands to the coast. The Ranch was also a cooperator with the Service in the creation of Nuu Makai Wetland Reserve, contributing 87 ac(35 ha) of their ranch lands in the coastal area to support landscape-scale wetland protection. In addition, Kaupo Ranch participated in the construction of an ungulate exclusion fence on the upper portion of their lands, bordering HNP, that protects 50 ac (20 ha) of native montane dry forest habitat (Southern Haleakala Forest Restoration Project) and acts as a buffer to the lower boundary of the montane mesic ecosystem that provides habitat for forest birds. Additional conservation actions in this fenced area include weed control and outplanting of native plants.

    Wailuku Water Company—West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Management Plan, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements

    We are considering exclusion of 7,410 ac (2,999 ha) of lands owned or managed by Wailuku Water Company on west Maui, and under management as part of the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership (WMMWP). Ongoing conservation actions through the WMMWP management plan and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements for Wailuku Water Company lands on west Maui provide important conservation benefits for 51 plants and 2 forest birds and their habitat, and demonstrate the positive benefits of the conservation partnership that has been established with Wailuku Water Company.

    Wailuku Water Company is one of the founding members and a funder of the WMMWP, created in 1998. This partnership serves to protect over 47,000 ac (19,000 ha) of forest and watershed vegetation on the summit and slopes of the west Maui mountains (WMMWP 2013). Management priorities of the watershed partnership are: (1) Feral animal control; (2) nonnative plant control; (3) human activities management; (4) public education and awareness; (5) water and watershed monitoring; and (6) management coordination (WMMWP 2013). Four principal streams, Waihee, Waiehu, Iao, and Waikapu, are part of the watershed area owned by the Wailuku Water Company on west Maui, which primarily provide water for agricultural use. Conservation actions described in the WMMWP management plan are partly funded by Service grants through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, with at least three grants recently funding projects on Wailuku Water Company lands. Wailuku Water Company's conservation commitments include the following conservation actions: (1) Strategic fencing and removal of ungulates; (2) regular monitoring for ungulates after fencing; (3) monitoring of habitat recovery through photopoints and vegetation succession analyses; and (4) continued surveys for rare taxa prior to fence installations. In 2009, four strategic fences were installed in Waiehu on Wailuku Water Company lands through a Service Partnership agreement. Wailuku Water Company allows surveys for rare taxa on their lands. Additional conservation actions in this area include weed control and outplanting of native plants.

    County of Maui, Department of Water Supply (DWS)—West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Management Plan, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements

    We are considering exclusion of 3,690 ac (1,493 ha) of lands owned by the County of Maui DWS on west Maui, and under management as part of the WMMWP. The County of Maui DWS is a founding partner and funder of the WMMWP, which provides for important conservation actions that benefit the Maui Nui species through implementation of the WMMWP management plan on west Maui. The management plans and projects supported by the County of Maui DWS provide for the conservation of 38 plants and the 2 forest birds and their habitat on their lands, and demonstrate their value as a conservation partner.

    Maui County DWS provides water to approximately 35,000 customers on Maui and Molokai combined. The DWS is a founding partner and funder of the WMMWP, with the main goal of protection and restoration of west Maui's upland watershed. The Maui County DWS provides financial support to both the Maui and Molokai watershed partnerships, and to other organizations, private landowners, Federal, and State agencies. Conservation actions by Maui County DWS conducted through the WMMWP are also partly funded by Service grants through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Maui County DWS's conservation commitments include the following conservation actions: (1) Strategic fencing and removal of ungulates and removal of invasive nonnative plants; (2) regular monitoring to detect changes in management programs; (3) reduce the threat of fire; and (4) gain community support for conservation programs. In addition, the DWS received funding for installation of an ungulate exclusion fence on the upper portion of their lands on west Maui that protects native habitat and acts as a buffer to the lower boundary of the habitat for plants and the two forest birds. The DWS also received funding in 2010 for feral animal removal from their lands. Other conservation actions in this fenced area include weed control and outplanting of native plants.

    Kamehameha Schools—West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Management Plan, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements

    We are considering excluding 1,217 ac (492 ha) of lands owned or managed by Kamehameha Schools on west Maui, and under management as part of the WMMWP. Kamehameha Schools is an established conservation partner, and has participated the development, implementation, and funding of management plans and projects that benefit the Maui Nui species and other listed species throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In this case, the ongoing conservation actions through the WMMWP management plan for Kamehameha Schools' lands on west Maui provide for the conservation of 42 plants and 2 forest birds and their habitat.

    Kamehameha Schools was established in 1887, through the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop. The trust is used primarily to operate a college preparatory program; however, part of Kamehameha School's mission is to protect Hawaii's environment through recognition of the significant cultural value of the land and its unique flora and fauna. Kamehameha Schools has established a policy to guide the sustainable stewardship of its lands including natural resources, water resources, and ancestral places. Kamehameha Schools is a founder and funder of the WMMWP, and also participates in the watershed partnerships for Oahu, Molokai, Kauai, and the island of Hawaii. Conservation actions conducted by the WMMWP are partly funded by Service grants through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Kamehameha Schools' conservation commitments include the following conservation actions: (1) Strategic fencing and removal of ungulates; (2) regular monitoring for ungulates after fencing; (3) monitoring of habitat recovery; and (4) continued surveys for rare taxa prior to new fence installations. In addition, Kamehameha Schools participated in the construction of strategic ungulate exclusion fences on the upper elevations of their lands on west Maui, that protect native habitat and act as a buffer to the lower boundary of the lowland mesic, montane wet, and wet cliff ecosystems. Other conservation actions in this area include weed control and outplanting of native plants. Kamehameha Schools is also conducting voluntary actions to promote the conservation of rare and endangered species and their lowland dry ecosystem habitats on the island of Hawaii, including installing fencing to exclude ungulates, restoring habitat, conducting actions to reduce rodent populations, reestablishing native plant species, and conducting activities to reducing the threat of wildfire.

    Makila Land Company—West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Management Plan, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements

    We are considering exclusion of 3,150 ac (1,275 ha) of lands owned and managed by Makila Land Company on west Maui, and under management as part of the WMMWP. The Makila Land Company is an established partner in the WMMWP, and ongoing conservation actions through the WMMWP management plan for Makila Land Company lands on west Maui provide for the conservation of 47 plants and 2 forest birds and their habitat.

    Makila Land Company has set aside upper elevation areas of their property at Puehuehunui and Kauaula on west Maui for conservation and protection of rare dry to mesic forest communities. Makila Land Company is a long-time cooperator with the WMMWP. Conservation actions conducted by the WMMWP are partly funded by Service grants through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Makila Land Company's conservation commitments include the following conservation actions: (1) Strategic fencing and removal of ungulates; (2) regular monitoring for ungulates after fencing; (3) vegetation monitoring; and (4) allowing surveys for rare taxa by the State and Service's Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP) staff. Much of the area is accessible only by helicopter due to waterfalls and steep terrain. The installation of strategic ungulate exclusion fences on the higher elevation portions of its lands protects native habitat and acts as a buffer to the boundaries of the montane wet and wet cliff ecosystem habitat. Additional conservation actions in these fenced areas include weed control and outplanting of native plants.

    Kahoma Land Company—West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Management Plan, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Agreements

    We are considering exclusion of 46 ac (19 ha) of lands owned or managed by Kahoma Land Company on west Maui, and under management as part of the WMMWP. The ongoing conservation actions through the WMMWP management plan for Kahoma Land Company lands on west Maui provide for the conservation of 25 plants and 2 forest birds and their habitat, and demonstrate their value as a conservation partner.

    Kahoma Land Company is a coalition of Maui residents formed in June, 2000, to acquire former sugar cane land adjacent to Kahoma Valley on west Maui. Kahoma Land Company's long-term management goals for this area include development of land tracts, diversified agriculture, and ecotourism ventures. Approximately 690 ac (279 ha) of the coalition's lands are within the WMMWP boundaries between two State Natural Area Reserves, and 46 ac (19 ha) are within proposed critical habitat. Kahoma Land Company is also a current member of the WMMWP. Kahoma Land Company's conservation actions conducted by the WMMWP are partly funded by Service grants through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Its conservation commitments include the following conservation actions: (1) Strategic fencing and removal of ungulates; (2) regular monitoring for ungulates after fencing; (3) monitoring of habitat recovery through vegetation succession analyses; and (4) continued surveys for rare taxa prior to new fence installations. The WMMWP management plan includes actions taken on Kahoma lands to control ungulates, including construction of strategic fencing. Ungulate control checks are currently underway on Kahoma lands, with addition of new check installations. Additional conservation actions in this area include weed control and outplanting of native plants.

    Lanai Resorts, LLC, and Castle & Cooke Properties, Inc.—Lanai Conservation Plan and Lanai Conservation Agreement

    We are considering exclusion of 25,413 ac (10,284 ha) of lands from critical habitat, under section 4(b)(2) of the Act, that are owned by Lanai Resorts, also known as Pulama Lanai (PL) and Castle & Cooke Properties, Inc. (CCPI). Our partnership with PL and CCPI provides significant conservation benefits to 38 plant and 2 Lanai tree snail species on Lanai, as demonstrated by the ongoing conversation efforts on the island, the commitment to develop the Lanai Natural Resources Plan (LNRP), and the recently signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Service and PL and CCPI.

    In 2001, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) approved its department's (Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)) participation in a Lanai watershed management program that included the Service (through a private stewardship grant), the Hawaii Department of Health, and CCPI. In 2002, the Service and CCPI entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for construction of ungulate-proof fence at Lanaihale, intended to prevent entry by ungulates and to protect the watershed and the listed species within the area. The term of the MOA was for 10 years. The fencing of the summit at Lanaihale was planned to be constructed in three stages or “increments.” In 2004, the DLNR also provided funding through the Landowner Incentive Program to the Bishop Museum to remove nonnative plants and outplant and establish a population of more than 500 individuals of Bidens micrantha ssp. kalealaha and Pleomele fernaldii in Waiapaa Gulch at Lanaihale. Museum staff were to also collect seed for long-term storage and provide educational experiences for local Lanai students. In 2006, a fire resulted in the loss of half of the remaining wild individuals of B. micrantha ssp. kalealaha, and by 2007, none remained. Outplanting was conducted within an ungulate-free exclosure at Awehi Gulch. Also in 2007, the west side (Increment II) of the Lanaihale summit fence perimeter was completed; however, ungulates were able to access the fenced area because the gates were not completed. In 2008, more wild individuals of B. micrantha ssp. kalealaha were discovered in Waiapaa Gulch, and many seedlings were grown for outplanting by a student group at the local high school, with a second outplanted population established in 2009. This population was fenced by the Lanai Institute for the Environment (LIFE).

    The Service and PL and CCPI signed an expansive MOU on January 26, 2015, with a term that extends through 2028. Among the commitments made by PL and CCPI in this MOU are the following: (1) The completion of a Lanai natural resources plan (LNRP) within 18 months of the date of the agreement. Implementation of the LNRP will include identification of priority ecosystems and species, prioritization of management actions required, and commitment of funding; (2) maintenance and monitoring of the completed existing Lanaihale predator-proof fences; (3) ungulate eradication within the Lanaihale fences and other priority areas as identified in the LNRP; (4) cooperation with, and support of management and monitoring within, TNC's Kanepuu Preserve units; (5) protection of rare plant clusters; (6) Lanai tree snail protection, management, and monitoring; (7) identification of rare species for immediate protective intervention efforts; (8) protection of coastal areas; (9) establishment of nearly 7,000 ac (2,800 ha) of “no development areas” as determined by the LNRP, within which enhancement of overall ecological condition and conservation of listed species will be emphasized; and (10) an overall commitment to ensuring a net conversation benefit for listed species on Lanai. PL and CCPI additionally agree to provide more than $200,000 annually in funding toward achievement of the conservation measures described in the MOU.

    Under the terms of the MOU, PL and CCPI are currently developing the LNRP. This plan will include a description of detailed management actions with timelines that will benefit and provide protection for 38 plant species, the two Lanai tree snails, and their habitat on the island of Lanai. The Service is a member of the LNRP planning and implementation team, and will therefore be an active participant in the ongoing conservation efforts on the island of Lanai.

    PL has committed to implementing certain protective measures in advance of the LNRP to ensure species conversation. Actions currently being implemented include: (1) Planning and construction of an enclosure for the protection of the two Lanai tree snails; (2) planning, construction, and maintenance of fences around three rare plant populations; (3) out-planting of rare species in protected locations; (4) implementation of bio-security measures to avoid the incursion and spread of invasive species; (5) maintenance of all existing fences; (6) predator control where necessary and appropriate to protect listed species; and (7) identification of other priority actions and sites. These measures are currently underway and being conducted in coordination with the Service.

    Summary of Potential Exclusions

    We are considering exclusion of these non-Federal lands because we believe the exclusion would be likely to result in the continuation, strengthening, or encouragement of important conservation partnerships that will contribute to the long-term conservation of the Maui Nui species. The development and implementation of management plans, and ability to access private lands necessary for surveys or monitoring designed to promote the conservation of these federally listed plant species and their habitat, as well as provide for other native species of concern, are important outcomes of these conservation partnerships.

    These specific exclusions will be considered on an individual basis or in any combination thereof. In addition, the final designation may not be limited to these exclusions, but may also consider other exclusions as a result of continuing analysis of relevant considerations (scientific, economic, and other relevant factors, as required by the Act) and the public comment process. In particular, we solicit comments from the public on whether to make the specific exclusions we are considering, and whether there are other areas that are appropriate for exclusion.

    The final decision on whether to exclude any area will be based on the best scientific data available at the time of the final designation, including information obtained during the comment periods and information about the economic impact of the designation.

    Authors

    The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Authority

    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Date: June 1, 2015. Michael Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2015-13850 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    80 111 Wednesday, June 10, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on the Farm Service Agency Service Delivery AGENCY:

    Farm Service Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a new information collection associated with the Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on FSA Service Delivery. This is a relatively new option for approval that will streamline the timing to implement certain types of surveys and related collection of information. FSA will use the approval to cover the instruments of collection (such as a survey, a window pop-up survey, a focus group, or a comment card) to get customer feedback on FSA service delivery for various programs. This request for approval broadly addresses FSA's need for information about what our customers think of our services so that we can improve service delivery; specific information collection activities will be incorporated into the approval as the need for the information is identified. For example, when we implement a new program and provide information about the services for the program on our Web site, we may provide a voluntary customer service questionnaire about how well the program is working for our customers and specifically within the areas of our customer service.

    DATES:

    We will consider comments that we receive by August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comments, include the date, volume, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register, the OMB control number and the title of the information collection. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Mary Ann Ball, USDA, Farm Service Agency, Room 3754-S, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0572.

    You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

    Copies of the information collection may be requested by contacting Mary Ann Ball at the above address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Ann Ball, (202) 720-4283.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Customer Feedback on Farm Service Agency Service Delivery.

    OMB Control Number: 0560-XXXX.

    Type of Request: New.

    Abstract: FSA is proposing a new information collection that will provide fast-track approval on feedback instruments for various FSA programs. This is a relatively new option for approval that will streamline the timing to implement certain types of surveys and related collection of information. This notice and related request for approval lays the foundation for approving our plans to collect information to improve service delivery across all FSA activities. As the need for a specific information collection activity is identified, under this fast track approval process, FSA will be able to submit the request directly to OMB for approval and the information for the information collection and related burden will be incorporated into the overall approval. For example, when we implement a new program and provide information about the services for the program on our Web site, we may provide a voluntary customer service questionnaire about how well the program is working for our customers and specifically within the areas of our customer service. The information collection activity provides a means to gather qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, and that is consistent with FSA's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback, we mean, information, generally from customers, that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions based on experiences with FSA service delivery, but such information does not include statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population. The qualitative feedback will:

    • Provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences, and expectations,

    • Provide an early warning of issues with service, and

    • Focus attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services.

    The collection will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communications between FSA and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on FSA's services will be unavailable.

    FSA will only submit a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

    • The collections are voluntary;

    • The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;

    • The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;

    • The collections are targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;

    • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;

    • Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of FSA;

    • Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions; and

    • Information gathered will yield qualitative information; the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically reliable results or used as though the results are generalizable to the population of study.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful qualitative information. It will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. The qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data usage requires more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    As a general matter, information collections will not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and will not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

    The formula used to calculate the total burden hours is “estimated average time per responses” times “total annual responses.”

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information collection is estimated to average 30 minutes per response.

    Respondents: Individuals and Households; Businesses; and Organizations; State; Local, or Tribal government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10,000.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses. 10,000.

    Estimated Average Time per Response: 30 minutes (0.50 hours).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours on Respondents: 5,000 hours.

    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information collection to help us to:

    (1) 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;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Evaluate the quality, utility, and clarity of the information technology; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who respond through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses where provided, will be made a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection.

    Signed on June 5, 2015. Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14183 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Recreation Resource Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to re-establish the Recreation Resource Advisory Committees and call for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) intends to re-establish the charter for the Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (Recreation RACs) pursuant to Section 4 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, which passed into law as part of the 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108-447) on December 8, 2004. The Recreation RACs operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463) and functions in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Eastern, Southern Regions of the Forest Service and the State of Colorado. The purpose of the Recreation RACs is to provide advice and recommendations on recreation fees to both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as appropriate. The Secretary has determined that the work of the Recreation RACs is in the public interest and relevant to the duties of the Department of Agriculture. Therefore, the Secretary continuously seeks nominations to fill vacancies on the Recreation RACs. Additional information concerning the Recreation RACs can be found by visiting the Recreation RACs Web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/rrac-org-links.shtml.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be received on or before July 27, 2015. Nominations must contain a completed application packet that includes the nominee's name, resume, and completed Form AD-755, Advisory Committee or Research and Promotion Background Information. The packages must be sent to the addresses below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Regional Forest Contacts for the Recreation Resource Advisory Committees (Recreation RACs):

    Eastern Region Recreation RAC: Joanna Wilson, Recreation Fee Coordinator, 626 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, or by phone at (414) 297-3295.

    Southern Region Recreation RAC: Alison Koopman, Recreation Fee Coordinator, 1720 Peachtree Road NW., Atlanta, Georgia 30309, or by phone at (404) 347-2769.

    Pacific Northwest Region Recreation RAC: Jocelyn Biro, Recreation Fee Coordinator, 333 SW First Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, or by phone at (503) 808-2411.

    Pacific Southwest Region Recreation RAC: Ramiro Villalvazo, Recreation Director, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, California 94592, or by phone at (707) 562-8856.

    Colorado Recreation RAC: Paul Cruz, Recreation Fee Coordinator, 740 Simms Street, Golden, Colorado 80401, or by phone at (303) 275-5043.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie Cox, Recreation RAC Coordinator, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service, 620 SW Main Street, Suite 334, Portland, Oregon 97205; or by phone at (503) 808-2984, or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), signed in December 2004, directs the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, or both to establish Recreation RACs, or use existing advisory committees to perform the duties of Recreation RACs, in each State or region for Federal recreation lands and waters managed by the Forest Service or the BLM. These committees make recreation fee program recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees; expanded amenity fees; and noncommercial, individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and fee-level changes. The REA grants flexibility to Recreation RACs by stating that the Secretaries:

    • May have as many additional Recreation RACs in a State or region as the Secretaries consider necessary;

    • Shall not establish a Recreation RAC in a State if the Secretaries determine, in consultation with the Governor of the State, that sufficient interest does not exist to ensure that participation on the committee is balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed; or

    • May use a resource advisory committee established pursuant to another provision of law and in accordance with that law.

    The Forest Service and BLM elected to jointly use existing BLM RACs in the states of Arizona, Idaho, the Dakotas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The Forest Service also manages Recreation RACs for the Forest Service Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Eastern and Southern Regions and for the State of Colorado. The Forest Service is using an existing advisory board for the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. In addition, the Governors of three states—Alaska, Nebraska and Wyoming—requested that their states be exempt from the Recreation RAC requirement, and the Secretary concurred with the exemptions.

    Recreation RACs Membership

    The Recreation RACs consists of not more than 11 members. The members appointed to the Recreation RACs will be fairly balanced in terms of points of view represented, functions to be performed, and will represent a broad array of expertise and relevancy to a membership category. The Recreation RACs composition is as follow:

    (1) Five persons who represent recreation users and that include, as appropriate, persons representing—

    (a) Winter motorized recreation such as snowmobiling;

    (b) Winter nonmotorized recreation such as snowshoeing, cross-country and downhill skiing, and snowboarding;

    (c) Summer motorized recreation such as motorcycling, boating, and off-highway vehicle driving;

    (d) Summer nonmotorized recreation such as backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing, and rafting; and

    (e) Hunting and fishing.

    (2) Three persons who represent interest groups that include, as appropriate—

    (a) Motorized outfitters and guides;

    (b) Nonmotorized outfitters and guides; and

    (c) Local environmental groups.

    (3) Three persons who are—

    (a) State tourism official representing the State;

    (b) A representative of affected Indian tribes; and

    (c) A representative of affected local government interests.

    In the event a vacancy arises, the Secretary may appointment replacements for members in each of the three membership categories. If an appropriate replacement is unavailable, nominees will be sough through an open and public process and submitted to the Secretary for vetting, approval, and appointment. The Chairperson, of each Recreation RAC, shall be selected by majority vote of the Recreation RAC from among its members for a period of time as determined by the Recreation RAC. A Co-Chairperson may be assigned, especially to facilitate his or her transition to become the Chairperson in the future. The Forest Service Regional Foresters or designee for each identified Recreation RAC shall serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) under Sections 10(e) and (f) of FACA.

    The Recreation RACs members serve 3-year terms and shall reside within the Region(s) and State in which the committee is organized.

    Nominations and Application Information for the Recreation RACs

    The appointment of members to the Recreation RACs will be made by the Secretary of Agriculture. Any individual or organization may nominate one or more qualified persons to represent the vacancies listed above. To be considered for membership, nominees must—

    1. Identify what vacancy they would represent and how they are qualified to represent that vacancy;

    2. State why they want to serve on the committee and what they can contribute;

    3. Show their past experience in working successfully as part of a working group on forest management activities;

    4. Complete Form AD-755, you may contact the persons above or from the following Web site: http://www.usda.gov/documents/OCIO_AD_755_Master_2012.pdf. All nominations will be vetted, by the Agency.

    Equal opportunity practices, in line with USDA policies, will be followed in all appointments to the Recreation RACs. To ensure that the recommendations of the Recreation RACs have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Departments, membership should include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent all racial and ethnic groups, women and men, and persons with disabilities.

    Dated: May 28, 2015. Malcolm A. Shorter, Deputy Assistant Secretary For Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14147 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule Committee (Committee) will meet in Juneau, Alaska. Attendees may also participate via webinar and conference call. The Committee operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Pub. L. 92-463). Additional information relating to the Committee, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/planningrule/committee.

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held in-person and via webinar/conference call on the following dates and times:

    • Tuesday, August 4, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. AKST

    • Wednesday, August 5, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. AKST

    • Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. AKST

    All meetings are subject to cancellation. For updated status of meetings prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Centennial Hall Convention Center, 101 Egan Drive, Juneau, Alaska. For anyone who would like to attend via webinar and/or conference call, please visit the Web site listed above or contact the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses, when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the USDA Forest Service Washington Office—Yates Building, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250-1104. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Chalonda Jasper, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 202-260-9400, or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this meeting is to provide:

    1. Continued deliberations on formulating advice for the Secretary,

    2. Discussion of Committee work group findings,

    3. Dialogue with key Forest Service personel and stakeholders from Region 10, the Alaska Region, regarding the land management plan revision and plan amendment processes currently underway in the region,

    4. Hearing public comments, and

    5. Administrative tasks.

    This meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral comments of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral comment should submit a request in writing by July 27, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the Committee may file written statements with the Committee's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Chalonda Jasper, USDA Forest Service, Ecosystem Management Coordination, 201 14th Street SW., Mail Stop 1104, Washington, DC 20250-1104, or by email at [email protected] The agenda and summary of the meeting will be posted on the Committee's Web site within 21 days of the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: June 2, 2015. Leanne M. Marten, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14146 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; 2015-2017 Business Research and Development and Innovation Surveys AGENCY:

    U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, written or on-line comments must be submitted on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Richard Hough, U.S. Census Bureau, HQ-7K149, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Suitland, MD 20746, (301) 763-4823 (or via the internet at [email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), plans to conduct the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) for the 2015-2017 survey years. The BRDIS covers all domestic for-profit businesses that have 5 or more paid employees and are classified in certain industries. The BRDIS provides the only comprehensive data on R&D costs and detailed expenses by type and industry.

    The Census Bureau has conducted an R&D survey since 1957 (the Survey of Industrial Research and Development (SIRD) from 1957-2007 and BRDIS from 2008-present), collecting primarily financial information on the systematic work companies undertake to discover new knowledge or use existing knowledge to develop new or improved goods and services. The 2015-2017 BRDIS will continue to collect the following types of information:

    • R&D expense based on accepted accounting standards.

    • Worldwide R&D of domestic companies.

    • Business segment detail.

    • R&D-related capital expenditures.

    • Detailed data about the R&D workforce.

    • R&D strategy and data on the potential impact of R&D on the market.

    • R&D directed to application areas of particular national interest.

    • Data measuring innovation, intellectual property protection activities and technology transfer.

    The BRDIS utilizes a booklet instrument that facilitates the collection of information from various contacts within each company who have the best understanding of the concepts and definitions being presented as well as access to the information necessary to provide the most accurate response. The sections of the booklet correspond to areas within the company and currently include: A company information section that includes detailed innovation questions; a financial section focused on company R&D expenses; a human resources section; an R&D strategy and management section; an IP and technology transfer section; and a section focused on R&D that is funded or paid for by third parties. A web instrument is also available to respondents. The web instrument incorporates Excel spreadsheets that are provided to facilitate the electronic collection of information from various areas of the companies. Respondents have the capability to download the spreadsheets from the Census Bureau's Web site. Also provided is a spreadsheet programmed to consolidate the information from the various areas of the company so it can be simply uploaded into the web instrument.

    Research, development and innovation are important to competitiveness in today's economy, and domestic and foreign researchers in academia, business, and government analyze and cite data from the BRDIS. Among the federal government users are the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). BEA includes R&D in the system of national accounts that measures the economic well-being of the country. BRDIS data are key inputs into these accounts, which feed into the calculation of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The White House, in 2006, issued the American Competitiveness Initiative to “increase investments in research and development, strengthen education, and encourage entrepreneurship.” In support of this initiative and in response to legislative mandates, data on R&D are delivered to OSTP, primarily in the biennial National Science Board report Science and Engineering Indicators. Also, the National Science Foundation (NSF) produces a series of publications containing R&D data including the National Patterns of R&D Resources series, the S&E State Profile series, and the annual Business R&D and Innovation series. Special reports and other publications are also prepared.

    II. Method of Collection

    The Census Bureau will use a paperless strategy for the standard form (BRDI-1). Respondents will be mailed a letter referring them to the Census Bureau's Business Help Site where they can complete the questionnaire online. They can also obtain a PDF version of the questionnaire or they can request a paper form be mailed to them. The screener is a mail out/mail back survey form (BRDI-1(S)); a Web-based collection option also will be available. Companies will be asked to respond within 60 days of the initial mail out.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0912.

    Form Number: BRDI-1 & BRDI-1S.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: All for-profit (public or private), domestic businesses that have 5 or more paid employees and are classified in certain industries.

    Estimated Number of Respondents:

    BRDI-1—(Long Form) 7,000 BRD-1(S)—(Short Form) 38,000 Total 45,000

    Estimated Time per Response:

    BRDI-1—(Long Form) 14.85 hrs BRD-1(S)—(Short Form) .59 hrs

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 126,500.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Section 131, 182, 224, and 225.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited 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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance 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.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14166 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Direct Investment Surveys: BE-15, Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, or via email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Patricia Abaroa, Chief, Direct Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone: (202) 606-9591; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States (BE-15) obtains sample data on the financial structure and operations of foreign-owned U.S. business enterprises. The data are needed to provide reliable, useful, and timely measures of foreign direct investment in the United States to assess its impact on the U.S. economy. The sample data are used to derive universe estimates in nonbenchmark years from similar data reported in the BE-12 benchmark survey, which is conducted every five years. The data collected include balance sheets; income statements; property, plant, and equipment; employment and employee compensation; merchandise trade; sales of goods and services; taxes; and research and development activity. In addition, several data items are collected by state, including employment and property, plant, and equipment.

    No changes to the survey forms or reporting requirements are proposed.

    II. Method of Collection

    BEA contacts potential respondents by mail in March of each year; responses covering a reporting company's fiscal year ending during the previous calendar year are due by May 31 (or by June 30 for respondents that file using BEA's eFile system). Reports are required from each U.S. business enterprise in which a foreign person has at least 10 percent of the voting stock in an incorporated business enterprise, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated business enterprise, and that meets the additional conditions detailed in the BE-15 forms and instructions. Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    BEA offers electronic filing through its eFile system for use in reporting on the BE-15 annual survey forms. In addition, BEA posts all its survey forms and reporting instructions on its Web site (www.bea.gov/fdi). These may be downloaded, completed, printed, and submitted via fax or mail.

    Potential respondents of the BE-15 are selected from those U.S. business enterprises that were required to report on the 2012 BE-12, Benchmark Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, along with those U.S. business enterprises that subsequently entered the direct investment universe. The BE-15 is a sample survey, as described; universe estimates are developed from the reported sample data.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0034.

    Form Number: BE-15.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,800 annually, of which approximately 1,800 file A forms, 1,100 file B forms, 1,400 file C forms, and 500 file Claims for Exemption.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 88,625 hours. Total annual burden is calculated by multiplying the estimated number of submissions of each form by the average hourly burden per form, which is 44.5 hours for the A form, 4 hours for the B form, 1.75 hours for the C form, and 1 hour for the Claim for Exemption form.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 18.5 hours per respondent (88,625 hours/4,800 respondents) is the average, but may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company size and complexity.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) 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) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance 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.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14188 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Direct Investment Surveys: BE-11, Annual Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, or via email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Patricia Abaroa, Chief, Direct Investment Division (BE-50), Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; phone: (202) 606-9591; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Annual Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (BE-11) obtains sample data on the financial structure and operations of U.S. parents and their foreign affiliates. The data are needed to provide reliable, useful, and timely measures of U.S. direct investment abroad to assess its impact on the U.S. and foreign economies. The sample data are used to derive universe estimates in nonbenchmark years from similar data reported in the BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, which is conducted every five years. The data collected include balance sheets; income statements; property, plant, and equipment; employment and employee compensation; merchandise trade; sales of goods and services; taxes; and research and development activity.

    The survey, as proposed, incorporates two changes that were made to the 2014 BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, and five new proposed changes. The following two questions that were added to the 2014 benchmark survey will be added to the BE-11 survey: (1) A question to collect the city in which each foreign affiliate is located; and (2) for majority-owned foreign affiliates with assets, sales, or net income greater than $300 million, a question to collect data on cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet. Other proposed changes are: (1) Two items will be added to the balance sheet section for the U.S. reporter: (i) Equity investments in foreign affiliates, and (ii) all other assets; (2) a question will be added to collect the form of organization of the U.S. reporter; (3) a question will be added to collect expenditures for research and development performed by new foreign affiliates with assets, sales, or net income between $25 million and $60 million; (4) a question will be added to the Claim for Not Filing form to collect the names and BEA ID numbers of any foreign affiliates for which BEA requested a filing but which did not meet the filing criteria; and (5) the BE-11E (abbreviated) sample form for foreign affiliates will be eliminated. The exemption level for reporting on the proposed survey is unchanged from the 2013 BE-11 survey.

    II. Method of Collection

    BEA contacts potential respondents by mail in March of each year; responses covering a reporting company's fiscal year ending during the previous calendar year are due by May 31. Reports are required from each U.S. person that has a direct and/or indirect ownership interest of at least 10 percent of the voting stock in an incorporated foreign business enterprise, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated foreign business enterprise, and that meets the additional conditions detailed in the BE-11 forms and instructions. Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    BEA offers electronic filing through its eFile system for use in reporting on the BE-11 annual survey forms. In addition, BEA posts all its survey forms and reporting instructions on its Web site (www.bea.gov/dia). These may be downloaded, completed, printed, and submitted via fax or mail.

    Potential respondents of the BE-11 are selected from those U.S. parents that reported owning foreign business enterprises in the 2014 BE-10, Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, along with entities that subsequently entered the direct investment universe. The BE-11 is a sample survey, as described; universe estimates are developed from the reported sample data.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0608-0053.

    Form Number: BE-11.

    Type of Review: Regular submission.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,900 U.S. parents filing for their U.S. operations on the A form, for 21,800 foreign affiliates, which include 20,500 B forms, 1,150 C forms, 150 D forms, and 500 Claim for Exemption forms for U.S. operations or foreign affiliates.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 262,250 hours. Total annual burden is calculated by multiplying the estimated number of submissions of each form by the average hourly burden per form, which is 7 hours for the A form, 12 hours for the B form, 2 hours for the C form, 1 hour for the D form, and 1 hour for the Claim for Exemption forms.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 138.0 hours per respondent (262,250 hours/1,900 U.S. parents) is the average, but may vary considerably among respondents because of differences in company structure, size, and complexity.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority: International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (Pub. L. 94-472, 22 U.S.C. 3101-3108, as amended).

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) 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) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance 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.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14148 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Chemical Weapons Convention Provisions of the Export Administration Regulations AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Mark Crace, BIS ICB Liaison, (202) 482-8093, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a multilateral arms control treaty that seeks to achieve an international ban on chemical weapons (CW). The CWC prohibits, the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, and direct or indirect transfer of chemical weapons. This collection implements the following provision of the treaty:

    Schedule 1 notification and report: Under Part VI of the CWC Verification Annex, the United States is required to notify the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the international organization created to implement the CWC, at least 30 days before any transfer (export/import) of Schedule 1 chemicals to another State Party. The United States is also required to submit annual reports to the OPCW on all transfers of Schedule 1 Chemicals.

    End-Use Certificates: Under Part VIII of the CWC Verification Annex, the United States is required to obtain End-Use Certificates for transfers of Schedule 3 chemicals to Non-States Parties to ensure the transferred chemicals are only used for the purposes not prohibited under the Convention.

    II. Method of Collection

    Submitted electronically or on paper.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0694-0117.

    Form Number(s): Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Regular submission extension.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 70.

    Estimated Time Per Response: 36 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 42 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited 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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance 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.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14164 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security In the Matter of: Luis Armando Collins-Avila, Inmate Number—98902-308, Big Spring, Correctional Institution, 2001 Rickabaugh Drive, Big Spring, TX 79720 Order Denying Export Privileges

    On September 24, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Luis Armando Collins-Avila (“Collins-Avila”), was convicted of violating Section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778 (2012)) (“AECA”). Specifically, Collins-Avila knowingly and willfully attempted to export and caused to be exported from the United States to Mexico 6,000 rounds of ammunition which comprised of 3,000 rounds of 7.62 x 39 caliber ammunition; 2,000 rounds of 9 mm caliber ammunition; and 1,000 rounds of .38 Super caliber ammunition, which were designated as defense articles on the United States Munitions List, without having first obtained from the United states Department of State a license for such export or written authorization for such export. Collins-Avila was sentenced to 46 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and fined a $200 assessment.

    Section 766.25 of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR” or “Regulations”) 1 provides, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Director of the Office of Exporter Services, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Export Enforcement, may deny the export privileges of any person who has been convicted of a violation of the Export Administration Act (“EAA”), the EAR, or any order, license or authorization issued thereunder; any regulation, license, or order issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706); 18 U.S.C. 793, 794 or 798; section 4(b) of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 783(b)), or section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778).” 15 CFR 766.25(a); see also Section 11(h) of the EAA, 50 U.S.C. app. 2410(h). The denial of export privileges under this provision may be for a period of up to 10 years from the date of the conviction. 15 CFR 766.25(d); see also 50 U.S.C. app. § 2410(h). In addition, Section 750.8 of the Regulations states that the Bureau of Industry and Security's Office of Exporter Services may revoke any Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) licenses previously issued in which the person had an interest in at the time of his conviction.

    1 The Regulations are currently codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 15 CFR parts 730-774 (2015). The Regulations issued pursuant to the Export Administration Act (50 U.S.C. app. §§ 2401-2420 (2000)) (“EAA”). Since August 21, 2001, the EAA 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 46959 (August 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)).

    BIS has received notice of Collins-Avila's conviction for violating the AECA, and has provided notice and an opportunity for Collins-Avila to make a written submission to BIS, as provided in Section 766.25 of the Regulations. BIS has received and reviewed a submission from Collins-Avila.

    Based upon my review and consultations with BIS's Office of Export Enforcement, including its Director, and the facts available to BIS, I have decided to deny Collins-Avila's export privileges under the Regulations for a period of 10 years from the date of Collins-Avila's conviction. I have also decided to revoke all licenses issued pursuant to the Act or Regulations in which Collins-Avila had an interest at the time of his conviction.

    Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

    First, from the date of this Order until September 24, 2024, Luis Armando Collins-Avila, with a last known address of Inmate Number—98902-308, Big Spring, Correctional Institution, 2001 Rickabaugh Drive, Big Springs, TX 79720, and when acting for or on his behalf, his successors, assigns, employees, agents or representatives (the “Denied Person”), 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 Regulations, 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 Regulations, or in any other activity subject to the Regulations; 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 Regulations, or in any other activity subject to the Regulations.

    Second, no person may, directly or indirectly, do any of the following:

    A. Export or reexport to or on behalf of the Denied Person any item subject to the Regulations;

    B. Take any action that facilitates the acquisition or attempted acquisition by the Denied Person of the ownership, possession, or control of any item subject to the Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States, including financing or other support activities related to a transaction whereby the 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 the Denied Person of any item subject to the Regulations that has been exported from the United States;

    D. Obtain from the Denied Person in the United States any item subject to the Regulations 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 Regulations that has been or will be exported from the United States and which is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person, or service any item, of whatever origin, that is owned, possessed or controlled by the Denied Person if such service involves the use of any item subject to the Regulations 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, after notice and opportunity for comment as provided in Section 766.23 of the Regulations, any other person, firm, corporation, or business organization related to Collins-Avila by ownership, control, position of responsibility, affiliation, or other connection in the conduct of trade or business may also be made subject to the provisions of this Order in order to prevent evasion of this Order.

    Fourth, in accordance with Part 756 of the Regulations, Collins-Avila may file an appeal of this Order with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. The appeal must be filed within 45 days from the date of this Order and must comply with the provisions of Part 756 of the Regulations.

    Fifth, a copy of this Order shall be delivered to the Collins-Avila. This Order shall be published in the Federal Register.

    Sixth, this Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until September 24, 2024.

    Issued this 2nd day of June, 2015. Karen H. Nies-Vogel, Director, Office of Exporter Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14177 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-552-813] Certain Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Conniff, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1009.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On February 2, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the countervailing duty order on certain steel wire garment hangers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam).1

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 5509 (February 2, 2015).

    Pursuant to a request from M&B Metal Products Company, Inc., Innovative Fabrication LLC/Indy Hanger, and US Hanger Company, LLC (collectively, Petitioners), the Department published in the Federal Register the notice of initiation of countervailing duty administrative review with respect to 50 companies for the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.2 Petitioners were the only interested parties to submit a request for this administrative review. On April 8, 2015, Petitioners withdrew their request for review with respect to all 50 companies in a timely manner.3

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 80 FR 18202 (April 3, 2015) (Initiation).

    3See Petitioners' April 8, 2015, submission.

    Rescission of the 2012-2013 Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the parties that requested a review withdraw the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The Department published the Initiation on April 3, 2015.4 Petitioners' withdrawal of their review request was submitted within the 90-day period following the publication of the Initiation and, thus, is timely. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this review of the countervailing duty order on certain steel wire garment hangers from Vietnam in its entirety.

    4See Initiation.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess countervailing duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded countervailing duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated countervailing duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i).

    The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: June 1, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14208 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-809] Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 5, 2014, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published the Preliminary Results of its administrative review of the antidumping duty order on circular welded non-alloy steel pipe (CWP) from the Republic of Korea (Korea) for the period November 1, 2012, through October 31, 2013.1 The review covers two producers/exporters of the subject merchandise, Husteel Co., Ltd. (Husteel) and Hyundai HYSCO (HYSCO), both of which were selected for individual examination. As a result of our analysis of the comments received, these final results differ from our Preliminary Results. For these final results, we continue to find that Husteel and HYSCO sold subject merchandise at prices less than normal value.

    1See Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR 72168 (December 5, 2014) (Preliminary Results) and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    DATES:

    Effective date: June 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Shuler or Jennifer Meek, 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) 482-1293 or (202) 482-2778, respectively.

    Background

    Following the Preliminary Results, the Department sent a supplemental questionnaire to HYSCO and received timely responses from HYSCO and its affiliate, Hyundai Steel.2

    2See Letter to HYSCO, “Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Circular Welding Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Supplemental Questionnaire,” (December 16, 2014); see also Letter to the Department, “Twenty-First Administrative Review of Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Supplemental Section D Questionnaire Response,” (January 7, 2015) and see Letter to the Department regarding, “Twenty-First Administrative Review of Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Response of Hyundai Steel to Question 1 of the Supplemental Section D Questionnaire to HYSCO,” (January 7, 2015).

    On March 10, 2015, the Department issued a memorandum extending the time period for issuing the final results of this administrative review from April 4, 2015 to May 4, 2015, as permitted by section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act) and 19 CFR 351.213(h)(2).3 We again, on April 15, 2015, extended the final results from May 4, 2015 to June 3, 2015.4

    3See Memorandum from Joseph Shuler, to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations entitled “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Extension of Time Limit for Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” (March 10, 2015).

    4See Memorandum from Joseph Shuler, to Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations entitled “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Extension of Time Limit for Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” (April 15, 2015).

    On January 26, 2015, we received case briefs from Wheatland Tube Company (Wheatland, or the petitioner), Husteel, and HYSCO.5 On February 2, 2015, we received rebuttal briefs from Wheatland and HYSCO.6

    5See Case Brief of Wheatland Tube Company (Petitioner), “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Case Brief,” (January 26, 2015); see also Case Brief of Husteel, “Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea, Case No. A-580-809: Case Brief,” (January 26, 2015), and see, also, Case Brief of HYSCO, “Twenty-First Administrative Review of Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Case Brief and Request for Closed Hearing,” (January 26, 2015).

    6See Rebuttal Brief of Wheatland Tube Company, “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Rebuttal Brief of Wheatland Tube Company,” (February 2, 2015), and see Rebuttal Brief from Hundai HYSCO, “Twenty-First Administrative Review of Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Rebuttal Brief,” (February 2, 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is circular welded non-alloy steel pipe and tube. The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 7306.30.10.00, 7306.30.50.25, 7306.30.50.32, 7306.30.50.40, 7306.30.50.55, 7306.30.50.85, and 7306.30.50.90. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description remains dispositive.

    A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: 2012-2013,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum), and which is hereby adopted by this notice.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the parties' briefs are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues raised is attached to this notice as an Appendix. The Issues and 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 is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://trade.gov/enforcement. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes From the Preliminary Results

    Based on our analysis of the comments received from interested parties, we have made certain adjustments to define the universe of Husteel's U.S. sales.7 Also, based on our analysis of the comments received from interested parties, and the additional information we solicited from HYSCO, we have made certain changes to HYSCO's costs, HYSCO's General and Administrative expense calculation; and corrected certain errors related to grade code.8 For details regarding these changes, please refer to the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    7See Memorandum to The File from Jennifer Meek, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Enforcement and Compliance Office I, “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Final Calculation Memorandum for Husteel Co., Ltd.” (June 3, 2015).

    8See Memorandum to The File from Joseph Shuler, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Enforcement and Compliance Office I, “Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe from the Republic of Korea: Final Calculation Memorandum for Hyundai HYSCO” (June 3, 2015).

    Final Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period November 1, 2012, through October 31, 2013:

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Husteel Co., Ltd 1.05 Hyundai HYSCO 0.80
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties to these proceedings within five days of the date of publication of this notice pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(A) and (C) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), the Department has determined, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of this review. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of these final results of review.

    For assessment purposes, Husteel and HYSCO reported the name of the importer of record and the entered value for all of their sales to the United States during the period of review (POR). Accordingly, for each respondent, we calculated importer-specific ad valorem antidumping duty assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). Where an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis (i.e., less than 0.5 percent), we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties in accordance with 19 CFR 351.106(c)(2).

    For entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Husteel and HYSCO for which they did not know were destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate unreviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company or companies involved in the transaction. For a full discussion of this clarification, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Husteel and HYSCO will be equal to the respective weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which that manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding for the manufacturer of subject merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 4.80 percent, the “all others” rate established pursuant to a court decision.9 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    9See Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Korea: Notice of Final Court Decision and Amended Final Determination, 60 FR 55833 (November 3, 1995).

    Notification to Importers Regarding the Reimbursement of Duties

    This notice serves as a final 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 doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    These final results of administrative review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Issues Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum Comment 1: Differential Pricing Analysis Should Not Be Used Because the Cohen's d Test Does Not Measure Targeted or Masked Dumping Comment 2: Differential Pricing Analysis Reasoning for Use of Average-to-Transaction Comparison Methodology is Arbitrary and Unlawful Comment 3: Differential Pricing Analysis is Not Permitted to be Used in Administrative Reviews Comment 4: Defining the Universe of Sales Comment 5: Narrative Description of Calculation Methodology Contained An Error Comment 6: The Department Changed Its Practice Regarding Treatment of HYSCO's Costs Without Giving Prior Notice Comment 7: The Department Should Use GNA_I In Its Margin Calculation and Should Adjust HYSCO's Reported Costs Comment 8: HYSCO's Reported Costs and Control Number (CONNUM) Characteristics Are Consistent with the Department's Reporting Requirements and Should Not Be Reallocated Comment 9: The Petitioner's Analysis of HYSCO's Cost Reporting Does Not Support Revision To Costs and a Complete Reallocation of HYSCO's Cost is Unwarranted Comment 10: Cost Adjustments Eliminate Cost Differences Associated with Product Characteristics and Reallocating Total Material Costs Rather Than Only Hot-Coil Costs Is An Error Comment 11: The Department Should Adjust for Certain of HYSCO's Affiliated Hot-Rolled Coil Purchases Comment 12: The Department Should Adjust HYSCO's G&A Ratio Comment 13: Grade Coding Adjustments Contained Clerical Errors Comment 14: Draft Assessment Instructions Contained Errors Comment 15: Application of Total Adverse Facts Available is Warranted Due to HYSCO's Repeated Failure to Provide Necessary Information for Affiliated Hot-Rolled Coil Purchases
    [FR Doc. 2015-14214 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-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: Highly Migratory Species Dealer, Importer and Exporter Reporting Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0040.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Number of Respondents: 9,585.

    Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes each for CD, SD, and RXC certificates; 15 minutes for CD/SD/RXC validation by government official; 120 minutes for authorization of non-governmental CD/SD/RXC validation; 2 minutes for daily Atlantic BFT landing reports; 3 minutes for daily Atlantic BFT landing reports from pelagic longline and purse seine vessels; 1 minute for Atlantic BFT tagging; 15 minutes for biweekly Atlantic BFT dealer landing reports; 15 minutes for HMS international trade biweekly reports; 15 minutes for weekly electronic HMS dealer landing reports (e-dealer); 5 minutes for negative weekly electronic HMS dealer landing reports (e-dealer); 15 minutes for voluntary fishing vessel and catch forms.

    Burden Hours: 39,961.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection,

    Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for management of the Nation's marine fisheries. NMFS must also promulgate regulations, as necessary and appropriate, to carry out obligations the United States (U.S.) undertakes internationally regarding tuna management through the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.).

    This collection serves as a family of forms for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) dealer reporting, including purchases of HMS from domestic fishermen, and the import, export, and/or re-export of HMS, including federally managed tunas, sharks, and swordfish.

    Transactions covered under this collection include purchases of Atlantic HMS from domestic fishermen; and the import/export of all bluefin tuna (BFT), frozen bigeye tuna (BET), southern bluefin tuna (SBT) or swordfish (SWO), regardless of geographic area of origin. This information is used to monitor the harvest of domestic fisheries, and/or track international trade of internationally managed species.

    The domestic dealer reporting covered by this collection includes weekly electronic landing reports and negative reports (e.g., reports of no activity) of Atlantic SWO, sharks, BET, albacore, yellowfin, and skipjack tunas (collectively referred to as BAYS tunas), and biweekly and daily landing reports for BFT, including tagging of individual fish. Also, because of the recent development of an individual bluefin quota (IBQ) management system (RIN 0648-BC09), electronic entry of BFT landing card data is required for Atlantic BFT purchased from Longline and Purse seine category vessels. NMFS intends to consider integrating the data fields that have been collected on the Atlantic BFT Biweekly Dealer Report into the electronic system. However, at this time, dealers must submit to NMFS both electronic and faxed versions of BFT landing cards for purse seine and pelagic longline vessels.

    International trade tracking programs are required by both the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to account for all international trade of covered species. The U.S. is a member of ICCAT and required by ATCA to promulgate regulations as necessary and appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations. These programs require that a statistical document (SD) or catch document (CD) accompany each export from and import to a member nation, and that a re-export certificate (RXC) accompany each re-export. The international trade reporting requirements covered by this collection include implementation of CD, SD, and RXC trade tracking programs for BFT, frozen BET, and SWO. U.S. regulations implementing ICCAT SD and CD programs require SDs and CDs for international transactions of the covered species from all ocean areas, so Pacific imports and exports must also be accompanied by SDs and CDs. Since there are SD programs in place under other international conventions (e.g., the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission), a SD from another program may be used to satisfy the SD requirement for imports into the United States.

    Dealers who internationally trade SBT are required to participate in a trade tracking program to ensure that imported Atlantic and Pacific BFT will not be intentionally mislabeled as “southern bluefin” to circumvent reporting requirements. This action is authorized under ATCA, which provides for the promulgation of regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to carry out ICCAT recommendations. In addition to SD, CD, and RXC requirements, this collection includes biweekly reports to complement trade tracking SDs by summarizing SD data and collecting additional economic information.

    The one-time request for email addresses has been removed.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Weekly and biweekly.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    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: June 4, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14124 Filed 6-9-15; 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: Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Permit Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0327.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 38,095.

    Average Hours per Response: HMS ITP application, termination of Atlantic HMS Vessel Chartering Permit, and renewal of Atlantic Tunas Dealer Permit application, 5 minutes; renewal applications for the following vessel permits—Atlantic Tunas, HMS Charter/Headboat, and HMS Angling, 6 minutes; initial Atlantic Tunas Dealer Permit application, 15 minutes; initial applications for the following vessel permits—Atlantic Tunas, HMS Charter/Headboat, HMS Angling, and Smoothhound Shark, 30 minutes; initial applications for Atlantic HMS Vessel Chartering Permit, 45 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 8,307.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for the revision and extension of a current information collection which includes both vessel and dealer permits.

    Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for management of the Nation's marine fisheries. In addition, NMFS must comply with the United States' (U.S.) obligations under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.). NMFS issues permits to fishing vessels and dealers in order to collect information necessary to comply with domestic and international obligations, secure compliance with regulations, and disseminate necessary information.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 635.4 require that vessels participating in commercial and recreational fisheries for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) and dealers purchasing Atlantic HMS from a vessel obtain a Federal permit issued by NMFS. Regulations at 50 CFR 300.182 require that individuals entering for consumption, exporting, or re-exporting consignments of bluefin tuna, southern bluefin tuna, swordfish, or frozen bigeye tuna obtain an HMS International Trade Permit (ITP) from NMFS. This action addresses the renewal of permit applications currently approved under PRA 0648-0327, including both vessel and dealer permits. Vessel permits include Atlantic Tunas (except Longline permits, which are approved under OMB Control No. 0648-0205), HMS Charter/Headboat, HMS Angling, Swordfish General Commercial, Smoothhound Shark, and Atlantic HMS Vessel Chartering permits. Dealer permits include the Atlantic Tunas Dealer permit and the HMS ITP.

    The primary reason for the revision of this information collection is to reflect that Incidental HMS Squid Trawl permits have been removed from this collection. Instead, those permits were combined with the information collection for the Greater Atlantic Region Federal Fisheries Initial Permit Application form, which is covered under OMB Control No. 0648-0202. Thus, the burden and costs associated with renewal and issuance of an initial HMS Squid Trawl permit are no longer applicable to this collection of information. In addition, an International Maritime Organization (IMO) number must now be applied for by those not already in possession of one.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

    Frequency: Annually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    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: June 4, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14123 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD953 Marine Mammals; File No. 19108; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 27 2015, a notice was published in the Federal Register announcing that Daniel P. Costa, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, had applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) throughout their range. That notice contained an error.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Sloan or Brendan Hurley, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice for File No. 19108 on May 27, 2015 (80 FR 30212) indicated that incidental harassment of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) is requested. This was an error; the notice should indicate incidental harassment of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) is requested, not northern fur seals. All other information in the notice is unchanged.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14141 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD963 Schedules for Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshops.

    SUMMARY:

    Free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops and Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in July, August, and September of 2015. Certain fishermen and shark dealers are required to attend a workshop to meet regulatory requirements and to maintain valid permits. Specifically, the Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop is mandatory for all federally permitted Atlantic shark dealers. The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop is mandatory for vessel owners and operators who use bottom longline, pelagic longline, or gillnet gear, and who have also been issued shark or swordfish limited access permits. Additional free workshops will be conducted during 2015 and will be announced in a future notice.

    DATES:

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held on July 23, August 13, and September 10, 2015.

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held on July 9, July 16, August 6, August 11, September 3, and September 24, 2015.

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops will be held in Panama City Beach, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; and Rosenberg, TX.

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops will be held in Kitty Hawk, NC; Ronkonkoma, NY; Gulfport, MS, Key Largo, FL; Corpus Christi, TX; and Manahawkin, NJ.

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for further details on workshop locations.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rick Pearson by phone: (727) 824-5399, or by fax: (727) 824-5398.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The workshop schedules, registration information, and a list of frequently asked questions regarding these workshops are posted on the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/workshops/.

    Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops

    Since January 1, 2008, Atlantic shark dealers have been prohibited from receiving, purchasing, trading, or bartering for Atlantic sharks unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate is on the premises of each business listed under the shark dealer permit that first receives Atlantic sharks (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). Dealers who attend and successfully complete a workshop are issued a certificate for each place of business that is permitted to receive sharks. These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. Approximately 110 free Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops have been conducted since January 2007.

    Currently, permitted dealers may send a proxy to an Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop. However, if a dealer opts to send a proxy, the dealer must designate a proxy for each place of business covered by the dealer's permit which first receives Atlantic sharks. Only one certificate will be issued to each proxy. A proxy must be a person who is currently employed by a place of business covered by the dealer's permit; is a primary participant in the identification, weighing, and/or first receipt of fish as they are offloaded from a vessel; and who fills out dealer reports. Atlantic shark dealers are prohibited from renewing a Federal shark dealer permit unless a valid Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate for each business location that first receives Atlantic sharks has been submitted with the permit renewal application. Additionally, trucks or other conveyances that are extensions of a dealer's place of business must possess a copy of a valid dealer or proxy Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop certificate.

    Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

    1. July 23, 2015, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 7115 Coastal Palms Boulevard, Panama City, FL 32408.

    2. August 13, 2015, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 999 West Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.

    3. September 10, 2015, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Hampton Inn, 3312 Vista Drive, Rosenberg, TX 77471.

    Registration

    To register for a scheduled Atlantic Shark Identification Workshop, please contact Eric Sander at [email protected] or at (386) 852-8588.

    Registration Materials

    To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following specific items to the workshop:

    • Atlantic shark dealer permit holders must bring proof that the attendee is an owner or agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable permit, and proof of identification.

    • Atlantic shark dealer proxies must bring documentation from the permitted dealer acknowledging that the proxy is attending the workshop on behalf of the permitted Atlantic shark dealer for a specific business location, a copy of the appropriate valid permit, and proof of identification.

    Workshop Objectives

    The Atlantic Shark Identification Workshops are designed to reduce the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks reported in the dealer reporting form and increase the accuracy of species-specific dealer-reported information. Reducing the number of unknown and improperly identified sharks will improve quota monitoring and the data used in stock assessments. These workshops will train shark dealer permit holders or their proxies to properly identify Atlantic shark carcasses.

    Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops

    Since January 1, 2007, shark limited-access and swordfish limited-access permit holders who fish with longline or gillnet gear have been required to submit a copy of their Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop certificate in order to renew either permit (71 FR 58057; October 2, 2006). These certificate(s) are valid for 3 years. As such, vessel owners who have not already attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate, or vessel owners whose certificate(s) will expire prior to the next permit renewal, must attend a workshop to fish with, or renew, their swordfish and shark limited-access permits. Additionally, new shark and swordfish limited-access permit applicants who intend to fish with longline or gillnet gear must attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop and submit a copy of their workshop certificate before either of the permits will be issued. Approximately 208 free Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops have been conducted since 2006.

    In addition to certifying vessel owners, at least one operator on board vessels issued a limited-access swordfish or shark permit that uses longline or gillnet gear is required to attend a Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop and receive a certificate. Vessels that have been issued a limited-access swordfish or shark permit and that use longline or gillnet gear may not fish unless both the vessel owner and operator have valid workshop certificates onboard at all times. Vessel operators who have not already attended a workshop and received a NMFS certificate, or vessel operators whose certificate(s) will expire prior to their next fishing trip, must attend a workshop to operate a vessel with swordfish and shark limited-access permits that uses longline or gillnet gear.

    Workshop Dates, Times, and Locations

    1. July 9, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 5353 North Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949.

    2. July 16, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 3485 Veterans Memorial Highway, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.

    3. August 6, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 9515 US 49, Gulfport, MS 39503.

    4. August 11, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 99701 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037.

    5. September 3, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Embassy Suites, 4337 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78411.

    6. September 24, 2015, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Holiday Inn, 151 Route 72 West, Manahawkin, NJ 08050.

    Registration

    To register for a scheduled Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshop, please contact Angler Conservation Education at (386) 682-0158.

    Registration Materials

    To ensure that workshop certificates are linked to the correct permits, participants will need to bring the following specific items with them to the workshop:

    • Individual vessel owners must bring a copy of the appropriate swordfish and/or shark permit(s), a copy of the vessel registration or documentation, and proof of identification.

    • Representatives of a business-owned or co-owned vessel must bring proof that the individual is an agent of the business (such as articles of incorporation), a copy of the applicable swordfish and/or shark permit(s), and proof of identification.

    • Vessel operators must bring proof of identification.

    Workshop Objectives

    The Protected Species Safe Handling, Release, and Identification Workshops are designed to teach longline and gillnet fishermen the required techniques for the safe handling and release of entangled and/or hooked protected species, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, and smalltooth sawfish. In an effort to improve reporting, the proper identification of protected species will also be taught at these workshops. Additionally, individuals attending these workshops will gain a better understanding of the requirements for participating in these fisheries. The overall goal of these workshops is to provide participants with the skills needed to reduce the mortality of protected species, which may prevent additional regulations on these fisheries in the future.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14158 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions and Deletion AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Additions to and Deletion from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action adds products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities, and deletes a service from the Procurement List previously provided by such agency.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: 7/9/2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions

    On 3/20/2015 (80 FR 14973); 4/3/2015 (80 FR 18216-18217); 4/24/2015 (80 FR 22977) and 5/1/2015 (80 FR 24905-24906), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed additions to the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to furnish the products and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products to the Government.

    2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products proposed for addition to the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are added to the Procurement List:

    Products Product Name/NSN(s): Cup, Disposable, Paper 7350-00-NIB-0209—BioBased, Cold Beverage, White, 21 oz. 7350-00-NIB-0210—Cup, Disposable, Paper, Cold Beverage, White, 21 oz. 7350-00-NIB-0215—Cup, Disposable, Paper, Cold Beverage, White, 32 oz. Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Mandatory Source of Supply: The Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans, Inc., New Orleans, LA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Distribution: A-List Product Name/NSN(s): Hearing Protection 4240-00-SAM-0025—Over-the-Head Earmuff, NRR 30dB 4240-00-SAM-0026—Behind-the-Head Earmuff, NRR 30dB 4240-00-NSH-0019—Behind-the-Head Earmuff, NRR 30dB 4240-01-534-3386—Over-the-Head Earmuff, NRR 30dB Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Mandatory Source of Supply: Access: Supports for Living Inc., Middletown, NY Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, PA Distribution: B-List Product Name(s)/NSN(s): Apron, Father's Day/MR 1162 Mandatory Source of Supply: Alphapointe, Kansas City, MO Bowl, Cereal and Sipping, Sesame Street/MR 10664 Holder, Juice Box, Sesame Street/MR 10665 Mandatory Source of Supply: Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC Mandatory Purchase For: Requirements of military commissaries and exchanges as aggregated by the Defense Commissary Agency Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, VA Distribution: C-List Product Name/NSN(s): File Folder, Single Tab, 1/3 Cut 7530-00-NIB-1104—Letter, Position 1 7530-00-NIB-1105—Letter, Position 2 7530-00-NIB-1106—Letter, Position 3 Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Distribution: A-List 7530-00-NIB-1107—Legal, Position 1 7530-00-NIB-1108—Legal, Position 2 7530-00-NIB-1109—Legal, Position 3 Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Distribution: B-List Mandatory Source of Supply: Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc., Binghamton, NY Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Deletion

    On 4/24/2015 (80 FR 22977), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notice of proposed deletion from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the service listed below is no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to provide the service to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the service deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following service is deleted from the Procurement List:

    Service

    Service Type: Shelf Stocking, Custodial & Warehousing Service Travis Air Force Base, CA

    Service is Mandatory For: PRIDE Industries, Roseville, CA

    Contracting Activity: Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, VA

    Barry S. Lineback, Director, Business Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14118 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Disposal and Reuse of Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) Willow Grove, Pennsylvania AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as implemented by the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), the Department of the Navy (DoN) has prepared the ROD for the FEIS for the disposal and reuse of NASJRB Willow Grove Pennsylvania. The DoN is required to close NASJRB Willow Grove per Public Law 101-510, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990, as amended in 2005. The ROD was prepared by the DoN.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Director, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Program Management Office East, 4911 Broad Street, Building 679, Philadelphia, PA 19112-1303, telephone 215-897-4900, fax 215-897-4902, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The complete text of the ROD is available on the Navy BRAC Program Management Office Web site at http://www.bracpmo.navy.mil/ along with the FEIS and other supporting documents. Single copies of the ROD are available upon request by contacting Director, BRAC Program Management Office East, 4911 Broad Street, Building 679, Philadelphia, PA 19112-1303, telephone 215-897-4900, fax 215-897-4902, email: [email protected]

    Dated: June 4, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14172 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0075] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Talent Search (TS) Annual Performance Report AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), 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 August 10, 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-0075 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 2E105, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Craig Pooler, 202-502-7640.

    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: Talent Search (TS) Annual Performance Report

    OMB Control Number: 1840-0826

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 450

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 7,200

    Abstract: Talent Search grantees must submit the report annually. The report provides the Department of Education with information needed to evaluate a grantee's performance and compliance with program requirements and to award prior experience points in accordance with the program regulations. The data collection is also aggregated to provide national information on project participants and program outcomes.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14165 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0072] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Borrower Defenses against Loan Repayment AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 3507(j)), ED is requesting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct an emergency review of a new information collection.

    DATES:

    An emergency review has been requested in accordance with the Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 3507 (j)), due to an unanticipated event. Approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been requested by June 4, 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-0072 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 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Colleen McGinnis, (202) 377-4330.

    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: Borrower Defenses Against Loan Repayment.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 150,000.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 150,000.

    Abstract: This is a request for an emergency collection to facilitate the collection of information for borrowers who believe they have cause to invoke the borrower defenses against repayment of a loan as noted in regulation. This collection includes Web site language that will provide minimum information that requests need to include for consideration as well as a separate specific attestation form. These processes are being offered to aid in preserving borrowers' rights and to meet the fiduciary responsibilities of the federal student loan programs. These collections will allow the Department of Education to inform borrowers and loan servicers of the information needed to review and adjudicate requests for relief under borrower defenses regulations.

    Additional Information: Section 455(h) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1087e(h) provides that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) defines by regulation which claims against a school constitute defenses to repayment of a loan under the Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) program. Following a negotiated rulemaking process, the Department published amendments to the Direct Loan program regulations on December 1, 1994. These regulations included borrower defenses specified in 34 CFR 685.206(c). The regulation, in part, states “(c)(1) [i]n any proceeding to collect on a Direct Loan, the borrower may assert as a defense against repayment, an act or omission of the school attended by the student that would give rise to a cause of action against the school under applicable State law.” Prior to 2015, the borrower defense identified above was rarely asserted by any borrowers and no specific methods of collecting information was defined or found necessary. In the 20 years prior, the Department received 5 claims for borrower defense. Over the last several months, the Department has received over 1000 such claims due to a building debt activism movement as well as the notoriety of Corinthian's collapse, creating a need for a clearer process for potential claimants. This exponential increase in demand was unexpected and outside of the Department's control.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14184 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 3230-010] Chasm Hydro Partnership; Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC; Notice of Transfer of Exemption

    1. By letter filed March 3, 2015, Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the Chateaugay Chasm Project, FERC No. 3230, originally issued June 15, 1981,1 has been transferred to Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC. The project is located on the Chateaugay River in Franklin County, New York. The transfer of an exemption does not require Commission approval.

    1 15 FERC ¶ 62,339, Order Granting Exemption from Licensing of a Small Hydroelectric Project of 5 Megawatts or Less (1981).

    2. Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC is now the exemptee of the Chateaugay Chasm Project, FERC No. 3230. All correspondence should be forwarded to: Ian Chow, Project Manager, Ampersand Chasm Falls Hydro LLC, 717 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 1A, Boston, MA 02111.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14107 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER06-615-061; ER02-1656-038.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Compliance Filing in Response to June 3, 2014 Order of the California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Filed Date: 6/3/15.

    Accession Number: 20150603-5191.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-2414-004.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc..

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Amendment to compliance filing revision of BSM Rules to be effective 6/22/2012.

    Filed Date: 6/3/15.

    Accession Number: 20150603-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2952-004.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: 2015-06-03_SSR Cost Allocation Compliance Amendment to be effective 4/3/2014.

    Filed Date: 6/3/15.

    Accession Number: 20150603-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-443-001.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: NAESB Standards Second Compliance Filing to be effective 5/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1193-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: PJM submits Compliance Filing per 5/5/15 Order in Docket No. ER15-1193 to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1849-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisions to the OATT, OA and RAA re M&V for CSPs with Residential DR Customers to be effective 8/3/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1850-000.

    Applicants: Chief Conemaugh Power, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisions to Reflect Montour Succession to be effective 6/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5056.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1851-000.

    Applicants: Chief Keystone Power, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revised Reactive Reflecting Montour Name Change to be effective 6/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5057.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1852-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Amendments to Rate Schedule No. 125 to be effective 11/2/2010.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1853-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-06-04_SA 2791 Ameren Illinois-FutureGen GIA (J239) to be effective 8/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1854-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): First Revised Service Agreement 3417; Queue W3-159 to be effective 5/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1855-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Benham NITSA SA No. 17 to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5111.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1856-000.

    Applicants: Montour, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Notice of Succession & Certificate of Concurrence—Keystone to be effective 6/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1857-000.

    Applicants: Montour, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Notice of Succession & Certificate of Concurrence—Conemaugh to be effective 6/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20150604-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/25/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14160 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0344; FRL-9928-30] Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Transfer of Data AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that pesticide related information submitted to EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), including information that may have been claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI) by the submitter, will be transferred to Eastern Research Group, Inc., in accordance with the CBI regulations. Eastern Research Group, Inc., has been awarded a multiple contract to perform work for OPP, and access to this information will enable Eastern Research Group, Inc., to fulfill the obligations of this contract.

    DATES:

    Eastern Research Group, Inc., will be given access to this information on or before June 15, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mario Steadman, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-8338; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action applies to the public in general. As such, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0344 is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Contractor Requirements

    Under Contract No. EP-W-15-006, Eastern Research Group, Inc., will provide analytical, technical, and administrative support services for the Office of Civil Enforcement (OCE) other EPA offices, regions, states, U.S. Territories, U.S. international border areas, and other agencies and organizations. The contractor will submit all work products for review and approval to the appropriate personnel at EPA prior to its preparation and issuance in draft or final, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract and directions in the work assignment and technical directives. EPA will review all products prepared by the contractor and make all final determinations. The contractor will not make any decision for the Agency nor develop EPA policy. In no event will the contractor provide legal services or offer any legal interpretations under this contract without the prior written approval of EPA, Office of General Counsel (OGC) and the OCE.

    This contract involves no subcontractors. OPP has determined that it involves work that is being conducted in connection with FIFRA, in that pesticide chemicals will be the subject of certain evaluations to be made under the contract. These evaluations may be used in subsequent regulatory decisions under FIFRA.

    Some of this information may be entitled to confidential treatment. The information has been submitted to EPA under FIFRA sections 3, 4, 6, and 7 and under FFDCA sections 408 and 409.

    In accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 2.307(h)(3), this contract with Eastern Research Group, Inc., prohibits use of the information for any purpose not specified; prohibits disclosure of the information to a third party without prior written approval from the Agency; and requires that each official and employee of the contractor sign an agreement to protect the information from unauthorized release and to handle information in accordance with the FIFRA Information Security Manual. In addition, Eastern Research Group, Inc., is required to submit for EPA approval a security plan under which any CBI will be secured and protected against unauthorized release or compromise. No information will be provided to Eastern Research Group, Inc., until the requirements in this document have been fully satisfied. Records of information provided to Eastern Research Group, Inc., will be maintained by EPA Project Officers. All information supplied to Eastern Research Group, Inc., by EPA for use in connection with the contract will be returned to EPA when Eastern Research Group, Inc., has completed its work.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.; 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.

    Dated: May 28, 2015. Mark A. Hartman, Acting Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14222 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0317; FRL-9928-01] Notice of Receipt of Requests for Amendments To Terminate Uses in Certain Pesticide Registrations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of request for amendments by registrants to terminate uses in certain pesticide registrations. FIFRA provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any request in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Unless a request is withdrawn by July 10, 2015 for registrations for which the registrant requested a waiver of the 180-day comment period, EPA expects to issue orders terminating these uses. The Agency will consider withdrawal requests postmarked no later than July 10, 2015. Comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015, for those registrations where the 180-day comment period has been waived.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0317, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. Written Withdrawal Request, ATTN: Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P).

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Hartman, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-5440; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general. Although this action may be of particular interest to persons who produce or use pesticides, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    This notice announces receipt by the Agency of applications from registrants to terminate uses in certain pesticide products registered under FIFRA section 3 (7 U.S.C. 136a) or 24(c) (7 U.S.C. 136v(c)). These registrations are listed in Table 1 of this unit by registration number, product name, active ingredient, and specific uses terminated.

    Table 1—Requests for Amendments To Terminate Uses in Certain Pesticide Registrations EPA Registration No. Product name Active ingredient Use to be terminated 1021-2782 Clothianidin Technical Clothianidin Fruiting Vegetables Crop Grouping (CG8) and Low-Growing Berry except Strawberry (CG13-07H) and retain the existing tolerances. 59639-150 V-10170 2.13SC Insecticide Clothianidin Fruiting Vegetables Crop Grouping (CG8) and Low-Growing Berry except Strawberry (CG13-07H) and retain the existing tolerances. 59639-152 Arena 50 WDG Insecticide Clothianidin Fruiting Vegetables Crop Grouping (CG8) and Low-Growing Berry except Strawberry (CG13-07H) and retain the existing tolerances. 59639-173 Clothianidin Technical Insecticide Clothianidin Fruiting Vegetables Crop Grouping (CG8) and Low-Growing Berry except Strawberry (CG13-07H) and retain the existing tolerances. 90963-1 Nipacide MX Chloroxylenol As a preservative for paints, plastics and plastic coatings, thickeners & adhesives/binders. As a disinfectant, sanitizer, deodorizer or antimicrobial agent for application to hard, non-porous surfaces in residential, health-care, institutional, food-processing and industrial facilities including animal housing facilities, veterinary clinics, farms, livestock, swine and poultry houses. As a biocide in oil and gas exploration including enhanced recovery systems, flood water, fracturing fluids and gels, injection waters, pipelines, holding pond water, disposal well water, tubing, pressure vessels and storage tanks. As a biocide in industrial process water systems. 90963-2 Nipacide CMX Chloroxylenol As a preservative for paints, plastics and plastic coatings, thickeners & adhesives/binders. As a disinfectant, sanitizer, deodorizer or antimicrobial agent for application to hard, non-porous surfaces in residential, health-care, institutional, food-processing and industrial facilities including animal housing facilities, veterinary clinics, farms, livestock, swine and poultry houses. As a biocide in oil and gas exploration including enhanced recovery systems, flood water, fracturing fluids and gels, injection waters, pipelines, holding pond water, disposal well water, tubing, pressure vessels and storage tanks. As a biocide in industrial process water systems.

    Unless a request is withdrawn by the registrant within 30 days of publication of this notice, EPA expects to issue orders terminating all of these uses. Users of these pesticides or anyone else desiring the retention of a use should contact the applicable registrant directly during this 30-day period.

    Table 2 of this unit includes the names and addresses of record for all registrants of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number.

    Table 2—Registrants Requesting Amendments To Terminate Uses in Certain Pesticide Registrations EPA company number Company name and address 1021 McLaughlin Gormley King Company, 8810 Tenth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55427-4319. 59639 Valent U.S.A. Corporation, 1600 Riviera Avenue, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. 90963 Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc., Agent Name: Lewis & Harrison, LLC, 122 C Street NW., Suite 505, Washington, DC 20001. III. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)) provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request.

    IV. Procedures for withdrawal of request

    Registrants who choose to withdraw a request for use termination must submit such withdrawal in writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, postmarked before July 10, 2015, for the requests that the registrants requested to waive the 180-day comment period. This written withdrawal of the request for use termination will apply only to the applicable FIFRA section 6(f)(1) request listed in this notice. If the products have been subject to a previous use termination action, the effective date of termination and all other provisions of any earlier termination action are controlling.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: May 21, 2015. Mark A. Hartman, Acting Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14092 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9929-04-OA] National Environmental Education Advisory Council AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, EPA gives notice of a series of teleconference meetings of the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC). The NEEAC was created by Congress to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on matters related to activities, functions and policies of EPA under the National Environmental Education Act (the Act). 20 U.S.C. 5508(b).

    The purpose of this teleconference(s) is to discuss specific topics of relevance for consideration by the council in order to provide advice and insights to the Agency on environmental education.

    DATES:

    The National Environmental Education Advisory Council will hold a public teleconference on Thursday, June 18th, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Javier Araujo, Designated Federal Officer, [email protected], 202-564-2642, U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Education, William Jefferson Clinton North Room, 1426, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public wishing to gain access to the teleconference, make brief oral comments, or provide a written statement to the NEEAC must contact Javier Araujo, Designated Federal Officer, at [email protected] or 202-564-2642 by 10 business days prior to each regularly scheduled meeting.

    Meeting Access: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities or to request accommodations, please contact Javier Araujo at [email protected] or 202-564-2642, preferably at least 10 days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: June 2, 2015. Sarah Sowell, Deputy Director, Office of Environmental Education. Dated: June 2, 2015. Javier Araujo, (NEEAC) Designated Federal Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14226 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0577; FRL-9928-03] Diclofop-methyl; Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces EPA's order for the cancellation, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of products containing the pesticide listed in Table 1 of Unit II., pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This cancellation order follows a February 11, 2015 Federal Register Notice of Receipt of Request from the registrants listed in Table 1 to voluntarily cancel all these product registrations. These are the last products containing these pesticides registered for use in the United States. In the February 11, 2015 Notice, EPA indicated that it would issue an order implementing the cancellation, unless the Agency received substantive comments within the 30-day comment period that would merit its further review of these requests, or unless the registrants withdrew their request within this period. The Agency did not receive any comments on the notice. Further, the registrants did not withdraw their request. Accordingly, EPA hereby issues in this notice a cancellation order granting the requested cancellations. Any distribution, sale, or use of the products subject to this cancellation order is permitted only in accordance with the terms of this order, including any existing stocks provisions.

    DATES:

    The cancellations are effective January 1, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rich Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8115; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

    B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0577, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. What action is the agency taking?

    This notice announces the cancellation, as requested by registrants, of products registered under FIFRA section 3 (7 U.S.C. 136a). These registrations are listed in sequence by registration number in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Diclofop-Methyl Product Cancellations EPA Registration number Product name 264-641 Hoelon 3EC Herbicide. 264-642 Hoelon Technical. 432-1231 Illoxan 3EC Herbicide.

    Table 2 of this unit includes the names and addresses of record for all registrants of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number.

    Table 2—Registrants of Cancelled and/or Amended Products EPA Company number Company name and address 264 Bayer CropScience. 432 Bayer Environmental Science. III. Summary of Public Comments Received and Agency Response to Comments

    During the public comment period provided, EPA received no comments in response to the February 11, 2015 Federal Register notice announcing the Agency's receipt of the request for voluntary cancellation of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II.

    IV. Cancellation Order

    Pursuant to FIFRA section 6(f) (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)), EPA hereby approves the requested cancellations of diclofop-methyl registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II. Accordingly, the Agency orders that the product registrations identified in Table 1 are hereby canceled. Any distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of the products identified in Table 1 of Unit II in a manner inconsistent with any of the Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks set forth in Unit VI. will be considered a violation of FIFRA.

    V. What is the agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, following the public comment period, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request.

    VI. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

    EPA's existing stocks policy published in the Federal Register of June 26, 1991 (56 FR 29362) (FRL-3846-4) provides that: “If a registrant requests to voluntarily cancel a registration where the Agency has identified no particular risk concerns, the registrant has complied with all applicable conditions of reregistration, conditional registration, and data call ins, and the registration is not subject to a Registration Standard, Label Improvement Program, or reregistration decision, the Agency will generally permit a registrant to sell or distribute existing stocks for 1-year after the cancellation request was received. Persons other than registrants will generally be allowed to sell, distribute, or use existing stocks until such stocks are exhausted.”

    Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the cancellation action. The effective date of this cancellation is January 1, 2018. The cancellation order that is the subject of this notice includes the following existing stock provisions:

    The registrant may sell and distribute existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II. until January 1, 2018. Persons other than the registrant may sell and distribute existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II. until exhausted. Use of the products listed in Table 1 of Unit II. may continue until existing stocks are exhausted, provided that such use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the canceled products.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: May 20, 2015. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14220 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL- 9929-02-Region-6] Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for the State of Arkansas AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of tentative approval.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the State of Arkansas is revising its approved Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program. Arkansas has adopted the Revised Total Coliform Rule (RTCR) by reference under Sections I.B, V.A and VII of the Arkansas Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Public Water Systems. EPA has determined that the RTCR primacy application submitted by Arkansas is no less stringent than the corresponding federal regulations. Therefore, EPA intends to approve this PWSS program revision package.

    DATES:

    All interested parties may request a public hearing. A request for a public hearing must be submitted by July 10, 2015 to the Regional Administrator at the EPA Region 6 address shown below. Frivolous or insubstantial requests for a hearing may be denied by the Regional Administrator. However, if a substantial request for a public hearing is made by July 10, 2015, a public hearing will be held. If no timely and appropriate request for a hearing is received and the Regional Administrator does not elect to hold a hearing on his own motion, this determination shall become final and effective on July 10, 2015. Any request for a public hearing shall include the following information: The name, address, and telephone number of the individual, organization, or other entity requesting a hearing; a brief statement of the requesting person's interest in the Regional Administrator's determination and a brief statement of the information that the requesting person intends to submit at such hearing; and the signature of the individual making the request, or, if the request is made on behalf of an organization or other entity, the signature of a responsible official of the organization or other entity.

    ADDRESSES:

    All documents relating to this determination are available for inspection between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following offices: Arkansas Department of Health, Engineering Section, 4815 West Markham Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205; and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, Drinking Water Section (6WQ-SD), 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202. Copies of the documents which explain the rule can also be obtained at EPA's Web site at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/13/2012-31205/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations-revisions-to-the-total-coliform-rule and https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/26/2014-04173/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations-minor-corrections-to-the-revisions-to-the-total-coliform, or by writing or calling Ms. Evelyn Rosborough at the address below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information contact Evelyn Rosborough, Environmental Protection Specialist, Water Quality Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6, 1445 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX 75202-2733, telephone (214) 665-7515, facsimile (214) 665-6490, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: Section 1413 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended (1996), and 40 CFR part 142 of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.

    Dated: June 2, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14227 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0021; FRL-9928-22] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Active Ingredients AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients (AI) not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0021 and the File Symbol of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Mclain, Acting Director, Antimicrobials Division (7510P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: ADFRNotices@epa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    File Symbol: 56228-AN. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0319. Applicant: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Policy and Program Development, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, Unit 149, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737. Product name: Sodium Nitrite Technical. Active ingredient: Rodenticide, Sodium Nitrite at 99%. Proposed classification/Use: Manufacturing use. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: June 1, 2015. Jennifer Mclain, Acting Director, Antimicrobials Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14091 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice 2015-0015] Application for Final Commitment for a Long-Term Loan or Financial Guarantee in Excess of $100 Million: AP089004XX AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This Notice is to inform the public, in accordance with Section 3(c)(10) of the Charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (“Ex-Im Bank”), that Ex-Im Bank has received an application for final commitment for a long-term loan or financial guarantee in excess of $100 million (as calculated in accordance with Section 3(c)(10) of the Charter). Comments received within the comment period specified below will be presented to the Ex-Im Bank Board of Directors prior to final action on this Transaction. Comments received will be made available to the public.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2015 to be assured of consideration before final consideration of the transaction by the Board of Directors of Ex-Im Bank.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted through Regulations.gov at WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV. To submit a comment, enter EIB-2015-0015 under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and select Search. Follow the instructions provided at the Submit a Comment screen. Please include your name, company name (if any) and EIB-2015-0015 on any attached document.

    Reference: AP089004XX.

    Purpose and Use Brief Description of the Purpose of the Transaction

    A direct loan to a United Kingdom-based company to support the procurement of U.S. rocket launch services and U.S. launch and in-orbit insurance services.

    Brief Non-Proprietary Description of the Anticipated Use of the Items Being Exported

    The U.S. rocket launch services and U.S. launch and in-orbit insurance services will be used to launch and insure the United Kingdom-based company's communications satellite.

    To the extent that Ex-Im Bank is reasonably aware, the item(s) being exported are not expected to produce exports or provide services in competition with the exportation of goods or provision of services by a United States industry.

    Parties

    Principal Supplier: Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

    Obligor(s): Inmarsat Investments Limited; Inmarsat Global Limited, Inmarsat Leasing (Two) Limited; Inmarsat Ventures Limited; Inmarsat Group Limited; Inmarsat Launch Company Limited; Inmarsat Solutions (Canada) Inc.; Inmarsat Solutions B.V. (Netherlands); and Inmarsat S.A. (Switzerland).

    Guarantor(s): Inmarsat Global Limited, Inmarsat Leasing (Two) Limited; Inmarsat Ventures Limited; Inmarsat Group Limited; Europasat Limited, Inmarsat Launch Company Limited; Inmarsat Solutions (Canada) Inc.; Inmarsat Solutions B.V.; and Inmarsat S.A.

    Description of Items Being Exported: U.S. rocket launch services and U.S. launch and in-orbit insurance services.

    Information on Decision: Information on the final decision for this transaction will be available in the “Summary Minutes of Meetings of Board of Directors” on http://exim.gov/newsandevents/boardmeetings/board/.

    Confidential Information: Please note that this notice does not include confidential or proprietary business information; information which, if disclosed, would violate the Trade Secrets Act; or information which would jeopardize jobs in the United States by supplying information that competitors could use to compete with companies in the United States.

    Lloyd Ellis, Program Specialist, Office of the General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14152 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10404, Piedmont Community Bank, Gray, Georgia

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Piedmont Community Bank, Gray, Georgia (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Piedmont Community Bank on October 14, 2011. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors. Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 32.1, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14105 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-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.: 012344.

    Title: CMA CGM/WHL PRX Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM, S.A.; Wan Hai Lines (Singapore) Pte Ltd.; and Wan Hai Lines Ltd.

    Filing Party: Draughn B. Arbona, Esq; CMA CGM (America) LLC; 5701 Lake Wright Drive; Norfolk, VA 23502.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes CMA to charter slots to Wan Hai in the trade between the U.S. West Coast and China.

    Agreement No.: 012345.

    Title: CMA CGM/HL Gulf Bridge Express Slot Charter Agreement.

    Parties: CMA CGM, S.A.; Hapag-Lloyd AG.

    Filing Party: Draughn B. Arbona, Esq; CMA CGM (America) LLC; 5701 Lake Wright Drive; Norfolk, VA 23502.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes CMA to charter space to Hapag-Lloyd in the trade between the U.S. Gulf Coast, on the one hand, and Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia and other Latin America and Caribbean countries, on the other hand.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14204 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-P
    FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION SUNSHINE ACT NOTICE BAC 6735-01

    June 8, 2015

    TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 18, 2015.

    PLACE:

    The Richard V. Backley Hearing Room, Room 511N, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004 (enter from F Street entrance).

    STATUS:

    Open.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Commission will consider and act upon the following in open session: Secretary of Labor v. Resolution Copper Mining, LLC, Docket Nos. WEST 2013-319-RM, et al. (Issues include whether the Judge erred by ruling that a particular “personal conveyance” was not a “bucket” for purposes of the standard limiting the speed at which buckets carrying personnel can be raised or lowered.)

    Any person attending this meeting who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission in advance of those needs. Subject to 29 CFR 2706.150(a)(3) and § 2706.160(d).

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFO:

    Emogene Johnson (202) 434-9935/(202) 708-9300 for TDD Relay/1-800-877-8339 for toll free.

    Sarah L. Stewart, Deputy General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14309 Filed 6-8-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6735-01-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 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 number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Reg E, 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 Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi—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 collections, which are being handled under this delegated authority, have received initial Board approval and are hereby published for comment. At the end of the comment period, the proposed information collections, 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, With Revision, of the Following Report

    Report title: Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfer Act).

    Agency form number: Reg E.

    OMB control number: 7100-0200.

    Frequency: Event-generated.

    Reporters: State member banks, their subsidiaries, subsidiaries of bank holding companies, U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks (other than federal branches, federal agencies, and insured state branches of foreign banks), commercial lending companies owned or controlled by foreign banks, and organizations operating under section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 601-604a; 611-631).

    Estimated annual reporting hours: Initial disclosures, 6,363 hours; Change-in-terms, 5,769 hours; Periodic statements, 15,960 hours; Error resolution, 15,270 hours; Gift card exclusion policies and procedures, 8,144 hours; Gift card policy and procedures, 8,144 hours; Remittance transfer disclosures (one-time), 122,160 hours; Remittance transfer disclosures (ongoing), 97,728 hours; Error notice from sender (consumers) (ongoing), 61,083 hours; Time limits and extent of investigation (ongoing), 54,972 hours; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (one-time), 40,720 hours; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (ongoing), 8,144 hours; Acts of agents (one-time), 40,720 hours; Acts of agents (ongoing), 8,144 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: Initial disclosures, 1.5 minutes; Change-in-terms, 1 minute; Periodic statements, 7 hours; Error resolution, 30 minutes; Gift card exclusion policies and procedures, 8 hours; Gift card policy and procedures, 8 hours; Remittance transfer disclosures (one-time), 120 hours; Remittance transfer disclosures (ongoing), 8 hours; Error notice from sender (consumers) (ongoing), 5 minutes; Time limits and extent of investigation (ongoing), 4.5 hours; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (one-time), 40 hours; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (ongoing), 8 hours; Acts of agents (one-time), 40 hours; Acts of agents (ongoing), 8 hours.

    Number of respondents: Initial disclosures, 1,018 respondents; Change-in-terms, 1,018 respondents; Periodic statements, 190 respondents; Error resolution, 1,018 respondents; Gift card exclusion policies and procedures, 1,018 respondents; Gift card policy and procedures, 1,018 respondents; Remittance transfer disclosures (one-time), 1,018 respondents; Remittance transfer disclosures (ongoing), 1,018 respondents; Error notice from sender (consumers) (ongoing), 733,000 respondents; Time limits and extent of investigation (ongoing), 1,018 respondents; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (one-time), 1,018 respondents; Transmitter error resolution standards and recordkeeping requirements (ongoing), 1,018 respondents; Acts of agents (one-time), 1,018 respondents; Acts of agents (ongoing), 1,018 respondents.

    General description of report: This information collection is mandatory (15 U.S.C. 1693b(a)). The Federal Reserve does not collect any information under the CFPB's Regulation E, so no issue of confidentially arises. However, in the event the Federal Reserve were to obtain this any of the recordkeeping or disclosure documentation during the course of an examination, the information may be protected from disclosure under exemptions 4, 6, or 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), (6), & (8)).

    Abstract: The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) ensures adequate disclosure of basic terms, costs, and rights relating to electronic fund transfer (EFT) services debiting or crediting a consumer's account. The disclosures required by the EFTA are triggered by certain specified events. The disclosures inform consumers about the terms of the electronic fund transfer service, activity on the account, potential liability for unauthorized transfers, and the process for resolving errors. To ease institutions' burden and cost of complying with the disclosure requirements of Regulation E (particularly for small entities), Regulation E includes model forms and disclosure clauses.

    Regulation E applies to all financial institutions. In addition, certain provisions in Regulation E apply to entities that are not financial institutions, including those that act as service providers or automated teller machine (ATM) operators, merchants and other payees that engage in electronic check conversion (ECK) transactions, the electronic collection of returned item fees, or preauthorized transfers, issuers and sellers of gift cards and gift certificates, and remittance transfer providers.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 4, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14113 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial Review

    The meeting announced below concerns Evaluating Innovative and Promising Strategies to prevent Suicide among Middle-Aged Men, Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), RFA-CE-15-004, initial review.

    In accordance with Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the aforementioned meeting:

    Time and Date:

    12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., EDT, June 30, 2015 (CLOSED)

    Place: Teleconference

    Status: The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with provisions set forth in Section 552b(c) (4) and (6), Title 5 U.S.C., and the Determination of the Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, CDC, pursuant to Public Law 92-463.

    Matters for Discussion: The meeting will include the initial review, discussion, and evaluation of applications received in response to “Evaluating Innovative and Promising Strategies to prevent Suicide among Middle-Aged Men, RFA-CE-15-004. This meeting is being reconvened to review two applications that were not reviewed during the initial meeting on June 2, 2015.

    Contact Person for More Information: Gwendolyn Cattledge, Ph.D., M.S.E.H., Scientific Review Officer, CDC, 4770 Buford Hwy. NE., Mailstop E63, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, Telephone: 770-488-4655.

    The Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, has been delegated the authority to sign Federal Register notices pertaining to announcements of meetings and other committee management activities, for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    Elaine L. Baker, Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14087 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching Agreement AGENCY:

    Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), ACF, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a Computer Matching Program.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 522a), as amended, OCSE is publishing notice of a computer matching program between OCSE and state agencies administering the Unemployment Compensation program.

    DATES:

    On June 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a report of a Computer Matching Program to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act. HHS invites interested parties to review and submit written data, comments or arguments to the agency about the matching program until July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit written comment on this notice to Linda Deimeke, Director, Division of Federal Systems, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447. Comments received will be available for public inspection at this address from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Deimeke, Director, Division of Federal Systems, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447, 202-401-5439.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, provides for certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving federal benefits. The law governs the use of computer matching by federal agencies when records in a system of records are matched with other federal, state, or local government records. The Privacy Act requires agencies involved in computer matching programs to:

    1. Negotiate written agreements with the other agency or agencies participating in the matching programs.

    2. Provide notification to applicants and beneficiaries that their records are subject to matching.

    3. Verify information produced by such matching program before reducing, making a final denial of, suspending, or terminating an individual's benefits or payments.

    4. Publish notice of the computer matching program in the Federal Register.

    5. Furnish reports about the matching program to Congress and OMB.

    6. Obtain the approval of the matching agreement by the Data Integrity Board of any federal agency participating in a matching program.

    This matching program meets these requirements.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Donna Bonar, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement. Notice of New Computer Matching Program A. Participating Agencies:

    The participating agencies are the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), which is the “source agency,” and state agencies administering the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program, which are the “non-federal agencies.”

    B. Purpose of the Matching Program:

    The primary purpose of the matching program is to provide new hire and quarterly wage information from OCSE's National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) to state agencies administering UC programs to assist in establishing or verifying the eligibility of, or continuing compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by, applicants for, or recipients of, UC benefits. The state agencies administering the UC programs may also use the NDNH information for the secondary purpose of administration of its tax compliance function.

    C. Authority for Conducting the Match:

    The authority for conducting the matching program is contained in Section 453(j)(8) of the Social Security Act. (42 U.S.C. 653(j)(8)).

    D. Categories of Individuals Involved and Identification of Records Used in the Matching Program:

    The categories of individuals involved in the matching program are individuals who receive or have applied for UC benefits. The system of records maintained by OCSE from which records will be disclosed for the purpose of this matching program is the “OCSE National Directory of New Hires,” No. 09-80-0381, last published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 17906 on April 2, 2015. The NDNH contains new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information. The disclosure of NDNH information by OCSE to the state agencies administering UC programs is a “routine use” under this system of records. Records resulting from the matching program and disclosed to the state agencies administering UC programs include names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, and employment information.

    E. Inclusive Dates of the Matching Program:

    The computer matching agreement will be effective and matching activity may commence the later of the following:

    (1) 30 days after this Notice is published in the Federal Register, or (2) 40 days after OCSE sends a report of the matching program to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction under 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)(2)(A), and to OMB, unless OMB disapproves the agreement within the 40-day review period or grants a waiver of 10 days of the 40-day review period. The matching agreement will remain in effect for 18 months from its effective date, unless one of the parties to the agreement advises the other by written request to terminate or modify the agreement. The agreement is subject to renewal by the HHS Data Integrity Board for 12 additional months if the matching program will be conducted without any change and OCSE and the state agency certify to the Data Integrity Board in writing that the program has been conducted in compliance with the agreement.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14200 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching Agreement AGENCY:

    Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), ACF, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a Computer Matching Program.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 522a), as amended, OCSE is publishing notice of a computer matching program between OCSE and state agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

    DATES:

    On June 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a report of a Computer Matching Program to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as required by 5 U.S.C 552a(r) of the Privacy Act. HHS invites interested parties to review and submit written data, comments, or arguments to the agency about the matching program until July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit written comment on this notice to Linda Deimeke, Director, Division of Federal Systems, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447. Comments received will be available for public inspection at this address from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Deimeke, Director, Division of Federal Systems, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., 4th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447, 202-401-5439.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, provides for certain protections for individuals applying for and receiving federal benefits. The law governs the use of computer matching by federal agencies when records in a system of records are matched with other federal, state, or local government records. The Privacy Act requires agencies involved in computer matching programs to:

    1. Negotiate written agreements with the other agency or agencies participating in the matching programs.

    2. Provide notification to applicants and beneficiaries that their records are subject to matching.

    3. Verify information produced by such matching program before reducing, making a final denial of, suspending, or terminating an individual's benefits or payments.

    4. Publish notice of the computer matching program in the Federal Register.

    5. Furnish reports about the matching program to Congress and the OMB.

    6. Obtain the approval of the matching agreement by the Data Integrity Board of any federal agency participating in a matching program.

    This matching program meets these requirements.

    Dated: June 2, 2015. Vicki Turetsky, Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement. Notice of New Computer Matching Program A. Participating Agencies

    The participating agencies are the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), which is the “source agency,” and state agencies administering the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which are the “non-federal agencies.”

    B. Purpose of the Matching Program

    The primary purpose of the matching program is to provide new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information from OCSE's National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) to state agencies administering TANF to verify the eligibility of adult TANF recipients and applicants and, if ineligible, to take such action as may be authorized by law and regulation. The state agencies administering TANF may also use the NDNH information for the secondary purpose of updating the applicants and recipients' reported participation in work activities and updating contact information maintained by the state agencies administering TANF.

    C. Authority for Conducting the Match

    The authority for conducting the matching program is contained in section 453(j)(3) of the Social Security Act. 42 U.S.C. 653(j)(3).

    D. Categories of Individuals Involved and Identification of Records Used in the Matching Program

    The categories of individuals involved in the matching program are adult members of households that receive or have applied for TANF benefits. The system of records maintained by OCSE from which records will be disclosed for the purpose of this matching program is the “OCSE National Directory of New Hires” (NDNH), No. 09-80-0381, last published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 17906 on April 2, 2015. The NDNH contains new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information. The disclosure of NDNH information by OCSE to the state agencies administering TANF is a “routine use” under this system of records. Records resulting from the matching program and are disclosed to state agencies administering TANF include names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, and employment information.

    E. Inclusive Dates of the Matching Program

    The computer matching agreement will be effective and matching activity may commence the later of the following:

    30 days after this notice is published in the Federal Register, or (2) 40 days after OCSE sends a report of the matching program to the Congressional committees of jurisdiction under 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)(2)(A); and to OMB, unless OMB disapproves the agreement within the 40-day review period or grants a waiver within 10 days of the 40-day review period. The matching agreement will remain in effect for 18 months from its effective date, unless one of the parties to the agreement advises the other by written request to terminate or modify the agreement. The agreement is subject to renewal by the HHS Data Integrity Board for 12 additional months if the matching program will be conducted without any change and OCSE and the state agency certify to the Data Integrity Board in writing that the program has been conducted in compliance with the agreement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14199 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-42-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects

    Title: National Youth in Transition Database and Youth Outcome Survey.

    OMB No.: 0970-0340.

    Description: The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (42 U.S.C. 1305 et seq.) as amended by Public Law 106-169 requires State child welfare agencies to collect and report to the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) data on the characteristics of youth receiving independent living services and information regarding their outcomes. The regulation implementing the National Youth in Transition Database, listed in 45 CFR 1356.80, contains standard data collection and reporting requirements for States to meet the law's requirements. ACF will use the information collected under the regulation to track independent living services, assess the collective outcomes of youth, and potentially to evaluate State performance with regard to those outcomes consistent with the law's mandate.

    Respondents: State agencies that administer the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Youth Outcome Survey 20,667 1 0.5 10,334 Data File 52 2 1,368 142,272

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 152,606.

    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. 2015-14140 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families [OMB No.: 0970-0414] Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

    Title: Assets for Independence (AFI) Program Evaluation.

    Description: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is proposing a data collection activity as part of an experimental evaluation of the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of participation in AFI-funded individual development account (IDA) projects on the savings, asset purchases, and economic well-being of low-income individuals and families. The primary research question is: What is the impact of AFI project participation on outcomes such as savings, asset purchases, and material hardship?

    While some evaluations suggest that IDAs help low-income families save, rigorous experimental research is limited. Few studies have focused on AFI-funded IDAs, and few have tested alternative design features.

    The Assets for Independence Evaluation is the first experimental evaluation of IDA projects operating under the Assets for Independence Act, and will contribute importantly to understanding the effects of IDA project participation on project participants. The evaluation was launched in fall 2011 in two sites, with the random assignment of AFI-eligible cases to program and control groups. OMB approved three data collection efforts related to this project in October 2012, including approval of a baseline survey, 12-month follow-up survey, and implementation study protocols.

    This Federal Register Notice provides the opportunity to comment on a proposed new information collection activity: the AFI Evaluation second follow-up survey (at 36 months post-random assignment) of both treatment and control group members. The purpose of the AFI Evaluation 36-month follow-up survey is to follow-up with study participants to document their intermediate savings and savings patterns, asset purchases, and other economic outcomes. The evaluation consists of both an impact study and an implementation study. Data collection activities will span a three-year period.

    Data collection activities to submit in a future information collection request include a third follow-up survey for AFI Evaluation study participants approximately 60 months after study enrollment.

    Respondents: Individuals enrolled in AFI programs, individuals who have left AFI programs, and control group members.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Total number of respondents Annual
  • number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Annual burden hours
    Follow-Up Survey: AFI-eligible participants 814 271 1 0.5 136

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 136.

    In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(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: OPRE 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, ACF Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14117 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families [CFDA Number: 93.568] The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Announces the State Median Income Estimates for Federal Fiscal Year 2016 AGENCY:

    Office of Community Services, ACF, HHS.

    ACTION:

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS), announces the State Median Income Estimates for a Four-Person Household for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2016 State Median Income Estimates for Use in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Energy Assistance (DEA) announces the estimated median income of four-person households in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for FFY 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016).

    DATES:

    These estimates become effective at any time between the date of this publication and the later of (1) October 1, 2015; or (2) the beginning of a grantee's fiscal year.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Edelman, Program Analyst, Office of Community Services, 5th Floor West, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447. Telephone: 202-401-5292; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice announces to grantees of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) the estimated median income of four-person households in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for FFY 2016 (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016). LIHEAP grantees that choose to base their income eligibility criteria on these state median income (SMI) estimates may adopt these estimates (up to 60 percent) on their date of publication in the Federal Register or on a later date as discussed in the DATES section. This enables grantees to implement this notice during the period between the heating and cooling seasons. However, by October 1, 2015, or the beginning of the grantee's fiscal year, whichever is later, such grantees must adjust their income eligibility criteria so that they are in accord with the FFY 2016 SMI.

    Sixty percent of SMI for each LIHEAP grantee, as annually established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is one of the income criteria that LIHEAP grantees may use in determining a household's income eligibility for LIHEAP. The last time LIHEAP was authorized was by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58, which was enacted on August 8, 2005. This authorization expired on September 30, 2007, and reauthorization remains pending.

    The SMI estimates in this notice are 3-year estimates derived from the American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce (Census Bureau).

    For additional information about the ACS state median income estimates, including the definition of income and the derivation of medians see http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/data_documentation/SubjectDefinitions/2013_ACSSubjectDefinitions.pdf under “Income in the Past 12 Months.” For additional information about using the ACS 3-year estimates versus using the 1-year or 5-year estimates, see http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/. For additional information about the ACS in general, see http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ or contact the Census Bureau's Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division at (301) 763-3243.

    These SMI estimates, like those derived from any survey, are subject to two types of errors: (1) Non-sampling Error, which consists of random errors that increase the variability of the data and non-random errors that consistently shift the data in a specific direction; and (2) Sampling Error, which consists of the error that arises from the use of probability sampling to create the sample. For additional information about the accuracy of the ACS SMI estimates, see http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/data_documentation/Accuracy/MultiyearACSAccuracyofData2013.pdf.

    In the state-by-state listing of SMI and 60 percent of SMI for a four-person family for FFY 2016, LIHEAP grantees must regard “family” to be the equivalent of “household” with regards to setting their income eligibility criteria. This listing describes the method for adjusting SMI for households of different sizes, as specified in regulations applicable to LIHEAP (45 CFR 96.85(b)). These regulations were published in the Federal Register on March 3, 1988, (53 FR 6827) and amended on October 15, 1999 (64 FR 55858).

    Estimated State Median Income for Four-Person Families, by State, for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2016, for Use in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) States Estimated state median
  • income for four-person
  • families 1
  • 60 percent of estimated state median income for four-person families 2 3
    Alabama $66,253 $39,752 Alaska 90,307 54,184 Arizona 65,138 39,083 Arkansas 58,262 34,957 California 77,106 46,264 Colorado 85,915 51,549 Connecticut 106,193 63,716 Delaware 85,925 51,555 District of Columbia 83,794 50,276 Florida 65,764 39,458 Georgia 68,448 41,069 Hawaii 86,495 51,897 Idaho 62,002 37,201 Illinois 82,918 49,751 Indiana 72,299 43,379 Iowa 79,300 47,580 Kansas 75,709 45,425 Kentucky 69,239 41,543 Louisiana 71,516 42,910 Maine 76,455 45,873 Maryland 107,438 64,463 Massachusetts 106,173 63,704 Michigan 75,711 45,427 Minnesota 92,111 55,267 Mississippi 57,024 34,214 Missouri 72,647 43,588 Montana 68,720 41,232 Nebraska 77,165 46,299 Nevada 66,461 39,877 New Hampshire 98,638 59,183 New Jersey 105,700 63,420 New Mexico 60,534 36,320 New York 86,316 51,790 North Carolina 67,706 40,624 North Dakota 88,725 53,235 Ohio 76,875 46,125 Oklahoma 64,907 38,944 Oregon 70,295 42,177 Pennsylvania 83,730 50,238 Rhode Island 89,353 53,612 South Carolina 63,706 38,224 South Dakota 74,498 44,699 Tennessee 66,060 39,636 Texas 69,517 41,710 Utah 70,740 42,444 Vermont 82,781 49,669 Virginia 92,379 55,427 Washington 85,013 51,008 West Virginia 67,613 40,568 Wisconsin 82,053 49,232 Wyoming 79,777 47,866 Puerto Rico 29,188 17,513 1 These figures were prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce (Census Bureau), from 3-year estimates from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 American Community Surveys (ACSs). These estimates, like those derived from any survey, are subject to two types of error: (1) Non-sampling Error, which consists of random errors that increase the variability of the data and non-random errors that consistently direct the data in a specific direction; and (2) Sampling Error, which consists of the error that arises from the use of probability sampling to create the sample. 2 These figures were calculated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services, Division of Energy Assistance by multiplying the estimated state median income for a four-person family for each state by 60 percent. 3 To adjust for different sizes of households for LIHEAP purposes, 45 CFR 96.85 calls for multiplying 60 percent of a state's estimated median income for a four-person family by the following percentages: 52 percent for a one-person household, 68 percent for a two-person household, 84 percent for a three-person household, 100 percent for a four-person household, 116 percent for a five-person household, and 132 percent for a six-person household. For each additional household member above six people, 45 CFR 96.85 calls for adding 3 percentage points to the percentage for a six-person household (132 percent) and multiplying the new percentage by 60 percent of the median income for a four-person family.

    Note: FFY 2016 covers the period of October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016. The estimated median income for four-person families living in the United States for this period is $77,507. Grantees that use SMI for LIHEAP may, at their option, employ such estimates at any time between the date of this publication and the later of October 1, 2015 or the beginning of their fiscal year.

    Statutory Authority:

    45 CFR 96.85(b) and 42 U.S.C. 8624(b)(2)(B)(ii).

    Jeannie L. Chaffin, Director, Office of Community Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14187 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Carryover and Reallotment Report.

    OMB No.: 0970-0106.

    Description: The LIHEAP statute and regulations require LIHEAP grantees to report certain information to HHS concerning funds forwarded and funds subject to reallotment. The 1994 reauthorization of the LIHEAP statute, the Human Service Amendments of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-252), requires that the Carryover and Reallotment Report for one fiscal year be submitted to HHS via the On-Line Data Collection (OLDC) system by the grantee before the allotment for the next fiscal year may be awarded.

    The Administration for Children and Families is requesting no changes in the electronic collection of data with the Carryover and Reallotment Report, and the Simplified Instructions for Timely Obligations of LIHEAP Funds and Reporting Funds for Carryover and Reallotment. The form clarifies the information being requested and ensures the submission of all the required information. The form facilitates our response to numerous queries each year concerning the amounts of obligated funds. Use of the form is voluntary. Grantees have the option to use another format.

    Respondents: State Governments, Tribal Governments, Insular Areas, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Carryover and Reallotment Report 216 1 3 648

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 648

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained 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. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected]

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14149 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration on Community Living Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request; State Developmental Disabilities Council—Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) AGENCY:

    Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    A Plan developed by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities is required by federal statute. Each State Council on Developmental Disabilities must develop the plan, provide for public comments in the State, provide for approval by the State's Governor, and finally submit the plan on a five-year basis. On an annual basis, the Council must submit a Program Performance Report (PPR) to described the extent to which annual progress is being achieved on the 5 year state plan goals. The PPR will be used by (1) the Council as a planning document to track progress made in meeting state plan goals; (2) the citizenry of the State as a mechanism for monitoring progress and activities on the plans of the Council; (3) the Department as a stewardship tool, for ensuring compliance with the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, as one basis for monitoring and providing technical assistance (e.g., during site visits), and as a support for management decision making.

    DATES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments on the collection of information by email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allison Cruz, Administration on Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Office of Program Support, One Massachusetts Avenue NW., Room 4306, Washington, DC 20201, 202-357-3439.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with the requirements of section 506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration on Community Living 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: Allison Cruz, Administration on Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Office of Program, One Massachusetts Avenue NW., Room 4306, Washington, DC 20201.

    The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed Collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function 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; (d) ways to minimize the burden information to be collected; and (e) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection technique comments and or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

    Respondents

    56 State Developmental Disabilities Councils.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    State Developmental Disabilities Program Performance Report (PPR) 56 1 138 7,728 Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 7,728
    Dated: June 3, 2015. Kathy Greenlee, Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14051 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4154-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-1884] Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Dystrophinopathies: Developing Drugs for Treatment; Draft 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 draft guidance for industry entitled “Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Dystrophinopathies: Developing Drugs for Treatment.” The purpose of this draft guidance is to assist sponsors in the clinical development of drugs for the treatment of X-linked Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and related dystrophinopathies.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colleen Locicero, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 4242, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-1114.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Related Dystrophinopathies: Developing Drugs for Treatment.”

    DMD and other dystrophinopathies result from genetic mutations in the dystrophin gene that decrease levels of dystrophin and/or cause dysfunction of the dystrophin protein, leading to muscle degeneration, including cardiac and respiratory muscles, and greatly decreased life expectancy. There remains a high level unmet medical need for effective drug treatments for DMD and other dystrophinopathies. This draft guidance addresses FDA's current thinking regarding the clinical development program and clinical trial designs for drugs to support an indication for the treatment of dystrophinopathies. Development of this draft guidance was greatly facilitated by the efforts of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy to coordinate a consortium of stakeholders including patients, parents and caregivers, clinicians, academic experts, and industry representatives in producing a proposed draft guidance with extensive background information about DMD. That stakeholder proposal was submitted to FDA and made available for comment through a Federal Register notice seeking public comment. The comments received were also considered in writing this draft guidance.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on developing drugs for the treatment of DMD. 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. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that 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 21 CFR parts 312 and 314 have been approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014 and 0910-0001, respectively.

    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.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either ­http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14100 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1663] Determination That Ondansetron (Ondansetron Hydrochloride) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 Milligrams in 50 Milliliters, Was Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that Ondansetron (ondansetron hydrochloride (HCl)) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 milligrams (mg) in 50 milliliters (mL), single intravenous (IV) dose, was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. The Agency will not accept or approve abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Helms Williams, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6280, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3381.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products under an ANDA procedure. ANDA applicants must, with certain exceptions, show among other things that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDA applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is known generally as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, drugs are removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    A person may petition the Agency to determine, or the Agency may determine on its own initiative, whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination may be made at any time after the drug has been withdrawn from sale but must be made prior to approving an ANDA that refers to the listed drug (21 CFR 314.161). FDA may not approve an ANDA that does not refer to a listed drug.

    Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, is the subject of NDA 021915, held by Baxter Healthcare Corporation (Baxter), and initially approved on December 27, 2006. The product is indicated for prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy in adult patients. It was approved under the pathway described by section 505(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(b)(2)). Baxter's application relied in part on FDA's finding of safety and effectiveness for ZOFRAN, NDA 020007, held by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

    In September 2011, FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication noting concerns that the 32 mg single IV dose of ZOFRAN, NDA 020007, and generic versions of that product could increase the risk of abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which could result in a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm. Specifically, the Agency noted that the 32 mg single IV dose of ondansetron could cause QT prolongation, which can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal heart rhythm called Torsades de Pointes. At FDA's request, GSK conducted a study to assess that risk. That study identified a significant QT prolongation effect in connection with the 32 mg single IV dose of Ondansetron. Based on this data, FDA approved GSK's supplemental application to remove the 32 mg single IV dose information from the labeling for ZOFRAN and has worked with manufacturers of all 32 mg, single IV dose ondansetron products to have them removed from the market.

    In a letter dated September 5, 2012, Baxter notified FDA that Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, was being discontinued, and FDA moved the drug product to the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. In a letter dated November 27, 2012, Baxter requested withdrawal of NDA 021915 for Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose. In a contemporaneous notice, FDA is announcing that it is withdrawing approval of NDA 021915.

    We have carefully reviewed our files for records concerning the withdrawal of Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, from sale. We have also evaluated relevant literature and data. FDA has determined under §§ 314.161 and 314.162(a)(2), that Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety.

    Accordingly, the Agency will remove Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, from the list of drug products published in the Orange Book. FDA will not accept or approve ANDAs that refer to this drug product.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14145 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0554] Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval Comparative Price Information in Direct-to-Consumer and Professional Prescription Drug Advertisements AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a collection of information entitled “Comparative Price Information in Direct-to-Consumer and Professional Prescription Drug Advertisements” has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 23, 2015, the Agency submitted a proposed collection of information entitled, “Comparative Price Information in Direct-to-Consumer and Professional Prescription Drug Advertisements” to OMB for review and clearance under 44 U.S.C. 3507. 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. OMB has now approved the information collection and has assigned OMB control number 0910-0791. The approval expires on May 31, 2018. A copy of the supporting statement for this information collection is available on the Internet at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14122 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0684] Identification of Alternative In Vitro Bioequivalence Pathways Which Can Reliably Ensure In Vivo Bioequivalence of Product Performance and Quality of Non-Systemically Absorbed Drug Products for Animals; Reopening of the Comment Period AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments; reopening of the comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reopening the comment period related to the use of in vitro methods as a mechanism for assessing the in vivo product bioequivalence (BE) of nonsystemically absorbed drug products intended for use in veterinary species, published in the Federal Register of March 18, 2015 (80 FR 14146). FDA is reopening the comment period to update comments and to receive any new information.

    DATES:

    Submit either electronic or written comments by August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit electronic comments 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:

    John Harshman, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, HFV-170, MPN2, 7500 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-0845.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of March 18, 2015 (80 FR 14146), FDA announced a public meeting to discuss the use of in vitro methods as a mechanism for assessing the in vivo product bioequivalence (BE) of nonsystemically absorbed drug products intended for use in veterinary species. In the same notice, FDA said that it is seeking additional public comment to the docket. Interested persons were originally given until May 18, 2015, to comment on this issue.

    II. Request for Comments

    Following publication of the March 18, 2015, notification of public meeting and request for comments, FDA received a request to allow interested persons additional time to comment. The requester asserted that the time period of 60 days was insufficient to respond fully to FDA's specific requests for comments and to allow potential respondents to thoroughly evaluate and address pertinent issues.

    III. How To Submit 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: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14101 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1533] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Establishment of a Tobacco User Panel AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by July 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-NEW and title “Establishment of a Tobacco User Panel”. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Establishment of a Tobacco User Panel—(OMB Control Number 0910-NEW)

    The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) proposes to establish a high quality, probability-based, primarily Web-based, panel of 4,000 tobacco users. The panel will include individuals who can participate in up to 8 studies over a 3-year period to assess consumers' responses to tobacco marketing, warning statements, product labels, and other communications about tobacco products. CTP proposed the establishment of the panel of consumers because currently existing Web-based panels have a number of significant limitations.

    First, most existing consumer panels are drawn from convenience samples that limit the generalizability of study findings (Ref. 1). Second, although at least two probability-based panels of consumers exist in the United States, there is a concern that responses to the studies using tobacco users in these panels may be biased due to panel conditioning effects (Refs. 2 and 3). That is, consumers in these panels complete surveys so frequently that their responses may not adequately represent the population as a whole. Panel conditioning has been associated with repeated measurement on the same topic (Ref. 4), panel tenure (Ref. 2), and frequency of the survey request (Ref. 3). This issue is of particular concern for tobacco users who represent a minority of the members in the panels, and so may be more likely to be selected for participation in experiments and/or surveys related to tobacco products. Third, a key benefit of the Web panel approach is that the surveys can include multimedia, such as images of tobacco product packages, tobacco advertising, new and existing warning statements and labels, and potential reduced harm claims in the form of labels and print advertisements. Establishing a primarily Web-based panel of tobacco users through in-person probability-based recruitment of eligible adults and limiting the number of times individuals participate in tobacco-related studies will result in nationally representative and unbiased data collection on matters of importance for FDA.

    With this submission, FDA seeks approval from OMB to establish the Tobacco User Panel, a nationally representative, primarily Web-based panel of 4,000 current tobacco users. Data collection activities will involve pilot testing of panel recruitment and management procedures and systems, mail and in-person household screening, in-person recruitment of tobacco users, enrollment of selected household members, administration of a baseline survey, and panel maintenance surveys, following all required informed consent procedures for panel members. Once the panel is established, panel members will be asked to participate in up to eight experimental and observational studies over the 3-year panel commitment period. The first of these studies (Study 1) is included in this information collection request; approval for the remainder of the studies will appear in future requests. The current request also seeks approval to conduct up to two rounds of cognitive testing of new survey items and up to two focus groups to further refine study protocols, as needed. With this clearance, study investigators will be able to use the OMB approved data collection methods where appropriate to plan and implement the national panel.

    The overall purpose of the proposed data collection is to collect information from a representative sample of tobacco users to provide data that may be used to develop and support FDA's policies related to tobacco products, including their labels, labeling, and advertising. Data will be collected from the panel primarily through the use of randomized experimental designs, however, there may be data collected through the use of other methods, such as surveys, interviews, or online group discussions. Given the limitations on the existing Web-based panels, it is important to develop a new panel of tobacco users that balances the need to conduct experiments while limiting the number of tobacco-related studies per year so as to not bias study results.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    In the Federal Register of October 16, 2014 (79 FR 62160), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. FDA received three comments, however only two were PRA related. Within those submissions, FDA received multiple comments which the Agency has addressed.

    (Comment) One comment asked FDA for the opportunity to review the data collection plans and instruments including the sample design, data collection methodology, and panel performance evaluation plan.

    (Response) All the instruments and background documents including our plan for evaluating panel performance have been uploaded to the docket for easy access. The documents included are the data collection plans and methodology (Supporting Statement Part A), copies of the survey instruments used to screen and recruit panel members, as well as the first experimental or observation study (Study 1), and the proposed sample design (Supporting Statement Part B).

    (Comment) One comment asked FDA to provide additional details about the proposed sample design and FDA's approach to issues such as nonresponse of subjects and conditioning effects.

    (Response) The proposed sample design is described in detail in Supporting Statement, Part B. Briefly, we propose a multi-stage area sample based on an address-based sampling frame. The probabilities (single, joint, and the overall selection probability) will be measurable at each stage.

    The issues of non-response and conditioning effects are real challenges but they should be considered separately from the sample design. These are issues faced in the field once the sample has been selected and contacted. We have proposed several strategies for reducing non-response in the recruitment of panel members, the primary one being in-person recruitment which we believe will lead to significantly larger recruitment rates than we would achieve if we contacted sample members via mail, telephone, or web. We will describe our plans to reduce the non-response bias in future individual studies as part of the OMB submissions for these studies. We consider the issue of conditioning effects as part of our overall panel management plan, which is described in Supporting Statement, Part A.

    (Comment) One comment stated that FDA suggests that not every panelist will be eligible to participate in every study to minimize the potential for “conditioning” effects. However, this approach to participation is inconsistent with the requirement that every individual in the population has a non-zero probability of being in the sample. FDA will need to make trade-offs to balance these two interests. FDA could consider drawing data from similar respondents, as long as FDA knows that there are no important hidden differences between the respondents that may affect their responses.

    (Response) We will draw the original sample with known, non-zero, and, to the extent possible, equal probabilities. The same will apply to any additional samples drawn for the panel to replace attrition. Furthermore, any subsample drawn from the panel for specific studies will also result in known probabilities of selection. We will derive a strategy of spreading the survey-taking load over all panel members to avoid excessive burden on any single member or group of members. We will implement this strategy by randomly selecting each subsample, but at the same time keeping track of each member's survey-taking activity. As the number and frequency of survey-taking for a given member increases, their probability of selection will decrease, a strategy that we will implement using probability proportion to size sampling. This strategy will lead to known and measurable selection probabilities for each specific subsample.

    (Comment) One comment stated FDA should consider, whether in some instances, collecting fresh data from new samples of tobacco product users over time may provide better results.

    (Response) Our proposed approach includes replenishment of the sample over time to address attrition from the panel. As such, the panel will include tobacco users with varying tenure lengths on the panel. We will be in a position to restrict a specific study subsample to the more recent panel members, if desired, and more generally, the panel will allow FDA to specify the composition of the sample with respect to tenure.

    (Comment) One comment said FDA should consider inclusion of non-tobacco users or users of specific tobacco categories (e.g., e-cigarette users, moist smokeless tobacco users) in the sample to support comparative analyses between users and non-users or subgroup analyses.

    (Response) FDA considered including non-tobacco users early in the planning process. However, the planned experimental and observational studies will examine issues specific to the tobacco-using population, especially those with lower socio-economic status. This includes the underlying demographics of users as well as their knowledge, attitudes, practices, behaviors, and reactions to various tobacco-related stimuli. Other existing data sources, including survey panels, support research with non-users. Moreover, limiting the panel to users reduces the overall public burden. Once the panel is firmly established, we may consider its expansion.

    (Comment) One comment stated FDA should also consider how well the sample of 4,000 adult tobacco users will support the planned investigations.

    (Response) The sample size of 4,000 was chosen after a careful review of, on the one hand, power and subclass analyses requirements, and on the other hand, the budgetary implications. After our careful review, we concluded that a sample size of 4,000 tobacco users represents a good balance, at least for the first iteration of the panel.

    We should also mention that the young adult population (aged 18-25) and the low-income population (combined household income less than $30,000) will be oversampled allowing for more in-depth study of these two groups of tobacco users. We also include a screening feature that will result in oversampling of the smokeless tobacco users.

    (Comment) One commenter stated that FDA suggests that the approach includes a “3-year panel commitment period”. FDA should consider developing and sharing its plan for keeping or removing panelists. For example, will FDA keep or remove a panelist if he/she decides to quit using tobacco products? Also, how will FDA monitor whether incentives are influencing a panelist's responses or behavior? These are only a few examples of issues that could arise; therefore, a thoughtful panel management plan is needed.

    (Response) We agree that a detailed and well-designed panel management plan is needed to make the panel successful. The literature on panel maintenance is growing, but there is still much to be learned about optimal strategies for maintaining a strong and productive panel. Supporting Statement, Part A outlines our plans for panel management, including retention and nonresponse follow-up strategies, planned incentive experiments, monitoring of panel conditioning, and evaluation of the effects of various panel maintenance strategies on substantive responses.

    Continual monitoring is planned to study these and other important aspects of the panel's health. We will also keep a close eye on individual panelists, their participation patterns, and their non-response patterns to identify potential problems requiring intervention. FDA considered removing panel members who report they have stopped using tobacco products. Because of recidivism rates, it was decided to retain all enrolled panel members regardless of changes in their tobacco use patterns. Subsampling of panelists may be implemented for specific experimental or observational studies that are intended solely for current users of one or more specific tobacco products.

    (Comment) One commenter stated FDA should consider establishing mechanisms to evaluate the performance of the panel as well as the data derived from it. For example, data from the panel on measures such as current or past 30-day cigarette smoking might be compared against the most recent data from national surveys and other published reports.

    (Response) We agree that benchmarking the panel sample characteristics—demographic, socioeconomic, and tobacco use—against other national data sources is extremely important. We will continuously check that our panel matches known underlying population characteristics. However, we will also monitor how the panel compares with the target population with respect to known patterns of behavior surrounding tobacco use. Differences will not necessarily suggest problems with the panel but they will stimulate further investigation and explanation.

    (Comment) One commenter asked FDA to provide copies of the survey instruments for public comment.

    (Response) Copies of the survey instruments used to screen and recruit panel members, as well as the first experimental or observation study (Study 1), are uploaded to the docket.

    (Comment) One commenter strongly supports FDA's proposed collection of information. The commenter stated that this panel is of great utility and the proposed probability-based panel will serve as a flexible tool, giving FDA the opportunity to conduct diverse studies.

    (Response) FDA agrees with this comment and believes the panel will be a valuable tool for conducting new experimental studies.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Activity or type of respondent Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Household Screening Respondent 29,385 0.33 9,697 0.16 (10 minutes) 1,552 Panel Member Enrollment Survey 0.33 1,320 0.25 (15 minutes) 330 Panel Member Baseline Survey 0.33 1,320 0.25 (15 minutes) 330 Panel Maintenance/Bi-annual Update Surveys 4,000 3.0 12,000 0.08 (5 minutes) 960 Experimental/Observational Studies * 2.7 10,800 0.33 (20 minutes) 3,564 Panel Replenishment Screening Respondent 10,285 0.50 5,143 0.16 (10 minutes) 823 Panel Replenishment Enrollment Survey ** 2,800 0.33 924 0.25 (15 minutes) 231 Panel Replenishment Baseline Survey ** 2,800 0.33 924 0.25 (15 minutes) 231 Cognitive Interview Subjects 20 0.33 7 1.0 7 Focus Group Subjects 20 0.33 7 1.5 10 Total 49,310 8,038 1 There are no capital or operating and maintenance costs or associated with this collection of information. * Includes a total of 8 experimental or observational studies over a 3-year period for each of the 4,000 panel members who are active at the time of each study. The first study (Study 1) is included in this clearance request; the remaining studies will be funded under separate task orders but are included in this table to present an overall estimate of the burden for each participating panel member. ** Assumes 1,400 additional panel members will be recruited annually (2,800 total) as part of the panel replenishment effort.

    The collection burden was estimated using data from timed-readings of each instrument, including the mail and field screeners, enrollment survey, baseline survey, panel maintenance questionnaires, and Study 1 questionnaire.

    References

    The following references have 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 are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

    1. Baker, R., Blumberg, S., Brick, M., Couper, M., Courtright, M., Dennis, J. M., Dillman, D., Frankel, M., Garland, P., Groves, R., Kennedy, C., Krosnick, J. and Lavrakas, P., 2010, American Association for Public Opinion Research Report on Online Panels. Public Opinion Quarterly, 74 (4), pp. 711-781. 2. Coen, T., Lorch, J. and Piekarski, L., 2005, The Effects of Survey Frequency on Panelists' Responses, Worldwide Panel Research: Developments and Progress, Amsterdam, European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research. 3. Nancarrow, C. and Catwright, T., 2007, Online Access Panels and Tracking Research, The Conditioning Issue, International Journal of Market Research, 49(5), pp. 435-447. 4. Kruse, Y., Callegaro, M., Dennis, J. M., DiSogra, C., Subias, S., Lawrence, M., and Tompson, T., 2009, Panel Conditioning and Attrition in the AP-Yahoo! News Election Panel Study, Paper presented at the American Association for Public Opinion Research 64th Annual Conference. Dated: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14125 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1702] Baxter Healthcare Corporation et al.; Withdrawal of Approval of One New Drug Application and Four Abbreviated New Drug Applications AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is withdrawing approval of one new drug application (NDA) for Ondansetron (ondansetron hydrochloride (HCl)) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 milligrams (mg) in 50 milliliters (mL), single intravenous (IV) dose, and four abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for ondansetron HCl and Dextrose in 32 mg single IV doses. The holders of these applications have voluntarily requested that FDA withdraw approval of their applications and have waived their opportunity for a hearing.

    DATES:

    Effective June 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Helms Williams, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6280, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3381.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 29, 2012, FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication to notify health care professionals that the 32 mg, single IV dose of ondansetron HCl, indicated for prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy in adult patients, should be avoided due to the risk of a specific type of irregular heart rhythm called QT interval prolongation, which can lead to Torsades de Pointes, an abnormal, potentially fatal heart rhythm. Subsequently, FDA contacted the holders of the following applications and informed them that the Agency believes that in light of the safety concern associated with ondansetron HCl in the 32 mg, single IV dose, the following drug products should be removed from the market:

    Application number Drug Applicant NDA 021915 Ondansetron Hydrochloride Injection, USP premix in Intravia Plastic Container Baxter Healthcare Corporation (Baxter), 32650 N. Wilson Rd., Round Lake, IL 60073. ANDA 077348 Ondansetron Hydrochloride and Dextrose in Plastic Container Hospira, Inc. (Hospira), 275 North Field Dr., Department 389, Bldg. H2-2, Lake Forest, IL 60045. ANDA 077480 Ondansetron Hydrochloride and Dextrose in Plastic Container Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (Teva), 400 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677. ANDA 078291 Ondansetron Hydrochloride and Dextrose in Plastic Container Bedford Labs (Bedford), 300 Northfield Rd., Bedford, OH 44146. ANDA 078308 Ondansetron Hydrochloride and Dextrose in Plastic Container Claris Lifesciences Ltd. (Claris), 2325 Camino Vida Roble, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92011.

    As described in this document, the application holders agreed to voluntarily remove their respective 32 mg, single IV dose ondansetron products from the market, and requested that FDA withdraw approval of their respective applications (listed in the preceding table) under § 314.150(d) (21 CFR 314.150(d)). On December 4, 2012, FDA issued an updated Drug Safety Communication alerting health care professionals that these products would be removed from the market because of their potential for serious cardiac risks.

    Baxter's Ondansetron (ondansetron HCl) Injection, USP in PL 2408 Plastic Container, 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, was approved in NDA 021915 on December 27, 2006. In a letter dated November 27, 2012, Baxter requested withdrawal of NDA 021915 under 21 CFR 314.150(d), and waived its opportunity for a hearing provided under § 314.150(a). In a letter dated September 5, 2012, Baxter notified FDA that the product was being discontinued. In a contemporaneous notice, FDA is announcing its determination that the product was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness and that FDA will not accept or approve ANDAs that refer to this drug product.

    Hospira's ondansetron HCl Injection 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose was approved in ANDA 077348 on February 1, 2007. In a letter dated January 31, 2013, Hospira requested withdrawal of ANDA 077348 under 21 CFR 314.150(d), and waived its opportunity for a hearing provided under § 314.150(a).

    Teva's ondansetron HCl Injection 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose was approved in ANDA 077480 on November 22, 2006. In a letter dated November 20, 2012, Teva requested withdrawal of ANDA 077480 under 21 CFR 314.150(d), and waived its opportunity for a hearing provided under § 314.150(a).

    Bedford's ondansetron HCl Injection 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose was approved in ANDA 078291 on April 13, 2009. In a letter dated April 4, 2014, Bedford requested withdrawal of ANDA 078291, under 21 CFR 314.150(d), and waived its opportunity for a hearing provided under § 314.150(a).

    Claris's ondansetron HCl Injection 32 mg/50 mL, single IV dose, was approved in ANDA 078308 on March 17, 2008. In a letter dated November 16, 2012, through its U.S. agent, CUSTOpharm, Inc., Claris requested withdrawal of ANDA 078308 under 21 CFR 314.150(d), and waived its opportunity for a hearing provided under § 314.150(a).

    Therefore, under section 505(e) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 355(e)) and 21 CFR 314.150(d), and under authority delegated by the Commissioner to the Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, approval of the applications listed in the table of this document, and all amendments and supplements thereto, is withdrawn (see DATES). Distribution of these products in interstate commerce without an approved application is illegal and subject to regulatory action (see sections 505(a) and 301(d) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 355(a) and 331(d)). The Agency will remove these products from the list of drug products with effective approvals published in FDA's “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” generally referred to as the “Orange Book.”

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14144 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Dry Eye and Lacrimal Gland.

    Date: June 15, 2015.

    Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Alessandra C Rovescalli, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm 5205 MSC7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1021, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: June 5, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14185 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review: Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflicts: Infectious, Reproductive, Asthma, and Pulmonary Conditions.

    Date: July 2, 2015.

    Time: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Ellen K. Schwartz, Ed.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3144, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-828-6146, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Bioengineering Sciences Member Conflict.

    Date: July 7-9, 2015.

    Time: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Joseph Thomas Peterson, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4118, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9694, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Radiation Therapy and Biology SBIR/STTR.

    Date: July 8-9, 2015.

    Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Bo Hong, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6194, MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-996-6208, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: June 5, 2015. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14186 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Proposed collection; 60-day comment request Information Program on Clinical Trials: Maintaining a Registry and Results Databank (NLM) SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This summary describes the existing information collection at ClinicalTrials.gov, for which an extension is requested; it does not include any changes to the information collection that were proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Clinical Trial Registration and Results Submission that was issued on November 21, 2014 (79 FR 225, Nov. 21, 2014).

    Written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited on one or more of the following points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function 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.

    To Submit Comments and For Further Information: To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, submit comments in writing, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: David Sharlip, Office of Administrative and Management Analysis Services, National Library of Medicine, Building 38A, Room B2N12, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894, or call non-toll-free number (301) 402-9680, or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

    Proposed Collection: Information Program on Clinical Trials: Maintaining a Registry and Results Databank (NLM), 0925-0586, Expiration Date: 08/31/2015, EXTENSION, National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: The National Institutes of Health operates ClinicalTrials.gov, which was established as a clinical trial registry under section 113 of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-115) and was expanded to include a results data bank by Title VIII of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). ClinicalTrials.gov collects registration and results information for clinical trials and other types of clinical studies (e.g., observational studies and patient registries) with the objectives of enhancing patient enrollment and providing a mechanism for tracking subsequent progress of clinical studies, to the benefit of public health. It is widely used by patients, physicians, and medical researchers; in particular those involved in clinical research. While many clinical studies are registered and submit results information voluntarily, FDAAA requires the registration of certain applicable clinical trials of drugs and devices and the submission of results information for completed applicable clinical trials of drugs and devices that are approved, licensed, or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Beginning in 2009, results information was required to include information about serious and frequent adverse events.

    This extension request does not include any changes to the information submission requirements for ClinicalTrials.gov that were proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Clinical Trial Registration and Results Submission that was issued on November 21, 2014 and for which the public comment period closed on March 23, 2015 (79 FR 225, Nov. 21, 2014). The NIH is continuing to review submitted public comments as it prepares the final rule. The NIH will make any corresponding changes to the ClinicalTrials.gov information collection via separate procedure.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. The total estimated annualized cost to respondents is $49,399,851. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 682,535.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Submission type Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • response per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • time per
  • response
  • Annual
  • hour
  • burden
  • PRS Account 5,700 1 15/60 1,425 Initial Registration 23,000 1 7 161,000 Updates 23,000 8 2 368,000 Initial Results 3,700 1 25 92,500 Updates 3,700 2 8 59,200 Certification to Delay Results 700 1 30/60 350 Extension Request 30 1 2 60 Total 33,130 682,535
    Dated: June 4, 2015. David Sharlip, Project Clearance Liaison, NLM, NIH.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14169 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Corneal Diseases, Membrane Transport, and Ocular Cancer.

    Date: June 22, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Alessandra C Rovescalli, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm 5205 MSC7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1021, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group; Biostatistical Methods and Research Design Study Section.

    Date: June 26, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Peter J. Kozel, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3139, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1116, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Glioblastomas, Multiple Sclerosis, Viruses, and Psychiatric Disorders.

    Date: June 30, 2015.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Samuel C Edwards, Ph.D., IRG CHIEF, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5210, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1246, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR14-066: Limited Competition: Specific Pathogen Ffee Macaque Colonies.

    Date: June 30, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Robert Freund, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5216, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1050, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Cancer Drug Development and Therapeutics.

    Date: July 8-9, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Lilia Topol, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6192, MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-0131, [email protected].

    Name of Committee: AIDS and Related Research Integrated Review Group; Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section.

    Date: July 9-10, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: St. Gregory Hotel, 2033 M Street NW., Washington, DC 20036.

    Contact Person: Mark P. Rubert, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5218, MSC 7852, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-806-6596, [email protected].

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: June 4, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14170 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, Maryland 20852-3804; telephone: 301-496-7057; fax: 301-402-0220. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology descriptions follow.

    Boron Amino Acid Mimetics for PET Imaging of Cancer

    Description of Technology: Available for licensing and commercial development as imaging agents for positron emission tomography of cancer are boramino acid compounds. The inventors showed that mimetics created by substituting the carboxylate group (-COO-) of an amino acid with trifluoroborate (-BF3 -) are metabolically stable and allow for the use of fluorene-18 (18F) as the radiolabel. Using boroamino acid for 18F-labeling allows for integrating the 18F radiolabel into the core molecular backbone rather than the side-chains thus increasing the agent's target specificity. There is a direct relationship between amino acid uptake and cancer cell replication, where the uptake is extensively upregulated in most cancer cells. This uptake increases as cancer progresses, leading to greater uptake in high-grade tumors and metastases. Amino acids act as signaling molecules for proliferation and may also reprogram metabolic networks in the buildup of biomass. This invention provides for an unmet need for traceable amino acid mimics, including those based on naturally-occurring amino acids, which may be non-invasively detected by imaging technology, including for clinical diagnosis and anti-cancer drug evaluation.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Cancer imaging

    • Anti-cancer drug development

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Fluorene-18 labeling

    • Metabolic stability

    Development Stage:

    • Early-stage

    • In vitro data available

    • In vivo data available (animal)

    Inventors: Xiaoyuan Chen and Zhibo Liu (NIBIB)

    Publications:

    1. Liu Z, et al. Preclinical evaluation of a high-affinity 18F-trifluoroborate octreotate derivative for somatostatin receptor imaging. J Nucl Med. 2014 Sep;55(9):1499-505. [PMID 24970911]

    2. Liu Z, et al. (18)F-trifluoroborate derivatives of [des-arg(10)]kallidin for imaging bradykinin b1 receptor expression with positron emission tomography. Mol Pharm. 2015 Mar 2;12(3):974-82. [PMID 25629412]

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-135-2015/0—US Provisional Patent Application 62/155,085 filed April 30, 2015

    Licensing Contact: Michael Shmilovich, Esq., CLP; 301-435-5019 or 301-402-5579; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Boramino Acid Mimetics for Use in Cancer Imaging. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Cecilia Pazman at [email protected]

    Resolution Enhancement for Light Sheet Microscopy Systems

    Description of Technology: The invention pertains to a technique for enhancing the resolution of images in light sheet microscopy by adding additional enhanced depth-of-focus optical arrangements and high numerical aperture objective lenses. The technique employs an arrangement of three objective lenses and a processor for combining captured images. The image composition utilizes the greater resolving power of the third high numerical aperture objective lens by imaging the light sheet and enhanced depth-of-focus arrangement resulting in improved overall resolution of the light sheet system. The depth of field arrangement could be a simple oscillation of the third objective, a “layer cake,” or cubic phase mask component. Any loss in lateral resolution that results from the depth of field arrangement may be compensated for by deconvolution. In some embodiments, other optics, such as an axicon or annular aperture, can provide extended depth of field.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • High speed imaging

    • Fast single cell and cellular dynamics imaging

    • Superresolution and single molecule imaging

    • 3D single particle tracking

    • 3D superresolution imaging in thick samples

    Competitive Advantages: Resolution enhancement in light microscopy

    Development Stage: In vitro data available

    Inventors: Hari Shroff (NIBIB), Yicong Wu (NIBIB), Sara Abrahamsson

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-232-2014/0—US Application No. 62/054,484 filed September 24, 2014

    Related Technology: HHS Reference No. E-078-2011/0

    Licensing Contact: Michael Shmilovich, Esq., CLP; 301-435-5019 or 301-402-5579; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Resolution Enhancement Technique for Light Sheet Microscopy Systems. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Cecilia Pazman at 301-594-4273 or [email protected]

    Device for Selective Partitioning of Frozen Cellular Products

    Description of Technology: Cryopreservation using liquid nitrogen frozen polyvinyl bags allows for storing cellular materials for extended periods while maintaining their activity and viability. Such bags are commonly used in the clinic to store blood products including blood cells, plasma, hematopoietic stem cells, umbilical cord blood for future uses including transplantation. These materials, typically obtained in limited quantities, may be of great therapeutic value, as is the case of stem cells or cord blood derived cells which can be used to potentially treat a number of diseases. Currently, even if only a small portion of the cryopreserved sample is needed the whole bag must be thawed, wasting much of the sample or rendering the remaining sample susceptible to contamination since it cannot be effectively refrozen or sterilized. The present device meets an unmet need for retrieving a portion of a frozen sample stored in polyvinyl cryopreserved bags, resealing the remainder of the sample and preserving the cryopreserved state and integrity of the rest of the cellular product without compromising viability and sterility.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Cryopreservation

    • Cellular Products

    • Hematopoietic stem cells

    • Umbilical cord blood

    • iPSCs

    • Transplantation

    • Chronic spinal cord injury

    • Neurological disorders

    • Cancer immunotherapy

    • Cell banking

    • Cell replacement therapy

    Competitive Advantages:

    • Partitioning cryopreserved cell products

    • Maintenance of sterility of partitioned product

    • Maintenance of viability of partitioned product

    • Resealing of cryopreservation bag

    • Multiple use of patient derived cellular products

    Development Stage: Prototype

    Inventors: Richard Childs, Sumithira Vasu, Herb Cullis, PJ Broussard, Kevin Clark, Eric Harting (all rights assigned to the US Government)

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-173-2009/0 -

    • US Provisional App. 61/175,131

    • Int'l App. PCT/US2010/033575

    • Canadian App. 2,760,363

    • EP App. 10719496.1

    • IL App. 216085

    • US Patent 8,790,597

    • US Patent App. 14/305,578

    Licensing Contact: Michael Shmilovich, Esq., CLP; 301-435-5019 or 301-402-5579; [email protected]

    Collaborative Research Opportunity: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize Device for Partitioning Cryopreserved Cellular Products. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Cecilia Pazman, Ph.D. at 301-594-4273 or [email protected]

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Richard U. Rodriguez, Acting Director, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14095 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection [1651-0001] Agency Information Collection Activities: Cargo Manifest/Declaration, Stow Plan, Container Status Messages and Importer Security Filing AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice and request for comments; Extension of an existing collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: Cargo Manifest/Declaration, Stow Plan, Container Status Messages and Importer Security Filing. CBP is proposing to add burden hours for four new collections of information, including Electronic Ocean Export Manifest, Electronic Air Export Manifest, Electronic Rail Export Manifest, and Vessel Stow Plan (Export). There are no changes to the existing forms or collections within this OMB approval. This document is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be received on or before July 10, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the OMB Desk Officer for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Tracey Denning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade, 90 K Street NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177, at 202-325-0265.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register (80 FR 17059) on March 31, 2015, allowing for a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10. CBP invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. 3507). The comments should address: (a) Whether the 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 estimates of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology; and (e) the annual costs to respondents or record keepers from the collection of information (total capital/startup costs and operations and maintenance costs). The comments that are submitted will be summarized and included in the CBP request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. In this document, CBP is soliciting comments concerning the following information collection:

    Title: Cargo Manifest/Declaration, Stow Plan, Container Status Messages and Importer Security Filing.

    OMB Number: 1651-0001.

    Form Numbers: Forms 1302, 1302A, 7509, 7533.

    Abstract: This OMB approval includes the following existing information collections: CBP Form 1302 (or electronic equivalent); CBP Form 1302A (or electronic equivalent); CBP Form 7509 (or electronic equivalent); CBP Form 7533 (or electronic equivalent); Manifest Confidentiality; Vessel Stow Plan (Import); Container Status Messages; and Importer Security Filing. CBP is proposing to add new information collections for Electronic Ocean Export Manifest; Electronic Air Export Manifest; Electronic Rail Export Manifest; and Vessel Stow Plan (Export). Specific information regarding these collections of information is as follows:

    CBP Form 1302: The master or commander of a vessel arriving in the United States from abroad with cargo on board must file CBP Form 1302, Inward Cargo Declaration, or submit the information on this form using a CBP-approved electronic equivalent. CBP Form 1302 is part of the manifest requirements for vessels entering the United States and was agreed upon by treaty at the United Nations Inter-government Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO). This form and/or electronic equivalent, is provided for by 19 CFR 4.5, 4.7, 4.7a, 4.8, 4.33, 4.34, 4.38, 4.84, 4.85, 4.86, 4.91, 4.93 and 4.99 and is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%201302_0.pdf.

    CBP Form 1302A: The master or commander of a vessel departing from the United States must file CBP Form 1302A, Cargo Declaration Outward With Commercial Forms, or CBP-approved electronic equivalent, with copies of bills of lading or equivalent commercial documents relating to all cargo encompassed by the manifest. This form and/or electronic equivalent, is provided for by 19 CFR 4.62, 4.63, 4.75, 4.82, and 4.87-4.89 and is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%201302_0.pdf.

    Electronic Ocean Export Manifest: CBP will begin a pilot in 2015 to electronically collect ocean export manifest information. This information will be transmitted to CBP in advance via the Automated Export System (AES) within the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The data elements to be transmitted may include the following:

    • Mode of transportation (Vessel, containerized or Vessel, non-containerized) • Name of ship or vessel • Nationality of ship • Name of master • Port of loading • Port of discharge • Bill of Lading number (Master and House) • Bill of Lading type (Master, House, Simple or Sub) • Number of House Bills of Lading • Marks and Numbers • Container Numbers • Seal Numbers • Number and kind of packages • Description of goods • Gross Weight (lb. or kg.) • Measurements (per HTSUS) • Shipper name and address • Consignee name and address • Notify Party name and address • Country of Ultimate Destination • In-bond number • Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption Statement • Split Shipment Indicator • Portion of split shipment • Hazmat Indicator • UN Number • Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Registry Number • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or Product Identification Number

    CBP Form 7509: The aircraft commander or agent must file Form 7509, Air Cargo Manifest, with CBP at the departure airport, or respondents may submit the information on this form using a CBP-approved electronic equivalent. CBP Form 7509 contains information about the cargo onboard the aircraft. This form, and/or electronic equivalent, is provided for by 19 CFR 122.35, 122.48, 122.48a, 122.52, 122.54, 122.73, 122.113, and 122.118, and is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%207509_0.pdf.

    Electronic Air Export Manifest: CBP will begin a pilot in 2015 to electronically collect air export manifest information. This information will be transmitted to CBP in advance via ACE's AES. The data elements to be transmitted may include the following:

    • Exporting Carrier • Marks of nationality and registration • Flight Number • Port of Lading • Port of Unlading • Scheduled date of departure • Consolidator • De-Consolidator • Air Waybill type (Master, House, Simple, or Sub) • Air Waybill Number • Number of pieces and unit of measure • Weight (kg./lb.) • Number of house air waybills • Shipper name and address • Consignee name and address • Cargo description • AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption Statement/Exception Classification • Split air waybill indicator • Hazmat indicator • UN Number • In-bond number • Mode of transportation (Air, containerized or Air, non-containerized)

    CBP Form 7533: The master or person in charge of a conveyance files CBP Form 7533, INWARD CARGO MANIFEST FOR VESSEL UNDER FIVE TONS, FERRY, TRAIN, CAR, VEHICLE, ETC, which is required for a vehicle or a vessel of less than 5 net tons arriving in the United States from Canada or Mexico, otherwise than by sea, with baggage or merchandise. Respondents may also submit the information on this form using a CBP-approved electronic equivalent. CBP Form 7533, and/or electronic equivalent, is provided for by 19 CFR 123.4, 123.7, 123.61, 123.91, and 123.92, and is accessible at: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%207533_0.pdf.

    Electronic Rail Export Manifest: CBP will begin a pilot in 2015 to electronically collect the rail export manifest information. This information will be transmitted to CBP in advance via ACE's AES. The data elements to be transmitted may include the following:

    • Mode of Transportation (Rail, containerized or Rail, non-containerized) • Port of Departure from the United States • Date of Departure • Manifest Number • Train Number • Rail Car Order • Car Locator Message • Hazmat Indicator • 6-character Hazmat Code • Marks and Numbers • SCAC (Standard Carrier Alpha Code) for exporting carrier • Shipper name and address • Consignee name and address • Place where the rail carrier takes possession of the cargo shipment or empty rail car • Port of Unlading • Country of Ultimate Destination • Equipment Type Code • Container Number(s) (for containerized shipments) or Rail Car Number(s) (for all other shipments) • Empty Indicator • Bill of Lading Numbers (Master and House) • Bill of Lading type (Master, House, Simple or Sub) • Number of house bills of lading • Notify Party name and address • AES Internal Transaction Number (ITN) or AES Exemption Statement • Cargo Description • Weight of Cargo (may be expressed in either pounds or kilograms) • Quantity of Cargo and Unit of Measure • Seal Number • Split Shipment Indicator • Portion of split shipment • In-bond number • Mexican Pedimento Number

    Manifest Confidentiality: An importer or consignee (inward) or a shipper (outward) may request confidential treatment of its name and address contained in manifests by following the procedure set forth in 19 CFR 103.31.

    Vessel Stow Plan (Import): For all vessels transporting goods to the United States, except for any vessel exclusively carrying bulk cargo, the incoming carrier is required to electronically submit a vessel stow plan no later than 48 hours after the vessel departs from the last foreign port that includes information about the vessel and cargo. For voyages less than 48 hours in duration, CBP must receive the vessel stow plan prior to arrival at the first port in the U.S. The vessel stow plan is provided for by 19 CFR 4.7c.

    Vessel Stow Plan (Export): CBP will begin a pilot in 2015 to electronically collect a vessel stow plan for vessels transporting goods from the United States, except for any vessels exclusively carrying bulk cargo. The exporting carrier will electronically submit a vessel stow plan in advance.

    Container Status Messages (CSMs): For all containers destined to arrive within the limits of a U.S. port from a foreign port by vessel, the incoming carrier must submit messages regarding the status of events if the carrier creates or collects a container status message (CSM) in its equipment tracking system reporting an event. CSMs must be transmitted to CBP via a CBP-approved electronic data interchange system. These messages transmit information regarding events such as the status of a container (full or empty); booking a container destined to arrive in the United States; loading or unloading a container from a vessel; and a container arriving or departing the United States. CSMs are provided for by 19 CFR 4.7d.

    Importer Security Filing (ISF): For most cargo arriving in the United States by vessel, the importer, or its authorized agent, must submit the data elements listed in 19 CFR 149.3 via a CBP-approved electronic interchange system within prescribed time frames. Transmission of these data elements provide CBP with advance information about the shipment.

    Current Actions: CBP is proposing that this information collection be extended with a change to the burden hours resulting from proposed new information collections associated with the Electronic Ocean Export Manifest, Electronic Air Export Manifest, Electronic Rail Export Manifest, and Vessel Stow Plan (Export). There are no changes to the existing information collections under this OMB approval. The burden hours are listed in the chart below.

    Type of Review: Revision and Extension.

    Affected Public: Businesses.

    Collection Total
  • burden hours
  • Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Time per
  • response
  • Air Cargo Manifest (CBP Form 7509) 366,600 260 5,640 1,466,400 15 minutes. Inward Cargo Manifest for Truck, Rail, Vehicles, Vessels, etc. (CBP Form 7533) 962,940 33,000 291.8 9,629,400 6 minutes. Inward Cargo Declaration (CBP Form 1302) 1,500,000 10,000 300 3,000,000 30 minutes. Cargo Declaration Outward With Commercial Forms (CBP Form 1302A) 10,000 500 400 200,000 3 minutes. Importer Security Filing 17,739,000 240,000 33.75 8,100,000 2.19 hours. Vessel Stow Plan (Import) 31,803 163 109 17,767 1.79 hours. Vessel Stow Plan (Export) 31,803 163 109 17,767 1.79 hours. Container Status Messages 23,996 60 4,285,000 257,100,000 0.0056 minutes. Request for Manifest Confidentiality 1,260 5,040 1 5,040 15 minutes. Electronic Air Export Manifest 121,711 260 5,640 1,466,400 5 minutes. Electronic Ocean Export Manifest 5,000 500 400 200,000 1.5 minutes. Electronic Rail Export Manifest 2,490 50 300 15,000 10 minutes. Total 20,796,603 289,996 281,217,774
    Dated: June 3, 2015. Seth Renkema, Acting Agency Clearance Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14189 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: TSA Claims Management Branch Program AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-day Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has forwarded the Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0039, abstracted below to OMB for review and approval of an extension of the currently approved collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. TSA published a Federal Register notice, with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments, of the following collection of information on April 1, 2015, at 80 FR 17470. The collection involves the submission of information from claimants in order to thoroughly examine and resolve tort claims against the agency.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by July 10, 2015. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to Desk Officer, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh, TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011; telephone (571) 227-2062; email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at http://www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    Title: TSA Claims Management Branch Program.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    OMB Control Number: 1652-0039.

    Forms(s): Supplemental Information Form, Payment Form.

    Affected Public: Members of the traveling public who believe they have experienced property loss or damage, a personal injury, or other damages due to the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a TSA employee and decide to seek compensation by filing a Federal tort claim against TSA.

    Abstract: OMB Control Number 1652-0039, TSA Claims Management Branch Program, allows the agency to collect information from claimants in order to thoroughly examine and resolve tort claims against the agency. TSA receives approximately 834 1 tort claims per month arising from airport screening activities and other circumstances, including motor vehicle accidents and employee loss. The Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 1346(b), 1402(b), 2401(b), 2671-2680) is the authority under which the TSA Claims Management Branch adjudicates tort claims.

    1 In the 60 day notice, TSA estimated that it received approximately 1,000 tort claims per month arising from airport screening activities and other circumstances, including motor vehicle accidents and employee loss. Based on current data, the number has been adjusted to 834 tort claims.

    The data is collected whenever an individual believes s/he has experienced property loss or damage, a personal injury, or other damages due to the negligent or wrongful act or omission of a TSA employee, and decides to file a Federal tort claim against TSA. Submission of a claim is entirely voluntary and initiated by individuals. The claimants (or respondents) to this collection are typically the traveling public. Currently, claimants file a claim by submitting to TSA a Standard Form 95 (SF-95), which has been approved under OMB control number 1105-0008. Because TSA requires further clarifying information, claimants are asked to complete a Supplemental Information page added to the SF-95. These forms have been approved under OMB control number 1652-0039.

    Claim instructions and forms are available through the TSA Web site at http://www.tsa.gov. Claimants must download these forms and mail or fax them to TSA. On the Supplemental Information page, claimants are asked to provide additional claim information including: (1) Email address, (2) airport, (3) location of incident within the airport, (4) complete travel itinerary, (5) whether baggage was delayed by airline, (6) why they believe TSA was negligent, (7) whether they used a third-party baggage service, (8) whether they were traveling under military orders, and (9) whether they submitted claims with the airlines or insurance companies.

    If TSA determines payment is warranted, TSA sends the claimant a form requesting: (1) Claimant signature, (2) banking information (routing and account number), and (3) Social Security number (required by the U.S. Treasury for all Government payments to the public pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3325).

    Number of Respondents: 10,000.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: An estimated 6,000 hours annually.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14201 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5830-N-03] 60-Day Notice of Submission of Proposed Information Collection for HUD Generic Clearance for Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Proposed New HUD Services or Products AGENCY:

    Office of the General Counsel, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of the Federal government-wide effort to streamline the process of seeking public feedback on service delivery, HUD is submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act, a Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Proposed New Services or Products to seek information on new services and products that may needed by HUD customers.

    DATES:

    Comments Due Date: August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name, or the FR number shown above, and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected] for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20410; email Colette Pollard at [email protected] or telephone 202-402-3400. This is not a toll-free number. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Order 12862, entitled “Setting Customer Service Standards,”' requires that Federal agencies provide the highest quality service to their customers by identifying needed services and seeking feedback on offered services. The information proposed to be collected under this notice is designed by HUD to garner qualitative feedback from HUD customers in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery.

    In accordance with the Executive Order, the term “customer” means an individual or entity that is directly served by a department or agency. The term “qualitative feedback” refers to information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but does not constitute statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of the study. The collections to be undertaken under this HUD proposed generic collection will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communications between HUD and its customers. The collections will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of HUD products and services, help identify where existing products and services may be lacking in some aspects, and whether there are additional products and services that could be offered by HUD. This notice informs the public that HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the information collection described in Section A.

    A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Proposed New HUD Services or Products.

    OMB Approval Number: Pending.

    Type of Request: New.

    Form Number: No specific form is currently contemplated.

    Description of the need for the information and proposed use: For HUD to be successful in its mission, input from HUD customers and interested members of the public is essential. Such feedback takes many forms, including the solicitation of public comments through Federal Register notices, but also through surveys directly sent to HUD customers designed to gauge satisfaction with services and products offered by HUD. This generic clearance is designed to elicit input on possible new HUD products or services that may be helpful to HUD customers. An example of these types of services or products are the services offered by the National Resource Network that were initially determined best suited for cities with populations of 40,000 or more, and having, among other criteria, an annual average unemployment rate of 9 percent or more. (See http://nationalresourcenetwork.org/en/solutions/rfa.)

    A generic collection, such as HUD is proposing through this notice, would allow HUD to survey its customers to determine whether HUD has identified appropriate eligibility criteria for new products and services under consideration, and correctly identified the categories of customers in need of these products or services. The areas of inquiry anticipated to be surveyed would be those seeking information about the specific customer being surveyed, for example, the public housing agency (PHA), State and local government, private housing provider, nonprofit organizations, or other organization participating in HUD programs. Of the category or categories of program participants surveyed, the survey would inquire about: the demographics of the populations the customer serves; the type of HUD subsidized housing that is provided; energy, other utility, technological, or other infrastructure needs of the housing provided; the need for better access to community assets, such as transportation, financial services, educational services (schools, libraries or computer facilities), and sports and exercise facilities; the availability of any federal, other governmental, and local resources to address identified needs if these resources were made available; and any demonstration of community or governmental support to improve the quality of the housing provided. HUD anticipates the survey will solicit basic information regarding the customer and current or anticipated needs for which brief responses will suffice. However, the survey would provide the opportunity for the customer to present additional information pertaining to these topics that customers may choose to note.

    Respondents (i.e. affected public): PHAs, State and local governments, tribal nations, multifamily housing providers, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations that participate in HUD programs.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Estimated Number of Responses Annually: 100.

    Frequency of Response: Once.

    Average Hours per Response: 1 hour.

    Total Estimated Burdens: 100 hours.

    Information collection Number of
  • respondents
  • annually
  • Frequency of response Responses per annum Burden hour per response Annual burden hours Hourly cost per response Annual cost
    Demographics 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0 Type of subsidized housing 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0 Energy, Utility, Technology Needs 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0 Community Assets Needs 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0 Potential uses of federal and local resources 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0 Totals 1,000 1 100 1 1 0 0
    B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following:

    (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;

    (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 through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions.

    Authority:

    Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Camille E. Acevedo, Associate General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14192 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [156A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G] Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Student Transportation Form AGENCY:

    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is seeking comments on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the collection of information for Student Transportation Form, authorized by OMB Control Number 1076-0134. This information collection expires September 30, 2015.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the information collection to: Dr. Joe Herrin, 1951 Constitution Ave., MS-312-SIB, Washington, DC 20245; Fax: (202) 208-3271; Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Joe Herrin, phone: (202) 208-7658.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The BIE is requesting renewal of OMB approval for the Student Transportation Form. The Student Transportation regulations in 25 CFR part 39, subpart G, contain the program eligibility and criteria that govern the allocation of transportation funds. Information collected from the schools will be used to determine the rate per mile. The information collection provides transportation mileage for Bureau-funded schools, which determines the allocation of transportation funds. This information is collected using a Web-based system, Office of Indian Education Programs (OIEP) MultiWeb Intranet/WebET Intranet. Response is required to obtain a benefit.

    II. Request for Comments

    The BIE requests your comments on this collection concerning: (a) The necessity of this information collection 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 the burden (hours and cost) of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Ways we could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways we could minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents.

    Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and an individual need not respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB Control Number.

    It is our policy to make all comments available to the public for review at the location listed in the ADDRESSES section. Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1076-0134.

    Title: Student Transportation Form, 25 CFR 39.

    Brief Description of Collection: This annual collection provides pertinent data concerning the school's bus transportation mileage and related long distance travel mileage to determine funding levels for school transportation. This information is collected using the Web-based system, OIEP MultiWeb Intranet/WebET Intranet and the Indian School Equalization Program (ISEP) Student Transportation form.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Contract and Grant schools; Bureau-operated schools.

    Number of Respondents: 183 per year, on average.

    Total Number of Responses: 183 per year, on average.

    Frequency of Response: Once per year.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 366 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Dollar Cost: $0.

    Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14153 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [156A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900 253G] Renewal of Agency Information Collection for Indian Reservation Roads AGENCY:

    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is seeking comments on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the collection of information for the Indian Reservation Roads (IRR), authorized by OMB Control Number 1076-0161. This information collection expires September 30, 2015.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the information collection LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1849 C Street, NW., MS-4513-MIB, Washington, DC 20240; facsimile: (202) 208-4696; email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LeRoy Gishi, (202) 513-7711.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs is currently in the process of revising the regulations governing the Indian Reservations Roads (IRR) program. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2014 (79 FR 76192), which will update the Indian Reservation Roads program to the Tribal Transportation Program. The request for extension for this information collection request do not include the suggestions and feedback on the proposed regulations, but instead will allow current participants to submit information required under the current regulations, pending the finalization and effective date of any revisions. For this reason, the BIA is requesting an extension without change of the approval for the information collection conducted under 25 CFR part 170.

    This collection allows Federally recognized tribal governments to participate in the Indian Reservation Roads (IRR) program as defined in 25 U.S.C. 202. The information collection determines the allocation of the IRR program funds to Indian tribes as described in 25 U.S.C. 202(b).

    II. Request for Comments

    The BIA requests your comments on this collection concerning: (a) The necessity of this information collection 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 the burden (hours and cost) of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Ways we could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Ways we could minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents.

    Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and an individual need not respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB Control Number.

    It is our policy to make all comments available to the public for review at the location listed in the ADDRESSES section. Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1076-0161.

    Title: Indian Reservation Roads, 25 CFR 170.

    Brief Description of Collection: Some of the information such as the road inventory updates (25 CFR 170.443), the development of a long range transportation plan (25 CFR 170.411 and 170.412), the development of a tribal transportation improvement program and priority list (25 CFR 170.420 and 170.421) are mandatory for consideration of projects and for program funding form the formula. Some of the information, such as public hearing requirements, is necessary for public notification and involvement (25 CFR 170.437 and 170.439). While other information, such as data appeals (25 CFR 170.231) and requests for design exceptions (25 CFR 170.456), are voluntary.

    Type of Review: Extension without change of currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Federally recognized Indian Tribal governments who have transportation needs associated with the IRR Program as described in 25 CFR part 170.

    Number of Respondents: 1,409.

    Frequency of Response: Annually or on an as needed basis.

    Estimated Time per Response: Reports require from 30 minutes to 40 hours to complete. An average would be 16 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 19,628 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Non-Hour Dollar Cost: $0.

    Elizabeth K. Appel, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Collaborative Action—Indian Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14154 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR957000-L63100000-HD0000-15XL1116AF: HAG 15-0159] Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/Washington AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The plats of survey of the following described lands are scheduled to be officially filed in the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, Portland, Oregon, 30 days from the date of this publication.

    Willamette Meridian Oregon T. 28 S., R. 4 W., approved May 15, 2015 T. 7 S., R. 3 E., approved May 29, 2015 T. 13 S., R. 2 W., approved May 29, 2015 T. 3 S., R. 5 E., approved May 29, 2015 T. 38 S., R. 3 E., approved May 29, 2015 T. 23 S., R. 9 W., approved May 29, 2015 T. 6 N., R. 42 E., approved May 29, 2015.
    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the plats may be obtained from the Public Room at the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204, upon required payment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kyle Hensley, (503) 808-6132, Branch of Geographic Sciences, Bureau of Land Management, 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A person or party who wishes to protest against this survey must file a written notice with the Oregon State Director, Bureau of Land Management, stating that they wish to protest. A statement of reasons for a protest may be filed with the notice of protest and must be filed with the Oregon State Director within thirty days after the protest is filed. If a protest against the survey is received prior to the date of official filing, the filing will be stayed pending consideration of the protest. A plat will not be officially filed until the day after all protests have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Mary J.M. Hartel, Chief Cadastral Surveyor of Oregon/Washington.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14171 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS-ADIR-PMSP-18557; PPWOBSADA0, PPMPSAS1Y.Y00000 (155)] Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service Lost and Found Report AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We (National Park Service) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. We 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:

    You must submit comments on or before August 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send your comments on the IC to Madonna L. Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive (Room 2C114, Mail Stop 242), Reston, VA 20192 (mail); or [email protected] (email). Please include “1024-New NPS Lost and Found Report” in the subject line of your comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information about this IC, contact Madonna L. Baucum, National Park Service, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive (Room 2C114, Mail Stop 242), Reston, VA 20192 (mail); or [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    The National Park Service Act of 1916, 38 Stat 535, 16 U.S.C. 1, et seq., requires that the NPS preserve national parks for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. Each year, visitors to the various units of the National Park System file reports of lost or found items. The NPS utilizes Form 10-166, “Lost-Found Report” to collect the following information from the visitor filing the report:

    • Park name, receiving station (if appropriate), and date item was lost or found;

    • Name, address, city, state, zip code, email address, and contact phone numbers (cell and home);

    • Type of item, detailed description of item, and location where the item was last seen or found;

    • Photograph of item (if available); and

    • If item was found, does the finder wish to have the item if it is not returned to the owner within 60 days.

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1024-New.

    Title: National Park Service Lost and Found Report.

    Service Form Number(s): NPS Form 10-166.

    Type of Request: Collection in use without approval.

    Description of Respondents: Visitors of NPS units who file reports of lost or found items.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

    Activity Estimated
  • annual
  • number of
  • responses
  • Estimated completion time per
  • response
  • Estimated total annual burden hours
    NPS Form 10-166, “Lost-Found Report” 2,500 5 min 10,000 Totals 2,500 10,000

    Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.

    III. Comments

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Madonna L. Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14175 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EH-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE-15-018] Government In the Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    TIME AND DATE:

    June 16, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    Room 101, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205-2000.

    STATUS:

    Open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    1. Agendas for future meetings: none 2. Minutes 3. Ratification List 4. Vote in Inv. Nos. 701-TA-521 and 731-TA-1252-1255 and 1257 (Final) (Certain Steel Nails from Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Taiwan, and Vietnam). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations and views of the Commission on June 29, 2015. 5. Outstanding action jackets: None

    In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 4, 2015. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14304 Filed 6-8-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Settlement Agreement Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

    On June 3, 2015, the Liquidating Trustee lodged a proposed “Stipulation By and Between the Liquidating Trustee and the United States Environmental Protection Agency” with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy entitled In re: FBI Wind Down, Inc. (f/k/a Furniture Brands International, Inc.), et al., Case No. 13-12329 (CSS).

    The Settlement Agreement resolves the claims of the United States set forth in the Proof of Claim against Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc., for costs incurred and to be incurred in connection with the Buckingham County Landfill Site, located in Dillwyn, Buckingham County, Virginia (the “Site”), pursuant to Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), 42 U.S.C. 9607. Under the Settlement Agreement, the Liquidating Trustee agrees to an allowed and fixed general unsecured claim in the amount of six million dollars ($6,000,000) for costs incurred and to be incurred by the United States Environmental Protection Agency at the Site.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the Settlement Agreement. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to In re: FBI Wind Down, Inc., No. 90-11-2-07971/1. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the Settlement Agreement may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html. We will provide a paper copy of the Settlement Agreement upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Settlement Agreement Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $3.50 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. For a paper copy without the appendices and signature pages, the cost is $2.25.

    Robert Brook, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14102 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Advisory Committee On Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee On Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials; Notice of Meeting

    The ACRS Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials will hold a meeting on June 23-24, Room T-2B1, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    The meeting will be open to public attendance with the exception of portions that may be closed to protect information that is propriety pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4). The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows:

    Tuesday, June 23, 2015—8:30 a.m. Until 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday, June 24, 2015—8:30 a.m. Until 5:00 p.m.

    The Subcommittee will review and discuss the SHINE construction permit application for Mo99 medical radioisotopes production facility under 10 CFR part 50 and the staff's Safety Evaluation Report, Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 6a, 7, 8. The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with the NRC staff and other interested persons regarding this matter. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee.

    Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Maitri Banerjee (Telephone 301-415-6973 or Email: [email protected]) five days prior to the meeting, if possible, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Thirty-five hard copies of each presentation or handout should be provided to the DFO thirty minutes before the meeting. In addition, one electronic copy of each presentation should be emailed to the DFO one day before the meeting. If an electronic copy cannot be provided within this timeframe, presenters should provide the DFO with a CD containing each presentation at least thirty minutes before the meeting. Electronic recordings will be permitted only during those portions of the meeting that are open to the public. Detailed procedures for the conduct of and participation in ACRS meetings were published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014 (79 FR 59307-59308).

    Detailed meeting agendas and meeting transcripts are available on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/acrs. Information regarding topics to be discussed, changes to the agenda, whether the meeting has been canceled or rescheduled, and the time allotted to present oral statements can be obtained from the Web site cited above or by contacting the identified DFO. Moreover, in view of the possibility that the schedule for ACRS meetings may be adjusted by the Chairman as necessary to facilitate the conduct of the meeting, persons planning to attend should check with these references if such rescheduling would result in a major inconvenience.

    If attending this meeting, please enter through the One White Flint North building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. After registering with security, please contact Mr. Theron Brown (Telephone 240-888-9835) to be escorted to the meeting room.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Mark L. Banks, Chief, Technical Support Branch, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14205 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS); Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee on Future Plant Designs; Notice of Meeting

    The ACRS Subcommittee on Future Plant Designs will hold a meeting on June 25, 2015, Room T-2B1, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland.

    The entire meeting will be open to public attendance.

    The agenda for the subject meeting shall be as follows:

    Thursday, June 25, 2015—8:30 a.m. Until 12:00 p.m.

    The Subcommittee will discuss the NuScale Small Modular Reactor design. The Subcommittee will hear presentations by and hold discussions with the applicant (NuScale Power, LLC), NRC staff, and other interested persons regarding this matter. The Subcommittee will gather information, analyze relevant issues and facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the Full Committee.

    Members of the public desiring to provide oral statements and/or written comments should notify the Designated Federal Official (DFO), Maitri Banerjee (Telephone 301-415-6973 or Email: [email protected]) five days prior to the meeting, if possible, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Thirty-five hard copies of each presentation or handout should be provided to the DFO thirty minutes before the meeting. In addition, one electronic copy of each presentation should be emailed to the DFO one day before the meeting. If an electronic copy cannot be provided within this timeframe, presenters should provide the DFO with a CD containing each presentation at least thirty minutes before the meeting. Electronic recordings will be permitted only during those portions of the meeting that are open to the public. Detailed procedures for the conduct of and participation in ACRS meetings were published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014, (79 FR 59307-59308).

    Detailed meeting agendas and meeting transcripts are available on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/acrs. Information regarding topics to be discussed, changes to the agenda, whether the meeting has been canceled or rescheduled, and the time allotted to present oral statements can be obtained from the Web site cited above or by contacting the identified DFO. Moreover, in view of the possibility that the schedule for ACRS meetings may be adjusted by the Chairman as necessary to facilitate the conduct of the meeting, persons planning to attend should check with these references if such rescheduling would result in a major inconvenience.

    If attending this meeting, please enter through the One White Flint North building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. After registering with security, please contact Mr. Theron Brown (Telephone 240-888-9835) to be escorted to the meeting room.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Mark L. Banks, Chief, Technical Support Branch, Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14203 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-285 and 50-298; NRC-2012-0014] Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Director's decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a director's decision with regard to petitions dated June 26 and July 3, 2011, filed by Mr. Thomas Saporito (the petitioner), requesting that the NRC take action with regard to Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), Unit 1 and Cooper Nuclear Station (CNS), respectively. The petitioner's requests and the director's decision are included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    DATES:

    June 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0014 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0014. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Lyon, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2296, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has issued a director's decision (ADAMS Accession No. ML14128A141) on petitions filed by the petitioner on June 26 and July 3, 2011 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML11182B029 and ML11192A285, respectively). The petitioner supplemented the petitions by teleconference on August 29, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11256A036).

    The petitioner requested that the NRC issue a confirmatory order against Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), the licensee for FCS, prohibiting the licensee from restarting FCS, and issue a confirmatory order to Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), the licensee for CNS, requiring the licensee to bring CNS to a cold shutdown mode of operation, until: (1) The floodwaters subside to an appreciably lower level or to sea level, (2) the licensee upgrades its flood protection plan, (3) the licensee repairs and enhances its current flood protection berms, and (4) the licensee upgrades its station blackout procedures to meet a challenging extended loss of offsite power because of floodwaters and other natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

    On August 29, 2011, the petitioner participated in a teleconference with the NRC's Petition Review Board. The meeting provided the petitioner an opportunity to provide additional information and to clarify issues cited in the petition. The transcript for that meeting is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML11256A036.

    The NRC sent a copy of the proposed director's decision to the petitioner, NPPD, and OPPD for comment on April 15, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML15062A354, ML15062A362, and ML15062A366, respectively). The petitioner and the licensees were asked to provide comments within 14 days on any part of the proposed director's decision that was considered to be erroneous or any issues in the petition that were not addressed. The staff did not receive any comments on the proposed director's decision.

    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has determined that the requests, to prevent the restart of FCS or to bring CNS to cold shutdown, be denied. The reasons for this decision are explained in the director's decision DD-15-05 pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206 of the Commission's regulations.

    The NRC will file a copy of the director's decision with the Secretary of the Commission for the Commission's review in accordance with 10 CFR 2.206. As provided by this regulation, the director's decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the director's decision in that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of June 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Michele G. Evans, Acting Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14209 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50-285; NRC-2013-0111] Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Director's decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a director's decision with regard to the petition dated June 21, 2012, filed by Mr. Wallace Taylor on behalf of the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club (the petitioner), requesting that the NRC take action with regard to Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), Unit 1. The petitioner's request and the director's decision are included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    DATES:

    June 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0111 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0111. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Lyon, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2296, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has issued a director's decision (ADAMS Accession No. ML15128A349) on the petition filed by the petitioner on June 21, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12180A124).

    The petitioner requested that the NRC revoke the license of Omaha Public Power District (OPPD, the licensee) to operate FCS. As the basis of the request, the petitioner raised the following issues: (1) Licensee event report submitted September 10, 2012, showed a support beam was not within allowable limits for stress and loading (ADAMS Accession No. ML12255A038); (2) flood protection measures at FCS are inadequate and create an ongoing, high risk danger to public safety; (3) the flood risks of the six dams upstream of FCS are either unevaluated or unresolved, and (4) the 614 primary reactor containment electrical penetration seals containing Teflon identified at FCS, a material that could degrade during design-basis accident conditions.

    On August 29, 2011, the petitioner participated in a teleconference with the NRC's Petition Review Board. The meeting provided the petitioner an opportunity to provide additional information and to clarify issues cited in the petition. The transcript for that meeting is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML11256A036. The petitioner provided supplemental material in support of the petition on August 22 and 27, November 19, and December 16, 17, and 20, 2012 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12240A099, ML12240A162, ML12250A714, ML12352A279, ML12352A221, and ML13109A240, respectively).

    The NRC sent a copy of the proposed director's decision to the petitioner and the licensee for comment on April 15, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML15063A047 and ML15063A050, respectively). The petitioner and the licensee were asked to provide comments within 14 days on any part of the proposed director's decision that was considered to be erroneous or any issues in the petition that were not addressed. The staff did not receive any comments on the proposed director's decision.

    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has determined that the request, to revoke the operating license for FCS, be denied. The reasons for this decision are explained in the director's decision DD-15-04 pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206 of the Commission's regulations.

    The NRC will file a copy of the director's decision with the Secretary of the Commission for the Commission's review in accordance with 10 CFR 2.206. As provided by this regulation, the director's decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the director's decision in that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of June, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Michele G. Evans, Acting Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14207 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52-027 and 52-028; NRC-2008-0441] Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3; South Carolina Electric & Gas Company AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Exemption and combined license amendment; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and issuing License Amendment No. 24 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF-93 and NPF-94. The COLs were issued to South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), and South Carolina Public Service Authority (the licensee), for construction and operation of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station (VCSNS), Units 2 and 3 located in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

    The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 information requested in the amendment. Because the acceptability of the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0441 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0441. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by the letter dated July 17, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14202A088). The licensee supplemented this request by letters dated September 25, 2014, and January 5, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML14268A554 and ML15006A290).

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Denise McGovern, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-0681; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Introduction

    The NRC is granting an exemption from Tier 1 information in the certified Design Control Document (DCD) incorporated by reference in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 52, appendix D, “Design Certification Rule for the AP1000 Design,” and issuing License Amendment No. 24 to COLs, NPF-93 and NPF-94, to the licensee. The exemption is required by Paragraph A.4 of Section VIII, “Processes for Changes and Departures,” appendix D to 10 CFR part 52 to allow the licensee to depart from Tier 1 information. With the requested amendment, the licensee sought proposed changes related to the design details of the containment internal structural wall modules (CA01, CA02, and CA05). The proposed changes to Tier 2 information in the VCSNS Units 2 and 3 UFSAR, and the involved plant-specific Tier 1 and corresponding combined license Appendix C information would allow the use of thicker than normal faceplates to accommodate local demand or connection loads in certain areas without the use of overlay plates or additional backup structures. Additional proposed changes to Tier 2 information and involved Tier 2* information would allow:

    (1) A means of connecting the structural wall modules to the base concrete through use of structural shapes, reinforcement bars, and shear studs extending horizontally from the structural module faceplates and embedded during concrete placement as an alternative to the use of embedment plates and vertically oriented reinforcement bars;

    (2) a variance in structural module wall thicknesses from the thicknesses identified in the VCSNS Units 2 and 3 UFSAR Figure 3.8.3-8, “Structural Modules—Typical Design Details,” for some walls that separate equipment spaces from personnel access areas;

    (3) the use of steel plates, structural shapes, reinforcement bars, or tie bars between the module faceplates, as needed to support localized loads and ensure compliance with applicable codes;

    (4) revision to containment internal structure (CIS) evaluations, and

    (5) clarification to the definition of in-containment “structural wall modules,” clarifying that the west wall of the In-containment Refueling Water Storage Tank (IRWST) is not considered a “structural wall module,” that the CIS critical sections identified in VCSNS Units 2 and 3 UFSAR Subsection 3.8.3.5.8.1 present design summaries for areas of “large” demand in lieu of areas of “largest” demand, and revising the VCSNS Units 2 and 3 UFSAR in several places to provide consistency in terminology used to identify the structural wall modules

    Part of the justification for granting the exemption was provided by the review of the amendment. Because the exemption is necessary in order to issue the requested license amendment, the NRC granted the exemption and issued the amendment concurrently, rather than in sequence. This included issuing a combined safety evaluation containing the NRC staff's review of both the exemption request and the license amendment. The exemption met all applicable regulatory criteria set forth in 10 CFR 50.12, 10 CFR 52.7, and 10 CFR 52.63(b)(1). The license amendment was found to be acceptable as well. The combined safety evaluation is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15061A205.

    Identical exemption documents (except for referenced unit numbers and license numbers) were issued to the licensee for VCSNS Units 2 and 3 (COLs NPF-93 and NPF-94). These documents can be found in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML15061A179 and ML15061A186, respectively. The exemption is reproduced (with the exception of abbreviated titles and additional citations) in Section II of this document. The amendment documents for COLs NPF-93 and NPF-94 are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML15061A169 and ML15061A176, respectively. A summary of the amendment documents is provided in Section III of this document.

    II. Exemption

    Reproduced below is the exemption document issued to VCSNS, Units 2 and 3. It makes reference to the combined safety evaluation that provides the reasoning for the findings made by the NRC (and listed under Item 1) in order to grant the exemption:

    1. In a letter dated July 17, 2014 and supplemented by the letters dated September 25, 2014, and January 5, 2015, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (licensee) requested from the NRC an exemption to allow departures from Tier 1 information in the certified Design Control Document (DCD) incorporated by reference in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 52, appendix D, “Design Certification Rule for the AP1000 Design,” as part of license amendment request (LAR) 14-05, “Containment Internal Structural Wall Module Design Details.”

    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.1 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation, which can be found at (ADAMS Accession Number ML15061A205), the Commission finds that:

    A. The exemption is authorized by law;

    B. the exemption presents no undue risk to public health and safety;

    C. the exemption is consistent with the common defense and security;

    D. special circumstances are present in that the application of the rule in this circumstance would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule;

    E. the special circumstances outweigh any decrease in safety that may result from the reduction in standardization caused by the exemption, and

    F. the exemption will not result in a significant decrease in the level of safety otherwise provided by the design.

    2. Accordingly, the licensee is granted an exemption from the certified DCD Tier 1 Tables: 3.3-1 and 3.3-7, as described in the licensee's request dated July 17, 2014, and supplemented by letters dated September 25, 2014, and January 5, 2015. This exemption is related to and necessary for the granting of License Amendment No. 24, which is being issued concurrently with this exemption.

    3. As explained in Section 5 of the NRC staff Safety Evaluation (ADAMS Accession Number ML15061A205), this exemption meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment needs to be prepared in connection with the issuance of the exemption.

    4. This exemption is effective as of the date of its issuance.

    III. License Amendment Request

    The request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by the letter dated July 17, 2014. The licensee supplemented this request by the letters dated September 25, 2014, and January 5, 2015. The proposed amendment is described in Section I, above.

    The Commission has determined for these amendments that the application complies with the standards and requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's rules and regulations. The Commission has made appropriate findings as required by the Act and the Commission's rules and regulations in 10 CFR Chapter I, which are set forth in the license amendment.

    A notice of consideration of issuance of amendment to facility operating license or combined license, as applicable, proposed no significant hazards consideration determination, and opportunity for a hearing in connection with these actions, was published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2015 (80 FR 5798). No comments were received during the 30-day comment period.

    The NRC staff has found that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. The Commission has determined that these amendments satisfy the criteria for categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared for these amendments.

    IV. Conclusion

    Using the reasons set forth in the combined safety evaluation, the staff granted the exemption and issued the amendment that the licensee requested on July 17, 2014, and supplemented by the letters dated September 25, 2014, and January 5, 2015. The exemption and amendment were issued on March 12, 2015, as part of a combined package to the licensee (ADAMS Accession No. ML15061A159).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of June 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Denise L. McGovern, Acting Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14206 Filed 6-9-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P