Federal Register Vol. 80, No.115,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 115 (June 16, 2015)

Page Range34239-34530
FR Document

80_FR_115
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 34318 - Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal BoardPDF
80 FR 34529 - National Week of Making, 2015PDF
80 FR 34486 - Sunshine Act Meetings; Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of DirectorsPDF
80 FR 34400 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 34414 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 34338 - Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot CertificationPDF
80 FR 34480 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 34346 - Transponder Requirement for GlidersPDF
80 FR 34242 - Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420; Fire Extinguishing for Overwing Pylon Mounted EnginesPDF
80 FR 34395 - Notice of Technical Meeting; FFP Missouri 2, LLCPDF
80 FR 34391 - Publication of FY 2014 Service Contract InventoryPDF
80 FR 34485 - Issuance of a Presidential Permit To Reconfigure, Expand, Operate, and Maintain a Vehicle and Pedestrian Border Crossing Called “Calexico West” in Calexico, California, at the International Boundary Between the United States and MexicoPDF
80 FR 34415 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 34422 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission; Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
80 FR 34486 - Delegation of the Authority To Submit ReportsPDF
80 FR 34265 - Amendment to the Titles of Restricted Areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C; North CarolinaPDF
80 FR 34316 - Safety Zone, Indian River Bay; Millsboro, DelawarePDF
80 FR 34368 - Commerce Data Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 34465 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; Monticello Nuclear Generating PlantPDF
80 FR 34489 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel BLACK STRAP; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34403 - Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Industrial ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 34491 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SEAS THE MOMENT; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34407 - Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program; Petition for Objection to State Operating Permit for Valero Refining-Meraux, LLC in LouisianaPDF
80 FR 34483 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00081PDF
80 FR 34489 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SASSY; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34492 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ANGELA-ARGO; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34491 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel GIZMO; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34490 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SLICE OF LIFE III; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34485 - Guam Disaster #GU-00004PDF
80 FR 34483 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00447PDF
80 FR 34394 - International Energy Agency MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34371 - Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review Pursuant to Settlement; 2010-2011PDF
80 FR 34369 - Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review Pursuant to SettlementPDF
80 FR 34368 - Notice of Scope RulingsPDF
80 FR 34370 - Certain Steel Nails From Malaysia: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 34496 - Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Scientific Merit Review Board; Notice of MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34363 - Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) Grants to StatesPDF
80 FR 34458 - Pressure Sensitive Plastic Tape From Italy; Notice of Commission Determination To Conduct a Full Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 34384 - Marine Mammals; File No. 14610PDF
80 FR 34437 - Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)PDF
80 FR 34435 - Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, (BSC, NCIPC)PDF
80 FR 34438 - Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)PDF
80 FR 34397 - Zydeco Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Informal Settlement ConferencePDF
80 FR 34399 - Buckeye Wind Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 34396 - City of Adak, Alaska; Notice of Preliminary Determination of a Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 34395 - Adelanto Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 34395 - Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 34396 - Grid Assurance LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 34400 - The City of Alexandria, Louisiana; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 34402 - Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 34402 - Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company; Notice of Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and NecessityPDF
80 FR 34397 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Susquehanna West Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 34400 - Notice of Commision Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 34484 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00448PDF
80 FR 34276 - New Animal Drugs; Approval of New Animal Drug Applications; Change of SponsorPDF
80 FR 34447 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34445 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34444 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 34446 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34449 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34448 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34484 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00092PDF
80 FR 34484 - Data Collection Available for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 34455 - Establishment of a New Recreation Fee Area at Minuteman Missile National Historic SitePDF
80 FR 34434 - Submission to OMB for Review; General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Contract Administration, Quality Assurance (GSA Forms 1678 and 308)PDF
80 FR 34433 - Information Collection; Government PropertyPDF
80 FR 34492 - Pipeline Safety: Special Permit Renewal RequestsPDF
80 FR 34464 - Public Availability of FY 2013 Service Contract Inventory Analysis, FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory, FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory Supplement, and FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory Planned Analysis for the National Transportation Safety BoardPDF
80 FR 34393 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Household Education Survey 2016 (NHES:2016) Full-Scale Data CollectionPDF
80 FR 34466 - Information Collection: NRC Form 244, Registration Certificate-Use of Depleted Uranium Under General LicensePDF
80 FR 34464 - Information Collection: Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity AgreementsPDF
80 FR 34315 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Pearl River, LA/MSPDF
80 FR 34452 - Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Brazoria County, TX; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement on a Proposed Right-of-Way Permit Application for Pipelines Crossing the RefugePDF
80 FR 34366 - Ringo Project Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 34453 - Renewal of Approved Information Collection; OMB Control No. 1004-0029PDF
80 FR 34487 - Buy America Handbook; Conducting Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Audits for Rolling Stock ProcurementsPDF
80 FR 34454 - Renewal of Approved Information Collection; OMB Control No. 1004-0012PDF
80 FR 34435 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 34325 - Soybean Promotion and Research: Amend the Order To Adjust Representation on the United Soybean BoardPDF
80 FR 34415 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34439 - Applications for New Awards; Independent Living AdministrationPDF
80 FR 34458 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Clean Air ActPDF
80 FR 34274 - Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; TBHQPDF
80 FR 34371 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Shell Ice Overflight Surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, AlaskaPDF
80 FR 34393 - Borrower Defenses Against Loan Repayment; Comment Period CorrectionPDF
80 FR 34385 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Land Survey Activities Within the Eastern Aleutian Islands Archipelago, Alaska, 2015PDF
80 FR 34415 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 34326 - Airworthiness Directives; M7 Aerospace LLC AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34494 - Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board (PRB) and Executive Resources Board (ERB) MembershipPDF
80 FR 34455 - Information Collection Activities: Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other Than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34494 - Proposed Collection of Information: Application for Issue of United States Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss BondsPDF
80 FR 34350 - Amendments to the Commission's Rules Concerning Disruptions to CommunicationsPDF
80 FR 34437 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 34321 - Commission Rules Concerning Disruptions to CommunicationsPDF
80 FR 34443 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34459 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the Digital Service Contracting Professional Training and Development Program ChallengePDF
80 FR 34495 - Open Meeting for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC)PDF
80 FR 34496 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 34494 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8932PDF
80 FR 34495 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8725.PDF
80 FR 34459 - Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34239 - Change to Existing Regulation Concerning the Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure Immigration BondsPDF
80 FR 34408 - Pesticide Maintenance Fee; Notice of Receipt of Requests to Voluntarily Cancel Certain Pesticide RegistrationsPDF
80 FR 34451 - National Infrastructure Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 34467 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Automated Improvement Mechanism Order AllocationsPDF
80 FR 34473 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Exchange's Pricing Schedule Under Section VIII With Respect to Execution and Routing of Orders in Securities Priced at $1 or More Per SharePDF
80 FR 34471 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Chapter VI, Section 18 of the Exchange's Options RulesPDF
80 FR 34480 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 34475 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the Price List To Revise Fees and Credits for Mid-Point Passive Liquidity Orders and Non Displayed Reserve Orders and To Revise Credits Applicable to Certain Transactions at the Open, Certain Designated Market Maker Transactions, and Certain Supplemental Liquidity Provider TransactionsPDF
80 FR 34445 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 34446 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 34444 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34445 - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 34279 - Portability of a Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion AmountPDF
80 FR 34315 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou Sara, Near Saraland, Mobile County, ALPDF
80 FR 34256 - Airworthiness Directives; Avidyne Corporation Integrated Flight DisplaysPDF
80 FR 34391 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Stakeholder Representative Members of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation CommitteePDF
80 FR 34292 - Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform GlossaryPDF
80 FR 34324 - Service ContractingPDF
80 FR 34324 - Contract Cost Principles and ProceduresPDF
80 FR 34266 - Implementation of the Australia Group (AG) November 2013 Intersessional DecisionsPDF
80 FR 34247 - Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 34244 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34258 - Airworthiness Directives; Learjet Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34262 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34264 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Tucumcari, NMPDF
80 FR 34330 - Airworthiness Directives; B/E Aerospace Protective Breathing Equipment Part Number 119003-11PDF
80 FR 34249 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34335 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) (Airbus Helicopters) HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 34332 - Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 34500 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing All Chimpanzees as Endangered SpeciesPDF
80 FR 34252 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34318 - Loan Guaranty: Elimination of Redundant Regulations; Technical CorrectionPDF

Issue

80 115 Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Soybean Promotion and Research: Adjustment of Representation on the United Soybean Board, 34325-34326 2015-14708 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Forest Service

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Fiscal Year 2014 Service Contract Inventory, 34391 2015-14805 Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur, 34455-34458 2015-14696 Fiscal Bureau of the Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Issue of United States Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Company Tax and Loss Bonds, 34494 2015-14692 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34435-34437 2015-14709 Meetings: Advisory Committee to the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34438-34439 2015-14749 Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 34435 2015-14750 Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 34437 2015-14751 Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 34437-34438 2015-14686 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Bayou Sara, near Saraland, Mobile County, AL, 34315-34316 2015-14660 Pearl River, LA/MS, 34315 2015-14715 Safety Zones: Indian River Bay; Millsboro, DE, 34316-34318 2015-14797 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economics and Statistics Administration

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Funding Availability: Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership Grants to States, 34363-34366 2015-14763 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Independent Living Administration, 34439-34443 2015-14706 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Contract Cost Principles and Procedures; CFR Correction, 34324 2015-14536 Service Contracting; CFR Correction, 34324 2015-14537 Defense Department Defense Department See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Property, 34433-34434 2015-14721
Economics Statistics Economics and Statistics Administration NOTICES Meetings: Commerce Data Advisory Council, 34368 2015-14796 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Borrower Defenses Against Loan Repayment; Correction, 34393-34394 2015-14701 National Household Education Survey 2016 Full-scale Data Collection, 34393 2015-14718 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration RULES Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary, 34292-34315 2015-14559 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: International Energy Agency, 34394-34395 2015-14775
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Stakeholder Representative Members of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee, 34391-34393 2015-14583 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency NOTICES Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program: Petition for Objection for Valero Refining Meraux, LLC in Louisiana, 34407-34408 2015-14790 Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities, 34403-34407 2015-14792 Requests to Voluntarily Cancel Certain Pesticide Registrations, 34408-34414 2015-14674 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Helicopters, 34247-34249 2015-14415 Airbus Airplanes, 34249-34252, 34262-34264 2015-14283 2015-14395 Avidyne Corporation Integrated Flight Displays, 34256-34258 2015-14645 Learjet Inc. Airplanes, 34258-34261 2015-14396 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 34244-34246, 34252-34256 2015-14174 2015-14397 Amendments to Titles of Restricted Areas: R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C; North Carolina, 34265-34266 2015-14798 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Tucumcari, NM; VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid, 34264-34265 2015-14322 Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Co., Model HA-420; Fire Extinguishing for Overwing Pylon Mounted Engines, 34242-34244 2015-14816 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) (Airbus Helicopters) Helicopters, 34335-34338 2015-14282 B/E Aerospace Protective Breathing Equipment Part Number 119003-11, 34330-34332 2015-14286 Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Helicopters, 34332-34335 2015-14278 M7 Aerospace LLC Airplanes, 34326-34330 2015-14698 Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification, 34338-34346 2015-14836 Transponder Requirement for Gliders, 34346-34350 2015-14818 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Disruptions to Communications, 34321-34324 2015-14685 PROPOSED RULES Disruptions to Communications, 34350-34362 2015-14687 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Eastern Shore Natural Gas Co.; Public Convenience and Necessity Certificate, 34402 2015-14739 Trans-Pecos Pipeline, LLC, 34402-34403 2015-14740 Complaints: Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., 34395 2015-14743 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, Susquehanna West Project, 34397-34399 2015-14738 Filings: Alexandria, LA, 34400 2015-14741 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Adelanto Solar, LLC, 34395-34396 2015-14744 Buckeye Wind Energy, LLC, 34399-34400 2015-14746 Meetings: FFP Missouri 2, LLC, 34395 2015-14812 Zydeco Pipeline Co., LLC, Informal Settlement Conference, 34397 2015-14747 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34400-34401 2015-14876 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Grid Assurance, LLC, 34396 2015-14742 Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facilities: Adak, AK, 34396-34397 2015-14745 Staff Attendances, 34400 2015-14736 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34414-34415 2015-14803 2015-14857 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34486-34487 2015-14919 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding Companies, 34415 2015-14699 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34415-34433 2015-14707 2015-14802 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Buy America Handbook: Conducting Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Audits for Rolling Stock Procurements, 34487-34489 2015-14711 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Listing All Chimpanzees as Endangered Species, 34500-34525 2015-14232 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, 34452-34453 2015-14714 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Food Additives Permitted for Human Consumption; TBHQ, 34274-34276 2015-14704 New Animal Drugs: Application Approvals; Change of Sponsor, 34276-34279 2015-14734 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Ringo Project, Ringo Butte south of Wickiup Reservoir, Crescent Ranger District, 34366-34368 2015-14713 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Acquisition Regulation; Contract Administration, Quality Assurance, 34434-34435 2015-14722 Government Property, 34433-34434 2015-14721 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

RULES Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary, 34292-34315 2015-14559 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34443 2015-14684
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

RULES Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited to Secure Immigration Bonds, 34239-34242 2015-14675 NOTICES Meetings: National Infrastructure Advisory Council, 34451-34452 2015-14673
Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Implementation of the Australia Group November 2013 Intersessional Decisions, 34266-34274 2015-14471 Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Portability of a Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount, 34279-34292 2015-14663 Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary, 34292-34315 2015-14559 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34494-34496 2015-14679 2015-14680 2015-14681 Meetings: Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee, 34495 2015-14682 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Certain Steel Nails from Malaysia, 34370-34371 2015-14767 Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof from the People's Republic of China, 34369-34371 2015-14769 2015-14772 Scope Rulings, 34368-34369 2015-14768 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Pressure Sensitive Plastic Tape from Italy, 34458 2015-14755 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under the Clean Air Act, 34458-34459 2015-14705 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34453-34455 2015-14710 2015-14712 Management Management and Budget Office NOTICES Digital Service Contracting Professional Training and Development Program Challenge: Requirements and Registration, 34459-34464 2015-14683 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ANGELA-ARGO, 34492 2015-14784 Vessel BLACK STRAP, 34489 2015-14793 Vessel GIZMO, 34491-34492 2015-14782 Vessel SASSY, 34489-34490 2015-14785 Vessel SEAS THE MOMENT, 34491 2015-14791 Vessel SLICE OF LIFE III, 34490 2015-14778 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Government Property, 34433-34434 2015-14721 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 34444-34446 2015-14731 2015-14732 2015-14665 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 34446 2015-14666 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 34445 2015-14664 National Institute on Aging, 34445 2015-14667 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Permits: Marine Mammals; File No. 14610, 34384-34385 2015-14753 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Land Survey Activities within the Eastern Aleutian Islands Archipelago, AK, 2015, 34385-34391 2015-14700 Shell Ice Overflight Surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, AK, 34371-34384 2015-14702 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Establishment of a New Recreation Fee Area at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, 34455 2015-14723 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board NOTICES Service Contract Inventories, 34464 2015-14719 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Financial Protection Requirements and Indemnity Agreements, 34464-34465 2015-14716 Registration Certificate -- Use of Depleted Uranium under General License, 34466-34467 2015-14717 License Amendment ApplicationsL Northern States Power Co., Minnesota, Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant; Withdrawal, 34465-34466 2015-14794 Patent Patent and Trademark Office RULES Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, 34318 C1--2015--12117 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Pipeline Safety: Special Permit Renewal Requests, 34492-34494 2015-14720 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National Week of Making (Proc. 9293), 34527-34530 2015-14980 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34480 2015-14834 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 34467-34471 2015-14672 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 34480-34483 2015-14669 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 34473-34475 2015-14671 NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, 34471-34473 2015-14670 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 34475-34480 2015-14668 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34484 2015-14724 Disaster Declarations: Guam, 34485 2015-14777 Oklahoma; Amendment 1, 34483 2015-14789 Oklahoma; Amendment 3, 34484 2015-14725 Texas; Amendment 1, 34483-34484 2015-14735 2015-14776 State Department State Department NOTICES Delegations of Authority, 34486 2015-14799 Presidential Permits to Reconfigure, Expand, Operate, and Maintain a Vehicle and Pedestrian Border Crossing: Calexico West, Calexico, CA, 34485-34486 2015-14804 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34446-34451 2015-14727 2015-14728 2015-14729 2015-14733 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board and Executive Resources Board Membership, 34494 2015-14697 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Bureau of the Fiscal Service

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Loan Guaranty: Elimination of Redundant Regulations; Correction, 34318-34320 2015-13456 NOTICES Meetings: Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Scientific Merit Review Board, 34496-34497 2015-14764 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34459 2015-14678 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 34500-34525 2015-14232 Part III Presidential Documents, 34527-34530 2015-14980 Reader Aids

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

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80 115 Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 8 CFR Part 293 [DHS Docket No. ICEB-2013-0002] RIN 1653-AA66 Change to Existing Regulation Concerning the Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited To Secure Immigration Bonds AGENCY:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Homeland Security is amending its regulations addressing the payment of interest on cash bond deposits to explicitly provide that the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) will set the interest rate. Treasury will notify the public of its interest rate determinations by publishing the rates on the Treasury Web site or via another mechanism. Under the existing regulation, the current rate of interest paid on deposits securing cash bonds is 3 percent per annum. 8 U.S.C. 1363(a); 8 CFR 293.2. This final rulemaking is consistent with the requirement of 8 U.S.C. 1363(a) that interest payments shall be “at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, except that in no case shall the interest rate exceed 3 per centum per annum.”

DATES:

This rule is effective August 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Comments and related materials received from the public, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, are part of docket ICEB-2013-0002 and are available online by going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting ICEB-2013-0002 in the “Search” box, and then clicking “Search.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this rule, call or email Don Benoit, Bonds Branch Supervisor, Burlington Finance Center, P.O. Box 5000, Williston, VT 05495-5000. Telephone: (802) 288-7630, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Regulatory History and Information

On October 28, 2013, DHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register, entitled Change to Existing Regulation Concerning the Interest Rate Paid on Cash Deposited to Secure Immigration Bonds. 78 FR 64183. We received two comments on the proposed rule. No public meeting was requested, and none was held.

II. Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR  Federal Register ICE U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement INA Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OMB Office of Management and Budget § Section symbol U.S.C. United States Code III. Basis and Purpose A. Immigration Bonds Secured by Cash

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may release certain aliens from detention during removal proceedings after a custody determination has been made pursuant to 8 CFR 236.1(c). As a condition of his/her release from custody, an alien may be required to post an immigration bond. Currently, about 91 percent of the immigration bonds issued each year is secured by cash (cash bonds). (Fiscal Year 2013 Total, Cash Bonds and Surety Bonds—on file with the Bonds Branch, ICE Financial Operations—Burlington). The other 9 percent of the immigration bonds are issued by surety companies (surety bonds) certified by the Department of the Treasury to post bonds on behalf of the Federal government pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 9304-9308 and 31 CFR part 223. ICE deposits cash pledged as security on cash bonds in a fund maintained by Treasury known as the Immigration Bond Deposit Account. These funds are held “in trust” for the obligor and currently earn simple interest at the rate of 3 percent per annum. 8 U.S.C. 1363(a); 8 CFR part 293. Immigration bonds are not in effect for a set period of time. They remain in effect until they are breached or canceled. On average, a cash bond is in effect for about 34 months. (Data on file with ICE Financial Operations—Burlington).

B. Payment of Interest on Cash Bond Deposits

In 1970, Congress added section 293 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, to pay interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, not to exceed 3 per centum per annum, on cash received as security for immigration bonds. Public Law 91-313 (July 10, 1970) (codified at 8 U.S.C. 1363). Effective on the date of its publication in the Federal Register, July 23, 1971, the interest rate set by Treasury—3 per centum per annum—has been paid on cash bond deposits received after April 27, 1966. 36 FR 13677 (8 CFR part 293). Thus, since 1971, the Government has paid simple interest at the rate of 3 percent per year on cash deposited by bond obligors to secure immigration bonds. Interest is earned on a cash bond from the date the bond is issued until it is breached or canceled. The amount of interest earned varies depending on the face amount of the bond and the length of time it remains in effect. For example, a $5,000 cash bond in effect for 3 years would earn $450 in interest with a 3 percent per annum interest rate.

In the NPRM published on October 28, 2013, DHS proposed to modify the current 8 CFR 293.2, which states that “effective from date of deposit occurring after April 27, 1966, the interest rate shall be 3 per centum per annum.” DHS proposed to revise this provision to explicitly state that Treasury will set the interest rate directly. Thus, DHS proposed to utilize the rate set by Treasury in issuing interest payments, with DHS having no role in setting the rate. 78 FR 64183.

IV. Discussion of Comments and the Final Rule

The October 2013 NPRM provided for a public comment period of 60 days, which ended on December 27, 2013. During that time period, DHS received two public comments. One of the comments recommended the interest rate be set at the flat rate of one-half of one percent. DHS considered the comment and decided not to adopt it. As discussed above, Treasury possesses the statutory authority to set the interest rate on cash received as security for immigration bonds. Public Law 91-313 (July 10, 1970) (codified at 8 U.S.C. 1363). DHS does not possess the statutory authority to set the rate in the manner suggested by the commenter.

The second comment, submitted by a bonding agency, opposed the rule because the rule did not specify that any change in the interest rate would only apply to cash bonds posted after Treasury issues a new interest rate. The commenter proposed keeping the current 3 percent interest rate for all bonds posted prior to the effective date of an interest rate change until the bond was breached or canceled. For bonds posted after the effective date of the rule, the commenter proposed applying the interest rate in effect at the time the bond was posted throughout the life of the bond.

DHS has decided against adopting this proposal. DHS understands that Treasury may set a fluctuating, market-based rate that will not exceed the statutory 3 percent ceiling. Assuming that Treasury sets such a rate, DHS will apply the new rate to all cash bond deposits as of the rate's effective date. Unless Treasury's published rate requires otherwise, DHS will adjust any Treasury-determined rate each time the rate changes. Consistent with 8 U.S.C. 1363, bond deposits will continue to receive the 3 percent rate until the new Treasury rate goes into effect. After the effective date of a new rate, DHS will apply the new Treasury rate to all bond deposits.

After considering different options for how to finalize this regulation, including the method proposed in the second comment, DHS has determined that unless Treasury's published rate requires otherwise, it will apply any new Treasury rate to all bond deposits regardless of when the bond was posted. DHS made this decision for a number of reasons. If DHS adopted the second comment and assigned a fixed interest rate based on the date the bond was posted, DHS would not be able to effectuate a determination by Treasury that a fluctuating rate be applied to cash bond deposits. Under 8 U.S.C. 1363(a), cash received as security on an immigration bond “shall bear interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury.” The second comment's proposal—that DHS require multiple interest rates to be paid on bonds depending on the date the bond was posted—is inconsistent with the statutory language.

DHS's approach also has the advantage of applying any new interest rate uniformly to cash bond deposits. All deposits will continue to receive the 3 percent rate until a new interest rate goes into effect. As of the effective date of the new rate, the new rate will be applied to all of the deposits and, as the rate changes, each succeeding new rate will be applied to all of the deposits. This approach recognizes Treasury's broad discretion under statute to set an appropriate rate. This approach has the further advantage of allowing any new interest rate's budget impact to be monitored.

DHS has carefully considered how the new rule impacts the ability of an alien to secure a cash bond and expects that any effects will be negligible. For a variety of reasons, DHS believes that cash bond obligors are generally insensitive to changes in the bond interest rate. For instance, in DHS's experience, the vast majority of cash bond obligors are the alien's family members or friends who post bonds for the primary purpose of releasing the alien from custody. The interest earned on the cash deposits for these obligors is incidental to effectuating the alien's release. Moreover, if any cash bond obligors are so sensitive to a change in the bond's interest rate that they want to terminate their obligations under the bond, a process exists that allows the possible early surrender of the bonded alien. Any obligor may ask the DHS office that posted the bond to authorize surrender of the alien before being required to do so by DHS. Such a request may be granted at the discretion of the office where the bond was posted. If the request is granted, the bond would be canceled once the obligor effectuates surrender of the alien, and the cash deposit would be refunded.

Finally, the second commenter noted the possibility of unfair surprise if the interest rate were to change during the life of the bond, because “the depositing party was advised of, and relied upon, the 3% interest rate at the time the cash deposit was made.” While Treasury's initial determination of a 3 percent interest rate was published in a 1971 regulation, 8 CFR 293.2, DHS notes that, since 1970, it has been Treasury's statutory prerogative to determine the interest rate. The bond agreement between DHS and the bond obligor does not contain an interest rate as one of its terms and does not guarantee that the interest rate originally determined by Treasury would be in effect for the life of the bond. ICE Form I-352. Instead, by statute, Treasury is authorized to determine the interest rate, and DHS calculates the amount of interest earned based on the rate set by Treasury, the face amount of the bond, and the number of days that the bond was in effect. Even assuming a future change in the interest rate frustrates the expectations of an obligor who was aware of the 3 percent rate, ICE may nonetheless apply a new rate to a bond deposit after the new rate goes into effect because ICE will not be attaching new legal consequences to completed, past conduct. Instead, ICE will be applying the new rate to an open cash bond—an agreement whose fulfillment is still a work in progress. Until Treasury sets a new interest rate, cash deposits currently securing bonds will continue to receive the 3 percent interest rate. As described above, following implementation of a new interest rate, deposits could begin receiving a different rate. This approach will therefore have an exclusively future effect.

V. Statutory and Regulatory Requirements

DHS developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. The below sections summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and executive orders.

A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563: Regulatory Planning and Review

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 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). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not designated this rule a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, OMB did not review the proposed rule and has not reviewed the final rule.

The proposed and final rules explicitly state that Treasury is authorized by statute to set the interest rate paid on cash deposited to secure immigration bonds, provided that the rate cannot exceed 3 percent per year and cannot be less than 0. In deciding to propose this rule, DHS considered whether DHS would implement any possible future changes to the current fixed interest rate of 3 percent per annum that may be made by Treasury, through informal rulemaking or other means. DHS rejected this alternative. Because Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to set the rate directly, the approach that DHS proposed and adopts here is a more efficient and cost-effective process.

The proposed and final rules further do not make any changes to the current interest rate paid to cash bond obligors; under current law, a change to the current interest rate paid cannot be made except under Treasury's sole authority. As this rulemaking does not make any changes to the current fixed 3 percent per annum interest rate, this rule does not impose any costs on bond obligors.

As noted above, under current law, Treasury has the sole authority to set the interest rate that DHS uses to determine the amount of interest paid for cash immigration bonds. The rule provides that Treasury will set the interest rate directly and will publish the interest rate on the Treasury Web site or through another mechanism. This will save DHS resources by removing the intermediate step for DHS to implement Treasury's decision by informal rulemaking.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, we have considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000.

This rule does not impose any direct costs on small entities. Consequently, DHS certifies this final rule would not impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. DHS received no public comments challenging this certification.

C. The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This final 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. This rule would not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic or export markets.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

All Departments are required to submit to OMB for review and approval, any reporting or recordkeeping requirements inherent in a rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13, 109 Stat. 163 (1995), 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. This rule does not change or require a collection of information.

E. Federalism

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

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

G. Private Property

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

H. Civil Justice Reform

This rule meets applicable standards in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. DHS has determined that this rule meets the requirements of E.O. 12988 because it does not involve any retroactive effects, preemptive effects, or any other matters addressed in E.O. 12988.

I. Energy Effects

We have analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and will not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

J. 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 the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) 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.

K. National Environmental Policy Act

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Management Directive (MD) 023-01 establishes procedures that the Department and its components use to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321-4375, and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing NEPA, 40 CFR parts 1500-1508. CEQ regulations allow federal agencies to establish categories of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and, therefore, do not require an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. 40 CFR 1508.4. DHS MD 023-01 lists the Categorical Exclusions that the Department has found to have no such effect. MD 023-01 app. A tbl.1.

This final rule amends 8 CFR part 293 to change the interest rate for immigration bonds secured by cash from a fixed rate of 3 percent per year to a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, provided that the rate does not exceed 3 percent per year and is not less than 0. DHS has analyzed this rule under MD 023-01. ICE has determined that this action is one of a category of actions which does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule clearly fits within the two Categorical Exclusions found in MD 023-01, Appendix A, Table 1: A3(a): “Promulgation of rules . . . of a strictly administrative and procedural nature”; and A3(d): “Promulgation of rules . . . that interpret or amend an existing regulation without changing its environmental effect.” This rule is not part of a larger action. This rule presents no extraordinary circumstances creating the potential for significant environmental effects. Therefore, this rule is categorically excluded from further NEPA review.

List of Subjects in 8 CFR Part 293

Administrative practice and procedure, Aliens, Bonds, Immigration, Interest rate.

Amendments to the Regulations

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, DHS amends 8 CFR part 293 as follows:

PART 293—DEPOSIT OF AND INTEREST ON CASH RECEIVED TO SECURE IMMIGRATION BONDS 1. Revise the authority citation for part 293 to read as follows: Authority:

8 U.S.C. 1363.

2. Revise § 293.1 to read as follows:
§ 293.1 Computation of interest.

The Secretary of the Treasury determines the rate at which an immigration bond secured by cash shall bear interest, consistent with 8 CFR 293.2. Interest shall be computed from the deposit date to and including the refund date or breach date of the immigration bond. For purposes of this part, the deposit date shall be the date shown on the receipt for the cash received as security on an immigration bond. The refund date shall be the date upon which the interest is certified to the Treasury Department for payment. The breach date shall be the date the immigration bond was breached as shown on Form I-323—“Notice—Immigration Bond Breached.” In counting the number of days for which interest shall be computed, the day on which the cash was deposited shall not be counted; however, the refund date or the breach date shall be counted.

3. Revise § 293.2 to read as follows:
§ 293.2 Interest rate.

Interest on cash deposited to secure immigration bonds will be at the rate as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, but in no case will exceed 3 per centum per annum or be less than zero. The rate will be published by Treasury on the Treasury Web site or through another mechanism.

4. Revise § 293.3 to read as follows:
§ 293.3 Time of payment.

Interest shall be paid only at time of disposition of principal cash when the immigration bond has been cancelled or declared breached.

§ 293.4 [Removed]
5. Remove § 293.4. Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2015-14675 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-28-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 23 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0722; Special Conditions No. 23-265-SC] Special Conditions: Honda Aircraft Company, Model HA-420; Fire Extinguishing for Overwing Pylon Mounted Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Honda Aircraft Company model HA-420 airplane. This airplane will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with mounting the engines on the wings in close proximity to the aft fuselage. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

The effective date of these special conditions is June 16, 2015.

We must receive your comments by July 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-0722 using any of the following methods:

Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC, 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery of Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://regulations.gov, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m., and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeff Pretz, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-111, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; 816-329-3239, fax 816-329-4090, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary because the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

Special condition No. Company/Airplane Model 23-210-SC Adam Aircraft Model A700. 23-245-SC Cirrus Design Corporation Model SF50. 23-221-SC Embraer S.A. Model EMB-500. Comments Invited

We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On October 11, 2006, Honda Aircraft Company applied for a type certificate for their new model HA-420. On October 10, 2013, Honda Aircraft Company requested an extension with an effective application date of October 1, 2013. This extension changed the type certification basis to amendment 23-62.

The HA-420 is a four to five passenger (depending on configuration), two crew, lightweight business jet with a 43,000-foot service ceiling and a maximum takeoff weight of 9963 pounds. The airplane is powered by two GE-Honda Aero Engines (GHAE) HF-120 turbofan engines.

The turbofan engines are mounted on a single pylon on each wing near the aft fuselage. These types of aft mounted engine installations, along with the need to protect such installed engines from fires, were not envisioned in the development of the part 23 normal category regulations. The performance of the airplane is such that a pilot may not be able to locate a suitable landing site and safely land the airplane prior to a fire escaping the fire containment capabilities of the engine fire zone.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Honda Aircraft Company must show that the model HA-420 meets the applicable provisions of part 23, as amended by Amendment 23-1 through Amendment 23-62 thereto.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 23) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the model HA-420 because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the model HA-420 must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. In addition, the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under section 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in § 11.19, under § 11.38 and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would also apply to the other model.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The model HA-420 will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: Turbofan engines are mounted on a single pylon on each wing near the aft fuselage not in the pilot's line of sight.

This type of configuration was not envisioned in the development of part 23 normal category airplanes. Therefore, a special condition for the engine fire extinguishing system on the model HA-420 is required.

As the extinguishing agent is subject to change during the service life of the airplane, the certification basis must include SC 23.1195, SC 23.1197, SC 23.1199, and SC 23.1201 in their entirety.

Discussion

Part 23 has historically addressed fire protection through prevention, identification, and containment. Prevention has been accomplished by minimizing the potential for ignition of flammable fluids and vapors. Identification has traditionally been achieved by the location of the engines within the pilot's primary field of view and/or with the incorporation of fire detection systems. This philosophy has provided for both the rapid detection of a fire and confirmation when it has been extinguished. Containment has been provided through the isolation of designated fire zones through flammable fluid shutoff valves and firewalls. The containment philosophy also ensures components of the engine control system will function effectively to permit a safe shutdown of the engine. However, containment has only been required to be demonstrated for 15 minutes. In the event of a fire in a traditional part 23 airplane, the corrective action is to land as soon as possible. For a small, simple aircraft originally envisioned by part 23, it is possible to descend the aircraft to a suitable landing site within 15 minutes. Thus, if the isolation means do not extinguish the fire, the occupants can safely exit the aircraft prior to breaching the firewall. These simple and traditional aircraft normally have the engine located away from critical flight control systems and primary structure. This has ensured that throughout the fire event the pilot can maintain control and continue safe flight. It has also made predicting the effects of a fire relatively easy. Other design features of these simple and traditional aircraft, such as low stall speeds and short landing distances, ensure that even in the event of an off field landing the potential for a catastrophic outcome has been minimized.

Amendment 23-62 applies to the model HA-420 and addresses the concerns above by requiring engine fire extinguishing for engines embedded in the fuselage or in pylons on the aft fuselage, but do not address engines mounted in pylons over the wing as used on the model HA-420. The engine fire concerns for engines mounted in overwing pylons near the aft fuselage are the same as those associated with engines mounted in pylons on the aft fuselage; therefore, the engine fire extinguishing requirements included in part 23, amendments 23-1 through 23-62 apply.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the model HA-420. Should Honda Airplane Company apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

The substance of these special conditions has been subjected to the notice and comment period in several prior instances, identified above, and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are unnecessary and the FAA finds good cause, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3), making these special conditions effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 23

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Signs and symbols.

Citation

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113 and 44701; 14 CFR 21.16 and 21.17; and 14 CFR 11.38 and 11.19.

The Special Conditions Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Honda Airplane Company model HA-420 airplanes. 1. Fire Extinguishing for Overwing Pylon Mounted Engines SC 23.1195 Fire Extinguishing Systems

(a) Fire extinguishing systems must be installed and compliance shown with the following:

(1) Except for combustor, turbine, and tailpipe sections of turbine-engine installations that contain lines or components carrying flammable fluids or gases for which a fire originating in these sections is shown to be controllable, a fire extinguisher system must serve each engine compartment.

(2) The fire extinguishing system, the quantity of the extinguishing agent, the rate of discharge, and the discharge distribution must be adequate to extinguish fires. An individual “one-shot” system may be used except for embedded engines where a “two shot” system must be used.

(3) The fire extinguishing system for a nacelle must be able to simultaneously protect each compartment of the nacelle for which protection is provided.

(b) If an auxiliary power unit is installed in any airplane certificated to this part, that auxiliary power unit compartment must be served by a fire extinguishing system meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

SC 23.1197 Fire Extinguishing Agents

The following applies:

(a) Fire extinguishing agents must—

(1) Be capable of extinguishing flames emanating from any burning of fluids or other combustible materials in the area protected by the fire extinguishing system; and

(2) Have thermal stability over the temperature range likely to be experienced in the compartment in which they are stored.

(b) If any toxic extinguishing agent is used, provisions must be made to prevent harmful concentrations of fluid or fluid vapors (from leakage during normal operation of the airplane or as a result of discharging the fire extinguisher on the ground or in flight) from entering any personnel compartment, even though a defect may exist in the extinguishing system. This must be shown by test except for built-in carbon dioxide fuselage compartment fire extinguishing systems for which—

(1) Five pounds or less of carbon dioxide will be discharged, under established fire control procedures, into any fuselage compartment; or

(2) Protective breathing equipment is available for each flight member on flight deck duty.

SC 23.1199 Extinguishing Agent Containers

The following applies:

(a) Each extinguishing agent container must have a pressure relief valve to prevent bursting of the container by excessive internal pressures.

(b) The discharge end of each discharge line from a pressure relief connection must be located so that discharge of the fire-extinguishing agent would not damage the airplane. The line must also be located or protected to prevent clogging caused by ice or other foreign matter.

(c) A means must be provided for each fire extinguishing agent container to indicate that the container has discharged or that the charging pressure is below the established minimum necessary for proper functioning.

(d) The temperature of each container must be maintained under intended operating conditions, to prevent the pressure in the container from—

(1) Falling below that necessary to provide an adequate rate of discharge; or

(2) Rising high enough to cause premature discharge.

(e) If a pyrotechnic capsule is used to discharge the extinguishing agent, each container must be installed so that temperature conditions will not cause hazardous deterioration of the pyrotechnic capsule.

SC 23.1201 Fire Extinguishing System Materials

The following apply:

(a) No material in any fire extinguishing system may react chemically with any extinguishing agent so as to create a hazard.

(b) Each system component in an engine compartment must be fireproof.

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 9, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14816 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0575; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-086-AD; Amendment 39-18181; AD 2015-12-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of delamination damage to leading edge (LE) variable camber krueger (VCK) flaps. This AD requires repetitive inspections to detect delamination damage of the lightning strike applique (LSA) on certain LE VCK flaps, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct delamination damage to certain LE VCK flaps, which can reduce the lightning strike protection capability on certain LE VCK flaps and result in an uncommanded motion of the trailing edge flap system; such uncommanded flap motion, without shutdown of the trailing edge or leading edge flaps, could cause unexpected changes in lift, potentially resulting in asymmetric lift and loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA 2014-0575.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0575; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2014 (79 FR 50875). The NPRM was prompted by reports of delamination damage to LE VCK flaps. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections to detect delamination damage of the LSA on the LE VCK flaps at positions 6 through 9 (left wing) and 18 through 21 (right wing), and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct delamination damage to certain LE VCK flaps, which can reduce the lightning strike protection capability on the LE VCK flaps and result in an uncommanded motion of the trailing edge flap system. Such uncommanded flap motion, without shutdown of the trailing edge or leading edge flaps, could cause unexpected changes in lift, potentially resulting in asymmetric lift and loss of control of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Revise Component Description

Boeing requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014) to describe the affected LE flaps with lightning strike applique installed as the LE VCK flaps at positions 6 through 9 (left wing) and 18 through 21 (right wing). Boeing pointed out that only the affected flaps should be specified, instead of all LE VCK flaps.

We agree with the commenter's request. Not all LE VCK flaps are affected by the identified unsafe condition. We have revised the SUMMARY section of this final rule and paragraph (e) of this AD to specify “certain” LE VCK flaps. We have also revised the DISCUSSION section of this final rule and paragraph (g) of this AD to specify LE VCK flaps at position 6 through 9 (left wing) and 18 through 21 (right wing).

Request To Correct Typographical Errors

Boeing requested that we revise the service bulletin title in the “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information” section and paragraphs (g) and (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014) from Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014; to Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014.

Boeing also requested that we revise “Original issue” in paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014) to “Original Issue.”

We agree with the commenter's request to correct the identified typographical errors. We have revised paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD accordingly. However, because the “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information” section is not repeated in the final rule, no change is necessary in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50875, August 26, 2014).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspections to detect delamination damage of the LSA on the LE VCK flaps and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 per inspection cycle $0 $680 per inspection cycle $4,080 per inspection cycle

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-12-07 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18181; Docket No. FAA-2014-0575; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-086-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of delamination damage to leading edge (LE) variable camber krueger (VCK) flaps. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct delamination damage to certain LE VCK flaps, which can reduce the lightning strike protection capability on certain LE VCK flaps and result in an uncommanded motion of the trailing edge flap system. Such uncommanded flap motion, without shutdown of the trailing edge or leading edge flaps, may cause unexpected changes in lift, potentially resulting in asymmetric lift and loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014: Do a general visual inspection to detect delamination damage of the lightning strike applique (LSA) on the LE VCK flaps at positions 6 through 9 (left wing) and 18 through 21 (right wing); and do all applicable corrective actions before further flight; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014. Repeat the inspection of the LSA on the LE VCK flaps at positions 6 through 9 (left wing) and 18 through 21 (right wing) thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014.

    (h) Exception to Service Information

    Where Paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the Original Issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane.

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747-57-2338, dated January 14, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington on June 3, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14397 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2119; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-005-AD; Amendment 39-18179; AD 2015-05-51] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Helicopters AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta Model A109A and A109A II helicopters, which was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. This AD requires replacing a certain part-numbered blade with an approved part-numbered blade. This AD is prompted by an error in the Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC) that incorrectly allows installation of a certain part-numbered blade on the affected helicopters. These actions are intended to prevent blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective July 1, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-05-51, issued on March 3, 2015, which contained the requirements of this AD.

    We must receive comments on this AD by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact AgustaWestland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39-0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Martin Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222 5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

    Discussion

    On March 3, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-05-51 to correct an unsafe condition for Agusta Model A109A helicopters, serial numbers 7154 through 7255, and for all Model A109A II helicopters. Emergency AD 2015-05-51 requires replacing blade part number (P/N) 109-0103-01-7 with blade P/N 109-0103-01-9 or 109-0103-01-115. The emergency AD was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. This action was prompted by an error in the IPC that allows installing blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 on certain serial-numbered Model A109A helicopters and on Model A109A II helicopters.

    Emergency AD 2015-05-51 was prompted by Emergency AD No. 2015-0025-E, dated February 18, 2015, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for certain serial-numbered Agusta Model A109A and all Model A109A II helicopters. EASA advises of the installation of blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 on Model A109A II helicopters. In a subsequent investigation, it was determined that blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 is only eligible for installation on Model A109A helicopters up to serial number (S/N) 7153. EASA states that for Model A109A and A109A II helicopters, the current IPC incorrectly allows installing blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 on all helicopters. The EASA AD requires identifying each blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 and replacing it with P/N 109-0103-01-9 or P/N 109-0103-01-115. The EASA AD also prohibits installing blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 on Model A109A helicopters from S/N 7154 through 7255 inclusive and on all Model A109A II helicopters.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA EAD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

    Related Service Information

    AgustaWestland Alert Bollettino Tecnico No. 109-142, dated February 17, 2015, specifies determining whether the affected part-numbered blade is installed and, if installed, replacing it with blade P/N 109-0103-01-9 or P/N 109-0103-01-115. Also, the service information states that AgustaWestland has updated the A109A/AII IPC to give the correct information about the applicable configuration.

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires, before further flight, replacing blade P/N 109-0103-01-7 with blade P/N 109-0103-01-9 or 109-0103-01-115.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 34 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per hour. We estimate 1 work hour to replace a blade and $143,000 for required parts, for a total cost of $143,085 per blade.

    FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we found and continue to find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to the adoption of this rule because the previously described unsafe condition can adversely affect the controllability of the helicopter and the required action must be accomplished before further flight.

    Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that good cause existed for making the AD effective immediately by Emergency AD 2015-05-51, issued on March 3, 2015, to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. These conditions still exist and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-05-51 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-18179; Docket No. FAA-2015-2119; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-005-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model A109A helicopters, serial numbers (S/N) 7154 through 7255, and all Model A109A II helicopters, with a main rotor blade (blade) part number (P/N) 109-0103-01-7 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as the installation of a blade that does not meet type design. This condition could result in blade failure and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective July 1, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by EAD 2015-05-51, issued on March 3, 2015, which contained the requirements of this AD.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    Before further flight, replace each blade with blade P/N 109-0103-01-9 or 109-0103-01-115.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Martin Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222 5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (g) Additional Information

    (1) AgustaWestland Alert Bollettino Tecnico No. 109-142, dated February 17, 2015, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For a copy of the service information referenced in this AD, contact: AgustaWestland, Product Support Engineering, Via del Gregge, 100, 21015 Lonate Pozzolo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Maurizio D'Angelo; telephone 39-0331-664757; fax 39-0331-664680; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Emergency AD No. 2015-0025-E, dated February 18, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-2119.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6210 Main Rotor Blades.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 2, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14415 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0618; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-171-AD; Amendment 39-18178; AD 2015-12-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2008-06-18 for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A300 series airplanes. AD 2008-06-18 required repetitive inspections for any cracking of the wing lower skin panel and associated internal support structure, and if necessary, corrective actions such as modifying the lower panel inboard of rib 9 aft of the rear spar and repairing cracks. This new AD continues to require actions required by AD 2008-06-18, and reduces certain compliance times. This AD was prompted by a report that information from an analysis and a fleet survey shows a need for reduced compliance times and intervals. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking, which could lead to reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective July 21, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of April 23, 2008 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008).

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0618; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS Airworthiness Office- EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0618.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008). AD 2008-06-18 applied to all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2014 (79 FR 52263). The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for any cracking of the wing lower skin panel and associated internal support structure, and if necessary, corrective actions such as modifying the lower panel inboard of rib 9 aft of the rear spar and repairing cracks. The NPRM also proposed to reduce some compliance times.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0203, dated October 1, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During routine maintenance, cracks were found in the wing bottom skin and in the associated internal support structure on an A300 aeroplane aft of the rear spar and inboard of rib 9. Initially, cracks were found in the skin only, starting from a fastener close to the forward outboard corner of access panel 575FB/675FB. Subsequently, cases were reported of cracks being found in the skin support strap and the stiffener.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, EASA issued AD 2006-0282 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2006-0282] [which corresponds with FAA AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008)] to require repetitive inspections of the wing lower skin panel and associated internal support structure aft of the rear spar and inboard of rib 9.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, the results of a fleet survey and updated Fatigue and Damage Tolerance analysis, which were performed in order to substantiate the second A300 and A300-600 Extended Service Goal (ESG2) exercise, revealed that the inspection threshold and interval had to be reduced to allow timely detection of cracks and the accomplishment of an applicable corrective action.

    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Revision 05 of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-57-0177 and Revision 07 of Airbus SB A300-57-6029.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2006-0282, which is superseded, but requires the accomplishment of those actions within reduced thresholds and intervals.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0618-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM (79 FR 52263, September 3, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Revise Method Used To Determine Compliance Times

    United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that the proposed compliance times be revised to be less complex. UPS stated that the proposed compliance times contain a method known as “Average Flight Time” (AFT) which results in a variable flight hour limit and adds an unnecessary complexity to the threshold table and subsequent inspection actions. UPS added that use of the AFT method, along with a lack of standard procedures for implementing the AFT method would create uncertainty for operators and inspectors trying to determine the correct compliance time. UPS stated that in review of prior FAA ADs, including AD 98-18-02, that the FAA does not concur with the AFT compliance time methodology as “. . . such adjustments may not address the unsafe condition in a timely manner” and “. . . they (AFT compliance times) do not fit into the AD tracking process for operators or for Principle Maintenance Inspectors (PMIs) attempting to ascertain compliance with ADs.” UPS compiled a table of fixed compliance times that it suggested would be simpler to use instead of the proposed AFT-based compliance times.

    We disagree with the commenter's request to revise the compliance times in this AD. In AD 98-18-02, Amendment 39-10718 (63 FR 45689, August 27, 1998), and certain other ADs, the required actions referred to service information that contained inspection thresholds and intervals based on airplane flight cycles only. Therefore, the FAA did not agree with the use of the “average flight time” (AFT) method to adjust the inspection thresholds and intervals, which were based only on flight cycles. However, for this AD the compliance times in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007, and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013, have been determined for a combination of flight cycles and flight hours for which the AFT methodology is appropriate.

    We acknowledge that a fixed compliance time for a fleet could be easier for operators to schedule and record compliance. Therefore, under the provisions of paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) if a proposal is submitted that is supported by technical data that includes fatigue and damage tolerance analysis We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 52263, September 3, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 52263, September 3, 2014).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the wing lower skin panel and associated internal support structure aft of the rear spar and inboard of rib 9 and applying applicable corrective measures. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 162 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions that were required by AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008), and retained in this AD take about 2 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that were required by AD 2008-06-18 is $170 per product.

    We also estimate that it will take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $27,540, or $170 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 12 work-hours and require parts costing $10,000, for a cost of $11,020 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0618; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008), and adding the following new AD: 2015-12-05 Airbus: Amendment 39-18178. Docket No. FAA-2014-0618; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-171-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective July 21, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) of this AD, certificated in any category, all certified models, all serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

    (5) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that information from an analysis and a fleet survey shows a need for reduced compliance times and intervals. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking, which could lead to reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Actions and Compliance Times, with Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008), with revised service information. Unless already done, do the following actions.

    (1) Except as provided by paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(1)(iii), (g)(1)(iv), and (h) of this AD: At the threshold specified in paragraph 1.E.(2), “Accomplishment Timescale,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300 series airplanes); Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); as applicable; perform the inspection of the wing lower skin panel and associated internal support structure aft of the rear spar and inboard of rib 9 and apply applicable corrective measures in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300 series airplanes); Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); as applicable. All applicable corrective measures must be done at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E.(2) and the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300 series airplanes); Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); as applicable. Accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the requirements of this paragraph for Model A300-600 airplanes.

    (i) Where the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2), “Accomplishment Timescale,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007; specify a grace period for doing the actions, this AD requires that the actions be done within the specified grace period relative to April 23, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008)).

    (ii) Where the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2)(e), “Config 04,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007, specify an inspection interval but not an initial threshold, this AD requires that the actions be done within the specified interval after inspecting in accordance with Table 1A or 1B, as applicable, for Configuration 01 airplanes described in the Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007, and thereafter at the inspection interval specified in the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2)(e), “Config 04,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007.

    (iii) Where the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2)(f), “Config 05,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007, specify an inspection interval but not an initial threshold, this AD requires that the actions be done within the specified interval after inspecting in accordance with Table 1A, or 1B, as applicable, for Configuration 01 airplanes described in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007, and thereafter at the inspection interval specified in the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2)(f), “Config 05,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007.

    (iv) All crack lengths specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007, are considered “not to exceed” lengths.

    (2) Repeat the inspection at the intervals in, and according to the instructions defined in, Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300 series airplanes); Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes); as applicable; except where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007, specifies repetitive inspections for cracking if Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-022 has not been embodied, this AD requires doing repetitive inspections for cracking if Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0222 (modification 11178H5410) has not been embodied.

    (3) Report to Airbus the first inspection results, whatever they may be, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) If the inspection was done after April 23, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008)), submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

    (ii) If the inspection was accomplished prior to April 23, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008)), submit the report within 30 days after April 23, 2008.

    (h) New Requirement of This AD: New Compliance Times for Model A300-600 Series Airplanes

    For Model A300-600 series airplanes, do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(3) of this AD at the applicable times specified in those paragraphs.

    (1) Except as provided by paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this AD: Within the compliance times specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013, perform the inspection of the wing lower skin panels and associated internal support structures aft of the rear spar and inboard of rib 9, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013. Thereafter, repeat these inspections at intervals specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013. Accomplishment of the actions required by this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD for Model A300-600 airplanes.

    (i) Where the tables in paragraph 1.E.(2), “Accomplishment Timescale,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013, specify a grace period for doing the actions for airplanes that have exceeded the thresholds, this AD requires, for all airplanes, that the actions be done within the specified grace period after the effective date of this AD or before the specified thresholds, whichever occurs later.

    (ii) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013, specifies to “contact Airbus” before further flight, this AD requires repairing using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA); and accomplishing those actions before further flight. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (2) If, during any inspection as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, discrepancies are detected, before next flight, accomplish the applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013.

    (3) Corrective actions, as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, do not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before April 23, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008)), using the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference by this AD.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 03, dated May 29, 2006 (for Model A300 series airplanes).

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 04, dated January 5, 2007 (for Model A300 series airplanes).

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 04, dated May 29, 2006 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 05, dated October 23, 2006 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD, using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes), which is not incorporated by reference by this AD.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2008-06-18, Amendment 39-15430 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0203, dated October 1, 2012, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0618.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(5) and (l)(6) of this AD.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on July 21, 2015.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 08, dated April 25, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on April 23, 2008 (73 FR 14670, March 19, 2008).

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-0177, Revision 05, dated March 23, 2007.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6029, Revision 06, dated March 23, 2007.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 3, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14283 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0485; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-093-AD; Amendment 39-18176; AD 2015-12-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-13-05 for all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes. AD 2007-13-05 required repetitive measurements of the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This new AD requires repetitive freeplay inspections and lubrication of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD was prompted by the manufacturer's determination that the procedure for the rudder freeplay inspection does not properly detect excessive freeplay in the rudder control load loop. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct excessive wear in the load loop components of the control surfaces, which could lead to excessive freeplay of the control surfaces, flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0485.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0485; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6573; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007). AD 2007-13-05 applied to all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2014 (79 FR 43981). The NPRM was prompted by a determination by the manufacturer that, after AD 2007-13-05 was issued, the procedure for the rudder freeplay inspection did not properly detect excessive freeplay in the rudder control load loop. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive freeplay inspections and lubrication of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct excessive wear in the load loop components of the control surfaces, which could lead to excessive freeplay of the control surfaces, flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    A4A, on behalf of American Airlines (AA), stated that AA is already in compliance with the requirements proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014).

    Request To Exclude Certain Airplanes

    Boeing requested that the airplanes referenced in the SUMMARY section and Discussion paragraph of the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) be changed from “all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes” to “most of The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes.” Boeing stated that Model 777-200F airplanes are not affected by the NPRM.

    We agree to change the phrase “all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes” for clarity. This final rule supersedes AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), which was applicable to all Boeing Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes. At the time AD 2007-13-05 was published, all Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes were referred to as “all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes.” Since then, Model 777F has been added to the U.S. type certificate data sheet. We have revised the SUMMARY section of this final rule to specify all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes. The Discussion paragraph of the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) is not restated in this final rule.

    Request To Clarify the Unsafe Condition

    Boeing requested that we clarify the unsafe condition specified in the SUMMARY section, Discussion paragraph, and paragraph (e) of the NPRM. Boeing stated that the repetitive freeplay inspections of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) would not prevent, detect, or correct flutter; the proposed freeplay inspections would detect excessive wear in the load loop components of the control surfaces. Boeing pointed out that excessive wear could lead to excessive freeplay of the control surfaces, which could cause unacceptable airframe vibration during flight.

    Based on the explanation provided by the commenter, we agree to clarify the unsafe condition that is the basis for issuing this final rule. However, we will not replace the word “flutter” with “unacceptable airframe vibration” because the unsafe condition is flutter, not vibration. We have revised the unsafe condition statement as follows, “We are issuing this AD to detect and correct excessive wear in the load loop components of the control surfaces, which could lead to excessive freeplay of the control surfaces, flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.” This revision appears in the SUMMARY section and Discussion paragraph of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this final rule, as well as paragraph (e) of this AD.

    Request To Clarify the Requirements of Paragraph (g) of the Proposed AD (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014)

    Boeing requested that we revise paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) by deleting “rudder” from the following sentence: “If during any inspection required by this paragraph, the rudder freeplay exceeds any applicable measurement . . . .” Boeing explained that this statement is incorrect because it is not just the rudder freeplay, but if any elevator, rudder, or rudder tab freeplay exceeds any applicable measurement specified in the service information, the applicable corrective actions need to be accomplished before further flight.

    We agree to revise the specified sentence in paragraph (g) of this AD, because corrective actions before further flight are needed for any elevator, rudder, or rudder tab freeplay that exceeds any applicable measurement specified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014.

    Requests To Correct Errors in the Service Information

    Japan Airlines (JAL) and United Airlines noted that there are typographical errors in Appendix B and Appendix C of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014. JAL requested that the FAA issue an AD to mandate the incorporation of the next revision (Revision 3) of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, or provide an exception to these typographical errors in this AD. United Airlines requested that the FAA issue a global alternative method of compliance (AMOC) to correct the errors identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014.

    We agree that Appendix B and Appendix C of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, contain typographical errors. However, we do not consider that delaying this action until after the release of the manufacturer's planned service bulletin revision is warranted. Because some of these typographical errors affect the procedures for correctly measuring the freeplay of the rudder tab surface, we have provided the corrections for those errors in paragraph (i) of this AD instead of issuing an AMOC. Paragraph (i) of the proposed AD (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) has been redesignated as paragraph (i)(1) in this AD, and new paragraphs (i)(2), (i)(3), and (i)(4) have been added to this AD. We have also revised paragraph (g) of this AD to refer to paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(4) of this AD.

    Additional Changes to This Final Rule

    Paragraph (k)(4) of the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) stated that AMOCs approved previously for AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), are not approved as AMOCS for the requirements of this AD. We have now determined that AMOCs for certain actions required by AD 2007-13-05 are acceptable for the corresponding requirements of this AD. We have revised paragraph (k)(4) of this AD and added new paragraphs (k)(5) and (k)(6) to this AD to include this information.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously, and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 43981, July 29, 2014).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014. The service information describes procedures for repetitive freeplay inspections and lubrication of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 142 airplanes of U.S. registry. The new actions of this AD would add no additional economic burden to that imposed by AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007). The current costs for this AD are repeated for the convenience of affected operators, as follows:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Measurement (inspection), elevator 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 per measurement (inspection) cycle $0 $340 per measurement (inspection) cycle $48,280 per measurement (inspection) cycle. Lubrication, elevator 17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445 per lubrication cycle 0 $1,445 per lubrication cycle $205,190 per lubrication cycle. Measurement (inspection), rudder 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 per measurement (inspection) cycle 0 $340 per measurement (inspection) cycle $48,280 per measurement (inspection) cycle. Lubrication, rudder 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 per lubrication cycle 0 $595 per lubrication cycle $84,490 per lubrication cycle. Measurement (inspection), rudder tab 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per measurement (inspection) cycle 0 $255 per measurement (inspection) cycle $36,210 per measurement (inspection) cycle. Lubrication, rudder tab 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 per lubrication cycle 0 $425 per lubrication cycle $60,350 per lubrication cycle.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition corrective actions specified in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), and adding the following new AD: 2015-12-03 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18176 ; Docket No. FAA-2014-0485; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-093-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, and -300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Airplanes having a Variable Number identified in paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014.

    (2) Airplanes having a date of issuance of the original airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness on or after January 27, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the manufacturer's determination that the procedure for the rudder freeplay inspection does not properly detect excessive freeplay in the rudder control load loop. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct excessive wear in the load loop components of the control surfaces, which could lead to excessive freeplay of the control surfaces, flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections of Elevators, Rudder, and Rudder Tab

    At the applicable times specified in tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD: Inspect the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab by accomplishing all of the actions specified in Parts 1, 3, and 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, except as provided by paragraphs (i)(2) through (i)(4) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the intervals specified in tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014. If, during any inspection required by this paragraph, the freeplay exceeds any applicable measurement specified in Part 1, 3, and 5, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, before further flight, do the applicable corrective actions in accordance with Part 1, 3, and 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014.

    (h) Repetitive Lubrication

    At the applicable times specified in tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, except as provided by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD: Lubricate the elevator components, rudder components, and rudder tab components, by accomplishing all of the actions specified in Parts 2, 4, and 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, as applicable. Repeat the lubrication thereafter at the interval specified in tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, as applicable.

    (i) Exception to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date on this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after July 25, 2007 (the effective date of AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007)).

    (2) Where Appendix B, paragraph 1.f., “Freeplay Inspection,” step (8), of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, specifies that the center of the pad must be within 1.0 inch (13 millimeters) of the center line of the rib rivets in the rudder tab, this AD requires that the center of the tab must be within 1.0 inch (25 millimeters) of the center line of the rib rivets in the rudder tab.

    (3) Where Appendix C, paragraph 1.e., “Rudder Tab Surface Freeplay—Inspection,” step (2) and step (6), of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, specify that the placement of the force gage and pad should be within one inch of the centerline line of the middle rudder PCU rib and at 12 +/−1 inch (305 +/−72 millimeters) forward of the rudder tab trailing edge, this AD requires placement of the force gage and pad within one inch of the centerline line of the middle rudder PCU rib and at 12 +/−1 inch (305 +/−25 millimeters) forward of the rudder tab trailing edge.

    (4) Where Appendix C, paragraph 1.e., “Rudder Tab Surface Freeplay—Inspection,” step (3), of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014, specifies to apply a 30 +/−pound (133 +/−14 newton) force, this AD requires applying a 30 +/−3 pound force (133 +/−14 newton) force.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007).

    (2) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 1, dated October 1, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) AMOCs approved previously for the freeplay measurements of the right and left elevators and rudder tab required by paragraph (f) of AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (5) AMOCs approved previously for the freeplay measurements of the rudder required by paragraph (f) of AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), are not approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD. We are not aware of any such AMOCs.

    (6) AMOCs approved previously for the repetitive lubrications required by paragraph (g) of AD 2007-13-05, Amendment 39-15109 (72 FR 33856, June 20, 2007), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6573; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, Revision 2, dated January 27, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 3, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14174 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2191; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-019-AD; Amendment 39-18183; AD 2015-10-51] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Avidyne Corporation Integrated Flight Displays AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Avidyne Corporation (Avidyne) Integrated Flight Displays (IFDs) part number (P/N) 700-00083-() loaded with software release 9.3.1.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—10 inch), P/N 700-00171-() loaded with software release 9.2.5.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—12 inch), and P/N 700-00182-() loaded with software release 10.0.3.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model IFD540). This emergency AD was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of all aircraft that incorporate the above referenced Avidyne IFDs. This AD requires incorporating an operational limitation into the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) or airplane flight manual supplement (AFMS). This AD was prompted by reports of Avidyne IFDs displaying incorrect course deviation indication information during GPS approaches (incorrect display of lateral deviations). We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 1, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-10-51, issued on May 18, 2015, which contained the requirements of this amendment.

    We must receive comments on this AD by July 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2191; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony Pigott, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238-7158; fax: (781) 238-7199; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    On May 18, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-10-51, which requires incorporating an operational limitation into the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) or airplane flight manual supplement (AFMS). This emergency AD was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of all aircraft that incorporate Avidyne Corporation (Avidyne) Integrated Flight Displays (IFDs) part number (P/N) 700-00083-() loaded with software release 9.3.1.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—10 inch), P/N 700-00171-() loaded with software release 9.2.5.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—12 inch), and P/N 700-00182-() loaded with software release 10.0.3.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model IFD540).

    This action was prompted by reports of Avidyne IFDs displaying incorrect course deviation indication information during GPS approaches (incorrect display of lateral deviations). This condition occurs when the airplane is flying in certain approaches, the leg to the Final Approach Fix (FAF) is active, and the leg to the FAF is not aligned with the final approach course (i.e., an angled entry to the FAF). The software of the Avidyne IFDs as referenced above will produce lateral deviations to the final approach course as soon as the leg to the FAF becomes active. Therefore, when the leg does not align with the final approach course, the course deviation indicator (CDI) will show a deviation when, in fact, the aircraft is on the proper course for the active leg. This could result in the pilot making flight decisions that put the aircraft in unsafe flight conditions, flying into airspace that was, by the GPS approach design, to be avoided (terrain, obstacle, traffic, restricted).

    FAA's Determination

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

    AD Requirements

    This AD requires incorporating an operational limitation into the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) or airplane flight manual supplement (AFMS). The operational limitation will contain the following:

    • Flying a full procedure (non Vector-to-Final) GPS approach, with a course change at the Final Approach Fix (FAF), is prohibited.”

    • “Flying a GPS approach, with a Direct-To or with an Omni-Bearing Selector (OBS) leg to the FAF, is prohibited.”

    FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because of the Avidyne IFDs displaying incorrect course deviation indication information during GPS approaches (incorrect display of lateral deviations), which could result in the pilot making flight decisions that put the aircraft in unsafe flight conditions, flying into airspace that was, by the GPS approach design, to be avoided (terrain, obstacle, traffic, restricted). Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

    Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include Docket Number FAA-2015-2191 and Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-015-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 324 products installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Incorporate operational limitations into the Limitations section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) or airplane flight manual supplement .5 work-hour × $85 per hour = $42.50 Not applicable $42.50 $13,770
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-10-51 Avidyne Corporation: Amendment 39-18183; Docket No. FAA-2015-2191; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-015-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 1, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-10-51, issued on May 18, 2015, which contained the requirements of this amendment.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    Avidyne Corporation (Avidyne) Integrated Flight Displays (IFDs) part number (P/N) 700-00083-() loaded with software release 9.3.1.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—10 inch), P/N 700-00171-() loaded with software release 9.2.5.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model R9—12 inch), and P/N 700-00182-() loaded with software release 10.0.3.0 or earlier release (referred to as Model IFD540). These IFDs are installed on, but not limited to, airplanes that are certificated in any category and are identified in the following:

    (1) For Model R9—10 inch: AML STC SA00282BO. This document can be found at: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/24d8d8ba6cb57e4f86257d1d0055dec4/$FILE/SA00282BO_AML.pdf.

    (2) For Model R9—12 inch: Korea Aerospace Industries KC-100 (currently being type validated by the FAA).

    (3) For Model IFD540: STC SAA00343BO. This document can be found at: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/5084676a444f3b2b86257d20005d08ab/$FILE/SA00343BO_AML.pdf.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code: 34, Navigation.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of Avidyne IFDs displaying incorrect course deviation indication information during GPS approaches (incorrect display of lateral deviations). This condition occurs when the airplane is flying in certain approaches, the leg to the Final Approach Fix (FAF) is active, and the leg to the FAF is not aligned with the final approach course (i.e., an angled entry to the FAF). The software of the Avidyne IFDs as referenced above in the Applicability section, paragraph (c) of this AD, will produce lateral deviations to the final approach course as soon as the leg to the FAF becomes active. Therefore, when the leg does not align with the final approach course, the course deviation indicator (CDI) will show a deviation when, in fact, the aircraft is on the proper course for the active leg. We are issuing this AD to prevent such incorrect display of lateral deviations, which could result in the pilot making flight decisions that put the aircraft in unsafe flight conditions, flying into airspace that was, by the GPS approach design, to be avoided (terrain, obstacle, traffic, restricted).

    (f) Compliance

    Unless already done, comply with paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (g) Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) or Airplane Flight Manual Supplement (AFMS) Limitation

    (1) Before further flight after July 1, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-10-51, issued on May 18, 2015, which contained the requirements of this amendment, incorporate the operational limitations listed in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(ii) of this AD into the Limitations section of the AFM or AFMS, as applicable. This can be done by inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the AFM or AFMS.

    (i) “Flying a full procedure (non Vector-to-Final) GPS approach, with a course change at the Final Approach Fix (FAF), is prohibited.”

    (ii) “Flying a GPS approach, with a Direct-To or with an Omni-Bearing Selector (OBS) leg to the FAF, is prohibited.”

    (2) This action may be done by an owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the airplane records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1)(4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.173 or 135.439.

    (3) Paragraphs (g)(3)(i) and (g)(3)(ii) of this AD provides examples of prohibited and allowed GPS approach per paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD:

    (i) An example of a prohibited GPS approach per paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD can be found at: http://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1505/05597r25.pdf.

    (ii) An example of an allowed GPS approach per paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD can be found at: http://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1505/00626rz29.pdf.

    (4) This AD is no longer applicable if software is installed that is different than that referenced in paragraph (c) Applicability of this AD.

    (h) Special Flight Permit

    Under 14 CFR 39.23, special flight permits are prohibited for this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (j) Related Information

    For further information about this AD, contact Anthony Pigott, Aerospace Engineer, Boston ACO, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238-7158; fax: (781) 238-7199; email: [email protected]

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 8, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14645 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0249; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-211-AD; Amendment 39-18180; AD 2015-12-06] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Learjet Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Learjet Inc. Model 45 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of non-conforming windshield supports (coupe rails). This AD requires a general visual inspection of the coupe rails to detect gouging and scratches, and to determine if a radius has been removed; an ultrasound inspection to measure the dimensions of the lower coupe rails; an eddy current inspection to detect cracks of the lower coupe rails; replacement of the lower coupe rails if necessary; and revision of the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct non-conforming windshield supports, which could result in uncontrolled cabin depressurization and compromise of the capability of the windshield to withstand a bird strike.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Learjet, Inc., One Learjet Way, Wichita, KS 67209-2942; telephone 316-946-2000; fax 316-946-2220; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0249.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0249; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Chapman, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4152; fax: 316-946-4107; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Learjet Inc. Model 45 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2014 (79 FR 21416). The NPRM was prompted by reports of non-conforming windshield supports (coupe rails). The NPRM proposed to require a general visual inspection to detect gouging and scratches and to determine if a radius has been removed; an ultrasound inspection to measure the dimensions of the lower coupe rails; an eddy current inspection to detect cracks of the lower coupe rails; replacement of the lower coupe rails if necessary; and revision of the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct non-conforming windshield supports, which could result in uncontrolled cabin depressurization. Non-conforming windshield supports could also compromise the capability of the windshield to withstand a bird strike.

    Explanation of Changes Made to Paragraph (h) of This AD

    We revised paragraph (h) of this AD to state that incorporation of certain tasks into the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, must be done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ACE-115W, FAA. For informational purposes, we have added new Notes 1 and 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD to refer to the latest maintenance manuals as guidance material for revising the maintenance or inspection program. (Earlier revisions were referenced previously in table 1 to paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014)). The change to this AD should allow operators to obtain appropriate versions of maintenance manuals in order to facilitate compliance.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014), and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request for Credit for Previous Actions

    Learjet Inc. requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014) to clarify whether actions accomplished using Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, dated April 30, 2012; or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, dated April 30, 2012; is acceptable for compliance with the actions required by paragraph (g) of the NPRM. Learjet Inc. reasoned that many operators have already done those actions using this service information.

    We agree to clarify. Actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, dated April 30, 2012; or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, dated April 30, 2012; as applicable; are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD. We have added a new paragraph (j) to this AD to provide credit for these actions. We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Request To Incorporate Updated Inspection Reference Number (IRN)

    Learjet Inc. requested that we revise table 1 to paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014) to allow the incorporation of IRN V5323168, as specified in Bombardier Learjet 45 Maintenance Manual (MM) MM-104, Revision 62; and Bombardier Learjet 40 Maintenance Manual MM-105 Revision 30; both dated June 2, 2014. Learjet Inc. explained that IRN U5323168 was revised to V5323168 in Bombardier Learjet 45 Maintenance Manual MM-104, Revision 62; and Bombardier Learjet 40 Maintenance Manual MM-105, Revision 30; both dated June 2, 2014. Learjet Inc. stated that there were no actual changes to the content of the IRN in Chapter 4 of the MMs, but the “U” was revised to a “V” to coincide with changes to the verbiage in the same IRN in Chapter 5 of those MMs.

    As discussed previously, we added new Notes 1 and 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD to refer to the latest revisions of the maintenance manuals, which include references to the appropriate IRNs referenced by the commenter. No additional change to this AD is necessary.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 21416, April 16, 2014).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012; and Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012. The service information describes procedures for a general visual inspection of the coupe rails to detect gouging and scratches, and to determine if a radius has been removed; an ultrasound inspection to measure the dimensions of the lower coupe rails; an eddy current inspection to detect cracks of the lower coupe rails; and replacement of the lower coupe rails if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 351 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 40 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,400 per inspection cycle $77 $3,477 per inspection cycle $1,220,427 per inspection cycle. Maintenance or inspection program revision 1 work hour × $85 per hour = $85 None $85 $29,835.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacement that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Replacement 500 work-hours (to replace both coupe rails) × $85 per hour = $42,500 $15,000 (to replace both coupe rails) $57,500 (to replace both coupe rails).

    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-12-06 Learjet Inc.: Amendment 39-18180; Docket No. FAA-2014-0249; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-211-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 21, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Learjet Inc. Model 45 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having serial numbers (S/Ns) 45-2000 through 45-2120 inclusive, and S/Ns 45-2122 through 45-2130 inclusive); and Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-005 through 45-427 inclusive).

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of non-conforming windshield supports (coupe rails). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct non-conforming windshield supports, which could result in uncontrolled cabin depressurization, and compromise of the capability of the windshield to withstand a bird strike.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

    Within 600 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do the inspections specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) of this AD. Do all inspections and corrective actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-2000 through 45-2120 inclusive, and 45-2122 through 45-2130 inclusive); or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-005 through 45-427 inclusive).

    (1) Do a general visual inspection of the coupe rails to detect gouging and scratches and to determine whether a radius has been removed or damaged.

    (i) If gouging or scratches are found, before further flight, burnish or blend the gouges and scratches.

    (ii) If the radius has been removed or damaged, before further flight, restore the radius.

    (2) Do an ultrasound inspection to measure the dimensions of the lower coupe rails.

    (i) If the coupe rail has an “X” dimension of 0.246 (6.248 millimeters (mm)) or greater, and a “Y” dimension of 0.148 (3.759 mm) or greater: Before further flight, identify the coupe rail, in accordance with table 1 of Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-2000 through 45-2120 inclusive, and S/Ns 45- 2122 through 45-2130 inclusive); or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-005 through 45-427 inclusive).

    (ii) If the coupe rail has an “X” dimension between 0.246 (6.248 mm) and 0.166 (4.216 mm) or a “Y” dimension between 0.148 (3.759 mm) and 0.134 (3.403 mm): Before further flight, identify the coupe rail, in accordance with table 2 of Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-2000 through 45-2120 inclusive, and S/Ns 45- 2122 through 45-2130 inclusive); or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-005 through 45-427 inclusive).

    (iii) If any coupe rail “X” dimension is below 0.166 (4.216 mm) or “Y” dimension is below 0.134 (3.403 mm): Before further flight, replace that coupe rail with a new coupe rail.

    (3) Do a flange and radius eddy current inspection for cracks of the left-hand and right-hand lower coupe rails.

    (i) If no crack is found, before further flight, mark the new data plate.

    (ii) If any crack is found, before further flight, replace the coupe rail with a new coupe rail.

    (h) Maintenance/Inspection Program Revision

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program (as applicable) to incorporate tasks for inspections of the lower coupe rail radius/windscreen retainer attach and replacement of the coupe rails, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ACE-115W, FAA.

    Note 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD:

    For Model 40 airplanes, the instructions provided in Bombardier Learjet 40 Maintenance Manual MM-105, Revision 30, dated June 2, 2014, provide guidance for revising the maintenance or inspection program to include replacements of the coupe rails and maintenance requirements/structure checks of the lower coupe rail radius/windscreen retainer attach. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    Note 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD:

    For Model 45 airplanes, the instructions provided in Bombardier Learjet 45 Maintenance Manual MM-104, Revision 62, dated June 2, 2014, provide guidance for revising the maintenance or inspection program to include replacements of the coupe rails and maintenance requirements/structure checks of the lower coupe rail radius/windscreen retainer attach. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative IRN task or interval may be used unless the IRN task or interval is approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, dated April 30, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-2000 through 45-2120 inclusive, and 45-2122 through 45-2130 inclusive); or Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, dated April 30, 2012 (for airplanes having S/Ns 45-005 through 45-427 inclusive); which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Wichita ACO, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Paul Chapman, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita ACO, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4152; fax: 316-946-4107; email: [email protected].

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 40-56-03, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012.

    (ii) Bombardier Recommended Service Bulletin 45-56-3, Revision 1, dated October 15, 2012.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Learjet, Inc., One Learjet Way, Wichita, KS 67209-2942; telephone 316-946-2000; fax 316-946-2220; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 3, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14396 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0585; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-248-AD; Amendment 39-18182; AD 2015-12-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found during the manufacturing process for some oxygen pipe assemblies that are used to supply oxygen to the flightcrew. This AD requires an inspection to determine the batch number or installation date of the oxygen pipe assembly that is installed at the end of the right-hand crew distribution line, and, if necessary, replacement of the pipe. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion, which could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to a flightcrew member during a decompression event or a smoke/fire event in the cockpit. Under certain conditions, corrosion particles could increase the risk of fire in the cockpit.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective July 21, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0585 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2014 (79 FR 50872).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0278, dated November 26, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Some oxygen pipe assemblies, Part Number (P/N) D3511032000640, have been found corroded during manufacturing at supplier level. The affected pipe assembly is installed at the end of the right hand (RH) crew distribution line, just upstream of the First Officer and RH Observer oxygen mask boxes.

    The investigation showed that the affected pipes had been heat treated just 4 weeks before the summer factory closure and were only cleaned after re-opening of the factory. During this interruption, corrosion developed in these pipes.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to one flight crew member in case of decompression or smoke/fire in the cockpit. In addition, the presence of particles in oxygen lines, under certain conditions, increases the risk of fire in the cockpit.

    The parts manufacturer identified the batch numbers of the potentially affected pipes that were manufactured in a specific period in 2011. Based on that information, Airbus has identified the aeroplanes on which those pipes have been installed on the production line and has issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-35-1069, containing instructions to remove the affected pipes from service.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the identification of the affected oxygen pipes P/N D3511032000640, and for those included in the affected batches, replacement of the oxygen pipe. This [EASA] AD also prohibits installation of any of the affected pipes on other aeroplanes.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0585-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comments received. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    United Airlines stated that, while they appreciated the opportunity to comment, they had no comments on the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014).

    Request To Revise Language Allowing Use of a Records Check

    Delta Air Lines (DAL) requested that the second sentence in paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014) be revised to add a provision for when an operator can show compliance if the “review conclusively determined that the suspect part number and batch number was never installed on the aircraft.” DAL contended that the additional provision would allow an operator with an airplane that was not identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013, and on which the originally installed pipe was never replaced, to be in compliance with the proposed AD without knowing the part number (P/N) and installation date.

    We agree that if operators can conclusively determine that the crew oxygen pipes having P/N D3511032000640 have never been installed on an airplane after June 2011, then AD compliance can be demonstrated for paragraph (h) of this AD. However, we do not agree to revise paragraph (h) of this AD as the current language requires operators to either do the inspection for the part or verify that the part is not installed by reviewing their maintenance records. If an operator can verify through review of maintenance records that no crew oxygen pipe having P/N D3511032000640 was installed after June 2011, then compliance with paragraph (h) of this AD can be demonstrated. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014).

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the crew oxygen pipe to determine the batch number of the pipe, and replacing the crew oxygen pipe, as applicable. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 2 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $340, or $170 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 5 work-hours, for a cost of $425 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0585; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-12-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-18182. Docket No. FAA-2014-0585; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-248-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective July 21, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (4) Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found during the manufacturing process for some oxygen pipe assemblies that are used to supply oxygen to the flightcrew. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion, which could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to a flightcrew member during a decompression event or a smoke/fire event in the cockpit. Under certain conditions, corrosion particles could increase the risk of fire in the cockpit.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection for Batch Numbers and Replacement

    For airplanes identified in paragraph 1.A. of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the crew oxygen pipe, having part number (P/N) D3511032000640, to determine the batch number of that pipe, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the batch number of the pipe can be conclusively determined from that review. If the batch number of the oxygen pipe is 19356252, 40008586, 40076689, 40187414, 40292749, 40405164, 40649383, 40724994, 40820410, or 40911832: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the oxygen pipe with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013.

    (h) Inspection for Part Number and Installation Date of Crew Oxygen Pipe

    For airplanes not identified in paragraph 1.A. of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the crew oxygen pipe to determine whether P/N D3511032000640 was installed after June 2011. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and installation date of the pipe can be conclusively determined from that review. If the pipe was installed after June 2011, or the date cannot be conclusively determined, before further flight, do the actions required in paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, do not install, on any airplane, a crew oxygen pipe P/N D3511032000640, that is identified as belonging to batch number 19356252, 40008586, 40076689, 40187414, 40292749, 40405164, 40649383, 40724994, 40820410, or 40911832.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (k) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0278, dated November 26, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0585-0002.

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 3, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14395 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0902; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASW-8] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Tucumcari, NM AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes Class E airspace at the Tucumcari VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid (VORTAC), Tucumcari, NM, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

    DATES:

    Effective date: 0901 UTC, August 20, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raul Garza, Jr., Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137; telephone 817-321-7654.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    History

    On December 9, 2014, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace for the Tucumcari, NM area, creating controlled airspace at the Tucumcari VORTAC within Albuquerque ARTCC boundaries (79 FR 72998) Docket No. FAA-2014-0902. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One positive comment was received from the National Business Aviation Association.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Y dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Y, airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at the Tucumcari VORTAC navigation aid, Tucumcari, NM, to contain aircraft while in IFR conditions under control of Albuquerque ARTCC by safely vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations within the confines of Albuquerque ARTCC airspace.

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle 1, Section 106 (f), describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it establishes controlled airspace at the Tucumcari VORTAC, Tucumcari, NM.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 Enroute Domestic Airspace Areas. ASW NM E6 Tucumcari, NM [New] Tucumcari VORTAC, NM Lat. 35°10′56″ N., long. 103°35′55″ W.

    That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by lat. 37°30′00″ N., long. 102°33′00″ W.; to lat. 36°30′00″ N., long. 101°45′00″ W.; to lat. 36°23′50″ N., long. 101°28′20″ W.; 35°12′30″ N., long. 105°28′30″ W.; to lat. 36°43′00″ N., long. 105°20′30″ W.; to lat. 36°43′00″ N., long. 105°00′00″ W.; thence to the point of beginning.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on June 2, 2015. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14322 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1862; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASO-6] RIN 2120-AA66 Amendment to the Titles of Restricted Areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C; North Carolina AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 by making an editorial change to the location names listed in the titles of restricted areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C in North Carolina. There are no changes to the boundaries; designated altitudes; time of designation, activities conducted within the restricted areas or the actual physical locations of the restricted areas.

    DATES:

    Effective date: 0901 UTC, August 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Gallant, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it updates the locations named in the titles of restricted areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C in North Carolina.

    Background

    A discrepancy has been identified in the location names listed in the titles of restricted areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C, in North Carolina. Currently, the location in the title of R-5301 reads “Albemarle Sound, NC” and the location in the titles of R-5302A, B, and C reads “Harvey Point, NC.” A review of aeronautical charts reveals that the location names should be reversed. R-5301 lies physically over Harvey Point. NC; while R-5302A, B, and C are situated above Albemarle Sound.

    The Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 by making an editorial change to the location names listed in the titles of restricted areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C in North Carolina. As noted above, the locations currently listed in the restricted area descriptions are inaccurate. The title that reads “R-5301 Albemarle Sound, NC” is changed to read “R-5301 Harvey Point, NC.” The titles for restricted areas R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C, which currently read “Harvey Point, NC,” are changed to read “Albemarle Sound, NC.” This is an editorial change to update the locations in the titles of restricted areas R-5301, R-5302A, R-5302B, and R-5302C in North Carolina. The areas are correctly depicted on aeronautical charts. This change does not affect the boundaries, designated altitudes, activities conducted within the restricted areas or the actual physical location of the airspace; therefore, notice and public procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this action only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, paragraph 311d. This action is an administrative change to the titles in the descriptions of the affected restricted areas to reflect the correct locations. It does not alter the dimensions, altitudes, times of designation or actual physical locations of the airspace; therefore, it is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exists that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 73, as follows:

    PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 73.53 [Amended]
    2. Section 73.53 is amended as follows: R-5301 Albemarle Sound, NC [Remove] R-5302A Harvey Point, NC [Remove] R-5302B Harvey Point, NC [Remove] R-5302B Harvey Point, NC [Remove] R-5301 Harvey Point, NC [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 36°04′56″ N., long. 76°16′47″ W.; to lat. 36°04′23″ N., long. 76°20′59″ W.; to lat. 36°06′58″ N., long. 76°20′58″ W.; thence clockwise via a 3 nautical mile arc centered at lat. 36°04′01″ N., long. 76°20′19″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to 14,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. Continuous.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Washington ARTCC.

    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes (FACSFAC VACAPES), Virginia Beach, VA.

    R-5302A Albemarle Sound, NC [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 36°01′21″ N., long. 76°14′29″ W.; to lat. 36°02′19″ N., long. 76°07′14″ W.; to lat. 36°00′01″ N., long. 76°07′14″ W.; to lat. 36°00′01″ N., long. 76°14′29″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. Surface to 14,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. By NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Washington ARTCC.

    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes (FACSFAC VACAPES), Virginia Beach, VA.

    R-5302B Albemarle Sound, NC [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 36°04′59″ N., long. 76°16′29″ W.; to lat. 36°04′01″ N., long. 76°05′59″ W.; to lat. 36°00′01″ N., long. 76°05′59″ W.; to lat. 36°00′01″ N., long. 76°12′59″ W.; to lat. 36°00′04″ N., long. 76°24′17″ W.; thence clockwise via a 4 nautical mile arc centered at lat. 36°02′01″ N., long. 76°19′59″ W.; to lat. 36°03′56″ N., long. 76°24′18″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. 100 feet AGL to 14,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. By NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Washington ARTCC.

    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes (FACSFAC VACAPES), Virginia Beach, VA.

    R-5302C Albemarle Sound, NC [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 36°00′01″ N., long. 76°12′59″ W.; to lat. 35°58′50″ N., long. 76°16′58″ W.; thence clockwise via a 4 nautical mile arc centered at lat. 36°02′01″ N., long. 76°19′59″ W.; to lat. 36°00′04″ N., long. 76°24′17″ W.; to the point of beginning.

    Designated altitudes. 100 feet AGL to 3,000 feet MSL.

    Time of designation. By NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance.

    Controlling agency. FAA, Washington ARTCC.

    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes (FACSFAC VACAPES), Virginia Beach, VA.

    Issued in Washington, DC on June 10, 2015. Gary A. Norek, Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14798 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 740, 742, 752 and 774 [Docket No. 141229999-4999-01] RIN 0694-AG45 Implementation of the Australia Group (AG) November 2013 Intersessional Decisions AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) publishes this final rule to amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the recommendations presented at the November 2013 Australia Group (AG) intersessional implementation meeting and later adopted pursuant to the AG silent approval procedure. Specifically, this rule amends the Commerce Control List (CCL) entry in the EAR that controls certain human and zoonotic pathogens and toxins, and removes the CCL entry that controls certain animal pathogens to reflect the merger of two AG common control lists based on recommendations presented at the AG intersessional implementation meeting. As a result of these recommendations, the AG “List of Animal Pathogens for Export Control” was merged with the AG “List of Biological Agents for Export Control,” creating a single AG common control list for these items (i.e., the AG “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control”). The scope of the controls on these human and animal pathogens and toxins was not affected by the merger of the two lists into a single AG common control list. This rule also makes conforming amendments to other provisions in the EAR to reflect these changes.

    In addition, this rule amends the CCL entry that controls chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment to reflect changes to the AG “Control List of Dual-Use Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment and Related Technology and Software,” based on the November 2013 AG intersessional recommendation to revise controls on certain valves, casings (valve bodies) designed for such valves, and preformed casing liners designed for such valves. This rule also amends this CCL entry to add a Technical Note clarifying how the terms “multi-seal” and “seal-less” are used with respect to the controls on pumps. In a change unrelated to any revisions to the AG common control lists or guidelines, this rule also amends this CCL entry to authorize the use of License Exception LVS for specified shipments.

    This rule does not contain changes based on the understandings reached at the June 2014 AG Plenary meeting, because no amendments to the EAR were required as a result of these understandings.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments regarding this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email to [email protected], or by fax to (202) 395-7285; and to the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, 14th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2705, Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard P. Duncan, Ph.D., Director, Chemical and Biological Controls Division, Office of Nonproliferation and Treaty Compliance, Bureau of Industry and Security, Telephone: (202) 482-3343, Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the recommendations presented at the Australia Group (AG) Intersessional meeting held in Budapest, Hungary, on November 18-22, 2013, and adopted pursuant to the AG silent approval procedure in January/February 2014. The AG is a multilateral forum consisting of 41 participating countries that maintain export controls on a list of chemicals, biological agents, and related equipment and technology that could be used in a chemical or biological weapons program. The AG periodically reviews items on its control list to enhance the effectiveness of participating governments' national controls and to achieve greater harmonization among these controls.

    Merger of ECCN 1C352 With ECCN 1C351 (Human and Animal Pathogens and “Toxins”)

    The AG intersessional recommendations adopted in January 2014 addressed the merger of the AG “List of Animal Pathogens for Export Control” with the AG “List of Biological Agents for Export Control” to create a single AG common control list for all of these pathogens and toxins (i.e., the AG “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control”).

    This final rule amends the EAR to reflect the merger of these two AG common control lists by removing ECCN 1C352 (animal pathogens) from the CCL and adding the pathogens previously controlled under ECCN 1C352 to ECCN 1C351 (human and zoonotic pathogens and “toxins”). The latter ECCN is renamed to indicate that it now controls both human and animal pathogens and “toxins.” This rule also renumbers the items in ECCN 1C351.a, and certain items in ECCN 1C351.c to accommodate the addition to ECCN 1C351 of those items that were controlled under ECCN 1C352 prior to the publication of this rule. The following table lists the viruses that are controlled under ECCN 1C351.a, as a result of the removal of ECCN 1C352 and the aforementioned amendments to ECCN 1C351, and indicates the previous and current CCL designations for each item.

    AG-Controlled viruses Previous CCL designation Current CCL designation African horse sickness virus ECCN 1C352.a.17 ECCN 1C351.a.1. African swine fever virus ECCN 1C352.a.1 ECCN 1C351.a.2. Andes virus ECCN 1C351.a.1 ECCN 1C351.a.3. Avian influenza virus ECCN 1C352.a.2 ECCN 1C351.a.4. Bluetongue virus ECCN 1C352.a.3 ECCN 1C351.a.5. Chapare virus ECCN 1C351.a.2 ECCN 1C351.a.6. Chikungunya virus ECCN 1C351.a.3 ECCN 1C351.a.7. Choclo virus ECCN 1C351.a.4 ECCN 1C351.a.8. Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.5 ECCN 1C351.a.9. Dengue fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.6 ECCN 1C351.a.10. Dobrava-Belgrade virus ECCN 1C351.a.7 ECCN 1C351.a.11. Eastern equine encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.8 ECCN 1C351.a.12. Ebola virus ECCN 1C351.a.9 ECCN 1C351.a.13. Foot and mouth disease virus ECCN 1C352.a.4 ECCN 1C351.a.14. Goat pox virus ECCN 1C352.a.5 ECCN 1C351.a.15. Guanarito virus ECCN 1C351.a.10 ECCN 1C351.a.16. Hantaan virus ECCN 1C351.a.11 ECCN 1C351.a.17. Hendra virus (Equine morbillivirus) ECCN 1C351.a.12 ECCN 1C351.a.18. Herpes virus (Aujeszky's disease) ECCN 1C352.a.6 ECCN 1C351.a.19. Hog cholera virus (syn.: swine fever virus) ECCN 1C352.a.7 ECCN 1C351.a.20. Japanese encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.13 ECCN 1C351.a.21. Junin virus ECCN 1C351.a.14 ECCN 1C351.a.22. Kyasanur Forest virus ECCN 1C351.a.15 ECCN 1C351.a.23. Laguna Negra virus ECCN 1C351.a.16 ECCN 1C351.a.24. Lassa fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.17 ECCN 1C351.a.25. Louping ill virus ECCN 1C351.a.18 ECCN 1C351.a.26. Lujo virus ECCN 1C351.a.19 ECCN 1C351.a.27. Lumpy skin disease virus ECCN 1C352.a.16 ECCN 1C351.a.28. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.20 ECCN 1C351.a.29. Machupo virus ECCN 1C351.a.21 ECCN 1C351.a.30. Marburg virus ECCN 1C351.a.22 ECCN 1C351.a.31. Monkey pox virus ECCN 1C351.a.23 ECCN 1C351.a.32. Murray Valley encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.24 ECCN 1C351.a.33. Newcastle disease virus ECCN 1C352.a.9 ECCN 1C351.a.34. Nipah virus ECCN 1C351.a.25 ECCN 1C351.a.35. Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.26 ECCN 1C351.a.36. Oropouche virus ECCN 1C351.a.27 ECCN 1C351.a.37. Peste des petits ruminants virus ECCN 1C352.a.10 ECCN 1C351.a.38. Porcine enterovirus type 9 (syn.: swine vesicular disease virus) ECCN 1C352.a.11 ECCN 1C351.a.39. Powassan virus ECCN 1C351.a.28 ECCN 1C351.a.40. Rabies virus and other members of the Lyssavirus genus ECCN 1C352.a.8 ECCN 1C351.a.41. Rift Valley fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.29 ECCN 1C351.a.42. Rinderpest virus ECCN 1C352.a.12 ECCN 1C351.a.43. Rocio virus ECCN 1C351.a.30 ECCN 1C351.a.44. Sabia virus ECCN 1C351.a.31 ECCN 1C351.a.45. Seoul virus ECCN 1C351.a.32 ECCN 1C351.a.46. Sheep pox virus ECCN 1C352.a.13 ECCN 1C351.a.47. Sin nombre virus ECCN 1C351.a.33 ECCN 1C351.a.48. St. Louis encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.34 ECCN 1C351.a.49. Teschen disease virus ECCN 1C352.a.14 ECCN 1C351.a.50. Tick-borne encephalitis virus (Russian Spring-Summer encephalitis virus) ECCN 1C351.a.35 ECCN 1C351.a.51. Variola virus ECCN 1C351.a.36 ECCN 1C351.a.52. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.37 ECCN 1C351.a.53. Vesicular stomatitis virus ECCN 1C352.a.15 ECCN 1C351.a.54. Western equine encephalitis virus ECCN 1C351.a.38 ECCN 1C351.a.55. Yellow fever virus ECCN 1C351.a.39 ECCN 1C351.a.56.

    The redesignations of, and additions to, the bacteria controlled under ECCN 1C351.c are indicated in the following table. The designations of the bacteria listed in ECCN 1C351.c.1 through .c.14 were not affected by the amendments to ECCN 1C351 and the removal of ECCN 1C352.

    AG-Controlled bacteria Previous CCL designation Current CCL designation Mycoplasma capricolum subspecies capripneumoniae (“strain F38”) ECCN 1C352.b.1.b ECCN 1C351.c.15. Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides SC (small colony) (a.k.a. contagious bovine pleuropneumonia) ECCN 1C352.b.1.a ECCN 1C351.c.16. Rickettsia prowazekii ECCN 1C351.c.15 ECCN 1C351.c.17. Salmonella typhi ECCN 1C351.c.16 ECCN 1C351.c.18. Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) ECCN 1C351.c.17 ECCN 1C351.c.19. Shigella dysenteriae ECCN 1C351.c.18 ECCN 1C351.c.20. Vibrio cholerae ECCN 1C351.c.19 ECCN 1C351.c.21. Yersinia pestis ECCN 1C351.c.20 ECCN 1C351.c.22. Conforming Amendments

    This rule also makes a number of conforming amendments to other EAR provisions to reflect the removal of ECCN 1C352 and the merger of the animal pathogens previously controlled under this ECCN with the human pathogens and toxins controlled under ECCN 1C351.

    Specifically, this rule amends Section 740.20 (License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA)) by removing two references to ECCN 1C352 from paragraph (b)(2)(v), which excludes from STA eligibility certain items on the CCL that are subject to chemical/biological (CB) license requirements to destinations indicated under CB Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart (Supplement No. 1 to part 738 of the EAR). This rule also removes the reference to ECCN 1C352 from Section 742.2(a)(1)(i), which identifies the items on the CCL that require a license for CB reasons to destinations indicated under CB Column 1 on the Commerce Country Chart.

    In addition, this rule amends Supplement No. 1 to part 742 (Non-proliferation of Chemical and Biological Weapons) to remove references to ECCN 1C352 from paragraph (3), paragraphs (9)(ii) and (9)(iii), and paragraph (12). This rule also amends Section 752.3 to remove the reference to ECCN 1C352 from paragraph (a)(2), which identifies items controlled for CB reasons that are excluded from eligibility for Special Comprehensive Licenses. None of these changes affect the application of the aforementioned EAR provisions to the items previously controlled under ECCN 1C352, because all of these items are now controlled under ECCN 1C351, which continues to be referenced by each of these EAR provisions.

    This rule also makes conforming amendments to ECCNs 1C353, 1C991, 1E001, and 1E351 to reflect the removal of ECCN 1C352 and the merger of the animal pathogens previously controlled under this ECCN with the human pathogens and toxins controlled under ECCN 1C351. Specifically, this rule amends the List of Items controlled section in ECCN 1C353 to remove references to ECCN 1C352 from: (1) The Related Controls paragraph; (2) paragraphs .a.1 and .b.1 of the “Items” paragraph; and (3) the introductory text and paragraph .b of Technical Note 3 to ECCN 1C353. ECCN 1C991 is amended to remove the reference to ECCN 1C352 from paragraph .a of the “Items” paragraph under the List of Items Controlled section. The License Requirements section of ECCN 1E001 is amended by removing the reference to ECCN 1C352 from the “Control(s)” language for “Country Chart—CB Column 1.” In addition, this rule amends ECCN 1E351 to remove references to ECCN 1C352 from the ECCN heading and from the “Control(s)” language for “Country Chart—CB Column 1” in the License Requirements section of the ECCN. None of these changes affect the controls in ECCNs 1C353, 1C991, 1E001, and 1E351 on items related to former ECCN 1C352, because each of these ECCNs continues to control items related to ECCN 1C351, which now includes all of the items that were controlled under ECCN 1C352 prior to the publication of this rule.

    Amendments to ECCN 2B350 (Dual-Use Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment)

    The AG intersessional recommendations adopted in February 2014 made changes to the AG “Control List of Dual-Use Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment and Related Technology and Software.” This rule amends Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 2B350 to reflect the AG intersessional changes to this AG common control list. Specifically, ECCN 2B350 (Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment) is amended by revising the controls in 2B350.g on valves, casings (valve bodies) designed for such valves, and preformed casing liners designed for such valves. Prior to the publication of this final rule, 2B350.g controlled valves with nominal sizes greater than 1.0 cm (3/8 in.), and casings (valve bodies) or preformed casing liners designed for such valves, in which all surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from specified materials. These valves, casings, and preformed casing liners continue to be controlled under 2B350.g, but the controls have been expanded, to control valves, in addition to those described above, that have all of the following characteristics: (1) A nominal size equal to or greater than 2.54 cm (1 inch) and equal to or less than 10.16 cm (4 inches); (2) casings (valve bodies) or preformed casing liners in which all surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from specified materials; and (3) a closure element designed to be interchangeable. These two categories of valves are now controlled under 2B350.g.1 and .g.2, respectively, while the casings (valve bodies) or preformed casing liners designed for such valves are controlled under 2B350.g.3.

    In addition, this rule adds a new Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g to indicate that all surfaces of the valves controlled by 2B350g.1, and the casings (valve bodies) and preformed casing liners controlled by 2B350.g.3, that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are controlled by 2B350.g if they are made from any of the following materials:

    a. Alloys with more than 25% nickel and 20% chromium by weight;

    b. Nickel or alloys with more than 40% nickel by weight;

    c. Fluoropolymers (polymeric or elastomeric materials with more than 35% fluorine by weight);

    d. Glass (including vitrified or enameled coating or glass lining);

    e. Tantalum or tantalum alloys;

    f. Titanium or titanium alloys;

    g. Zirconium or zirconium alloys;

    h. Niobium (columbium) or niobium alloys; or

    i. Ceramic materials, as follows:

    i.1. Silicon carbide with a purity of 80% or more by weight;

    i.2. Aluminum oxide (alumina) with a purity of 99.9% or more by weight; or

    i.3. Zirconium oxide (zirconia).

    The materials specified in new Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g are identical to those identified, prior to the publication of this rule, in ECCN 2B350.g.1 through g.9. The Technical Note to 2B350.g that defined “nominal size,” for purposes of 2B350.g, is now designated as Technical Note 2 to 2B350.g.

    The overall impact of the AG intersessional changes on ECCN 2B350.g was the addition of another category of valves under 2B350.g.2, together with casings (valve bodies) and preformed casing liners designed for such valves having the characteristics described in 2B350.g.3. Although the casings (valve bodies) and preformed casing liners for valves described in 2B350.g.2 are controlled separately, under 2B350.g.3, the presence of these components in valves not controlled under 2B350.g.1 that have a nominal size equal to or greater than 2.54 cm (1 inch) and equal to or less than 10.16 cm (4 inches), and a closure element that is designed to be interchangeable, makes such valves subject to control under 2B350.g.2.

    This rule also amends ECCN 2B350 to reflect the adoption by the AG of the November 2013 intersessional recommendation concerning pumps described on the AG “Control List of Dual-Use Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment and Related Technology and Software.” Specifically, this rule adds a new Technical Note to ECCN 2B350.i to clarify how the terms “multi-seal” and “seal-less” are used with respect to the controls on pumps described in this ECCN. The new Technical Note explains that the term seals, as used in the ECCN 2B350.i controls on pumps, refers to seals that come into direct contact with the chemical(s) being processed (or that are designed to do so) and that provide a sealing function where a rotary or reciprocating drive shaft passes through the pump body.

    Conforming Change to ECCN 1C350 (Precursor Chemicals)

    In addition to the AG intersessional changes described above, this rule amends ECCN 1C350 (Precursor chemicals) by adding a Technical Note 3 at the end of the License Requirements section of this ECCN. This new Technical Note is intended to provide guidance, consistent with the AG “List of Chemical Weapons Precursors,” in determining whether a particular precursor chemical or mixture is controlled under ECCN 1C350. Technical Note 3 states that the CAS numbers indicated in ECCN 1C350 are intended to assist in identifying whether a particular precursor chemical or mixture is controlled under this ECCN, irrespective of nomenclature. However, this Technical Note also cautions that precursor chemicals of the same structural formula (e.g., hydrates) are controlled by ECCN 1C350, regardless of name or CAS number, and that CAS numbers cannot be used as unique identifiers in all situations because some forms of the listed precursor chemical have different CAS numbers, and mixtures containing a precursor chemical listed in ECCN 1C350 may also have different CAS numbers.

    License Exception LVS Authorized for ECCN 2B350 Items

    In a change unrelated to any revisions to the AG common control lists or guidelines, this rule also amends ECCN 2B350 (Chemical Manufacturing Facilities and Equipment) to authorize the use of License Exception LVS (shipments of limited value) for single shipments of $2,000 or less. This change is consistent with the requirements of Section 740.3 of the EAR, except that eligible destinations for ECCN 2B350 items under License Exception LVS are limited to those Country Group B destinations indicated in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR that are not also included in Country Group D:3 (Chemical & Biological).

    Clarification of License Exception RPL Requirements

    BIS has received a number of inquiries concerning the requirements of the License Exception RPL (servicing and replacement of parts and equipment) “one-for-one replacement” provisions with respect to commodities controlled under ECCN 2B350 on the CCL. In particular, exporters have requested clarification concerning the requirement in Section 740.10(a)(2)(iii) of the EAR that “the parts, components, accessories, or attachments to be replaced must either be destroyed abroad or returned promptly to the person who supplied the replacements, or to a foreign firm that is under the effective control of that person.” The major concern expressed, in this regard, is whether an item (i.e., a commodity in ECCN 2B350) would be considered to be “destroyed,” for purposes of this requirement, if that item were not repairable.

    BIS considers a commodity (e.g., a commodity controlled under ECCN 2B350) to be “destroyed,” for purposes of the RPL requirement in Section 740.10(a)(2)(iii) of the EAR, if that commodity is: (1) No longer capable of functioning for the purpose for which it was designed (i.e., due to normal wear and tear, a defect, or damage); and (2) not capable of being repaired to function for the purpose for which it was designed. In addition, a commodity that is identified on the CCL will be considered to be “destroyed” only if that commodity no longer possesses the characteristics that made it subject to control by the ECCN under which it was classified prior to its being “destroyed” (i.e., the classification of the commodity must change and the resulting commodity may be designated as EAR99, provided that it is not enumerated or otherwise described in another ECCN on the CCL).

    This interpretation by BIS is consistent with, but broader in scope than, the treatment of certain “scrap” described in Interpretation #7 under Section 770.2 of the EAR, which applies to specified items that are no longer capable of functioning for the purpose for which they were designed, or of being repaired to function for that purpose, because the items have been damaged (e.g., by means of mangling, crushing, or cutting) to such a degree that they have been rendered useless (i.e., beyond the possibility of restoration to their original identity and condition). The difference is that Interpretation #7 addresses only a single method by which items can be “destroyed” (i.e., damage to the item), while BIS's interpretation of the term “destroyed,” as used in RPL, also refers to the inability of an item to function (i.e., for the purpose for which it was designed,) as a result of normal wear and tear to the item or because of a defect in the item, coupled with the inability to repair the item to restore its functionality. In short, turning an item into “scrap” is only one means of “destroying” its functionality, for purposes of the EAR.

    BIS intends to publish a separate rule that will propose amendments to License Exception RPL and Interpretation #7 (see Section 770.2 of the EAR) in order to provide additional clarification concerning what is meant in the EAR when items are referred to as having been “destroyed.”

    June 2014 AG Plenary Understandings

    This rule does not contain any changes based on the understandings reached at the June 2014 AG Plenary meeting, because no amendments to the EAR were required as a result of these understandings.

    Effect of This Rule on the Scope of the CB Controls in the EAR

    The changes made by this rule only marginally affect the scope of the EAR controls on human and animal pathogens/toxins and chemical manufacturing facilities/equipment.

    Although the ECCN 2B350.g controls on valves, casings (valve bodies) designed for such valves, and preformed casing liners designed for such valves were expanded, the expanded controls apply only to a relatively small percentage of items not controlled under 2B350.g prior to the publication of this rule. Consequently, any increase in the number of license applications resulting from this change is not expected to be significant, when considered as a percentage of all such items. Furthermore, any increase in the number of license applications submitted to BIS, as a result of the amendments to ECCN 2B350.g, is expected to be offset by the amendment to ECCN 2B350 that authorizes the use of License Exception LVS for all items controlled by this ECCN, subject to the requirements described in Section 740.3 of the EAR and the specific limitations indicated in the LVS paragraph of this ECCN.

    In addition, the scope of the CCL-based CB controls on human and animal pathogens and toxins was not affected by the merger of the animal pathogens previously controlled under ECCN 1C352 with the human pathogens and toxins in ECCN 1C351 (i.e., no pathogens or toxins were either added to, or removed from, the CCL, nor were there any changes in the scope of the CB license requirements for any of these pathogens or toxins). Therefore, these changes are not expected to have a significant impact on the number of license applications that will have to be submitted for such items.

    The conforming amendments to Section 740.20(b)(2)(v), Section 742.2(a)(1)(i), Supplement No. 1 to part 742 (i.e., paragraphs (3), (9)(ii), (9)(iii), and (12) of the Supplement) and Section 752.3(a)(2), as described above, did not have any effect on the application of these provisions to the items that were controlled under ECCN 1C352 prior to the publication of this rule. Although these EAR provisions no longer contain references to ECCN 1C352, they continue to reference ECCN 1C351, which now includes the animal pathogens previously controlled under ECCN 1C352.

    The conforming amendments to ECCNs 1C353, 1C991, 1E001, and 1E351, as described above, also did not have any effect on the scope of the CCL-based CB controls on items related to human and animal pathogens and toxins (e.g., genetic elements, vaccines, and technology related to such pathogens and toxins). Although ECCNs 1C353, 1C991, 1E001, and 1E351 no longer contain references to ECCN 1C352, they continue to reference ECCN 1C351, which now includes the animal pathogens that were controlled under ECCN 1C352 prior to the publication of this rule. For this reason, the removal of ECCN 1C352 by this rule did not affect either the scope of the items controlled under ECCN 1C353, 1C991, 1E001, or 1E351 for CB reasons or the level of CB controls applicable to such items. Therefore, these conforming changes are not expected to have a significant impact on the number of license applications that will have to be submitted for such items.

    Although the Export Administration Act expired on August 20, 2001, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014), has continued the Export Administration Regulations in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

    Rulemaking Requirements

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

    2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. This rule contains a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA. This collection has been approved by OMB under Control Number 0694-0088 (Multi-Purpose Application), which carries a burden hour estimate of 58 minutes to prepare and submit form BIS-748. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Jasmeet Seehra, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and to the Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this rule.

    3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    4. The provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, the opportunity for public participation, and a delay in effective date, are inapplicable because this regulation involves a military and foreign affairs function of the United States (See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)). Immediate implementation of these amendments is non-discretionary and fulfills the United States' international obligation to the Australia Group (AG). The AG contributes to international security and regional stability through the harmonization of export controls and seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical and biological weapons. The AG consists of 41 member countries that act on a consensus basis and the amendments set forth in this rule implement changes made to the AG common control lists (as a result of the adoption of the recommendations made at the November 2013 AG intersessional meeting) and other changes that are necessary to ensure consistency with the controls maintained by the AG. Since the United States is a significant exporter of the items in this rule, immediate implementation of this provision is necessary for the AG to achieve its purpose. Any delay in implementation will create a disruption in the movement of affected items globally because of disharmony between export control measures implemented by AG members, resulting in tension between member countries. Export controls work best when all countries implement the same export controls in a timely and coordinated manner.

    Further, no other law requires that a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment be given for this final rule. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under the Administrative Procedure Act or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Therefore, this regulation is issued in final form.

    List of Subjects 15 CFR Parts 740 and 752

    Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 742

    Administrative practice and procedure, Chemicals, Exports, Foreign trade, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    15 CFR Part 774

    Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, parts 740, 742, 752 and 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

    PART 740—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 740 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

    § 740.20 [Amended]
    2. In § 740.20: a. Remove “1C352,” where it appears, twice, in paragraph (b)(2)(v); and b. Remove “1C353, or” and add in its place “1C353 or” in the parenthetical in paragraph (b)(2)(v).
    PART 742—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 742 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May 16, 2003; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of November 7, 2014, 79 FR 67035 (November 12, 2014).

    § 742.2 [Amended]
    4. In § 742.2, remove “1C352,” where it appears in paragraph (a)(1)(i).
    Supplement No. 1 to Part 742—[Amended] 5. In Supplement No. 1 to part 742, remove “1C352,” where it appears in paragraph (3), in paragraphs (9)(ii) and (9)(iii), and in paragraph (12). PART 752—[AMENDED] 6. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 752 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13020, 61 FR 54079, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 219; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

    § 752.3 [Amended]
    7. In § 752.3, remove “1C352,” where it appears in paragraph (a)(2).
    PART 774—[AMENDED] 8. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 774 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 10 U.S.C. 7420; 10 U.S.C. 7430(e); 22 U.S.C. 287c, 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 6004; 30 U.S.C. 185(s), 185(u); 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 42 U.S.C. 6212; 43 U.S.C. 1354; 15 U.S.C. 1824a; 50 U.S.C. app. 5; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

    9. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1C350 is amended by adding a new Technical Note 3 at the end of the License Requirements section to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—The Commerce Control List 1C350 Chemicals that may be used as precursors for toxic chemical agents (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Technical Notes: 1. * * *

    2. * * *

    3. Precursor chemicals in ECCN 1C350 are listed by name, Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number and CWC Schedule (where applicable). Precursor chemicals of the same structural formula (e.g., hydrates) are controlled by ECCN 1C350, regardless of name or CAS number. CAS numbers are shown to assist in identifying whether a particular precursor chemical or mixture is controlled under ECCN 1C350, irrespective of nomenclature. However, CAS numbers cannot be used as unique identifiers in all situations because some forms of the listed precursor chemical have different CAS numbers, and mixtures containing a precursor chemical listed in ECCN 1C350 may also have different CAS numbers.

    10. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1C351 is revised to read as follows: 1C351 Human and animal pathogens and “toxins”, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: CB, CW, AT Control(s) Country chart (See Supp. No. 1 to part 738) CB applies to entire entry CB Column 1.

    CW applies to 1C351.d.11 and d.12 and a license is required for CW reasons for all destinations, including Canada, as follows: CW applies to 1C351.d.11 for ricin in the form of (1) Ricinus Communis AgglutininII (RCAII), also known as ricin D or Ricinus Communis LectinIII (RCLIII) and (2) Ricinus Communis LectinIV (RCLIV), also known as ricin E. CW applies to 1C351.d.12 for saxitoxin identified by C.A.S. #35523-89-8. See § 742.18 of the EAR for licensing information pertaining to chemicals subject to restriction pursuant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Commerce Country Chart is not designed to determine licensing requirements for items controlled for CW reasons.

    Control(s) Country chart (See Supp. No. 1 to part 738) AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. License Requirement Notes:

    1. All vaccines and “immunotoxins” are excluded from the scope of this entry. Certain medical products and diagnostic and food testing kits that contain biological toxins controlled under paragraph (d) of this entry, with the exception of toxins controlled for CW reasons under d.11 and d.12, are excluded from the scope of this entry. Vaccines, “immunotoxins”, certain medical products, and diagnostic and food testing kits excluded from the scope of this entry are controlled under ECCN 1C991.

    2. For the purposes of this entry, only saxitoxin is controlled under paragraph d.12; other members of the paralytic shellfish poison family (e.g., neosaxitoxin) are designated EAR99.

    3. Clostridium perfringens strains, other than the epsilon toxin-producing strains of Clostridium perfringens described in c.12, are excluded from the scope of this entry, since they may be used as positive control cultures for food testing and quality control.

    4. Unless specified elsewhere in this ECCN 1C351 (e.g., in License Requirement Notes 1-3), this ECCN controls all biological agents and “toxins,” regardless of quantity or attenuation, that are identified in the List of Items Controlled for this ECCN, including small quantities or attenuated strains of select biological agents or “toxins” that are excluded from the lists of select biological agents or “toxins” by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in accordance with their regulations in 9 CFR part 121 and 42 CFR part 73, respectively.

    List Based License Exceptions (See Part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) LVS: N/A GBS: N/A CIV: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: (1) Paragraph (c)(1) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(1)) may be used for items in 1C351.d.1 through 1C351.d.10 and 1C351.d.13 through 1C351.d.19. See § 740.20(b)(2)(vi) for restrictions on the quantity of any one toxin that may be exported in a single shipment and the number of shipments that may be made to any one end user in a single calendar year. Also see the Automated Export System (AES) requirements in § 758.1(b)(4) of the EAR. (2) Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any items in 1C351. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) Certain forms of ricin and saxitoxin in 1C351.d.11. and d.12 are CWC Schedule 1 chemicals (see § 742.18 of the EAR). The U.S. Government must provide advance notification and annual reports to the OPCW of all exports of Schedule 1 chemicals. See § 745.1 of the EAR for notification procedures. See 22 CFR part 121, Category XIV and § 121.7 for CWC Schedule 1 chemicals that are “subject to the ITAR.” (2) The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, maintain controls on the possession, use, and transfer within the United States of certain items controlled by this ECCN (for APHIS, see 7 CFR 331.3(b), 9 CFR 121.3(b), and 9 CFR 121.4(b); for CDC, see 42 CFR 73.3(b) and 42 CFR 73.4(b)). (3) See 22 CFR part 121, Category XIV(b), for modified biological agents and biologically derived substances that are “subject to the ITAR.” Related Definitions: (1) For the purposes of this entry “immunotoxin” is defined as an antibody-toxin conjugate intended to destroy specific target cells (e.g., tumor cells) that bear antigens homologous to the antibody. (2) For the purposes of this entry “subunit” is defined as a portion of the “toxin”. Items:

    a. Viruses identified on the Australia Group (AG) “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control,” as follows:

    a.1. African horse sickness virus;

    a.2. African swine fever virus;

    a.3. Andes virus;

    a.4. Avian influenza (AI) viruses identified as having high pathogenicity (HP), as follows:

    a.4.a. AI viruses that have an intravenous pathogenicity index (IVPI) in 6-week-old chickens greater than 1.2; or

    a.4.b. AI viruses that cause at least 75% mortality in 4- to 8-week-old chickens infected intravenously.

    Note:

    Avian influenza (AI) viruses of the H5 or H7 subtype that do not have either of the characteristics described in 1C352.a.4 (specifically, 1C352.a.4.a or a.4.b) should be sequenced to determine whether multiple basic amino acids are present at the cleavage site of the haemagglutinin molecule (HA0). If the amino acid motif is similar to that observed for other HPAI isolates, then the isolate being tested should be considered as HPAI and the virus is controlled under 1C352.a.4.

    a.5. Bluetongue virus;

    a.6. Chapare virus;

    a.7. Chikungunya virus;

    a.8. Choclo virus;

    a.9. Congo-Crimean haemorrhagic fever virus (a.k.a. Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus);

    a.10. Dengue fever virus;

    a.11. Dobrava-Belgrade virus;

    a.12. Eastern equine encephalitis virus;

    a.13. Ebola virus;

    a.14. Foot and mouth disease virus;

    a.15. Goat pox virus;

    a.16. Guanarito virus;

    a.17. Hantaan virus;

    a.18. Hendra virus (Equine morbillivirus);

    a.19. Herpes virus (Aujeszky's disease);

    a.20. Hog cholera virus (Swine fever virus);

    a.21. Japanese encephalitis virus;

    a.22. Junin virus;

    a.23. Kyasanur Forest virus;

    a.24. Laguna Negra virus;

    a.25. Lassa fever virus;

    a.26. Louping ill virus;

    a.27. Lujo virus;

    a.28. Lumpy skin disease virus;

    a.29. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus;

    a.30. Machupo virus;

    a.31. Marburg virus;

    a.32. Monkey pox virus;

    a.33. Murray Valley encephalitis virus;

    a.34. Newcastle disease virus;

    a.35. Nipah virus;

    a.36. Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus;

    a.37. Oropouche virus;

    a.38. Peste des petits ruminants virus;

    a.39. Porcine enterovirus type 9 (swine vesicular disease virus);

    a.40. Powassan virus;

    a.41. Rabies virus and all other members of the Lyssavirus genus;

    a.42. Rift Valley fever virus;

    a.43. Rinderpest virus;

    a.44. Rocio virus;

    a.45. Sabia virus;

    a.46. Seoul virus;

    a.47. Sheep pox virus;

    a.48. Sin nombre virus;

    a.49. St. Louis encephalitis virus;

    a.50. Teschen disease virus;

    a.51. Tick-borne encephalitis virus (Far Eastern subtype, formerly known as Russian Spring-Summer encephalitis virus—see 1C351.b.3 for Siberian subtype);

    a.52. Variola virus;

    a.53. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus;

    a.54. Vesicular stomatitis virus;

    a.55. Western equine encephalitis virus; or

    a.56. Yellow fever virus.

    b. Viruses identified on the APHIS/CDC “select agents” lists (see Related Controls paragraph #2 for this ECCN), but not identified on the Australia Group (AG) “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control,” as follows:

    b.1. Reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments;

    b.2. SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV); or

    b.3. Tick-borne encephalitis virus (Siberian subtype, formerly West Siberian virus—see 1C351.a.51 for Far Eastern subtype).

    c. Bacteria identified on the Australia Group (AG) “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control,” as follows:

    c.1. Bacillus anthracis;

    c.2. Brucella abortus;

    c.3. Brucella melitensis;

    c.4. Brucella suis;

    c.5. Burkholderia mallei (Pseudomonas mallei);

    c.6. Burkholderia pseudomallei (Pseudomonas pseudomallei);

    c.7. Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly known as Chlamydia psittaci);

    c.8. Clostriduim argentinense (formerly known as Clostridium botulinum Type G), botulinum neurotoxin producing strains;

    c.9. Clostridium baratii, botulinum neurotoxin producing strains;

    c.10. Clostridium botulinum;

    c.11. Clostridium butyricum, botulinum neurotoxin producing strains;

    c.12. Clostridium perfringens, epsilon toxin producing types;

    c.13. Coxiella burnetii;

    c.14. Francisella tularensis;

    c.15. Mycoplasma capricolum subspecies capripneumoniae (“strain F38”);

    c.16. Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides SC (small colony) (a.k.a. contagious bovine pleuropneumonia);

    c.17. Rickettsia prowazekii;

    c.18. Salmonella typhi;

    c.19. Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) of serogroups O26, O45, O103, O104, O111, O121, O145, O157, and other shiga toxin producing serogroups;

    Note:

    Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is also known as enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) or verocytotoxin producing E. coli (VTEC).

    c.20. Shigella dysenteriae;

    c.21. Vibrio cholerae; or

    c.22. Yersinia pestis.

    d. “Toxins” identified on the Australia Group (AG) “List of Human and Animal Pathogens and Toxins for Export Control,” as follows, and “subunits” thereof:

    d.1. Abrin;

    d.2. Aflatoxins;

    d.3. Botulinum toxins;

    d.4. Cholera toxin;

    d.5. Clostridium perfringens alpha, beta 1, beta 2, epsilon and iota toxins;

    d.6. Conotoxin;

    d.7. Diacetoxyscirpenol toxin;

    d.8. HT-2 toxin;

    d.9. Microcystin (Cyanginosin);

    d.10. Modeccin toxin;

    d.11. Ricin;

    d.12. Saxitoxin;

    d.13. Shiga toxin;

    d.14. Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins, hemolysin alpha toxin, and toxic shock syndrome toxin (formerly known as Staphylococcus enterotoxin F);

    d.15. T-2 toxin;

    d.16. Tetrodotoxin;

    d.17. Verotoxin and other Shiga-like ribosome inactivating proteins;

    d.18. Viscum Album Lectin 1 (Viscumin); or

    d.19. Volkensin toxin.

    e. “Fungi”, as follows:

    e.1. Coccidioides immitis; or

    e.2. Coccidioides posadasii.

    11. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1C352 is removed. 12. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1C353 is amended under the List of Items Controlled section: a. By removing the phrase “ECCN 1C351, 1C352, or 1C354” and adding in its place the phrase “ECCN 1C351 or 1C354” in the first sentence of the “Related Controls” paragraph; b. By removing the phrase “1C351.a to .c, 1C352, or 1C354” and adding in its place the phrase “1C351.a to .c or 1C354” in paragraph a.1 of the “Items” paragraph; c. By removing the phrase “1C351.a to .c, 1C352,” and adding in its place the phrase “1C351.a to .c or 1C354;” in paragraph b.1 of the “Items” paragraph; and d. By removing the phrase “1C351.a to .c 1C352, or 1C354” and adding in its place the phrase “1C351.a to .c or 1C354” in the introductory text of Technical Note 3 and in paragraph b. of Technical Note 3. 13. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1C991 is amended, under the “List of Items Controlled” section, by removing the phrase “ECCN 1C351, 1C352, 1C353 or 1C354” and adding in its place the phrase “ECCN 1C351, 1C353 or 1C354” in paragraph a. of the “Items” paragraph. 14. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1E001 is amended by revising the entry for “Country Chart—CB Column 1” in the License Requirements section to read as follows: 1E001 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the “development” or “production” of items controlled by 1A001.b, 1A001.c, 1A002, 1A003, 1A004, 1A005, 1A006.b, 1A007, 1A008 1A101, 1B (except 1B608, 1B613 or 1B999), or 1C (except 1C355, 1C608, 1C980 to 1C984, 1C988, 1C990, 1C991, 1C995 to 1C999). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, MT, NP, CB, RS, AT Control(s) Country chart (see Supp. No. 1 to part 738) *    *    *    *    * CB applies to “technology” for items controlled by 1C351, 1C353, or 1C354 CB Column 1. *    *    *    *    * 15. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms” and “Toxins,” ECCN 1E351 is amended by revising the ECCN heading and by revising the entry for “Country Chart—CB Column 1” in the License Requirements section to read as follows: 1E351 “Technology” according to the General Technology Note for the disposal of chemicals or microbiological materials controlled by 1C350, 1C351, 1C353, or 1C354. License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, MT, NP, CB, RS, AT Control(s) Country chart (see Supp. No. 1 to part 738) CB applies to “technology” for items controlled by 1C351, 1C353, or 1C354 CB Column 1. *    *    *    *    * 16. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 2—Materials Processing, ECCN 2B350 is amended by revising the “LVS” paragraph in the List Based License Exceptions section and also, under the List of Items Controlled section, by revising paragraph g. in the “Items” paragraph, by redesignating the Technical Note to 2B350.g as Technical Note 2 to 2B350.g, by adding a Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g immediately preceding Technical Note 2, and by adding a Technical Note to 2B350.i immediately following 2B350.i.11, to read as follows: 2B350 Chemical manufacturing facilities and equipment, except valves controlled by 2A226 or 2A292, as follows (see List of Items Controlled). List Based License Exceptions (See Part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) LVS: $2,000 for all Country Group B destinations, except those also listed under Country Group D:3 (see Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR). GBS: * * * CIV: * * * List of Items Controlled Related Controls: * * * Related Definition: * * * Items:

    g. Valves, as follows:

    g.1. Valves having both of the following characteristics:

    g.1.a. A nominal size greater than 1.0 cm (3/8 in.); and

    g.1.b. All surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from materials identified in Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g.

    g.2. Valves, except for valves controlled by 2B350.g.1, having all of the following characteristics:

    g.2.a. A nominal size equal to or greater than 2.54 cm (1 inch) and equal to or less than 10.16 cm (4 inches);

    g.2.b. Casings (valve bodies) or preformed casing liners controlled by 2B350.g.3, in which all surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from materials identified in Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g; and

    g.2.c. A closure element designed to be interchangeable.

    g.3. Casings (valve bodies) and preformed casing liners having both of the following characteristics:

    g.3.a. Designed for valves in 2B350.g.1 or .g.2; and

    g.3.b. All surfaces that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from materials identified in Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g.

    Technical Note 1 to 2B350.g:

    All surfaces of the valves controlled by 2B350.g.1, and the casings (valve bodies) and preformed casing liners controlled by 2B350.g.3, that come in direct contact with the chemical(s) being produced, processed, or contained are made from the following materials:

    a. Alloys with more than 25% nickel and 20% chromium by weight;

    b. Nickel or alloys with more than 40% nickel by weight;

    c. Fluoropolymers (polymeric or elastomeric materials with more than 35% fluorine by weight);

    d. Glass (including vitrified or enameled coating or glass lining);

    e. Tantalum or tantalum alloys;

    f. Titanium or titanium alloys;

    g. Zirconium or zirconium alloys;

    h. Niobium (columbium) or niobium alloys; or

    i. Ceramic materials, as follows:

    i.1. Silicon carbide with a purity of 80% or more by weight;

    i.2. Aluminum oxide (alumina) with a purity of 99.9% or more by weight; or

    i.3. Zirconium oxide (zirconia).

    i. * * *

    Technical Note to 2B350.i:

    The seals referred to in 2B350.i come into direct contact with the chemical(s) being processed (or are designed to do so), and provide a sealing function where a rotary or reciprocating drive shaft passes through a pump body.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14471 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 172 [Docket No. FDA-2014-F-0364] Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; TBHQ AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is amending the food additive regulations by removing the upper bound of the melting point range in the regulation for the antioxidant tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and adding a purity acceptance criterion. This action is in response to a petition submitted by Eastman Chemical Company.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 16, 2015. See section VIII for further information on the filing of objections. Submit either electronic or written objections and requests for a hearing by July 16, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule as of June 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit either electronic or written objections and requests for a hearing identified by Docket No. FDA-2014-F-0364, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic objections in the following way:

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

    Written Submissions

    Submit written objections 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 Agency name and Docket No. FDA-2014-F-0364 for this rulemaking. All objections received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting objections, see the “Objections” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or objections received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, 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:

    Ellen Anderson, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-265), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1309.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In a notice published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2014 (79 FR 19301), we announced that we filed a food additive petition (FAP 4A4803) submitted by Eastman Chemical Company, c/o Keller and Heckman LLP, 1001 G St. NW., Suite 500 West, Washington, DC 20001 (petitioner). The petition proposed to amend the food additive regulations in § 172.185 (21 CFR 172.185) TBHQ by removing the upper bound of the specified melting point range (126.5 °C to 128.5 °C) and by adding an acceptance criterion to measure purity of the additive. Specifically, the petition proposed to allow the use of TBHQ with a melting point that is 126.5 °C or higher. In addition to this change in melting point specification, the petition also proposed to add an acceptance criterion for purity of not less than 99.0 percent TBHQ, as tested by the titration assay specified in the most current edition of the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC).

    TBHQ is the chemical 2-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1,4-benzenediol (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number 1948-33-0). In the Federal Register of November 30, 1972 (37 FR 25356), we issued a final rule that was codified in 21 CFR 121.1244 to provide for the safe use of TBHQ in food under certain conditions, including a melting point range for TBHQ of 126.5 °C-128.5 °C. An amendment to § 121.1244 was issued in the Federal Register of December 10, 1976 (41 FR 53981) to recognize the name “TBHQ” as the common name for tertiary butylhydroquinone, and to add the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number and nomenclature in the introductory text of § 121.1244. In the Federal Register of March 15, 1977 (42 FR 14302 at 14495), TBHQ was recodified from § 121.1244 to § 172.185. No amendments to the TBHQ regulation have been made since then.

    II. Evaluation of Petition

    The melting point range of 126.5 °C-128.5 °C was originally included by FDA in the regulation for TBHQ as part of the chemical identity of the additive and to ensure purity. The melting point range describes the initial and final temperatures at which the substance melts. Data provided in the subject petition show that TBHQ with an initial melting point of 126.5 °C has a purity of not less than 99 percent, which is consistent with the petitioner's proposed acceptance criterion specification. However, according to the petitioner, analytical and manufacturing variability can result in batches of TBHQ that have a final melting point greater than 128.5 °C, but are of suitably high purity. Using the titration assay for TBHQ in the FCC 9th Edition (the most current edition), the petitioner analyzed multiple samples of TBHQ with a final melting point above 128.5 °C. All samples had a purity of at least 99 percent. Based on their analysis of these data, the petitioner concluded that, while melting point has utility in identifying TBHQ, a maximum melting point specification limit is unnecessary in the regulation to ensure purity. We agree with the petitioner and have concluded that the data provided support their request to remove the upper bound of the melting point range specified in § 172.185(a), and add a purity acceptance criterion of not less than 99 percent determined using the titration assay for TBHQ in the FCC 9th Edition or an equivalent method (Ref. 1).

    The petitioner did not propose any modifications to the use or intended technical effect of TBHQ as currently permitted in § 172.185. As such, the petitioner's proposed amendments will have no impact on dietary exposure of TBHQ. Therefore, we did not reevaluate the dietary exposure to TBHQ (Ref. 1). The petitioner also stated that there are no changes to the manufacturing process and therefore no new components will be introduced into the diet.

    No new toxicology studies were submitted in support of the safety of the petition request. The petitioner referenced the toxicological data that had been previously submitted and evaluated when the regulation for TBHQ was first issued (37 FR 25356). As part of the safety evaluation for this petition, we conducted an updated literature search for new toxicological studies related to the safety of TBHQ. Our literature search did not reveal any new safety issues with the regulated use of TBHQ or any safety concerns regarding TBHQ with a final melting point in excess of 128.5 °C (Ref. 2).

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    FDA is incorporating by reference the monograph for TBHQ in the FCC 9th edition (the most current edition), which was approved by the Office of the Federal Register. You may purchase a copy of the material from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, 12601 Twinbrook Pkwy., Rockville, MD 20852, 1-800-227-8772, http://www.usp.org/.

    The FCC is a compendium of internationally recognized standards for the purity and identity of food ingredients. The FCC monograph for TBHQ contains a description of a titration assay, which is an analytical method used to determine the purity of TBHQ.

    IV. Conclusion

    Based on the data and information in the petition and other relevant material, we conclude that the proposed amendments to remove the upper bound of the melting point range in the regulation for TBHQ and to add a purity acceptance criterion are safe and appropriate. Therefore, we are amending the regulations in 21 CFR part 172 as set forth in this document.

    V. Public Disclosure

    In accordance with § 171.1(h) (21 CFR 171.1(h)), the petition and the documents that we considered and relied upon in reaching our decision to approve the petition will be made available for public disclosure (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). As provided in § 171.1(h), we will delete from the documents any materials that are not available for public disclosure.

    VI. Environmental Impact

    We have considered the environmental effects of this rule. As stated in the April 8, 2014, Federal Register notice of petition for FAP 4A4803 (79 FR 19301), we have determined, under 21 CFR 25.30(i), that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment such that neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. We have not received any new information or comments that would affect that determination.

    VII. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final rule contains no collection of information. Therefore, clearance by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is not required.

    VIII. Objections

    If you will be adversely affected by one or more provisions of this regulation, you may file with the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) either electronic or written objections. You must separately number each objection, and within each numbered objection you must specify with particularity the provision(s) to which you object, and the grounds for your objection. Within each numbered objection, you must specifically state whether you are requesting a hearing on the particular provision that you specify in that numbered objection. If you do not request a hearing for any particular objection, you waive the right to a hearing on that objection. If you request a hearing, your objection must include a detailed description and analysis of the specific factual information you intend to present in support of the objection in the event that a hearing is held. If you do not include such a description and analysis for any particular objection, you waive the right to a hearing on the objection.

    It is only necessary to send one set of documents. Identify documents with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Any objections received in response to the regulation 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.

    IX. Section 301(ll) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

    Our review of this petition was limited to section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 348). This final rule is not a statement regarding compliance with other sections of the FD&C Act. For example, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007, which was signed into law on September 27, 2007, amended the FD&C Act to, among other things, add section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 331(ll)). Section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any food that contains a drug approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 355), a biological product licensed under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262), or a drug or biological product for which substantial clinical investigations have been instituted and their existence has been made public, unless one of the exemptions in section 301(ll)(1) to (4) of the FD&C Act applies. In our review of this petition, we did not consider whether section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act or any of its exemptions apply to food containing this additive. Accordingly, this final rule should not be construed to be a statement that a food containing this additive, if introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, would not violate section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act. Furthermore, this language is included in all food additive final rules and therefore should not be construed to be a statement of the likelihood that section 301(ll) of the FD&C Act applies.

    X. References

    The following references have been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) 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. FDA Memorandum from H. Lee, to E. Anderson, June 18, 2014. 2. FDA Memorandum from A. Khan to E. Anderson, August 6, 2014. List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 172

    Food additives, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and redelegated to the Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 21 CFR part 172 is amended as follows:

    PART 172—FOOD ADDITIVES PERMITTED FOR DIRECT ADDITION TO FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 172 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321, 341, 342, 348, 371, 379e.

    2. Amend § 172.185 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (a); b. Redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively; and c. Add new paragraph (b).

    The revision and addition read as follows:

    § 172.185 TBHQ.

    (a) The food additive has a melting point of not less than 126.5 °C.

    (b) The percentage of TBHQ in the food additive is not less than 99.0 percent when tested by the assay described in the Food Chemicals Codex, 9th ed. (2014), pp. 1192-1194, which is incorporated by reference, or an equivalent method. The Director of the Office of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain copies from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, 12601 Twinbrook Pkwy., Rockville, MD 20852 (Internet address: http://www.usp.org). Copies may be examined at the Food and Drug Administration's Main Library, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 2, Third Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-2039, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030 or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Susan Bernard, Director, Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Sciences, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14704 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 510, 520, 522, 526, and 528 [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-0002] New Animal Drugs; Approval of New Animal Drug Applications; Change of Sponsor AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect application-related actions for new animal drug applications (NADAs) and abbreviated new animal drug applications (ANADAs) during March and April 2015. FDA is also informing the public of the availability of summaries of the basis of approval and of environmental review documents, where applicable. The animal drug regulations are also being amended to reflect several nonsubstantive changes. These technical amendments are being made to improve the accuracy of the regulations.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective June 16, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George K. Haibel, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-6), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-5689, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FDA is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect approval actions for NADAs and ANADAs during March and April 2015, as listed in table 1. In addition, FDA is informing the public of the availability, where applicable, of documentation of environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and, for actions requiring review of safety or effectiveness data, summaries of the basis of approval (FOI Summaries) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These public documents may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Persons with access to the Internet may obtain these documents at the CVM FOIA Electronic Reading Room: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/default.htm. Marketing exclusivity and patent information may be accessed in FDA's publication, Approved Animal Drug Products Online (Green Book) at: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/ApprovedAnimalDrugProducts/default.htm.

    Table 1—Original and Supplemental NADAs and ANADAs Approved During March and April 2015 NADA/ANADA Sponsor New animal drug product name Action 21 CFR sections FOIA summary NEPA review 200-557 Putney, Inc., One Monument Sq., suite 400, Portland, ME 04101 Tiletamine-Zolazepam Injectable Solution (tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl) Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 106-111 522.2470 yes CE 12. 200-578 Belcher Pharmaceuticals, LLC, 6911 Bryan Dairy Rd., Largo, FL 33777 Carprofen Flavored Tablets (carprofen) Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 141-053 520.304 yes CE 12. 200-579 Ceva Santé Animale, 10 Avenue de la Ballastière, 33500 Libourne, France Altrenogest Solution (altrenogest) Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 141-222 520.48 yes CE 12. 141-238 Zoetis Inc., 333 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 SPECTRAMAST LC (ceftiofur intramammary suspension) Sterile Suspension Supplemental approval for treatment of diagnosed subclinical mastitis associated with coagulase-negative staphylococci and Streptococcus dysgalactiae in lactating dairy cattle 526.313 yes CE 13. 200-134 Intervet, Inc., 2 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940 FERTAGYL (gonadorelin) Sterile Solution Supplemental approval under section 512(b)(1) of the FD&C Act for use with cloprostenol injection to synchronize estrous cycles to allow for fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI) in lactating dairy cows 522.1077 yes EA/FONSI 4. 1 The Agency has determined that this action is categorically excluded (CE) from the requirement to submit an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because it is of a type that does not have a significant effect on the human environment. 2 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(a)(1). 3 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(d)(5). 4 The Agency has carefully considered an environmental assessment (EA) of the potential environmental impact of this action and has made a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

    In addition during March and April 2015, ownership of, and all rights and interest in, the following approved applications have been transferred as follows:

    NADA/ANADA Previous sponsor New animal drug product name New sponsor 21 CFR section 140-883 Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division, P.O. Box 390, Shawnee, Mission, KS 66201 LEGEND (hyaluronate sodium) Injectable Solution Merial, Inc., 3239 Satellite Blvd., Bldg. 500, Duluth, GA 30096 522.1145 141-188 Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division, P.O. Box 390, Shawnee, Mission, KS 66201 MARQUIS (ponazuril) Antiprotozoal Oral Paste Merial, Inc., 3239 Satellite Blvd., Bldg. 500, Duluth, GA 30096 520.1855 141-294 rEVO Biologics, 175 Crossing Blvd., Framingham, MA 01702 Bc6 rDNA construct in GTC 155-92 goats LFB USA, Inc., 175 Crossing Blvd., Framingham, MA 01702 528.1070 At this time, the regulations are being amended to reflect these changes of sponsorship.

    Following these changes of sponsorship, LFB USA, Inc., is now the sponsor of an approved application. Accordingly, § 510.600 (21 CFR 510.600) is being amended to add this firm to the list of sponsors of approved applications.

    The animal drug regulations are also being amended to reflect several non-substantive changes. These technical amendments are being made to improve the accuracy of the regulations.

    This rule does not meet the definition of “rule” in 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(A) because it is a rule of “particular applicability.” Therefore, it is not subject to the congressional review requirements in 5 U.S.C. 801-808.

    List of Subjects 21 CFR Part 510

    Administrative practice and procedure, Animal drugs, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    21 CFR Parts 520, 522, 526, and 528

    Animal drugs.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and redelegated to the Center for Veterinary Medicine, 21 CFR parts 510, 520, 522, 526, and 528 are amended as follows:

    PART 510—NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 510 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321, 331, 351, 352, 353, 360b, 371, 379e.

    2. In § 510.600, in the table in paragraph (c)(1), remove the entry for “Abbott Laboratories” and add in alphabetical order an entry for “LFB USA, Inc.”; and in the table in paragraph (c)(2), remove the entry for 000044 and add in numerical order an entry for “086047” to read as follows:
    § 510.600 Names, addresses, and drug labeler codes of sponsors of approved applications.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Firm name and address Drug labeler code *    *    *    *    * LFB USA, Inc., 175 Crossing Blvd., Framingham, MA 01702 086047 *    *    *    *    *

    (2) * * *

    Drug labeler code Firm name and address *    *    *    *    * 086047 LFB USA, Inc., 175 Crossing Blvd., Framingham, MA 01702 *    *    *    *    *
    PART 520—ORAL DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 3. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 520 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    4. In § 520.48, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 520.48 Altrenogest.

    (b) Sponsors. See Nos. 000061 and 013744 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    § 520.88g [Amended]
    5. In § 520.88g, in paragraph (c)(2)(i), remove “(1 milliliter)”. 6. In § 520.154a: a. Revise the section heading; b. In paragraphs (d)(1)(ii), (d)(2)(i)(A), (d)(2)(ii)(A), and (d)(4)(ii), remove “bacitracin methylene disalicylate” and in its place add “bacitracin methylenedisalicylate”; and c. In paragraph (d)(3)(ii), remove “Treponema hyodysenteriae” and in its place add “Brachyspira hyodysenteriae”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 520.154a Bacitracin methylenedisalicylate.
    § 520.304 [Amended]
    7. In § 520.304, in paragraph (b)(3), remove “No. 026637” and in its place add “Nos. 026637 and 062250”.
    § 520.804 [Amended]
    8. In § 520.804, redesignate paragraphs (c)(i), (c)(ii), and (c)(iii), as paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3).
    9. In § 520.1660d, revise paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:
    § 520.1660d Oxytetracycline powder.

    (a) * * *

    (4) Each 2.73 grams of powder contains 1 gram of OTC HCl (packets: 2.46 and 9.87 oz, 3.09 and 3.91 lb; pail: 3.09 lb).

    § 520.1855 [Amended]
    10. In § 520.1855, in paragraph (b), remove “000859” and in its place add “050604”.
    11. In § 520.2218, revise paragraphs (d)(1)(i)(A) and (B), and paragraphs (d)(2)(i)(A) and (B) to read as follows:
    § 520.2218 Sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, and sulfaquinoxaline powder.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) As an aid in the control of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria tenella and E. necatrix susceptible to sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, and sulfaquinoxaline: Provide medicated water (0.04 percent solution) for 2 to 3 days, then plain water for 3 days, then medicated water (0.025 percent solution) for 2 days. If bloody droppings appear, repeat at 0.025 percent level for 2 more days. Do not change litter.

    (B) As an aid in the control of acute fowl cholera caused by Pasteurella multocida susceptible to sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, and sulfaquinoxaline: Provide medicated water (0.04 percent solution) for 2 to 3 days. If disease recurs, repeat treatment.

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) As an aid in the control of coccidiosis caused by Eimeria meleagrimitis and E. adenoeides susceptible to sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, and sulfaquinoxaline: Provide medicated water (0.025 percent solution) for 2 days, then plain water for 3 days, then medicated water (0.025 percent solution) for 2 days, then plain water for 3 days, then medicated water (0.025 percent solution) for 2 days. Repeat if necessary. Do not change litter.

    (B) As an aid in the control of acute fowl cholera caused by Pasteurella multocida susceptible to sulfamerazine, sulfamethazine, and sulfaquinoxaline: Provide medicated water (0.04 percent solution) for 2 to 3 days. If disease recurs, repeat treatment.

    § 520.2640 [Amended]
    12. In § 520.2640, in paragraphs (e)(2)(iii) and (e)(3)(iii), remove the first sentence.
    PART 522—IMPLANTATION OR INJECTABLE DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 13. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 522 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    §§ 522.1073 and 522.1075 [Removed]
    14. Remove §§ 522.1073 and 522.1075.
    15. Revise § 522.1077 to read as follows:
    § 522.1077 Gonadorelin.

    (a) Specifications. Each milliliter (mL) of solution contains:

    (1) 43 micrograms (µg) of gonadorelin as gonadorelin acetate;

    (2) 100 µg of gonadorelin as gonadorelin acetate;

    (3) 50 µg of gonadorelin as gonadorelin diacetate tetrahydrate; or

    (4) 50 µg of gonadorelin as gonadorelin hydrochloride.

    (b) Sponsors. See sponsor numbers in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    (1) No. 000061 for use of the 43-µg/mL product described in paragraph (a)(1) as in paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(iv), and (d)(2) of this section.

    (2) No. 068504 for use of the 100-µg/mL product described in paragraph (a)(2) as in paragraphs (d)(1)(ii), (d)(1)(v), and (d)(2) of this section.

    (3) Nos. 000859 and 050604 for use of the 50-µg/mL product described in paragraph (a)(3) as in paragraphs (d)(1)(ii) and (d)(2) of this section.

    (4) No. 054771 for use of the 50-µg/mL product described in paragraph (a)(4) as in paragraphs (d)(1)(iii), (d)(1)(vi), and (d)(2) of this section.

    (c) Special considerations. Concurrent luteolytic drug use is approved as follows:

    (1) Cloprostenol injection for use as in paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section as provided by No. 000061 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    (2) Cloprostenol injection for use as in paragraph (d)(1)(v) of this section as provided by No. 000061 or No. 068504 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    (3) Dinoprost injection for use as in paragraph (d)(1)(vi) of this section as provided by No. 054771 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    (d) Conditions of use in cattle—(1) Indications for use and amounts—(i) For the treatment of ovarian follicular cysts in dairy cattle: Administer 86 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular or intravenous injection.

    (ii) For the treatment of ovarian follicular cysts in dairy cattle: Administer 100 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular or intravenous injection.

    (iii) For the treatment of ovarian follicular cysts in cattle: Administer 100 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection.

    (iv) For use with cloprostenol injection to synchronize estrous cycles to allow for fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) in lactating dairy cows: Administer to each cow 86 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection, followed 6 to 8 days later by 500 μg cloprostenol by intramuscular injection, followed 30 to 72 hours later by 86 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection.

    (v) For use with cloprostenol injection to synchronize estrous cycles to allow for fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) in lactating dairy cows and beef cows: Administer to each cow 100 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection, followed 6 to 8 days later by 500 μg cloprostenol by intramuscular injection, followed 30 to 72 hours later by 100 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection.

    (vi) For use with dinoprost injection to synchronize estrous cycles to allow fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) in lactating dairy cows: Administer to each cow 100 to 200 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection, followed 6 to 8 days later by 25 mg dinoprost by intramuscular injection, followed 30 to 72 hours later by 100 to 200 μg gonadorelin by intramuscular injection.

    (2) Limitations. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

    § 522.1145 [Amended]
    16. In § 520.1145, in paragraph (e)(2)(i), remove “000859” and in its place add “050604”.
    17. In § 522.2470, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 522.2470 Tiletamine and zolazepam for injection.

    (b) Sponsors. See Nos. 026637 and 054771 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    18. In § 522.2483, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 522.2483 Triamcinolone.

    (b) Sponsors. See Nos. 000010 and 054628 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    PART 526—INTRAMAMMARY DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 19. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 526 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    20. In § 526.313, revise paragraph (d)(1)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 526.313 Ceftiofur.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Indications for use. For use in lactating dairy cattle:

    (A) For the treatment of clinical mastitis associated with coagulase-negative staphylococci, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, and Escherichia coli; and

    (B) For the treatment of diagnosed subclinical mastitis associated with coagulase-negative staphylococci and S. dysgalactiae.

    PART 528—NEW ANIMAL DRUGS IN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ANIMALS 21. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 528 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    § 528.1070 [Amended]
    22. In § 528.1070, in paragraph (b), remove “042976” and in its place add “086047”. Dated: June 11, 2015. Bernadette Dunham, Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14734 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 20, 25, and 602 [TD 9725] RIN 1545-BK74 Portability of a Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final regulations and removal of temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations that provide guidance under sections 2010 and 2505 of the Internal Revenue Code on the estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as on the applicable requirements for electing portability of a deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount to the surviving spouse and on the applicable rules for the surviving spouse's use of this DSUE amount. The statutory provisions underlying the portability rules were enacted as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, and these provisions were made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The portability rules affect the estates of married decedents dying on or after January 1, 2011, and the surviving spouses of those decedents.

    DATES:

    Effective Date. These regulations are effective on June 12, 2015.

    Applicability Dates: For specific dates of applicability of the final regulations, see §§ 20.2001-2(b), 20.2010-1(e), 20.2010-2(e), 20.2010-3(f), 25.2505-1(e), and 25.2505-2(g).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karlene Lesho (202) 317-6859 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collections of information contained in these regulations have been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1545-0015. The collections of information are in §§ 20.2010-2(a), 20.2010-2(a)(1), 20.2010-2(a)(3)(i), 20.2010-2(a)(7)(ii)(B), and 20.2010-2(b). Responses to each collection of information are voluntary to obtain the benefit of being able to elect portability or to take advantage of the special reporting requirements applicable to certain assets, and, for certain estates, to opt out of a deemed portability election. The likely respondents are executors of estates of decedents survived by a spouse.

    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 control number.

    Books and records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by 26 U.S.C. 6103.

    Background

    This document amends the Estate Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 20) under sections 2001 and 2010 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and the Gift Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 25) under section 2505 of the Code. On December 17, 2010, in section 303 of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-312 (124 Stat. 3296, 3302) (TRUIRJCA), Congress amended section 2010(c) of the Code to allow portability of the applicable exclusion amount between spouses and made conforming amendments to sections 2505(a), 2631(c), and 6018(a)(1) of the Code. The changes made by TRUIRJCA to sections 2010(c), 2505(a), 2631(c), and 6018(a)(1) of the Code were scheduled to expire after December 31, 2012, pursuant to section 304 of TRUIRJCA. However, on January 2, 2013, Congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Public Law 112-240 (126 Stat. 2313) (ATRA), which made portability permanent. In section 101(c)(2) of ATRA, Congress made a technical correction to section 2010(c)(4)(B) of the Code, retroactive to the original date of enactment of section 303 of TRUIRJCA, by amending clause (i) to replace “basic exclusion amount” with “applicable exclusion amount.”

    On June 18, 2012, temporary regulations relating to this topic (TD 9593, 77 FR 36150) (“2012 temporary regulations”) and a notice of proposed rulemaking cross-referencing the temporary regulations (REG-141832-11, 77 FR 36229) (“NPRM”) were published in the Federal Register. No requests to speak at the scheduled public hearing were received, and the hearing was canceled. Comments responding to the NPRM were received and are available for public inspection and copying at http://www.regulations.gov or upon request. After consideration of all the comments, the proposed rules in the NPRM are adopted as amended by this Treasury decision. The public comments and revisions are discussed in this preamble.

    Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions 1. Availability of Extension of Time To Elect Portability

    Section 2010(c) of the Code allows the estate of a decedent who is survived by a spouse to make a portability election, which generally allows the surviving spouse to apply the decedent's deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount to the surviving spouse's own transfers during life and at death. Under section 2010(c)(5)(A), a portability election is effective only if made on an estate tax return filed by the executor of the decedent's estate within the time prescribed by law for filing such return. Section 20.2010-2T(a)(1) of the 2012 temporary regulations requires every estate electing portability of a decedent's DSUE amount to file an estate tax return within nine months of the decedent's date of death, unless an extension of time for filing has been granted.

    A commenter requested that the final regulations address the availability of an extension of time under §§ 301.9100-2 and 301.9100-3 of the Procedure and Administration Regulations to elect portability under section 2010(c)(5)(A) of the Code. Section 301.9100-2(b) provides an automatic six-month extension of time for making certain statutory and regulatory elections if the return is timely filed. Because the portability election is deemed to be made by the timely filing of a complete and properly prepared estate tax return, this relief provision will not be helpful with regard to the portability election unless the return that was timely filed was not complete or properly prepared and that insufficiency is corrected within six months from the unextended due date of the return.

    Section 301.9100-3 allows the grant of an extension of time for making regulatory elections that do not meet the requirements for an automatic extension of time under § 301.9100-2. An extension under § 301.9100-3 to elect portability is not available to estates that are required to file an estate tax return based on the applicable amount in section 6018(a) because, in such a case, the due date for the portability election is prescribed by statute and § 301.9100-3 applies only to an election whose due date is prescribed by regulation. See sections 2010(c)(5)(A), 6075(a), and 6018(a); § 301.9100-1(b). However, an extension of time under § 301.9100-3 to elect portability may be available to estates that are under the value threshold described in section 6018 for being required to file an estate tax return. In such a case, the due date for the portability election is prescribed by regulation, not by statute. See Rev. Proc. 2014-18, 2014-7 IRB 513, section 2.03.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that clarifying the availability of an extension of time under § 301.9100-3 to elect portability will assist taxpayers in understanding and meeting their tax responsibilities. Accordingly, the final regulations provide that an extension of time to elect portability will not be granted under § 301.9100-3 to any estate that is required to file an estate tax return because the value of the gross estate equals or exceeds the threshold amount described in section 6018, but may be granted under the rules set forth in § 301.9100-3 to estates with a gross estate value below that threshold amount and thus not otherwise required to file an estate tax return.

    As transitional relief in the wake of TRUIRJCA and ATRA, the Treasury Department and the IRS have published guidance regarding the availability of an automatic extension of time for executors of certain estates under the filing threshold of section 6018(a) to file an estate tax return to elect portability of an unused exclusion amount. See Notice 2012-21, 2012-10 IRB 450; Rev. Proc. 2014-18. The Treasury Department and the IRS continue to receive, and are continuing to consider, requests for permanent extensions of this type of relief. However, such relief is not included in the final regulations.

    2. Effect of Portability Election Where DSUE Amount Is Uncertain

    Section 20.2010-2T(a)(2) of the 2012 temporary regulations provides that upon the timely filing of a complete and properly prepared estate tax return, an executor of the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse will have elected portability of the decedent's DSUE amount, unless the executor validly opts out of making the portability election. The inclusion of a computation of the DSUE amount is an essential requirement of a complete and properly prepared estate tax return intended to make the portability election. See section 2010(c)(5)(A) and § 20.2010-2T(b)(1). Section 20.2010-3T(c) provides that the portability election applies (and generally is available to the surviving spouse) upon the decedent's death, but, to the extent the DSUE amount subsequently is reduced or cannot be substantiated, the DSUE amount will not be available to the surviving spouse.

    A commenter requested that the final regulations address whether an estate can make a “protective” election if a DSUE amount is not reflected on an otherwise complete and properly prepared estate tax return at the time of its timely filing, but subsequent adjustments to amounts on the estate tax return would result in unused exclusion of that decedent. The following example illustrates such a scenario. An executor files a complete and properly prepared estate tax return that shows a DSUE amount equal to zero at the time of the return's timely filing and does not follow the instructions set forth in the instructions for opting out of portability. At the same time, the executor also files a protective claim for refund attributable to a claim against the estate. Subsequently, the estate becomes entitled to a deduction under section 2053 for a payment made in satisfaction of the claim against the estate which reduces the estate tax and results in unused exemption.

    In this example, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the executor has elected portability in accordance with § 20.2010-2T(a)(2) and that the recomputed DSUE amount will be available to the decedent's surviving spouse. The final regulations clarify this intended result by providing in § 20.2010-2(b) that the computation requirement in section 2010(c)(5)(A) will be satisfied if the estate tax return is prepared in accordance with the requirements of § 20.2010-2(a)(7). Accordingly, there is no need for a protective election.

    3. Persons Permitted To Make the Election

    Several commenters requested that the final regulations allow a surviving spouse who is not an executor as defined in section 2203 of the Code to file an estate tax return and make the portability election in several different circumstances. A few of the circumstances described include those in which the spouse is given the right to file the estate tax return in a prenuptial or marital agreement, or the spouse has petitioned the appropriate local court for the spouse's appointment as an executor solely for the limited purpose of filing the estate tax return and the executor does not make the portability election. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize the possibility that an executor may exercise the executor's discretion to not make the portability election, thus causing the estate to forfeit the opportunity to elect portability, but note that section 2010(c)(5) of the Code permits only the executor of the decedent's estate to file the estate tax return and make the portability election. The 2012 temporary regulations address the circumstances in which an appointed executor or a non-appointed executor may file the estate tax return and decide whether or not to elect portability. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that any consideration of what, if any, state law action might bring the surviving spouse within the definition of executor under section 2203 is outside of the scope of this regulation. Accordingly, the final regulations adopt the applicable rules in the 2012 temporary regulations without change.

    4. Requirement of a “Complete and Properly Prepared” Estate Tax Return

    Section 20.2010-2T(a)(2) provides that the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse makes the portability election by timely filing a complete and properly prepared estate tax return for the decedent's estate. Section 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(i) provides that an estate tax return prepared in accordance with all applicable requirements is considered a “complete and properly prepared” estate tax return. Section 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A), however, provides a special rule applicable to estates that are not otherwise required to file an estate tax return under section 6018. For these estates, the executor does not need to report the value of certain property that qualifies for the marital or charitable deduction. The 2012 temporary regulations also included exceptions to the application of the special rule by providing specific circumstances under which the special rule will not apply.

    A commenter suggested that the final regulations elaborate on the circumstances under which a timely filed estate tax return may be considered so deficient as to render the estate tax return incomplete for purposes of electing portability. The Treasury Department and the IRS acknowledge that, as with all tax returns, some errors or omissions made with respect to an estate tax return will be considered minor and correctible. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS consider the issue of whether an estate tax return is complete and properly prepared to be determined most appropriately on a case-by-case basis by applying standards as prescribed in current law. Therefore, this suggestion has not been adopted.

    A commenter recommended that the final regulations modify the special rule in § 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A) to narrow the exceptions to the application of the special rule, thus allowing more estates to avoid the expense of a potentially-complicated appraisal to value assets includible in the gross estate. Specifically, the commenter recommended that the special rule in § 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A) should apply to certain property, the value of which qualifies for the marital deduction or charitable deduction (marital deduction property or charitable deduction property), when: (i) The marital deduction property or charitable deduction property is a stated number of shares of stock and a stated number of shares of the same stock are includible in the gross estate but are not marital deduction property or charitable deduction property; (ii) the property represents the balance of the value of shares remaining after a non-marital or non-charitable bequest of shares based on a specific value; and (iii) the property represents the marital or charitable portion of a fractional division of property, whether by bequest, spousal election, or disclaimer. In the first two instances, the value of the marital deduction property or charitable deduction property may be relevant to assessing the accuracy of the valuation of the nondeductible interest and whether any valuation premium or discount is warranted. In the last instance, because any beneficiary's share of the estate usually can be satisfied in a manner other than with that beneficiary's proportional share of each individual asset, it will be necessary to know the total value in order to verify the non-deductible portion of the estate. Therefore, the Treasury Department and the IRS continue to believe that § 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A) appropriately excludes the described circumstances from application of the special rule. While the final regulations do not adopt the commenter's suggestion to narrow the exceptions to the application of the special rule, the final regulations provide flexibility to refine the rules in subregulatory guidance at any time in the future when the IRS may determine that additional guidance would be appropriate with regard to the application of the special rule to particular types of transfers.

    The same commenter suggested that the exception in § 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A)(2) is made unnecessarily broad by its reference to “another provision of the Code.” The commenter was concerned that, because the fair market value of a bequeathed asset determines the basis of that asset in the hands of the legatee, the value of all estate assets would have an impact on section 1014, and, thus, all assets would have to be valued. In referring to value needed to determine an estate's eligibility under other Code sections such as sections 2032 and 2032A, the Treasury Department and the IRS did not intend to include a basis determination under section 1014. Accordingly, the language of § 20.2010-2T(a)(7)(ii)(A)(2) has been clarified.

    Finally, a commenter repeated a suggestion (first made in response to a request for comments in Notice 2011-82, 2011-42 IRB 516) that the IRS prepare a shorter version of the estate tax return to be used by estates that are not otherwise required to file an estate tax return but do so only to elect portability. The Treasury Department and the IRS have reconsidered this suggestion, taking into account several factors including: The information needed by the IRS to compute and verify the DSUE amount; how such an abbreviated return would differ from a return qualifying for the special rule regarding valuations under § 20.2010-2(a)(7)(ii); the past experience of the IRS regarding the accuracy of abbreviated returns; the administrative issues in creating and maintaining alternate return forms; and the reasons provided by commenters. The Treasury Department and the IRS have concluded that, on balance, a timely filed, complete, and properly prepared estate tax return affords the most efficient and administrable method of obtaining the information necessary to compute and verify the DSUE amount, and the alleged benefits to taxpayers from an abbreviated form is far outweighed by the anticipated administrative difficulties in administering the estate tax. In addition, the “Technical Explanation of the Revenue Provisions Contained in the `Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010' Scheduled for Consideration by the United States Senate,” J. Comm. on Tax'n, 111th Cong., JCX-55-10 (December 10, 2010), suggests that estates electing portability that are not otherwise required to file an estate tax return under section 6018(a) are intended to be subject to the same filing requirements applicable to estates required to file an estate tax return under section 6018(a). For these reasons, this suggestion is not adopted.

    5. Special Rules for Qualified Domestic Trusts

    The preamble to the 2012 regulations discussed comments and proposals the Treasury Department and the IRS had received on the proper application of the portability rules to qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs) created for spouses who are not U.S. citizens. The preamble noted that each of the proposals raised issues of fairness, complexity, and administrability.

    The QDOT rules in the 2012 temporary regulations provide that the executor of a decedent's estate claiming a marital deduction for property passing to a QDOT shall compute the decedent's DSUE amount on the decedent's estate tax return for the purpose of electing portability in the same way the DSUE amount is computed for any other decedent. However, because the estate tax payments made from the QDOT after the decedent's death are part of the decedent's estate tax liability, the decedent's DSUE amount must be redetermined upon the final distribution or other taxable event on which estate tax under section 2056A is imposed (generally, this occurs upon the termination of all QDOTs created by or funded with assets passing from the decedent or upon the death of the surviving spouse). See § 20.2010-2T(c)(4). The QDOT rules in the 2012 temporary regulations further provide that the earliest date such a decedent's DSUE amount may be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount available to the surviving spouse or the surviving spouse's estate is the date of the event that triggers the final estate tax liability of the decedent under section 2056A. See § 20.2010-3T(c)(2). The preamble to the 2012 temporary regulations requested further comments on the QDOT issue.

    A commenter challenged this delay in the surviving spouse's ability to use the decedent's DSUE amount if the surviving spouse becomes a United States citizen after the decedent's estate tax return is filed and after property passes to a QDOT for the benefit of that surviving spouse.

    Under section 2056A(b)(12), the estate tax imposed under section 2056A(b)(1) will cease to apply to property held in a QDOT if the surviving spouse becomes a United States citizen (a fact to be certified to the IRS under § 20.2056A-10(a)(2)) and either of the following requirements are met: (A) the spouse was a resident of the United States at all times after the death of the decedent and before the spouse becomes a citizen of the United States, or (B) no tax was imposed by section 2056A(b)(1)(A) with respect to any distribution before the spouse becomes a citizen. If the spouse becomes a U.S. citizen, but does not satisfy either of these two requirements, section 2056A(b)(12)(C) provides that the section 2056A(b)(1) estate tax will cease to apply to the QDOT if the spouse elects (i) to treat any distribution on which tax was imposed by section 2056A(b)(1)(A) as a taxable gift made by the spouse during the year in which the spouse becomes a U.S. citizen or in any subsequent year, and thereby including each such distribution in the spouse's own adjusted taxable gifts for both estate and gift tax purposes, and (ii) to treat any reduction in the tax imposed by section 2056A(b)(1)(A) by reason of the credit allowable under section 2010 with respect to the decedent as a credit allowable to such surviving spouse under section 2505 for purposes of determining the amount of the credit allowable under section 2505 with respect to taxable gifts made by the surviving spouse during the year in which the spouse becomes a U.S. citizen or any subsequent year.

    The Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that, if the surviving spouse of the decedent becomes a citizen of the United States and the requirements under section 2056A(b)(12) and the corresponding regulations are satisfied so that the tax imposed by section 2056A(b)(1) no longer applies, then the decedent's DSUE amount is no longer subject to adjustment and will become available for transfers by the surviving spouse as of the date the surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States. Accordingly, the final regulations make clarifying changes in §§ 20.2010-2(c)(4), 20.2010-3(c)(3), and 25.2505-2(d)(3).

    A commenter also requested clarification of the rules in §§ 20.2010-3T(b), 25.2505-2T(b) and 25.2505-2T(c) as they apply to a QDOT. Section 25.2505-2T(b) provides that, in the case of a surviving spouse making a gift, the surviving spouse will be considered to apply any available DSUE amount to the taxable gift before the surviving spouse's own basic exclusion amount. Sections 20.2010-3T(b) and 25.2505-2T(c) address how to compute the DSUE amount included in the applicable exclusion amount of a surviving spouse who previously has applied a DSUE amount of one or more deceased spouses. These rules are applicable to all surviving spouses but can be applied only after the surviving spouse determines the spouse's available DSUE amount, if any. Sections 20.2010-3T(c)(2) and 25.2505-2T(d)(2) provide rules governing the date DSUE can be taken into consideration by the surviving spouse or the surviving spouse's estate when property passes from a decedent for the benefit of a surviving spouse in one or more QDOTs and the decedent elects portability. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the impact of these rules in the context of QDOTs is sufficiently clear. Thus, the final regulations adopt these rules without change, except that the rule in § 25.2505-2T(d)(2) is now provided in § 25.2505-2(d)(3).

    6. Issues Related to Examination of Returns To Determine DSUE Amount

    Section 2010(c)(5)(B) grants the IRS the authority to examine returns of each deceased spouse of the surviving spouse to determine the DSUE amount allowed to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse, even if the period of limitations under section 6501 has expired for assessing gift or estate tax with respect to the returns of the deceased spouse. The Treasury Department and the IRS received several comments and recommendations related to this examination authority.

    First, a commenter requested that the final regulations provide that, during an examination to determine the allowable DSUE amount, the examination authority of the IRS be limited to issues of the reporting and valuation of assets, and not extend to other legal issues that may impact the availability of the DSUE amount to the surviving spouse. The Treasury Department and the IRS note that section 2010(c)(5)(B) grants broad statutory authority to the IRS to examine the correctness of any return, without regard to the period of limitations on assessment, “to make determinations with respect to [the allowable DSUE] amount for purposes of carrying out [section 2010(c) of the Code].” Thus, the Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that limiting such authority is inconsistent with the statute. Accordingly, this suggestion is not adopted.

    Second, a commenter requested confirmation that, in the examination of a return for the purpose of determining the allowable DSUE amount that takes place after the expiration of the period of limitations on assessment of tax, the valuation of assets may be adjusted upward or downward with a possible result that the allowable DSUE amount may decrease or increase. The accurate valuation of assets reported on an estate or gift tax return, regardless of whether the valuation is higher or lower than the reported value, is fundamental to the examination of such a return and fundamental to the accurate determination of the DSUE amount available to the surviving spouse. The Treasury Department and the IRS accordingly conclude no clarifying change is necessary on this issue.

    Third, a commenter suggested the final regulations consider whether, in the examination of a return for the purpose of determining the allowable DSUE amount that takes place after the expiration of the period of limitations on assessment of tax, an adjustment to the value of an asset reported on the return affects the basis of that asset under section 1014. Section 1014 generally provides that the basis of property acquired from a decedent is the fair market value of such property on the decedent's date of death. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that a change to the date-of-death value of an asset included in the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse, made pursuant to an examination of a return of that decedent after the expiration of the period of limitations on the assessment of tax on that return, does not necessarily result in a change to the basis of that asset under section 1014. Rather, the basis of property acquired from a decedent is determined in accordance with the existing principles of section 1014. The Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that the scope of the examination authority granted in section 2010(c)(5)(B) is sufficiently clear and, therefore, make no change in the final regulations.

    Fourth, a commenter suggested that the final regulations clarify the deductibility of administrative expenses associated with the examination to determine the allowable DSUE amount. The Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that any expenses associated with an examination to determine the DSUE amount to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse should be treated as any other expense associated with the preparation of the surviving spouse's return. Thus, in the case of an examination arising with respect to a gift tax return of the surviving spouse, such expenses are not deductible and, in the case of an examination arising with respect to an estate tax return of the surviving spouse, such expenses may be deductible if such expenses meet all of the applicable requirements for deductibility under section 2053. The Treasury Department and the IRS believe that the standards for deducting expenses for estate and gift tax purposes are sufficiently clear so that no change to the 2012 temporary regulations is necessary.

    Finally, a commenter suggested clarifying who may participate in the examination to determine the DSUE amount to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse. In general, pursuant to the current rules, each taxpayer has the authority to participate in the resolution of the issues raised in the audit of his or her return. However, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe addressing this issue is outside the scope of this final regulation and, therefore, make no change in the final regulation.

    7. Availability of DSUE Amount by Surviving Spouse Who Becomes a Citizen of the United States

    A commenter requested further guidance on the rules in §§ 20.2010-3T(e) and 25.2505-2T(f), which prohibit a noncitizen, nonresident surviving spouse, or the estate of such a surviving spouse, from taking into account the DSUE amount of any deceased spouse except to the extent allowed under any treaty obligation of the United States. First, the commenter suggested the final regulations clarify the specificity a treaty must employ in referencing portability or the DSUE amount for the exception to apply. The Treasury Department and the IRS consider this question regarding the interpretation of treaty language to be outside the scope of these final regulations and, thus, decline to make this change.

    Next, the commenter requested that the final regulations allow a surviving spouse who becomes a U.S. citizen after the death of the deceased spouse to take into account the DSUE amount of such deceased spouse. Because a surviving spouse who becomes a U.S. citizen is subject to the estate and gift tax rules of chapter 11 and 12 that apply to U.S. citizens and residents, the Treasury Department and the IRS believe it is appropriate that such a surviving spouse be permitted to take into account the DSUE amount available from any deceased spouse as of the date such surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen, provided the deceased spouse's executor has made the portability election. Accordingly, the final regulations include such a rule in §§ 20.2010-3 and 25.2505-2.

    8. Effect of Portability Election on Application of Rev. Proc. 2001-38

    Multiple commenters have requested guidance on the application of Rev. Proc. 2001-38, 2001-24 IRB 1335, when an estate makes a portability election under section 2010(c)(5)(A) as well as an election under section 2056(b)(7) to treat qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) as passing to the surviving spouse for purposes of the marital deduction.

    Rev. Proc. 2001-38 provides a procedure by which the IRS will disregard and treat as a nullity for Federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes a QTIP election made under section 2056(b)(7) in cases where the election was not necessary to reduce the estate tax liability to zero. The commenter notes that, with the introduction of portability of a deceased spouse's unused exclusion amount, an executor may purposefully elect both portability and QTIP treatment and the rationale for the rule voiding the election in Rev. Proc. 2001-38 (that the election was of no benefit to the taxpayer) is no longer applicable. The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to provide guidance, by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, to clarify whether a QTIP election made under section 2056(b)(7) may be disregarded and treated as null and void when an executor has elected portability of the DSUE amount under section 2010(c)(5)(A).

    9. Incorrect Basic Exclusion Amount in Examples

    A commenter noted that §§ 20.2010-3T and 25.2505-2T include an incorrect basic exclusion amount for the applicable year in the examples. The final regulations correct this mistake.

    10. Order of Credits

    The NPRM requested comments on, and reserved § 20.2010-2(c)(3) to provide guidance on, the impact of the credits in sections 2012 through 2015 on computing the DSUE amount. One comment was received, and advocated for a rule in computing the DSUE amount that the tentative tax is equal to the net estate tax after the application of all available credits. The commenter stated that a deceased spouse's applicable credit amount should not be applied to the extent one or more of the estate tax credits are available to reduce the decedent's estate tax.

    The amount of the allowable credit in sections 2012 through 2015 can be determined only after subtracting from the tax imposed by section 2001 the applicable credit amount determined under section 2010. Accordingly, to the extent the applicable credit amount is applied to reduce the tax imposed by section 2001 to zero, the credits in sections 2012 through 2015 are not available. The rule in section 2010(c)(4) for computing the DSUE amount does not take into account any unused credits arising under sections 2012 through 2015. Based on these considerations, the Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that no adjustment to the computation of the DSUE amount to account for any unused credits is warranted. Accordingly, § 20.2010-2(c)(3) of the final regulations clarifies that eligibility for credits against the tax imposed by section 2001 does not factor into the computation of the DSUE amount.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that these final regulations are not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these final regulations. It is hereby certified that the collection of information contained in this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This certification is based on the fact that these regulations primarily affect estates of a decedent which generally are not small entities under the Act. Thus, we do not expect a substantial number of small entities to be affected. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, the 2012 temporary regulations, as well as the cross-referencing notice of proposed rulemaking preceding these final regulations, were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small entities, and no comments were received.

    Statement of Availability for Documents Published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin

    For copies of recently issued revenue procedures, revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin or Cumulative Bulletin, please visit the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these final regulations is Karlene Lesho, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries). Other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 20

    Estate taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 25

    Gift taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    26 CFR Part 602

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR parts 20, 25, and 602 are amended as follows:

    PART 20—ESTATE TAX; ESTATE OF DECEDENTS DYING AFTER AUGUST 16, 1954 Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 20 is amended by removing the entries for §§ 20.2010-0T, 20.2010-1T, 20.2010-2T, and 20.2010-3T and adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805.

    Section 20.2010-0 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Section 20.2010-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Section 20.2010-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Section 20.2010-3 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Par. 2. Section 20.2001-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.2001-2 Valuation of adjusted taxable gifts for purposes of determining the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount of last deceased spouse.

    (a) General rule. Notwithstanding § 20.2001-1(b), §§ 20.2010-2(d) and 20.2010-3(d) provide additional rules regarding the authority of the Internal Revenue Service to examine any gift or other tax return(s), even if the time within which a tax may be assessed under section 6501 has expired, for the purpose of determining the deceased spousal unused exclusion amount available under section 2010(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    (b) Effective/applicability date. Paragraph (a) of this section applies to the estates of decedents dying on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 20.2001-2T(a), as contained in 26 CFR part 20, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rules applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 20.2001-2T [Removed]
    Par. 3. Section 20.2001-2T is removed. Par. 4. Section 20.2010-0 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.2010-0 Table of contents.

    This section lists the table of contents for §§ 20.2010-1 through 20.2010-3.

    § 20.2010-1 Unified credit against estate tax; in general.

    (a) General rule.

    (b) Special rule in case of certain gifts made before 1977.

    (c) Credit limitation.

    (d) Explanation of terms.

    (1) Applicable credit amount.

    (2) Applicable exclusion amount.

    (3) Basic exclusion amount.

    (4) Deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount.

    (5) Last deceased spouse.

    (e) Effective/applicability date.

    § 20.2010-2 Portability provisions applicable to estate of a decedent survived by a spouse.

    (a) Election required for portability.

    (1) Timely filing required.

    (2) Portability election upon filing of estate tax return.

    (3) Portability election not made; requirements for election not to apply.

    (4) Election irrevocable.

    (5) Estates eligible to make the election.

    (6) Persons permitted to make the election.

    (7) Requirements of return.

    (b) Requirement for DSUE computation on estate tax return.

    (c) Computation of the DSUE amount.

    (1) General rule.

    (2) Special rule to consider gift taxes paid by decedent.

    (3) Impact of applicable credits.

    (4) Special rule in case of property passing to qualified domestic trust.

    (5) Examples.

    (d) Authority to examine returns of decedent.

    (e) Effective/applicability date.

    § 20.2010-3 Portability provisions applicable to the surviving spouse's estate.

    (a) Surviving spouse's estate limited to DSUE amount of last deceased spouse.

    (1) In general.

    (2) No DSUE amount available from last deceased spouse.

    (3) Identity of last deceased spouse unchanged by subsequent marriage or divorce.

    (b) Special rule in case of multiple deceased spouses and previously-applied DSUE amount.

    (1) In general.

    (2) Example.

    (c) Date DSUE amount taken into consideration by surviving spouse's estate.

    (1) General rule.

    (2) Exception when surviving spouse not a U.S. citizen on date of deceased spouse's death.

    (3) Special rule when property passes to surviving spouse in a qualified domestic trust.

    (d) Authority to examine returns of deceased spouses.

    (e) Availability of DSUE amount for estates of nonresidents who are not citizens.

    (f) Effective/applicability date.

    § 20.2010-0T [Removed]
    Par. 5. Section 20.2010-0T is removed. Par. 6. Section 20.2010-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.2010-1 Unified credit against estate tax; in general.

    (a) General rule. Section 2010(a) allows the estate of every decedent a credit against the estate tax imposed by section 2001. The allowable credit is the applicable credit amount. See paragraph (d)(1) of this section for an explanation of the term applicable credit amount.

    (b) Special rule in case of certain gifts made before 1977. The applicable credit amount allowable under paragraph (a) of this section must be reduced by an amount equal to 20 percent of the aggregate amount allowed as a specific exemption under section 2521 (as in effect before its repeal by the Tax Reform Act of 1976) for gifts made by the decedent after September 8, 1976, and before January 1, 1977.

    (c) Credit limitation. The applicable credit amount allowed under paragraph (a) of this section cannot exceed the amount of the estate tax imposed by section 2001.

    (d) Explanation of terms. The explanation of terms in this section applies to this section and to §§ 20.2010-2 and 20.2010-3.

    (1) Applicable credit amount. The term applicable credit amount refers to the allowable credit against estate tax imposed by section 2001 and gift tax imposed by section 2501. The applicable credit amount equals the amount of the tentative tax that would be determined under section 2001(c) if the amount on which such tentative tax is to be computed were equal to the applicable exclusion amount. The applicable credit amount is determined by applying the unified rate schedule in section 2001(c) to the applicable exclusion amount.

    (2) Applicable exclusion amount. The applicable exclusion amount equals the sum of the basic exclusion amount and, in the case of a surviving spouse, the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount.

    (3) Basic exclusion amount. The basic exclusion amount is the sum of—

    (i) For any decedent dying in calendar year 2011, $5,000,000; and

    (ii) For any decedent dying after calendar year 2011, $5,000,000 multiplied by the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for that calendar year by substituting “calendar year 2010” for “calendar year 1992” in section 1(f)(3)(B) and by rounding to the nearest multiple of $10,000.

    (4) Deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount. The term DSUE amount refers, generally, to the unused portion of a decedent's applicable exclusion amount to the extent this amount does not exceed the basic exclusion amount in effect in the year of the decedent's death. For the rules on computing the DSUE amount, see §§ 20.2010-2(c) and 20.2010-3(b).

    (5) Last deceased spouse. The term last deceased spouse means the most recently deceased individual who, at that individual's death after December 31, 2010, was married to the surviving spouse. See §§ 20.2010-3(a) and 25.2505-2(a) for additional rules pertaining to the identity of the last deceased spouse for purposes of determining the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse.

    (e) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to the estates of decedents dying on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 20.2010-1T, as contained in 26 CFR part 20, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rules applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 20.2010-1T [Removed]
    Par. 7. Section 20.2010-1T is removed.
    Par. 8. Section 20.2010-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.2010-2 Portability provisions applicable to estate of a decedent survived by a spouse.

    (a) Election required for portability. To allow a decedent's surviving spouse to take into account that decedent's deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount, the executor of the decedent's estate must elect portability of the DSUE amount on a timely filed Form 706, “United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return” (estate tax return). This election is referred to in this section and in § 20.2010-3 as the portability election.

    (1) Timely filing required. An estate that elects portability will be considered, for purposes of subtitle B and subtitle F of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), to be required to file a return under section 6018(a). Accordingly, the due date of an estate tax return required to elect portability is nine months after the decedent's date of death or the last day of the period covered by an extension (if an extension of time for filing has been obtained). See §§ 20.6075-1 and 20.6081-1 for additional rules relating to the time for filing estate tax returns. An extension of time to elect portability under this paragraph (a) will not be granted under § 301.9100-3 of this chapter to an estate that is required to file an estate tax return under section 6018(a), as determined without regard to this paragraph (a). Such an extension, however, may be available under the procedures applicable under §§ 301.9100-1 and 301.9100-3 of this chapter to an estate that is not required to file a return under section 6018(a), as determined without regard to this paragraph (a).

    (2) Portability election upon filing of estate tax return. Upon the timely filing of a complete and properly prepared estate tax return, an executor of an estate of a decedent survived by a spouse will have elected portability of the decedent's DSUE amount unless the executor chooses not to elect portability and satisfies the requirement in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. See paragraph (a)(7) of this section for the return requirements related to the portability election.

    (3) Portability election not made; requirements for election not to apply. The executor of the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse will not make or be considered to make the portability election if either of the following applies:

    (i) The executor states affirmatively on a timely filed estate tax return, or in an attachment to that estate tax return, that the estate is not electing portability under section 2010(c)(5). The manner in which the executor may make this affirmative statement on the estate tax return is as set forth in the instructions issued with respect to such form (“Instructions for Form 706”).

    (ii) The executor does not timely file an estate tax return in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

    (4) Election irrevocable. An executor of the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse who timely files an estate tax return may make or may supersede a portability election previously made, provided that the estate tax return reporting the election or the superseding election is filed on or before the due date of the return, including extensions actually granted. However, see paragraph (a)(6) of this section when contrary elections are made by more than one person permitted to make the election. The portability election, once made, becomes irrevocable once the due date of the estate tax return, including extensions actually granted, has passed.

    (5) Estates eligible to make the election. An executor may elect portability on behalf of the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse if the decedent dies on or after January 1, 2011. However, an executor of the estate of a nonresident decedent who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of death may not elect portability on behalf of that decedent, and the timely filing of such a decedent's estate tax return will not constitute the making of a portability election.

    (6) Persons permitted to make the election—(i) Appointed executor. An executor or administrator of the estate of a decedent survived by a spouse that is appointed, qualified, and acting within the United States, within the meaning of section 2203 (an appointed executor), may timely file the estate tax return on behalf of the estate of the decedent and, in so doing, elect portability of the decedent's DSUE amount. An appointed executor also may elect not to have portability apply pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (ii) Non-appointed executor. If there is no appointed executor, any person in actual or constructive possession of any property of the decedent (a non-appointed executor) may timely file the estate tax return on behalf of the estate of the decedent and, in so doing, elect portability of the decedent's DSUE amount, or, by complying with paragraph (a)(3) of this section, may elect not to have portability apply. A portability election made by a non-appointed executor when there is no appointed executor for that decedent's estate can be superseded by a subsequent contrary election made by an appointed executor of that same decedent's estate on an estate tax return filed on or before the due date of the return, including extensions actually granted. An election to allow portability made by a non-appointed executor cannot be superseded by a contrary election to have portability not apply made by another non-appointed executor of that same decedent's estate (unless such other non-appointed executor is the successor of the non-appointed executor who made the election). See § 20.6018-2 for additional rules relating to persons permitted to file the estate tax return.

    (7) Requirements of return—(i) General rule. An estate tax return will be considered complete and properly prepared for purposes of this section if it is prepared in accordance with the instructions issued for the estate tax return (Instructions for Form 706) and if the requirements of §§ 20.6018-2, 20.6018-3, and 20.6018-4 are satisfied. However, see paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section for reduced requirements applicable to certain property of certain estates.

    (ii) Reporting of value not required for certain property—(A) In general. A special rule applies with respect to certain property of estates in which the executor is not required to file an estate tax return under section 6018(a), as determined without regard to paragraph (a)(1) of this section. With respect to such an estate, for bequests, devises, or transfers of property included in the gross estate, the value of which is deductible under section 2056 or 2056A (marital deduction property) or under section 2055(a) (charitable deduction property), an executor is not required to report a value for such property on the estate tax return (except to the extent provided in this paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A)) and will be required to report only the description, ownership, and/or beneficiary of such property, along with all other information necessary to establish the right of the estate to the deduction in accordance with §§ 20.2056(a)-1(b)(i) through (iii) and 20.2055-1(c), as applicable. However, this rule does not apply in certain circumstances as provided in this paragraph (a) and as may be further described in guidance issued from time to time by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (see § 601.601(d)(2)(ii)(b) of this chapter). In particular, this rule does not apply to marital deduction property or charitable deduction property if—

    (1) The value of such property relates to, affects, or is needed to determine, the value passing from the decedent to a recipient other than the recipient of the marital or charitable deduction property;

    (2) The value of such property is needed to determine the estate's eligibility for the provisions of sections 2032, 2032A, or another estate or generation-skipping transfer tax provision of the Code for which the value of such property or the value of the gross estate or adjusted gross estate must be known (not including section 1014 of the Code);

    (3) Less than the entire value of an interest in property includible in the decedent's gross estate is marital deduction property or charitable deduction property; or

    (4) A partial disclaimer or partial qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) election is made with respect to a bequest, devise, or transfer of property includible in the gross estate, part of which is marital deduction property or charitable deduction property.

    (B) Return requirements when reporting of value not required for certain property. Paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A) of this section applies only if the executor exercises due diligence to estimate the fair market value of the gross estate, including the property described in paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A) of this section. Using the executor's best estimate of the value of properties to which paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A) of this section applies, the executor must report on the estate tax return, under penalties of perjury, the amount corresponding to the particular range within which falls the executor's best estimate of the total gross estate, in accordance with the Instructions for Form 706.

    (C) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section. In each example, assume that Husband (H) dies in 2015, survived by his wife (W), that both H and W are U.S. citizens, that H's gross estate does not exceed the excess of the applicable exclusion amount for the year of his death over the total amount of H's adjusted taxable gifts and any specific exemption under section 2521, and that H's executor (E) timely files Form 706 solely to make the portability election.

    Example 1.

    (i) Facts. The assets includible in H's gross estate consist of a parcel of real property and bank accounts held jointly with W with rights of survivorship, a life insurance policy payable to W, and a survivor annuity payable to W for her life. H made no taxable gifts during his lifetime.

    (ii) Application. E files an estate tax return on which these assets are identified on the proper schedule, but E provides no information on the return with regard to the date of death value of these assets in accordance with paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A) of this section. To establish the estate's entitlement to the marital deduction in accordance with § 20.2056(a)-1(b) (except with regard to establishing the value of the property) and the instructions for the estate tax return, E includes with the estate tax return evidence to verify the title of each jointly held asset, to confirm that W is the sole beneficiary of both the life insurance policy and the survivor annuity, and to verify that the annuity is exclusively for W's life. Finally, E reports on the estate return E's best estimate, determined by exercising due diligence, of the fair market value of the gross estate in accordance with paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(B) of this section. The estate tax return is considered complete and properly prepared and E has elected portability.

    Example 2.

    (i) Facts. H's will, duly admitted to probate and not subject to any proceeding to challenge its validity, provides that H's entire estate is to be distributed outright to W. The non-probate assets includible in H's gross estate consist of a life insurance policy payable to H's children from a prior marriage, and H's individual retirement account (IRA) payable to W. H made no taxable gifts during his lifetime.

    (ii) Application. E files an estate tax return on which all of the assets includible in the gross estate are identified on the proper schedule. In the case of the probate assets and the IRA, no information is provided with regard to date of death value in accordance with paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(A) of this section. However, E attaches a copy of H's will and describes each such asset and its ownership to establish the estate's entitlement to the marital deduction in accordance with the instructions for the estate tax return and § 20.2056(a)-1(b) (except with regard to establishing the value of the property). In the case of the life insurance policy payable to H's children, all of the regular return requirements, including reporting and establishing the fair market value of such asset, apply. Finally, E reports on the estate return E's best estimate, determined by exercising due diligence, of the fair market value of the gross estate in accordance with paragraph (a)(7)(ii)(B) of this section. The estate tax return is considered complete and properly prepared and E has elected portability.

    Example 3.

    (i) Facts. H's will, duly admitted to probate and not subject to any proceeding to challenge its validity, provides that 50 percent of the property passing under the terms of H's will is to be paid to a marital trust for W and 50 percent is to be paid to a trust for W and their descendants.

    (ii) Application. The amount passing to the non-marital trust cannot be verified without knowledge of the full value of the property passing under the will. Therefore, the value of the property of the marital trust relates to or affects the value passing to the trust for W and the descendants of H and W. Accordingly, the general return requirements apply to all of the property includible in the gross estate and the provisions of paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section do not apply.

    (b) Requirement for DSUE computation on estate tax return. Section 2010(c)(5)(A) requires an executor of a decedent's estate to include a computation of the DSUE amount on the estate tax return to elect portability and thereby allow the decedent's surviving spouse to take into account that decedent's DSUE amount. This requirement is satisfied by the timely filing of a complete and properly prepared estate tax return, as long as the executor has not elected out of portability as described in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. See paragraph (a)(7) of this section for the requirements for a return to be considered complete and properly prepared.

    (c) Computation of the DSUE amount—(1) General rule. Subject to paragraphs (c)(2) through (4) of this section, the DSUE amount of a decedent with a surviving spouse is the lesser of the following amounts—

    (i) The basic exclusion amount in effect in the year of the death of the decedent; or

    (ii) The excess of—

    (A) The decedent's applicable exclusion amount; over

    (B) The sum of the amount of the taxable estate and the amount of the adjusted taxable gifts of the decedent, which together is the amount on which the tentative tax on the decedent's estate is determined under section 2001(b)(1).

    (2) Special rule to consider gift taxes paid by decedent. Solely for purposes of computing the decedent's DSUE amount, the amount of the adjusted taxable gifts of the decedent referred to in paragraph (c)(1)(ii)(B) of this section is reduced by the amount, if any, on which gift taxes were paid for the calendar year of the gift(s).

    (3) Impact of applicable credits. An estate's eligibility under sections 2012 through 2015 for credits against the tax imposed by section 2001 does not impact the computation of the DSUE amount.

    (4) Special rule in case of property passing to qualified domestic trust—(i) In general. When property passes for the benefit of a surviving spouse in a qualified domestic trust (QDOT) as defined in section 2056A(a), the DSUE amount of the decedent is computed on the decedent's estate tax return for the purpose of electing portability in the same manner as this amount is computed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, but this DSUE amount is subject to subsequent adjustments. The DSUE amount of the decedent must be redetermined upon the occurrence of the final distribution or other event (generally, the termination of all QDOTs created by or funded with assets passing from the decedent or the death of the surviving spouse) on which estate tax is imposed under section 2056A. See § 20.2056A-6 for the rules on determining the estate tax under section 2056A. See § 20.2010-3(c)(3) regarding the timing of the availability of the decedent's DSUE amount to the surviving spouse.

    (ii) Surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen. If the surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen and if the requirements of section 2056A(b)(12) and the corresponding regulations are satisfied, the estate tax imposed under section 2056A(b)(1) ceases to apply. Accordingly, no estate tax will be imposed under section 2056A either on subsequent QDOT distributions or on the property remaining in the QDOT on the surviving spouse's death and the decedent's DSUE amount is no longer subject to adjustment.

    (5) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of this paragraph (c):

    Example 1.

    Computation of DSUE amount. (i) Facts. In 2002, having made no prior taxable gift, Husband (H) makes a taxable gift valued at $1,000,000 and reports the gift on a timely filed gift tax return. Because the amount of the gift is equal to the applicable exclusion amount for that year ($1,000,000), $345,800 is allowed as a credit against the tax, reducing the gift tax liability to zero. H dies in 2015, survived by Wife (W). H and W are U.S. citizens and neither has any prior marriage. H's taxable estate is $1,000,000. The executor of H's estate timely files H's estate tax return and elects portability, thereby allowing W to benefit from H's DSUE amount.

    (ii) Application. The executor of H's estate computes H's DSUE amount to be $3,430,000 (the lesser of the $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount in 2015, or the excess of H's $5,430,000 applicable exclusion amount over the sum of the $1,000,000 taxable estate and the $1,000,000 amount of adjusted taxable gifts).

    Example 2.

    Computation of DSUE amount when gift tax paid. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 1 of this paragraph (c)(5) except that the value of H's taxable gift in 2002 is $2,000,000. After application of the applicable credit amount, H owes gift tax on $1,000,000, the amount of the gift in excess of the applicable exclusion amount for that year. H pays the gift tax owed on the 2002 transfer.

    (ii) Application. On H's death, the executor of H's estate computes the DSUE amount to be $3,430,000 (the lesser of the $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount in 2015, or the excess of H's $5,430,000 applicable exclusion amount over the sum of the $1,000,000 taxable estate and $1,000,000 of adjusted taxable gifts sheltered from tax by H's applicable credit amount). H's adjusted taxable gifts of $2,000,000 were reduced for purposes of this computation by $1,000,000, the amount of taxable gifts on which gift taxes were paid.

    Example 3.

    Computation of DSUE amount when QDOT created. (i) Facts. Husband (H), a U.S. citizen, makes his first taxable gift in 2002, valued at $1,000,000, and reports the gift on a timely filed gift tax return. No gift tax is due because the applicable exclusion amount for that year ($1,000,000) equals the fair market value of the gift. H dies in 2015 with a gross estate of $2,000,000. H's surviving spouse (W) is a resident, but not a citizen, of the United States and, under H's will, a pecuniary bequest of $1,500,000 passes to a QDOT for the benefit of W. H's executor timely files an estate tax return and makes the QDOT election for the property passing to the QDOT, and H's estate is allowed a marital deduction of $1,500,000 under section 2056(d) for the value of that property. H's taxable estate is $500,000. On H's estate tax return, H's executor computes H's preliminary DSUE amount to be $3,930,000 (the lesser of the $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount in 2015, or the excess of H's $5,430,000 applicable exclusion amount over the sum of the $500,000 taxable estate and the $1,000,000 adjusted taxable gifts). No taxable events within the meaning of section 2056A occur during W's lifetime with respect to the QDOT, and W makes no taxable gifts. At all times since H's death, W has been a U.S. resident. In 2017, W dies and the value of the assets of the QDOT is $1,800,000.

    (ii) Application. H's DSUE amount is redetermined to be $2,130,000 (the lesser of the $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount in 2015, or the excess of H's $5,430,000 applicable exclusion amount over $3,300,000 (the sum of the $500,000 taxable estate augmented by the $1,800,000 of QDOT assets and the $1,000,000 adjusted taxable gifts)).

    Example 4.

    Computation of DSUE amount when surviving spouse with QDOT becomes a U.S. citizen. (i) Facts. The facts are the same as in Example 3 of this paragraph (c)(5) except that W becomes a U.S. citizen in 2016 and dies in 2018. The U.S. Trustee of the QDOT notifies the IRS that W has become a U.S. citizen by timely filing a final estate tax return (Form 706-QDT). Pursuant to section 2056A(b)(12), the estate tax under section 2056A no longer applies to the QDOT property.

    (ii) Application. Because H's DSUE amount no longer is subject to adjustment once W becomes a citizen of the United States, H's DSUE amount is $3,930,000, as it was preliminarily determined as of H's death. Upon W's death in 2018, the value of the QDOT property is includible in W's gross estate.

    (d) Authority to examine returns of decedent. The IRS may examine returns of a decedent in determining the decedent's DSUE amount, regardless of whether the period of limitations on assessment has expired for that return. See § 20.2010-3(d) for additional rules relating to the IRS's authority to examine returns. See also section 7602 for the IRS's authority, when ascertaining the correctness of any return, to examine any returns that may be relevant or material to such inquiry.

    (e) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to the estates of decedents dying on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 20.2010-2T, as contained in 26 CFR part 20, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rule applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 20.2010-2T [Removed]
    Par. 9. Section 20.2010-2T is removed. Par. 10. Section 20.2010-3 is added to read as follows:
    § 20.2010-3 Portability provisions applicable to the surviving spouse's estate.

    (a) Surviving spouse's estate limited to DSUE amount of last deceased spouse—(1) In general. The deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount of a decedent, computed under § 20.2010-2(c), is included in determining the surviving spouse's applicable exclusion amount under section 2010(c)(2), provided—

    (i) Such decedent is the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse within the meaning of § 20.2010-1(d)(5) on the date of the death of the surviving spouse; and

    (ii) The executor of the decedent's estate elected portability (see § 20.2010-2(a) and (b) for applicable requirements).

    (2) No DSUE amount available from last deceased spouse. If the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse had no DSUE amount, or if the executor of such a decedent's estate did not make a portability election, the surviving spouse's estate has no DSUE amount (except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section) to be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount, even if the surviving spouse previously had a DSUE amount available from another decedent who, prior to the death of the last deceased spouse, was the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse. See paragraph (b) of this section for a special rule in the case of multiple deceased spouses and a previously applied DSUE amount.

    (3) Identity of last deceased spouse unchanged by subsequent marriage or divorce. A decedent is the last deceased spouse (as defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5)) of a surviving spouse even if, on the date of the death of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse is married to another (then-living) individual. If a surviving spouse marries again and that marriage ends in divorce or an annulment, the subsequent death of the divorced spouse does not end the status of the prior deceased spouse as the last deceased spouse of the surviving spouse. The divorced spouse, not being married to the surviving spouse at death, is not the last deceased spouse as that term is defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5).

    (b) Special rule in case of multiple deceased spouses and previously-applied DSUE amount—(1) In general. A special rule applies to compute the DSUE amount included in the applicable exclusion amount of a surviving spouse who previously has applied the DSUE amount of one or more deceased spouses to taxable gifts in accordance with § 25.2505-2(b) and (c). If a surviving spouse has applied the DSUE amount of one or more (successive) last deceased spouses to the surviving spouse's transfers during life, and if any of those last deceased spouses is different from the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse as defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5) at the time of the surviving spouse's death, then the DSUE amount to be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse at the time of the surviving spouse's death is the sum of—

    (i) The DSUE amount of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and

    (ii) The DSUE amount of each other deceased spouse of the surviving spouse, to the extent that such amount was applied to one or more taxable gifts of the surviving spouse.

    (2) Example. The following example, in which all described individuals are U.S. citizens, illustrates the application of this paragraph (b):

    Example.

    (i) Facts. Husband 1 (H1) dies in 2011, survived by Wife (W). Neither has made any taxable gifts during H1's lifetime. H1's executor elects portability of H1's DSUE amount. The DSUE amount of H1 as computed on the estate tax return filed on behalf of H1's estate is $5,000,000. In 2012, W makes taxable gifts to her children valued at $2,000,000. W reports the gifts on a timely filed gift tax return. W is considered to have applied $2,000,000 of H1's DSUE amount to the amount of taxable gifts, in accordance with § 25.2505-2(c), and, therefore, W owes no gift tax. W has an applicable exclusion amount remaining in the amount of $8,120,000 ($3,000,000 of H1's remaining DSUE amount plus W's own $5,120,000 basic exclusion amount). W marries Husband 2 (H2) in 2013. H2 dies in 2014. H2's executor elects portability of H2's DSUE amount, which is properly computed on H2's estate tax return to be $2,000,000. W dies in 2015.

    (ii) Application. The DSUE amount to be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount available to W's estate is $4,000,000, determined by adding the $2,000,000 DSUE amount of H2 and the $2,000,000 DSUE amount of H1 that was applied by W to W's 2012 taxable gifts. The $4,000,000 DSUE amount added to W's $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount (for 2015), causes W's applicable exclusion amount to be $9,430,000.

    (c) Date DSUE amount taken into consideration by surviving spouse's estate—(1) General rule. A portability election made by an executor of a decedent's estate (see § 20.2010-2(a) and (b) for applicable requirements) generally applies as of the date of the decedent's death. Thus, such decedent's DSUE amount is included in the applicable exclusion amount of the decedent's surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) and will be applicable to transfers made by the surviving spouse after the decedent's death (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). However, such decedent's DSUE amount will not be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse, even if the surviving spouse had made a transfer in reliance on the availability or computation of the decedent's DSUE amount:

    (i) If the executor of the decedent's estate supersedes the portability election by filing a subsequent estate tax return in accordance with § 20.2010-2(a)(4);

    (ii) To the extent that the DSUE amount subsequently is reduced by a valuation adjustment or the correction of an error in calculation; or

    (iii) To the extent that the surviving spouse cannot substantiate the DSUE amount claimed on the surviving spouse's return.

    (2) Exception when surviving spouse not a U.S. citizen on date of deceased spouse's death. If a surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States after the death of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse, the DSUE amount of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse becomes available to the surviving spouse on the date the surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). However, when the special rule regarding qualified domestic trusts in paragraph (c)(3) of this section applies, the earliest date on which a decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of such decedent's surviving spouse who becomes a U.S. citizen is as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

    (3) Special rule when property passes to surviving spouse in a qualified domestic trust—(i) In general. When property passes from a decedent for the benefit of the decedent's surviving spouse in one or more qualified domestic trusts (QDOT) as defined in section 2056A(a) and the decedent's executor elects portability, the DSUE amount available to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) is the DSUE amount of the decedent as redetermined in accordance with § 20.2010-2(c)(4) (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). The earliest date on which such decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) is the date of the occurrence of the final QDOT distribution or final other event (generally, the termination of all QDOTs created by or funded with assets passing from the decedent or the death of the surviving spouse) on which tax under section 2056A is imposed. However, the decedent's DSUE amount as redetermined in accordance with § 20.2010-2(c)(4) may be applied to certain taxable gifts of the surviving spouse. See § 25.2505-2(d)(3)(i).

    (ii) Surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen. If a surviving spouse for whom property has passed from a decedent in one or more QDOTs becomes a citizen of the United States and the requirements in section 2056A(b)(12) and the corresponding regulations are satisfied, then the date on which such decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) (subject the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section) is the date on which the surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States. See § 20.2010-2(c)(4) for the rules for computing the decedent's DSUE amount in the case of a qualified domestic trust.

    (d) Authority to examine returns of deceased spouses. For the purpose of determining the DSUE amount to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of a surviving spouse, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may examine returns of each of the surviving spouse's deceased spouses whose DSUE amount is claimed to be included in the surviving spouse's applicable exclusion amount, regardless of whether the period of limitations on assessment has expired for any such return. The IRS's authority to examine returns of a deceased spouse applies with respect to each transfer by the surviving spouse to which a DSUE amount is or has been applied. Upon examination, the IRS may adjust or eliminate the DSUE amount reported on such a return of a deceased spouse; however, the IRS may assess additional tax on that return only if that tax is assessed within the period of limitations on assessment under section 6501 applicable to the tax shown on that return. See also section 7602 for the IRS's authority, when ascertaining the correctness of any return, to examine any returns that may be relevant or material to such inquiry. For purposes of these examinations to determine the DSUE amount, the surviving spouse is considered to have a material interest that is affected by the return information of the deceased spouse within the meaning of section 6103(e)(3).

    (e) Availability of DSUE amount for estates of nonresidents who are not citizens. The estate of a nonresident surviving spouse who is not a citizen of the United States at the time of such surviving spouse's death shall not take into account the DSUE amount of any deceased spouse of such surviving spouse within the meaning of § 20.2010-1(d)(5) except to the extent allowed under any applicable treaty obligation of the United States. See section 2102(b)(3).

    (f) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to the estates of decedents dying on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 20.2010-3T, as contained in 26 CFR part 20, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rules applicable to estates of decedents dying on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 20.2010-3T [Removed]
    Par. 11. Section 20.2010-3T is removed.
    PART 25—GIFT TAX; GIFTS MADE AFTER DECEMBER 31, 1954 Par. 12. The authority citation for part 25 is amended by removing the entry for § 25.2505-2T and adding an entry in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805.

    Section 25.2505-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 2010(c)(6).

    Par. 13. Section 25.2505-0 is added to read as follows:
    § 25.2505-0 Table of contents.

    This section lists the table of contents for §§ 25.2505-1 and 25.2505-2.

    § 25.2505-1 Unified credit against gift tax; in general.

    (a) General rule.

    (b) Applicable rate of tax.

    (c) Special rule in case of certain gifts made before 1977.

    (d) Credit limitation.

    (e) Effective/applicability date.

    § 25.2505-2 Gifts made by a surviving spouse having a DSUE amount available.

    (a) Donor who is surviving spouse is limited to DSUE amount of last deceased spouse.

    (1) In general.

    (2) No DSUE amount available from last deceased spouse.

    (3) Identity of last deceased spouse unchanged by subsequent marriage or divorce.

    (b) Manner in which DSUE amount is applied.

    (c) Special rule in case of multiple deceased spouses and previously-applied DSUE amount.

    (1) In general.

    (2) Example.

    (d) Date DSUE amount taken into consideration by donor who is a surviving spouse.

    (1) General rule.

    (2) Exception when surviving spouse not a U.S. citizen on date of deceased spouse's death.

    (3) Special rule when property passes to surviving spouse in a qualified domestic trust.

    (e) Authority to examine returns of deceased spouses.

    (f) Availability of DSUE amount for nonresidents who are not citizens.

    (g) Effective/applicability date.

    § 25.2505-0T [Removed]
    Par. 14. Section 25.2505-0T is removed. Par. 15. Section 25.2505-1 is added to read as follows:
    § 25.2505-1 Unified credit against gift tax; in general.

    (a) General rule. Section 2505(a) allows a citizen or resident of the United States a credit against the tax imposed by section 2501 for each calendar year. The allowable credit is the applicable credit amount in effect under section 2010(c) that would apply if the donor died as of the end of the calendar year, reduced by the sum of the amounts allowable as a credit against the gift tax due for all preceding calendar periods. See §§ 25.2505-2, 20.2010-1, and 20.2010-2 for additional rules and definitions related to determining the applicable credit amount in effect under section 2010(c).

    (b) Applicable rate of tax. In determining the amounts allowable as a credit against the gift tax due for all preceding calendar periods, the unified rate schedule under section 2001(c) in effect for such calendar year applies instead of the rates of tax actually in effect for preceding calendar periods. See sections 2505(a) and 2502(a)(2).

    (c) Special rule in case of certain gifts made before 1977. The applicable credit amount allowable under paragraph (a) of this section must be reduced by an amount equal to 20 percent of the aggregate amount allowed as a specific exemption under section 2521 (as in effect before its repeal by the Tax Reform Act of 1976) for gifts made by the decedent after September 8, 1976, and before January 1, 1977.

    (d) Credit limitation. The applicable credit amount allowed under paragraph (a) of this section for any calendar year shall not exceed the amount of the tax imposed by section 2501 for such calendar year.

    (e) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to gifts made on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 25.2505-1T, as contained in 26 CFR part 25, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rules applicable to gifts made on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 25.2505-1T [Removed]
    Par. 16. Section 25.2505-1T is removed.
    Par. 17. Section 25.2505-2 is added to read as follows:
    § 25.2505-2 Gifts made by a surviving spouse having a DSUE amount available.

    (a) Donor who is surviving spouse is limited to DSUE amount of last deceased spouse—(1) In general. In computing a surviving spouse's gift tax liability with regard to a transfer subject to the tax imposed by section 2501 (taxable gift), a deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount of a decedent, computed under § 20.2010-2(c), is included in determining the surviving spouse's applicable exclusion amount under section 2010(c)(2), provided:

    (i) Such decedent is the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse within the meaning of § 20.2010-1(d)(5) at the time of the surviving spouse's taxable gift; and

    (ii) The executor of the decedent's estate elected portability (see § 20.2010-2(a) and (b) for applicable requirements).

    (2) No DSUE amount available from last deceased spouse. If on the date of the surviving spouse's taxable gift the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse had no DSUE amount or if the executor of the estate of such last deceased spouse did not elect portability, the surviving spouse has no DSUE amount (except as and to the extent provided in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section) to be included in determining his or her applicable exclusion amount, even if the surviving spouse previously had a DSUE amount available from another decedent who, prior to the death of the last deceased spouse, was the last deceased spouse of such surviving spouse. See paragraph (c) of this section for a special rule in the case of multiple deceased spouses.

    (3) Identity of last deceased spouse unchanged by subsequent marriage or divorce. A decedent is the last deceased spouse (as defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5)) of a surviving spouse even if, on the date of the surviving spouse's taxable gift, the surviving spouse is married to another (then-living) individual. If a surviving spouse marries again and that marriage ends in divorce or an annulment, the subsequent death of the divorced spouse does not end the status of the prior deceased spouse as the last deceased spouse of the surviving spouse. The divorced spouse, not being married to the surviving spouse at death, is not the last deceased spouse as that term is defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5).

    (b) Manner in which DSUE amount is applied. If a donor who is a surviving spouse makes a taxable gift and a DSUE amount is included in determining the surviving spouse's applicable exclusion amount under section 2010(c)(2), such surviving spouse will be considered to apply such DSUE amount to the taxable gift before the surviving spouse's own basic exclusion amount.

    (c) Special rule in case of multiple deceased spouses and previously-applied DSUE amount—(1) In general. A special rule applies to compute the DSUE amount included in the applicable exclusion amount of a surviving spouse who previously has applied the DSUE amount of one or more deceased spouses. If a surviving spouse applied the DSUE amount of one or more (successive) last deceased spouses to the surviving spouse's previous lifetime transfers, and if any of those last deceased spouses is different from the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse as defined in § 20.2010-1(d)(5) at the time of the current taxable gift by the surviving spouse, then the DSUE amount to be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse that will be applicable at the time of the current taxable gift is the sum of—

    (i) The DSUE amount of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and

    (ii) The DSUE amount of each other deceased spouse of the surviving spouse to the extent that such amount was applied to one or more previous taxable gifts of the surviving spouse.

    (2) Example. The following example, in which all described individuals are U.S. citizens, illustrates the application of this paragraph (c):

    Example.

    (i) Facts. Husband 1 (H1) dies in 2011, survived by Wife (W). Neither has made any taxable gifts during H1's lifetime. H1's executor elects portability of H1's deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount. The DSUE amount of H1 as computed on the estate tax return filed on behalf of H1's estate is $5,000,000. In 2012, W makes taxable gifts to her children valued at $2,000,000. W reports the gifts on a timely filed gift tax return. W is considered to have applied $2,000,000 of H1's DSUE amount to the 2012 taxable gifts, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, and, therefore, W owes no gift tax. W is considered to have an applicable exclusion amount remaining in the amount of $8,120,000 ($3,000,000 of H1's remaining DSUE amount plus W's own $5,120,000 basic exclusion amount). In 2013, W marries Husband 2 (H2). H2 dies on June 30, 2015. H2's executor elects portability of H2's DSUE amount, which is properly computed on H2's estate tax return to be $2,000,000.

    (ii) Application. The DSUE amount to be included in determining the applicable exclusion amount available to W for gifts during the second half of 2015 is $4,000,000, determined by adding the $2,000,000 DSUE amount of H2 and the $2,000,000 DSUE amount of H1 that was applied by W to W's 2012 taxable gifts. Thus, W's applicable exclusion amount during the balance of 2015 is $9,430,000 ($4,000,000 DSUE plus $5,430,000 basic exclusion amount for 2015).

    (d) Date DSUE amount taken into consideration by donor who is a surviving spouse—(1) General rule. A portability election made by an executor of a decedent's estate (see § 20.2010-2(a) and (b) for applicable requirements) generally applies as of the date of such decedent's death. Thus, the decedent's DSUE amount is included in the applicable exclusion amount of the decedent's surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) and will be applicable to transfers made by the surviving spouse after the decedent's death (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). However, such decedent's DSUE amount will not be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse, even if the surviving spouse had made a taxable gift in reliance on the availability or computation of the decedent's DSUE amount:

    (i) If the executor of the decedent's estate supersedes the portability election by filing a subsequent estate tax return in accordance with § 20.2010-2(a)(4);

    (ii) To the extent that the DSUE amount subsequently is reduced by a valuation adjustment or the correction of an error in calculation; or

    (iii) To the extent that the DSUE amount claimed on the decedent's return cannot be determined.

    (2) Exception when surviving spouse not a U.S. citizen on date of deceased spouse's death. If a surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States after the death of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse, the DSUE amount of the surviving spouse's last deceased spouse becomes available to the surviving spouse on the date the surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). However, when the special rule regarding qualified domestic trusts in paragraph (d)(3) of this section applies, the earliest date on which a decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of such decedent's surviving spouse who becomes a U.S. citizen is as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

    (3) Special rule when property passes to surviving spouse in a qualified domestic trust—(i) In general. When property passes from a decedent for the benefit of the decedent's surviving spouse in one or more qualified domestic trusts (QDOT) as defined in section 2056A(a) and the decedent's executor elects portability, the DSUE amount available to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) is the DSUE amount of the decedent as redetermined in accordance with § 20.2010-2(c)(4) (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section). The earliest date on which such decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) is the date of the occurrence of the final QDOT distribution or final other event (generally, the termination of all QDOTs created by or funded with assets passing from the decedent or the death of the surviving spouse) on which tax under section 2056A is imposed. However, the decedent's DSUE amount as redetermined in accordance with § 20.2010-2(c)(4) may be applied to the surviving spouse's taxable gifts made in the year of the surviving spouse's death or, if the terminating event occurs prior to the surviving spouse's death, then in the year of that terminating event and/or in any subsequent year during the surviving spouse's life.

    (ii) Surviving spouse becomes a U.S. citizen. If a surviving spouse for whom property has passed from a decedent in one or more QDOTs becomes a citizen of the United States and the requirements in section 2056A(b)(12) and the corresponding regulations are satisfied, then the date on which such decedent's DSUE amount may be included in the applicable exclusion amount of the surviving spouse under section 2010(c)(2) (subject to the limitations in paragraph (a) of this section) is the date on which the surviving spouse becomes a citizen of the United States. See § 20.2010-2(c)(4) for the rules for computing the decedent's DSUE amount in the case of a qualified domestic trust.

    (iii) Example. The following example illustrates the application of this paragraph (d)(3):

    Example.

    (i) Facts. Husband (H), a U.S. citizen, dies in 2011 having made no taxable gifts during his lifetime. H's gross estate is $3,000,000. H's wife (W) is not a citizen of the United States and, under H's will, a pecuniary bequest of $2,000,000 passes to a QDOT for the benefit of W. H's executor timely files an estate tax return and makes the QDOT election for the property passing to the QDOT, and H's estate is allowed a marital deduction of $2,000,000 under section 2056(d) for the value of that property. H's taxable estate is $1,000,000. On H's estate tax return, H's executor computes H's preliminary DSUE amount to be $4,000,000. No taxable events within the meaning of section 2056A occur during W's lifetime with respect to the QDOT, and W resides in the United States at all times after H's death. W makes a taxable gift of $1,000,000 to X in 2012 and a taxable gift of $1,000,000 to Y in January 2015, in each case from W's own assets rather than from the QDOT. W dies in September 2015, not having married again, when the value of the assets of the QDOT is $2,200,000.

    (ii) Application. H's DSUE amount is redetermined to be $1,800,000 (the lesser of the $5,000,000 basic exclusion amount for 2011, or the excess of H's $5,000,000 applicable exclusion amount over $3,200,000 (the sum of the $1,000,000 taxable estate augmented by the $2,200,000 of QDOT assets)). On W's gift tax return filed for 2012, W cannot apply any DSUE amount to the gift made to X. However, because W's gift to Y was made in the year that W died, W's executor will apply $1,000,000 of H's redetermined DSUE amount to the gift on W's gift tax return filed for 2015. The remaining $800,000 of H's redetermined DSUE amount is included in W's applicable exclusion amount to be used in computing W's estate tax liability.

    (e) Authority to examine returns of deceased spouses. For the purpose of determining the DSUE amount to be included in the applicable exclusion amount of a surviving spouse, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may examine returns of each of the surviving spouse's deceased spouses whose DSUE amount is claimed to be included in the surviving spouse's applicable exclusion amount, regardless of whether the period of limitations on assessment has expired for any such return. The IRS's authority to examine returns of a deceased spouse applies with respect to each transfer by the surviving spouse to which a DSUE amount is or has been applied. Upon examination, the IRS may adjust or eliminate the DSUE amount reported on such a return of a deceased spouse; however, the IRS may assess additional tax on that return only if that tax is assessed within the period of limitations on assessment under section 6501 applicable to the tax shown on that return. See also section 7602 for the IRS's authority, when ascertaining the correctness of any return, to examine any returns that may be relevant or material to such inquiry.

    (f) Availability of DSUE amount for nonresidents who are not citizens. A nonresident surviving spouse who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of making a transfer subject to tax under chapter 12 of the Internal Revenue Code shall not take into account the DSUE amount of any deceased spouse except to the extent allowed under any applicable treaty obligation of the United States. See section 2102(b)(3).

    (g) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to gifts made on or after June 12, 2015. See 26 CFR 25.2505-2T, as contained in 26 CFR part 25, revised as of April 1, 2015, for the rules applicable to gifts made on or after January 1, 2011, and before June 12, 2015.

    § 25.2505-2T [Removed]
    Par. 18. Section 25.2505-2T is removed.
    PART 602—OMB CONTROL NUMBERS UNDER THE PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT Par. 19. The authority citation for part 602 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805.

    Par. 20. In § 602.101, paragraph (b) is amended by: 1. Removing the entry for 20.2010-2T. 2. Adding in numerical order an entry for 20.2010-2.

    The addition reads as follows:

    § 602.101 OMB Control numbers.

    (b) * * *

    CFR Part or section where identified and described Current
  • OMB
  • control No.
  • *    *    *    *    * 20.2010-2 1545-0015 *    *    *    *    *
    John M. Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: June 8, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2015-14663 Filed 6-12-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 54 [TD-9724] RIN 1545-BM53 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 29 CFR Part 2590 RIN 1210-AB69 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 147 [CMS-9938-F] RIN 0938-AS54 Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Uniform Glossary AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury; Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Final rules.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and the uniform glossary for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It finalizes changes to the regulations that implement the disclosure requirements under section 2715 of the Public Health Service Act to help plans and individuals better understand their health coverage, as well as to gain a better understanding of other coverage options for comparison.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: These final regulations are effective on August 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Schumacher or Amber Rivers, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor, at (202) 693-8335; Karen Levin, Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, at (202) 317-5500; Heather Raeburn, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, at (301) 492-4224.

    Customer Service Information: Individuals interested in obtaining information from the Department of Labor concerning employment-based health coverage laws may call the EBSA Toll-Free Hotline at 1-866-444-EBSA (3272) or visit the Department of Labor's Web site (http://www.dol.gov/ebsa). In addition, information from HHS on private health insurance for consumers can be found on CMS's Web site (www.cms.gov/cciio) and information on health reform can be found at http://www.healthcare.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, was enacted on March 23, 2010; the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, Public Law 111-152, was enacted on March 30, 2010. These statutes are collectively known as the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act reorganizes, amends, and adds to the provisions of part A of title XXVII of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) relating to group health plans and health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets. The term “group health plan” includes both insured and self-insured group health plans.1 The Affordable Care Act adds section 715(a)(1) to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and section 9815(a)(1) to the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) to incorporate the provisions of part A of title XXVII of the PHS Act into ERISA and the Code, and make them applicable to group health plans, and health insurance issuers providing health insurance coverage in connection with group health plans. The PHS Act sections incorporated by this reference are sections 2701 through 2728.

    1 The term “group health plan” is used in title XXVII of the PHS Act, part 7 of ERISA, and chapter 100 of the Code, and is distinct from the term “health plan,” as used in other provisions of title I of the Affordable Care Act. The term “health plan” does not include self-insured group health plans.

    Section 2715 of the PHS Act, as added by the Affordable Care Act, directs the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments) 2 to develop standards for use by a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage in compiling and providing a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) that “accurately describes the benefits and coverage under the applicable plan or coverage.” PHS Act section 2715 also calls for the “development of standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage.”

    2 Note, however, that in sections under headings listing only two of the three Departments, the term “Departments” generally refers only to the two Departments listed in the heading.

    In accordance with the statute, the Departments, in developing such standards, consulted with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (referred to in this document as the “NAIC”),3 and the NAIC provided its final recommendations to the Departments regarding the SBC on July 29, 2011. On August 22, 2011, the Departments published proposed regulations (2011 proposed regulations) and an accompanying document soliciting comments on the template, instructions, and related materials for implementing the disclosure provisions under PHS Act section 2715.4 After consideration of all the comments received on the 2011 proposed regulations and accompanying documents, the Departments published joint final regulations to implement the disclosure requirements under PHS Act section 2715 on February 14, 2012 (2012 final regulations) and an accompanying document with the template, instructions, and related materials.5

    3 The NAIC convened a working group (NAIC working group) comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders. This working group met frequently for over one year while developing its recommendations. In developing its recommendations, the NAIC considered the results of various consumer testing sponsored by both insurance industry and consumer associations. Throughout the process, NAIC working group draft documents and meeting notes were displayed on the NAIC's Web site for public review, and several interested parties filed formal comments. In addition to participation from the NAIC working group members, conference calls and in-person meetings were open to other interested parties and individuals and provided an opportunity for non-member feedback. See www.naic.org/committees_b_consumer_information.htm.

    4 See proposed regulations, published at 76 FR 52442 (August 22, 2011) and guidance document published at 76 FR 52475 (August 22, 2011).

    5 See final regulations, published at 77 FR 8668 (February 14, 2012) and guidance document published at 77 FR 8706 (February 14, 2012).

    After the 2012 final regulations were published, the Departments released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the SBC provisions as part of six issuances. The Departments released FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation Parts VII, VIII, IX, X, XIV, and XIX to answer outstanding questions, including questions related to the SBC.6 These FAQs addressed questions related to compliance with the requirements of the 2012 final regulations, implemented additional safe harbors,7 and released updated SBC materials.

    6 See Frequently Asked Questions about Affordable Care Act Implementation Part VII (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca7.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs7.html); Part VIII (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca8.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs8.html); Part IX (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca9.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs9.html); Part X (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca10.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs10.html); Part XIV (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html); and Part XIX (available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca19.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs19.html).

    7 As discussed more fully herein, some of the enforcement safe harbors and transitions are being made permanent (several with modifications) by these final regulations.

    On December 30, 2014, the Departments issued proposed regulations (December 2014 proposed regulations), as well as a new proposed SBC template, instructions, an updated uniform glossary, and other materials to incorporate some of the feedback the Departments have received and to make some improvements to the template.8 The draft updated template, instructions, and supplementary materials are available at http://cciio.cms.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/regulations/summaryofbenefits.html.

    8 See proposed regulations published at 79 FR 78577 (December 30, 2014).

    On March 30, 2015, the Departments released an FAQ stating that the Departments intend to finalize changes to the regulations in the near future but intend to utilize consumer testing and offer an opportunity for the public, including the NAIC, to provide further input before finalizing revisions to the SBC template and associated documents.9 The Departments anticipate the new template and associated documents will be finalized by January 2016 and will apply to coverage that would renew or begin on the first day of the first plan year (or, in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after January 1, 2017 (including open season periods that occur in the Fall of 2016 for coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2017).

    9 See Frequently Asked Questions about Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XXIV, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca24.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs24.html.

    After consideration of the comments and feedback received from stakeholders in response to the December 2014 proposed regulations, the Departments are publishing these final regulations. In response to the 2014 proposed regulations, the Departments received comments on the regulations as well as the template and associated documents. The Departments received many comments on the proposed changes to the template and associated documents but received very few comments relating to the regulations. As stated in the FAQ issued on March 30, 2015, the Departments anticipate the new template and associated documents will be finalized by January 2016, and, therefore, only the comments on the regulations will be addressed in this final rule. Comments relating to the template and associated documents will be addressed when those documents are finalized.

    II. Overview of the Final Regulations A. Requirement To Provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage 1. Provision of the SBC by an Issuer to a Plan

    Under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of the 2012 final regulations, a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage must provide an SBC to a group health plan (or its sponsor) upon an application by the plan for health coverage. The issuer must provide the SBC as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application. The Departments proposed to add language to clarify that, under the 2012 final regulations, a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage (or plan, if applicable, under paragraph (a)(1)(ii), as discussed below) is not required to automatically provide the SBC again if the issuer already provided the SBC before application to any entity or individual, provided there is no change in the information required to be in the SBC.

    The comments the Departments received on this clarification generally supported the proposed language and, accordingly, these final regulations finalize the language of the proposed regulations without change. Therefore, these final regulations include language clarifying that, if the issuer provides the SBC upon request before application for coverage, the requirement to provide an SBC upon application is deemed satisfied, and the issuer is not required to automatically provide another SBC upon application to the same entity or individual, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information required to be included in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application (that is, as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application).

    Under paragraph (a)(i)(B) of the 2012 final regulations, if there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the plan (or its sponsor) no later than the first day of coverage. If the information is unchanged, the issuer does not need to provide the SBC again in connection with coverage for that plan year, except upon request. The December 2014 proposed regulations stated that if the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, an updated SBC is not required to be provided to the plan or its sponsor (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage. The updated SBC should reflect the final coverage terms under the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance that was purchased.

    Some commenters supported the clarification and stated that if there is a change in the information required, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application. Other commenters stated that enrollees in both the group and individual markets need to know of pending plan changes during open and special enrollment periods so that they can make informed decisions about their plan options.

    These final regulations finalize the language of the proposed regulations without change. Therefore, if the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, an updated SBC is not required to be provided to the plan or its sponsor (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage. The updated SBC is required to reflect the final coverage terms under the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance that was purchased.

    2. Provision of the SBC by a Plan or Issuer to Participants and Beneficiaries

    Under paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of 2012 final regulations, a group health plan (including the plan administrator), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must provide an SBC to a participant or beneficiary 10 with respect to each benefit package offered by the plan or issuer for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible.11 The December 2014 proposed regulations clarified that if the plan or issuer provides the SBC prior to application for coverage, the plan or issuer is not required to automatically provide another SBC upon application, if there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. If there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC by the time the application is filed, the plan or issuer must update and provide a current SBC as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.

    10 ERISA section 3(7) defines a participant as: any employee or former employee of an employer, or any member or former member of an employee organization, who is or may become eligible to receive a benefit of any type from an employee benefit plan which covers employees of such employers or members of such organization, or whose beneficiaries may be eligible to receive any such benefit. ERISA section 3(8) defines a beneficiary as: a person designated by a participant, or by the terms of an employee benefit plan, who is or may become entitled to a benefit thereunder.

    11 With respect to insured group health plan coverage, PHS Act section 2715 generally places the obligation to provide an SBC on both the group health plan and health insurance issuer. As discussed below, under section III.A.1.d., “Special Rules to Prevent Unnecessary Duplication with Respect to Group Health Coverage”, if either the issuer or the plan provides the SBC, both will have satisfied their obligations. As they do with other notices required of both plans and issuers under part 7 of ERISA, title XXVII of the PHS Act, and Chapter 100 of the Code, the Departments expect plans and issuers to make contractual arrangements for sending SBCs. Accordingly, the remainder of this preamble generally refers to requirements for plans or issuers.

    The comments the Departments received on this proposal generally supported adopting the language of the proposed regulations, which incorporates this clarification of the 2012 final regulations. Therefore, these final regulations provide that if an SBC was provided upon request before application, the requirement to provide the SBC upon application is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the updated information must be provided as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.

    Under the 2012 final regulations, if there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the plan or issuer must update and provide a current SBC to a participant or beneficiary no later than the first day of coverage. The December 2014 proposed regulations addressed how to satisfy the requirement to provide an SBC when the terms of coverage are not finalized. Those proposed regulations proposed that if the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, the plan or issuer is not required to provide an updated SBC (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage. The updated SBC would be required to reflect the final coverage terms under the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance that was purchased. The Departments did not receive comments relating to this provision, and, therefore, these final regulations finalize the language of the proposed regulations without change.

    Under the 2012 final regulations, the plan or issuer must also provide the SBC to individuals enrolling through a special enrollment period, also called special enrollees.12 Special enrollees must be provided with an SBC no later than when a summary plan description is required to be provided under the timeframe set forth in ERISA section 104(b)(1)(A) and its implementing regulations, which is 90 days from enrollment.

    12 See special enrollment regulations published at 26 CFR 54.9801-6, 29 CFR 2590.701-6, and 45 CFR 146.117.

    The December 2014 proposed regulations followed the approach of the 2012 final rules with respect to this requirement and did not include a proposed change. The proposed regulations provided that, to the extent individuals who are eligible for special enrollment would like to receive SBCs earlier than this timeframe, they may request an SBC with respect to any particular plan, policy, or benefit package and the SBC is required to be provided as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request. The Departments received several comments relating to the timeframe. While some commenters supported the existing requirement, other commenters stated that the Departments should require plans and issuers to provide the SBC to special enrollees upon enrollment or by the first day of coverage. Some commenters stated that rules should require plans and issuers to treat special enrollees the same as applicants for coverage, which would require provision of the SBC as soon as practicable following receipt of an application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.

    The Departments recognize the importance of special enrollees having information about a plan, policy, or benefit package for which they are eligible; however, special enrollees have the opportunity to obtain this information by requesting the SBC. Accordingly, these regulations retain the provision of the proposed regulations regarding special enrollees without change. To the extent that individuals who are eligible for special enrollment and are contemplating their coverage options would like to receive SBCs earlier, they may always request an SBC with respect to any particular plan, policy, or benefit package, and the SBC is required to be provided as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request. Therefore, these final regulations continue to provide that the plan or issuer must provide the SBC to individuals enrolling through a special enrollment period, also called special enrollees, no later than when a summary plan description is required to be provided under the timeframe set forth in ERISA section 104(b)(1)(A) and its implementing regulations, which is 90 days from enrollment.

    B. Special Rules To Prevent Unnecessary Duplication With Respect to Group Health Coverage

    Paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of the 2012 final regulations sets forth three special rules to streamline provision of the SBC and avoid unnecessary duplication with respect to group health coverage. In addition to retaining these three existing special rules, the Departments proposed adding two additional provisions, and codifying an enforcement safe harbor set forth in a previous FAQ,13 to ensure participants and beneficiaries receive information while preventing unnecessary duplication. The first proposed provision sought to address circumstances where an entity required to provide an SBC with respect to an individual has entered into a binding contract with another party to provide the SBC to the individual. In such a case, the proposed regulations stated that the entity would be considered to satisfy the requirement to provide the SBC with respect to the individual if specified conditions are met:

    13 See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part IX, question 10, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca9.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs9.html.

    (1) The entity monitors performance under the contract; 14

    14 The selection and monitoring of service providers for a group health plan, including parties assuming responsibility to complete, provide information for, or deliver SBCs, is a fiduciary act subject to prudence and loyalty duties and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. No single fiduciary procedure will be appropriate in all cases; the procedure for selecting and monitoring service providers may vary in accordance with the nature of the plan and other facts and circumstances relevant to the choice of the service provider. More general information on hiring and monitoring service providers is contained in the Department of Labor publication “Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Under a Group Health Plan,” which is available at: www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/ghpfiduciaryresponsibilities.html.

    (2) If the entity has knowledge that the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity has all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity corrects the noncompliance as soon as practicable; and

    (3) If the entity has knowledge the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity does not have all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity communicates with participants and beneficiaries who are affected by the noncompliance regarding the noncompliance, and begins taking significant steps as soon as practicable to avoid future violations.

    In response to this proposal, some commenters expressed concern that the proposed approach would permit circumstances where a group health plan that contracts with a third party administrator is deemed compliant with the requirements, although certain participants and beneficiaries under the plan have not received an SBC. On the other hand, the Departments received comments recommending the final regulations eliminate the requirement to monitor the performance of contractors, arguing that it is unnecessary and unduly burdensome.

    In light of all the comments received, the Departments finalize the proposed approach without change. The approach set forth by the Departments works to achieve the goals of preventing unnecessary duplication for plans and issuers, while incorporating safeguards to ensure that participants and beneficiaries receive the requisite information. The Departments believe that the requirement to monitor the performance under the contract is necessary to ensure that participants and beneficiaries receive the information to which they are entitled. The Departments may provide additional guidance if the Departments become aware of situations where participants and beneficiaries are not being provided SBCs in accordance with these final regulations.

    The second provision proposed by the Departments addressed unnecessary duplication with respect to a group health plan that uses two or more insurance products provided by separate issuers to insure benefits under the plan. The Departments recognize that a plan sponsor may purchase an insurance product for certain coverage from a particular issuer and purchase a separate insurance product or self-insure with respect to other coverage (such as outpatient prescription drug coverage). In these circumstances, the first issuer may or may not know of the existence of other coverage, or whether the plan sponsor has arranged the two benefit packages as a single plan or two separate plans.

    To address these arrangements, the December 2014 proposed regulations proposed that, with respect to a group health plan that uses two or more insurance products provided by separate issuers, the group health plan administrator is responsible for providing complete SBCs with respect to the plan. The group health plan administrator may contract with one of its issuers (or other service providers) to perform that function. Absent a contract to perform the function, an issuer has no obligation to provide coverage information for benefits that it does not insure. The comments the Departments received on this proposed provision generally supported the approach, and therefore these regulations also finalize this rule without change.

    To address concerns regarding unnecessary duplication in situations where plans may have benefits provided by more than one issuer, the Departments set forth an enforcement safe harbor in an FAQ on May 11, 2012,15 which permitted the provision of multiple partial SBCs if certain conditions were satisfied. The Departments extended this enforcement safe harbor for one year on April 23, 2013,16 and indefinitely on May 2, 2014.17 The Departments requested comment on whether to codify this policy in the final regulations.

    15 Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part IX, question 10, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca9.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs9.html.

    16 Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, question 5, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html.

    17 Affordable Care Act FAQ Part XIX, question 8, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca19.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs19.html.

    Some commenters supported the policy in the enforcement safe harbor and either requested the Departments extend the enforcement safe harbor or codify it in regulations. Other commenters requested that the Departments require plan administrators to synthesize the information into a single SBC in order to meet the SBC content requirements when two or more insurance products are provided by separate issuers with respect to a single group health plan.

    These final regulations codify this enforcement safe harbor, which permits a group health plan administrator to synthesize the information into a single SBC or provide multiple partial SBCs that, together, provide all the relevant information to meet the SBC content requirements.

    C. Provision of the SBC by an Issuer Offering Individual Market Coverage

    Paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of the HHS 2012 final regulations sets forth standards applicable to individual health insurance coverage, under which the provision of the SBC by an issuer offering individual market coverage largely parallels the group market requirements described above, with only those changes necessary to reflect the differences between the two markets. The rules provide that a health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must provide an SBC to an individual or dependent upon receiving an application for any health insurance policy as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.18 If there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to an individual or dependent no later than the first day of coverage.

    18 We clarify for issuers participating in an Exchange for the individual market, an issuer's obligation to provide the SBC upon “application” is triggered by the issuer's receipt of notice from the Exchange of the individual's plan selection, rather than the Exchange's receipt of the individual's eligibility application.

    The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed to clarify when the issuer must provide the SBC again if the issuer already provided the SBC prior to application. HHS proposed that if the issuer provides the SBC prior to application for coverage, the issuer is not required to automatically provide another SBC upon application, if there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. If there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC that was provided prior to application for coverage by the time the application is filed, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the same individual or dependent as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.

    The comments received on this proposal generally supported adopting the language of the proposed regulation. Therefore, these final regulations provide that if an SBC was provided upon request before application, the requirement to provide the SBC upon application is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information that is required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application.

    HHS also proposed to address situations where an issuer offering individual market insurance coverage, consistent with applicable Federal and State law, automatically reenrolls an individual and any dependents into a different plan or product than the plan in which these individuals were previously enrolled. If the issuer automatically re-enrolls an individual covered under a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance (including every dependent) into a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance under a different plan or product, HHS proposed that the issuer would be required to provide an SBC with respect to the coverage in which the individual (including every dependent) will be enrolled, consistent with the timing requirements that apply when the policy is renewed or reissued. The comments received regarding this proposal supported this proposed approach. Therefore, these final regulations finalize the proposed approach without change.

    D. Special Rules To Prevent Unnecessary Duplication With Respect to Individual Health Insurance Coverage

    Student health insurance coverage is a type of individual health insurance coverage provided pursuant to a written agreement between an institution of higher education and a health insurance issuer to students enrolled in that institution of higher education, and their dependents, that meet certain specified conditions.19 The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed to extend an anti-duplication rule similar to that provided with respect to group health coverage to student health insurance coverage. HHS proposed that the requirement to provide an SBC with respect to an individual would be considered satisfied for an entity (such as an institution of higher education) if another party (such as a health insurance issuer) provides a timely and complete SBC to the individual. HHS solicited comments on whether or not a requirement to monitor the provisioning of the SBC in this circumstance should be added.

    19 See 45 CFR 147.145, published at 77 FR 16453 (March 21, 2012).

    The comments received generally supported this proposal. Most of the commenters supported requiring the entity that is contracting the provisioning of the SBC to a different entity to monitor the contract to ensure individuals receive an SBC. However, a few commenters stated that such a requirement would be unnecessary and unduly burdensome.

    Considering the comments received, these final regulations adopt an anti-duplication provision with respect to providing SBCs for student health insurance coverage, with the addition of a duty to monitor that parallels the duty to monitor that is being finalized with respect to the anti-duplication rule for group health plans. HHS believes that the requirement to monitor the performance under the contract is necessary to ensure that individuals receive the information to which they are entitled. HHS may provide additional guidance if the Departments become aware of situations where individuals are not being provided SBCs in accordance with these final regulations.

    E. Content

    PHS Act section 2715(b)(3) generally provides that the SBC must include nine statutory content elements. The 2012 final regulations added three content elements: (1) for plans and issuers that maintain one or more networks of providers, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining a list of the network providers; (2) for plans and issuers that use a formulary in providing prescription drug coverage, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information on prescription drug coverage under the plan or coverage; and (3) an Internet address for obtaining the uniform glossary, as well as a contact phone number to obtain a paper copy of the uniform glossary, and a disclosure that paper copies of the uniform glossary are available.

    1. Minimum Essential Coverage and Minimum Value Statement

    One of the statutory content elements is a statement of whether the plan or coverage provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) as defined under section 5000A(f) of the Code, and whether the plan's or coverage's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage is not less than 60% of those costs. In April 2013, the Departments issued an updated SBC template (and sample completed SBC) with the addition of statements regarding whether the plan or coverage provides MEC (as defined under section 5000A(f) of the Code) and whether the plan or coverage meets the minimum value (MV) requirements.20 In Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, issued contemporaneously with the updated SBC template in April 2013, the Departments stated that this language is required to be included in SBCs provided with respect to coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2014.21

    20See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, question 1, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html.

    21 The guidance with respect to statements regarding MEC and MV was originally issued for SBCs provided with respect to coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015 (referred to as the “second year of applicability”). See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, question 1, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html. This guidance was extended to be applicable until further guidance was issued. See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIX, question 7, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca19.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs19.html

    The Departments also stated in Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV that if a plan or issuer was unable to modify the SBC template for these disclosures, the Departments would not take any enforcement action against a plan or issuer for using the original template authorized at the time the 2012 final regulations were issued, provided that the SBC was furnished with a cover letter or similar disclosure stating whether the plan or coverage does or does not provide MEC and whether the plan's or coverage's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage does or does not meet the MV standard under the Affordable Care Act.22 As stated in the FAQ issued on March 30, 2015, the Departments anticipate finalizing the new template and associated documents by January 2016. Therefore, until the new template and associated documents are finalized and applicable, plans and issuers may continue to rely on the flexibility provided in Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV 23 and the Departments will not take enforcement action against a plan or issuer that provides an SBC with a cover letter or similar disclosure with the required MEC and MV statements.24

    22See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, question 2, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html.

    23 Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XIV, question 2, available at www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca14.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs14.html.

    24 HHS also notes that until the new template and associated documents are finalized and applicable, it will not take enforcement action against an individual market issuer for omitting such a statement for minimum value, which is not relevant with respect to individual market coverage.

    2. QHP and Abortion Services

    Under section 1303(b)(3)(A) of the Affordable Care Act and implementing regulations at 45 CFR 156.280(f), a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) issuer that elects to offer a QHP that provides coverage of abortion services for which federal funding is prohibited (non-excepted abortion services) must provide a notice to enrollees, as part of the SBC provided at the time of enrollment, of coverage of such services.

    The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed to require issuers of QHPs sold through an individual market Exchange to disclose on the SBC these QHPs whether abortion services are covered or excluded, and whether coverage is limited to services for which federal funding is allowed (excepted abortion services). Several commenters supported this proposal. Some commenters recommended that the requirement to disclose coverage or exclusion of abortion services be expanded to all plans and issuers offering coverage in all markets, not only issuers of QHPs in the individual market. Finally, some commenters recommended limiting the required disclosure to only a QHP issuer that offers a QHP providing coverage of non-excepted abortion services.

    After consideration of all the comments regarding this proposal, these final regulations adopt the proposed approach without change. These final regulations require that QHP issuers must disclose on the SBC for QHPs sold through an individual market Exchange whether abortion services are covered or excluded, and whether coverage is limited to excepted abortion services. HHS feels that this level of transparency is important to facilitate comparisons across individual market QHPs, and to avoid confusion regarding which abortion services are or are not covered.

    The December 2014 proposed regulations were published contemporaneously with proposed updates to the SBC template, instructions, and associated documents. The proposed updates to the SBC template instructions and associated documents included guidance for QHP issuers regarding the wording and placement of the abortion disclosure requirement on the SBC. We received numerous comments regarding the proposed language for the disclosure, as well as the placement of the disclosure on the SBC template. As previously stated, the Departments anticipate finalizing the new template and associated documents, separately from this final rule, by January 2016. HHS will consider and address the comments regarding the wording and placement of the disclosure in finalizing the new template and associated documents. HHS acknowledges that QHP issuers will not have final guidance regarding the specific wording and placement of this disclosure until the template, instructions, and associated documents are finalized. Therefore, until the new template and associated documents are finalized and applicable, individual market QHP issuers may adopt any reasonable wording and placement of the disclosure on the SBC. Individual market QHP issuers may also provide the disclosure in a cover letter or other similar disclosure provided with the SBC. Consistent with the effective dates described in section K of this final rule, this requirement is applicable for individual market QHP issuers for SBCs issued in connection with coverage that begins on or after January 1, 2016.

    For Multi-State Plan issuers, the Office of Personnel Management will issue guidance about the wording and placement of the abortion disclosure requirement on the SBC.

    3. Contact Information for Questions

    The statute provides that the SBC must include “a contact number for the consumer to call with additional questions and an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained.” The 2012 final regulations state that the SBC must include “contact information for questions and obtaining a copy of the plan document or the insurance policy, certificate, or contract of insurance (such as a telephone number for customer service and an Internet address for obtaining a copy of the plan document or the insurance policy, certificate, or contract of insurance).” These final regulations clarify that all plans and issuers must include on the SBC contact information for questions.

    4. Internet Address To Obtain the Actual Individual Underlying Policy or Group Certificate

    Questions have arisen as to whether PHS Act section 2715(b)(3)(i) (which requires that an SBC include “. . . an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained”) and associated regulations require that all plans and issuers must post underlying plan documents automatically on an Internet Web site. Some commenters stated that plans and issuers should be required to post actual policy and underlying plan documents as well as direct links to the plan's prescription drug formulary. Other commenters stated that the Departments should permit plan sponsors to decide whether the underlying plan documents are posted online. Others stated that mandating self-insured group health plans to post underlying plan information online is redundant and burdensome.

    The statutory language regarding this requirement refers specifically to an “individual coverage policy” and “group certificate of coverage.” This statutory provision does not reference group health plan coverage that provides benefits on a self-insured basis. While the Departments recognize that such information may be useful to consumers, based on the statutory language, the Departments may only require issuers to post the underlying individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage to an Internet address. Accordingly, these final regulations provide that issuers must also include an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained. The Departments note that these final regulations require these documents to be easily available to individuals, plan sponsors, and participants and beneficiaries shopping for coverage prior to submitting an application for coverage. For the group market only, because the actual “certificate of coverage” is not available until after the plan sponsor has negotiated the terms of coverage with the issuer, an issuer is permitted to satisfy this requirement with respect to plan sponsors that are shopping for coverage by posting a sample group certificate of coverage for each applicable product. After the actual certificate of coverage is executed, it must be easily available to plan sponsors and participants and beneficiaries via an Internet web address.

    The Departments note that nothing in this section prohibits issuers and group health plan sponsors from making additional underlying group health plan or policy documents more readily available to participants and beneficiaries, including by posting them on the internet. HHS encourages issuers to make all relevant policy documents easily accessible to individuals shopping for, and enrolled in, coverage to facilitate comparison of policy options and understanding of benefits available under a particular plan or policy.

    The Departments also note that, separate from the SBC requirement, provisions of other applicable laws require disclosure of plan documents and other instruments governing the plan. For example, ERISA section 104 and the Department of Labor's implementing regulations 25 provide that, for plans subject to ERISA, the plan documents and other instruments under which the plan is established or operated must generally be furnished by the plan administrator to plan participants 26 upon request. In addition, the Department of Labor's claims procedure regulations (applicable to ERISA plans), as well as the Departments' claims and appeals regulations under the Affordable Care Act (applicable to all non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets),27 set forth rules regarding claims and appeals, including the right of claimants (or their authorized representatives) upon appeal of an adverse benefit determination (or a final internal adverse benefit determination) to be provided by the plan or issuer, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to the claimant's claim for benefits. Plans and issuers must continue to comply with these provisions and any other applicable laws.

    25 29 CFR 2520.104b-1.

    26 ERISA section 3(7) defines a “participant” to include any employee or former employee who is or may become eligible to receive a benefit of any type from an employee benefit plan or whose beneficiaries may be eligible to receive any such benefit. Accordingly, employees who are not enrolled but are, for example, in a waiting period for coverage, or who are otherwise shopping amongst benefit package options at open season, generally are considered plan participants for this purpose.

    27 29 CFR 2560.503-1. See also 29 CFR 2590.715-2719(b)(2)(i) and 45 CFR 147.136(b)(2)(i), requiring nongrandfathered plans and issuers to incorporate the internal claims and appeals processes set forth in 29 CFR 2560.503-1.

    F. Appearance

    PHS Act section 2715 sets forth standards related to the appearance and language of the SBC. Specifically, the SBC is to be presented in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner utilizing terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee, in a uniform format that does not exceed four double-sided pages in length, and does not include print smaller than 12-point font. Plans and issuers have informed the Departments that they are concerned about including all of the required information in the SBC while also satisfying the limitation on the length of the document of four double-sided pages. Comments were invited on potential ways to reconcile the statutory page limit with the statutory content, appearance, and format requirements, particularly the need for the summary to present information in an understandable, accurate, and meaningful way that facilitates comparisons of health options, including those that have disparate and comparatively complex features. Specifically, the Departments invited comments on the sorts of plans that have difficulty meeting the statutory limit, and what other sorts of accommodations may be appropriate for those plans.

    Some commenters expressed concern regarding the difficulty of complying with the statutory page limit. One commenter stated that it is difficult to provide customers with clear and accurate information while describing the benefits provided under certain complex plan designs. As discussed above, the statute requires that the SBC not exceed four pages, and these final regulations retain the interpretation set forth in the 2012 final regulations that the SBC can be four double-sided pages. The Departments will address specific issues related to completing the four-page template, as well as the issues plans and issuers encounter meeting these requirements with the finalization of the new template and associated documents, separate from this final rule.

    G. Form 1. Group Health Plan Coverage

    To facilitate faster and less burdensome disclosure of the SBC and to be consistent with PHS Act section 2715(d)(2), which permits disclosure in either paper or electronic form, the 2012 final regulations set forth rules to permit greater use of electronic transmittal of the SBC. For SBCs provided electronically by a plan or issuer to participants and beneficiaries, the 2012 final regulations make a distinction between a participant or beneficiary who is already covered under the group health plan and a participant or beneficiary who is eligible for coverage but not enrolled in a group health plan. For participants and beneficiaries who are already covered under the group health plan, the 2012 final regulations permit provision of the SBC electronically, if the requirements of the Department of Labor's regulations at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1 are met. Paragraph (c) of those regulations includes an electronic disclosure safe harbor.28 For participants and beneficiaries who are eligible for but not enrolled in coverage, the 2012 final regulations permit the SBC to be provided electronically, if the format is readily accessible 29 and a paper copy is provided free of charge upon request. Additionally, to reduce paper copies that may be unnecessary, if the electronic form is an Internet posting, the plan or issuer must timely advise the individual in paper form (such as a postcard) or email that the documents are available on the Internet, provide the Internet address, and notify the individual that the documents are available in paper form upon request. The Departments note that the rules for participants and beneficiaries who are eligible for but not enrolled in coverage are substantially similar to the requirements for an issuer providing an electronic SBC to a group health plan (or its sponsor) under paragraph (a)(4)(i) of the regulations. Finally, plans, and participants and beneficiaries (both those covered and those eligible but not enrolled), have the right to receive an SBC in paper form, free of charge, upon request.

    28 On April 7, 2011, the Department of Labor published a Request for Information regarding electronic disclosure at 76 FR 19285. In it, the Department of Labor stated that it is reviewing the use of electronic media by employee benefit plans to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries covered by employee benefit plans subject to ERISA. Because these SBC regulations adopt the ERISA electronic disclosure rules by cross-reference, any changes that may be made to 29 CFR 2520.104b-1 in the future would also apply to the SBC.

    29 The Departments note that our use of the phrase “readily accessible” in this context is not intended to connote terms of art, such as “reasonable accommodation,” “readily achievable,” and “accessible,” as used in connection with the determination of legal requirements with regard to disability.

    In Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part IX, question 1, the Departments adopted an additional safe harbor related to electronic delivery of SBCs.30 In the December 2014 proposed regulations, the Departments proposed to codify this safe harbor through rulemaking. Commenters generally supported permitting electronic delivery of SBCs. Some commenters requested the Departments adopt the safe harbor outlined in the FAQ. Other commenters recommended adopting the safe harbor standard for all individuals receiving the SBC without making any distinction as to whether the individual is already enrolled in the plan.

    30 See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part IX, question 4, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca9.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs9.html.

    These final regulations adopt the safe harbor for electronic delivery set forth in the FAQ without expanding the application of the safe harbor to all individuals entitled to receive the SBC. The Departments note that these rules provide a mechanism by which all SBCs may be provided electronically. The Departments believe that the approach set forth in the FAQ achieves an appropriate balance between ensuring participants and beneficiaries receive the necessary information, while allowing plans and issuers to provide such information electronically. Thus, SBCs may be provided electronically to participants and beneficiaries in connection with their online enrollment or online renewal of coverage under the plan. SBCs also may be provided electronically to participants and beneficiaries who request an SBC online. In either case, the individual must have the option to receive a paper copy upon request.

    2. Individual Health Insurance Coverage and Self-insured Non-Federal Governmental Plans

    The HHS 2012 final regulations established a provision under paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(C) that deems health insurance issuers in the individual market to be in compliance with the requirement to provide the SBC to an individual requesting summary information about a health insurance product prior to submitting an application for coverage if the issuer provides the content required under paragraph (a)(2) of the regulations to the federal health reform Web portal described in 45 CFR 159.120. Issuers must submit all of the content required under paragraph (a)(2), as specified in guidance by the Secretary, to be deemed compliant with the requirement to provide an SBC to an individual requesting summary information prior to submitting an application for coverage. HHS intends to continue to facilitate the operation of this deemed compliance option for individual market issuers. An issuer must provide all SBCs other than the “shopper” SBC contemplated in the deemed compliance provision as required under the 2012 final regulations (and any future final regulations), including providing the SBC at the time of application and renewal.

    The Departments note that, consistent with the 2012 final regulations, an issuer in the individual market must provide the SBC in a manner that can reasonably be expected to provide actual notice regardless of the format. An issuer in the individual market satisfies the form requirements set forth in the 2012 final regulations if it does at least one of the following: (1) Hand-delivers a paper copy of the SBC to the individual or dependent; (2) mails a paper copy of the SBC to the mailing address provided to the issuer by the individual or dependent; (3) provides the SBC by email after obtaining the individual's or dependent's agreement to receive the SBC or other electronic disclosures by email; (4) posts the SBC on the Internet and advises the individual or dependent in paper or electronic form, in a manner compliant with 45 CFR 147.200(a)(4)(iii)(A)(1) through (3), that the SBC is available on the Internet and includes the applicable Internet address; or (5) provides the SBC by any other method that can reasonably be expected to provide actual notice.

    The 2012 final regulations also provide that the obligation to provide an SBC cannot be satisfied electronically in the individual market unless: The format is readily accessible; the SBC is displayed in a location that is prominent and readily accessible; the SBC is provided in an electronic form that can be electronically retained and printed; the SBC is consistent with the appearance, content, and language requirements; and the issuer notifies the individual that a paper SBC is available upon request without charge.31

    31 We clarify that an issuer's posting of the SBC on its Web site is not sufficient by itself; paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of the 2012 final regulations requires the SBC to be provided in a manner that can reasonably be expected to provide actual notice in paper or electronic form.

    The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed to clarify the form and manner for SBCs provided by a self-insured non-Federal governmental plan. Under the proposal, such SBCs could be provided in paper form. Alternatively, such SBCs could be provided electronically if the plan conforms to either the substance of the provisions applicable to ERISA plans (in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of the regulations) or to individual health insurance coverage (in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of the regulations).

    The Departments did not receive any comments regarding this proposal. Therefore, the Departments are finalizing the proposal without change, to allow for self-insured non-Federal governmental plans to provide an SBC in either paper form, or electronically if the plan conforms to either the substance of the provisions applicable to ERISA plans (in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of the regulations) or to individual health insurance coverage (in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of the regulations).

    H. Language

    PHS Act section 2715(b)(2) provides that standards shall ensure that the SBC “is presented in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.” The 2012 final regulations provide that a plan or issuer for this purpose is considered to provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner if the thresholds and standards of 45 CFR 147.136(e), implementing standards for the form and manner of notices related to internal claims appeals and external review, are met as applied to the SBC.32

    32See 75 FR 43330 (July 23, 2010), as amended by 76 FR 37208 (June 24, 2011). Guidance on the HHS Web site contains a list of the counties that meet this threshold. This information is available at http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/Downloads/2009-13-CLAS-County-Data_12-05-14_clean_508.pdf.

    To help plans and issuers meet the language requirements of paragraph (a)(5) of the 2012 final regulations, as requested by commenters, HHS provided written translations of the SBC template, sample language, and the uniform glossary in Chinese, Navajo, Spanish, and Tagalog (the four languages with populations meeting the thresholds outlined in 45 CFR 147.136(e)).33 HHS may also make these materials available in other languages to facilitate voluntary distribution of SBCs to other individuals with limited English proficiency. The Departments requested comment on this standard, and on other potential standards that could facilitate consistency across the Departments' programs.

    33 Translations are available at http://cciio.cms.gov/programs/consumer/summaryandglossary/index.html.

    Some commenters requested an additional standard that would require the translation of the SBC into any language spoken by 500 individuals or 5 percent of individuals in the plan's service area or an employer's workforce, whichever is less, and to include taglines in at least 15 languages on all SBCs that indicate the availability of translated SBCs and oral language services. Some commenters were concerned that the 10 percent standard for language and translation services is insufficient to present the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner and cited different Federal standards for other disclosures. Other commenters supported the existing requirement from the 2012 final regulations or stated that the prevalence of speakers of a language in a particular state is the best criteria for identifying which language services should be provided.

    The Departments believe that it is important to provide SBCs in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner to ensure that individuals get the important information needed to properly evaluate coverage options. The standard established under the 2012 final regulations addresses the need to provide language services to ensure that consumers receive SBCs in an understandable format while balancing that need with the goal of keeping administrative costs down. Additionally, a rule based on a particular number or percentage of a plan's population, rather than a county's population, may increase administrative costs and make it difficult for plans and issuers to provide SBCs that comply with the page limitations. Therefore, these final rules continue to provide that a plan or issuer is considered to provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner if the thresholds and standards of 45 CFR 147.136(e), implementing standards for the form and manner of notices related to internal claims appeals and external review, are met as applied to the SBC.34 35

    34 See 75 FR 43330 (July 23, 2010), as amended by 76 FR 37208 (June 24, 2011).

    35 Nothing in these regulations should be construed as limiting an individual's rights under other Federal authorities applicable to recipients of Federal financial assistance, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes effective communication requirements for individuals with disabilities, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which includes language assistance requirements for individuals with limited English proficiency.

    I. Process for Imposition of Fine in the Case of Willful Violation

    In general, PHS Act section 2715(f) provides that a group health plan (including its administrator), and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, that willfully fails to provide the information required under this section are subject to a fine. In the December 2014 proposed regulations, the Department of Labor proposed that it will use the same process and procedures for assessment of the civil fine as used for failure to file an annual report under 29 CFR 2560.502c-2 and 29 CFR part 2570, subpart C. In accordance with ERISA section 502(b)(3), 29 U.S.C. 1132(b)(3), the Secretary of Labor is not authorized to assess this fine against a health insurance issuer. Moreover, the IRS proposed to clarify that the IRS will enforce this section using a process and procedure consistent with section 4980D of the Code. The Departments did not receive comments on this proposal to utilize existing processes and procedures under ERISA and the Code and therefore finalize these proposals without change.

    J. Applicability

    In August 2012, the Departments issued FAQs 36 that provided a temporary nonenforcement policy with respect to group health plans providing Medicare Advantage benefits, which are Medicare benefits financed by the Medicare Trust Funds, for which the benefits are set by Congress and regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed to add language to codify this temporary relief and exempt from the SBC requirements a group health plan benefit package that provides Medicare Advantage benefits. Medicare Advantage benefits are not health insurance coverage, and Medicare Advantage organizations are not required to provide an SBC with respect to such benefits. Additionally, there are separately required disclosures required to be provided by Medicare Advantage organizations to ensure that enrollees in these plans receive the necessary information about their coverage and benefits.

    36 See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part X, question 1, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca10.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs10.html.

    The Departments did not receive comments opposing the proposal to exempt group health plans providing Medicare Advantage benefits from the SBC requirements. Therefore, these final regulations finalize without change the proposal to codify the relief and exempt from the SBC requirements a group health plan benefit package that provides Medicare Advantage benefits.

    In May 2012, the Departments issued FAQs addressing insurance products that are no longer being offered for purchase (“closed blocks of business”). The Departments had provided temporary enforcement relief through an FAQ provided that certain conditions were met: (1) The insurance product is no longer being actively marketed; (2) the health insurance issuer stopped actively marketing the product prior to September 23, 2012, when the requirement to provide an SBC was first applicable to health insurance issuers; and (3) the health insurance issuer has never provided an SBC with respect to such product.37 The Departments reiterated that relief in the December 2014 proposed regulations, and we do so again in these final regulations. But, we again note that if an insurance product was actively marketed for business on or after September 23, 2012, and is no longer being actively marketed for business, or if the plan or issuer ever provided an SBC in connection with the product, the plan and issuer must provide the SBC with respect to such coverage, as required by PHS Act section 2715 and these final regulations.

    37 See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part IX, question 12, available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca9.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs9.html.

    K. Applicability Date

    The December 2014 proposed regulations proposed that these rules, if finalized, would apply for disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll in group health coverage through an open enrollment period (including re-enrollees and late enrollees) beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 1, 2015. With respect to disclosures to participants and beneficiaries who enroll in group health coverage other than through an open enrollment period (including individuals who are newly eligible for coverage and special enrollees), the requirements were proposed to apply beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 1, 2015. For disclosures to plans, and to individuals and dependents in the individual market, these requirements were proposed to apply to health insurance issuers beginning on September 1, 2015. Comments received generally supported these applicability dates, except that a number of commenters suggested that the requirements apply with respect to the individual market for coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2016. These final regulations adopt the applicability dates as proposed, except that for disclosures to individuals and dependents in the individual market, the requirements apply to health insurance issuers with respect to SBCs issued for coverage that begins on or after January 1, 2016. Until these final regulations become applicable, plans and issuers must continue to comply with the 2012 final regulations, as applicable.

    III. Economic Impact and Paperwork Burden A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563—Departments of Labor and HHS

    Executive Orders 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). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any one year). As discussed below, the Departments have concluded that these final regulations would not have economic impacts of $100 million or more in any one year or otherwise meet the definition of an “economically significant rule” under Executive Order 12866. Nonetheless, consistent with Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, the Departments have provided an assessment of the potential benefits and the costs associated with these final regulations.

    These final regulations are expected to have only small benefits and costs as they primarily provide clarifications of the previous 2012 final regulations and also incorporate into regulations previous guidance issued by the Departments that has taken the form of responses to frequently asked questions or enforcement safe harbors.38 The Departments have not been able to quantify these costs and benefits, but they are qualitatively discussed below.

    38 See Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XXIV available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca24.html and http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/aca_implementation_faqs24.html.

    The clarifications would help lower costs as they establish that duplicate SBCs do not have to be provided upon application if a previous SBC was provided and there have been no changes to the required information. The clarification also prevents unnecessary duplications for plans and issuers, while incorporating safeguards to ensure that participants and beneficiaries (and covered individuals and dependents) receive the required information. These final regulations also provide flexibility in providing SBCs for the situation where a plan has multiple issuers and also adopt the safe harbor for electronic delivery previously set forth in an FAQ, thereby reducing the cost of delivery.

    These final regulations also require an issuer to provide an internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained. The costs associated with this requirement are discussed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section below.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act 1. Departments of Labor and the Treasury

    These final rules are not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), because these final regulations make no changes to the existing collection of information as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3).

    Please note that the proposed regulations included an ICR related to the revision of the SBC template that has been omitted in these final regulations as the Departments intend to utilize consumer testing and offer an opportunity for public comment before finalizing revisions to the SBC template. An analysis under the PRA will be conducted when the SBC template is finalized.

    2. Department of Health and Human Services

    These final regulations require health insurance issuers offering group and individual health insurance coverage must include in the SBC an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained. These documents are required to be easily available to individuals, plan sponsors, and participants and beneficiaries shopping for coverage prior to submitting an application for coverage. With respect to group health coverage, because the actual “certificate of coverage” is not available until after the plan sponsor has negotiated the terms of coverage with the issuer, an issuer is permitted to satisfy this requirement with respect to plan sponsors that are shopping for coverage by posting a sample group certificate of coverage for each applicable product. After the actual certificate of coverage is executed, it must be easily available to plan sponsors and participants and beneficiaries via an Internet web address.

    Some commenters stated that requiring the individual coverage policy documents and group certificates of coverage be made available by posting to an Internet web address would be unduly burdensome because of the requirement to make the documents available to individuals and plan sponsors shopping for coverage, but not yet enrolled in coverage. The December 2014 proposed regulations estimated the burden for this requirement to be de minimis because the documents already exist and issuers already have web addresses where the materials can be made available. Additionally, HHS understands that issuers already frequently make these materials available online to individuals, plan sponsors, and participants and beneficiaries after enrollment in coverage. These final regulations clarify that these documents must be made available online to those shopping for coverage prior to enrollment as well. It is not expected that group health insurance issuers will be providing access to group certificates of coverage prior to execution of the final group certificate of coverage. Instead, HHS anticipates and expects that the sample group certificate of coverage that underlies the product being marketed and sold, and that have been filed with and approved by a state Department of Insurance, are what will be provided prior to the execution of the actual group certificate of coverage. Based on this HHS still believes that the requirement to make these documents available via an Internet web address will result in only a de minimis burden on issuers.

    These final regulations make no other revisions to the existing collection of information. The December 2014 proposed regulations included an ICR related to the revision of the SBC template that has been omitted in these final regulations as the Departments intend to utilize consumer testing and offer an opportunity for public comment before finalizing revisions to the SBC template. An analysis under the PRA will be conducted when the SBC template is finalized.

    The Department notes that persons are not required to respond to, and generally are not subject to any penalty for failing to comply with, an ICR unless the ICR has a valid OMB control number.

    The 2015-2017 paperwork burden estimates are summarized as follows:

    Type of Review: Revision.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services.

    Title: Summary of Benefits and Coverage Uniform Glossary

    CMS Identifier (OMB Control Number): CMS-10407 (0938-1146).

    Affected Public: Private sector.

    Total Respondents: 126,500.

    Total Responses: 41,153,858.

    Frequency of Response: On-going.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours (three year average): 322,411 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost Burden (three year average): $7,207,361.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) (RFA) imposes certain requirements with respect to Federal rules that are subject to the notice and comment requirements of section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) and which are likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Unless the head of an agency certifies that a proposed rule is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 603 of the RFA requires that the agency present an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) describing the rule's impact on small entities and explaining how the agency made its decisions with respect to the application of the rule to small entities.

    The RFA generally defines a “small entity” as (1) a proprietary firm meeting the size standards of the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.201) pursuant to the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.), (2) a nonprofit organization that is not dominant in its field, or (3) a small government jurisdiction with a population of less than 50,000. (States and individuals are not included in the definition of “small entity.”)

    There are several different types of small entities affected by these final regulations. For issuers and third party administrators, the Departments use as their measure of significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities a change in revenues of more than 3 to 5 percent. For plans, the Departments continue to consider a small plan to be an employee benefit plan with fewer than 100 participants.39 Further, while some large employers may have small plans, in general small employers maintain most small plans. Thus, the Departments believe that assessing the impact of this final rule on small plans is an appropriate substitute for evaluating the effect on small entities. The definition of small entity considered appropriate for this purpose differs, however, from a definition of small business that is based on size standards promulgated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 CFR 121.201) pursuant to the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.).

    39 The basis for this definition is found in section 104(a)(2) of ERISA, which permits the Secretary of Labor to prescribe simplified annual reports for pension plans that cover fewer than 100 participants.

    The Departments carefully considered the likely impact of these final rules on small entities in connection with their assessment under Executive Order 12866. The incremental changes of these final regulations impose minimal additional costs, but also serve to reduce the costs of compliance by providing help to plans and service providers by providing clarifications. These final regulations also incorporate into regulations previous guidance from the Departments that has taken the form of responses to frequently asked questions or enforcement safe harbors. Accordingly, pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, the Departments hereby certify that these final regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act—Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) of 1995 requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any final rule that includes a Federal mandate that could result in expenditure in any one year by State, local or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in 1995 dollars updated annually for inflation. In 2015, that threshold level is approximately $144 million. These final regulations include no mandates on State, local, or Tribal governments. These final regulations propose requirements regarding standardized consumer disclosures that would affect private sector firms (for example, health insurance issuers offering coverage in the individual and group markets, and third-party administrators providing administrative services to group health plans), but we conclude that these costs would not exceed the $144 million threshold. Thus, the Departments of Labor and HHS conclude that these final regulations would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local or Tribal governments or the private sector. Regardless, consistent with policy embodied in UMRA, the final requirements described in this notice of final rulemaking has been designed to be the least burdensome alternative for State, local and Tribal governments, and the private sector while achieving the objectives of the Affordable Care Act.

    E. Federalism Statement—Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services

    Executive Order 13132 outlines fundamental principles of federalism, and requires the adherence to specific criteria by Federal agencies in the process of their formulation and implementation of policies that have “substantial direct effects” on the States, the relationship between the national government and States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Federal agencies promulgating regulations that have federalism implications must consult with State and local officials and describe the extent of their consultation and the nature of the concerns of State and local officials in the preamble to the regulation.

    In the Departments of Labor's and HHS' view, these final regulations have federalism implications because they would have direct effects on the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government relating to the disclosure of health insurance coverage information to consumers. Under these final regulations, all group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, including self-funded non-federal governmental plans as defined in section 2791 of the PHS Act, would be required to follow uniform standards for compiling and providing a summary of benefits and coverage to consumers. Such Federal standards developed under PHS Act section 2715(a) would preempt any related State standards that require a summary of benefits and coverage that provides less information to consumers than that required to be provided under PHS Act section 2715(a).

    In general, through section 514, ERISA supersedes State laws to the extent that they relate to any covered employee benefit plan, and preserves State laws that regulate insurance, banking, or securities. While ERISA prohibits States from regulating a plan as an insurance or investment company or bank, the preemption provisions of section 731 of ERISA and section 2724 of the PHS Act (implemented in 29 CFR 2590.731(a) and 45 CFR 146.143(a)) apply so that the requirements in title XXVII of the PHS Act (including those added by the Affordable Care Act) are not to be construed to supersede any provision of State law which establishes, implements, or continues in effect any standard or requirement solely relating to health insurance issuers in connection with individual or group health insurance coverage except to the extent that such standard or requirement prevents the application of a requirement of a Federal standard. The conference report accompanying HIPAA indicates that this is intended to be the “narrowest” preemption of State laws (See House Conf. Rep. No. 104-736, at 205, reprinted in 1996 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News 2018).

    States may continue to apply State law requirements except to the extent that such requirements prevent the application of the Affordable Care Act requirements that are the subject of this rulemaking. Accordingly, States have significant latitude to impose requirements on health insurance issuers that are more restrictive than the Federal law. However, under these final rules, a State would not be allowed to impose a requirement that modifies the summary of benefits and coverage required to be provided under PHS Act section 2715(a), because it would prevent the application of these final rules' uniform disclosure requirements.

    In compliance with the requirement of Executive Order 13132 that agencies examine closely any policies that may have federalism implications or limit the policy making discretion of the States, the Departments of Labor and HHS have engaged in efforts to consult with and work cooperatively with affected States, including consulting with, and attending conferences of, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and consulting with State insurance officials on an individual basis. It is expected that the Departments of Labor and HHS will act in a similar fashion in enforcing the Affordable Care Act, including the provisions of section 2715 of the PHS Act. Throughout the process of developing these final regulations, to the extent feasible within the applicable preemption provisions, the Departments of Labor and HHS have attempted to balance the States' interests in regulating health insurance issuers, and Congress' intent to provide uniform minimum protections to consumers in every State. By doing so, it is the Departments of Labor's and HHS' view that they have complied with the requirements of Executive Order 13132.

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in section 8(a) of Executive Order 13132, and by the signatures affixed to this final rule, the Departments certify that the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have complied with the requirements of Executive Order 13132 for the attached final rules in a meaningful and timely manner.

    F. Special Analyses—Department of the Treasury

    For purposes of the Department of the Treasury it has been determined that this notice of final rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It has also been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these final regulations. For a discussion of the impact of this final rule on small entities, please see section V.C. of this preamble. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of final rulemaking has been submitted to the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business.

    G. Congressional Review Act

    These final regulations are subject to the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), which specifies that before a rule can take effect, the Federal agency promulgating the rule shall submit to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General a report containing a copy of the rule along with other specified information, and has been transmitted to Congress and the Comptroller General for review.

    IV. Statutory Authority

    The Department of the Treasury regulations are adopted pursuant to the authority contained in sections 7805 and 9833 of the Code.

    The Department of Labor regulations are adopted pursuant to the authority contained in 29 U.S.C. 1027, 1059, 1135, 1161-1168, 1169, 1181-1183, 1181 note, 1185, 1185a, 1185b, 1185d, 1191, 1191a, 1191b, and 1191c; sec. 101(g), Public Law 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; sec. 401(b), Public Law 105-200, 112 Stat. 645 (42 U.S.C. 651 note); sec. 512(d), Public Law 110-343, 122 Stat. 3881; sec. 1001, 1201, and 1562(e), Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, as amended by Public Law 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029; Secretary of Labor's Order 1-2011, 77 FR 1088 (January 9, 2012).

    The Department of Health and Human Services regulations are adopted pursuant to the authority contained in sections 2701 through 2763, 2791, and 2792 of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg through 300gg-63, 300gg-91, and 300gg-92), as amended.

    List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 54

    Excise taxes, Health care, Health insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    29 CFR Part 2590

    Continuation coverage, Disclosure, Employee benefit plans, Group health plans, Health care, Health insurance, Medical child support, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    45 CFR Part 147

    Health care, Health insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, State regulation of health insurance.

    Dated: June 8, 2015. John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service. Approved: June 9, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy). Signed this 5th day of June, 2015. Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor. Dated: June 2, 2015. Andrew M. Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: June 9, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

    Internal Revenue Service

    26 CFR Chapter 1

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 54 is amended as follows:

    PART54 —PENSION EXCISE TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 54 continues to read in part as follows: Authority:

    Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *.

    Section 54.9815-2715 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 9833;

    Par. 2. Section 54.9815-2715 is revised to read as follows:
    § 54.9815-2715 Summary of benefits and coverage and uniform glossary.

    (a) Summary of benefits and coverage—(1) In general. A group health plan (and its administrator as defined in section 3(16)(A) of ERISA)), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, is required to provide a written summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for each benefit package without charge to entities and individuals described in this paragraph (a)(1) in accordance with the rules of this section.

    (i) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer to a group health plan—(A) Upon application. A health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage must provide the SBC to a group health plan (or its sponsor) upon application for health coverage, as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information required, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A).

    (B) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). If there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the plan (or its sponsor) no later than the first day of coverage.

    (C) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the issuer renews or reissues a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance for a succeeding policy year, or automatically re-enrolls the policyholder or its participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the issuer must provide a new SBC as follows:

    (1) If written application is required (in either paper or electronic form) for renewal or reissuance, the SBC must be provided no later than the date the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (D) Upon request. If a group health plan (or its sponsor) requests an SBC or summary information about a health insurance product from a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, an SBC must be provided as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (ii) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer and a group health plan to participants and beneficiaries—(A) In general. A group health plan (including its administrator, as defined under section 3(16) of ERISA), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must provide an SBC to a participant or beneficiary (as defined under sections 3(7) and 3(8) of ERISA), and consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, with respect to each benefit package offered by the plan or issuer for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible.

    (B) Upon application. The SBC must be provided as part of any written application materials that are distributed by the plan or issuer for enrollment. If the plan or issuer does not distribute written application materials for enrollment, the SBC must be provided no later than the first date on which the participant is eligible to enroll in coverage for the participant or any beneficiaries. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(F) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information that is required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B).

    (C) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). (1) If there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the plan or issuer must update and provide a current SBC to a participant or beneficiary no later than the first day of coverage.

    (2) If the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, the plan or issuer is not required to provide an updated SBC (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage.

    (D) Special enrollees. The plan or issuer must provide the SBC to special enrollees (as described in § 54.9801-6) no later than the date by which a summary plan description is required to be provided under the timeframe set forth in ERISA section 104(b)(1)(A) and its implementing regulations, which is 90 days from enrollment.

    (E) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the plan or issuer requires participants or beneficiaries to renew in order to maintain coverage (for example, for a succeeding plan year), or automatically re-enrolls participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the plan or issuer must provide a new SBC, as follows:

    (1) If written application is required for renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment (in either paper or electronic form), the SBC must be provided no later than the date on which the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (F) Upon request. A plan or issuer must provide the SBC to participants or beneficiaries upon request for an SBC or summary information about the health coverage, as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (iii) Special rules to prevent unnecessary duplication with respect to group health coverage—(A) An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual satisfies that requirement if another party provides the SBC, but only to the extent that the SBC is timely and complete in accordance with the other rules of this section. Therefore, for example, in the case of a group health plan funded through an insurance policy, the plan satisfies the requirement to provide an SBC with respect to an individual if the issuer provides a timely and complete SBC to the individual. An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual that contracts with another party to provide such SBC is considered to satisfy the requirement to provide such SBC if:

    (1) The entity monitors performance under the contract;

    (2) If the entity has knowledge that the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity has all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity corrects the noncompliance as soon as practicable; and

    (3) If the entity has knowledge the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity does not have all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity communicates with participants and beneficiaries who are affected by the noncompliance regarding the noncompliance, and begins taking significant steps as soon as practicable to avoid future violations.

    (B) If a single SBC is provided to a participant and any beneficiaries at the participant's last known address, then the requirement to provide the SBC to the participant and any beneficiaries is generally satisfied. However, if a beneficiary's last known address is different than the participant's last known address, a separate SBC is required to be provided to the beneficiary at the beneficiary's last known address.

    (C) With respect to a group health plan that offers multiple benefit packages, the plan or issuer is required to provide a new SBC automatically to participants and beneficiaries upon renewal or reenrollment only with respect to the benefit package in which a participant or beneficiary is enrolled (or will be automatically re-enrolled under the plan); SBCs are not required to be provided automatically upon renewal or reenrollment with respect to benefit packages in which the participant or beneficiary is not enrolled (or will not automatically be enrolled). However, if a participant or beneficiary requests an SBC with respect to another benefit package (or more than one other benefit package) for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible, the SBC (or SBCs, in the case of a request for SBCs relating to more than one benefit package) must be provided upon request as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (D) Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, a plan administrator of a group health plan that uses two or more insurance products provided by separate health insurance issuers with respect to a single group health plan may synthesize the information into a single SBC or provide multiple partial SBCs provided that all the SBC include the content in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (2) Content—(i) In general. Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the SBC must include the following:

    (A) Uniform definitions of standard insurance terms and medical terms so that consumers may compare health coverage and understand the terms of (or exceptions to) their coverage, in accordance with guidance as specified by the Secretary;

    (B) A description of the coverage, including cost sharing, for each category of benefits identified by the Secretary in guidance;

    (C) The exceptions, reductions, and limitations of the coverage;

    (D) The cost-sharing provisions of the coverage, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayment obligations;

    (E) The renewability and continuation of coverage provisions;

    (F) Coverage examples, in accordance with the rules of paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section;

    (G) With respect to coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a statement about whether the plan or coverage provides minimum essential coverage as defined under section 5000A(f) and whether the plan's or coverage's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage meets applicable requirements;

    (H) A statement that the SBC is only a summary and that the plan document, policy, certificate, or contract of insurance should be consulted to determine the governing contractual provisions of the coverage;

    (I) Contact information for questions;

    (J) For issuers, an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained;

    (K) For plans and issuers that maintain one or more networks of providers, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining a list of network providers;

    (L) For plans and issuers that use a formulary in providing prescription drug coverage, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information on prescription drug coverage; and

    (M) An Internet address for obtaining the uniform glossary, as described in paragraph (c) of this section, as well as a contact phone number to obtain a paper copy of the uniform glossary, and a disclosure that paper copies are available.

    (ii) Coverage examples. The SBC must include coverage examples specified by the Secretary in guidance that illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for common benefits scenarios (including pregnancy and serious or chronic medical conditions) in accordance with this paragraph (a)(2)(ii).

    (A) Number of examples. The Secretary may identify up to six coverage examples that may be required in an SBC.

    (B) Benefits scenarios. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), a benefits scenario is a hypothetical situation, consisting of a sample treatment plan for a specified medical condition during a specific period of time, based on recognized clinical practice guidelines as defined by the National Guideline Clearinghouse, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Secretary will specify, in guidance, the assumptions, including the relevant items and services and reimbursement information, for each claim in the benefits scenario.

    (C) Illustration of benefit provided. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), to illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for a particular benefits scenario, a plan or issuer simulates claims processing in accordance with guidance issued by the Secretary to generate an estimate of what an individual might expect to pay under the plan, policy, or benefit package. The illustration of benefits provided will take into account any cost sharing, excluded benefits, and other limitations on coverage, as specified by the Secretary in guidance.

    (iii) Coverage provided outside the United States. In lieu of summarizing coverage for items and services provided outside the United States, a plan or issuer may provide an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information about benefits and coverage provided outside the United States. In any case, the plan or issuer must provide an SBC in accordance with this section that accurately summarizes benefits and coverage available under the plan or coverage within the United States.

    (3) Appearance. (i) A group health plan and a health insurance issuer must provide an SBC in the form, and in accordance with the instructions for completing the SBC, that are specified by the Secretary in guidance. The SBC must be presented in a uniform format, use terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee, not exceed four double-sided pages in length, and not include print smaller than 12-point font.

    (ii) A group health plan that utilizes two or more benefit packages (such as major medical coverage and a health flexible spending arrangement) may synthesize the information into a single SBC, or provide multiple SBCs.

    (4) Form. (i) An SBC provided by an issuer offering group health insurance coverage to a plan (or its sponsor), may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the following three conditions are satisfied—

    (A) The format is readily accessible by the plan (or its sponsor);

    (B) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (C) If the electronic form is an Internet posting, the issuer timely advises the plan (or its sponsor) in paper form or email that the documents are available on the Internet and provides the Internet address.

    (ii) An SBC provided by a group health plan or health insurance issuer to a participant or beneficiary may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the requirements of this paragraph (a)(4)(ii) are met.

    (A) With respect to participants and beneficiaries covered under the plan or coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically as described in this paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A). However, in all cases, the plan or issuer must provide the SBC in paper form if paper form is requested.

    (1) In accordance with the Department of Labor's disclosure regulations at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1;

    (2) In connection with online enrollment or online renewal of coverage under the plan; or

    (3) In response to an online request made by a participant or beneficiary for the SBC.

    (B) With respect to participants and beneficiaries who are eligible but not enrolled for coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically if:

    (1) The format is readily accessible;

    (2) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (3) In a case in which the electronic form is an Internet posting, the plan or issuer timely notifies the individual in paper form (such as a postcard) or email that the documents are available on the Internet, provides the Internet address, and notifies the individual that the documents are available in paper form upon request.

    (5) Language. A group health plan or health insurance issuer must provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(5), a plan or issuer is considered to provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner if the thresholds and standards of 29 CFR 2590.715-2719(e) are met as applied to the SBC.

    (b) Notice of modification. If a group health plan, or health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, makes any material modification (as defined under section 102 of ERISA) in any of the terms of the plan or coverage that would affect the content of the SBC, that is not reflected in the most recently provided SBC, and that occurs other than in connection with a renewal or reissuance of coverage, the plan or issuer must provide notice of the modification to enrollees not later than 60 days prior to the date on which the modification will become effective. The notice of modification must be provided in a form that is consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (c) Uniform glossary—(1) In general. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must make available to participants and beneficiaries the uniform glossary described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section in accordance with the appearance and form and manner requirements of paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section.

    (2) Health-coverage-related terms and medical terms. The uniform glossary must provide uniform definitions, specified by the Secretary in guidance, of the following health-coverage-related terms and medical terms:

    (i) Allowed amount, appeal, balance billing, co-insurance, complications of pregnancy, co-payment, deductible, durable medical equipment, emergency medical condition, emergency medical transportation, emergency room care, emergency services, excluded services, grievance, habilitation services, health insurance, home health care, hospice services, hospitalization, hospital outpatient care, in-network co-insurance, in-network co-payment, medically necessary, network, non-preferred provider, out-of-network co-insurance, out-of-network co-payment, out-of-pocket limit, physician services, plan, preauthorization, preferred provider, premium, prescription drug coverage, prescription drugs, primary care physician, primary care provider, provider, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, specialist, usual customary and reasonable (UCR), and urgent care; and

    (ii) Such other terms as the Secretary determines are important to define so that individuals and employers may compare and understand the terms of coverage and medical benefits (including any exceptions to those benefits), as specified in guidance.

    (3) Appearance. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer, must provide the uniform glossary with the appearance specified by the Secretary in guidance to ensure the uniform glossary is presented in a uniform format and uses terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee.

    (4) Form and manner. A plan or issuer must make the uniform glossary described in this paragraph (c) available upon request, in either paper or electronic form (as requested), within seven business days after receipt of the request.

    (d) Preemption. State laws that conflict with this section (including a state law that requires a health insurance issuer to provide an SBC that supplies less information than required under paragraph (a) of this section) are preempted.

    (e) Failure to provide. A group health plan that willfully fails to provide information required under this section to a participant or beneficiary is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each such failure. A failure with respect to each participant or beneficiary constitutes a separate offense for purposes of this paragraph (e). The Department will enforce this section using a process and procedure consistent with section 4980D of the Code.

    (f) Applicability to Medicare Advantage benefits. The requirements of this section do not apply to a group health plan benefit package that provides Medicare Advantage benefits pursuant to or 42 U.S.C. Chapter 7, Subchapter XVIII, Part C.

    (g) Applicability date. (1) This section is applicable to group health plans and group health insurance issuers in accordance with this paragraph (g). (See 29 CFR 2590.715-1251(d), providing that this section applies to grandfathered health plans.)

    (i) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll through an open enrollment period (including re-enrollees and late enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 1, 2015; and

    (ii) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll in coverage other than through an open enrollment period (including individuals who are newly eligible for coverage and special enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 1, 2015.

    (2) For disclosures with respect to plans, this section is applicable to health insurance issuers beginning September 1, 2015.

    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 29 CFR Chapter XXV

    Accordingly, 29 CFR part 2590 is amended as follows:

    PART 2590—RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR GROUP HEALTH PLANS 3. The authority citation for part 2590 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1027, 1059, 1135, 1161-1168, 1169, 1181-1183, 1181 note, 1185, 1185a, 1185b, 1185d, 1191, 1191a, 1191b, and 1191c; sec. 101(g), Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; sec. 401(b), Pub. L. 105-200, 112 Stat. 645 (42 U.S.C. 651 note); sec. 512(d), Pub. L. 110-343, 122 Stat. 3881; sec. 1001, 1201, and 1562(e), Pub. L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, as amended by Pub. L. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029; Secretary of Labor's Order 1-2011, 77 FR 1088 (January 9, 2012).

    4. Section 2590.715-2715 is revised to read as follows:
    § 2590.715-2715 Summary of benefits and coverage and uniform glossary.

    (a) Summary of benefits and coverage—(1) In general. A group health plan (and its administrator as defined in section 3(16)(A) of ERISA)), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, is required to provide a written summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for each benefit package without charge to entities and individuals described in this paragraph (a)(1) in accordance with the rules of this section.

    (i) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer to a group health plan—(A) Upon application. A health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage must provide the SBC to a group health plan (or its sponsor) upon application for health coverage, as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information required, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A).

    (B) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). If there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the plan (or its sponsor) no later than the first day of coverage.

    (C) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the issuer renews or reissues a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance for a succeeding policy year, or automatically re-enrolls the policyholder or its participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the issuer must provide a new SBC as follows:

    (1) If written application is required (in either paper or electronic form) for renewal or reissuance, the SBC must be provided no later than the date the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (D) Upon request. If a group health plan (or its sponsor) requests an SBC or summary information about a health insurance product from a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, an SBC must be provided as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (ii) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer and a group health plan to participants and beneficiaries—(A) In general. A group health plan (including its administrator, as defined under section 3(16) of ERISA), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must provide an SBC to a participant or beneficiary (as defined under sections 3(7) and 3(8) of ERISA), and consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, with respect to each benefit package offered by the plan or issuer for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible.

    (B) Upon application. The SBC must be provided as part of any written application materials that are distributed by the plan or issuer for enrollment. If the plan or issuer does not distribute written application materials for enrollment, the SBC must be provided no later than the first date on which the participant is eligible to enroll in coverage for the participant or any beneficiaries. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(F) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information that is required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B).

    (C) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). (1) If there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the plan or issuer must update and provide a current SBC to a participant or beneficiary no later than the first day of coverage.

    (2) If the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, the plan or issuer is not required to provide an updated SBC (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage.

    (D) Special enrollees. The plan or issuer must provide the SBC to special enrollees (as described in § 2590.701-6) no later than the date by which a summary plan description is required to be provided under the timeframe set forth in ERISA section 104(b)(1)(A) and its implementing regulations, which is 90 days from enrollment.

    (E) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the plan or issuer requires participants or beneficiaries to renew in order to maintain coverage (for example, for a succeeding plan year), or automatically re-enrolls participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the plan or issuer must provide a new SBC, as follows:

    (1) If written application is required for renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment (in either paper or electronic form), the SBC must be provided no later than the date on which the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (F) Upon request. A plan or issuer must provide the SBC to participants or beneficiaries upon request for an SBC or summary information about the health coverage, as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (iii) Special rules to prevent unnecessary duplication with respect to group health coverage—(A) An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual satisfies that requirement if another party provides the SBC, but only to the extent that the SBC is timely and complete in accordance with the other rules of this section. Therefore, for example, in the case of a group health plan funded through an insurance policy, the plan satisfies the requirement to provide an SBC with respect to an individual if the issuer provides a timely and complete SBC to the individual. An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual that contracts with another party to provide such SBC is considered to satisfy the requirement to provide such SBC if:

    (1) The entity monitors performance under the contract;

    (2) If the entity has knowledge that the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity has all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity corrects the noncompliance as soon as practicable; and

    (3) If the entity has knowledge the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity does not have all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity communicates with participants and beneficiaries who are affected by the noncompliance regarding the noncompliance, and begins taking significant steps as soon as practicable to avoid future violations.

    (B) If a single SBC is provided to a participant and any beneficiaries at the participant's last known address, then the requirement to provide the SBC to the participant and any beneficiaries is generally satisfied. However, if a beneficiary's last known address is different than the participant's last known address, a separate SBC is required to be provided to the beneficiary at the beneficiary's last known address.

    (C) With respect to a group health plan that offers multiple benefit packages, the plan or issuer is required to provide a new SBC automatically to participants and beneficiaries upon renewal or reenrollment only with respect to the benefit package in which a participant or beneficiary is enrolled (or will be automatically re-enrolled under the plan); SBCs are not required to be provided automatically upon renewal or reenrollment with respect to benefit packages in which the participant or beneficiary is not enrolled (or will not automatically be enrolled). However, if a participant or beneficiary requests an SBC with respect to another benefit package (or more than one other benefit package) for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible, the SBC (or SBCs, in the case of a request for SBCs relating to more than one benefit package) must be provided upon request as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (D) Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, a plan administrator of a group health plan that uses two or more insurance products provided by separate health insurance issuers with respect to a single group health plan may synthesize the information into a single SBC or provide multiple partial SBCs provided that all the SBC include the content in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (2) Content—(i) In general. Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the SBC must include the following:

    (A) Uniform definitions of standard insurance terms and medical terms so that consumers may compare health coverage and understand the terms of (or exceptions to) their coverage, in accordance with guidance as specified by the Secretary;

    (B) A description of the coverage, including cost sharing, for each category of benefits identified by the Secretary in guidance;

    (C) The exceptions, reductions, and limitations of the coverage;

    (D) The cost-sharing provisions of the coverage, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayment obligations;

    (E) The renewability and continuation of coverage provisions;

    (F) Coverage examples, in accordance with the rules of paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section;

    (G) With respect to coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a statement about whether the plan or coverage provides minimum essential coverage as defined under section 5000A(f) and whether the plan's or coverage's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage meets applicable requirements;

    (H) A statement that the SBC is only a summary and that the plan document, policy, certificate, or contract of insurance should be consulted to determine the governing contractual provisions of the coverage;

    (I) Contact information for questions;

    (J) For issuers, an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained;

    (K) For plans and issuers that maintain one or more networks of providers, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining a list of network providers;

    (L) For plans and issuers that use a formulary in providing prescription drug coverage, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information on prescription drug coverage; and

    (M) An Internet address for obtaining the uniform glossary, as described in paragraph (c) of this section, as well as a contact phone number to obtain a paper copy of the uniform glossary, and a disclosure that paper copies are available.

    (ii) Coverage examples. The SBC must include coverage examples specified by the Secretary in guidance that illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for common benefits scenarios (including pregnancy and serious or chronic medical conditions) in accordance with this paragraph (a)(2)(ii).

    (A) Number of examples. The Secretary may identify up to six coverage examples that may be required in an SBC.

    (B) Benefits scenarios. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), a benefits scenario is a hypothetical situation, consisting of a sample treatment plan for a specified medical condition during a specific period of time, based on recognized clinical practice guidelines as defined by the National Guideline Clearinghouse, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Secretary will specify, in guidance, the assumptions, including the relevant items and services and reimbursement information, for each claim in the benefits scenario.

    (C) Illustration of benefit provided. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), to illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for a particular benefits scenario, a plan or issuer simulates claims processing in accordance with guidance issued by the Secretary to generate an estimate of what an individual might expect to pay under the plan, policy, or benefit package. The illustration of benefits provided will take into account any cost sharing, excluded benefits, and other limitations on coverage, as specified by the Secretary in guidance.

    (iii) Coverage provided outside the United States. In lieu of summarizing coverage for items and services provided outside the United States, a plan or issuer may provide an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information about benefits and coverage provided outside the United States. In any case, the plan or issuer must provide an SBC in accordance with this section that accurately summarizes benefits and coverage available under the plan or coverage within the United States.

    (3) Appearance. (i) A group health plan and a health insurance issuer must provide an SBC in the form, and in accordance with the instructions for completing the SBC, that are specified by the Secretary in guidance. The SBC must be presented in a uniform format, use terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee, not exceed four double-sided pages in length, and not include print smaller than 12-point font.

    (ii) A group health plan that utilizes two or more benefit packages (such as major medical coverage and a health flexible spending arrangement) may synthesize the information into a single SBC, or provide multiple SBCs.

    (4) Form. (i) An SBC provided by an issuer offering group health insurance coverage to a plan (or its sponsor), may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the following three conditions are satisfied—

    (A) The format is readily accessible by the plan (or its sponsor);

    (B) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (C) If the electronic form is an Internet posting, the issuer timely advises the plan (or its sponsor) in paper form or email that the documents are available on the Internet and provides the Internet address.

    (ii) An SBC provided by a group health plan or health insurance issuer to a participant or beneficiary may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the requirements of this paragraph (a)(4)(ii) are met.

    (A) With respect to participants and beneficiaries covered under the plan or coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically as described in this paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A). However, in all cases, the plan or issuer must provide the SBC in paper form if paper form is requested.

    (1) In accordance with the Department of Labor's disclosure regulations at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1;

    (2) In connection with online enrollment or online renewal of coverage under the plan; or

    (3) In response to an online request made by a participant or beneficiary for the SBC.

    (B) With respect to participants and beneficiaries who are eligible but not enrolled for coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically if:

    (1) The format is readily accessible;

    (2) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (3) In a case in which the electronic form is an Internet posting, the plan or issuer timely notifies the individual in paper form (such as a postcard) or email that the documents are available on the Internet, provides the Internet address, and notifies the individual that the documents are available in paper form upon request.

    (5) Language. A group health plan or health insurance issuer must provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(5), a plan or issuer is considered to provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner if the thresholds and standards of § 2590.715-2719(e) are met as applied to the SBC.

    (b) Notice of modification. If a group health plan, or health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, makes any material modification (as defined under section 102 of ERISA) in any of the terms of the plan or coverage that would affect the content of the SBC, that is not reflected in the most recently provided SBC, and that occurs other than in connection with a renewal or reissuance of coverage, the plan or issuer must provide notice of the modification to enrollees not later than 60 days prior to the date on which the modification will become effective. The notice of modification must be provided in a form that is consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (c) Uniform glossary—(1) In general. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must make available to participants and beneficiaries the uniform glossary described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section in accordance with the appearance and form and manner requirements of paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section.

    (2) Health-coverage-related terms and medical terms. The uniform glossary must provide uniform definitions, specified by the Secretary in guidance, of the following health-coverage-related terms and medical terms:

    (i) Allowed amount, appeal, balance billing, co-insurance, complications of pregnancy, co-payment, deductible, durable medical equipment, emergency medical condition, emergency medical transportation, emergency room care, emergency services, excluded services, grievance, habilitation services, health insurance, home health care, hospice services, hospitalization, hospital outpatient care, in-network co-insurance, in-network co-payment, medically necessary, network, non-preferred provider, out-of-network co-insurance, out-of-network co-payment, out-of-pocket limit, physician services, plan, preauthorization, preferred provider, premium, prescription drug coverage, prescription drugs, primary care physician, primary care provider, provider, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, specialist, usual customary and reasonable (UCR), and urgent care; and

    (ii) Such other terms as the Secretary determines are important to define so that individuals and employers may compare and understand the terms of coverage and medical benefits (including any exceptions to those benefits), as specified in guidance.

    (3) Appearance. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer, must provide the uniform glossary with the appearance specified by the Secretary in guidance to ensure the uniform glossary is presented in a uniform format and uses terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee.

    (4) Form and manner. A plan or issuer must make the uniform glossary described in this paragraph (c) available upon request, in either paper or electronic form (as requested), within seven business days after receipt of the request.

    (d) Preemption. See § 2590.731. State laws that conflict with this section (including a state law that requires a health insurance issuer to provide an SBC that supplies less information than required under paragraph (a) of this section) are preempted.

    (e) Failure to provide. A group health plan that willfully fails to provide information required under this section to a participant or beneficiary is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each such failure. A failure with respect to each participant or beneficiary constitutes a separate offense for purposes of this paragraph (e). The Department will enforce this section using a process and procedure consistent with § 2560.502c-2 of this chapter and 29 CFR part 2570, subpart C.

    (f) Applicability to Medicare Advantage benefits. The requirements of this section do not apply to a group health plan benefit package that provides Medicare Advantage benefits pursuant to or 42 U.S.C. Chapter 7, Subchapter XVIII, Part C.

    (g) Applicability date. (1) This section is applicable to group health plans and group health insurance issuers in accordance with this paragraph (g). (See § 2590.715-1251(d), providing that this section applies to grandfathered health plans.)

    (i) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll through an open enrollment period (including re-enrollees and late enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 1, 2015; and

    (ii) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll in coverage other than through an open enrollment period (including individuals who are newly eligible for coverage and special enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 1, 2015.

    (2) For disclosures with respect to plans, this section is applicable to health insurance issuers beginning September 1, 2015.

    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Subtitle A

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Health and Human Services amends 45 CFR part 147 as follows:

    PART 147—HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETS 5. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 2701 through 2763, 2791, and 2792 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg through 300gg-63, 300gg-91, and 300gg-92), as amended.

    6. Revise § 147.200 to read as follows:
    § 147.200 Summary of benefits and coverage and uniform glossary.

    (a) Summary of benefits and coverage—(1) In general. A group health plan (and its administrator as defined in section 3(16)(A) of ERISA)), and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, is required to provide a written summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for each benefit package without charge to entities and individuals described in this paragraph (a)(1) in accordance with the rules of this section.

    (i) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer to a group health plan—(A) Upon application. A health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage must provide the SBC to a group health plan (or its sponsor) upon application for health coverage, as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information required, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A).

    (B) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). If there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the plan (or its sponsor) no later than the first day of coverage.

    (C) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the issuer renews or reissues a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance for a succeeding policy year, or automatically re-enrolls the policyholder or its participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the issuer must provide a new SBC as follows:

    (1) If written application is required (in either paper or electronic form) for renewal or reissuance, the SBC must be provided no later than the date the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (D) Upon request. If a group health plan (or its sponsor) requests an SBC or summary information about a health insurance product from a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, an SBC must be provided as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (ii) SBC provided by a group health insurance issuer and a group health plan to participants and beneficiaries—(A) In general. A group health plan (including its administrator, as defined under section 3(16) of ERISA), and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must provide an SBC to a participant or beneficiary (as defined under sections 3(7) and 3(8) of ERISA), and consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, with respect to each benefit package offered by the plan or issuer for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible.

    (B) Upon application. The SBC must be provided as part of any written application materials that are distributed by the plan or issuer for enrollment. If the plan or issuer does not distribute written application materials for enrollment, the SBC must be provided no later than the first date on which the participant is eligible to enroll in coverage for the participant or any beneficiaries. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(F) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information that is required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(B).

    (C) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). (1) If there is any change to the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the plan or issuer must update and provide a current SBC to a participant or beneficiary no later than the first day of coverage.

    (2) If the plan sponsor is negotiating coverage terms after an application has been filed and the information required to be in the SBC changes, the plan or issuer is not required to provide an updated SBC (unless an updated SBC is requested) until the first day of coverage.

    (D) Special enrollees. The plan or issuer must provide the SBC to special enrollees (as described in § 146.117 of this subchapter) no later than the date by which a summary plan description is required to be provided under the timeframe set forth in ERISA section 104(b)(1)(A) and its implementing regulations, which is 90 days from enrollment.

    (E) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the plan or issuer requires participants or beneficiaries to renew in order to maintain coverage (for example, for a succeeding plan year), or automatically re-enrolls participants and beneficiaries in coverage, the plan or issuer must provide a new SBC, as follows:

    (1) If written application is required for renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment (in either paper or electronic form), the SBC must be provided no later than the date on which the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year; however, with respect to an insured plan, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30-day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (F) Upon request. A plan or issuer must provide the SBC to participants or beneficiaries upon request for an SBC or summary information about the health coverage, as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (iii) Special rules to prevent unnecessary duplication with respect to group health coverage—(A) An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual satisfies that requirement if another party provides the SBC, but only to the extent that the SBC is timely and complete in accordance with the other rules of this section. Therefore, for example, in the case of a group health plan funded through an insurance policy, the plan satisfies the requirement to provide an SBC with respect to an individual if the issuer provides a timely and complete SBC to the individual. An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual that contracts with another party to provide such SBC is considered to satisfy the requirement to provide such SBC if:

    (1) The entity monitors performance under the contract;

    (2) If the entity has knowledge that the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity has all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity corrects the noncompliance as soon as practicable; and

    (3) If the entity has knowledge the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity does not have all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity communicates with participants and beneficiaries who are affected by the noncompliance regarding the noncompliance, and begins taking significant steps as soon as practicable to avoid future violations.

    (B) If a single SBC is provided to a participant and any beneficiaries at the participant's last known address, then the requirement to provide the SBC to the participant and any beneficiaries is generally satisfied. However, if a beneficiary's last known address is different than the participant's last known address, a separate SBC is required to be provided to the beneficiary at the beneficiary's last known address.

    (C) With respect to a group health plan that offers multiple benefit packages, the plan or issuer is required to provide a new SBC automatically to participants and beneficiaries upon renewal or reenrollment only with respect to the benefit package in which a participant or beneficiary is enrolled (or will be automatically re-enrolled under the plan); SBCs are not required to be provided automatically upon renewal or reenrollment with respect to benefit packages in which the participant or beneficiary is not enrolled (or will not automatically be enrolled). However, if a participant or beneficiary requests an SBC with respect to another benefit package (or more than one other benefit package) for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible, the SBC (or SBCs, in the case of a request for SBCs relating to more than one benefit package) must be provided upon request as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (D) Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, a plan administrator of a group health plan that uses two or more insurance products provided by separate health insurance issuers with respect to a single group health plan may synthesize the information into a single SBC or provide multiple partial SBCs provided that all the SBC include the content in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (iv) SBC provided by a health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage—(A) Upon application. A health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must provide an SBC to an individual covered under the policy (including every dependent) upon receiving an application for any health insurance policy, as soon as practicable following receipt of the application, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the application. If an SBC was provided before application pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(iv)(D) of this section (relating to SBCs upon request), this paragraph (a)(1)(iv)(A) is deemed satisfied, provided there is no change to the information required to be in the SBC. However, if there has been a change in the information that is required to be in the SBC, a new SBC that includes the changed information must be provided upon application pursuant to this paragraph (a)(1)(iv)(A).

    (B) By first day of coverage (if there are changes). If there is any change in the information required to be in the SBC that was provided upon application and before the first day of coverage, the issuer must update and provide a current SBC to the individual no later than the first day of coverage.

    (C) Upon renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment. If the issuer renews or reissues a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance for a succeeding policy year, or automatically re-enrolls an individual (or dependent) covered under a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance into a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance under a different plan or product, the issuer must provide an SBC for the coverage in which the individual (including every dependent) will be enrolled, as follows:

    (1) If written application is required (in either paper or electronic form) for renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment, the SBC must be provided no later than the date on which the written application materials are distributed.

    (2) If renewal, reissuance, or reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new policy year; however, if the policy, certificate, or contract of insurance has not been issued or renewed before such 30 day period, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable but in no event later than seven business days after issuance of the new policy, certificate, or contract of insurance, or the receipt of written confirmation of intent to renew, whichever is earlier.

    (D) Upon request. A health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must provide an SBC to any individual or dependent upon request for an SBC or summary information about a health insurance product as soon as practicable, but in no event later than seven business days following receipt of the request.

    (v) Special rule to prevent unnecessary duplication with respect to individual health insurance coverage—(A) In general. If a single SBC is provided to an individual and any dependents at the individual's last known address, then the requirement to provide the SBC to the individual and any dependents is generally satisfied. However, if a dependent's last known address is different than the individual's last known address, a separate SBC is required to be provided to the dependent at the dependents' last known address.

    (B) Student health insurance coverage. With respect to student health insurance coverage as defined at § 147.145(a), the requirement to provide an SBC to an individual will be considered satisfied for an entity if another party provides a timely and complete SBC to the individual. An entity required to provide an SBC under this paragraph (a)(1) with respect to an individual that contracts with another party to provide such SBC is considered to satisfy the requirement to provide such SBC if:

    (1) The entity monitors performance under the contract;

    (2) If the entity has knowledge that the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity has all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity corrects the noncompliance as soon as practicable; and

    (3) If the entity has knowledge the SBC is not being provided in a manner that satisfies the requirements of this section and the entity does not have all information necessary to correct the noncompliance, the entity communicates with covered individuals and dependents who are affected by the noncompliance regarding the noncompliance, and begins taking significant steps as soon as practicable to avoid future violations.

    (2) Content—(i) In general. Subject to paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the SBC must include the following:

    (A) Uniform definitions of standard insurance terms and medical terms so that consumers may compare health coverage and understand the terms of (or exceptions to) their coverage, in accordance with guidance as specified by the Secretary;

    (B) A description of the coverage, including cost sharing, for each category of benefits identified by the Secretary in guidance;

    (C) The exceptions, reductions, and limitations of the coverage;

    (D) The cost-sharing provisions of the coverage, including deductible, coinsurance, and copayment obligations;

    (E) The renewability and continuation of coverage provisions;

    (F) Coverage examples, in accordance with the rules of paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section;

    (G) With respect to coverage beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a statement about whether the plan or coverage provides minimum essential coverage as defined under section 5000A(f) and whether the plan's or coverage's share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage meets applicable requirements;

    (H) A statement that the SBC is only a summary and that the plan document, policy, certificate, or contract of insurance should be consulted to determine the governing contractual provisions of the coverage;

    (I) Contact information for questions;

    (J) For issuers, an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained;

    (K) For plans and issuers that maintain one or more networks of providers, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining a list of network providers;

    (L) For plans and issuers that use a formulary in providing prescription drug coverage, an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information on prescription drug coverage;

    (M) An Internet address for obtaining the uniform glossary, as described in paragraph (c) of this section, as well as a contact phone number to obtain a paper copy of the uniform glossary, and a disclosure that paper copies are available; and

    (N) For qualified health plans sold through an individual market Exchange that exclude or provide for coverage of the services described in § 156.280(d)(1) or (2) of this subchapter, a notice of coverage or exclusion of such services.

    (ii) Coverage examples. The SBC must include coverage examples specified by the Secretary in guidance that illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for common benefits scenarios (including pregnancy and serious or chronic medical conditions) in accordance with this paragraph (a)(2)(ii).

    (A) Number of examples. The Secretary may identify up to six coverage examples that may be required in an SBC.

    (B) Benefits scenarios. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), a benefits scenario is a hypothetical situation, consisting of a sample treatment plan for a specified medical condition during a specific period of time, based on recognized clinical practice guidelines as defined by the National Guideline Clearinghouse, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Secretary will specify, in guidance, the assumptions, including the relevant items and services and reimbursement information, for each claim in the benefits scenario.

    (C) Illustration of benefit provided. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(ii), to illustrate benefits provided under the plan or coverage for a particular benefits scenario, a plan or issuer simulates claims processing in accordance with guidance issued by the Secretary to generate an estimate of what an individual might expect to pay under the plan, policy, or benefit package. The illustration of benefits provided will take into account any cost sharing, excluded benefits, and other limitations on coverage, as specified by the Secretary in guidance.

    (iii) Coverage provided outside the United States. In lieu of summarizing coverage for items and services provided outside the United States, a plan or issuer may provide an Internet address (or similar contact information) for obtaining information about benefits and coverage provided outside the United States. In any case, the plan or issuer must provide an SBC in accordance with this section that accurately summarizes benefits and coverage available under the plan or coverage within the United States.

    (3) Appearance. (i) A group health plan and a health insurance issuer must provide an SBC in the form, and in accordance with the instructions for completing the SBC, that are specified by the Secretary in guidance. The SBC must be presented in a uniform format, use terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee (or, in the case of individual market coverage, the average individual covered under a health insurance policy), not exceed four double-sided pages in length, and not include print smaller than 12-point font. A health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must provide the SBC as a stand-alone document.

    (ii) A group health plan that utilizes two or more benefit packages (such as major medical coverage and a health flexible spending arrangement) may synthesize the information into a single SBC, or provide multiple SBCs.

    (4) Form. (i) An SBC provided by an issuer offering group health insurance coverage to a plan (or its sponsor), may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the following three conditions are satisfied—

    (A) The format is readily accessible by the plan (or its sponsor);

    (B) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (C) If the electronic form is an Internet posting, the issuer timely advises the plan (or its sponsor) in paper form or email that the documents are available on the Internet and provides the Internet address.

    (ii) An SBC provided by a group health plan or health insurance issuer to a participant or beneficiary may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically (such as by email or an Internet posting) if the requirements of this paragraph (a)(4)(ii) are met.

    (A) With respect to participants and beneficiaries covered under the plan or coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically as described in this paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(A). However, in all cases, the plan or issuer must provide the SBC in paper form if paper form is requested.

    (1) In accordance with the Department of Labor's disclosure regulations at 29 CFR 2520.104b-1;

    (2) In connection with online enrollment or online renewal of coverage under the plan; or

    (3) In response to an online request made by a participant or beneficiary for the SBC.

    (B) With respect to participants and beneficiaries who are eligible but not enrolled for coverage, the SBC may be provided electronically if:

    (1) The format is readily accessible;

    (2) The SBC is provided in paper form free of charge upon request; and

    (3) In a case in which the electronic form is an Internet posting, the plan or issuer timely notifies the individual in paper form (such as a postcard) or email that the documents are available on the Internet, provides the Internet address, and notifies the individual that the documents are available in paper form upon request.

    (iii) An issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must provide an SBC in a manner that can reasonably be expected to provide actual notice in paper or electronic form.

    (A) An issuer satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (a)(4)(iii) if the issuer:

    (1) Hand-delivers a printed copy of the SBC to the individual or dependent;

    (2) Mails a printed copy of the SBC to the mailing address provided to the issuer by the individual or dependent;

    (3) Provides the SBC by email after obtaining the individual's or dependent's agreement to receive the SBC or other electronic disclosures by email;

    (4) Posts the SBC on the Internet and advises the individual or dependent in paper or electronic form, in a manner compliant with paragraphs (a)(4)(iii)(A)(1) through (3) of this section, that the SBC is available on the Internet and includes the applicable Internet address; or

    (5) Provides the SBC by any other method that can reasonably be expected to provide actual notice.

    (B) An SBC may not be provided electronically unless:

    (1) The format is readily accessible;

    (2) The SBC is placed in a location that is prominent and readily accessible;

    (3) The SBC is provided in an electronic form which can be electronically retained and printed;

    (4) The SBC is consistent with the appearance, content, and language requirements of this section;

    (5) The issuer notifies the individual or dependent that the SBC is available in paper form without charge upon request and provides it upon request.

    (C) Deemed compliance. A health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage that provides the content required under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, as specified in guidance published by the Secretary, to the federal health reform Web portal described in § 159.120 of this subchapter will be deemed to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (a)(1)(iv)(D) of this section with respect to a request for summary information about a health insurance product made prior to an application for coverage. However, nothing in this paragraph should be construed as otherwise limiting such issuer's obligations under this section.

    (iv) An SBC provided by a self-insured non-Federal governmental plan may be provided in paper form. Alternatively, the SBC may be provided electronically if the plan conforms to either the substance of the provisions in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) or (iii) of this section.

    (5) Language. A group health plan or health insurance issuer must provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(5), a plan or issuer is considered to provide the SBC in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner if the thresholds and standards of § 147.136(e) are met as applied to the SBC.

    (b) Notice of modification. If a group health plan, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, makes any material modification (as defined under section 102 of ERISA) in any of the terms of the plan or coverage that would affect the content of the SBC, that is not reflected in the most recently provided SBC, and that occurs other than in connection with a renewal or reissuance of coverage, the plan or issuer must provide notice of the modification to enrollees (or, in the case of individual market coverage, an individual covered under a health insurance policy) not later than 60 days prior to the date on which the modification will become effective. The notice of modification must be provided in a form that is consistent with the rules of paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    (c) Uniform glossary—(1) In general. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, must make available to participants and beneficiaries, and a health insurance issuer offering individual health insurance coverage must make available to applicants, policyholders, and covered dependents, the uniform glossary described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section in accordance with the appearance and form and manner requirements of paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section.

    (2) Health-coverage-related terms and medical terms. The uniform glossary must provide uniform definitions, specified by the Secretary in guidance, of the following health-coverage-related terms and medical terms:

    (i) Allowed amount, appeal, balance billing, co-insurance, complications of pregnancy, co-payment, deductible, durable medical equipment, emergency medical condition, emergency medical transportation, emergency room care, emergency services, excluded services, grievance, habilitation services, health insurance, home health care, hospice services, hospitalization, hospital outpatient care, in-network co-insurance, in-network co-payment, medically necessary, network, non-preferred provider, out-of-network coinsurance, out-of-network co-payment, out-of-pocket limit, physician services, plan, preauthorization, preferred provider, premium, prescription drug coverage, prescription drugs, primary care physician, primary care provider, provider, reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care, specialist, usual customary and reasonable (UCR), and urgent care; and

    (ii) Such other terms as the Secretary determines are important to define so that individuals and employers may compare and understand the terms of coverage and medical benefits (including any exceptions to those benefits), as specified in guidance.

    (3) Appearance. A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer, must provide the uniform glossary with the appearance specified by the Secretary in guidance to ensure the uniform glossary is presented in a uniform format and uses terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee (or, in the case of individual market coverage, an average individual covered under a health insurance policy).

    (4) Form and manner. A plan or issuer must make the uniform glossary described in this paragraph (c) available upon request, in either paper or electronic form (as requested), within seven business days after receipt of the request.

    (d) Preemption. For purposes of this section, the provisions of section 2724 of the PHS Act continue to apply with respect to preemption of State law. State laws that conflict with this section (including a state law that requires a health insurance issuer to provide an SBC that supplies less information than required under paragraph (a) of this section) are preempted.

    (e) Failure to provide. A health insurance issuer or a non-federal governmental health plan that willfully fails to provide information to a covered individual required under this section is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each such failure. A failure with respect to each covered individual constitutes a separate offense for purposes of this paragraph (e). HHS will enforce these provisions in a manner consistent with §§ 150.101 through 150.465 of this subchapter.

    (f) Applicability to Medicare Advantage benefits. The requirements of this section do not apply to a group health plan benefit package that provides Medicare Advantage benefits pursuant to or 42 U.S.C. Chapter 7, Subchapter XVIII, Part C.

    (g) Applicability date. (1) This section is applicable to group health plans and group health insurance issuers in accordance with this paragraph (g). (See § 147.140(d), providing that this section applies to grandfathered health plans.)

    (i) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll through an open enrollment period (including re-enrollees and late enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 1, 2015; and

    (ii) For disclosures with respect to participants and beneficiaries who enroll in coverage other than through an open enrollment period (including individuals who are newly eligible for coverage and special enrollees), this section applies beginning on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 1, 2015.

    (2) For disclosures with respect to plans, this section is applicable to health insurance issuers beginning September 1, 2015.

    (3) For disclosures with respect individuals and covered dependents in the individual market, this section is applicable to health insurance issuers beginning with respect to SBCs issued for coverage that begins on or after January 1, 2016.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14559 Filed 6-12-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4120-01; 4150-28-4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0479] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Pearl River, LA/MS AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the operation of the US 90 highway bridge (East Pearl River Bridge), a swing span bridge across the Pearl River, mile 8.8 between Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana and Pearlington, Hancock County, Mississippi. The deviation is necessary in order to conduct electrical and structural repairs to the bridge. This deviation will allow the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position for four consecutive days.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2015, through 7 p.m. on Friday, July 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0479]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2015-0479) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Boh Bros. Construction Company, on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule on the US 90 highway bridge (East Pearl River Bridge), a swing span bridge across the Pearl River, mile 8.8 between Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana and Pearlington, Hancock County, Mississippi. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 10 feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and unlimited clearance in the open-to-navigation position.

    Navigation at the site of the bridge consists mainly of small tows with barges, some commercial sightseeing boats, and some recreational pleasure craft. Based on prior experience, as well as coordination with waterway users, it has been determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on these vessels. No alternate routes are available.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.486(b), the draw of the US 90 highway bridge shall open on signal; except that, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the draw shall open on signal if at least four hours notice is given. Vessels that do not require an opening will be allowed to pass at the slowest safe speed. The bridge will be unable to open in the event of an emergency.

    The closure is necessary for the replacement of structural and electrical components of the draw span and two submarine cables. These operations will continue until completed and will not allow the normal operation of the bridge. Normal operations of the bridge will commence upon completion of the work. Notices will be published in the Eighth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and will be broadcast via the Coast Guard Broadcast Notice to Mariners System.

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

    Dated: June 11, 2015. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14715 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0534] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bayou Sara, Near Saraland, Mobile County, AL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the CSX Railway Company swing span bridge across Bayou Sara, mile 0.1, near Saraland, Mobile County, Alabama. The deviation is necessary to complete scheduled core borings behind the fender system of the bridge. This deviation will allow the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position for 24 consecutive hours.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on June 29, 2015 until 6 a.m. on June 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0534]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2015-0534) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CSX Railway Company has requested a temporary deviation from the operating schedule of the swing span railroad bridge across Bayou Sara, mile 0.1, near Saraland, Mobile County, Alabama. The bridge provides three feet of vertical clearance in the closed-to-navigation position. Due to the core boring operations within the bridge footprint and safety concerns, vessels will not be allowed to pass through the bridge while the work is ongoing. The bridge will be unable to open in the event of an emergency.

    In accordance with 33 CFR 117.105, the bridge currently opens on signal for the passage of vessels except that between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. daily, it opens on signal if at least eight hours notice is given. This deviation allows the swing span of the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position from 6 a.m. on June 29, 2015 until 6 a.m. on June 30, 2015.

    Navigation on the waterway consists of fishing vessels and recreational craft. An alternate route is not available. Based on prior experience of minimal traffic and the current regulation requiring eight hours notice between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. each day, it has been determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on these vessels.

    The closure is necessary for core boring operations within the footprint of the bridge. These operations will continue until completed and will not allow the normal operation of the bridge. Normal operations will commence upon completion of the work. Notices will be published in the Eighth Coast Guard District Local Notice to Mariners and will be broadcast via the Coast Guard Broadcast Notice to Mariners System.

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

    Dated: June 10, 2015. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14660 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0317] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Indian River Bay; Millsboro, Delaware AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the waters of Indian River Bay adjacent to Millsboro, Delaware. The safety zone will restrict vessel traffic in Indian River Bay within a 200 foot radius of a fireworks barge. This safety zone is necessary to protect the surrounding public and vessels from the hazards associated with a fireworks display.

    DATES:

    This safety zone is effective without actual notice from June 16, 2015, until July 5, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from May 23, 2015 until June 16, 2015. It will be enforced on May 23 and July 4, 2015 with rain dates of May 24 and July 5, respectively, from 8:45 p.m. (EST) to 10:15 p.m. (EST), unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket [USCG-2015-0317]. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email. If you have questions on this temporary rule, call or email Lieutenant Brennan Dougherty, U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Delaware Bay, Chief Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard; telephone (215) 271-4851, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    The Coast Guard is issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because a safety zone is in the public interest in that the final details for this event were not received by the Coast Guard until April 20, 2015, and the first event is scheduled for May 23, 2015. Further, allowing this event to go forward without a safety zone in place would expose mariners and the public to unnecessary dangers associated with fireworks displays.

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

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish safety zones: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    On May 23 and July 4, 2015, with rain dates of May 24 and July 5, 2015, fireworks will be launched from a barge with a fall out zone that covers part of Indian River Bay near Millsboro, Delaware. The purpose of the rule is to promote public and maritime safety during a fireworks display, and to protect mariners transiting the area from the potential hazards associated with a fireworks display, such as accidental discharge of fireworks, dangerous projectiles, and falling hot embers or other debris.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    To mitigate the risks associated with a fireworks display, the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay will establish a temporary safety zone on the Indian River Bay, near Millsboro, Delaware. The safety zone will encompass all waters of Indian River Bay, within a 200 foot radius of the fireworks barge in approximate position 38-36.58 N., 075-09.00 W., adjacent to Millsboro, Delaware. The safety zone will be enforced from 8:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on May 23 and July 4, 2015, unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port. Should inclement weather require cancellation of the fireworks display on the above scheduled dates, the safety zone will be enforced from 8:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on May 24 and July 5, 2015, respectively.

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, or her designated representative. The Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, or her representative may be contacted via VHF channel 16 or at 215-271-4807.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. Although this regulation will restrict access to the regulated area, the effect of this rule will not be significant because: (i) The Coast Guard will make extensive notification of the Safety Zone to the maritime public via maritime advisories so mariners can alter their plans accordingly; (ii) entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay; (iii) this rule will be enforced for only the duration of the fireworks display, and (iv) the size and duration of the zone are relatively limited in scope.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to anchor or transit along a portion of Indian River Bay, adjacent to Millsboro, Delaware, on May 23 and July 4, 2015, with rain dates of May 24 and July 5, 2015, from 8:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reason: The safety zone is limited in size and duration. Sector Delaware Bay will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the Indian River Bay.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

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

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves implementation of regulations within 33 CFR part 165, applicable to safety zones on the navigable waterways. This zone will temporarily restrict vessel traffic from anchoring or transiting a portion of Indian River Bay near Millsboro, Delaware in order to protect the safety of life and property on the waters while a firework display is conducted. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

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

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

    2. Add temporary § 165.T05-0317, to read as follows:
    § 165.T05-0317 Safety Zone, Indian River Bay; Millsboro, DE.

    (a) Regulated Area. The following area is a safety zone: All waters of Indian River Bay within a 200 foot radius of a fireworks barge located approximately at position 38-36.58N, 075-09.00W near Millsboro, Delaware.

    (b) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this section (§ 165.T05-0317).

    (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering this zone, except as authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port or her designated representative.

    (2) This section applies to all vessels wishing to transit through the safety zone except vessels that are engaged in the following operations:

    (i) Enforcing laws;

    (ii) Servicing aids to navigation, and

    (iii) Emergency response vessels.

    (3) No person or vessel may enter or remain in a safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port;

    (4) Each person and vessel in a safety zone shall obey any direction or order of the Captain of the Port;

    (5) No person may board, or take or place any article or thing on board, any vessel in a safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port; and

    (6) No person may take or place any article or thing upon any waterfront facility in a safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port.

    (c) Definitions—(1) Captain of the Port means the Commander, Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, or any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port to act on her behalf.

    (2) Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port, Delaware Bay, to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted by Federal, State, and local agencies in the patrol and enforcement of the zone.

    (e) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced between 8:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on May 23 and July 4, 2015, unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port. Should inclement weather require cancellation of the fireworks display on the above scheduled dates, the safety zone will be enforced between 8:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. on May 24 and July 5, 2015, unless cancelled earlier by the Captain of the Port.

    Dated: May 7, 2015. K. Moore, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Delaware Bay.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14797 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 42 [Docket No. PTO-P-2015-0032] RIN 0651-AD00 Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Correction

    In rule document 2015-12117 appearing on pages 28561-28566 in the issue of Tuesday, May 19, 2015, make the following correction:

    On page 28563, in the third column, third line from the bottom, delete “http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/ourvehicles/”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2015-12117 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 36 RIN 2900-AN71 Loan Guaranty: Elimination of Redundant Regulations; Technical Correction AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 15, 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a document in the Federal Register (75 FR 33704), amending its loan guaranty regulations to eliminate redundancies in the regulations that were a result of a new electronic reporting system. At that time, we failed to update the cross-reference citations within the redesignated sections. On October 22, 2010 (75 FR 65238), Sections 36.4301 through 36.4323(e) were amended to replace the incorrect cross-reference citations with the accurate, updated cross-references. This document corrects the remaining redesignated sections (§ 36.4324 through § 36.4393) to contain the correct and updated cross-reference citations. These nonsubstantive changes are made for clarity and accuracy.

    DATES:

    Effective June 16, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph E. Simpson, Senior Attorney, The Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., (021D), Washington, DC 20420, (202) 368-6406.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 15, 2010 (75 FR 33704), VA amended 38 CFR part 36. The purpose of the amendments was to eliminate redundant regulations found at 38 CFR 36.4300 through 36.4393 (the “36.4300 series”). VA redesignated the regulations that had previously been published at 38 CFR 36.4800 through § 36.4893 (the “36.4800 series”) to replace the 36.4300 series in its entirety. On October 22, 2010 (75 FR 65238), VA amended the redesignated sections of 36.4301 through 36.4323(3) to replace the incorrect internal cross references to the 36.4800 series contained within those sections, with the updated, accurate internal cross references to the 36.4300 series. That final rule technical citation failed to make the remaining necessary corrections.

    With this action, VA is amending the remaining 36.4300 series regulations to update the internal cross-references to the 36.4800 series regulations. This action is necessary because the 36.4800 series has been removed from 38 CFR part 36, making the current cross reference citations to the series obsolete. VA is amending each citation by simply replacing the numbers “48” with “43” (e.g., changing the reference to § 36.4860 to read § 36.4360).

    For the convenience of the reader, we have included a redesignation table that shows each affected section, the cross reference that is removed, and the new cross reference that is added in its place.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    Because this final rule is only a technical correction to the cross-references in certain regulations, prior notice-and-comment is unnecessary. Accordingly, this final rule is exempt from this requirement under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). For the same reason, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to publish this rule with an immediate effective date.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 36

    Condominiums, Housing, Veterans with disabilities, Loan programs—housing and community development, Loan programs—veterans, Grant program—veterans, Manufactured homes, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Veterans.

    Approved: May 29, 2015. William F. Russo Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 38 CFR 36.4324 through 36.4393 are corrected by making the following correction amendments:

    PART 36—LOAN GUARANTY 1. The authority citation for part 36 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501 and as otherwise noted.

    §§ 36.4324, 36.4325, 36.4326, 36.4327, 36.4328, 36.4331, 36.4333, 36.4335, 36.4338, 36.4339, 36.4340, 36.4345, 36.4347, 36.4348, 36.4350, 36.4352, 36.4354, 36.4355, 36.4359, 36.4360, 36.4361, 36.4362, 36.4363, 36.4364, 36.4365, 36.4367, 36.4375, 36.4378, 36.4379, 36.4390, 36.4392, and 36.4393 [Amended]
    2. In the table below, for each section indicated in the left column, remove the cross-reference indicated in the middle column from wherever it appears in the section, and add the cross-reference indicated in the right column: Redesignation Table Amended sections Remove cross-reference citations Add, in its place, new cross-reference
  • citations
  • § 36.4324(a) § 36.4815(h)(2) 36.4315(h)(2). § 36.4324(a) § 36.4815(h)(2) 36.4315(h)(2). § 36.4324(a)(2) § 36.4814 § 36.4314. § 36.4324(a)(3)(ii) § 36.4822(a) § 36.4322(a). § 36.4324(d)(5) § 36.4833 § 36.4333. § 36.4325 § 36.4820(a) § 36.4320(a). § 36.4326(e) § 36.4845 § 36.4345. § 36.4326(e)(1) § 36.4845 § 36.4345. § 36.4326(e)(2) § 36.4845 § 36.4345. § 36.4326(i) § 36.4809(c)(1)(vii) § 36.4309(c)(1)(vii). § 36.4326(i) § 36.4803(l)(1)(i) § 36.4303(l)(1)(i). § 36.4326(i) § 36.4803(l)(1)(i) § 36.4303(l)(1)(i). § 36.4326(i) § 36.4813(d)(8) § 36.4313(d)(8). § 36.4327(a)(1) § 36.4822 § 36.4322. § 36.4327(d)(2) § 36.4817 § 36.4317. § 36.4327(d)(4) § 36.4815 § 36.4315. § 36.4328(b) § 36.4854(b) § 36.4354(b). § 36.4328(b)(2) § 36.4830 § 36.4330. § 36.4328(b)(3) § 36.4829 § 36.4329. § 36.4328(b)(4) § 36.4817 § 36.4317. § 36.4328(b)(5) § 36.4827 § 36.4327. § 36.4328(b)(6) § 36.4831 § 36.4331. § 36.4328(b)(8) § 36.4854(b) § 36.4354(b). § 36.4328(c) § 36.4820(a) § 36.4320(a). § 36.4331 §§ 36.4800 through 36.4880 §§ 36.4300 through 36.4380. § 36.4333(a)(2) § 36.4819(a) § 36.4319(a). § 36.4335 §§ 36.4800 to 36.4880 §§ 36.4800 to 36.4880. § 36.4335 § 36.4845 § 36.4345. § 36.4335 §§ 36.4800 to 36.4880 §§ 36.4800 to 36.4880. § 36.4338(a) § 36.4845 § 36.4345. § 36.4338(a)(1) § 36.4808(a) § 36.4308(a). § 36.4338(a)(2) § 36.4803(l) § 36.4303(l). § 36.4338(a)(3) § 36.4824(d)(3) § 36.4324(d)(3). § 36.4338(a)(4) § 36.4823(a) § 36.4323(a). § 36.4338(a)(5) § 36.4823(b) § 36.4323(b). § 36.4338(a)(6) § 36.4814(f)(2) § 36.4314(f)(2). § 36.4338(a)(7) § 36.4824(a)(3) § 36.4324(a)(3). § 36.4338(a)(8) § 36.4824(e) § 36.4324(e). § 36.4339(c) § 36.4823 § 36.4323. § 36.4340(h) § 36.4839(a)(3) § 36.4339(a)(3). § 36.4340(k)(3) § 36.4840(k)(2) § 36.4340(k)(2). § 36.4345(c)(2) § 36.4823(e) § 36.4323(e). § 36.4345(c)(2) § 36.4838 § 36.4338. § 36.4345(c)(2) § 36.4846 § 36.4346. § 36.4347(a)(5) § 36.4847(b) § 36.4347(b). § 36.4347(d) § 36.4847(b) § 36.4347(b). § 36.4347(f) § 36.4847(d) § 36.4347(d). § 36.4348(a)(4) § 36.4848(b) § 36.4348(b). § 36.4348(c) § 36.4848(b) § 36.4348(b). § 36.4348(d) § 36.4848(c) § 36.4348(c). § 36.4350(g)(1)(iv)(A)(1) § 36.4815 § 36.4315. § 36.4350(i)(2) § 36.4817(c)(10) § 36.4317(c)(10). § 36.4352(d)(1) § 36.4852(b)(5) § 36.4352(b)(5). § 36.4354(b)(5)(iii) § 36.4862(c) § 36.4362(c). § 36.4355 § 36.4854(a) § 36.4354(a). § 36.4359(c) § 36.4855 § 36.4355. § 36.4360(a) § 36.4857 § 36.4357. § 36.4360(a) § 36.4859 § 36.4359. § 36.4360(a) § 36.4869 § 36.4369. § 36.4360(b)(2) § 36.4801 § 36.4301. § 36.4361(b) § 36.4854 § 36.4354. § 36.4361(c)(4) § 36.4864(a)(3) § 36.4364(a)(3). § 36.461(c)(4) § 36.4865(b)(6) § 36.4365(b)(6). § 36.461(d)(2) § 36.4864(a)(6) § 36.4364(a)(6). § 36.4362(b)(4)(iii) § 36.4856 § 36.4356. § 36.4362(c)(5) § 36.4854(b)(5)(ii) § 36.4354(b)(5)(ii). § 36.4362(c)(5) § 36.4854(b)(5)(iv) § 36.4354(b)(5)(iv). § 36.4362(c)(6)(ii) § 36.4809(e) § 36.4309(e). § 36.4362(c)(6)(ii) § 36.4854(b)(5)(iv) § 36.4354(b)(5)(iv). § 36.4363(e) § 36.4829 § 36.4329. § 36.4364(a)(1) § 36.4861(d)(2) § 36.4361(d)(2). § 36.4364(a)(3) § 36.4865(b)(6) § 36.4365(b)(6). § 36.4364(a)(7) § 36.4861(b) § 36.4361(b). § 36.4364(a)(7) § 36.4862(c)(1) and (2) § 36.4362(c)(1) and (2). § 36.4364(c) § 36.4800 series § 36.4300 series. § 36.4365(b)(5) § 36.4865(b)(7) § 36.4365(b)(7). § 36.4367 §§ 36.4860 through 36.4865 §§ 36.4360 through 36.4365. § 36.4375(b) § 36.4820 § 36.4320. § 36.4378 § 36.4820 § 36.4320. § 36.4378 § 36.4877 § 36.4377. § 36.4378 § 36.4877(a) § 36.4377(a). § 36.4379(a) § 36.4817 § 36.4317. § 36.4379(a) § 36.4850 § 36.4350. § 36.4379(a) § 36.4875(b) § 36.4375(b). § 36.4379(b) § 36.4814 § 36.4314. § 36.4390 §§ 36.4890 through 36.4893 §§ 36.4390 through 36.4393. § 36.4392 §§ 36.4890 through 36.4893 §§ 36.4390 through 36.4393. § 36.4392 § 36.4891 § 36.4391. § 36.4393(a) § 36.4892 § 36.4392. § 36.4393(c) § 36.4892 § 36.4392. § 36.4393(d) § 36.4892 § 36.4392. § 36.4393(e) § 36.4892 § 36.4392.
    [FR Doc. 2015-13456 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 4 [ET Docket No. 04-35; FCC 15-39] Commission Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission resolves several pending matters in the proceeding that established the network outage reporting rules. The Commission declines to adopt a proposal to expand its “special offices and facilities” outage reporting requirements to cover general aviation airports and it disposes of seven petitions for reconsideration. Each petition is granted, denied, or dismissed to the extent indicated.

    DATES:

    Effective July 16, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda D. Villanueva, Attorney Advisor, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-7005 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration in ET Docket No. 04-35, FCC 15-39, adopted March 27, 2015 and released March 30, 2015. The full text of this document, FCC 15-39, is available for public inspection online at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-part-4-improvements-item, or during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554.

    Synopsis I. Second Report and Order

    The Report and Order in this docket, 69 FR 70316, established the Commission's part 4 outage reporting rules, which require certain providers of communications to electronically file reports of network outages that exceed specified thresholds of magnitude and duration. In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) that accompanied that Report and Order, 69 FR 68859, the Commission sought comment on a proposal to extend outage-reporting requirements for special offices and facilities to cover general aviation airports, a category that includes airports smaller than those already covered by section 4.5(b) of the rules. No comments were received on this proposal, and there remains a lack of record support for its adoption. Moreover, adoption of the proposal would run counter to the reasoning underlying some of the proposals in the (NPRM) that accompanies this document. In particular, we sought comment on excluding from the definition of “special offices and facilities” all airports other than the nation's most heavily trafficked airports, because reports of airport-related outages at such airports have not been significant enough to pose a substantial threat to public safety. Alternatively, we consider, among other potential changes to section 4.5(b), the elimination of airport-specific reporting requirements as duplicative of our proposed TSP-based reporting requirements. Accordingly, we decline to adopt the proposal to extend section 4.5(b) to cover general aviation airports.

    II. Order on Reconsideration

    The Commission received nine Petitions for Reconsideration of various aspects of the Report and Order, seven of which remain pending. The seven Petitioners are Cingular Wireless LLC (Cingular), CTIA-The Wireless Association (CTIA), Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO); Qwest Corporation and Qwest Communications Corporation (Qwest), Sprint Corporation (Sprint), US Telecom, and, filing jointly, AT&T, BellSouth, MCI, SBC and Verizon (collectively, Joint Petitioners). These seven petitions are disposed of in this Order on Reconsideration. In a companion document, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in PS Docket No. 15-80, the Commission seeks comment on modifications to the Part 4 rules to improve their utility.

    A. Issues Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Certain proposals considered in the (NPRM) incorporate issues raised in various petitions. As we are considering there the merits Petitioners' requests for relief on these issues, we will incorporate into the record those portions of Petitioners' petitions that present substantive arguments on these issues. We also incorporate into the record those portions of any responsive pleadings filed in connection with the Petitions that present substantive arguments relevant to those issues. Any other aspects of the petitions relating to these issues are dismissed as moot.

    B. Other Issues

    We now consider those issues raised in the various Petitions that we have not addressed in the (NRPM). We grant or deny each Petition to the extent indicated below.

    1. Reporting Obligations of “Pure Resellers”

    Before withdrawing its Petition, BellSouth requested therein that the Commission clarify section 4.9(f) to “expressly state that pure resellers (those that do not own, operate, or maintain switching, routing, or transmission facilities) are exempt from the Commission's reporting requirements to the extent that a network failure occurs on resold facilities that are owned, operated, or maintained by an underlying facilities-based provider.” BellSouth argued that pure resellers should not be subject to part 4 reporting obligations because resellers do not have direct access to the outage information that must be reported, and that the only way that a pure reseller becomes aware of a network outage is “typically” through “customer calls, news reports . . . or from the underlying facilities based provider itself” and that “[n]one of these methods . . . are routine or foolproof.” Sprint also addresses this issue in its Petition, focusing on section 4.3(b) of the rules, arguing that pure resellers of wireless service “would not be able to provide any information on the extent and duration of the outage or the cause of the outage.” Rather, Sprint argues, the Commission can obtain this information from reports filed by the underlying facilities-based provider because “customers of these [pure reseller] providers are included in the reports of the affected underlying [facilities-based] wireless carrier.” Sprint argues that the provision “includ[ing] . . . affiliated and non-affiliated entities that maintain or provide communications networks or services used by the provider in offering such communications” could be read as encompassing a wireless service provider that does not own any wireless facilities or maintain a wireless network. Qwest also supports the position that pure resellers should be exempt from part 4 outage reporting.

    NASUCA argued in its responsive pleading, on the other hand, that separate reporting by a pure reseller and its underlying facilities-based communications provider would ensure “that . . . the Commission . . . will have a deeper understanding of the full impact of the outage.” It maintained that “only the reseller knows how many telephone numbers in the block it acquired from the LEC [local exchange carrier] are operational and thus affected by the outage,” and it therefore “must be obliged to provide that information.”

    Although the applicability of outage reporting requirements to “pure resellers” of communications services was not expressly addressed in Report and Order, the rules adopted therein require “[a]ll . . . communications providers” in covered categories to file reports upon “discovering that they have experienced” a qualifying outage “on any facilities that they own, operate, lease or otherwise utilize.” Thus, resellers in the covered categories are within the reach of the part 4 rules insofar as they “lease or otherwise utilize” facilities to provide communications services to their customers.

    The underlying purpose of the part 4 outage reporting rules is to improve network reliability and resiliency, particularly as it affects the Nation's 911 system, by providing the Commission with the ability to analyze data regarding significant outages, regardless of the network(s) in which the underlying causal factors lie. This information enables the Commission to analyze how outages in one network affect other networks and to identify adverse trends. “Pure resellers” may lack direct access to the network facilities they use to provide service, but we agree with NASUCA that such providers may be uniquely positioned to provide information on outages affecting their customers. Similarly, outages induced from higher-level issues may stem from resellers' systems or applications. Finally, we observe that the Commission routinely receives reports of outages pertaining to facilities not under the direct control or ownership of the filing party, and such reports provide a valuable perspective on the course and impact of outages affecting multiple providers. We therefore deny Sprint's petition with respect to this issue.

    2. Reporting of Planned Network Outages

    CTIA, Cingular and Sprint request reconsideration of the Commission's decision to treat planned outages related to network maintenance, repair, and upgrades the same as other outages for purposes of its reporting requirements. CTIA and Cingular maintain that planned system outages should not be reportable events, arguing that normal operational and maintenance requirements of providers may require planned service disruptions in order to conduct maintenance, perform upgrades, or complete repair work, and that these disruptions are intended to enhance network reliability. They also argue that mandated reporting of planned outages imposes undue burdens on providers. Sprint does not argue for the elimination of reporting requirements for planned outages, but rather advocates for an alternative filing requirement whereby providers would file a single report 72 hours after a planned outage.

    NASUCA opposes any modification to the requirements for reporting planned outages. NASUCA argues that, as far as consumer and national security interests are concerned, a planned outage is still an outage. NASUCA urges the Commission not to weaken Commission authority at a time that it must be exercised more firmly than ever before because of heightened national security concerns.

    The arguments raised by Petitioners on this issue were previously considered and addressed by the Commission in the Report and Order. While the Commission did not specifically consider facts and arguments of Sprint's proposed single field report 72 hours after discovery of a planned outage, the Commission did consider facts and arguments generally concerning the filing requirements. In declining to exempt planned outages from the outage reporting requirements it was adopting, the Commission acknowledged the reliance of both public safety personnel and the general public on wireless services for both emergency and routine communications. Petitioners have not presented facts or arguments in their Petitions that would lead us to reconsider the conclusion that such reliance creates a need for reporting of planned wireless network outages. Indeed, reliance on wireless services for emergency-related communications has only increased since adoption of the Report and Order, making it ever more imperative that wireless network outages are fully reported on a timely basis irrespective of their cause. In addition, the reporting burden associated with such reporting was fully considered in the original rulemaking proceeding. We decline to revisit that issue here. While we acknowledge the difficulties involved in maintaining complex communications networks, we continue to find that exempting planned outages from the scope of reporting would detract from the purposes of part 4. For the foregoing reasons, we deny the Petitions of CTIA, Cingular and Sprint with respect to reporting of planned network outages.

    3. Rural Provider Reporting Obligations

    OPASTCO requests that the Commission reconsider its Part 4 outage reporting obligations insofar as they apply to rural telephone companies. In support of its Petition, OPASTCO alleges both procedural and substantive deficiencies in the Report and Order. First, OPASTCO contends that the Commission did not provide sufficient opportunity for comment on the information collections associated with its Part 4 rules before the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved them. Second, it alleges that the established 120-minute deadline for filing an initial notification is unduly burdensome as applied to rural providers. Finally, OPASTCO asserts that the Commission's Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) analysis fails to account fully for the burdens that rural providers will incur in assessing whether they serve “special facilities” as specified in section 4.5(b) or in reporting on their implementation of NRIC best practices. Dobson and TDS Telecom each filed responses in support of OPASTCO's petition.

    Neither OPASTCO nor its supporting commenters offer persuasive arguments for reconsideration of the Commission's outage reporting requirements as applied to rural telephone providers. First, any alleged procedural deficiency in OMB's approval of the part 4 information collection has been made moot by the passage of time, as the public has been given subsequent opportunities to comment on the collection as part of OMB's periodic review and re-approval process. We find that this established process is the appropriate forum for addressing perceived deficiencies in the PRA analysis associated with the Commission's part 4 requirements.

    We also find that OPASTCO misstates the burden that accrues to rural providers in complying with the 120-minute deadline for filing initial notifications. This obligation extends to outages that last for at least 30 minutes and potentially affect at least 900,000 user minutes, but the 120-minute timeframe for filing an initial notification of the outage commences only upon discovery that a reportable outage exists. Although providers have an obligation to take reasonable steps to discover outages, there is no prescribed timeframe for detecting the presence of an outage, only for reporting on outages that the provider has determined meet the reporting criteria. This discussion further clarifies when the 120-minute timeframe begins, as OPASTCO requests. In practice, providers often have much longer than 120 minutes from the onset of an outage to file the notification. Our experience administering NORS has demonstrated that the established 120-minute deadline sets an appropriate balance between the Commission's need to be timely apprised of critical outages and the needs of providers to deploy scarce resources effectively when these outages occur. In the nine years since the rules went into effect, we are unaware of any small rural provider that has been significantly challenged in complying with the 120-minute deadline. We are therefore not persuaded that this requirement is too burdensome as applied to rural providers.

    For the foregoing reasons, we deny the OPASTCO Petition.

    4. DS3 Simplex Outage Reporting

    Several Petitioners seek reconsideration of the requirement that providers report “DS3 simplex” outages and propose relaxation of the requirement. In the Partial Stay Order the Commission rejected arguments that this requirement should be eliminated outright, but it stayed the reporting obligation insofar as it applied to outages rectified within five days of their discovery. Petitioners have not presented facts or arguments beyond those considered and rejected in the Partial Stay Order that would support reconsideration of the DS3 reporting obligation as applied to outages that persist longer than five days. In fact, as explained in the (NPRM) that accompanies this document, the volume of DS3 simplex outages reported in recent years has led us to propose tightening our DS3 simplex reporting requirements. Accordingly, Petitioners' request for reconsideration of this matter is denied.

    5. Withdrawal of Notifications and Initial Reports

    In its Petition, Sprint requests that the Commission codify in section 4.11 its stated policy that providers may “withdraw notifications and initial reports in legitimate circumstances,” such as when the filing was made mistakenly. Although the Commission has consistently followed this policy throughout the tenure of NORS, we agree that codifying it in our rules may provide greater assurance to providers. Accordingly, on this issue we grant Sprint's request and amend section 4.11 accordingly.

    III. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),1 the Commission has prepared a Final Regulatory Certification (Certification) for the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration. The Certification is set forth as Appendix E. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration and their Certification to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    1See 5 U.S.C.—603.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The rules adopted in the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration in this document contain no new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13.

    C. Congressional Review Act

    The Commission will not send a copy of this Order on Reconsideration pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A) et seq., because the adopted rule is a rule of “agency organization, procedure, or practice” within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(C).

    IV. Ordering Clauses

    Accordingly it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in Sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 4(o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 309(j), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j) & (o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 309(j), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c, this Final Rule, Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration in ET Docket 04-35 and PS Docket 15-80 is adopted, effective July 16, 2015.

    It is further ordered that, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 302, 303(e) 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 302a, 303(e), 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), and 405, the Petitions for Reconsideration filed by Cingular Wireless, CTIA—The Wireless Association, Qwest Communications, the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies, Sprint and the United States Telecom Association, and the Petition for Reconsideration filed jointly by AT&T, BellSouth, MCI, SBC and Verizon, in ET Docket No. 04-35, are granted, denied and dismissed to the extent indicated herein.

    It is further ordered that, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 302, 303(e) 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), and 405 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 302a, 303(e), 303(f), 303(g), 303(r), and 405, the Commission's rules are hereby amended.

    It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration, including the Final Regulatory Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    V. Final Regulatory Certification

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA) 2 requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” 3 The RFA generally defines “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” 4 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act.5 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).6

    2 The RFA, see—5 U.S.C. S 601 et seq., has been amended by the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (CWAAA). Title II of the CWAAA is the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA).

    3 5 U.S.C.—605(b).

    4 5 U.S.C.—601(6).

    5 5 U.S.C.—601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. S—632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C.—601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”

    6 Small Business Act,—15 U.S.C. S 632.

    The Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration adopt the following rules:

    • The Second Report and Order declines to adopt a proposal to expand the range of airports classified as “special offices and facilities” for purposes of outage reporting under Part 4.

    • The Order and Reconsideration codifies in section 4.11 the Commission's longstanding policy of allowing providers to withdraw outage report filings under appropriate circumstances.

    The first of these involves a determination not to adopt a substantive rule, while the second merely codifies an existing policy. We thus certify that neither of these rules will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 4

    Airports, Communications common carriers, Communications equipment, Disruptions to communications, Network outages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 4 as follows:

    PART 4—DISRUPTIONS TO COMMUNICATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 4 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 201, 251, 307, 316.

    2. Section 4.11 is amended by adding a sentence at the end of the paragraph to read as follows:
    § 4.11 Notification and initial and final communications outage reports that must be filed by communications providers.

    * * * Notifications and initial reports may be withdrawn under legitimate circumstances, e.g., when the filing was made under the mistaken assumption that an outage was required to be reported.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14685 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 231 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures CFR Correction

    In Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 2, Parts 200 to 299, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 261, in section 231.205-18, reinstate paragraphs (c)(iv)(A) and (B), to read as follows:

    231.205-18 Independent research and development and bid and proposal costs.

    (c) * * *

    (iv) * * *

    (A) Determine whether IR&D/B&P projects are of potential interest to DoD; and

    (B) Provide the results of the determination to the contractor.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14536 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1501-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 237 Service Contracting CFR Correction

    In Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 2, Parts 200 to 299, revised as of October 1, 2014, on page 295, in section 237.101, add the definition of “Senior mentor” to read as follows:

    237.101 Definitions.

    “Senior mentor” means a retired flag, general, or other military officer or retired senior civilian official who provides expert experience-based mentoring, teaching, training, advice, and recommendations to senior military officers, staff, and students as they participate in war games, warfighting courses, operational planning, operational exercises, and decision-making exercises.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14537 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    80 115 Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1220 [Doc. No. AMS-LPS-15-0016] Soybean Promotion and Research: Amend the Order To Adjust Representation on the United Soybean Board AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would adjust the number of members on the United Soybean Board (Board) to reflect changes in production levels that have occurred since the Board was last reapportioned in 2012. As required by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act), membership on the Board is reviewed every 3 years and adjustments are made accordingly. This proposed change would result in an increase in Board membership for three States, increasing the total number of Board members from 70 to 73. These changes would be reflected in the Soybean Promotion and Research Order (Order) and would be effective for the 2016 appointment process.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments should be posted online at www.regulations.gov. Comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided. All comments should reference the docket number, AMS-LPS-15-0016; the date of submission; and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments may also be sent to James R. Brow, Promotion and Research Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Room 2610-S, STOP 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0251; or via Fax to (202) 720-1125. Comments will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours or via the Internet at www.regulations.gov. Comments must be received by August 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James R. Brow, Promotion and Research Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2610-S, STOP 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0251; Telephone 202/720-0633; Fax 202/720-1125; or email to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process required by Executive Order 12866 for this action.

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule was reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have a retroactive effect. This action would not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule.

    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 1971 of the Act, a person subject to the Order may file a petition with USDA stating that the Order, any provision of the Order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the Order, is not in accordance with the law and request a modification of the Order or an exemption from the Order. The petitioner is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After a hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that district courts of the United States in any district in which such person is an inhabitant, or has their principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, if a complaint for this purpose is filed within 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    AMS has determined that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), because it only adjusts representation on the Board to reflect changes in production levels that have occurred since the Board was last reapportioned in 2012. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. As such, these changes will not impose a significant impact on persons subject to the program.

    There are an estimated 569,998 soybean producers and an estimated 10,000 first purchasers who collect the assessment, most of whom would be considered small businesses under the criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) [13 CFR 121.201]. SBA defines small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the reporting and recordkeeping requirements included in 7 CFR part 1220 were previously approved by OMB and were assigned control number 0581-0093.

    Background and Proposed Changes

    The Act (7 U.S.C. 6301-6311) provides for the establishment of a coordinated program of promotion and research designed to strengthen the soybean industry's position in the marketplace, and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for soybeans and soybean products. The program is financed by an assessment of 0.5 percent of the net market price of soybeans sold by producers. Pursuant to the Act, an Order was made effective July 9, 1991. The Order established an initial Board with 60 members. For purposes of establishing the Board, the United States was divided into 31 States and geographical units. Representation on the Board from each unit was determined by the level of production in each unit. The initial Board was appointed on July 11, 1991. The Board is comprised of soybean producers.

    Section 1220.201(c) of the Order provides that at the end of each 3-year period, the Board shall review soybean production levels in the geographic units throughout the United States. The Board may recommend to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) modification in the levels of production necessary for Board membership for each unit.

    Section 1220.201(d) of the Order provides that at the end of each 3-year period, the Secretary must review the volume of production of each unit and adjust the boundaries of any unit and the number of Board members from each such unit as necessary to conform with the criteria set forth in § 1220.201(e): (1) To the extent practicable, States with annual average soybean production of less than 3,000,000 bushels shall be grouped into geographically contiguous units, each of which has a combined production level equal to or greater than 3,000,000 bushels, and each such group shall be entitled to at least one member on the Board; (2) units with at least 3,000,000 bushels, but fewer than 15,000,000 bushels shall be entitled to one board member; (3) units with 15,000,000 bushels or more but fewer than 70,000,000 bushels shall be entitled to two Board members; (4) units with 70,000,000 bushels or more but fewer than 200,000,000 bushels shall be entitled to three Board members; and (5) units with 200,000,000 bushels or more shall be entitled to four Board members.

    The Board was last reapportioned in 2012. The total Board membership increased from 69 to 70 members, with Mississippi gaining one additional member. The final rule was published in the Federal Register (74 FR 27467) on January 2, 2013. This change was effective with the 2013 appointments.

    Currently, the Board has 70 members representing 31 geographical units. This membership is based on average production levels for the years 2007-2011 (excluding crops in years that production was the highest and that production was the lowest) as reported by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

    This proposed rule would increase total membership on the Board from 70 to 73. Production data for years 2010-2014 (excluding the crops in years in which production was the highest and in which production was the lowest) was gathered from NASS. This change would not affect the number of geographical units. The NASS information combines the production from the Western and Eastern Regions into one production data without distinguishing between the two regions. The NASS data does not support a change in membership for either region. As such, this proposed rule would leave the membership of both regions unchanged with one member each.

    This proposed rule would adjust representation on the Board as follows:

    State Current
  • representation
  • Proposed
  • representation
  • Missouri 3 4 New Jersey 0 1 Wisconsin 2 3

    Board adjustments as proposed by this rulemaking would become effective, if adopted, with the 2016 appointment process.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1220

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Agricultural research, Marketing agreements, Soybeans and soybean products, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, it is proposed that title 7, part 1220 be amended as follows:

    PART 1220-SOYBEAN PROMOTION, RESEARCH, AND CONSUMER INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1220 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6301-6311 and 7 U.S.C. 7401.

    2. In § 1220.201, paragraph (a), the table is revised to read as follows:
    § 1220.201 Membership of board.

    (a) * * *

    Unit Number of
  • members
  • Illinois 4 Iowa 4 Minnesota 4 Indiana 4 Nebraska 4 Ohio 4 Missouri 4 Arkansas 3 South Dakota 3 Kansas 3 Michigan 3 North Dakota 3 Mississippi 3 Wisconsin 3 Louisiana 2 Tennessee 2 North Carolina 2 Kentucky 2 Pennsylvania 2 Virginia 2 Maryland 2 Georgia 2 South Carolina 1 Alabama 1 Delaware 1 Texas 1 Oklahoma 1 New York 1 New Jersey 1 Eastern Region (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, West Virginia, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico 1 Western Region (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Hawaii, and Alaska) 1
    Dated: June 11, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14708 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2207; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-003-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; M7 Aerospace LLC Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 97-02-02, which applies to certain Models SA26-AT, SA26-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-AT, SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, SA227-DC (C-26B), and SA227-TT airplanes. AD 97-02-02 currently requires applying torque to the control column pitch bearing attaching nuts, inspecting the bearing assembly, inspecting the elevator control rod end bearing retainer/dust seals, and replacing or installing new parts as necessary. Since we issued AD 97-02-02, an operator experienced a complete loss of elevator control because of failure of the bolt attaching the elevator control rod to the elevator walking beam under the cockpit floor. This proposed AD would prevent loss of pitch control, which if not corrected, could result in loss of airplane control. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact M7 Aerospace LLC, 10823 NE Entrance Road, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 824-9421; fax: (210) 804-7766; Internet: http://www.elbitsystems-us.com; email: [email protected] You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2207; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew McAnaul, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, ASW-143 (c/o San Antonio MIDO), 10100 Reunion Place, Suite 650, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 308-3365; fax: (210) 308-3370; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2207; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-003-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On January 6, 1997, we issued AD 97-02-02, Amendment 39-9886 (62 FR 2552, January 17, 1997), (“AD 97-02-02”), for certain M7 Aerospace LLC Models SA26-AT, SA26-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-AT, SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, SA227-DC (C-26B), and SA227-TT airplanes. AD 97-02-02 requires applying torque to check the security of the control column pitch bearing attaching nuts, inspecting for any looseness or movement of the bearing assembly, and inspecting the elevator control rod end bearing retainer/dust seals for creasing. If any of these problems are evident, replace these parts, as well as install a new bolt and washer to the elevator control rod end bearing assembly at the walking beam connection. AD 97-02-02 resulted from reports of Fairchild SA227 series airplanes losing pitch control in-flight. We issued AD 97-02-02 to prevent loss of pitch control, which if not corrected, could result in loss of airplane control.

    Actions Since AD 97-02-02 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 97-02-02, an operator experienced complete loss of elevator control due to failure of the bolt attaching the elevator control rod to the elevator walking beam under the cockpit floor. A follow-on inspection of the operator's fleet revealed a variety of hardware installed. Some hardware matched the illustrated parts catalog (IPC), some matched the AD 97-02-02 configuration, and some matched neither of those configurations.

    When AD 97-02-02 was issued, the IPC was never revised to match the hardware configuration called out in AD 97-02-02 or in the service information associated with that AD. Because of the conflict between the AD and the IPC configurations, an airplane that was in compliance with the requirements of AD 97-02-02 could have had an incorrect hardware configuration installed during routine maintenance after complying with the AD. The IPC has been updated and corrected by M7 Aerospace, LLC.

    Also, since we issued AD 97-02-02, the manufacturer developed an improved design for the control column pivot bearing and support structure that terminates the repetitive torque check and replacement of control column pivot bearings.

    The manufacturer also issued new service information that adds the 10,000-hour time in service (TIS) repetitive replacement of the control column pivot bearing that is in the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) of the airplane maintenance manual (AMM) and (if this revision is mandated) requires the replacement of the pivot bearing with the improved design within 35,000 hours TIS that is in the supplemental inspections document (SID). Issue of the new service information, the revised IPC, and this proposed AD will eliminate the conflicts between AD 97-02-02, the service information, the IPC, the ALS, and the SID.

    Relevant Service Information Under 1 CFR 51

    We reviewed M7 Aerospace SA26 Series Service Bulletin No. 26-27-30-046 R2, dated December 5, 2014; Fairchild Aircraft SA26 Series Service Bulletin No. 26-27-30-047, dated June 16, 1997; M7 Aerospace SA226 Series Service Bulletin No. 226-27-060 R2, dated December 5, 2014; Fairchild Aerospace SA226 Series Service Bulletin No. 226-27-061, dated June 16, 1997; M7 Aerospace SA227 Series Service Bulletin, No. 227-27-041 R2, dated December 5, 2014; Fairchild Aircraft SA227 Series Service Bulletin No. 227-27-042, dated June 16, 1997; M7 Aerospace LLC SA227 Series Commuter Category Service Bulletin No. CC7-27-010 R2, dated December 5, 2014; and Fairchild Aircraft SA227 Series Commuter Category Service Bulletin No. CC7-27-011, dated June 16, 1997. The service information describes procedures for inspecting for movement and correct torque of the elevator control pivot bearing, inspecting the elevator control rod for damage, and replacing parts as necessary. The service information also adds a repetitive replacement of the control column pivot bearings at 10,000 hours TIS and requires replacement of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design within 35,000 hours TIS. This information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of the NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain none of the requirements of AD 97-02-02. This proposed AD would require inspecting for movement and correct torque of the elevator control pivot bearing, inspecting the elevator control rod for damage, and replacing parts as necessary. This proposed AD would also require a 10,000-hour TIS repetitive replacement of the control column pivot bearing and require replacement of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design within 35,000 hours TIS. Replacing the original control column pivot bearing with the improved design terminates the requirement to repetitively replace the original control column pivot bearing every 10,000 hours.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 360 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection of torque on the control column pivot bearing 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 Not applicable $170 $61,200 Control column pivot bearing replacement 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 300 980 352,800 New designed control column pivot bearing replacement 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 2,450 4,150 1,494,000 Elevator rod end bolt replacement 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 10 350 126,000
    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the proposed regulation:

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 97-02-02, Amendment 39-9886 (62 FR 2552, January 17, 1997), and adding the following new AD: M7 Aerospace: Docket No. FAA-2015-2207; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-003-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by July 31, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 97-02-02, Amendment 39-9886 (62 FR 2552, January 17, 1997).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to M7 Aerospace LLC Models SA26-AT, SA26-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-AT, SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, SA227-DC (C-26B), SA227-TT, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    AD 97-02-02 (62 FR 2552, January 17, 1997) (“AD 97-02-02”) resulted from reports of Fairchild SA227 series airplanes losing pitch control in-flight. This supersedure was prompted by an operator experiencing complete loss of elevator control because of failure of the bolt attaching the elevator control rod to the elevator walking beam under the cockpit floor. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of pitch control, which if not corrected, could result in loss of airplane control.

    (f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. Models SA227-CC and SA227-DC, serial numbers 892, 893, and 895 and up, have the revised (modified) configuration. Since those airplanes are already in compliance, they do not have to do the actions in paragraphs (h) or (i) of this AD, including all subparagraphs. Those airplanes must still do the actions required in paragraph (j) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (g) Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information

    This AD allows credit for the control column pivot bearing torque check and initial replacement required in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD and the elevator rod bolt inspection and initial replacement required in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(3)(i) of this AD, if done before the effective date of this AD, following the procedures specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD:

    (1) M7 Aerospace SA227 Commuter Category Service Bulletin No. CC7-27-010, original issue or revision 1.

    (2) M7 Aerospace SA227 Series Service Bulletin No. 227-27-041, original issue or revision 1.

    (3) M7 Aerospace SA226 Series Service Bulletin No. 226-27-060, original issue or revision 1.

    (4) M7 Aerospace SA26 Series Service Bulletin No. 26-27-30-046, original issue or revision 1.

    (h) Control Column Pivot Bearing Revised (Modified) Configuration

    (1) On or before the airplane accumulates a total of 35,000 hours time-in-service (TIS) or within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, you must revise (modify) the control column pivot bearing configuration with the improved design. Use the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD. Revising (modifying) the configuration of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design terminates the actions for paragraph (i) of this AD, including all subparagraphs, but you must still complete the required actions in paragraph (j) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (i) Fairchild Aircraft SA26 Series Service Bulletin No. 26-27-30-047, dated June 16, 1997;

    (ii) Fairchild Aircraft SA226 Series Service Bulletin No. 226-27-061, dated June 16, 1997;

    (iii) Fairchild Aircraft SA227 Series Service Bulletin No. 227-27-042, dated June 16, 1997; or

    (iv) Fairchild Aircraft SA227 Series Commuter Category No. CC7-27-011, dated June 16, 1997.

    (2) You may at any time before 35,000 hours TIS revise (modify) the control column pivot bearing configuration with the improved design to terminate the repetitive replacement of the original control column pivot bearing using the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD. This action terminates the requirements of paragraph (i) of this AD, including all subparagraphs, but you must still complete the required actions in pargraph (j) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (i) Torque Check or Replacement of the Control Column Pivot Bearing

    (1) Use the service information, as applicable, listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD to do a control column pivot bearing torque check or replacement at the applicable compliance times in paragraph (i)(2) or (i)(3) of this AD, including all subparagraphs:

    (i) M7 Aerospace LLC SA26 Series Service Bulletin No. 26-27-30-046 R2, dated December 5, 2014;

    (ii) M7 Aerospace LLC SA226 Series Service Bulletin No. 226-27-060 R2, dated December 5, 2014;

    (iii) M7 Aerospace LLC SA227 Series Service Bulletin No. 227-27-041 R2, dated December 5, 2014; or

    (iv) M7 Aerospace LLC SA227 Series Commuter Category Service Bulletin No. CC7-27-010 R2, December 5, 2014.

    (2) For airplanes where the control column pivot bearing has been torque checked or replaced within the last 10,000 hours TIS before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information listed in paragraph (g)(1) through (g)(4) or (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD, do one of the following actions:

    (i) Within the next 10,000 hours TIS after the last control column pivot bearing replacement or within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and repetitively thereafter every 10,000 hours TIS, replace the control column pivot bearing following paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD; or

    (ii) Within the next 10,000 hours TIS after the last control column pivot bearing replacement or within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, revise (modify) the control column pivot bearing configuration with the improved design using the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD. Revising (modifying) the configuration of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design terminates the repetitive replacement of the original control column pivot bearing. No other actions are required for paragraph (i) of this AD, including all subparagraphs, but you must still complete the actions in paragraph (j) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (3) For airplanes where the control column pivot bearing has not been torque checked or replaced within the last 10,000 hours TIS before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) or (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD, within the next 200 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, torque check the control column pivot bearing following paragraph 2.A. of the service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD.

    (4) If nut movement occurs during the torque check required in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD, do one of the following actions:

    (i) Before further flight and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed every 10,000 hours TIS, replace the control column pivot bearing following paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD; or

    (ii) Before further flight, revise (modify) the control column pivot bearing configuration with the improved design using the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD. Revising (modifying) the configuration of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design terminates the repetitive replacement of the original control column pivot bearing. No other actions are required for paragraph (i) of this AD, including all subparagraphs, but you must still complete the actions in paragraph (j) of this AD, including all subparagraphs.

    (5) If no nut movement occurs during the torque check required in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD, do one of the following actions:

    (i) Within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, replace the control column pivot bearing following paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD; or

    (ii) Within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, revise (modify) the control column pivot bearing configuration with the improved design using the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iv) of this AD. Revising (modifying) the configuration of the control column pivot bearing with the improved design terminates the repetitive replacement of the original control column pivot bearing.

    (j) Inspect the Elevator Control Rod Ends and Hardware

    (1) Within the next 200 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, inspect the elevator control rod ends and hardware for wear, creasing, or other damage and verify the elevator rod bolt and attachment hardware for correct configuration following paragraph 2.D. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD.

    (2) If any damage is found during the inspection required in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD or the elevator rod bolt and attachment hardware does not match the correct configuration, before further flight, replace the elevator rod bolt, rod ends, and associated hardware following paragraph 2.D. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD.

    (3) Replace the elevator rod end bolt and associated hardware following paragraph 2.D. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information listed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(iv) of this AD at whichever of the following compliance times applies and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10,000 hours TIS:

    (i) For airplanes where the elevator rod bolt has been replaced: Within the next 10,000 hours TIS after the last elevator rod bolt replacement or within the next 1,000 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later; or

    (ii) For airplanes where the elevator rod bolt has never been replaced: Within the next 200 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD.

    (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Fort Worth Airplane Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Andrew McAnaul, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, ASW-143 (c/o San Antonio MIDO), 10100 Reunion Place, Suite 650, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 308-3365; fax: (210) 308-3370; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact M7 Aerospace LLC, 10823 NE Entrance Road, San Antonio, Texas 78216; phone: (210) 824-9421; fax: (210) 804-7766; Internet: http://www.elbitsystems-us.com; email: [email protected] You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 9, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14698 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-2134; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-012-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; B/E Aerospace Protective Breathing Equipment Part Number 119003-11 AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain B/E Aerospace protective breathing equipment (PBE) that is installed on airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of a compromise in the vacuum seal of the pouch that contains the PBE. This proposed AD would require inspecting the PBE to determine if the pouch has the proper vacuum seal. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact B/E Aerospace, Inc., Commercial Aircraft Products Group, 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, Kansas 66215; telephone: (913) 338-9800; fax: (913) 338-8419; Internet: www.beaerospace.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2134.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2134; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Enns, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 1801 S. Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; phone: (316) 946-4147; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-2134; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-012-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received a report of B/E Aerospace protective breathing equipment (PBE), part number 119003-11, catching fire when activated by a crew member during taxi aboard an Emirates Airline airplane.

    Following the PBE fire event and during the initial investigation, it was determined that a number of pouches containing the PBE that were installed in various airplanes had a compromised vacuum seal. A compromised seal in the pouch of a PBE results in degradation and possible contamination of the chemicals that provide oxygen during use.

    The PBE utilizes an igniter candle to provide the user with initial oxygen. This candle uses a chemical reaction that produces high heat and a high flow of oxygen. A compromised vacuum seal can lead to degradation or contamination of the candle materials. This possible contamination of the candle can change the chemical reaction leading to a breach of the filter in the candle assembly allowing hot particles from the igniter candle to enter the oxygen rich environment of the PBE hood. The compromised seal also allows moisture to be drawn into the pouch containing the PBE, which affects the chemical composition of the breathing canister so that it may not meet its performance requirements.

    The cause of the compromised vacuum seal of the pouch containing the PBE is unknown at this time. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the PBE not providing the necessary oxygen when needed. Also, the degradation of the chemicals within the igniter candle could increase the likelihood of hot particles to be ejected into the oxygen rich environment and result in fire in the PBE hood.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin No. 119003-35-011, Rev. 000, dated February 4, 2015. The B/E Aerospace service bulletin describes procedures for inspecting the PBE to determine if the vacuum seal of the pouch containing the PBE is compromised. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The service bulletin applies to all PBE with part number 119003-11 and part number 119003-21. We have determined that this proposed AD would apply only to a PBE with part number 119003-11.

    Interim Action

    We consider this proposed AD interim action. The FAA investigation is ongoing. If final termination action is later identified, we may consider further rulemaking.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 9,000 products installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspecting the pouch containing the PBE for proper vacuum seal .5 work-hour × $85 per hour = $42.50 per inspection cycle Not applicable $42.50 per inspection cycle. $382,500 per inspection cycle.

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need this replacement:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Replace the PBE that has a compromised vacuum sealed pouch .5 work-hour × $85 per hour = $42.50 $1,510 $1,552.50 Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): B/E Aerospace: Docket No. FAA-2015-2134; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-012-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 31, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to B/E Aerospace Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE), part number 119003-11, that is installed on airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35; Oxygen.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of a compromise in the vacuum seal of the pouch that contains the PBE. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

    (f) Compliance

    Unless already done, comply with paragraphs (g) through (h) of this AD.

    (g) Inspection

    (1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, while still in the stowage box, physically inspect the PBE pouch to determine if it has an intact vacuum seal. Repetitively thereafter, inspect every 12 months. Do these inspections following paragraph III.A.1. of the Accomplishment Instructions in B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin No. 119003-35-011. Rev. 000, dated February 4, 2015.

    (2) Within 36 months after the first inspection required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, remove the PBE pouch from the stowage box and physically inspect the PBE pouch to determine if it has an intact vacuum seal. Repetitively thereafter, inspect every 36 months. Do these inspections following paragraph III.A.2. of the Accomplishment Instructions in B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin No. 119003-35-011, Rev. 000, dated February 4, 2015.

    (h) Replacement

    If a PBE pouch is found that does not have an intact vacuum seal during any inspection required in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, before further flight, replace the PBE with an FAA-approved PBE contained in a vacuum sealed pouch. After the replacement, continue with the inspections required in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact David Enns, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita ACO, FAA, 1801 S. Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; phone: (316) 946-4147; fax: (316) 946-4107; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact B/E Aerospace, Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Commercial Aircraft Products Group, Lenexa, Kansas 66215; telephone: (913) 338-9800; fax: (913) 338-8419; Internet: www.beaerospace.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 5, 2015. Earl Lawrence, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14286 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2013-0734; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-080-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (Bell) Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 helicopters, which proposed to require replacing certain servo actuators before further flight. The NPRM was prompted by a collective servo actuator malfunction. This action revises the NPRM by adding new actions. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For Woodward HRT and Bell service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Wilbanks, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD 2010-19-51, Amendment 39-16523 (75 FR 71540, November 24, 2010) and add a new AD. AD 2010-19-51 applies to Bell Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 helicopters and requires inspecting parts of the servo actuator for certain conditions and replacing any unairworthy parts before further flight. AD 2010-19-51 was prompted by a collective servo actuator malfunction due to a nonconforming grind relief on a separate piston rod and corrosion cracking at the threaded end of the output piston rod assembly. The actions of AD 2010-19-51 were intended to detect corrosion or a nonconforming piston rod that, if not corrected, could result in the failure of the piston rod, failure of the servo actuator, and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 20, 2013 (78 FR 51123). The NPRM proposed inspecting servo actuator, part number (P/N) 222-382-001-107, for pitting or penetration of the base metal of the piston rod. If the piston rod has pitting or any penetration of the base metal, the NPRM proposed replacing the servo actuator with servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM, before further flight. Thereafter, the NPRM proposed requiring overhauling servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM at intervals not to exceed 10 years or 10,000 hours TIS, whichever comes first.

    Comments

    After our NPRM (78 FR 51123, August 20, 2013) was published, we received comments from one commenter.

    Request

    Bell noted that the AD does not mandate replacement of servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-107 with servo actuator part number P/N 222-382-001-111 if no pitting or penetration of the base metal is found during the inspection, and requested that we include the replacement provisions in Part 1 of Bell Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) 430-11-46, Revision A, dated June 22, 2012.

    We agree. In light of Bell's comment, we have determined that our AD should retain all of the inspection requirements of AD 2010-19-51 (75 FR 71540, November 24, 2010) and also include compliance times for replacing servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-107 with servo actuator part number P/N 222-382-001-111 or -111FM based upon the results of the inspection, as specified in Revision A of the ASB. We have changed the Required Actions accordingly and are consequently proposing this SNPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this SNPRM because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs. Certain changes described above expand the scope of the original NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Woodward HRT Service Bulletin 141600-67-02, dated August 18, 2010, which provides instructions for disassembling the servo actuator and for cleaning and inspecting the piston rod and nut. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this SNPRM.

    Other Related Service Information

    We also reviewed Bell ASB 222-11-111 for Model 222 and 222B helicopters, ASB 222U-11-82 for Model 222U helicopters, ASB 230-11-43 for Model 230 helicopters, and ASB 430-11-46 for Model 430 helicopters, all Revision A and all dated June 22, 2012. The ASBs contain, and require compliance with, Woodward HRT Service Bulletin 141600-67-03, dated February 14, 2012, to upgrade the servo actuator by replacing the piston rod and then re-identifying the servo actuator dash number with “-111FM.” The compliance time for upgrading the servo actuator varies depending on the results of the inspections required by Woodward HRT Service Bulletin 141600-67-02, dated August 18, 2010. The Bell ASBs also provide an alternative inspection procedure for servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-107 that has not reached certain hours TIS and where the servo actuator cannot be upgraded. TCCA classified these ASBs as mandatory and issued AD No. CF-2010-29R1, dated July 26, 2012, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

    Proposed Requirements of the SNPRM

    This proposed AD would require before further flight:

    • Disassembling each servo actuator.

    • Cleaning the piston rod and nut, and inspecting the grind relief configuration for the piston rod and nut. If the grind relief is unacceptable, replacing the piston rod and nut.

    • Using a 10× or higher magnifying glass, visually inspecting the nut for any corrosion or any damage to the threads, and replacing the nut if you find any corrosion or any damage to the threads.

    • Using a 10× or higher magnifying glass, visually inspecting the piston rod for any corrosion, lack of cadmium plate, or damage.

    • If there is any corrosion or lack of cadmium plate or damage in certain critical areas, replacing the servo actuator with P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM before further flight.

    • If there is any corrosion or lack of cadmium plate in areas that are not critical areas, reworking the piston rod, inspecting for bare base metal, and reassembling the servo actuator. Replacing the servo actuator with P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM would be required within 1,200 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 1 year, whichever occurs first.

    • If there is any corrosion that is red or orange in color, magnetic particle inspecting the piston rod for a crack, and replacing the servo actuator with P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM before further flight if there is a crack or within 2,400 hours TIS or 2 years, whichever occurs first, if there is no crack.

    • If there is no corrosion, lack of cadmium plate, or damage, inspecting for bare base metal, and reassembling the servo actuator. Replacing the servo actuator with P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM would be required within 3,000 hours TIS or 4 years, whichever occurs first.

    • Overhauling servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM at intervals not to exceed 10 years or 10,000 hours TIS, whichever occurs first.

    Differences Between the Proposed AD and the TCCA AD

    The TCCA AD requires inspecting each servo actuator to determine the condition of the piston rod assembly no later than 5 hours upon receiving the original issue of its AD. This proposed AD would require inspecting each servo actuator to determine the condition of the piston rod assembly before further flight.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 146 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Inspecting a servo actuator would require 4 work-hours per actuator for a labor cost of $340. No parts would be needed for a total cost of $1,020 per helicopter and $148,920 for the U.S. fleet given 3 actuators per helicopter.

    • Replacing a servo actuator would require 8 work-hours for a labor cost of $680. Parts would cost $35,700 for a total cost of $36,380 per actuator.

    • Overhauling the servo actuator would require 8 work-hours for a labor cost of $680. Parts would cost $11,900 for a total cost of $12,580 per actuator.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Bell Helicopter Textron Canada: Docket No. FAA-2013-0734; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-080-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (Bell) Model 222, 222B, 222U, 230, and 430 helicopters, with a main rotor hydraulic servo actuator (servo actuator) part number (P/N) 222-382-001-107 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as corrosion or a nonconforming grind relief on the output piston rod assembly (piston rod). This condition could lead to failure of the piston rod, failure of the servo actuator, and subsequent loss of helicopter control.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2010-19-51, Amendment 39-16523 (75 FR 71540, November 24, 2010).

    (d) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 17, 2015.

    (e) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (f) Required Actions

    Before further flight:

    (1) Disassemble each servo actuator to gain access to the piston rod as shown in Figures 1 through 5 and by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A., Part I., of Woodward HRT Alert Service Bulletin No. 141600-67-02, Revision 0, dated August 18, 2010 (Woodward ASB).

    (2) Clean the entire piston rod and nut using acetone and a nylon bristle brush removing all contaminates to allow for inspection. Inspect the grind relief configuration for the piston rod and nut as shown in Figure 6 of the Woodward ASB. If the grind relief is unacceptable as shown in Figure 6, replace the piston rod and the nut with airworthy parts.

    (3) Using a 10× or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect the nut for any corrosion or any damage to the threads. If you find any corrosion or any damage to the threads, replace the nut with an airworthy nut.

    (4) Using a 10× or higher magnifying glass, visually inspect the piston rod as shown in Figure 7 of the Woodward ASB for any corrosion, visible lack of cadmium plate (gold or gray color), or damage to the piston rod. For the purposes of this AD, damage to the piston rod is defined as pitting, a visible scratch, a crack, or a visible abrasion.

    (i) If there is any corrosion or visible lack of cadmium plate or any damage to the piston rod in the Critical Areas as shown in Figure 7 of the Woodward ASB, replace the servo actuator with servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM before further flight.

    (ii) If there is any corrosion or visible lack of cadmium plate on the piston rod in areas that are not considered Critical Areas as shown in Figure 7 of the Woodward ASB, rework the piston rod by removing any surface corrosion that has not penetrated into the base material by lightly buffing. Clean the part using acetone and a nylon bristle brush to remove any residue. Comply with paragraphs (f)(5) through (f)(7) of this AD. Within 1,200 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 1 year, whichever occurs first, replace the servo actuator with servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM.

    (iii) If there is any corrosion that is red or orange in color, magnetic particle inspect the piston rod for a crack.

    (A) If there is a crack, replace the servo actuator with servo actuator, P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM before further flight.

    (B) If there is no crack, comply with paragraphs (f)(5) through (f)(7) of this AD. Within 2,400 hours TIS or 2 years, whichever occurs first, replace the servo actuator with servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM.

    (iv) If there is no corrosion, visible lack of cadmium plate, or damage to the piston rod, comply with paragraphs (f)(5) through and (f)(7) of this AD. Within 3,000 hours TIS or 4 years, whichever occurs first, replace the servo actuator with servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM.

    (5) Inspect the portion of the piston rod for any absence of cadmium plating (bare base metal), as shown in Figure 7 of the Woodward ASB. If there is any bare base metal on the piston rod in this area, apply brush cadmium plating to all bare and reworked areas using SPS5070 or equivalent 0.0002 to 0.0005 inch thick and rework the piston rod by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph C., Part III, C.1.1.1. through C.1.1.3., of the Woodward ASB.

    (6) Reassemble the servo actuator by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph C, Part III, 1.1.4. through 3.3.4. of the Woodward ASB.

    (7) Thereafter, overhaul servo actuator P/N 222-382-001-111 or P/N 222-382-001-111FM at intervals not to exceed 10 years or 10,000 hours TIS, whichever occurs first.

    (g) Credit for Actions Previously Completed

    Compliance with the Woodward ASB or with AD 2010-19-51 (75 FR 71540, November 24, 2010) before the effective date of this AD is considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding inspections specified in paragraph (f) of this AD. If you replaced the piston rod pursuant to the Woodward ASB or paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(3) of AD 2010-19-51, apply the requirements of paragraph (f)(4)(iv) of this AD.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Wilbanks, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (i) Additional Information

    (1) Bell Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 222-11-111 for Model 222 and 222B helicopters, ASB No. 222U-11-82 for Model 222U helicopters, ASB No. 230-11-43 for Model 230 helicopters, and ASB No. 430-11-46 for Model 430 helicopters, all Revision A and all dated June 22, 2012, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For Woodward HRT and Bell service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited, 12,800 Rue de l'Avenir, Mirabel, Quebec J7J1R4; telephone (450) 437-2862 or (800) 363-8023; fax (450) 433-0272; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) AD No. CF-2010-29R1, dated July 26, 2012. You may view the TCCA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2013-0734.

    (j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6730, Rotorcraft Servo System.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 29, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14278 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0105; Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-58-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) (Airbus Helicopters) Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This document proposes superseding Airworthiness Directives (AD) 2000-05-17 and AD 2001-04-12, which apply to Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2000-05-17 and AD 2001-04-12 require repetitive visual checks of the engine-to-main gearbox (MGB) coupling tube assembly (coupling tube) for a crack and replacing any cracked tube with an airworthy tube. This proposed AD would require removing certain engine mount parts from service, measuring the height of the engine mounting base for certain helicopters, replacing the engine mount if a certain height is exceeded, inspecting the flared coupling on certain helicopters for a crack, and replacing the coupling if it is cracked. Since we issued AD 2000-05-17 and AD 2001-04-12, there have been reports of additional cracks in coupling tubes. The proposed actions are intended to prevent coupling tube failure, loss of engine drive, and a subsequent forced landing of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

    Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile (DGAC) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    On March 6, 2000, we issued AD 2000-05-17, Amendment 39-11627 (65 FR 13875, March 15, 2000) for Model EC120B helicopters with engine coupling tube, part number (P/N) C631A1002101, installed. AD 2000-05-17 requires recurring inspections of each coupling tube for a crack and, if there is a crack, replacing any cracked coupling tube with an airworthy, reinforced coupling tube, P/N C631A1101101, and replacing certain engine support fitting parts. AD 2000-05-17 also requires replacing all affected coupling tubes with a reinforced coupling tube and replacing certain engine support fitting parts by March 31, 2000. AD 2000-05-17 was prompted by reports of cracks on the coupling tubes.

    On February 20, 2001, we issued AD 2001-04-12, Amendment 39-12131 (66 FR 13232, March 5, 2001), for Model EC120B helicopters with engine coupling tube, P/N C631A1101101, installed. AD 2001-04-12 requires a visual check on each coupling tube for a crack at specified intervals. AD 2001-04-12 was prompted by several reports of cracks on the reinforced coupling tube.

    AD 2000-05-17 and AD 2001-04-12 were intended to prevent coupling tube failure, loss of engine drive, and a subsequent forced landing.

    Actions Since AD 2000-05-17 and AD 2001-04-12 Were Issued

    Since we issued AD 2000-05-17 (65 FR 13875, March 15, 2000) and AD 2001-04-12 (66 FR 13232, March 5, 2001), there have been reports of additional cracks in coupling tubes. Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) has conducted tests and determined that the washer-type engine mount may, in certain cases, induce excessive loading on the coupling tube since the design does not allow the operators to ensure that all of the parts are correctly assembled. Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) has also determined that excessive loading results in binding that increases component wear of the inner diameter of the mounting base.

    The DGAC, on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency, issued AD No. F-2003-325 R1, dated May 12, 2004, to correct an unsafe condition for Model EC120B helicopters with engine coupling tube, P/N C631A1101101, and with an engine mount containing certain parts listed in Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 04A005, dated July 16, 2003. DGAC AD No. F-2003-325 R1 requires certain inspections for helicopters with an engine mount block modified in accordance with Eurocopter Service Bulletin (SB) No. 71-003, Revision 1, dated July 18, 2002, replacing any coupling tube that has a crack, and increasing the life limit of the coupling tube from 1,000 flight hours to 20,000 flight hours. Also, DGAC AD No. F-2003-325 R1 requires, for helicopters with a new spring-loaded engine suspension modification in accordance with Eurocopter SB No. 71-005, Revision 0, dated May 14, 2004, increasing the life limit of the coupling tube to 20,000 flight hours and canceling the repetitive inspections of the coupling tube. The DGAC advises that a crack was detected on a reinforced coupling tube, which may lead to coupling tube failure and subsequent autorotation.

    This action is intended to prevent coupling tube failure, loss of engine drive, and a subsequent forced landing of the helicopter.

    FAA's Determination

    This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of France and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by the DGAC and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following Eurocopter service information:

    • ASB No. 04A005, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2003, prohibits, after June 30, 2004, operating an engine mount made up of the following parts: support arm, P/N C714A1107201; swaged support arm, P/N C714A1106201; left-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101102; and right-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101103. SB No. 04A005 also specifies measuring the height of the engine mounting base and, if the height is more than 10.5 millimeters, replacing the engine mount with an engine mount that does not have the specified P/N. ASB No. 04A005 does not apply to helicopters modified with an improved engine mount in accordance with SB No. 71-003. ASB No. 04A005 also does not apply to helicopters with a serial number 1170 or larger, as the specified engine mounts are not installed on those helicopters.

    • SB No. 71-005, Revision 0, dated May 14, 2004, contains procedures to modify the spring-type engine suspension system and dye-penetrant inspect the flared coupling assembly.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    The DGAC classified the service information contained in ASB No. 04A005 and SB No. 71-005 as mandatory and issued AD No. F-2003-325 R1, dated May 12, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

    Other Related Service Information

    We also reviewed the following Eurocopter service information:

    • SB No. 71-003, Revision 1, dated July 18, 2002, contains procedures to improve the engine mount.

    • ASB No. 05A003, Revision 2, dated July 16, 2003, for helicopters that have not been modified with an improved engine mount in accordance with SB No. 71-003, specifies inspecting the coupling tube for a crack every 5 hours and establishing a coupling tube life limit of 1,000 hours. For helicopters that have been modified with an improved engine mount, ASB No. 05A003 specifies inspecting the coupling tube for a crack every 25 hours and increasing the coupling tube life limit to 20,000 hours. ASB No. 05A003 was revised to Revision 3, dated May 11, 2004, to specify an optional spring-type engine suspension modification and cancel the repetitive inspection for this modified configuration.

    The DGAC also classified the service information contained in SB No. 71-003 and ASB No. 05A003 as mandatory and issued AD No. F-2003-325 R1, dated May 12, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require:

    • Before further flight, for certain helicopters, removing from service certain engine mount parts: support arm, P/N C714A1107201; swaged support arm, P/N C714A1106201; left-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101102; and right-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101103. Measuring the height of the engine mounting base and, if the height is more than 10.5 millimeters, replacing the engine mount with an engine mount that does not have the affected parts.

    • Within 25 hours time-in-service (TIS), for certain other helicopters that do not have the specified engine mount parts due to modifications, replacing the spring-type engine suspension system and dye-penetrant inspecting the flared coupling for a crack. If there is a crack in the flared coupling, before further flight, replacing the coupling with an airworthy coupling.

    • Before further flight, removing coupling tube, P/N C631A1002101 from service. This proposed AD would prohibit installing coupling tube, P/N C631A1002101 on any helicopter.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the DGAC AD

    This proposed AD would require the installation of the spring-type engine suspension modification specified in Eurocopter SB No. 71-005 and would not require the repetitive inspection of the coupling tube and the engine mount base. This proposed AD would not require you to contact the manufacturer.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate out of 115 helicopters on the U.S. registry about 23 helicopters would be affected by this proposed AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per work hour, we estimate the following:

    • Installing new mounting arms and brackets would require about 12 work hours and required parts would cost $9,194, for a total cost per helicopter of $10,214 and $234,922 for the fleet.

    • Installing the mounting spring kit would require about 14 work hours and required parts would cost $14,621, for a total cost per helicopter of $15,811 and $363,653 for the fleet.

    • Dye-penetrant inspecting the coupling tube would require about 1 work hour for a cost per helicopter of $85 and $1,955 for the fleet.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

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

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2000-05-17, Amendment 39-11627 (65 FR 13875, March 15, 2000); and AD 2001-04-12, Amendment 39-12131 (66 FR 13232, March 5, 2001); and b. Adding the following new AD: Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA-2014-0105; Directorate Identifier 2008-SW-58-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model EC120B helicopters with an engine-to-main gearbox coupling tube assembly (coupling tube), part number (P/N) C631A1101101 or P/N C631A1002101, installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in a coupling tube. This condition could result in coupling tube failure, loss of engine drive, and a subsequent forced landing of the helicopter.

    (c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2000-05-17, Amendment 39-11627 (65 FR 13875, March 15, 2000) and AD 2001-04-12, Amendment 39-12131 (66 FR 13232, March 5, 2001).

    (d) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 17, 2015.

    (e) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (f) Required Actions

    (1) For helicopters with a serial number up to and including 1169, not modified with an improvement of the engine mount in accordance with Eurocopter Service Bulletin (SB) No. 71-003, Revision 1, dated July 18, 2002 (SB 71-003), or not modified by installing a spring-type engine suspension system in accordance with Eurocopter SB No. 71-005, Revision 0, dated May 14, 2004 (SB 71-005), before further flight:

    (i) Remove from service the following engine mount parts:

    (A) Support arm, P/N C714A1107201;

    (B) Swaged support arm, P/N C714A1106201;

    (C) Left-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101102; and

    (D) Right-hand support bracket, P/N C714A1101103.

    (ii) Measure the height of the engine mounting base as depicted in Figure 1 of Eurocopter Alert SB No. 04A005, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2003. If the height is more than 10.5 millimeters, replace the engine mount with an engine mount that does not have the parts identified in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this AD.

    (2) For helicopters with a serial number 1170 and larger or helicopters modified with an improvement of the engine mount in accordance with SB 71-003:

    (i) Within 25 hours TIS, replace the spring-type engine suspension system and perform a dye-penetrant inspection of the flared coupling for a crack by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 2.B.2.a through 2.B.2.c of SB 71-005.

    (ii) If there is a crack in the flared coupling, before further flight, replace the coupling with an airworthy coupling.

    (3) For helicopters with coupling tube, P/N C631A1002101, installed, before further flight, remove coupling tube, P/N C631A1002101, from service. Do not install coupling tube, P/N C631A1002101, on any helicopter.

    (g) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits may be issued provided there are no cracks in the coupling tube attachment fitting.

    (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (i) Additional Information

    (1) Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 05A003, Revision 2, dated July 16, 2003, Eurocopter ASB No. 05A003, Revision 3, dated May 11, 2004, and Eurocopter Service Bulletin No. 71-003, Revision 1, dated July 18, 2002, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75052, telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale de L'Aviation Civile (DGAC) AD No. F-2003-325 R1, Revision A, dated May 12, 2004. You may view the DGAC AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0105.

    (j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6310 Engine/Transmission Coupling—Coupling Tube, Engine Mount, and Engine Mount Base.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 29, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14282 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 61 and 141 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-1846; Notice No. 15-03] RIN 2120-AK71 Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    This rulemaking proposes to relieve burdens on pilots seeking to obtain aeronautical experience, training, and certification by increasing the allowed use of aviation training devices. These actions are necessary to bring the regulations in line with current needs and activities of the general aviation training community and pilots.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before July 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-1846 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Marcel Bernard, Airmen Certification and Training Branch, Flight Standards Service, AFS-810, Federal Aviation Administration, 898 Airport Park Road, Suite 204, Glen Burnie, MD 21061; telephone: (410) 590-5364 x235 email [email protected]

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Anne Moore, Regulations Division, Office of the Chief Counsel, AGC-200, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.). Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 106(f), which establishes the authority of the Administrator to promulgate regulations and rules; 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires the Administrator to promote safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations and setting minimum standards for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air commerce and national security; and 49 U.S.C. 44703(a), which requires the Administrator to prescribe regulations for the issuance of airman certificates when the Administrator finds, after investigation, that an individual is qualified for, and physically able to perform the duties related to, the position authorized by the certificate.

    I. Background

    Since the 1970s, the FAA has gradually expanded the permitted use of flight simulation for training—first permitting simulation to be used in air carrier training programs and eventually permitting pilots to credit time in devices toward the aeronautical experience requirements for airman certification and recency. Currently, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 60 governs the qualification of flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), which include full flight simulators (FFSs) level A through D and flight training devices (FTDs) levels 4 through 7. The FAA has, however, approved other devices, including aviation training devices (ATDs), for use in pilot certification training, under the authority provided in 14 CFR 61.4(c).1

    1 Section 61.4(c) states that the “Administrator may approve a device other than a flight simulator or flight training device for specific purposes.”

    For over 30 years, the FAA has issued letters of authorization (LOAs) to manufacturers of ground trainers, personal computer-based aviation training devices (PCATD), FTDs (levels 1 through 3), basic aviation training devices (BATD), and advanced aviation training devices (AATD). These LOAs were based on guidance provided in advisory circulars (ACs) that set forth the qualifications and capabilities for the devices. Prior to 2008, most LOAs were issued under the guidance provided in AC 61-126, Qualification and Approval of Personal Computer-Based Aviation Training Devices, and AC 120-45, Airplane Flight Training Device Qualification. Starting in July of 2008, the FAA approved devices in accordance with AC 61-136, FAA Approval of Basic Aviation Training Devices (BATD) and Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATD). More recently, on December 3, 2014, the FAA published a revision to AC 61-136A, Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience.

    In 2009, the FAA issued a final rule that for the first time introduced the term “aviation training device” into the regulations and placed express limits on the amount of instrument time in an ATD that could be credited toward the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating.2

    2 In a 2007 NPRM, the FAA proposed to limit the time in a personal computer-based aviation training device that could be credited toward the instrument rating. Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification NPRM, 72 FR 5806 (February 7, 2007). Three commenters recommended that the FAA use the terms “basic aviation training device” (BATD) and “advanced aviation training device” (AATD). Pilot, Flight Instructor, and Pilot School Certification Final Rule, 74 FR 42500 (August 21, 2009) (“2009 Final Rule”). In response to the commenters, the FAA changed the regulatory text in the final rule to “aviation training device,” noting BATDs and AATDs “as being aviation training devices (ATD) are defined” in an advisory circular.

    Since the 2009 final rule, § 61.65(i) has provided that no more than 10 hours of instrument time received in an ATD may be credited toward the instrument time requirements of that section. In addition, appendix C to part 141 permits an ATD to be used for no more than 10 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of an approved course for an instrument rating.

    Prior to the 2009 final rule, the FAA had issued hundreds of LOAs to manufacturers of devices that permitted some ATDs (as well as ground trainers, and FTDs (levels 1 through 3)) to be used to a greater extent than was ultimately set forth in the regulations. The FAA continued to issue LOAs for AATDs in excess of the express limitations in the regulations after the publication of the 2009 final rule.

    On January 2, 2014, the FAA published a notice of policy requiring manufacturers of ATDs to obtain new LOAs reflecting the appropriate regulatory allowances for ATD use. 79 FR 20.3 The notice stated the FAA's conclusion that it could not use LOAs to exceed express limitations that had been placed in the regulations through notice and comment rulemaking. The FAA noted that, since August 2013, LOAs issued for new devices reflect current regulatory requirements. However, manufacturers and operators who held LOAs issued prior to August 2013 acted in reliance on FAA statements that were inconsistent with the regulations. Therefore, the FAA granted a limited exemption from the requirement in the regulations to provide manufacturers, operators, and pilots currently training for an instrument rating time to adjust to the reduction in creditable hours. This short-term exemption was intended to provide an interim period to transition the LOAs for all previously approved devices in accordance with the new policy. The FAA found the exemption to be in the public interest in order to prevent undue harm caused by reasonable reliance on the LOAs.

    3 “Notice of Policy Change for the Use of FAA Approved Training Devices,” January 2, 2014.

    As stated in the notice, this short term exemption expired on January 1, 2015. The FAA explained that after that date, no applicant training for an instrument rating under part 61 may use more than 10 hours of instrument time in an ATD toward the minimum aeronautical experience requirements required to take the practical test for an instrument rating.4 In addition, no instrument rating course approved under appendix C to part 141 may credit more than 10 percent of training in ATDs toward the total flight training hour requirements of the course (unless that program has been approved in accordance with § 141.55(d) or (e)).5

    4 Under § 61.65, a person who applies for an instrument rating must have completed 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time of which 15 hours must have been with an authorized instructor who holds the appropriate instrument rating.

    5 Under appendix C, each approved course for an instrument rating must include 35 hours of instrument training for an initial instrument rating or 15 hours of instrument training for an additional instrument rating.

    To address the discrepancy between the level of ATD credit allowed historically by LOA and the lower allowances placed in the regulations, the FAA published a direct final rule that would have amended the regulations governing the use of ATDs.6 The direct final rule would have increased the use of these devices for instrument training requirements above the levels established in the 2009 final rule. In developing this direct final rule, the FAA noted that ATD development has advanced to an impressive level of capability. Many ATDs can simulate weather conditions with variable winds, variable ceilings and visibility, icing, turbulence, high definition (HD) visuals, hundreds of different equipment failure scenarios, navigation specific to current charts and topography, specific navigation and communication equipment use, variable “aircraft specific” performance, and more. The visual and motion component of some of these devices permit maneuvers that require outside visual references in an aircraft to be successfully taught in an AATD. Many of these simulation capabilities were not possible in previously approved devices (such as PCATDs).

    6 79 FR 71634, December 3, 2014, withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, January 15, 2015 (RIN 2120-AK62).

    In the direct final rule, the FAA stated its belief that permitting pilots to log increased time in ATDs would encourage pilots to practice maneuvers until they are performed to an acceptable level of proficiency. In an ATD, a pilot can replay the training scenario, identify any improper action, practice abnormal/emergency procedures, and determine corrective actions without undue hazard or risk to persons or property. In this fashion, a pilot can continue to practice tasks and maneuvers in a safe, effective, and cost efficient means of maintaining proficiency.

    II. The Direct Final Rule

    As described in the previous section, to address the discrepancy between FAA regulations and prior policy, on December 3, 2014, the FAA published a direct final rule that would have increased the allowed use of ATDs. The FAA received 20 comments to the direct final rule.7 The provisions of the direct final rule, the comments received, and FAA's responses to those comments are discussed below.

    7 The direct final rule and the comments received thereto may be found in FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0987 at http://www.regulations.gov.

    A. Credit for Aeronautical Experience Requirements for an Instrument Rating and Approved Instrument Rating Courses

    Credit for aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating: The direct final rule would have increased the maximum time that may be credited in an ATD toward the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating under § 61.65(i). The direct final rule would have permitted a person to credit a maximum of 20 hours of aeronautical experience acquired in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating. Devices that qualify as AATDs would have been authorized for up to 20 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements. Devices that qualify as BATDs would have been authorized for a maximum of 10 hours of experience to meet the instrument time requirements.

    Approved instrument rating courses: The direct final rule also would have amended appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD would have been permitted to be used for no more than 40 percent of the total flight training hour requirements in an approved instrument rating course.

    Comments received: The FAA received 20 comments regarding these provisions. Eighteen comments supported the provisions. However, two commenters raised concerns. As those comments were adverse to the direct final rule, the FAA was required to withdraw the direct final rule, 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 2015). 14 CFR 11.13. The comments and FAA's responses are discussed below.

    Comments supporting the direct final rule: Eighteen comments supported the direct final rule provisions with 16 comments from individuals, and two from the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

    Nine commenters simply stated their general support. Several other commenters noted that use of ATDs would save pilots time and money. The FAA notes that none of those commenters provided quantified estimates regarding time or cost savings.

    One commenter asserted that the ability to simulate a wide variety of situations or to drill procedures through repetition in an ATD is far greater than in the actual aircraft. The commenter believed that the ATD learning environment is less stressful, less noisy, and less unpredictable, thus making it a better classroom to learn detailed instrument procedures.

    Another commenter asserted that the rule provisions would enhance safety by allowing more pilots to add instrument ratings to their certificates. The commenter believed that the rule provisions would potentially reduce controlled flight into terrain accidents because pilots would be more likely to have a higher level of proficiency in controlling solely by reference to the instruments.

    One commenter expressed a desire that the same principles applied to required instrument experience under 14 CFR 61.57. The FAA notes that this comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking.

    Adverse comments: The FAA received two adverse comments regarding these provisions. The first commenter, who indicated he is a professional pilot, airline transport pilot, and flight instructor with multiple ratings (airplane multiengine, airplane single-engine, and instrument-airplane), believed that flight requires the use and correlation of all senses in order to make a lasting impression. The commenter believed the fundamentals of instructing agrees with this position. More importantly, the commenter believed that acclimation to instrument meteorological conditions helps pilots relate these various inputs and strategies to deal with them. The commenter asserted that ATDs are valuable as procedure trainers, but not as valuable as “everyone seems to think. The rapid redeployment of a situation seems like an advantage, yet it diminishes the learning because it seems so easy to recover from a botched maneuver.” The commenter also asserted that resetting the situation diminishes the “routine” that a pilot relies on to take him or her to a specific place, which interferes greatly with the learning of each step.

    The commenter also believed that no amount of graphic imagery or display setup, even in full motion simulators, ever causes a pilot to lose consciousness of the fact that it is a simulator. The commenter asserted that flight simulators are wonderful, but very limited devices. Instead of increasing a pilot's skill, however, they have come between real-world flying and desktop flying. The commenter stated that they have increased reliance on screens and autopilots and diminished the pilot's sense of being in charge of the aircraft and the flight. Stalls, thunderstorms, and icing are the greatest dangers, yet ATDs cannot depict these accurately or realistically.

    Finally, the commenter noted the belief that the industry at large always diminishes the importance of safety and increases the importance of costs whenever training requirements are considered. The commenter believed one hour in any aircraft is worth ten in front of an ATD. The commenter stated, “The cost of a lost aircraft and all its crew is not worth the imagined savings gained from flying imaginary aircraft in imaginary environments.”

    The second commenter, who is or was, a flight instructor with an instrument rating and an air traffic controller, questioned whether flight students should be trained and live in an unrealistic world. The commenter believed that training in the classroom environment and in labs was an excellent preparatory environment, but nothing like the realities of real life. While the commenter “highly recommend[ed]” the use of such devices, the commenter cautioned the direct final rule included too much of a reduction. The commenter advised: “Proceed with appropriate caution and understand the risk involved.”

    Public comments responding to the adverse comments: SAFE submitted a comment in response to the first adverse comment received. SAFE noted that microprocessor developments over the past several years have resulted in a new generation of increasingly affordable mid and upper level devices which replicate sensory inputs with an incredible degree of accuracy and which are becoming commonplace in the training market. SAFE stated that ATDs can provide the student with excellent opportunities to focus on learning the correct procedures for situations such as nighttime operations, narrow or sloping runways, glassy water, and instrument meteorological conditions without interference from conflicting or adverse sensory inputs before being exposed to them in the live flight environment where confusion can occur between the body and the brain until training and experience overcome the sensory input.

    SAFE claimed that “Peer reviewed research conclusively shows that when properly utilized as part of a comprehensive training program [training] devices actually speed up the learning process by allowing students to bypass areas of successful understanding and to concentrate on areas where more practice is required. . . . Specific research by the military and major airlines show that these devices can consistently enhance student retention of lesson material, increase student confidence levels, and reduce accident and loss rates.” The FAA notes that SAFE did not provide sources for these claims.

    SAFE further asserted that ATDs have proven very effective in simulating certain emergencies too dangerous to practice in the air. This practice builds pilot confidence in being prepared to handle such situations should they occur. SAFE also asserted that current military and civilian research shows a positive relationship between ATD use and safer flying. SAFE did not provide research or source citations to support these assertions.

    Finally, SAFE noted that one of the key factors in today's extreme dropout rate in flight training is the “very high cost.” SAFE stated “[W]e must find a way to contain the training costs without sacrificing safety or operation utility. ATDs, properly utilized, are a modern component in achieving this.”

    AOPA also supported the rule with the following statement and stated that the FAA should “continue to permit the flight training industry to maximize the use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for instrument flight training in order to certificate safe competent pilots in a structured and economical way.” AOPA also provided discussion concerning the adverse comments received and suggested why they should be considered without substance and not adverse within the context of the direct final rulemaking process.

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees with the commenters who support increased training time in ATDs, including the comments related to the dynamic training capability of these devices, cost savings, and recent technical advancements that enhance the usability of ATDs.

    To the extent that an adverse commenter asserted that flying must involve a “correlation of all senses” and that “sounds and feel are vital to recognizing unusual attitudes” when other senses fail, the FAA disagrees concerning positive aircraft control skills and has provided extensive guidance on this topic in the Instrument Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-15B).8 In particular, the Handbook advises that pilots should disregard sensory perceptions and “[m]ost importantly, become proficient in the use of the flight instruments and rely upon them.” The Handbook further states “[t]hese undesirable sensations cannot be completely prevented, but through training and awareness, pilots can ignore or suppress them by developing absolute reliance on the flight instruments.” 9

    8http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/.

    9 FAA-H-8083-15B Instrument Flying Handbook updated 7/2/2014 pg. 3-9.

    The FAA believes that training in ATDs and FSTDs, when used in conjunction with training in an aircraft, teach an instrument student to trust the appropriate sense, vision, in order to successfully operate an aircraft in low visibility conditions. Training in an ATD reinforces this necessary skill and any reliance on “sounds or feel” may ultimately lead to loss of control when operating an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions. Because ignoring the postural senses involves relying on visual clues, the ATD provides an excellent platform for a pilot to develop this portion of his or her instrument flying skills. The FAA recognizes that a device does not require motion in order to be approved as an AATD; thus, these devices are limited in that they cannot completely train the pilot to ignore outside sensory perceptions. The FAA finds that a pilot can develop this ability during the aeronautical experience that an applicant for an instrument rating must obtain in an aircraft.

    The same commenter also discussed the capability of an aviation training device to “[reset] the situation.” The commenter suggested that this capability makes it too easy to recover from an unsatisfactory maneuver by simply returning to a previous location during the simulated flight. The commenter explained that this diminishes the routine that a pilot relies on during flight. The FAA does not agree and finds significant value in the ability of the device to be reconfigured to return to a point at which the pilot is having difficulty with a particular procedure or maneuver. This will allow the pilot to practice the corrective action until able to successfully complete the procedure or maneuver. This feature allows repetitive practice of a difficult procedure in a short period of time that could potentially add hours of training if accomplished in an aircraft. Additionally, simulation supports the long-endorsed teaching practice of “meaningful repetition.” 10 More practice in an aviation training device until a pilot performs a particular segment of a procedure or action correctly, before attempting the same in an aircraft, is an acceptable and desirable practice. Because half of the required instrument time under part 61 (20 hours), or 60 percent of the total flight training hours under part 141 (21 hours), would be accomplished in an aircraft, the necessary routine mentioned by the commenter will be provided during those lessons performed while in flight.

    10 FAA-H-8083-9A Flight Instructors Handbook pg. 2-35.

    In addition, the commenter stated that “[T]he consequences of training pilots in ATDs is that they do not experience the fear that accompanies real-life emergencies, or the sensory inputs that come with icing and thunderstorm contact.” The FAA does not support flight training that involves intentional flight into dangerous weather conditions. Rather, the FAA expects pilots to purposely avoid icing 11 and thunderstorm conditions 12 and be taught to be proficient at doing so. In contrast, ATDs allow training to simulate inadvertent flight into these adverse conditions that cannot be accomplished safely in an aircraft. In an ATD, students are afforded an opportunity to practice recommended actions when encountering these undesirable weather conditions without risk. There are many emergency procedures that can be practiced in ATDs that cannot be safely accomplished in the aircraft. This allows for training that students would not otherwise receive and provides the appropriate mitigation of risk without diminishing the quality or depth of training.

    11 AC 91-74A Pilot Guide: Flight in Icing Conditions, Pilot Strategies pg. 42.

    12 AIM Aeronautical Information Manual 7-1-29 Thunderstorm Flying.

    Finally, the commenter stated that “[f]light simulators are wonderful, but very limited devices,” asserting that simulators have increased reliance on screens and autopilots and diminish the pilot's sense of being in charge. The commenter disapproved of instructors relying less on real world experience and that the industry at large puts costs before safety. The FAA believes that these comments reflect the commenter's concern about automation and advanced avionics versus concern about simulators. Despite the commenter's concern over automation and advanced avionics, the FAA recognizes that use of these systems has become commonplace in general aviation aircraft. It is therefore beneficial to teach the use of these advanced systems in ATDs to supplement training in the aircraft.

    The second commenter provided some support for the use of ATDs, noting for example that the cockpit is not a suitable classroom in which to teach. The commenter also expressed concerns that are not specific to ATDs, such as communication skills, not directly pertinent to the direct final rule or to this proposed rule. However, the commenter discussed whether training flight students in an unrealistic world is appropriate.

    The FAA believes that ATDs are specifically designed to replicate the real world and help pilots to develop their instrument skills in advance of receiving training and experience in an aircraft.13 The concerns raised by both commenters are mitigated by the fact that a substantial portion of the required instrument time would still be accomplished in an aircraft. Instrument rating applicants would need to obtain a minimum of 20 hours of instrument time in an aircraft under part 61 or complete a minimum of 60 percent of the training requirements in an aircraft under part 141.14 Additional scrutiny of the pilot's proficiency occurs before an FAA examiner during a practical test which must be conducted in an aircraft in the national airspace system. The FAA specifically notes that the airman instrument practical test requires demonstration of a specific level of proficiency and expertise in flight, and airman testing in ATDs is not permitted.15

    13 AC 61-136A, FAA Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience.

    14 An exception would still exist for those courses that are approved under 14 CFR 141.55(d) and (e).

    15 FAA-S-8081-4E, Instrument Rating Practical Test Standards, Appendix 1.

    Recently documented research concerning training effectiveness in simulation devices that reflect modern ATD systems is limited. The FAA notes two studies related to ATDs that were done in the past 20 years. The first paper published in May of 2005 titled “Effectiveness of Flight Training Devices Used for Instrument Training,” 16 referenced the use of an Elite PCATD and a Frasca 141 Level 1 FTD. Students using these two trainers generally completed their flight lessons (i.e., those accomplished in an aircraft) in less time. The overall findings reported that flight training hours required to develop basic instrument flying skills (the report referenced aircraft control, instrument departures, en-route and approach procedures) was reduced. Training hours required to develop advanced skills, such as NDB holds, approaches, and partial panel procedures, were not necessarily reduced. However, cross country flight training time was reduced by up to 50 percent for some of these same individuals.

    16 Taylor, H.L., Talleur, D.A., Emanuel Jr., T.W., Rantaner, E., “Effectiveness of Flight Training Devices Used for Instrument Training,” Final Technical Report AHFD-05-9/FAA-05-4, Federal Aviation Administration, May 2005. A copy of this document has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking.

    The second research paper, “Transfer of Training Effectiveness of Personal Computer-Based Aviation Training Devices,” 17 published in May 1997, discusses the use of a PCATD trainer for a two-semester instrument course. Trainees that used the training device were able to develop the proficiency to perform some exercises in the aircraft with a flight time savings of 15 percent to 40 percent relative to those that did not use the training device. However, for some other exercises, a burden of an extra 25 percent in flight time resulted for those students that used the training device.

    17 Taylor, H.L., Lintern, G., Hulin, C.L., Talleur, D., Emanuel, T., Phillips, S., “Transfer of Training Effectiveness of Personal Computer-Based Aviation Training Devices,” DOT/FAA/AM-97/11, Office of Aviation Medicine, Washington, DC, May 1997. A copy of this document has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking.

    The FAA believes that these earlier studies are largely incomplete because the training devices used in the aforementioned studies do not reflect the current capabilities and standards 18 required for AATDs as the FAA approves them today. Most of these older devices utilized in the available studies lack the sophistication now facilitated by more readily available advanced computer system software and hardware, including improved visuals/databases, and the increased system fidelity and replication that these newer training systems take advantage of today. The FAA also notes that with the increased implementation of scenario-based training, ATDs are used more effectively than in the past. Therefore, the FAA considers the results of these findings somewhat inapplicable and, for the reasons described above, believes that the proposed regulatory change is still in the best interest of aviation safety. The FAA seeks comment regarding any additional relevant data or institutional research that supports the training and safety advantages when using ATDs, or establishes that such devices do not enhance pilot training and flight safety.

    18 AC 61-136 first published in July 2008 provided the standards used today for the approval and use of ATD's. This was recently revised in December 2014.

    As of January 1, 2015, all LOAs issued prior to August 23, 2013, for training devices approved to meet requirements under parts 61 and 141 terminated.19 This means that experience obtained in these devices may no longer be credited toward aeronautical experience or currency requirements in parts 61 and 141 unless the FAA has issued an updated LOA. Therefore, any FAA-approved ATDs being used to meet current aeronautical experience requirements have been demonstrated to meet the updated standards for AATDs set forth in AC 61-136 (as amended). Devices that were approved beginning August 23, 2013, were issued an LOA with a 5-year expiration date. This will ensure that the type of device meets acceptable standards for use in crediting aeronautical experience and currency. Devices that do not meet the standard for an AATD will either be issued an LOA that approves the device as a BATD (with lower time crediting allowances as described in AC 61-136) or will simply not be issued an LOA in which case the device can be used as a training aid, but not credited for aeronautical experience.

    19 79 FR 20, Notice of Policy Change for the Use of FAA Approved Training Devices.

    In addition, current ATD approval and use involves substantial FAA scrutiny and oversight as provided in the recently revised AC 61-136A, FAA Approval of Aviation Training Devices and Their Use for Training and Experience. As noted above, this includes a review for renewal of approvals every five years, confirming that these training devices continue to perform to the updated standards. This review is based on standards and practices that combine over 30 years of experience between the FAA and industry.

    B. View-Limiting Devices

    Under § 61.51(g), a person may log instrument time only for that flight time when the person operates an aircraft solely by reference to the instruments under actual or simulated conditions. When instrument time is logged in an aircraft, a pilot wears a view-limiting device to simulate instrument conditions and ensure that he or she is flying without utilizing outside visual references. Currently, § 61.65(i) requires a pilot who is logging instrument time in an ATD to wear a view-limiting device. The direct final rule would have revised § 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-limiting device.

    The purpose of a view-limiting device is to prevent a pilot (while training in an aircraft during flight) from having outside visual references that would naturally be present otherwise. These references are not available in a training device and a pilot has no opportunity to look outside for any useful visual references pertaining to the simulation. The FAA recognizes that the majority of these devices have a simulated visual display that can be configured to be unavailable or represent “limited visibility” conditions that preclude any need for a view-limiting device to be worn by the student. This lack of visual references requires the pilot to give his or her full attention to the flight instruments which is the goal of any instrument training or experience. The FAA believes that using a training device can be useful because it trains the pilot to focus on, appropriately scan and interpret the flight instruments. Since these devices incorporate a visual system that can be configured to the desired visibility level, use of a view-limiting device would have no longer been required by the direct final rule.

    When the FAA introduced § 61.65(i)(4) requiring view-limiting devices in the 2009 final rule, the preamble was silent as to why a view-limiting device was necessary. 74 FR 42500, 42523. Based on comments from industry, the FAA has determined that due to the sophistication of the flight visual representation for ATDs and the capability of presenting various weather conditions appropriate to the training scenario, a view-limiting device is unnecessary. Because persons operating an ATD can simulate both instrument and visual conditions, FAA LOAs specifically reference § 61.51 that stipulates a pilot can only log instrument time when using the flight instruments for reference and operation.20

    20 AC 61-136A Appendix 4, Training Content and Logging Provisions references limitations for logging instrument time.

    Comments received: The FAA received one comment in response to this provision in the direct final rule. The commenter believed that removing the requirement for a student to wear a view-limiting device while using an ATD is a sensible decision. The commenter believed that there is much more benefit to be gained by the view limiting features of the ATD itself than by a view-limiting piece of headgear.

    FAA Response: The FAA agrees that it is unnecessary for a student to wear a view-limiting device when using an ATD. The FAA finds that this requirement is not necessary because ATDs do not afford relevant outside references.

    III. The Proposed Rule

    After consideration of the comments received to the direct final rule, the FAA is proposing the following changes to 14 CFR parts 61 and 141. These changes are the same as in the direct final rule, 79 FR 71634, (Dec. 3, 2014), withdrawn at 80 FR 2001, (Jan. 15, 2015).

    A. Credit for the Aeronautical Experience Requirements for an Instrument Rating

    The FAA is proposing to increase the maximum time that may be credited in an ATD toward the instrument time requirements for an instrument rating under § 61.65(i). A person would be permitted to credit a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating.21 Devices that qualify as AATDs would be authorized for up to 20 hours of instrument time. Devices that qualify as BATDs would be authorized for a maximum of 10 hours of instrument time. In light of this difference, pilots must—as required by current regulations—include in their logbooks the type and identification of any ATD that is used to accomplish aeronautical experience requirements for a certificate, rating, or recent flight experience. 14 CFR 61.51(b)(1)(iv). The FAA is retaining the existing limit of 20 hours of combined time in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs that may be credited towards the aeronautical experience requirements for an instrument rating.

    21 As required under § 61.51(g)(4), to log instrument time in an ATD for the purpose of a certificate or rating, an authorized instructor must be present.

    B. Approved Instrument Rating Courses

    The FAA is also proposing to amend appendix C to part 141 to increase the limit on the amount of training hours that may be accomplished in an ATD in an approved course for an instrument rating. An ATD could be used for no more than 40 percent of the total flight training hour requirements in an instrument rating course. The FAA notes that this rule would not change the current provisions in appendix C which limit credit for training in FFSs, FTDs, and ATDs, that if used in combination, cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of an instrument rating course.

    In addition, the FAA is proposing to amend § 141.41 to clarify the existing qualification and approval requirement for FSTDs and to add the qualification and approval of ATDs by the FAA, which is currently conducted pursuant to § 61.4(c).

    C. View-Limiting Device

    The FAA is proposing to revise § 61.65(i)(4) to eliminate the requirement that pilots accomplishing instrument time in an ATD wear a view-limiting device. The FAA emphasizes, however, that a pilot—whether in an aircraft, FFS, FTD, or ATD—may log instrument time only when the pilot is operating solely by reference to the instruments under actual or simulated conditions. If a pilot is using an ATD and the device is providing visual references upon which the pilot is relying, this would not constitute instrument time under § 61.51(g).

    IV. Advisory Circulars and Other Guidance Materials

    To further implement this rule, the FAA is proposing to revise the following FAA Order:

    FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System, Volume 11, Chapter 10, Section 1, (Basic and Advanced Aviation Training Device) Approval and Authorized Use under 14 CFR parts 61 and 141.

    V. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Evaluation

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Public Law 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing U.S. standards, this Trade Act requires agencies to consider international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's analysis of the economic impacts of this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    In conducting these analyses, FAA has determined that this proposed rule: (1) Has benefits that justify its costs; (2) is not an economically “significant regulatory action” as defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866; (3) is not “significant” as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures; (4) would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities; (5) would not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States; and (6) would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the threshold identified above. These analyses are summarized below.

    Department of Transportation DOT Order 2100.5 prescribes policies and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a full regulatory evaluation of the costs and benefits is not prepared. Such a determination has been made for this notice of proposed rulemaking. The reasoning for this determination follows:

    The provisions included in this rule are either relieving or voluntary. The elimination of the requirement to use a view-limiting device is a relieving provision. The other two provisions are voluntary and cost relieving—additional ATD credit for instrument time for an instrument rating and additional ATD credit for approved instrument courses, if acted upon, is cheaper than flight training time.

    Persons who use the new provisions would do so only if the benefit they would accrue from their use exceeded the costs they might incur to comply. Given the hundreds of LOAs issued, industry's high usage of ATDs, and SAFE and AOPA's endorsement of ATDs, the proposed change in requirements is likely to be relieving. Benefits will exceed the costs of a voluntary rule if just one person voluntarily complies.

    Since this proposed rule would offer a lower cost alternative, would provide regulatory relief for the use of view-limiting devices, and would allow greater voluntary use of ATDs, the expected outcome would be cost relieving to minimal impact with positive net benefits.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-354) (RFA) establishes “as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given serious consideration.” The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.

    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The certification must include a statement providing the factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be clear.

    Most of the parties affected by this rule would be small businesses such as flight instructors, aviation schools, and fixed base operators. The general lack of publicly available financial information from these small businesses precludes a financial analysis of these small businesses. While there is likely a substantial number of small entities affected, the provisions of this proposed rule are either relieving (directly provides cost relief) or voluntary (provides benefits or costs only if a person voluntarily chooses to use the rule provision). The FAA made the same determination as part of the direct final rule and received no comments.

    If an agency determines that a rulemaking will not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the head of the agency may so certify under section 605(b) of the RFA. Therefore, as provided in section 605(b), the head of the FAA certifies that this rulemaking would not result in a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Public Law 103-465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.

    The FAA has assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule and determined that it would have only a domestic impact and therefore would not create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate is deemed to be a “significant regulatory action.” The FAA currently uses an inflation-adjusted value of $151.0 million in lieu of $100 million.

    This proposed rule does not contain such a mandate. Therefore, the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. The FAA has determined that there is no new requirement for information collection associated with this proposed rule.

    F. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed the corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and has identified no differences with these regulations.

    G. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this rulemaking action qualifies for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f and involves no extraordinary circumstances.

    VI. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this rule under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this action would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, would not have Federalism implications.

    B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    The FAA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it would not be a “significant energy action” under the executive order and would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    C. Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA has analyzed this action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and has determined that this action would have no effect on international regulatory cooperation.

    VII. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking. Before acting on this proposed rule, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The agency may change this rule in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Commenters should not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

    • Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

    • Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies, or

    • Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.fdsys.gov.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9677. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced above.

    List of Subjects 14 CFR Part 61

    Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Teachers.

    14 CFR Part 141

    Airmen, Educational facilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools.

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend chapter I of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 61—CERTIFICATION: PILOTS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS, AND GROUND INSTRUCTORS 1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 44709-44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.

    2. Amend § 61.65 by revising paragraph (i) and adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:
    § 61.65 Instrument rating requirements.

    (i) Use of an aviation training device. A maximum of 20 hours of instrument time received in an aviation training device may be credited for the instrument time requirements of this section if—

    (1) The device is approved and authorized by the FAA;

    (2) An authorized instructor provides the instrument time in the device; and

    (3) The FAA approved the instrument training and instrument tasks performed in the device.

    (j) A person may not credit more than 20 total hours of instrument time in a flight simulator, flight training device, aviation training device, or combination toward the instrument time requirements of this section.

    PART 141—PILOT SCHOOLS 3. The authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40113, 44701-44703, 44707, 44709, 44711, 45102-45103, 45301-45302.

    4. Revise § 141.41 to read as follows:
    § 141.41 Flight simulators, flight training devices, aviation training devices, and training aids.

    An applicant for a pilot school certificate or a provisional pilot school certificate must show that its flight simulators, flight training devices, aviation training devices, training aids, and equipment meet the following requirements:

    (a) Flight simulators and flight training devices. Each flight simulator and flight training device used to obtain flight training credit in an approved pilot training course curriculum must be:

    (1) Qualified under part 60 of this chapter; and

    (2) Approved by the Administrator for the tasks and maneuvers.

    (b) Aviation training devices. Each aviation training device used to obtain flight training credit in an approved pilot training course curriculum must be evaluated, qualified, and approved by the Administrator.

    (c) Training aids and equipment. Each training aid, including any audiovisual aid, projector, mockup, chart, or aircraft component listed in the approved training course outline, must be accurate and relevant to the course for which it is used.

    5. Amend Appendix C to part 141 by revising paragraph (b) in section 4 to read as follows: Appendix C to Part 141—Instrument Rating Course

    4. Flight training. * * *

    (b) For the use of flight simulators, flight training devices, or aviation training devices—

    (1) The course may include training in a flight simulator, flight training device, or aviation training device, provided it is representative of the aircraft for which the course is approved, meets the requirements of this paragraph, and the training is given by an authorized instructor.

    (2) Credit for training in a flight simulator that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a) cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less.

    (3) Credit for training in a flight training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(a), an aviation training device that meets the requirements of § 141.41(b), or a combination of these devices cannot exceed 40 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less.

    (4) Credit for training in flight simulators, flight training devices, and aviation training devices if used in combination, cannot exceed 50 percent of the total flight training hour requirements of the course or of this section, whichever is less. However, credit for training in a flight training device or aviation training device cannot exceed the limitation provided for in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a)(5), and 44703(a), on June 10, 2015. Michael J. Zenkovich, Acting Director Flight Standards Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14836 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 91 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-2147; Notice No. 15-05] RIN 2120-AK51 Transponder Requirement for Gliders AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    The FAA requests public comment on removal of the current transponder exception for gliders. This action responds to recommendations from members of Congress and the National Transportation Safety Board. The purpose of this action is to gather information to determine whether the current glider exception—from transponder equipment and use requirements—provides the appropriate level of safety in the National Airspace System. The FAA will use the information gathered from this action to determine whether additional transponder equipment and use requirements are necessary for gliders operating in the excepted areas.

    DATES:

    Send comments on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-2147 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

    Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Jon M. Stowe, Airspace Regulations Team, AJV-113, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8783; email [email protected]

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Anne Moore, Office of the Chief Counsel, AGC-220, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3073; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    See the “Additional Information” section for information on how to comment on this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) and how the FAA will handle comments received. The “Additional Information” section also contains related information about the docket, privacy, and the handling of proprietary or confidential business information. In addition, there is information on obtaining copies of related rulemaking documents.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 49 U.S.C. 40103, which vests the Administrator with broad authority to prescribe regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace, and 49 U.S.C. 44701(a)(5), which requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations and minimum standards for other practices, methods, and procedures necessary for safety in air commerce and national security.

    List of Abbreviations and Acronyms Frequently Used in This Document ADS-B—Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast ANPRM—Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking LASE—Light Aircraft Surveillance Equipment LPSE—Low Powered Surveillance Equipment MSL—Mean Sea Level NAS—National Airspace System NMAC—Near Midair Collision NTSB—National Transportation Safety Board TABS—Traffic Awareness Beacon System TCAS—Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System TSO—Technical Standard Order I. Executive Summary

    The purpose of this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) is to solicit input from interested persons involving glider operations in the National Airspace System (NAS). The ultimate goal is to ensure safety of flight for gliders and other aircraft operating in the NAS. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and two members of Congress requested rulemaking because of a midair collision between a glider and a private jet. The FAA notes that it is currently encouraging the voluntary equipage of Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS) devices on aircraft excepted from carrying a transponder, such as gliders.1 The FAA is also considering the current and future implications of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) that may impact this potential rule change.

    1 Technical Standard Order, TSO-C199: Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS), October 10, 2014.

    II. Background

    The FAA is initiating this ANPRM for comment from the public regarding the removal of the glider exception from the transponder equipment and use requirements established in 14 CFR 91.215.2

    2 The rule states that, with a few exceptions, all aircraft must have an operating transponder with Mode C (altitude reporting information) in the following areas: Class A, Class B, and Class C airspace; below 10,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) and within 30 nautical miles (nm) of the 36 airports listed in Appendix D to part 91 (Mode C Veil); and above 10,000 feet MSL, except that airspace that is below 2,500 feet Above Ground Level (AGL).

    This section establishes the specific technical standards for the transponder equipment's functionality, and defines the airspace where transponder equipment is required to operate. Generally, these areas include specific classes of airspace surrounding many airports (e.g. Class B and Class C airspace), most airspace above 10,000 ft., and airspace within 30 nautical miles (NM) of some of the nation's busiest airports. There are certain types of aircraft, including gliders, that are excepted from the transponder requirement within a portion of these areas.3 The FAA is not seeking comment on this exception for aircraft other than gliders.

    3 The exceptions to the rule allow aircraft that were originally certificated without an engine-driven electrical system, balloons, and gliders to be operated in the following areas without a transponder: Within the 30 nm of the 36 listed airports listed in Appendix D to part 91 (Mode C Veil) provided they remain outside the Class A, B, or C airspace and are below the ceiling of the airspace designated for the Class B or C airport, or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower; Above 10,000 feet MSL; and in the airspace from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL within a 10-nautical-mile radius of any airport listed in appendix D, excluding the airspace below 1,200 feet outside of the lateral boundaries of the surface area of the airspace designated for that airport.

    A. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations

    On March 31, 2008, the NTSB provided safety recommendations 4 to the FAA resulting from an investigation following an August 28, 2006, Reno midair collision between a Hawker 800XP airplane, N879QS, and a Schleicher ASW27-18 glider, N7729. The collision occurred in flight about 42 NM south-southeast of the Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO), at an altitude of about 16,000 feet (ft.) mean sea level (MSL)—an area excepted from transponder equipment and use requirements for gliders. Although the glider was equipped with a transponder, the glider pilot had turned off the equipment to conserve power. The findings of this accident investigation address the limitations of the see-and-avoid concept in preventing midair collisions, and specifically, the benefits of transponders in gliders for collision avoidance.

    4A-08-10 through 13, Safety Recommendations. National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC 20594, March 31, 2008. A copy of this report has been placed in the docket. http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2008/a08_10_13.pdf.

    The NTSB recommended that the FAA remove the glider exceptions pertaining to the transponder equipment and use requirements, finding that “transponders are critical to alerting pilots and controllers to the presence of nearby traffic so that collisions can be avoided.” The FAA agrees with the NTSB on the benefits of transponders in collision avoidance.

    B. Congressional Actions

    On March 13, 2012, The Honorable Harry Reid, United States Senate, wrote to the FAA expressing concerns about the safety of both gliders and other aircraft utilizing the same airspace around RNO. Senator Reid requested the FAA “invoke its emergency rulemaking procedure to remove the glider exemption” from § 91.215. Additionally, on April 27, 2012, the Honorable Mark E. Amodei, United States House of Representatives, wrote to the FAA to voice similar concerns about the impact of gliders on the safety of air traffic operations into and out of RNO. Congressman Amodei also encouraged the FAA to expedite the process to remove the glider exception from § 91.215.

    C. FAA Response

    The FAA Administrator responded to both Members of Congress on May 18, 2012, explaining that while the FAA had considered emergency rulemaking, the FAA decided an ANPRM was an opportunity to gather input from the glider community.5 In response to both the NTSB safety recommendations and the congressional requests, the FAA analyzed the reports in the Aviation Safety and Reporting Subsystem (ASRS) database. The NTSB safety recommendation cited 60 Near Mid-Air Collisions (NMAC) in the ASRS database involving air carrier/corporate jet traffic and gliders from 1998 to August 2007 for all airspace areas. The FAA reviewed the ASRS database from 1988 to October 2014 and found approximately 45 reports of NMACs involving gliders in or near the excepted areas of § 91.215.6

    5 Copies of the congressional recommendations have been placed in the docket.

    6 This database does not specifically indicate if a glider is equipped with a transponder or other beacon system.

    It is important to recognize the limitations of air-traffic radar services. In some instances, Air Traffic Control (ATC) may not be able to issue traffic advisories concerning aircraft that are not under ATC control and are not displayed on radar. Radio waves normally travel in a continuous straight line. However, they may be “bent” by abnormal atmospheric phenomena such as temperature inversions, and/or screened by high terrain features, reflected or attenuated by dense objects such as heavy clouds, precipitation, ground obstacles, or mountains, etc. Many glider operations take place near mountains to take advantage of ridge lift and mountain waves. As a result, areas near mountains where glider pilots often operate may have minimal to no radar coverage.

    Primary radar energy that strikes dense objects is reflected and displayed on the controller's scope. The amount of reflective surface of an aircraft determines the size of the radar return. Therefore, a small light aircraft, like a glider, is more difficult to see on primary radar than a large commercial jet or military bomber. Additionally, primary radar uses filters to eliminate the display clutter caused by reflections from stationary objects (e.g. buildings, mountains) and slow-moving vehicles (e.g. trucks, cars). Gliders, when not moving very fast across the ground, may be filtered out as ground clutter and not displayed to the controller.

    The use of transponders has been important in achieving a higher level of safety, particularly in areas where high and low speed traffic is intermixed under Instrument and Visual Flight Rules (IFR and VFR respectively). In issuing this ANPRM, the FAA understands that glider design and electrical power limitations present unique challenges for the installation and operation of transponders. The FAA requests comments on removing the transponder use exception for gliders in order to improve safety.

    D. Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS)

    The FAA notes that it is currently encouraging the voluntary equipage of TABS devices on aircraft excepted from carrying a transponder or ADS-B equipment, such as gliders, balloons and aircraft without electrical systems.7 TABS is described in FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C199 and allows aircraft equipped with collision avoidance and traffic advisory systems to track and display the TABS equipped aircraft.

    7 During the development of the new TSO-C199, these systems were referred to as Low Powered Surveillance Equipment (LPSE), and Light Aircraft Surveillance Equipment (LASE). The current acceptable terminology for these systems is Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS).

    E. Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS-B) Requirements

    The FAA also acknowledges that the exception from certain ADS-B Out requirements in § 91.225 is provided to gliders in the same manner as they are excepted from the transponder requirement. This ANPRM also seeks comment and information specifically on issues relating to the glider exception from the current transponder equipment and ADS-B requirements and use.

    III. Discussion/Questions Concerning Proposal Under Consideration

    The FAA is aware that removing established equipment exceptions for glider operations could impose significant costs on the glider community. Therefore, the FAA is issuing this ANPRM, rather than a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), to seek comments from the public and industry to aid in the development of a proposed rule and the analysis of its economic impact.

    The FAA requests comments and recommendations on the following issues. The sequence in which the issues are presented does not reflect any specific FAA preference.

    Please refer to the specific question number when submitting comments.

    A. TSO-C199, Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS)

    A TABS device is a low cost compact system that allows other aircraft equipped with collision avoidance systems and traffic advisory systems to track and display the TABS aircraft. TABS devices are intended for use on aircraft that are excepted from carrying a transponder or ADS-B equipment, such as gliders. TABS are not for use in receiving air-traffic control services. The intent of TABS is to enable equipped aircraft to be more visible to other aircraft operating with Traffic Advisory System (TAS), Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System I (TCAS I), Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II), TCAS II hybrid surveillance, and aircraft equipped with ADS-B In capability. TABS devices are manufactured under a TSO authorization with less rigorous specifications than transponders meeting the requirements of § 91.215. The FAA requests comments and recommendations on the following issues related to proposing the use of TABS devices:

    A1. Rather than requiring gliders to meet §§ 91.215 and 91.225, should the FAA require TABS equipment? Please explain your answer.

    A2. Do you have an alternative suggestion to increase safety?

    A3. Please provide cost estimates, with supporting details or documentation, including equipment, glider manufacturer, and model:

    A3.1. Provide estimate of total equipment cost(s). List all necessary components.

    A3.2. Provide estimate of installation cost(s).

    A.3.3. Provide estimate of maintenance costs (e.g. batteries, antenna).

    A4. Do you have, or plan to have, TABS installed on your glider? Please explain your answer.

    B. Transponder Equipment and Use in Gliders

    Section 91.215 describes transponder equipment and use requirements for aircraft. Under § 91.215, gliders may conduct operations without transponder equipment within 30 NM of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of part 91—provided such operations are conducted outside any Class A, Class B, or Class C airspace areas, and below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport, or 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), whichever is lower. Gliders operating above 10,000 feet MSL are also excepted from the transponder requirement. The FAA requests comments and recommendations on the following issues relating to removing the exception for gliders provided in § 91.215:

    B1. Should the FAA remove the glider exception from § 91.215 and require gliders to comply with the transponder equipment and use rules? Please explain your answer.

    B2. If the FAA removes the glider exception from § 91.215, how would safety be affected?

    B3. Please provide cost estimates, with supporting details or documentation, including equipment, glider manufacturer, and model:

    B3.1. Provide estimate of total equipment cost(s). List all necessary components.

    B3.2. Provide estimate of installation cost(s).

    B.3.3. Provide estimate of maintenance costs (e.g. batteries, antenna).

    B4. If the FAA requires gliders to be equipped with transponders in excepted airspace, should they also be subject to the ADS-B equipment requirements under § 91.225? Please provide supporting information.

    C. ADS-B Out Equipment and Use in Gliders

    Section 91.225 describes ADS-B Out equipment and use requirement for aircraft operating after January 1, 2020. Under § 91.225(e) certain gliders may conduct operations without ADS-B Out, within 30 NM of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of part 91 provided these operations are conducted outside any Class A, Class B, or Class C airspace area and below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport, or 10,000 feet MSL, whichever is lower. Further exception from the ADS-B requirement is provided to gliders operating above 10,000 feet MSL. The FAA requests comments and recommendations on the following issues relating to removing the exception for gliders provided under § 91.225(e):

    C1. Should the FAA require gliders to meet the ADS-B equipment and use rules? Please provide supporting information.

    C2. If the FAA removes the glider exception from § 91.225, would the level of operational safety increase? Please provide supporting information.

    C3. Please provide cost estimates, with supporting details or documentation, including equipment, glider manufacturer, and model:

    C3.1. Provide estimate of total equipment cost(s). List all necessary components.

    C3.2. Provide estimate of installation cost(s).

    C.3.3. Provide estimate of maintenance costs (e.g. batteries, antenna).

    C4. If gliders are required to meet the ADS-B equipment and use rules, should they also be required to meet the transponder equipment requirements? Please provide supporting information.

    C5. Do you have or plan to have ADS-B In or ADS-B Out installed on your glider? Please explain your answer.

    D. Additional Considerations

    D1. Can you suggest changes to current requirements or other equipment that would reduce the risk of collision for glider operations? If so, what specific requirements or procedures should be considered?

    D2. Have you had a collision or near collision while operating a glider? If so, please explain what happened.

    D3. Have you had a collision or near collision with a glider while operating an aircraft other than a glider? If so, please explain what happened.

    D4. Do you operate a glider within any of the following excepted areas? Please describe the type of airspace, location, frequency of operations, and any safety concerns during these operations.

    • Within 30 nautical miles of an airport listed in appendix D, section 1 of part 91 provided such operations are conducted outside any Class A, B, or C airspace areas, and below the altitude of the ceiling of a Class B or Class C airspace area designated for an airport or 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), whichever is lower.

    • Above 10,000 feet MSL

    D5. Do you receive air traffic services while flying a glider? Please explain the frequency and location of services, and any other information supporting your answer(s).

    IV. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to review rulemakings to assess their impact on small entities unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The FAA invites comment to facilitate its assessment of the potential impact of a rule removing the glider exceptions pertaining to transponder equipment and use requirements.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The FAA has not yet determined whether there will be an information collection associated with this rulemaking. This will be addressed at the time a NPRM, if any, is published.

    C. International Compatibility and Cooperation

    In keeping with U.S. obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, it is FAA policy to conform to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices to the maximum extent practicable. The FAA has reviewed corresponding ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices and will identify any differences with future proposed regulations. These differences will be addressed at the time a NPRM, if any, is published.

    D. Environmental Analysis

    FAA Order 1050.1E identifies FAA actions that are categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. The FAA has determined this ANPRM would qualify for the categorical exclusion identified in paragraph 312f, and would involve no extraordinary circumstances.

    V. Executive Order Determinations A. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The FAA has analyzed this ANPRM under the principles and criteria of Executive Order 13132, Federalism. The agency has determined that this action would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, or the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, and, therefore, would not have Federalism implications.

    B. Executive Order 13211, Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use

    The FAA analyzed this ANPRM under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (May 18, 2001). The agency has determined that it would not be a “significant energy action” under the executive order and would not be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    C. Executive Order 13609

    Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, (77 FR 26413, May 4, 2012) promotes international regulatory cooperation to meet shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues and to reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. The FAA will analyze any future action under the policies and agency responsibilities of Executive Order 13609, and determine if the action will have an effect on international regulatory cooperation. This will also be addressed at the time a NPRM, if any, is published.

    VI. Additional Information A. Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this ANPRM. Before acting on this ANPRM, the FAA will consider all comments it receives on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change the direction of this rulemaking in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Do not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD-ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under Department of Transportation procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    B. Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    Electronic copies of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

    1. Searching the Federal eRulemaking Portal (http://www.regulations.gov);

    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies or

    3. Accessing the Government Printing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling 202-267-9677. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this ANPRM, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 40103, and 44701(a)(5)(a) in Washington, DC, on June 10, 2015. Jodi S. McCarthy, Director, Airspace Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14818 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 4 [PS Docket No. 15-80; FCC 15-39] Amendments to the Commission's Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission seeks comment on proposals to improve its rules governing the reporting of disruptions to communications. The proposals contained in this document seek to build on the Commission's decade of experience administering these rules and the associated Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). This experience has provided perspective on aspects of the rules that could be refined so as to improve the quality and utility of the outage reporting data the Commission receives. Improving the reporting that occurs under the Commission's rules will advance the Commission's efforts to monitor the reliability and resiliency of the nation's communications networks, including 911 networks, and to address systemic vulnerabilities and threats to the communications infrastructure.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before July 16, 2015, and reply comments on or before July 31, 2015. Written comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act proposed information collection requirements must be submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other interested parties on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by PS Docket No. 15-80, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to [email protected] and to Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and Budget, via email to [email protected] or via fax at 202-395-5167.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda D. Villanueva, Attorney Advisor, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-7005 or [email protected] For additional information concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Nicole On'gele, (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PS Docket No. 15-80, released on March 30, 2015. The complete text of this document is available for public inspection and copying from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday or from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET on Fridays in the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. In addition, the complete text is available online http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-part-4-improvements-item.

    This document contains proposed information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Public and agency comments are due August 17, 2015. Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) way to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the Title of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0484.

    Title: Section 4.9, Part 4 of the Commission's Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communications.

    Form No.: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Revision of currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,100 Respondents; 15,783 Responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2-2.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion and annual reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory.

    Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j) & (o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c.

    Total Annual Burden: 30,548 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: None.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Collected information is afforded a presumption of confidential treatment under section 4.2 of the Commission's rules.

    Synopsis of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on proposals to update its part 4 outage reporting rules. In doing so it seeks to apply a decade of experience administering the part 4 rules and the associated Network Outage Reporting System, which has improved the Commission's ability to detect adverse outage trends and facilitate industry-wide network improvements. Our primary goal remains ensuring the reliability and resiliency of the Nation's communications system, and in particular strengthening the Nation's 911 system.

    In a companion document, a Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration in ET Docket No. 04-35, the Commission resolves several outstanding matters related to its adoption of the part 4 rules in a Report and Order in 2004. This includes disposing of seven pending Petitions for Reconsideration (Petitions). Some of the issues raised in some of these Petitions, as well as in their responsive pleadings, are incorporated into proposals considered in this NPRM. The portions of these pleadings that present substantive arguments on such issues are incorporated into the record of this proceeding.

    I. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Costs and Benefits

    1. We seek comment on the potential costs and benefits associated with each proposal considered below. As a general matter, we seek to determine the most cost-effective approach for modifying existing policies and practices to achieve the goals of our proposed rules. We ask that commenters provide specific data and information, such as actual or estimated dollar figures, including a description of how the data or information was calculated or obtained and any supporting documentation. Vague or unsupported assertions regarding costs or benefits generally will receive less weight and be less persuasive than more specific and supported statements.

    2. Some of the proposals advanced today would likely increase the number of reports, and some would likely decrease the number of reports. We estimate that, overall, adoption of the proposed rules may result in the filing of a total of 339 additional reports industry-wide per year, representing a $54,240 cost increase. This net cost increase is the sum of a $526,560 in cost increases and $472,320 in cost reductions. The projected cost increases are associated with proposed requirements for reporting outages that significantly degrade 911 communications ($1,600); radio access network overload events in wireless networks ($67,200); simplex outages that persist forty-eight hours or longer ($163,200); and wireless outages in rural areas based on geographic impact ($294,560). The cost reductions are associated with proposals to raise the threshold for reporting major facility outages ($453,600) and to clarify when airport-related outages are subject to reporting ($18,720). We project that other proposals contained in the NPRM will not have an appreciable cost impact. Given the breadth of industry sectors subject to Part 4, we believe this estimated total cost impact to be de minimis, and, in any event, significantly outweighed by the benefits to the public interest from adopting these changes. The modest proposals set forth in this NPRM will improve the Commission's ability to fulfill its statutory mission and inform policymaking, such as the Commission's efforts to safeguard the public safety attributes of networks as critical communications transition to Internet Protocol-based platforms. In addition, we expect that adoption of the proposed rules will enhance the Commission's effective coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies on matters of national security and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. We seek comment on whether, or to what extent, the proposed rule changes below will help the Commission achieve these goals.

    B. Call Failures

    3. Reporting of Outages That Significantly Degrade Communications to PSAP(s). We first seek comment on whether to amend our rules to clarify the circumstances under which degradation of communications to a PSAP constitutes a reportable outage under section 4.9(e)(1) of our rules. Some providers may be interpreting this provision narrowly to require reporting only when there is a complete, i.e., when a PSAP is rendered unable to receive any 911 calls for a long enough period to meet the reporting threshold. Under this interpretation, a failure or degradation that prevents hundreds or even thousands of 911 calls from completing might fail to qualify as a reportable outage if some 911 calls continued to reach the PSAP throughout the event. We believe that such a narrow reading of the provision is not consistent with the intent of the Part 4 outage reporting process and that the rule should not be left open to this interpretation during an event that debilitates 911 service. In adopting Part 4 in 2004, the Commission defined a reportable outage to include a significant degradation.

    4. A network malfunction or higher level issue that prevents large numbers of 911 calls from completing certainly disrupts service in a manner that endangers public safety, irrespective of whether any PSAP has suffered a complete loss of ability to receive 911 calls. Moreover, requiring reporting under such circumstances would permit systematic analysis of the conditions that lead to these degradations and help reveal potential solutions. Without the benefits of such reporting, the Commission may not have sufficient, timely information to address serious incidents of this magnitude.

    5. Accordingly, we propose revising section 4.5(e)(1) to clarify that any network malfunction or higher-level issue that significantly degrades or prevents 911 calls from being completed constitutes a “loss of communications to PSAP(s),” regardless of whether the PSAP is rendered completely unable to receive 911 calls. We seek comment on this proposed clarification. How would a provider determine the need to report an outage that results only in a partial “loss of communications” to a PSAP? Should the provider simply calculate user minutes potentially affected as it would for a complete loss of communications, and then multiply that figure by the percentage of PSAP communications capacity that has been “lost” to determine whether the 900,000 user minutes threshold has been reached? Is the percentage of lost capacity equivalent to the percentage of trunks serving a PSAP that have been disabled, or are there factors (e.g., built-in redundancy) that complicate the relationship between these parameters? Should a “loss of communications to PSAP(s)” be defined to include only “losses” that exceed a certain magnitude? For instance, should we specify that a “loss of communications” to a PSAP occurs only when at least 80 percent of the trunks serving a PSAP are disabled? As another possibility, should we consider establishing a separate reporting threshold based on the number of 911 calls that actually fail to be completed as the result of an outage? If so, should we set a uniform numerical threshold, or should the threshold be relative to the number of users a PSAP serves? Should the Commission require reporting of any outage of at least thirty minutes' duration that exceeds some threshold level of impairment to the communications capabilities of any PSAP, irrespective of the number of user minutes potentially affected? If so, how should the Commission define such a threshold? Are there other metrics and thresholds the Commission should consider that could better capture this type of degradation in the ability to complete 911 calls? What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of any such alternatives?

    6. We also seek comment on the costs and benefits of the various measures mentioned above. Even assuming that the measures would expand reporting obligations, we do not believe that any such measures would have a substantial cost impact. Over the previous three years, the Commission has been made aware of only a handful of events that appear to have produced a “significant degradation in communications to a PSAP(s)” without resulting in a complete loss of such communications. For purposes of estimating reporting costs, we could treat those years as a best case scenario and instead posit that as many as ten such events a year would be reportable were we to adopt any of the various measures considered above. Assuming further that each reportable event requires two hours of staff time to report, at eighty dollars per hour, we conclude that adoption of any of the considered measures would result in a total cost increase of $1,600 per year. The two-hour estimate, which we use throughout this document, includes the time necessary to file the notification, initial report and final report. These estimates were developed in 2004 during the process to obtain approval for the information collection associated with the original Part 4 rules and were subject to public comment both then and at periodic intervals since to renew the collection authorization. We believe these estimates remain valid, especially in light of both advances in information technology that have permitted providers to streamline processes and providers' increasing familiarity with the NORS outage reporting process. We seek comment on the foregoing analysis, including the assumptions used to arrive at the cost estimate and the extent to which these estimates appropriately reflect the costs associated with reporting. Interested parties should include information regarding whether the submission process (i.e., time to fill out the form, review by management and filing) takes two hours. We also seek comment as to whether we could achieve our objectives in a less costly, less burdensome, or more efficient manner. Finally, we clarify that our proposals in this NPRM do not prejudge any issue the Commission may take up in another docket or proceeding to address the reliability of 911 service.

    7. Call Failures in the Wireless Access Network. We next seek comment on the reporting of wireless call failures that result from congestion in the access network, a problem often encountered during emergencies. In particular, the inability of a radio access network (RAN) to support excess demand for radio channels may not constitute a reportable “failure or degradation” under our current rules, yet pervasive call failures undermine the reliability of networks for consumers regardless of their cause. Because this appears to be predominantly an issue with wireless networks, we propose to amend our part 4 rules to require the reporting of systemic wireless call failures that result from RAN overloading. In doing so we note that the Commission already requires reporting of interexchange carrier (IXC) and local exchange carrier (LEC) tandem facility outages of at least thirty minutes' duration in which 90,000 or more calls are blocked.

    8. Such failures appear to be most prevalent during and in the immediate aftermath of major disasters, when call volume is particularly heavy. To provide a more complete understanding of the problem, we seek comment on the failure rate of wireless calls. How often and under what circumstances do wireless calls fail in RANs? How different is that failure rate from the rate experienced during ordinary circumstances? How different is that from failure rates in wireline networks—including both TDM and IP-based networks—in both extraordinary (e.g., during or immediately after a weather event) and typical circumstances? How often and with what impact is “load shedding” applied whereby a provider intentionally decreases network functionality to allocate available resources to the most critical functions?

    9. We also seek comment on ways to measure the customer impact of call failures caused by RAN congestion. The most obvious potential metric is percent of calls failed. Is there a surrogate metric more readily attainable that can provide the Commission with similar information? What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of each metric? What would be the appropriate reporting threshold? Are there alternative ways of defining the reporting threshold that would generate more useful information without imposing unreasonable burdens on reporting entities? Are there other indicators the Commission could track that would help it better understand the network dynamics that prevent a wireless network from effectively handling calls once a certain saturation point is reached? Are these indicators likely to vary depending on the technology used to provide service?

    10. We also seek comment on the costs, burdens and benefits of requiring providers to report widespread call failures in wireless RANs. To estimate these costs, we first assume that wireless access networks and interoffice networks are engineered to achieve comparably low rates of call failure (i.e., blocked calls). We base this assumption on the fact that the nation's communications networks are vastly interdependent, which we believe could encourage the implementation of similarly robust parameters across networks, e.g., call blocking monitoring and measuring. This leads us to assume that these two types of networks have a comparable rate of calls blocked and, therefore, would have a comparable number of outage reports. We seek comment on these assumptions. As the Commission receives approximately 420 reports per year of interoffice facility outages, we estimate that adoption of the proposed requirement would result in the filing of an additional 420 reports per year. Assuming further that two hours of staff time are necessary to file the reports on each outage, at eighty dollars per hour, we tentatively conclude that the adoption of the requirement would result in an annual increase of $67,200 in reporting costs. We also assume that providers are already technically capable of tracking call failures at each cell site, and that they do so as a matter of practice, and they thus would not incur additional costs in tracking reportable outages under the proposed rule. We seek comment on this cost estimate, including its underlying assumptions. We believe these costs would be outweighed by the concomitant benefits of improved Commission awareness of the frequency and impact of RAN-overload events on wireless customers, and of providing the Commission with greater understanding about the overall health of the nation's networks and, thereby, the ability to work with industry toward improved reliability and situational awareness goals to ultimately achieve and sustain more reliable and resilient communications networks.

    11. Call Failures in the Non-Wireless Access Network. The Commission's rules also do not require reporting on widespread call blockages in the non-wireless local access network to the extent such events involve no “failure or degradation” of the network. We seek comment on whether the Commission should impose similar reporting requirements on these types of outages. If so, how should such requirements be defined, and what costs and benefits would attend their adoption? Is there evidence that congestion in the access portion of a wireline network causes significant amount of calls to fail?

    C. Major Transport Facility Outages 1. Appropriate Metric and Threshold

    12. The Commission requires reporting of “failures of communications infrastructure components having significant traffic-carrying capacity.” Based on our analysis of NORS data, it appears that an increasing proportion of the outages reported under the current DS3-based standard are minor disruptions unlikely to have a significant impact on communications or jeopardize public safety. Accordingly, we seek comment on whether upward adjustment of the reporting threshold for transport facility outages could reduce reporting burdens while preserving the Commission's ability to obtain critical information about communications reliability.

    13. In its Petition, Qwest (now CenturyLink) argued that the outage reporting threshold should be defined in terms of impact on “OCn”- level circuits (i.e., optical circuits such as OC1 and OC3) rather than DS3 circuits. Alternatively, Qwest argues that the Commission should require reporting of DS3 outages only on a quarterly basis.

    14. In the years since the part 4 rules were adopted and Qwest filed its petition, the industry has come to rely more heavily on circuits larger than the DS3, including OCn-level circuits, for transport of communications traffic. We thus believe it may be appropriate to express the reporting threshold for transport facility outages in terms of impact on higher capacity circuits. In particular, we propose to define the threshold in terms of “OC3 minutes”, i.e., based on impact on OC3 circuits or other circuits or aggregations of circuits that provide equal or greater capacity. We believe that expression of the outage threshold in “OC3 minutes” may better indicate the magnitude of network outages to which the part 4 rules were designed to apply. We seek comment on this proposal.

    15. We further seek comment on raising the reporting threshold to account for changes in how networks are scaled and designed. The current threshold of 1,350 DS3 minutes—which is equivalent to 450 OC3 minutes—was selected, consistent with our goals of technological neutrality, to match the 900,000 user minutes threshold put in place for voice-grade services, based on a calculation of 667 voice-grade users per DS3. Yet, as communications services transition to more advanced technologies, greater capacity often carries the same number of users. In the emerging VoIP environment, we believe that 450 voice-grade equivalent users is a better estimate of the carrying capacity of a single DS3, based on our recent estimate that a single VoIP call requires 100 kbps of bandwidth. This would mean that, to retain equivalency with the 900,000 user minutes threshold, the major facilities outage threshold should be adjusted to 2,000 DS3 minutes—or 667 OC3 minutes. We seek comment on this analysis and on the resultant proposal.

    16. We also seek comment on the cost savings that would accrue from this proposal. We observe that there were 2,208 major transport facility outages reported in 2013 that did not affect OC3-grade or equivalent circuits, and an additional 627 that did not exceed 667 OC3 minutes. We accordingly believe that the proposed changes to the reporting requirements for major transport facility outages could reduce the number of associated reports filed each year by as many as 2,835. Assuming that each such report would have required two staff hours to complete, at eighty dollars per hour, we conclude that the proposed adjustments of the reporting threshold for major facility outages would reduce reporting costs by $453,600. We seek comment on this cost analysis and its underlying assumptions.

    2. Simplex Outage Reporting

    17. A simplex event occurs when circuits that are configured with built-in path protection, as when arranged in a protection scheme such as a Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) ring, lose one of the paths. Under such configurations, when one of the circuits fails, traffic is diverted to a back-up circuit or “protect path,” and a “simplex event” has occurred. We propose to shorten from five days to 48 hours the reporting timeframe for this type of event. While above we propose to revise the metric for reporting major facility outages from DS3-based to OC3-based, we now address the independent concern of the appropriate time frame for reporting simplex events on major network facilities, regardless of whether measured as DS or OC.

    18. When it adopted the part 4 rules the Commission rejected a proposal to exempt “simplex events” from the reach of these requirements and determined that such events would constitute reportable outages. The Commission reasoned that, although such events do not immediately result in any loss of communications, they eliminate redundancies that prevent major losses of communications from occurring and provide valuable insight into the actual resiliency of critical networks. The Commission later issued a Partial Stay Order that granted a stay of this requirement as to outages that persist for less than five days. In issuing this partial stay, the Commission contemplated “developing a full record” on this issue, including on the costs that providers would incur in complying with the rule as originally adopted.

    19. Some Petitioners argue that it is overly burdensome to report simplex events. In its response to the Petitions, the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) argued that circuits are “critical” for commerce and national defense, including, “Federal Reserve, ATM and other bank and commercial transactions, FAA flight controls, [and] the Defense Department[,]” and that simplex outages should thus be reported.

    20. Because simplex events are typically scheduled for repair during daily maintenance cycles as Petitioners suggest, such outages should generally be rectified within twenty-four to forty-eight hours in the normal course of business. Neglecting to address simplex outages within forty-eight hours of their discovery would thus contravene an established industry best practice. Recent years have witnessed an increase in the reporting of simplex outages, even under the relaxed, five-day standard set forth in the Partial Stay Order, wherein the Commission conceded that five days for repair of a simplex outage may be tolerable “[i]n the worst case scenario.” This suggests that the best practice is not being followed.

    21. In light of these observations, we propose improving our reporting requirements for simplex events to require reporting of any such event not rectified within forty-eight hours of its discovery as a reportable outage. We seek comment on the choice of forty-eight hours after discovery of a reportable outage as the point at which providers must report the outage. Are providers correct in asserting that the vast majority of these outages are likely to be repaired within a forty-eight-hour window and thus would remain exempt from reporting? How common are outages that last longer than forty-eight hours but shorter than five days after they are discovered as reportable outages? Do the outages that persist longer than five days tend to be particularly large in scope or difficult to repair? Is there an alternative threshold for the reporting of simplex events that the Commission should consider? If so, what is the threshold and what are its advantages?

    22. We also seek comment on whether, and to what extent, reducing the reporting threshold from five days to forty-eight hours would increase costs on providers. We believe that this proposed change would create incentives for providers to repair simplex outages in a timelier manner, without imposing an undue cost burden. We would expect that adoption of this proposal would increase the number of reportable events, given that there are likely a number of simplex events that exceed the shorter 48 hour threshold proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, but do not exceed the longer 5-day threshold currently in the Commission's rules. We propose a proportional estimate that the shortened reporting window threshold would double the number of simplex outages subject to reporting, this would amount to an increase of approximately 1,250 reports per year. However, the proposed change from DS3 to OC3-based reporting for major network transport facility outages would reduce the number of simplex-based reports because events affecting a small number of DS3s would no longer be reportable. Assuming that we reduce the simplex reporting window threshold from five days to 48 hours, and adopt OC3 as the metric threshold, we estimate these conditions combined will result in an estimated 1,020 additional outage reports. (We calculate 1,020 reports = 1,250 additional DS3-based reports due to reduction to 48 hours threshold − 230 reports only affecting one or two DS3s. We base this calculation on the 230 outage reports previously received by the Commission in 2013, for events affecting one or two DS3s.) Assuming further that two staff hours required to file each report, at eighty dollars per hour, this increase in the number of filed reports would carry with it an increased cost of $163,200. We believe these costs would be outweighed by the concomitant benefits of improved Commission awareness of the extent of industry best practices implementation in this area, and of providing the Commission's with greater understanding about the overall health of the nation's networks and, thereby, the ability to work with industry toward improved reliability and situational awareness goals to ultimately achieve and sustain more reliable and resilient communications networks. We seek comment on this analysis and its underlying assumptions.

    D. Wireless Outage Reporting Metrics

    23. Reporting Wireless Outages Generally. We have observed over the last several years that wireless providers use different methods to calculate the number of users “potentially affected” by an outage, and we seek to find a uniform method of calculating this number that can be used by all reporting wireless providers, regardless of underlying technology. Wireless service providers in particular are directed to calculate this number “by multiplying the simultaneous call capacity of the affected equipment by a concentration ratio of 8,” which is based on “the generic parameters that are routinely used in basic telecommunications traffic analysis.” This measurement of call capacity is undertaken at the mobile switching center (MSC), which avoids the “computational difficulties” of directly measuring outages within the more dynamic radiofrequency (RF) portion of the network. However, as wireless technologies have continued to evolve, providers implementing different technologies have employed various methods of measuring the call capacity of their MSCs for purposes of outage reporting. Based on our analysis of the data, it appears that this variation among providers and technologies has led to inconsistencies in reporting that may compromise the Commission's ability to reliably detect wireless network outage trends. The lack of a clear and consistent process for measuring and reporting wireless outages also undermines the technology neutrality that lies at the heart of the part 4 rules.

    24. In light of these observations, we propose adopting a more standardized, technology neutral method for calculating the number of users “potentially affected” by a wireless network outage. We seek comment on two options.

    25. First, the wireless provider could calculate the total number of users potentially affected by an outage by multiplying the number of cell sites disabled as part of the outage by the average number of users it serves per site, assuming for purposes of the calculation that each user is served by a single site and site assignments are distributed evenly throughout the provider's network. Alternatively, a wireless provider could determine by reference to its Visitor Location Register the actual number of users that were being served at each affected cell site when the outage commenced. We seek comment on the strengths and weaknesses of each of these calculation methods. How significantly would adoption of either proposed method affect current reporting practices? Are either or both methods preferable to the variety of methods used by providers to measure “simultaneous call capacity” under the existing rule? What are the drawbacks or limitations of each proposed method? Are there ways of modifying either method to improve its utility? Would adoption of either method unduly favor certain network technologies or deployment configurations over others? Is either method more technology neutral than the other? We also seek comment on the costs and benefits that would attend adoption of either calculation method. We do not believe that adoption of either proposed calculation would have an appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this assumption.

    26. Finally, we seek comment on whether to adopt a separate and additional wireless outage reporting requirement based on the geographical scope of an outage, irrespective of the number of users potentially affected. We believe that doing so could provide the Commission with valuable information on the reliability of wireless service in less densely populated areas. As the percentage of calls to 911 from wireless devices continues to increase, the negative impact to the public from large geographic areas losing wireless coverage for emergency calls grows in significance. We seek comment on these observations. Were the Commission to adopt a geography-based reporting requirement for wireless outages, how should it define the threshold? Should providers be required to report any outage that disrupts service over a specified percentage (e.g., 5 percent) of the provider's advertised coverage footprint or some more granular level (e.g., at the State, county, or zip code)?

    27. We also seek comment on the costs and benefits that would attend adoption of a geography-based reporting threshold. To estimate the cost of a potential, new geographic-based reporting threshold, we need to estimate the number of additional reports that would be filed under such a threshold. We estimate this number as (1) the number of additional outage reports that would be generated by geography-based reporting (2) minus the number of reports that would be submitted for outages that meet the current 900,000 user-minute threshold. For this purpose and based on our experience reviewing a decade's worth of outage data, we estimate that geography-based reporting would generate additional reports in counties where a company has fifteen or fewer cell sites. The number of counties with fifteen or fewer cell sites represents 2.7 percent of the total number of cell sites nationwide. Using as a guide counties with fifteen or fewer cell sites, a disruption to communications would be reportable under a geographic coverage standard if one or two cell sites in the county are down. We next estimate, based on historical NORS data, that each cell site has a 22.6 percent chance of experiencing an outage within a given year. Finally, we adopt CTIA's estimate that 301,779 cell sites were in operation nationwide as of the end of 2012. Based on these data, we conclude that adoption of a geography-based reporting requirement would likely result in the filing of 1,841 additional reports per year. Assuming that two staff hours are required to file each report, at eighty dollars per hour, we further conclude that the additional reporting would carry with it a $294,560 cost burden. We believe these costs would be outweighed by the concomitant benefits of improved reporting on wireless outages in less-populated areas, and of providing the Commission's with greater understanding about the overall health of the nation's networks and, thereby, the ability to work with industry toward improved reliability and situational awareness goals to ultimately achieve and sustain more reliable and resilient communications networks. Are there steps the Commission could take to reduce the reporting burden associated with such a requirement?

    28. Estimating the Number of “Potentially Affected” Wireless Users for Outages Affecting a PSAP. A reportable outage affecting a 911 special facility—or PSAP—occurs, inter alia, whenever: (1) There is a loss of communications to a PSAP potentially affecting at least 900,000 user-minutes; (2) the outage is not at the PSAP; (3) a complete reroute is not possible; and (4) the outage lasts 30 minutes or more. In its Petition for Reconsideration, Sprint requests clarification of section 4.9(e)(5), arguing that “if an outage affects only one of the subtending PSAPs, only those customers whose calls would have been routed to such PSAP would potentially be affected.” Sprint requests that wireless providers be permitted to divide the capacity of the Mobile Switching Center (MSC), as defined in the rule, by the number of subtending PSAPs in order to more accurately estimate the number of end users potentially affected by an outage affecting a given PSAP. T-Mobile supported Sprint's proposal.

    29. We propose a slightly modified version of Sprint's proposal. Rather than have providers divide capacity equally among subtending PSAPs in order to calculate numbers of users potentially affected, we propose that capacity be allocated to each PSAP in reasonable proportion to its size in terms of number of users served. Thus, while Sprint's proposal would divide the capacity of the MSC evenly by the number of PSAPs, our proposal would base the allocation on the size of the subtending PSAP. We believe that this clarification would limit reporting to those significant outages that potentially impact public safety and for which the rules are intended. Moreover, this calculation method is consistent with what we observe to be the current reporting practice. We seek comment on this proposal. We also seek comment on any potential new burdens that would result from this clarification. We do not believe that adoption of the proposed modification would have an appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this assumption.

    E. Special Offices and Facilities

    30. Identifying “Special Offices and Facilities.” Part 4 requires various classes of communications providers to report outages that potentially affect “special offices and facilities,” a term defined in section 4.5(b) to include “major military installations, key government facilities, nuclear power plants, and [relatively major airports].” It further states that National Communications System (NCS) member agencies will determine which of their facilities qualify as major military installations or key government facilities. Prior to the dissolution of the NCS in 2012, none of its member agencies provided any guidance as to which of their facilities should be included in these categories. In the wake of NCS's dissolution and the establishment of the Executive Committee on National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications, we seek alternative means of identifying “special offices and facilities” for purposes of part 4.

    31. We propose to classify as “special offices and facilities” those facilities enrolled in or eligible for the Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) program, which prioritizes the restoration and provisioning of circuits used by entities with National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) responsibilities and duties. The TSP framework for restoring critical circuits comprises five priority levels, with levels 1 and 2 reserved for critical national security and military communications and the remaining levels dedicated to the protection of public safety and health and the continued functioning of the economy. TSP-enrolled facilities include military installations; federal cabinet-level department and agency headquarters; state governors' offices; Federal Reserve Banks; national stock exchanges; federal, state, and local law enforcement facilities; hospitals; airports; major passenger rail terminals; nuclear power plants; oil refineries; and water treatment plants.

    32. We seek comment on this proposal. If the TSP framework is suitable for identifying “special offices and facilities,” should the rule apply only to facilities enrolled in the program? If so, should there be a separate, free “outage reporting only” category created for facilities that are eligible for TSP but not otherwise enrolled? Should “special offices and facilities” instead be defined to include any facility that would be eligible for TSP? If so, how would a provider determine which of the facilities it serves are eligible for the program? In addition, if TSP eligibility or enrollment is used to define “special offices and facilities” under part 4, should facilities at all priority levels be included or only those at the highest levels? Should the rules expressly exempt providers from reporting any information about a TSP-enrolled facility that is protected under a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement with a TSP participant? Are there ways in which the TSP framework is unsuitable as a basis for classifying “special offices and facilities”? For instance, are there critical facilities that would fail to qualify as “special offices and facilities” under this approach? If so, should we consider broadening the scope of the definition to include facilities that are guaranteed priority restoration under “TSP-like” provisions in service-level agreements? Are there alternative classification frameworks that would be more suitable? We also request comment on the costs and benefits of these proposed options. We do not believe that redefining the term “special offices and facilities” as considered in this NPRM would have an appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this assumption. Which means of defining the term “special offices and facilities” would strike the optimal balance between useful results and minimal costs to all parties? We expressly seek comment from our national security agencies on the types of communications sector critical infrastructure they believe should be included in such reporting.

    33. Section 4.13. Section 4.13 directs special offices and facilities to report outages to the NCS, which may then forward the reported information to the Commission at its discretion. No such reports were ever forwarded to the FCC from the NCS prior to the latter's dissolution in 2012. However, the Commission separately imposes requirements on communications providers to report outages that potentially affect “special offices and facilities” as that term is defined section 4.5. Accordingly, we propose deleting section 4.13 from our rules as redundant with respect to information that providers are already required to supply, and obsolete with respect to obligations regarding the NCS. We seek comment on this proposal. Would deleting this provision have any practical impact on the Commission's ability to gather information about critical outages? Should the Commission establish a voluntary mechanism for operators of “special offices and facilities” to share information directly with the Commission about outages affecting their facilities? What benefits to network reliability and public safety might be realized were such reports filed directly with the Commission? Should the Commission encourage or require providers to report information regarding outages affecting “special offices and facilities” to member agencies of the former NCS or to agencies that have absorbed NCS functions?

    34. Airport Reporting Requirements. Section 4.5(b) defines “special offices and facilities” to include all airports listed as “current primary (PR), commercial service (CM), and reliever (RL) airports in the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airports Systems (NPIAS).” In its Petition, Sprint asks the Commission to clarify that outages that “potentially affect” such airports (and are thereby reportable under various subsections of section 4.9 of the rules) are classified as such only to the extent they have a potential impact on critical communications. Such an interpretation is consistent with language proposed but not adopted in the Part 4 rulemaking proceeding, under which an outage potentially affecting an airport would have been defined as one that: (i) Disrupts 50 percent or more of the air traffic control links or other FAA communications links to any airport; (ii) has caused an Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) or airport to lose its radar; (iii) has caused a loss of both primary and backup facilities at any ARTCC or airport; or (iv) has affected an ARTCC or airport that is deemed important by the FAA as indicated by FAA inquiry to the provider's management personnel.

    35. We propose clarifying the circumstances under which providers must report outages potentially affecting airport communications. In doing so, we first observe that most of the reports filed in this category have concerned outages not significant enough to pose a substantial threat to public safety, particularly at smaller regional airports. In light of this observation, we seek comment on amending the definition of “special offices and facilities” to exclude all airports other than those designated “primary commercial service” airports in the NPIAS. This category includes the nation's most heavily trafficked airports, where even minor degradations in critical communications can pose grave threats to public safety and national security. To what extent would this proposed restriction of the scope of section 4.5(b) affect current reporting practice? Would it put the Commission at risk of failing to learn of serious outages?

    36. We next seek comment on clarifying the types of communications that must be jeopardized for an outage to be held to “potentially affect” an airport. As an initial matter, we find compelling Sprint's argument that only outages relating to critical communications should be included. The definition of an outage potentially affecting an airport proposed in the original Part 4 rulemaking proceeding (and discussed above) would exclude communications such as these not directly related the role of airports as critical transportation infrastructure. Should the Commission adopt this proposed definition? Are there circumstances this definition fails to cover under which an outage should be held to “potentially affect” an airport? Should the definition include all communications outages that could impact the safety and security of the airport, passengers, crew, or staff? On the other hand, should the Commission declare that outages potentially affecting airports include only those that affect FAA communications links? Are there are other ways of delineating this category of outages that we should consider? We also seek comment on the costs and benefits of clarifying the scope of outages that “potentially affect” airports as discussed above. In 2013, the Commission received 117 reports of airport-related outages that do not appear to have implicated critical communications and thus would likely not be reportable under any clarification of the rules considered above. We thus estimate that such a clarification would reduce the number of reports filed annually by 117. Assuming that each report requires two staff hours to complete, at $80 per hour, this reduction in the number of reports filed would represent a cost savings of $18,720. We seek comment on this analysis.

    37. Finally, we seek comment on the relationship between the general definition of “special offices and facilities” in part 4 and the special provisions for airports. Were the Commission to classify “special offices and facilities” using the familiar TSP framework, under which airports are eligible facilities, could it eliminate as redundant its separate requirements to report outages affecting airports? Would doing so make the rules clearer and more efficient, or would it create the risk of critical airport outages going unreported? Should the Commission instead broaden the scope of the airport-based reporting rules to include other modes of public transportation or even wider to other critical infrastructure, perhaps based on the “critical infrastructure sectors” identified by DHS? Does the TSP framework already adequately encompass such infrastructure for purposes of part 4 reporting? Do answers to any of these questions depend on whether “special offices and facilities” are defined to include all TSP-eligible facilities or only those facilities enrolled in the program?

    38. Reporting Obligations of Satellite and Terrestrial Wireless Service Providers. The part 4 rules applicable to satellite and terrestrial wireless providers exempt these classes of providers from reporting outages potentially affecting airports. In carving out these exemptions, the Commission explained that “the critical communications infrastructure serving airports is landline based.” In separate Petitions, CTIA, Cingular Wireless, and Sprint each argue that wireless providers should be similarly exempt from reporting outages pertaining to all other “special offices and facilities.” CTIA argues in support of its petition that “the rationale for excluding wireless carriers from outage reporting for airports applies with equal force to all special offices and facilities.” That is, “[j]ust as with airports, wireless providers do not generally assign dedicated access lines to specific end users, and therefore do not have dedicated access lines for the critical portions of any of the special offices and facilities.” The Commission notes, however, the continued growth in the use of wireless networks, including in and around facilities that may qualify as “special offices and facilities” under the current rules or under various proposals we are considering.

    39. As we consider changes to the outage reporting rules that pertain to “special offices and facilities,” we seek comment on how such rules should apply to satellite and terrestrial wireless providers. Does airport communications infrastructure remain “landline based,” and are other facilities the Commission might classify as “special offices and facilities” served by a similar infrastructure? If so, should the Commission exempt wireless providers from any requirement to report outages potentially affecting “special offices and facilities,” as Petitioners request? Should we grant a similarly broad exemption to satellite providers? On the other hand, should the rules specify that a wireless or satellite provider must report outages potentially affecting any “special offices [or] facilities” to which it has assigned dedicated access lines? Are there other service arrangements that should give rise to an obligation to report wireless or satellite outages potentially affecting “special offices [or] facilities”? More generally, are there other circumstances where reporting from wireless or satellite providers on outages potentially affecting a special office or facility might provide the Commission with valuable information it would not receive otherwise? We also seek comment on the costs and benefits that would attend adoption of any rules in this area. We observe that wireless and satellite providers have historically filed few, if any, reports pertaining to outages affecting special offices and facilities. We thus estimate any further relaxation of their obligations to report such outages would not have an appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this analysis.

    F. Part 4 Information Sharing

    40. Sharing of NORS Data With State Public Utility Commissions. Section 4.2 provides that reports filed in NORS are presumed confidential and thus withheld from routine public inspection. The Commission routinely shares NORS reports with the Office of Emergency Communication at DHS, which may “provide information from those reports to such other governmental authorities as it may deem to be appropriate,” but the Commission does not share NORS information directly with state governments. In the absence of routine access to NORS data, many states independently require communications providers to file network outage reports with their public utility commissions or similar agencies. The content of such reporting overlaps to a great extent with the information providers must report to the Commission under part 4.

    41. In 2009, the California Public Utility Commission filed a petition (CPUC Petition) in which it requests that the Commission amend its rules to permit state agencies to directly access the NORS database. CPUC also informally requests that the Commission grant it password-protected access to those portions of the NORS database that contain data relating to communications outages in the State of California. CPUC argues that reliable access to network outage data is “necessary to perform its traditional role of protecting public health and safety through monitoring of communications network functionality.” Direct access to NORS, CPUC further argues, is the most effective means of obtaining such information. CPUC cites as precedent for its requested access to NORS the Commission's Numbering Resource Optimization proceeding, in which the Commission divulged confidential telephone numbering data to States on the condition that they have adequate protections in place to shield the information from public inspection.

    42. Granting states access to NORS data on a confidential basis could advance compelling state interests in protecting public health and safety in an efficient manner. We further observe that none of the commenters on CPUC's petition made the case that such sharing would be unworkable in practice or would undermine the core purposes of NORS. Accordingly, we propose granting states read-only access to those portions of the NORS database that pertain to communications outages in their respective states. In advancing this proposal, we reaffirm our view that NORS data should be presumed confidential and shielded from public inspection. We thus propose that, in order to receive direct access to NORS, a state must certify that it will keep the data confidential and that it has in place confidentiality protections at least equivalent to those set forth in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We seek comment on defining the term “State” for purposes of this proposal to include the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and possessions, and Tribal nations. We also find that rulemaking is the appropriate vehicle for deciding this issue, and thus hold in abeyance CPUC's informal request for access to California-specific NORS data, pending the completion of this rulemaking.

    43. We seek comment on the foregoing proposal. How can the FCC ensure that the data is shared with officials most in need of the information while maintaining confidentiality and assurances that the information will be properly safeguarded? Should personnel charged with obtaining the information be required to have security training? Should the identity of these individuals be supplied to the FCC? Should states be required to report or be penalized for breaches of the confidentiality of information obtained from NORS? Should a provider be permitted to audit a state's handling of its outage data? Should states be granted access to NORS data only on the condition that such access replace any separate outage reporting required under state law? Should NORS allow the placement of caveats with respect to the sharing of any data elements?

    44. We also seek comment on limitations on states' use of NORS data. When outage information is provided to state public officials or state public utility commissions, should the state be required to notify the FCC and service providers if the state seeks to share the data with parties outside its direct employ? Should states' use of NORS data be restricted to activities relating to its “traditional role of protecting public health and safety?” If so, what activities does this role encompass, and how should the Commission enforce any such limitation on states' use of the data? We seek comment on exactly what information should be shared with state officials. Should states be granted access to the notification, initial report and final reports? Should providers' outage coordinators' contact information be redacted before the information is shared with the states? Finally, we seek comment on the costs and benefits of sharing state specific NORS outage data with state entities. We believe that the proposed sharing of NORS data with states would not have an appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this assumption. What is the best way to balance security and convenience with the costs and benefits to all involved parties?

    45. Federal Agency Requests to Access NORS. The Commission also has received occasional requests from agencies other than DHS for access to NORS data. Thus far, we have provided the information only to DHS, which may share relevant information with other federal agencies at its discretion. However, we recognize the validity of requests from other federal partners to have their own direct access to the NORS database when these requests are made for national security reasons. Accordingly, we propose entertaining requests from other federal agencies for access to NORS data, and acting upon such requests on a case-by-case basis. We seek comment on this proposed approach to handling such requests. Should there be limitations on DHS access or access by other federal agencies? Under what circumstances should this information be shared? Should the entities seeking NORS data specify how they intend to use the information, and if, or with whom, they intend to share it? Should they be required to demonstrate that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure that the information be seen only by necessary parties? Should such sharing be undertaken in accordance with the procedures established under section 0.442 of the Commission's rules for the sharing of presumptively confidential information with other federal agencies?

    46. Information Sharing with the National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC). We next seek comment on the sharing of information collected under part 4 with the NCC. Would access to outage data collected in NORS contribute to the NCC's mission? Under what terms, if any, should such access be provided? Should the Commission instead continue to leave to the discretion of individual providers what network outage information they choose to share with the NCC? Would the Commission's provision of Part 4 information to the NCC discourage industry participation in that program? Is there a subset of data collected under Part 4 that the Commission could share with the NCC while upholding the confidentiality presumption established for Part 4? Would the sharing of network outage data in aggregate or generalized form be useful to the NCC? Finally, we assume that such information sharing would not have any appreciable cost impact. We seek comment on this assumption.

    II. Procedural Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    47. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for this NPRM, of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the proposals addressed in this document. The IRFA is set forth as Appendix D. Written public comments are requested on the IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments indicated on the first page of this NPRM. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of this NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    48. The NPRM in this document contains proposed new information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    C. Ex Parte Rules

    49. The proceeding this NPRM initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. 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.

    D. Comment Filing Procedures

    50. Pursuant to sections 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 should be filed in PS Docket No. 15-80. 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).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

    • Commercial 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 must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: 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 & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

    III. Ordering Clauses

    51. Accordingly it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 4(o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 309(j), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j) & (o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 309(j), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration in ET Docket 04-35 and PS Docket 15-80 is adopted, effective thirty (30) days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

    52. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and the Final Regulatory Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    IV. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    53. The NPRM seeks comment and information on a variety of issues related to the Commission's Part 4 outage reporting rules, including proposals to:

    • Clarify the requirement to report outages that significantly degrade communications to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs);

    • Adopt requirements to report widespread call failures that result from radio access network (RAN) congestion;

    • Replace the current threshold (based on “DS3 minutes”) for reporting major network outages with a threshold based on optical (i.e., OC-3) transmission rates;

    • Require reporting of DS3 Simplex outages that persist for less than five days but for more than forty-eight hours;

    • Adopt a common, technologically neutral method for calculating the number of wireless users “potentially affected” by an outage;

    • Clarify the reporting metric for estimating the number of “potentially affected” wireless users for outages that affect Public Switched Answering Points (PSAPs);

    • Update the requirements that mandate reporting of outages that affect airports and other “special offices and facilities”; and

    • Grant NORS access to state government agencies upon request and certification that the state has measures in place to protect the data from public disclosure.

    54. The Commission traditionally has addressed reliability issues by working with communications service providers to develop and promote best practices that address vulnerabilities in the communications network, and by measuring the effectiveness of best practices through outage reporting. Under the Commission's current rules, the outage reporting process has been effective in improving the reliability, resiliency and security of communications services. Commission staff collaborates with individual providers and industry bodies to review outage results and address troublesome areas, and these efforts have resulted in dramatic reductions in outages. The aim of updating the outage reporting rules is to further improve the reliability, resiliency and security of communications services.

    B. Legal Basis

    55. The legal basis for the rules proposed in the NPRM are contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i)-(k), 4(o), 218, 219, 230, 256, 301, 302(a), 303(f), 303(g), 303(j), 303(r), 403, 621(b)(3), and 621(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i)-(k), 154(o), 218, 219, 230, 256, 301, 302a(a), 303(f), 303(g), 303(j), 303(r), 403, 621(b)(3), and 621(d), and section 1704 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1998, 44 U.S.C. 3504.

    C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which Rules Will Apply

    56. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of, the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. 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 SBA.

    1. Wireline Providers

    57. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Incumbent LECs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for incumbent local exchange services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which are establishments primarily engaged in operating or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census Bureau data for 2007, show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of these incumbent local exchange service providers can be considered small.

    58. The Commission has included small incumbent LECs in this present RFA analysis. As noted above, a “small business” under the RFA is one that, inter alia, meets the pertinent small business size standard (e.g., a telephone communications business having 1,500 or fewer employees), and “is not dominant in its field of operation.” The SBA's Office of Advocacy contends that, for RFA purposes, small incumbent LECs are not dominant in their field of operation because any such dominance is not “national” in scope. The Commission has therefore included small incumbent LECs in this RFA analysis, although the Commission emphasizes that this RFA action has no effect on Commission analyses and determinations in other, non-RFA contexts.

    59. Interexchange Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a small business size standard specifically for providers of interexchange services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which are establishments primarily engaged in operating or providing access to transmission facilities and infrastructure that they own or lease for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications networks. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Census Bureau data for 2007 show that there were 3,188 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 3,144 had employment of 999 or fewer, and 44 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this category and the associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange carriers are small entities that may be affected by our proposed action.

    2. Wireless Providers—Fixed and Mobile

    60. Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Since 2007, the Census Bureau has placed wireless firms within this new, broad, economic census category. This category is composed of establishments that operate and maintain switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. As holders of spectrum licenses, these establishments use the licensed spectrum to provide services, such as cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services. The SBA has deemed a wireless business to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For the category of Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), Census data for 2007, which supersede data contained in the 2002 Census, show that there were 1,383 firms that operated that year. Of those 1,383, 1,368 had fewer than 100 employees, and 15 firms had more than 100 employees. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small. Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Telephony services. Of these, an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 152 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half or more of these firms can be considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be considered small.

    3. Satellite Service Providers

    61. Satellite Telecommunications Providers. Two economic census categories address the satellite industry. The first category, Satellite Telecommunications, has a small business size standard of $15 million or less in average annual receipts, under SBA rules. The second category is “All Telecommunications Providers,” which is discussed in a separate section.

    62. The category of Satellite Telecommunications “comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing telecommunications services to other establishments in the telecommunications and broadcasting industries by forwarding and receiving communications signals via a system of satellites or reselling satellite telecommunications.” Census Bureau data for 2007 show that 512 Satellite Telecommunications firms that operated for that entire year. Of this total, 464 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and 18 firms had receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of Satellite Telecommunications firms are small entities that might be affected by our action.

    4. Cable Service Providers

    63. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a “small cable company” is one serving a total of 400,000 or fewer subscribers over one or more cable systems. Industry data indicate that all but ten cable operators nationwide are small under this size standard. In addition, under the Commission's rules, a “small system” is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Industry data indicate that, of the 6,101 systems nationwide, 4,410 systems have less than 10,000 subscribers, and an additional 258 systems have between 10,000-19,999 subscribers. Thus, under this standard, most cable systems are small.

    64. Cable System Operators. The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is “a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.” The Commission has determined that an operator serving fewer than 677,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator, if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Industry data indicate that, of 1,076 cable operators nationwide, all but ten are small under this size standard. We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million, and therefore we are unable to estimate more accurately the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small under this size standard.

    5. All Other Telecommunications

    65. The 2007 NAICS defines “All Other Telecommunications” as follows: “This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing specialized telecommunications services, such as satellite tracking, communications telemetry, and radar station operation. This industry also includes establishments primarily engaged in providing satellite terminal stations and associated facilities connected with one or more terrestrial systems and capable of transmitting telecommunications to, and receiving telecommunications from satellite systems. Establishments providing Internet services or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services via client-supplied telecommunications connections are also included in this industry.” This category has a size standard of $25 million or less in annual receipts.1 Census Bureau data for 2007 show that there were a total of 2,383 firms that operated for the entire year.2 Of this total, 2,305 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million and 41 firms had annual receipts of $10 million to $24,999,999.3 Consequently, we estimate that the majority of All Other Telecommunications firms are small entities that might be affected by our action.

    1 Id.

    2 EC0751SSSZ4, Information: Subject Series—Establishment and Firm Size: Receipts Size of Firms for the United States: 2007 Economic Census, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pates/productive.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_51SSSZ4&prodType=table (last visited Mar. 27, 2015).

    3 Id. The remaining 14 firms had annual receipts of $25 million or more. Id.

    D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    66. The rules proposed in the NPRM would require telecommunications providers to report those outages that meet specified NORS Notice and Reports reporting threshold criteria, largely determined by the number of end users potentially affected by the outage and the duration of the outage. In the Commission's experience administering NORS, small companies only rarely experience outages that meet the NORS Notice and Reports reporting threshold criteria. Accordingly, while some of the rule revisions proposed in the NPRM would likely decrease the number of outages reported annually, while others may lead to increases, we would expect these impacts to be less pronounced for smaller entities. But notwithstanding any revisions we propose to the Part 4 reporting requirements, we expect that telecommunications providers to continue to track, investigate, and correct all of their service disruptions as an ordinary part of conducting their business operations and maintenance- even for service disruptions far too small to trigger a requirement to report. Telecommunications providers through internal network operation center personnel already file Notifications and Reports, typically an online form less than three pages in length based on data routinely collected and monitored by this same personnel. The form is designed to allow small entities to input information without the need for specialized professional, although the telecommunication providers may choose to hire consultants or engineers to conduct technical aspects, or an attorney to review compliance with applicable rules. Therefore, we believe the only burden associated with the reporting requirements contained here will be the time required to complete any additional Notifications and Reports following the proposed changes. In this IRFA, we therefore seek comment on the types of burdens telecommunications providers will face in complying with the proposed requirements. Entities, especially small businesses and small entities, more generally, are encouraged to comment and quantify the costs and benefits of the proposed reporting requirements.

    E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    67. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

    68. The proposed reporting requirements are minimally necessary to assure that we receive adequate information to perform our statutory responsibilities with respect to the reliability of telecommunications and their infrastructures. Also, we believe that the magnitude of the outages needed to trigger the reporting requirements are sufficiently high as to make it unlikely that small businesses would be impacted significantly by the proposed rules, and will, in fact, in many instances find their burden decreased by the newly proposed reporting thresholds. The Commission considered other possible proposals and now seeks comment on the proposed reporting thresholds and the analysis presented.

    F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule

    69. None.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 4

    Airports, Communications common carriers, Communications equipment, Disruptions to communications, Network outages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 4 as follows:

    PART 4—DISRUPTIONS TO COMMUNICATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 4 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Sec. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 201, 251, 307, 316.

    2. Section 4.2 is revised to read as follows:
    § 4.2 Availability of reports filed under this part.

    Reports filed under this part will be presumed to be confidential. A State government may file a request with the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau for read-only access to information filed under this part concerning outages that occur within the State. The Public Safety and Homeland Security may grant the request upon certification that the State will maintain the confidentiality of the information and that it has in place confidentiality protections equivalent to those of the Freedom of Information Act to protect the information from public inspection. Public access to reports filed under this part may be sought only pursuant to the procedures set forth in 47 CFR 0.461. Notice of any requests for inspection of outage reports will be provided pursuant to 47 CFR 0.461(d)(3).

    3. Section 4.5 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(1) to read as follows:
    § 4.5 Definitions of outage, special offices and facilities, and 911 special facilities.

    (e) * * *

    (1) There is a partial or complete loss of communications to PSAP(s) potentially affecting at least 900,000 user-minutes and: The failure is neither at the PSAP(s) nor on the premises of the PSAP(s); no reroute for all end users was available; and the outage lasts at lasts 30 minutes or more; or

    4. Section 4.7 is amended by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 4.7 Definitions of metrics used to determine the general outage-reporting threshold criteria.

    (d) OC3 minutes are defined as the mathematical result of multiplying the duration of an outage, expressed in minutes, by the number of previously operating OC3 circuits or their equivalents that were affected by the outage.

    § 4.9 [Amended]
    5. Section 4.9 is amended by removing the term “DS3” and adding, in its place, the term “OC3” in paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(4), (b), (e)(3), (e)(5), (f)(2), and (f)(4), and removing the number “1,350” and adding, in its place, the number “667” in paragraphs (a)(2), (b), (e)(3), and (f)(2).
    § 4.13 [Removed]
    6. Section 4.13 is removed.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14687 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 115 Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) Grants to States AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is announcing the availability of competitive grants to fund States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC (referred to as “States” in this document), with respect to activities designed to expand the infrastructure for renewable fuels. BIP grantees must provide matching contributions with a goal of a one-to-one basis to the CCC funds. The CCC funds must be used to pay a portion of the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, for example “E15” and “E85,” at vehicle fueling locations, including, but not limited to, local fueling stations, convenience stores (CS), hypermarket fueling stations (HFS), or fleet facilities. The matching contributions may be used for these items or for additional related BIP costs such as additional infrastructure to support pumps, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation, and administrative costs associated with the application process.

    DATES:

    Applications: Applications must be submitted using www.grants.gov by July 15, 2015.

    Comments: To comment on the information collection request in the Paperwork Reduction Act Requirements section of this document, we will consider comments we receive by August 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katina Hanson, telephone (202) 720-3175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    U.S. farmers are producing record amounts of feedstocks for renewable fuels. However, lower commodity prices, paired with this record production, have created uncertain times for U.S. feedstocks producers. Biofuels, which contribute to energy security, reduce air pollution, and support rural economic development, are an important market for U.S. feedstock producers. Infrastructure constraints and other barriers currently limit the market for biofuels and thereby the commodities used to produce them, contributing to lower commodity prices. In particular, the nation's fueling infrastructure is not sufficiently flexible to accommodate large additional quantities of higher ethanol blends that could enable biofuels to fill a significantly greater portion of the nation's fuel supply. Most vehicle fueling pumps can deliver only one type of fuel—E10, which contains a maximum of 10 percent ethanol. Fuels containing a higher percentage of ethanol are also available; the most prevalent of these fuels are those containing 15 percent ethanol (“E15”) and those containing more ethanol than gasoline (“E85” refers to blends between 51 percent and 83 percent ethanol).

    These higher blend fuels are compatible with a significant portion of the nation's vehicle fleet. After extensive testing by the Department of Energy, in 2012 EPA approved E15 for use in vehicles for the 2001 and newer model years. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of the 250 million vehicles registered in the United States are able to use E15.1 In addition, there are approximately 14 million flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the United States; these vehicles can utilize E85. Based on 2014 fuel consumption levels, these vehicles—vehicles for the 2001 and new model years, plus FFVs—together had the capacity to consume approximately 26 billion gallons of ethanol in the form of E15 and E85 in 2014. However, E15 and E85 actual 2014 sales levels only accommodated 100 to 200 million gallons of ethanol. Use of E15 in 2014 was limited by the very small number of vehicle fueling stations choosing to market it, which number fewer than 200 out of a total of more than 150,000 vehicle fueling stations nationwide. Similarly, the number of vehicle fueling stations offering E85 was about 3,000 by the end of 2014, representing only about 2 percent of vehicle fueling stations nationwide.2 In addition, while price data is limited, it appears that the limited network of E15 and E85 vehicle fueling stations means that consumers are not seeing the full price benefits that these higher blends could offer.

    1 Source: Data from personal communication with the Clean Fuels Development Coalition.

    2 Source: DOE's National a Renewable Energy Lab and from data collected under DOE's Clean Cities program.

    It is clear, then, that fueling infrastructure constraints limit the distribution of higher blends. Other factors may also be important, such as education, marketing, and pricing of higher blends at both the retail and wholesale level.

    BIP Description

    The overall goal of BIP is to increase biofuel consumption in the form of ethanol. BIP is intended to drive innovative public-private partnerships to implement more comprehensive approaches to marketing higher levels of ethanol by cost-sharing for the installation of infrastructure for higher blends of ethanol in general. Higher blends of renewable fuel offer significant potential for increasing the use of renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline pool, and BIP could help substantially increase ethanol consumption.

    CCC is an agency and instrumentality of the United States within the Department of Agriculture and operates under the supervision of the Secretary of Agriculture. Among the activities that section 5 of the CCC Charter Act authorizes CCC to undertake are actions to:

    • Make available materials and facilities required in connection with the production and marketing of agricultural commodities (other than tobacco) and

    • Increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities (other than tobacco) by expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic markets or by developing or aiding in the development of new and additional markets, marketing facilities, and uses for such commodities.

    Under this authority, CCC will make available not more than $100 million in the form of grants to States to assist in the implementation of activities to expand the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from agricultural products produced in the United States. BIP will be administered under the general supervision of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator (who also serves as the Executive Vice-President of CCC) and the FSA Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs.

    Applicants must provide funds or in-kind contributions from non-Federal sources to match the receipt of CCC funds with a goal of at least a dollar-for-dollar basis. In the event that qualifying applications for funds exceed the total amount made available by CCC, those applications with a higher proportion of funds versus in-kind contributions will be given a corresponding higher priority by CCC in the award of these grants. Accordingly, an applicant may enter into arrangements with private entities such as, but not limited to, commercial vendors of automotive fuel, agricultural commodity promotional organizations, Tribes, and other entities interested in the promotion of renewable fuels in order to secure such non-Federal funds or in-kind contributions.

    CCC funds made available under BIP may only be used for infrastructure to support higher ethanol blend utilization, including:

    • Blender pumps that can dispense a range of ethanol blends including E85 (new pumps or retrofit of existing pumps), capped at 75 percent CCC share per pump;

    • Dedicated E15 or E85 pumps (new pumps or retrofit of existing pumps), capped at 75 percent CCC share per pump; and

    • New storage tanks and related equipment associated with new facilities or additional capacity (replacement is not included), capped at 25 percent CCC share per tank.

    BIP grants may not be used for marketing, education, administration, research, testing, and other non-infrastructure expenses.

    Applicants' contributions must consist of funds or in-kind contributions. Contributions may be used to support higher ethanol blend utilization through:

    • Any activity for which CCC funds may be used;

    • Marketing and educational expenses associated with BIP;

    • Data collection and program evaluation costs associated with BIP;

    • Administrative costs associated with BIP; and

    • Expenses specifically set forth in the grant agreement executed with CCC.

    As described in the “Application Selection Criteria” section below, proposals must include and will be scored on a number of elements.

    Eligibility

    States, which as specified above in the Summary section includes the 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, that desire to participate in BIP must submit an application by July 15, 2015, through www.grants.gov. In grants.gov, to find BIP, search on funding opportunity number USDA-FSA-2015-22. Applications must include, but are not limited to, the executive summary, work plan, and budget information using Application for Federal Assistance—construction (SF-424) forms. (See grants.gov for more details about the specific application requirements.) Multiple States may submit a combined regional proposal instead of separate proposals, especially if a joint proposal creates synergies or increased efficiencies.

    There are a number of existing or prior State-led programs to help provide funding for blender pumps. These State-led programs generally provide equipment grants or tax incentives. These existing programs may be included as part of the matching contribution in the application; however, the application needs to show how the BIP grant will add to the growth of biofuel infrastructure in the State beyond the existing program. The funding provided by BIP will provide additional incentives. Grant recipients will be able to use the funds to purchase, install, and enhance blender pumps dedicated E15 and E85 pumps, storage tanks and related equipment, or to modify existing dispensers.

    The result of a successful application will be a one-time grant, consistent with the terms specified in the grant. Successful applicants will be required to sign a grant agreement with CCC. The grant agreement will include reporting and recordkeeping requirements. It is possible that not all of the funds will be expended, if insufficient qualified applications are received. All applications are subject to the approval of CCC, and CCC reserves the right to reject any and all applications.

    Application Selection Criteria

    CCC will evaluate how the applications will increase the use of ethanol using the evaluation criteria specified in this NOFA and grants.gov to select the applications that best support the BIP goals. A proposal must include the following information and this information will be used by CCC in the awarding of grants:

    • The total amount of CCC funds requested;

    • The total amount of the matching funds provided by the applicant;

    • The total amount of other contributions provided by the applicant;

    • The total amount of matching funds and other contributions provided by private entities such as, but not limited to, commercial vendors of automotive fuel, agricultural commodity promotional organizations, Tribes, and other entities interested in the promotion of renewable fuels;

    • The ratio of the matching funds or other contributions in relation to the requested CCC funds;

    • Plan to increase the number of consumers who have access to multiple vehicle fueling stations that offer higher ethanol blends within a specific geographic area;

    • An estimate of the number of consumers who will have access to higher blends through the proposed project;

    • Degree that blender pumps are prioritized in the proposal to enable more flexibility and consumer choice as demand for additional blends grows;

    • Current volume of ethanol sales, and an estimate of the increased volume of ethanol sales that the proposal is expected to generate over the lifecycle of the infrastructure investment;

    • Estimate of the increased number of FFVs;

    • Proposed plan to collect and provide data and other information necessary to evaluate the program (for example, collect and report data on sales and retail and wholesale pricing of higher ethanol blends by fueling station recipients, or describe outcomes of public education and marketing, such as number of consumers contacted, etc.);

    • Proposed public education and marketing plan (for example, the placement of blender pumps or dedicated E15 or E85 pumps within the vehicle fueling stations, signage about the availability and merits of higher ethanol blends, and the promotion of FFVs for proposals that include E85 infrastructure);

    • Proposed program evaluation approach (for example, randomized trials) to identify which approaches are the most effective at promoting use of higher ethanol blends;

    • Other elements that can increase ethanol use, such as efforts to improve the wholesale distribution system or pricing to ensure higher blends are priced fairly based on energy content;

    • An explanation of how the BIP grant will add to the growth of biofuel infrastructure in the State beyond any existing program;

    • Demonstration of capacity to operate the proposed program by documenting existing or previous efforts to support biofuels utilization and infrastructure;

    • A description of how the program will address maintaining and enhancing qualifying infrastructure (that is, blender pumps, dedicated E15 or E85 pumps, new storage tanks and related equipment), including, but not limited to, the minimum length of time that supported infrastructure and pumps must be used to dispense the higher ethanol blends, any foreseen participation barriers, as well as a description of financial incentives the program provides to purchase or enhance qualifying infrastructure; and