Federal Register Vol. 80, No.116,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 116 (June 17, 2015)

Page Range34531-34826
FR Document

80_FR_116
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 34825 - World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, 2015PDF
80 FR 34821 - Flag Day and National Flag Week, 2015PDF
80 FR 34703 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 34772 - In the Matter of Joymain International Development Group, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 34621 - Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final DeterminationPDF
80 FR 34619 - Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Rescission, In Part, of Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2013PDF
80 FR 34619 - Foreign-Trade Zone 61-San Juan, Puerto Rico; Application for Subzone; Autogermana, Inc., San Juan, Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 34705 - Meetings of Humanities PanelPDF
80 FR 34612 - Eleven Point Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34609 - Lyon-Mineral Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34623 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 34609 - Southern Montana Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34638 - Draft Test Guidelines; Series 810-Product Performance Test Guidelines; Notice of Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 34715 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 34579 - Proposed Priority-Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance CenterPDF
80 FR 34636 - Notice of a Public Meeting: The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Lead and Copper Rule Working Group MeetingPDF
80 FR 34618 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 34637 - Availability of Health Effects Support Documents and Drinking Water Health Advisories for Cyanobacterial Toxins; and a Support Document Containing Recommendations for Managing Cyanotoxins in Drinking WaterPDF
80 FR 34588 - Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Certification for Commercial Motor Vehicles Operated by United States-Domiciled Motor CarriersPDF
80 FR 34595 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Eastern Puma (=Cougar) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
80 FR 34692 - Draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Fire Island National Seashore, New YorkPDF
80 FR 34791 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
80 FR 34704 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 34786 - Notice and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 34626 - Extension of Public Comment Period for Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission LinePDF
80 FR 34538 - Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for the South Atlantic Lesser Amberjack, Almaco Jack, and Banded Rudderfish ComplexPDF
80 FR 34687 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Section 3 Summary Report for Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons (Form HUD 60002) and Section 3 Complaint Register (Form HUD 958)PDF
80 FR 34782 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Major Daniel K. FlorencePDF
80 FR 34713 - Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next DecadePDF
80 FR 34782 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Seaborne Virgin IslandPDF
80 FR 34693 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34695 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Mylan Technologies, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34693 - Adjusted Aggregate Production Quotas for Difenoxin, Diphenoxylate (for Conversion), and MarijuanaPDF
80 FR 34695 - Controlled Substances: 2015 Established Aggregate Production Quotas for Three Temporarily Controlled Synthetic CannabinoidsPDF
80 FR 34612 - Missoula Resource Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34559 - Financial Qualifications for Reactor LicensingPDF
80 FR 34594 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Identification and Proposed Listing of Eleven Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings; Public Hearings; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 34533 - Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII Series Airplanes; Limit Pilot Forces for Side-Stick ControllerPDF
80 FR 34685 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34684 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study-3rd Wave (NIDA)PDF
80 FR 34625 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PortsmouthPDF
80 FR 34626 - Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34627 - Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34627 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34625 - Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34783 - Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal SystemPDF
80 FR 34631 - Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 34632 - Duke Energy Corporation, Duke Energy Commercial Asset Management, Inc., and Duke Energy Lee II, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., and PJM Settlement, Inc.; PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective DatePDF
80 FR 34631 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 34632 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 34790 - Proposed Collection of Information: Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Payment; and Trace Request Direct DepositPDF
80 FR 34729 - Request for Comment on Exchange-Traded ProductsPDF
80 FR 34682 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff-Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Automated Blood Cell Separator Device Operating by Centrifugal or Filtration PrinciplePDF
80 FR 34670 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Regulations Under the Federal Import Milk ActPDF
80 FR 34783 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Buy America Waiver to the City of Sacramento, California, Department of Public Works, for the Purchase of a Variable Refrigerant Flow Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning SystemPDF
80 FR 34681 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of FoodPDF
80 FR 34679 - Medical Device User Fee Amendments; Public Meeting; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 34677 - Naming of Drug Products Containing Salt Drug Substances; Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 34650 - Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated OilsPDF
80 FR 34678 - Content and Format of Abbreviated 510(k)s for Early Growth Response 1 Gene Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization Test System for Specimen Characterization Devices; Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 34672 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Impact of Ad Exposure Frequency on Perception and Mental Processing of Risk and Benefit Information in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug AdsPDF
80 FR 34672 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Announcement of Office of Management and Budget Approval; Food and Cosmetic Export Certificate Applications ProcessPDF
80 FR 34606 - Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 34629 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 34628 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 34629 - Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project; Notice of MeetingsPDF
80 FR 34633 - Riverdale Power and Electric Company, Inc.; Notice Soliciting ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 34635 - Georgia Power Company; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic AgreementPDF
80 FR 34634 - Notice of Public Availability of FY 2014 Service Contract Inventories and Supplemental DataPDF
80 FR 34632 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 34629 - Eden Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 34635 - Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 34634 - Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 34630 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 34624 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Understanding the Impact of Providing Information to Parents About the Role of Algebra II: An Opportunistic StudyPDF
80 FR 34693 - Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Canada and ChinaPDF
80 FR 34641 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34622 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34623 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34785 - Notice of Application for Approval of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal SystemPDF
80 FR 34784 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 34788 - Automobili Lamborghini SpA, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 34786 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 34689 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander and California Red-Legged Frog, Sonoma County, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 34641 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 34683 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34618 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34704 - Notice of Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 34702 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Employee Retirement Income Security Act Blackout Period NoticePDF
80 FR 34701 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; O*NET Data Collection ProgramPDF
80 FR 34686 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Interagency Record of Request A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization or Change/Adjustment To/From A, G, or NATO Status, Form I-566; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 34687 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912; Request for Fee Exemption; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection; RevisionPDF
80 FR 34781 - Oklahoma Disaster Number OK-00081PDF
80 FR 34781 - Massachusetts Disaster #MA-00065PDF
80 FR 34608 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary HerbsPDF
80 FR 34606 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and VegetablesPDF
80 FR 34649 - Announcement of the Award of Single-Source Expansion Supplement Grants to Seven Personal Responsibility Education Program Innovative Strategies (PREIS) GranteesPDF
80 FR 34623 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) Item Validation and Operational Field TestsPDF
80 FR 34696 - Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests Submitted for Public CommentPDF
80 FR 34727 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Exemptions From the Order Audit Trail System Recording and Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 34745 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34748 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34756 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Revising the Schedule for Implementing the Exchange's Recently Approved Rule To Provide a Price Protection for Market Maker Quotes Pursuant to Rule 6.61PDF
80 FR 34744 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend NYSE Arca Rules 3.1 and 3.3 and Section 4.01(a) of the Exchange's Bylaws To Establish a Regulatory Oversight Committee as a Committee of the Board of Directors of the ExchangePDF
80 FR 34777 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Provide a Web-Based Delivery Method for Completing the Regulatory Element of the Continuing Education RequirementsPDF
80 FR 34717 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Making Permanent the Rules of the New Market Model Pilot and the Supplemental Liquidity Providers PilotPDF
80 FR 34763 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 515PDF
80 FR 34770 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Revising the Schedule for Implementing the Exchange's Recently Approved Rule To Provide a Price Protection for Market Maker Quotes Pursuant to Rule 967.1NYPDF
80 FR 34772 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of EDGX Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34715 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of EDGX Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34751 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Sixth Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of the ExchangePDF
80 FR 34753 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of EDGA Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34776 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of EDGA Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 34758 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fee Schedule Under Exchange Rule 7018 With Respect to Transactions in Securities Priced at $1 or More per Share and the Exchange's Retail Price Improvement ProgramPDF
80 FR 34610 - Proposed Directive for National Saw Program PolicyPDF
80 FR 34708 - Excepted ServicePDF
80 FR 34648 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34649 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34710 - Excepted ServicePDF
80 FR 34540 - Overtime Pay for Border Patrol AgentsPDF
80 FR 34643 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 34765 - Automated Matching Systems Exchange, LLC; Order Denying an Application for a Limited Volume Exemption From Registration as a National Securities Exchange Under Section 5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934PDF
80 FR 34790 - Proposed Collection of Information: Voucher for Payment of AwardsPDF
80 FR 34639 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewals; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34613 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Missouri Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss the Agenda and Logistics for Its August 20 Meeting on Police Use of ForcePDF
80 FR 34645 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 34644 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 34531 - Reserve AccountPDF
80 FR 34701 - Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans; Nominations for VacanciesPDF
80 FR 34613 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34787 - Ferrari North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 34647 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34640 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10414 Polk County Bank, Johnson, IAPDF
80 FR 34707 - Information Collection: Exemptions and Continued Regulatory Authority in Agreement States and in Offshore Waters Under Section 274PDF
80 FR 34636 - Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control ActPDF
80 FR 34560 - Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 34534 - Airworthiness Directives; Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop EnginesPDF
80 FR 34538 - Privacy Act RegulationsPDF
80 FR 34538 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation PlansPDF
80 FR 34583 - 340B Drug Pricing Program Ceiling Price and Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties RegulationPDF
80 FR 34562 - Commerce Control List: Addition of Items Determined to No Longer Warrant Control Under United States Munitions List Category XIV (Toxicological Agents) or Category XVIII (Directed Energy Weapons)PDF
80 FR 34572 - Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Categories XIV and XVIIIPDF
80 FR 34691 - Environmental Impact Statement for a Special Use Permit to Dare County for Activities Related to the Protection of North Carolina Highway 12 in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North CarolinaPDF
80 FR 34692 - Plan of Operations To Conduct 3-Dimensional Seismic Oil and Gas Exploration Within Big Cypress National PreservePDF
80 FR 34793 - Per Diem Paid to States for Care of Eligible Veterans in State HomesPDF

Issue

80 116 Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Collection, 34606 2015-14878 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Housing Service

Fiscal Bureau of the Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Trace Request for Electronic Funds Transfer Payment; and Trace Request Direct Deposit, 34790-34791 2015-14891 Voucher for Payment of Awards, 34790 2015-14800 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34644-34647 2015-14786 2015-14787 Statement of Organization, Functions,and Delegations of Authority, 34643-34644 2015-14808 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34647-34648 2015-14774 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Child Care Development Fund—Reporting Improper Payments—Instructions for States, 34649 2015-14813 Office of Refugee Resettlement Cash and Medical Assistance Program Quarterly Report on Expenditures and Obligations, 34648-34649 2015-14814 Award of Single-Source Expansion Supplement Grants: Personal Responsibility Education Program Innovative Strategies Grantees, 34649-34650 2015-14839 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Missouri Advisory Committee, 34613 2015-14788 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34613-34618 2015-14780 2015-14849
Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34623 2015-14958 Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Controlled Substances: 2015 Established Aggregate Production Quotas for Three Temporarily Controlled Synthetic Cannabinoids, 34695 2015-14909 Difenoxin, Diphenoxylate (for conversion), and Marijuana; Aggregate Production Quotas, 34693-34695 2015-14910 Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Mylan Technologies, Inc., 34695-34696 2015-14911 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Inc., 34693 2015-14912 Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance; Petitions, 34618-34619 2015-14937 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center; Proposed Priorities, 34579-34583 2015-14940 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 Item Validation and Operational Field Tests, 34623-34624 2015-14838 Understanding the Impact of Providing Information to Parents about the Role of Algebra II: An Opportunistic Study, 34624-34625 2015-14864 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34696-34701 2015-14837 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, 34701 2015-14781 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Applications: Proposed Clean Line Plains and Eastern Transmission Line, 34626-34627 2015-14918 Meetings: Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee, 34626-34628 2015-14899 2015-14900 Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, 34627 2015-14898 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth, 34625-34626 2015-14901 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, 34625 2015-14897
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; CFR Correction, 34538 2015-14652 NOTICES Availability of Health Effects Support Documents and Drinking Water Health Advisories for Cyanobacterial Toxins, etc., 34637-34638 2015-14936 Draft Test Guidelines: Series 810--Product Performance Test Guidelines, 34638-34639 2015-14955 Meetings: National Drinking Water Advisory Council Lead and Copper Rule Working Group Meeting, 34636 2015-14938 Toxic Substances Control Act Test Data, 34636-34637 2015-14748 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission RULES Privacy Act Regulations; CFR Correction, 34538 2015-14654 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop Engines, 34534-34538 2015-14694 Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII Series Airplanes; Limit Pilot Forces for Side-Stick Controller, 34533-34534 2015-14904 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: General Electric Company Turbofan Engines, 34560-34562 2015-14695 NOTICES Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: Major Daniel K. Florence, 34782-34783 2015-14915 Seaborne Virgin Island, 34782 2015-14913 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34639-34640 2015-14795 Terminations of Receivership: Polk County Bank, Johnson, IA, 34640-34641 2015-14773 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings, 34630-34633 2015-14866 2015-14892 2015-14893 Complaints: Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy, et al. v. Puget Sound Energy, et al., 34631 2015-14895 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Eden Solar, LLC, 34629 2015-14869 License Exemption Applications: Riverdale Power and Electric Company, Inc., 34633-34634 2015-14873 Meetings: ISO New England Inc. Planning Advisory Committee Meeting; Staff Attendances, 34632 2015-14870 Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project, 34629 2015-14874 Proceeding and Refund Effective Dates: Duke Energy Corp., et al. v. PJM Interconnection, LLC, and PJM Settlement, Inc., 34632 2015-14894 Proposed Restricted Service Lists: Georgia Power Co., 34635-34636 2015-14872 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 34628 2015-14875 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., 34634-34635 2015-14867 2015-14868 Service Contract Inventory, 34634-34635 2015-14871 Staff Attendances, 34629-34630 2015-14877 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration PROPOSED RULES Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Certification for Commercial Motor Vehicles Operated by United States-Domiciled Motor Carriers, 34588-34593 2015-14934 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Applications for Approvals of Discontinuance or Modification of a Railroad Signal System, 34785 2015-14859 Applications: Railroad Signal Systems; Discontinuances or Modifications, 34783 2015-14896 Buy America Waivers: Sacramento, CA, Department of Public Works Purchase of Variable Refrigerant Flow Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System, 34783-34784 2015-14887 Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 34784-34786 2015-14854 2015-14858 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34641-34643 2015-14862 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 34641 2015-14851 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species Identification and Proposed Listing of Eleven Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings; Public Hearings; Extension of Comment Period, 34594-34595 2015-14906 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Removing Eastern Puma (equal Cougar) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 34595-34605 2015-14931 NOTICES Permit Applications: California Tiger Salamander and Red-Legged Frog; Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plans, 34689-34691 2015-14853 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Food and Cosmetic Export Certificate Applications Process, 34672 2015-14879 Guidance -- Class II Special Controls Guidance Document--Automated Blood Cell Separator Device Operating by Centrifugal or Filtration Principle, 34682-34683 2015-14889 Impact of Ad Exposure Frequency on Perception and Mental Processing of Risk and Benefit Information in Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Ads, 34672-34677 2015-14880 Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food, 34681-34682 2015-14886 Regulations under the Federal Import Milk Act, 34670-34672 2015-14888 Determinations: Partially Hydrogenated Oils, 34650-34670 2015-14883 Guidance for Industry and Staff: Naming of Drug Products Containing Salt Drug Substances, 34677-34678 2015-14884 Guidance: Content and Format of Abbreviated 510(k)s for Early Growth Response 1 Gene Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization Test System, etc., 34678-34679 2015-14881 Meetings: Medical Device User Fee Amendments, 34679-34681 2015-14885 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, 34606-34608 2015-14840 Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs, 34608-34609 2015-14841 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 34791 2015-14925 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Subzones: Autogermana, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 61, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 34619 2015-14966 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Directive for National Saw Program Policy, 34610-34612 2015-14817 Meetings: Eleven Point Resource Advisory Panel, 34612-34613 2015-14962 Lyon-Mineral Resource Advisory Committee, 34609-34610 2015-14960 Missolua Resource Advisory Committee, 34612 2015-14908 Southern Montana Resource Advisory Committee, 34609 2015-14956 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

PROPOSED RULES 340B Drug Pricing Program Ceiling Price and Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties, 34583-34588 2015-14648 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34683-34684 2015-14850
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Summary Report for Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons and Complaint Register, 34687-34688 2015-14916 Industry Industry and Security Bureau PROPOSED RULES Commerce Control List: Items Determined to No Longer Warrant Control under United States Munitions List Category XIV or Category XVIII, 34562-34572 2015-14474 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

National Park Service

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Affirmative Preliminary Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determinations: Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago, 34621-34622 2015-14975 Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China, 34619-34621 2015-14967 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts from Canada and China, 34693 2015-14863 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Employee Retirement Income Security Act Blackout Period, 34702-34703 2015-14847 O*Net Data Collection Program, 34701-34702 2015-14846
Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34703-34704 2015-14998 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34704 2015-14848 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 34704-34705 2015-14923 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities NOTICES Meetings: Humanities Panel, 34705-34707 2015-14963 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34786-34787 2015-14922 Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance: Automobili Lamborghini SpA, 34788-34790 2015-14856 Ferrari North America, Inc., 34787-34788 2015-14779 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study - 3rd Wave, 34684-34685 2015-14902 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 34685-34686 2015-14903 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Lesser Amberjack, Almaco Jack, and Banded Rudderfish Complex; Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure, 34538-34539 2015-14917 PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Species Identification and Proposed Listing of Eleven Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings; Public Hearings; Extension of Comment Period, 34594-34595 2015-14906 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34622-34623 2015-14860 2015-14861 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Fire Island National Seashore, NY, 34692-34693 2015-14927 Special Use Permit to Dare County for Activities Related to the Protection of North Carolina Highway 12, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC, 34691-34692 2015-14426 Plan of Operations to Conduct 3-Dimensional Seismic Oil and Gas Exploration within Big Cypress National Preserve, 34692 2015-14425 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Financial Qualifications for Reactor Licensing, 34559-34560 2015-14907 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Exemptions and Continued Regulatory Authority in Agreement States and in Offshore Waters, 34707-34708 2015-14766 Personnel Personnel Management Office PROPOSED RULES Overtime Pay for Border Patrol Agents, 34540-34559 2015-14809 NOTICES Excepted Service, 34708-34713 2015-14811 2015-14815 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34715 2015-14949 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Flag Day and National Flag Week (Proc. 9294), 34821-34824 2015-15110 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (Proc. 9295), 34825-34826 2015-15112 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Reserve Account, 34531-34533 2015-14783 Science Technology Science and Technology Policy Office NOTICES Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade, 34713-34715 2015-14914 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exchange-Traded Products, 34729-34743 2015-14890 Orders: Automated Matching Systems Exchange, LLC, 34765-34770 2015-14807 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 34748-34751 2015-14831 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 34745-34748 2015-14832 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 34753-34756, 34776-34777 2015-14820 2015-14821 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 34715-34717, 34772-34776 2015-14823 2015-14824 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 34727-34729, 34777-34781 2015-14828 2015-14833 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 34763-34765 2015-14826 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 34758-34763 2015-14819 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 34717-34727 2015-14827 NYSE Arca, Inc., 34744-34745, 34756-34758 2015-14829 2015-14830 NYSE MKT, LLC, 34751-34753, 34770-34772 2015-14822 2015-14825 Trading Suspension Orders: Joymain International Development Group, Inc., 34772 2015-14991 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Massachusetts, 34781-34782 2015-14842 Oklahoma; Amendment 2, 34781 2015-14843 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES International Traffic in Arms: U.S. Munitions List Categories XIV and XVIII, 34572-34579 2015-14472 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Bureau of the Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interagency Record of Request A, G, or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization or Change/Adjustment To/From A, G, or NATO Status, 34686 2015-14845 Request for Fee Waiver; Request for Fee Exemption, 34687 2015-14844 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department PROPOSED RULES Per Diem Paid to States for Care of Eligible Veterans in State Homes, 34794-34820 2015-13838 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Veterans Affairs Department, 34794-34820 2015-13838 Part III Presidential Documents, 34821-34826 2015-15110 2015-15112 Reader Aids

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80 116 Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service 7 CFR Part 3560 RIN 0575-AC99 Reserve Account AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Housing Service (RHS or “Agency”) is amending its regulation to change the requirements of the reserve account for direct Multifamily Housing (MFH) loans. The intended effect of this action is to address the reserve account requirement of the Agency to countersign with the borrower when a Section 538 guaranteed loan is involved, and to also clarify that reserve account funds cannot be used to pay for fees associated with the Section 538 guaranteed loan program.

DATES:

The effective date for this final rule is August 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tammy S. Daniels, Financial and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0781, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0781, Telephone: (202) 720-0021 (this is not a toll-free number); email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866—Classification

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

Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If this rule is adopted: (1) Unless otherwise specifically provided, all State and local laws that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule except as specifically prescribed in the rule; and (3) administrative proceedings of the National Appeals Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (7 CFR part 11) must be exhausted before bringing suit.

Executive Order 13132—Federalism

The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with States is not required.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This executive order imposes requirements on Rural Development (RD) in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. RD has determined that the final rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, this final rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If a tribe determines that this rule has implications of which RD is not aware and would like to engage with RD on this rule, please contact RD's Native American Coordinator at: [email protected]

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The rule has been reviewed with regard to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612). The undersigned has determined and certified by signature on this document that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rulemaking action does not involve a new or expanded program nor does it require any more action on the part of a small business than required of a large entity.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The information collection requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by OMB and have been assigned OMB control number 0575-0189. There are no new reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with this regulatory action.

E-Government Act Compliance

RHS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act by promoting the use of the Internet and other information technologies in order to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information, services, and other purposes.

Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (UMRA)

This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local and tribal Governments or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

Environmental Impact Statement

This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, “Environmental Program.” RHS determined that the action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Pub. L. 91-190, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Programs Affected

The programs affected by this regulation are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under numbers 10.405—Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants; 10.415—RRH Loans; and 10.427—Rural Rental Assistance Payments.

Executive Order 12372—Intergovernmental Consultation

These loans are subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. RHS conducts intergovernmental consultations for each loan in accordance with 2 CFR part 415, subpart C.

I. Background Information

Reserve accounts are established by the recipient of direct MFH loans (the “borrower”) to meet the major capital expenses of a housing project. The amount of the payments to the reserve account is established in the loan documents, beginning with the first loan payment or the date specified in the loan documents. The current requirement at 7 CFR 3560.306(e)(2) states that reserve accounts require the Agency to countersign with the borrower on all withdrawals. The Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program often provides funding to an existing direct MFH loan property. Loan funds provided by the lender and guaranteed by the GRRH program are critical to the rehabilitation and preservation of older existing direct MFH loan properties. The GRRH program regulation at 7 CFR 3565.402(a) requires that all property reserve accounts be held by the lender, which eliminates the unauthorized use of these funds by the borrower since the borrower does not have access to the funds. When an approved Section 538 lender lends funds to an existing direct MFH loan-financed property, this brings 7 CFR 3560.306 and 3565.402 into conflict, pitting the requirement for the Agency to countersign for funds pursuant to 7 CFR 3560.306, against the requirement that lenders have unfettered control of funds consistent with 7 CFR 3565.402. The GRRH program loan guarantees are sold on the secondary market as long as the loan is closed and is not in default. In most cases, the Section 538 loans on direct MFH loan-financed properties are transferred to Ginnie Mae. Ginnie Mae requires that property reserve accounts be pledged as collateral for the loan and that it has unfettered access to those accounts. In order to meet this secondary market requirement, the reserve accounts must be titled exclusively in the lender's name. In order to meet Ginnie Mae's requirements, the reserve accounts cannot be countersigned with any other party. Requiring the Agency's signature on all withdrawals ensures that the borrower does not have uncontrolled use of the funds and this requirement will remain unchanged for properties that only have direct MFH loans. However, this amendment would relieve the Agency of its countersignature responsibility for properties with Section 538 funding, and thereby comply with Ginnie Mae's requirements, described above. The Agency's interest in the reserve accounts would still be protected by the change being made in the regulation, since the lender is required to get prior Agency approval before funds disbursement. Therefore, funds from the lender-controlled reserve account cannot be used for items not agreed to by the Agency.

Additionally, RHS is amending 7 CFR 3560.306(g) to clarify that reserve account funds cannot be used to pay fees associated with the loan guarantee. Lenders are currently using the replacement reserve account to pay fees associated with the loan guarantee, i.e., the annual renewal fee. These fees are considered a project expense and must be paid from the operating account, not the replacement reserve account.

II. Discussion of the Comments Received

The Agency received three responses to the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on August 13, 2014, (79 FR 47383). The comments came from RD employees who work with the RD Multi-Family Housing programs. The topics of discussion included: Putting in language regarding the Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing program; including all lenders in the amendment, not just Section 538 lenders; and, providing additional guidance on how to implement the new requirements involving direct MFH/538 transactions.

The comments were as follows:

1. One commenter wanted the Agency to address how the release of the reserves will be internally implemented. The Agency will address this in our internal guidance, HB-1-3565, on how to implement reserve requirements on direct MFH loan transactions.

2. One commenter requested that the proposed rule change include language to reflect that the Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing loan and grant program transactions be included in the final rule. The rule has been changed to reflect that it pertains to all direct Multi-family housing loans; therefore, references to Section 515 loans have been replaced with “direct MFH loans.”

3. One commenter requested that the amendment address all lenders, not just Section 538 lenders, when loan funds are leveraged for the construction and/or rehabilitation of project involving direct MFH loans. The agency will not make a change to address all lenders through this regulation change because the change is only intended to resolve the conflict between 7 CFR parts 3560 and 3565. In other words, the Agency will only address transactions involving an approved Section 538 lender. In a direct MFH loan transaction involving lenders other than a Section 538 lender, the rules in 7 CFR 3560.306 will prevail so that the direct MFH loan borrower will maintain control of the reserve account through supervised bank accounts.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3560

Accounting, Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Farm labor housing, Foreclosure, Grant programs—Housing and community development, Government property management, Handicapped, Insurance, Loan programs—Agriculture, Loan programs—Housing and community development, Low and moderate income housing, Migrant labor, Mortgages, Nonprofit organizations, Public housing, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural housing.

Therefore, chapter XXXV, title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is amended as follows:

PART 3560—DIRECT MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING LOANS AND GRANTS 1. The authority citation for part 3560 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 1480.

Subpart G—Financial Management 2. Amend § 3560.306 by revising paragraph (e)(2) and adding paragraph (g)(5) to read as follows:
§ 3560.306 Reserve account.

(e) * * *

(2) Reserve accounts must be supervised accounts that require the Agency to countersign on all withdrawals; except, this requirement is not applicable when loan funds guaranteed by the Section 538 GRRH program are used for the construction and/or rehabilitation of a direct MFH loan project. Direct MFH loan borrowers, who are exempted from the supervised account and countersigned requirement, as described above, must follow Section 538 GRRH program regulatory requirements pertaining to reserve accounts. In all cases, Section 538 lenders must get prior written approval from the Agency before reserve account funds involving a direct MFH loan project can be disbursed to the borrower.

(g) * * *

(5) Funds from the replacement reserve account cannot be used to pay any fees associated with the Section 538 GRRH loan guarantee, as determined by the Agency.

Dated: May 18, 2015. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14783 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1079; Special Conditions No. 25-585-SC] Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVII Series Airplanes; Limit Pilot Forces for Side-Stick Controller AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream Model GVII-G500 (GVII series) airplanes. These airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport-category airplanes.

This design feature is associated with side-stick controllers that require limited pilot force because they are operated by one hand only. 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:

Effective July 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Todd Martin, FAA, Airframe and Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1178; facsimile 425-227-1320.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On March 29, 2012, Gulfstream Aerospace applied for a type certificate for their new Model GVII-G500 airplane.

The Model GVII series airplanes are large-cabin business jets capable of accommodating up to 19 passengers. The GVII series will certify a base configuration GVII-G500, which incorporates a low, swept-wing design with winglets and a T-tail. The airplanes have two aft-fuselage-mounted Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. Avionics include four primary display units and multiple touchscreen controllers. The flight-control system is a three-axis, fly-by-wire system using active control/coupled side sticks.

The GVII-G500 has a wingspan of 87 ft. and a length of 91 ft. Maximum takeoff weight is 76,850 lbs. Maximum takeoff thrust is 15,135 lbs., maximum range is 5,000 nautical miles (nm), and maximum operating altitude is 51,000 ft.

The Model GVII series airplanes are equipped with two side-stick controllers instead of the conventional control columns and wheels. This side-stick controller is designed for one-hand operation. The requirement of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 25.397(c), which defines limit pilot forces and torques for conventional wheel or stick controls, is not adequate for a side-stick controller. Special conditions are necessary to specify the appropriate loading conditions for this controller design.

Type-Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Model GVII-G500 airplane meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-137.

The certification basis of the GVII-G500 airplane is 14 CFR part 25, effective February 1, 1965, including Amendments 25-1 through 25-137; 14 CFR part 34, as amended by Amendments 34-1 through the most current amendment at the time of design approval; and 14 CFR part 36, Amendment 36-29. In addition, the certification basis includes special conditions and equivalent-safety findings related to the flight-control system.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Model GVII series airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 21.16.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model GVII series airplanes 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. The FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, under § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2) for new type certificates, and § 21.101 for amended type certificates.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

A side-stick controller for one-hand operation requiring wrist motion only, not arms.

Discussion

Current regulations reference pilot-effort loads for the flight deck pitch-and-roll controls that are based on two-handed effort. Special conditions are required for the Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes based on similar airplane programs that include side-stick controllers. These special conditions are also appropriate for the Model GVII series airplane's side-stick controller.

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.

Discussion of Comments

Notice of proposed special conditions no. 25-15-01-SC for the Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2015 (80 FR 10422). No substantive comments were received, and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions apply to Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes. Should Gulfstream apply later for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same or similar novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

Aircraft, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued, in lieu of § 25.397(c), as part of the type-certification basis.

For Gulfstream Model GVII series airplanes equipped with side-stick controls designed for forces to be applied by one wrist and not arms, the limit pilot forces are as follows.

1. For all components between and including the side-stick control-assembly handle and its control stops:

Pitch Roll Nose up, 200 lbf Nose left, 100 lbf. Nose down, 200 lbf Nose right, 100 lbf.

2. For all other components of the side-stick control assembly, but excluding the internal components of the electrical sensor assemblies, to avoid damage to the control system as the result of an in-flight jam:

Pitch Roll Nose up, 125 lbf Nose left, 50 lbf. Nose down, 125 lbf Nose right, 50 lbf. Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 2, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14904 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2006-23706; Directorate Identifier 2006-NE-03-AD; Amendment 39-18177; AD 2014-12-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Honeywell International Inc. Turboprop Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding airworthiness directive (AD) 2006-15-08 for all Honeywell International Inc. TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with certain Honeywell part numbers (P/Ns) of Woodward fuel control unit (FCU) assemblies, installed. AD 2006-15-08 required initial and repetitive dimensional inspections of the fuel control drives for wear, and replacement of the FCU and fuel pump. This new AD requires initial and repetitive dimensional inspections of the affected fuel control drives and insertion of certain airplane operating procedures into the applicable flight manuals. This AD was prompted by reports of loss of the fuel control drive, leading to engine overspeed, overtorque, overtemperature, uncontained rotor failure, and asymmetric thrust in multi-engine airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive that could result in damage to the engine and airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 22, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Honeywell International Inc., 111 S 34th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-2802; phone: 800-601-3099; Internet: https://myaerospace.honeywell.com/wps/portal/!ut/. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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-2006-23706; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph Costa, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5246; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2006-15-08, Amendment 39-14688 (71 FR 41121, July 20, 2006), (“AD 2006-15-08”). AD 2006-15-08 applied to all Honeywell International Inc. TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with certain Honeywell part numbers (P/Ns) of Woodward FCU assemblies, installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 19, 2014 (79 FR 15261). The NPRM was prompted by reports of loss of the fuel control drive, leading to engine overspeed, overtorque, overtemperature, uncontained rotor failure, and asymmetric thrust in multi-engine airplanes. The NPRM proposed to continue to require initial and repetitive dimensional inspections of the affected fuel control drives but would no longer require the installation of a modified FCU. The NPRM also proposed to require insertion of certain airplane operating procedures into the applicable flight manuals. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive that could result in damage to the engine and 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 15261, March 19, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Disagreement With the Elimination of Requirement To Install a Modified FCU

Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell) and an individual commenter indicated that the NPRM should mandate the installation of the FCU because of the benefits it provides. In addition, both commenters disagreed with the FAA that the modified FCU contributed to the rate of in-flight shutdowns (IFSDs) and that the inherent risk of repetitive inspections does not support the elimination of the overspeed governor (OSG) modification requirement of AD 2006-15-08.

We disagree. We eliminated the mandatory installation of recently certified, modified FCUs due to the numerous reports of unscheduled removals and the IFSDs caused by the recent design changes incorporated in the modified FCU. We did not change this AD.

Request Change to Costs of Compliance

Honeywell indicated that the cost for repetitive inspections is not accurate. Honeywell estimates that, without a change in design, a limitless number of inspections would be needed over the life of the engine.

We agree. Numerous fuel control drive inspections could be needed over the life of the engine. The Costs of Compliance paragraph was changed to reflect an annual cost of compliance which was based on the fleet costs as reflected in the NPRM.

Request To Change the Applicability

Honeywell requested that engines in Group #4 reflect the engines associated with FCU assembly P/Ns being added to the Applicability paragraph for added clarity.

We agree. We changed Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD to clarify the Group #4 engine models as follows: “Group #4 TPE331-3U, -3UW, -5, -5B, -6, -6A, and -10T”.

Request To Change the Applicability

Honeywell requested that clarification be provided for FCU P/Ns of Woodward fuel control units. The Applicability paragraph refers to P/Ns as Woodward P/Ns when the listed P/Ns are Honeywell P/Ns for Woodward FCUs.

We agree. We changed paragraph (c) of this AD to read, “. . . turboprop engines with Honeywell part numbers (P/Ns) for Woodward fuel control unit (FCU) assemblies listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, installed.”

Request Redundant Term Be Removed From the Compliance

Honeywell requested that “spline” be removed from the fuel control drive inspection as stated in the Compliance paragraph. This change is consistent with the Compliance and the Definitions paragraphs in AD 2006-15-08.

We agree. We changed paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(ii) to read: “Inspect the fuel control drive for wear.”

Request To Change Related Information

Honeywell requested that the publications listed in Related Information, paragraph (i)(2), be referred to as airplane publications and not as obtainable from Honeywell International. The reason for this request is that the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), and the Manufacturer's Operating Manual (MOM) are airplane publications and cannot be obtained from Honeywell.

We agree that the AFM, POH, and the MOM are airplane manuals. As a result of reviewing this comment, we decided that mentioning all applicable owners of airplane manuals is unnecessary in the related information section of this AD.

Request To Change Airplane Operating Procedures

Honeywell requested that reference to the “Loss of Fuel Control Drive” be changed to “Loss of the drive between the engine driven fuel pump and the fuel control governor.” This change would eliminate confusion between the loss of the accessory drive gearing to the fuel pump with the loss of the fuel control drive.

We agree that the term “fuel control drive” is not a term used in airplane operating procedures. We removed the term “fuel control drive” from the Airplane Operating Procedures in this AD and made other changes to simplify and clarify Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD.

Request To Change Airplane Operating Procedures

One commenter requested a revision of the Operating Procedure “Warnings” in the NPRM to clearly address overspeed during start and immediately after start before the propeller has been removed from the start locks. This change would provide clarification and enhance safety.

We disagree. The Loss of Fuel Control Drive causing rapid, uncommanded acceleration during engine start is as unsafe as the Loss of Fuel Control Drive immediately after start when the engine is stable before the propeller is removed from the start locks. However, since the observed effects for these two conditions are the same, we combined both instances as “Rapid, Uncommanded Acceleration During Engine Start”.

Request To Change Airplane Operating Procedures

The commenter requested changing the operating procedures for when the propeller is off the start locks to address the rapid uncommanded, uncontrolled increase in revolutions-per-minute (RPM). The commenter believes that if the fuel control drive fails when the propeller is off the start locks the engine's propeller governor will control and stabilize the engine RPM.

We disagree with the commenter's justification because test data has shown that the engine propeller governor will not control and stabilize the engine RPM if the fuel control drive fails when the propeller is off the start locks. A rapid, uncommanded, uncontrolled increase in RPM is most evident during partial or full reverse. We simplified the operating procedure by removing the statement “Power—Move power lever to or toward flight idle as required to maintain engine limits” with the propeller off the start locks as proposed in the NPRM. We changed Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD by adding the following: “Engine shut down—Move condition lever to EMERGENCY STOP”.

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 for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 2,250 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate that it will take 8 hours per engine to perform an FCU inspection. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Due to the more frequent inspections proposed by this AD, we estimate 10% of affected engines will require FCU assembly stub shaft replacement, and fuel pump or fuel control repair. We also estimate that repairs will not exceed $10,000 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $525,587 per year.

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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2006-15-08, Amendment 39-14688 (71 FR 41121, July 20, 2006), and adding the following new AD: 2015-12-04 Honeywell International Inc.: Amendment 39-18177454851; Docket No. FAA-2006-23706; Directorate Identifier 2006-NE-03-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective July 22, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2006-15-08, Amendment 39-14688 (71 FR 41121, July 20, 2006).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Honeywell International Inc. TPE331-1, -2, -2UA, -3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -10, -10AV, -10GP, -10GT, -10P, -10R, -10T, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR turboprop engines with Honeywell part numbers (P/Ns) for Woodward fuel control unit (FCU) assemblies listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD, installed.

Table 1 to Paragraph (c)—Affected FCU Assembly P/Ns Group No. Engine FCU assembly P/Ns 1 TPE331-1, -2, and -2UA P/N 869199-13, -20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -26, -27, -28, -29, -31, -32, -33, -34, and -35. 2 * TPE331-1, -2, and -2UA P/N 869199-9, -10, -11, -12, -14, -16, -17, and -18. 3 TPE331-3U, -3UW, -5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -6, -6A, -l0AV, -10GP, -10GT, -l0P, and -l0T P/N 893561-7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -14, -15, -16, -20, -26, -27, and -29; or P/N 897770-1, -3, -7, -9, -10, -11, -12, -14, -15, -16, -25, -26, and -28. 4 * TPE331-3U, -3UW, -5, -5B, -6, -6A, and -10T P/N 893561-4, -5, -12, and -13 or P/N 897770-5, -8, and -13. 5 TPE331-10, -10R, -10U, -10UA, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, -10UR, -11U, -12JR, -12UA, -12UAR, and -12UHR P/N 897375-2, -3, -4, -5, -8, -9, -10, -11, -12, -13, -14, -15, -16, -17, -19, -21, -24, -25, -26, and -27; or P/N 897780-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -14, -15, -16, -17, -18, -19, -20, -21, -22, -23, -24, -25, -26, -27, -30, -32, -34, -36, -37, and -38; or P/N 893561-17, -18, and -19. * New/added FCU assembly P/Ns (d) Unsafe Condition

We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fuel control drive that could result in damage to the engine and airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Inspection of Engines With FCU Assembly P/Ns in Groups 2 and 4

For FCU assembly P/Ns in Groups 2 and 4 listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

(i) At the next scheduled inspection of the fuel control drive, or within 500 hours-in-service (HIS) after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the fuel control drive for wear.

(ii) Thereafter, re-inspect the fuel control drive within every 1,000 HIS since-last-inspection (SLI).

(2) Inspection of Engines With FCU Assembly P/Ns in Groups 1, 3, and 5

For FCU assembly P/Ns in Groups 1, 3, or 5 listed in Table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD:

(i) If on the effective date of this AD the FCU assembly has 950 or more HIS SLI, inspect the fuel control drive for wear within 50 HIS from the effective date of this AD.

(ii) If on the effective date of this AD the FCU assembly has fewer than 950 HIS SLI, inspect the fuel control drive for wear before reaching 1,000 HIS.

(iii) Thereafter, re-inspect the fuel control drive for wear within every 1,000 HIS SLI.

(3) Airplane Operating Procedures

Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, insert the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD, into the Emergency Procedures Section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), and the Manufacturer's Operating Manual (MOM).

ER17JN15.000 (f) Optional Terminating Action

Replacing the affected FCU assembly with an FAA-approved FCU assembly P/N not listed in this AD is terminating action for the initial and repetitive inspections required by this AD, and for inserting the information in Figure 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD into the AFM, POH, and MOM.

(g) Definitions

For the purposes of this AD:

(1) The “fuel control drive” is a series of mating splines located between the fuel pump and fuel control governor.

(2) The fuel control drive consists of four drive splines: The fuel pump internal spline, the fuel control external “quill shaft” spline, and the stub shaft internal and external splines.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Joseph Costa, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5246; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected]

(2) Information pertaining to operating recommendations for affected engines after a fuel control drive failure is contained in Honeywell International Inc., Operating Information Letter (OIL) OI331-12R6, dated May 26, 2009, for multi-engine airplanes; and in OIL OI331-18R4, dated May 26, 2009, for single-engine airplanes. Information on fuel control drive inspection can be found in Section 72-00-00 of the applicable TPE331 maintenance manuals. These Honeywell International Inc., OILs and the TPE331 maintenance manuals, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD, can be obtained from Honeywell International Inc., using the contact information in paragraph (i)(3) of this AD.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Honeywell International Inc., 111 S. 34th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-2802; Internet: https://myaerospace.honeywell.com/wps/portal/!ut; phone: 800-601-3099.

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

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on June 5, 2015. Ann C. Mollica, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14694 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION 29 CFR Part 1611 Privacy Act Regulations CFR Correction In Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 900 to 1899, revised as of July 1, 2014, on page 257, in § 1611.3, in paragraph (b)(3), the address “1801 L Street NW.” is corrected to read “131 M Street NE.”. [FR Doc. 2015-14654 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans CFR Correction

In Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 52 (§§ 52.1019 to 52.2019), revised as of July 1, 2014, on page 649, in § 52.1881, paragraph (b) is removed and reserved.

[FR Doc. 2015-14652 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120815345-3525-02] RIN 0648-XD988 Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for the South Atlantic Lesser Amberjack, Almaco Jack, and Banded Rudderfish Complex AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure.

SUMMARY:

NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for the commercial sector for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex in the South Atlantic for the 2015 fishing year through this temporary rule. Commercial landings for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex, as estimated by the Science and Research Director, are projected to reach their combined commercial annual catch limit (ACL) on June 23, 2015. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for this complex on June 23, 2015, through the remainder of the fishing year in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. This closure is necessary to protect the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish resources.

DATES:

This rule is effective 12:01 a.m., local time, June 23, 2015, until 12:01 a.m., local time, January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Catherine Hayslip, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The snapper-grouper fishery of the South Atlantic, which includes the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex, is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and is implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

The combined commercial ACL for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex is 189,422 lb (85,920 kg), round weight. Under 50 CFR 622.193(l)(1)(i), NMFS is required to close the commercial sector for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex when the commercial ACL has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial sector for this complex is projected to reach the ACL on June 23, 2015. Therefore, this temporary rule implements an AM to close the commercial sector for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex in the South Atlantic, effective 12:01 a.m., local time June 23, 2015.

The operator of a vessel with a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper having lesser amberjack, almaco jack, or banded rudderfish on board must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such species prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 23, 2015. During the closure, the bag limit specified in 50 CFR 622.187(b)(8) and the possession limits specified in 50 CFR 622.187(c) apply to all harvest or possession of lesser amberjack, almaco jack, or banded rudderfish in or from the South Atlantic EEZ. These bag and possession limits apply in the South Atlantic on board a vessel for which a valid Federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters. During the closure, the sale or purchase of lesser amberjack, almaco jack, or banded rudderfish taken from the EEZ is prohibited. The prohibition on sale or purchase does not apply to the sale or purchase of lesser amberjack, almaco jack, or banded rudderfish that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, June 23, 2015, and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

Classification

The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex, a component of the South Atlantic snapper-grouper fishery, and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.193(l)(1)(i) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment.

This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the commercial sector for the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), as such procedures are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary because the rule itself has been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. Such procedures are contrary to the public interest because of the need to immediately implement this action to protect the lesser amberjack, almaco jack, and banded rudderfish complex since the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the commercial ACL. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established commercial ACL.

For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effectiveness of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: June 12, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14917 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
80 116 Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Proposed Rules OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 5 CFR PARTS 410, 550, 551, and 870 RIN 3206-AN19 Overtime Pay for Border Patrol Agents AGENCY:

Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Personnel Management is issuing proposed regulations to implement section 2 of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014, as amended, which established a new method of compensating Border Patrol agents for overtime work. Payments under this new provision will become payable beginning with the first pay period beginning in January 2016. These regulations affect only Border Patrol agents in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection component of the Department of Homeland Security.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by RIN number “3206-AN19” using any of the following methods:

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

Email: [email protected]

Mail: Brenda Roberts, Deputy Associate Director, Pay and Leave, Employee Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 7H31, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-8200.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bryce Baker by telephone at (202) 606-2858 or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing proposed regulations to implement section 2 of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277, December 18, 2014, as amended by Pub. L. 114-13, May 19, 2015), hereafter referred to as “BPAPRA.” BPAPRA established a new method of compensating Border Patrol agents for overtime work. These regulations affect only Border Patrol agents employed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most BPAPRA provisions are effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

Background

Currently, Border Patrol agents generally receive a special form of overtime compensation called “Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime” (AUO) under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(2) and 5 CFR 550.151-550.163. AUO may be used for employees who perform substantial amounts of irregular overtime (OT) work that cannot be controlled administratively. AUO provides complete compensation under title 5 for all irregular overtime hours—i.e., overtime that is not regularly scheduled in advance of the workweek. AUO is paid as a percentage of basic pay, generally ranging from 10 to 25 percent, with the exact percentage depending on the average number of irregular overtime hours per week—subject to the title 5 premium pay cap. An employee who is nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) also receives an extra half rate for irregular overtime hours as FLSA overtime pay. AUO recipients receive regular title 5 or FLSA overtime pay for regularly scheduled overtime hours. AUO is basic pay for retirement purposes for recipients who are covered under the special retirement program provisions pertaining to law enforcement officers. Border Patrol agents qualify as such law enforcement officers.

Recently, the use of AUO at DHS has been under scrutiny from the Congress, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Government Accountability Office. Various reviews indicated that AUO was being used improperly for some DHS employees, and DHS has taken actions to address the matter. As documented in the August 26, 2014, report on S. 1691 (i.e., the bill later enacted as BPAPRA) by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Senate Report 113-248), the nature of the work performed by Border Patrol agents has changed significantly since the AUO law was first enacted in 1954. In particular, CBP prefers deploying agents for scheduled 10-hour shifts, which is incompatible with AUO, which covers irregular overtime. Congress determined that Border Patrol agents needed a reformed overtime program that is consistent with the current nature of the work and the desired work schedules, and therefore enacted BPAPRA.

Summary of BPAPRA

Under BPAPRA, in place of AUO, a new form of overtime compensation would apply to Border Patrol agents. The key features of BPAPRA are summarized below:

• Most Border Patrol agents will have the opportunity each year to elect to be assigned to one of three types of “regular tour of duty” which provide different rates of compensation: (1) A Level 1 regular tour of duty, which provides an overtime supplement equal to 25 percent of basic pay for a regular schedule of 10 hours each regular workday, including 2 overtime hours; (2) a Level 2 regular tour of duty, which provides an overtime supplement equal to 12.5 percent of basic pay for a regular schedule with 9 hours each regular workday, including 1 overtime hour; and (3) a Basic regular tour of duty with a regular 8-hour workday, which provides no overtime supplement.

• CBP may assign regular tours of duty in certain circumstances without regard to agent elections. For example, agents assigned to care for canines must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty. Agents in certain positions—headquarters, administrative, or training or fitness instructor—must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty unless a different tour is justified based on a staffing analysis. In addition, generally no more than 10 percent of agents at a location may have a Level 2 or Basic regular tour of duty. In other words, generally at least 90 percent of agents at a location must have a Level 1 regular tour of duty. CBP may revise the percentage requirement for a location if justified based on a staffing analysis.

• The requirement for 1 or 2 hours of scheduled overtime within a Level 2 or Level 1 regular tour of duty, respectively, applies only if the agent performs work during regular time on that same day. For example, if an agent takes leave for a full 8-hour basic workday, no obligation to perform those scheduled overtime hours accrues on that day, and there is no loss of pay.

• The overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the assigned Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty is a percentage of the agent's hourly rate of basic pay and is multiplied by number of paid hours of basic pay (i.e., hours of regular time, whether work or paid absence) in the biweekly pay period. Thus, the supplement is payable during leave or other paid time off taken from the 40-hour basic workweek.

• The overtime supplement is subject to the title 5 premium pay cap.

• An agent may not receive other premium pay for regularly scheduled overtime hours within his or her regular tour of duty (i.e., hours covered by the overtime supplement).

• The overtime supplement is treated as part of basic pay for retirement and certain other purposes, such as life insurance and severance pay.

• CBP must develop a plan to ensure that the assignment of an overtime supplement to an agent during the period beginning 3 years before the agent reaches retirement age and service requirements is consistent with the agent's career average overtime supplement.

• Overtime work in excess of the biweekly regular tour of duty (generally 100, 90, or 80 hours, as applicable) would be separately compensable. If the additional overtime work is regularly scheduled in advance of the workweek, the work is compensated under the regular title 5 overtime provisions (5 U.S.C. 5542). If the additional overtime work is irregular, the work is compensated by crediting the agent with compensatory time off. However, no more than 10 hours of compensatory time off may be earned in a biweekly pay period (unless a written waiver of this provision is approved in advance) and no more than 240 hours may be earned during a leave year.

• If the agent is absent during required scheduled overtime within the regular tour of duty (i.e., obligated overtime hours), payment of the overtime supplement is not affected but the agent accrues an obligation (debt) to perform other overtime work to make up for work not performed. Any accrued compensatory time off will be applied against that overtime hours debt. Any additional overtime work outside the regular tour of duty in future pay periods will also be applied against that debt.

• All Border Patrol agents are FLSA-exempt. This exemption applies to both the minimum wage and the maximum hours and overtime provisions of the FLSA.

Effective Date

BPAPRA was enacted on December 18, 2014 as Public Law 113-277. On May 19, 2015, BPAPRA was amended by Public Law 114-13 to clarify the effective date of certain provisions. Section 1(a) of Public Law 114-13 added a new subsection (i) in section 2 of BPAPRA. That section 2(i) provided that subsections (b), (c), (d), and (g) of section 2 of BPAPRA are effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016, except that (1) any provision of 5 U.S.C. 5550(b) (as added by section 2(b) of BPAPRA) relating to administering elections and making advance assignments to a regular tour of duty is applicable before the January 2016 effective date to the extent determined necessary by the OPM Director and (2) the OPM Director's authority to issue regulations (in particular, the authority in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(B) related to election procedures) is effective as necessary before the January 2016 effective date.

As required by these proposed regulations, CBP must provide election information notices to Border Patrol agents no later than November 1 and agents must make elections for the upcoming annual period no later than December 1. Thus, BPAPRA provisions related to administering annual elections and advance assignments for the annual period beginning in January 2016 must be applied before January 2016.

As provided by Public Law 114-13, regular tours of duty and any associated overtime supplements established under 5 U.S.C. 5550 (as added by section 2(b) of BPAPRA) will first take effect on the first day the first pay period beginning or or after January 1, 2016. That pay period begins on January 10, 2016. Other BPAPRA provisions that are effective on January 10, 2016 include (1) the amendments to 5 U.S.C. 5542 (dealing with overtime pay and compensatory time off) made by section 2(c) of BPAPRA, (2) the amendments to 5 U.S.C. 8331 (dealing with retirement-creditable basic pay) made by section 2(d) of BPAPRA, and (3) the amendments to 5 U.S.C. 5547 (dealing with the premium pay cap) made by section 2(g)(1) of BPAPRA, and (4) the amendments to section 13(a) of the FLSA (dealing with FLSA exemptions) made by section 2(g)(2) of BPAPRA.

New Subpart P in 5 CFR Part 550

In order to implement BPAPRA, OPM is proposing to add a new subpart P, Overtime Pay for Border Patrol Agents, in part 550 (Pay Administration—General) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. A section-by-section explanation of the proposed regulations follows. (Note: The descriptions of the proposed regulations are stated in the present tense for readability.)

§ 550.1601—Purpose and Authority

Section 550.1601 includes the purpose of the proposed regulations—i.e., to implement BPAPRA. It also notes that OPM is relying on its regulatory authority in 5 U.S.C. 5548 as well as section 2(h) of BPAPRA.

§ 550.1602—Coverage

Section 550.1602 provides that subpart P applies to GS-1896 Border Patrol agents holding a position in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Coverage is not affected if a Border Patrol agent is temporarily detailed to a non-CBP position, since the agent would continue to officially hold a CBP Border Patrol agent position.

§ 550.1603—Definitions

Section 550.1603 provides definitions of terms for purposes of subpart P. Certain definitions warrant explanation here. Other definitions are addressed later in the supplementary information in the context of the regulatory provisions in which they are used.

OPM defines the term annual period to mean the 1-year period that begins on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of a given year and ends on the day before the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of the next year. The term year in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(A) and (C) and the term leave year in 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(A) are interpreted to be an annual period as defined in § 550.1603. Under BPAPRA, agents make an election for a year, which we are interpreting to be an annual period consisting of full biweekly pay periods. This prevents starting a new regular tour of duty and associated overtime supplement in the middle of a pay period.

The definitions of irregular overtime work and regularly scheduled work parallel the definitions of similar terms in the regular premium pay regulations at 5 CFR 550.103. We are clarifying that irregular overtime work must be “officially ordered or approved,” consistent with the normal standards governing title 5 overtime in 5 U.S.C. 5542(a) and 5 CFR 550.111(a)(1). This means that, consistent with agency policies, authorized management officials must “order” the overtime work in advance or “approve” the overtime work after the fact (when emergency circumstances prevented advance approval). We include a term, regular time, that is used in BPAPRA to refer to the regular basic hours within an agent's 8-hour basic workday within the 40-hour basic workweek.

While BPAPRA used the terms level 1 border patrol rate of pay, level 2 border patrol rate of pay, and basic border patrol rate of pay to identify agents with different overtime supplements and regular tours of duty, the subpart P regulations place the focus on an agent's regular tour of duty and use the terms Level 1 regular tour of duty, Level 2 regular tour of duty, and Basic regular tour of duty to identify the three categories of agents. We also found it clearer to focus on the overtime supplement as a separate payment rather than being rolled into an aggregate rate of pay.

We define a term obligated overtime hours to describe the overtime hours within an agent's regular tour of duty that an agent is obligated to work because he or she had performed work (of any amount) during regular time on the same day. For example, an agent with a Level 1 tour of duty would normally be obligated to work 2 hours of scheduled overtime work within the regular tour, which could add up to 20 overtime hours (10 days × 2 hours per day) in a biweekly pay period. However, if the agent was on leave during all regular time for 2 basic workdays (8 hours each day), the agent would not be obligated to perform the 2 hours of scheduled overtime work within the regular tour on each of those days. Thus, the total number of obligated overtime hours during that pay period would be 16 hours (20 hours minus 4 unobligated hours). Because an agent may have such unobligated overtime hours, the definition of regular tour of duty uses the word “generally” in describing the hours within a normal tour of duty.

The term overtime hours debt is defined as the unsatisfied balance of obligated overtime hours not worked, which represents a debt of hours for which an agent is accountable. As provided in § 550.1626(b), outside-tour overtime hours in the same pay period may be substituted for absences during obligated overtime hours for pay computation purposes. Any remaining obligated overtime hours not worked become part of the agent's overtime hours debt—a debt that the agent can satisfy by applying compensatory time off, as described in § 550.1626(c)(1) or by applying outside-tour overtime hours in future pay periods, as described in § 550.1626(c)(2).

§ 550.1604—CBP Authority

This section reflects various provisions in BPAPRA that give CBP authority to assign work based on its assessment of mission requirements and operational needs. (See BPAPRA section 2(a) and (f)(1) and 5 U.S.C. 5550(g).) The BPAPRA provisions show that Congress intended to ensure that CBP retains full authority to assign work as needed, regardless of the assigned regular tours of duty.

§ 550.1605—Interpretation Instruction

Section 550.1605 restates the instruction found in section 2(f) of BPAPRA, which provides that nothing in the Act shall be “construed to require compensation” of an agent other than for hours during which the agent is actually performing work or using approved paid time off. This reflects Congressional concern regarding alleged abuses of AUO pay that included some employees not performing work during claimed AUO hours.

§ 550.1611—Assignments for an Annual Period

Section 550.1611 governs the assignment of regular tours of duty for an upcoming annual period to individuals who are employed as agents as of November 1 of the preceding year. The law generally envisions assignments being made for an annual period after giving agents an opportunity to state their preferred tour via an annual election. The law provides that agents must (1) be given information about election options and procedures no later than 60 days before the annual period and (2) make an annual election no later than 30 days before the annual period. Since the beginning of the annual period may vary (since it corresponds to the beginning of the first full pay period in January), we have regulated that the deadline for providing election information is November 1 and the deadline for submitting elections is December 1. These dates meet the statutory time requirements, and provide a consistent set of deadlines that apply each year.

Consistent with the law, section 550.1611(d) provides that an agent who fails to make a timely election must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty. Section 550.1611(e) provides that CBP must inform an agent of an assignment to a tour not elected by the agent. Section 550.1611(f) lists the circumstances (as provided in BPAPRA) under which management is required or allowed to unilaterally assign a regular tour of duty for an annual period that may not match an agent's annual election. For example, an agent assigned to care for a canine must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty. Also, an agent assigned to a headquarters, administrative, training instructor, or fitness instructor position must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty (with no overtime supplement), except as otherwise justified based on a CBP staffing analysis.

Section 550.1611 does not apply to newly hired agents who—though currently employed as agents on November 1—will be in initial training status as of the first day of the annual period. Instead, special provisions in § 550.1612(a) and (b) apply to such agents. Initial training is defined in § 550.1603 as meaning initial orientation sessions, basic training, and other preparatory activities provided prior to an agent's first regular work assignment in which the agent has authority to make arrests and carry a firearm.

§ 550.1612—Assignments at Other Times

Section 550.1612 addresses other situations in which an agent may be assigned a regular tour of duty that were not addressed in BPAPRA. An individual who is newly hired as an agent during an annual period will generally undergo initial training before commencing a regular work assignment. During any period of initial training, the agent must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty. (This is consistent with the fact that agents currently do not receive AUO pay during initial training.) Initial training is not “advanced” training during which Level 1 or Level 2 overtime supplements continue for 60 days under the BPAPRA law and regulations (5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(G) or (b)(3)(G) and § 550.1622(b)). As provided in § 550.1612(a), when a newly hired agent begins a regular work assignment (after completing initial training), the agent will have a Level 1 regular tour of duty as the default schedule for the remainder of the annual period. Under applicable circumstances described in § 550.1611(f), CBP may assign instead a Level 2 or Basic tour. In addition, under § 550.1612(b), a newly hired agent will be given an opportunity to submit an election of a preferred type of regular tour of duty that would take effect prospectively. Such election must be submitted no later than 30 days after the agent begins a regular work assignment and, if approved by CBP, would be effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the later of: (1) The date the election was submitted; or (2) the date the agent completed initial training.

Under § 550.1612(c), an individual who is newly hired as an agent between November 2 and the beginning of the annual period would be allowed to make an election for the upcoming annual period, if the agent will not be in initial training status on the first day of the annual period. Instead of the December 1 election deadline, the election may be submitted within 30 days after the agent received election information, but no later than the day before the first day of the annual period.

Section 550.1612(d) provides that CBP may change an agent's assignment during an annual period under appropriate circumstances described in § 550.1611(f) or § 550.1622(b). For example, CBP may change an assignment to comply with the pay assignment continuity requirement described in §§ 550.1611(f)(5) and 550.1615.

§ 550.1613—Selection of Agents for Assignment

Section 550.1613 requires CBP to develop a written plan to guide the selection of agents for assignment to a particular regular tour of duty contrary to the agents' preferences, when only some agents' preferences can be accommodated. For example, CBP may need to implement the requirement that only 10 percent of agents in a location may have a Level 2 or Basic regular tour of duty when more than 10 percent of agents in that location want such a tour. For example, if 12 percent of agents in a particular location want a Level 2 or Basic regular tour of duty, 2 percent of agents will be required to have a Level 1 regular tour of duty contrary to their personal preference. CBP must have a plan for deciding which agents do not get assigned their desired tour (or, stated differently, which agents are assigned their desired tour).

§ 550.1614—Percentage Limit on Agents With Level 2 or Basic Tour

Section 550.1614 regulates the statutory requirement that, except when justified based on a CBP staffing analysis, no more than 10 percent of agents stationed at a location may be assigned a Level 2 or Basic regular tour of duty (i.e., at least 90 percent of agents at a location must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty). Section 550.1614(d) provides that the pay assignment continuity requirement in § 550.1615 trumps that requirement in § 550.1614.

§ 550.1615—Pay Assignment Continuity

Under 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G) (titled “Pay Assignment Continuity”), as added by BPAPRA, not later than December 18, 2015 (1 year after the date of enactment), CBP must “develop and implement a plan to ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that the assignment of a border patrol agent under this section during the 3 years of service before the border patrol agent becomes eligible for immediate retirement are consistent with the average border patrol rate of pay level to which the border patrol agent has been assigned during the course of the career of the border patrol agent.” As indicated in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G)(iv), the purpose of this plan is to ensure that “border patrol agents are not able to artificially enhance their retirement annuities.” By law, CBP must develop and implement this plan in consultation with OPM. In addition, this plan and its implementation are subject to any OPM regulations promulgated under its authority to carry out BPAPRA and to administer section 5550.

OPM interprets section 5550(b)(1)(G) as establishing a period of time during which CBP must control the assignment of regular tours of duty to each agent (and thus the overtime supplement percentage) to ensure consistency with the agent's career average overtime supplement percentage. This “control period” is intended to cover the period of time during which an agent could possibly have a high-3 “average pay” period as described in the retirement laws at 5 U.S.C. 8331(4) and 8401(3). The high-3 “average pay period” is a period of 3 consecutive years of creditable service during which an employee has his or her highest rates of retirement-creditable basic pay. The high-3 average pay is used in computing an employee's retirement annuity.

Since the overtime supplement of 25 or 12.5 percent for a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty, respectively, is retirement-creditable basic pay and may vary over time (and can be the outcome of an agent's voluntary election), this introduces the possibility of an agent electing overtime supplements during a potential high-3 period that would maximize the agent's retirement benefit, without regard to the average overtime supplement elected during the employee's career before the control period. If the overtime supplement used in computing an agent's high-3 average pay is significantly higher than the career average overtime supplement, this means that the retirement fund has not received sufficient employee and agency contributions to fund the agent's annuity benefit. Not only does this pose problems for the retirement fund on a macro level, but it also would result in inequitable treatment of individual agents relative to one another.

Retirement eligibility is based on meeting applicable minimum age and service requirements and an employee's separation. For a Border Patrol agent under the Federal Employees' Retirement System, the minimum age and service requirements for a regular law enforcement officer retirement annuity are: (1) Any age with 25 years of service; or (2) age 50 with 20 years of service. The date of an employee's separation is uncertain until it takes effect. Thus, to achieve the stated goal of this pay assignment continuity provision, it is necessary to control overtime supplement assignments during any and all periods of 3 consecutive years after an agent is within 3 years of meeting age and service requirements. (We recognize that, in rare circumstances, an agent's high-3 period may not be the agent's last 3 years before separation and could contain a period before the control period. For ease of administration, the drafters of BPAPRA assumed that the high-3 period would be the last 3 years before separation and thus always be in the control period.)

Section 5550(b)(1)(G)(i) states that the control period applies “during the 3 years of service before the border patrol agent becomes eligible for immediate retirement.” In one sense, an agent has conditional retirement eligibility once he or she meets age and service requirements, with separation being the condition. In another sense, an agent is not truly retirement eligible until he or she separates. Given the intent of this provision, and the context surrounding this statutory language, we interpret the law as requiring a plan that controls overtime supplement assignments during any possible 3-year period that might precede an agent's separation, which would trigger retirement eligibility. The statutory language cannot logically be interpreted as establishing a control period only during the 3 years preceding the date an agent meets age and service requirements, since the actual high-3 period could be totally outside such a control period, which would defeat the entire purpose of the provision. We note that, in the section-by-section analysis in the Senate committee report on the bill (S. 1691) later enacted as BPAPRA (Senate Report 113-248, pages 13-14), the description of section 5550(b)(1)(G) states that the pay assignment continuity plan is designed to “ensure an agent is unable to artificially enhance his or her retirement pay by electing Level 1 pay during his or her last three years of service when he or she had previously consistently worked at a lower level of pay.” [Italics added for emphasis.] Thus, Congress was focused on the 3 years before separation (based on the generally true assumption that an employee's high-3 period is during those last 3 years). Since an agent's actual separation date is not known in advance, it is necessary to provide pay assignment continuity for all consecutive 3-year periods for any possible separation date. The first possible separation date is when the agent meets retirement age and service requirements; thus, the date 3 years before the first possible separation date begins the control period.

Section 550.1615 regulates the pay assignment continuity requirement found in law at 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G). Section 550.1615(a)(1) provides that, in consultation with OPM, CBP must implement a plan to ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that an agent's overtime supplement during all consecutive 3-year periods within the control period is “consistent” with the agent's career average percentage during his or her career prior to the beginning of the control period. As provided in § 550.1615(a)(2), the overtime supplement percentage used in computing the career average percentage is the assigned percentage (25, 12.5, or 0) without regard to whether a premium pay cap prevents full payment based on that percentage.

Section 550.1615(a)(3) provides additional rules governing the computation of an agent's career average overtime supplement percentage. Based on the statutory language—“the average border patrol rate of pay level to which the border patrol agent has been assigned during the course of the career of the border patrol agent”—we are proposing that an agent's career be considered to encompass only those periods during which the agent was covered by section 5550 and subpart P. In other words, only overtime supplements established under 5 U.S.C. 5550 would be considered in computing the career average. We recognize that many agents have received an AUO supplement, which if considered, could increase or decrease the agent's career average. We also recognize that some agents will be in the control period when the provisions of subpart P first become applicable in January 2016 and that a career average will be immediately needed to apply the pay assignment continuity provisions. Based on the law, we have proposed in § 550.1615(a)(3) that, if an agent is in a control period when the provisions of subpart P first become applicable to the agent, the agent's initially assigned overtime supplement percentage must be considered the agent's career average. We are aware that, under the proposed rule, certain employees in headquarters or other positions for which no overtime supplement is payable would be considered to have a 0 percent career average overtime supplement. We are specifically inviting comments on proposed section 550.1615(a)(3) and will carefully consider those comments in preparing the final regulations.

As provided in § 550.1615(b), the “control period” is the period beginning on the date 3 years before an agent first meets retirement age and service requirements and remains in effect during all subsequent service in a Border Patrol agent position.

As regulated in § 550.1615(c)(1), the two averages are considered to be “consistent” if they are within 2.5 percentage points of one another. CBP must manage agents' assignments (i.e., make unilateral assignments) during the control period as necessary to achieve consistency, notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation in subpart P. Section 550.1615(c)(2) allows for two exceptions. One exception applies if an agent's overtime supplement is limited by the premium pay cap under §§ 550.105 and 550.107 and the agent voluntarily elects (and CBP approves) a regular tour that results in an average overtime supplement percentage that is less than the agent's career average. For example, an agent's rate of basic pay could be at the premium pay cap (generally level IV of the Executive Schedule) leaving no room for receipt of an overtime supplement. Such an agent could choose to elect a Basic regular tour of duty that would provide no overtime supplement and require no regular overtime work. (The agent could still be ordered to work overtime as needed.) Since the premium pay cap prevents manipulation of the high-3 average pay, this exception poses little or no risk to the retirement fund. As stated in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G)(iv), the goal of the pay assignment continuity provision is to ensure that agents are not able to artificially enhance their retirement annuities. The ability for an agent to enhance his or her annuity is limited or eliminated when the agent is subject to the premium pay cap.

We cannot allow an agent whose overtime supplement is not affected by the premium pay cap to voluntarily elect a lesser percentage during the control period, since the agent could later elect again to have a higher percentage that is consistent with his/her career average. While the overtime supplement used in the agent's high-3 average pay would not exceed a percentage that is consistent with the agent's career average, the agent (and CBP) will have made inadequate retirement contributions during the portion of the control period when the lesser percentage was in effect.

Section 550.1615(c)(2)(ii) provides a necessary exception in cases where CBP determines an agent is unable to perform overtime work on a daily basis due to a physical or medical condition affecting the agent and assigns the agent a Basic regular tour of duty, as described in § 550.1611(f)(2) (which may be applied to make changes in an agent's tour during an annual period, as provided by § 550.1612(d)). This exception relieves CBP of applying the consistency requirement to the affected agent, but only to the extent such assignment makes it impossible to satisfy the consistency requirement during any given consecutive 3-year period. Thus, if the period during which the agent is unable to perform overtime work is short in duration, it would be possible to fully comply with the consistency requirement.

Section 550.1615(d) addresses CBP's authority in connection with the pay assignment continuity requirement. Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G)(ii), § 550.1615(d)(1) provides that CBP may take such action as is necessary, including unilateral assignment of an agent's regular tour of duty, to implement the pay assignment continuity plan, notwithstanding any provision of BPAPRA or the subpart P regulations. Section 550.1615(d)(2) reflects the provision in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G)(vi), which states that nothing in section 5550(b)(1)(G) may be construed to limit the ability of CBP to assign regular tours as necessary to meet operational requirements. At the same time, as reflected in § 550.1604, various provisions in BPAPRA (section 2(a) and 2(f)(1) of BPAPRA and 5 U.S.C. 5550(g)) make clear that CBP has authority to assign unscheduled work as needed to meet mission needs and operational requirements, notwithstanding the regular tour assigned to agents. Thus, as a general matter, OPM does not consider the need to meet operational requirements as preventing CBP from also controlling agents' regular tour as necessary to comply with the pay assignment continuity requirement.

Section 550.1615(e) sets forth reporting requirements with which CBP must comply so that OPM can monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CBP's pay assignment continuity plan and assess the actuarial impact on the retirement fund.

Section 550.1615(f) addresses corrective actions that CBP must take if it determines that the consistency requirement is not being met for a particular agent. Under this regulation, CBP is not required to retroactively change an agent's assigned overtime supplement based on violation of the consistency requirement unless there is evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of the affected agent in connection with an overtime supplement received by that agent.

§ 550.1616—Corrective Actions

Section 550.1616 addresses corrective actions related to assignments made under the §§ 550.1611 through 550.1614. If it is determined that CBP did not comply with applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in assigning an agent to a regular tour of duty under those sections, CBP must take corrective action as soon as practicable. The corrective action would apply prospectively. CBP is not required to retroactively change an agent's assigned tour or overtime supplement, except when CBP determines there exists, in connection with the agent's tour assignment, evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of that agent. Since the overtime supplement is retirement-creditable basic pay, retroactive changes in the supplement would be disruptive and could adversely affect an employee's anticipated retirement benefits.

§ 550.1621—Rules for Each Type of Regular Tour

Section 550.1621 lays out the sets of rules that apply to each type of regular tour and provides cross references to those provisions that are addressed in more detail in other places in subpart P. Paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3) reflect the statutory rules in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(A)(ii) and (b)(3)(A)(ii) that an agent with a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty has an obligation to perform scheduled overtime work within that tour only on a day the agent “performs work” during the regular time (8-hour basic workday). Thus, for example, if an agent with a Level 1 regular tour of duty takes 8 hours of annual leave on a particular day, the agent does not have an obligation to work 2 hours of scheduled overtime within the tour on that day. Paragraph (e) makes clear that, in applying paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3), the term “work” refers to paid hours of work, consistent with § 550.112, except that paid leave and other paid time off are not considered to be work hours. Paragraph (e) also makes clear that official time under 5 U.S.C. 7131 (related to employees representing a labor organization) is “work” in applying paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3).

Paragraphs (a)(4) and (b)(4) provide regulations governing the computation of the overtime supplement (25 percent or 12.5 percent, respectively). The overtime supplement is computed on an hourly basis and is equal to 25 percent or 12.5 percent, respectively of an agent's hourly rate of basic pay. The resulting hourly dollar amount is multiplied by the number of paid hours of regular time in the biweekly pay period to determine the biweekly dollar amount of the overtime supplement before application of the premium pay cap. Also, as provided in § 550.1626(a)(5), any hours of regular time that are paid only because of substitution of overtime hours for a period of absence without approval (AWOL) or suspension are excluded from the hours multiplied by the hourly overtime supplement.

Paragraph (d) states the overarching rule that the premium pay cap in 5 U.S.C. 5547 applies to limit, as appropriate, the payment of the overtime supplement or regularly scheduled overtime outside the regular tour and the crediting of compensatory time off for irregular overtime hours. (See 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(F) and 5547(a) and (e), as amended by BPAPRA. See also section 2(f)(3) of BPAPRA.) Consistent with the longstanding interpretation of 5 U.S.C. 5547, an agent affected by the premium pay cap is still required to perform work as assigned. In effect, an employee who reaches the premium pay cap is considered a salaried employee and the combination of basic pay and any premium pay is considered complete compensation for all hours of work. (In 2015, the premium pay cap for most employees is based on the Executive Schedule (EX) level IV annual rate of $158,700. An employee may receive premium pay in a biweekly pay period only to the extent that the premium pay does not cause the combination of basic pay and premium pay to exceed the cap.)

§ 550.1622—Circumstances Requiring Special Treatment

Section 550.1622(b) regulates a statutory provision providing special treatment of employees during the first 60 days of advanced training in a calendar year. During those 60 days, an agent continues to be assigned to the regular tour otherwise in effect, regardless of the actual number of hours of work on a training day, and will continue to receive the overtime supplement associated with that tour. As a general rule, an agent will be deemed to have worked during any nonwork period within obligated overtime hours on such a training day for the purpose of determining the agent's total hours of work against the applicable biweekly overtime threshold (i.e., 100 hours for a Level 1 tour and 90 hours for a Level 2 tour). (See also § 550.1623(a)(2)(iv).) For example, if an agent with a Level 1 regular tour of duty (requiring 2 obligated overtime hours each basic workday) performs actual work for 0.5 hours during obligated overtime hours on a day of advanced training, the agent would be deemed to work during the remaining 1.5 hours and receive credit for those 1.5 hours in applying the applicable overtime threshold. However, if an agent performs creditable regularly scheduled overtime work outside the regular tour (e.g., night work that is creditable under 5 CFR 410.402(b)(2) as an exception to the normal bar on premium pay during training) on the same day on which credit would otherwise be given for nonwork overtime within the tour, those outside-tour overtime hours will be substituted for any within-tour nonwork overtime hours and reduce the crediting of nonwork hours accordingly.

Section 550.1622(b)(3) implements the statutory requirement that, after an agent has 60 days of advanced training in a calendar year, CBP must assign the agent to a Basic regular tour of duty for any additional day of advanced training. When such an agent is no longer engaged in advanced training, the agent reverts to his or her previously applicable tour.

In applying § 550.1622(b), we rely on the definition of advanced training found in § 550.1603. Advanced training is defined to exclude initial training (i.e., initial orientation sessions, basic training, and other preparatory activities) provided prior to an agent's first regular work assignment in which the agent has authority to make arrests and carry a firearm. The rules on advanced training apply solely to whole-workday training that covers the entire 8-hour block of regular time on a regular workday, since the statutory provisions at § 5550(b)(2)(G) and (b)(3)(G) apply to “days” of advanced training. Training that takes part of a day does not trigger application of the advanced training provision; instead, an agent with such training remains under the normal rules with the normal overtime obligations. (See also proposed § 550.1622(b)(4).)

Section 550.1622(c) regulates a statutory provision providing special treatment of agents assigned to care for a canine as part of their agent duties. During any period an agent is assigned canine care duties, the agent must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour with a 25 percent overtime supplement (unless that requirement is trumped by the pay assignment continuity requirement in § 550.1615). As provided by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(F), an agent assigned canine care duties must be credited with 1 hour of regularly scheduled overtime work within the regular tour of duty on each regular workday, regardless of the actual duration of any such care or when the care was actually provided. The canine care may actually be provided anytime, including on a non-workday. Regardless of the time or day the canine care is actually provided or how much time is actually spent providing canine care, an agent with canine care duties is automatically credited with 1 hour of work for canine care on each regular workday. That leaves the agent with an obligation to perform 1 additional overtime hour as part of the agent's regular tour of duty to meet the 2-hour requirement for a Level 1 tour (on any regular workday on which the agent performs any work during regular time). This means that an agent assigned canine care duties actually has a 9-hour daily tour of duty for regular work instead of the 10-hour daily tour that applies to other employees on a Level 1 regular tour of duty.

If an agent is generally assigned to provide care for a canine, but is temporarily relieved of that duty for any reason (e.g., no dog available), the agent may not receive the 1-hour automatic credit for canine care on an affected regular workday.

§ 550.1623—Overtime Work Outside the Regular Tour

Section 550.1623 provides rules governing the application of biweekly overtime thresholds that are used to determine: (1) Overtime pay for regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour under § 550.1624; and (2) crediting of compensatory time off for irregular overtime hours under § 550.1625. As a general rule, the biweekly overtime threshold is 100 hours for a Level 1 tour, 90 hours for a Level 2 tour, and 80 hours for a Basic tour, as provided in § 550.1623(b), unless there is a hybrid pay period, as described in § 550.1623(c),

Paragraph (a)(2) identifies the hours that are included in an agent's total hours of work that are compared to the applicable biweekly overtime threshold. In addition to time that qualifies as actual hours of work under the normal title 5 rules and all types of paid time off hours, we count: (1) Obligated overtime hours during which no work is performed (creating a debt of hours as provided in § 550.1621(a)(8) and (b)(8)) and for which no substitution is made under § 550.1626(b); (2) nonwork hours credited during obligated overtime hours on a day of advanced training (as provided in § 550.1622(b)); and (3) overtime hours within the regular tour that an agent is not obligated to work because he or she performs no work during regular time on that day (as described in § 550.1621(a)(3) and (b)(3)). Crediting these three categories of hours is necessary to align with the 100-hour and 90-hour biweekly overtime thresholds fixed by law for a Level 1 tour and Level 2 tour, respectively. (See 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(1)(A) and (2)(A).) Without this crediting, there could be hours of work that are outside an agent's regular tour but below the applicable overtime threshold, and there would be no authority to compensate for those hours in any way—a result clearly not intended by Congress. This crediting complies with section 2(f)(2) of BPAPRA, which states that nothing in BPAPRA may be construed to require compensation other than for hours during which an agent is actually performing work or using approved paid time off. The crediting of the three categories of hours is only for purposes of applying the overtime threshold and does not generate any additional compensation for those hours, since they are hours that only could have been potentially compensated by the overtime supplement, the amount of which is not affected by the number of regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour.

Paragraph (c) addresses the possibility of “hybrid pay periods.” One type of hybrid pay period occurs when an agent has one type of regular tour for part of the biweekly pay period and another type for another part of that period—for example, a Level 1 tour for the first week and a Basic tour for the second week. It is possible that an agent's tour could change during a biweekly pay period due to the expiration of the 60-day advanced training period or because CBP takes action under the circumstances described in § 550.1611(f), as allowed under § 550.1612(d). A second type of hybrid pay period occurs when an individual is employed as a Border Patrol agent for only part of the pay period. Since the drafters of BPAPRA did not consider these possibilities, it is necessary to fill in the policy gap via regulation.

§ 550.1624—Regularly Scheduled Overtime Outside the Regular Tour

Section 550.1624 provides rules governing the payment for regularly scheduled overtime hours beyond the applicable overtime threshold (outside the regular tour). Such hours are paid under the regular title 5 overtime rules in 5 U.S.C. 5542(a) and 5 CFR 550.113. Paragraph (c)(1) reflects a statutory directive that CBP should, to the maximum extent practicable, avoid the use of regularly scheduled overtime work outside the regular tour of duty. However, paragraph (c)(2) makes clear that the general restriction in paragraph (c)(1) does not prevent CBP from assigning outside-tour regularly scheduled overtime work if an agent volunteers to perform such work. For example, an agent may want to work such overtime hours to eliminate an overtime hours debt.

§ 550.1625—Irregular Overtime and Compensatory Time Off

Section 550.1625 provides rules governing the crediting of compensatory time off for irregular overtime hours beyond the applicable overtime threshold. (By definition, any irregular overtime hour is beyond that threshold and outside the regular tour of duty.) The rules in § 550.1625 largely reflect statutory requirements and limitations. In addition, paragraph (c) shows that the call-back overtime provision in 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(1) remains applicable to agents. In addition, since BPAPRA required that a value be assigned to compensatory time for the purpose of applying the premium pay cap (5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(F)), but did not specify what the value should be, we are regulating that the value is equal to the amount of overtime pay the agent would have received for the period during which the compensatory time off was earned if the overtime had been regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the agent's regular tour. This is consistent with how OPM values compensatory time off under 5 U.S.C. 5543 and 5 CFR 550.114. (See 5 CFR 550.114(g).)

§ 550.1626—Leave Without Pay During Regular Time and Absences During Obligated Overtime Hours

Section 550.1626 provides rules governing the handling of circumstances where an agent has leave without pay during the basic workweek or absences during obligated overtime hours, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f). Additional hours worked in a biweekly pay period that are “substituted” for leave without pay or absences during obligated overtime hours are, for pay computations purposes, treated as if they are, respectively, regular time hours or obligated overtime hours. Thus, substituted hours are not overtime hours for any purpose, and they may not be considered to be obligated overtime hours under § 550.1621(a)(4) and (b)(4) (when within-tour overtime is substituted for LWOP), regularly scheduled overtime hours under § 550.1624, or irregular overtime hours under § 550.1625, despite their original character prior to substitution.

As provided in § 550.1603, the term leave without pay includes all types of nonpay status, including normal approved leave without pay (regular LWOP), absence without approval (AWOL), suspension, or furlough. Consistent with the treatment of leave without pay under the regular title 5 overtime rules (5 CFR 550.112(d)), these regulations provide for substituting hours outside the basic workweek for leave without pay within the basic workweek—for purposes of computing overtime pay. This treatment is necessary so overtime thresholds are properly applied. As specified in § 550.1626(a)(4), the substitution is done solely for pay computation purposes and does not change the fact that an agent was in a particular nonpay status during the designated hours. For other purposes, the hours that are substituted are considered to have been performed when they were worked, not during the leave without pay hours.

Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(1)(A), § 550.1626(a)(1) provides that an equal period of time outside regular time (which could include work during obligated overtime hours or outside the regular tour) must be substituted for leave without pay during regular time. Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(1)(C), § 550.1626(a)(2) provides that substitutions for leave without pay during regular time must be made before substitutions for absences during obligated overtime hours. Section 550.1626(a)(3) further provides, by authority of regulation, that overtime hours must be substituted in the following priority: first, irregular overtime hours; second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty; and third, regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty. Priority is given to substituting irregular overtime hours, since those hours do not generate a cash payment.

Section 550.1626(a)(5) mandates that overtime hours that are substituted for absence without approval (AWOL) or suspension may not be used in computing an agent's overtime supplement. BPAPRA did not address how substituted hours would affect the computation of the overtime supplement. By regulation, we are allowing hours that are substituted for regular LWOP or furlough to be treated as regular time hours that are multiplied by the hourly overtime supplement. We determined that it would be inappropriate to allow AWOL or suspension hours to generate an increased amount of overtime supplement even if other hours of work are substituted for those hours.

We are not including a regulation to implement 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(1)(B), which stated that work performed on the same day as a period of leave without pay should be substituted first. We determined that, since overtime pay is computed on a biweekly basis, it makes no difference in an agent's pay entitlements if this same-day priority were followed or not followed.

Section 550.1626(b) addresses substitution of other work outside the regular tour of duty for absence during obligated overtime hours, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(2). Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(2)(B), § 550.1626(b)(2) provides that work performed on the same day as a period of absence during obligated overtime hours must be substituted first, but only in the circumstance where same-day substitution rules make a difference—namely, the application of the advanced training provision in § 550.1622(b)(2) that is applied on a daily basis. Section 550.1626(b)(3) further provides, by authority of regulation, that overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty (remaining after applying paragraphs (a) and (b)(2)) must be substituted for obligated overtime hours not worked in the following priority: first, irregular overtime hours; and second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty. Priority is given to substituting irregular overtime hours, since those hours do not generate a cash payment. Section 550.1626(b)(4) makes clear that substitution of overtime hours is for pay computation purposes and does not change when those hours were actually worked for other purposes.

Section 550.1626(c) addresses situations where an agent does not have sufficient additional work in a biweekly pay period to substitute for all periods of absence during obligated overtime hours, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(f)(3) and (4). It mandates that any unused balance of compensatory time off accrued by an agent under § 550.1625 must be applied towards any overtime hours debt newly accrued in the current pay period. It further mandates that, if an overtime hours debt remains after substitution and after application of unused compensatory time off, any additional work outside an agent's regular tour in future pay periods (that would otherwise be considered overtime work under § 550.1624 or § 550.1625) must be applied towards the overtime hours debt until that debt is satisfied.

Section 550.1626(d) addresses how to handle a situation where an agent has an unsatisfied overtime hours debt at the time of transfer or separation, which is not addressed in BPAPRA but is necessarily addressed in our regulations. At the time of transfer or separation, the overtime hours debt must be converted to a monetary debt equal to the result of multiplying the agent's hourly rate of basic pay by the number of hours owed by the agent. CBP would follow standard debt collection procedures to recover any debt.

§ 550.1631—Relationship to Other Types of Premium Pay

Section 550.1631 provides rules regarding the circumstances under which an agent may receive other premium pay (not addressed elsewhere in subpart P), consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(c). It further provides that an agent's regular rate of basic pay (without any overtime supplement) must be used in computing any premium pay, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(c)(1) and (d)(2).

§ 550.1632—Relationship to Hazardous Duty Pay

Section 550.1632 provides that an agent may receive hazardous duty pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545(d), if otherwise eligible, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(c)(3). It further provides that any hazard pay is computed using an agent's regular rate of basic pay (without any overtime supplement), consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(d).

§ 550.1633—Relationship to Other Provisions Using Basic Pay

Section 550.1633 identifies the limited purposes for which an overtime supplement is treated as part of an agent's rate of basic pay, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(d). In addition to the purposes prescribed in law (i.e., retirement, severance pay, workers' compensation, and life insurance), OPM is regulating that the overtime supplement is part of basic pay for purposes of advances in pay under 5 U.S.C. 5524a and 5 CFR part 550, subpart B.

§ 550.1634—Relationship to Leave and Other Paid Time Off

Section 550.1634 makes clear that agents remain covered by title 5 provisions related to leave (5 U.S.C. chapter 63) and to other paid time off (e.g., holidays under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, compensatory time off for religious purposes under 5 U.S.C. 5550a) and that the tour of duty for accrual of leave and for usage of leave or other paid time off is the 40-hour basic workweek.

§ 550.1635—Relationship to Alternative Work Schedules

Section 550.1635 provides that agents may not have a flexible or compressed work schedule under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapter II. OPM interprets BPAPRA as establishing a special work schedule for all agents under 5 U.S.C. 5550, which supersedes any other authority to establish special schedules. CBP is still permitted to have flexible starting and stopping times for an agent's basic work day if it determines that such flexibility is appropriate for the position in question (e.g., a position with a Basic regular tour of duty that does not require fixed shifts).

§ 550.1636—Relationship to FLSA

Section 550.1636 reflects the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) amendments made by BPAPRA, which provided that the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA are not applicable to Border Patrol agents (i.e., they are automatically exempt from FLSA by virtue of being a Border Patrol agent). A conforming FLSA exemption is being added to OPM's FLSA regulations at 5 CFR 551.217.

§ 550.1637—Relationship to Travel Time

Section 550.1637(a) provides that an agent's regular travel to and from home and a work location within the agent's official duty station (as defined in § 550.112(j)) may not be considered hours of work, which is consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(e) as added by BPAPRA. This is also generally consistent with regular title 5 rules related to travel at 5 CFR 550.112(j)(2).

Section 550.1637(b) addresses travel away from an agent's official duty station (as defined in § 550.112(j)). Such travel is subject to the normally applicable hours-of-work rules in 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(2) and 5 CFR 550.112(g). When an agent travels directly between home and a temporary duty location outside the limits of the agent's official duty station, the time the agent would have spent in normal home to work travel must be deducted from any creditable hours of work while traveling.

§ 550.1638—Relationship to Official Time

Section 550.1638 addresses how official time under 5 U.S.C. 7131 relates to BPAPRA pay provisions. Under 5 U.S.C. 7131—

• “Any employee representing an exclusive representative in the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement under this chapter shall be authorized official time for such purposes, including attendance at impasse proceeding, during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status. The number of employees for whom official time is authorized shall not exceed the number of individuals designated as representing the agency for such purposes.” (See 5 U.S.C. 7131(a).)

• “The Authority shall determine whether any employee participating for, or on behalf of, a labor organization in any phase of proceedings before the Authority shall be authorized official time for such purpose during the time the employee otherwise would be in a duty status.” (See 5 U.S.C. 7131(c).)

• Except as provided in the previous subsections, any employee representing an exclusive representative or in connection with any other matter covered by this chapter “shall be granted official time in any amount the agency and the exclusive representative involved agree to be reasonable, necessary, and in the public interest.” (See 5 U.S.C. 7131(d).)

An employee using official time is paid a base salary even though not in a regular duty status. Official time is also considered to be “hours of work” when the employee would otherwise be in a duty status. Generally, official time is used during an employee's basic (nonovertime) hours. Official time may also be used during management-assigned overtime hours if an unplanned event occurs incident to representational functions that must be dealt with during the overtime hours.

In drafting proposed regulations to carry out BPAPRA, we determined that certain issues related to official time needed to be addressed. First, the rules in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(A)(ii) and (b)(3)(A)(ii) provide that the obligation to perform overtime hours of work as part of an agent's regular tour of duty is triggered only when the agent performs “work” during the 8-hour basic workday on that same day. Thus, we provide in § 550.1621(e) and § 550.1638 that official time is included as “work” in applying those section 5550 provisions. This is consistent with how OPM treats official time during basic (nonovertime) hours as hours of work in applying title 5 and FLSA overtime provisions, based on 5 U.S.C. 7131.

In addition, we clarify in § 550.1638 that Border Patrol agents who use official time to perform union representational duties may elect to have a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty, but generally must perform regular agency work (as opposed to union representational duties) during obligated overtime hours. However, use of official time during obligated overtime hours or any other overtime hours is permitted if an unplanned event arises incident to representational functions that must be dealt with during the overtime hours.

Conforming Changes to Other Regulations

OPM is proposing conforming changes in a variety of regulations in part 410, part 550, part 551, and part 870. (Note: The descriptions of the proposed regulations below are stated in the present tense for readability.)

Section 410.402 is amended to show the receipt of the Border Patrol agent overtime supplement as a permitted exception to the general bar on premium pay during periods of training.

Section 550.103 is amended to revise the definition of premium pay and add a new definition of regular tour of duty so that these definitions can be used in applying 5 CFR part 550, subpart A (Premium Pay). The revised definition of premium pay makes clear the term includes a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement and the dollar value of compensatory time off earned by a Border Patrol agent, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(F) and 5547(a)(1) and (e) and section 2(f) of BPAPRA.

Section 550.107 is amended to provide that the Border Patrol agent overtime supplement is subject solely to the biweekly premium pay cap (not the annual cap), consistent with the treatment of other premium payments that are retirement-creditable basic pay. In prescribing this treatment, OPM is relying on its broad authority to regulate the premium pay subchapter in 5 U.S.C. 5548 plus its additional broad authority in section 2(h) of BPAPRA to issue regulations to carry out BPAPRA.

Section 550.111 is amended by adding a new paragraph (j), which provides that special overtime thresholds apply to Border Patrol agents for the purpose of paying overtime under the regular title 5 overtime authority (for overtime not compensated by an overtime supplement or by the earning of compensatory time off). (See 5 U.S.C. 5542(g) and § 550.1623.)

Sections 550.122, 550.132, and 550.172 are amended by adding new paragraphs, which provide that night pay differential, holiday premium pay, and Sunday pay are not payable for regularly scheduled overtime within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour duty (i.e., overtime hours compensated via the overtime supplement), consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(C), (b)(3)(C), and (c)(1)(A). These new paragraphs also make clear that a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement is not included in the rate of basic pay used to compute the amount of these premium payments for other hours that qualify for such payments, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(c)(1) and (d)(2).

In § 550.202, we are amending the definition of rate of basic pay used in applying the advances in pay regulations so that it includes a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement. This amendment relies on OPM's authority in 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)(1)(B) to regulate the purposes for which the overtime supplement is treated as basic pay.

In § 550.703, we are amending the definition of rate of basic pay used in applying the severance pay regulations so that it includes a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)(1)(A).

In § 550.1204, we are amending paragraph (a) to provide that Border Patrol agent compensatory time off does not extend the period of leave used for calculating a lump-sum annual leave payment. This is consistent with the treatment of regular title 5 compensatory time off and with 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(D), which provides that an agent may not receive any cash value for unused compensatory time off.

In § 550.1205, we are adding a new paragraph (b)(5)(iv), which provides a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement is used in computing any annual leave lump-sum payment. This is an exercise of OPM's regulatory authority in 5 U.S.C. 5553 and is consistent with the treatment of AUO pay that Border Patrol agents have been receiving.

In OPM's FLSA regulations, we are amending § 551.216 and adding a new § 551.217. In § 551.216(c)(2), we are deleting references to Border Patrol agents, since they are no longer covered by the FLSA. In the new § 551.217, we provide that Border Patrol agents are FLSA exempt (for purposes of minimum wage and overtime provisions), as required by the amendments to section 13(a) of the FLSA (29 U.S.C. 213(a)) made by section (g)(2) of BPAPRA.

In OPM's life insurance regulations, we are amending § 870.204 to provide that a Border Patrol agent overtime supplement is treated as part of an agent's “annual pay” used in computing life insurance benefits, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)(1)(A). (Congress relied on section 5550(d)(1)(A) rather than amend 5 U.S.C. 8704(c) to specifically reference the Border Patrol agent overtime supplement. Under section 8704(c), OPM may prescribe regulations governing the types of pay included in annual pay.)

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with E.O. 12866 and E.O. 13563.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

I certify that these proposed regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they will apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects 5 CFR Part 410

Education, Government employees.

5 CFR Part 550

Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Government employees, Wages.

5 CFR Part 551

Government employees, Wages.

5 CFR Part 870

Administrative practice and procedure, Government employees, Hostages, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Life insurance, Retirement.

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

For the reasons stated in the preamble, OPM is proposing to amend parts 410, 550, 551, and 870 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 410—TRAINING 1. The authority citation for part 410 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 1103(c), 2301, 2302, 4101, et seq.; E.O. 11348, 3 CFR, 1967 Comp., p. 275, E.O. 11478, 3 CFR 1966-1970 Comp., page 803, unless otherwise noted, E.O. 13087; and E.O. 13152.

Subpart D—Paying for Training Expenses 2. In § 410.402, add paragraph (b)(8) to read as follows:
§ 410.402 Paying premium pay.

(b) * * *

(8) Border Patrol agent overtime supplement. A Border Patrol agent may receive an overtime supplement under 5 U.S.C. 5550 and 5 CFR part 550, subpart P, during training, subject to the limitation in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(G) and (b)(3)(G) and 5 CFR 550.1622(b).

PART 550—PAY ADMINISTRATION (GENERAL) Subpart A—Premium Pay 3. The authority citation for subpart A of part 550 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5304 note, 5305 note, 5504(d), 5541(2)(iv), 5545a(h)(2)(B) and (i), 5547(b) and (c), 5548, and 6101(c); sections 407 and 2316, Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681-101 and 2681-828 (5 U.S.C. 5545a); section 2(h), Pub. L. 113-277, 128 Stat. 3005; E.O. 12748, 3 CFR, 1992 Comp., p. 316.

4. Amend § 550.103 by adding a sentence at the end of the definition of premium pay and adding in alphabetical order a definition of regular tour of duty to read as follows:
§ 550.103 Definitions.

Premium pay * * * This includes an overtime supplement received by a Border Patrol agent under 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty and the dollar value of hours of compensatory time off earned by such an agent.

Regular tour of duty, with respect to a Border Patrol agent covered by 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part, means the basic 40-hour workweek plus any regularly scheduled overtime work hours that the agent is assigned to work as part of an officially established 5-day weekly work schedule generally consisting of—

(1) 10-hour workdays (each including 2 overtime hours each day) in exchange for a 25-percent overtime supplement (Level 1); or

(2) 9-hour workdays (each including 1 overtime hour each day) in exchange for a 12.5-percent overtime supplement (Level 2).

5. In § 550.107, amend paragraph (a)(3) by removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph, removing the period from the end of paragraph (a)(4) and adding in its place “; and”, and adding paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
§ 550.107 Premium payments capped on a biweekly basis when an annual limitation otherwise applies.

(a) * * *

(5) An overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime hours within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour of duty under 5 U.S.C. 5550.

6. In § 550.111, add paragraph (j) to read as follows:
§ 550.111 Authorization of overtime pay.

(j) For Border Patrol agents covered by 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part, overtime work means hours of work in excess of applicable thresholds, as specified in § 550.1623, excluding hours that are—

(1) Compensated by payment of an overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime within the agent's regular tour of duty under § 550.1621;

(2) Compensated by the earning of compensatory time off under § 550.1625; or

(3) Used in substitution or application under § 550.1626.

7. In § 550.122, add paragraph (e) to read as follows:
§ 550.122 Computation of night pay differential.

(e) Border Patrol agents. For a Border Patrol agent covered by 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part, no night pay differential is payable for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(C), (b)(3)(C), and (c)(1)(A). The overtime supplement payable for such scheduled overtime hours is not part of the agent's rate of basic pay used in computing the night pay differential for other hours that qualify for such a differential.

8. In § 550.132, add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 550.132 Relation to overtime, night, and Sunday pay.

(d) For a Border Patrol agent covered by 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part, no holiday premium pay is payable for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(C), (b)(3)(C), and (c)(1)(A). The overtime supplement payable for such scheduled overtime hours is not part of the agent's rate of basic pay used in computing the holiday premium pay for other hours that qualify for such premium pay.

9. In § 550.172, designate the current text as paragraph (a) and add paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 550.172 Relation to overtime, night, and holiday pay.

(b) For a Border Patrol agent covered by 5 U.S.C. 5550 and subpart P of this part, no Sunday premium pay is payable for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(2)(C), (b)(3)(C), and (c)(1)(A). The overtime supplement payable for such scheduled overtime hours is not part of the agent's rate of basic pay used in computing the Sunday premium pay for other hours that qualify for such premium pay.

Subpart B—Advances in Pay 10. The authority citation for subpart B of part 550 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5524a, 5527, 5545a(h)(2)(B), 5550(d)(1)(B); E.O. 12748, 3 CFR, 1992 comp., p. 316.

11. In § 550.202, amend the definition of rate of basic pay by removing “and” at the end of paragraph (3), removing the period at the end of paragraph (4) and adding in its place “; and”, and adding paragraph (5) to read as follows:
§ 550.202 Definitions.

Rate of basic pay * * *

(5) An overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour of duty under 5 U.S.C. 5550 (as allowed under 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)(1)(B)).

Subpart G—Severance Pay 12. The authority citation for subpart G of part 550 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5595; E.O. 11257, 3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 357.

13. In § 550.703, amend the definition of rate of basic pay by removing “and” at the end of paragraph (3), removing the period at the end of paragraph (4) and adding in its place “; and”, and adding paragraph (5) to read as follows:
§ 550.703 Definitions.

Rate of basic pay * * *

(5) An overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour of duty under 5 U.S.C. 5550 (as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)(1)(a)).

Subpart L—Lump-Sum Payment for Accumulated and Accrued Annual Leave 14. The authority citation for subpart L continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5553, 6306, and 6311.

§ 550.1204 [Amended]
15. In § 550.1204, amend paragraph (a) by removing the phrase “compensatory time off earned under 5 U.S.C. 5543 and § 550.114(d) or § 551.531(d) of this chapter” from the third sentence and inserting in its place the phrase “unused compensatory time off earned under 5 U.S.C. 5543 and § 550.114(d) or § 551.531(d) of this chapter or under 5 U.S.C. 5542(g) and § 550.1625”. 16. In § 550.1205, amend paragraph (b)(5) by adding paragraph (iv) to read as follows:
§ 550.1205 Calculating a lump-sum payment.

(b) * * *

(5) * * *

(iv) An overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour of duty under 5 U.S.C. 5550, as in effect immediately prior to the date the agent became eligible for a lump-sum payment under § 550.1203. The agency must base the lump-sum payment on the agent's assigned overtime supplement percentage. The assigned percentage will be considered fixed for the duration of the lump-sum annual leave projection period described in § 550.1204, even if an annual period for elections under 5 U.S.C. 5550 begins during that projection period. In cases where the amount of the overtime supplement actually payable in a pay period was limited by a statutory cap, the agency must base the lump-sum payment on a reduced percentage rate that reflects the actual amount of the overtime supplement the agent could receive in a pay period.

17. Add subpart P to part 550 to read as follows: Subpart P—Overtime Pay for Border Patrol Agents General Provisions Sec. 550.1601 Purpose and authority. 550.1602 Coverage. 550.1603 Definitions. 550.1604 Authority of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 550.1605 Interpretation instruction. Assignment of Regular Tour of Duty and Overtime Supplement 550.1611 Assignments for an annual period. 550.1612 Assignments made at other times. 550.1613 Selection of agents for assignment. 550.1614 Limit on percentage of agents who do not have a Level 1 regular tour of duty. 550.1615 Pay assignment continuity. 550.1616 Corrective actions. Treatment of Overtime Work 550.1621 Rules for types of regular tour of duty. 550.1622 Circumstances requiring special treatment. 550.1623 Overtime work outside the regular tour of duty. 550.1624 Regularly scheduled overtime outside the regular tour of duty. 550.1625 Irregular overtime and compensatory time off. 550.1626 Leave without pay during regular time and absences during obligated overtime hours. Relationship to Other Provisions 550.1631 Other types of premium pay. 550.1632 Hazardous duty pay. 550.1633 Treatment of overtime supplement as basic pay. 550.1634 Leave and other paid time off. 550.1635 Alternative work schedule. 550.1636 Exemption from Fair Labor Standards Act. 550.1637 Travel time. 550.1638 Official time. Subpart P—Overtime Pay for Border Patrol Agents Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5548 and 5550(b)(1)(B) and (d)(1)(B); section 2(h), Pub. L. 113-277, 128 Stat. 3005.

General Provisions
§ 550.1601 Purpose and authority.

This subpart contains OPM regulations to implement section 2 of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277), which added section 5550 in title 5, United States Code, and made related statutory amendments. The Act created a special overtime pay program for Border Patrol agents in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection component within the Department of Homeland Security. OPM has authority under 5 U.S.C. 5548(a) to regulate subchapter V (Premium Pay) of chapter 55 of title 5, United States Code, including section 5550 and the Act's amendments to sections 5542 and 5547. OPM was also granted broad authority to promulgate necessary regulations to carry out the Act and the amendments made by the Act under section 2(h) of the Act.

§ 550.1602 Coverage.

This subpart applies to an employee of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection component of the Department of Homeland Security (or any successor organization) who holds a position assigned to the Border Patrol Enforcement classification series 1896 or any successor series, consistent with classification standards established by OPM. Such an employee is referred to as a “Border Patrol agent” or “agent” in this subpart.

§ 550.1603 Definitions.

For the purpose of this subpart—

Advanced training means all training, other than initial training, provided on a whole-workday basis. Advanced training excludes training that covers only part of an 8-hour basic workday.

Agent means a Border Patrol agent.

Annual period means a 1-year period that begins on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of a given year and ends on the day before the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of the next year. The term “year” in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(A) and (C) and the term “leave year” in 5 U.S.C. 5542(g)(5)(A) are interpreted to be an annual period as defined here.

Basic regular tour of duty means an officially established weekly regular tour of duty consisting of five 8-hour workdays (including no overtime hours) for which no overtime supplement is payable.

Basic workday means the 8 hours of nonovertime work on a day within an agent's basic workweek.

Basic workweek, for full-time employees, means the 40-hour workweek established in accordance with 5 CFR 610.111.

Border Patrol agent means an employee to whom this subpart applies, as provided in § 550.1602.

CBP means the component of the Department of Homeland Security known as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (or any successor organization). When this term is used in the context of CBP making determinations or taking actions, it means management officials of CBP who are authorized to make the given determination or take the given action.

Hybrid pay period means a biweekly pay period within which—

(1) An agent has one type of established regular tour of duty for one part of the pay period and another type of regular tour of duty for a different part of the pay period; or

(2) An individual is employed as an agent for only a portion of the pay period.

Initial training means training for newly hired agents—including initial orientation sessions, basic training, and other preparatory activities—provided prior to the agent's first regular work assignment in which he or she will be authorized to make arrests and carry a firearm.

Irregular overtime work means officially ordered or approved overtime work that is not regularly scheduled overtime work—i.e., overtime work that is not part of the agent's regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

Leave without pay means a period of time within an agent's basic workweek during which the agent is in nonpay status, including periods of unpaid voluntary absence with approval, absence without approval (AWOL), suspension, or furlough.

Level 1 regular tour of duty means an officially established weekly regular tour of duty generally consisting of five 10-hour workdays (including 2 overtime hours each workday) that provides entitlement to a 25 percent overtime supplement.

Level 2 regular tour of duty means an officially established weekly regular tour of duty generally consisting of five 9-hour workdays (including 1 overtime hour each workday) that provides entitlement to a 12.5 percent overtime supplement.

Obligated overtime hours means regularly scheduled overtime hours that an agent with a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty is obligated to work as part of the agent's regular tour of duty, if the agent performs any amount of work during regular time on same day, and that are converted into an overtime hours debt when the agent fails to work the hours.

Overtime hours debt means the balance of obligated overtime hours not worked for which the agent has not satisfied the hours obligation by applying compensatory time off hours or other overtime hours of work outside the agent's regular tour of duty.

Overtime supplement means a payment received in addition to the regular amount of basic pay for nonovertime work in exchange for regularly scheduled overtime work within an agent's Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty. For an agent who is assigned a 10-hour workday as part of the agent's Level 1 regular tour of duty, the overtime supplement is 25 percent. For an agent who is assigned a 9-hour workday as part of the agent's Level 2 regular tour of duty, the overtime supplement is 12.5 percent. The overtime supplement is computed as provided in § 550.1621(a)(4) and (b)(4).

Pay period means a 14-day biweekly pay period.

Rate of basic pay means the regular nonovertime rate of pay payable to an agent, excluding any overtime supplement, but including any applicable locality payment under 5 CFR part 531, subpart F; special rate supplement under 5 CFR part 530, subpart C; or similar payment or supplement under other legal authority, before any deductions and exclusive of additional pay of any other kind. An overtime supplement is included as part of an agent's rate of basic pay for purposes outside this subpart, as provided in § 550.1633.

Regularly scheduled administrative workweek, for a full-time employee, means the period within an administrative workweek, established in accordance with 5 CFR 610.111, within which the employee is regularly scheduled to work.

Regularly scheduled work means work (including overtime work) that is scheduled in advance of an administrative workweek under an agency's procedures for establishing workweeks in accordance with 5 CFR 610.111.

Regular time means the regular basic (nonovertime) hours within an agent's 8-hour basic workday within the 40-hour basic workweek.

Regular tour of duty means the basic 40-hour workweek plus any regularly scheduled overtime work hours that the agent is assigned to work as part of an officially established 5-day weekly work schedule generally consisting of—

(1) 10-hour workdays (including 2 overtime hours each workday) in exchange for a 25 percent overtime supplement (Level 1); or

(2) 9-hour workdays (including 1 overtime hour each workday) in exchange for a 12.5 percent overtime supplement (Level 2).

§ 550.1604 Authority of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Authorized management officials of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are responsible for determining the mission requirements and operational needs of the organization and have the right to assign scheduled and unscheduled work as necessary to meet those requirements and needs, regardless of an agent's officially established regular tour of duty. (See subsections (a) and (f)(1) of section 2 of Pub. L. 113-277 and 5 U.S.C. 5550(g).)

§ 550.1605 Interpretation instruction.

As required by section 2(f) of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277), nothing in section 2 of the Act or this subpart may be construed to require compensation of an agent other than for hours during which the agent is actually performing work or using approved paid leave or other paid time off. This section does not prevent CBP from granting paid excused absence from an agent's basic workweek under other authority.

Assignment of Regular Tour of Duty and Overtime Supplement
§ 550.1611 Assignments for an annual period.

(a) Annual period. The assignment of a regular tour of duty and overtime supplement to an agent is in effect for a full annual period (or the portion of such period during which the individual is employed as an agent), except as otherwise provided in this subpart. The annual period is a 1-year period that begins on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of a given year and ends on the day before the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after January 1 of the next year.

(b) Information regarding annual election opportunity. No later than November 1 of each year, CBP must provide each currently employed agent with information regarding the opportunity to elect a regular tour of duty and corresponding overtime supplement for the next annual period. The information must include an explanation of election options and procedures. For an agent who will be in initial training status on the first day of the annual period, this paragraph is not applicable, and § 550.1612(a) and (b) will apply instead.

(c) Annual election opportunity. No later than December 1 of each year, an agent to whom paragraph (b) of this section is applicable may make an election among three options for the regular tour of duty and corresponding overtime supplement (as described in § 550.1621) that the agent wishes to be applicable to him or her during the next annual period.

(d) Failure to make an election. If an agent fails to make a timely election under paragraph (c) of this section, CBP must assign the agent a Level 1 regular tour of duty with a 25 percent overtime supplement, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

(e) Effect of agent election. CBP must assign an agent the regular tour of duty elected by the agent under paragraph (c) of this section unless CBP informs the agent of an alternative assignment, as provided under paragraph (f) of this section. CBP may change the assignment during the annual period, as provided under § 550.1612(d).

(f) Management assignment to tour. CBP may assign a different regular tour of duty than that elected by the agent for an upcoming annual period under the following circumstances:

(1) An agent who is assigned canine care duties must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty, subject to § 550.1622(c);

(2) An agent who is unable to perform overtime on a daily basis, as determined by CBP, must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty with no overtime supplement until such time as CBP determines the agent is able to perform the required overtime on a daily basis;

(3) An agent who holds a position at CBP headquarters, as a training instructor at a CBP training facility, or as a fitness instructor—or who holds another type of administrative position— must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty unless CBP determines a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty may be assigned to the agent based on a comprehensive staffing analysis conducted for the agent's duty station as required by section 2(e) of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277);

(4) CBP determines that an agent must be assigned to a Level 1 regular tour of duty to ensure that not more than 10 percent (or higher percentage established under § 550.1614(b)) of agents stationed at a location are assigned to a Level 2 regular tour of duty or a Basic regular tour of duty, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(E) and § 550.1614; or

(5) CBP determines that assignment of a different regular tour of duty is necessary to comply with the pay assignment continuity provisions in 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G) and § 550.1615, notwithstanding any other provision of law or this subpart (including paragraphs (f)(1) through (4) of this section).

§ 550.1612 Assignments made at other times.

(a) An individual who is newly hired as an agent must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty during any period of initial training. After completing any period of initial training, an agent must be assigned a Level 1 regular tour of duty for any portion of the annual period remaining at that point, except under applicable circumstances described in paragraph (f) of § 550.1611 or paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) An agent who would otherwise be assigned a regular tour of duty under paragraph (a) of this section may submit an election of a different regular tour of duty to be effective on a prospective basis for the remaining portion of the annual period. CBP must provide the agent with election information no later than the date the agent begins a regular work assignment (i.e., after completing any period of initial training). CBP must assign an agent the regular tour of duty elected by the agent under this section unless CBP informs the agent of an alternative assignment based on the circumstances described in paragraph (f) of § 550.1611. Such election must be submitted to CBP no later than 30 days after the agent begins a regular work assignment and, if approved by CBP, is effective on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after the later of—

(1) The date the election was submitted; or

(2) The date the agent completed initial training.

(c) An individual who is newly hired as an agent during the period beginning on November 2 and ending on the day before the first day of the next annual period may make an election to take effect at the beginning of the next annual period notwithstanding the normally applicable December 1 election deadline, if the agent will not be in initial training status on the first day of the annual period. Such election must be submitted no later than 30 days after receiving election information, but before the first day of the annual period. Such an election is subject to the same requirements and conditions that apply to an election for an annual period under paragraphs (e) and (f) of § 550.1611. If such election is not made, CBP must assign the agent a Level 1 regular tour of duty with a 25 percent overtime supplement for the next annual period, except under applicable circumstances described in paragraph (f) of § 550.1611.

(d) CBP may change an agent's assigned regular tour of duty during an annual period under the circumstances described in paragraph (f) of § 550.1611 or paragraph (b) of § 550.1622. For example, an agent's regular tour of duty may be changed one or more times during an annual period as necessary to comply with the pay assignment continuity provision described in § 550.1611(f)(5).

§ 550.1613 Selection of agents for assignment.

If application of paragraphs (f)(3) and (4) of § 550.1611 (or application of those paragraphs through § 550.1612) requires CBP to select agents for assignment to a particular regular tour of duty out of a pool of agents who prefer a different assignment, CBP must make any such selection consistent with an established written plan that includes the criteria that will be considered and the priority of those criteria. Such plan must be consistent with the requirements of this subpart.

§ 550.1614 Limit on percentage of agents who do not have a Level 1 regular tour of duty.

(a) CBP must take such action as is necessary, including unilateral assignment of agents to a Level 1 regular tour of duty, to ensure that not more than 10 percent of agents stationed at a location are assigned to a Level 2 regular tour of duty or a Basic regular tour of duty, as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(E), notwithstanding any other provision of law or this subpart, except as provided by paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “location” means a Border Patrol sector, which includes all subordinate organizational structures and related geographic areas within the sector (e.g., stations).

(b) CBP may waive the 10 percent limit in paragraph (a) of this section and apply a higher percentage limit if CBP determines it is able to adequately fulfill its operational requirements under that higher limit based on a comprehensive staffing analysis conducted for the agent's duty station under section 2(e) of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277).

(c) The 10 percent limit in paragraph (a) does not apply to agents working at CBP headquarters or at a CBP training location.

(d) Regardless of the percentage limits set under this section, assignments of regular tours of duty to individual agents must be made consistent with the requirement to ensure pay assignment continuity under § 550.1615.

§ 550.1615 Pay assignment continuity.

(a) Plan. (1) In consultation with OPM, CBP must develop and implement a plan to ensure, to the greatest extent practicable, that the assignment of a regular tour of duty to an agent during all consecutive 3-year periods within the control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section produces an average overtime supplement percentage (during each 3-year period) that is consistent with the agent's average overtime supplement percentage during the course of the agent's career prior to the beginning of that control period, subject to paragraph (c) of this section. The goal of this plan is to ensure that agents are not able to artificially enhance their retirement annuities during the period when the high-3 average pay may be determined (in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8331(4) or 5 U.S.C. 8401(3)).

(2) In applying paragraph (a)(1) of this section, an agent's assigned overtime supplement percentage (25 percent, 12.5 percent, or 0 percent) must be used in computing the career average supplement regardless of whether or not the payable amount of the overtime supplement is limited by a premium pay cap established under 5 U.S.C. 5547 and §§ 550.105 and 550.107.

(3) For purpose of computing the career average overtime supplement percentage, an agent's career is considered to encompass only those periods during which the agent was covered by this subpart. If an agent is in a control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section when the provisions of this subpart first become applicable to the agent, the agent's initially assigned overtime supplement percentage must be considered the agent's career average.

(b) Control period. The period of time during which CBP must control an agent's assignment to a regular tour of duty begins on the date 3 years before the agent meets age and service requirements for an immediate retirement and remains in effect during all subsequent service in a Border Patrol agent position.

(c) Consistency requirement. (1) The consistency requirement in paragraph (a) of this section is considered to be met when the agent's average overtime supplement percentage during all consecutive 3-year periods within the control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section is within 2.5 percentage points of the agent's average overtime supplement percentage during the course of the agent's career prior to the beginning of that control period, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) Notwithstanding the consistency requirement in paragraph (a) of this section, the CBP plan may allow an agent to be assigned a regular tour of duty that provides an overtime supplement percentage that is less than that necessary to produce an average percentage (during all consecutive 3-year periods within the control period specified in paragraph (b)) that is consistent with the agent's career average percentage if—

(i) The agent's overtime supplement is limited by the premium pay cap under §§ 550.105 and 550.107 and the agent voluntarily elects a regular tour of duty providing such a lesser overtime supplement percentage that is approved by CBP; or

(ii) CBP determines an agent is unable to perform overtime on a daily basis due to a physical or medical condition affecting the agent and assigns the agent a Basic regular tour of duty, as described in § 550.1611(f)(2), (but only to the extent such assignment makes it impossible to satisfy the consistency requirement during any given consecutive 3-year period).

(d) CBP authority. (1) CBP may take such action as is necessary, including the unilateral assignment of a regular tour of duty to implement the plan described in paragraph (a) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(2) Notwithstanding the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 5550(b)(1)(G) and this section, CBP is authorized to assign agents to regular tours of duty as necessary to meet operational requirements.

(e) Reporting requirements—(1) Annual data reporting for agents subject to pay assignment continuity. For each agent within the control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section, CBP must provide to OPM no later than March 30th of each year the following information (in a format specified by OPM) based on data compiled through the end of the most recent annual period:

(i) The date the agent became subject to controls on the assignment to a regular tour of duty;

(ii) The date the agent will become subject to mandatory separation under 5 U.S.C. 8335(b) or 5 U.S.C. 8425(b);

(iii) The service computation date based on eligibility under 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or 5 U.S.C. 8412(d);

(iv) The average overtime supplement percentage during the course of the agent's career prior to the beginning of the control period specified in paragraph (b);

(v) The average overtime supplement percentage for the time period beginning with the date the agent became subject to controls on the assignment to a regular tour of duty and ending on the last day of the most recent annual period;

(vi) The average overtime supplement percentage for the last three annual periods (excluding any time that was not within a control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section);

(vii) The average overtime supplement percentage for the most recent annual period (excluding any time that was not within a control period specified in paragraph (b) of this section), and;

(viii) Any other information requested by OPM.

(2) Annual data reporting for all agents. No later than March 30th of each year, CBP must provide to OPM the following information (in a format specified by OPM) for each agent compiled for the preceding calendar year based on salary payments made during that year:

(i) The amount of earnings subject to retirement deductions, including overtime supplement payments, received during the most recent calendar year;

(ii) The amount of earnings subject to retirement deductions during the most recent calendar year minus the total amount of the overtime supplement payments during that year;

(iii) The service computation date computed as though law enforcement officer service is regular employee service (i.e., the “regular” SCD);

(iv) The service computation date computed with credit for law enforcement officer service, and any other service creditable for eligibility under 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or 5 U.S.C. 8412(d) (i.e., the “LEO” SCD);

(v) Date of birth;

(vi) Gender;

(vii) Retirement system (e.g., CSRS, FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE); and

(viii) Any other information requested by OPM.

(3) Additional data. CBP must provide additional data as requested by OPM at any time, including data on the percentage rate of administratively uncontrollable overtime under § 550.154 during the period before the annual period that begins in January 2016.

(f) Corrective actions. If it is determined that the consistency requirement described in paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section is not being met for a particular agent, CBP must document why the differential occurred and establish any necessary actions, including the modification of the plan described in paragraph (a) of this section, to ensure that the goal of pay assignment continuity is achieved going forward. CBP is not required to retroactively correct an agent's assigned tour or overtime supplement based on violation of the consistency requirement, except when CBP determines there exists, in connection with an agent's assigned overtime supplement, evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of that agent.

§ 550.1616 Corrective actions.

If it is determined that CBP did not comply with applicable statutory or regulatory requirements in assigning an agent to a regular tour of duty under §§ 550.1611 through 550.1614, CBP must take corrective action as soon as practicable. Such corrective action must be applied on a prospective basis. CBP is not required to retroactively change an agent's assigned tour or overtime supplement, except when CBP determines there exists, in connection with the agent's tour assignment, evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the part of that agent.

Treatment of Overtime Work
§ 550.1621 Rules for types of regular tour of duty.

(a) Level 1 regular tour of duty. For an agent with a Level 1 regular tour of duty and a 25 percent overtime supplement, the following rules apply:

(1) The agent has an officially established weekly regular tour of duty generally consisting of five 10-hour workdays (an 8-hour basic workday and 2 regularly scheduled overtime hours);

(2) The agent's 8-hour basic workday (regular time) may be interrupted by an unpaid off-duty meal break;

(3) The obligation to perform 2 hours of overtime work on a day including part of the agent's regular tour of duty does not apply if the agent performs no work during regular time on that day, subject to paragraph (e) of this section;

(4) As compensation for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty, the agent is entitled to an overtime supplement equal to 25 percent of the agent's hourly rate of basic pay times the number of paid hours of regular time for the agent in the pay period (subject to the premium cap in §§ 550.105 and 550.107 and the restriction in § 550.1626(a)(5)), and no additional compensation or compensatory time off may be provided for such overtime hours;

(5) For any additional regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty, the agent is entitled to overtime pay as provided in § 550.1624, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626;

(6) For any irregular overtime hours, the agent is entitled to be credited with compensatory time off as provided in § 550.1625, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626;

(7) The agent must be charged corresponding amounts of paid leave, compensatory time off, other paid time off, or time in nonpay status for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent from duty during regular time, as provided in § 550.1634, except as otherwise provided in § 550.1626(a); and

(8) If the agent is absent during regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty that the agent is obligated to work, the agent accrues an obligation to perform other overtime work for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent, and such obligation must be satisfied as provided in § 550.1626.

(b) Level 2 regular tour of duty. For an agent with a Level 2 regular tour of duty and a 12.5 percent overtime supplement, the following rules apply:

(1) The agent has an officially established weekly regular tour of duty generally consisting of five 9-hour workdays (an 8-hour basic workday and 1 regularly scheduled overtime hour);

(2) The agent's 8-hour basic workday (regular time) may be interrupted by an unpaid off-duty meal break;

(3) The obligation to perform 1 hour of overtime work on a day including part of the agent's regular tour of duty does not apply if the agent performs no work during regular time on that day, subject to paragraph (e) of this section;

(4) As compensation for regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty, the agent receives an overtime supplement equal to 12.5 percent of the agent's hourly rate of basic pay times the number of paid hours of regular time for the agent in the pay period (subject to the premium cap in §§ 550.105 and 550.107 and the restriction in § 550.1626(a)(5)), and no additional compensation or compensatory time off may be provided for such overtime hours;

(5) For any additional regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty, the agent is entitled to overtime pay as provided in § 550.1624, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626;

(6) For any irregular overtime hours, the agent is entitled to be credited with compensatory time off as provided in § 550.1625, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626;

(7) The agent must be charged corresponding amounts of paid leave, compensatory time off, other paid time off, or time in nonpay status for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent from duty during regular time, as provided in § 550.1634, except as otherwise provided in § 550.1626(a); and

(8) If the agent is absent during regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty that the agent is obligated to work, the agent accrues an obligation to perform other overtime work for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent, and such obligation must be satisfied as provided in § 550.1626.

(c) Basic regular tour of duty. For an agent with a Basic regular tour of duty that includes no scheduled overtime hours and provides no overtime supplement, the following rules apply:

(1) The agent has an officially established weekly regular tour of duty generally consisting of five 8-hour basic workdays;

(2) The agent's 8-hour basic workday (regular time) may be interrupted by an unpaid off-duty meal break;

(3) For any regularly scheduled overtime hours, the agent is entitled to overtime pay as provided in § 550.1624, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626;

(4) For any irregular overtime hours, the agent is entitled to be credited with compensatory time off as provided in § 550.1625, except as otherwise provided by § 550.1626; and

(5) The agent must be charged corresponding amounts of paid leave, compensatory time off, other paid time off, or time in nonpay status for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent from duty during regular time, as provided in § 550.1634, except as otherwise provided in § 550.1626(a).

(d) Effect of premium pay cap. If a premium pay cap established under 5 U.S.C. 5547 and §§ 550.105 and 550.107 limits payment of an overtime supplement or regularly scheduled overtime pay, or limits crediting of compensatory time off, the affected agent is still required to perform assigned overtime work.

(e) Meaning of “work”. In applying paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3) of this section, the term “work” refers to paid hours of work, consistent with § 550.112, except that paid leave and other paid time off when an agent is excused from duty are not considered to be work hours. Official time under 5 U.S.C. 7131 during regular time is considered to be paid hours of “work” during the time an employee otherwise would be in a duty status.

§ 550.1622 Circumstances requiring special treatment.

(a) General. The rules in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section provide for special treatment based on specified circumstances and apply notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart.

(b) Advanced training. (1) During the first 60 days of advanced training in a calendar year, an agent's assigned regular tour of duty must be considered to continue and the agent must be deemed to have worked during any nonwork period within obligated overtime hours for the purpose of determining the agent's total hours to be compared to the applicable overtime threshold (as provided in § 550.1623(a)(2)(iv)), except as provided under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) If an agent, during the period covered by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, performs creditable overtime work outside the agent's regular tour of duty on a day when the agent performed less than the required amount of obligated overtime work, the overtime work outside the regular tour of duty must be applied towards the obligated overtime hours, as provided in § 550.1626(b). After any such substitution, CBP must credit the agent with hours of work for any remaining nonwork time during obligated overtime hours on the same day for the purpose of determining the agent's total hours to be compared to the applicable overtime threshold. For example, if an agent performs 2 creditable hours of regularly scheduled overtime work outside the agent's Level 1 regular tour of duty on a training day when the agent performed half an hour of work during the 2 hours of obligated overtime, CBP would substitute 1.5 hours of regularly scheduled overtime outside the regular tour of duty for 1.5 hours of obligated overtime when no work was performed. CBP would not provide the agent with any credit for nonwork hours under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, since the 0.5 hours of actual work plus the 1.5 substituted hours account for the entire 2-hour period. The agent would be paid for the unsubstituted half hour of creditable regularly scheduled overtime work under § 550.1624.

(3) For days of advanced training in excess of 60 days in a calendar year, an agent must be assigned a Basic regular tour of duty and be treated accordingly. If this results in a hybrid pay period in which an agent has two types of regular tours of duty within the same biweekly pay period, CBP must determine the number of overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty as provided in § 550.1623(c). For an agent who is assigned a Basic regular tour of duty during advanced training under this paragraph, CBP must change the agent's regular tour of duty to the type in effect before the Basic tour was assigned when the agent is no longer participating in advanced training.

(4) Paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section apply solely to advanced training that is provided in whole-workday increments (i.e., covering an entire 8-hour basic workday).

(c) Canine care. For an agent assigned to provide care for a canine and assigned to the Level 1 regular tour of duty border patrol rate of pay, the combined sum of basic pay plus the 25 percent overtime supplement is considered to provide compensation for all canine care. Such an agent must be credited with 1 hour of regularly scheduled overtime work as part of the regular tour of duty on each day containing a part of that tour, without regard to the actual duration of such care or the time and day when such care was actually provided. That leaves the agent with an additional obligation to perform 1 other hour of regularly scheduled overtime work as part of the agent's regular tour of duty on any day containing a part of the employee's tour, if the agent performs work during regular time on that day and thus has obligated overtime hours. An agent may receive no other compensation or compensatory time off for hours of canine care beyond what is specifically provided under this paragraph. If an agent is generally assigned to provide care for a canine, but is temporarily relieved of that duty for any reason (e.g., no dog available), the agent may not receive the 1-hour credit for canine care on a day when the agent is relieved from providing canine care.

§ 550.1623 Overtime work outside the regular tour of duty.

(a) General. (1) For the purpose of determining hours of overtime work outside an agent's regular tour of duty in order to apply §§ 550.1624, 550.1625, and 550.1626, CBP must apply the applicable biweekly overtime threshold prescribed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. An agent's total hours of work (as determined under paragraph (a)(2) of this section) must be compared to the applicable threshold, and hours in excess of that threshold are overtime hours in applying §§ 550.1624, 550.1625, and 550.1626. The 8-hour daily and 40-hour weekly overtime thresholds under 5 U.S.C. 5542(a) and § 550.111 are not applicable to agents.

(2) An agent's total hours of work in a pay period for the purpose of applying applicable overtime thresholds is equal to the sum of:

(i) Time determined to be hours of work in duty status (regular time or overtime), subject to this subpart, 5 U.S.C. 4109 and 5 CFR 410.402 (related to training periods), and 5 U.S.C. 5542(b) and § 550.112 (establishing general rules), except that paragraphs (d) and (e) of § 550.112 are superseded by § 550.1626;

(ii) Paid leave or other paid time off during a period of nonduty status within an agent's regular time;

(iii) Obligated overtime hours during which no work is performed (creating a debt of hours) and for which no substitution is made under § 550.1626(b);

(iv) Nonwork hours deemed to be hours of work during obligated overtime hours on a day of advanced training under § 550.1622(b); and

(v) Overtime hours normally scheduled within an agent's regular tour of duty that an agent is not obligated to work because the agent performs no work during regular time on that day (as provided in paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3) of § 550.1621).

(b) Overtime thresholds for standard tours. (1) The applicable biweekly overtime threshold prescribed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section applies during a pay period to an agent whose regular tour of duty is fixed at one of the three standard tours for the entire pay period.

(2) For an agent covered by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the threshold used to determine whether an agent has performed overtime work outside the regular tour of duty in a given pay period is—

(1) 100 hours for a Level 1 regular tour of duty;

(2) 90 hours for a Level 2 regular tour of duty; or

(3) 80 hours for a Basic regular tour of duty.

(c) Overtime threshold for hybrid pay period. (1) For a hybrid pay period in which an agent has one type of regular tour of duty in effect for one part of the period and another type for another part of the period, the threshold used to determine whether an agent has performed overtime work outside the regular tour of duty in a given pay period is equal to the sum of the regular time hours (paid or unpaid) and the number of normally scheduled overtime hours within a regular tour of duty (whether obligated or not and whether worked or not) in the pay period. For example, if an agent has a Level 1 regular tour of duty in the first week of a pay period and a Level 2 regular tour of duty in the second week, the agent's regular time hours would be 40 in the first week and 40 in the second week and the normally scheduled overtime hours within a regular tour of duty would be 10 (5 days times 2 hours each day) in the first week and 5 (5 days times 1 hour each day) in second week, resulting in an biweekly overtime threshold of 95 hours.

(2) For a hybrid pay period in which an individual is employed as a Border Patrol agent for only part of the pay period, the threshold used to determine whether an agent has performed overtime work outside the regular tour of duty in a given pay period is equal to the sum of the paid regular time hours (paid or unpaid) and the number of normally scheduled overtime hours within a regular tour of duty (whether obligated or not and whether worked or not) during the portion of the pay period the individual was employed as an agent. For example, if an individual is employed as an agent only during the second week of a pay period and has a Level 1 regular tour of duty, the overtime threshold would be 50 hours in determining whether the agent has overtime hours in that week that are compensable under §§ 550.1624 through 550.1626.

§ 550.1624 Regularly scheduled overtime outside the regular tour of duty.

(a) Coverage. Any regularly scheduled overtime hours outside an agent's regular tour of duty, as specified in § 550.1623, are covered by this section, except that such hours are excluded from coverage under this section when required by the superseding provisions in § 550.1626.

(b) Rates. Agents receive overtime pay at the rates specified under 5 U.S.C. 5542(a) and § 550.113 for regularly scheduled overtime hours covered by paragraph (a) of this section, subject to the premium pay limitation established under 5 U.S.C. 5547 and §§ 550.105 and 550.107. An agent's rate of basic pay (without any overtime supplement) is used in computing overtime pay for such hours.

(c) Avoiding additional regularly scheduled overtime. (1) As required by section 2(c)(2) of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-277), CBP must, to the maximum extent practicable, avoid the use of regularly scheduled overtime work by agents outside of the regular tour of duty.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(1) of this section, CBP may allow use of regularly scheduled overtime work outside an agent's regular tour of duty if an agent volunteers to perform such overtime (e.g., to reduce an overtime hours debt).

§ 550.1625 Irregular overtime and compensatory time off.

(a) Coverage. An agent is entitled to compensatory time off as provided in this section for irregular overtime hours outside an agent's regular tour of duty, as specified in § 550.1623, except that such hours are excluded from coverage under this section (except paragraph (c) of this section) when required by the superseding provisions in § 550.1626. The compensatory time off provisions in 5 U.S.C. 5543 and 5 CFR 550.114 are not applicable to an agent.

(b) Earning on an hour-for-hour basis for irregular overtime. Subject to the limitations specified in this section and the superseding provisions in § 550.1626, an agent must receive compensatory time off for an equal amount of time spent performing irregular overtime work.

(c) Call-back overtime work. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5542(b)(1) and § 550.112(h), an agent must be deemed to have performed 2 hours of irregular overtime work for a lesser amount of irregular overtime work if—

(1) An agent is required perform such work on a day when the agent was not scheduled to work; or

(2) An agent is required to return to the agent's place of employment to perform such work.

(d) Earning limited by premium pay cap. An agent may not be credited with earning compensatory time off if the value of such time off would cause the sum of the agent's basic pay and premium pay in the given pay period to exceed the limitation established under 5 U.S.C. 5547 and §§ 550.105 and 550.107 in the period in which it was earned. The dollar value of compensatory time for the purpose of this paragraph is the amount of overtime pay the agent would have received for the period during which compensatory time off was earned if the overtime had been regularly scheduled outside the agent's regular tour of duty.

(e) Pay period limit. (1) An agent may not earn more than 10 hours of compensatory time off during any pay period unless—

(i) CBP, as it determines appropriate, approves in writing a waiver of the 10-hour limit; and

(ii) Such waiver approval is executed in advance of the performance of any work for which compensatory time off is earned.

(2) If a waiver of the 10-hour limit described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section is not granted, the agent involved may not be ordered to perform the associated overtime work.

(f) Annual period limit. An agent may not earn more than 240 hours of compensatory time off during an annual period.

(g) Usage. (1) An agent may use compensatory time off by being excused from duty during regular time (in an amount equal to the compensatory time being used) during the agent's basic workweek.

(2) An agent's balance of unused compensatory time off is used to satisfy an overtime hours debt, as provided in § 550.1626(c)(1).

(h) Time limit for usage and forfeiture. An agent must use any hours of compensatory time off not later than the end of the 26th pay period after the pay period during which the compensatory time off was earned. Any compensatory time off not used within that time limit, or prior to separation from an agent position, is forfeited and not available for any purpose, regardless of the circumstances. An agent may not receive any cash value for unused compensatory time off. An agent may not receive credit towards the computation of the agent's retirement annuity for unused compensatory time off.

§ 550.1626 Leave without pay during regular time and absences during obligated overtime hours.

(a) Substitution for leave without pay during regular time. (1) For any period of leave without pay during an agent's regular time (basic workweek), an equal period of work outside the agent's regular time in the same pay period must be substituted to the extent such work was performed. Any time substituted for leave without pay must be treated for all pay computation purposes as if it were regular time (except as provided in paragraph (a)(5) of this section) and may not be considered an overtime hour of work for any purpose, including §§ 550.1621(a)(4) and (b)(4), 550.1624, and 550.1625.

(2) Hours of work must be substituted for regular time work under paragraph (a)(1) of this section before being substituted for regularly scheduled overtime within the agent's regular tour of duty under paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) Hours used for substitution under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be substituted in the following priority order: First, irregular overtime hours; second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty; and third, regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty.

(4) The substitution of overtime hours for leave without pay is solely for pay computation purposes. The substitution does not change the hours of an agent's basic workweek or the fact that the agent was in a particular type of nonpay status during those hours. The hours that are substituted are considered to have been performed when they were worked, not during the leave without pay hours for which they are substituted. For example, if an agent performs 4 hours of overtime work outside the agent's regular tour of duty during the first week of a pay period and then is placed in leave without pay during the second week due to a shutdown furlough caused by a lapse in appropriations, the 4 hours may be substituted for furlough hours for the purpose of computing pay owed the agent for the week before the furlough began.

(5) If overtime hours are substituted for an absence without approval (AWOL) or a suspension, the basic pay for such substituted hours may not be used in computing an agent's overtime supplement.

(b) Substitution for absences during obligated overtime hours within the regular tour of duty. (1) For a period of absence during obligated overtime hours within an agent's regular tour of duty, an equal period of work outside the agent's regular tour of duty in the same pay period must be substituted to the extent such work was performed. Any time so substituted must be treated for all pay computation purposes as if it were obligated overtime work and may not be considered an overtime hour of work for any other purpose, including §§ 550.1624 and 550.1625.

(2) In substituting hours of work under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, work performed on the same day as the period of absence must be substituted first in circumstances described in § 550.1622(b)(2). Hours substituted under this paragraph must be substituted in the following priority order: First, irregular overtime hours; and second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty.

(3) After substituting hours under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, any remaining hours used for substitution under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must be substituted in the following priority order: First, irregular overtime hours; and second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty.

(4) The substitution of overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty for obligated overtime hours not worked is solely for pay computation purposes. The substitution does not change the hours of an agent's regular tour of duty. The hours that are substituted are considered to have been performed when they were worked, not during the obligated overtime hours for which they are substituted.

(c) Application of compensatory time off or future overtime work to offset overtime hours debt. (1) If a Border Patrol agent does not have sufficient additional work in a pay period to substitute for all periods of absence during obligated overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty for that pay period, any unused balance of compensatory time off hours previously earned under § 550.1625 must be applied towards the newly accrued overtime hours debt.

(2) If an agent has a remaining overtime hours debt after applying paragraphs (b) and (c)(1) of this section, any additional overtime work outside the agent's regular tour of duty in subsequent pay periods that would otherwise be credited under §§ 550.1624 or section 550.1625 must be applied towards the overtime hours debt until that debt is satisfied. The application of such hours must be done in the following priority order: First, irregular overtime hours; and second, regularly scheduled overtime hours outside the regular tour of duty. Any overtime hour applied under this paragraph (c)(2) may not be considered an overtime hour of work for any other purpose.

(d) Unsatisfied overtime hours debt at transfer or separation. Any unsatisfied overtime hours debt that exists at the time of transfer to a non-agent position or separation from Federal service must be converted to a monetary debt equal to the result of multiplying the agent's hourly rate of basic pay at the time of separation or transfer by the number of hours in the overtime hours debt. CBP must follow standard debt collection procedures to recover any debt.

Relationship to Other Provisions
§ 550.1631 Other types of premium pay.

(a) An agent may not receive premium pay for night, Sunday, or holiday work for hours of regularly scheduled overtime work within the agent's regular tour of duty.

(b) An agent may receive premium pay for night, Sunday, or holiday work, as applicable, for hours not covered by paragraph (a) of this section, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5545(a) and (b) and section 5546 and corresponding regulations, except that section 5546(d) does not apply. (Contrary to section 5546(d), for an agent, pay for overtime work on a Sunday or holiday is determined under 5 U.S.C. 5542(g), not under section 5546(d).) The agent's rate of basic pay (without any overtime supplement) must be used in computing such premium payments.

(c) An agent may not be paid standby duty premium pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) or administratively uncontrollable overtime pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(2).

§ 550.1632 Hazardous duty pay.

An agent is eligible for hazardous duty pay, subject to the requirements in 5 U.S.C. 5545(d) and subpart I of this part. The agent's rate of basic pay (without any overtime supplement) must be used in computing any hazardous duty pay.

§ 550.1633 Treatment of overtime supplement as basic pay.

Regularly scheduled overtime pay with an agent's regular tour of duty is treated as part of basic pay or basic salary only for the following purposes:

(a) 5 U.S.C. 5524a and 5 CFR part 550, subpart B, pertaining to advances in pay;

(b) 5 U.S.C. 5595(c) and 5 CFR part 550, subpart G, pertaining to severance pay;

(c) 5 U.S.C. 8114(e), pertaining to workers' compensation;

(d) 5 U.S.C. 8331(3) and 5 U.S.C. 8401(4) and related provisions that rely on the definition in those paragraphs, pertaining to retirement benefits;

(e) Subchapter III of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, pertaining to the Thrift Savings Plan;

(f) 5 U.S.C. 8704(c), pertaining to life insurance; and

(g) For any other purposes explicitly provided for by law or as the Office of Personnel Management may prescribe by other regulation.

§ 550.1634 Leave and other paid time off.

(a) An agent is subject to the rules governing leave accrual and usage under 5 U.S.C. chapter 63 on the same basis as other employees. The tour of duty for leave accrual and usage purposes is the basic workweek, which excludes regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty established under this subpart. The agent must be charged corresponding amounts of leave for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent from duty during regular time (except that full days off for military leave must be charged when required).

(b) An agent is subject to the normally applicable rules governing other types of paid time off (such as holiday time off under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, compensatory time off for religious observances under subpart J of this part, or compensatory time off for travel under subpart N of this part) on the same basis as other covered employees. The tour of duty used in applying those rules is the basic workweek, which excludes regularly scheduled overtime hours within the regular tour of duty established under this subpart. The agent must be charged corresponding amounts of paid time off for each hour (or part thereof) the agent is absent from duty during regular time.

(c) In computing a lump-sum annual leave payment under 5 U.S.C. 5551-5552, an overtime supplement for an agent's regularly scheduled overtime hours within the agent's regular tour of duty is included, as provided in § 550.1205(b)(5)(iv).

§ 550.1635 Alternative work schedule.

An agent may not have a flexible or compressed work schedule under 5 U.S.C. chapter 61, subchapter II. The regular tour of duty established under this subpart is a special work schedule established under 5 U.S.C. 5550. CBP may allow flexible starting and stopping times for an agent's basic workday if it determines such flexibility is appropriate for the position in question.

§ 550.1636 Exemption from Fair Labor Standards Act.

The minimum wage and the hours of work and overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act do not apply to Border Patrol agents. (See also 5 CFR 551.217.)

§ 550.1637 Travel time.

(a) A Border Patrol agent's travel time to and from home and the agent's regular duty station (or to an alternative work location within the limits of the agent's official duty station, as defined in § 550.112(j)) may not be considered hours of work under any provision of law.

(b) Official travel time away from an agent's official duty station may be creditable hours of work as provided in § 550.112(g). When an agent travels directly between home and a temporary duty location outside the limits of the agent's official duty station (as defined in § 550.112(j)), the time the agent would have spent in normal home to work travel must be deducted from any creditable hours of work while traveling.

§ 550.1638 Official Time.

An agent who uses official time under 5 U.S.C. 7131 may be assigned to a Level 1 or Level 2 regular tour of duty, but is required to perform agency work during obligated overtime hours or to accrue an overtime hours debt. Official time may be used during overtime hours only when an event arises incident to representational functions that must be dealt with during the overtime hours. If CBP determines that an agent's official time duties during the basic workday make it impracticable to perform agency work during the scheduled obligated overtime hours, CBP must provide the agent with an opportunity to eliminate any overtime hours debt by working at another time. As provided in § 550.1621(e), official time during regular time is considered to be “work” when an agent otherwise would be in an duty status in applying paragraphs (a)(3) and (b)(3) of § 550.1621.

PART 551—PAY ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT 18. The authority citation for part 551 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 5542(c); Sec. 4(f) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended by Pub. L. 93-259, 88 Stat. 55 (29 U.S.C. 204f).

19. In § 551.216, revise paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows: Subpart B—Exemptions and Exclusions
§ 551.216 Law enforcement activities and 7(k) coverage for FLSA pay and exemption determinations.

(c) * * *

(2) Employees whose primary duties involve patrol and control functions performed for the purpose of detecting and apprehending persons suspected of violating criminal laws;

20. Add § 551.217 to subpart B to read as follows:
§ 551.217 Exemption of Border Patrol agents.

A Border Patrol agent (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 5550(a)(2) and 5 CFR 550.1603) is exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act.

PART 870—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM 21. The authority citation for part 870 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 8704(c), 8716; Subpart J also issued under section 599C of Pub. L. 101-513, 104 Stat. 2064, as amended; Sec. 870.302(a)(3)(ii) also issued under section 153 of Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321; Sec. 870.302(a)(3) also issued under sections 11202(f), 11232(e), and 11246(b) and (c) of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 251, and section 7(e) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2419; Sec. 870.302(a)(3) also issued under section 145 of Pub. L. 106-522, 114 Stat. 2472; Secs. 870.302(b)(8), 870.601(a), and 870.602(b) also issued under Pub. L. 110-279, 122 Stat. 2604; Subpart E also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8702(c); Sec. 870.601(d)(3) also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8706(d); Sec. 870.703(e)(1) also issued under section 502 of Pub. L. 110-177, 121 Stat. 2542; Sec. 870.705 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8714b(c) and 8714c(c); Pub. L. 104-106, 110 Stat. 521.

Subpart B—Types and Amount of Insurance 22. In § 870.204, amend paragraph (a)(2) by removing the word “and” from the end of paragraph (x), removing the period at the end of paragraph (xi) and adding in its place “; and”, and adding a new paragraph (xii) to read as follows:
§ 870.204 Annual rates of pay.

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(xii) An overtime supplement for regularly scheduled overtime within a Border Patrol agent's regular tour of duty under 5 U.S.C. 5550 (as required by 5 U.S.C. 5550(d)).

[FR Doc. 2015-14809 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-39-P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50 [NRC-2014-0161] RIN 3150-AJ43 Financial Qualifications for Reactor Licensing AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Draft regulatory basis; public meeting and request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is soliciting public comment on a draft regulatory basis for a proposed rulemaking to amend the current financial qualification requirements of “reasonable assurance” to the review standard of “appears to be financially qualified.” The NRC plans to hold a public meeting to promote full understanding of this regulatory basis and facilitate public comment.

DATES:

Submit comments by August 3, 2015. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is only able to ensure consideration of comments received on or before this date.

In addition to providing this opportunity to submit written (and electronic) comments, the NRC plans to hold a public meeting to discuss the draft regulatory basis for the proposed rulemaking on July 8, 2015. See Section V, “Public Meeting,” of this document for additional information regarding the public meeting.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0161. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Yanely Malave, telephone: 301-415-1519, email: [email protected]; or Carolyn Lauron, telephone: 301-415-2736, email: [email protected]; both of the Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0161 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0161.

NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The draft regulatory basis is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML14324A706.

NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2014-0161 in the subject line of your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

The NRC is requesting comments on a draft regulatory basis to support a proposed rulemaking on financial qualifications for reactor licensing. The regulatory basis explains, in part, why the existing regulations should be updated. It also discusses cost and other impacts of the potential changes.

The specific objective of this proposed rulemaking would be to amend the current financial qualification requirements of “reasonable assurance” under 10 CFR part 50 to conform to the 10 CFR part 70 review standard of “appears to be financially qualified.” Specifically, the proposed rulemaking will remove the detailed requirements found in Appendix C of 10 CFR Part 50 and amend 10 CFR 50.33(f) to remove the requirement for a power reactor applicant to demonstrate that it possesses or can provide reasonable assurance of obtaining the funds necessary for construction and operation. In this proposed rulemaking, the applicant would be required to submit a plan describing how it will proceed to finance the construction and operation of the facility. The plan would ensure that the applicant has both a well-articulated understanding of the size of the project it is undertaking and the financial capacity to obtain the necessary financing before beginning reactor construction.

The proposed rulemaking would permit the NRC to issue licenses with conditions to applicants that may have insufficient (or no) funding at the outset of the license application review. The license conditions would be sufficient and specific to permit a simple, ministerial kind of review to ensure that the applicant's plan is executed before beginning reactor construction.

III. Specific Requests for Comments

The NRC requests that stakeholders consider the questions in Enclosure 2 of the draft regulatory basis. The questions, identified during development of the draft regulatory basis, cover the scope, objectives, implementation, and cost of a proposed rulemaking based on this regulatory basis.

IV. Cumulative Effects of Regulation

The Cumulative Effects of Regulation (CER) describes the challenges that licensees, or other impacted entities (such as State agency partners) may face while implementing new regulatory positions, programs, and requirements (e.g., rules, generic letters, backfits, inspections). The CER is an organizational effectiveness challenge that results from a licensee or impacted entity implementing a number of complex positions, programs or requirements within a limited implementation period and with available resources (which may include limited available expertise to address a specific issue). The NRC has implemented CER enhancements to the rulemaking process to facilitate public involvement throughout the rulemaking process. Therefore, the NRC is specifically requesting comment on the cumulative effects that may result from this proposed rulemaking. In developing comments on the draft regulatory basis, consider the following questions:

(1) In light of any current or projected CER challenges, what should be a reasonable effective date, compliance date, or submittal date(s) from the time the final rule is published to the actual implementation of any new proposed requirements including changes to programs, procedures, or the facility?

(2) If current or projected CER challenges exist, what should be done to address this situation (e.g., if more time is required to implement the new requirements, what period of time would be sufficient, and why such a time frame is necessary)?

(3) Do other regulatory actions (e.g., orders, generic communications, license amendment requests, and inspection findings of a generic nature) by NRC or other agencies influence the implementation of the potential proposed requirements?

(4) Are there unintended consequences? Does the potential proposed action create conditions that would be contrary to the potential proposed action's purpose and objectives? If so, what are the consequences and how should they be addressed?

(5) Please provide information on the costs and benefits of the potential proposed action. This information will be used to support any regulatory analysis by the NRC.

V. Public Meeting

A public meeting will be held on July 8, 2015, from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at the NRC Headquarters, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, Room O-4B6.

The purpose of the public meeting is to promote full understanding of this regulatory basis for the proposed rulemaking and to facilitate public comment. The NRC will not be accepting verbal or written comments at the public meeting. All comments must be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

Stakeholders should monitor the NRC's public meeting Web site for information about the public meeting at http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm.

VI. Plain Writing

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on this document with respect to the clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June, 2015.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Mark Tonacci, Acting Director, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2015-14907 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1658; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-18-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B engine oil loss. This proposed AD would require removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 17, 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 General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected] You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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-2015-1658; 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:

Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; 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-2015-1658; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-18-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 propose to adopt a new AD for all GE GEnx-1B turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by multiple reports of engine oil loss and resultant flight plan diversions. The root cause of the engine oil loss is a non-conforming ball valve in the secondary seal of the oil filler cap. The non-conforming ball valve may prevent correct sealing and lead to oil leakage. This proposed AD would require removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap. This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

Related Service Information

We reviewed GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) No. 79-0022, Revision 1, dated May 13, 2015. The SB describes procedures for removing and replacing the ball valve in the oil filler cap.

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 removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 86 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We estimate that replacement parts would cost $11 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $8,256.

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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

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): General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-1658; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-18-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 17, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B model turbofan engines with oil filler cap, part number (P/N) 2349M62G01, installed, that does not contain any of the following markings after the P/N on the oil filler cap: “P/M BALL PP”, or “RW”, or “79-0022”.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B engine oil loss. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Within 360 cycles in service after the effective date of this AD, remove the ball valve, P/N 2349M68P01, from affected oil filler cap and replace with a part eligible for installation.

(2) Reserved.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

(g) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected]

(2) GE GEnx-1B SB No. 79-0022, Revision 1, dated May 13, 2015 can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (g)(3) of this proposed AD.

(3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: [email protected]

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

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on June 4, 2015. Robert J. Ganley, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-14695 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 774 [Docket No. 120105019-5328-01] RIN 0694-AF52 Commerce Control List: Addition of Items Determined to No Longer Warrant Control Under United States Munitions List Category XIV (Toxicological Agents) or Category XVIII (Directed Energy Weapons) AGENCY:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

This proposed rule describes how articles the President determines no longer warrant control under Category XIV (Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment) or Category XVIII (Directed Energy Weapons) of the United States Munitions List (USML) would be controlled under the Commerce Control List (CCL). The affected Category XIV articles consist primarily of dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles and would be controlled under new Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607, and 1E607, as proposed by this rule. The affected Category XVIII articles consist primarily of tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles and would be controlled under new ECCNs 6B619, 6D619 and 6E619, as proposed by this rule.

This rule is one in a series of proposed rules describing how various types of articles that the President determines no longer warrant control on the USML, as part of the Administration's Export Control Reform Initiative, would be controlled on the CCL in accordance with the requirements of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

This proposed rule is being published by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in conjunction with a proposed rule from the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, which would amend the list of articles controlled by USML Categories XIV and XVIII. The citations in this BIS proposed rule to USML Categories XIV and XVIII reflect the proposed amendments contained in the Department of State's rule. The revisions proposed by BIS in this rule are part of Commerce's retrospective regulatory review plan under Executive Order 13563 completed in August 2011.

DATES:

Comments must be received by August 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The identification number for this rulemaking is BIS-2015-0023.

• By email directly to [email protected] Include RIN 0694-AF52 in the subject line.

• By mail or delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Refer to RIN 0694-AF52.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For questions regarding dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles that would be controlled under new ECCNs 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607, and 1E607, 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]

For questions regarding tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment” and test models that would be controlled under new ECCNs 6B619, 6D619 and 6E619, contact Mark Jaso, Sensors and Aviation Division, Office of National Security & Technology Transfer Controls, Bureau of Industry and Security, telephone: (202) 482-0987, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

This proposed rule is published by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) as part of the Administration's Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative, the object of which is to protect and enhance U.S. national security interests. The implementation of the ECR includes amendment of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and its U.S. Munitions List (USML), so that they control only those items that provide the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage or otherwise warrant such controls, and amendment of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to control military items that do not warrant USML controls. This series of amendments to the ITAR and the EAR will reform the U.S. export control system to enhance our national security by: (i) improving the interoperability of U.S. military forces with allied countries; (ii) strengthening the U.S. industrial base by, among other things, reducing incentives for foreign manufacturers to design out and avoid U.S.-origin content and services; and (iii) allowing export control officials to focus government resources on transactions that pose greater national security, foreign policy, or proliferation concerns than those involving our NATO allies and other multi-regime partners.

Following the structure set forth in the final rule titled “Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations: Initial Implementation of Export Control Reform” (78 FR 22660, April 16, 2013) (hereinafter the “April 16 (initial implementation) rule”), this proposed rule describes BIS's proposal for controlling under the EAR's CCL certain dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles currently controlled under USML Category XIV in the ITAR and certain tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles currently controlled under USML Category XVIII of the ITAR.

In the April 16 (initial implementation) rule, BIS created a series of new ECCNs to control items that would be removed from the USML and similar items from the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies Munitions List (Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List or WAML) that were already controlled elsewhere on the CCL. That final rule referred to this series of new ECCNs as the “600 series,” because the third character in each of these new ECCNs is the number “6.” The first two characters of the “600 series” ECCNs serve the same function as any other ECCN as described in § 738.2 of the EAR. The first character is a number, within the range of 0 through 9, that identifies the Category on the CCL in which the ECCN is located. The second character is a letter, within the range of A through E, that identifies the product group in a CCL Category. As indicated above, the third character in the “600 series” ECCNs is the number “6,” which distinguishes the items controlled under this series of ECCNs from items identified under other ECCNs on the CCL. With few exceptions, the final two characters identify the WAML category that covers items that are the same or similar to items in a particular “600 series” ECCN.

Pursuant to section 38(f) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the President is obligated to review the USML “to determine what items, if any, no longer warrant export controls under” the AECA. The President must report the results of the review to Congress and wait 30 days before removing any such items from the USML. The report must “describe the nature of any controls to be imposed on that item under any other provision of law.” 22 U.S. C. 2778(f)(1).

The changes proposed in this rule and the State Department's companion rule to Categories XIV and XVIII of the USML are based on a review of these USML Categories by the Defense Department, which worked with the Departments of State and Commerce in preparing the proposed amendments. The review focused on identifying the types of articles that are now controlled by USML Category XIV or Category XVIII that are either: (i) inherently military and otherwise warrant control on the USML; or (ii) of a type common to civil applications, possessing parameters or characteristics that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage to the United States, and are almost exclusively available from the United States. If an article was found to satisfy either or both of these criteria, the article remains on the USML. If an article was found not to satisfy either criterion, but is nonetheless a type of article that is “specially designed” for military applications, then, generally, it is identified in one of the new “600 series” ECCNs proposed by this rule.

All references to the USML in this rule are to the list of defense articles that are controlled for purposes of export, temporary import, or brokering pursuant to the ITAR, and not to the list of defense articles on the United States Munitions Import List (USMIL) that are controlled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for purposes of permanent import under its regulations at 27 CFR part 447. Pursuant to section 38(a)(1) of the AECA, all defense articles controlled for export or import, or that are subject to brokering controls, are part of the “USML” under the AECA. For the sake of clarity, references to the USMIL are to the list of defense articles controlled by ATF for purposes of permanent import. All defense articles described in the USMIL or the USML are subject to the brokering controls administered by the U.S. Department of State in part 129 of the ITAR. The transfer of defense articles from the ITAR's USML to the EAR's CCL, for purposes of export controls, does not affect the list of defense articles that are controlled on the USMIL under the AECA for purposes of permanent import or brokering controls.

On January 18, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13563, affirming general principles of regulation and directing government agencies to conduct retrospective reviews of existing regulations. The revisions proposed in this rule are part of Commerce's retrospective regulatory review plan under Executive Order 13563. Commerce's full plan, completed in August 2011, can be accessed at: http://open.commerce.gov/news/2011/08/23/commerce-plan-retrospective-analysis-existing-rules.

Changes Proposed by This Rule to Controls on Certain Dissemination, Detection and Protection “Equipment” and Related Items Currently Controlled Under USML Category XIV

This proposed rule would create five new “600 series” ECCNs in CCL Category 1 (ECCNs 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607, and 1E607) that would clarify the EAR controls that apply to certain dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related items the President determines no longer warrant control under USML Category XIV. Terms such as “part,” “component” “accessories,” “attachments,” and “specially designed” are applied in the same manner in this rule as those terms are defined in Section 772.1 of the EAR. In addition, to assist exporters in determining the control status of their items, a “Specially Designed” Decision Tool and a CCL Order of Review Decision Tool are available on the BIS Web site at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/decision-tree-tools.

New ECCN 1A607: Military dissemination “equipment” for riot control agents, military detection and protection “equipment” for toxicological agents (including chemical, biological, and riot control agents), and related commodities.

In proposed ECCN 1A607, paragraphs .a through .d, paragraph .i, and paragraphs .l through .w would be reserved. Paragraph .e of ECCN 1A607 would control “equipment” “specially designed” for military use and for the dissemination of any of the riot control agents controlled in ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .f of ECCN 1A607 would control protection “equipment” “specially designed” for military use and for defense against either materials controlled by USML Category XIV(a) or (b) or any of the riot control agents in new ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .g of ECCN 1A607 would control decontamination “equipment” not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that is “specially designed” for military use and for the decontamination of objects contaminated with materials controlled by USML Category XIV(a) or (b). Paragraph .h would control “equipment” not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that is “specially designed” for military use and for the detection or identification of either materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b) or riot control agents controlled by proposed new ECCN 1C607.a. Paragraph .j would control “equipment” “specially designed” to: (i) Interface with a detector, shelter, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft controlled by the USML or a “600 series” ECCN; and (ii) collect and process samples of articles controlled in USML Category XIV(a) or (b). Paragraph .k would control medical countermeasures that are “specially designed” for military use (including pre- and post- treatments, antidotes, and medical diagnostics) and “specially designed” to counter chemical agents controlled by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .x would control “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled under ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, .or .j or a defense article controlled in USML Category XIV(f) and that are not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML.

New ECCN 1B607: Military test, inspection, and production “equipment” and related commodities “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities identified in ECCN 1A607 or 1C607, or defense articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV.

In proposed ECCN 1B607, paragraph .a would control “equipment,” not including incinerators, that is “specially designed” for the destruction of chemical agents controlled by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .b of ECCN 1B607 would control test facilities and “equipment” that are “specially designed” for military certification, qualification, or testing of commodities controlled by new ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, or .j or by USML Category XIV(f), except for XIV(f)(1). Paragraph .c would control tooling and “equipment” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled under new ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, or .j or USML Category XIV(f). Paragraphs .d through .w would be reserved. Paragraph .x would control “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments,” not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML, that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled by ECCN 1B607.b or .c or for a defense article controlled by USML Category XIV(f).

New ECCN 1C607: Tear gases, riot control agents and materials for the detection and decontamination of chemical warfare agents.

Proposed ECCN 1C607.a would control specified tear gases and riot control agents. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1C607 would control “biopolymers” not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) that are “specially designed” or processed for the detection or identification of chemical warfare (CW) agents specified by USML Category XIV(a) and the cultures of specific cells used to produce them. Paragraph .c would control specified “biocatalysts” and biological systems that are not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) and are “specially designed” for the decontamination or degradation of CW agents specified by USML Category XIV(a). Paragraph .d would control chemical mixtures not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) that are “specially designed” for military use for the decontamination of objects contaminated with materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b).

New ECCN 1D607: “Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of items controlled by 1A607, 1B607 or 1C607.

Proposed ECCN 1D607.a would control “software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607 or 1C607. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1D607 would be reserved.

New ECCN 1E607: “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, or 1D607.

Proposed ECCN 1E607.a would control “technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, or 1D607. Paragraph .b of ECCN 1E607 would be reserved.

Changes Proposed by This Rule to Controls on Certain Tooling, Production “Equipment,” Test and Evaluation “Equipment” and Test Models Currently Controlled Under USML Category XVIII

This rule proposes to create three new “600 series” ECCNs in CCL Category 6 (ECCNs 6B619, 6D619 and 6E619) that would clarify the EAR controls that apply to certain tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles for Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) that the President determines no longer warrant control under USML Category XVIII. Terms such as “part,” “component” “accessories,” “attachments,” and “specially designed” are applied in the same manner in this rule as those terms are defined in Section 772.1 of the EAR. In addition, to assist exporters in determining the control status of their items, a “Specially Designed” Decision Tool and a CCL Order of Review Decision Tool are available on the BIS Web site at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/decision-tree-tools.

New ECCN 6B619: Test, inspection and production “equipment,” and related commodities, “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII.

Proposed ECCN 6B619.a would control tooling, templates, jigs, mandrels, molds, dies, fixtures, alignment mechanisms, and test “equipment” not enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII and not elsewhere specified on the USML that are “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled by USML Category XVIII. The commodities that would be controlled under proposed ECCN 6B619.a are used to produce directed energy weapons (including non-lethal directed energy weapons, such as active denial systems) and are similar to commodities that are in operation in a number of other countries, some of which are not allies of the United States or members of multinational export control regimes. Research and development is currently underway to determine the possible uses of such commodities (e.g., to protect the Earth from asteroids, or for perimeter security and crowd control). Possession of such commodities does not confer a significant military advantage on the United States and, therefore, the inclusion of such commodities on the CCL would be appropriate.

Paragraphs .b through .w of ECCN 6B619 would be reserved. Paragraph .x would control “parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” “specially designed” for a commodity subject to control under paragraph .a of this ECCN and not enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII and not elsewhere specified on the USML.

New ECCN 6D619: “Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation or maintenance of commodities controlled by 6B619.

Proposed ECCN 6D619 would control “software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation or maintenance of commodities controlled by ECCN 6B619. Inclusion of this “software” on the CCL would be appropriate, because it would be limited to “software” “specially designed” for ECCN 6B619 commodities and would not include any “software” for items specifically enumerated or otherwise described on the USML.

New ECCN 6E619: “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul or refurbishing of commodities controlled by 6B619 or “software” controlled by 6D619.

Proposed ECCN 6E619 would control “technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul or refurbishing of commodities controlled by ECCN 6B619, or “software” controlled by 6D619. Inclusion of this “technology” on the CCL would be appropriate, because it would be limited to “technology” “required” for ECCN 6B619 commodities and would not include any “technology” for items specifically enumerated or otherwise described on the USML.

Applicable Controls for the New “600 Series” ECCNs Proposed by This Rule.

Pursuant to the framework established in the April 16 (initial implementation) rule, detection and protection “equipment” and related commodities classified under ECCN 1A607; related test, inspection and production “equipment” classified under ECCN 1B607; tear gases, riot control agents and related commodities classified under ECCN 1C607 (except for items listed in ECCN 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, or a.14, all of which are specifically excluded from WAML Category 7 by Note 1 thereto); related “software” classified under ECCN 1D607 (except “software” for items listed in ECCN 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, or a.14); and related “technology” classified under ECCN 1E607 (except “technology” for items listed in ECCN 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, or a.14 and 1D607 “software” therefor) would be subject to the licensing policies that apply to items controlled for national security (NS) reasons, as described in § 742.4(b)(1)—specifically, NS Column 1 controls. The same level of NS controls and licensing policies also would apply to the items that would be controlled under the three new ECCNs (i.e., test, inspection, and production “equipment” classified under ECCN 6B619; related “software” classified under ECCN 6D619; and related “technology” classified under ECCN 6E619) that this rule proposes to add to Category 6 of the CCL. In addition, all of the items that would be controlled under the new ECCNs proposed by this rule would be subject to the regional stability (RS) licensing policies set forth in § 742.6(a)(1), i.e., RS Column 1, as well as antiterrorism (AT Column 1) and United Nations (UN) controls.

Also, in accordance with §§ 742.4(b)(1) and 742.6(b)(1) of the EAR, exports and reexports of “600 series” items controlled for NS or RS reasons will be reviewed consistent with United States arms embargo policies in § 126.1 of the ITAR, if destined to a country listed in Country Group D:5 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. All items controlled for NS or RS reasons, as set forth in this proposed rule, would be subject to this licensing policy.

Effects of This Proposed Rule

BIS believes that the principal effect of this rule, when considered in the context of similar proposed rules being published as part of the ECR, will be to provide greater flexibility for exports and reexports to NATO member countries and other multiple-regime-member countries of items the President determines no longer warrant control on the USML. This greater flexibility would be in the form of: application of the EAR's de minimis threshold principle for items constituting less than a de minimis amount of controlled U.S.-origin content in foreign made items; availability of license exceptions, particularly License Exceptions “Servicing and Replacement of Parts and Equipment” (RPL) and “Strategic Trade Authorization” (STA); elimination of the requirements for manufacturing license agreements and technical assistance agreements in connection with exports of technology; and a reduction in, or elimination of, exporter and manufacturer registration requirements and associated registration fees. Some of these specific effects are discussed in more detail below.

De minimis

The April 16 (initial implementation) rule imposed certain unique de minimis requirements on items controlled under the new “600 series” ECCNs. Section 734.3 of the EAR provides, inter alia, that, under certain conditions, items made outside the United States that incorporate items subject to the EAR are not subject to the EAR if they do not exceed a “de minimis” percentage of controlled U.S. origin content. Under Section 734.4 of the EAR, as amended by the April 16 (initial implementation) rule, there is no eligibility for de minimis treatment for a foreign-made item that incorporates U.S.-origin “600 series” items when the foreign-made item is destined for a country that is subject to a U.S. arms embargo, i.e., a country listed in Country Group D:5 of Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR. Items controlled under the new “600 series” ECCNs proposed in this rule would be eligible for de minimis treatment under the EAR, provided that the foreign-made items into which they are incorporated are not destined for a country listed in Country Group D:5. In contrast, the AECA does not permit the ITAR to have a de minimis treatment for USML-listed items, regardless of the significance or insignificance of the U.S.-origin content or the percentage of U.S.-origin content in the foreign-made item (i.e., USML-listed items remain subject to the ITAR when they are incorporated abroad into a foreign-made item, regardless of either of these factors).

Use of License Exceptions

The April 16 (initial implementation) rule imposed certain restrictions on the use of license exceptions for items controlled under “600 series” ECCNs on the CCL. The general restrictions that apply to the use of license exceptions for such items are described in § 740.2(a)(13) of the EAR. The EAR provisions that describe the requirements specific to individual license exceptions contain additional restrictions on the use of license exceptions for such items.

For example, this rule proposes limited License Exception STA availability for the new “600 series” ECCNs contained herein. None of the items that would be controlled under these proposed ECCNs would be eligible for the STA “controls of lesser sensitivity” described in § 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR. Instead, STA eligibility for all such items would be limited to the destinations listed in § 740.20(c)(1) of the EAR (i.e., Country Group A:5 destinations indicated in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR). In addition, such items must be for: (1) ultimate end-use by a person of a type specified in § 740.20(b)(3)(ii) of the EAR (i.e., the armed forces, police, paramilitary, law enforcement, customs, correctional, fire, or a search and rescue agency of a government of one of the countries listed in Country Group A:5 or the United States Government); or (2) the “development,” “production,” operation installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of an item, in one of the countries listed in Country Group A:5 or the United States, that will ultimately be used by any such government agencies, the United States Government, or by a person in the United States. The use of License Exception STA also may be authorized, under certain circumstances described in § 740.20(b)(3)(ii)(C), where the U.S. Government has otherwise authorized the ultimate end-use under a license.

None of the items that would be controlled under the new “600 series” ECCNs proposed by this rule would be treated as “end items” for purposes of License Exception STA and, therefore, such items would not be subject to the License Exception STA eligibility request requirements in § 740.20(g) of the EAR.

Items controlled under proposed new ECCN 1B607 or 6B619 also would be eligible for License Exception LVS (limited value shipments) up to a value of $1,500, TMP (temporary exports), and RPL (servicing and replacement parts). License Exceptions TMP and RPL also would be available for items controlled under new ECCN 1A607.

BIS believes that the restrictions that would apply to the use of license exceptions for the items in the proposed new “600 series” ECCNs would represent an overall reduction from the level of restrictions that currently apply to such items on the USML. This would be particularly true with respect to exports of such items to NATO members and multiple-regime member countries.

Alignment With the Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List

Since the beginning of ECR, the Administration has stated that the reforms will be consistent with the United States' obligations to the multilateral export control regimes. Accordingly, the Administration will, in this proposed rule, exercise its national discretion to implement, clarify, and, to the extent feasible, align its controls with those of the regimes. In this rule, proposed ECCNs 1A607 and 1C607 would implement, to the extent possible, the controls in WAML Category 7; proposed ECCNs 1B607 and 6B619 would implement, to the extent possible, the controls in WAML Category 18 for production “equipment;” proposed ECCNs 1D607 and 6D619 would implement, to the extent possible, the controls in WAML Category 21 for “software;” and proposed ECCNs 1E607 and 6E619 would implement, to the extent possible, the controls in WAML Category 22 for “technology.”

Request for Comments

BIS seeks comments on this proposed rule. BIS will consider all comments received on or before August 17, 2015. All comments (including any personally identifying information or information for which a claim of confidentially is asserted either in those comments or their transmittal emails) will be made available for public inspection and copying. Parties who wish to comment anonymously may do so by submitting their comments via Regulations.gov, leaving the fields that would identify the commenter blank and including no identifying information in the comment itself.

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, distribute 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 (OMB).

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor is 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 OMB control number. This proposed rule would affect the following approved collections: Simplified Network Application Processing System (control number 0694-0088), which includes, among other things, license applications; License Exceptions and Exclusions (0694-0137); recordkeeping (0694-0096); export clearance (0694-0122); and the Automated Export System (0607-0152).

As stated in the proposed rule published on July 15, 2011 (76 FR 41958) (the “July 15 proposed rule”), BIS initially estimated that the combined effect of all rules to be published, adding items to the EAR that would be removed from the ITAR as part of the Administration's Export Control Reform Initiative, would increase the number of license applications to be submitted to BIS by approximately 16,000 annually, resulting in an increase in burden hours of 5,067 (16,000 transactions at 17 minutes each) under control number 0694-0088. As the review of the USML has progressed, the interagency group has gained more specific information about the number of items that would come under BIS jurisdiction and whether those items would be eligible for export under license exception. As of June 21, 2012, BIS revised its estimate to reflect an increase in license applications of 30,000 annually, resulting in an increase in burden hours of 8,500 (30,000 transactions at 17 minutes each) under control number 0694-0088. BIS continues to believe that its revised estimate is accurate. Notwithstanding this increase in license applications under the EAR, the net burden that U.S. export controls impose on U.S. exporters is expected to go down, as described below, as a result of the transfer of less sensitive military items to the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, under the EAR, and the application of the license exceptions and other provisions in the EAR that are described in this proposed rule.

As proposed by this rule, certain dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles currently controlled under USML Category XIV in the ITAR and certain tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles currently controlled under USML Category XVIII of the ITAR would become subject to the licensing jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce under the EAR and its CCL, and also would be eligible for certain license exceptions, including License Exception STA. For example, items controlled under proposed ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, 1D607, 1E607, 6B619, 6D619, or 6E619 would become eligible under certain provisions of License Exception STA and would not need a determination of eligibility as described in § 740.20(g) of the EAR. BIS believes that the increased use of License Exception STA resulting from the combined effect of all rules to be published, adding items to the EAR that would be removed from the ITAR as part of the Administration's Export Control Reform Initiative, would increase the burden associated with control number 0694-0137 by about 23,858 hours (20,450 transactions at 1 hour and 10 minutes each).

BIS expects that this increase in burden hours under the EAR would be more than offset by a reduction in the burden hours associated with currently approved collections related to the ITAR. With few exceptions, most exports of the dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles and the tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles that this rule proposes to add to the CCL currently require State Department authorization, even when destined to NATO member states and other close allies. In addition, the exports of “technology” necessary to produce such items in the inventories of the United States and its NATO and other close allies currently require State Department authorization. Under the EAR, as proposed by this rule, such “technology” would become eligible for export to NATO member states and other close allies under License Exception STA, unless otherwise specifically excluded.

The anticipated reduction in burden hours would particularly impact exporters of “parts” and “components” that would no longer be subject to the ITAR, because, with few exceptions, the ITAR currently exempt from license requirements only exports to Canada. Most exports of such “parts” and “components,” even when destined to NATO and other close allies, currently require State Department authorization. Under the EAR, as proposed by this rule, a small number of low-level “parts” and “components” would not require a license to most destinations, while most other “parts” and “components” identified under the proposed new “600 series” ECCNs would be eligible for export to NATO and other close allies under License Exception STA.

Use of License Exception STA imposes a paperwork and compliance burden because, for example, exporters must furnish information about the item that is being exported to the consignee and obtain from the consignee an acknowledgement and commitment to comply with the requirements of the EAR. However, the Administration believes that complying with the requirements of STA is likely to be less burdensome than applying for licenses. For example, under License Exception STA, a single consignee statement can apply to an unlimited number of products, need not have an expiration date and need not be submitted to the government in advance for approval. Suppliers with regular customers can tailor a single statement and assurance to match their business relationship, rather than applying repeatedly for licenses with every purchase order, to supply allied and, in some cases, U.S. forces with routine replacement parts and components.

Even in situations in which a license would be required under the EAR, the burden likely will be reduced, compared to the current license requirement under the ITAR. In particular, license applications for exports of “technology” controlled by ECCN 1E607 or 6E619 are likely to be less complex and burdensome than the authorizations required to export ITAR-controlled “technology,” i.e., Manufacturing License Agreements and Technical Assistance Agreements.

3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined under E.O. 13132.

4. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., generally requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for any rule subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other statute, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Under section 605(b) of the RFA, however, if the head of an agency certifies that a rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the RFA does not require the agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis. Accordingly, pursuant to section 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, that this proposed rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rationale for this certification is as follows.

Number of Small Entities

Although BIS does not collect data on the size of entities that apply for, and are issued, export licenses and is, therefore, unable to estimate the exact number of small entities—as defined by the Small Business Administration's regulations implementing the RFA—BIS acknowledges that some small entities may be affected by this proposed rule.

Economic Impact

The amendments set forth in this rule are proposed as part of the Administration's ECR initiative, which seeks to revise the USML to be a positive control list—one that does not use generic, catch-all control text to describe items subject to the ITAR—and to move some items that the President has determined no longer warrant control under the ITAR to control under the EAR and its CCL. Such items, along with certain military items currently identified on the CCL (most of which are identified on the WAML), will be controlled under new “600 series” ECCNs on the CCL. In addition, certain other items currently on the CCL will move from existing ECCNs to the new “600 series” ECCNs.

This rule addresses certain dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” and related articles currently enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV (Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment) and certain tooling, production “equipment,” test and evaluation “equipment,” test models and related articles currently enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII (Directed Energy Weapons). Most toxicological agents (i.e., chemical and biological agents) and associated equipment and all Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) systems “specially designed” or modified for military applications, “equipment” “specially designed” or modified to detect, identify or defend against such systems, and “specially designed” “parts,” “components,” “accessories” and “attachments” for such systems or “equipment” would remain on the USML. However, many other “parts” and “components” would become subject to the EAR (as items described in ECCN 1A607.x, 1B607.x, or 6B619.x), unless specifically enumerated or otherwise described on the USML. Many of these “parts” and “components” are more likely, than the USML articles described above, to be produced by small businesses. In addition, officials of the Department of State have informed BIS that license applications for such “parts” and “components” represent a high percentage of the license applications for USML articles reviewed by that department. Changing the jurisdictional status of certain Category XIV and Category XVIII items would reduce the burden on small entities (and other entities as well) through: (i) elimination of some license requirements; (ii) greater availability of license exceptions; (iii) simpler license application procedures; and (iv) reduced or eliminated registration fees.

Moreover, “parts” and “components” that are controlled under the ITAR remain under ITAR control when incorporated into foreign-made items, regardless of the significance or insignificance of the item. This discourages foreign buyers from incorporating such U.S. content. The availability of de minimis treatment under the EAR, for those items that would no longer be controlled under the ITAR, may reduce the disincentive for foreign manufacturers to purchase U.S.-origin “parts” and “components,” a development that potentially would mean greater sales for U.S. suppliers, including small entities.

Many exports and reexports of the Category XIV or Category XVIII articles that would be added to the CCL by this rule (particularly, the “parts” and “components” that would be controlled under new ECCN 1A607.x, 1B607.x, or 6B619.x) would become eligible for license exceptions that apply to exports to U.S. Government agencies, exports of “parts” and “components” for use as replacement parts, temporary exports and limited value exports (for ECCN 1B607 and 6B619 items, only), as well as License Exception STA, thereby reducing the number of licenses that exporters of these items would need. License exceptions under the EAR would allow suppliers to send routine replacement parts and low level parts to NATO and other close allies and export control regime partners for use by those governments and for use by contractors building equipment for those governments or for the U.S. Government without having to obtain export licenses. Under License Exception STA, the exporter would need to furnish information about the item being exported to the consignee and obtain a statement from the consignee that, among other things, would commit the consignee to comply with the EAR and other applicable U.S. laws. Because such statements and obligations can apply to an unlimited number of transactions and have no expiration date, they would create a net reduction in burden on transactions that the government routinely approves through the license application process that the License Exception STA statements would replace.

Even for exports and reexports for which a license would be required, the process for obtaining a license would be simpler and less costly under the EAR. When a USML Category XIV or Category XVIII article is moved to the CCL, the number of destinations for which a license is required would remain unchanged. However, the burden on the license applicant would decrease because the licensing procedure for CCL items is simpler and more flexible than the licensing procedure for USML articles.

Under the USML licensing procedure, an applicant must include a purchase order or contract with its application. There is no such requirement under the CCL licensing procedure. This difference gives the CCL applicant at least two advantages. First, the applicant has a way to determine whether the U.S. Government will authorize the transaction before it enters into potentially lengthy, complex and expensive sales presentations or contract negotiations. Under the USML procedure, the applicant must caveat all sales presentations with a reference to the need for government approval, and is more likely to engage in substantial effort and expense only to find that the government will reject the application. Second, a CCL license applicant need not limit its application to the quantity or value of one purchase order or contract. It may apply for a license to cover all of its expected exports or reexports to a specified consignee over the life of a license (normally four years, but may be longer if circumstances warrant a longer period), thus reducing the total number of licenses for which the applicant must apply.

In addition, many applicants exporting or reexporting items that this rule proposes to transfer from the USML to the CCL would realize cost savings through the elimination of some or all registration fees currently assessed under the USML's licensing procedure. Currently, USML applicants must pay to use the USML licensing procedure even if they never actually are authorized to export. Registration fees for manufacturers and exporters of articles on the USML start at $2,250 per year, increase to $2,750 for organizations applying for one to ten licenses per year and further increase to $2,750 plus $250 per license application (subject to a maximum of three percent of total application value) for those who need to apply for more than ten licenses per year. Conversely, there are no registration or application processing fees for applications to export items listed on the CCL. Once the Category XIV or Category XVIII items that are the subject to this rulemaking are removed from the USML and added to the CCL, entities currently applying for licenses from the Department of State would find their registration fees reduced if the number of USML licenses those entities need declines. If an entity's entire product line is moved to the CCL, its ITAR registration and registration fee requirement would be eliminated.

Conclusion

BIS expects that the changes to the EAR proposed in this rule will have a positive effect on all affected entities, including small entities. While BIS acknowledges that this rule may have some cost impacts on small (and other) entities, those costs are more than offset by the benefits to the entities from the licensing procedures under the EAR, which are much less costly and less time consuming than the procedures under the ITAR. As noted above, any new burdens proposed by this rule would be offset by a reduction in the number of items that would require a license, increased opportunities for use of license exceptions for exports to certain countries, simpler export license applications, reduced or eliminated registration fees and application of a de minimis threshold for foreign-made items incorporating U.S.-origin parts and components, all of which would reduce the incentive for foreign buyers to design out or avoid U.S.-origin content. Accordingly, the Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, has certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, that this rule, if implemented, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required, and none has been prepared.

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 774

Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 774—[AMENDED] 1. 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).

2. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and “Toxins,” add a new ECCN 1A607 between ECCNs 1A290 and 1A613 to read as follows: Supplement No. 1 to Part 774—the Commerce Control List 1A607 Military dissemination “equipment” for riot control agents, military detection and protection “equipment” for toxicological agents (including chemical, biological, and riot control agents), and related commodities (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    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: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 1A607.

    List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) Vaccines identified in ECCN 1C991 are not controlled by this ECCN. (2) See 22 CFR 121.1 (USML), Category XIV(h), for vaccines that are subject to the ITAR. (3) Protection and detection “equipment” and related items identified in ECCN 1A004, 1A995, or 2B351 are not controlled by this ECCN. (4) See 22 CFR 121.1 (USML), Category XIV(f), for dissemination, detection and protection “equipment” that is subject to the ITAR. (5) See ECCN 0A919 for foreign-made “military commodities” that incorporate more than a de minimis amount of US-origin “600 series” controlled content. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. through d. [Reserved]

    e. “Equipment” “specially designed” for military use and for the dissemination of any of the riot control agents controlled in ECCN 1C607.a.

    f. Protection “equipment” (including air conditioning units and protective clothing):

    f.1. Not controlled by USML Category XIV(f); and

    f.2. “Specially designed” for military use and for defense against:

    f.2.1. Materials specified by USML Category XIV (a) or (b); or

    f.2.2. Riot control agents controlled in 1C607.a.

    g. Decontamination “equipment”:

    g.1. Not controlled by USML Category XIV(f); and

    g.2. “Specially designed” for military use and for decontamination of objects contaminated with materials controlled by USML Category XIV(a) or (b).

    h. “Equipment”:

    h.1. Not controlled by USML Category XIV(f); and

    h.2. “Specially designed” for military use and for the detection or identification of:

    h.2.1. Materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b); or

    h.2.2. Riot control agents controlled by ECCN 1C607.a.

    i. [Reserved]

    j. “Equipment” “specially designed” to:

    j.1. Interface with a detector, shelter, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft controlled by the USML or a “600 series” ECCN; and

    j.2. Collect and process samples of articles controlled in USML Category XIV(a) or (b).

    k. Medical countermeasures that are “specially designed” for military use (including pre- and post-treatments, antidotes, and medical diagnostics) and “specially designed” to counter chemical agents controlled by the USML Category XIV(a).

    Note:

    Examples of “equipment” controlled by this entry are barrier and non-barrier creams and filled autoinjectors (e.g., combopens where one injector contains 2-PAM and the other atropine) if “specially designed” to counter such agents.

    l. through w. [Reserved]

    x. “Parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled by ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, or .j or for a defense article controlled by USML Category XIV(f) and that are not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML.

    3. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and “Toxins,” add a new ECCN 1B607 between ECCNs 1B234 and 1B608 to read as follows:

    1B607 Military test, inspection, and production “equipment” and related commodities “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities identified in ECCN 1A607 or 1C607, or defense articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    List Based License Exceptions (See Part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) LVS: $1500 GBS: N/A CIV: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 1B607. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) See ECCN 2B350 for controls on certain incinerators. (2) See ECCN 0A919 for foreign-made “military commodities” that incorporate more than a de minimis amount of US-origin “600 series” controlled content. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. “Equipment” “specially designed” for the destruction of the chemical agents controlled by USML Category XIV(a).

    Note to 1B607.a:

    ECCN 1B607.a includes controls over facilities “specially designed” for destruction operations. This paragraph .a does not control incinerators and “specially designed” handling facilities or “specially designed” waste supply systems therefor.

    b. Test facilities and “equipment” “specially designed” for military certification, qualification, or testing of commodities controlled by ECCN 1A607.e, .f, .g, or .j or by USML Category XIV(f), except for XIV(f)(1).

    c. Tooling and “equipment” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled by ECCN 1A607.e, .f .g, or .j or USML Category XIV(f).

    d. through w. [RESERVED]

    x. “Parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” that are “specially designed” for a commodity controlled by ECCN 1B607.b or .c, or for a defense article controlled by USML Category XIV(f), and that are not enumerated or otherwise described elsewhere in the USML.

    4. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and “Toxins,” add a new ECCN 1C607 between ECCNs 1C395 and 1C608 to read as follows: 1C607 Tear Gases, Riot Control Agents and materials for the detection and decontamination of chemical warfare agents (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry, except 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, and .a.14 NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    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: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 1C607. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) See ECCN 1A984 for controls on other riot control agents. (2) See 22 CFR 121.1 (USML), Category XIV(b), for modified biological agents and biologically derived substances that are subject to the ITAR. (3) See 22 CFR 121.1 (USML), Category XIV(g), for ITAR controls on antibodies, recombinant protective antigens, polynucleotides, biopolymers or biocatalysts (including the expression vectors, viruses, plasmids, or cultures of specific cells used to produce them) that are “specially designed” for use with articles controlled under USML Category XIV(f). (4) See ECCN 0A919 for foreign-made “military commodities” that incorporate more than a de minimis amount of US-origin “600 series” controlled content. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. Tear gases and riot control agents including:

    a.1. CA (Bromobenzyl cyanide) (CAS 5798-79-8);

    a.2. CS (o-Chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile or o-Chlorobenzalmalononitrile) (CAS 2698-41-1);

    a.3. CN (Phenylacyl chloride or w-Chloroacetophenone) (CAS 532-27-4);

    a.4. CR (Dibenz-(b,f)-1,4-oxazephine) (CAS 257-07-8);

    a.5. Adamsite (Diphenylamine chloroarsine or DM) (CAS 578-94-9);

    a.6. N-Nonanoylmorpholine, (MPA) (CAS 5299-64-9);

    a.7. Dibromodimethyl ether (CAS 4497-29-4);

    a.8. Dichlorodimethyl ether (ClCi) (CAS 542-88-1);

    a.9. Ethyldibromoarsine (CAS 683-43-2);

    a.10. Bromo acetone (CAS 598-31-2);

    a.11. Bromo methylethylketone (CAS 816-40-0);

    a.12. Iodo acetone (CAS 3019-04-3);

    a.13. Phenylcarbylamine chloride (CAS 622-44-6);

    a.14. Ethyl iodoacetate (CAS 623-48-3);

    Note to 1C607.a:

    ECCN 1C607.a. does not control formulations containing 1% or less CN or CS or individually packaged tear gases or riot control agents for personal self-defense purposes that are controlled by ECCN 1A984, or to active constituent chemicals, and combinations thereof, identified and packaged for food production or medical purposes.

    b. “Biopolymers,” not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) “specially designed” or processed for the detection or identification of chemical warfare agents specified by USML Category XIV(a), and the cultures of specific cells used to produce them.

    c. “Biocatalysts,” and biological systems therefor, not controlled by USML Category XIV(g) “specially designed” for the decontamination or degradation of chemical warfare agents controlled in USML Category XIV (a), as follows:

    c.1. “Biocatalysts” “specially designed” for the decontamination or degradation of chemical warfare agents controlled in USML Category XIV(a) resulting from directed laboratory selection or genetic manipulation of biological systems;

    c.2. Biological systems containing the genetic information specific to the production of “biocatalysts” specified by 1C607.c.1, as follows:

    c.2.a. “Expression vectors;”

    c.2.b. Viruses; or

    c.2.c. Cultures of cells.

    Note to 1C607.b and .c:

    The cultures of cells and biological systems are exclusive and these sub-items do not apply to cells or biological systems for civil purposes, such as agricultural, pharmaceutical, medical, veterinary, environmental, waste management, or in the food industry.

    d. Chemical mixtures not controlled by USML Category XIV(f) “specially designed” for military use for the decontamination of objects contaminated with materials specified by USML Category XIV(a) or (b).

    5. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and “Toxins,” add a new ECCN 1D607 between ECCNs 1D390 and 1D608 to read as follows: 1D607 “Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of items controlled by 1A607, 1B607 or 1C607 (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry, except “software” for 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, and .a.14 NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    List Based License Exceptions (See Part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) CIV: N/A TSR: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 1D607. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: (1) “Software” directly related to articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV is subject to the ITAR (see 22 CFR 121.1, Category XIV(m)). “Software” controlled by USML Category XIV(m) includes “software” directly related to any equipment containing reagents, algorithms, coefficients, software, libraries, spectral databases, or alarm set point levels developed under U.S. Department of Defense contract or funding for the detection, identification, warning or monitoring of items controlled in paragraphs (a) or (b) of USML Category XIV, or for chemical or biological agents specified by U.S. Department of Defense funding or contract. (2) See ECCN 0A919 for foreign-made “military commodities” that incorporate more than a de minimis amount of US-origin “600 series” controlled content. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. “Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation, or maintenance of commodities controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, or 1C607.

    b. [RESERVED]

    6. In Supplement No. 1 to part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 1—Special Materials and Related Equipment, Chemicals, “Microorganisms,” and “Toxins,” add a new ECCN 1E607 between ECCNs 1E355 and 1E608 to read as follows: 1E607 “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607, or 1D607 (see List of Items Controlled). License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry, except “technology” for 1C607.a.10, .a.11, .a.12, and .a.14 and for 1D607 “software” therefor NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    List Based License Exceptions (See Part 740 for a Description of All License Exceptions) CIV: N/A TSR: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 1E607. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: Technical data directly related to defense articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XIV are subject to the ITAR (see 22 CFR 121.1, Category XIV(m)). Technical data controlled by USML Category XIV(m) include technical data directly related to any equipment containing reagents, algorithms, coefficients, software, libraries, spectral databases, or alarm set point levels developed under U.S. Department of Defense contract or funding for the detection, identification, warning or monitoring of items controlled in paragraphs (a) or (b) of USML Category XIV, or for chemical or biological agents specified by U.S. Department of Defense funding or contract. Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of items controlled by ECCN 1A607, 1B607, 1C607 or 1D607.

    Note to 1E607.a:

    ECCN 1E607.a includes “technology” “required” exclusively for the incorporation of “biocatalysts” controlled by ECCN 1C607.c.1 into military carrier substances or military material.

    b. [RESERVED]

    7. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 6—Sensors and Lasers,” add a new ECCN 6B619 between ECCNs 6B108 and 6B995 to read as follows: 6B619 Test, inspection, and production “equipment” and related commodities “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII (see List of Items Controlled) License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    License Exceptions LVS: $1,500 GBS: N/A CIV: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 6B619. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: “Parts, “components,” “accessories,” “attachments,” and associated systems or “equipment” “specially designed” for defense articles enumerated or otherwise described in paragraphs (a) or (b) of USML Category XVIII are subject to the ITAR (see 22 CFR 121.1, Category XVIII(e)). Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    a. Tooling, templates, jigs, mandrels, molds, dies, fixtures, alignment mechanisms, and test “equipment” not enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII and not elsewhere specified on the USML that are “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” repair, overhaul, or refurbishing of commodities controlled by USML Category XVIII.

    b. through w. [Reserved]

    x. “Parts,” “components,” “accessories,” and “attachments” “specially designed” for a commodity subject to control under paragraph .a of this ECCN and not enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII and not elsewhere specified on the USML.

    8. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 6—Sensors and Lasers,” add a new ECCN 6D619 between ECCNs 6D201 and 6D991 to read as follows: 6D619 “Software” “specially designed” for the “development,” “production,” operation or maintenance of commodities controlled by 6B619. License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    License Exceptions CIV: N/A TSR: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 6D619. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: “Software” directly related to articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII is subject to the ITAR (See 22 CFR 121.1, Category XVIII(f)). Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    The list of items controlled is contained in the ECCN heading.

    9. In Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 (the Commerce Control List), Category 6—Sensors and Lasers,” add a new ECCN 6E619 between ECCNs 6E202 and 6E990 to read as follows: 6E619 “Technology” “required” for the “development,” “production,” operation, installation, maintenance, repair, overhaul or refurbishing of commodities controlled by 6B619 or “software” controlled by 6D619. License Requirements Reason for Control: NS, RS, AT, UN Control(s) Country chart
  • (see Supp. No. 1 to Part 738)
  • NS applies to entire entry NS Column 1. RS applies to entire entry RS Column 1. AT applies to entire entry AT Column 1. UN applies to entire entry See § 746.1(b) for UN controls.
    License Exceptions CIV: N/A TSR: N/A Special Conditions for STA STA: Paragraph (c)(2) of License Exception STA (§ 740.20(c)(2) of the EAR) may not be used for any item in 6E619. List of Items Controlled Related Controls: Technical data directly related to articles enumerated or otherwise described in USML Category XVIII are subject to the ITAR (See 22 CFR 121.1, Category XVIII(f)). Related Definitions: N/A Items:

    The list of items controlled is contained in the ECCN heading.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14474 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 121 RIN 1400-AD03 [Public Notice: 9166] Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Revision of U.S. Munitions List Categories XIV and XVIII AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of the President's Export Control Reform effort, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to revise Categories XIV (toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment) and XVIII (directed energy weapons) of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to describe more precisely the articles warranting control on the USML. The revisions contained in this rule are part of the Department of State's retrospective plan under E.O. 13563 completed on August 17, 2011. The Department of State's full plan can be accessed at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/181028.pdf.

    DATES:

    The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit comments within 60 days of the date of publication by one of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] with the subject line, “ITAR Amendment—Categories XIV and XVIII.”

    Internet: At www.regulations.gov, search for this proposed rule by using this rule's RIN (1400-AD03).

    Comments received after that date will be considered if feasible, but consideration cannot be assured. Those submitting comments should not include any personally identifying information they do not wish to be made public or information for which a claim of confidentiality is asserted because those comments and/or transmittal emails will be made available for public inspection and copying after the close of the comment period via the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Web site at www.pmddtc.state.gov. Parties who wish to comment anonymously may do so by submitting their comments via www.regulations.gov, leaving the fields that would identify the commenter blank and including no identifying information in the comment itself. Comments submitted via www.regulations.gov are immediately available for public inspection.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. C. Edward Peartree, Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, telephone (202) 663-2792; email [email protected] ATTN: ITAR Amendment—USML Categories XIV and XVIII.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), U.S. Department of State, administers the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR parts 120-130). The items subject to the jurisdiction of the ITAR, i.e., “defense articles,” are identified on the ITAR's U.S. Munitions List (USML) (22 CFR 121.1). With few exceptions, items not subject to the export control jurisdiction of the ITAR are subject to the jurisdiction of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR,” 15 CFR parts 730-774, which includes the Commerce Control List (CCL) in Supplement No. 1 to Part 774), administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce. Both the ITAR and the EAR impose license requirements on exports and reexports. Items not subject to the ITAR or to the exclusive licensing jurisdiction of any other set of regulations are subject to the EAR.

    Revision of Category XIV

    This proposed rule revises USML Category XIV, covering toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment. The revisions are proposed in order to advance the national security objectives of greater interoperability with U.S. allies, enhancing the defense industrial base, and permitting the U.S. government to focus its resources on transactions of greater concern. Additionally, the revisions are intended to more accurately describe the articles within the subject categories, in order to establish a “bright line” between the USML and the CCL for the control of these articles.

    This proposed rule implements changes consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13546 on Optimizing the Security of Biological Select Agents and Toxins in the United States, which includes direction to address variations in, and limited coordination of, individual executive departments' and agencies' oversight that add to the cost and complexity of compliance. It also directs a risk-based tiering of the biological select agent list. As a result, the proposed control language in paragraph (b) adopts the “Tier 1” pathogens and toxins established in the Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture select agent regulations (42 CFR part 73 and 9 CFR 121) for those pathogens and toxins that meet specific capabilities listed in paragraph (b). The Tier 1 pathogens and toxins that do not meet these capabilities remain controlled in Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) 1C351 or 1C352 on the CCL.

    Additionally, this rule, in concert with the analogous proposed rule published by the Department of Commerce, proposes the movement of riot control agents to the export jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce, as well as the articles covered currently in paragraphs (j), (k), and (l), which include test facilities, equipment for the destruction of chemical and biological agents, and tooling for production of articles in paragraph (f), respectively.

    Other changes include the addition of paragraph (a)(5) to control chemical warfare agents “adapted for use in war” and not elsewhere enumerated, as well as the removal of paragraphs (f)(3) and (f)(6) and movement to the CCL of equipment for the sample collection and decontamination or remediation of chemical agents and biological agents. Paragraph (f)(5) for collective protection was removed and partially combined in (f)(4) or the CCL. Proposed paragraph (g) enumerates antibodies, recombinant protective antigens, polynucleotides, biopolymers, or biocatalysts exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract for detection of the biological agents listed in paragraph (b)(1)(ii).

    The Department notes that the controls in paragraph (f)(2) that include the phrase “developed under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization” do not apply when the Department of Defense acts solely as a servicing agency for a contract on behalf of another agency of the U.S. government.

    The Department notes that the controls in paragraphs (g)(1) and (h) that include the phrase “exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract” do not apply when the Department of Defense acts solely as a servicing agency for a contract on behalf of another agency of the U.S. government, or, for example, in cases where the Department of Defense provides initial funding for the development of an item but another agency of the U.S. government provides funding to further develop or adapt the item.

    Proposed paragraph (h) enumerates certain vaccines funded exclusively by the Department of Defense, as well as certain vaccines controlled in (h)(2) that are specially designed for the sole purpose of protecting against biological agents and biologically derived substances identified in (b). Thus, the scope of vaccines controlled in (h)(2) is circumscribed by the nature of funding, the satisfaction of the term “specially designed” as that term is defined in ITAR § 120.41, and the limitations in (b) that control only those biological agents and biologically derived substances meeting specific criteria. In evaluating the scope of this control, please note that the Department offers a decision tool to aid exporters in determining whether a defense article meets the definition of “specially designed.” This tool is available at http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/licensing/dt_SpeciallyDesigned.htm.

    Proposed revised paragraph (i) is updated to provide better clarity on the scope of the control by including examples of Department of Defense tools that are used to determine or estimate potential effects of chemical or biological weapons strikes and incidents in order to plan to mitigate their impacts.

    A new paragraph (x) has been added to USML Category XIV, allowing ITAR licensing on behalf of the Department of Commerce for commodities, software, and technology subject to the EAR provided those commodities, software, and technology are to be used in or with defense articles controlled in USML Category XIV and are described in the purchase documentation submitted with the application. The intent of paragraph (x) is not to impose ITAR jurisdiction on commodities, software, and technology subject to EAR controls.

    Finally, the rule proposes to only control on the USML chemical or biological agent detectors when they contain Department of Defense reagents, spectra, algorithms, databases, etc.

    Revision of Category XVIII

    This proposed rule revises USML Category XVIII, covering directed energy weapons. As with USML Category XIV, the revisions are proposed in order to advance the national security objectives set forth above and to more accurately describe the articles within the subject categories, in order to establish a “bright line” between the USML and the CCL for the control of these articles. A change proposed in this rule would revise paragraph (a) to control only those items that satisfy the paragraph's definition of “directed energy weapon,” which focuses on the sole or primary purpose of the article in order to exclude those items that might achieve the same effect in an incidental, accidental, or collateral manner.

    The articles controlled currently in paragraphs (c) and (d) would move to the export control jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce.

    The remaining paragraphs in this category would undergo conforming changes to bring their structures into alignment with the analogous provisions found in other revised USML categories.

    Request for Comments

    The proposed revisions to the USML will control items in normal commercial use and on the Wassenaar Arrangement's Dual Use List. The Department welcomes the assistance of users of the lists and requests input on the following:

    (1) A key goal of this rulemaking is to ensure the USML and the CCL together control all the items that meet Wassenaar Arrangement commitments embodied in Munitions List Categories 7 (WA-ML7) and 19 (WA-ML19). The public is therefore asked to identify any potential lack of coverage brought about by the proposed rules for Categories XIV and XVIII contained in this proposed rule and the new Category 1 and Category 6 ECCNs published separately by the Department of Commerce when reviewed together.

    (2) Another key goal of this rulemaking is to identify items proposed for control on the USML or the CCL that are not controlled on the Wassenaar Arrangement's Munitions or Dual Use List. The public is therefore asked to identify any potential expansion of coverage brought about by the proposed rules for Categories XIV and XVIII contained in this proposed rule and the new Category 1 and Category 6 ECCNs published separately by the Department of Commerce when reviewed together.

    (3) A third key goal of this rulemaking is to establish a “bright line” between the USML and the CCL for the control of these materials. The public is asked to provide specific examples of toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment, as well as directed energy weapons, whose jurisdiction would be in doubt based on this revision. The public is also asked to comment on whether there is a sufficiently clear line drawn between the biological items proposed for control by USML Category XIV(b) and those proposed for control under the CCL.

    (4) Although the proposed revisions to the USML do not preclude the possibility that items in normal commercial use would or should be ITAR-controlled because, e.g., they provide the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage, the U.S. government does not want to inadvertently control items on the ITAR that are in normal commercial use. Items that would be controlled on the USML in this proposed rule have been identified as possessing parameters or characteristics that provide a critical military or intelligence advantage. The public is thus asked to provide specific examples of items, or associated technical data, if any, that would be controlled in the revised USML Categories XIV or XVIII that are now in normal commercial use, or that are commonly used or produced in civilian scientific laboratories. The examples should demonstrate actual commercial or civilian scientific use, not just potential or theoretical use, with supporting documents, as well as foreign availability of such items. Additionally, for any criteria the public believes control items in normal commercial or civilian scientific use, the public is asked to identify parameters or characteristics that cover items exclusively or primarily in military use. Finally, for any criteria the public believes control items in normal commercial use, the public is asked to identify the multilateral controls (such as the Wassenaar Arrangement's Dual Use List), if any, for such items, and the consequences of such items being controlled on the USML.

    (5) The public is asked to provide comment on the proposed definition of “non-naturally occurring” in Note 2 to Category XIV(b), if the proposed definition does not appear to be comprehensive. The public is also asked to comment on “non-naturally occurring” in the context of genetic modification and consider whether the definition is sufficient to distinguish military or intelligence purposes from commercial or civilian purposes.

    (6) The public is asked to provide specific examples of reagents that may be inadvertently controlled by Category XIV(b), XIV(f), XIV(g), or XIV(m), that are commonly used for scientific research and development, or medical countermeasures that may similarly be inadvertently controlled and the dissemination of which would be in the interest of public health or medical preparedness.

    (7) The public is asked to specifically evaluate and comment on the decision process outlined in the proposed rule that would be used to determine whether vaccines that are intended to be developed and used to protect public and veterinary health against any event resulting from exposure to naturally occurring or non-naturally occurring pathogens or toxins is sufficiently clear to allow research and commercial entities to determine whether a vaccine would unintentionally be captured under this rule. Please provide specific examples that demonstrate how the proposed rule would prevent or hinder the ability to develop or utilize vaccines for public health or veterinary benefit under this proposed language and decision process.

    (8) In the interest of ensuring the security of and control over certain types of chemical and biological detection equipment, Category XIV(f)(2) could incidentally impose ITAR controls on certain civilian and public health equipment containing the items listed in paragraph (f)(2). Accordingly, as proposed, paragraph (f)(2) may control detection equipment that may not warrant ITAR control, but contains items that are fully or partially Defense-funded. The Department requests comment from the public, including specific examples of equipment that the public believes may be unintentionally controlled by this text by virtue of Defense funding.

    In addition, the Department acknowledges that some members of the public may not be able comment meaningfully on this matter because they lack full awareness of items that have previously been fully or partially developed under Defense funding. To the extent that commenters require specific additional information about the scope of Defense funding in certain contexts, the Department requests that commenters identify any relevant gaps in knowledge.

    Regulatory Analysis and Notices Administrative Procedure Act

    The Department of State is of the opinion that controlling the import and export of defense articles and services is a foreign affairs function of the United States Government and that rules implementing this function are exempt from sections 553 (Rulemaking) and 554 (Adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act. Although the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the APA, the Department is publishing this rule with a 60-day provision for public comment and without prejudice to its determination that controlling the import and export of defense services is a foreign affairs function. As noted above, and also without prejudice to the Department position that this rulemaking is not subject to the APA, the Department previously published a related Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (RIN 1400-AC78) on December 10, 2010 (75 FR 76935), and accepted comments for 60 days.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the rulemaking provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, it does not require analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed amendment does not involve a mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed amendment has been found not to be a major rule within the meaning of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132

    This proposed amendment will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this proposed amendment does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this proposed amendment.

    Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    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, distributed 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 (OMB).

    Executive Order 12988

    The Department of State has reviewed the proposed amendment in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

    Executive Order 13175

    The Department of State has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not preempt tribal law. Accordingly, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rulemaking.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Following is a listing of approved collections that will be affected by revision of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and the Commerce Control List pursuant to the President's Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative. This rule continues the implementation of ECR. The list of collections and the description of the manner in which they will be affected pertains to revision of the USML in its entirety, not only to the categories published in this rule. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Department of State will request comment on these collections from all interested persons. In particular, the Department will seek comment on changes to licensing burden based on implementation of regulatory changes pursuant to ECR, and on projected changes based on continued implementation of regulatory changes pursuant to ECR. The affected information collections are as follows:

    (1) Statement of Registration, DS-2032, OMB No. 1405-0002. The Department estimates that between 3,000 and 5,000 of currently-registered persons will not need to maintain registration following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of between 6,000 and 10,000 hours annually, based on a revised time burden of two hours to complete a Statement of Registration.

    (2) Application/License for Permanent Export of Unclassified Defense Articles and Related Unclassified Technical Data, DSP-5, OMB No. 1405-0003. The Department estimates that there will be 35,000 fewer DSP-5 submissions annually following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 35,000 hours annually.

    (3) Application/License for Temporary Import of Unclassified Defense Articles, DSP-61, OMB No. 1405-0013. The Department estimates that there will be 200 fewer DSP-61 submissions annually following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 100 hours annually.

    (4) Application/License for Temporary Export of Unclassified Defense Articles, DSP-73, OMB No. 1405-0023. The Department estimates that there will be 800 fewer DSP-73 submissions annually following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 800 hours annually.

    (5) Application for Amendment to License for Export or Import of Classified or Unclassified Defense Articles and Related Technical Data, DSP-6, -62, -74, -119, OMB No. 1405-0092. The Department estimates that there will be 2,000 fewer amendment submissions annually following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 1,000 hours annually.

    (6) Request for Approval of Manufacturing License Agreements, Technical Assistance Agreements, and Other Agreements, DSP-5, OMB No. 1405-0093. The Department estimates that there will be 1,000 fewer agreement submissions annually following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 2,000 hours annually.

    (7) Maintenance of Records by Registrants, OMB No. 1405-0111. The requirement to actively maintain records pursuant to provisions of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) will decline commensurate with the drop in the number of persons who will be required to register with the Department pursuant to the ITAR. As stated above, the Department estimates that up to 5,000 of the currently-registered persons will not need to maintain registration following full revision of the USML. This would result in a burden reduction of 100,000 hours annually. However, the ITAR does provide for the maintenance of records for a period of five years. Therefore, persons newly relieved of the requirement to register with the Department may still be required to maintain records.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 121

    Arms and munitions, Exports.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, Title 22, Chapter I, Subchapter M, part 121 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 121—THE UNITED STATES MUNITIONS LIST 1. The authority citation for part 121 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 2, 38, and 71, Pub. L. 90-629, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2797); 22 U.S.C. 2651a; Pub. L. 105-261, 112 Stat. 1920; Section 1261, Pub. L. 112-239; E.O. 13637, 78 FR 16129.

    2. Section 121.1 is amended by revising U.S. Munitions List Categories XIV and XVIII to read as follows:
    § 121.1 The United States Munitions List. Category XIV—Toxicological Agents, Including Chemical Agents, Biological Agents, and Associated Equipment

    *(a) Chemical agents, to include:

    (1) Nerve agents, as follows:

    (i) O-Alkyl (equal to or less than C10, including cycloalkyl) alkyl (Methyl, Ethyl, n-Propyl or Isopropyl) phosphonofluoridates, such as: Sarin (GB): O-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate (CAS 107-44-8) (CWC Schedule 1A); and Soman (GD): O-Pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate (CAS 96-64-0) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (ii) O-Alkyl (equal to or less than C10, including cycloalkyl) N,N-dialkyl (Methyl, Ethyl, n-Propyl or Isopropyl) phosphoramidocyanidates, such as: Tabun (GA): O-Ethyl N, N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate (CAS 77-81-6) (CWC Schedule 1A); or

    (iii) O-Alkyl (H or equal to or less than C10, including cycloalkyl) S-2-dialkyl (Methyl, Ethyl, n-Propyl or Isopropyl) aminoethyl alkyl (Methyl, Ethyl, n-Propyl or Isopropyl) phosphonothiolates and corresponding alkylated and protonated salts, such as VX: O-Ethyl S-2-diisopropylaminoethyl methyl phosphonothiolate (CAS 50782-69-9) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (2) Amiton: O,O-Diethyl S-[2(diethylamino)ethyl] phosphorothiolate and corresponding alkylated or protonated salts (CAS 78-53-5) (CWC Schedule 2A);

    (3) Vesicant agents, as follows:

    (i) Sulfur mustards, such as: 2-Chloroethylchloromethylsulfide (CAS 2625-76-5) (CWC Schedule 1A); Bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide (HD) (CAS 505-60-2) (CWC Schedule 1A); Bis(2-chloroethylthio)methane (CAS 63839-13-6) (CWC Schedule 1A); 1,2-bis (2-chloroethylthio)ethane (CAS 3563-36-8) (CWC Schedule 1A); 1,3-bis (2-chloroethylthio)-n-propane (CAS 63905-10-2) (CWC Schedule 1A); 1,4-bis (2-chloroethylthio)-n-butane (CWC Schedule 1A); 1,5-bis (2-chloroethylthio)-n-pentane (CWC Schedule 1A); Bis (2-chloroethylthiomethyl)ether (CWC Schedule 1A); Bis (2-chloroethylthioethyl)ether (CAS 63918-89-8) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (ii) Lewisites, such as: 2-chlorovinyldichloroarsine (CAS 541-25-3) (CWC Schedule 1A); Tris (2-chlorovinyl) arsine (CAS 40334-70-1) (CWC Schedule 1A); Bis (2-chlorovinyl) chloroarsine (CAS 40334-69-8) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (iii) Nitrogen mustards, or their protonated salts, as follows:

    (A) HN1: bis (2-chloroethyl) ethylamine (CAS 538-07-8) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (B) HN2: bis (2-chloroethyl) methylamine (CAS 51-75-2) (CWC Schedule 1A);

    (C) HN3: tris (2-chloroethyl) amine (CAS 555-77-1) (CWC Schedule 1A); or

    (D) Other nitrogen mustards, or their salts, having a propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl, or tertiary butyl group on the bis(2-chloroethyl) amine base;

    Note 1 to paragraph (a)(3)(iii):

    Pharmaceutical formulations containing nitrogen mustards or certain reference standards for these formulations are not considered to be chemical agents and are subject to the EAR when: 1) the pharmaceutical is in the form of a final medical product, or 2) the reference standard contains salts of HN2 [bis(2-chloroethyl) methylamine], the quantity to be shipped is 150 milligrams or less, and individual shipments do not exceed twelve per calendar year per end user.

    Note 2 to paragraph (a)(3)(iii):

    A “final medical product,” as used in this paragraph, is a pharmaceutical formulation that is (1) designed for testing and administration in the treatment of human medical conditions, (2) prepackaged for distribution as a clinical or medical product, and (3) approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed as a clinical or medical product or for use as an “Investigational New Drug” (IND) (see 21 CFR part 312)

    (iv) Ethyldichloroarsine (ED) (CAS 598-14-1); or

    (v) Methyldichloroarsine (MD) (CAS 593-89-5);

    (4) Incapacitating agents, such as:

    (i) 3-Quinuclindinyl benzilate (BZ) (CAS 6581-06-2) (CWC Schedule 2A);

    (ii) Diphenylchloroarsine (DA) (CAS 712-48-1); or

    (iii) Diphenylcyanoarsine (DC) (CAS 23525-22-6);

    (5) Chemical warfare agents not enumerated above adapted for use in war to produce casualties in humans or animals, degrade equipment, or damage crops or the environment. (See the CCL at ECCNs 1C350, 1C355, and 1C395 for control of certain chemicals not adapted for use in war.)

    Note to paragraph (a)(5): “Adapted for use in war” means any modification or selection (such as altering purity, shelf life, dissemination characteristics, or resistance to ultraviolet radiation) designed to increase the effectiveness in producing casualties in humans or animals, degrading equipment, or damaging crops or the environment.

    Note 1 to paragraph (a):

    Paragraph (a) of this category does not include the following: Cyanogen chloride, Hydrocyanic acid, Chlorine, Carbonyl chloride (Phosgene), Ethyl bromoacetate, Xylyl bromide, Benzyl bromide, Benzyl iodide, Chloro acetone, Chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane), Fluorine, and Liquid pepper.

    Note 2 to paragraph (a):

    Regarding U.S. obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), refer to Chemical Weapons Convention Regulations (CWCR) (15 CFR parts 710 through 722). As appropriate, the CWC schedule is provided to assist the exporter.

    *(b) Biological agents and biologically derived substances and genetic elements thereof as follows:

    (1) Genetically modified biological agents:

    (i) Having non-naturally occurring genetic modifications which result in an increase in any of the following:

    (A) Persistence in a field environment (e.g., resistance to oxygen, UV damage, temperature extremes, or arid conditions); or

    (B) The ability to defeat or overcome standard detection methods, personnel protection, natural or acquired host immunity, host immune response, or response to standard medical countermeasures; and

    (ii) Being any micro-organisms/toxins or their non-naturally occurring genetic elements as listed below:

    (A) Bacillus anthracis;

    (B) Botulinum neurotoxin producing species of Clostridium;

    (C) Burkholderia mallei;

    (D) Burkholderia pseudomallei;

    (E) Ebola virus;

    (F) Foot-and-mouth disease virus;

    (G) Francisella tularensis;

    (H) Marburg virus;

    (I) Variola major virus (Smallpox virus);

    (J) Variola minor virus (Alastrim);

    (K) Yersinia pestis; or

    (L) Rinderpest virus.

    (2) Biological agent or biologically derived substances controlled in ECCNs 1C351, 1C352, 1C353, or 1C354:

    (i) Physically modified, formulated, or produced as any of the following:

    (A) 1—10 micron particle size;

    (B) Particle-absorbed or combined with nano-particles;

    (C) Having coatings/surfactants, or

    (D) By microencapsulation; and

    (ii) Meeting the criteria of paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this category in a manner that results in an increase in any of the following:

    (A) Persistence in a field environment (e.g., resistant to oxygen, UV damage, temperature extremes, or arid conditions);

    (B) Dispersal characteristics (e.g., reduce the susceptibility to shear forces, optimize electrostatic charges); or

    (C) The ability to defeat or overcome: standard detection methods, personnel protection, natural or acquired host immunity, or response to standard medical countermeasures.

    Note 1 to paragraph (b):

    Non-naturally occurring means that the modification has not already been observed in nature, was not discovered from samples obtained from nature, and was developed with human intervention.

    Note 2 to paragraph (b):

    This paragraph does not control biological agents or biologically derived substances, when these agents or substances have been demonstrated to be attenuated relative to natural pathogenic isolates, and are incapable of causing disease or intoxication of ordinarily affected and relevant species (e.g., humans, livestock, crop plants) due to the attenuation of virulence or pathogenic factors. This paragraph also does not control genetic elements, nucleic acids, or nucleic acid sequences (whether recombinant or synthetic) that are unable to produce or direct the biosynthesis of infectious or functional forms of the biological agents or biologically derived substances that are capable of causing disease or intoxication of ordinarily affected and relevant species.

    Note 3 to paragraph (b):

    Biological agents or biologically derived substances that meet both paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this category are controlled in paragraph (b)(1).

    *(c) Chemical agent binary precursors and key precursors, as follows:

    (1) Alkyl (Methyl, Ethyl, n-Propyl or Isopropyl) phosphonyl difluorides, such as: DF: Methyl Phosphonyldifluoride (CAS 676-99-3) (CWC Schedule 1B); Methylphosphinyldifluoride (CAS 753-59-3) (CWC Schedule 2B);

    (2) O-Alkyl (H or equal to or less than C10, including cycloalkyl) O-2-dialkyl (methyl, ethyl, n-Propyl or isopropyl) aminoethyl alkyl (methyl, ethyl, N-propyl or isopropyl) phosphonite and corresponding alkylated and protonated salts, such as QL: O-Ethyl-2-di-isopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonite (CAS 57856-11-8) (CWC Schedule 1B);

    (3) Chlorosarin: O-Isopropyl methylphosphonochloridate (CAS 1445-76-7) (CWC Schedule 1B);

    (4) Chlorosoman: O-Pinakolyl methylphosphonochloridate (CAS 7040-57-5) (CWC Schedule 1B); or

    (5) Methlyphosphonyl dichloride (CAS 676-97-1) (CWC Schedule 2B); Methylphosphinyldichloride (CAS 676-83-5) (CWC Schedule 2B).

    (d) [Reserved]

    (e) Defoliants, as follows:

    (1) 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (CAS 93-76-5) mixed with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (CAS 94-75-7) (Agent Orange (CAS 39277-47-9));or

    (2) Butyl 2-chloro-4-fluorophenoxyacetate (LNF).

    *(f) Equipment or items, as follows:

    (1) Any equipment for the dissemination, dispersion, or testing of items controlled in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), or (e) of this category, as follows:

    (i) Any equipment “specially designed” for the dissemination and dispersion of items controlled in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), or (e) of this category; or

    (ii) Any equipment “specially designed” for testing the items controlled in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (e), or (f)(4) of this category developed under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization.

    (2) Any equipment containing reagents, algorithms, coefficients, software, libraries, spectral databases, or alarm set point levels developed under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization for the detection, identification, warning, or monitoring of:

    (i) Items controlled in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this category; or

    (ii) Chemical or biological agents specified by a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization.

    Note 1 to paragraph (f)(2):

    This paragraph does not control items that are (a) determined to be subject to the EAR via a commodity jurisdiction determination (see § 120.4 of this subchapter), or (b) identified in the relevant Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization as being developed for both civil and military applications.

    Note 2 to paragraph (f)(2):

    Note 1 does not apply to defense articles enumerated on the USML.

    Note 3 to paragraph (f)(2):

    This paragraph is applicable only to those contracts and funding authorizations that are dated [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], or later.

    (3) [Reserved]

    (4) For individual protection or collective protection against the items controlled in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this category, as follows:

    (i) M53 Chemical Biological Protective Mask or M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM);

    (ii) Filter cartridges containing sorbents controlled in paragraph (f)(4)(iii) of this category;

    (iii) ASZM-TEDA carbon; or

    (iv) Ensembles, garments, suits, jackets, pants, boots, or socks for individual protection, and liners for collective protection that allow no more than 1% breakthrough of GD or no more than 2% of HD;

    Note to paragraph (f)(4)(iv):

    Evaluation is made by applying 10 mg of GD or HD to a 1-inch swatch. Ambient air is directed through the swatch for 24 hours and sampled/tested from the opposite side of the swatch using a gas chromatograph with flame photometric detector (FPD) or pulsed FPD (PFPD) and using sorption/desorption tools to increase sensitivity.

    (5) [Reserved]

    (6) [Reserved]

    (7) Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings that have been qualified to military specifications (MIL-DTL-64159, MIL-C-46168, or MIL-C-53039); or

    (8) Any equipment, material, tooling, hardware or test equipment that:

    (i) Is classified;

    (ii) Is manufactured using classified production data; or

    (iii) Is being developed using classified information.

    Note to paragraph (f)(8):

    “Classified” means classified pursuant to Executive Order 13526, or predecessor order, and a security classification guide developed pursuant thereto or equivalent, or to the corresponding classification rules of another government.

    (g) Antibodies, recombinant protective antigens, polynucleotides, biopolymers, or biocatalysts (including their expression vectors, viruses, plasmids, or cultures of specific cells modified to produce them) as follows:

    (1) When exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract for detection of the biological agents at paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this category even if naturally occurring;

    (2) Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS) Freeze Dried reagents listed by JRPD-ASY-No and Description respectively as follows:

    (i) JRPD-ASY-0016 Q-Fever IVD Kit;

    (ii) JRPD-ASY-0100 Vaccinia (Orthopox);

    (iii) JRPD-ASY-0106 Brucella melitensis (Brucellosis);

    (iv) JRPD-ASY-0108 Rickettsia prowazekii (Rickettsia);

    (v) JRPD-ASY-0109 Burkholderia ssp. (Burkholderia);

    (vi) JRPD-ASY-0112 Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE);

    (vii) JRPD-ASY-0113 Western equine encephalitis (WEE);

    (viii) JRPD-ASY-0114 Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE);

    (ix) JRPD-ASY-0122 Coxiella burnetii (Coxiella);

    (x) JRPD-ASY-0136 Influenza A/H5 IVD Detection Kit;

    (xi) JRPD-ASY-0137 Influenza A/B IVD Detection Kit; or

    (xii) JRPD-ASY-0138 Influenza A Subtype IVD Detection Kit;

    (3) Critical Reagent Polymerase (CRP) Chain Reactions (PCR) assay kits with Catalog-ID and Catalog-ID Product respectively as follows:

    (i) PCR-BRU-1FB-B-K Brucella Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (ii) PCR-BRU-1FB-K Brucella Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix;

    (iii) PCR-BRU-1R-K Brucella Target 1 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (iv) PCR-BURK-2FB-B-K Burkholderia Target 2 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (v) PCR-BURK-2FB-K Burkholderia Target 2 FastBlock Master Mix;

    (vi) PCR-BURK-2R-K Burkholderia Target 2 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (vii) PCR-BURK-3FB-B-K Burkholderia Target 3 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (viii) PCR-BURK-3FB-K Burkholderia Target 3 FastBlock Master Mix;

    (ix) PCR-BURK-3R-K Burkholderia Target 3 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (x) PCR-COX-1FB-B-K Coxiella burnetii Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (xi) PCR-COX-1R-K Coxiella burnetii Target 1 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (xii) PCR-COX-2R-K Coxiella burnetii Target 2 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (xiii) PCR-OP-1FB-B-K Orthopox Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (xiv) PCR-OP-1FB-K Orthopox Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix;

    (xv) PCR-OP-1R-K Orthopox Target 1 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (xvi) PCR-OP-2FB-B-K Orthopox Target 2 FastBlock Master Mix Biotinylated;

    (xvii) PCR-OP-3R-K Orthopox Target 3 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (xviii) PCR-RAZOR-BT-X PCR-RAZOR-BT-X RAZOR CRP BioThreat-X Screening Pouch;

    (xix) PCR-RIC-1FB-K Ricin Target 1 FastBlock Master Mix;

    (xx) PCR-RIC-1R-K Ricin Target 1 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix;

    (xxi) PCR-RIC-2R-K Ricin Target 2 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix; or

    (xxii) PCR-VEE-1R-K Venezuelan equine encephalitis Target 1 LightCycler/RAPID Master Mix; or

    (4) Critical Reagent Program Antibodies with Catalog ID and Product respectively as follows:

    (i) AB-AG-RIC Aff. Goat anti-Ricin;

    (ii) AB-ALVG-MAB Anti-Alphavirus Generic Mab;

    (iii) AB-AR-SEB Aff. Rabbit anti-SEB;

    (iv) AB-BRU-M-MAB1 Anti-Brucella melitensis Mab 1;

    (v) AB-BRU-M-MAB2 Anti-Brucella melitensis Mab 2;

    (vi) AB-BRU-M-MAB3 Anti-Brucella melitensis Mab 3;

    (vii) AB-BRU-M-MAB4 Anti-Brucella melitensis Mab 4;

    (viii) AB-CHOL-0139-MAB Anti-V.cholerae 0139 Mab;

    (ix) AB-CHOL-01-MAB Anti-V. cholerae 01 Mab;

    (x) AB-COX-MAB Anti-Coxiella Mab;

    (xi) AB-EEE-MAB Anti-EEE Mab;

    (xii) AB-G-BRU-A Goat anti-Brucella abortus;

    (xiii) AB-G-BRU-M Goat anti-Brucella melitensis;

    (xiv) AB-G-BRU-S Goat anti-Brucella suis;

    (xv) AB-G-CHOL-01 Goat anti-V.cholerae 0:1;

    (xvi) AB-G-COL-139 Goat anti-V.cholerae 0:139;

    (xvii) AB-G-DENG Goat anti-Dengue;

    (xviii) AB-G-RIC Goat anti-Ricin;

    (xix) AB-G-SAL-T Goat anti-S. typhi;

    (xx) AB-G-SEA Goat anti-SEA;

    (xxi) AB-G-SEB Goat anti-SEB;

    (xxii) AB-G-SEC Goat anti-SEC;

    (xxiii) AB-G-SED Goat anti-SED;

    (xxiv) AB-G-SEE Goat anti-SEE;

    (xxv) AB-G-SHIG-D Goat anti-Shigella dysenteriae;

    (xxvi) AB-R-BA-PA Rabbit anti-Protective Antigen;

    (xxvii) AB-R-COX Rabbit anti-C. burnetii;

    (xxviii) AB-RIC-MAB1 Anti-Ricin Mab 1;

    (xxix) AB-RIC-MAB2 Anti-Ricin Mab 2;

    (xxx) AB-RIC-MAB3 Anti-Ricin Mab3;

    (xxxi) AB-R-SEB Rabbit anti-SEB;

    (xxxii) AB-R-VACC Rabbit anti-Vaccinia;

    (xxxiii) AB-SEB-MAB Anti-SEB Mab;

    (xxxiv) AB-SLT2-MAB Anti-Shigella-like t x2 Mab;

    (xxxv) AB-T2T-MAB1 Anti-T2 Mab 1;

    (xxxvi) AB-T2T-MAB2 Anti-T2 Toxin 2;

    (xxxvii) AB-VACC-MAB1 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 1;

    (xxxviii) AB-VACC-MAB2 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 2;

    (xxxix) AB-VACC-MAB3 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 3;

    (xl) AB-VACC-MAB4 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 4;

    (xli) AB-VACC-MAB5 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 5;

    (xlii) AB-VACC-MAB6 Anti-Vaccinia Mab 6;

    (xliii) AB-VEE-MAB1 Anti-VEE Mab 1;

    (xliv) AB-VEE-MAB2 Anti-VEE Mab 2;

    (xlv) AB-VEE-MAB3 Anti-VEE Mab 3;

    (xlvi) AB-VEE-MAB4 Anti-VEE Mab 4;

    (xlvii) AB-VEE-MAB5 Anti-VEE Mab 5

    (xlviii) AB-VEE-MAB6 Anti-VEE Mab 6; or

    (xlix) AB-WEE-MAB Anti-WEE Complex Mab.

    (h) Vaccines exclusively funded by a Department of Defense contract, as follows:

    (1) Recombinant Botulinum Toxin A/B Vaccine;

    (2) Recombinant Plague Vaccine;

    (3) Trivalent Filovirus Vaccine; or

    (4) Vaccines specially designed for the sole purpose of protecting against biological agents and biologically derived substances identified in paragraph (b) of this category.

    Note to paragraph (h):

    See ECCN 1A607.k for military medical countermeasures such as autoinjectors, combopens, and creams.

    (i) Modeling or simulation tools, including software controlled in paragraph (m) of this category, for chemical or biological weapons design, development, or employment developed or produced under a Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization (e.g., the Department of Defense's HPAC, SCIPUFF, and the Joint Effects Model (JEM)).

    (j)—(l) [Reserved]

    (m) Technical data (as defined in § 120.10 of this subchapter) and defense services (as defined in § 120.9 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (l) and (n) of this category; (See § 125.4 of this subchapter for exemptions.)

    (n) Developmental countermeasures or sorbents funded by the Department of Defense via contract or other funding authorization;

    Note 1 to paragraph (n):

    This paragraph does not control countermeasures or sorbents that are (a) in production, (b) determined to be subject to the EAR via a commodity jurisdiction determination (see § 120.4 of this subchapter), or (c) identified in the relevant Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization as being developed for both civil and military applications.

    Note 2 to paragraph (n):

    Note 1 does not apply to defense articles enumerated on the USML, whether in production or development.

    Note 3 to paragraph (n):

    This paragraph is applicable only to those contracts and funding authorizations that are dated [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], or later.

    (o)-(w) [Reserved]

    (x) Commodities, software, and technology subject to the EAR (see § 120.42 of this subchapter) used in or with defense articles controlled in this category.

    Note to paragraph (x):

    Use of this paragraph is limited to license applications for defense articles controlled in this category where the purchase documentation includes commodities, software, or technology subject to the EAR (see § 123.1(b) of this subchapter).

    Category XVIII—Directed Energy Weapons

    *(a) Directed energy weapons (DEW): systems or equipment that, as their sole or primary purpose (i.e., not as a result of incidental, accidental or collateral effect), degrade, destroy or cause mission-abort of a target; disturb, disable, or damage electronic circuitry, sensors or explosive devices remotely; deny area access; cause lethal effects; or cause permanent or flash blindness using any non-acoustic technique such as lasers (including continuous wave or pulsed lasers), particle beams, particle accelerators that project a charged or neutral particle beam, high power radio-frequency (RF), or high pulsed power or high average power radio frequency beam transmitters.

    *(b) Systems or equipment specially designed to detect, identify or provide defense against articles specified in paragraph (a) of this category.

    (c)-(d) [Reserved]

    (e) Components, parts, accessories, attachments, and associated systems or equipment specially designed for any of the articles in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this category.

    (f) Developmental directed energy weapons funded by the Department of Defense via contract or other funding authorization;

    Note 1 to paragraph (f):

    This paragraph does not control directed energy weapons (a) in production, (b) determined to be subject to the EAR via a commodity jurisdiction determination (see § 120.4 of this subchapter), or (c) identified in the relevant Department of Defense contract or other funding authorization as being developed for both civil and military applications.

    Note 2 to paragraph (f):

    Note 1 does not apply to defense articles enumerated on the USML, whether in production or development.

    Note 3 to paragraph (f):

    This paragraph is applicable only to those contracts and funding authorizations that are dated [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], or later.

    (g) Technical data (as defined in § 120.10 of this subchapter) and defense services (as defined in § 120.9 of this subchapter) directly related to the defense articles enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this category;

    (h)-(w) [Reserved]

    (x) Commodities, software, and technology subject to the EAR (see § 120.42 of this subchapter) used in or with defense articles controlled in this category.

    Note to paragraph (x):

    Use of this paragraph is limited to license applications for defense articles controlled in this category where the purchase documentation includes commodities, software, or technology subject to the EAR (see § 123.1(b) of this subchapter).

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Rose E. Gottemoeller, Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14472 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0069] Proposed Priority—Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Proposed priority.

    [CFDA Number: 84.264G.] SUMMARY:

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority to establish the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to provide training and technical assistance (TA) to State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to improve services under the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services program (VR program) and State Supported Employment Services program for individuals with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, and to implement changes to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law on July 22, 2014.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before July 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “Are you new to the site?”

    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about the proposed priority, address them to Jerry Elliott, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5042, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800.

    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jerry Elliott. Telephone: (202) 245-7335 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment addresses.

    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in person in Room 5021, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, Washington, DC, 20202-2800, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by WIOA, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education) to support projects that provide training, traineeships, and TA designed to increase the numbers of, and improve the skills of, qualified personnel (especially rehabilitation counselors) who are trained to provide vocational, medical, social, and psychological rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; assist individuals with communication and related disorders; and provide other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).

    Proposed Priority:

    This notice contains one proposed priority.

    Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center. Background:

    WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Rehabilitation Act, making major changes that affect the management and performance of the VR program and Supported Employment program. Among the changes are: (a) A requirement that States reserve at least 15 percent of their Federal VR allotment for providing or arranging for the provision of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities; (b) a requirement that States reserve at least 50 percent of their Federal Supported Employment allotment for the provision of supported employment services, including extended services, to youth with the most significant disabilities; (c) a requirement that States provide a 10 percent non-Federal share to match the 50 percent of Supported Employment allotment reserved for the provision of supported employment services to youth with the most significant disabilities; (d) a requirement that VR agencies provide documentation of the completion of certain specified activities to individuals with disabilities, including youth with disabilities, seeking or wanting to maintain employment at a subminimum wage; (e) a heightened emphasis on the achievement of competitive integrated employment by individuals with disabilities; (f) enhanced coordination and integration of the VR program with other core programs of the workforce development system; and (g) new common performance accountability requirements for all core programs of the workforce development system, including the State VR program.

    While some of these changes affect documentation or reporting requirements, others represent significant changes in the management and operation of the State VR program and the Supported Employment program. As such, RSA believes that it is appropriate to provide training and TA on the new statutory requirements imposed by WIOA.

    RSA believes that a dedicated TA center would help collect and disseminate information about relevant existing, emerging, and evidence-based practices; assist in developing and disseminating new approaches and practices; and coordinate and share activities and approaches related to implementation of WIOA in the topic areas for this priority so that States have the benefit of learning from each other as WIOA implementation proceeds.

    Proposed Priority:

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority to establish a cooperative agreement to create a Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WITAC) to assist VR agencies in implementing changes affecting the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services and State Supported Employment Services programs under WIOA, and to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes:

    (a) Implementation of effective and efficient “pre-employment transition services” for students with disabilities, as set forth in section 113 of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (b) Implementation by State VR agencies, in coordination with local and State educational agencies and with the Department of Labor, of the requirements in section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act that are under the purview of the Department of Education;

    (c) Increased access to supported employment and customized employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities, including youth with the most significant disabilities, receiving services under the State VR and Supported Employment programs;

    (d) An increased percentage of individuals with disabilities who receive services through the State VR agency and who achieve employment outcomes in competitive integrated employment;

    (e) Improved collaboration between State VR agencies and other core programs of the workforce development system; and

    (f) Implementation of the new common performance accountability system under section 116 of WIOA.

    Topic Areas.

    The WITAC will develop and provide training and technical assistance (TA) to State VR agency staff and related rehabilitation professionals and service providers in five topic areas related to changes made by WIOA:

    (a) Provision of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities and supported employment services to youth with disabilities;

    (b) Implementation of the requirements in section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act that are under the purview of the Department of Education;

    (c) Provision of resources and strategies to help individuals with disabilities achieve competitive integrated employment, including customized employment and supported employment;

    (d) Integration of the State VR program into the workforce development system; and

    (e) Transition to the new common performance accountability system under section 116 of WIOA, including the collection and reporting of common data elements.

    Project Activities.

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the WITAC must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

    Knowledge Development Activities.

    (a) In the first year, collect information from the literature and from existing State and Federal programs about evidence-based and promising practices relevant to the work of the WITAC and make this information publicly available in a searchable, accessible, and useful format. The WITAC must review, at a minimum:

    (1) Literature on evidence-based and promising practices relevant to the work of the WITAC;

    (2) The results of State VR agency monitoring conducted by RSA;

    (3) State VR agency program and performance data;

    (4) Department of Education and Department of Labor policies and guidance on program changes made by WIOA and implementation of those changes; and

    (5) Any existing State VR agency memoranda of understanding (MOUs) or agreement (MOAs) related to the work of the WITAC.

    (b) In the first year, conduct a survey of relevant stakeholders and VR service providers to identify workforce development TA needs and a process by which TA solutions can be offered to State VR agencies and their partners. The WITAC must survey, at a minimum:

    (1) State VR agency staff;

    (2) Relevant RSA staff; and

    (3) Other stakeholders, including stakeholders from the transition and special education community, the workforce development community, and the rehabilitation community.

    (c) Develop and refine one or more curriculum guides for VR staff training for each of the topic areas listed in the Topic Areas section of this priority.

    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities.

    (a) Provide intensive, sustained TA 1 to a minimum of 23 State VR agencies and their associated rehabilitation professionals and service providers in the topic areas set out in this priority. The WITAC must provide intensive, sustained TA to a minimum of two agencies in the first year of the project and to a minimum of seven additional agencies per year in the second, third, and fourth years of the project. These are minimum requirements, and the expectation is that intensive, sustained TA will be provided, to the extent funds are available, to all of the State VR agencies that request intensive, sustained TA. This TA must include:

    1 For the purposes of this priority, “intensive, sustained technical assistance” means TA services often provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA center staff and the TA recipient. “Technical assistance services” are defined as negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.

    (1) For topic area (a), how to—

    (i) Develop, manage, and implement effective pre-employment transition services to improve the transition of students with disabilities from secondary to postsecondary education and employment;

    (ii) Coordinate pre-employment transition services with transition services provided under IDEA; and

    (iii) Develop and implement supported employment services for youth with the most significant disabilities;

    (2) For topic area (b):

    (i) How to provide career-related counseling, information, and referral services to individuals entering and continuing employment at subminimum wages; and

    (ii) How to implement documentation requirements for youth with disabilities seeking employment at subminimum wage, in accordance with section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (3) For topic area (c), how to design and implement new services and new roles and responsibilities among partner agencies to increase the percentage of individuals achieving competitive integrated employment and to meet the supported employment and customized employment requirements of the Rehabilitation Act;

    (4) For topic area (d), how to develop model relationships between State VR agencies and other core programs of the workforce development system for purposes of implementing the requirements of title I of WIOA, especially those requirements related to integration of core programs into the workforce development system; and

    (5) For topic area (e), how to effectively transition to the new common performance accountability system required in section 116 of WIOA and use performance results to implement programmatic changes to improve agency performance.

    (b) Provide a range of targeted, specialized TA 2 and universal, general TA 3 products and services on the topic areas in this priority. This TA must include, at a minimum, the following activities:

    2 For the purposes of this priority, “targeted, specialized technical assistance” means TA services based on needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A relationship is established between the TA recipient and one or more TA center staff. This category of TA includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered targeted, specialized TA.

    3 For the purposes of this priority, “universal, general technical assistance” means TA and information provided to independent users through their own initiative, resulting in minimal interaction with TA center staff and including one-time, invited or offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This category of TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by TA center staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also considered universal, general TA.

    (1) Establishing and maintaining a state-of-the-art information technology (IT) platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and TA.

    Note:

    All products produced by WITAC must meet government- and industry-recognized standards for accessibility, including section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    (2) Developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art archiving and dissemination system that—

    (i) Provides a central location for later use of TA products, including course curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of emerging and best practices for the topic areas in this priority, and any other TA products; and

    (ii) Is open and available to the public.

    Note:

    In meeting the requirements for (b)(1) and (2) above, the WITAC may either develop new platforms or systems or may modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the requirements of this priority are met.

    (3) Providing a minimum of two Webinars or video conferences over the course of the project on each of the topic areas in this priority to describe and disseminate information about emerging and best practices in each area.

    Coordination Activities.

    (a) Establish one or more communities of practice that focus on the topic areas in this priority and that act as vehicles for communication and exchange of information among State VR agencies and partners, including the results of TA projects that are in progress or have been completed;

    (b) Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other relevant Department-funded projects and those supported by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Commerce; and

    (c) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and other RSA staff as required.

    Application Requirements.

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application and administrative requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:

    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will address State VR agencies' capacity to implement the requirements of WIOA. To meet this requirement, the applicant must:

    (1) Demonstrate knowledge of current RSA guidance and State and Federal initiatives designed to improve engagement with the workforce development system and workforce development system partners;

    (2) Demonstrate knowledge of current State VR agency and other efforts to improve engagement with secondary schools, youth programs, and other programs that provide services to youth with disabilities for the purpose of assisting such youth to enter postsecondary education or competitive integrated employment; and

    (3) Demonstrate knowledge of current State VR agency efforts to engage with State Medicaid, developmental disability, and mental health agencies to develop agreements and provide services leading to competitive integrated employment, including supported employment and customized employment.

    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—

    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;

    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes; and

    (iii) A plan for communicating, collaborating, and coordinating with key staff in State VR agencies; State and local partner programs; RSA partners, such as the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, and other TA centers; and relevant programs within SSA and the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Commerce.

    (2) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework.

    (3) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the current research about adult learning principles and implementation science will inform the proposed TA; and

    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and evidence-based practices in the development and delivery of its products and services.

    (4) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed activities to identify or develop the knowledge base on emerging and promising practices in the five topic areas listed in the Topic Areas section of this priority;

    (ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA;

    (iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA, which must identify—

    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach; and

    (B) Its proposed approach to measure the capacity and readiness of State VR agencies to work with the proposed project, assessing, at a minimum, their current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to effectively respond to the TA, as appropriate;

    (iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA, which must identify—

    (A) The intended recipients of the products and services under this approach;

    (B) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of the State VR agencies to work with the proposed project, including the State VR agencies' commitment to the initiative, fit of the initiative, current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to effectively respond to the TA, as appropriate;

    (C) Its proposed plan for assisting State VR agencies to build training systems that include professional development based on adult learning principles and coaching; and

    (D) Its proposed plan for developing agreements with State VR agencies to provide intensive, sustained TA. The plan must describe how the agreements will outline the purposes of the TA, the intended outcomes of the TA, and the measurable objectives of the TA that will be evaluated.

    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration.

    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” how the proposed project will—

    (1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the TA provided. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed approach to—

    (i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of each TA activity from State VR agencies, partners, or other sources, as appropriate; and

    (ii) Analyzing data and determining effectiveness of each TA activity, including any proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness.

    (2) Collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the project, including measuring and tracking the effectiveness of the TA provided. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses;

    (ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;

    (iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and

    (iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual TA activities achieved their intended outcomes.

    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—

    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;

    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide TA to State VR agencies and their partners in each of the topic areas in this priority and to achieve the project's intended outcomes;

    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and

    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits;

    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—

    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—

    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and

    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.

    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;

    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and

    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, TA providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.

    Types of Priorities:

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Final Priority:

    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this proposed regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

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

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

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

    We are issuing this proposed priority only on a reasoned determination that its benefits would justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.

    We propose to fund through this priority TA to State VR agencies to improve the quality of VR services and of the competitive integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities, and ultimately to increase the percentage of individuals with disabilities who receive services through the State VR agencies who achieve competitive integrated employment outcomes. This proposed priority would promote the efficient and effective use of Federal funds.

    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14940 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 10 RIN 0906-AA89 340B Drug Pricing Program Ceiling Price and Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties Regulation AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administers section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), which is referred to as the “340B Drug Pricing Program” or the “340B Program.” This proposed rule will apply to all drug manufacturers that are required to make their drugs available to covered entities under the 340B Program. The proposed rule sets forth the calculation of the ceiling price and application of civil monetary penalties.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0906-AA89, by any of the following methods. Please submit your comments in only one of these ways to minimize the receipt of duplicate submissions. The first is the preferred method.

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow instructions for submitting comments. This is the preferred method for the submission of comments.

    • Email: [email protected] Include 0906-AA89 in the subject line of the message.

    • Mail: Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA), Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 08W05A, Rockville, MD 20857.

    All submitted comments will be available to the public in their entirety.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    CDR Krista Pedley, Director, OPA, HSB, HRSA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop 08W05A, Rockville, MD 20857, or by telephone at 301-594-4353.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The President encourages Federal agencies through Executive Order 13563 to develop balanced regulations by encouraging broad public participation in the regulatory process and an open exchange of ideas. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accordingly urges all interested parties to examine this regulatory proposal carefully and to share your views with us, including any data to support your positions. If you have questions before submitting comments, please see the “For Further Information” box above for the names and contact information of subject-matter experts involved in this proposal's development. We must consider all written comments received during the comment period before issuing a final rule.

    If you are a person with a disability and/or a user of assistive technology who has difficulty accessing this document, please contact HRSA's Regulations Officer at: Room 14-101, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857; or by telephone at 301-443-1785, to obtain this information in an accessible format. This is not a toll free telephone number.

    Please visit http://www.HHS.gov/regulations for more information on HHS rulemaking and opportunities to comment on proposed and existing rules.

    I. Background

    Section 602 of Public Law 102-585, the “Veterans Health Care Act of 1992,” enacted section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) “Limitation on Prices of Drugs Purchased by Covered Entities,” codified at 42 U.S.C. 256b. The 340B Program permits covered entities “to stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.” H.R. REP. No. 102-384(II), at 12 (1992). Eligible covered entity types are defined in section 340B(a)(4) of the PHSA, as amended. Section 340B of the PHSA instructs HHS to enter into a pharmaceutical pricing agreement (PPA) with certain drug manufacturers. If a drug manufacturer signs a PPA, it agrees that the prices charged for covered outpatient drugs to covered entities will not exceed defined 340B ceiling prices, which are based on quarterly pricing data reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Section 7102 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148) as amended by section 2302 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Pub. L. 111-152) (HCERA) (hereinafter referred to as the “Affordable Care Act”), added section 340B(d)(1)(B)(vi) of the PHSA, which provides for: The imposition of sanctions in the form of civil monetary penalties, which—

    (I) shall be assessed according to standards established in regulations to be promulgated by the Secretary not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;

    (II) shall not exceed $5,000 for each instance of overcharging a covered entity that may have occurred; and

    (III) shall apply to any manufacturer with an agreement under this section that knowingly and intentionally charges a covered entity a price for purchase of a drug that exceeds the maximum applicable price under subsection (a)(1).

    The Affordable Care Act also added section 340B(d)(1)(B)(i)(I) of the PHSA, which requires the “[d]evelopment and publishing through an appropriate policy or regulatory issuance, precisely defined standards and methodology for the calculation of ceiling prices. . . .”

    Since 1992, HHS has administratively established the terms and certain elements of the 340B Program through guidelines published in the Federal Register, typically after notice and opportunity for comment. In September 2010, HHS published two advanced notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register, 340B Drug Pricing Program Administrative Dispute Resolution Process (75 FR 57233 (September 20, 2010)) and 340B Drug Pricing Program Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties (75 FR 57230 (September 20, 2010)). The administrative dispute resolution process remains under development and is not included in this notice of proposed rulemaking. HHS intends to address dispute resolution in future rulemaking.

    In the manufacturer civil monetary penalties ANPRM, HHS sought comments relevant to this provision and requested comment on nine identified areas: (1) Existing Models; (2) Threshold Determination; (3) Administrative Process Elements; (4) Hearing; (5) Appeals Process; (6) Definitions; (7) Penalty Computation; (8) Payment of Penalty; and (9) Integration of Civil Monetary Penalties with Other Provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The request for comments on existing models requested comments on the appropriateness on the use and adaptation of the procedures codified at 42 CFR part 1003, which includes procedures for the imposition of civil monetary penalties by the HHS Office of the Inspector General. HRSA received 15 comments on the ANPRM. The comments received have been considered in the development of this notice. HHS is also proposing this rule to provide increased clarity in the marketplace for all 340B Program stakeholders as to the calculation of the 340B ceiling price. HHS encourages all stakeholders to provide comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    II. Summary of the Proposed Regulations

    The proposed revisions to 42 CFR part 10 of the regulations are described according to the applicable section of the regulations. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently vacated the 340B Program Regulations at 42 CFR part 10 relating to Orphan Drugs. PhRMA v. HHS, No. 13-01501 (D.D.C. May 23, 2014). This NPRM proposes to replace sections 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.10 with the provisions of this NPRM, add a new section 10.11, and eliminate sections 10.20 and 10.21.

    Subpart A—General Provisions § 10.1 Purpose

    This part implements section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) “Limitation on Prices of Drugs Purchased by Covered Entities.”

    § 10.2 Summary of 340B Drug Pricing Program

    Section 340B of the PHSA instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into agreements with manufacturers of covered outpatient drugs under which the amount to be paid to manufacturers by certain statutorily-defined covered entities does not exceed the 340B ceiling price. Manufacturers participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B Program) are required to provide these discounts on all covered outpatient drugs sold to participating 340B covered entities.

    § 10.3 Definitions

    The Department is proposing to revise the following definitions: “ceiling price,” “covered entity,” “covered outpatient drug,” and “manufacturer.”

    The Department is proposing to add the following definitions: “340B drug,” “Average Manufacturer Price (AMP),” “CMS,” “National Drug Code (NDC),” “quarter,” and “wholesaler.”

    The definitions for “Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement (PPA),” and “Secretary” would remain in the section, and the definitions for “Group purchasing organization (GPO),” “orphan drug,” and “participating drug manufacturer” would be removed from the section.

    Subpart B—340B Ceiling Price § 10.10 Ceiling Price for a Covered Outpatient Drug

    A manufacturer must calculate the ceiling price for all of its covered outpatient drugs on a quarterly basis. The calculation of the 340B ceiling price for a 340B drug is established by statute. Under section 340B(a) of the PHSA, the 340B ceiling price for covered outpatient drugs is calculated by subtracting the unit rebate amount (URA) from the average manufacturer price (AMP) for the smallest unit of measure and will be calculated using six decimal places. To ensure the final price is operational in the marketplace, HRSA then multiplies this amount by the drug's package size and case package size. HRSA will publish the 340B ceiling price rounded to two decimal places.

    Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, CMS indexes quarterly AMPs to the rate of inflation (Consumer Price Index adjusted for inflation-urban). Section 1927(c)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act provides that with respect to single source and innovator multiple source drugs, if the AMP increases at a rate faster than inflation, the manufacturer must pay an additional rebate amount which is reflected in a higher URA. Historically, because of the basic rebate and the inflation factor, section 1927(c)(2)(A) could increase the rebate amount a manufacturer must pay to States, resulting in negative 340B prices. As of January 1, 2010, a provision in section 1927(c)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act effectively limited the unit rebate amount to 100 percent of the AMP. Thus, an increase in the basic rebate and inflation factor would not result in a negative 340B price, but could result in a zero 340B price.

    Exception: Penny Pricing and Distribution

    HHS recognizes that when the URA equals the AMP in the calculation of the 340B ceiling price, it is not reasonable for a manufacturer to set a 340B ceiling price to $0.00 per unit of measure. HHS proposes that a manufacturer charge a $0.01 per unit of measure for a drug with a ceiling price below $0.01. For those 340B drugs whose calculated price is less than $0.01, the effective ceiling price will be $0.01 per unit of measure.

    Manufacturers may not use the prior quarter's pricing, wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), or any other non-340B contract price in place of the penny pricing, as 340B ceiling prices must be based on the immediately preceding calendar quarter pricing data. Using the prior quarter pricing or some other price would nullify the pricing formula.

    New Drug Price Estimation

    Calculation of the current quarter ceiling price for each covered outpatient drug is based on pricing data from the immediately preceding calendar quarter. For new drugs, there will be no sales data from which to determine the 340B ceiling price. HHS published final guidelines in 1995 describing ceiling price calculations for new drugs (60 FR 51488 (October 2, 1995)). HHS is proposing to codify the longstanding policy from the 1995 final guidelines in these regulations. HHS proposes that a manufacturer will continue to estimate the 340B ceiling price for the first three quarters a new covered outpatient drug is available for sale. The ceiling price calculation described in paragraph (a) of this section will be required beginning with the fourth quarter the drug is available for sale. A manufacturer must calculate the actual 340B ceiling price for the first three quarters the drug was available for sale and refund or credit covered entities that purchased the covered outpatient drug above the calculated 340B ceiling price no later than the end of the fourth quarter after the drug is available for sale. For example, if a manufacturer with a PPA has a new drug approved for sale in February and that drug meets the definition of covered outpatient drug, the price estimation requirements would apply. The manufacturer would estimate the 340B ceiling price for the first three calendar quarters of availability. Beginning with the fourth quarter (October 1-December 31), the manufacturer will have the necessary pricing data to calculate the ceiling price based on section 340B(a)(1) of the PHSA. The manufacturer would then calculate the actual 340B ceiling price for the first three quarters and refund or credit covered entities which paid above the calculated ceiling price during those quarters. The refunds and credits must be completed by the end of the fourth quarter.

    HRSA solicits comments on all aspects of the 340B ceiling price methodology proposed.

    § 10.11 Manufacturer Civil Monetary Penalties General

    Any manufacturer with a pharmaceutical pricing agreement that knowingly and intentionally charges a covered entity more than the ceiling price, as defined in § 10.10, for a covered outpatient drug, may be subject to a civil monetary penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each instance of overcharging a covered entity, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section. Any civil monetary penalty assessed will be in addition to repayment for an instance of overcharging as required by section 340B(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the PHSA. Pursuant to a delegation of authority, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) will have the authority to bring 340B CMP actions utilizing the standards applied to other civil monetary penalties under 42 CFR parts 1003 and 1005.

    Instance of Overcharging

    An instance of overcharging is any order for a certain covered outpatient drug, by NDC, which results in a covered entity paying more than the ceiling price, as defined in § 10.10, for a covered outpatient drug. Each order for an NDC will constitute a single instance, regardless of the number of units of each NDC in that order. Likewise, if a covered entity orders a single bottle of a covered outpatient drug four times in a month, it would be considered four instances of overcharging. This includes any order placed directly with a manufacturer or through a wholesaler, authorized distributor, or agent. An instance of overcharging is considered at the 11-digit NDC level and may not be offset by other discounts provided on any other NDC or discounts provided on the same NDC on other transactions, orders, or purchases. An instance of overcharging may occur at the time of initial purchase or when subsequent ceiling price recalculations resulting from pricing data submitted to CMS occur and the manufacturer refuses to refund or issue a credit to a covered entity. A manufacturer's failure to provide the 340B ceiling price is not considered an instance of overcharging when a covered entity did not initially identify the purchase to the manufacturer as 340B-eligible at the time of purchase. Covered entity orders of non-340B priced drugs will not subsequently be considered an instance of overcharging unless the manufacturer's documented refusal to sell or make drugs available at the 340B price resulted in the covered entity purchasing at the non-340B price. When a manufacturer's documented refusal to sell or make drugs available at the 340B price results in the covered entity purchasing at the non-340B price, a manufacturer's sale at the non-340B price could be considered an instance of overcharging.

    All requirements for offering the 340B ceiling price to covered entities apply regardless of the distribution system. Specialty distribution, regardless of justification, must ensure 340B covered entities purchase covered outpatient drugs at or below the ceiling price. Manufacturers commonly use wholesalers to distribute drugs on their behalf. This regulation and associated penalties applies solely to manufacturers, even though other parties, such as wholesalers, have a role in ultimately ensuring the covered entity receives a 340B drug at or below the ceiling prices. Manufacturers should consider the wholesaler role in this process and work out issues in good faith and in normal business arrangements regarding the assurance that the covered entity receives the appropriate price as outlined in this regulation. A manufacturer's failure to ensure that covered entities receive the appropriate 340B discount through its distribution arrangements may be grounds for the assessment of civil monetary penalties under this regulation.

    III. Regulatory Impact Analysis

    HHS has examined the effects of this rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 8, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4), and Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999).

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    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 is supplemental to and reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review as established in Executive Order 12866, emphasizing the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule: (1) Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any 1 year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”); (2) creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year), and a “significant” regulatory action is subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    This proposed rule is not likely to have economic impacts of $100 million or more in any 1 year, and therefore has not been designated an “economically significant” rule under section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866. The 340B Program as a whole creates significant savings for entities purchasing drugs through the program, with total savings estimated to be $3.8 billion in FY 2013.1 However, this proposed rule would not significantly affect the impact of the program. This proposed rule incorporates current policies regarding calculation of the ceiling price and introduces manufacturer civil monetary penalties. HHS does not anticipate that the imposition of civil monetary penalties would result in significant economic impacts.

    1 In FY 2013, 340B covered entities spent approximately $7.5 billion on the total purchases of 340B drugs under the 340B Program. This data was obtained from the 340B Prime Vendor Program. This amount represents 2 percent of the overall prescription drug market. Assuming covered entities pay 25 to 50 percent less than non-340B prices, HHS calculated the estimated total savings in FY 2013 to be approximately $3.8 billion.

    The 340B Program uses information which already must be reported under Medicaid to calculate the statutorily defined 340B ceiling price as required by this proposed rule. Because the components of the ceiling price are already calculated by the manufacturers under the Medicaid program and reported to CMS, HHS does not believe this portion of the proposed rule would have an impact on manufacturers. The impact on manufacturers would also be limited with respect to calculation of the ceiling price as defined in this proposed rule due to the fact that manufacturers regularly calculate the 340B ceiling price and have been since the program's inception.

    Separate from calculation of the 340B ceiling price, manufacturers are required to ensure they do not overcharge covered entities, and a civil monetary penalty could result from overcharging if it met the standards in this proposed rule. The use of those penalties would probably be rare. Since the program's inception, issues related to overcharges have been resolved between a manufacturer and a covered entity and any issues have generally been due to technical errors in the calculation. For the penalties to be used as defined in the statute and in this rule, a manufacturer would only be subject to those penalties when the overcharge was a result of a knowing and intentional act. Based on anecdoctal information received from covered entities, HHS anticipates that this would occur very rarely if at all.

    This rulemaking also proposes that a manufacturer charge a $0.01 per unit of measure for a drug with a ceiling price below $0.01. A small number of manufacturers have informed HRSA over the last several years that they charge more than $0.01 for a drug with a ceiling price below $0.01. However, this is a long-standing HRSA policy and HRSA believes the majority of manufacturers currently follow the practice of charging a $0.01. Therefore, this portion of the regulation will not result in a significant impact. This proposed regulation would allow HRSA to enforce the policy in a manner that would require the manufacturer to charge a $0.01, and it is likely that manufacturers would charge $0.01 in order to avoid the imposition of a civil monetary penaly for overcharging a covered entity. Therefore, HRSA believes manufacturers that currently do not comply will come into compliance, which will result in the covered enity paying less for these drugs. This will be a cost transfer from the covered entity to the manufacturer.

    HHS recognizes that some administrative costs would be incurred for compliance with this proposed rule. HHS does not collect data related to such administrative costs from manufacturers, and compliance costs are expected to vary significantly. HHS believes it is reasonable to assume that manufacturers would use one-half to one full-time compliance officer to ensure compliance with the requirements in this proposed rule. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for a pharmaceutical compliance officer (NAICS 325400, occupation code 13-1041) is $74,620 in 2014. Inclusion of benefits and overhead (resulting in a total labor cost of 1.5 times mean annual salary) yields a total annual cost of $111,930 for one compliance officer. Thus the estimated annual cost for labor across all 600 manufacturers is between $33,579,000 and $67,158,000.

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) (RFA) and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996, which amended the RFA, require HHS to analyze options for regulatory relief of small businesses. If a rule has a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities, the Secretary must specifically consider the economic effect of the rule on small entities and analyze regulatory options that could lessen the impact of the rule. HHS will use an RFA threshold of at least a three percent impact on at least five percent of small entities.

    This proposed rule would affect drug manufacturers (North American Industry Classification System code 325412: Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing). The small business size standard for drug manufacturers is 750 employees. While it is possible to estimate the impact of this proposed rule on the industry as a whole, the data necessary to project changes for specific manufacturers or groups of manufacturers were not available. This proposed rule clarifies statutory requirements for all manufacturers, including small manufacturers, and proposes current ceiling price calculation policies be codified in regulation. HHS is not aware of small manufacturers which currently do not follow the ceiling price policies proposed in this regulatory action. HHS welcomes comments concerning the impact of this proposed rule on small manufacturers.

    HHS therefore estimates that the economic impact on small entities will be minimal and less than three percent.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202(a) of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires that agencies prepare a written statement, which includes an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits, before proposing “any rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year.” In 2013, that threshold level is approximately $141 million. HHS does not expect this proposed rule to exceed the threshold.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    HHS has reviewed this proposed rule in accordance with Executive Order 13132 regarding federalism, and has determined that it does not have “federalism implications.” This proposed rule would not “have substantial direct effects on the States, or on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” The proposals in this notice of proposed rulemaking, if implemented, would not adversely affect the following family elements: Family safety, family stability, marital commitment; parental rights in the education, nurture, and supervision of their children; family functioning, disposable income or poverty; or the behavior and personal responsibility of youth, as determined under Section 654(c) of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999. HHS invites additional comments on the impact of this proposed rule from affected stakeholders.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires that OMB approve all collections of information by a Federal agency from the public before they can be implemented. This proposed rule is projected to have no impact on current reporting and recordkeeping burden for manufacturers under the 340B Program. Changes proposed in this rulemaking would result in no new reporting burdens. Comments are welcome on the accuracy of this statement.

    Dated: March 6, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary. List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 10

    Biologics, Business and industry, Diseases, Drugs, Health, Health care, Health facilities, Hospitals, 340B Drug Pricing Program.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Health and Human Services proposes to amend 42 CFR part 10 as follows:

    1. Revise part 10 to read as follows: PART 10—340B Drug Pricing Program Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 10.1 Purpose. 10.2 Summary of 340B Drug Pricing Program. 10.3 Definitions. Subpart B—340B Ceiling Price 10.10 Ceiling price for a covered outpatient drug. 10.11 Manufacturer civil monetary penalties. Authority:

    Sec. 340B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 256b), as amended.

    Subpart A—General Provisions
    § 10.1 Purpose.

    This part implements section 340B of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) “Limitation on Prices of Drugs Purchased by Covered Entities.”

    § 10.2 Summary of 340B Drug Pricing Program.

    Section 340B of the PHSA instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into agreements with manufacturers of covered outpatient drugs under which the amount to be paid to manufacturers by certain statutorily-defined covered entities does not exceed the 340B ceiling price.

    § 10.3 Definitions.

    For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

    340B drug is a covered outpatient drug, as defined in section 1927(k) of the Social Security Act, purchased by a covered entity at or below the ceiling price required pursuant to a pharmaceutical pricing agreement with the Secretary.

    Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) has the meaning set forth in 1927(k)(1) of the Social Security Act.

    Ceiling price means the maximum statutory price established under section 340B(a)(1) of the PHSA and these regulations.

    CMS is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    Covered entity means an entity that is listed within section 340B(a)(4) of the PHSA, meets the requirements under section 340B(a)(5) of the PHSA, and is registered and listed in the 340B database.

    Covered outpatient drug has the meaning set forth in section 1927(k) of the Social Security Act.

    Manufacturer has the meaning set forth in section 1927(k) of the Social Security Act.

    National Drug Code (NDC) has the meaning set forth in 42 CFR 447.502.

    Pharmaceutical Pricing Agreement (PPA) means an agreement described in section 340B(a)(1) of the PHSA.

    Quarter refers to a calendar quarter unless otherwise specified.

    Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and any other officer of employee of the Department of Health and Human Services to whom the authority involved has been delegated.

    Wholesaler has the meaning set forth in 42 U.S.C. 1396r-8(k)(11).

    Subpart B—340B Ceiling Price
    § 10.10 Ceiling price for a covered outpatient drug.

    A manufacturer is required to calculate 340B ceiling prices for each covered outpatient drug, by National Drug Code (NDC) on a quarterly basis.

    (a) Calculation of 340B ceiling price. The 340B ceiling price for a covered outpatient drug is equal to the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) for the smallest unit of measure minus the Unit Rebate Amount (URA) and will be calculated using six decimal places. To ensure the final price is operational in the marketplace, HRSA then multiplies this amount by the drug's package size and case package size. HRSA will publish the 340B ceiling price rounded to two decimal places.

    (b) Exception.When the ceiling price calculation in paragraph (a) of this section results in an amount less than $0.01 the ceiling price will be $0.01.

    (c) New drug price estimation.A manufacturer must estimate the ceiling price for a new covered outpatient drug as of the date the drug is first available for sale and must provide HRSA an estimated ceiling price for each of the first three quarters the drug is available for sale. Beginning with the fourth quarter the drug is available for sale, the manufacturer must calculate the ceiling price as described in paragraph (a) of this section. A manufacturer must calculate the actual ceiling prices for the first three quarters and refund or credit any covered entity which purchased the covered outpatient drug at a price greater than the calculated ceiling price. The refunds or credits for the first three quarters must be provided to covered entities by the end of the fourth quarter.

    § 10.11 Manufacturer civil monetary penalties.

    (a) General.Any manufacturer with a pharmaceutical pricing agreement that knowingly and intentionally charges a covered entity more than the ceiling price, as defined in § 10.10, for a covered outpatient drug, may be subject to a civil monetary penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each instance of overcharging a covered entity, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section. This penalty will be imposed pursuant to the procedures at 42 CFR part 1003. Any civil monetary penalty assessed will be in addition to repayment for an instance of overcharging as required by section 340B(d)(1)(B)(ii) of the PHSA.

    (b) Instance of overcharging. An instance of overcharging is any order for a covered outpatient drug, by NDC, which results in a covered entity paying more than the ceiling price, as defined in § 10.10, for that covered outpatient drug.

    (1) Each order for an NDC will constitute a single instance, regardless of the number of units of each NDC ordered. This includes any order placed directly with a manufacturer or through a wholesaler, authorized distributor, or agent.

    (2) Manufacturers have an obligation to ensure that the 340B discount is provided through distribution arrangements made by the manufacturer.

    (3) An instance of overcharging is considered at the NDC level and may not be offset by other discounts provided on any other NDC or discounts provided on the same NDC on other transactions, orders, or purchases.

    (4) An instance of overcharging may occur at the time of initial purchase or when subsequent ceiling price recalculations due to pricing data submitted to CMS result in a covered entity paying more than the ceiling price due to failure or refusal to refund or credit a covered entity.

    (5) A manufacturer's failure to provide the 340B ceiling price is not considered an instance of overcharging when a covered entity did not initially identify the purchase to the manufacturer as 340B-eligible at the time of purchase. Covered entity orders of non-340B priced drugs will not subsequently be considered an instance of overcharging unless the manufacturer's refusal to sell or make drugs available at the 340B price resulted in the covered entity purchasing at the non-340B price.

    Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on June 10, 2015.

    [FR Doc. 2015-14648 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 393 [Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0428] RIN 2126-AB67 Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Certification for Commercial Motor Vehicles Operated by United States-Domiciled Motor Carriers AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by requiring United States-domiciled (U.S.- domiciled) motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce to use only commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that display a certification label affixed by the vehicle manufacturer or a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Registered Importer, indicating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in effect at the time of manufacture. If the certification label is missing, the motor carrier must obtain, and a driver upon demand present, a letter issued by the vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle met all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture.

    DATES:

    You may submit comments by August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments to the rulemaking docket should refer to Docket ID Number FMCSA-2014-0428- or RIN 2126-AB67, and be submitted to the Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration using any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

    Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Huntley, Chief, Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 366-9209 or via email at [email protected] FMCSA office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Public Participation and Request for Comments II. Executive Summary III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking IV. Background V. Discussion of the Proposed Rule VI. Regulatory Analyses I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials.

    Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (FMCSA-2014-0428), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and click on the “Submit a Comment” box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the “Document Type” drop down menu, select “Rules,” insert “FMCSA-2014-0428” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.” When the new screen appears, click on “Submit a Comment” in the “Actions” column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.

    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your comments.

    Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as any documents mentioned in this preamble, go to http://www.regulations.gov and click on the “Read Comments” box in the upper right hand side of the screen. Then, in the “Keyword” box insert “FMCSA-2014-0428” and click “Search.” Next, click the “Open Docket Folder” in the “Actions” column. Finally, in the “Title” column, click on the document you would like to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting 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., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Privacy Act

    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.

    II. Executive Summary Purpose and Summary of the Major Provisions

    The FMCSRs require that motor carriers operating CMVs in the U.S., including Mexico- and Canada-domiciled carriers, ensure that the vehicles are equipped with the applicable safety equipment and features specified in 49 CFR part 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operations, which includes cross references to safety equipment and features that must be installed at the time of production. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires vehicle manufacturers to certify that the vehicles they produce for sale and use in the U.S. meet all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture. In addition, they must affix an FMVSS certification label to each vehicle in accordance with the requirements of 49 CFR part 567. This NPRM would require U.S.-domiciled motor carriers engaged in interstate commerce to use only CMVs that display an FMVSS certification label affixed by the vehicle manufacturer indicating that the vehicle: (1) satisfied all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture; or (2) has been modified to meet those standards and legally imported by a DOT Registered Importer. In the absence of such a label (e.g., because of vehicle damage or deliberate removal), the motor carrier must obtain, and a driver upon demand present, a letter issued by the vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable FMVSS in effect on the date of manufacture. The manufacturer should be able to determine quickly whether the vehicle was built to comply with the FMVSS by comparing the vehicle identification number (VIN) to its production records.

    In the event a vehicle does not display a certification label, motor carriers would be responsible for providing their drivers with a letter from the vehicle manufacturer to present to Federal or State enforcement officials upon request.

    This proposed rule would address the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) concerns about the operation of CMVs that do not display certification labels. It would not apply to foreign-domiciled vehicles (i.e., CMVs operated by Mexico- and Canada-domiciled motor carriers) engaged in international traffic, as regulations enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit such vehicles to be admitted to the U.S. without formal importation, payment of duty, or compliance with the FMVSS.1

    1 The applicable Customs and Border Protection regulations governing instruments of international traffic are found in 19 CFR 10.41, 10.41a, and part 123, subpart B. With certain exceptions, instruments of international traffic may be released without entry or the payment of duty, subject to the provisions set forth in these regulations.

    Benefits and Costs

    Generally, motor carriers engaging in interstate commerce with a principal place of business in the U.S. would not experience any regulatory burden as a result of this rulemaking unless the motor carrier: (1) had vehicles with missing certification labels; or (2) had acquired a vehicle that was not originally manufactured for sale or use in this country that had somehow been improperly imported. The Agency lacks data on the prevalence of such vehicles in the fleets of U.S.-domiciled motor carriers. FMCSA seeks comment on: (1) the size of the CMV population originally certified as FMVSS-compliant that now lacks certification labels because of vehicle damage, deliberate removal, or other reasons; and (2) the number of CMVs operated by U.S.-domiciled carriers that lack certification labels because they were neither designed nor certified to be FMVSS-compliant. FMCSA believes that most missing labels fall into the first of these two categories.

    This rulemaking is not intended to deprive motor carriers of the use of vehicles produced in compliance with the appropriate FMVSS, but rather to prevent vehicles not manufactured or modified to meet those standards from being operated by U.S.-domiciled interstate carriers.

    FMCSA believes this rulemaking would have no impact on the vast majority of U.S. carriers. Because motor vehicles manufactured for sale or use in the U.S. must display an FMVSS certification label, and because vehicles that are properly imported by a Registered Importer must likewise display an FMVSS certification label, all vehicles operated by U.S. motor carriers would typically already have such labels. However, there may be circumstances where a CMV lacking an FMVSS certification label is used in interstate commerce by an American carrier. This NPRM would force the carrier to incur one-time costs to determine whether the label had simply been lost or, more seriously, whether the vehicle may have been improperly imported. In order to minimize those costs, FMCSA will accept as proof of compliance with the FMVSS a letter from the vehicle manufacturer stating that the subject vehicle satisfied all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture. The Agency is unable to quantify the costs associated with this alternative demonstration of compliance, but expects them to be minimal. FMCSA seeks comment on the cost and effectiveness of this letter-based validation process when an FMVSS certification label is missing or too damaged to read.

    With regard to benefits, the rule would make it easier for FMCSA and its State partners to identify CMVs operated by U.S.-domiciled motor carriers that may have been introduced into interstate commerce without the proper FMVSS certification.

    In the absence of monetizeable benefits, and due to uncertainty regarding the size of the affected population and the costs to comply with this rulemaking, FMCSA proposes to use a threshold analysis to quantify the benefits necessary to offset the costs of the rule. This threshold analysis will be included in the final rule, drawing upon information provided in comments to the docket and other data to establish lower and upper bounds for costs. The Agency seeks comments on the value of a threshold analysis versus a qualitative assessment of the rule's potential impact.

    III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    This NPRM is based on the authority of the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 (1935 Act) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA or 1984 Act), both of which provide broad discretion to the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) in implementing their provisions.

    The 1935 Act provides that the Secretary may prescribe requirements for: (1) qualifications and maximum hours of service of employees of, and safety of operation and equipment of, a motor carrier [49 U.S.C. 31502(b)(1)]; and (2) qualifications and maximum hours of service of employees of, and standards of equipment of, a motor private carrier, when needed to promote safety of operation [49 U.S.C. 31502(b)(2)]. These proposed amendments are based on the Secretary's authority to regulate the safety and standards of equipment of for-hire and private motor carriers.

    The 1984 Act gives the Secretary concurrent authority to regulate CMVs and the drivers and motor carriers that operate them, as well as the vehicles themselves [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)]. Section 31136(a) requires the Secretary to publish regulations on CMV safety. Specifically, the Act sets forth minimum safety standards to ensure that: (1) CMVs are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(1)]; (2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of CMVs do not impair their ability to operate the vehicles safely [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(2)]; (3) the physical condition of CMV operators is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(3)]; and (4) the operation of CMVs does not have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(4)]. Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) [Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405, 818, July 6, 2012] enacted a fifth requirement, i.e., that the regulations ensure that “(5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under this section, or chapter 51 [Transportation of Hazardous Material] or chapter 313 [Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators] of this title” [49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(5)].

    This proposed rule would prohibit U.S-domiciled motor carriers from operating CMVs that are not appropriately labeled to document that they met all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture. Motor carriers could continue to purchase foreign vehicles for importation into the United States, but NHTSA requires these vehicles to have documentation and labels to verify that they have been modified to comply with the applicable FMVSS. Because FMCSA has exercised its statutory authority to include cross-references to the FMVSS in the FMCSRs, this rulemaking is consistent with 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(1). This proposed rule does not impact the responsibilities or physical condition of drivers as contemplated by 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(2) and (3), respectively, and deals with 49 U.S.C. 31136(a)(4) only to the extent that a vehicle operated in accordance with the safety regulations is less likely to have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of a driver. Because both: (1) the number of vehicles operated by U.S.-domiciled motor carriers without an FMVSS certification label; and (2) the cost of demonstrating FMVSS compliance through a letter from the vehicle manufacturer, are expected to be small, the Agency believes that the number of drivers who might be coerced to operate CMVs that do not comply with this rule is de minimis, and may be zero. FMCSA has considered the costs and benefits of the rule, as required by 49 U.S.C. 31136(c)(2)(A) and 31502(d).

    IV. Background

    Part 567 of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR part 567) requires that manufacturers of motor vehicles built for sale or use in the U.S. must affix a label certifying that the motor vehicle meets all applicable FMVSS in effect on the date of manufacture.2 Part 567 provides detailed requirements concerning the location of and information to be displayed on the label. These requirements are applicable to manufacturers of CMVs produced for use in the U.S. The label must be affixed prior to the first sale of the CMV.

    2 These standards are codified in 49 CFR part 571. Most, but not all, of the FMVSS are cross-referenced in existing requirements of part 393.

    The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Vehicle Safety Act) (49 U.S.C. 30101, et seq.) expressly prohibits vehicles from being imported into the U.S. unless the vehicles—

    (a) Comply with all applicable FMVSS in effect on the date of manufacture, and

    (b) Bear a label certifying compliance with the FMVSS and applied to the vehicle either by a manufacturer at the time of manufacture or by a DOT Registered Importer after the vehicle has been brought into compliance.3 This statutory requirement is currently codified at 49 U.S.C. 30112 and implemented in NHTSA's regulations codified at 49 CFR parts 567 and 571.

    3 An individual or business registered with NHTSA as an importer may import non-complying motor vehicles into the United States if NHTSA has determined that the vehicles are capable of being readily altered to comply with all applicable standards in effect at the time the vehicle is imported. The registered importer must provide the Federal Government with a bond at least equal to the dutiable value of the vehicle before it can be imported and must bring the vehicle into full compliance before the vehicle may be sold and the bond released.

    Under this proposal, all motor carriers operating in interstate commerce, including Mexico- and Canada-domiciled motor carriers, would continue to be responsible for complying with FMCSA's vehicle-related requirements in 49 CFR part 393, including the specific safety features and equipment mandated by the FMVSS and cross-referenced in part 393. Under FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, FMCSA and its State and local partners conduct more than 3 million roadside inspections each year on vehicles domiciled in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada operating in interstate commerce. Enforcement of the FMCSRs, and by extension the FMVSS they cross-reference, is the bedrock of these compliance activities, and helps ensure that all CMVs on U.S. highways are in safe and proper operating condition.

    National Transportation Safety Board Recommendations

    On December 8, 2009, the NTSB issued a series of recommendations to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, FMCSA, and NHTSA concerning measures to ensure that CMVs operated in the U.S. are manufactured to comply with the applicable FMVSS. The recommendations were included in the NTSB's highway crash report titled “Motorcoach Rollover on U.S. Highway 59 near Victoria, Texas on January 2, 2008” (HAR-09/03/SUM, PB2009-916203). A copy of the report is included in the docket referenced at the beginning of this notice.

    During its investigation of this crash, NTSB discovered that the motorcoach did not display an FMVSS certification label despite being registered in the U.S. While there is no indication that the absence of the FMVSS certification contributed to the crash, the NTSB noted the safety vulnerability of allowing vehicles without that certification to operate on the Nation's highways. This rulemaking would help to address the problem of U.S.-domiciled motor carriers acquiring and operating CMVs that were neither manufactured for sale nor modified for use in this country.

    Effect of the Certification Label Requirements on U.S.-Domiciled Motor Carrier Operations

    Generally, U.S.-domiciled motor carriers operating CMVs (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5) in interstate commerce have access to vehicles that were either originally manufactured domestically for use in the U.S. and have the required certification label, or were imported in accordance with the applicable NHTSA importation regulations. Imported vehicles must have the required label certifying the vehicle is in compliance with the applicable FMVSS. Therefore, most vehicles operated by U.S.-domiciled motor carriers should have certification labels that meet the requirements of 49 CFR part 567.4

    4 The FMVSS and the certification label requirement are not applicable to vehicles or items of equipment manufactured for, and sold directly to, the Armed Forces of the United States in conformance with contract specifications (49 CFR 571.7). Therefore, when a motor carrier purchases surplus equipment from the Armed Forces for subsequent use in interstate commerce, the vehicle may not have a certification label. However, because the FMCSRs cross-reference most of the FMVSS, the motor carrier would be required to ensure that the vehicle was retrofitted to meet the referenced standards, as well as all applicable motor carrier regulations.

    FMCSA's Safety Responsibility

    NHTSA and FMCSA have complementary responsibilities to ensure vehicle safety under their respective enabling legislation. NHTSA's responsibility generally covers the design and safety compliance testing of motor vehicles by manufacturers and others responsible for those activities. FMCSA's responsibility concerns the safe operation of CMVs in interstate commerce, and the regulatory compliance of motor carriers and drivers conducting such operations. Generally, enforcement of the FMCSRs by FMCSA and its State partners is accomplished through roadside inspections. Under current roadside inspection enforcement procedures, if violations or deficiencies of the FMCSRs are serious enough to meet the current out-of-service criteria, the vehicle is prohibited from operating until the problems are corrected. The roadside inspection procedures are the same for all CMVs operated in the U.S., regardless of the motor carrier's country of domicile.

    If FMCSA adopts the proposed rule, the Agency and its State partners would then be able to enforce the prohibition in 49 U.S.C. 30112 against the use or importation of non-compliant CMVs by citing U.S.-domiciled motor carriers that fail to display the required certification label. Enforcement action would be taken in a manner consistent with FMCSA's existing compliance policies and programs on vehicle-oriented regulations under 49 CFR part 393.5 As it does with other violations of the FMCSRs, the Agency would compile data regarding uncertified vehicles and determine whether there are patterns of non-compliance by specific U.S.-domiciled interstate motor carriers.

    5 In other words, failure to display a certification label could result in a citation and fine during a roadside inspection, or a civil penalty as a result of a compliance review. Under the current out-of-service criteria, it would not constitute grounds to place a vehicle out of service in the absence of vehicle defects meeting those criteria.

    V. Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    FMCSA is proposing to amend the FMCSRs to require that U.S.-domiciled motor carriers ensure that their CMVs have a certification label affixed to the vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer or by a DOT Registered Importer that meets the requirements of 49 CFR part 567. If a CMV operated by a U.S.-domiciled motor carrier is missing the certification label because of vehicle damage, deliberate removal, or other reasons, the motor carrier must obtain, and a driver must upon demand present, a letter issued by the vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture. As explained above, U.S.-domiciled motor carriers typically would have access only to vehicles that meet the applicable FMVSS and display a certification label that meets the requirements of 49 CFR part 567. Therefore, FMCSA does not expect that motor carriers would have to change the way they operate to comply with the requirements proposed today. However, the proposed rule would require U.S.-domiciled motor carriers to maintain the label affixed by the manufacturer or DOT Registered Importer or other documentation that confirms the CMV was manufactured per the applicable FMVSS. The Agency seeks comment on potential costs involved to replace the label in the instance of damage or other loss.

    VI. Regulatory Analyses Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures as Supplemented by E.O. 13563)

    FMCSA has determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, as supplemented by E.O. 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), or within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures (DOT Order 2100.5 dated May 22, 1980; 44 FR 11034, February 2, 1979). The Agency believes the potential economic impact is negligible because vehicles manufactured for sale and use in the United States have FMVSS certification labels or can be confirmed as being FMVSS-compliant by the manufacturer through a comparison of the vehicle's VIN and the manufacturer's production records. While a U.S.-domiciled carrier may occasionally obtain a vehicle that does not have an FMVSS certification, the Agency believes this practice would occur less frequently under the proposed rule. As such, the costs of the rule would not begin to approach the $100 million annual threshold for economic significance. Moreover, the Agency does not expect the rule to generate substantial congressional or public interest. This proposed rule therefore has not been formally reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of the regulatory action on small business and other small entities and to minimize any significant economic impact. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses and 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. Accordingly, DOT policy requires an analysis of the impact of all regulations on small entities and mandates that agencies strive to lessen any adverse effects on these businesses.

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Title II, Pub. L. 104-121, 110 Stat. 857, March 29, 1996), FMCSA does not expect the proposed rule to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. For those entities affected by this proposed rule, in the absence of definitive data on the cost to demonstrate FMVSS compliance at the time of manufacture for an otherwise FMVSS-compliant vehicle, FMCSA assumes the cost is minimal and poses no disproportionate burden to small entities.

    Assistance for Small Entities

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

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce or otherwise determine compliance with Federal regulations to the Small Business Administration's 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 FMCSA, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). DOT has a policy ensuring the rights of small entities to regulatory enforcement fairness and an explicit policy against retaliation for exercising these rights.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule would not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532 et seq.), that would result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $151 million (which is the value of $100 million in 2012 after adjusting for inflation) or more in any 1 year.

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    A rule has Federalism implications if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the States. FMCSA has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13132 and determined that it does not have Federalism implications.

    Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

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

    Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

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

    Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed this notice of proposed rulemaking in accordance with Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications.

    Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-447, 118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to conduct a privacy impact assessment of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not require the collection of any personally identifiable information.

    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies and any non-Federal agency that receives records contained in a system of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. FMCSA has determined this proposed rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy Act System of Records for FMCSA.

    Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. FMCSA determined that no new information collection requirements are associated with this NPRM. The information collection requirements associated with FMVSS certification labels are covered by NHTSA under OMB Control Number 2127-0512, “Consolidated Labeling Requirements for Motor Vehicles (Except the VIN Numbers).”

    National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1 (69 FR 9680, March 1, 2004) that this action does not have any effect on the quality of the environment. Therefore, this NPRM is categorically excluded (CE) from further analysis and documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement under FMCSA Order 5610.1, paragraph 6(b) of Appendix 2. The CE under paragraph 6(b) addresses rulemakings that make editorial or other minor amendments to existing FMCSA regulations. A Categorical Exclusion Determination is available for inspection or copying in the Regulations.gov Web site listed under ADDRESSES.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

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

    Executive Order 13211 (Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use)

    FMCSA has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. FMCSA has determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that executive order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, this proposed rule does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211.

    Executive Order 13175 (Indian Tribal Governments)

    This proposed 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.

    National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 note) requires Federal agencies proposing to adopt technical standards to consider whether voluntary consensus standards are available. If the Agency chooses to adopt its own standards in place of existing voluntary consensus standards, it must explain its decision in a separate statement to OMB. Because this NPRM does not involve the adoption of FMCSA technical standards, there is no need to submit a separate statement to OMB on this matter.

    E-Government Act of 2002

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

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 393

    Highway safety, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety.

    For the reasons stated above, FMCSA proposes to amend title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B part 393, as follows:

    PART 393—PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION 1. The authority citation for part 393 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 31136, 31151, and 31502; sec. 1041(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 1914, 1993 (1991); and 49 CFR 1.87.

    2. Add § 393.8 to subpart A to read as follows:
    § 393.8 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Certification Labels.

    (a) Each commercial motor vehicle operated by a U.S.-domiciled motor carrier, as indicated by its principal place of business, must be built or modified to meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) (codified in 49 CFR part 571). The requirements must be satisfied by:

    (1) A label affixed by the vehicle manufacturer certifying that the vehicle was built to meet all applicable FMVSS in effect on the date of manufacture; or

    (2) A label affixed by a DOT Registered Importer, as defined in 49 CFR part 592, certifying that the vehicle has been modified to conform to all applicable FMVSS in effect on the date of manufacture; or

    (3) A letter issued by the vehicle manufacturer stating that the vehicle satisfied all applicable FMVSS in effect at the time of manufacture.

    (b) The certification labels required by this section must comply with the requirements of 49 CFR part 567.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87 on: May 27, 2015. T.F. Scott Darling, III, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14934 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 RIN 0648-XB089 [Docket No. 120425024-5503-03] Endangered and Threatened Species; Identification and Proposed Listing of Eleven Distinct Population Segments of Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) as Endangered or Threatened and Revision of Current Listings; Public Hearings; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period and public hearing schedule.

    SUMMARY:

    On March 23, 2015, we (NMFS and USFWS, or the Services) published a proposed rule to revise the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas; hereafter referred to as the green turtle) listings under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We proposed to remove the current range-wide listing and, in its place, list eight distinct population segments (DPSs) as threatened and three as endangered. We opened a public comment period that lasted through June 22, 2015, announced a public hearing in Honolulu, Hawaii, and solicited requests for additional public hearings. With this document, we announce additional public hearings in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and American Samoa. To allow adequate time for comments after the last public hearing, we extend the public comment period through July 27, 2015.

    DATES:

    Public hearings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., with informational open houses starting at 5:30 p.m. as follows: in Pago Pago, American Samoa on July 6, 2015; in Saipan, CNMI on July 13, 2015; and in Mangilao, Guam on July 15, 2015. The comment period for the proposed rule published on March 23, 2015 (80 FR 15271), has been extended. Comments and information regarding this proposed rule must be received by close of business on July 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0154,

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    OR

    Mail: Submit written comments to Green Turtle Proposed Listing Rule, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13535, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or Green Turtle Proposed Listing Rule, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Florida Ecological Services Office, 7915 Baymeadows Way, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32256.

    OR

    Public hearing: Interested parties may provide oral or written comments at one of the public hearings detailed below, to be held at: the Lecture Hall of the American Samoa Community College, Pago Pago, American Samoa; the Multi-Purpose Center, Beach Road (Route 30), Susupe, Saipan, CNMI 96950; the Multi-Purpose Room at the School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam 96923.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by the Services. All comments received will be a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. The Services will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). The proposed rule is available electronically at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/green.htm and http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/seaturtles/turtle%20factsheets/green-sea-turtle.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennifer Schultz, NMFS (ph. 301-427-8443, email [email protected]), or Ann Marie Lauritsen, USFWS (ph. 904-731-3032, email [email protected]). Persons who use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The green turtle is currently listed under the ESA as a threatened species globally, with the exception of the Florida and Mexican Pacific coast breeding populations, which are listed as endangered. On March 23, 2015 (80 FR 15271), the Services published a proposed rule to revise these listings because we find that the green turtle is composed of 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) that qualify as “species” for listing under the ESA. We proposed to remove the current range-wide listing and, in its place, list eight DPSs as threatened and three as endangered. We proposed to list the Central West Pacific DPS (including green turtles originating from Guam and CNMI) and the Central South Pacific DPS (including green turtles originating from American Samoa) as endangered. We also proposed to apply existing protective regulations to the DPSs and to continue the existing critical habitat designation (i.e., waters surrounding Culebra Island, Puerto Rico) in effect for the North Atlantic DPS. We solicited comments on these proposed actions; we indicated that comments must be received by June 22, 2015.

    We received several requests for additional public hearings. In response to the requests, by this notice we announce that we will host additional public hearings in Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa, and extend the public comment period through July 27, 2015. Previously submitted comments do not need to be resubmitted.

    Public Hearings

    The Services will hold a public hearing in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Interested parties may provide oral or written comments at this hearing, which will be held on July 6, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m., with an informational open house starting at 5:30 p.m., at Lecture Hall of the American Samoa Community College.

    The Services will hold a public hearing in Saipan, CNMI. Interested parties may provide oral or written comments at this hearing, which will be held on July 13, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m., with an informational open house starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Multipurpose Center, Beach Road, Call Box 1007, Saipan, CNMI 96950.

    The Services will hold a public hearing in Mangilao, Guam. Interested parties may provide oral or written comments at this hearing, which will be held on July 15, 2015 from 6 to 8 p.m., with an informational open house starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Multi-Purpose Room of the School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam 96923.

    Special Accommodations

    These hearings will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other accommodations should be directed to Jennifer Schultz (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) as soon as possible, but no later than 7 business days prior to the hearing date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: June 5, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. Dated: June 10, 2015. Gary Frazer, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14906 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001; 50120-1113-000] RIN 1018-AY05 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing Eastern Puma (=Cougar) From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The best available scientific and commercial data indicate that the eastern puma (=cougar) (Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar) is extinct. Therefore, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to remove this subspecies from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. This proposed action is based on a thorough review of all available information, which indicates that there is no evidence of the existence of either an extant population or individuals of the eastern puma and that, for various reasons, it is highly unlikely that an eastern puma population could remain undetected over the time span since the last confirmed sighting was documented in 1938.

    DATES:

    We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before August 17, 2015. Comments submitted electronically using the Federal eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES below) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by August 3, 2015. Informational webinars will be scheduled upon request.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

    Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the search box, type FWS-R5-ES-2015-001 which is the docket number for this proposed rule. Then, click on the search button. In the Search panel on the left side of the screen, under the Document Type heading, click on the box next to “Proposed Rule” to locate this document. When you have located the correct document, you may submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”

    By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2015-0001, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

    We will post all comments at: http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see Information Requested below, for more information).

    Copies of documents: This proposed rule and and primary supporting documents are available at: http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, the supporting files for this proposed rule will be available for public inspection, by appointment and during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Maine Field Office, 17 Godfrey Drive, Suite #2, Orono, ME 04473, and on the Eastern Cougar Web site at: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions and requests for additional information may be directed to Martin Miller, Northeast Regional Office, telephone 413-253-8615, or to Mark McCollough, Maine Field Office, telephone 207-866-3344, extension 115. Individuals who are hearing- or speech-impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8337 for TTY assistance. General information regarding the eastern puma and the delisting process may also be accessed at: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Information Requested

    We intend that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best scientific and commercial data available and be as accurate and effective as possible. Therefore, we invite tribal and governmental agencies, the scientific community, and other interested parties to submit comments and new data regarding this proposed rule. In particular, we are seeking targeted information and comments concerning the following:

    (1) The persistence or extinction of a breeding population of the eastern puma subspecies within its historical range;

    (2) Verifiable reports or evidence of wild-origin pumas within the historical range of the eastern puma subspecies;

    (3) Our analysis of the status of the eastern puma; and

    (4) The taxonomy of North American pumas.

    Please include sufficient information with your submission (such as scientific journal articles or other publications) to allow us to verify any scientific or commercial information you include. Bear in mind that comments simply advocating or opposing the proposed action without providing supporting information will be noted but not considered in making a determination, as section 4(b)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (Act), directs that determinations as to whether any species is an endangered species or threatened species shall be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”

    You may submit your comments and materials concerning the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We request that you send comments only to an address listed in ADDRESSES. All comments must be submitted to http://www.regulations.gov, hand delivered, or postmarked by the deadline specified in DATES. If you submit information via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire submission—including any personal identifying information—will be posted on the Web site. If your submission is made via a hardcopy that includes personal identifying information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will post all hardcopy submissions on http://www.regulations.gov.

    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment during normal business hours at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    In making a final decision on this proposal, we will take into consideration the comments and any additional information we receive during the public comment period. Such communications could lead to a final rule that differs from this proposal.

    Public Hearing

    Section 4(b)(5)(E) of the Act provides for one or more public hearings on this proposal, if requested. We must receive requests for public hearings, in writing, at the address shown in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section within 45 days after the date of this Federal Register publication (see DATES). We will schedule public hearings on this proposal, if any are requested, and announce the dates, times, and places of those hearings, as well as how to obtain reasonable accommodations, in the Federal Register at least 15 days before the first hearing.

    Peer Review

    In accordance with our policy, “Notice of Interagency Cooperative Policy for Peer Review in Endangered Species Act Activities,” which was published on July 1, 1994 (59 FR 34270), we will seek the expert opinion of at least three appropriate independent specialists regarding scientific data and analyses contained in this proposed rule. We will send copies of this proposed rule to peer reviewers immediately following its publication in the Federal Register. The purpose of such review is to ensure that our decisions are based on scientifically sound data, assumptions, and analysis.

    Background

    This proposed rule is based on detailed information and indepth analyses contained in the Service's 5-year review for the eastern puma (USFWS 2011, entire), which can be accessed at: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar. That review includes a thorough discussion of the eastern puma's biology, historical records, and analysis of contemporary sightings. We also take into account information that has become available since 2011, noting that this information corroborates the 5-year review's analysis. All references cited in the 2011 review and this proposed rule are maintained on file at the Service's Maine Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    Previous Federal Actions

    Under the Act, we maintain a List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) at 50 CFR 17.11 and a List of Endangered and Threatened Plants at 50 CFR 17.12. On June 4, 1973 (38 FR 14678), we listed the eastern puma (=cougar), Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar, as an endangered subspecies (using the common name of eastern cougar). At that time, critical habitat was not provided for under the Act; consequently, critical habitat was not designated for the eastern cougar. The principal factors leading to the listing of the eastern puma were widespread persecution (poisoning, trapping, hunting, and bounties), decline of forested habitat, and near-extirpation of white-tailed deer populations during the 1800s, which together resulted in the extirpation of most eastern puma populations by 1900.

    A Service status review of the puma in North America, including the eastern puma, was issued in 1976 (Nowak 1976). This review, along with status reviews by some States and Canadian provinces (e.g., van Zyll de Jong and van Ingen 1978, R.L. Downing newsletters from 1979 to 1982), suggested that a large number of unverified public reports may be evidence of a persisting, native breeding population of eastern pumas. Such reports led the Service to retain the eastern puma on the List until such time as either a breeding population or extinction could be verified.

    The Eastern Cougar Recovery Plan was approved in 1982 (USFWS 1982). During plan preparation, R.L. Downing conducted field surveys and investigated sighting reports and concluded that “no breeding cougar populations have been substantiated within the former range of F.c. couguar since the 1920s.” Nonetheless, the recovery plan states that the eastern cougar could be reclassified from endangered to threatened when one population containing at least 50 breeding adults was found or established. It further states that the eastern cougar could be removed from the List when at least three populations were found or established, with each containing more than 50 breeding adults. Since the plan's approval, no breeding populations have been found, nor have any individual pumas known to be F.c. couguar (such individuals would form the basis of a founder population). Thus, neither of the recovery criteria was ever met.

    Section 4(c)(2) of the Act requires that we conduct a review of listed species at least once every 5 years to determine: (1) Whether a species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or threatened species and should be removed from the List (i.e., delisted), (2) whether a species listed as endangered more properly meets the definition of threatened and should be reclassified to threatened (i.e., downlisted), or (3) whether a species listed as threatened more properly meets the definition of endangered and should be reclassified to endangered. In accordance with 50 CFR 424.11(d), we will consider a species for delisting only if the best scientific and commercial data substantiate that the species is neither endangered nor threatened for one or more of the following reasons: (1) The species is considered extinct, (2) the species is considered recovered, or (3) the data available when the species was listed, or the interpretation of such data, were in error.

    Between 1979 and 1991, the eastern puma was included in three cursory 5-year reviews conducted by the Service: A 1979 review of all domestic and foreign species listed prior to 1975 (44 FR 29566, May 21, 1979), a 1985 review of all species listed before 1976 and from 1979 to 1980 (50 FR 29901, July 22, 1985), and a 1991 review of all species listed before 1991 (56 FR 56882, November 6, 1991). None of these reviews recommended a change from the eastern puma's listing classification as endangered.

    On January 29, 2007, we published a Federal Register notice announcing a 5-year review specific to the eastern puma and nine other species, and we requested information from the public concerning the eastern puma (72 FR 4018). The assessment of the eastern puma's current status, completed on January 28, 2011 (USFWS 2011), found no evidence of the existence of either an extant population or individual eastern pumas, and concluded, therefore, the subspecies should be considered extinct. The assessment thus concluded that the eastern puma does not meet the definition of either an endangered species or a threatened species under section 3 of the Act.

    Assessment of Species Status

    Section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for listing species, reclassifying species, and removing species from listed status. “Species” is defined by the Act as including any species or subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature (16 U.S.C. 1532(16)). To determine whether a species should be listed as endangered or threatened, we assess the likelihood of its continued existence based on the five factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act (see Consideration of Factors Under Section 4(a)(1) of the Act). A species may be reclassified or removed from the List on the same basis. With regard to delisting a species due to extinction, “a sufficient period of time must be allowed before delisting to indicate clearly that the species is extinct” (50 CFR 424.11(d)(1)).

    According to these standards, we must determine whether the eastern puma is a valid subspecies and whether the subspecies is still extant in order to determine its appropriate listing status. The following sections thus examine the biological and legal information considered to be most germane to the status of the eastern puma as a valid, extant subspecies before looking at factors that may affect the its continued existence.

    Overview

    The eastern puma (Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar) is treated as a subspecies of the puma. The species is also known by many other common names, including, among others, cougar, catamount, mountain lion, panther, painter, and wildcat. As explained in the 5-year review (USFWS 2011, pp. 4-5), the puma is the most widely distributed land mammal in the New World and is one of the most adaptable mammals in the northern hemisphere. At the time of European contact, the puma occurred throughout most of South, Central, and North America. In North America, breeding populations still occupy about one-third of their historical range but are now absent from central and eastern North America outside Florida. The puma is documented historically from eastern North America to about 45 degrees north latitude (roughly equating to the colonial-era range of its primary ungulate prey, white-tailed deer) in a variety of habitats from swamps and everglades in the Southeast to temperate forests in the Northeast. Aside from presence reports, few historical records exist regarding the natural history of the eastern puma.

    Current Legal Status

    The eastern puma is one of three subspecies of puma that are federally listed as endangered species under the Act; the others are the Florida panther (Puma (=Felis) concolor coryi), listed in 1967 (32 FR 4001, March 11, 1967), and the Costa Rican puma (Puma (=Felis) concolor costaricensis), listed in 1976 (41 FR 24062, June 14, 1976). Both the Florida panther and Costa Rican puma remain extant, albeit extremely rare.

    In Canada, the first status review of the eastern puma by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 1978 assigned endangered status to the taxon Puma concolor couguar based on puma reports in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes provinces. In 1998, the Canadian eastern puma listing was changed from the Endangered to the Data Deficient or Indeterminate category for Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

    The eastern cougar (=puma) is listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Mammal Red Data Book (IUCN 1982). The subspecies is also classified as an Appendix I animal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which provides protection from international trade.

    Legal protections at the State and provincial levels are discussed under “Historical Range, Abundance, and Distribution” below.

    Biological Status

    Taxonomy and Genetics: The eastern puma 5-year review (USFWS 2011, pp. 29-35) provides a full discussion of the taxonomic history of this subspecies. As indicated in that review, the current practice is to refer to the species as Puma concolor (Linnaeus 1771) and the eastern subspecies as Puma concolor couguar.

    There is ongoing debate about the taxonomic assignment of puma subspecies, including the question as to whether North American pumas comprise a single subspecies or multiple subspecies. In particular, there has been disagreement about whether the scientific community should accept the use of genetics as the driving factor in puma taxonomy, as was done by Culver et al. (2000, entire). The Service's position is that until a comprehensive evaluation of the subspecies status of North American pumas, including genetic, morphometric, and behavioral analyses, is completed, the best available information continues to support the assignment of the eastern taxon to Puma concolor couguar as distinct from other North American subspecies.

    In recognizing the eastern puma as a valid subspecies, and thus a valid listed entity, we next evaluate whether the subspecies should be determined extinct. It is important to note that assessing the biological status of the eastern puma as a subspecies does not preclude eventual taxonomic revision.

    Biology and Life History: There is little basis for believing that the ecology of eastern pumas was significantly different from puma ecology elsewhere on the continent. Our biological understanding of the eastern puma, therefore, is derived from studies conducted in various regions of North America and, to the extent possible, from eastern puma historical records and museum specimens. This information is detailed in the status review (USFWS 2011) on pages 6 through 8.

    Historical Range, Abundance, and Distribution: Details and citations for the following summary are provided in the status review (USFWS 2011, pp. 8-29 and 36-56). Although a lack of reliable sightings and historical records makes it difficult to estimate past abundance and distribution, the available information is discussed below.

    In eastern North America at the time of European contact, the puma ranged from Florida to southern Quebec and remained abundant through much of eastern North America during the colonial era. Despite its apparent early abundance, however, only 26 historical specimens of eastern pumas, from seven eastern States and one Canadian province within the subspecies' historical range, reside in museums or other collections.

    Based on this admittedly small number of specimens and other scant evidence, Young and Goldman (1946) described the historical range of Felis concolor couguar as southeastern Ontario, southern Quebec, and New Brunswick in Canada, and a region bounded from Maine to Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and South Carolina in the eastern United States. The Service's recovery plan for the eastern cougar describes a similar range (USFWS 1982, pp. 1-2), although the range is mapped a little farther north into Ontario. The recovery plan also maps Felis concolor schorgerii, named as a subspecies after Young and Goldman (1946) was published, to the west and F.c. coryi to the south of the eastern puma's range.

    The most recently published assessment of the puma in eastern Canada, conducted by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) (Scott 1998), maps the puma's range throughout southern Ontario and Manitoba. The eastern subspecies is not stipulated in Scott's (1998) range description; indeed, the review questioned whether the eastern puma was ever a valid subspecies. Other authors have also discussed the past distribution of pumas in Canada without acknowledging them as the eastern subspecies. Rosette (2011) asserts that native, free-roaming pumas of unknown origin may continue to survive in Ontario while conceding that no evidence of their presence has been documented for almost 100 years. In Manitoba, on the other hand, several authors have documented a relatively consistent record of pumas, but there is no evidence that these are eastern pumas or that the subspecies ever occurred that far west.

    The historical literature indicates that puma populations were thought to have been largely extirpated in eastern North America (except for Florida and perhaps the Smoky Mountains) by the 1870s, and in the Midwest by 1900. According to many historical accounts, pumas were greatly feared and were also persecuted as competitors for game and occasional predators of livestock. Eastern puma populations also decreased as habitat conditions for the puma's primary prey base, white-tailed deer, changed dramatically during this time. By the mid- to late-1800s, human settlement patterns resulted in the extirpation of deer from much of eastern North America. The last records of pumas in most of the eastern States and provinces, from approximately 1790 to 1890, coincided with loss of deer populations and habitat.

    By 1929, eastern pumas were believed to be “virtually extinct,” and Young and Goldman (1946) concurred that “they became extinct many years ago.” On the other hand, puma records from New Brunswick in 1932 and Maine in 1938 suggest that a population may have persisted in northernmost New England and eastern Canada.

    In the Service's 1976 status review (Nowak 1976), R.M. Nowak stated his belief that the large number of unverified sightings of pumas constituted evidence that certain other populations had also survived or had become reestablished in the central and eastern parts of the continent and may have increased in number since the 1940s. Further, as stated in the Eastern Cougar Recovery Plan (USFWS 1982, pp. 4, 7), R.L. Downing believed it possible that a small population may have persisted in the southern Appalachians into the 1920s. Nonetheless, the field surveys he conducted and the reports he investigated prior to writing the recovery plan led him to conclude that “no breeding cougar populations have been substantiated within the former range of F. c. couguar since the 1920s” (USFWS 1982, p. 6). Scott's (1998) COSEWIC review also concluded that “there is no objective evidence (actual cougar specimens or other unequivocal confirmation) for the continuous presence of cougars since the last century anywhere in eastern Canada or the eastern United States outside of Florida,” and that “there is circumstantial evidence for virtual or complete extirpation” from central Ontario eastward.

    The known status of the eastern puma within its historical range is summarized in table 1, below. A more detailed discussion of the historical status, current confirmed and unconfirmed puma sightings, potential habitat, and legal protection (also see Current Legal Status above) of the eastern puma in the states and provinces is provided in the 5-year status review (USFWS 2011, pp. 8-26). To summarize, eastern pumas historically were considered generally common and widespread; however, by the late 1800s, eastern pumas were believed to be extirpated from most of their range. As indicated in table 1, the majority of the most recent confirmed reports date from the mid-1800s to around 1930. Later reports are thought to be indicative of dispersers of western pumas, as in Missouri, or released animals, as in Newfoundland. Although there now appears to be adequate habitat and prey for pumas in various portions of the subspecies' historical range, the many decades of habitat loss and near-extirpation of the puma's primary prey, white-tailed deer, bring into question the continued survival and reproduction of eastern pumas over that time.

    Table 1—Eastern Puma Status by State and Province State or province Historical status Most recent confirmed or verifiable report Potential habitat Current status in wild Legal protection Connecticut Historically common 1842 56 square miles (mi2) (145 square kilometers (km2)); limited Considered extirpated State species of special concern, with no open season and possession prohibited. Delaware Disappeared in late 1700s Not described Considered extirpated Possession of carnivores permitted under stringent conditions. Illinois Uncertain taxonomy; disappeared before 1870 Southern Illinois Considered extirpated; possible dispersal of western pumas into the State; no breeding population No State endangered species status, but some level of protection from hunting; permit required for possession of dangerous animals. Indiana Historical records are rare 1851 Not described Considered extirpated No legal protection; private possession permitted. Kentucky Widely distributed historically; disappeared before 1900 Statewide; ample prey base Considered extirpated State listed as extirpated; private possession of dangerous wildlife banned. Maine Historically rare 1938 ~17,064 mi2 (44,196 km2) Considered extirpated State listed as extirpated; perpetual closed season; permit required for possession of captive animals. Maryland Occurred Statewide Late 1800s? Western Maryland Considered extirpated State listed as endangered-extirpated; protected from take; permit required for possession of captive animals, but no permits have been issued. Massachusetts Occurred Statewide 1858 No large habitat blocks Considered extirpated Included on State list due to Federal designation; protected with closed season and other regulations. Michigan Occurred in much of State 1906 Upper and Lower Peninsulas; ample prey base Current reports considered to be dispersers of western pumas into the state; no breeding population State listed as endangered species; pumas cannot be privately held as pets. Missouri Historically common; taxonomy uncertain 1966; taxonomy uncertain Southeastern Missouri; ample prey base Current confirmed sightings considered to be dispersers of western pumas into the State; no breeding population Classified as extirpated but protected under Wildlife Code provisions. New Hampshire Historically rare Late 1800s Northern New Hampshire; limited Considered extirpated State-protected species; possession of wild felines illegal except for educational purposes. New Jersey Historically common Statewide 1830 to 1840 No large habitat blocks Considered extirpated Not on the State endangered species list; possession of dangerous species permitted for scientific holding, animal exhibitor, zoological holding, or animal dealer. New York Occurred Statewide 1894 Adirondack area; low prey density Considered extirpated Protected by State Endangered Species Act; State issues permits for possession, sale, and breeding of big cats. North Carolina Historically common 1920 Western and southeastern coastal North Carolina; ample prey base No physical evidence to confirm sightings State protected as an endangered species; no open season; permit required for captive pumas. Ohio Historically uncommon; disappeared by 1850 No large habitat blocks Considered extirpated Not on the State endangered species list; no State protective regulations. Pennsylvania Common Statewide 1914 Northern Allegheny Plateau and north-central Pennsylvania; ample prey base Considered extirpated State listed as extirpated; no open season; exotic wildlife permit required for possession. Rhode Island Early records are scant 1848 No large habitat blocks Considered extirpated Classified as extirpated; permit required for possession of native wildlife or their hybrids. South Carolina Present until 1850 Northwest portion of State; ample prey base No confirmed evidence of occurrences or a population State listed as endangered with protection from take; possession prohibited. Tennessee Historically present Statewide; common in western portion of State 1930 Areas in central and eastern Tennessee Considered extirpated Permit required for possession of dangerous animals. Vermont Historically reported as both rare and common 1881 Large forested blocks; adequate prey density Considered to be no longer present State listed as endangered; protected under State Endangered Species Act; permit required for possession of big cats. Virginia Historically plentiful in coastal lowlands and western mountains 1882 Western mountains; ample prey base No confirmed records since the 1880s State listed as endangered; protected under State Endangered Species Act; import permit required for wild felines. Washington, DC Native to area 1913 None available Considered extirpated Private possession of pumas prohibited. West Virginia Historically common 1901 Extensive and widespread; ample prey base Considered extirpated State listed; protected under the State ESA; permit required to import, hold, or sell native or exotic felines. Wisconsin Historically common; uncertain taxonomy 1909 Assumed to have adequate habitat and prey base Confirmed records since 1994, possibly of another subspecies and illegally released pumas; no known breeding population Not currently protected. Manitoba Pumas historically occurred throughout province; not considered to be the eastern subspecies Abundant habitat and prey, but snow depth may be limiting Not considered extirpated; insufficient evidence to determine current status Pumas not included on Provincial endangered species list, but considered a Species of Special Concern. New Brunswick Historical records unreliable 1932 Northern New Brunswick; low prey densities Small number may be present, of unknown origin and taxonomy; lack of evidence of a viable population Listed as endangered under the Provincial Endangered Species Act. Newfoundland Not native to province, illegally introduced in 1960 Not described Sightings believed to be of released animals or their progeny Not currently protected. Nova Scotia No verified reports; may have extended into area coincident to deer expansion in early 1900s Not described No verified records Not listed on the Provincial list of endangered species, but protected by Provincial regulations. Ontario Historically reported as both rare and common 1908 Large forested blocks; ample prey base Considered extirpated Not protected under Provincial Endangered Species Act. Prince Edward Island No known historical records Not described No known occurrences Not currently protected. Quebec Occurred province-wide; common south of St. Lawrence River 1920 Habitat and prey available Considered extirpated despite recent reports Not currently protected.

    Current Biological Status of Pumas in Eastern North America: Our conclusions regarding the current biological status of the eastern puma rely upon three lines of evidence: (1) The detectability of wild pumas, (2) contemporary accounts of puma sightings in eastern North America as evidence of the continued existence of eastern pumas, and (3) the time since the last verified eastern puma occurrence. Recognizing that extinction cannot be demonstrated with absolute certainty (i.e., it is a probabilistic determination), the totality of evidence for the eastern puma provides a basis for drawing robust conclusions about the true status of this subspecies, as discussed below. A more detailed discussion and references are provided in the 5-year status review (USFWS 2011, pp. 36-56).

    Detectability of pumas: This line of evidence addresses the question of how likely it is that eastern puma individuals or populations could continue to persist without being detected. If entities are difficult to detect, lack of confirmed sightings may not be indicative of absence; however, if detectability is known to be high, it is much more likely that lack of sightings is evidence of absence. For the eastern puma, detectability differs between individuals and populations. Although individual pumas are difficult to detect, determining the presence of a puma population is possible with a reasonable amount of effort.

    Detection of single, transient pumas is particularly problematic because they cover such a large range and leave behind little sign of their occupation (e.g., scrapes, kills, and tracks) in any one place. The best prospect for detecting these animals is through tracks left during their extensive daily movement in the snowy regions of North America.

    Numerous searches and surveys have been undertaken to detect the presence of individual pumas, either directly or as part of large carnivore studies, and, by extension, puma populations in eastern North America. Searches have been conducted in areas reputed to harbor pumas, and reports of puma sightings have been investigated extensively. Surveys have utilized a variety of techniques, including trail transects with motion-sensing cameras, hair trap posts and rubbing pads, and snow-covered road surveys to detect the tracks or signs of pumas.

    Such studies have yielded few positive results in eastern North America. However, in other parts of North America, pumas have been readily detected through searches and surveys. Additionally, pumas have been detected as a result of road kills; even in areas with small extant populations (such as Florida and South Dakota) and low road densities, pumas killed on roads are reported nearly every month of the year. In contrast, although road mortalities have been documented in the eastern United States and Canada in recent years, the reports are irregular, and in the rare instances where individuals have been verified as wild pumas, they have originated outside the eastern puma's historical range.

    Overall, pumas have been readily detectable in areas of North America outside the historical range of the eastern puma. We can thus conclude that pumas and, in particular, puma populations, could be detected with a reasonable amount of effort if present in eastern North America. We further conclude that the searches, surveys, and efforts to verify sightings by the public since the 1950s constitute a reasonable effort, as discussed below and detailed in the 5-year review (USFWS 2011, pp. 26-29). However, despite the detectability of pumas, no evidence has been presented to verify the continued existence of the eastern subspecies or of any breeding population of pumas within its historical range.

    Contemporary accounts of pumas in eastern North America as evidence of the continuing existence of the subspecies: As discussed in the 5-year review (USFWS 2011, pp. 36-38), renewed interest in puma conservation over the past 60 years has resulted not only in a profusion of reported sightings by the public but also efforts by scientists to determine the presence of pumas in eastern North America. We summarize these accounts below and discuss whether they constitute a basis for concluding that the eastern puma remains extant.

    There were few reports of pumas in eastern North America between the late 1800s and the 1940s and 1950s (see “Historical Range, Abundance, and Distribution” above). The number of reports increased in the 1950s, and states, provinces, and puma organizations began maintaining databases of puma sightings. The increased reporting coincided with coverage in the popular press and assertions by biologists and other writers that there was sufficient evidence to believe that the eastern puma still existed. It also coincided with a growing number of pumas in the North American pet trade.

    A surge in reported sightings followed in the 1960s and 1970s, again coincident with publications claiming that a relic population of pumas from the northeastern United States and eastern Canada was repopulating eastern North America. Although based mostly on questionable evidence, many—including wildlife biologists—accepted this hypothesis without critical scientific review.

    The sheer volume of anecdotal reports was cited as evidence for the continued existence of pumas, although few of these reports were ever substantiated. By the 1970s, puma advocacy groups had been established, and they, along with many independent researchers and advocates, were investigating sightings and promoting puma recovery. This led to the 1973 listing of the eastern cougar, even though there was no physical evidence showing that populations existed at that time.

    Since listing, thousands of reports have been collected by wildlife agencies and puma organizations, including hundreds of puma sightings by reliable witnesses where physical evidence was not available. Most recently, during preparation of the eastern puma 5-year review (from 2007 to 2010), 60 reports of pumas were considered to have some likelihood of validity based on verified identification of tracks; photographic evidence; genetic, hair, or scat samples; or discovery of carcasses (USFWS 2011, appendix B). It is important to note that none of these reports was verified as the eastern subspecies.

    A number of formal studies have been undertaken to determine the presence of pumas in eastern North America. One study (Michigan Wildlife Conservancy 2003) detected pumas, but the results and methodology were subsequently contested. Elsewhere in the Midwest, pumas have been detected with trail cameras. A puma sighted in Wisconsin was verified in January 2008 and shot in Chicago, Illinois, in April 2008. This animal was determined to be of North American origin with characteristics similar to South Dakota pumas. In 2009, another Wisconsin puma was treed and photographed on several occasions; DNA analysis was not available for this animal. In eastern Canada, a survey of the Maritime provinces from 2001 to 2004 (Gauthier et al. 2005, entire) confirmed six samples as puma. Of these six samples, several were found to be of South American origin, indicating that released or escaped captive pumas are also present in the wild, while others were verified as North American genotypes without being able to determine if they were of captive or wild origin.

    Overall, most of the surveys conducted by wildlife biologists in eastern North America—some of which have targeted pumas while others have targeted different species (e.g., wolves, lynx)— have failed to detect any sign or evidence of the presence of pumas. Details of each survey effort are provided in the eastern puma 5-year review (USFWS 2011, pp. 26-29 and appendix B).

    Many puma sightings are reported as “eyewitness” accounts; this type of report has increased with the availability of Internet search engines and is sometimes spurred by news articles that encourage others to report observations. The reliability of such accounts can depend on time of day, experience level of the observer, duration of the observation, and observer trustworthiness. Insufficient field identification and tracking skills, as well as photographs of single tracks rather than a series of tracks, may further compromise reliability. Based on our assessment of puma eyewitness accounts (USFWS 2011, pp. 36-42), it appears that 90 to 95 percent of puma sightings and vocalizations reported by the public involve instances of misidentification and, at times, deliberate hoaxes.

    Although documention of sightings by the public in areas where pumas are uncommon can be useful—particularly where protocols for puma sightings and analysis have been established—compilations of unconfirmed sighting reports can also produce a large volume of cogent but misleading information. The problem with treating anecdotal sightings as empirical evidence is compounded when such observations are supplemented by inconclusive physical evidence such as indistinct photographs. Typically, as a species becomes rarer, the proportion of false positives increases; thus, even the most tangible evidence of a puma must be followed by further inquiry to identify it as a wild specimen and ascertain its origins.

    Over the past 50 years, thousands of puma sightings have been investigated, at substantial public and private expense. Only a small percentage of investigations have resulted in collection of evidence that could be interpreted or further analyzed, and only a small percentage of the analyses have provided irrefutable proof of a wild puma. The most recent case was a male puma killed on a highway in Milford, Connecticut, in 2011. Genetic analysis of the animal determined that its origin was a population in South Dakota, indicating that it was a transient western puma; the same animal had been documented in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern New York prior to arriving in Connecticut.

    Despite the large number of contemporary eastern puma accounts, few of the surveys and investigations of puma reports have provided verifiable evidence of the presence of pumas, irrespective of origin, in eastern North America, and even fewer have provided irrefutable proof of a wild puma. Nonetheless, verified puma occurrences have occurred with enough frequency in eastern North America (approximately 15 puma carcasses have been documented in eastern North America north of Florida since 1950) to encourage a widespread belief that a cryptic eastern puma population continues to persist.

    In considering whether all this constitutes evidence of an extant eastern puma population, three possible hypotheses have been considered: First, that the observed animals are members of a persistent relic population; second, that they are released or escaped captives; or, third, that they are dispersers from source populations outside of the region. These hypotheses are discussed, in turn, below.

    1. A relic population of pumas has survived in eastern North America. Although some hypothesize that the eastern puma has survived in eastern North America since colonial times, the continued existence of a puma population in eastern North America is not corroborated by the historical record, the history of white-tailed deer, or our current understanding of puma ecology (USFWS 2011, pp. 43-46).

    As noted above, most eastern pumas were thought to have been virtually extirpated by the late 1800s. Had members of the subspecies survived, they should have been detectable. With some exceptions (e.g., later records in Maine and New Brunswick) authors document a near-absence of records from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Further, despite the verified reports of pumas mentioned above, whenever we have been able to determine the origins of these pumas, they have been shown to be either captive pumas (generally South American pumas or their progeny) or dispersers from western populations. None of these animals has been confirmed as the eastern subspecies.

    A number of population viability analyses indicate that both a minimum population size and minimum area of high-quality habitat are needed for long-term puma persistence. The probability of population persistence also depends on favorable demographic factors. Studies to date indicate, very approximately, that puma populations consisting of fewer than 15 to 20 animals and occupying less than 386 to 772 mi2 (1,000 to 2,000 km2) of high-quality habitat would be unlikely to persist over the long term, particularly in the face of any adverse genetic effects (USFWS 2011, pp. 8 and 46). Effects of postsettlement persecution of eastern pumas, compounded by loss of habitat and the near-extirpation of white-tailed deer, severely reduced the probability of persistence using both of these measures. Pumas likely survived longest in remaining large forest tracts where deer were not extirpated and at the northern periphery of their historical range as deer shifted northward (which would explain the later puma records in Maine and New Brunswick). To survive elsewhere in the East, puma populations would have had to persist for decades with extremely low or absent populations of their primary prey, and such persistence is doubtful. Even in northern regions, deer populations were greatly reduced, and snow depths there would have been limiting for pumas.

    This information, along with the total absence of verified contemporary eastern puma records, suggests that a remnant population of eastern pumas is highly unlikely to have survived two centuries of intense human exploitation and persecution, habitat changes, and near-eradication of its primary prey. Further, were a relic puma population to have survived, the rebounding of deer populations along with protections from take under the Act would have likely resulted in a corresponding increase in documentation of eastern puma presence and increased likelihood of deterction. Given the lack of verified contemporary records, we therefore find no evidence to support the hypothesis that an undetected relic population of eastern pumas remains extant.

    2. Pumas occurring in eastern North America are released or escaped pets. Since the mid-1900s, there has been speculation that perhaps all pumas observed in eastern North America (outside of Florida) are escaped or released captive animals. The findings regarding this hypothesis, presented in the 5-year review (USFWS 2011) on pp. 47-51 and in Appendix B, are summarized below.

    Genetic techniques are now available to determine if puma specimens are of North American origin and therefore more likely to be wild animals. Captive puma enthusiasts apparently favor Central and South American animals, and it can be assumed that pumas found in eastern North America with South American DNA are escaped or released captives or their progeny. Since the early 1990s, 24 puma genetic samples have been collected within the historic range of the eastern puma and tested using a variety of techniques (USFWS 2011, Appendix B). Of these, about one-third were found to be of Central or South American origin, one-third were of North American origin, and one-third were identified as pumas but of unknown origin.

    In addition to genetic evidence, the increasing frequency of reported puma sightings in the eastern United States and Canada correlates with the increased private ownership, trade, and breeding of pumas that began in the 1940s and 1950s. Zoos formerly sold or gave pumas to individuals or dealers, although this is strictly prohibited today and there currently is a ban on breeding pumas in zoos. More recently, Internet sales of exotic cats have flourished, illustrating the continuing ease of acquiring captive pumas. This situation is exacerbated in some States by enforcement challenges, and these States' lack of information about the number and disposition of captive pumas within their borders. Overall, there are likely thousands of privately-held (both legally and illegally) pumas in the eastern United States, dwarfing the number of pumas in zoos.

    Released or escaped pumas are documented in numerous accounts, along with frequent reports of such pumas being recaptured (USFWS 2011, pp. 49-50). It has also been found that individual captive pumas may successfully adapt to conducive conditions in the wild. If released or escaped captives initially avoid recapture or death, they most likely become wandering transients. Overall, it may be possible, although unlikely, for individual captive pumas to transition into a wild existence, establish home ranges, and, like other transient pumas, persist with low detectability.

    Nonetheless, the likelihood of escaped or released captive pumas establishing breeding populations is minimal, both because transient pumas are unlikely to recolonize new areas unless there is an adjacent resident puma population, and because their survival prospects are generally low. The multiple reports we have received of pumas in a geographic location over a period of months (but not years) could constitute actual observations of escaped animals. However, if these animals are declawed or defanged, they have little chance of surviving over the long term, particularly at rates needed to establish a population. Further, few of the many reported sightings of puma kittens in eastern North America, which would be indicative of a breeding population, have been substantiated (USFWS 2011, p. 51).

    We conclude that the evidence supports the hypothesis that pumas recently found in eastern North America are released or escaped captive animals, with the exception of some animals in Illinois, Wisconsin, and other midwestern States that are dispersing from more westward populations (see discussion below). Genetic and isotope techniques are improving, which will help distinguish whether pumas of North American ancestry are of wild or captive origin.

    3. Pumas in eastern North America are dispersers from breeding populations to the west and south. Breeding puma populations in proximity to the eastern puma's historical range occur in Manitoba, North Dakota, South Dakota, possibly Nebraska and Oklahoma, and Florida. The Service's 5-year review discusses the likelihood of immigration of pumas to eastern North America from these populations (USFWS 2011, pp. 51-56).

    Regarding dispersal from Florida, there was little evidence until recently that the Florida panther population was expanding northward, but since 1998, four tagged and several unmarked animals have crossed the Caloosahatchee River, previously thought to be a barrier to northward expansion. In addition, an adult male puma killed in Georgia in 2008 originated in Florida. Nonetheless, given the many other substantial barriers to dispersal, it is considered highly unlikely that Florida panthers are dispersing out of Florida with enough frequency to establish populations elsewhere in the Southeast, although adequate prey and habitat are available in Georgia.

    As to dispersal from the West, puma populations in most western States are believed to be at historically high levels, and breeding populations have expanded their ranges eastward. Dispersing pumas have been reported since 1990 in the Midwest, primarily west of the Mississippi River and possibly the Great Lakes Region, with over 130 confirmed puma records documented in Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Iowa.

    These records confirm that eastward dispersal from breeding populations of western pumas is occurring, especially from North and South Dakota (note the previous mention of a South Dakota puma killed in Connecticut in 2011). Confirmed records of wild-origin pumas exist in many States and provinces bordering the western and northern peripheries of the eastern puma's historical range, and most States in the Midwest now acknowledge the presence of wild pumas. Further, persistent puma presence has been documented in a few areas (Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska), suggesting that individual pumas are successfully surviving in the wild and may have established home ranges.

    Suitable, albeit sometimes fragmented, habitat and an adequate prey base are available for pumas in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, with large populations of white-tailed deer occurring throughout the region. Moreover, numerous dispersal corridors leading to highly suitable habitat areas in the Midwest have been identified within feasible dispersal distances for pumas. Although dispersing pumas frequently travel along deer-rich riparian corridors and generally avoid human-dominated landscapes, pumas are known to disperse across large expanses of inhospitable habitat. Roads and railroad rights-of-way and associated brush belts also provide dispersal corridors. The upper Midwest Region is the most favorable route for cougars repopulating the East from the Dakotas, and Manitoba's puma population may be a potential source for animals observed in Ontario, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

    Although individual males are known to disperse over long distances, the establishment of puma populations in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions is less likely to occur unless breeding range expansion is facilitated. Female pumas do not move far from their natal areas, and male pumas compete for access to females; that is, in addition to adequate food and cover, dispersing males search for areas occupied by one or more resident females. Thus, range expansion is unlikely unless females disperse—or are released—into new habitats. As would be expected, most of the recent Midwest puma records are of males.

    Given evidence of growing puma populations in the West, increased dispersal, and availability of dispersal corridors and prey in the Midwest, we conclude that wild-origin pumas (primarily males) will continue to disperse into the midwestern States and into the historical range of the eastern puma and are the likely source of any wild pumas that currently exist in eastern North America.

    Summary: First, it is important to note that the alternative hypotheses for the continuing presence of pumas in eastern North America are not mutually exclusive. Physical evidence indicates that pumas recently found in eastern North America are released or escaped captive animals, with the exception of some wild animals in the Midwest (and one documented in Connecticut) that are dispersing from western populations. The evidence also suggests that these are transient pumas with little potential for naturally establishing breeding populations.

    Most significantly, no evidence whatsoever has been found to show that either individual eastern pumas or any relic populations of the eastern puma subspecies remain extant in eastern North America.

    Time since last verified eastern puma report: The most recently confirmed records of pumas native to eastern North America are from Tennessee (1930), New Brunswick (1932), and Maine (1938). These records coincide with the extirpation of white-tailed deer in most of its range in the 1800s, with the exception of some remaining large forest tracts, and a shift toward the northern periphery of its historical range during that time. Reports of pumas were made by reputable observers in Missouri as late as 1966, but the taxonomy of these animals has long been in question.

    It is notable that areas in eastern North America that still support extant populations of native pumas (e.g., Florida and Manitoba) have had a long and continuous record of confirmed occurrences. In contrast, a long-term record of verified puma occurrences is lacking in regions of eastern North America outside Florida.

    Given the puma's life span, generally thought to be 10 to 11 years, it is extremely implausible that non-breeding eastern pumas could have persisted in the wild under conditions of habitat loss and lack of their primary prey base and without being detected for over six decades. It is equally if not more unlikely that breeding populations of the subspecies could have gone undetected for that long. Based on how improbable it is that eastern puma individuals or populations could have weathered such a long period of habitat and prey loss, along with the lack of either a recent report or a long-term record of eastern puma occurrences, we conclude that the time since the last verified eastern puma record is indicative of the long-term absence of this subspecies.

    Summary: Overall, we find that pumas (except for single transients) are reasonably detectable, that no contemporary puma sightings in eastern North America have been verified as the eastern puma subspecies since 1938, and that it is extremely unlikely that either individuals or eastern puma populations could have survived the long period during which most of their habitat was lost and their primary prey base was nearly extirpated. We therefore determine the eastern puma subspecies to be extinct.

    Consideration of Factors Under Section 4(a)(1) of the Act

    As mentioned under Assessment of Species Status above, section 4 of the Act and its implementing regulations (50 CFR part 424) set forth the procedures for listing, reclassifying, or removing species from listed status. When we evaluate whether a species should be listed as an endangered species or threatened species, we must consider the five listing factors described in section 4(a)(1) of the Act: (A) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species' habitat or range; (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; (C) disease or predation; (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting the species' continued existence. We must consider these same factors in reclassifying a species or removing it from the List.

    The principal factors leading to the listing of the eastern puma were widespread persecution (poisoning, trapping, hunting, and bounties), decline of forested habitat, and near-extirpation of white-tailed deer populations during the 1800s. These impacts led to the extirpation of most eastern puma populations by 1900.

    However, because we have determined that all populations of pumas described as the eastern puma, Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar, have been extirpated, analysis of the five factors under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, which apply to threats facing extant species, is tragically irrelevant. As stated above, given the period of time that has passed without verification of even a single eastern puma, the Service believes that the last remaining members of this subspecies perished decades ago. Therefore, the eastern puma is no longer extant and logically can no longer be an endangered species or threatened species because of any of the five factors.

    Conclusion

    Widespread persecution, decline of forested habitat, and near-extirpation of white-tailed deer populations during the 1800s led to the loss of most eastern puma populations by 1900. Although individual pumas were taken as late as 1932 in New Brunswick and 1938 in Maine, neither the Service's 5-year status review (USFWS 2011) nor information that has become available since then has yielded any convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that small, cryptic populations of the subspecies continue to persist anywhere within its historical range, including northern New England and eastern Canada. These findings are supported by the most recent Canadian Wildlife Service status review (Scott 1998) and by analyses in the revised Florida Panther Recovery Plan (USFWS 2008). We therefore conclude that the subspecies Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar, or eastern puma (=cougar), was likely extirpated from eastern North America prior to its listing in 1973, noting, however, that extirpation had not been substantiated at that time.

    We further conclude that although there have been thousands of puma sightings in eastern North America since the 1950s, most are a case of mistaken identity. We acknowledge that a small number of pumas are occasionally encountered in the wild in eastern North America within the historical range of the listed eastern puma. Based on the best available scientific evidence, however, we conclude that these are escaped or released captive animals, or dispersers from western puma populations, not the eastern puma subspecies. Breeding of escaped or released individuals, if it occurs, appears to be an extremely rare event, and there is no evidence of any population established from escaped or released captive animals.

    Although it is improbable that pumas can disperse regularly out of Florida, puma range expansion may be occurring in the Midwest from the West. Several wild-origin pumas have been confirmed in that region and are likely dispersers from western populations that have reached carrying capacity. Dispersal into the Midwest will likely increase in frequency as long as western puma populations continue to grow.

    With regard to puma taxonomy, we recognize the ongoing debate among scientists about the taxonomic assignment of puma subspecies and whether genetics should be the driving factor in puma taxonomy. Although Culver et al.'s (2000, entire) genetic analysis injected significant uncertainties into current puma taxonomy, we have concluded that until a comprehensive evaluation (including genetic, morphometric, and behavioral analyses) of North American pumas is completed, the best available information continues to support the assignment of the eastern taxon to Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar. We further note that these taxonomic questions do not affect the determinations in this proposed rule regarding the listed entity's biological status.

    Taking all these considerations into account, we conclude that the taxon Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar is extinct.

    Proposed Determination

    After a thorough review of all available information, we have determined that the subspecies Puma (=Felis) concolor couguar is extinct. Based upon this determination and taking into consideration the definitions of “endangered species” and “threatened species” contained in the Act and the reasons for delisting as specified in 50 CFR 424.11(d), we propose to remove the eastern puma from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife at 50 CFR 17.11.

    Available Conservation Measures

    Conservation measures provided to species listed as endangered or threatened under the Act include recognition, recovery actions, requirements for Federal protection, and prohibitions against certain practices. However, since the Service has determined the eastern cougar to be extinct, this proposed rule, if made final, would remove any Federal conservation measures for any individual pumas (except dispersing Florida panthers) that may subsequently be found within the historical range of the eastern puma.

    Effects of the Rule

    This proposal, if made final, would revise 50 CFR 17.11 to remove the eastern puma from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to extinction. The prohibitions and conservation measures provided by the Act would no longer apply to this subspecies. There is no designated critical habitat for the eastern puma.

    Post-Delisting Monitoring

    Section 4(g)(1) of the Act, added in the 1988 reauthorization, requires us to implement a program, in cooperation with the States, to monitor for not less than 5 years the status of all species that have recovered and been removed from the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR 17.11 and 17.12). Based upon the results of more than 25 years of investigating sporadic reports of sightings and our conclusion that the eastern puma is extinct, post-delisting monitoring is not warranted.

    Required Determinations Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the names of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We published a notice outlining our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we readily acknowledge our responsibility to communicate meaningfully with recognized Federal Tribes on a government-to-government basis. In accordance with Secretarial Order 3206 of June 5, 1997 (American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act), we readily acknowledge our responsibilities to work directly with Tribes in developing programs for healthy ecosystems, to acknowledge that tribal lands are not subject to the same controls as Federal public lands, to remain sensitive to Indian culture, and to make information available to Tribes. Accordingly, the Service communicated with Tribes during the 5-year review process, and we are notifying Tribes of our activities regarding this proposal to delist the eastern puma based on extinction.

    References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited in this document and in the 5-year review upon which this proposal is based is available upon request from the Service's Maine Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). References are also posted on http://www.fws.gov/northeast/ECougar.

    Authors

    The primary authors of this proposed rule are the staff members of the Maine Field Office and the Hadley, Massachusetts, Regional Office.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    § 17.11 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 17.11(h) by removing the entry for “Puma (=cougar), eastern” under “Mammals” in the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.” Dated: May 22, 2015. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14931 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    80 116 Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Docket No. AMS-ST-15-0021] Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Collection AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection “Application for Plant Variety Protection Certification and Objective Description of Variety.”

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by August 17, 2015. All comments submitted in response to this notice will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov.

    Additional Information or Comments: Contact Bernadette Thomas, Information Technology Specialist, Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO), Science and Technology, AMS, Room 4512-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250 Telephone (202) 720-1168 and Fax (202) 260-8976.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Regulations Governing the Application for Plant Variety Protection Certificate and Reporting Requirements under the Plant Variety Protection Act.

    OMB Number: 0581-0055.

    Expiration Date of Approval: November 30, 2015.

    Type of Request: Extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) (7 U.S.C. 2321 et seq.) was established “To encourage the development of novel varieties of sexually reproduced plants and make them available to the public, providing protection available to those who breed, develop, or discover them, and thereby promote progress in agriculture in the public interest.”

    The PVPA is a voluntary user funded program which grants intellectual property rights protection to breeders of new, distinct, uniform, and stable seed reproduced and tuber propagated plant varieties. To obtain these rights the applicant must provide information which shows the variety is eligible for protection and that it is indeed new, distinct, uniform, and stable as the law requires. Application forms, descriptive forms, and ownership forms are furnished to applicants to identify the information which is required to be furnished by the applicant in order to legally issue a certificate of protection (ownership). The certificate is based on claims of the breeder and cannot be issued on the basis of reports in publications not submitted by the applicant. Regulations implementing the PVPA appear at 7 CFR part 92.

    Currently approved forms ST-470, Application for Plant Variety Protection Certificate, ST-470 A, Origin and Breeding History, ST-470 B, Statement of Distinctness, Form ST-470 series, Objective Description of Variety (Exhibit C), Form ST-470-E, Basis of Applicant's Ownership, are the basis by which the determination, by experts at PVPO, is made as to whether a new, distinct, uniform, and stable seed reproduced or tuber-propagated variety in fact exists and is entitled to protection.

    The ST 470 application form combines Exhibits A, B, and E into one form. The information received on applications, with certain exceptions, is required by law to remain confidential until the certificate is issued (7 U.S.C. 2426).

    The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the PVPA, to provide applicants with certificates of protection, to provide the respondents the type of service they request, and to administer the program.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.87 hours per response.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit, not-for-profit institutions, and Federal Government.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 86.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 39.81.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,974.

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Bernadette Thomas, Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO), Science and Technology, AMS, Room 4512-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14878 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0014] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), are holding a public meeting on August 6, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions that will be discussed at the 19th Session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (CCFFV) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). The Session will be held in Mexico [the specific location in Mexico will be determined], October 5-9, 2015. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the Agricultural Marketing Service recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 19th Session of CCFFV and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for August 6, 2015, from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jamie L. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 107-A, Washington, DC 20250. Documents related to the 19th Session of CCFFV will be accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    The U.S. Delegate of the 19th Session of the CCFFV invites U.S. interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call In Number

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 19th Session of the CCFFV, by conference call, please use the call in number and participant code listed below:

    Call in Number: 1-888-844-9904.

    The participant code will be posted on the Web page below: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/public-meetings.

    Registration

    Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by August 4, 2015. Early registration is encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. The meeting will be held in a Federal building. Attendees should also bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but who wish to participate, may do so by phone.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    About the 19th Session of CCFFV: Dorian LaFond, Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruits and Vegetables Division, Stop 0235-Room 2086, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 690-4944, Fax: (202) 720-0016, email: [email protected]

    About the Public Meeting: Kenneth Lowery, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue, Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 690-4042, Fax: (202) 720-3157, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

    The CCFFV is responsible for elaborating worldwide standards and codes of practice as may be appropriate for fresh fruits and vegetables and for consulting with other international organizations in the standards development process to avoid duplication.

    The Committee is hosted by Mexico.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 19th Session of CCFFV will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters referred by the Codex and other Codex Committees • Matters referred by other international organizations on the standardization of fresh fruits and vegetables • Proposed Draft Standard for Okra • Proposed Draft Standard for Ware Potatoes • Proposed Draft Standard for Garlic • Proposed Draft Standard for Aubergines • Proposed Draft Standard for Kiwifruit • Minimum maturity requirements for table grapes • Proposals for new work for Codex standards for fresh fruits and vegetables • Proposed layout for Codex standards for fresh fruits and vegetables

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat prior to the Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the August 6, 2015, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegate for the 19th Session of CCFFV, Dorian LaFond (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 19th Session of CCFFV.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC on June 11, 2015. Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14840 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0013] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), are holding a public meeting on August 19, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions that will be discussed at the 2nd Session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). The Session will be held in Goa, India, September 14-18, 2015. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety recognizes the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 2nd Session of CCSCH and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19, 2015 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 107-A, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. Documents related to the 2nd Session of CCSCH will be accessible via the Internet at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    The U.S. Delegate of the 2nd Session of the CCSCH invites U.S. interested parties to send their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call-In Number

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 2nd Session of the CCSCH by conference call, please use the call-in number and participant code listed below:

    Call-in Number: 1-888-844-9904.

    The participant code will be posted on the Web page below: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/public-meetings.

    Registration

    Attendees may register to attend the public meeting by emailing [email protected] by August 17, 2015. Early registration is encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. The meeting will be held in a Federal building. Attendees should also bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees who are not able to attend the meeting in person, but who wish to participate, may do so by phone.

    For Further Information About the 2nd Session of CCSCH Contact: Dorian LaFond, Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruits and Vegetables Division, Stop 0235-Room 2086, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 690-4944, Fax: (202) 720-0016, email: [email protected]

    For Further Information about the Public Meeting Contact: Kenneth Lowery, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250. Phone: (202) 690-4042, Fax: (202) 720-3157, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in trade.

    The CCSCH is responsible for elaborating worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state in whole, ground, and cracked or crushed form. The CCSCH consults as necessary with other international organizations in the standards development process to avoid duplication.

    The CCSCH is hosted by India.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the Agenda for the 2nd Session of CCSCH will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters Referred by the Codex and other Codex Committees and Task Forces.

    • Activities of International Organizations relevant to the work of CCSCH.

    • Proposed Draft Standard for Black, White, and Green Pepper.

    • Proposed Draft Standard for Cumin.

    • Proposed Draft Standard for Oregano.

    • Proposed Draft Standard for Thyme.

    • Discussion paper on grouping of spices and culinary herbs.

    • Proposal for new work.

    • Other Business and Future Work.

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat before the Meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the August 19, 2015, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to the U.S. Delegates for the 2nd Session of CCSCH,(see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 2nd Session of CCSCH.

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    Additional Public Notification

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email.

    Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax: (202) 690-7442.

    Email: [email protected].

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC, on June 11, 2012. Mary Frances Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14841 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Southern Montana Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Southern Montana Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Columbus, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on July 29, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Columbus Fire Rescue, Community Room, 944 East Pike Avenue, Columbus, Montana. No additional call in number, VTC, or field trips are planned.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisors Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 406-587-6735 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Review and recommend project submissions for the 2015 field season; and

    2. Recommendations will be passed onto the Designated Federal Officer for approval and signature.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by July 15 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan, RAC Coordinator, Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisors Office, 10 East Babcock, P.O. Box 130, Bozeman, Montaan 59771; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-587-6758.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Mary C. Erickson, Custer Gallatin Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14956 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Lyon-Mineral Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Lyon-Mineral Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Yerington, Nevada. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racweb.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held 1:00 p.m. on July 29, 2015.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Lyon County Administration Complex, Commissioners Meeting Room, 27 South Main Street, Yerington, Nevada.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Bridgeport Ranger Station. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeff Ulrich, RAC Designated Federal Officer, by phone at 760-932-7070 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. To discuss new project proposals; and

    2. Receive an update on current and completed projects.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by July 8, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Jeff Ulrich, RAC Designated Federal Officer, Bridgeport Ranger District, HC 62, Box 1000, Bridgeport, California 93517, by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 760-932-5899.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. William A. Dunkelburger, Forest Supervisor, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14960 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service RIN 0596-AD16 Proposed Directive for National Saw Program Policy AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed directive; request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service proposes to revise Forest Service Manual (FSM) 2350 to establish guidance for the National Saw Program and associated monitoring protocols and require their use on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The proposed revisions establish national training, evaluation, and certification requirements for the use of chain saws and crosscut saws by employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators on NFS lands. The National Saw Program, which includes these directives, training, and other associated materials, would provide a consistent framework for conducting saw activities on NFS lands. Public comment is invited and will be considered in the development of the final directive. The proposed directive can be viewed in its entirety at www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/2358-Saw-Policy-TAI-6-11-15_0.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received, in writing, on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically by following the instructions at the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov or submit comments via facsimile to 703-605-5131. Please identify facsimiled comments by including “Saw Program Directive” on the cover sheet or first page. Comments may also be submitted via mail to National Saw Policy Program Comments, USDA Forest Service, Attn: Jonathan Stephens, Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources, 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC 20250. If comments are submitted electronically, duplicate comments should not be sent by mail. Please confine comments to issues pertinent to the proposed directive, explain the reasons for any recommended changes, and, where possible, reference the specific section and wording being addressed.

    All comments, including names and addresses when provided, will be placed in the record and will be made available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect the comments received on the proposed directive at the USDA Forest Service Headquarters, located in the Yates Federal Building at 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC, on regular business days between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at 202-205-1701 to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jonathan Stephens, National Trails Program Manager, 202-205-1701 or [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The development of a national saw policy will allow the Forest Service to facilitate the safe use of chain saws and crosscut saws while optimizing the critical skills and cooperative opportunities for trail maintenance and other projects on NFS lands. The proposed FSM 2358 provides direction on sawyer qualifications, training, evaluation, and certification requirements for Forest Service employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators using either chain saws or crosscut saws on NFS lands. This proposed directive would supersede all existing Forest Service regional supplements to Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 6709.11, section 22.48. Sawyers who are certified when the proposed directive becomes effective would not be subject to the certification requirements in the proposed directive until their certification expires.

    Overview of the Proposed Directive

    The following provides an overview of the proposed directive for the Forest Service's National Saw Program.

    Training and Certification. Under the proposed directive, the Forest Service would allow the use of saws on NFS lands only if the sawyer has successfully completed sawyer training and field evaluation, possesses a valid National Sawyer Certification Card, and meets any other specified qualifications to perform assigned saw work safely, including current training on first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Sawyers would receive certification upon sucessful completion of required sawyer training and a field proficiency evaluation. The issuance of a National Sawyer Certification Card documents the sawyer's certification and qualifies the sawyer to work on NFS lands within the restrictions noted on the card. A Crosscut Sawyer Trainee may occasionally use a crosscut saw, but for bucking only (bucking is sawing logs and limbs into shorter lengths) and only under the immediate supervision of a certified sawyer.

    Forest Service Cooperators. Forest Service agreements with cooperators (other than those working under interagency fire management cooperative agreements) would provide that cooperators are responsible for sawyer training and certification of their employees and volunteers in accordance with this proposed directive. Cooperators could take Nationally Recognized Sawyer Training Courses (NRSTCs) offered by the Forest Service or could train and certify their volunteers and employees through NRSTCs offered by Forest Service-recommended cooperator Sawyer Evaluators and Sawyer Instructors.

    Scope of Certification. Sawyers would be precluded from performing saw activities outside the limits of their certification or qualifications, except during formal evaluation proceedings or under the immediate supervision of a higher Qualified Sawyer.

    No Guarantee of Certification. Completion of classroom, field proficiency, and evaluation requirements could result in certification, certification with restrictions, or no certification.

    Minimum Eligible Sawyer Age. Under the proposed directive, chain saw sawyers would have to be at least 18 years of age (29 CFR part 570, subpart E). Crosscut sawyers should be at least 16 years of age.

    National Database. The Forest Service is developing a web-based database to track Forest Service sawyer certifications nationwide. The name of the sawyer, contact information, and certification level will be entered into the database and will be accessible by authorized Forest Service and cooperator employees. The system will allow the Forest Service and cooperators to verify that employees, volunteers, training consultants, and cooperators intending to operate saws on NFS lands have met the requirements of this proposed directive to achieve their specific sawyer certification level. The database will establish consistency and avoid redundancy in training and certification requirements for sawyers working on NFS lands.

    Information Collection Requirements. The Forest Service has developed two forms for evaluating sawyers: one for chain saws and one for crosscut saws. In accordance with 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(1), these forms do not entail an information collection to the extent they require sawyers who are being evaluated to affirm that they have completed and will maintain first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, and to indicate whether they give the Forest Service permission to share their sawyer qualifications and add their email address to a mailing list shared with other Federal agencies and non-Federal organizations so that they can be contacted about saw project opportunities in their area. Furthermore, in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(7), the evaluation forms do not entail an information collection to the extent they document examinations designed to test the aptitude, abilities, or knowledge of the persons tested and involve the collection of information for identification or classification in connection with those examinations. The National Sawyer Certification Card does not entail any information collections, as it is completed by the Forest Service without any additional information from the public beyond what is collected on the sawyer evaluation forms.

    Regulatory Certifications Environmental Impact

    This proposed directive would revise the administrative policies and procedures for using crosscut saws and chain saws on NFS lands. Agency regulations at 36 CFR 220.6(d)(2) (73 FR 43093) exclude from documentation in an environmental assessment or impact statement “rules, regulations, or policies to establish Service-wide administrative procedures, program processes, or instructions.” The Agency has concluded that these directives fall within this category of actions and that no extraordinary circumstances exist which would require preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Regulatory Impact

    This proposed directive has been reviewed under USDA procedures and Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 on regulatory planning and review. It has been determined that this is not an economically significant action. This proposed directive, which would clarify national Agency saw policy, would not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy, nor would it adversely affect productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health and safety, or State or local governments. This proposed directive would not interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency, nor would it raise new legal or policy issues. The proposed directive also would not alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grant, user fee, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of beneficiaries of those programs.

    This proposed directive has been considered in light of E.O. 13272 regarding proper consideration of small entities and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), which amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). A small entities flexibility assessment has determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by SBREFA. This proposed directive focuses on NFS saw program activities and would impose no requirements on small or large entities.

    Federalism and Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    The Agency has considered this directive under the requirements of E.O. 13132 on federalism and has determined that the proposed directive conforms with the federalism principles set out in this E.O.; would not impose any compliance costs on the States; and would not have substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the Agency has determined that no further assessment of federalism implications is necessary.

    In conjunction with E.O. 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” USDA Departmental Regulation on Tribal Consultation, Coordination and Collaboration, and Forest Service Handbook 1509.13, Chapter 10—Consultation with Tribes, the Agency invites Tribes to consult on the proposed directive during this public comment period. Tribal consultation will continue for 90 additional days after the close of the public comment period, giving Tribes 150 total days to discuss the proposed directive. Other opportunities to engage Tribes will be explored including information sharing via Web sites and notices to major tribal associations and groups with interest in use of chainsaws and crosscut saws. Forest Service regional offices have information on the proposed directive to guide consultation with Tribes in the regions. Tribes interested in requesting a consultation may contact their regional foresters' office.

    No Taking Implications

    The Agency has analyzed the proposed directive in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in E.O. 12630. The Agency has determined that the proposed directive would not pose the risk of a taking of private property.

    Civil Justice Reform

    The proposed directive has been reviewed under E.O. 12988, titled “Civil Justice Reform.” Upon adoption of the proposed directive, (1) all State and local laws and regulations that conflict with the proposed directive or that impede its full implementation would be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect would be given to the proposed directive; and (3) administrative proceedings would not be required before parties could file suit in court to challenge its provisions.

    Unfunded Mandates

    Pursuant to Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538), the Agency has assessed the effects of this proposed directive on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. The proposed directive would not compel the expenditure of $100 million or more by any State, local, or Tribal government or anyone in the private sector. Therefore, a statement under section 202 of the act is not required.

    Energy Effects

    The Agency has reviewed the directive under E.O. 13211, titled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.” The Agency has determined that the proposed directive would not constitute a significant energy action as defined in the Executive Order.

    Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public

    This proposed directive does not contain any additional recordkeeping or reporting requirements or other information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 that are not already required by law or not already approved for use and therefore imposes no additional paperwork burden on the public. Accordingly, the review provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320 do not apply.

    Dated: June 9, 2015. Mary Wagner, Associate Chief, U.S. Forest Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14817 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Missoula Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Missoula Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Missoula, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/pts/specialprojects/racweb.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held Tuesday, June 24, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at Missoula County Courthouse, Room Admin B14, 199 West Pine Street, Missoula, Montana.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Missoula Ranger District. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katrina Kreyenhagen, RAC Coordinator, by phone at (406) 329-3844 or via email at kmkreyenhagen@fs.fed.us.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is:

    1. To review and vote on submitted proposals, and receive public comment on the meeting subjects and proceedings.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by June 10, 2015 to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Katrina Kreyenhagen, RAC Coordinator, 24 Fort Missoula Road, Missoula, Montana 59804; or by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to (406) 329-1049.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: May 27, 2015. Jennifer Hensiek, District Ranger, Missoula Ranger District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14908 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Eleven Point Resource Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Eleven Point Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Winona, Missouri. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://cloudapps-usda-gov.force.com/FSSRS/RAC_page?id=001t0000002JcvzAAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held July 21, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

    All RAC meetings are subject to cancellation. For status of meeting prior to attendance, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center, U.S. Highway 60, Route 1, Box 1998, Winona, Missouri.

    Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at Mark Twain National Forest (NF) Supervisor's Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Hall, RAC Coordinator, by phone at 573-341-7404 or via email at [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Review proposed forest management projects; and

    2. Make project recommendations to the Forest Service to be funded through Title II of the Act.

    The meeting is open to the public. The agenda will include time for people to make oral statements of three minutes or less. Individuals wishing to make an oral statement should request in writing by July 15, 2015, to be scheduled on the agenda. Anyone who would like to bring related matters to the attention of the committee may file written statements with the committee staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and requests for time for oral comments must be sent to Richard Hall, Mark Twain NF Supervisor's Office, 401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, Missouri 65401; by email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 573-364-6844.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. William B. Nightingale, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14962 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Missouri Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss the Agenda and Logistics for Its August 20 Meeting on Police Use of Force AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Missouri Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. CST for the purpose of discussing the agenda of speakers and other logistics for the upcoming meeting on police use of force in Missouri. The Committee previous held a meeting and heard testimony on the topic in St. Louis on February 23 and held a planning meeting on June 10, 2015. This upcoming meeting to be held in Kansas City will conclude all the testimony the Committee is scheduled to hear before issuing its final report.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-428-9480, conference ID: 1533857. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement at the end of the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Member of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by August 1, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Regional Programs Unit, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (312) 353-8311.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing prior to and after the meeting at http://facadatabase.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=258 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address.

    Agenda
    Welcome and Introductions S. David Mitchell, Chair Discussion of potential agenda of speakers and other logistics of meeting—Missouri Advisory Committee Members Open Comment Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. CST, Public Call Information: Dial: 888-428-9480 Conference ID: 1533857

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Mussatt, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected].

    Dated: June 11, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14788 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: American Community Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0810.

    Form Number(s): ACS-1, ACS-1(SP), ACS-1(PR), ACS-1(PR)SP, ACS-1(GQ), ACS-1(PR)(GQ), GQFQ, ACS CATI (HU), ACS CAPI (HU), ACS RI (HU), and AGQ QI, AGQ RI.

    Type of Request: Regular Submission.

    Number of Respondents: 3,760,000.

    Average Hours per Response: 40 minutes for the average household questionnaire.

    Burden Hours: The estimate is an annual average of 2,455,868 burden hours.

    Needs and Uses: The U.S. Census Bureau requests authorization from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for revisions to the American Community Survey (ACS). This notice updates Federal Register notice 80 FR 23501, which proposed only changes to the content of the proposed 2016 ACS questionnaire and data collection instruments for both Housing Unit and Group Quarters operations that were proposed as a result of the 2014 ACS Content Review. This notice proposes additional changes to the content of the proposed 2016 ACS questionnaire and data collection instruments for both Housing Unit and Group Quarters operations that were proposed as a result of (a) recently completed cognitive testing on the computer usage and Internet questions; (b) research suggesting that the flush toilet component of the plumbing facilities question can be removed; and (c) recent field testing of changes to the ACS mailing strategy to further reduce respondent concerns. Note: This notice supplements FR Doc. 2015-09741 with new information, and extends the comment period to June 28, 2015.

    The American Community Survey (ACS) is one of the Department of Commerce's most valuable data products, used extensively by businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, and many federal agencies. In conducting this survey, the Census Bureau's top priority is respecting the time and privacy of the people providing information while preserving its value to the public. The 2016 survey content changes are the initial step in a multi-faceted approach to reducing respondent burden. The Census Bureau is currently carrying out this program of research, which includes several components as discussed briefly below.

    One of the areas with strong potential to reduce respondent burden is to reuse information already supplied to the federal government in lieu of directly collecting it again through particular questions on the ACS. The Census Bureau is conducting groundbreaking work aimed at understanding the extent to which existing government data can reduce redundancy and improve efficiency. The tests we are conducting in the next two years will tell us whether existing government records can provide substitute data for households that have not responded to the ACS.

    In addition, we continue to look into the possibility of asking some questions less often beginning with initial efforts on the marital history series of questions. For example, asking a question every other year, every third year, or asking a question of a subset of the respondents each year. We also want to examine ways we can better phrase our questions to reduce respondent concern, especially for those who may be sensitive to providing information.

    The outcome of these future steps will be a more efficient survey that minimizes respondent burden while continuing to provide quality data products for the nation. We expect to make great progress during fiscal 2015 on this front, and will be reporting our progress to the Secretary of Commerce at the end of the fiscal year.

    Since the founding of the nation, the U.S. Census has mediated between the demands of a growing country for information about its economy and people, and the people's privacy and respondent burden. Beginning with the 1810 Census, Congress added questions to support a range of public concerns and uses, and over the course of a century questions were added about agriculture, industry, and commerce, as well as occupation, ancestry, marital status, disabilities, and other topics. In 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau introduced the long form and since then only the more detailed questions were asked of a sample of the public.

    The ACS, launched in 2005, is the current embodiment of the long form of the census, and is asked each year of a sample of the U.S. population in order to provide current data needed more often than once every ten years. In December of 2010, five years after its launch, the ACS program accomplished its primary objective with the release of its first set of estimates for every area of the United States. The Census Bureau concluded it was an appropriate time to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ACS program. This program assessment focused on strengthening programmatic, technical, and methodological aspects of the survey to assure that the Census Bureau conducts the ACS efficiently and effectively.

    In August 2012, the OMB and the Census Bureau chartered the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) Subcommittee on the ACS to “provide advice to the Director of the Census Bureau and the Chief Statistician at OMB on how the ACS can best fulfill its role in the portfolio of Federal household surveys and provide the most useful information with the least amount of burden.” The Subcommittee charter also states that the Subcommittee would be expected to “conduct regular, periodic reviews of the ACS content . . . designed to ensure that there is clear and specific authority and justification for each question to be on the ACS, the ACS is the appropriate vehicle for collecting the information, respondent burden is being minimized, and the quality of the data from ACS is appropriate for its intended use.”

    Changes in 2016 ACS Content Resulting From the Content Review

    The formation of the ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS and the aforementioned assessment of the ACS program also provided an opportunity to examine and confirm the value of each question on the ACS, which resulted in the 2014 ACS Content Review. This review, which was an initial step in a multi-faceted approach of a much larger content review process, included examination of all 72 questions contained on the 2014 ACS questionnaire, including 24 housing-related questions and 48 person-related questions.

    The Census Bureau proposed the two analysis factors—benefit as defined by the level of usefulness and cost as defined by the level of respondent burden or difficulty in obtaining the data, which were accepted by the ICSP Subcommittee. Based on a methodology pre-defined by the Census Bureau with the input and concurrence of the ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS, each question received a total number of points between 0 and 100 based on its benefits, and 0 and 100 points based on its costs. These points were then used as the basis for creating four categories: High Benefit and Low Cost; High Benefit and High Cost; Low Benefit and Low Cost; or Low Benefit and High Cost. For this analysis, any question that was designated as either Low Benefit and Low Cost or Low Benefit and High Cost and was NOT designated as Mandatory (i.e., statutory) by the Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel (OGC) or NOT Required (i.e., regulatory) with a sub-state use, was identified as a potential candidate for removal. The Department of Commerce OGC worked with its counterparts across the federal government to determine mandatory, required, or programmatic status, as defined below:

    Mandatory—a federal law explicitly calls for use of decennial census or ACS data on that question

    Required—a federal law (or implementing regulation) explicitly requires the use of data and the decennial census or the ACS is the historical source; or the data are needed for case law requirements imposed by the U.S. federal court system

    Programmatic—the data are needed for program planning, implementation, or evaluation and there is no explicit mandate or requirement.

    Based on the analysis, the following questions were initially proposed for removal:

    Housing Question No. 6—Business/Medical Office on Property

    Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree

    Person Question No. 21—(In the Past 12 mos, did this person) Get Married, Widowed, Divorced

    • Person Question No. 22—Times Married

    • Person Question No. 23—Year Last Married

    For reports that provide a full description of the overall 2014 ACS Content Review methods and results, see “Final Report—American Community Survey FY14 Content Review Results” and additional reports about the 2014 ACS Content Review available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/about_the_survey/methods_and_results_report/.

    Regarding the business/medical office on property question, the Census Bureau received 41 comments from researchers, and individuals. Most of these comments came from researchers who felt that the Census Bureau should keep all of the proposed questions in order to keep the survey content consistent over time or felt those modifications to the question could potentially make it more useful. Housing Question No. 6—Business/Medical Office on Property is currently not published by the Census Bureau in any data tables. The only known use of the question is to produce a variable for the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), a recode for the Specified Owner (SVAL) variable that allows users to compare other datasets. The Content Review did not reveal any uses by federal agencies, and the comments to the Federal Register notice did not reveal any non-federal uses. Additionally, there were no uses uncovered in meetings with stakeholders, data user feedback forms, or other methods employed to understand the uses of ACS data. Lastly, independent research conducted on behalf of the Census Bureau did not uncover any further uses. Though the question has a low cost, it has no benefit to federal agencies, the federal statistical system, or the nation. The Census Bureau plans to remove this question, beginning with the 2016 ACS content.

    Regarding the field of degree question, the Census Bureau received 625 comments from researchers, professors and administrators at many universities, professional associations that represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and industries, members of Congress, the National Science Foundation, and many individuals interested in retaining this question. A number of commenters (92) cited the importance of these estimates for research that analyzes the effect of field of degree choice on economic outcomes, including earnings, education, occupation, industry, and employment. University administrators (37) commented that this information allows for analysis of postsecondary outcomes, and allows them to benchmark their graduates' relative success in different fields as well as to plan degree offerings. While some commenters used the estimates to understand fields such as humanities or philosophy (56), the majority of these comments (125) addressed the value of knowing about the outcomes of people who pursued degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These commenters felt that knowing more about the people currently earning STEM degrees and the people currently working in STEM fields would enable universities, advocacy groups, and policy makers to encourage more people to pursue STEM careers, and to encourage diversity within STEM careers.

    The initial analysis of Person Question No. 12—Undergraduate Field of Degree did not uncover any evidence that the question was Mandatory or Required. However, comments to the Federal Register notice uncovered the existence of a relationship between the Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation, dating back to 1960. Over the course of this established relationship, long-form decennial census data was used as a sampling frame for surveys that provided important information about scientists and engineers. These comments demonstrated that the Field of Degree question on the ACS continues this historical use of decennial long-form and ACS data for this purpose, and makes this process more efficient. Many commenters (58) also cited the necessity of the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), and recommended retaining the question because it is needed as a sampling frame for the NSCG. Though commenters theorized that the NSCG might still be able to produce STEM estimates without the ACS, a number of commenters (16) thought that doing so would be very expensive, costing as much as $17 million more (1).

    Additionally, many comments also indicated uses of this question to understand the economic outcomes of college graduates at local geographic levels, especially those with STEM degrees. These commenters included professional, academic, congressional, and policy-making stakeholders who expressed concerns that the absence of statistical information about STEM degrees would harm the ability to understand characteristics of small populations attaining STEM degrees. Given the importance of this small population group to the economy, the federal statistical system and the nation, bolstered by the new knowledge of historical precedent brought to light by commenters to the Federal Register notice, the Census Bureau therefore plans to retain this question on the 2016 ACS.

    Regarding the marital history questions, the Census Bureau received 1,361 comments from researchers and professors, professional associations that represent marriage and family therapists, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and many individuals interested in retaining these questions. SSA commented that it uses the marital history questions to estimate future populations by marital status as part of the Board of Trustees annual report on the actuarial status (including future income and disbursements) of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also uses these questions to distinguish households in which a grandparent has primary responsibility for a grandchild or grandchildren, as well as to provide family formation and stability measures for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

    The focus of the proposed elimination is on the marital history questions only with no change to collection of marital status. Over 400 additional comments to the Federal Register notice cited concerns that the proposed elimination of the marital history questions was an indication of whether the government views information about marriage as somehow less valuable than other ACS question topics that were not proposed for removal. While the Census Bureau had always planned to continue collecting information about the “marital status” for each person in a household (Person Question No. 20) and their relationships to each other (Person Question No. 2), the Census Bureau remains sensitive to these criticisms.

    More than 100 supporters of retaining the marital history questions mentioned their utility for research into marital status changes over time and they correctly noted that there is currently no other national source of the marital history information. As a result, many commenters felt they would not be able to compare marriage characteristics and patterns with other nations in the same depth that is possible today. Similarly, without these questions, the commenters felt that the analysis of changes in marriage events (especially those due to changing societal values and pressures or policy changes) would be less robust. In particular, comments focused on 6 research areas that would be more difficult to analyze without the marital history questions:

    • Family formation and stability (23)

    • Patterns/trends of marriage and divorce (168)

    • Marital effects on earnings, education and employment (45)

    • Marital effects on child wellbeing (6)

    • Same-sex marriages, civil unions and partnerships (70)

    • New government policy effects on marriage (9)

    Because the initial analysis of Person Question Nos. 21-23 on marital history did not uncover any evidence that data from these questions were “Required” for federal use at sub-state geographies, those questions received a lower benefit score than many other ACS questions. However, in deference to the very large number (1,367) of comments received on the Census Bureau proposal to eliminate those questions, the Census Bureau plans to retain those questions on the 2016 ACS.

    The Census Bureau takes very seriously respondent concerns and recognizes that the Content Review and the resulting, proposed question changes discussed above are only initial steps to addressing them. The Census Bureau has implemented an extensive action plan on addressing respondent burden and concerns. The work completed, and the comments received, on the 2014 Content Review provides a foundation for ongoing and future efforts to reduce burden and concerns. In addition to the immediate content changes (proposed above), the Census Bureau is also currently testing the language on the survey materials that may cause concern such as reminding people that their responses are required by law. In order to be responsive to these concerns about the prominence of the mandatory message on the envelopes, we are conducting research with a subset of ACS respondents in May 2015. Over the summer, we will work with external methodological experts to test other revisions of the ACS mail materials to check respondent perceptions of the softened references to the mandatory nature of participation in the ACS. The preliminary results of those tests will be available in the fall, and the Census Bureau will make changes to the 2016 ACS mail materials based on those results.

    Concurrently we also are identifying additional questions that we may only need to ask intermittently, rather than each month or year. The current ACS sample design asks all of the survey questions from all selected households in order to produce estimates each year for small geographies and small populations. However, during the Content Review we learned of more than 300 data needs that federal agencies require to implement their missions. We see several potential opportunities to either include some questions periodically, or ask a smaller subset of ACS respondents in cases where those agencies do not need certain data annually. The Census Bureau plans to engage the federal agencies and external experts on this topic during 2015. In addition, we need to assess the operational and statistical issues associated with alternate designs. The alternate designs will result in a reduction in the number of questions asked of individual households.

    We are also conducting research on substituting the direct collection of information with the use of information already provided to the government. It is possible that the Census Bureau could use administrative records from federal and commercial sources in lieu of asking particular questions on the ACS.

    Lastly, we are examining our approaches to field collection to reduce the number of in-person contact attempts while preserving data quality. For example, based on research conducted in 2012, we implemented changes in 2013 which led to an estimated reduction of approximately 1.2 million call attempts per year, while sustaining the 97percent response rate for the survey overall. For the person visit operation, we are researching a reduction in the number of contact attempts. We plan to field test this change in August 2015. If successful we would implement nationwide in spring 2016.

    We will continue to look for other opportunities to reduce respondent burden while maintaining survey quality. Taken together, these measures will make a significant impact on reducing respondent burden in the ACS. In fact, as we have been accelerating our research program in parallel with the content review, we are proposing several additional immediate changes to the 2016 ACS.

    Changes in 2016 ACS Content Resulting From Cognitive Testing on Computer Usage and Internet Questions

    In early 2013 the Census Bureau began to reach out to Federal agency stakeholders through the forum provided by the OMB Interagency Committee for the ACS to identify possible question changes to be considered for the 2016 ACS Content Test. The ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS conducted an initial review of the proposals received from these Federal agencies, and identified a set of topics that would be approved for the formation of topical subcommittees. These topical subcommittees worked with the Census Bureau to develop proposed wording that was evaluated through multiple rounds of cognitive testing in 2014 and 2015 to refine the proposed question wording changes.

    During the course of the preparations for the 2016 ACS Content Test, attention was given to the computer usage and Internet series of questions (questions 9 through 11 on the ACS-1(HU) questionnaire). When this series of questions was added to the production ACS questionnaire in 2013, it was clear that the quickly evolving nature of the types of computing devices available and the ways individuals access the Internet would cause this series of questions to quickly become out-of-date. Cognitive testing of these questions in 2014 brought to light difficulties respondents face when answering the current versions of these questions that were corroborated by the metrics collected during the ACS Content Review. Specifically, technical terms and types of devices and Internet services referenced in the current questions are not easily reconciled with the devices and Internet services used by households today. Additionally, there is evidence in the production data being collected that respondents are misreporting their usage of tablets, since there is not a clear category that references tablet computers. Proposed changes to these questions to bring the wording more in sync with current devices and Internet services were shown to be effectively understood during the cognitive testing process. Therefore, in order to improve the quality of the ACS data, and to reduce the difficulty respondents experience when answering these questions, the Census Bureau is proposing revising these questions. Given the timing of the receipt of the results of cognitive testing, the proposal to revise these questions in the 2016 ACS was not included in the October 31st notice in the Federal Register.

    In order to ensure that question changes are effective at collecting high quality data, the current policy requires that proposed revisions to questions must first be cognitively tested, and then, if successful, the results of the cognitive testing will be used as input to a field test that utilizes multiple ACS modes of collection. However, the current concerns with the computer use and Internet questions suggest the need in some instances for the ACS program to be more nimble in making changes than our current process for cognitive and field testing will allow. Therefore, we are evaluating on a pilot basis incorporating the following criteria into the pretesting requirements of the ICSP Subcommittee on the ACS to determine when to implement changes without field testing:

    • The external environment related to the topic being measured has changed in a way that there is evidence of significant measurement error in the absence of a question change.

    • Cognitive testing has been conducted on versions of the question accounting for multiple modes of administration (such as self-response and interviewer-administered) and the results have led to clear recommendations on the specific changes to make.

    • There is evidence that implementing changes to the production versions of the question should be done on a timeline that makes field testing unfeasible, OR the Census Bureau has not received sufficient funding to conduct field testing.

    If each of these criteria is met, then a change to ACS question wording could be considered without field testing. Regular reviews and analysis would continue to evaluate any questions changed under this policy, allowing the Census Bureau to preserve the quality of the ACS data and be more responsive in making question wording changes that reflect the changing environment.

    Changes in 2016 ACS Content Concerning the Flush Toilet Section of the Plumbing Facilities Question

    Traditionally the means of determining substandard housing has involved identifying housing that lacks complete plumbing facilities or complete kitchen facilities. Until 2008, the Census Bureau asked one question to determine complete plumbing facilities, “Does the house, apartment or mobile home have COMPLETE plumbing facilities; that is, (1) hot and cold running water, (2) flush toilet, and (3) bathtub or shower?” Similarly, the Census Bureau used one question to determine complete kitchen facilities (sink with a faucet, stove or range, and a refrigerator). In 2008, in conjunction with our stakeholders, we broke the plumbing and kitchen facilities questions into six sub-parts in order ask about each component separately. Having data available for each sub-part has enabled us to better understand the impact of asking each one, including the flush toilet component. As we have accelerated our research into this topic, we have learned that there are very few instances where flush toilets alone determine the existence of substandard housing. After consultation with some of our key stakeholders, the Census Bureau believes that the flush toilet question places unnecessary burden on the American public relative to the value of the information gained from it, and recommends that it be removed in the 2016 ACS, though we will continue to work with stakeholders to explore how this information can be collected apart from the ACS.

    Changes in 2016 ACS Mailing Procedures

    Based on the results of testing conducted in 2015, the Census Bureau is proposing to modify the mail out strategy for the ACS as described in the steps below. The testing has shown that the change increases response to the online questionnaire, and reduces the total number of mailings sent to households by eliminating one entire mailing and replacing a postcard with a letter.

    For households eligible to receive survey materials by mail, the first contact includes a letter and instruction card explaining how to complete the survey online. Also included are a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) brochure and a brochure that provides basic information about the survey in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and provides a phone number to call for assistance in each language. The instruction card provides the information on how to respond in English and Spanish. The letter explains that if the respondent is unable to complete the survey online, a paper questionnaire will be sent later. The Internet version of the questionnaire is available in English and Spanish and includes questions about the housing unit and the people living in the housing unit. The Internet questionnaire has space to collect detailed information for twenty people in the household.

    The second mailing is a letter that reminds respondents to complete the survey online, thanks them if they have already done so, and informs them that a paper form will be sent later if we do not receive their response. This letter includes clear instructions to log in, including an explicit reference to the user identification number.

    In a third mailing, the ACS housing unit questionnaire package is sent only to those sample addresses that have not completed the online questionnaire within two weeks. The content includes a follow up letter, a paper copy of the questionnaire, an instruction guide for completing the paper form, an instruction card for completing the survey online, a FAQ brochure, and a return envelope. The cover letter with this questionnaire package reminds the household of the importance of the ACS, and asks them to respond soon either by completing the survey online or by returning a completed paper questionnaire.

    The fourth mailing is a postcard that reminds respondents that “now is the time to complete the survey,” informs them that an interviewer may contact them if they do not complete the survey, and reminds them of the importance of the ACS.

    A fifth mailing is sent to respondents who have not completed the survey within five weeks and are not eligible for telephone follow-up because we do not have a telephone number for the household. This postcard reminds these respondents to return their questionnaires and thanks them if they have already done so.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: Response to the ACS is on a one-time basis.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    Legal Authority:

    Title 13, United States Code, Sections 141, 193, and 221.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202) 482-0336, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    Sheleen Dumas, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14780 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Department of Commerce—Economic Development Administration.

    Title: FY15 IMCP Federal Interagency Competition Electronic Application Tool.

    OMB Control Number: 0610-0107.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 80.

    Average Hours per Response: 10.

    Burden Hours: 800.

    Needs and Uses: The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has been asked by the White House to lead an initiative in partnership with the National Economic Council entitled Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). IMCP is a government-wide initiative aiming to assist communities in cultivating an environment for businesses to create well-paying manufacturing jobs in regions across the country and thereby accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing. EDA must collect data from applicants who are applying for designation status. Designation as an IMCP manufacturing community will be given to communities with the best strategies for designing and making such investments in public goods.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit (primary) organizations, Individuals or households, not-for-profit institutions, farms, federal government and state, local or tribal government.

    Frequency: Reporting annually and other as prescribed by the FRN.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Sheleen Dumas, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14849 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to Section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List of Petitions Received By EDA for Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance 5/27/2015 Through 6/11/2015 Firm name Firm address Date
  • accepted
  • for
  • investigation
  • Product(s)
    National Sales Associates (NSA) 51 Glenn Street, Lawrence, MA 01843 6/10/2015 The firm manufactures and remanufactures computer print toner cartridges. Quadrocopter, LLC 3949 MT Highway 40, Suite D, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 6/10/2015 The firm manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles. Vaillancourt Folk Art 9 Main Street Suite 1 H, Sutton, MA 01590 6/10/2015 The firm manufacturers collectible Christmas Santa's and glass ornaments. Rivanna Natural Designs, Inc 1736 Allied Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903 6/11/2015 The firm manufactures and designs planet-friendly awards, plaques, and corporate gifts. Pascal Company, Inc 2929 Northrup Way Bellevue, WA 98004 6/11/2015 The firm manufactures dental fittings and accessories. Mount Sopris Instrument Company, Inc 4975 East 41st Street, Denver, CO 80216 6/11/2015 The firm manufactures geophysical instruments.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Michael S. DeVillo, Eligibility Examiner.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14937 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-89-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 61—San Juan, Puerto Rico; Application for Subzone; Autogermana, Inc., San Juan, Puerto Rico

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Puerto Rico Trade & Export Company, grantee of FTZ 61, requesting subzone status for the facility of Autogermana, Inc., located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on June 11, 2015.

    The proposed subzone (2.63 acres) is located at 1086 Muñoz Rivera Avenue in San Juan. The proposed subzone would be subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 61. No authorization for production activity has been requested at this time. Autogermana is currently operating within Site 22 of FTZ 61. The applicant is also requesting removal of Site 22 of FTZ 61 following a transition period to allow merchandise to be transferred to the new subzone.

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Camille Evans of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 27, 2015. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 11, 2015.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Camille Evans at [email protected]de.gov or (202) 482-2350.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14966 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-890] Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Final Rescission, In Part, of Administrative Review and Final Results of New Shipper Review; 2013 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 11, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the “Department”) published the preliminary results of a new shipper review (“NSR”) and the ninth administrative review (“AR”) of the antidumping duty order on wooden bedroom furniture (“WBF”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”), in accordance with sections 751(a)(1)(B) and 751(a)(2)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”).1 The period of review (“POR”) is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. The AR covers 28 PRC exporters of subject merchandise, of which the Department selected one company for individual examination, Jiedong Lehouse Furniture Co., Ltd. (“Jiedong Lehouse”). The NSR covers one exporter-producer of subject merchandise: Wuxi Yushea Furniture Co., Ltd. (“Wuxi Yushea”). The Department invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. We received comments from the American Furniture Manufactures Committee for Legal Trade and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, Inc. (“Petitioners”) which agreed with our Preliminary Results in the administrative review. No other party commented. Accordingly, our final results remain unchanged from the Preliminary Results.

    1See Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and New Shipper Reviews; 2013, 80 FR 7576 (February 11, 2015) (“Preliminary Results”).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick O'Connor, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0989.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    As noted above, on February 11, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results of the NSR and AR of the antidumping duty order on WBF from the PRC covering the period January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. On March 13, 2015, Petitioners filed briefs in the AR. No other parties submitted comments on the Preliminary Results in the AR or the NSR.

    Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the order is wooden bedroom furniture, subject to certain exceptions.2 Imports of subject merchandise are classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings: 9403.50.9042, 9403.50.9045, 9403.50.9080, 9403.50.9042, 9403.50.9045, 9403.60.8081, 7009.92.1000 or 7009.92.5000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written product description in the Order remains dispositive.3

    2See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China, 70 FR 329 (January 4, 2005) (“Order”).

    3 For a complete description of the scope of the order, see the memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Wooden Bedroom Furniture from the People's Republic of China: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the 2013 Administrative Review and New Shipper Review” (“Issues and Decision Memorandum”).

    Analysis of the Comments Received

    The issues raised in Petitioners' case brief are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum which is dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice. A list of the issues addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum is appended to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Services System (“ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit of the main Department building, Room 7046. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Final Rescission, In Part

    In the Preliminary Results, the Department determined that 16 companies under review in the AR, including Jiedong Lehouse, the company that the Department selected as a mandatory respondent, did not establish their eligibility for separate rate status and will be treated as part of the PRC-wide entity.4 Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity, we will rescind the AR with respect to these 16 companies, including Jiedong Lehouse, as part of the PRC-wide entity.5 Further, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to liquidate entries for these companies at the PRC-wide entity rate, which is 216.01 percent.

    4See Preliminary Results at 80 FR 7576. The 16 companies that did not establish their eligibility for a separate rate are: (1) Art Heritage International, Ltd., Super Art Furniture Co., Ltd., Artwork Metal & Plastic Co., Ltd., Jibson Industries Ltd., Always Loyal International; (2) Cheng Meng Furniture (Pte) Ltd., Cheng Meng Decoration & Furniture (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.; (3) Coe., Ltd.; (4) Dalian Huafeng Furniture Co., Ltd.; (5) Dalian Huafeng Furniture Group Co., Ltd.; (6) Dongguan Hung Sheng Artware Products Co., Ltd., Coronal Enterprise Co., Ltd.; (7) Dongguan Yujia Furniture Co., Ltd./Dongguan Yujia Furniture Co., Ltd.; (8) Liang Huang (Jiaxing) Enterprise Co., Ltd.; (9) Marvin Furniture (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; (10) Prime Best Factory; (11) Prime Best International Co., Ltd.; (12) Prime Wood International Co., Ltd; (13) Sen Yeong International Co., Ltd., Sheh Hau International Trading Ltd.; (14) Strongson Furniture (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., Strongson Furniture Co., Ltd., Strongson (Hk) Co.; (15) Zhang Zhou Sanlong Wood Product Co., Ltd.; and (16) Jiedong Lehouse Furniture Co., Ltd. See also Comment 1 of the Issues and Decision Memorandum.

    5See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65969-70 (November 4, 2013).

    Final Determination of No Shipments

    In the Preliminary Results, we determined that 12 companies subject to this AR did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR.6 We did not receive any comments concerning our finding of no shipments by these 12 companies. In these final results, we continue to determine that these 12 companies had no reviewable transactions of subject merchandise during the POR.

    6See Preliminary Results and accompanying Decision Memorandum at 6-7. Those 12 companies with no shipments during the POR are: (1) Baigou Crafts Factory Of Fengkai; (2) Clearwise Company Limited; (3) Dongguan Chengcheng Furniture Co., Ltd./Dongguan Chengcheng Furniture Co., Ltd.; (4) Dongguan Singways Furniture Co., Ltd.; (5) Eurosa (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., Eurosa Furniture Co., (Pte) Ltd.; (6) Golden Well International (HK) Ltd./Zhangzhou XYM Furniture Product Co., Ltd.; (7) Hangzhou Cadman Trading Co., Ltd./Haining Changbei Furniture Co., Ltd.; (8) Hualing Furniture (China) Co., Ltd., Tony House Manufacture (China) Co., Ltd., Buysell Investments Ltd., Tony House Industries Co., Ltd.; (9) Rizhao Sanmu Woodworking Co., Ltd.; (10) Shenyang Shining Dongxing Furniture Co., Ltd.; (11) Yeh Brothers World Trade, Inc.; and (12) Zhejiang Tianyi Scientific & Educational Equipment Co., Ltd./Zhejiang Tianyi Scientific & Educational Equipment Co., Ltd.

    Final Results of the 2013 New Shipper Review

    The Department has determined that the following dumping margin exists for the exporter-producer combination listed below for the period January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013:

    Exporter Producer Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Wuxi Yushea Furniture Co., Ltd Wuxi Yushea Furniture Co., Ltd 0.00
    Assessment Rates

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.212(b), the Department has determined, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of subject merchandise in accordance with the final results of these reviews. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of these final results of reviews. For Wuxi Yushea, whose weighted average dumping margin is zero, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.7 We intend to instruct CBP to liquidate entries of subject merchandise exported by the PRC-wide entity at the PRC-wide rate.

    7See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    If the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.8

    8 For a full discussion of this practice, see Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of these reviews for shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date in the Federal Register of the final results of review, as provided by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) With respect to Wuxi Yushea, the new shipper respondent, the Department established a combination cash deposit rate for this company, consistent with its practice, as follows: (1) For subject merchandise produced and exported by Wuxi Yushea, a zero cash deposit will be required. For subject merchandise exported by Wuxi Yushea, but not produced by Wuxi Yushea, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity. For subject merchandise produced by Wuxi Yushea, but not exported by Wuxi Yushea, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the exporter; (2) For previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters named above that did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) For all PRC exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the PRC-wide entity, which is 216.01 percent; (4) For all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter.

    These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (“APO”) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under the APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    These final results of reviews are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1), 751(a)(2)(B), and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213, 351.214.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix Summary Background Scope of the Order Discussion of the Issues Comment 1: Whether Jiedong Lehouse has Demonstrated Eligibility for Separate Rate Status Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-14967 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-274-806] Melamine From Trinidad and Tobago: Affirmative Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that melamine from Trinidad and Tobago is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the “Act”). The period of investigation is October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. The estimated weighted-average dumping margins are shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laurel LaCivita, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4243.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on December 9, 2014.1 Pursuant to section 773(c)(1)(A) of the Act, the Department postponed this preliminary LTFV determination by a period of 50 days.2

    1See Melamine from the People's Republic of China and Trinidad and Tobago: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 79 FR 73037 (December 9, 2014) (“Initiation Notice”).

    2See Melamine from the People's Republic of China and Trinidad and Tobago: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations, 80 FR 12979 (March 12, 2015).

    Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise subject to this investigation is melamine (Chemical Abstracts Service (“CAS”) registry number 108-78-01, molecular formula C3H6N6).3 Melamine is a crystalline powder or granule typically (but not exclusively) used to manufacture melamine formaldehyde resins. All melamine is covered by the scope of this investigation irrespective of purity, particle size, or physical form. Melamine that has been blended with other products is included within this scope when such blends include constituent parts that have been intermingled, but that have not been chemically reacted with each other to produce a different product. For such blends, only the melamine component of the mixture is covered by the scope of this investigation. Melamine that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled with melamine from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    3 Melamine is also known as 2,4,6-triamino-s-triazine; 1,3,5-Triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Cyanurotriamide; Cyanurotriamine; Cyanuramide; and by various brand names.

    The subject merchandise is provided for in subheading 2933.61.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Although the HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope is dispositive.

    Scope Comments

    The Department's Initiation Notice provided interested parties an opportunity to raise issues regarding product coverage (scope).4 None of the parties to the proceeding provided scope comments with respect to this product.

    4See Initiation Notice, 79 FR at 73037.

    Methodology

    The Department has conducted this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. We calculated constructed export price (“CEP”) in accordance with section 772 of the Act, and normal value (“NV”) in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at https://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Department's Central Records Unit, located at room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 5 can be found at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    5See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from Trinidad and Tobago,” dated concurrently with this notice. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum appears in Appendix II, below.

    All Others Rate

    Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act provides that the estimated “all others” rate shall be an amount equal to the weighted average of the estimated weighted-average dumping margins established for exporters and producers individually investigated, excluding any zero or de minimis margins, and any margins determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. We based our calculation of the “all others” rate on the margin calculated for Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (“MHTL”), the only mandatory respondent in this investigation.

    Preliminary Determination

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    Producer and/or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • MHTL 174.22 All Others 174.22
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    We intend to disclose the calculations performed to parties in this proceeding within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Case briefs or other written comments may be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance no later than seven days after the date on which the final verification report is issued in this proceeding. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline date for case briefs.6 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2), parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.

    6See 19 CFR 351.309.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed request must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”), within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.7 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and date to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    7See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures

    Pursuant to a request from MHTL, we are postponing the final determination. Accordingly, we will make our final determination no later than 135 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination, pursuant to section 735(a)(2) of the Act.8 Further, MHTL requested to extend the application of the provisional measures prescribed under section 733(d) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.210(e)(2), from a four-month period to a six-month period. The suspension of liquidation described above will be extended accordingly.9

    8See 19 CFR 351.210(b)(2) and (e); See also Letter from MHTL, “Southern Chemical and MHTL's Request to Postpone Final Determination and Extension for Provisional Measures,” dated June 8, 2015 (“Postponement Letter”).

    9Id.

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d)(2) of the Act, we are directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago as described in the scope of the investigation section entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the weighted-average amount by which the NV exceeds CEP, as indicated in the chart above.10 These suspension of liquidation instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    10See Modification of Regulations Regarding the Practice of Accepting Bonds During the Provisional Measures Period in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations, 76 FR 61042 (October 3, 2011).

    International Trade Commission (“ITC”) Notification

    In accordance with section 733(f) of the Act, we notified the ITC of our preliminary affirmative determination of sales at LTFV. Because the preliminary determination in this proceeding is affirmative, section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires that the ITC make its final determination whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of melamine from Trinidad and Tobago before the later of 120 days after the date of this preliminary determination or 45 days after our final determination. Because we are postponing the deadline for our final determination to 135 days from the date of publication of this preliminary determination, as discussed above, the ITC will make its final determination no later than 45 days after our final determination.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 733(f) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Period of Investigation IV. Postponement of Preliminary Determination V. Postponement of Final Determination and Extension of Provisional Measures VI. Scope of the Investigation VII. Discussion of Methodology A. Fair Value Comparisons (1) Determination of Comparison Method (2) Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis VIII. Product Comparisons IX. Date of Sale X. Affiliation XI. Constructed Export Price XII. Normal Value A. Comparison-Market Viability B. Level of Trade C. Cost of Production (1) Calculation of Cost of Production (2) Test of Home Market Sale Prices (3) Results of the Sales-Below-Cost Test D. Calculation of Normal Value Based on CV XIII. Currency Conversion XIV. U.S. International Trade Commission Notification XV. Disclosure and Public Comment XVI. Verification XVII. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-14975 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Pacific Island Pelagic Longline Fisheries; Seabird-Fisheries Interaction Recovery Reporting.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0456.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 1.

    Average Hours per Response: 3.

    Burden Hours: 3.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requires pelagic longline vessel operators to notify NMFS in the event an endangered short-tailed albatross is hooked or entangled during fishing operations. Following the retrieval of the seabird from the ocean, as required by Federal regulations, the vessel captain must record the condition of the injured short-tailed albatross on a recovery data form. A veterinarian will use the information in providing advice to the captain caring for the short-tailed albatross. If the albatross is dead, the captain must attach an identification tag to the carcass to assist the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) biologists in follow-up studies on the specimen. This collection is one of the terms and conditions contained in the biological opinion issued by USFWS, and is intended to maximize the probability of the long-term survival of short-tailed albatross accidentally taken by longline gear.

    The form has been modified based on public comment.

    Affected Public: Business and other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14861 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Title: Pacific Islands Logbook Family of Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0214.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (revision and extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 512.

    Average Hours per Response: Logbooks and sales reports, 5-35 minutes based on fishery, entry/exit and landing notices and Protected Species Zone entry/exit notices, 5 minutes; landing/offloading notices, 3 minutes.

    Burden Hours: 3,511.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Fishermen in Federally-managed fisheries in the western Pacific region are required to provide certain information about their fishing activities, catch, and interactions with protected species by submitting reports to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), per 50 CFR part 665. These data are needed to determine the condition of the stocks and whether the current management measures are having the intended effects, to evaluate the benefits and costs of changes in management measures, and to monitor and respond to accidental takes of endangered and threatened species, including seabirds, sea turtles, and marine mammals.

    We are removing one form that has been added to another information collection, and moving two from other information collections to this one.

    Affected Public: Business and other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14860 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Notice TIME AND DATE:

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

    PLACE:

    Hearing Room 420, Bethesda Towers, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland.

    STATUS:

    Commission meeting—open to the public.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Hearing: 1. Agenda and Priorities for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 (10 a.m.-12 p.m.); and

    2. Data Sources and Consumer Product-Related Incident Information (1 p.m.-3 p.m.).

    A live webcast of the Meeting can be viewed at www.cpsc.gov/live.

    For a recorded message containing the latest agenda information, call (301) 504-7948.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Todd A. Stevenson, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, (301) 504-7923.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14958 Filed 6-15-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2015-ICCD-0077] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) Item Validation and Operational Field Tests AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences/National Center for Education Statistics (IES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0077 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E105, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela, (202) 502-7411.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) Item Validation and Operational Field Tests.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-0911.

    Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 25,951.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 8,729.

    Abstract: The Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2016-2017 (MGLS:2017) is the first study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), to follow a nationally-representative sample of students as they enter and move through the middle grades (grades 6-8). The data collected through repeated measures of key constructs will provide a rich descriptive picture of the academic experiences and development of students during these critical years and will allow researchers to examine associations between contextual factors and student outcomes. The study will focus on student achievement in mathematics and literacy along with measures of student socioemotional wellbeing and other outcomes. The study will also include a special sample of students with different types of disabilities that will provide descriptive information on their outcomes, educational experiences, and special education services. Baseline data for the MGLS:2017 will be collected from a nationally-representative sample of 6th grade students in winter of 2017 with annual follow-ups in winter 2018 and winter 2019 when most of the students in the sample will be in grades 7 and 8, respectively. This request is to concurrently conduct the Item Validation and the Operational Field Tests for the MGLS: 2017, beginning in January 2016. The primary purpose of the Item Validation Field Test is to determine the psychometric properties of items and the predictive potential of assessment and survey items so that valid, reliable, and useful assessment and survey instruments can be composed for the main study. The primary purposes of the Operational Field Test are to obtain information on recruiting, particularly for the targeted disability groups; on obtaining a tracking sample that can be used to study mobility patterns in subsequent years; and on administrative procedures.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14838 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0044] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Understanding the Impact of Providing Information to Parents About the Role of Algebra II: An Opportunistic Study AGENCY:

    Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a new information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0044 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E105, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Christopher Boccanfuso, 202-219-1674.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Understanding the Impact of Providing Information to Parents about the Role of Algebra II: An Opportunistic Study.

    OMB Control Number: 1850—NEW.

    Type of Review: A new information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,468.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 133.

    Abstract: In June 2013, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill (HB) 5 into law, which changed high school graduation requirements for public school students in Texas. Prior to this, most students were required to complete algebra II in order to graduate from high school. After the enactment of HB 5, completing algebra II is optional-students may elect to complete algebra II as part of two of the graduation plans offered under HB 5. REL Southwest is working with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to carry out an opportunistic experiment to determine if directly providing parents/guardians, prior to students' selection of their courses, with information on the importance of completing algebra II for college access and success has an impact on the percentage of students who enroll in and complete algebra II by the end of their junior year. REL Southwest will investigate the impact of providing parents/guardians with information about the role of algebra II in college access and success in a randomized controlled trial in which the treatment schools provide parents/guardians of students with information about the role of algebra II in college access and success, while control schools continue business-as-usual.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Stephanie Valentine, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14864 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Friday, July 17, 2015—3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Teleconference. Instructions for access can be found on the FESAC's Web site at (http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/meetings/).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edmund J. Synakowski, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); U.S. Department of Energy; 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290, Telephone: (301) 903-4941.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: To provide advice on a continuing basis to the Director, Office of Science of the Department of Energy, on the many complexes scientific and technical issues that arises in the development and implementation of the fusion energy sciences program.

    Tentative Agenda Items:

    • Presentation on and Discussion of the Report of the SNFA • Vote on the Report of the SNFA • Public Comment • Adjourn Note:

    Remote attendance of the FESAC meeting will be possible via ReadyTalk. Instructions can be found on the FESAC Web site (http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/meetings/) or by contacting Dr. Samuel J. Barish by email at: [email protected] or by phone at: (301) 903-2917.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make an oral statement regarding any of the items on the agenda, you should contact Dr. Samuel J. Barish at (301) 903-8584 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements during the Public Comments time on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Committee will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 30 days on the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee's Web site at http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14897 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Portsmouth. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, July 9, 2015—6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Ohio State University, Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Simonton, Alternate Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office, Post Office Box 700, Piketon, Ohio 45661, (740) 897-3737, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Approval of May Minutes • Deputy Designated Federal Officer's Comments • Federal Coordinator's Comments • Liaison's Comments • Presentation • Administrative Issues • Subcommittee Updates • Public Comments • Final Comments from the Board • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Portsmouth, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Greg Simonton at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Greg Simonton at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Greg Simonton at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.ports-ssab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC on June 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14901 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Monday, July 27, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Marriott Gateway Crystal City, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202, (703) 920-3230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sally McPherson, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research; SC-21/Germantown Building, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone (301) 903-9958.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: This committee is to provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Office of Scientific Computing Research and to the Department of Energy on scientific priorities within the field of advanced scientific computing research.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the semi-annual meeting of the Committee.

    Tentative Agenda Topics • View from Washington (an update on the budget and planned activities of the Office of Science and the Department) • View from Germantown (an update on the budget, accomplishments and planned activities of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program) • Update from the Subcommittee reviewing the Department's Exascale Plan • Update from Subcommittee on the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) • Update from the Committee of Visitors (COV) for Networking Research • Briefing on the CORAL project at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility • Briefing from the ASCR project “Center for Applied Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA)” • Public Comment (10-minute rule)

    The meeting will conclude at 5:30 p.m. Agenda updates and presentations will be posted on the ASCAC Web site prior to the meeting: http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. To access the Ready Talk call:

    1. Dial Toll-Free Number: (866) 740-1260 (U.S. & Canada) 2. International participants dial: http://www.readytalk.com/intl 3. Enter access code 9039560, followed by “#” Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 5 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should register to do so beginning at 11:30 a.m. on July 13.

    Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Christine Chalk, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20585, or email to: [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available on the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Web site at http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14900 Filed 6-16-15; 08:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. TPF-01] Extension of Public Comment Period for Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission Line AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) published a Notice of Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission Line (80 FR 23520) requesting public comment on an application submitted by Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DOE is extending the end of the public comment period on the application for the Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission Line from June 12 to July 13, 2015.

    DATES:

    DOE extends the public comment period to July 13, 2015. Comments submitted to DOE concerning Clean Line's application prior to this announcement do not need to be resubmitted as a result of this extension of the comment period.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be addressed as follows: 1222 Program, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Electronic comments can be emailed to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Angela Colamaria at 202-287-5387 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 28, 2015, DOE published a Notice of Application for Proposed Project for Clean Line Plains & Eastern Transmission Line (80 FR 23520) requesting public comment on an application submitted by Clean Line Energy Partners, LLC under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. That notice announced that comments on Clean Line's application should be submitted within a 45-day period beginning on April 28, 2015 and ending on June 12, 2015. DOE is extending the time allowed for submittal of comments to July 13, 2015. In addition to this Federal Register Notice, DOE posted a notice of the extension on its Web site and sent an email to interested parties on June 11, 2015.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. Terri Lee, Assistant Secretary, Acting, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14918 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a teleconference of the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Friday, July 17, 2015, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (EDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    Participants may contact Ms. Joanne Corcoran by July 13, 2015, at email: [email protected] or by phone at (301) 903-6488, to receive a call-in number. Public participation is welcomed; however, the number of teleconference lines is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax, Designated Federal Officer, BERAC, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, SC-23/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; telephone (301) 903-3251; fax (301) 903-5051 or email: [email protected] The most current information concerning this meeting can be found on the Web site: http://science.energy.gov/ber/berac/meetings/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: To provide advice on a continuing basis to the Director, Office of Science of the Department of Energy, on the many complexes scientific and technical issues that arises in the development and implementation of the Biological and Environmental Research Program.

    Tentative Agenda Topics

    • Discussion of the draft Integrated Field Laboratory (IFL) BERAC report based on the charge letter dated, September 23, 2014, (http://science.energy.gov/~/media/ber/berac/pdf/Reports/Environmental_Observatories_Charge_Letter.pdf.) BERAC will discuss the draft, suggest changes and potentially approve the report.

    Public Participation: The teleconference meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make oral statements regarding the item on the agenda, you should contact Sharlene Weatherwax at the address or telephone number listed above. You must make your request for an oral statement at least five business days before the meeting. Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Committee will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available for public review and copying within 45 days at the BERAC Web site: http://science.energy.gov/ber/berac/meetings/berac-minutes/.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14898 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Monday, July 27, 2015—8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Marriott Gateway Crystal City, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202, (703) 920-3230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sally McPherson, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research; SC-21/Germantown Building, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone (301) 903-9958

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: This committee is to provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Office of Scientific Computing Research and to the Department of Energy on scientific priorities within the field of advanced scientific computing research.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the semi-annual meeting of the Committee.

    Tentative Agenda Topics:

    • View from Washington (an update on the budget and planned activities of the Office of Science and the Department) • View from Germantown (an update on the budget, accomplishments and planned activities of the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program) • Update from the Subcommittee reviewing the Department's Exascale Plan • Update from Subcommittee on the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) • Update from the Committee of Visitors (COV) for Networking Research • Briefing on the CORAL project at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility • Briefing from the ASCR project “Center for Applied Mathematics for Energy Research Applications (CAMERA)” • Public Comment (10-minute rule) The meeting will conclude at 5:30 p.m. Agenda updates and presentations will be posted on the ASCAC Web site prior to the meeting: http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. To access the Ready Talk call:

    1. Dial Toll-Free Number: (866) 740-1260 (U.S. & Canada) 2. International participants dial: http://www.readytalk.com/intl 3. Enter access code 9039560, followed by “#” Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 5 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should register to do so beginning at 11:30 a.m. on July 13.

    Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Christine Chalk, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20585, or email to: [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available on the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Web site at http://science.energy.gov/ascr/ascac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on June 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14899 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM98-1-000] Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public Notice

    This constitutes notice, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2201(b), of the receipt of prohibited and exempt off-the-record communications.

    Order No. 607 (64 FR 51222, September 22, 1999) requires Commission decisional employees, who make or receive a prohibited or exempt off-the-record communication relevant to the merits of a contested proceeding, to deliver to the Secretary of the Commission, a copy of the communication, if written, or a summary of the substance of any oral communication.

    Prohibited communications are included in a public, non-decisional file associated with, but not a part of, the decisional record of the proceeding. Unless the Commission determines that the prohibited communication and any responses thereto should become a part of the decisional record, the prohibited off-the-record communication will not be considered by the Commission in reaching its decision. Parties to a proceeding may seek the opportunity to respond to any facts or contentions made in a prohibited off-the-record communication, and may request that the Commission place the prohibited communication and responses thereto in the decisional record. The Commission will grant such a request only when it determines that fairness so requires. Any person identified below as having made a prohibited off-the-record communication shall serve the document on all parties listed on the official service list for the applicable proceeding in accordance with Rule 2010, 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Exempt off-the-record communications are included in the decisional record of the proceeding, unless the communication was with a cooperating agency as described by 40 CFR 1501.6, made under 18 CFR 385.2201(e) (1) (v).

    The following is a list of off-the-record communications recently received by the Secretary of the Commission. The communications listed are grouped by docket numbers in ascending order. These filings are available for electronic review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Docket No. File date Presenter or requester Prohibited: 1. P-14341 6/2/15 Yavapai-Apache Nation. 2. CP13-552-000, CP13-553-000 6/3/15 Cheniere Energy, Inc. Exempt: 1. RP15-65-000 5/28/15 US Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. 2. CP15-115-000 5/28/15 US Senators.1 3. P-1267-000 5/28/15 US Representative Jeff Duncan. 4. CP15-115-000 6/2/15 Anthony J. Nemi.2 5. CP13-492-000 6/2/15 US Senators.3 6. CP13-552-000 6/2/15 US Senator Martin Heinrich. 1 Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. 2 Niagara County Legislator. 3 Jeffrey A. Merkley and Ron Wyden. Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14875 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. P-13272-004] Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Meetings

    The Commission has scheduled a teleconference with representatives of the Alutiiq Tribe and Old Harbor Native Cooperation involving the Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project (Project No. 13272). The meeting will be held on June 26, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT; 10:00 a.m. AKDT).

    Members of the public and intervenors in the referenced proceedings may participate in the meeting; however, participation will be limited to tribal representatives and the Commission representatives. If the Tribes decide to disclose information about a specific location which could create a risk or harm to an archeological site or Native American cultural resource, the public will be excused for that portion of the meeting when such information is disclosed.1

    1 Protection from public disclosure involving this kind of specific information is based upon 18 CFR 4.32(b)(3)(ii) of the Commission's regulations.

    If you plan to attend the meeting, please contact Dr. Frank Winchell at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for call-in information. He can be reached at 202-502-6104 or [email protected]

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14874 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1896-000] Eden Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of Eden Solar, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is July 1, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14869 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meeting related to the transmission planning activities of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO):

    MISO Planning Advisory Committee June 24, 2015, 9 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (EST)

    The above-referenced meeting will be held at: MISO Headquarters, 720 City Center Drive, Carmel, IN 46032.

    Further information may be found at www.misoenergy.org.

    The discussions at the meeting described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. ER13-1944, PJM Interconnection, LLC Docket No. ER13-1943, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1924, PJM Interconnection, LLC Docket No. ER13-1945, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1955, Entergy Services, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1956, Cleco Power LLC Docket No. ER14-1174, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. ER14-1736, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER14-2445, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1864, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL14-21, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL14-30, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. v. Southwest Power Pool, Inc. Docket No. EL11-34, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket No. ER11-1844, Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. Docket No. EL13-88, Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    For more information, contact Chris Miller, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (317) 249-5936 or [email protected]; or Jason Strong, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (202) 502-6124 or [email protected]

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14877 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1079-002; ER12-348-000.

    Applicants: Mercuria Commodities Canada Corporation, Mercuria Energy America, Inc.

    Description: Supplement to February 25, 2015 Updated Market Power Analysis for the Southeast Region of Mercuria Commodities Canada Corporation, et. al.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5344.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2046-003.

    Applicants: Plum Point Energy Associates, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Settlement Tariff Compliance Filing to be effective 2/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-482-001.

    Applicants: South Carolina Electric & Gas Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Order 676 H 2nd Compliance filing to be effective 5/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5069.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1815-001.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Hampshire.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Amendment to Joint Market Based Tariff to be effective 5/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5281.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1816-001.

    Applicants: Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Amendment to Joint Market Based Tariff to be effective 5/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5283.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1882-001.

    Applicants: PSEG Energy Resources & Trade LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Amendement to Revised Reactive Tariff to be effective 6/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5280.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1894-000.

    Applicants: PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisions to Market Based Rate Filing to be effective 8/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5001.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1895-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): NYISO 205 filing of LGIA among NYISO, NYPA and CPV Valley to be effective 5/28/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1896-000.

    Applicants: Eden Solar LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Eden Solar LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5270.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1897-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Amended GIA with County Sanitation District No. 2 Los Angeles County to be effective 6/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1898-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Withdrawal per 35.15: Notices of Cancellation Two Service Agmts with Ecos Energy, LLC to be effective 6/4/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1899-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2899R1 Pawnee Wind Farm, LLC GIA to be effective 5/26/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5041.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1900-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., PPL Electric Utilities Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): PPL submits Service Agreement No. 4149 to be effective 5/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1901-000.

    Applicants: Louisville Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revised Att Q ITO Agreement to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5050.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1902-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 3043 Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC GIA to be effective 5/26/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1903-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-06-11_SA 2807 Entergy Arkansas-Union Power Partners GIA (J376) to be effective 6/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5057.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1904-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Withdrawal per 35.15: Cancellation of Rate Schedule No. 324 to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5089.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1905-000.

    Applicants: AZ721 LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Application for Market Base Rate Tariff to be effective 8/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5181.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1906-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Membership Agreement Amendments for Corn Belt, East River and NIPCO to be effective 5/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/2/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES15-33-000.

    Applicants: Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

    Description: Application for Authorization to Issue Short-Term Debt of Northern Indiana Public Service Company under ES15-33.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5340.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 7/1/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF15-828-000.

    Applicants: HP Hood LLC.

    Description: Form 556 of HP Hood LLC.

    Filed Date: 6/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150611-5097.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14866 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-74-000] Notice of Complaint COALITION OF EASTSIDE NEIGHBORHOODS FOR SENSIBLE ENERGY (CENSE), a nonprofit Washington corporation; CITIZENS FOR SANE EASTSIDE ENERGY (CSEE), a nonprofit Washington corporation; LARRY G. JOHNSON and GLENNA F. WHITE, husband and wife; and STEVEN D. O'DONNELL, individually; v. PUGET SOUND ENERGY, a for-profit Washington corporation; SEATTLE CITY LIGHT, a public utility and department of the City of Seattle; BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION, a federal agency and marketing agent for federally owned Northwest power facilities; and COLUMBIAGRID, a nonprofit Washington corporation,

    Take notice that on June 9, 2015, Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE), Citizens for Sane Eastside Energy (CSEE), Larry G. Johnson, Glenna F. White, and Steven D. O'Donnell (Complainants) filed a formal complaint against Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Bonneville Power Administration, and ColumbiaGrid (Respondents) pursuant to Section 206 of the Federal Power Act and the Commission's rules thereunder, alleging that the Respondents have violated the Commission's Orders 890, 1000 and 2000, as well as violations of contractual obligations they have entered into with the Commission that incorporate provisions and policies set out in those Orders, and for violations of the terms of their Open Access Transmission Tariffs (OATTs). Complainants certify that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for Puget Sound Energy and Bonneville Power Administration, as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials, and on Seattle City Light's and ColumbiaGrid's chief administrative officers.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 29, 2015.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14895 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP14-540-000.

    Applicants: Paiute Pipeline Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 154.501: Refund Report.

    Filed Date: 5/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150508-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/17/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1050-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: TETLP Cleanup Filing June 2015 to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150608-5100.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1051-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 20150608 Negotiated Rate to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150608-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1052-000.

    Applicants: Discovery Gas Transmission LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 154.203: Order No. 801 Compliance Filing (System Map Migration to Web site) to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1053-000.

    Applicants: Black Marlin Pipeline Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 154.203: Order 801 Compliance—System Map Migration to Web site to be effective 7/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/22/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1054-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rate—BP Energy 8937271 to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150610-5047.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/22/15.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-1044-001.

    Applicants: Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 154.205(b): Amendment to RP15-1044-000 Filing to be effective 7/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/17/15.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated June 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14893 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meeting related to the transmission planning activities of ISO New England Inc.

    ISO New England Inc. Planning Advisory Committee Meeting.

    June 17, 2015, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)

    The above-referenced meeting will be held at: Doubletree Hotel, 5400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581.

    The above-referenced meeting is open to stakeholders.

    Further information may be found at: http://www.iso-ne.com/committees/planning/planning-advisory.

    The discussions at the meeting described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings:

    Docket No. ER13-193, ISO New England Inc. Docket No. ER13-196, ISO New England Inc. Docket No. ER13-1957, ISO New England Inc. et al. Docket No. ER13-1960, ISO New England Inc. et al.

    For more information, contact Michael Cackoski, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (202) 502-6169 or [email protected].

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14870 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-73-000] Duke Energy Corporation, Duke Energy Commercial Asset Management, Inc., and Duke Energy Lee II, LLC v. PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., and PJM Settlement, Inc.; PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.; Notice of Institution of Section 206 Proceeding and Refund Effective Date

    On June 9, 2015, the Commission issued an order in Docket No. EL15-73-000, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824e (2012), instituting an investigation into the justness and reasonableness of aspects of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.'s Open Access Transmission Tariff and Amended and Restated Operating Agreement. Duke Energy Corp., 151 FERC ¶ 61,206 (2015).

    The refund effective date in Docket No. EL15-73-000, established pursuant to section 206(b) of the FPA, will be the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14894 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-90-000.

    Applicants: Adelanto Solar, LLC.

    Description: Adelanto Solar, LLC Amendment to the Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5178.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-91-000.

    Applicants: Adelanto Solar II, LLC.

    Description: Adelanto Solar II, LLC Amendment to the Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-3223-005; ER10-2351-004; ER10-2875-011; ER10-2368-004; ER10-2352-004; ER10-2264-003; ER10-1581-013; ER10-2353-006; ER10-2876-011; ER10-2878-011; ER10-2354-005; ER10-2355-006; ER10-2879-011; ER10-2384-005; ER10-2383-005; ER10-2880-011; ER11-2107-005; ER11-2108-005; ER10-2888-014; ER13-1745-006; ER13-1803-007; ER13-1788-006; ER13-1789-006; ER13-1790-007; ER10-2896-011; ER10-2913-011; ER13-1791-006; ER13-1746-008; ER13-1799-006; ER13-1801-006; ER13-1802-006; ER10-2916-011; ER10-2915-011; ER12-1525-011; ER12-2019-010; ER10-2266-002; ER12-2398-010; ER11-3459-010; ER10-2931-011; ER13-1965-008; ER10-2969-011; ER11-4351-006; ER11-4308-014; ER11-2805-013; ER10-1580-013; ER10-2382-005; ER11-2856-016; ER10-2356-004; ER10-2357-005; ER13-2107-006; ER13-2020-006; ER13-2050-006; ER11-2857-016; ER10-2359-004; ER10-2360-004; ER10-2369-004; ER10-2947-011; ER10-2381-004; ER10-2575-004; ER10-2361-005.

    Applicants: Indian River Power LLC, Jeffers Wind 20, LLC, Keystone Power LLC, Laredo Ridge Wind, LLC, Larswind, LLC, Long Beach Generation LLC, Long Beach Peakers LLC, Lookout WindPower LLC, Louisiana Generating LLC, Middletown Power, LLC, Midway-Sunset Cogeneration Company, Midwest Generation LLC, Montville Power LLC, Mountain Wind Power LLC, Mountain Wind Power II LLC, NEO Freehold-Gen LLC, North Community Turbines LLC, North Wind Turbines LLC, Norwalk Power LLC, NRG Bowline LLC, NRG California South LP, NRG Canal LLC, NRG Chalk Point LLC, NRG Delta LLC, NRG Energy Center Dover LLC, NRG Energy Center Paxton LLC, NRG Florida LP, NRG Marsh Landing LLC, NRG Potomac River LLC, NRG Power Midwest LP, NRG REMA LLC, NRG Rockford LLC, NRG Rockford II LLC, NRG Solar Alpine LLC, NRG Solar Avra Valley LLC, NRG Solar Blythe LLC, NRG Solar Borrego I LLC, NRG Solar Roadrunner LLC, NRG Sterlington Power LLC, NRG Wholesale Generation LP, Oswego Harbor Power LLC, Pinnacle Wind, LLC, Reliant Energy Northeast LLC, RRI Energy Services, LLC, Saguaro Power Company, a Ltd. Partnership, San Juan Mesa Wind Project, LLC, Sand Drag LLC, Sierra Wind, LLC, Sleeping Bear, LLC, Solar Partners I, LLC, Solar Partners II, LLC, Solar Partners VIII, LLC, Sun City Project LLC, Sunrise Power Company, LLC, TAIR Windfarm, LLC, Taloga Wind, LLC, Vienna Power LLC, Walnut Creek Energy, LLC, Watson Cogeneration Company, Wildorado Wind, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of NRG MBR Sellers [Part 2].

    Filed Date: 6/8/15.

    Accession Number: 20150608-5266.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/29/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1494-001.

    Applicants: Convergent Energy and Power Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Petition for Acceptance of Initial Tariff, Waivers and Blanket Authority to be effective 6/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1892-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): PacifiCorp Energy Construction Agmt—Paisley to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5103.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1893-000.

    Applicants: Censtar Energy Corp.

    Description: Tariff Withdrawal per 35.15: CenStar Energy Corp. Cancellation of MBR Tariff to be effective 6/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 6/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150609-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 6/30/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and § 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14892 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 9100-036] Riverdale Power and Electric Company, Inc.; Notice Soliciting Applications

    On May 31, 2012, Riverdale Power and Electric Company, Inc. (Riverdale or licensee) filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) to file an application for an exemption from licensing for its Riverdale Mills Project, No. 9100, pursuant to section 16.19(b) of the Commission's regulations. The existing license for Project No. 9100 expires on May 31, 2017.

    The Riverdale Mills Project currently operates with a capacity of 150-kilowatts (kW); however, in its NOI, the licensee indicated that it intends to increase capacity to 420 kW. The project is located on the Blackstone River, in the town of Northbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts. The project does not occupy any federal lands.

    The principal project works consist of: (1) A 10-foot-high, 142-foot-long dam with 6 bays containing stoplogs and flashboards with a crest elevation of 262.35 feet above mean sea level; (2) an 11.8-acre impoundment; (3) three sluiceways; (4) a 150-kilowatt turbine-generator unit located in a mill building; (5) a 231-foot-long tailrace; and (6) appurtenant facilities.

    Pursuant to section 16.20(c) of the Commission's regulations, an existing licensee with a minor license not subject to sections 14 and 15 of the Federal Power Act must file an application for a subsequent license at least 24 months prior to the expiration of the current license. As stated above, Riverdale's NOI indicated it would be filing an application for an exemption from licensing; however, it did not file an application for a subsequent license or an application for exemption from licensing for the Riverdale Mills Project by the May 31, 2015, deadline. Therefore, pursuant to section 16.24(b)(2) of the Commission's regulations, Riverdale is prohibited from filing an application either individually or in conjunction with other entities for the Riverdale Mills Project.

    Pursuant to section 16.25 of the Commission's regulations, we are soliciting applications from potential applicants other than the existing licensee. Interested parties have 90 days from the date of this notice to file a NOI to file an application for a subsequent license or exemption from licensing. An application for subsequent license or exemption for the Riverdale Mills Project (No. 9100) must be filed within 18 months of the date of filing the NOI.

    Questions concerning this notice should be directed to Dr. Nicholas Palso at (202) 502-8854 or [email protected]

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14873 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-506-000] Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on June 1, 2015, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Southern Star), 4700 State Highway 56, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301, filed in Docket No. CP15-506-000, a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205, 157.210 and 157.211 of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA) as amended, requesting authorization to construct its Ameren Delivery Project to provide an additional 3,650 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service to Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri (Ameren) in Boone County, Missouri. Southern Star proposes to: (i) increase Turbine T1402 by 200 horsepower through a combustor replacement at the Columbia Compressor Station located in Boone County, Missouri; (ii) modify Engine # 2 at the Concordia Compressor Station located in Johnson County, Missouri; (iii) modify SCADA and load controls for both compressor stations; and (iv) construct a new delivery interconnect with Ameren. Southern Star estimates the cost of the Ameren Delivery Project to be $1,966,000, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to David N. Roberts, Regulatory Compliance Analyst Staff, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., 4700 State Highway 76, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301, by telephone at (270) 852-4654, or by email at [email protected]

    Any person or the Commission's staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenter, will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and seven copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14867 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Public Availability of FY 2014 Service Contract Inventories and Supplemental Data AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public availability of FY 2014 service contract inventories and supplemental data.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with Section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is publishing this notice to advise the public on the availability of the FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory, a report that analyzes the Commission's FY 2014 Service Contract Inventory and an inventory supplement that identifies the amount invoiced and direct labor hours for covered service contract actions.

    The service contract inventory provides information on service contract actions over $25,000 that FERC completed in FY 2014. The information is organized by function to show how contracted resources are distributed throughout the agency. The inventory has been developed in accordance with guidance issued on November 5, 2010, by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).

    OFPP's guidance is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/service-contract-inventories-guidance-11052010.pdf. On December 19, 2011, OFPP issued additional guidance available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/service-contract-inventory-guidance.pdf. FERC has posted its FY 2014 inventory and summary at the following link: http://www.ferc.gov/about/offices/oed/oed-fo/oed-acquisition.asp.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katharine Lindner, Acquisition Services Division, Office of the Executive Director, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6044, [email protected]

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14871 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. Cp15-507-000] Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on June 2, 2015, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Southern Star), 4700 State Highway 56, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301, filed a prior notice application pursuant to sections 157.205 and 157.211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Southern Star's blanket certificate issued in Docket No. CP82-479-000. Southern Star seeks authorization to construct, own, operate and maintain a new delivery measurement facility for the Coffeyville Resources Refinery in Montgomery County, Kansas. The new gas service will constitute a bypass of Atmos Energy Corporation, a local distribution company, all as more fully set forth in the application, which is open to the public for inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this application should Phyllis K. Medley, Senior Analyst, Regulatory Compliance, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., 4700 State Highway 56, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301, or phone (270) 852-4653, or by email [email protected]

    Any person or the Commission's staff may, within 60 days after issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention and pursuant to section 157.205 of the regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205), a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for filing a protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the allowed time for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenter will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14868 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2413-117] Georgia Power Company; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic Agreement

    Rule 2010 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.2010, provides that, to eliminate unnecessary expense or improve administrative efficiency, the Secretary may establish a restricted service list for a particular phase or issue in a proceeding. The restricted service list should contain the names of persons on the service list who, in the judgment of the decisional authority establishing the list, are active participants with respect to the phase or issue in the proceeding for which the list is established.

    The Commission staff is consulting with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources—Historic Preservation Division (Georgia SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Advisory Council) pursuant to the Advisory Council's regulations, 36 CFR part 800, implementing section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108), to prepare a Programmatic Agreement for managing properties included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places at the Wallace Dam Pumped Storage Project.

    The Programmatic Agreement, when executed by the Commission, the Georgia SHPO, and the Advisory Council, would satisfy the Commission's section 106 responsibilities for all individual undertakings carried out in accordance with the license until the license expires or is terminated (36 CFR 800.13(e)). The Commission's responsibilities pursuant to section 106 for the project would be fulfilled through the Programmatic Agreement, which the Commission staff proposes to draft in consultation with certain parties listed below.

    Georgia Power Company, as licensee for the Wallace Dam Pumped Storage Project, is invited to participate in consultations to develop the Programmatic Agreement and to sign as a concurring party to the Programmatic Agreement. For purposes of commenting on the Programmatic Agreement, we propose to restrict the service list for Project No. 2413-117 as follows:

    Dr. John Eddins, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 401 F Street NW., Suite 308, Washington, DC 20001-2637 Christine Quinn, Georgia Department of Natural Resources—Historic Preservation Division, 254 Washington Street SW., Atlanta, GA 30334 Courtenay R. O'Mara, P.E., Southern Company Generation, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE., BIN 10193, Atlanta, GA 30308 Joseph Charles, Georgia Power Company, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE., BIN 10151, Atlanta, GA 30308 Wanda Greene, Georgia Power Company, 241 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE., BIN 10151, Atlanta, GA 30308 Hallie M. Meushaw, Troutman Sanders LLP, Bank of America Plaza, 600 Peachtree Street NE., Suite 5200, Atlanta, GA 30308 Thomas M. Dozier, District Ranger, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Oconee National Forest, 1199 Madison Road, Eatonton, GA 31024 Lisa C. Baker, Acting THPO, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, P.O. Box 746, Tahlequah, OK 74465 Tyler Howe, THPO, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, P.O. Box 455, Cherokee, NC 28719 Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Cherokee Nation, P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465 James Wettstaed, U.S. Forest Service, 1755 Cleveland HWY, Gainesville, GA 30501 Stacy Lundgren, U.S. Forest Service, 1199 Madison Road, Eatonton, GA 31024

    Any person on the official service list for the above-captioned proceedings may request inclusion on the restricted service list, or may request that a restricted service list not be established, by filing a motion to that effect within 15 days of this notice date. A copy of any such motion must be filed with the Secretary of the Commission (888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426) and must be served on each person whose name appears on the official service list. If no such motions are filed, the restricted service list will be effective at the end of the 15 day period. Otherwise, a further notice will be issued ruling on the motion.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14872 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9929-29-OW] Notice of a Public Meeting: The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Lead and Copper Rule Working Group Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a public meeting of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Lead and Copper Rule Working Group (LCRWG). The meeting is scheduled for June 24 and 25, 2015, in Arlington, VA. During this meeting, the LCRWG and EPA will focus discussions on the Lead and Copper Rule revisions and the final report of the working group's recommendations to the NDWAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting on June 24, 2015, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., eastern time, and on June 25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., eastern time.

    ADDRESS:

    The meeting will be held at the Cadmus Group Inc., 1555 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA, and will be open to the public. All attendees must sign in with the security desk and show photo identification to enter the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For more information about this meeting or to request written materials contact Lameka Smith, Standards and Risk Management Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water; by phone at (202) 564-1629 or by email at [email protected] For additional information about the Lead and Copper Rule, please visit: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/lcr/index.cfm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Details about Participating in the Meeting: Members of the public who would like to register for this meeting should contact Lameka Smith by June 23, 2015, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 202-564-1629. The LCRWG will allocate 15 minutes for the public's input at the meeting on June 24th and 15 minutes on June 25th. Each oral statement will be limited to five minutes at the meeting. It is preferred that only one person present a statement on behalf of a group or organization. To ensure adequate time for public involvement, individuals or organizations interested in presenting an oral statement should notify Lameka Smith no later than June 22, 2015. Any person who wishes to file a written statement can do so before or after the LCRWG meeting. Written statements intended for the meeting must be received by June 22, 2015, to be distributed to all members of the working group before the meeting. Any statements received on or after the date specified will become part of the permanent file for the meeting and will be forwarded to the LCRWG members for their information.

    Special Accommodations: For information on access or to request special accommodations for individuals with disabilities please contact Lameka Smith at (202) 564-1629, or by email at [email protected], at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give the EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Eric Bissonette, Acting Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14938 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677; FRL-9928-83] Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control Act AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing its receipt of test data submitted pursuant to a test rule issued by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As required by TSCA, this document identifies each chemical substance and/or mixture for which test data have been received; the uses or intended uses of such chemical substance and/or mixture; and describes the nature of the test data received. Each chemical substance and/or mixture related to this announcement is identified in Unit I. under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kathy Calvo, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8089; email address: [email protected]

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Chemical Substances and/or Mixtures

    Information about the following chemical substances and/or mixtures is provided in Unit IV.:

    A. D-gluco-heptonic acid, monosodium salt, (2.xi.)- (CAS RN 31138-65-5). B. 2,4-Hexadienoic acid, (E,E)- (CAS RN 110-44-1). II. Federal Register Publication Requirement

    Section 4(d) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2603(d)) requires EPA to publish a notice in the Federal Register reporting the receipt of test data submitted pursuant to test rules promulgated under TSCA section 4 (15 U.S.C. 2603).

    III. Docket Information

    A docket, identified by the docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677, has been established for this Federal Register document that announces the receipt of data. Upon EPA's completion of its quality assurance review, the test data received will be added to the docket for the TSCA section 4 test rule that required the test data. Use the docket ID number provided in Unit IV. to access the test data in the docket for the related TSCA section 4 test rule.

    The docket for this Federal Register document and the docket for each related TSCA section 4 test rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    IV. Test Data Received

    This unit contains the information required by TSCA section 4(d) for the test data received by EPA.

    A. D-gluco-heptonic acid, monosodium salt, (2.xi.)- (CAS RN 31138-65-5).

    1. Chemical Uses: Organic salt used as a chelating agent in cosmetics, dairy cleaners, bottle cleaners, food contact paper and paperboard, manufacturing, metal cleaning, kier boiling, caustic boil-off, paint stripping, boiler water additive for food processing, and as an ingredient in aluminum etchant. This chemical is also used as a sequestrant, latex stabilizer, and in intravenous pharmaceuticals.

    2. Applicable Test Rule: Chemical testing requirements for second group of high production volume chemicals (HPV2), 40 CFR 799.5087.

    3. Test Data Received: The following listing describes the nature of the test data received. The test data will be added to the docket for the applicable TSCA section 4 test rule and can be found by referencing the docket ID number provided. EPA reviews of test data will be added to the same docket upon completion.

    Aquatic Toxicity (Daphnia) (C1). The docket ID number assigned to this data is EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0531.

    B. 2,4-Hexadienoic acid, (E,E)- (CAS RN 110-44-1).

    1. Chemical Uses: Sorbic acid is a mold and yeast inhibitor, mainly used in foods, animal feeds, tobacco, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, as well as in packing materials for these substances and in other products that come in contact with human or animal skin. As a food preservative, sorbic acid is used to reduce the total number of viable bacteria and double the refrigerated shelf life for fresh poultry. This chemical is also used as an intermediate in plasticizers and lubricants, to impregnate polyethylene wrappers for raw farm products, to improve characteristics of drying oils, in alkyd type coatings to improve gloss, and to improve milling characteristics of cold rubber.

    2. Applicable Test Rule: Chemical testing requirements for second group of high production volume chemicals (HPV2), 40 CFR 799.5087.

    3. Test Data Received: The following listing describes the nature of the test data received. The test data will be added to the docket for the applicable TSCA section 4 test rule and can be found by referencing the docket ID number provided. EPA reviews of test data will be added to the same docket upon completion.

    Aquatic Toxicity (Algal) (C6). The docket ID number assigned to this data is EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0531.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: June 8, 2015. Maria J. Doa, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14748 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA 820R15100, EPA 820R15101, EPA 820R15102, EPA 820R15103, EPA 820R15104; EPA-815R15010; FRL-9929-28-OW] Availability of Health Effects Support Documents and Drinking Water Health Advisories for Cyanobacterial Toxins; and a Support Document Containing Recommendations for Managing Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the release of Ten-Day Health Advisories (HAs) for two cyanobacterial toxins, microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. EPA also announces the release of Health Effect Support Documents (HESDs) for three cyanobacterial toxins: Microcystins, cylindrospermopsin, and anatoxin-a. The HESDs constitute a comprehensive review of the published literature on the chemical and physical properties of these toxins, the toxin synthesis and environmental fate, occurrence and exposure information, and health effects. The HESDs are used to develop HAs. Based on the reported occurrence, toxicology, and epidemiology data, EPA found there are adequate data to develop HAs for microcystins and cylindrospermopsin, but inadequate data to develop an HA for anatoxin-a. EPA's HAs provide states, drinking water utilities and the public with information on health effects of microcystins and cylindrospermopsin, analytical methods to test for cyanotoxins in water samples, and treatment technologies to remove cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water. Additionally, EPA announces a support document for states and utilities to assist them as they consider whether and how to manage cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water. The recommendations in this document are intended to assist public drinking water systems (PWSs) manage the risks from cyanobacterial toxins in drinking water, including information and a framework that PWSs can consider in their cyanotoxin risk management efforts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information regarding the HAs or HESDs: Lesley D'Anglada, Office of Water, Health and Ecological Criteria Division (4304T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-1125; email address: [email protected] For information regarding recommendations for cyanotoxin management in drinking water: Hannah Holsinger, Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (4607M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-0403; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    1. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically from the Government Printing Office under the “Federal Register” listings at FDSys (http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR). The Health Effects Support Documents and the Health Advisories for the cyanobacterial toxins are available on EPA's Web site at http://water.epa.gov/drink/standards/hascience.cfm. The Recommendations for Public Water Systems to Manage Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water document is available on EPA's Web site at http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/guidelines-and-recommendations.

    II. What are cyanobacterial toxins and how are they produced?

    Algae and cyanobacteria are natural components of fresh water; however, under favorable conditions, they can rapidly multiply causing “blooms.” Some cyanobacterial species can produce toxins (cyanotoxins) at levels that may be of concern for human health. These cyanobacterial toxins are of particular concern because of their potential impacts on drinking water and the potential to affect human health.

    III. What are EPA's Health Advisories?

    Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA may publish Health Advisories (HAs) for contaminants that are not subject to any national primary drinking water regulation. 42 U.S.C. 300 g-1(b)(1)(F). EPA develops HAs to provide information on the chemical and physical properties, occurrence and exposure, health effects, quantification of toxicological effects, other regulatory standards, analytical methods, and treatment technology for drinking water contaminants. HAs describe concentrations of drinking water contaminants at which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur over specific exposure durations (e.g., one-day, ten-days, several years, and a lifetime). HAs also contain a margin of safety to address database uncertainties. HAs serve as informal technical guidance to assist federal, state and local officials, as well as managers of public or community water systems in protecting public health when emergency spills or contamination situations occur. They are not regulations and should not be construed as legally enforceable federal standards. HAs may change as new information becomes available.

    IV. Information on EPA's Ten-Day Health Advisories for the Cyanobacterial Toxins, Cylindrospermopsin and Microcystins

    Today, EPA is making available the HA values for the cyanobacterial toxins microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. EPA recommends 0.3 micrograms per liter for microcystins and 0.7 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin as levels not to be exceeded in drinking water for bottle-fed infants and young children of pre-school age. For school-age children through adults, the health advisory values for drinking water are 1.6 micrograms per liter for microcystins and 3 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin. The HA values are based on exposure for ten days.

    V. Information on EPA's Support Document To Assist States and Utilities in Managing Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA also announces the release of a cyanotoxin management document that is a companion to the HAs for microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. The document is intended to assist PWSs that choose to develop system-specific plans for evaluating their source waters for vulnerability to contamination by microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. It provides information and a framework that PWSs and others (as appropriate) can consider to inform their decisions on managing the risks from cyanotoxins to drinking water.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Kenneth J. Kopocis, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14936 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0276; FRL-9927-37] Draft Test Guidelines; Series 810—Product Performance Test Guidelines; Notice of Availability and Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability for comment of several 810 series, non-binding, draft test guidelines developed by the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). The test guidelines provide guidance on conducting testing by the public and companies that are subject to EPA data submission requirements under OCSPP's major statutory mandates.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0276, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

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

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

    For general information contact: Melissa Chun, Regulatory Coordination Staff (7101M), Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-1605; email address: [email protected]

    For technical information contact: Stephen Tomasino, Biological and Economic Analysis Division (7503P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Road, Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2976; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    This action is directed to the public in general. Although this action may be of particular interest to those persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of pesticides and other chemical substances for submission of data to EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq., and/or the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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

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

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

    3. Electronic access to the OCSPP Test Guidelines. You may access the guidelines in regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov, grouped by series under docket ID numbers: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0150 through EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0159, and EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0576.

    II. Background

    The test guidelines serve as a compendium of accepted scientific methodologies and protocols that are intended to provide data to inform regulatory decisions under TSCA, FIFRA, and/or FFDCA. The test guidelines provide guidance for conducting the test, and are also used by EPA, the public, and companies that are subject to data submission requirements under TSCA, FIFRA, and/or FFDCA.

    As guidance documents, the test guidelines are not binding on either EPA or any outside parties, and EPA may depart from the test guidelines where circumstances warrant and without prior notice. At places in these guidance documents, the Agency uses the word “should.” In these guidance documents, use of “should” with regard to an action means that the action is recommended rather than mandatory. The procedures contained in the test guidelines are recommended for generating the data that are the subject of the test guidelines, but EPA recognizes that departures may be appropriate in specific situations. You may propose alternatives to the recommendations described in the test guidelines, and the Agency will assess them for appropriateness on a case-by-case basis.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is making available for comment the following 810 Series draft test guidelines: OCSPP Test Guideline 810.2000—General Considerations for Testing Antimicrobial Agents, OCSPP Test Guideline 810.2100—Sterilants & Sporicides Recommendations for Efficacy Testing, and OCSPP Test Guideline 810.2200—Disinfectants for Use on Hard Surfaces—Efficacy Data Recommendations.

    The Agency published the notice announcing the final test guidelines for these product performance testing guidelines for antimicrobial agents in the Federal Register of March 16, 2012 (77 FR 15750) (FRL-9332-4). Since then, the Agency has received information from the users that these test guidelines are confusing and in some cases, inaccurate. The test guidelines have been re-formatted to be more user friendly, correct technical information, and include updates from policy documents published after 2012. As noted in section I.B.3 of this notice, the public can access the guidelines in regulations.gov at http://www.regulations.gov, grouped by series under docket ID numbers: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0150 through EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0159, and EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0576.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.; 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.; 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. James Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14955 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewals; Comment Request Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). ACTION:

    Notice and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The FDIC, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the renewal of existing collections of information, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. On April 10, 2015, (80 FR 19318), the FDIC requested comment for 60 days on a proposal to renew the following collections of information: (1) Recordkeeping and Confirmation Requirements for Securities Transactions (3064-0028); (2) Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Executive Officer (3064-0097); (3) Certification of Compliance with Mandatory Bars to Employment (3064-0121); (4) Customer Assistance (3064-0134); and, (5) Notice Regarding Assessment Credits (3064-0151). No comments were received. The FDIC hereby gives notice of its plan to submit to OMB a request to approve the renewal of these collections, and again invites comment on this renewal.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before July 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the FDIC by any of the following methods:

    http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/.

    Email: [email protected] Include the name and number of the collection in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Gary A. Kuiper (202-898-3877), Counsel, MB-3074, John W. Popeo (202-898-6923), Counsel, MB-3007, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429.

    Hand Delivery: Comments may be hand-delivered to the guard station at the rear of the 17th Street Building (located on F Street), on business days between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

    All comments should refer to the relevant OMB control number. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer for the FDIC: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gary A. Kuiper or John Popeo, at the FDIC address above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposal to renew the following currently-approved collections of information:

    1. Title: Recordkeeping and Confirmation Requirements for Securities Transactions.

    OMB Number: 3064-0028.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Business or Other Financial Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,534.

    Estimated Time per Response: 27.91 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 126,544 hours.

    General Description of Collection: The collection of information requirements are contained in 12 CFR part 344. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure that purchasers of securities in transactions affected by insured state nonmember banks are provided with adequate records concerning the transactions. The regulation is also designed to ensure that insured state nonmember banks maintain adequate records and controls with respect to the securities transactions they effect.

    2. Title: Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Executive Officer.

    OMB Number: 3064-0097.

    Affected Public: Business or Other Financial Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 840.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1,680 hours.

    General Description of Collection: Certain insured state nonmember banks must notify the FDIC of the addition of a director or the employment of a senior executive officer.

    3. Title: Certification of Compliance with Mandatory Bars to Employment.

    OMB Number: 3064-0121.

    Form Number: FDIC 7300/06.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Business or Other Financial Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 600.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

    Total Annual Burden: 100 hours.

    General Description of Collection: Prior to an offer of employment, FDIC job applicants must sign a certification that they have not been convicted of a felony or been in other circumstances that prohibit person from becoming employed by, or providing services to, the FDIC.

    4. Title: Customer Assistance.

    OMB Number: 3064-0134.

    Form Number: FDIC Forms 6422/04; 6422/11.

    Affected Public: Individuals, Households, Business or Financial Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 15,000.

    Estimated Time per Response: .5 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 7,500 hours.

    General Description of Collection: This collection facilitates the collection of information from customers of financial institutions that have inquiries or complaints about service. Customers or businesses may document their complaints or inquiries to the FDIC using a letter or optional forms (Form 6422/04; 6422/11). The Forms are used to facilitate online completion and submission of the forms and to shorten FDIC response times by making it easier to identify the nature of the complaint and to route the customer or business inquiry to the appropriate FDIC contact.

    5. Title: Notice Regarding Assessment Credits.

    OMB Number: 3064-0151.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: FDIC-insured institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 8 hours.

    General Description of Collection: FDIC-insured institutions must notify the FDIC if deposit insurance assessment credits are transferred, e.g., through a sale of the credits or through a merger, in order to obtain recognition of the transfer.

    Request for Comment

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the FDIC's functions, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 11th day of June, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14795 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10414 Polk County Bank, Johnson, IA

    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Polk County Bank, Johnson, IA (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Polk County Bank on November 18, 2011. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 32.1, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14773 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than July 13, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President), 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Heartland Financial USA, Inc., Dubuque, Iowa; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of First Scottsdale Bank, N.A., Scottsdale, Arizona.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 12, 2015. Margaret McCloskey Shanks, Deputy Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14851 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    On June 15, 1984, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) delegated to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) its approval authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), to approve of and assign OMB control numbers to collection of information requests and requirements conducted or sponsored by the Board. Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of currently approved collections of information. Copies of the PRA Submission, supporting statements and approved collection of information instruments are placed into OMB's public docket files. The Federal Reserve may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Form 1522/1523, Form1680/1681/1682/1683, or Form H(e), by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx.

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

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

    • FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

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

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/foia/proposedregs.aspx as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street (between 18th and 19th Streets NW.) Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB Desk Officer—Shagufta Ahmed—Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of the PRA OMB submission, including the proposed reporting form and instructions, supporting statement, and other documentation will be placed into OMB's public docket files, once approved. These documents will also be made available on the Federal Reserve Board's public Web site at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/apps/reportforms/review.aspx or may be requested from the agency clearance officer, whose name appears below.

    Federal Reserve Board Clearance Officer—Nuha Elmaghrabi- Office of the Chief Data Officer, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551 (202) 452-3829. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact (202) 263-4869, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC 20551.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Request for Comment on Information Collection Proposal

    The following information collection, which is being handled under this delegated authority, has received initial Board approval and is hereby published for comment. At the end of the comment period, the proposed information collection, along with an analysis of comments and recommendations received, will be submitted to the Board for final approval under OMB delegated authority. Comments are invited on the following:

    a. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Federal Reserve's functions; including whether the information has practical utility;

    b. The accuracy of the Federal Reserve's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    c. Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    d. Ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and

    e. Estimates of capital or start up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.

    Proposal To Approve Under OMB Delegated Authority the Extension for Three Years, Without Revision, of the Following Reports

    1. Report title: Notice of Mutual Holding Company Reorganization and the Application for Approval of a Minority Stock Issuance by a Savings Association Subsidiary of a Mutual Holding Company.

    Agency form number: Form 1522; Form 1523.

    OMB control number: 7100-0340.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Reporters: Mutual savings associations and savings association subsidiaries or subsidiary holding companies of a mutual holding company.

    Estimated annual reporting hours: Form 1522: 400 hours; Form 1523: 1,050 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: Form 1522: 400 hours; Form 1523: 350 hours.

    Number of respondents: Form 1522: 1; Form 1523: 3.

    General description of report: Forms 1522 and 1523 are mandatory and authorized pursuant to section 10 of the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA). Section 10 of HOLA (“Regulations of holding companies”) provides generally that “[t]he Board is authorized to issue such regulations . . . as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to enable the Board to administer and carry out the purposes of this section, and to require compliance therewith and prevent evasions thereof.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(g)(1)). With respect to mutual holding companies, HOLA states that a mutual holding company “shall be subject to such regulations as the Board may prescribe.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(o)(7)). Section 10 of HOLA also requires a savings and loan holding company to file “such reports as may be required by the Board” and provides that such reports “shall contain such information concerning the operations of such savings and loan holding company and its subsidiaries as the Board may require.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(b)(2)).

    The information on Forms 1522 and 1523 generally not considered confidential. However, the notificant or applicant may request confidential treatment for portions of these forms pursuant to exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)) if it believes disclosure of those portions would likely result in substantial competitive harm. All such requests for confidential treatment would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and in response to a specific request for disclosure.

    Abstract: Any mutual savings association that wishes to reorganize to form a mutual holding company must submit a notice (Form 1522) to the Federal Reserve. The notice provides details of the reorganization plan, which is to be approved by the majority of the association's board of directors and any acquired association. Details of the reorganization plan should contain a complete description of all significant terms of the proposed reorganization, shall attach and incorporate any Stock Issuance Plan proposed in connection with the reorganization plan and comply with other informational requirements specified in (12 CFR 239.6).

    Any savings association subsidiary or subsidiary holding company of a mutual holding company must file an application (Form 1523) for minority stock issuance. Minority stock issuances applications are required to provide the Federal Reserve with information to determine whether mutual holding companies and their subsidiaries are conducting insider abuse or unsafe and unsound practices.

    The Federal Reserve intends to update and revise the Notice and Application to conform to Federal Reserve standards in the near future.

    2. Report title: Application for Conversion, Proxy Statement, Offering Circular, and Order Form.

    Agency form number: Form 1680, Form 1681, Form 1682, Form 1683.

    OMB control number: 7100-0335.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Reporters: Mutual holding companies.

    Estimated annual reporting hours: Form 1680: 2,990 hours; Form 1681: 50 hours; Form 1682: 1,50 hours; Form 1683: 10 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: Form 1680: 299 hours; Form 1681: 500 hours; Form 1682: 150 hours; Form 1683: 1 hour.

    Number of respondents: Form 1680: 10; Form 1681: 10; Form 1682: 10; Form 1683: 10.

    General description of report: The mutual stock conversion forms are mandatory and authorized by Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA) section 10, which provides generally that “the Board is authorized to issue such regulations . . . as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to enable the Board to administer and carry out the purposes of this section, and to require compliance therewith and prevent evasions thereof.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(g)(1)). With respect to mutual holding companies, HOLA states that a mutual holding company “shall be subject to such regulations as the Board may prescribe.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(o)(7)). Section 10 of HOLA also requires a savings and loan holding company to file “such reports as may be required by the Board” and provides that such reports “shall contain such information concerning the operations of such savings and loan holding company and its subsidiaries as the Board may require.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(b)(2).

    Forms 1681, 1682, and 1683 are distributed to the owners of the mutual holding company; no issues of confidentiality should arise in connection with these forms. One of the elements required for the application on Form 1680 is a consolidated business plan showing how the capital acquired in the conversion will be used. Business plans are not considered confidential, although the applicant may request confidential treatment pursuant to sections (b)(4), of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4),) for portions of the business plan if disclosure would likely result in substantial competitive harm. All such requests for confidential treatment would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and in response to a specific request for disclosure.

    Abstract: Sections 5(i) (standard conversions) and 5(p) (supervisory conversions) of HOLA authorize mutual to stock conversions. The four individual forms are all one-time submissions that are used by mutual holding companies requesting approval to convert to a stock institution. The Federal Reserve intends to update and revise the mutual stock conversion application forms to conform to Federal Reserve standards in the near future.

    3. Report title: Savings and Loan Holding Company Application.

    Agency form number: Form H-(e).

    OMB control number: 7100-0336.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Reporters: Entities seeking prior approval to become a savings and loan holding company (SLHC).

    Estimated annual reporting hours: 6,000 hours.

    Estimated average hours per response: 500 hours.

    Number of respondents: 12.

    General description of report: The Savings and Loan Holding Company Application is mandatory and authorized pursuant to section 10 of HOLA, which provides that “the Board is authorized to issue such regulations . . . as the Board deems necessary or appropriate to enable the Board to administer and carry out the purposes of this sections, and require compliance therewith and prevent evasions thereof.” (12 U.S.C. 1467a(g)(1)). Section 10 of HOLA also requires a savings and loan holding company to file “such reports as may be required by the Board” and provides that such reports “shall contain such information concerning the operations of such savings and loan holding company and its subsidiaries as the Board may require (12 U.S.C. 1467a(b)(2).

    The information on Form H-(e) is not considered confidential unless the applicant requests confidential treatment pursuant to exemption 4 or 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4),(6)). All such requests for confidential treatment would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and in response to a specific request for disclosure.

    Abstract: The Federal Reserve analyzes each holding company application to determine whether the applicant meets the statutory criteria set forth in section 10(e) of the Home Owners' Loan Act (Act), as amended, to become a savings and loan holding company. The applications are reviewed for adequacy of answers to items and completeness in all material respects. The applications are event-generated and provide the Federal Reserve with information necessary to evaluate the proposed transaction. The Federal Reserve intends to update and revise the Application forms to conform to Federal Reserve standards in the near future.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 12, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14862 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority

    Part C (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (45 FR 67772-76, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 80 FR 1417-1419, dated January 9, 2015) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Public Health Scientific Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Delete in its entirety the title and function statements for the Office of Research and Methodology (CPC13).

    After the title and the mission and function statements for the Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (CPCG) insert the following:

    Division of Research and Methodology (CPCH). (1) Participates in the development of policy, long-range plans, and programs for NCHS; (2) plans, coordinates, stimulates and participates in NCHS' basic and applied research program, including but not limited to research in the fields of mathematical statistics, survey design and methodology, mathematics and operations research; (3) formulates statistical standards regarding survey design, data collection, coding, data analysis, data presentation, disclosure limitation, and statistical computing for all NCHS data systems and coordinates activities directed at the implementation and maintenance of these standards; (4) supports all of NCHS through consultation in the fields of mathematical statistics, survey design and methodology, cognition and survey measurement, mathematics and operations research, missing data problems, and data dissemination; (5) consults, collaborates and participates in research projects with HHS, CDC and other Federal organizations, State and local governments, universities, private research organizations, and international agencies and organizations; and (6) provides scientific services and facilities on a reimbursable basis to research and health policy communities, principally through the Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research and the Research Data Center.

    Office of the Division Director (OD) (CPCH1). (1) Participates in the development of policy, long range plans, and programs for NCHS; (2) plans, coordinates, and stimulates the NCHS applied and basic research program which includes the fields of mathematical statistics, survey design and methodology, cognition and survey measurement, and automated statistical and graphical technologies, and conducts research in each of these fields; (3) formulates statistical standards regarding the survey design, data collection, coding, data analysis, data presentation, and statistical computing for all NCHS data systems and coordinates activities directed at the implementation and maintenance of these standards; (4) supports all of the NCHS basic and applied research activities by serving as NCHS' consultants in the fields of mathematical statistics, survey design and methodology, and cognition and survey measurement; (5) consults and collaborates on statistical research projects with PHS agencies and other Federal organizations, State and local governments, universities, private research organizations, and international health agencies; (6) provides administrative, management, and leadership functions for all DRM units.

    Collaborating Center for Statistical Research and Survey Design (CPCHB). (1) Conducts basic research in mathematical and statistical theory, analysis, and computation to improve the efficiency, quality, confidentiality, and analytical utility of NCHS' data systems and products; (2) provides statistical consultation and technical assistance to all NCHS data systems on survey methods, quality control, and design of data systems; (3) investigates and develops new and improved statistical methods for analyzing public health data; (4) conducts basic research regarding the impact of sampling and non-sampling errors on statistical estimation and analysis and develops error profiles of sampling and non-sampling error for NCHS' complex data systems; (5) develops and recommends standards for data presentation, analysis, statistical computing, statistical disclosure limitation, survey design and methodology; (6) promotes the publication and dissemination of research on statistical theory, survey design, and methods research; (7) develops sample design and statistical estimation procedures for NCHS surveys; (8) develops statistical models and innovative survey techniques to extend the analytic potential of NCHS complex sample surveys; and (9) plans for future use of Center data through a continuous research program on statistical theory, survey design, statistical and mathematical methods, statistical computing, and data analysis.

    Collaborating Center for Questionnaire Design and Evaluation Research (CPCH). (1) Promotes and advances interdisciplinary research on the cognitive aspects of survey methods; (2) conducts basic and applied research on the cognitive aspects of the survey response process in order to improve the efficiency and quality of NCHS' data systems; (3) develops new methods for investigating the cognitive aspects of survey data collection and presentation; (4) promotes the dissemination and implementation of cognitive research methods through publications and presentations; (5) develops and tests NCHS survey data collection instruments using cognitive laboratory methods and related innovative questionnaire evaluation methods; (6) provides consultation and technical assistance to NCHS' data systems on questionnaire design issues and other related data collection procedures; (7) conducts a program of reimbursable applied and basic research, technical assistance, and consultation on questionnaire design and cognitive aspects of survey methods.

    Research Data Center (CPCHD). (1) Facilitates the access of restricted use data to the research community; (2) conducts research in areas related to the development, linkage, analysis, and dissemination of survey data; (3) provides consultation and technical assistance to programs on data collection procedures, confidentiality, disclosure limitation, data linkage, and dissemination; (4) serves as NCHS' primary venue for disseminating restricted use data to the research community; (5) supports scientific research on disclosure limitation of surveys using micro-data files.

    James Seligman, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14808 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30-Day-15-0222] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project

    Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory (QDRL)—(OMB No. 0920-0222, expires 6/30/2015)—Revision—National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory (QDRL) is the focal point within NCHS for questionnaire development, pre-testing, and evaluation activities for CDC surveys (such as the NCHS National Health Interview Survey, OMB No. 0920-0214) and other federally sponsored surveys; however, question development and evaluation activities are conducted throughout NCHS. NCHS is requesting 3 years of OMB Clearance for this generic submission. This revision is a request for additional burden hours due to anticipated increase in the number and size of projects being undertaken in the next three years.

    The QDRL and other NCHS programs conduct cognitive interviews, focus groups, in-depth or ethnographic interviews, usability tests, field tests/pilot interviews, and experimental research in laboratory and field settings, both for applied questionnaire development and evaluation as well as more basic research on response errors in surveys.

    Various techniques to evaluate interviewer administered, self-administered, telephone, Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (CASI), Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI), and web-based questionnaires are used.

    The most common questionnaire evaluation method is the cognitive interview. These evaluations are conducted by the QDRL. The interview structure consists of respondents first answering a draft survey question and then providing textual information to reveal the processes involved in answering the test question. Specifically, cognitive interview respondents are asked to describe how and why they answered the question as they did. Through the interviewing process, various types of question-response problems that would not normally be identified in a traditional survey interview, such as interpretive errors and recall accuracy, are uncovered. By conducting a comparative analysis of cognitive interviews, it is also possible to determine whether particular interpretive patterns occur within particular sub-groups of the population. Interviews are generally conducted in small rounds of 20-30 interviews; ideally, the questionnaire is re-worked between rounds, and revisions are tested iteratively until interviews yield relatively few new insights.

    Cognitive interviewing is inexpensive and provides useful data on questionnaire performance while minimizing respondent burden. Cognitive interviewing offers a detailed depiction of meanings and processes used by respondents to answer questions—processes that ultimately produce the survey data. As such, the method offers an insight that can transform understanding of question validity and response error. Documented findings from these studies represent tangible evidence of how the question performs. Such documentation also serves CDC data users, allowing them to be critical users in their approach and application of the data.

    In addition to cognitive interviewing, a number of other qualitative and quantitative methods are used to investigate and research survey response errors and the survey response process. These methods include conducting focus groups, usability tests, in-depth or ethnographic interviews, and the administration and analysis of questions in both representative and non-representative field tests. Focus groups are conducted by the NCHS QDRL. They are group interviews whose primary purpose is to elicit the basic sociocultural understandings and terminology that form the basis of questionnaire design. Each group typically consists of one moderator and 4 to 10 participants, depending on the research question. In-depth or ethnographic interviews are one-on-one interviews designed to elicit the understandings or terminology that are necessary for question design, as well as to gather detailed information that can contribute to the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. Usability tests are typically one-on-one interviews that are used to determine how a given survey or information collection tool functions in the field, and how the mode and layout of the instrument itself may contribute to survey response error and the survey response process.

    In addition to these qualitative methods, NCHS also uses various tools to obtain quantitative data, which can be analyzed alone or analyzed alongside qualitative data to give a much fuller accounting of the survey response process. For instance, phone, internet, mail, and in-person follow-up interviews of previous NCHS survey respondents may be used to test the validity of survey questions and questionnaires and to obtain more detailed information that cannot be gathered on the original survey. Additionally, field or pilot tests may be conducted on both representative and non-representative samples, including those obtained from commercial survey and web panel vendors. Beyond looking at traditional measures of survey errors (such as missing rates, item non-response, and don't know rates), these pilot tests can be used to run experimental designs in order to capture how different questions function in a field setting.

    There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annual burden hours are 4,383.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average burden per response
  • (in hrs.)
  • Individuals or households Eligibility Screeners 4,000 1 5/60 Individuals or households Developmental Questionnaires 3,900 1 1 Individuals or households Focus group documents 100 1 1.5
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14786 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60-Day-15-0134; Docket No. CDC-2015-0039] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a revision to several of the information collections pertaining to the importation of dogs as outlined in the currently approved information collection entitled “Foreign Quarantine Regulations (42 CFR part 71)”.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0039 by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Foreign Quarantine Regulations (42 CFR part 71)—Revision—(OMB Control No. 0920-0134, Expires September 30, 2017), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    This information collection revision request is an effort to provide greater clarity surrounding paperwork requirements and focuses exclusively on certain information collections that pertain to importation of dogs into the United States. Specifically, CDC seeks to make the following changes:

    • CDC is asking to correct a transcription error in the burden tables in section 12. Currently, the relevant IC reads: 71.51(b)(2) Dogs/cats: Certification of Confinement, Vaccination (CDC form 75.37). It should have been: 71.51(c)(2) Dogs: Certification of Confinement, Vaccination (CDC form 75.37).

    • CDC is also proposing to replace the CDC form 75.37 NOTICE TO OWNERS AND IMPORTERS OF DOGS: Requirement for Dog Confinement with a new Application For Permission To Import A Dog Unimmunized Against Rabies, which, if the importer meets the criteria for importation, will be followed by a CDC-completed Permit to Conditionally Import a Dog Inadequately Immunized against Rabies—Single Entry

    • CDC is also requesting approval to change and split the current information collection (IC) “71.51(c)(2) Dogs/cats: Certification of Confinement, Vaccination (CDC form 75.37)” into two separate ICs.

    • CDC will include one modified IC: “71.51(c)(2), (d) Application For Permission To Import A Dog Unimmunized Against Rabies”. This will include a reduced estimate of the numbers of these permits, formerly CDC form 75.37 NOTICE TO OWNERS AND IMPORTERS OF DOGS: Requirement for Dog Confinement, issued each year.

    • CDC will include a separate IC pertaining to 71.51(c)(1), (d). The title for this IC is Valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate, which will include only the burden associated with rabies vaccination certificates.

    • CDC is also including an information collection for 71.51(c)(i), (ii), and (iii) which provides exemption criteria for the importation of a dog without a rabies vaccination certificate.

    CDC is not requesting changes to any of the other information collections included under OMB control number 0920-0134.

    The total requested burden hours is 307,613. There is no burden to respondents other than the time taken to complete the reports or documentation for CDC.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Form name/CFR reference Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Maritime conveyance operators 71.21(a) Radio Report of death/illness—illness reports from ships (fillable PDF (individual case and cumulative report), phone, transcribed email) 2,000 1 2/60 67 Aircraft commander or operators 71.21(b) Death/Illness reports from aircrafts (verbal, no form) 1,700 1 2/60 57 Maritime conveyance operators 71.21(c) Gastrointestinal Illnesses reports 24 and 4 hours before arrival (MIDRS) 17,000 1 3/60 850 Maritime conveyance operators 71.21(c) Recordkeeping—Medical logs (no form, captains provide logs) 17,000 1 3/60 850 Isolated or Quarantined individuals 71.33(c) Report by persons in isolation or surveillance (verbal, no form) 11 1 3/60 1 Maritime conveyance operators 71.35 Report of death/illness during stay in port (verbal, no form) 5 1 30/60 3 Traveler Locator Form used in an outbreak of public health significance 2,700,000 1 5/60 225,000 Traveler Locator Form used for reporting of an ill passenger(s) 800 1 5/60 67 Importer 71.51(c)(1), (d)—Valid Rabies Vaccination Certificates 245,310 1 15/60 61,328 Importer 71.51(c)(i), (ii), and (iii) exemption criteria for the importation of a dog without a rabies vaccination certificate 43,290 1 15/60 10,823 Importer 71.51(c)(2), (d) Application For Permission To Import A Dog Unimmunized Against Rabies 1,400 1 15/60 350 Importer 71.51(b) (3) Dogs/cats: Record of sickness or deaths (no form, record review) 20 1 15/60 5 Importer/Filer CDC PGA Message Set for Importing Cats and Dogs 30,000 1 15/60 7,500 Importer 71.52(d) Turtle Importation Permits (no form, just written request) 5 1 30/60 3 Importer 71.56(a)(2) African Rodents—Request for exemption ( no form, written request only) 20 1 1 20 Importer/Filer CDC PGA Message Set for Importing African Rodents 60 1 15/60 15 Importers 71.55 Dead bodies (death certificates submitted) 5 1 1 5 Filer 71.56(a)(iii) Appeal (no form, written request only) 2 1 1 2 Filer/Importer Statement or documentation of Non-infectiousness (Documented, no form; authority under 71.32(b)) 2,000 1 5/60 167 Importer/Filer CDC PGA Message Set for Importing African Rodent and All Family Viverridae Products 2,000 1 15/60 500 Total 307,613
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14787 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10565] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 17, 2015:

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number __, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10565 Off-Cycle Submission of Summaries of Model of Care Changes

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Off-cycle Submission of Summaries of Model of Care Changes; Use: All Medicare Advantage (MA) Special Needs Plans (SNPs) must be approved by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The SNPs must submit Models of Care (MOC) as a component of the Medicare Advantage application process. Approval is based on NCQA's evaluation of SNPs using MOC scoring guidelines. Based on their scores, SNPs receive an approval for a period of 1-, 2-, or 3-years. We are developing an MOC off-cycle revision process so that SNPs can revise the MOC to modify its processes and strategies for providing care during their MOC approval period. We will require that SNPs submit summaries of their MOC revisions to CMS for NCQA evaluation when a SNP makes significant changes to its MOC as described in the annual Announcement of Medicare Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment Policies and Final Call letter for CY 2015 and CY2016. The NCQA will review the summary of changes to verify that the revisions are consistent with the acceptable, high quality standards as included in the original approved MOC. Form Number: CMS-10565 (OMB control number 0938-New); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Private sector (Business or other for-profits and Not-for-profit institutions); Number of Respondents: 313; Total Annual Responses: 62; Total Annual Hours: 252. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Susan Radke at 410-786-4450).

    Dated: June 11, 2015. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14774 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Office of Refugee Resettlement Cash and Medical Assistance Program Quarterly Report on Expenditures and Obligations.

    OMB No.: 0970-0407.

    Description: The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) reimburses, to the extent of available appropriations, certain non-federal costs for the provision of cash and medical assistance to refugees and other eligible persons, along with allowable expenses for the administration of the refugee resettlement program at the State level. States, Wilson/Fish projects (alternative projects for the administration of the refugee resettlement program), and State Replacement Designees currently submit the ORR-2 Financial Status Report in accordance with 45 CFR part 92 and 45 CFR part 74. This proposed data collection would collect financial status data (i.e., amounts of expenditures and obligations) broken down by the four program components: refugee cash assistance, refugee medical assistance, health screening, and services for unaccompanied refugee minors as well as by program administration. This breakdown of financial status data on expenditures and obligations allows ORR to track program expenditures in greater detail to anticipate any funding issues and to meet the requirements of ORR regulations at 45 CFR 400.211 to collect these data for use in estimating annual costs of the refugee resettlement program. ORR must implement the methodology at 45 CFR 400.211 each year after receipt of its annual appropriation to ensure that the appropriated funds will be adequate for assistance to entering refugees. The estimating methodology prescribed in the ORR regulations requires the use of actual past costs by program component. In the event that the methodology indicates that appropriated funds are inadequate, ORR must take steps to reduce federal expenses, such as by limiting the number of months of eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance. This proposed single-page report on expenditures and obligations will allow ORR to collect the necessary data to ensure that funds are adequate for the projected need and thereby meet the requirements of both the Refugee Act and ORR regulations.

    Respondents: State Governments, Wilson/Fish Alternative Projects, State Replacement Designees.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Office of Refugee Resettlement Cash and Medical Assistance Program Quarterly Report on Expenditures and Obligations 58 4 1.50 348

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 348.

    Additional Information

    Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected].

    OMB Comment

    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Fax: 202-395-7285, Email: [email protected]. Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14814 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Title: Child Care Development Fund (CCDF)—Reporting Improper Payments—Instructions for States.

    OMB No.: 0970-0323.

    Description: Section 2 of the Improper Payments Act of 2002 provides for estimates and reports of improper payments by Federal agencies. Subpart K of 45 CFR, Part 98 will require States to prepare and submit a report of errors occurring in the administration of CCDF grant funds once every three years.

    The Office of Child Care (OCC) is completing the third 3-year cycle of case record reviews to meet the requirements for reporting under IPIA. The current forms and instructions expire September 30, 2015. OCC is submitting the information collection for renewal clearance with minor changes. Responders will now have additional guidance and clarification in the instructions and errors have been corrected. New language incorporates requirements from the 2014 Child Care and Development Fund Block Grant Act passed in November 2014.

    Respondents: State grantees, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

    Annual Burden Estimates Instrument Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Total burden hours
    Sampling Decisions and Fieldwork Preparation Plan 17 1 106 1802 Record Review Worksheet 17 276 6.33 29,700.36 State Improper Authorizations for Payment Report 17 1 639 10,863 Corrective Action Plan 8 1 156 1248 Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours 43,613.36

    Additional Information: Copies of the proposed collection may be obtained by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection. Email address: [email protected].

    OMB Comment: OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent directly to the following: Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project, Email: [email protected], Attn: Desk Officer for the Administration for Children and Families.

    Robert Sargis, Reports Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14813 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families [CFDA Number: 93.092] Announcement of the Award of Single-Source Expansion Supplement Grants to Seven Personal Responsibility Education Program Innovative Strategies (PREIS) Grantees AGENCY:

    Family and Youth Services Bureau, ACYF, ACF, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of the award of single-source expansion supplement grants to seven Personal Responsibility Education Program Innovative Strategies (PREIS) grantees.

    SUMMARY:

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), Division of Adolescent Development and Support (DADS), announces the award of single-source expansion supplement grants to seven PREIS grantees for the purpose of expanding retention and follow-up efforts for program participants. The funds will allow grantees to collect the increased data necessary to determine the program effectiveness and for the manualization of a validated curriculum and supporting documents.

    DATES:

    The period of support under these supplements is September 30, 2014, through September 29, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LeBretia White, Manager, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, Division of Adolescent Development and Support, Family and Youth Services Bureau, 1250 Maryland Avenue SW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: 202-205-9605; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In FY 2010, FYSB awarded 13 cooperative agreement grants under Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) OPHS/OAH/TPP PREP Tier 2-2010. Under this FOA, a total of $9.7 million was made available on a competitive basis to implement and test innovative strategies.

    The supplemental funds will help the grantees increase retention and follow-up strategies for program participants. In turn, this will allow grantees to report significant program outcome data that will be integral to the evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented pregnancy prevention models used in grantee programming with populations that include youth in foster care and pregnant and parenting teens.

    Seven PREIS grantees have requested supplemental funding awards. Their applications were assessed by a review panel for completeness and responsiveness in the categories of Objectives and Need for Assistance, Approach, and Budget and Budget Justification. The applications were assessed to have scored within a fundable range.

    Single-source program expansion supplement awards are made to the following PREIS grantees:

    Grantee organization City State Supplement award amount Child and Family Resources, Inc. Tucson AZ $32,314 Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 115,898 Cicatelli Associates Inc. New York NY 130,000 Demoiselle2Femme Chicago IL 55,959 Education Development Center, Inc. Newton MA 55,560 Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services Tucson AZ 29,000 The Village for Families & Children, Inc Hartford CT 33,235 Statutory Authority:

    Section 2953 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Pub. L. 111-148, added Section 513 to Title V of the Social Security Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. 713, authorizing the Personal Responsibility Education Program.

    Mary M. Wayland, Senior Grants Policy Specialist, Division of Grants Policy, Office of Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14839 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184-37-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1317] Final Determination Regarding Partially Hydrogenated Oils AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice; declaratory order.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on the available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) has made a final determination that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids (IP-TFA) are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in human food. This action responds, in part, to citizen petitions we received, and we base our determination on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat.

    DATES:

    Compliance date: Affected persons must comply no later than June 18, 2018.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mical Honigfort, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-265), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1278, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Background II. Definitions and Scope, and Related Comments With FDA Responses III. Discussion of Legal Issues, and Related Comments With FDA Responses A. GRAS B. Prior Sanctions C. Procedural Requirements IV. Discussion of Scientific Issues, and Related Comments With FDA Responses A. Intake Assessment B. Safety V. Citizen Petitions VI. Environmental Impact VII. Economic Analysis VIII. Compliance Date and Related Comments With FDA Responses IX. Conclusion and Order X. References I. Background

    In accordance with the process set out in § 170.38(b)(1) (21 CFR 170.38(b)(1)), we issued a notice on November 8, 2013 (the November 2013 notice, 78 FR 67169), announcing our tentative determination that, based on currently available scientific information, PHOs are no longer GRAS under any condition of use in human food and therefore are food additives subject to section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 348).

    FDA's evaluation of the GRAS status of PHOs centers on the trans fatty acid (TFA, also referred to as “trans fat”) component of these oils. Although we primarily use the word “oil” when discussing PHOs in this document, partially hydrogenated fats (such as partially hydrogenated lard), are included within the definition of PHOs (discussed in section II) and therefore within the scope of this order, and references to “oil” in this document should be read in most cases to include fats. PHOs are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids (Ref. 1). As explained in the tentative determination (78 FR 67169), all refined edible oils contain some trans fat as an unintentional byproduct of their manufacturing process; however, unlike other edible oils, trans fats are an integral component of PHOs and are purposely produced in these oils to affect the properties of the oils and the characteristics of the food to which they are added. In addition, the trans fat content of PHOs is significantly greater than the amount in other edible oils. Non-hydrogenated refined oils may contain trans fatty acids as a result of high-temperature processing, at levels typically below 2 percent (Ref. 2). Low levels (below 2 percent) may also be found in fully hydrogenated oils (FHOs) due to incomplete hydrogenation (Ref. 3). Small amounts (typically around 3 percent) may be found in the fat component of dairy and meat products from ruminant animals (Ref. 4).

    FDA's tentative determination identified the significant human health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat (78 FR 67169 at 67171). The tentative determination was based on evidence including results from a number of controlled feeding studies on trans fatty acid consumption in humans (Refs. 5 and 6), findings from long-term prospective epidemiological studies (Refs. 5 and 6), and the opinions of expert panels (Refs. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14). The latter included the 2005 recommendation of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to limit trans fat consumption as much as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet, recognizing that trans fat occurs naturally in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals and that naturally-occurring trans fat is unavoidable in ordinary, non-vegan diets without significant dietary adjustments that may introduce undesirable effects (Ref. 7). In addition, in the tentative determination FDA cited a peer reviewed, published estimate of deaths and coronary events that would be prevented annually in the United States from elimination of remaining uses of PHOs from the food supply (Ref. 15). Given all this evidence, we tentatively determined that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that PHOs, the primary dietary source of IP-TFA, are safe for human consumption, either directly or as ingredients in other food products.

    PHOs have a long history of use as food ingredients. The two most common PHOs currently used by the food industry, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, are not listed as GRAS or as approved food additives in FDA's regulations. However, these and other commonly used PHOs (e.g., partially hydrogenated coconut oil and partially hydrogenated palm oil) have been considered GRAS by the food industry based on a history of use prior to 1958. By contrast, the partially hydrogenated versions of low erucic acid rapeseed oil (LEAR oil; § 184.1555(c)(2) (21 CFR 184.1555(c)(2)) and menhaden oil (§ 184.1472(b) (21 CFR 184.1472(b))) have been affirmed by regulation as GRAS for use in food. Partially hydrogenated LEAR oil was affirmed as GRAS for use in food (50 FR 3745 (January 28, 1985)) through scientific procedures. Partially hydrogenated menhaden oil was affirmed as GRAS for use in food (54 FR 38219 (September 15, 1989)) on the basis that the oil is chemically and biologically comparable to commonly used partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as corn and soybean oils. FDA believes that partially hydrogenated LEAR and menhaden oils are not currently widely used by the food industry. We plan to amend these regulations in a future rulemaking.

    In the November 2013 notice, FDA requested additional data and scientific information related to our tentative determination and, in particular, requested comment on several questions (78 FR 67169 at 67174). Interested persons were originally given until January 7, 2014, to comment on the notice. However, in response to several requests, we extended the comment period to March 8, 2014 (78 FR 79701 (December 31, 2013)).

    We received over 6000 comments in response to the November 2013 notice announcing our tentative determination, including over 4500 form letters. In addition to submissions from individuals, we received comments from industry and trade associations, consumer and advocacy groups, health professional groups, and state/local governments. Most comments generally supported the tentative determination or supported aspects of it. FDA also received numerous comments stating that although they agreed with FDA's efforts to further reduce trans fat in the food supply, they disagreed with our tentative determination regarding the GRAS status of PHOs. Of the comments that objected to the tentative determination, many disagreed with FDA's scientific analysis and offered alternative approaches to address trans fat in the food supply. Some comments addressed issues outside the scope of the tentative determination (such as disruptions to trade, taxation of foods, and requests for bans on other substances) and were not considered. We reviewed all comments that were submitted to the docket before arriving at the decision outlined in this order.

    We have arranged comments and our responses by topic throughout the remainder of this document. To make it easier to identify the comments and our responses, the word “Comment,” in parentheses, appears before the comment's description and the word “Response,” in parentheses, appears before FDA's response. Each comment is numbered to help distinguish between different comments. The number assigned to each comment is purely for organizational purposes and does not signify the comment's value or importance.

    The major provisions of this order are:

    • PHOs are not GRAS for any use in human food.

    • Any interested party may seek food additive approval for one or more specific uses of PHOs with data demonstrating a reasonable certainty of no harm of the proposed use(s).

    • For the purposes of this declaratory order, FDA is defining PHOs as those fats and oils that have been hydrogenated, but not to complete or near complete saturation, and with an iodine value (IV) greater than 4.

    • FDA is establishing a compliance date of June 18, 2018.

    II. Definitions and Scope, and Related Comments With FDA Responses

    (Comment 1) Some comments requested that we define PHOs and clearly delineate them from FHOs. The comments suggested various parameters for defining these fats and oils, including setting a specification for trans fat content (e.g., a percentage) or using iodine value (IV; also interchangeably called iodine number).

    (Response) FDA agrees with the comments that we should define PHOs to differentiate them from FHOs, which are outside the scope of this order. When a fat or oil is hydrogenated, the degree of hydrogenation can be tailored to obtain the desired properties for the application. FHOs are produced by allowing the hydrogenation process to proceed to complete or near complete saturation to obtain a more solid fat. In practice, the reaction does not proceed to 100 percent completion, even when producing FHOs, and some degree of unsaturation unavoidably remains in the final fat or oil. Non-hydrogenated refined fats and oils generally contain trans fatty acids as an unavoidable impurity as a result of high-temperature processing, at levels typically below 2 percent (Ref. 2). The IV of a fat or oil is not a direct measure of the TFA content, but is a measure of the degree of unsaturation. Thus, in a fat or oil that has been hydrogenated, a low degree of unsaturation (i.e., a low IV number) will correlate to a low level of TFA. FHOs with an IV of 4 or less generally contain trans fat at levels similar to non-hydrogenated refined fats and oils (less than 2 percent). By contrast, when the hydrogenation process is arrested before near complete saturation, trans fat content is typically higher, and IV is typically greater than 4.

    Based on data for FHOs that are currently available on the market, which are indicative of modern hydrogenation technology (Ref. 16), we define FHOs for the purposes of this order as fats and oils that have been hydrogenated to complete or near complete saturation, and with an IV of 4 or less, as determined by a method that is suitable for this analysis (e.g., ISO 3961 or equivalent). FHOs are outside the scope of this order. For the purposes of this order, we define PHOs as fats and oils that have been hydrogenated, but not to complete or near complete saturation, and with an IV greater than 4 as determined by a method that is suitable for this analysis (e.g., ISO 3961 or equivalent). These definitions will ensure that IP-TFA content in the food supply will be kept to the minimum amount feasible with current technology, except as otherwise authorized.

    (Comment 2) We received several comments requesting clarification on the scope of FDA's tentative determination, including whether it applies only to PHOs used in human food; whether it applies to ingredients that contain only naturally occurring trans fat, such as those ingredients derived from ruminant sources; and whether it applies to conjugated linoleic acid. We also received a citizen petition (discussed in section V) raising questions related to partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin.

    (Response) FDA wishes to clarify that this order applies only to PHOs used in human food, not animal feed, and applies to PHOs used as a food ingredient, which includes those uses sometimes considered processing aids or food contact substances (e.g., pan-release agents). By contrast, the use of PHOs as raw materials used to synthesize other ingredients is outside the scope of this order. We do not have specific information on the intake of industrially-produced trans fat from this source. There is no requirement that materials used to make food ingredients be GRAS themselves; rather, the resultant food ingredient must be safe for the intended conditions of use. The use of PHOs as raw materials to make other food ingredients may result in the incorporation of industrially-produced trans fats into those ingredients. When ingredients are synthesized using PHOs, and the ingredient is being used on the basis of a GRAS self-determination, reevaluation of such a determination may be appropriate in light of the health effects from the intake of trans fat that underlie our determination that PHOs do not meet the GRAS standard.

    This order does not apply to ingredients that contain only naturally occurring trans fat, such as those ingredients derived from ruminant sources.

    This order does not apply to the use of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as a food ingredient. CLA does not fit the definition of PHO. CLAs are a class of fatty acid isomers derived from linoleic acid and do not contain nonconjugated double bonds in a trans configuration nor are CLAs triglyceride molecules. On the other hand, PHOs are primarily mixtures of triglycerides, produced by partial hydrogenation and include at least one nonconjugated double bond(s) in a trans configuration (Ref. 16). Considering CLA to be distinct from PHOs is consistent with how FDA has previously defined trans fatty acids for nutrition labeling purposes, focusing on the presence of nonconjugated bond(s) in a trans configuration (see § 101.9(c)(2)(ii) (21 CFR 101.9(c)(2)(ii))).

    This order also does not apply to the use of partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin. Partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin does not fit the definition of PHO. Partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin is composed of resin acids that are chemically and structurally distinct from fatty acids found in PHOs. Resin acids are terpene-derived aromatic compounds that do not have long chain fatty acid components with cis/trans double bonds (Ref. 16).

    III. Discussion of Legal Issues, and Related Comments With FDA Responses A. GRAS

    Section 409 of the FD&C Act provides that a food additive is unsafe unless it is used in accordance with conditions set forth in that section. “Food additive” is defined by section 201(s) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 321(s)) as any substance the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristics of any food, if such substance is not GRAS or otherwise excluded from the definition. Certain other substances that may become components of food are also excluded from the statutory definition of food additive, including pesticide chemicals and their residues, new animal drugs, color additives, and dietary ingredients in dietary supplements (section 201(s)(1) through (6) of the FD&C Act).

    A substance is GRAS if it is generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate its safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures (or, in the case of a substance used in food prior to January 1, 1958, through either scientific procedures or experience based on common use in food) to be safe under the conditions of its intended use (section 201(s) of the FD&C Act). However, history of use prior to 1958 is not sufficient to support continued GRAS status if new evidence demonstrates that there is no longer a consensus that an ingredient is safe. See § 170.30(l) (21 CFR 170.30(l)) (“New information may at any time require reconsideration of the GRAS status of a food ingredient.”).

    FDA has defined safe as “a reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use” (§ 170.3(i) (21 CFR 170.3(i)), and general recognition of safety must be based only on the views of qualified experts (21 CFR 170.30(a)). To establish general recognition of safety, there must be a consensus of expert opinion regarding the safety of the use of the substance. See, e.g., United States v. Western Serum Co., Inc., 666 F.2d 335, 338 (9th Cir. 1982) (citing Weinberger v. Hynson, Westcott & Dunning, 412 U.S. 609, 629-32 (1973)). General recognition of safety does not require unanimous agreement. See, e.g., United States v. Articles of Drug * * * 5,906 boxes, 745 F.2d 105, 119 n. 22 (1st Cir. 1984); United States v. Articles of Food and Drug (Coli-Trol 80), 518 F.2d 743, 746 (5th Cir. 1975) (“What is required is not unanimous recognition but general recognition.”); United States v. Articles of Drug * * * Promise Toothpaste, 624 F. Supp. 776, at 782-3 (N.D. Ill. 1985) (“There is nothing in the statute to indicate that Congress intended `generally recognized' in other than its commonly understood meaning. The adverb, `generally,' is defined, inter alia, to mean . . . extensively, though not universally” (internal quotations omitted)). Conversely, general recognition of safety does not exist if there is a lack of consensus among qualified experts that the use of a substance is safe. See, e.g., Coli-Trol 80, 518 F.2d at 746 (no general recognition of safety where there was “no recognition of the safety . . . of these products at all”); Premo Pharmaceutical Laboratories v. United States, 629 F.2d 795, 803-4 (2nd Cir. 1980) (“genuine dispute among qualified experts” precludes finding of general recognition, and no general recognition existed as a matter of law where there was a “sharp difference” of expert opinion); United States v. Article of Food * * * Coco Rico, 752 F.2d 11, 15 n 6 (1st Cir. 1985) (substance was not GRAS as a matter of law based on existence of “genuine dispute among qualified experts” regarding safety of use); Promise Toothpaste, 624 F. Supp. at 783 (court could not conclude whether a “genuine dispute” existed without considering the substance of the experts' opinions, such that a triable issue of fact existed regarding general recognition). See also United States v. Articles of Drug * * * 5,906 Boxes, 745 F.2d 105, 119 n. 22 (1st Cir. 1984) (noting certain cases in which lack of general recognition was established as a matter of law and others in which there was a triable issue of fact regarding general recognition).

    Importantly, the GRAS status of a specific use of a particular substance in food may change as knowledge changes. For example, as new scientific data and information develop about a substance or the understanding of the consequences of consumption of a substance evolves, expert opinion regarding the safety of a substance for a particular use may change such that there is no longer a consensus that the specific use is safe. The fact that the status of the use of a substance under section 201(s) of the FD&C Act may evolve over time is the underlying basis for FDA's regulation at § 170.38, which provides, in part, that we may, on our own initiative, propose to determine that a substance is not GRAS. (See generally 37 FR 6207 (March 25, 1972) (proposal of 21 CFR 121.41, the predecessor of § 170.38); 37 FR 25705 (December 2, 1972) (issuance of 21 CFR 121.41); 35 FR 18623 (December 8, 1970) (proposal of 21 CFR 121.3, the predecessor of § 170.30); and 36 FR 12093 (June 25, 1971) (issuance of 21 CFR 121.3)). Further, as stated in section I, history of the safe use of a substance in food prior to 1958 is not sufficient to support continued GRAS status if new evidence demonstrates that there is no longer expert consensus that an ingredient is safe (§ 170.30(l)).

    As noted in section III.A, under section 201(s) of the FD&C Act, a substance that is GRAS for a particular use in food is not a food additive, and may lawfully be utilized for that use without FDA review or approval. Currently, a GRAS determination may be made when the manufacturer or user of a food substance evaluates the safety of the substance and the views of qualified experts and determines that the use of the substance is GRAS. This approach is commonly referred to as “GRAS self-determination” or “independent GRAS determination.”

    Other substances that are GRAS may be identified in FDA regulations in one of two ways. Following the passage of the 1958 Food Additives Amendment, we established in our regulations a list of food substances that, when used as indicated, are considered GRAS. We made clear that this was not a comprehensive list. This list (commonly referred to as the “GRAS list”) now appears at 21 CFR part 182. Thereafter, in 1972, we established the GRAS affirmation process through which we affirmed, through notice and comment rulemaking, the GRAS status of particular uses of certain substances in food. Regulations affirming the GRAS status of certain substances appear at 21 CFR parts 184 and 186. (As a general matter, we no longer affirm the GRAS status of substances through notice-and-comment rulemaking. In April 1997, we proposed to replace the voluntary GRAS affirmation petition process with a voluntary GRAS notification program, which would not involve rulemaking (62 FR 18938 (April 17, 1997)). At the time of the proposal, we initiated a pilot of the GRAS notification program, which continues to function. A firm may voluntarily submit information on a GRAS self-determination to FDA for review through the GRAS notification program, but is not required to do so.)

    FDA received numerous comments on our tentative determination. Many related to the GRAS standard and what is needed to demonstrate that a substance is not GRAS. Many comments agreed with our determination that there is not a consensus among qualified experts that PHOs are safe for use in human food. However, there were also many comments that disagreed with FDA's tentative determination and stated that we did not adequately demonstrate that PHOs are not GRAS.

    (Comment 3) Some comments stated that FDA must show a “severe conflict” among experts about the safety of a substance in order to determine that PHOs are not GRAS.

    (Response) FDA disagrees that “severe conflict” is the relevant standard. As discussed in section III.A, general recognition of safety does not exist if there is a lack of consensus among qualified experts that the use of a substance is safe. We have considered all available information and determined that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that PHOs are safe for human consumption. To the extent there is disagreement among qualified experts about the safety of PHOs for human consumption, this genuine dispute regarding safety precludes a finding of GRAS.

    (Comment 4) Some comments focused on the idea that it may be possible to establish a threshold below which PHOs may be safely used in the food supply. One comment argued that there is no consensus among experts that PHOs are unsafe below some low threshold level of use.

    (Response) As discussed later in section IV.B.1, FDA does not agree that such a threshold has been identified based on the available science. Importantly, even if such a threshold could be identified, this alone would not meet the requirement of “general recognition” for uses below the threshold without there also being consensus among qualified experts that uses below the threshold are safe. (See United States v. 7 Cartons, 293 F. Supp. 660, 663 (S.D. Ill. 1968) (“an inference that safety might be shown by scientific testing and procedures” is insufficient as a matter of law to demonstrate general recognition of safety), affirmed in relevant part, 424 F.2d 1364 (7th Cir. 1970).) FDA has no basis to conclude that there is any such consensus. FDA has previously revoked GRAS status under similar circumstances (51 FR 25021 at 25023, July 9, 1986; revoking GRAS status of sulfiting agents on fruits and vegetables intended to be served or sold raw to consumers; explaining that it was not possible to set a threshold for safe use based on available information). Moreover, we need not determine that there is a consensus that low level uses are unsafe to find that PHOs are not GRAS at low levels; we need only determine that based on available scientific evidence there is not a consensus among qualified experts that such uses are safe, as we do here. We acknowledge that scientific knowledge advances and evolves over time. We encourage submission of scientific evidence as part of food additive petitions under section 409 of the FD&C Act for one or more specific uses of PHOs for which industry or other interested individuals believe that safe conditions of use may be prescribed. We are establishing a compliance date of June 18, 2018 for this order to allow time for such petitions and their review.

    (Comment 5) One comment stated that FDA must demonstrate that each and every PHO, and every use of PHOs, is not safe.

    (Response) FDA disagrees. FDA need not demonstrate that PHOs are unsafe to determine that they are not GRAS, only that there is a lack of consensus among qualified experts regarding their safety. In addition, our consideration of PHOs as a class is justified because the available, relevant scientific evidence demonstrates an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) attributable to trans fat (see section VI.B); PHOs are the primary dietary source of IP-TFA; and there is a lack of consensus among qualified experts that PHOs are safe for use in food at any level.

    (Comment 6) Some comments stated that, by determining that the use of PHOs are not GRAS because they contain a nutrient that increases risk of CHD, FDA would be calling into question the regulatory status of other food sources of trans fat.

    (Response) FDA disagrees. As noted in section II, this order does not apply to ingredients that contain naturally occurring trans fat (such as those ingredients derived from ruminant sources), fully hydrogenated oils, or edible oils that contain IP-TFA as an impurity. FDA has considered the available information and concluded that there is a lack of consensus among qualified experts that PHOs, as the primary dietary source of IP-TFA, are safe for use in human food. We may determine that the use of an artificial substance is not GRAS without necessarily making the same determination about naturally-occurring versions of the substance. (See, e.g., 35 FR 7414 (May 13, 1970) (Rescinding letters that had expressed opinions that certain uses of glycine and its salts are GRAS, and stating that such added substances are no longer GRAS in human food); 37 FR 6938 (April 6, 1972) (Amino Acids in Food for Human Consumption; Proposed Conditions of Safe Use in Food and Deletion From GRAS List) (“[T]he mere natural presence of an amino acid in unprocessed foods in free or combined (as protein) form does not qualify it as safe for addition in a pure form as a component of a formulated or processed food”), 38 FR 20036 (July 26, 1973) (Amino Acids in Food for Human Consumption; Conditions of Safe Use in Food and Deletion From GRAS List); 47 FR 22545 (May 25, 1982) (Cinnamyl Anthranilate; Proposed Prohibition of Use in Human Food) (acknowledging “the presence of other cinnamyl and anthranilate derivatives naturally in food and in natural substances used to flavor food” but proposing to prohibit only cinnamyl anthranilate); 50 FR 42929 (October 23, 1985) (Cinnamyl Anthranilate; Prohibition of Use in Human Food)).

    (Comment 7) One comment stated that Congress, through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA) (Pub. L. 101-535), prescribed labeling as the sole vehicle for achieving the nutritional policy objective of shifting dietary patterns to reduce the risk of multifactorial chronic diseases such as CHD. The comment argued that FDA's use of its food additive authority with respect to PHOs and their effect on risk of CHD is not within FDA's legal authority. Some comments characterized the tentative determination as a new approach or a change in interpretation, arguing that FDA has not previously addressed health concerns related to nutrient intake through the FD&C Act's food additive provisions. In support of the argument that FDA has changed its interpretation of the applicability of the food additive provisions of the FD&C Act, one comment cited a statement by FDA in rulemaking regarding health claims that “where the only safety issue is an increased risk of chronic disease from excessive consumption, the safety provisions of the act would not provide regulatory sanctions against such components of food, at least if they have not been added to foods” (58 FR 2478 at 2490 (January 6, 1993)).

    (Response) FDA disagrees with these comments. FDA may properly address such health risks using the food additive authorities in the FD&C Act (sections 201(s), 409, and 402(a)(2)(C) of the FD&C Act). The broad language of the food additive definition in section 201(s) of the FD&C Act covers “any substance” added to food, including nutrients. Nothing in the FD&C Act or its legislative history suggests that the food additive definition should be interpreted in a way that limits its applicability as the comment suggests. On the contrary, the legislative history of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 (Pub. L. 85-929) emphasizes the broad applicability of sections 201(s), 409, and 402(a)(2)(C) of the FD&C Act, which apply to “any substances the ingestion of which reasonable people would expect to produce not just cancer but any disease or disability” (S. Rep. No. 2422, at 11 (1958), as reprinted in Vol. 14, Legislative History of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act and its Amendments, at 923 (1979)). In fact, we have previously taken action regarding health risks related to nutrients using these authorities (55 FR 50777 (December 10, 1990) (determining certain Vitamin K Active Substances not GRAS); and 38 FR 20036 (July 26, 1973) (establishing conditions of safe use for amino acids for nutritive purposes and deleting them from GRAS list)). We also have previously applied these authorities to substances presenting increased health risks related to chronic multifactorial diseases, such as cancer (50 FR 42929 (October 23, 1985) (prohibiting use of cinnamyl anthranilate in food); and 34 FR 17063 (October 21, 1969) (prohibiting use of cyclamates in food)).

    With respect to the comment citing a statement from a final rule on health claims, FDA does not agree that this statement shows any change in FDA's position, as it was explicitly limited to situations that did not meet the food additive definition because the components discussed “have not been added to foods.” The statement is consistent with FDA's current understanding of the law.

    Moreover, FDA disagrees with the argument that FDA must address health risks related to PHOs through food labeling requirements rather than through the food additive provisions of the FD&C Act. The NLEA amended the FD&C Act to provide, among other things, for certain nutrients and food components to be included in nutrition labeling. Section 403(q)(2)(A) and (q)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(2)(A) and (q)(2)(B)) of the FD&C Act state that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) (and, by delegation, FDA) can, by regulation, add or delete nutrients included in the food label or labeling if he or she finds such action necessary to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices. We have used this authority to require labeling of trans fat content (68 FR 41434 (July 11, 2003); see also § 101.9(c)(2)(ii) and § 101.36(b)(2)(i)) (21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(i)). Although we may further address trans fat through labeling requirements in the future, labeling is not the only method by which we may address health risks related to trans fats, and more specifically health risks related to PHOs, the primary dietary source of IP-TFA. Nothing in the NLEA suggested that its passage limited the preexisting food additive provisions in the FD&C Act, or that the food additive provisions did not apply to nutrients and chronic multifactorial disease under appropriate circumstances. On the contrary, as the comment noted, the NLEA contained a clause stating that “[t]he amendments made by this Act shall not be construed to alter the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services . . . under the [FD&C Act]” (NLEA section 9).

    The FD&C Act's nutrition labeling and food additive provisions are two different kinds of authority, with different standards, and we may choose among available approaches to a public health problem when the FD&C Act provides multiple options. See, e.g., Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837, 865-6 (1984) (“While agencies are not directly accountable to the people, the Chief Executive is, and it is entirely appropriate for this political branch of the Government to make such policy choices—resolving the competing interests which Congress itself either inadvertently did not resolve, or intentionally left to be resolved by the agency charged with the administration of the statute in light of everyday realities”); United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 227 (2001) (“agencies charged with applying a statute necessarily make all sorts of interpretive choices”). There is no “conflict” between the FD&C Act's nutrition labeling provisions and food additive provisions as the comment suggests. It is also worth noting that we have previously determined that a use of a substance is not GRAS while rejecting a labeling-based approach to the health risks presented by that use (51 FR 25021 (July 9, 1986) (final rule revoking GRAS status of sulfiting agents on fruits and vegetables intended to be served or sold raw to consumers); and 50 FR 32830 (August 14, 1985) (proposal to revoke GRAS status of sulfiting agents on fruits and vegetables intended to be served or sold raw to consumers)).

    (Comment 8) Some comments stated that the expert panels we cited in the tentative determination (i.e., the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences (IOM/NAS), American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, World Health Organization, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the FDA Food Advisory Committee Nutrition Subcommittee) were not experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety of substances in food. The comments also stated that these expert panels were not convened for the purposes of evaluating the safety of PHOs and did not make determinations regarding the GRAS status of PHOs. Therefore, the comments argued that the conclusions of these panels do not demonstrate a lack of consensus among qualified experts that PHOs are GRAS.

    (Response) FDA disagrees with these comments. The expert panels we cited were composed of scientists qualified by relevant training and experience to review literature on trans fat consumption, because of their nationally recognized and established expertise in the area of food and nutrition. For example, the Food and Nutrition Board at IOM/NAS is a recognized national resource for recommendations on health issues, and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee members are nationally recognized experts in nutrition and health. These panels' evaluations and conclusions raised significant questions about the safety of trans fat, thus showing that there is no consensus among qualified scientific experts that PHOs are safe, because PHOs are the primary dietary source of IP-TFA. The safety information reviewed by the panels is further discussed in section IV.B.2. We consider that the conclusions of the panels demonstrate that there is a “lack of the proper reputation . . . for safety of the food additive among the appropriate experts.” Coli-Trol 80, 518 F.2d at 746. Further, whether the panels were convened specifically to make a GRAS determination is irrelevant; the purpose of the panels was to review the available data on health risks associated with consumption of trans fat. Moreover, the expert panel conclusions are not the only evidence upon which we rely for this determination, and conclusions of an expert panel are not required to establish general recognition of safety or its absence.

    (Comment 9) Several comments stated that the expert panels we cited considered nutritional science and not safety.

    (Response) FDA disagrees that the panels were not considering safety data; panels were considering data from controlled trials and observational studies on trans fat consumption that showed adverse effects on risk factors (e.g., effects on cholesterol) and increased risk of CHD (see section IV.B.2 for further discussion on expert panel reviews). As discussed in more detail in section III.A, FDA regulations define “safe” as “a reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use” (§ 170.3(i)), and data showing a potential relationship between a nutrient (or any other substance added to food) and disease are safety data. Studies reviewed by expert panels showed that trans fatty acids cause significant health risks. Such studies are safety data.

    (Comment 10) One comment stated that FDA should hold the manufacturer initially introducing the food or ingredient into interstate commerce responsible for compliance with a determination that PHOs are not GRAS, and that distributors should not be responsible for determining whether foods they merely distribute contain PHOs.

    (Response) Although we are mindful of the need to focus our enforcement efforts, those needs do not change the underlying law or FDA's legal authority. Food that is adulterated may be subject to seizure and distributors, manufacturers, and other parties responsible for such food may be subject to injunction. We recognize that manufacturers who have previously added PHO to food, rather than other parties such as distributors who merely receive and sell finished foods, are the members of the food industry who will be most directly affected by this order, and we intend to focus our outreach and enforcement resources accordingly. However, we remind distributors and other members of the food industry that they have an obligation to ensure that the food they manufacture, distribute, sell, or otherwise market complies with the FD&C Act.

    (Comment 11) Some comments requested that FDA take a position regarding the effect of this order on state and local laws regarding PHOs.

    (Response) There is no statutory provision in the FD&C Act providing for express preemption of any state or local law prohibiting or limiting use of PHOs in food, including state or local legislative requirements or common law duties. As with any Federal requirement, if a State or local law requirement makes compliance with both Federal law and State or local law impossible, or would frustrate Federal objectives, the State or local requirement would be preempted. See Wyeth v. Levine, 555 U.S. 555 (2009); Geier v. American Honda Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000); English v. General Electric Co., 496 U.S. 72, 79 (1990), Florida Lime & Avocado Growers, Inc., 373 U.S. 132, 142-143 (1963); Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 67 (1941). We decline to take a position regarding the potential for implied preemptive effect of this order on any specific state or local law; as such matters must be analyzed with respect to the specific relationship between the state or local law and the federal law. FDA believes, however, that state or local laws that prohibit or limit use of PHOs in food are not likely to be in conflict with federal law, or to frustrate federal objectives.

    B. Prior Sanctions

    We stated in our tentative determination that we were not aware that FDA or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had granted any explicit approval for any use of PHOs in food prior to the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the FD&C Act, and requested comments on whether there was knowledge of an applicable prior sanction for the use of PHOs in food (78 FR 67169 at 67174). We received various comments on this topic. We are not making a determination regarding the existence of any prior sanctions for uses of PHO in this order. This order is limited to our determination regarding the GRAS status of PHOs. We intend to address any claims of prior sanction in a future action.

    C. Procedural Requirements

    Under 5 U.S.C. 554(e) (section 5(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)), an agency, “in its sound discretion, may issue a declaratory order to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty.” The APA defines “order” as “the whole or a part of a final disposition, whether affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory in form, of an agency in a matter other than rulemaking but including licensing” (5 U.S.C. 551(6)). The APA defines “adjudication” as “agency process for the formulation of an order” (5 U.S.C. 551(7)).

    FDA's regulations, consistent with the APA, define “order” to mean “the final agency disposition, other than the issuance of a regulation, in a proceeding concerning any matter . . .” (§ 10.3(a) (21 CFR 10.3(a)). Our regulations also define “proceeding and administrative proceeding” to mean “any undertaking to issue, amend, or revoke a regulation or order, or to take or not to take any other form of administrative action, under the laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration” (§ 10.3(a)). Moreover, our regulations establish that the Commissioner may initiate an administrative proceeding to issue, amend, or revoke an order (21 CFR 10.25(b)).

    FDA's regulations also set forth a process by which we, on our own initiative or on the petition of an interested person, may determine that a substance is not GRAS. Specifically, FDA may initiate this process by issuing a notice in the Federal Register proposing to determine that a substance is not GRAS and is a food additive subject to section 409 of the FD&C Act (§ 170.38(b)). The notice must allow a period of 60 days for comment. If, after review of comments, FDA determines that there is a lack of convincing evidence that a substance is GRAS or is otherwise exempt from the definition of a food additive in section 201(s) of the FD&C Act, FDA will publish a notice thereof in the Federal Register (§ 170.38(b)(3)). Such a notice “shall provide for the use of the additive in food or food contact surfaces as follows: (1) It may promulgate a food additive regulation governing use of the additive[;] (2) It may promulgate an interim food additive regulation governing use of the additive[;] (3) It may require discontinuation of the use of the additive[;] (4) It may adopt any combination of the above three approaches for different uses or levels of use of the additive” (§ 170.38(c)).

    On our own initiative, we began an administrative proceeding to formulate a 5 U.S.C. 554(e) declaratory order to remove uncertainty regarding the GRAS status of PHOs. Accordingly, we published a notice in the Federal Register, consistent with § 170.38(b), communicating our tentative determination that PHOs are no longer GRAS for any use in food, and allowed 60 days for comments (78 FR 67169 (November 8, 2013)). We later extended the comment period for an additional 60 days (78 FR 79701 (December 31, 2013)).

    In the tentative determination, FDA noted that two PHOs had been affirmed by regulation as GRAS for use in food (78 FR 67169 at 67171; the partially hydrogenated versions of low erucic acid rapeseed oil (LEAR oil; § 184.1555(c)(2)) and menhaden oil (§ 184.1472(b)). We also noted that the nature of some of the products for which there are standards of identity is such that PHOs historically have been used in their manufacture in conformance with those standards (78 FR 67169 at 67171). However, we also noted that no food standard of identity requires the use of PHOs and, therefore, industry's ability to comply with any standard would not be prevented by a change in the regulatory status of PHOs. As discussed in section III.B, two standards of identity explicitly mention PHOs in allowing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil as an optional ingredient; the standards of identity for peanut butter (§ 164.150 (21 CFR 164.150)) and canned tuna (§ 161.190 (21 CFR 161.190)). Because these standards do not require the use of PHOs, industry's ability to comply with them would not be prevented by a change in the regulatory status of PHOs. In addition, our labeling regulations explicitly address ingredient designations for PHOs (§ 101.4(b)(14) (21 CFR 101.4(b)(14))).

    This final determination is a 5 U.S.C. 554(e) declaratory order regarding the status of PHOs. Consistent with § 170.38(b)(3), we have reviewed the comments received and determined that there is a lack of convincing evidence that PHOs are GRAS. Thus, consistent with § 170.38(c)(3), we are publishing a notice thereof in the Federal Register that requires discontinuation of the use of these additives. Moreover, we are providing advance notice of our intention to undertake rulemaking with respect to the uses of PHOs explicitly permitted for use by regulation and other conforming changes.

    (Comment 12) Some comments argued that FDA must determine the GRAS status of PHOs through notice-and-comment rulemaking.

    (Response) FDA agrees that we must conduct rulemaking to revise §§ 184.1555(c)(2) and 184.1472(b), which explicitly permit the use of partially hydrogenated LEAR oil and partially hydrogenated menhaden oil, respectively. FDA will also consider taking further action to revise regulations regarding the standards of identity for peanut butter (§ 164.150(c)) and canned tuna (§ 161.190(a)(6)(viii)), the regulation regarding ingredient designations for PHOs (§ 101.4(b)(14)), and nutrition labeling regulations regarding trans fats (§§ 101.9(c)(2)(ii) and 101.36(b)(2)(i)). We note that although trans fat does occur naturally in some product groups such as dairy foods, it is only likely to be present at levels at or above 0.5 g per serving in products containing PHOs.

    We do not agree that we must determine the GRAS status of PHOs generally via rulemaking. FDA may properly make such a determination in an order, as we have chosen to do here. This is not the first time FDA has issued a declaratory order when determining that a substance is not GRAS and is a food additive. See 55 FR 50777, 50778 (Declaratory Order regarding Vitamin K Active Substances in Animal Food, issued under 21 CFR 570.38, the regulation for animal food that parallels § 170.38 for human food).

    We have authority to administer the statutory provisions of the FD&C Act that are most relevant to this determination, namely, are sections 201(s), 402(a)(2)(C), and 409 of the FD&C Act. Section 201(s) of the FD&C Act defines a food additive, in part, as a substance that is not GRAS, and section 402(a)(2)(C) of the FD&C Act establishes that food bearing or containing a food additive that is unsafe within the meaning of section 409 of the FD&C Act is adulterated. Section 409 of the FD&C Act establishes that a food additive is unsafe for the purposes of section 402(a)(2)(C) of the FD&C Act (and therefore adulterated) unless certain criteria are met, such as conformance with a regulation prescribing the conditions under which the additive may be safely used. Section 409 of the FD&C Act also sets forth a process by which we administer the review of food additive petitions and may establish regulations prescribing conditions of safe use for such additives. Thus, we have explicit statutory authority to review, approve, and deny food additive petitions.

    Because it is necessary to determine whether the use of a substance is GRAS as part of identifying it as a food additive, it is implicit in this statutory structure that we also have the authority to determine whether the use of a substance is, or is not, GRAS. The statute does not explicitly provide the procedure we must use to make such determinations. Thus, we may choose to use either rulemaking or adjudication. “The choice between rule-making or declaratory order is primarily one for the agency regardless of whether the decision may affect policy and have general prospective application.” (See Viacom v. FCC, 672 F.2d 1034, 1042 (2nd Cir. 1982). See also SEC v. Chenery, 332 U.S. 194, 203 (1947); NLRB v. Wyman-Gordon Co., 394 U.S. 759 (1969); NLRB v. Bell Aerospace Co., 416 U.S. 267, 294 (1974); Almy v. Sebelius, 679 F.3d 297, 303 (4th Cir. 2012); City of Arlington, Texas v. FCC, 133 S. Ct. 1863, 1874 (2013); Qwest Servs. Corp. v. FCC, 509 F.3d 531, 536-37 (D.C. Cir. 2007) (“Most norms that emerge from a rulemaking are equally capable of emerging (legitimately) from an adjudication, and accordingly agencies have very broad discretion whether to proceed by way of adjudication or rulemaking” (internal citations and quotations omitted)).

    Determining that PHOs are no longer GRAS for use in human food in a declaratory order issued as a product of informal adjudication is well within FDA's discretion under the FD&C Act and the APA. Whether PHOs are GRAS for use in human food is a “concrete and narrow question[] of law the resolution[] of which would have an immediate and determinable impact on specific factual scenarios” (City of Arlington v. FCC, 668 F.3d 229, 243 (5th Cir. 2012)). (See also Qwest Servs. Corp., 509 F.3d at 536-37; Chisholm v. FCC, 538 F.2d 349, 364-66 (D.C. Cir. 1976); American Bar Association, A Guide to Federal Agency Adjudication 8 (Jeffrey B. Litwak, ed., 2012) (Agency order to withdraw certain food from the market, which has particular applicability and future effect, provided as an example of adjudication)). We are issuing this declaratory order to remove uncertainty as to the status of PHOs as food additives. The order is a product of an informal adjudication that included notice to affected parties via publication of the tentative determination in the Federal Register and an opportunity for affected parties to be heard by submitting comments to the Agency. Such procedures are appropriate for the formulation of declaratory orders. (See, e.g., Weinberger v. Hynson, Westcott and Dunning Inc., 412 U.S. 609, 626 (1973); American Airlines v. Dep't. of Transportation, 202 F.3d 788, 796-797 (5th Cir. 2000). See also Lubbers, Jeffrey S. and Blake D. Morant, A Reexamination of Federal Agency Use of Declaratory Orders, 56 Admin. L. Rev. 1097, 1112-1114 (2004) and cases cited therein). Moreover, “adjudicatory decisions are not subject to the APA's notice-and-comment requirements” (Blanca Telephone Co. v. FCC, 743 F.3d 860 (D.C. Cir. 2014)).

    Issuance of a declaratory order is also consistent with our regulations (§ 170.38(c)(3)), which provide that we may publish a notice in the Federal Register that requires discontinuation of the use of these additives, and do not specify that we must do so through rulemaking. Notably, other subsections of § 170.38(c) mention promulgation of regulations, but § 170.38(c)(3), providing for prohibition of use, does not. Moreover, when we make a determination under § 170.38 that a substance is not GRAS, we must take one (or a combination) of the actions listed in § 170.38(c). See Heterochemical Corp. v. FDA, 741 F. Supp. 382, 384 (E. D. N.Y. 1990).

    The purpose of a declaratory order is “to develop predictability in the law by authorizing binding determinations which dispose of legal controversies without the necessity of any party's acting at his peril upon his own view” (U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act (1947) at 59, reprinted in Federal Administrative Procedure Sourcebook (William F. Funk et al. ed., ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice 3rd ed. 2000)). Members of industry are not, as some comments suggested, faced with a choice between complying with a non-binding statement of policy and facing enforcement action. This is not a statement of policy. This declaratory order has the force and effect of law.

    (Comment 13) Some comments assumed that this order was a statement of policy, and, on that basis, argued that this action violates Due Process requirements.

    (Response) As explained in our response to comment 10, that assumption is incorrect. Further, FDA's order and the process used in its formulation raise no Due Process concern.

    (Comment 14) Some comments argued that FDA did not conduct a full Regulatory Impact Analysis in issuing the tentative determination.

    (Response) As discussed previously in this section, this final determination is a declaratory order issued as the result of informal adjudication to remove uncertainty regarding the status of PHOs. We have prepared a memorandum (Ref. 17) updating our previous estimate of economic impact published in the November 2013 notice, using information available to us as well as information we received during the comment period. See discussion in section VII. Further, we have stated our intention to conduct rulemaking regarding uses of PHOs in our existing regulations, and such rulemakings will be subject to the procedural requirements pertaining to rulemaking.

    (Comment 15) One comment stated that FDA must provide a more detailed justification for this action than what was provided in the tentative determination because it is a change in FDA's position regarding PHOs and industry has a substantial reliance interest in the GRAS status of PHOs.

    (Response) In the tentative determination (78 FR 67169 at 67172) and in this order, FDA has explained the factual findings supporting this action in detail. In section IV.B, we describe how the scientific evidence, and consensus among qualified experts regarding the safety of PHOs, has changed over time. We are not changing our interpretation of the GRAS standard or the relevant regulations. We are determining that PHOs are no longer GRAS by applying the GRAS standard to current scientific evidence and the views of qualified experts about the safety of PHOs. Moreover, reliance interests are implicated whenever FDA makes a determination that removes a substance from the food supply that has been previously used in food. FDA is aware of such concerns; however, the statutory standard for GRAS does not allow FDA to consider the extent to which industry has relied on GRAS uses of a substance. We encourage industry to submit food additive petitions under section 409 of the FD&C Act if industry believes that it is possible to establish, by regulation, safe conditions of use of PHOs. We are establishing a compliance date of June 18, 2018 for this order to allow time for submission of such petitions and their review and approval, if applicable requirements are met.

    IV. Discussion of Scientific Issues, and Related Comments With FDA Responses A. Intake Assessment

    In the November 2013 notice, we discussed dietary intake of trans fat from PHOs, estimated in 2010 and updated in 2012 (78 FR 67169 at 67171). The intake assessment was done for four reasons: (1) To determine the impact of the 2003 labeling rule and subsequent reformulations; (2) to assist in our review of the citizen petitions, which are discussed in section V; (3) to consider strategies for further trans fat reduction, if warranted; and (4) to better understand the current uses of PHOs and identify products that still contain high levels of trans fat. Our determination regarding the GRAS status of PHOs relies on an analysis of whether PHOs meet the GRAS standard based on available scientific evidence; the intake assessment was not the basis for this determination.

    In 2012, we estimated the mean trans fat intake from the use of PHOs to be 1.0 grams per person per day (g/p/d; 0.5 percent of energy based on a 2,000 calorie diet 1 ) for the U.S. population aged 2 years or more. We also estimated intake for high-level consumers (represented by intake at the 90th percentile), as well as a “high-intake” scenario that assumed consumers consistently chose products with the highest trans fat levels. We received a number of comments on our intake assessment, including comments on assumptions, methodology, and recommendations for future studies.

    1 (1.0 g/p/d × 9 kcal/g × 100)/2,000 kcal/d = 0.5% of energy.

    (Comment 16) One comment challenged FDA's statement that intake of trans fat did not significantly change between 2010 and 2012. The comment indicated that the intake of trans fat from the use of PHOs decreased by roughly 23% in that time period due to significant reformulation efforts by the food industry.

    (Response) FDA agrees that a comparison of the assessments from 2010 and 2012 demonstrates that reformulation has occurred and intake has decreased. While the intake estimates did show a 23 percent decrease in trans fat intake between 2010 and 2012 (1.3 g/p/d to 1.0 g/p/d), this change is small compared to the 3.3 g/p/d difference between FDA's intake estimate in the 2003 trans fat labeling final rule of 4.6 g/p/d and the 2010 estimate of 1.3 g/p/d (about a 72 percent decrease). This was the context for the statement in the tentative determination that, “We do not consider this to be a significant change in the overall dietary intake of trans fat since 2010. However, it suggests a continued downward trend in the dietary intake of trans fat.”

    (Comment 17) Many comments stated that a substantial number of products have been reformulated since the 2012 intake assessment and that we should revise our intake assessment for trans fat before issuing our final determination on the GRAS status of PHOs.

    (Response) FDA agrees that reformulation efforts by industry are continuing. However, the 2012 intake assessment was intended to be a snapshot in time and was based on products containing PHOs that were in the market at that time, and was done for the reasons described previously in this section. Given the evidence FDA has reviewed and our determination that PHOs are not GRAS for any use in human food, an updated intake assessment for trans fats from PHOs is not needed at this time. Our determination that PHOs are not GRAS for use in human food does not rely on the intake assessment.

    (Comment 18) Some comments stated that FDA should not use the “high intake scenario” as justification for a determination that PHOs are not GRAS. Related comments stated that the intake for the highest level consumers should be determined directly rather than using worst-case scenario assumptions.

    (Response) FDA disagrees that the high intake assessments provide justification for our determination regarding the GRAS status of PHOs; the determination is based on our assessment of whether any use of PHOs in human food meets the GRAS standard, based on available scientific evidence. Our determination did not rely on the intake assessment.

    (Comment 19) Several comments stated that FDA's estimate did not calculate intake from animal products that contain trans fat, and that FDA should update the intake assessment to include the intake of total trans fat from both ruminant sources and IP-TFA. The comments noted this was necessary to understand if dietary recommendations are being met. One comment indicated that a recent publication suggests that the intake of trans fat from ruminant sources may be decreasing, thereby indicating a more inclusive review of dietary intake of trans fat is warranted. Another comment stated that we did not consider the cumulative effect of trans fat because it did not present data on intake from all sources, including ruminant TFA.

    (Response) Our study was designed to assess trans fat intake from the use of PHOs, because they are the primary source of IP-TFA, and IP-TFA was the focus of the intake assessment. As stated in our tentative determination (78 FR 67169 at 67172), the IOM's recommendation is that trans fat consumption should be kept as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet, recognizing that trans fat occurs naturally in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals and that naturally-occurring trans fat is unavoidable in ordinary, non-vegan diets without significant dietary adjustments that may introduce undesirable effects. Therefore, our intake assessment focused only on trans fat from the use of PHOs, the primary dietary source of IP-TFA, in which trans fat is produced intentionally and is an integral component.

    (Comment 20) One comment urged FDA to reevaluate the intake of trans fat using the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. The comment suggested that the intake of trans fat would be lower if the more recent NHANES data were used because the mandatory labeling rule for trans fat became effective on January 1, 2006.

    (Response) While the 2003-2006 NHANES food consumption data were used in the 2010 and 2012 intake assessments, the levels of trans fat in the food products were determined based on products that were available in the market from 2009 to 2012, therefore capturing trans fat reductions due to product reformulation as a result of the regulation in § 101.9(c)(2)(ii) (effective in 2006) requiring declaration of the trans fat content of food in the nutrition label. The consumption of products in the food categories in which PHOs are used would not be expected to change significantly over a few years because for the most part, foods tend to be commonly consumed with little or no change in consumption patterns over short periods of time. Further, we compared the typical intake of trans fat using the 2003-2006 and 2003-2008 NHANES food consumption data and found that there were no significant differences in the intakes (Ref. 16).

    (Comment 21) Several comments suggested that using a value of 0.4 g trans fat per serving for foods that declared 0 g trans fat on the label, but contained a PHO was an overestimation of intake. One comment stated that this assumption represents 40% of the estimated daily intake of 1.0 g/p/d.

    (Response) FDA disagrees with the comments. For most of the food products that declared 0 g trans fat on the label, but contained a PHO, a level based on analytical data was used. A value of 0.4 g trans fat/serving was used for only 2 percent of all of the food codes included in the intake assessment (Ref. 16). The value of 0.4 g is the amount of trans fat estimated to be in in the food(s) that corresponds to a given food code that was used in the intake assessment, and does not represent a percentage of total estimated intake. As a result, we do not expect that using a lower value would significantly affect the overall estimated intake of trans fat from the use of PHOs. The use of 0.4 g trans fat/serving was reserved for those cases where no other information was available (i.e., analytical data or an appropriate surrogate). Furthermore, while numerically 0.4 g is 40 percent of 1.0 g, it is not appropriate to compare these two parameters. Many factors (i.e., the amount of the particular food consumed, the percent of the population consuming the given food, and the level of trans fat in the particular food) were used to derive the overall estimated trans fat intake.

    (Comment 22) One comment suggested that American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) methods should be used for the intake assessment instead of the AOAC method 996.06 since the AOAC method is outdated and has not undergone validation.

    (Response) FDA disagrees. This AOAC method is widely used by industry and other international organizations as a method for determining the trans fat content in food products. Therefore, we considered the AOAC method to be appropriate for analyzing food samples for the purposes of our intake assessment. Our choice of the AOAC method is not intended to imply that industry must use this method to analyze food products.

    (Comment 23) Two comments indicated that a new intake assessment should be performed using modeling to explore potential unintended consequences of decreasing the trans fat intake given the possible replacements for trans fat (e.g., saturated fat, carbohydrate) and their impact on CHD risk.

    (Response) The safety of other substances that are possible replacements for PHOs is outside the scope of this order. However, although we have not updated the intake assessment since 2012, we have used this intake assessment to calculate the expected impact of this order on CHD events, taking into account possible replacements for PHOs (see section IV.B for detailed discussion).

    (Comment 24) One comment noted that FDA did not examine the use of each PHO and the probable consumption of each use.

    (Response) FDA disagrees that we need to examine the intake of each PHO individually; the intent of the intake estimate was to evaluate the overall intake of trans fat from the use of all PHOs for the purposes described previously in this section. Estimating trans fat intake from individual PHOs would be an impractical undertaking, and was not necessary for the purposes of the intake assessment.

    (Comment 25) Two comments stated that intake should be evaluated based on the presumption that all products with PHOs as an ingredient contain trans fat at a specified level (e.g., 0.2 g/serving or per reference amount customarily consumed). These comments suggested that such an assessment could provide support for an alternative approach such as setting an allowable level of trans fat in foods.

    (Response) Because we have concluded that PHOs are no longer GRAS, evaluating intake for alternative approaches, such as setting an allowable level of trans fat in foods, is not planned at this time.

    B. Safety

    In the Federal Register of November 17, 1999 (64 FR 62746), we issued a proposed rule entitled “Food Labeling: Trans Fatty Acids in Nutrition Labeling, Nutrient Content Claims, and Health Claims.” The proposed rule would require that trans fat content be provided in nutrition labeling, and concluded that dietary trans fats have adverse effects on blood cholesterol measures that are predictive of CHD risk, specifically low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels (64 FR 62746 at 62754). In the Federal Register of July 11, 2003 (68 FR 41434), we issued a final rule (the July 2003 final rule) amending the labeling regulations to require declaration of trans fat content of food in the nutrition label of conventional foods and dietary supplements (68 FR 41434). In the July 2003 final rule, we cited authoritative reports that recommended limiting intake of trans fat to reduce CHD risk (68 FR 41434 at 41442).

    In the November 2013 notice containing our tentative determination that PHOs are no longer GRAS for any use in human food, we summarized findings reported in the literature since 2003, when we had last reviewed the adverse effects of dietary trans fat in support of the July 2003 final rule (68 FR 41434 at 41442 through 41449). We noted that since 2003, both controlled feeding trials and prospective observational studies published on trans fat consumption have consistently confirmed the adverse health effects of trans fat consumption on risk factor biomarkers (e.g., serum lipoproteins including LDL-C) and increased risk of CHD (78 FR 67169 at 67172). We describe these two types of studies (controlled feeding trials and prospective observational studies) in further detail later in this section. We also cited a variety of different kinds of studies and review articles showing that, in addition to an increased risk of CHD, trans fat consumption (and, accordingly, consumption of food products containing PHOs) has also been con