Federal Register Vol. 80, No.117,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 117 (June 18, 2015)

Page Range34827-35176
FR Document

80_FR_117
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 34908 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 34887 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 34901 - Patent and Trademark Public Advisory CommitteesPDF
80 FR 34879 - Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee-Subcommittee on Land TenurePDF
80 FR 34906 - Notice of Suspension and Commencement of Proposed Debarment Proceedings; Federal Lifeline Universal Service Support MechanismPDF
80 FR 34879 - Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers; Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 34962 - Agency Information Collection Activity; Proposed CollectionPDF
80 FR 34888 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in PartPDF
80 FR 34893 - Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, In PartPDF
80 FR 34959 - Internal Revenue ServicePDF
80 FR 34960 - Internal Revenue ServicePDF
80 FR 34962 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 5884-CPDF
80 FR 34963 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 5310-APDF
80 FR 34961 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 712PDF
80 FR 34827 - Strategic Economic and Community DevelopmentPDF
80 FR 34960 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request on Excise Tax for Income Realized on Receipt of GreenmailPDF
80 FR 34881 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34880 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34963 - Privacy Act of 1974; Systems of RecordsPDF
80 FR 34857 - Proposed Establishment of the Loess Hills District Viticultural AreaPDF
80 FR 34864 - Proposed Expansion of the Willamette Valley Viticultural AreaPDF
80 FR 34912 - Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act Safeguards and Research Criteria for Transplantation of Organs Infected With HIVPDF
80 FR 34936 - State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Policy Advisory Committee (SLTPS-PAC)PDF
80 FR 34929 - Notice of Intent To Amend the Cottonwood Resource Management Plan and Prepare an Environmental Assessment and Notice of Realty Action: Proposed Sale of Public Land in Idaho County, IdahoPDF
80 FR 34887 - Privacy Act New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 34891 - Privacy Act New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 34957 - Hours of Service of Drivers: Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA); Application for ExemptionPDF
80 FR 34934 - Meeting of the Advisory Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 34936 - Executive Order 13650 Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security Webinar: Implementation UpdatesPDF
80 FR 34899 - Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China and Mexico: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court DecisionPDF
80 FR 34881 - Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Hass Avocados From PeruPDF
80 FR 34930 - Public Land Order No. 7836; Withdrawal of National Forest System Lands for the White King/Lucky Lass Mines Remediation Areas; OregonPDF
80 FR 34931 - Notice of Availability for the Alton Coal Tract Coal Lease by Application Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, UtahPDF
80 FR 34882 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid; Quarantine and Interstate Movement RegulationsPDF
80 FR 34902 - Solicitation of Nominations for Membership on the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 34952 - Notification of the Next CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council MeetingPDF
80 FR 34871 - Ocean Dumping: Proposed Modification of Final Site DesignationPDF
80 FR 34843 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners; Request for InformationPDF
80 FR 34967 - MyVA Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 34966 - Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 34886 - Land Between The Lakes Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 34928 - Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy RabbitPDF
80 FR 34966 - Cancellation of Meeting; Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting CancellationPDF
80 FR 34883 - Conservation Reserve ProgramPDF
80 FR 34933 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 34909 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 34910 - Non-Microbial Biomarkers of Infection for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Use; Public Workshop; Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 34909 - Factors To Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions; Draft Guidance for Investigational Device Exemption Sponsors, Sponsor-Investigators, and Food and Drug Administration Staff; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 34900 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34927 - Oklahoma; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 34926 - Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 34926 - Guam; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 34927 - Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School EmployeesPDF
80 FR 34935 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Asbestos in Construction StandardPDF
80 FR 34891 - Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair ValuePDF
80 FR 34936 - Notice of Submission for Approval: Information Collection 3206-0106; Interview Survey Form, INV 10PDF
80 FR 34946 - Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 19.3(i)PDF
80 FR 34949 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Sections 401, 402 and 404 of the NYSEMKT Company Guide To (i) Provide That Companies Can Comply With the Exchange's Immediate Release Policy by Disseminating the Information Required To Be Disseminated Pursuant to This Policy by Any Regulation Fair Disclosure Compliant Method or Combination of Methods, (ii) Clarify the Procedures Taken by the Exchange in the Event of Unusual Market Activity and (iii) Update References to Exchange Departments and Personnel and Make Other Non-Substantive Conforming UpdatesPDF
80 FR 34939 - New York Alaska ETF Management LLC, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 34924 - Notice of Opportunity and Procedures To Request Assistance on Tariff Classification and Customs Valuation Treatment by Other Customs Administrations Affecting United States ExportsPDF
80 FR 34937 - Rate Adjustment RemandPDF
80 FR 34921 - Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; Request for Information Regarding Specific Issues Related to the Use of the Hair Specimen for Drug TestingPDF
80 FR 34839 - Incorporation by Reference; North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria; Hazardous Materials Safety PermitsPDF
80 FR 34834 - Delegations of Authority: Office of Regulation Policy and Management (ORPM)PDF
80 FR 34932 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public InterestPDF
80 FR 34904 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34905 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 34902 - Announcement of an Open Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 34953 - Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment, Colbert County, AlabamaPDF
80 FR 34841 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Possession Limit Adjustments for the Common Pool FisheryPDF
80 FR 34956 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for New Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 34922 - Recreational Boating Safety Projects, Programs, and Activities Funded Under Provisions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; Fiscal Year 2014PDF
80 FR 34869 - Hearing on Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed Prohibited Transaction ExemptionsPDF
80 FR 34908 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 34833 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chambers Creek, Steilacoom, WAPDF
80 FR 34831 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters)PDF
80 FR 34855 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; El Paso, TXPDF
80 FR 34900 - Prize PurchasesPDF
80 FR 34827 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 34874 - Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 34988 - Spring 2015 Semiannual Agenda of RegulationsPDF
80 FR 34856 - Qualifying Income From Activities of Publicly Traded Partnerships With Respect to Minerals or Natural Resources; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 34838 - Removal of Obsolete ProvisionsPDF
80 FR 34837 - Opioid Drugs in Maintenance and Detoxification Treatment of Opiate Addiction; Proposed Modification of Dispensing Restrictions for Buprenorphine and Buprenorphine Combination as Used in Approved Opioid Treatment Medications; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 35174 - Regulatory Flexibility AgendaPDF
80 FR 35170 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35166 - Semiannual Regulatory Flexibility AgendaPDF
80 FR 35128 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions-Spring 2015PDF
80 FR 35122 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35116 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35108 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35098 - Semiannual Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35094 - Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35090 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35082 - Spring 2015 Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35078 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35056 - Department Regulatory Agenda; Semiannual SummaryPDF
80 FR 35048 - Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35044 - Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35040 - Unified Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35030 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35016 - Regulatory AgendaPDF
80 FR 35012 - Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 35008 - Improving Government Regulations; Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 34976 - Semiannual regulatory Agenda, Spring 2015PDF
80 FR 34970 - Introduction to the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory ActionsPDF
80 FR 34835 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Transportation Conformity and Conformity of General Federal ActionsPDF

Issue

80 117 Thursday, June 18, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Forest Service

See

Office of Advocacy and Outreach

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 34976-34985 2015-14339 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34880-34881 2015-15040 2015-15041
Alcohol Tobacco Tax Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau PROPOSED RULES Establishment of the Loess Hills District Viticultural Area, 34857-34864 2015-15037 Expansion of the Willamette Valley Viticultural Area, 34864-34869 2015-15036 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid; Quarantine and Interstate Movement Regulations, 34882-34883 2015-15005 Importation of Hass Avocados from Peru, 34881-34882 2015-15008 Architectural Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35078-35079 2015-14367 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35116-35119 2015-14373 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34887 2015-15120 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Chambers Creek, Steilacoom, WA, 34833-34834 2015-14882 NOTICES Recreational Boating Safety Projects, Programs, and Activities Funded under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; Fiscal Year 2014, 34922-34923 2015-14924 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 34988-35006 2015-14504
Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Conservation Reserve Program; Record of Decision, 34883-34886 2015-14988 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35122-35125 2015-14374 Defense Department Defense Department PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35008-35013 2015-14350 2015-14372 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Council on Indian Education, 34902 2015-14947 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration PROPOSED RULES Definition of Fiduciary; Conflict of Interest Rule—Retirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemptions; Hearing and Comment Period Extension, 34869-34871 2015-14921 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35012-35013 2015-14351 NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee, 34902-34904 2015-15004
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Programs: Room Air Conditioners; Energy Conservation Standards; Request for Information, 34843-34855 2015-15001 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: New Mexico; Transportation Conformity and Conformity of General Federal Actions, 34835-34837 2015-13948 PROPOSED RULES Ocean Dumping; Proposed Modification of Final Site Designation, 34871-34874 2015-15002 Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35082-35087 2015-14368 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34904-34906 2015-14932 2015-14951 2015-14952 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Report of Premiums Payable for Financial Institutions Only, 34904-34905 2015-14954 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Strategic Economic and Community Development, 34827 2015-15048 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Conservation Reserve Program; Record of Decision, 34883-34886 2015-14988 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters), 34831-34833 2015-14852 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 34827-34831 2015-14703 PROPOSED RULES Amendment of Class E Airspace: El Paso, TX, 34855-34856 2015-14810 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35128-35164 2015-14375 NOTICES Suspension and Commencement of Proposed Debarment Proceedings: Federal Lifeline Universal Service Support Mechanism, 34906-34908 2015-15065 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 34908 2015-15134 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Major Disaster and Related Determinations: Guam, 34926-34927 2015-14977 Major Disaster Declarations: Oklahoma; Amendment No. 4, 34926 2015-14978 Oklahoma; Amendments, 34927 2015-14979 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34956-34957 2015-14933 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 34908 2015-14920 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration RULES Hazardous Materials Safety Permits: North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, 34839-34841 2015-14961 NOTICES Hours of Service of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, 34957-34959 2015-15018 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35166-35168 2015-14376 NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 34909 2015-14985 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Applications: Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit Enhancement of Survival Permit, 34928-34929 2015-14996 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Factors to Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions, 34909-34910 2015-14982 Meetings: Non-Microbial Biomarkers of Infection for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Use; Public Workshop, 34910-34912 2015-14983 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Meetings: Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board, 34886-34887 2015-14997 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35090-35091, 35108-35113 2015-14369 2015-14372 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

RULES Obsolete Provisions; Removal, 34838-34839 2015-14424 Opioid Drugs in Maintenance and Detoxification Treatment; Correction, 34837-34838 2015-14421 PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35016-35027 2015-14352
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

See

Transportation Security Administration

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35030-35037 2015-14353
Information Information Security Oversight Office NOTICES Meetings: State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Policy Advisory Committee, 34936 2015-15033 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35040-35042 2015-14354
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service PROPOSED RULES Qualifying Income from Activities of Publicly Traded Partnerships with Respect to Minerals or Natural Resources; Correction, 34856-34857 2015-14467 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34959-34963 2015-15042 2015-15049 2015-15050 2015-15054 2015-15056 2015-15057 2015-15062 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the Peoples Republic of China, 34888-34891, 34893-34899 2015-15058 2015-15059 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China and Mexico, 34899-34900 2015-15009 Preliminary Determinations of Sales at Less than Fair Value: Melamine from the People's Republic of China, 34891-34893 2015-14973 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 34887, 34891 2015-15019 2015-15020 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain Lip Balm Products, Containers for Lip Balm, and Components Thereof, 34933-34934 2015-14987 Certain Toner Supply Containers and Components Thereof, 34932-34933 2015-14957 Joint Joint Board for Enrollment of Actuaries NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations, 34934-34935 2015-15014 Justice Department Justice Department PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35044-35045 2015-14355 Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35048-35053 2015-14356 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34935 2015-14974
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Alton Coal Tract Coal Lease by Application, 34931-34932 2015-15006 Public Land Orders: Withdrawal of National Forest System Lands for the White King/Lucky Lass Mines Remediation Areas; Oregon, 34930-34931 2015-15007 Realty Actions: Prolposed Sale of Public Land in Idaho County, ID, 34929-34930 2015-15032 NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35094-35095, 35108-35113 2015-14370 2015-14372 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration See

Information Security Oversight Office

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Human Immunodeficiency Virus Organ Policy Equity Act; Transplantation of Infected Organs, 34912-34921 2015-15034 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Possession Limit Adjustments for the Common Pool Fishery, 34841-34842 2015-14942 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 34900 2015-14981 Prize Purchases, 34900 2015-14730 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board PROPOSED RULES Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of Authority, 34874-34878 2015-14517 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35170-35172 2015-14377 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Meetings: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security Webinar--Implementation Updates, 34936 2015-15010 Advocacy Outreach Office of Advocacy and Outreach NOTICES Meetings: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Land Tenure, 34879-34880 2015-15070 Request for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, 34879 2015-15064 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees, 34901-34902 2015-15071 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Interview Survey Form, 34936-34937 2015-14972 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Rate Adjustment Remand, 34937-34939 2015-14965 Regulatory Regulatory Information Service Center PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 34970-34974 2015-14337 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Strategic Economic and Community Development, 34827 2015-15048 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Strategic Economic and Community Development, 34827 2015-15048 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Strategic Economic and Community Development, 34827 2015-15048 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35174-35176 2015-14378 NOTICES Applications: New York Alaska ETF Management LLC, et al., 34939-34946 2015-14969 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 34946-34949 2015-14971 NYSE MKT, LLC, 34949-34952 2015-14970 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35098-35105 2015-14371 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Affairs Council, Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, 34952-34953 2015-15003 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; Mandatory Guidelines: Use of the Hair Specimen for Drug Testing; Request for Information, 34921-34922 2015-14964 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment, Colbert County, AL, 34953-34956 2015-14943 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, 35056-35076 2015-14366
Security Transportation Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School Employees, 34927-34928 2015-14976 Treasury Treasury Department See

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 34963-34966 2015-15039
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Procedures to Request Assistance on Tariff Classification and Customs Valuation Treatment by Other Customs Administrations Affecting United States Exports, 34924-34926 2015-14968 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Delegations of Authority: Office of Regulation Policy and Management, 34834-34835 2015-14959 NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation, 34966-34967 2015-14999 Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee; Cancellation, 34966 2015-14990 MyVA Advisory Committee, 34967 2015-15000 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Regulatory Information Service Center, 34970-34974 2015-14337 Part III Agriculture Department, 34976-34985 2015-14339 Part IV Commerce Department, 34988-35006 2015-14504 Part V Defense Department, 35008-35009 2015-14350 Part VI Energy Department, 35012-35013 2015-14351 Part VII Health and Human Services Department, 35016-35027 2015-14352 Part VIII Homeland Security Department, 35030-35037 2015-14353 Part IX Interior Department, 35040-35042 2015-14354 Part X Justice Department, 35044-35045 2015-14355 Part XI Labor Department, 35048-35053 2015-14356 Part XII Transportation Department, 35056-35076 2015-14366 Part XIII Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 35078-35079 2015-14367 Part XIV Environmental Protection Agency, 35082-35087 2015-14368 Part XV General Services Administration, 35090-35091 2015-14369 Part XVI National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 35094-35095 2015-14370 Part XVII Small Business Administration, 35098-35105 2015-14371 Part XVIII Defense Department, 35108-35113 2015-14372 General Services Administration, 35108-35113 2015-14372 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 35108-35113 2015-14372 Part XIX Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 35116-35119 2015-14373 Part XX Consumer Product Safety Commission, 35122-35125 2015-14374 Part XXI Federal Communications Commission, 35128-35164 2015-14375 Part XXII Federal Reserve System, 35166-35168 2015-14376 Part XXIII Nucleaar Regulatory Commission, 35170-35172 2015-14377 Part XXIV Securities and Exchange Commission, 35174-35176 2015-14378 Reader Aids

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

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80 117 Thursday, June 18, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 1980 RIN 0575-AA94 Strategic Economic and Community Development AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Interim rule; delay of effective date.

SUMMARY:

On May 20, 2015, USDA published an interim rule establishing a priority for projects that support the implementation of strategic economic and community development plans across multi-jurisdictional areas. This priority applies to several specific programs with the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, the Rural Housing Service, and the Rural Utilities Service. The effective date was listed as June 19, 2015 and is being delayed to July 17, 2015.

DATES:

Effective date: The effective date of the interim rule published May 20, 2015 (80 FR 28807) is delayed from June 19, 2015, to July 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Farah Ahmad, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 3254, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0783, Telephone: 202-245-1169. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The interim rule published in the May 20, 2015, Federal Register implements Section 6025 of the Agricultural Act of 2014. The Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) requires that Congress be afforded at least 60 days to review rules before they become effective. The May 20, 2015 interim rule only provided a 30 day period before the rule would become effective. Therefore, to comply with the Congressional Review Act, the effective date for the interim rule is being extended an additional 30 days to July 17, 2015.

Dated: June 15, 2015. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: June 15, 2015. Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-15048 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0426; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-231-AD; Amendment 39-18186; AD 2015-12-11] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model and 777 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of uncommanded door closure of a large lower lobe cargo door. This AD requires inspecting for part numbers and serial numbers of the rotary actuators of the forward and aft large lower lobe cargo doors, as applicable, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct rotary actuators made with a material having poor actuator gear wear characteristics, which could result in failure of the rotary actuators for the forward or aft large lower lobe cargo doors and subsequent uncommanded door closure, which could possibly result in fatal injury to people on the ground.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 23, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 23, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. For Eaton service information identified in this AD, contact Eaton Corporation, Aerospace Operations, 3 Park Plaza, Suite 1200, Irvine, CA 92614; telephone 949-253-2100; fax 949-253-2111; Internet http://www.eaton.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0426.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0426; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model and 777 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014 (79 FR 36678). The NPRM was prompted by reports of uncommanded door closure of a large lower lobe cargo door. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting for part numbers and serial numbers of the rotary actuators of the forward and aft large lower lobe cargo doors, as applicable, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct rotary actuators made with a material having poor actuator gear wear characteristics, which could result in failure of the rotary actuators for the forward or aft large lower lobe cargo door and subsequent uncommanded door closure, which could possibly result in injury to people on the ground.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for Rulemaking

United Airlines stated that it concurs with the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014), and FedEx Express stated that it has no technical objections to incorporating the NPRM.

Request To Revise Compliance Time

United Parcel Service (UPS) requested that the compliance time for Model 767 airplanes be revised from 30 months to 72 months to match the 72-month compliance time for Model 777 airplanes. UPS stated that the same actuator part number is used on both Model 767 and Model 777 airplanes and is modified by the same Eaton service information. UPS also contended that the same level of safety can be achieved because the compliance times are “not based on flight cycles but on flight hours,” and Model 767 and 777 fleets have common cargo door installations and functions.

We do not agree with the commenter's request to revise the compliance time. The design of the door and the operating system of the door for the two models of airplane are different. The two models are subject to different actuator loading. In developing appropriate compliance times for this action, we considered the safety implications of each design for timely replacement of the actuators. Further, the compliance time matches Boeing's recommended compliance times. However, under the provisions of paragraph (l) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Postpone Re-Identification for Already-Modified Parts

Air France requested that operators who have checked their maintenance records and know which serial numbers are on the actuators in their fleet be allowed to keep “post-AD” actuators installed without being required to re-identify those actuators until those actuators are removed for other reasons. Air France stated that an operator that knows exactly which serial numbers are on the rotary actuators on its fleet is aware of which units have already been modified or not.

We do not agree with the commenter's request to postpone re-identification. The task to re-identify the actuator can be done without removing the actuator from the airplane. Re-identification of the actuators, as required by this AD, will ensure that the maintenance records match the airplane configuration. Delaying this re-identification action introduces possible confusion. However, under the provisions of paragraph (l) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of changes to the compliance time for re-identification if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Reference Updated Service Information With Correct Serial Numbers

Eaton and Boeing stated that some actuator serial numbers were omitted from table 1, which identifies parts that do not need to be modified, in Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2013. Boeing requested that the final rule be delayed until the Boeing and Eaton service information are revised to have the correct numbers. Boeing also stated that if the final rule is not delayed pending issuance of the revised service information, unnecessary actions might be performed on actuators not subject to the unsafe condition. Eaton stated that in table 1, two digits were transposed; what is listed as “3173B” should be “3137B” (i.e., “3173B—3813B” should be “3137B—3813B”). Eaton stated that this error omitted serial numbers (S/Ns) 3137 through 3172, which were made with the 9310 steel. Eaton stated that they also reviewed the records for S/N 2257 and found that it was modified by Eaton to contain the 9310 steel and was re-identified as 2257B.

We agree with the commenters' request to reference updated service information. We have received the revised service information, and agree to revise this final rule to refer to the corrected service information. We have reviewed Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014, which contains a revised table 1 that corrects the transposed digits and includes the omitted serial numbers. We have also reviewed Boeing Service Bulletins 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015; and 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015; which update the reference to Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014. The revised service information would provide relief for operators that have those omitted serial numbers. We have revised paragraphs (c), (g), (h), and (i) of this AD to refer to the revised service information and have added new paragraph (j) to this AD to provide credit for previous actions done using the service information referenced in the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014). We have redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

Request To Grant Credit for Parts With Suffix B

Emirates Airlines requested that credit for the actuator modification be granted for all actuators having part number (P/N) 692D100-13, with serial numbers containing a suffix “B.” Emirates Airlines suggested that the required work for those “suffix B” actuators be limited to re-identification. Emirates Airlines stated that it found actuators having a suffix “B” installed on its Model 777 fleet, but those actuators were not listed in table 1 of Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2013. Emirates Airlines referenced section 52-34-02 of the Eaton Component Maintenance Manual (CMM), and stated that the CMM states “all serial number 2907 and above are equipped with 692D190-5 no-back brake assemblies and the serial number will carry a suffix `B.' These units with a serial number `B' suffix incorporate ball detent match set P/N 692C130-1.” Emirates Airlines suggested that installation of no-back assemblies with P/N 692D190-5 during production, or repair using section 52-34-02 of the Eaton CMM and Eaton Service Letter 692D100-13 would also address the unsafe condition.

We do not agree to grant credit for all actuators with a “B” suffix. The revised Eaton service bulletin (Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014) discussed previously did not include all serial numbers 2907 and above with a “B” suffix in table 1. We also have not received data to substantiate a change to expand the range of acceptable serial numbers. However, under the provisions of paragraph (l) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an alternative method of compliance if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the change would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Revise or Remove the Parts Installation Prohibition Paragraph

UPS requested that the wording of the Parts Installation Prohibition paragraph (paragraph (j) for the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014), which has been redesignated as paragraph (k) of this AD) be revised to read “After the Terminating Date of the AD, Do NOT install a rotary actuator having Boeing part number. . .” or that the paragraph be removed from the AD. UPS interpreted the proposed prohibition of “As of the effective date of this AD, no rotary actuator having Boeing . . . may be installed on any airplane” as prohibiting any of those actuators currently installed on the airplane to remain installed. UPS contended that if leaving an affected actuator on the airplane is acceptable for the duration of the AD, then installing another actuator with the same affected part number within the compliance time of the AD should be acceptable. UPS added that if paragraph (j) of the NPRM were removed or revised, then the concern about spare parts availability would be reduced.

We disagree with the request to revise paragraph (k) of this AD, but provide the following clarification of the intent of paragraph (k) of this AD. Paragraph (k) of this AD does not address parts that are already on the airplane; instead, it affects the installation of an affected replacement rotary actuator done on or after the effective date of this AD. Simply taking a part off and then installing it back on the airplane as part of gaining access for some other maintenance activity not associated with this final rule is not regarded as an installation that is affected by paragraph (k) of this AD.

In developing the technical information on which this final rule is based, we considered the availability of spare parts that this final rule will require and the compliance time, and found that sufficient parts are available. However, under the provisions of paragraph (l) of this AD, we will consider requests for approval of an extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that the installation of winglets per supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01920SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/59027F43B9A7486E86257B1D006591EE?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01920se) does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

We agree with the commenter that STC ST01920SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/59027F43B9A7486E86257B1D006591EE?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01920se) does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions. Therefore, the installation of STC ST01920SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

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

• Αre consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 36678, June 30, 2014).

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletins 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2014; and 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015. The service information describe procedures for inspecting for part numbers and serial numbers of the rotary actuators of the forward and aft large lower lobe cargo doors, as applicable, and corrective action if necessary.

Boeing Service Bulletins 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015; and 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015; refer to Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014, which provides serial number information and procedures for doing certain corrective actions (rework of certain rotary actuators or re-identification of certain other rotary actuators).

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 510 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection for part number and serial number 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 None $85 $43,350

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary re-identification or replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these re-identifications or replacements:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Re-identification Up to 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $1 Up to $86. Replacement Up to 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 19,700 Up to $20,465. Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-12-11 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18186; Docket No. FAA-2014-0426; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-231-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective July 23, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Model 767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015.

    (2) Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of uncommanded door closure of a large lower lobe cargo door. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct rotary actuators made with a material having poor actuator gear wear characteristics, which could result in failure of the rotary actuators for the forward or aft large lower lobe cargo doors and subsequent uncommanded door closure, which could possibly result in fatal injury to people on the ground.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection for Part Numbers, and Re-identification or Replacement, for Model 767 Airplanes

    For Model 767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER series airplanes: Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect each rotary actuator installed in the forward and aft large lower lobe cargo doors, as applicable, to determine the part number and serial number, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015; and Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014. Do the applicable corrective actions at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD. A review of maintenance records for the part number and serial number is acceptable in lieu of the inspection if the part and serial numbers of the rotary actuator can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (h) Inspection for Part Numbers, and Re-Identification or Replacement, for Model 777 Airplanes

    For Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes: Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect each rotary actuator installed in the forward and aft large lower lobe cargo doors, as applicable, to determine the part number and serial number, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015; and Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014. Do the applicable corrective actions at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD. A review of maintenance records for the part number and serial number is acceptable in lieu of the inspection if the part and serial numbers of the rotary actuator can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (i) Exception to the Service Information

    Where Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015; and Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015, specify a compliance time after the issue date “of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if the actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 2, dated September 26, 2013; and Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2013. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if the actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 1, dated September 26, 2013; and Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 2, dated August 1, 2013. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no rotary actuator having Boeing part number S135W132-3 (supplier part number 692D100-13) may be installed on any airplane.

    (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (m) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Susan Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the applicable addresses specified in paragraphs (n)(3), (n)(4), and (n)(5) of this AD.

    (n) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 767-52A0100, Revision 3, dated January 19, 2015.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-52-0053, Revision 2, dated January 19, 2015.

    (iii) Eaton Service Bulletin 692D100-52-4, Revision 3, dated August 14, 2014.

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

    (4) For Eaton service information identified in this AD, contact Eaton Corporation, Aerospace Operations, 3 Park Plaza, Suite 1200, Irvine, CA 92614; telephone 949-253-2100; fax 949-253-2111; Internet http://www.eaton.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 9, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14703 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0577; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-042-AD; Amendment 39-18184; AD 2015-12-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters) July 6, 2015 AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting certain washers for movement and making appropriate repairs if the washers move. This AD was prompted by play found between the Smart Electro Mechanical Actuator (SEMA) and the control rod during installation work on a helicopter. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent loss of concerned control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective July 23, 2015.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of July 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Wilbanks, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    On August 18, 2014, at 79 FR 48707, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting certain washers for movement in the attachment hardware that connects the SEMA and the control rod of the longitudinal, lateral, and yaw actuators. If a washer can be moved, the NPRM proposed replacing the four screws, installing two additional washers, and torque-tightening the screws. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent loss of concerned control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2013-0176, dated August 7, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Model EC 135 P1 (CDS), EC 135 P1 (CPDS), EC 135 P2+, EC 135 P2 (CPDS), EC 135 T1 (CDS), EC 135 T1 (CPDS), EC 135 T2+, EC 135 T2 (CPDS), EC 635 P2+, EC 635 T1 (CPDS), EC 635 T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. EASA advises that during installation work on a helicopter, it was discovered that it was not possible to install attachment hardware on a threaded blind borehole between the SEMA and the control rod without play. EASA advises that this condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to loss of the concerned control axis, possibly resulting in loss of helicopter control. For these reasons, EASA AD No. 2013-0176 requires a one-time inspection of the affected SEMA attachment hardware to detect improper connection and play and, depending on the findings, replacement of the affected hardware. After the issuance of EASA AD No. 2013-0176, Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH changed its name to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH.

    Comments

    After our NPRM (79 FR 48707, August 18, 2014) was published, we received comments from one commenter.

    Request

    Air Methods stated that the proposed AD requires compliance with Revision 1 of the service information and requested that previous compliance with the original service information, Revision 0, be included as an acceptable method of compliance in the AD.

    We agree. We have added a paragraph to the AD giving credit for previous compliance with Revision 0 of the service information.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA, reviewed the relevant information, considered the comment received, and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

    Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Eurocopter Model EC635P2+, EC635T1 and EC635T2+ helicopters. This AD does not apply to these model helicopters because they have no FAA type certificate.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Eurocopter reported in Alert Service Bulletins (ASBs) EC135-22A-015, Revision 1, dated January 28, 2013, and MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 1, dated August 3, 2009, that it was discovered during the installation work on a helicopter that it was not possible to establish attachment hardware on a threaded blind borehole between the SEMA and the control rod without play. The ASBs state that “unfavourable adding of the tolerances” of the individual attachment hardware elements caused the screw to push against the bottom of the threaded blind borehole on the SEMA, preventing any clamping force on the screw head. The ASBs call for inspecting the SEMA attachment hardware connected to their respective control rods for play and making the proper adjustments to eliminate any play.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 385 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 per work hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:

    • Inspecting for movement of the washers requires 1.5 work hours for a labor cost of $128 per helicopter and $49,280 for the U.S. fleet.

    • Replacing the screws and related work requires an additional 0.5 work-hours for a labor cost of $43. Screws cost $4 each while washers cost $10 each. We estimate the cost at $79 per repair.

    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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-12-09 Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Previously Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH) (Airbus Helicopters): Amendment 39-18184; Docket No. FAA-2014-0577; Directorate Identifier 2013-SW-042-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, and MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as loose attachment hardware between the Smart Electro Mechanical Actuator (SEMA) and a control rod. This condition could result in loss of the control axis and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective July 23, 2015.

    (d) Compliance

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

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 50 hours time in service (TIS), for Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, and EC135T2+ helicopters, do the following:

    (i) Using Figure 1 and Figure 2 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 1, dated January 28, 2013 (ASB EC135-22A-015) as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the longitudinal actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, part number (P/N) EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (ii) Using Figure 1 and Figure 2 of ASB EC135-22A-015 as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the lateral actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (iii) Using Figure 1, Figure 3, and Figure 4 of ASB EC135-22A-015 as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the SEMA and the yaw actuator control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (A) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (B) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm.

    (2) Within 50 hours TIS, for Model MBB BK117 C-2 helicopters, using Figure 1 of Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 1, dated August 3, 2009, as reference, inspect the attachment hardware between the Yaw-SEMA and the Yaw-SEMA control rod to determine whether any of the washers can be moved.

    (i) If no washer can be moved, no further action is needed.

    (ii) If a washer can be moved, replace the four screws and install two additional washers, P/N EN2139-05016, to connect the SEMA with the control rod. Torque-tighten each screw to 5-6 Nm and apply polyurethane lacquer onto the attachment hardware.

    (f) Credit for Previous Actions

    If you performed the actions in Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 0, dated May 13, 2018, or Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 0, May 13, 2008, before the effective date of this AD, you met the requirements of this AD.

    (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (h) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2013-0176, dated August 7, 2013. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2014-0577.

    (i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2213, Flight Controller.

    (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135-22A-015, Revision 1, dated January 28, 2013.

    (ii) Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin MBB BK117 C-2-22A-009, Revision 1, dated August 3, 2009.

    (3) For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, Inc., 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub.

    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

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

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 9, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14852 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0552] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Chambers Creek, Steilacoom, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Chambers Creek Railway Bridge across Chambers Creek, mile 0.0, at Steilacoom, Washington. The deviation is necessary to minimize the effects of train noise on the 2015 U.S. Golf Association Championship held at Chambers Bay Golf Course. This deviation allows the bridge to open only upon 1 hour notice from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 14, 2015 and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day from June 15, 2015 to June 22, 2015. At all other times the bridge will open on signal in accordance with its normal operating regulation.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from June 18, 2015 to 5 p.m. on June 22, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 7 a.m. on June 14, 2015, until June 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0552] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Steven Fischer, Thirteenth Coast Guard District Bridge Program Administrator; telephone 206-220-7282, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard has been requested to issue this bridge deviation to allow BNSF to implement noise reduction operations near the Chambers Bay Golf Course during the 2015 U.S. Golf Association Championship being held there. This deviation allows the BNSF Chambers Creek Railway Bridge to open only upon 1 hour notice from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 14, 2015 and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day from June 15, 2015 to June 22, 2015. At all other times the bridge will open on signal in accordance with its normal operating regulation. Doing so will minimize the number of trains required to idle while awaiting bridge openings.

    The BNSF Chambers Creek Railway Bridge across Chambers Creek, mile 0.0, near Steilacoom, Washington provides 50 feet of vertical clearance in the raised position, 10 feet of vertical clearance in the closed position and 80 feet of horizontal clearance. Reference plan is mean high water elevation of 12.2 feet. The normal operation schedule falls under 33 CFR 117.5.

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on June 14, 2015 to 5 p.m. on June 22, 2015. The deviation allows the bridge to open only upon 1 hour notice from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 14, 2015 and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day from June 15, 2015 to June 22, 2015. At all other times the bridge will open on signal in accordance with its normal operating regulation.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed positions may do so at anytime. The bridge will be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway of the change in operating schedule for the bridge through Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14882 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 2 RIN 2900-AP47 Delegations of Authority: Office of Regulation Policy and Management (ORPM) AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is amending its regulations delegating rulemaking authority within the Office of the General Counsel. The amendments reflect current management structure and titles.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William F. Russo, Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, telephone (202) 461-4902. (This is not a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the General Counsel was restructured, which included changes in the titles of certain officials involved in VA's rulemaking process. Specifically, matters previously handled by the single Deputy General Counsel are now handled by a Principal Deputy General Counsel and two Deputy General Counsels. This final rule amends 38 CFR 2.6(e)(1) to reflect current management structure and titles.

    Administrative Procedure Act

    This document's publication as a final rule is pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), which exempts matters pertaining to agency organization, procedure and practice from notice and public comment requirements. Also, because this notice concerns only such matters, VA finds pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) good cause in this case to dispense with the delayed effective date requirement.

    Executive Order 12866

    Under the exemption in section 3(d)(3) of Executive Order 12866 for regulations limited to agency organization, management, or personnel matters, this document is not subject to the Executive Order's review requirements.

    Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in 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. This rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This document contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, are not applicable to this rule, because a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required for this rule. Even so, the Secretary hereby certifies that this regulatory amendment will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This amendment will not directly affect any small entities. Therefore, this amendment is also exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    There are no Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers for this rule.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, approved this document on June 12, 2015, for publication.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 2

    Authority delegations (Government agencies).

    Dated: June 12, 2015. William F. Russo, Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 38 CFR part 2 is amended as follows:

    PART 2—DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 302, 552a; 38 U.S.C. 501, 512, 515, 1729, 1729A, 5711; 44 U.S.C. 3702, and as noted in specific sections.

    § 2.6 [Amended]
    2. Amend § 2.6(e)(1) by removing “Deputy General Counsel, and Director for Regulation Policy and Management” and adding in its place “the Principal Deputy General Counsel, the Deputy General Counsel, Central Office, and the Director of the Office of Regulation Policy and Management”.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14959 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0938; FRL-9928-79-Region 6] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Transportation Conformity and Conformity of General Federal Actions AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the Federal Clean Air Act (Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving revisions to the New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions update the transportation conformity rules and remove the general conformity provisions.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0938. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeffrey Riley (6PD-L), telephone: (214) 665-8542, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The background for this action is discussed in detail in our February 10, 2015 direct final rule and proposal (80 FR 7341). The rule and proposal stated that if any relevant adverse comments were received by the end of the public comment period, the direct final rule would be withdrawn and we would respond to the comments in a subsequent final action. A relevant adverse comment was received during the comment period, and the direct final rule was withdrawn on April 8, 2015 (80 FR 19020). Our proposal provides the basis for this final action. These revisions amend the transportation conformity SIP provisions and remove the general conformity provisions from the SIP, as allowed by the Act's 2005 amendments. These revisions also address interagency consultation and enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures.

    We received one comment on the direct final rule by one commenter, Sierra Club. The comment and our response to the comment is below.

    II. Response to Comments

    Comment: “Acting regional administrator Sam Coleman cannot sign approvals, disapprovals, or any combination of approvals or disapproval, in whole or in part, due to the fact that agency actions on state implementation plans are required to be signed by the regional administrator, Ron Curry, not the current deputy regional administrator as stated in the agency's delegations manual. The manual specifically states that SIP actions can't be redelegated from the regional administrator.”

    Response: As the Acting Regional Administrator, Deputy Regional Administrator Sam Coleman had authority to sign the proposal and direct final action on the SIP revisions. On January 28, 2015, the day that the proposal and direct final action were signed, Sam Coleman was acting in the capacity of the Regional Administrator for Ron Curry, who was absent from Region 6 at the time. The following language is listed in the Region 6 Deputy Regional Administrator's position description “In the absence of the Regional Administrator, the Deputy Regional Administrator will perform the duties of the Regional Administrator.” Further, EPA Region 6 Order 1110.11 establishes a line of succession to perform the duties of the Regional Administrator should the Regional Administrator be absent from the office. The Deputy Regional Administrator is the first person listed on that line of succession. Copies of the two documents are included in the docket for this rulemaking. Finally, the heads of administrative agencies are statutorily vested with the authority to delegate authorities to subordinate officials, 5 U.S.C. 302. Federal Courts have held that rules, including internal delegations and appointments of authority are effective regardless of publication in the Federal Register or the Code of Federal Regulations.

    The comment only challenged the Deputy Regional Administrator's authority to sign the Direct Final Action. EPA received no other comments or challenges as to the substance of the proposal or direct final. Therefore, we are finalizing our action to approve these SIP amendments.

    III. Final Action

    Pursuant to sections 110 and 176 of the Act, EPA is approving three revisions to the New Mexico SIP that were submitted on October 28, 2011, November 1, 2013, and August 8, 2014. We evaluated the state's submittals and determined that they meet the applicable requirements of the CAA sections 110 and 176 and applicable EPA guidance. In accordance with CAA section 110(l), these revisions will not interfere with attainment of the NAAQS, reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, we are finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, we are finalizing the incorporation by reference of the revisions to the New Mexico regulations as described in the Final Action section above. We have made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region 6 office.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

    • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);

    • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

    • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

    • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

    • Does not have federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

    • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

    • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

    • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and

    • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 17, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: May 27, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    Therefore, 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

    PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart GG—New Mexico 2. In § 52.1620, the first table in paragraph (c) entitled “EPA Approved New Mexico Regulations” is amended by: a. Removing the entry for “Part 98, General Conformity”; b. Revising the entries for “20.2.99.1” through “20.2.99.8”; c. Removing the entry for “20.2.99.9 to 20.2.99.100”; d. Revising the entries for “20.2.99.101” through “20.2.99.112”; e. Removing the entries for “20.2.99.113” through “20.2.99.154”.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 52.1620 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA Approved New Mexico Regulations State citation Title/Subject State
  • approval/
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA Approval date Comments
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Part 99—Transportation Conformity 20.2.99.1 Issuing Agency 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.2 Scope 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.3 Statutory Authority 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.4 Duration 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.5 Effective Date 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.6 Objective 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.7 Definitions 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.8 Documents 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.101 Applicability 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.102 Consultation 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.103 Agency Roles in Consultation 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.104 Agency Responsibilities in Consultation 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.105 General Consultation Procedures 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.106 Consultation Procedures for Specific Major Activities 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.107 Consultation Procedures for Specific Routine Activities 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.108 Notification Procedures for Routine Activities 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.109 Conflict Resolution and Appeals to the Governor 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.110 Public Consultation Procedures 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.111 Enforceability of Design Concept and Scope and Project-Level Mitigation and Control Measures 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation] 20.2.99.112 Savings Provision 7/11/2014 6/18/2015 [Insert Federal Register Citation]
    [FR Doc. 2015-13948 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 42 CFR Part 8 [Docket No. 2012-29417] RIN 0930-AA14 Opioid Drugs in Maintenance and Detoxification Treatment of Opiate Addiction; Proposed Modification of Dispensing Restrictions for Buprenorphine and Buprenorphine Combination as Used in Approved Opioid Treatment Medications; Correction AGENCY:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of December 6, 2012. The document modified the dispensing requirements buprenorphine and buprenorphine combination products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for opioid dependence and used in federally certified and registered opioid treatment programs. In particular, this rule allows opioid treatment programs more flexibility in dispensing take-home supplies of buprenorphine after the assessment and documentation of a patient's responsibility and stability to receive opioid addiction treatment medication. However, an inadvertent removal of paragraphs was made. This correction reinstates the missing paragraphs.

    DATES:

    Effective June 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jinhee Lee, Division of Pharmacologic Therapies, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, SAMHSA, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1028, Rockville, MD 20857, (240) 276-2700, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 6, 2012 (77 FR 72752), HHS published a final rule in the Federal Register modifying the dispensing requirements in 42 CFR 8.12 for buprenorphine and buprenorphine combination products approved by FDA for opioid dependence and used in federally certified and registered opioid treatment programs. An inadvertent error was made whereby § 8.12(i)(3)(i) through (vi) was deleted. The original intention was only to revise § 8.12(i)(3) introductory text, however, this was not made clear and thus the entire section following the introductory text was removed. This correction properly modifies the dispensing requirements in 42 CFR 8.12 as published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2012, without removing § 8.12(i)(3)(i) through (vi).

    List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 8

    Health professions, Levo-AlphaAcetyl-Methadol (LAAM), Methadone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    PART 8—CERTIFICATION OF OPIOID TREATMENT PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 8 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 823; 42 U.S.C. 290bb-2a, 290aa(d), 290dd-2, 300x-23, 300x-27(a), 300y-11.

    2. In § 8.12, paragraph (i)(3) is revised to read as follows:
    § 8.12 Federal opioid treatment standards.

    (i) * * *

    (3) Such determinations and the basis for such determinations consistent with the criteria outlined in paragraph (i)(2) of this section shall be documented in the patient's medical record. If it is determined that a patient is responsible in handling opioid drugs, the dispensing restrictions set forth in paragraphs (i)(3)(i) through (vi) of this section apply. The dispensing restrictions set forth in paragraphs (i)(3)(i) through (vi) of this section do not apply to buprenorphine and buprenorphine products listed under paragraph (h)(2)(iii) of this section.

    (i) During the first 90 days of treatment, the take-home supply (beyond that of paragraph (i)(1) of this section) is limited to a single dose each week and the patient shall ingest all other doses under appropriate supervision as provided for under the regulations in this subpart.

    (ii) In the second 90 days of treatment, the take-home supply (beyond that of paragraph (i)(1) of this section) are two doses per week.

    (iii) In the third 90 days of treatment, the take-home supply (beyond that of paragraph (i)(1) of this section) are three doses per week.

    (iv) In the remaining months of the first year, a patient may be given a maximum 6-day supply of take-home medication.

    (v) After 1 year of continuous treatment, a patient may be given a maximum 2-week supply of take-home medication.

    (vi) After 2 years of continuous treatment, a patient may be given a maximum one-month supply of take-home medication, but must make monthly visits.

    Dated: June 4, 2015. Oliver Potts, Deputy Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14421 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 1 Removal of Obsolete Provisions AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Much of the information set out in certain regulations regarding HHS's programs and activities is obsolete. Also, electronic resources are now available that did not exist when this part was first codified. This rule removes these obsolete regulations.

    DATES:

    This action is effective August 17, 2015 without further action, unless adverse comment is received by July 20, 2015 If adverse comment is received, HHS will publish a timely cancellation of the action in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments concerning this action. You may submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the “Submit a comment” instructions. Or, you may mail paper comments as follows: Madhura Valverde, Suite 639G, 200 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20201. (Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period). If you wish to deliver paper comments in person or by courier, please call (202) 690-6827 or (202) 205-9165, to schedule the delivery with one of our staff members.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201 ([email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The provisions of 45 CFR part 1, specifying the CFR locations of regulations for HHS's programs and activities, and regarding the subject matter of the Office of the Secretary regulations, have not been updated since 1987. These regulations have become obsolete and inaccurate. At the time they were added to the CFR, it was felt that this material would prove helpful to the public. However, the growth of electronic accessibility to regulations through such governmental sources as:

    —Office of the Federal Register's (OFR) List of CFR Subjects (www.archives.gov/federalrgeister/cfr/subjects.htm); —OFR's Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (www.ecfr.gov); —OFR's annual CFR ○ (www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR); —HHS's Web site (www.hhs.gov/regulations); as well as numerous commercial web browsers, have greatly improved the public's access to, and ability to search our regulations. Because of this increased accessibility, and in response to Executive Order 13563, Sec. 6, which urges agencies to “repeal” existing regulations that are “outmoded”, HHS is removing 45 CFR part 1.

    Notice and comment are not required for this rule, because it affects agency organization, procedure, or practice under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). Furthermore, HHS believes that there is good cause hereby to bypass notice and comment, and to proceed to a direct final rule, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 (b)(B). The action is non-controversial, merely removing information from the CFR that is obsolete and inaccurate, and whose current locations are otherwise readily available. This rule posed no new substantive requirements on the public. Accordingly, HHS believes this direct final rule will not elicit any significant adverse comments, but if such comments are received HHS will publish a timely notice of withdrawal in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866

    This action does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action as set out under Executive Order 12866, and review by the Office of Management and Budget has accordingly not been required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the regulatory flexibility analysis provided for under the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 1

    Code of Federal Regulations, Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    For reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority at 5 U.S.C. 301, HHS amends 45 CFR subchapter A by removing part 1.

    PART 1—[REMOVED AND RESERVED] Dated: June 5, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14424 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Parts 385 [Docket No. FMCSA-FMCSA-2015-0075] RIN 2126-AB78 Incorporation by Reference; North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria; Hazardous Materials Safety Permits AGENCY:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    FMCSA amends its Hazardous Materials Safety Permits rules to update the current incorporation by reference of the “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as defined in 49 CFR part 173.403.” Currently the rules reference the April 1, 2014, edition of the out-of-service criteria and, through this final rule, FMCSA incorporates the April 1, 2015, edition.

    DATES:

    Effective June 18, 2015. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 as of June 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Michael Huntley, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Office of Policy, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 366-9209 or via email [email protected] Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. If you have questions on viewing the docket, contact Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Executive Summary

    This rulemaking updates an incorporation by reference found at 49 CFR 385.4 and referenced at 49 CFR 385.415(b)(1). The rules currently reference the April 1, 2014, edition of “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as defined in 49 CFR part 173.403.” In this final rule, FMCSA incorporates the April 1, 2015, edition. The revision does not impose new requirements or substantively amend the Code of Federal Regulations.

    II. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    Congress has enacted several statutory provisions to improve the safety of hazardous materials transported in interstate commerce. Specifically, in provisions codified at 49 U.S.C. 5105(e), relating to inspections of motor vehicles carrying hazardous material, and 49 U.S.C. 5109, relating to motor carrier safety permits, it has required the Secretary of the Department of Transportation to promulgate regulations as part of a comprehensive safety program on hazardous material safety permits. The FMCSA Administrator has been delegated authority under 49 CFR 1.87 to carry out the rulemaking functions vested in the Secretary of Transportation. Consistent with that authority, FMCSA has promulgated regulations to address the congressional mandate. Such regulations on hazardous materials are the underlying provisions that have utilized the material incorporated by reference discussed in this notice.

    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) specifically provides that adherence to its notice and public comment rulemaking procedures are not required where the Agency finds there is good cause to dispense with such procedures (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons to support the finding in the rules issued). Generally, good cause exists where the Agency determines that notice and public comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (5 U.S.C. 553 (b)(3)(B)). This document updates an incorporation by reference found at 49 CFR 385.4 and referenced at 49 CFR 385.415(b)(1). The revision does not impose new requirements or substantively change the Code of Federal Regulations. For these reasons, the FMCSA finds good cause that notice and public comment procedures are unnecessary.

    III. Background

    Currently, 49 CFR 385.415 prescribes operational requirements for motor carriers transporting hazardous materials for which a hazardous materials safety permit is required. Section 385.415(b)(1) requires that motor carriers must ensure a pre-trip inspection be performed on each motor vehicle to be used to transport a highway route controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material, in accordance with the requirements of the “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as defined in 49 CFR part 173.403.” With regard to the specific edition of the out-of-service criteria, 49 CFR 385.4, as amended on May 15, 2014 (79 FR 27766), references the April 1, 2014, edition. Specifically, this final rule amends § 385.4 (b) by replacing the reference to the April 1, 2014, edition date with the new edition date of April 1, 2015.

    FMCSA reviewed the April 1, 2015, edition and determined there are no substantive changes that would result in motor carriers being subjected to a new or amended standard. The changes are highlighted below for reference. It is necessary to update the reference to ensure that motor carriers and enforcement officials have convenient access to the correctly identified inspection criteria that are referenced in the rules.

    There are eight changes made in the 2015 edition. Additional conforming changes have been made to the table of contents, but those are not included in this summary. (All references are to the April 1, 2015 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as defined in 49 CFR part 173.403.) The first change is to create consistency in the language used between commercial driver's license (CDL) and non-CDL drivers, when being taken out of service. (Part I, item 2.a.(1)) It does not change the criteria used to take drivers out of service, therefore this is not a substantive change. The second change is to align the standard with FMCSA's regulation governing operation of a vehicle while fatigued, found at 49 CFR 392.3. (Part I, Item 6.) Again, this change does not alter the criteria an inspector would use to take a driver out of service and as such does not rise to a substantive change.

    The third change removes Part I, Item 7, which addresses communication. The 2014 edition included an item covering the responsibility of the driver and motor carrier to ensure adequate communication in Canada, Mexico, and the United States (the three countries covered by the standard). However, because the FMCSRs only require drivers in the United States to be able to communicate in English for basic purposes (converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records), there should be no additional burden placed on drivers in the United States as a result of the change in the 2015 standard. As a result, removing this item will not have a substantive impact on drivers.

    The fourth, fifth and sixth changes amend Part II, Item 1. (BRAKE SYSTEMS). The language for the out-of-service condition for Defective Brakes and Front Steering Axle(s) Brakes was modified to add loose and missing caliper mounting bolts to the 20% calculation for determining OOSC for hydraulic brakes. Its omission was an oversight when the criterion for brakes was rewritten; FMCSA views this change as nonsubstantive. (Part II, Item 1.a. & b.) An amendment to the language for the application of OOSC for worn hoses clarifies that this section is intended for air brake hoses only, and as such is not a substantive change. (Part II, Item 1.h.) Also, the amendment to the OOSC addresses the improper repair of hydraulic brake lines by means of placing a piece of tubing over the metal tubing and attaching with hose clamps. As this method of repair is not permitted under the FMCSRs, this change will not have a substantive impact. (Part II, Item 1.o.)

    The seventh change revises wording that was causing confusion in Part II, Item 3. (COUPLING). The current language causes confusion and gives the impression that the entire fifth wheel is not being taken into consideration. The new OOSC language clarifies how to measure cracks in parent metal, how to determine the 20% weld cracks, and defines a “well defined (especially open) crack” as well as a crack in a repair weld. This revision is a clarification and not a substantive change. (Part II, Item 3.a. & b.)

    The final change adds a paragraph (c) to Part II, Item 15. This new paragraph explicitly calls out the practice of using loose or temporary seating. As the practice is already prohibited under the FMCSRs (see 49 CFR 393.91, 390.33), the additional language does not alter the criteria an inspector would use to take a driver out of service and as such does not rise to a substantive change. (Part II, Item 15.c.)

    IV. Regulatory Analyses Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order (E.O.) 12866) and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    FMCSA has determined that this action is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of E.O. 12866, as supplemented by E.O. 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 18, 2011), or within the meaning of the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). FMCSA expects the final rule will have no costs; therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) did not, therefore, review this document.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

    Assistance for Small Entities

    In accordance with section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, FMCSA wants to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they can better evaluate its effects on themselves and participate in the rulemaking initiative. If the 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, Michael Huntley, listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this rule.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The final rule will not impose an unfunded Federal mandate, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532, et seq.), that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $151 million (which is the 2012 inflation-adjusted value of the 1995 threshold of $100 million) or more in any 1 year.

    Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132, Federalism, 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 States or localities. FMCSA analyzed this rule under that Order and has determined that it does not have implications for federalism.

    Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

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

    Protection of Children (E.O. 13045)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under E.O. 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. FMCSA determined that this final rule will not create an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children. In addition, it is not an economically significant rule, and no such analysis is therefore required.

    Taking of Private Property (E.O. 12630)

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

    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 (PIA) of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not require the collection of personally identifiable information (PII).

    Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

    The regulations implementing E.O. 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this rule.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the 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 final rule.

    National Environmental Policy and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of ascertaining the applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and our Environmental Procedures Order 5610.1, issued March 1, 2004 (69 FR 9680). This final rule is categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation under the Categorical Exclusion (CE) in paragraph 6(b) of Appendix 2 of FMCSA Order 5610.1. This CE addresses minor revisions such as found in this rulemaking; therefore preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is not necessary.

    The FMCSA also analyzed this 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 will have no effect on air emissions.

    Environmental Justice (E.O. 12898)

    FMCSA evaluated the environmental effects of this final rule in accordance with E.O. 12898 and determined that there are no environmental justice issues associated with its provisions nor any collective environmental impacts resulting from its promulgation. Environmental justice issues would be raised if there were a “disproportionate” and “high and adverse impact” on minority or low-income populations. FMCSA analyzed this action under NEPA and found the action to be categorically excluded from analysis due to the lack of impact to the environment. This final rule simply updates an incorporation by reference and would not result in high and adverse environmental impacts.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    FMCSA has analyzed this rule under E.O. 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 E.O. because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under E.O. 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Therefore, the rule does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under E.O. 13211.

    Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 13175)

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

    National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Technical Standards) and 1 CFR Part 51

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (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 FMCSA does not intend to adopt its own technical standards, there is no need to submit a separate statement to OMB on this matter. The standard incorporated by reference is discussed in detail in section III. Background and is reasonably available through the CSVA Web site.

    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 rule. Accordingly, FMCSA has not conducted a privacy impact assessment.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 385

    Administrative practice and procedure, Highway safety, Incorporation by reference, Mexico, Motor carriers, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA is amending 49 CFR chapter III, part 385 as set forth below:

    PART 385—SAFETY FITNESS PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 385 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 113, 504, 521(b), 5105(e), 5109, 13901-13905, 31133, 31135, 31136, 31137(a), 31144, 31148, and 31502; Sec. 113(a), Pub. L. 103-311; Sec. 408, Pub. L. 104-88; Sec. 350 of Pub. L. 107-87; and 49 CFR 1.87.

    2. Revise § 385.4(b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 385.4 Matter incorporated by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (1) “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as defined in 49 CFR part 173.403,” April 1, 2015; incorporation by reference approved for § 385.415(b).

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87 on: June 5, 2015. T. F. Scott Darling, III, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14961 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150105004-5355-01] RIN 0648-XD984 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Possession Limit Adjustments for the Common Pool Fishery AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; inseason adjustment.

    SUMMARY:

    This action decreases the possession and landing limit for Gulf of Maine cod to zero for Northeast multispecies common pool vessels for the remainder of the 2015 fishing year. NMFS is taking this action because the common pool has caught 44.5 percent of its Trimester 1 Total Allowable Catch Gulf of Maine cod quota in the first month of the trimester. This action is intended to prevent the overharvest of the common pool's fishing year 2015 allocation of Gulf of Maine cod and prevent the closure of the Gulf of Maine to all common pool vessels before the end of the Trimester.

    DATES:

    Effective June 15, 2015, through April 30, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Liz Sullivan, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-282-8493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the Northeast (NE) multispecies fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648, subpart F. The regulations at 50 CFR 648.86(o) authorize the Regional Administrator (RA) to adjust the possession limits for common pool vessels in order to prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the common pool quotas.

    Based on data reported through May 25, 2015, 44.5 percent of the common pool trimester Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 1.5 mt, and 12 percent of the sub-Annual Catch Limit (sub-ACL) of 5.6 mt for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod has been caught. Recent analysis shows that the common pool would likely exceed its Trimester TAC for the GOM cod stock before the end of June if action is not taken, which would result in the closure of the GOM cod Trimester TAC Area. We are reducing the possession limit and trip limit for GOM cod to zero. The possession limit and trip limit adjustments are effective June 15, 2015, through April 30, 2016. If a vessel has declared its trip through the vessel monitoring system (VMS) or interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to the effective date, it will not be subject to the new trip limits for that trip.

    Under a zero possession limit, the bycatch and discard of GOM cod will continue to be accounted for. On observed common pool trips, observers record actual discards; unobserved trips receive the assumed discard rate based on observed trips. The assumed discard rate is applied based on the pounds of all landed species, which means that even at a zero possession limit for GOM cod, the cumulative catch of GOM cod (which includes both landed and discards) will continue to increase. If vessels respond to this action by vigorously redirecting onto other NE multispecies, the landing of those species and the associated assumed discards of GOM cod could push the cumulative catch of GOM cod closer to 90 percent of the Trimester TAC, potentially triggering the closure of the GOM cod Trimester TAC Area. Alternatively, this action could cause a reduction of common pool fishing effort in the GOM, leading to less bycatch and discard of GOM cod, if the zero possession limit makes it uneconomical for some trips to occur.

    Weekly quota monitoring reports for the common pool fishery can be found on our Web site at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. We will continue to monitor common pool catch through vessel trip reports, dealer-reported landings, vessel monitoring system catch reports, VMS catch reports, and other available information, and if necessary, we will make additional adjustments to common pool management measures.

    Classification

    This action is required by 50 CFR part 648, and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delayed effectiveness period.

    The regulations at § 648.86(o) authorize the RA to adjust the NE multispecies trip limits for common pool vessels in order to prevent the overharvest or underharvest of the common pool quotas. The catch data and analysis used as the basis for this action only became available on June 1, 2015. The available analysis indicates that if the GOM cod trip limits are not reduced immediately, the common pool fishery will likely exceed its Trimester TAC for this stock. As a result, this action reduces the likelihood that the RA will be required to close a significant portion of the GOM to the common pool fishery. Any overages of the common pool quota for this stock would undermine conservation objectives and trigger the implementation of accountability measures that would have negative economic impacts on the common pool vessels. As a result, the time necessary to provide for prior notice and comment, and a 30-day delay in effectiveness, would prevent NMFS from implementing the necessary trip limit adjustments in a timely manner, which could undermine conservation objectives of the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and cause negative economic impacts to the common pool fishery.

    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. 2015-14942 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 117 Thursday, June 18, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 10 CFR Part 430 [Docket Number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0059] Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners; Request for Information AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Request for Information (RFI).

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating an effort to determine whether to amend the current energy conservation standards for room air conditioners (room ACs). According to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act's 6-year review requirement, DOE must publish by April 8, 2017 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to propose new standards for room ACs or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended. This RFI seeks to solicit information from the public to help DOE determine whether amended standards for room ACs would result in a significant amount of additional energy savings and whether those standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified. In addition, DOE has identified several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedure for room ACs on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comment.

    DATES:

    Written comments and information are requested on or before August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments electronically. However, comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number EERE-2014-BT-STD-0059 in the subject line of the message. All comments should clearly identify the name, address, and, if appropriate, organization of the commenter. Submit electronic comments in Word Perfect, Microsoft Word, PDF, or ASCII file format, and avoid the use of special characters or any form on encryption.

    Postal Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, Request for Information for Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners, Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-STD-0059, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Please submit one signed paper original.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Sixth Floor, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024. Please submit one signed paper original.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. No telefacsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

    Docket: The docket is available for review at www.regulations.gov, including Federal Register notices, comments, and other supporting documents/materials. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. However, not all documents listed in the index may be publicly available, such as information that is exempt from public disclosure. A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2014-BT-STD-0059. This Web page contains a link to the docket for this notice on the www.regulations.gov Web site. The www.regulations.gov Web page contains simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information may be sent to:

    Mr. Bryan Berringer, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-586-0371. Email: [email protected] Ms. Sarah Butler, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-1777. Email: [email protected]

    For information on how to submit or review public comments, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Authority and Background B. Rulemaking Process II. Request for Information and Comments A. Products Covered by this Rule B. Test Procedure 1. Background 2. Updated Energy Efficiency Metric 3. Test Method for Cooling Mode 4. Test Method for Heating Mode 5. Test Method for Part Load Performance 6. Test Methods for Products that Operate on Mutliple Voltages 7. Test Methods for “Connected Products” C. Market and Technology Assessment 1. Product Classes 2. Technology Assessment D. Screening Analysis 1. Weight Limits 2. Chassis size Limits 3. Acoustic Noise E. Engineering Analysis 1. Baseline Models 2. Baseline Efficiency Levels 3. Higher Efficiency Levels F. Markups Analysis G. Energy Use Analysis H. Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis I. Shipments Analysis J. National Impact Analysis K. Manufacturer Impact Analysis III. Submission of Comments I. Introduction A. Authority and Background

    Title III, Part B 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA or the Act), Public Law 94-163, (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309, as codified) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency and established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering major household appliances (collectively referred to as “covered products”), including room ACs.2 EPCA authorizes DOE to establish technologically feasible, economically justified energy conservation standards for covered products that would be likely to result in significant national energy savings. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(I)-(VII))

    1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

    2 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-11 (April 30, 2015).

    The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA), Public Law 100-12, amended EPCA to establish prescriptive standards for room ACs manufactured on or after January 1, 1990, and directed DOE to conduct two cycles of rulemakings to determine if more stringent standards were justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(c)(1)-(2))

    DOE undertook the first cycle of these rulemakings and published a final rule on September 24, 1997 (hereafter the September 1997 Final Rule), revising the energy conservation standards for room ACs manufactured on or after October 1, 2000. 62 FR 50122. For the second cycle of rulemakings, DOE published a direct final rule on April 21, 2011 (hereafter the April 2011 Direct Final Rule), amending the energy conservation standards for room ACs manufactured on or after April 21, 2014. 76 FR 22454. DOE published a final rule amending the compliance dates for energy conservation standards for residential room air conditioners. 76 FR 52852 (Aug. 24, 2011). In a separate notice, also on August 24, 2011, DOE confirmed the adoption of these energy conservation standards in a notice of effective date and compliance dates for the direct final rule published on August 24, 2011 (76 FR 52854), which also adopted compliance dates which were set forth in a proposed rule published on May 9, 2011 (76 FR 26656). The current energy conservation standards apply to room ACs manufactured on or after June 1, 2014.

    EPCA requires that, not later than 6 years after the issuance of a final rule establishing or amending a standard, DOE publish a NOPR proposing new standards or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended. (42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(1)) Based on this provision, DOE must publish by April 8, 2017, either a NOPR proposing amended standards for room ACs or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended. This notice represents the initiation of the mandatory review process imposed by EPCA and seeks input from the public to assist DOE with its determination on whether amended standards pertaining to room ACs are warranted. In making this determination, DOE must evaluate whether more stringent standards would (1) yield a significant savings in energy use and (2) be both technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B))

    B. Rulemaking Process

    DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or amended standards for covered products. EPCA requires that any new or amended energy conservation standard be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy or water efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. To determine whether a standard is economically justified, EPCA requires that DOE determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens by considering, to the greatest extent practicable, the following:

    1. The economic impact of the standard on the manufacturers and consumers of the affected products;

    2. The savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the product compared to any increases in the initial cost, or maintenance expense;

    3. The total projected amount of energy and water (if applicable) savings likely to result directly from the imposition of the standard;

    4. Any lessening of the utility or the performance of the products likely to result from the imposition of the standard;

    5. The impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the imposition of the standard;

    6. The need for national energy and water conservation; and

    7. Other factors the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) considers relevant. (42 U.S.C. 6295 (o)(2)(B)(i))

    DOE fulfills these and other applicable requirements by conducting a series of analyses throughout the rulemaking process. Table I.1 shows the individual analyses that are performed to satisfy each of the requirements within EPCA.

    Table I.1—EPCA Requirements and Corresponding DOE Analysis EPCA requirement Corresponding DOE analysis Technological Feasibility • Market and Technology Assessment.
  • • Screening Analysis.
  • • Engineering Analysis.
  • Economic Justification: 1. Economic impact on manufacturers and consumers • Manufacturer Impact Analysis.
  • • Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis.
  • • Life-Cycle Cost Subgroup Analysis.
  • • Shipments Analysis.
  • 2. Lifetime operating cost savings compared to increased cost for the product • Markups for Product Price Determination.
  • • Energy and Water Use Determination.
  • • Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis.
  • 3. Total projected energy savings • Shipments Analysis.
  • • National Impact Analysis.
  • 4. Impact on utility or performance • Screening Analysis.
  • • Engineering Analysis.
  • 5. Impact of any lessening of competition • Manufacturer Impact Analysis. 6. Need for national energy and water conservation • Shipments Analysis.
  • • National Impact Analysis.
  • 7. Other factors the Secretary considers relevant • Emissions Analysis.
  • • Utility Impact Analysis.
  • • Employment Impact Analysis.
  • • Monetization of Emission Reductions Benefits.
  • • Regulatory Impact Analysis.
  • As detailed throughout this RFI, DOE is specifically publishing this notice as the first step in the analysis process and is specifically requesting input and data from interested parties to aid in the development of the technical analyses.

    II. Request for Information and Comments

    In the next section, DOE has identified a variety of questions that DOE would like to receive input on to aid in the development of the technical and economic analyses regarding whether new standards for room ACs may be warranted. In addition, DOE welcomes comments on other issues relevant to the conduct of this rulemaking that may not specifically be identified in this notice.

    A. Products Covered by This Rulemaking

    DOE defines “room air conditioner” under EPCA as “a consumer product, other than a “packaged terminal air conditioner,” which is powered by a single phase electric current and which is an encased assembly designed as a unit for mounting in a window or through the wall for the purpose of providing delivery of conditioned air to an enclosed space. It includes a prime source of refrigeration and may include a means for ventilating and heating. (10 CFR 430.2) DOE intends to address energy conservation standards for all room ACs.

    DOE notes that other consumer products, including portable ACs and residential dehumidifiers, are self-encased, powered by a single phase electric current, refrigeration-based, and provide delivery of conditioned air to an enclosed space. Portable ACs also provide connection through ducting to a window mounting bracket. DOE believes, however, that the requirement in the room AC definition that the encased assembly be designed as a unit for mounting in a window refers to the product in its entirety, and not just to duct connections. For this reason, DOE is not proposing to update the definition of “room air conditioner” to exclude other consumer products.

    DOE is aware that room ACs may provide additional consumer-oriented functions besides cooling, heating, and ventilation. Certain units may offer an air circulation feature, in which the room air is circulated without the addition of any outside air. In addition, certain units may provide an air cleaning function by means of electrostatic filtration, ultraviolet radiation, or ozone generators. DOE requests feedback from interested parties on the suitability of adding references to air circulation, air cleaning, or other functions to the room air conditioner definition.

    Issue A.1 DOE requests comment on the definition of room ACs and the consideration of energy conservation standards for all room ACs.

    B. Test Procedure 1. Background

    Prior to June 1, 2014, room AC performance was certified using the energy efficiency ratio (EER). EER is expressed in British thermal units (Btu) per watt-hour (Wh), and is the quotient of: (1) The cooling capacity in Btu per hour, divided by: (2) The electrical input power in watts (W). (10 CFR 430.23(f)(2))

    The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), Public Law 110-140, amended EPCA to require that standby mode and off mode energy consumption be integrated into the overall energy efficiency, energy consumption, or other energy descriptor unless the Secretary determines that (i) the current test procedures for a covered product already fully account for and incorporate standby mode and off mode energy consumption of the covered product; or (ii) such an integrated test procedure is technically infeasible for a particular covered product, in which case the Secretary shall prescribe a separate standby mode and off mode energy use test procedure for the covered product, if technically feasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A))

    On January 6, 2011, DOE published in the Federal Register a final rule for a room air AC test procedure rulemaking (January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule), in which DOE determined it is technically feasible to incorporate standby mode and off mode energy consumption into overall energy consumption. As a result, DOE adopted new methods to calculate room AC standby and off mode energy use and the new measure of energy efficiency, Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER), that integrates standby and off mode energy use with the active mode energy use. 76 FR 972, 991-992 (Jan. 6, 2011)

    In the January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule, DOE incorporated by reference into the room AC test procedures specific clauses from International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 62301, “Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power”, First Edition, 2005-06 (IEC Standard 62301 First Edition) regarding test conditions and test procedures for measuring standby and off mode power consumption. DOE also incorporated definitions of “active mode,” “standby mode,” and “off mode” that are based on the definitions provided in IEC Standard 62301, “Household electrical appliances—Measurement of standby power”, Second Edition, Committee Draft for Vote (IEC Standard 62301 CDV). Further, DOE adopted language to clarify the application of clauses from IEC Standard 62301 First Edition and the mode definitions from IEC Standard 62301 CDV for measuring standby and off mode power consumption. 76 FR 972, 979-987 (Jan. 6, 2011). Also as part of the January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule, DOE amended the room AC test procedure to update the references to industry test standards to the versions applicable at that time: (1) American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) RAC-1-2008, “Room Air Conditioners” (ANSI/AHAM RAC-1-2008); 3 and (2) ANSI/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard (ASHRAE) 16-1983 (RA2009), “Method of Testing for Rating Room Air Conditioners and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners” (ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 16-1983 (RA2009)),4 respectively. 76 FR 972, 1016-1017 (Jan. 6, 2011).

    3 AHAM standards are available for purchase online at: www.aham.org/ht/d/Store/name/STANDARDS/pid/5132.

    4 ASHRAE standards are available for purchase online at: www.techstreet.com/ashrae/.

    2. Updated Energy Efficiency Metric

    On February 25, 2015, DOE published a test procedure NOPR for portable ACs that proposes the use of a revised CEER metric that accounts for energy consumption in each of the identified active, standby, and off modes: Cooling mode, heating mode, off-cycle mode, inactive mode, and off mode (hereafter referred to as the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR). 80 FR 10212. As discussed in section II.A of this notice, DOE is requesting input on including definitions for different operating modes in the definitions for room ACs. If such additional modes are included, DOE would also consider whether to revise the current room AC CEER metric to account for the energy use in them. In particular, DOE is interested in feedback on whether to consider including in the room AC CEER metric the same modes proposed for the portable AC metric, because of the similarity between the two products.

    As a possible approach, DOE could consider the proposal in the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR, in which average power in each mode would be measured and then individually multiplied by the annual operating hours for its respective mode.

    AEC i = P i × h i × k Where: AECi is the annual energy consumption in each mode, in kilowatt-hours (kWh)/year; Pi is the average power in each mode, in W; hi is the number of annual operating hours in each mode; i designates the operating mode (“c” cooling, “h” heating, “oc” off-cycle, and “ia” inactive or “om” off mode); and k is 0.001 kWh/Wh conversion factor for Wh to kWh. 80 FR 10211, 10234 (Feb. 25, 2015).

    In order to calculate AECi, DOE would need to define the annual operating hours for each mode. The current room AC test procedure specifies 750 hours for active cooling mode, and a total of 5,115 hours for inactive and off mode. (10 CFR part 430 appendix F to subpart B). DOE established these values in the January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule. DOE seeks input on mode hours for the complete set of operating modes that may be defined for room ACs.

    To incorporate the new operating modes into a revised CEER metric, the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR proposed defining the new term; “combined cooling mode EER” (CEERC).

    EP18JN15.000 Where: CEERC is the combined energy efficiency ratio in cooling mode, in Btu/Wh. ACC is the adjusted cooling capacity, in Btu/h. AECT is the total annual energy consumption attributed to all modes except cooling and heating, in kWh/year. t is the number of hours per year, 8,760. k is 0.001 kWh/Wh conversion factor for watt-hours to kilowatt-hours. 80 FR 10211, 10234 (Feb. 25, 2015).

    The CEERC would be calculated for all units, including those with only cooling function and those with both cooling and heating functions. For units with cooling and heating functions, the metric would be calculated assuming heating mode is not used and therefore, the operating hours that would have been attributed to heating mode and other associated operating modes during the heating season would be neglected. In the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR, DOE proposed that the resulting CEERC is a meaningful metric for portable ACs without a heating function, and a basis for comparing cooling mode efficiency for units that include heating function, as well as a metric that could be compared to other cooling products, such as room ACs. Id.

    To calculate the overall energy efficiency metric for portable ACs without a heating function, the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR proposed that the revised CEER would be directly equal to the unit's calculated CEERC. However, for units with both cooling and heating mode, the revised overall CEER would be calculated as follows.

    EP18JN15.001 Where: CEER is the combined energy efficiency ratio, in Btu/Wh. ACC is the adjusted cooling capacity, in Btu/h. AHC is the adjusted heating capacity, in Btu/h. AECT is the total annual energy consumption attributed to all modes except cooling and heating, in kWh/year. hc and hh are the cooling and heating mode operating hours, respectively. t is the number of hours per year, 8,760. k is 0.001 kWh/Wh conversion factor for watt-hours to kilowatt-hours. 80 FR 10211, 10234-35 (Feb. 25, 2015).

    Issue B.1 DOE seeks comment on the merits and/or limitations of revising the room AC test procedure and efficiency metric to account for energy consumption in various modes, which may include cooling mode, heating mode, off-cycle mode, inactive mode, off mode, or others.

    Issue B.2 DOE requests data on annual operating hours for the room AC operating modes.

    Issue B.3 DOE seeks comment on revising the room AC test procedure to require calculation of CEERC for all units, including those with only cooling function, and those with both cooling and heating functions.

    Issue B.4 DOE seeks comment on revising the definition of CEER for room ACs to be consistent with definitions proposed in the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR.

    3. Test Methods for Cooling Mode

    The current room AC test procedure specifies that cooling mode performance be tested in accordance with the methods and conditions in ANSI/AHAM RAC-1-2008 and ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (RA2009). (10 CFR part 430, appendix F to subpart B) ANSI/ASHRAE reaffirmed the test standard 16-1983 most recently in 2014. ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (R2014) specifies measuring cooling performance using a calorimeter method. DOE is aware, however, that ASHRAE is currently undertaking a revision to ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (R2014) that is expected to allow cooling performance to be measured using an air enthalpy method similar to that specified in ANSI/ASHRAE 37-2009 “Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment” (ANSI/ASHRAE 37-2009).

    Issue B.5 DOE seeks comment on the possible use of an air enthalpy method as an alternative to the current calorimeter method to measure cooling performance in the room AC test procedure.

    Issue B.6 DOE requests test data comparing the performance and accuracy of the current calorimeter method to the air enthalpy method being considered in a revision to ANSI/ASHRAE 16-1983 (R2014).

    Issue B.7 DOE requests information on the burdens associated with testing cooling performance using an air enthalpy method. Specifically DOE is interested in data related to the required capital investment costs, per-test costs, and testing time associated with air enthalpy testing. DOE is also interested in how these costs compare to those for the existing calorimeter method, and whether the burden for air enthalpy testing would disproportionately impact certain businesses.

    4. Test Methods for Heating Mode

    If DOE revises the room AC test procedure to require calculation of CEERh for models with reverse cycle, DOE would need to define a method for measuring heating performance. DOE is currently evaluating test methods that have been developed (or are proposed) for other residential or light commercial space cooling/heating appliances, such as portable ACs, packaged terminal ACs (PTACs), and packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHPs).

    In the February 2015 PAC TP NOPR DOE proposed using an air enthalpy method to measure portable AC heating performance. The proposed method is based on AHAM PAC-1-2014 “Portable Air Conditioners” (AHAM PAC-1), which references test methods established in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-2009. 80 FR 10211, 10217-10231 (Feb. 25, 2015). For this method, DOE proposed standard rating conditions for the evaporator (room) side and condenser (outdoor) side of dual-duct portable ACs as shown in Table II.1. DOE considers the test conditions in Table II.1 to be the most representative of typical heating mode use for portable ACs, which are likely used as supplemental or low-capacity heaters when a central heating system isn't necessary or operating. DOE notes that the terms “evaporator” and “condenser” refer to the heat exchanger configuration in cooling mode, not the reverse-cycle heating mode.

    Table II.1—Standard Rating Conditions for Dual Duct PACs—Heating Mode Evaporator inlet air
  • degrees Fahrenheit (°F) (°Celsius (C))
  • Dry Bulb Wet Bulb Condenser inlet air
  • °F (°C)
  • Dry Bulb Wet Bulb
    70.0 (21.1) 60.0 (15.6) 47.0 (8.33) 43.0 (6.11)

    In the current PTAC and PTHP test procedure (10 CFR 431.96), DOE also uses an air enthalpy method to measure heating mode performance. For this test procedure, DOE incorporates by reference in total the American Refrigeration Institute (ARI) Standard 310/380-2004 “Standard for Packaged Terminal Air-Conditioners And Heat Pumps” (ARI 310/380-2004).5 ARI 310/380-2004 in turn references ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 58-1999 “Methods of Testing Rating Room Air Conditioner and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner Heating Capacity” (ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1999) to rate the heating performance of both PTACs and PTHPs. AHR 310/380-2004 specifically notes that “standard ratings relating to cooling capacity and heating capacity shall be net values, including the effects of circulating fan heat, but not including supplementary heat. Standard input ratings shall be the total power input to the compressor(s) and fans, plus controls and other items included as part of the model number(s).” AHR 310/380-2004 provides methods to calculate heat pump heating capacities and energy consumption at both “high-temperature” and “low-temperature” operating conditions, but specifies that EER and coefficient of performance (COP) are only calculated for the high-temperature condition. Table II.2 summarizes the rating conditions for high- and low-temperature conditions.

    5 ARI 310/380-2004 is available online at: www.ari.org/App_Content/ahri/files/standards%20pdfs/ANSI%20standards%20pdfs/ANSI.AHRI.CSA%20Standard%20310_380-2004.pdf.

    Table II.2—Standard Rating Conditions for PTHPs and PTACs With Reverse Cycle Capability—Heating Mode Operating condition Evaporator inlet air
  • °F (°C)
  • Dry Bulb Wet Bulb Condenser inlet air
  • °F (°C)
  • Dry Bulb Wet Bulb
    High-Temperature 70.0 (21.1) 60.0 (15.6) max 47.0 (8.3) 43.0 (6.1) Low-Temperature 70.0 (21.1) 60.0 (15.6) max 17.0 (−8.3) 15.0 (−9.4)

    Issue B.8 DOE seeks comment on appropriate test methods, external standards, and operating conditions for measuring heating performance in room ACs with reverse cycle. Specifically, DOE seeks comment on the high-temperature operating conditions specified in Table II.2. DOE also welcomes suggestions and supporting data for alternative methods.

    Issue B.9 DOE requests information on the burdens associated with testing heating performance, using methods similar to ANSI/ASHRAE 58-1999 or ANSI/ASHRAE 37-2009, or other methods. Specifically DOE is interested in data related to the required capital investment costs, per-test costs, and testing time associate with sound testing. DOE also requests comment on whether this burden would disproportionately impact certain businesses.

    5. Test Methods for Part Load Performance

    In the January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule, DOE discussed that the test procedure established in that rule does not measure the benefits of technologies that improve part-load performance. 76 FR 972, 1016 (Jan. 6, 2011). The current room AC test procedure measures only the full-load performance at outdoor ambient conditions of 95 °F dry-bulb and 75 °F wet-bulb. Therefore, technologies that improve part-load performance, such as multiple-speed compressors and variable-opening expansion devices, will not improve the rated performance of a room AC under the current test procedure. In contrast, central ACs and heat pumps are rated with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) descriptor, but the test procedure consists of multiple rating points at different conditions that add time and expense when rating the product.

    DOE concluded in the January 2011 RAC TP Final Rule that widespread use of part-load technology in room ACs would not likely be stimulated by the development of a part-load metric at this time, and therefore, the significant effort required to develop an accurate part-load metric is not likely to be warranted by the expected minimal energy savings. 76 FR 972, 1016 (Jan. 6, 2011.

    For the current test procedure rulemaking, DOE again intends to investigate the merits and limitations of revising the current room AC test procedure to account for any benefits of technologies that improve part-load performance. As part of this investigation, DOE expects to research the availability of room ACs on the market in the United States that incorporate variable speed compressors and other components and controls that would enable implementation of part-load operation.

    Issue B.10 DOE seeks comment on the merits and/or limitations of revising the current room AC test procedure to account for benefit of technologies that improve part-load performance, and welcomes suggestions and supporting information for test methods that measure part-load operation.

    Issue B.11 DOE seeks data and information on the prevalence of room ACs in the U.S. market that are capable of part-load operation.

    6. Test Methods for Products That Operate on Multiple Voltages

    DOE is aware that there are room ACs available in the United States that can operate on multiple voltages for the input power. These products may have a different capacity measured at each operating voltage. As a result, a single product may be categorized into two different product classes and therefore be required to comply with two different energy conservation standards, depending on which voltage is used to test the product. Currently, the room AC test procedure does not specify which voltage a product should be tested at, if it is capable of operating with multiple voltages.

    Issue B.12 DOE seeks comment on how to test and certify products that may operate on multiple voltages. Specifically, DOE is interested in comment on how to treat products that may be categorized into two different product classes, depending on operating voltage.

    7. Test Methods for “Connected Products”

    On February 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Version 4.0 “ENERGY STAR Product Specification for Room Air Conditioners.” 6 Along with revised efficiency criteria, EPA specified an optional connected criteria for room ACs designed to provide enhanced functionality to consumers, such as alerts/messages, remote control, and energy information, as well as new demand response capabilities to support future smart grid interconnection. Products that meet these optional criteria and are certified using a future test method to validate the demand response capabilities could take advantage of a 5-percent energy use allowance for ENERGY STAR rating qualification.

    6 Available online at www.energystar.gov/products/spec/room_air_conditioner_specification_version_4_0_pd.

    DOE anticipates that the revised ENERGY STAR specification may increase the market penetration of “connected products.” It is possible that connected products may consume a significant amount of energy while performing these connected functions. As such, DOE is considering whether to amend the room AC test procedure and energy conservation standards to account for the energy consumed while the product performs connected functions.

    Issue B.13 DOE requests information on “connected” room ACs that are already on the market in the United States. Specifically, DOE is interested in the available “connected” features, as well as the energy consumption while these features are active or awaiting commands.

    Issue B.14 DOE request information on the current and anticipated market penetration of “connected products.”

    C. Market and Technology Assessment

    The market and technology assessment provides information about the room AC industry that will be used throughout the rulemaking process. For example, this information will be used to determine whether the existing product class structure requires modification based on the statutory criteria for setting such classes and to explore the potential for technological improvements in the design and manufacturing of such products. DOE uses qualitative and quantitative information to characterize the structure of the room AC industry and market. DOE will identify and characterize the manufacturers of room ACs, estimate market shares and trends, address regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives intended to improve energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption, and explore the potential for technological improvements in the design and manufacturing of room ACs. DOE will also review product literature, industry publications, and company Web sites. Additionally, DOE will consider conducting interviews with manufacturers to assess the overall market for room ACs.

    1. Product Classes

    As required by EPCA, the criteria for separation into different classes are: (1) Type of energy used, or (2) capacity or other performance-related features such as those that provide utility to the consumer or others deemed appropriate by the Secretary that would justify the establishment of a separate energy conservation standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295 (q))

    For room ACs, the NAECA amendments to EPCA, initially specified 12 product classes which were applicable to units designed for single-hung or double-hung window installation or through-thewall installation and based on the following criteria: (1) cooling capacity, in Btu/h; (2) the presence of louvered sides (LS); and (3) the capability of reverse cycle. (42 U.S.C. 6295(c)(1)). In the September 1997 Final Rule, DOE established an updated set of performance standards (effective October 1, 2000) which included four additional product classes. 62 FR 50122 (Sept. 24, 1997). In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE split Product Classes 5 and 8 into two product classes each. Former Product Class 5 (louvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 20,000 Btu/h and higher) was split into Product Class 5A (louvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 20,000 to 27,999 Btu/h) and Product Class 5B (louvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 28,000 Btu/h and higher). Former Product Class 8 (non-louvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h) was split into Product Class 8A (non-louvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 8,000 to 10,999 Btu/h) and Product Class 8B (nonlouvered, non-reverse-cycle, capacity of 11,000 to 13,999 Btu/h). 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). Table II.3 lists the current 18 product classes for room ACs.

    Table II.3—Current Room Air Conditioner Product Classes Without reverse cycle and with louvered sides 1. Less than 6,000 Btu/h. 2. 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h. 3. 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h. 4. 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h. 5A. 20,000 to 27,999 Btu/h. 5B. 28,000 Btu/h or more. Without reverse cycle and without louvered sides 6. Less than 6,000 Btu/h. 7. 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h. 8A. 8,000 to 10,999 Btu/h. 8B. 11,000 to 13,999 Btu/h. 9. 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h. 10. 20,000 Btu/h or more With reverse cycle 11. With louvered sides and less than 20,000 Btu/h. 12. Without louvered sides and less than 14,000 Btu/h. 13. With louvered sides and 20,000 Btu/h or more. 14. Without louvered sides and 14,000 Btu/h or more. Casement 15. Casement-Only. 16. Casement-Slide.

    Issue C.1 DOE requests feedback on the current room AC product classes and seeks information regarding any other product classes it should consider for inclusion in its analysis.

    2. Technology Assessment

    DOE uses information about existing and past technology options and prototype designs to help identify technologies that manufacturers could use to meet and/or exceed energy conservation standards. In consultation with interested parties, DOE intends to develop a list of technologies to consider in its analysis. Initially, this list will include a subset of the technology options considered during the most recent room AC energy conservation standards rulemaking. These technologies are listed in Table II.4.

    DOE is aware that certain technologies listed in Table II.4 may have progressed since the April 2011 Direct Final Rule. Specifically, at the time of that analysis, the room AC industry was responding to the EPA-mandated phase-out of HFC-22 refrigerant. 74 FR 66412, 66418 (Dec. 15, 2009). This rule led to an industry changeover to R-410A refrigerant. Manufacturers expressed concern at the time over the availability of R-410A compressors, stating that production capacity of compressor suppliers had not fully rebounded and compressor suppliers had yet to offer the same range of compressor capacities and efficiency tiers (See chapter 12 of the direct final rule technical support document (TSD).). Consequently, DOE plans to investigate improvements in R-410A compressors that may have come available since the April 2011 Direct Final Rule.

    Additionally, in the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE investigated the technological feasibility of the alternative refrigerant R-407C. 76 FR 22490 (April 21, 2011). For this rulemaking, DOE may reevaluate R-407C, as well as other hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants.

    Furthermore, DOE is aware that three new refrigerants have been approved for use in room air conditioners by the EPA under the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP), subject to certain use conditions: R-290, R-441A and R-32.80 FR 19454 (Apr. 10, 2015). For this rulemaking, DOE plans to investigate the technological feasibility of these refrigerants.

    Table II.4—Technology Options for Room Air Conditioners Technology passed to screening analysis in April 2011 direct final rule? Increased heat transfer surface area 1. Increased frontal coil area Yes. 2. Increased depth of coil (add tube rows) Yes. 3. Increased fin density Yes. 4. Add subcooler to condenser coil Yes. Increased Heat Transfer Coefficients 5. Improved fin design Yes. 6. Improved tube design Yes. 7. Hydrophilic-film coating on fins Yes. 8. Spray condensate onto condenser coil Yes. 9. Microchannel heat exchangers Yes. Component Improvements 10. Improved indoor blower and outdoor fan efficiency Yes. 11. Improved blower/fan motor efficiency Yes. 12. Improved compressor efficiency Yes. Part-Load Technology Improvements 13. Two-speed, variable-speed, or modulating-capacity compressors Yes. 14. Thermostatic or electronic expansion valves Yes. 15. Thermostatic cyclic controls Yes. Standby Power Improvements 16. Switching Power Supply Yes. Refrigeration System Options 17. Alternative Refrigerants (R-407C) No. 18. Suction-Line Heat Exchanger No.

    Issue C.2 DOE seeks information related to the technologies listed in Table II.4 or other technologies as to their applicability to the current market and how these technologies improve efficiency of room ACs as measured according to the DOE test procedure.

    Issue C.3 DOE seeks information related to efficiency improvements in R-410A compressors since the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, their applicability and/or penetration in the current market, and how the compressors improve efficiency of room ACs as measured according to the DOE test procedure.

    Issue C.4 DOE seeks information related to the alternative HFC and HC refrigerants, including propane. Specifically, DOE seeks information on the availability of such refrigerants, and, their applicability and/or penetration in the current market, and how these refrigerants improve efficiency of room ACs as measured according to the DOE test procedure.

    D. Screening Analysis

    The purpose of the screening analysis is to evaluate the technologies that improve equipment efficiency to determine which technologies will be eliminated from further consideration and which will be passed to the engineering analysis for further consideration.

    Appendix A to subpart C of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 430 (10 CFR part 430), “Procedures, Interpretations and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products” (the Process Rule), sets forth procedures to guide DOE in its consideration and promulgation of new or revised equipment energy conservation standards. These procedures elaborate on the statutory criteria provided in 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and, in part, eliminate problematic technologies early in the process of prescribing or amending an energy efficiency standard. In particular, sections 4(b)(4) and 5(b) of the Process Rule guide DOE in determining whether to eliminate from consideration any technology that presents unacceptable problems with respect to the following criteria:

    (1) Technological feasibility. Technologies incorporated in commercial equipment or in working prototypes will be considered technologically feasible.

    (2) Practicability to manufacture, install, and service. If mass production of a technology in commercial equipment and reliable installation and servicing of the technology could be achieved on the scale necessary to serve the relevant market at the time of the effective date of the standard, then that technology will be considered practicable to manufacture, install, and service.

    (3) Impacts on equipment utility or equipment availability. If a technology is determined to have significant adverse impact on the utility of the equipment to significant subgroups of consumers, or result in the unavailability of any covered equipment type with performance characteristics (including reliability), features, sizes, capacities, and volumes that are substantially the same as equipment generally available in the United States at the time, it will not be considered further.

    (4) Adverse impacts on health or safety. If it is determined that a technology will have significant adverse impacts on health or safety, it will not be considered further.

    Technology options developed in the technology assessment are evaluated against these criteria using DOE analyses and inputs from manufacturers, trade organizations, and energy efficiency advocates. Technologies that pass through the screening analysis are referred to as “design options” in the engineering analysis. Technology options that fail to meet one or more of the four criteria are eliminated from consideration.

    As a part of the screening analysis, DOE has identified three specific consumer-oriented issues that it seeks input on. These issues are weight limits, chassis size limits, and acoustic noise. The following three subsections provide further details on these issues.

    1. Weight Limits

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule analysis DOE limited the total weight of the Product Class 1 (as defined in Table II.3) baseline unit to 50 pounds, to avoid exceeding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines for single-person lifting.7 DOE did not consider limiting the weight of the other analyzed product classes because baseline units in those product classes already exceeded this weight limit.

    7 NIOSH guideline: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-131/.

    OSHA guideline: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/electricalcontractors/materials/heavy.html.

    Issue D.1 DOE seeks input on the merits and/or limitations of maintaining a 50-pound limit for room ACs in Product Class 1. DOE also welcomes suggestions and supporting analysis for alternative weight limits.

    Issue D.2 DOE seeks input on whether to consider weight limits for product classes other than Product Class 1 in the room AC analysis. DOE also welcomes suggestions and data for additional product class-specific weight limits.

    2. Chassis Size Limits

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule analysis, DOE used a methodology that established maximum chassis widths and heights for each product class, when considering a baseline unit. DOE established these limits based on the dimensions of the largest R-410A room AC in each product class on the market. DOE did not set a limit for maximum chassis depth in that analysis.

    Issue D.3 DOE seeks input on potentially establishing chassis size limits as part of a design option analysis. DOE also welcomes suggestions and supporting analysis for alternative chassis size limits.

    Issue D.4 DOE seeks input on any factors that may help define chassis dimension limits beyond the dimensions of room ACs currently on the market in the United States. Specifically DOE welcomes data on the distribution of window widths and heights in U.S. residences.

    3. Acoustic Noise

    DOE understands that increased noise levels might occur as room ACs attain higher levels of efficiency. Certain technology options, such as higher speed fans, can facilitate increased heat transfer and improved efficiency, but may result in increased acoustic noise. As a part of the screening analysis, DOE intends to investigate this relationship, specifically as it relates to impacts on consumer utility. As such DOE seeks input on test methods appropriate to objectively evaluate acoustic noise in room ACs.

    DOE is aware that the European Union (EU), through its EcoDesign regulations, recently instituted maximum sound power levels for room ACs assessed under EN 12102:2013 “Air Conditioners, liquid chilling packages, heat pumps and dehumidifiers with electrically driven compressors for space heating and cooling—Measurement of airborne noise—Determination of sound power levels” (EN 12102:2013). Under the new EU regulation, room ACs may not exceed indoor sound power levels of 60 decibels (dB)(A) and outdoor sound power levels of 60dB(A).

    Similarly, the October 28, 2014 EPA Draft 1 of Version 4.0 “ENERGY STAR Product Specification for Room Air Conditioners” 8 proposed that measured indoor sound power level shall not exceed 60dB(A), as measured using EN 12102:2013. In response to stakeholder comment, the EPA chose to remove the sound performance criteria in its February 20, 2015 Final Version 4.0 of “ENERGY STAR Product Specification for Room Air Conditioners.” 9 Stakeholders identified the lack of availability of test chambers and the burden of both building capacity for testing and sound power testing as one barrier to the inclusion of sound performance in an ENERGY STAR specification.

    8 Available online at www.energystar.gov/products/spec/room_air_conditioner_specification_version_4_0_pdf.

    9 Id.

    Issue D.5 DOE requests suggestions for test methods that are appropriate to objectively evaluate acoustic noise in room ACs.

    Issue D.6 DOE requests information on the relationship between acoustic noise, in dB(A), or other appropriate units, and consumer satisfaction.

    Issue D.7 DOE requests feedback and data on how the design options presented in section II.C impact room AC acoustic noise.

    E. Engineering Analysis

    The engineering analysis estimates the cost-efficiency relationship of products at different levels of increased energy efficiency (“efficiency levels”). This relationship serves as the basis for the cost-benefit calculations for consumers, manufacturers, and the nation. In determining the cost-efficiency relationship, DOE estimates the change in manufacturer cost associated with increasing the efficiency of products above the baseline, up to the maximum technologically feasible (“max-tech”) efficiency level for each product class.

    DOE historically has used the following three methodologies to generate incremental manufacturing costs and establish efficiency levels (ELs) for analysis: (1) The design-option approach, which provides the incremental costs of adding to a baseline model design options that will improve its efficiency; (2) the efficiency-level approach, which provides the relative costs of achieving increases in energy efficiency levels, without regard to the particular design options used to achieve such increases; and (3) the cost-assessment (or reverse engineering) approach, which provides “bottom-up” manufacturing cost assessments for achieving various levels of increased efficiency, based on detailed data as to costs for parts and material, labor, shipping/packaging, and investment for models that operate at particular efficiency levels.

    1. Baseline Models

    For each established product class, DOE selects a baseline model as a reference point against which any changes resulting from energy conservation standards can be measured. The baseline model in each product class represents the characteristics of common or typical products in that class. Typically, a baseline model is one that meets the current minimum energy conservation standards.

    2. Baseline Efficiency Levels

    DOE tentatively plans to consider the current minimum energy conservations standards (which went into effect June 1, 2014) to establish the baseline efficiency levels for each product class. Table II.5 presents the current energy conservation standards for room ACs. If DOE amends the room AC test procedure to provide an efficiency metric other than the current CEER, DOE will adjust the CEER baseline levels to account for the new metric.

    Table II.5—Current Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners Product class CEER,
  • effective as of June 1, 2014
  • 1. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 11.0 2. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 11.0 3. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 10.9 4. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 10.7 5A. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 to 27,999 Btu/h 9.4 5B. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 28,000 Btu/h or more 9.0 6. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 10.0 7. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 10.0 8A. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 8,000 to 10,999 Btu/h 9.6 8B. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 11,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 9.5 9. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 9.3 10. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 9.4 11. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 20,000 Btu/h 9.8 12. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 14,000 Btu/h 9.3 13. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 9.3 14. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 Btu/h or more 8.7 15. Casement-Only 9.5 16. Casement-Slider 10.4

    Issue E.1 DOE requests comment on approaches that it should consider when determining the baseline efficiency levels for each product class, including information regarding the merits and/or limitations of such approaches.

    3. Higher Efficiency Levels

    For each product class, DOE will define efficiency levels beyond the baseline and develop incremental manufacturing cost data for each efficiency level. To define the efficiency levels, DOE tentatively plans to evaluate potential efficiency improvements from available design options and consider voluntary certification program levels such as ENERGY STAR and Consortium for Energy Efficiency's (CEE) Super Efficient Home Appliance Initiative (SEHA). The current ENERGY STAR and CEE voluntary certification levels are presented in Table II.6.

    Table II.6—Current ENERGY STAR and CEE SEHA Levels for Room Air Conditioners Product class Oct. 2013
  • ENERGY
  • STAR
  • (CEER)
  • Oct. 2013
  • ENERGY
  • STAR
  • (EER)
  • SEHA
  • Tier 1
  • (EER) *
  • SEHA
  • Tier 2
  • (EER) *
  • 1. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 11.0 11.2 11.2 11.6 2. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 11.0 11.2 11.2 11.6 3. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 8,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 11.2 11.3 11.3 11.8 4. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 11.1 11.2 11.2 11.6 5a. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 to 27,999 Btu/h 9.8 9.8 † 9.8 † 10.2 5b. Without reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 28,000 Btu/h or more 9.8 9.8 † 9.8 † 10.2 6. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 6,000 Btu/h 10.2 10.4 7. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 6,000 to 7,999 Btu/h 10.2 10.4 8a. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 8,000 to 10,999 Btu/h 9.7 9.8 8b. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 11,000 to 13,999 Btu/h 9.7 9.8 9. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 to 19,999 Btu/h 9.7 9.8 10. Without reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more ** 9.7 ** 9.8 11. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and less than 20,000 Btu/h 10.3 10.4 12. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and less than 14,000 Btu/h 9.7 9.8 13. With reverse cycle, with louvered sides, and 20,000 Btu/h or more 9.8 9.8 14. With reverse cycle, without louvered sides, and 14,000 Btu/h or more 9.1 9.2 15. Casement-Only 9.9 10 16. Casement-Slider 10.8 10.9 * Note that CEE SEHA does not specify tier levels in CEER, and tier levels are only specified for units in classes 1-5b. ** ENERGY STAR requires that units with cooling capacity greater or equal 28,000 Btu/h achieve 9.8 CEER. The aforementioned capacity range is part of product class 10 in the current rule.10 † The CEE SEHA room air conditioner specification defines two capacity ranges that cover the same range as product classes 5a and 5b: 20,000 Btu/h to 24,999 Btu/h or greater than 25,000 Btu/h. These do not match the capacity ranges defined by DOE: 20,000 Btu/h to 27,999 Btu/h or greater than 28,000 Btu/h.11

    10 ENERGY STAR guidelines are available at: www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/specs/ENERGY%20STAR%20Version%203.1%20Room%20Air%20Conditioner%20Program%20Requirements.pdf.

    11 CEE SEHA room air conditioner guidelines are available at: http://library.cee1.org/sites/default/files/library/9296/CEE_ResApp_RoomAirConditionerSpecification_2003_Updated_Again.pdf.

    Issue E.2 DOE seeks input concerning efficiency levels to analyze for room ACs. Specifically, DOE seeks information that may guide the definition of efficiency levels, including any additional voluntary certification programs or relevant foreign standards or programs.

    Issue E.3 DOE seeks input on appropriate maximum technologically feasible efficiency levels and the basis for why those levels should be selected.

    F. Markups Analysis

    To carry out the life-cycle cost (LCC) and payback period (PBP) calculations, DOE needs to determine the cost to the residential consumer of baseline products that satisfies the currently applicable standards, and the cost of the more-efficient unit the consumer would purchase under potential amended standards. By applying a multiplier called a “markup” to the manufacturer's selling price, DOE is able to estimate the residential consumer's price.

    For the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE based the distribution channels on data from AHAM. For room ACs, the main actors are manufacturers and retailers. Thus, DOE analyzed a manufacturer-to-consumer distribution channel consisting of three parties: (1) The manufacturers producing the products; (2) the retailers purchasing the products from manufacturers and selling them to consumers; and (3) the consumers who purchase the products. DOE plans to use the same approach in the current rulemaking.

    As was done in the last rulemaking and consistent with the approach followed for other energy consuming products, DOE will determine an average manufacturer markup by examining the annual Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 10-K reports filed by publicly traded manufacturers of appliances whose product range includes room ACs. DOE will determine an average retailer markup by analyzing both economic census data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the annual SEC 10-K reports filed by publicly traded retailers.

    In addition to developing manufacturer and retailer markups, DOE will develop and include sales taxes to calculate appliance retail prices. DOE will use an Internet source, the Sales Tax Clearinghouse, to calculate applicable sales taxes.

    Issue F.1 DOE seeks input from stakeholders on whether the distribution channels described above are still relevant for room ACs. DOE also welcomes comments concerning its proposed approach to developing estimates of markups for room ACs.

    Issue F.2 DOE seeks recent data to establish the markups for the parties involved with the distribution of the product addressed in this notice.

    G. Energy Use Analysis

    The purpose of the energy use analysis is to assess the energy savings potential of different product efficiencies. DOE uses the annual energy consumption and energy-savings potential in the LCC and PBP analyses to establish the savings in consumer operating costs at various product efficiency levels. In contrast to the DOE test procedure, which provides a measure of the energy use, energy efficiency or annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative average use cycle, the energy use analysis seeks to capture the range of operating conditions for room ACs in U.S. homes.

    To determine the field energy use of products that would meet possible standard levels, DOE proposes to use data from the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), or the most recent such survey available from EIA.12 RECS is a national sample survey of housing units that collects statistical information on the consumption of and expenditures for energy in housing units along with data on energy-related characteristics of the housing units and occupants.

    12 For information on RECS, see http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/.

    For the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE used the data reported by RECS on the annual energy consumption (field energy consumption) for room air conditioning. The reported end-use quantities were not based on metering of individual appliances; rather, EIA used a regression technique to estimate how much of the total annual electricity consumption for each household can be attributed to each end-use category. The reported field energy consumption refers to the consumption of all of the room ACs in a home. RECS also reports the number of room ACs in the home. To estimate the energy consumption of a single room AC for this rulemaking, DOE divided the room AC energy use reported in RECS by the reported number of room ACs. For houses with both central air conditioning and room air conditioning, DOE scaled the energy use by using a relative use factor. Although in reality the utilization of each of the room ACs in a home may vary, the RECS data does not allow DOE to estimate such variation.

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE estimated that, based on stakeholder input, 12-percent of room AC shipments were utilized in commercial building applications. The Energy Information Administration's Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) 13 does not report annual energy consumption for room air conditioning, so DOE estimated the energy consumption using variables specific to each building in the sample and data on cooling degree-days. For this rulemaking, DOE is considering using the same methodology to estimate energy use in commercial building applications.

    13 For information on CBECS, see http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/about.cfm.

    DOE requests comment or seeks input from stakeholders on the following issues pertaining to the energy use analysis:

    Issue G.1 DOE requests stakeholder input regarding the impact of changes in CEER on cooling energy savings.

    Issue G.2 Data sources that DOE can use to characterize the variability in annual energy consumption of room ACs.

    Issue G.3 DOE requests stakeholder comment on whether a significant enough percentage of residential room ACs are utilized in commercial buildings to warrant considering their use in commercial applications.

    H. Life-Cycle Cost and Payback Period Analysis

    The purpose of the LCC and PBP analysis is to analyze the effects of potential amended energy conservation standards on consumers of residential room AC products by determining how a potential amended standard affects the consumers' operating expenses (usually decreased) and total installed costs (usually increased).

    DOE intends to analyze data input variability and uncertainty by performing the LCC and PBP calculations on a representative sample of households from RECS and commercial buildings from CBECS for the considered product classes using Monte Carlo simulation and probability distributions. The analysis results are a distribution of results showing the range of LCC savings and PBPs for a given efficiency level relative to the baseline level.

    Inputs to the LCC and PBP analysis are categorized as: (1) Inputs for establishing the purchase expense, otherwise known as the total installed cost, and (2) inputs for calculating the operating expense. The primary inputs for establishing the total installed cost are the baseline consumer price, standard-level consumer price increases, and installation costs. Baseline consumer prices and standard-level consumer price increases will be determined by applying markups to manufacturer price estimates. The installation cost is added to the consumer price to arrive at a total installed cost.

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE derived the installation costs from room AC data in RS Means. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). DOE plans to use similar data sources for this rulemaking, with adjustments to reflect current-day labor and material prices as well as to scale installation cost for higher-efficiency products based on equipment weight and/or dimensions.

    Issue H.1 DOE seeks input on whether room AC installation costs will scale with equipment weight and/or dimensions.

    The primary inputs for calculating the operating costs are product energy consumption, product efficiency, electricity prices and forecasts, maintenance and repair costs, product lifetime, and discount rates.

    Repair costs are associated with repairing or replacing components that have failed in the appliance, whereas maintenance costs are associated with maintaining the operation of the equipment. In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE assumed a maintenance increase for the higher-capacity units due to more expensive product cost but no maintenance differences with higher efficiency units. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011).

    Issue H.2 DOE seeks stakeholder input on the appropriateness to assume that changes in maintenance costs will be negligible for more-efficient products.

    Repair costs are costs associated with a major repair during the lifetime of the product. In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE determined the costs of major repairs (e.g., compressor replacement) from RS Means and industry literature. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). DOE also assumed that repair costs vary in direct proportion with the product price at higher efficiency levels as replacement costs for more-efficient components are likely to be greater than components in baseline products. Id.

    Issue H.3 DOE seeks stakeholder comment on the assumption that repair costs vary in direct proportion to product price and unit capacity.

    DOE measures LCC and PBP impacts of potential standard levels relative to a base case that reflects the market in the absence of amended standards. DOE plans to develop market-share efficiency data (i.e., the distribution of product shipments by efficiency) for the product classes DOE is considering, for the year in which compliance with any amended or new standards would be required. By accounting for consumers who already purchase more efficient products, DOE avoids overstating the potential benefits from potential standards.

    Issue H.4 DOE seeks stakeholder input and data on the fraction of room ACs that are sold above the minimum energy efficiency standards. DOE also requests information on expected trends in product efficiency over the next 5 years.

    I. Shipments Analysis

    DOE uses shipment projections by product class and efficiency level in its analysis of the national impacts of potential standards, as well as in the manufacturer impact analysis.

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE developed a shipments model for room ACs driven by historical shipments data, which were used to build up a product stock and calibrate the shipments model. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). Shipments of each product class were projected for two market sectors that use these products: residential and commercial sectors.

    Issue I.1 DOE seeks stakeholder input and data showing the distribution of shipments by product class, and market sector.

    In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE modeled the decision to repair or replace equipment for existing owners and the impact that decision would have on the shipments model. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). DOE investigated how increases in product purchase price and decreases in product operating costs due to standards impact product shipments.

    Issue I.2 DOE seeks input and data on factors that influence a consumer's decisions to repair or replace failed products. In particular, DOE is seeking historical repair cost data as a function of efficiency.

    J. National Impact Analysis

    The purpose of the national impact analysis (NIA) is to estimate aggregate impacts of potential efficiency standards at the national level. Impacts reported by DOE include the national energy savings (NES) from potential standards and the national net present value (NPV) of the total consumer benefits. The NIA considers lifetime impacts of potential standards on room ACs shipped in a 30-year period that begins with the expected compliance date for new or amended standards.

    To develop the NES, DOE calculates annual energy consumption of products in residential and commercial building stock for the base case and each standards case. To develop the national NPV of consumer benefits from potential standards, DOE calculates national annual energy expenditures and annual product expenditures for the base case and the standards cases. DOE calculates total annual energy expenditures using data on annual energy consumption in each case, forecasted average annual energy prices, and shipment projections. The difference each year between operating cost savings and increased product expenditures is the net savings or net costs.

    A key component of DOE's estimates of NES and NPV is the product energy efficiency forecasted over time for the base case and for each of the standards cases. In the April 2011 Direct Final Rule, DOE based projections of base-case shipment-weighted efficiency (SWEF) for the room AC product classes on growth rates determined from historical data provided by AHAM. 76 FR 22454 (Apr. 21, 2011). For this rulemaking, DOE plans on considering recent trends in efficiency and input from stakeholders to update product energy efficiency forecasts.

    Issue J.1 DOE seeks historical SWEF data for room ACs by product class and stakeholder input regarding future trends in efficiency.

    K. Manufacturer Impact Analysis

    The purpose of the manufacturer impact analysis (MIA) is to estimate the financial impact of potential energy conservation standards on manufacturers of room ACs and to evaluate the potential impact of such standards on employment and manufacturing capacity. The MIA includes both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The quantitative part of the MIA primarily relies on the Government Regulatory Impact Model (GRIM), an industry cash-flow model used to estimate a range of potential impacts on manufacturer profitability. The qualitative part of the MIA addresses a proposed standard's potential impacts on manufacturing capacity and industry competition, as well as factors such as product characteristics, impacts on particular subgroups of firms, and important market and product trends.

    As part of the MIA, DOE intends to analyze impacts of potential energy conservation standards on small business manufacturers of covered products. DOE intends to use the Small Business Administration's (SBA) small business size standards to determine whether manufacturers qualify as small businesses. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description.14 Manufacturing of room ACs can be classified under either NAICS 333415, “Air-Conditioning and Warm Air Heating Equipment and Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing” or NAICS 335228, “Other Major Household Appliance Manufacturing.” The SBA sets a threshold of 750 or 500 employees or less for an entity to be considered as a small business for these categories. These employee threshold would include all employees in a business's parent company and any other subsidiaries.

    14 Available online at: www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf.

    DOE used publically available information to attempt to identify any small business that manufactures room ACs. DOE cross-referenced the manufacturers listed in DOE's Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) with individual company Web sites and market research tools (e.g., Hoovers reports). DOE's initial research indicates that no small businesses currently manufacture room ACs.

    Issue K.1 DOE requests comment on any small business manufacturers of room ACs that it should consider in its analysis.

    III. Submission of Comments

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit in writing by August 3, 2015, comments and information on matters addressed in this notice and on other matters relevant to DOE's consideration of new or amended energy conservations standards for room ACs. After the close of the comment period, DOE will begin collecting data, conducting the analyses, and reviewing the public comments, as needed. These actions will be taken to aid in the development of a NOPR for room ACs if DOE decides to amend the standards for such products.

    DOE considers public participation to be a very important part of the process for developing test procedures and energy conservation standards. DOE actively encourages the participation and interaction of the public during the comment period in each stage of the rulemaking process. Interactions with and between members of the public provide a balanced discussion of the issues and assist DOE in the rulemaking process. Anyone who wishes to be added to the DOE mailing list to receive future notices and information about this rulemaking or would like to request a public meeting should contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945, or via email at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 9, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15001 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1074; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASW-10] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; El Paso, TX AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E airspace at El Paso, TX. The closure of West Texas Airport has made this action necessary for continued safety and management within the National Airspace System. Additionally, the geographic coordinates for El Paso International Airport and Biggs Army Airfield (AAF) would be adjusted.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify the docket number FAA-2014-1074/Airspace Docket No. 14-ASW-10, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office telephone 1-800-647-5527 is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

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

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137; telephone: 817-321-7740.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at West Texas Airport, El Paso, TX.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2014-1074 and Airspace Docket No. 14-ASW-10.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Central Service Center, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76137.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

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

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by removing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at West Texas Airport, El Paso, TX. This action is necessary due to the closure of the airport; therefore controlled airspace is no longer needed. Additionally, geographic coordinates for El Paso International Airport, would be changed from (lat. 31°48′24″ N., long. 106°22′40″ W.) to (lat. 31°50′59″ N., long. 106°22′48″ W.); and Biggs AAF coordinates would be changed from (lat. 31°50′58″ N., long. 106°22′48″ W.) to (lat. 31°50′59″ N., long. 106°22′48″ W.). These minor adjustments would reflect the current information in the FAA's aeronautical database.

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

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal.

    Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014 is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Area Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth 14ASW TX E5 El Paso, TX [Amended] Biggs AAF, (Fort Bliss) (lat. 31°50′59″ N., long. 106°22′48″ W.). El Paso International Airport, TX (lat. 31°48′26″ N., long. 106°22′35″ W.) El Paso VORTAC (lat. 31°48′57″ N., long. 106°16′55″ W.).

    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 9.1-mile radius of Biggs AAF, and within a 8.4-mile radius of El Paso International Airport, and within 2 miles each side of the 050° bearing from El Paso International Airport extending from the 8.4-mile radius to 13 miles northeast of the airport, and within 1.6 miles each side of the 093° radial of the El Paso VORTAC extending from the 8.4-mile radius to 7.3 miles east of the VORTAC.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX on June 9, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14810 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-132634-14] RIN 1545-BM43 Qualifying Income From Activities of Publicly Traded Partnerships With Respect to Minerals or Natural Resources; Correction AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; Correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains corrections to a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-132634-14) that was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 (80 FR 25970). The proposed rules provide guidance on qualifying income from exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation, and marketing of minerals or natural resources.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing for the notice of proposed rulemaking published at 80 FR 25970, May 6, 2015 are still being accepted and must be received by August 4, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132634-14), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-132634-14), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-132634-14). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Caroline E. Hay at (202) 317-5279 (not a toll free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-132634-14) that is the subject of these corrections is under section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Need for Correction

    As published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 (80 FR 25970), the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-132634-14) contains errors that may prove to be misleading and are in need of clarification.

    Correction of Publication

    Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-132634-14), that was the subject of FR Doc. 2015-10592, is corrected as follows:

    1. On page 25972, in the preamble, first column, under paragraph heading “D. Processing or Refining”, sixteenth line from the bottom of the first paragraph, the language “with Rev. Rul. 87-56 (1987-2 CB 27)” is corrected to read “with Rev. Proc. 87-56 (1987-2 CB 674)”.

    § 1.7704-4 [Corrected]

    2. On Page 25975, first column, the fifteenth and sixteenth lines of paragraph (c)(5)(i), the language “activity in accordance with Rev. Rul. 87-56, 1987-2 CB 27 (see” is corrected to read “activity in accordance with Rev. Proc. 87-56, 1987-2 CB 674 (see”.

    Martin V. Franks, Chief, Publications and Regulations Branch, Legal Processing Division, Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration).
    [FR Doc. 2015-14467 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2015-0009; Notice No. 153] RIN 1513-AC20 Proposed Establishment of the Loess Hills District Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to establish the 12,897-square mile (8,254,151-acre) “Loess Hills District” viticultural area in western Iowa and northwestern Missouri. The proposed viticultural area is not located within, nor does it contain, any other established viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this proposed rule to one of the following addresses (please note that TTB has a new address for comments submitted by U.S. mail):

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this proposed rule as posted within Docket No. TTB-2015-0009 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this proposed rule for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or request copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01), dated December 10, 2013, to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of this law.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes the establishment of definitive viticultural areas and the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved AVAs.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Section 9.12 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12) prescribes the standards for petitions for the establishment or modification of AVAs. Petitions to establish an AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the area within the proposed AVA boundary is nationally or locally known by the AVA name specified in the petition;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed AVA;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed AVA affecting viticulture, such as climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed AVA distinctive and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the proposed AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed AVA, with the boundary of the proposed AVA clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed AVA boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Loess Hills District Petition

    TTB received a petition from Shirley Frederiksen, on behalf of the Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development Inc. and the Western Iowa Grape Growers, proposing the establishment of the “Loess Hills District” AVA in western Iowa and northwestern Missouri. The proposed AVA includes all or portions of Fremont, Page, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Cass, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Monoma, Crawford, Carroll, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Plymouth, and Sioux Counties in Iowa, as well as portions of Atchison and Holt Counties in Missouri. The proposed AVA covers 12,897 square miles (approximately 8,254,151 acres) and has 66 commercial vineyards, which cover approximately 112 acres, distributed across the proposed AVA. The proposed AVA also has 13 bonded wineries.

    According to the petition, the distinguishing features of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA include its soil, topography, and climate. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed AVA contained in this proposed rule come from the petition for the proposed Loess Hills District AVA and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The proposed Loess Hills District AVA derives its name from the hills made of extremely thick layers of wind-deposited soil called “loess” that are characteristic of the region. Author Cornelia F. Mutel wrote a book about the natural history of the region titled Fragile Giants: A Natural History of the Loess Hills, 1 in which she referred to the hills as “one of North America's gems, possessing natural features rarely duplicated elsewhere on the planet.” In 1999, the State of Iowa designated 11,266 acres of land within the region of the proposed AVA as the Loess Hills State Forest, with the goal of protecting and preserving the unique landforms.

    1 Cornelia F. Mutel, Fragile Giants: A Natural History of the Loess Hills (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1989).

    The names used by several Federal agencies to refer to the region of the proposed AVA contain the words “loess hills.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has designated the region as a Major Land Resource Area known as the “Iowa and Missouri Deep Loess Hills.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes the area of the proposed AVA as the “Western Loess Hills” eco-region. The U.S. Geological Survey describes the region as the “Loess Hills Regional Landform.” The Federal Highway Administration gave the name “Loess Hills National Scenic Byway” to a corridor of roads passing through the region of the proposed AVA. Finally, the National Park Service has designated 10,000 acres within the proposed AVA as the “Loess Hills National Natural Landmark.”

    Within the proposed Loess Hills District AVA are several businesses, organizations, and events that use the words “loess hills” in their names. Two annual events in Monona County, Iowa, are the Loess Hills Prairie Seminar, which teaches children and adults about the natural and cultural history of the region, and the Loess Hills Tractor Ride. The Loess Hills Wind Farm supplies energy to the town of Rock Port, Missouri, which is within the proposed AVA. Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the headquarters of the Loess Hills Preservation Society, which works to protect the natural resources of western Iowa and northwestern Missouri through education, land protection projects, sound land use planning, and land acquisition. The city also is served by a local chapter of the Red Cross, which is called the Loess Hills Red Cross. The Loess Hills Wood Turners, which meets in Glenwood, Iowa, is a club for woodworkers who live in southwestern Iowa. The Loess Hills Hideaway Cabins and Campground is located near Pisgah, Iowa. Finally, Loess Hills Miniatures is a miniature horse farm near Sioux City, Iowa.

    Although the region of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA is commonly referred to as “Loess Hills,” the petitioner proposes adding “District” to the name in order to avoid potentially affecting current use of the phrase “Loess Hills,” standing alone, in brand names on wine labels. TTB agrees that the addition of the word “District” is an acceptable modification for this purpose.

    Boundary Evidence

    The proposed Loess Hills District AVA is described in the petition as a long, narrow region of loess-formed hills along the western banks of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers in western Iowa and northwestern Missouri. The proposed AVA stretches from the Iowa-South Dakota border south to Craig, Missouri, and east to Exira, Iowa. According to the petition, the proposed boundary encompasses the regions where the depth of the loess is greater than 20 feet, which allows for excellent water drainage and vine rooting depth.

    The proposed western boundary follows U.S. Interstate 29 and the Big Sioux River and separates the loess-formed hills of the proposed AVA from the low, flat alluvial plains along the Missouri River. The proposed northern, eastern, and southern boundaries follow a series of roads to separate the steep slopes and deep loess of the proposed AVA from the more gently rolling landscapes and shallower loess depths of the surrounding regions.

    Distinguishing Features

    The distinguishing features of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA include soil, topography, and climate.

    Soil

    The primary distinguishing feature of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA is the deep loess soil. Loess is a loose, crumbly soil comprised of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other materials. During the Ice Age, glaciers ground the underlying rocks into a fine powder called “glacial flour.” When the glaciers melted, the water pushed the glacial flour down the Missouri River Valley. When the waters receded, the exposed silt dried and was picked up by the prevailing westerly winds and re-deposited over broad areas. This windborne silt is called “loess.” The heaviest, coarsest loess particles were deposited close to the Missouri River and formed the sharp, high bluffs of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA.

    Loess is common throughout the United States, but the loess of the proposed AVA is unique because of its depth. Within portions of the proposed AVA, the loess reaches depths of 300 feet. According to the petition, the only place on Earth where deep loess layers are as extensive as those within the proposed AVA is Shaanxi, China. The deep loess of the proposed AVA enable roots to extend deep into the soil without being stopped by a restrictive barrier such as denser soils or bedrock. The lack of a restrictive barrier also allows water to drain away from the roots quickly, which reduces the risk of fungal diseases and rot.

    The soil within the proposed Loess Hills District AVA typically has a high pH value, ranging from 6.9 to 7.3. According to the petition, grapes that are grown in soils with high pH levels show fewer leaf symptoms of nutrient imbalance and are better to withstand cold winters than similar grapes grown in soils with lower pH levels. The petition states the higher soil pH levels of the proposed AVA are the reason varieties such as Noiret, St. Vincent, Vignole, Traminnette, Chardonel, Chambourcin, Cayuga, and Norton are grown successfully within the proposed AVA but are not as common in the regions outside the proposed AVA. Additionally, grapes grown in soils with high pH levels produce must that has lower levels of potassium. Wines produced from grape must with high levels of potassium have lower, less desirable acidity levels and are more susceptible to microbial attacks than wines made from grape must with low levels of potassium.

    To the north, east, and south of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA, the depth of loess is less than 20 feet. The soils to the north, east, and south of the proposed AVA also contain glacial till, which forms a restrictive barrier that prevents excess water from draining as rapidly and fully as within the proposed AVA. As a result, artificial drainage is more common in vineyards in these regions than inside the proposed AVA. To the immediate west of the proposed AVA, the soils are primarily formed from alluvium and are poorly drained and subject to flooding.

    Topography

    The topography of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA is characterized by rolling-to-steep hills. Elevations within the proposed AVA peak at approximately 1,500 feet on the highest ridgelines, though local relief averages approximately 100 feet. Ridge crests are primarily oriented in a north-south direction. Erosion by wind and water has sculpted the ridge crests into irregular shapes called “peaks and saddles,” and streams have carved steep-sided valleys. In places where the soil has become heavily saturated, the soil has slipped as a unit to form rows of staircase-like terraces called “cat steps.” According to the petition, the irregular terrain of the proposed AVA has created sheltered niches with warmer temperatures than are found outside the proposed AVA. As a result, certain plants are able to live hundreds of miles outside their normal ranges, including the yucca, which is native to the southwestern States, and the pawpaw tree, which is native to the southeastern States.

    The hilly, often steep, landscape affects viticulture within the proposed Loess Hills District AVA. The hilly terrain allows cold night air to drain off the slopes and away from the vineyards, reducing the risk of frost in the late spring and early fall. The steep slopes also shed excess water more quickly and completely than surrounding regions with flatter terrain, reducing the risk of fungal diseases and rot. However, the steepness of the slopes, combined with the loose texture of the soil, increases the risk of erosion. To reduce erosion, many vineyard owners within the proposed AVA plant their vines in a north-south alignment, with a slightly eastward slant to optimize the amount of sunlight that reaches the vines. Finally, the same warm niches that allow plants such as yucca and pawpaw trees to grow in the proposed AVA also allow very late ripening grape varieties such as Norton, Chambourcin, and Noiret to grow successfully.

    Outside of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA, the local topography is generally flatter and lower. To the north, the local relief is similar to that of the proposed AVA, but the hills are more broadly undulating, and wide, nearly level valley floors are common along the large rivers. To the east, the terrain is nearly level to gently rolling, and local relief is between 10 and 20 feet. To the south of the proposed AVA are rolling hills with broad ridge tops and major rivers with nearly level valleys, similar to the topography north of the proposed AVA. Local relief south of the proposed AVA is between 10 and 20 feet, which is lower than that of the proposed AVA. To the west of the proposed AVA, the terrain is marked by broad, undulating ridges and wide flood plains, and the local relief is between 5 and 30 feet.

    Climate

    The petition compared the temperature of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA to the surrounding region. The following table, compiled from data in the petition, summarizes the growing season length, first and last frost dates, and growing degree day (GDD) 2 averages for locations both within and outside of the proposed AVA.3 The locations within the proposed AVA are listed from the northernmost location to the southernmost location, as are the locations outside the proposed AVA.

    2 In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat accumulation during the growing season (April 1 through October 31), measured in annual growing degree days (GDDs), defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth. See Albert J. Winkler, General Viticulture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pages 61-64.

    3 The climate date for Iowa and Missouri was gathered from climate normals available from the Midwest Regional Climate Center (http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/climate_midwest/mwclimate_data_summaries.htm). Climate normals are calculated every 10 years using 30 years of data. At the time the petition was submitted, the most recent climate normals available were from the period of 1971-2000. The climate data for Nebraska and South Dakota was gathered from the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) (http://www,hprcc.unl.edu/data/historical). The period of the data collection on the HPRCC site varies from weather station to weather station.

    Location Average date of
  • last spring frost
  • (base 30 degrees F)
  • Average date of
  • first fall frost
  • (base 30 degrees F)
  • Average length
  • of growing
  • season
  • (in days)
  • Annual
  • GDD averages
  • Within Proposed AVA Sioux City, IA April 19 October 9 173 3,191 Oakland, IA April 24 October 6 167 3,227 Atlantic, IA April 27 October 6 158 3,174 Tarkio, MO April 11 October 12 182 3,364 Average 170 3,239 North of Proposed AVA Rock Rapids, IA April 28 October 2 158 2,279 Sioux Falls, SD May 2 September 28 139 2787 Average 149 2,533 East of Proposed AVA Sheldon, IA May 1 October 2 155 2,729 Cherokee, IA May 2 October 4 157 2,866 Rockwell City, IA April 21 October 8 172 3,063 Guthrie Center, IA April 28 October 4 162 3,013 Bedford, IA April 19 October 10 175 3,430 Average 164 3,020 South of Proposed AVA Amity, MO April 12 October 12 180 3,516 St. Joseph, MO April 12 October 13 188 3,866 Average 184 3,691 West of Proposed AVA Wayne, NE May 7 October 1 147 2,911 West Point, NE May 1 October 9 160 3,337 Fremont, NE April 30 October 1 162 3,517 Ashland, NE April 27 October 5 161 3,566 Tecumseh, NE May 3 October 6 155 3,613 Average 157 3,389

    The proposed Loess Hills District AVA is well-suited for growing grape varieties that require a long time to mature. The early last-spring-frost date allows vines to emerge from their winter dormancy early without the risk of a late frost damaging the new growth or buds. The late first-fall-frost date ensures ample time for the grapes to remain on the vine and achieve full maturity and reach the desired levels of acids and sugars. Finally, the GDD average reflects warm growing season temperatures that encourage vine growth and fruit development.

    To the north and east of the proposed AVA, the growing season is shorter and GDDs are fewer, so late-maturing varieties of grapes would not grow as successfully in these regions as they do within the proposed AVA. West of the proposed AVA, the GDD accumulations are higher, but a later last-spring-frost date increases the risk of frost damage to new vine growth and buds, and an earlier first-fall-frost date poses a risk for grapes that are still ripening late in the growing season. The region to the south has both a longer growing season and greater GDD accumulations than the proposed AVA, so late-maturing varieties may ripen too quickly and develop higher levels of sugars than desired.

    The petition also included data on the average annual precipitation amounts for the proposed Loess Hills District AVA and the surrounding regions. The following table was compiled from data in the petition, and the data is from the same sources as the data in the previous table.

    Location Average
  • annual
  • precipitation amount
  • (in Inches)
  • Within Proposed AVA Sioux City, IA 25.99 Oakland, IA 33.53 Atlantic, IA 34.77 Tarkio, MO 33.52 Average 31.95 North of Proposed AVA Rock Rapids, IA 27.40 Sioux Falls, SD 25.07 Average 26.23 East of Proposed AVA Sheldon, IA 29.46 Cherokee, IA 29.03 Rockwell City, IA 31.26 Guthrie Center, IA 34.71 Bedford, IA 36.35 Average 32.16 South of Proposed AVA Amity, MO 36.35 St. Joseph, MO 35.24 Average 35.79 West of Proposed AVA Wayne, NE 26.35 West Point, NE 29.18 Fremont, NE 29.29 Ashland, NE 28.50 Tecumseh, NE 31.79 Average 29.02

    The average annual precipitation amounts within the proposed Loess Hills District AVA are higher than the regions to the north and west, and lower than the regions to the east and south. The rainfall amounts within the proposed AVA provide sufficient moisture for the vines, and irrigation is seldom necessary. However, the relatively high rainfall amounts increase the risk of erosion within the proposed AVA, due to the nature of the loess soils. As a result, vineyards on steep hillsides are often planted in a north-south orientation to help hold the soil in place and reduce erosion.

    Summary of Distinguishing Features

    In summary, the evidence provided in the petition indicates that the geographic and climatic features of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA distinguish it from the surrounding regions in each direction. To the north, east, and south of the proposed AVA, the topography is characterized by broadly undulating hills with shallower slopes, and the depth of the loess is less than 20 feet. The regions to the north and east also have shorter growing seasons with lower accumulations of GDDs. To the south of the proposed AVA, the growing season is longer and accumulates more GDDs, and precipitation levels are higher. The region to the west of the proposed AVA is characterized by wide flood plains, alluvial soils, less rainfall, and a shorter growing season with higher GDD accumulations.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to establish the 12,897-square mile Loess Hills District AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this proposed rule.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for AVA in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    The petitioner provided the required maps, and they are listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations prohibits any label reference on a wine that indicates or implies an origin other than the wine's true place of origin. For a wine to be labeled with an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    If TTB establishes this proposed AVA, its name, “Loess Hills District,” will be recognized as a name of viticultural significance under § 4.39(i)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(3)). The text of the proposed regulation clarifies this point. Consequently, if this proposed rule is adopted as a final rule, wine bottlers using the name “Loess Hills District” in a brand name, including a trademark, or in another label reference as to the origin of the wine, would have to ensure that the product is eligible to use the AVA name as an appellation of origin. TTB is not proposing “Loess Hills,” standing alone, as a term of viticultural significance if the proposed AVA is established, in order to avoid a potential conflict with a current label holder. Accordingly, the proposed part 9 regulatory text set forth in this document specifies only the full name “Loess Hills District” as a term of viticultural significance for purposes of part 4 of the TTB regulations.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should establish the proposed AVA. TTB is also interested in receiving comments on the sufficiency and accuracy of the name, boundary, soils, climate, and other required information submitted in support of the petition. Please provide any available specific information in support of your comments.

    Because of the potential impact of the establishment of the proposed Loess Hills District AVA on wine labels that include the term “Loess Hills District,” as discussed above under Impact on Current Wine Labels, TTB is particularly interested in comments regarding whether there will be a conflict between the proposed area name and currently used brand names. If a commenter believes that a conflict will arise, the comment should describe the nature of that conflict, including any anticipated negative economic impact that approval of the proposed AVA will have on an existing viticultural enterprise. TTB is also interested in receiving suggestions for ways to avoid conflicts, for example, by adopting a modified or different name for the AVA.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this proposed rule by using one of the following three methods (please note that TTB has a new address for comments submitted by U.S. Mail):

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this proposed rule within Docket No. TTB-2015-0009 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 153 on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this proposed rule. Your comments must reference Notice No. 153 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly indicate if you are commenting on your own behalf or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this proposed rule, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2015-0009 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 153. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the site's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this proposed rule, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or any similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2270 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Subpart C is amended by adding § 9.___ to read as follows:
    § 9.____ Loess Hills District.

    (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Loess Hills District”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Loess Hills District” is a term of viticultural significance.

    (b) Approved maps. The 13 United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:100,000 scale topographic maps used to determine the boundary of the Loess Hills District viticultural area are titled:

    (1) Rock Rapids, Iowa-South Dakota, 1985;

    (2) Sioux City North, Iowa- South Dakota-Nebraska, 1986; photoinspected 1990;

    (3) Storm Lake, Iowa, 1985; photoinspected 1990;

    (4) Ida Grove, Iowa, 1985; photoinspected 1990;

    (5) Carroll, Iowa, 1993;

    (6) Guthrie Center, Iowa, 1993;

    (7) Creston, Iowa, 1993;

    (8) Omaha, Nebraska-Iowa, 1985; photoinspected, 1990;

    (9) Nebraska City, Nebraska-Iowa-Missouri, 1993;

    (10) Falls City, Nebraska-Missouri, 1986; photoinspected 1991;

    (11) Harlan, Iowa-Nebraska, 1980;

    (12) Blair, Nebraska-Iowa, 1986; photoinspected 1988; and

    (13) Sioux City South, Iowa-Nebraska South Dakota, 1986; photoinspected 1990.

    (c) Boundary. The Loess Hills District viticultural area is located in Fremont, Page, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Cass, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Plymouth, and Sioux Counties in western Iowa and Atchison and Holt Counties in northwestern Missouri. The boundary of the Loess Hills District viticultural area is as described below:

    (1) The beginning point is on the Rock Rapids, Iowa-South Dakota map, in Sioux County, Iowa, at the intersection of the Big Sioux River and an unnamed road known locally as County Road B30 (360th Street), east of Hudson, South Dakota. From the beginning point, proceed east on County Road B30 approximately 3 miles to a road known locally as County Road K22 (Coolidge Avenue); then

    (2) Proceed south on County Road K22 approximately 3 miles to a road known locally as County Road B40 (390th Street); then

    (3) Proceed east on County Road B40 approximately 4 miles to a road known locally as County Road K30 (Eagle Avenue); then

    (4) Proceed south on County Road K30 approximately 13.1 miles, crossing onto the Sioux City North, Iowa-South Dakota-Nebraska map and continuing into Plymouth County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road C12 (110th Street), at Craig, Iowa; then

    (5) Proceed east on County Road C12 approximately 2 miles to a road known locally as County Road K42 (Jade Avenue), at the marked 436-meter elevation point; then

    (6) Proceed south on County Road K42 approximately 10 miles to a road known locally as County Road C38; then

    (7) Proceed east on County Road C38 approximately 6.4 miles to a road known locally as County Road K49 (7th Avenue SE), approximately 2 miles south of La Mars, Iowa; then

    (8) Proceed south on County Road K49 approximately 4 miles to a road known locally as County Road C44 (230th Street); then

    (9) Proceed east on County Road C44 approximately 5 miles to a road known locally as County Road K64 (Oyens Avenue); then

    (10) Proceed south on County Road K64 approximately 4.1 miles to a road known locally as County Road C60 (290th Street); then

    (11) Proceed east on County Road C60 approximately 5 miles, crossing onto the Storm Lake, Iowa map, to State Highway 140; then

    (12) Proceed south on State Highway 140 approximately 3.2 miles to a road known locally as County Road L14 (Knox Avenue) in Kingsley, Iowa; then

    (13) Proceed south on County Road L14 approximately 2.7 miles, crossing into Woodbury County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road D12 (110th Street); then

    (14) Proceed east on County Road D12 approximately 5 miles to a road known locally as County Road L25 (Minnesota Avenue) near Pierson, Iowa; then

    (15) Proceed south on County Road L25 approximately 4.5 miles, crossing onto the Ida Grove, Iowa map, to U.S. Highway 20; then

    (16) Proceed east on U.S. Highway 20 approximately 22.5 miles, crossing into Ida County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road M25 (Market Avenue); then

    (17) Proceed south on County Road M25 approximately 9.8 miles to State Highway 175 east of Ida Grove, Iowa; then

    (18) Proceed east on State Highway 175 approximately 4.1 miles to a road known locally as Country Highway M31 (Quail Avenue) near Arthur, Iowa; then

    (19) Proceed south on Country Highway M31 approximately 4.4 miles to a road known locally as County Road D59 (300th Street); then

    (20) Proceed east on County Road D59 approximately 13 miles, crossing into Sac County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road M64 (Needham Avenue/Center Street) at Wall Lake, Iowa; then

    (21) Proceed south on County Road M64 approximately 6.2 miles to a road known locally as County Road E16 (120th Street); then

    (22) Proceed east into Carroll County, Iowa, on County Road E16 approximately 6 miles, crossing onto the Carroll, Iowa map, to Breda, Iowa, and then continue east on State Highway 217 (East Main Street) approximately 5 miles to U.S. Highway 71; then

    (23) Proceed south on U.S. Highway 71 approximately 3 miles to a road known locally as County Road E26 (140th Street); then

    (24) Proceed east on County Road E26 approximately 5 miles to a road known locally as County Road N38 (Quail Avenue); then

    (25) Proceed south on County Road N38 approximately 5 miles to U.S. Highway 30 (Lincoln Highway); then

    (26) Proceed east on U.S. Highway 30 approximately 3 miles to a road known locally as County Road N44 (Colorado Street) in Glidden, Iowa; then

    (27) Proceed south on County Road N44 approximately 8 miles, crossing onto the Guthrie Center, Iowa map, to a road known locally as County Road E57 (280th Street); then

    (28) Proceed east on County Road E57 approximately 2 miles to a road known locally as County Road N44 (Velvet Avenue); then

    (29) Proceed south on County Road N44 approximately 5.4 miles to State Highway 141 (330th Street) at Coon Rapids, Iowa; then

    (30) Proceed west on State Highway 141 approximately 12 miles to U.S. Highway 71 at Lynx Avenue southeast of Templeton, Iowa; then

    (31) Proceed south on U.S. Highway 71 approximately 35.9 miles, crossing into Audubon County, Iowa, and then Cass County, Iowa, and onto the Creston, Iowa map, to U.S. Highway 6/State Highway 83 east of Atlantic, Iowa; then

    (32) Proceed west, then southwest, then west on U.S. Highway 6 approximately 18.9 miles, crossing onto the Omaha, Nebraska-Iowa map and into Pottawattamie County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road M47 (500th Street) approximately 1 mile west of Walnut Creek; then

    (33) Proceed south on County Road M47 approximately 12 miles, crossing into Montgomery County, Iowa to a road known locally as County Road H12 (110th Street); then

    (34) Proceed west on County Road H12 approximately 8.9 miles, crossing into Mills County, Iowa, to U.S. Highway 59; then

    (35) Proceed south on U.S. Highway 59 approximately 20.2 miles, crossing onto the Nebraska City, Nebraska-Iowa-Missouri map and into Page County, Iowa, to a road known locally as County Road J14 (130th Street); then

    (36) Proceed east on County Road J14 approximately 4 miles to a road known locally as County Road M41 (D Avenue); then

    (37) Proceed south on County Road M41 approximately 1.7 miles to State Highway 48 at Essex, Iowa; then

    (38) Proceed northeast then east on State Highway 48 approximately 1.2 miles to a road known locally as County Road M41 (E Avenue); then

    (39) Proceed south on County Road M41 approximately 7 miles to State Highway 2 (210th Street); then

    (40) Proceed east on State Highway 2 approximately 8 miles to a road known locally as M Avenue; then

    (41) Proceed south on M Avenue, then east on a road known locally as County Road M60 (Maple Avenue), approximately 6.4 total miles, to a road known locally as County Road J52 (270th Street); then

    (42) Proceed south in a straight line approximately 3.5 miles to the intersection of 304th Street and Maple Avenue (approximately 1.2 mile southwest of College Springs, Iowa), and then continue south on Maple Avenue for 0.5 mile to a road known locally as County Road J64 (310th Street); then

    (43) Proceed west on County Road J64 approximately 4.5 miles to a road known locally as County Road M48 (Hackberry Avenue); then

    (44) Proceed south on County Road M48 approximately 1.2 miles to the Iowa-Missouri State line at Blanchard, Iowa, and, crossing into Atchison County, Missouri, where County Road M48 becomes State Road M, and continue generally south on State Road M approximately 11.2 miles, crossing onto the Falls City, Nebraska-Missouri map, to U.S. Highway 136; then

    (45) Proceed west on U.S. Highway 136 approximately 1 mile to State Road N; then

    (46) Proceed south on State Road N 15 miles, crossing into Holt County, Missouri, to State Road C; then

    (47) Proceed west then south on State Road C approximately 3 miles to U.S. Highway 59; then

    (48) Proceed northwest on U.S. Highway 59 approximately 2 miles to the highway's first intersection with Interstate Highway 29 near Craig, Missouri; then

    (49) Proceed generally north along Interstate Highway 29, crossing into Atchison County, Missouri, and onto the Nebraska City, Nebraska-Iowa-Missouri map, and continuing into Freemont County and Mills County, Iowa, then crossing onto the Omaha, Nebraska-Iowa map and into Pottawattamie County, Iowa; then crossing onto the Harlan, Iowa-Nebraska map and into Harrison County, Iowa; then continuing onto the Blair, Nebraska-Iowa map and into Monona County, Iowa; then crossing onto the Sioux City South, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota Map and into Woodbury County for a total of approximately 185 miles, to the intersection of Interstate Highway 29 with the Big Sioux River at Sioux City, Iowa; then

    (50) Proceed generally north (upstream) along the meandering Big Sioux River, crossing onto the Sioux City North, Iowa-South Dakota-Nebraska map and into Plymouth County and Sioux County, Iowa, and continuing onto the Rock Rapids, Iowa-South Dakota map for a total of approximately 50 miles, returning to the beginning point.

    Signed: June 11, 2015. John J. Manfreda, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15037 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 27 CFR Part 9 [Docket No. TTB-2015-0008; Notice No. 152] RIN 1513-AC21 Proposed Expansion of the Willamette Valley Viticultural Area AGENCY:

    Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) proposes to expand the approximately 5,360-square mile “Willamette Valley” viticultural area in northwestern Oregon by approximately 29 square miles. The established Willamette Valley viticultural area and the proposed expansion area do not lie within any other viticultural area. TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. TTB invites comments on this proposed addition to its regulations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking to one of the following addresses:

    Internet: http://www.regulations.gov (via the online comment form for this notice of proposed rulemaking as posted within Docket No. TTB-2015-0008 at “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal);

    U.S. Mail: Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; or

    Hand delivery/courier in lieu of mail: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    See the Public Participation section of this notice of proposed rulemaking for specific instructions and requirements for submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public hearing or view or obtain copies of the petition and supporting materials.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen A. Thornton, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005; phone 202-453-1039, ext. 175.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on Viticultural Areas TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt beverages. The FAA Act provides that these regulations should, among other things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading statements on labels and ensure that labels provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the FAA Act pursuant to section 1111(d) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d). The Secretary has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01, dated December 10, 2013, to the TTB Administrator to perform the functions and duties in the administration and enforcement of this law.

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) authorizes TTB to establish definitive viticultural areas and regulate the use of their names as appellations of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements. Part 9 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 9) sets forth the standards for the preparation and submission of petitions for the establishment or modification of American viticultural areas (AVAs) and lists the approved American viticultural areas.

    Definition

    Section 4.25(e)(1)(i) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(1)(i)) defines a viticultural area for American wine as a delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features, as described in part 9 of the regulations, and a name and a delineated boundary, as established in part 9 of the regulations. These designations allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to the wine's geographic origin. The establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers and helps consumers to identify wines they may purchase. Establishment of an AVA is neither an approval nor an endorsement by TTB of the wine produced in that area.

    Requirements

    Section 4.25(e)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(2)) outlines the procedure for proposing the establishment of an AVA and provides that any interested party may petition TTB to establish a grape-growing region as an AVA. Petitioners may use the same procedures to request changes involving existing AVAs. Section 9.12(c) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 9.12(c)) prescribes standards for petitions for modifying established AVAs. Petitions to expand an established AVA must include the following:

    • Evidence that the region within the proposed expansion area boundary is nationally or locally known by the name of the established AVA;

    • An explanation of the basis for defining the boundary of the proposed expansion area;

    • A narrative description of the features of the proposed expansion area affecting viticulture, including climate, geology, soils, physical features, and elevation, that make the proposed expansion area similar to the established AVA and distinguish it from adjacent areas outside the established AVA boundary;

    • The appropriate United States Geological Survey (USGS) map(s) showing the location of the proposed expansion area, with the boundary of the proposed expansion area clearly drawn thereon; and

    • A detailed narrative description of the proposed expansion area boundary based on USGS map markings.

    Petition To Expand the Willamette Valley AVA

    TTB received a petition from Steve Thomson, the executive vice president of King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon, proposing to expand the established “Willamette Valley” AVA in northwestern Oregon. The Willamette Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.90) was established by T.D. ATF-162, which published in the Federal Register on December 1, 1983 (48 FR 54221). The Willamette Valley AVA covers approximately 5,360 square miles in Benton, Lane, Linn, Clackamas, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. The Willamette Valley AVA is not located within any other AVA, but it does contain six smaller AVAs: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton.

    The proposed expansion area is located in Lane County adjacent to the southern tip of the existing Willamette Valley AVA boundary and covers approximately 29 square miles. The King Estate Winery operates one of the two commercial vineyards covering a total of 508 acres located within the proposed expansion area, and has provided information that the second vineyard affected is also in favor of the proposed expansion. King Estate Winery and the second vineyard each have a winery within the proposed expansion area. A third winery would also be included; however, it does not operate a vineyard within the proposed expansion area. The vineyards and the wineries did not exist when the Willamette Valley AVA was established in 1983 and currently are not located within any AVA. The petition included letters from the president of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and the president of the Oregon Winegrowers Association in support of the proposed expansion. According to the petition, the soils, climate, and topography of the proposed expansion area are consistent with those of the established AVA. Unless otherwise noted, all information and data pertaining to the proposed expansion area contained in this document come from the petition and its supporting exhibits.

    Name Evidence

    The petition provides evidence that the proposed expansion area is associated with the established Willamette Valley AVA. King Estate Winery, where the petitioner is the executive vice president, is located within the proposed expansion area and has a “Eugene, Oregon” mailing address. The city of Eugene is located within the current boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA. The petition also states that the two vineyards located within the proposed expansion area are included in the National Agricultural Statistics Service's annual compilation of vineyard statistics within the region called the “South Willamette Valley.”

    Finally, the petition includes excerpts from wine lists from 11 different restaurants across the United States and one in Denmark that offer wines from the King Estate Winery. Although wines from the King Estate Winery use “Oregon” as the appellation of origin on their labels, the restaurant wine lists all describe the wine as coming from “Willamette,” “Willamette Valley,” or “Willamette, Oregon.” The petition states that these wine lists demonstrate that sellers and consumers currently associate the wines made in the proposed expansion area with the Willamette Valley AVA, even though the King Estate Winery does not market or label the wines as such.

    Boundary Evidence

    The Willamette Valley AVA is a long, narrow region encompassing the Willamette River basin. The AVA is approximately 120 miles long and 60 miles wide. The current AVA boundary begins at the intersection of the Multnomah-Columbia County line and the Oregon-Washington boundary. The current boundary then proceeds southward, primarily following the meandering 1,000-foot elevation contour, into Lane County. South of the city of Eugene and north of the Siuslaw River, the current AVA boundary briefly leaves the 1,000-foot elevation contour near Panther Creek and follows a series of straight lines drawn between marked features on the USGS maps before reconnecting with the 1,000-foot elevation contour near the community of Lorane. The current boundary then follows the elevation contour as it meanders southward to Sharps Creek, to a point near the Lane-Douglas County line. The current boundary then follows the 1,000-foot elevation contour as it turns northward and returns to the Oregon-Washington boundary. According to T.D. ATF-162, the 1,000-foot elevation contour was chosen to form the majority of the AVA boundary because 1,000 feet is the maximum elevation for successful viticulture in this region of Oregon.

    The boundary of the proposed expansion area would modify the portion of the current AVA boundary that follows the straight lines drawn between marked features on the USGS maps near Panther Creek, in the southwestern portion of the AVA. The proposed expansion boundary would not use straight lines between points but instead would continue to follow the 1,000-foot elevation contour to the Lane-Douglas county line. The proposed expansion area boundary would then proceed east along the Lane-Douglas county line until it rejoins the 1,000-foot elevation contour, and then proceed north-northeasterly along the elevation contour until it joins the current Willamette Valley AVA boundary near Lorane. The proposed expansion area would not extend south into Douglas County because the Douglas County line forms the northern boundary of the Umpqua River Valley AVA (27 CFR 9.89), which has features that are distinctive from those of the Willamette Valley AVA.

    Both the established Willamette Valley AVA and the proposed expansion area are surrounded to the west, east, and immediate south by high, steep mountains. To the east are the Cascade Mountains, and to the west are the Coast Range Mountains. To the south are the Calapooya Mountains, as well as the Umpqua River Valley.

    Distinguishing Features

    As justification of the expansion area, which is based on similarities in distinguishing features, the expansion petition quotes the original Willamette Valley AVA petition, which stated, “[I]t is the intention of the Oregon Winegrowers Association to define this area as broadly as geographical data and viticultural experience will allow, so as not to stifle experimentation in new sites. * * * If any such sites come to light during the evaluation of this petition, we would urge they be included in the final description of the viticultural area.” According to the petition, the proposed expansion area contains the same climate, soils, and topography as the established Willamette Valley AVA. The expansion petition concludes that, had the two vineyards in the proposed expansion area existed at the time the Willamette Valley AVA was established, the proposed expansion area would have been included because the region shares characteristics similar to those of the established AVA. Those characteristics are discussed in detail below.

    Climate

    The petition compared the climate of the proposed expansion area to that of the established Willamette Valley AVA and the surrounding regions. The petition included a map generated using the PRISM mapping system 1 that showed the growing degree day 2 (GDD) accumulations and average growing season temperatures throughout the proposed expansion area, the established AVAs within the Willamette Valley AVA, and the surrounding regions. The following tables summarize the data from the map:

    1 The PRISM climate data mapping system combined climate normals gathered from weather stations, along with other factors such as elevation, longitude, slope angles, and solar aspect to estimate the general climate patterns for the proposed AVA and the surrounding regions. Climate normals are only calculated every 10 years, using 30 years of data, and at the time the petition was submitted, the most recent climate normals available were from the period of 1971-2000. (PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 February 2004.)

    2 In the Winkler climate classification system, annual heat accumulation during the growing season, measured in annual growing degree days (GDD), defines climatic regions. One GDD accumulates for each degree Fahrenheit that a day's mean temperature is above 50 degrees, the minimum temperature required for grapevine growth (“General Viticulture,” by Albert J. Winkler, University of California Press, 1974, pages 61-64).

    Table 1—Average Growing Season Temperatures [Degrees Fahrenheit (F)] Location Average
  • minimum
  • temperature
  • Average
  • maximum
  • temperature
  • Average
  • mean
  • temperature
  • Proposed Expansion Area 58.2 59.1 58.6 Temperatures Within Willamette Valley AVA Chehalem Mountains AVA 55.9 59.8 58.7 Eola-Amity Hills AVA 57.6 59.5 58.8 McMinnville AVA 57.1 59.6 58.9 Yamhill-Carlton AVA 56.8 59.9 59.0 Ribbon Ridge AVA 58.5 59.4 59.0 Dundee Hills AVA 57.7 59.7 59.1 Temperatures South of Willamette Valley AVA and Proposed Expansion Area Umpqua Valley AVA 55.9 61.5 59.3
    Table 2—Growing Degree Day Accumulations Location Average
  • minimum
  • accumulations
  • Average
  • maximum
  • accumulations
  • Average
  • mean
  • accumulations
  • Proposed Expansion Area 1780 1935 1862 GDD Accumulations Within Willamette Valley AVA Chehalem Mountains AVA 1382 2093 1885 Eola-Amity Hills AVA 1683 2048 1906 McMinnville AVA 1597 2059 1919 Yamhill-Carlton AVA 1544 2124 1930 Ribbon Ridge AVA 1843 2016 1931 Dundee Hills AVA 1692 2077 1946 GDD Accumulations South of Willamette Valley AVA and Proposed Expansion Area Umpqua Valley AVA 1415 2468 2007

    The PRISM data shows that during the growing season, the proposed expansion area and the six established AVAs within the larger Willamette Valley AVA all have lower average mean temperatures and average maximum temperatures and higher average minimum temperatures than the Umpqua Valley AVA. Growing season temperatures within the proposed expansion area are most similar to those in the Chehalem Mountains, Eola-Amity Hills, and McMinnville AVAs. Although the average GDD accumulations within the proposed expansion area are lower than those of the six established AVAs within the Willamette Valley AVA, they are more similar to those accumulations than to the higher GDD accumulations of the Umpqua Valley AVA.

    The petition also included information on the growing season temperatures, rainfall amounts, and GDD accumulations from a private weather station at the King Estate Vineyard, within the proposed expansion area, and from regional weather stations located in Cottage Grove, Eugene, and Drain, Oregon. According to the petition, Cottage Grove is approximately 11 miles east of the King Estate Vineyard, Eugene is approximately 18 miles northeast of the vineyard, and Drain is just over 15 miles south of the vineyard. The data was collected from each station from April 1 through October 31 from 2008 through 2012. Although data from Eugene was included in the petition, the petitioner states that the data from that location is not a good representative of temperatures within the nearby portions of the Willamette Valley AVA because the weather station is located at the Eugene airport and represents a warmer urban-biased climate. Therefore, although all the climate data provided in the petition is available for viewing in Docket No. TTB-2015-0008, the Eugene data has been omitted from the following table:

    Table 3—Growing Season Climate Data Description 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Average King Estate Vineyard (within proposed expansion area) Average Mean Temperature (degrees F) 57.2 58.4 57.0 56.8 58.5 57.6 GDD Accumulations 1827 2001 1709 1697 1957 1838 Total Precipitation (inches) 6.84 12.06 21.36 14.09 11.84 13.24 Cottage Grove, OR (east of proposed expansion area, within Willamette Valley AVA) Average Mean Temperature (degrees F) 58.3 59.8 58.2 57.8 58.8 58.6 GDD Accumulations 2037 2277 1945 1864 2033 2031 Total Precipitation (inches) 10.32 14.84 22.85 17.47 17.07 16.51 Drain, OR (south of proposed expansion area, in Umpqua Valley AVA) Average Mean Temperature (Degrees F) 59.9 60.8 60.0 59.8 60.9 60.3 GDD Accumulations 2302 2467 2280 2238 2419 2341 Total Precipitation (inches) 7.63 12.96 23.06 14.04 15.04 14.55

    The data shows that although precipitation amounts within the proposed expansion area are similar to the precipitation amounts for Cottage Grove (located within the Willamette Valley AVA) and Drain (located within the Umpqua Valley AVA), the proposed expansion area's GDD accumulations are more similar to those of the Willamette Valley location. Additionally, the proposed expansion area's average mean temperatures are more similar to that of the Willamette Valley location. The data from the King Estate Winery weather station, within the proposed expansion area, is also similar to that generated by the PRISM mapping system for the entire proposed expansion area, which is summarized in tables 1 and 2.

    Soils

    The petition included an analysis of the soils of the proposed expansion area. According to the analysis, the five most common soil series within the proposed expansion area are, from most to least common, the Bellpine, Willakenzie, Dupee, Jory, and Peavine series. These five soils cover approximately 74 percent of the proposed expansion area. These soils are also considered to be in the “xeric” moisture regime of soil classification. Xeric soils are common in regions with a “Mediterranean” climate, which consists of cool, moist winters and warm, dry summers. As a result of the warm, dry summers, xeric soils typically retain little water by the end of the growing season.

    According to the petition, there are 23 soil series present within the Willamette Valley AVA, including all five of the most common soil series found within the proposed expansion area. The most common soils within the Willamette Valley AVA are from the Jory series, followed by soils of the Willakenzie series. Soils of the Bellpine, Dupee, and Peavine series are the ninth, eleventh, and twelfth most common soils within the Willamette Valley, respectively.

    T.D. ATF-162, which established the Willamette Valley AVA, did not describe the soils of the AVA or the surrounding regions in great detail, only noting that the soils within the AVA were silty loams and clay loams, while the surrounding regions contained “mountain soils.” The proposed expansion petition describes the soils outside both the proposed expansion area and the Willamette Valley AVA in more detail. According to the petition, the Peavine soils that are found both in the proposed expansion area and the Willamette Valley AVA are also present in the surrounding regions outside the AVA and the proposed expansion area. However, the region outside the AVA also contains Blanchley, Honeygrove Complex, Bohanon, Preacher, Klickitat, Kirney, and Digger Complex soils, which are not found in either the proposed expansion region or the Willamette Valley AVA. Additionally, the petition notes that, with the exception of the Peavine soils, the soils outside the proposed expansion area and the Willamette Valley AVA are all in the “udic” moisture regime of soil classification. Udic soils are common in humid climates where rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. As a result, udic soils typically retain even amounts of moisture throughout the year, unlike the drier xeric soils of the proposed expansion area and the Willamette Valley AVA.

    Topography

    The proposed expansion area is located on the leeward side of the Coast Range Mountains, which shelter the proposed expansion area from most of the cool, moist marine air that flows inward from the Pacific Ocean. The terrain of the proposed expansion area is comprised of foothills and valleys. Elevations within the area range from approximately 500 to 1,200 feet. Vineyards within the proposed expansion area are planted on hillsides at elevations between approximately 600 feet and 1,050 feet.

    The topography of the proposed expansion area is similar to that of the established Willamette Valley AVA. The established AVA is composed of rolling hills and valleys between the Coast Range Mountains, which are to the west of the established AVA, and the Cascade Mountains, which are to its east. The Coast Range Mountains shelter the AVA from much of the marine air. Elevations within the AVA are between approximately 115 feet and 1,630 feet. Vineyards are planted on hillsides at elevations between 200 feet and 1,300 feet. Both the Willamette Valley AVA and the proposed expansion area are surrounded by the higher, more mountainous Cascade Mountains to the east of the two areas, the Calapooya Mountains to their south, and the Coast Range Mountains to their west.

    Much of the land within the Willamette Valley AVA is part of the Willamette Valley watershed. However, the petition notes that there are portions of the AVA that drain into other rivers, including “significant acres of land” in the northern portion of the AVA that drain into the Columbia River. Other portions of the AVA drain into the Sandy River and the Siuslaw River. The proposed expansion area drains into both the Willamette River and the Siuslaw River. By contrast, the region south of the proposed expansion area and the Willamette Valley AVA drains exclusively into the Umpqua River.

    TTB Determination

    TTB concludes that the petition to expand the boundaries of the established Willamette Valley AVA merits consideration and public comment, as invited in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Boundary Description

    See the narrative description of the boundary of the petitioned-for expansion area in the proposed regulatory text published at the end of this proposed rule.

    Maps

    To document the existing and proposed boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA, the petitioner provided a copy of the required map, and it is listed below in the proposed regulatory text.

    Impact on Current Wine Labels

    For a wine to be labeled with a viticultural area name or with a brand name that includes an AVA name, at least 85 percent of the wine must be derived from grapes grown within the area represented by that name, and the wine must meet the other conditions listed in § 4.25(e)(3) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.25(e)(3)). If the wine is not eligible for labeling with an AVA name and that name appears in the brand name, then the label is not in compliance and the bottler must change the brand name and obtain approval of a new label. Similarly, if the AVA name appears in another reference on the label in a misleading manner, the bottler would have to obtain approval of a new label. Different rules apply if a wine has a brand name containing an AVA name or other viticulturally significant term that was used as a brand name on a label approved before July 7, 1986. See § 4.39(i)(2) of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.39(i)(2)) for details.

    The approval of the proposed expansion of the Willamette Valley AVA would not affect any other existing viticultural area. The expansion of the Willamette Valley AVA would allow vintners to use “Willamette Valley” as an appellation of origin for wines made primarily from grapes grown within the proposed expansion area if the wines meet the eligibility requirements for the appellation.

    Public Participation Comments Invited

    TTB invites comments from interested members of the public on whether it should expand the Willamette Valley AVA as proposed. TTB is specifically interested in receiving comments on the similarity of the proposed expansion area to the established Willamette Valley AVA, as well as the differences between the proposed expansion area and the areas outside the Willamette Valley AVA. Please provide specific information in support of your comments.

    Submitting Comments

    You may submit comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking by using one of the following three methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may send comments via the online comment form posted with this notice of proposed rulemaking within Docket No. TTB-2015-0008 on “Regulations.gov,” the Federal e-rulemaking portal, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available under Notice No. 152 on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-rulemaking.shtml. Supplemental files may be attached to comments submitted via Regulations.gov. For complete instructions on how to use Regulations.gov, visit the site and click on the “Help” tab.

    U.S. Mail: You may send comments via postal mail to the Director, Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Box 12, Washington, DC 20005.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: You may hand-carry your comments or have them hand-carried to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 1310 G Street NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005.

    Please submit your comments by the closing date shown above in this notice of proposed rulemaking. Your comments must reference Notice No. 152 and include your name and mailing address. Your comments also must be made in English, be legible, and be written in language acceptable for public disclosure. TTB does not acknowledge receipt of comments, and TTB considers all comments as originals.

    In your comment, please clearly state if you are commenting for yourself or on behalf of an association, business, or other entity. If you are commenting on behalf of an entity, your comment must include the entity's name, as well as your name and position title. If you comment via Regulations.gov, please enter the entity's name in the “Organization” blank of the online comment form. If you comment via postal mail or hand delivery/courier, please submit your entity's comment on letterhead.

    You may also write to the Administrator before the comment closing date to ask for a public hearing. The Administrator reserves the right to determine whether to hold a public hearing.

    Confidentiality

    All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    Public Disclosure

    TTB will post, and you may view, copies of this notice of proposed rulemaking, selected supporting materials, and any online or mailed comments received about this proposal within Docket No. TTB-2015-0008 on the Federal e-rulemaking portal, Regulations.gov, at http://www.regulations.gov. A direct link to that docket is available on the TTB Web site at http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine_rulemaking.shtml under Notice No. 152. You may also reach the relevant docket through the Regulations.gov search page at http://www.regulations.gov. For information on how to use Regulations.gov, click on the Web site's “Help” tab.

    All posted comments will display the commenter's name, organization (if any), city, and State, and, in the case of mailed comments, all address information, including email addresses. TTB may omit voluminous attachments or material that the Bureau considers unsuitable for posting.

    You may also view copies of this notice of proposed rulemaking, all related petitions, maps and other supporting materials, and any electronic or mailed comments that TTB receives about this proposal by appointment at the TTB Information Resource Center, 1310 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. You may also obtain copies at 20 cents per 8.5- x 11-inch page. Please note that TTB is unable to provide copies of USGS maps or other similarly-sized documents that may be included as part of the AVA petition. Contact TTB's information specialist at the above address or by telephone at 202-453-2270 to schedule an appointment or to request copies of comments or other materials.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies that this proposed regulation, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed regulation imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other administrative requirement. Any benefit derived from the use of an AVA name would be the result of a proprietor's efforts and consumer acceptance of wines from that area. Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

    Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993. Therefore, no regulatory assessment is required.

    Drafting Information

    Karen A. Thornton of the Regulations and Rulings Division drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 9

    Wine.

    Proposed Regulatory Amendment

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB proposes to amend title 27, chapter I, part 9, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 9—AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    27 U.S.C. 205.

    Subpart C—Approved American Viticultural Areas 2. Section 9.90 is amended by revising paragraph (b) introductory text, adding new paragraph (b)(4), removing paragraphs (c)(11) through (c)(13), redesignating paragraphs (c)(14) through (c)(32) as paragraphs (c)(18) through (c)(36), and adding new paragraphs (c)(11) through (c)(17) to read as follows:
    § 9.90 Willamette Valley.

    (b) Approved maps. The approved maps for determining the boundaries of the Willamette Valley viticultural area are three U.S.G.S. Oregon maps scaled 1:250,000 and one U.S.G.S. Oregon map scaled 1:24,000. They are entitled:

    (4) “Letz Creek, OR” (revised 1984).

    (c) * * *

    (11) Northeast, then southeast along the 1,000 foot contour line approximately 12 miles to its intersection with the R5W/R6W range line;

    (12) South along the R5W/R6W range line approximately 0.25 mile to the intersection with the 1,000 foot contour line;

    (13) Generally southeast along the meandering 1,000 foot contour line, crossing onto the Letz Creek map, to a point on the 1,000 foot contour line located due north of the intersection of Siuslaw River Road and Fire Road;

    (14) South in a straight line approximately 0.55 mile, crossing over the Siuslaw River and the intersection of Siuslaw River Road and Fire Road, to the 1,000 foot contour line;

    (15) Generally southeast along the meandering 1,000 foot contour line, crossing onto the Roseburg, Oregon map, to the intersection of the 1,000 foot contour line with the Lane/Douglas County line;

    (16) East along the Lane/Douglas County line approximately 3.8 miles to the intersection with the 1,000 foot contour line just east of the South Fork of the Siuslaw River;

    (17) Generally north, then northeast along the 1,000 foot contour line around Spencer Butte, and then generally south to a point along the Lane/Douglas County line 0.5 mile north of Interstate Highway 99;

    Signed: June 11, 2015. John J. Manfreda, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15036 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-31-P
    EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 29 CFR Parts 2509, 2510, and 2550 RIN 1210-AB32; 1210-ZA25 Hearing on Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment Advice and Related Proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemptions AGENCY:

    Employee Benefits Security Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of hearing and extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will hold a public hearing on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) to consider issues attendant to adopting a regulation concerning its proposed conflict of interest rule and related proposed prohibited transaction exemptions. The Department also is extending the date by which comments may be submitted on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended exemptions. Public comments on the proposals may now be submitted to the Department on or before July 21, 2015.

    DATES:

    The comment periods for the proposed rule and six proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928, 21960, 22004, 22034, 22010, 22021, and 21989) have been extended, and comments on the proposals must be received on or before July 21, 2015. The hearing will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) beginning each day at 9 a.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The hearing will be held in the César E. Chávez Memorial Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. You may submit a request to testify at the hearing by any of the following methods:

    • Email to [email protected], subject line: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing.

    Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    Requests to testify must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015.

    You may submit comments on the proposed rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions by the methods identified below.

    For the proposed rule, identified by RIN 1210-AB32, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected] Include RIN 1210-AB32 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    For the proposed prohibited transactions exemptions, identified by RIN 1210-ZA25, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov at Docket ID number: EBSA-2014-0016. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Email to: [email protected] Include RIN 1210-ZA25 in the subject line of the message.

    Fax to: (202) 693-8474. Include RIN 1210-ZA25 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite 400, Washington DC 20210. Please include the application number(s) of the proposed prohibited transaction exemption upon which you are commenting: D-11712; D-11713; D-11687; D-11327; D-11820; or D-11850; or any combination thereof.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Exemption Determinations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 122 C St. NW., Suite 400, Washington DC 20001. Please include the application number(s) of the proposed prohibited transaction exemption upon which you are commenting: D-11712; D-11713; D-11687; D-11327; D-11820; or D-11850; or any combination thereof.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Wong, Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), (202) 693-8510. This is not a toll-free number.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    EBSA published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015, a proposed rule that, upon adoption, would define who is a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving investment advice to a plan or its participants or beneficiaries. The proposal also applies to the definition of a “fiduciary” of a plan, including an IRA, under section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code).1 If adopted, the proposal would treat persons who provide investment advice or recommendations to an employee benefit plan, plan fiduciary, plan participant or beneficiary, IRA, or IRA owner as fiduciaries in a wider array of advice relationships than the existing ERISA and Code regulations, which would be replaced. In the same edition of the Federal Register as the proposed regulation, EBSA also proposed new exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules applicable to fiduciaries under ERISA and the Code. If adopted, these proposals would allow certain broker-dealers, insurance agents, and others that act as investment advice fiduciaries to continue to receive many common forms of compensation that otherwise would be prohibited as conflicts of interest. The proposed rule, and related exemptions, would increase consumer protection for plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants, beneficiaries, and IRA owners. For a full discussion of the proposed rule changes see 80 FR 21928 or visit EBSA's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa, see Proposed Rules. For a full discussion of the proposed prohibited transaction exemptions and amendments to existing exemptions, see 80 FR 21960, et seq., or visit EBSA's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa (see Proposed Rules).

    1 Under section 102 of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1978, the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to interpret section 4975 of the Code was transferred, with certain exceptions not here relevant, to the Secretary of Labor. References in this document to sections of ERISA should be read to refer also to the corresponding sections of the Code.

    Since publication in the Federal Register, there has been considerable interest expressed in the proposed rule, the related proposed prohibited transaction exemptions, and the accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis, as well as several public comments requesting an extension of the comment period. The April 20 Federal Register documents provided a 75-day public comment period and required public comments to be submitted on or before July 6, 2015. Although the proposed rule included a 75-day comment period from the date of publication, the Department made clear that the opportunity for public input would not end after 75 days.

    In order to ensure that interested persons have sufficient time to share their views on the proposed rule and proposed new and amended prohibited transaction exemptions, EBSA is extending the comment period for submitting comments until July 21, 2015.

    The Federal Register documents published on April 20 also explained that the Department intended to hold a public hearing within 30 days of the close of the initial comment period, after which the comment period will reopen until approximately two weeks after the hearing transcript is published—a process that we anticipate will provide an additional 30 to 45 days of public comment.

    The hearing on this proposed rulemaking will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) beginning each day at 9 a.m. EDT, in the César E. Chávez Memorial Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, at 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. The hearing will be transcribed and the comment period will remain open after the conclusion of the hearing until 14 days after the official transcript is posted on EBSA's Web site. Thus, with the 15-day extension of the public comment period announced in this document, the initial comment period will be more than 90 days and, following the public hearing and opening of the comment period until 14 days after the hearing transcript is posted, we anticipate the opportunity for public testimony and comments may be more than 140 days in total.

    Persons interested in presenting testimony and answering questions at this public hearing must submit, by 5:00 p.m. EDT, July 24, 2015, a written request to testify and an outline of the issues they would like to address at the hearing. In addition to the outline, all requests to testify must clearly identify: (1) The name of the person desiring to serve as a witness; (2) the organization or organizations represented, if any; (3) contact information (address, telephone, and email), and (4) an indication of whether the person or organization submitted a written comment on the proposal, and, if so, the date of the comment letter. The hearing will be open to the general public. Any individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact EBSA after submitting their written request to testify concerning the scheduling of their testimony.

    In addition to testimony on the proposed rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions, a portion of the hearing will focus specifically on the Department's Regulatory Impact Analysis, which addresses the effects of conflicts of interest in the market for retirement investment advice and the need for regulation, the anticipated economic effects of the proposal, and the relative merits of certain regulatory alternatives. Thus, a portion of the hearing will be dedicated to testimony from panels of witnesses who specifically request an opportunity to present testimony focused on just the Department's Regulatory Impact Analysis. Persons or organizations who want to have a witness testify during this portion of the hearing should so state in their request to testify and should limit the outline for that witness' testimony accordingly.

    Depending upon the number and nature of the requests to testify, and in light of the limited time and space available for the public hearing, EBSA may need to limit the number of those testifying in order to provide an opportunity for the presentation of the broadest array of points of view on all aspects of the proposal during the period allotted for the hearing. The Department expects to organize the hearing into panels of witnesses with three or more witnesses on each panel. The Department will give preference in assigning panel slots to those persons or organizations who have submitted substantive comment letters regarding the proposals by the close of the comment period on July 21. The Department will also give preference, to the extent feasible, to parties with similar interests who select a common representative to testify on their behalf. Any persons not afforded an opportunity to testify will still have an opportunity to submit a written statement on the issues specified in their request to testify. Such statements will be included in the record.

    To facilitate the receipt and processing of requests to testify, EBSA encourages interested persons to submit their request to testify at the hearing and outlines by email to [email protected], subject line: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing. Persons submitting requests and outlines electronically should not submit paper copies. Persons submitting requests and outlines on paper should send or deliver their requests and outlines to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Attn: Conflict of Interest Rule Hearing, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. All requests and outlines submitted will be available to the public, without charge, online at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa and at the Public Disclosure Room, N-1515, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    EBSA will prepare an agenda indicating the order of presentation of oral testimony. In the absence of special circumstances, each presenter will be allotted ten (10) minutes in which to complete his or her presentation. Those individuals who make oral comments and present testimony at the hearing should be prepared to answer questions regarding their information and comments. Those requesting to testify also should be prepared to participate as part of a panel. Information about the agenda for the hearing will be posted on http://www.dol.gov/ebsa no later than August 3, 2015.

    The hearings will be open to the public, but seating will be limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Witnesses and persons accompanying witnesses will be given priority in seating. To expedite visitor security access entrance into the building, individuals planning to attend the hearing can provide contact information by email to [email protected], and arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the hearing.

    Notice of Public Hearing

    Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held on August 10, 11, and 12, and continuing through August 13, 2015 (if necessary) concerning the proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928). The hearing will be held beginning at 9 a.m. EDT in the César E. Chávez Memorial Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210.

    Notice of Extension of Comment Period

    Notice is hereby given that the period for submitting comments on the proposed Conflict of Interest Rule and proposed prohibited transaction exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015 (80 FR 21928, et seq.) is being extended until July 21, 2015. Information on how to submit comments by email, mail, by hand, or by courier is in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notices of Proposed Exemptions published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015. Those documents are also available electronically at www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/conflictsofinterest.html. All comments will be available to the public, without charge, online at http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa or at the Public Disclosure Room, N-1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Warning: Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 12th day of June, 2015. Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security, Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14921 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-29-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 228 [EPA-R06-OW-2015-0121; FRL-9929-30-Region 6] Ocean Dumping: Proposed Modification of Final Site Designation AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency EPA proposes to modify the use restrictions of the Galveston, TX Dredged Material Site, Freeport Harbor, TX, New Work (45 Foot Project), Freeport Harbor, TX, Maintenance (45 Foot Project), Matagorda Ship Channel, TX, Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX, Port Mansfield, TX, Brazos Island Harbor, TX and Brazos Island Harbor (42-Foot Project), TX Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites (ODMDSs) located in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and Brownsville, Texas, respectively. These sites are EPA designated ocean dumping sites for the disposal of suitable dredged material. This proposed action is being taken because there are current restrictions in place with language that prevent disposal of suitable dredged material from locations other than the federal channels. The United States Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District has requested EPA amend the restrictions to allow disposal of suitable dredged material from the vicinity of federal navigation channels to alleviate pressure on the capacity of their upland dredged material placement areas, when necessary.

    DATES:

    Comments. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before August 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket No. EPA-R06-OW-2015-0121, by one of the following methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; follow the online instruction for submitting comments.

    Email: Dr. Jessica Franks at [email protected]

    Fax: Dr. Jessica Franks, Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ-EC) at fax number 214-665-6689.

    Mail: Dr. Jessica Franks, Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ-EC), Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: (6WQ-EC), 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket No. EPA-R06-OW-2015-0121. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ-EC), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. The file will be made available by appointment for public inspection in the Region 6 FOIA Review Room between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays except for legal holidays. Contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph below. If possible, please make the appointment at least two working days in advance of your visit. There will be a 15 cent per page fee for making photocopies of documents. On the day of the visit, please check in at the EPA Region 6 reception area at 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Franks, Ph.D., Marine and Coastal Section (6WQ-EC), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, telephone (214) 665-8335, fax number (214) 665-6689; email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents A. Potentially Affected Persons B. Background C. Proposed Action D. Administrative Review Executive Order 12886 Paperwork Reduction Act Regulatory flexibility Act, as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 Unfunded Mandates Executive Order 13132: Federalism Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use Compliance With Administrative Procedure Act National Technology Transfer Advancement Act Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations List of subjects in 40 CFR Part 228 Part 228—(AMENDED) A. Potentially Affected Persons

    Persons potentially affected by this action include those who seek or might seek permits or approval by EPA to dispose of dredged material into ocean waters pursuant to the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act, 33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq. EPA's action would be relevant to persons, including organizations and government bodies seeking to dispose of dredged material in ocean waters offshore of Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and Brownsville, Texas. Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and other persons with permits to use designated sites offshore of Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield, and Brownsville, Texas would be most impacted by this final action. Potentially affected categories and persons include:

    Category Examples of potentially regulated persons Federal government USACE Civil Works and O & M projects; other Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense. Industry and general public Port authorities, marinas and harbors, shipyards and marine repair facilities, berth owners. State, local and tribal governments Governments owning and/or responsible for ports, harbors, and/or berths, Government agencies requiring disposal of dredged material associated with public works projects.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding persons likely to be affected by this action. For any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, please refer to the contact person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    B. Background

    Section 102(c) of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) of 1972, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq., gives the Administrator of EPA the authority to designate sites where ocean disposal may be permitted. On October 1, 1986, the Administrator delegated the authority to designate ocean disposal sites to the Regional Administrator of the Region in which the sites are located. These proposed modification are being made pursuant to that authority.

    The EPA Ocean Dumping Regulations promulgated under MPRSA (40 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter H, Section 228.11) state that modifications in disposal site use which involve withdrawal of disposal sites from use or permanent changes in the total specified quantities or types of wastes permitted to be discharged to a specific disposal site will be made by promulgation in this Part 228. This site modification of types of wastes permitted to be discharged to a specific disposal site are being published as proposed rulemaking in accordance with § 228.11(a) of the Ocean Dumping Regulations, which permits changes in the total specified quantities or types of wastes permitted to be discharged to a specific disposal site based upon changed circumstances concerning use of the site.

    C. Proposed Action

    The proposed modification of the use restrictions on the Galveston, TX Dredged Material Site, Freeport Harbor, TX, New Work (45 Foot Project), Freeport Harbor, TX, Maintenance (45 Foot Project), Matagorda Ship Channel, TX, Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX, Port Mansfield, TX, Brazos Island Harbor, TX and Brazos Island Harbor (42-Foot Project), TX ODMDSs was requested by the US Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District in a March 27, 2015 letter. The current wording within the 40CFR§ 228.15 restricts the use of these ODMDS to only dredged material originating from specific federal channel reaches associated with each ODMDS. For Freeport Harbor, TX, New Work (45 Foot Project) ODMDS and the Brazos Island Harbor (42-Foot Project), the ODMDSs are restricted to receive only construction dredged material from channel improvement projects at Freeport and Brazos Island Harbor, respectively. Modeling shows that future disposal capacity is limited at the placement areas typically used by the Galveston District when ocean disposal is not an option. As a result of these limitations, there is a need to change the use restrictions placed on these ODMDSs to include suitable dredged material from the greater vicinities of the respective federal channels. The proposed restriction modification will provide for sufficient future dredged material disposal capacity for material originating from dredging areas within each Federal channel and its vicinity.

    D. Administrative Review 1. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) EPA must determine whether the regulatory action is “significant,” and therefore subject to office of Management and Budget (OMB) review and other requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to lead to a rule that may:

    (a) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or Tribal governments or communities;

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

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

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

    This Proposed Rule should have minimal impact on State, local, or Tribal governments or communities. Consequently, EPA has determined that this Proposed Rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866.

    2. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., is intended to minimize the reporting and recordkeeping burden on the regulated community, as well as to minimize the cost of Federal information collection and dissemination. In general, the Act requires that information requests and record-keeping requirements affecting ten or more non-Federal respondents be approved by OMB. Since the Proposed Rule would not establish or modify any information or recordkeeping requirements, but only clarifies existing requirements, it is not subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    3. Regulatory Flexibility Act, as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act 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. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

    This proposed rule will not impose any requirements on small entities. The modification of the Galveston, TX Dredged Material Site, Freeport Harbor, TX, New Work (45 Foot Project), Freeport Harbor, TX, Maintenance (45 Foot Project), Matagorda Ship Channel, TX, Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX, Port Mansfield, TX, Brazos Island Harbor, TX and Brazos Island Harbor (42-Foot Project), TX ODMDSs broadens the use of the sites providing additional options for dredged material placement in the Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda, Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and Brownsville, Texas vicinities.

    For these reasons, the Regional Administrator certifies, pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, that the Proposed Rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This Proposed Rule contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) for State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector that may result in estimated costs of $100 million or more in any year. It imposes no new enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal governments or the private sector nor does it contain any regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small government entities. Thus, the requirements of section 203 of the UMRA do not apply to this Proposed Rule.

    5. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.Policies that have federalism implications” are defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that 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.”

    This Proposed Rule does not have federalism implications. It 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132.

    6. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by Tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Tribal implications.” This Final Rule does not have Tribal implications, as defined in Executive Order 13175.

    7. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    This Executive Order (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be “economically significant” as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, EPA must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by EPA. This Proposed Rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because EPA does not have reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children.

    8. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use Compliance With Administrative Procedure Act

    This Proposed Rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    9. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), Public Law 104-113, 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. This Proposed Rule does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

    10. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629) directs Federal agencies to determine whether the Proposed Rule would have a disproportionate adverse impact on minority or low-income population groups within the project area. The Proposed Rule would not significantly affect any low-income or minority population.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 228

    Environmental protection, Water pollution control.

    Dated: June 8, 2015. Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA is proposing to amend 40 CFR part 228 as follows:

    PART 228— CRITERIA FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF DISPOSAL SITES FOR OCEAN DUMPING 1. The authority citation for part 228 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1412 and 1418.

    2. Section 228.15 is amended by revising paragraphs (j)(12)(vi), (j)(13)(vi), (j)(14)(vi), (j)(15)(vi), (j)(17)(vi), (j)(18)(vi), (j)(19)(vi), (j)(20)(vi) to read as follows:
    § 228.15 Dumping sites designated on a final basis.

    (j) * * *

    (12) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Houston-Galveston, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (13) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Freeport, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (14) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Freeport, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (15) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Matagorda, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (17) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Corpus Christi, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (18) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Port Mansfield, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (19) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Brownsville, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    (20) * * *

    (vi) Restrictions: Disposal shall be limited to suitable dredged material from the greater Brownsville, Texas vicinity. Disposal shall comply with conditions set forth in the most recent approved Site Management and Monitoring Plan.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15002 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 49 CFR Part 800 [Docket No. NTSB-GC-2012-0002] RIN 3147-AA03 Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of Authority AGENCY:

    National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB or Board).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The NTSB proposes a new subpart within part 800 of its regulations to outline the NTSB's rulemaking procedures.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this notice, published in the Federal Register (FR), is available for inspection and copying in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003. Alternatively, a copy is available on the government-wide Web site on regulations at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket ID Number NTSB-GC-2012-0002).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Tochen, General Counsel, (202) 314-6080.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On June 25, 2012, the NTSB published a proposed rule indicating its intent to undertake a review of all NTSB regulations to ensure they are updated. 77 FR 37865. The NTSB initiated this review in accordance with Executive Order 13579, “Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies” (76 FR 41587, July 14, 2011). The purpose of Executive Order 13579 is to ensure all agencies adhere to the key principles found in Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), which include promoting public participation in rulemaking, improving integration and innovation, promoting flexibility and freedom of choice, and ensuring scientific integrity during the rulemaking process in order to create a regulatory system that protects public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The NTSB is committed to ensuring its regulations remain up-to-date and comply with these principles. This notice describes amendments to part 800 of 49 CFR (Organization and Functions of the Board and Delegations of Authority) that effect the agency's internal policies.

    This Notice proposes the addition of a new subpart within part 800: Subpart C, titled “Procedures for Adoption of Rules.” Subpart C describes the agency's rulemaking procedures. As stated above, the NTSB has undertaken a comprehensive review of all its regulations, in order to update them and ensure they accurately reflect the NTSB's current practices and contain correct information. In addition to the ongoing comprehensive review, the NTSB has also proposed and promulgated several changes to part 821 of 49 CFR (Rules of Practice in Air Safety Proceedings) and part 826 of 49 CFR (Rules Implementing the Equal Access to Justice Act). These recent rulemaking activities point out a need for procedural rules describing the NTSB's rulemaking practices. For example, this new subpart includes a section concerning interim final rules, and direct final rulemaking authority. The NTSB believes these sections will be beneficial in assisting public understanding of agency procedures for all types of rulemaking projects.

    II. Discussion of Proposed Additions

    Many of the new sections we propose are self-explanatory. As the Plain Writing Act of 2010, Public Law 111-274, 5 U.S.C. 301 note, and Executive Orders 12866 at § 1(b)(12) and 12988 at § 3(b)(2) require, the NTSB's proposed language in these new sections is clear and unambiguous. The NTSB has used regulations from the Department of Transportation as a model for the proposed text in this NPRM. See, e.g., 49 CFR 5.1-5.35 (Office of Secretary of Transportation); 49 CFR part 389, subpart B (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

    A. General Rulemaking Provisions: §§ 800.30-800.34

    The NTSB proposes § 800.30 to clarify the rules within proposed subpart C will only apply to rulemakings the NTSB initiates under its enabling statute, at 49 U.S.C. 1101-1155. The NTSB notes the agency's specific rulemaking authority is codified at 49 U.S.C. 1113(f); however, we propose a reference to sections 1101-1155 to provide for the possibility of enactment of rulemaking authority within other sections of the NTSB's authorizing legislation.

    The NTSB proposes § 800.31 to notify the public of the location of publicly available rulemaking documents. The NTSB utilizes www.regulations.gov for organizing and publishing rulemaking documents and public comments. Proposed § 800.31 apprises the public of the existence of this electronic site.

    Proposed §§ 800.32, 800.33, and 800.34 describe the manner in which the NTSB initiates rulemaking projects, the NTSB's practice of complying with the Administrative Procedure Act's informal rulemaking procedures by publishing notices of proposed rulemaking, and the expected contents of notices of proposed rulemaking. Proposed § 800.33 includes a phrase indicating the NTSB may not issue a notice of proposed rulemaking if the agency finds “notice is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest,” and the agency “incorporates that finding and a brief statement of the reasons for it in the rule.” As discussed below, such a procedure is permissible under the Administrative Procedure Act. While the NTSB does not anticipate engaging in such a procedure with frequency, the agency believes it suitable to provide for the exception in the text of § 800.33. The NTSB also proposes including a reference to the Administrative Procedure Act, at 5 U.S.C. 551, because the statute imposes specific procedures and requirements on agencies who engage in rulemaking.

    The NTSB proposes § 800.34 to inform the public of what each notice of proposed rulemaking will contain. For example, this section will require the NTSB provide specific information concerning the availability of rulemaking documents, and dates that apply to comment periods. The NTSB believes this section will ensure the NTSB's notices of proposed rulemaking consistently contain the information necessary to ensure the public may participate in the rulemaking process with ease.

    B. Public Participation: §§ 800.35-800.38

    The NTSB understands providing for the opportunity for public participation in rulemaking is a hallmark of the Administrative Procedure Act. As a result, the NTSB proposes the addition of regulations describing the procedures for public participation. In § 800.35, the NTSB proposes text stating any interested person may participate in a rulemaking project by submitting written comments. The NTSB emphasizes this invitation is open to all interested individuals. The NTSB also proposes a provision stating the agency may exercise its discretion to invite any interested person to participate in rulemaking procedures. Such an invitation might include the NTSB identifying organizations that might be able to offer expertise in a specific subject matter, and requesting those organizations consider submitting written comments with relevant information. Maintaining discretion to engage in such a practice will ensure the NTSB gains the most relevant, helpful information in promulgating its regulations.

    The NTSB also proposes a regulation specifying procedures regarding petitions for extension of time to submit comments, in § 800.36. The NTSB proposes a requirement stating the NTSB must receive such petitions no later than 10 days before the end of the comment period stated in the notice, unless a petitioner establishes good cause exists to extend the time for comments. If the NTSB grants a petition and extends the comment period, the proposed version of § 800.36 will require the NTSB to publish a notice of the extension in the Federal Register. Similar to other agencies, the NTSB proposes a rule concerning the content and format of written comments at § 800.37. The NTSB proposes requiring comments be in English and not exceed 15 pages. The proposed text states the NTSB accepts attachments to comments, and requires adherence to the electronic filing instructions on the Federal Docket Management System Web site when a commenter seeks to submit a comment electronically. In the event the Federal Docket Management System Web site is unserviceable or presents unforeseen problems preventing the timely submission of a comment, the NTSB will err on the side of accepting comments and assisting commenters. In addition, the NTSB proposes a sentence stating it will not accept frivolous, abusive, or repetitious comments.

    The NTSB also proposes a statement in § 800.38 that the agency will consider all timely-filed comments before it takes final action on a rulemaking proposal. The NTSB further proposes including a statement that the agency may consider late-filed comments “to the extent practicable.” The NTSB has included these statements in the preambles of notices of proposed rulemaking the agency has recently published. Codifying these concepts in a regulation communicates the NTSB takes seriously its consideration of all comments it receives.

    C. Proceedings and Documents: §§ 800.39-800.41

    The NTSB proposes including in § 800.39 the statement that the agency may initiate any further rulemaking proceedings it finds necessary or desirable. In this proposed rule, we provide the examples of inviting interested persons to make oral arguments; inviting participation in conferences with the agency and interested persons; inviting appearance at informal hearings presided over by officials designated by the agency; or participating “in any other proceeding to assure informed administrative action and to protect the public interest.” The NTSB notes, for such examples, the agency would ensure notes and/or a transcript of the proceedings would be kept. In general, the NTSB would include such items in the rulemaking record in the Federal Docket Management System. The NTSB's inclusion of proposed § 800.39 acknowledges that public participation is critical to its rulemaking process and such participation may take different forms. In addition to initiating various types of rulemaking procedures, the NTSB also is mindful that, with regard to some rules, issuing a written interpretation clarifying or explaining the applicability of a rule may be beneficial. The NTSB may issue such a written interpretation as a Notice published in the Federal Register, to ensure public awareness of the interpretation. The NTSB believes such interpretations assist in promoting transparency and understanding the NTSB's rules, some of which may involve technical information that would benefit from further explanation.

    The NTSB proposes §§ 800.40 (“Hearings”) and 800.41 (“Adoption of final rules”) stating the NTSB will only hold “informal” hearings, rather than “formal” hearings specified in 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. At any such informal hearing, the agency will designate a representative, such as the agency's General Counsel, to conduct the hearing. For clarification, the NTSB notes such rulemaking hearings are distinctive from those described in parts 821 (Rules of Practice in Air Safety Proceedings) and 845 (Rules of Practice in Transportation: Accident/Incident Hearings and Reports) of this chapter. Proposed § 800.41 describes internal agency procedures for adopting and issuing a Final Rule: The program office works with the NTSB's Office of General Counsel to draft the Final Rule and present it to the Board for consideration. If the Board chooses to adopt the Final Rule, the agency will publish the Final Rule in the Federal Register.

    D. Petitions for Rulemaking: §§ 800.42-800.43

    The NTSB proposes § 800.42 concerning petitions for rulemaking, which any interested person may submit. The proposed text specifies where petitioners must send the petition and requires the petition specify the rule the petitioner seeks to have amended or repealed. Conversely, the proposed section indicates a petition for rulemaking may propose the existence of a new rule. The petition must explain the petitioner's interest in the action he or she requests, as well as information and arguments to support the action sought.

    Section 800.43 proposes text describing how the NTSB will handle petitions for rulemaking. The proposed text states the NTSB will not hold hearings, arguments, or other proceedings on issues raised in the petition, unless the NTSB specifies otherwise. The proposed text of the section states the agency may grant or deny a petition for rulemaking, and will notify the petitioner of its decision.

    E. Direct and Interim Final Rules: §§ 800.44-800.45

    The NTSB proposes sections concerning direct final rulemaking and interim final rules. The NTSB proposes to use the direct final rulemaking procedure to streamline the rulemaking process where the rule is noncontroversial and the agency does not expect adverse comment.

    Direct final rulemaking will reduce the time and resources necessary to develop, review, clear, and publish separate proposed and final rules for rulemakings the agency expects to be noncontroversial and unlikely to result in adverse public comment. Several federal agencies use this process, including various Department of Transportation operating administrations. See, e.g., 49 CFR 5.35 (Office of Secretary of Transportation); 49 CFR 11.31 (Federal Aviation Administration); 49 CFR 190.339 (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration); 49 CFR 211.33 (Federal Railroad Administration); 49 CFR 389.39 (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration); 49 CFR 601.22 (Federal Transit Administration).

    In engaging in the direct final rulemaking procedure for certain rules, the NTSB would first determine whether a particular rulemaking is noncontroversial and unlikely to result in adverse comments based on its experience in previous rulemaking projects. Adverse comments are those comments that are critical of the rule, suggest that the rule should not be adopted, or suggest a change to the rule. The NTSB would not consider adverse comments to be those outside the scope of the rule or those suggesting the rule's policy or requirements should or should not be extended to other agency programs outside the scope of the rule.

    After making the determination a rule would be appropriate for direct final rulemaking, the NTSB would publish the rule as a direct final rule in the Federal Register. The document would state in the preamble that the agency does not anticipate adverse comments and that, unless it receives written adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments, the rule would become effective a specified number of days after the date of its publication in the Federal Register. If the NTSB receives adverse comments, or receives notice of intent to file adverse comments by the date specified in the direct final rule, it would publish a rule in the Federal Register withdrawing the direct final rule before it goes into effect. The NTSB may then publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with a new comment period if the agency decides to go forward with the rulemaking. If no adverse comments or written notice of intent to submit adverse comments are received by the date specified in the direct final rule, the NTSB would publish the rule in the Federal Register stating that it did not receive any adverse comments and confirming the effective date of the rule.

    Proposed § 800.44 sets forth the process outlined above and describes noncontroversial rules appropriate for final rulemaking. Noncontroversial rules include technical clarifications or corrections to existing rules, incorporation by reference, rules that affect internal procedures of the NTSB, such as filing requirements, and rules governing inspection and copying of documents. The NTSB may also use direct final rulemaking for a particular rule if similar rules had been previously proposed and published without adverse comment. Even if a rulemaking falls into one of the above categories, if adverse comments are anticipated, the NTSB would not use the direct final rulemaking process. The NTSB believes the additional time and resources expended to withdraw the rule and republish it for comment will serve as an incentive for the agency to make careful determinations as to whether this procedure is appropriate.

    Finally, the NTSB proposes § 800.45 to describe interim final rules. The NTSB may issue an interim final rule, which is an immediately effective rule, when it is in the public interest to promulgate an effective rule while keeping the rulemaking open for further refinement. The NTSB's proposed text includes the examples of when “normal procedures for notice and comment prior to issuing an effective rule are not required, minor changes to the final rule may be necessary after the interim rule has been in place for some time, or the interim rule only implements portions of a proposed rule, while other portions of the proposed rule are still under development.” This list of examples is not exhaustive; indeed, in 2012, the NTSB issued an interim final rule to amend certain procedural rules related to aviation certificate enforcement appeals. 77 FR 63242 (Oct. 16, 2012). Such rules needed to take effect quickly, as the changes were required by the enactment of Pilot's Bill of Rights. Public Law 112-53, 126 Stat. 1159 (Aug. 3, 2012). As a result, the NTSB utilized the interim final rulemaking process to ensure compliance with the legislative changes. The NTSB believes the proposed text of § 800.45 explains the interim final rulemaking process to ensure the public is aware of the process and when the NTSB might issue interim final rules.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 800

    Administrative practice and procedure, Authority delegations (Government agencies), Government employees, Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the NTSB proposes to amend 49 CFR part 800 as follows:

    PART 800—ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 1. Revise the authority citation for 49 CFR part 800 to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1113(f), unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise the part heading to read as set forth above. 3. Add subpart C to 49 CFR part 800 to read as follows: Subpart C—Procedures for Adoption of Rules Sec. 800.30 Applicability. 800.31 Public reading room. 800.32 Initiation of rulemaking. 800.33 Notice of proposed rulemaking. 800.34 Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking. 800.35 Participation of interested persons. 800.36 Petitions for extension of time to comment. 800.37 Contents of written comments. 800.38 Consideration of comments received. 800.39 Additional rulemaking proceedings. 800.40 Hearings. 800.41 Adoption of final rules. 800.42 Petitions for rulemaking. 800.43 Processing of petition. 800.44 Direct final rulemaking procedures. 800.45 Interim rulemaking procedures. Subpart C—Procedures for Adoption of Rules
    § 800.30 Applicability.

    This subpart prescribes rulemaking procedures that apply to the issuance, amendment, and revocation of rules pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 1101-1155.

    § 800.31 Public reading room.

    Information and data deemed relevant by the NTSB relating to rulemaking actions, including notices of proposed rulemaking; comments received in response to notices; petitions for rulemaking and reconsideration; denials of petitions for rulemaking; and final rules are maintained in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003.

    § 800.32 Initiation of rulemaking.

    The NTSB may initiate rulemaking either on its own motion or on petition by any interested person after a determination that grant of the petition is advisable. The NTSB may also consider the recommendations of other agencies of the United States.

    § 800.33 Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Unless the NTSB, for good cause, finds notice is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates that finding and a brief statement of the reasons for it in the rule, a notice of proposed rulemaking is issued and interested persons are invited to participate in the rulemaking proceedings under applicable provisions of 5 U.S.C. 551.

    § 800.34 Contents of notices of proposed rulemaking.

    (a) Each notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

    (b) Each notice includes:

    (1) A statement of the time, place, and nature of the proposed rulemaking proceeding;

    (2) A reference to the authority under which it is issued;

    (3) A description of the subjects and issues involved or the substance and terms of the proposed rule;

    (4) A statement of the time within which written comments must be submitted; and

    (5) A statement of how and to what extent interested persons may participate in the proceedings.

    § 800.35 Participation of interested persons.

    (a) Any interested person may participate in rulemaking proceeding by submitting comments in writing containing information, views or arguments.

    (b) In its discretion, the agency may invite any interested person to participate in the rulemaking procedures described in this subpart.

    § 800.36 Petitions for extension of time to comment.

    A petition for extension of the time to submit comments must be received not later than 10 days before the end of the comment period stated in the notice. The petition must be submitted to: General Counsel, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003. The filing of the petition does not automatically extend the time for petitioner's comments. Such a petition is granted only if the petitioner shows good cause for the extension, and if the extension is consistent with the public interest. If an extension is granted, it is granted to all persons, and the NTSB will publish a notice of the extension of the comment period in the Federal Register.

    § 800.37 Contents of written comments.

    All written comments shall be in English. Unless otherwise specified in a notice requesting comments, comments may not exceed 15 pages in length, but necessary attachments may be appended to the submission without regard to the 15-page limit. Any commenter shall submit as a part of his or her written comments all material he or she considers relevant to any statement of fact made in the comment. Commenters should avoid incorporation by reference. However, if incorporation by reference is necessary, the incorporated material shall be identified with respect to document and page. The NTSB may reject comments if they are frivolous, abusive, or repetitious. The NTSB may also reject comments filed electronically if the commenter does not adhere to the electronic filing instructions at the Federal Docket Management System Web site.

    § 800.38 Consideration of comments received.

    All timely comments are considered before final action is taken on a rulemaking proposal. Late filed comments may be considered to the extent practicable.

    § 800.39 Additional rulemaking proceedings.

    The NTSB may initiate any further rulemaking proceedings it finds necessary or desirable. For example, interested persons may be invited to make oral arguments, to participate in conferences between the Board or a representative of the Board and interested persons at which minutes of the conference are kept, to appear at informal hearings presided over by officials designated by the Board, at which a transcript or minutes are kept, or participate in any other proceeding to assure informed administrative action and to protect the public interest.

    § 800.40 Hearings.

    (a) Sections 556 and 557 of title 5, United States Code, do not apply to hearings held under this part. Unless otherwise specified, hearings held under this part are informal, fact-finding proceedings, at which there are no formal pleadings or adverse parties. Any rule issued in a case in which an informal hearing is held is not necessarily based exclusively on the record of the hearing.

    (b) The NTSB designates a representative to conduct any hearing held under this part. The General Counsel or a designated member of his or her staff may serve as legal officer at the hearing.

    § 800.41 Adoption of final rules.

    Final rules are prepared by representatives of the office concerned and the Office of the General Counsel. The rule is then submitted to the Board for its consideration. If the Board adopts the rule, it is published in the Federal Register, unless all persons subject to it are named and are personally served with a copy of it.

    § 800.42 Petitions for rulemaking.

    (a) Any interested person may petition the Chairman to establish, amend, or repeal a rule.

    (b) Each petition filed under this section must:

    (1) Be submitted in duplicate to the Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-0003;

    (2) Set forth the text or substance of the rule or amendment proposed, or specify the rule the petitioner seeks to have repealed, as the case may be;

    (3) Explain the interest of the petitioner in the action requested; and

    (4) Contain any information and arguments available to the petitioner to support the action sought.

    § 800.43 Processing of petition.

    (a) Unless the NTSB otherwise specifies, no public hearing, argument, or other proceeding is held directly on a petition before its disposition under this section.

    (b) Grants. If the agency determines the petition contains adequate justification, it initiates rule making action this Subpart C.

    (c) Denials. If the agency determines the petition does not justify rulemaking, it denies the petition.

    (d) Notification. Whenever the agency determines a petition should be granted or denied, the Office of the General Counsel prepares a notice of the grant or denial for issuance to the petitioner, and the agency issues it to the petitioner.

    § 800.44 Direct final rulemaking procedures.

    A direct final rule makes regulatory changes and states those changes will take effect on a specified date unless the NTSB receives an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule published in the Federal Register.

    (a) Types of actions appropriate for direct final rulemaking. Rules the Board determines to be non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse public comments may be published in the final rule section of the Federal Register as direct final rules. These include non-controversial rules that:

    (1) Make non-substantive clarifications or corrections to existing rules;

    (2) Incorporate by reference the latest or otherwise updated versions of technical or industry standards;

    (3) Affect internal NTSB procedures;

    (4) Update existing forms; and

    (5) Make minor changes to rules regarding statistics and reporting requirements, such as a change in reporting period (for example, from quarterly to annually) or eliminating a type of data collection no longer necessary.

    (b) Adverse comment. An adverse comment is a comment the NTSB judges to be critical of the rule, to suggest the rule should not be adopted, or to suggest a change should be made to the rule. Under the direct final rule process, the NTSB does not consider the following types of comments to be adverse:

    (1) Comments recommending another rule change, unless the commenter states the direct final rule will be ineffective without the change;

    (2) Comments outside the scope of the rule and comments suggesting the rule's policy or requirements should or should not be extended to other topics outside the scope of the rule;

    (3) Comments in support of the rule; or

    (4) Comments requesting clarification.

    (c) Confirmation of effective date. The NTSB will publish a confirmation rule document in the Federal Register, if it has not received an adverse comment or notice of intent to file an adverse comment by the date specified in the direct final rule. The confirmation rule document informs the public of the effective date of the rule.

    (d) Withdrawal of a direct final rule. (1) If the NTSB receives an adverse comment or a notice of intent to file an adverse comment within the comment period, it will publish a rule document in the Federal Register, before the effective date of the direct final rule, advising the public and withdrawing the direct final rule.

    (2) If the NTSB withdraws a direct final rule because of an adverse comment, the NTSB may issue a notice of proposed rulemaking if it decides to pursue the rulemaking.

    § 800.45 Interim rulemaking procedures.

    (a) An interim rule may be issued when it is in the public interest to promulgate an effective rule while keeping the rulemaking open for further refinement. For example, an interim rule may be issued in instances when normal procedures for notice and comment prior to issuing an effective rule are not required, minor changes to the final rule may be necessary after the interim rule has been in place for some time, or the interim rule only implements portions of a proposed rule, while other portions of the proposed rule are still under development.

    (b) An interim rule will be published in the Federal Register with an effective date on or after the date of publication. After the effective date, an interim rule is enforceable and is codified in the next annual revision of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Christopher A. Hart, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14517 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533-01-P
    80 117 Thursday, June 18, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of Advocacy and Outreach Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers; Request for Nominations AGENCY:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Request for Nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA, 5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given that the Secretary of Agriculture is soliciting nominations for membership for the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (the “Committee”).

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to nominations received on or before July 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mrs. Kenya Nicholas, Designated Federal Official, USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0170; (202) 720-6350; email: [email protected]

    ADDRESSES:

    Nomination packages may be sent by postal mail or commercial delivery to: The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mail Stop 0601, Washington, DC 20250, Attn: Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Nomination packages may also be faxed to (202) 720-7704.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters broadly affecting new farmers and ranchers including strategies, policies, and programs that will enhance opportunities and create new farming and ranching operations. The Committee will consider Department goals and objectives necessary to implement prior recommendations. The Committee will develop and recommend an overall framework and strategies to encompass principles that leverage and maximize existing programs, and create and test new program opportunities.

    In this notice, we are soliciting nominations from interested organizations and individuals from among ranching and farming producers (industry), related government, State, and Tribal agricultural agencies, academic institutions, commercial banking entities, trade associations, and related nonprofit enterprises. An organization may nominate individuals from within or outside its membership; alternatively, an individual may nominate herself or himself. Nomination packages should include a nomination form along with a cover letter or resume that documents the nominee's background and experience. Nomination forms are available on the Internet at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/forms/doc/AD-755.pdf or may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    The Secretary will select up to 20 members from among those organizations and individuals solicited, in order to obtain the broadest possible representation on the Committee, pursuant to Section 5 of the Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992 (Pub.L.No. 102-554), in accordance with the FACA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulation 1041-1. Equal opportunity practices, in line with the USDA policies, will be followed in all appointments to the Committee. To ensure that the recommendations of the Committee have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the Department, membership should include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 11th day of June 2015. Christian Obineme, Associate Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15064 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of Advocacy and Outreach Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee—Subcommittee on Land Tenure AGENCY:

    Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) is announcing a meeting of the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee's (BFRAC) Subcommittee on Land Tenure (Subcommittee). The Subcommittee is being convened to consider issues involving access to land, farm business transition and land tenure. The members will perform preliminary work on recommendations that will be submitted to the parent committee. The BFRAC will prepare recommendations for USDA Secretary Vilsack's consideration in making policy decisions affecting land tenure during its next public meeting.

    DATES:

    The subcommittee meeting is scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, June 22-24, 2015, from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST. Tuesday, June 23, from 10:30-3:30 p.m. CST has been set aside for public comments. All persons wishing to make comments during this meeting must check in between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. CST on June 23, at the registration table. All public commenters will be allowed a maximum of three minutes. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than what can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public meeting timeframe, speakers will be scheduled on a first-come basis.

    Public written comments for the Subcommittee's consideration may be submitted by close of business on June 19, 2015, to Mrs. Kenya Nicholas, Designated Federal Official, USDA OAO, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 520-A, Washington, DC 20250-0170, Phone (202) 720-6350, Fax (202) 720-7704, Email: [email protected] A conference call line will be available and open for public comments on June from 10:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday, June 23, for all who wish to listen in on the proceeding through the following telephone number: (888) 566-6179 and enter passcode 3184649.

    Members of the public may submit written statements to the Land Tenure Subcommittee at any time. Written submissions are encouraged to either be less than one page in length, or be accompanied by an executive summary and a summary of policy initiatives to include, but not limited to, the following topics:

    1. How are farmers currently making farm business transitions and land or asset transfers between generations and non-family owners?

    2. How do changes in agricultural land tenure, such as increased reliance on leasing, impact the ability of USDA to serve the needs of America's farm families?

    3. How do changes in land tenure affect the access and availability of farmland for new and beginning farmers?

    4. How do we help farms plan for transitions in advance and best support those who inherit farmland?

    ADDRESSES:

    This public advisory committee meeting will be held at Drake University, Old Main, Levitt Hall, 25th and University Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50311. On-street parking and on-site parking is available. There is also a drop-off area directly in front of the entrance to the property. There will be signs directing attendees to the meeting room.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions should be directed to Phyllis Morgan, Executive Assistant, OAO, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Whitten Bldg., 520-A, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 720-6350, Fax: (202) 720-7136, email: [email protected].gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The BFRAC members met in Austin, Texas, on September 23-24, 2014, to deliberate upon the final set of recommendations for the Secretary on issues involving communications, service, and advocacy in identifying barriers for beginning farmers and ranchers. They also considered issues around lending and credit in parsing statistics generated by USDA. Since that meeting, the Secretary tasked the BFRAC with providing recommendations on access to land, farm business transition, and land tenure. Please visit our Web site at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/smallbeginning/index.htm for additional information on the BFRAC.

    The public is asked to pre-register for the meeting by June 19, 2015. You may pre-register for the public meeting by submitting an email to [email protected] with your name, organization or affiliation, comments, or any questions for the subcommittee's consideration. You may also fax this information to (202) 720-7704. Members of the public who wish to make comments during the subcommittee meeting must arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 23, and register (confirm) at the check-in table.

    The agenda is as follows: Day 1: Closed Session. Day 2: Subcommittee discussions, public comments, and subcommittee deliberations. Day 3: Closed Session. Please visit the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Web site for the full agenda. All agenda topics and documents will be made available to the public at: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/smallbeginning/index.htm. Copies of the agenda will also be distributed at the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: USDA is committed to ensuring that everyone is accommodated in our work environment, programs, and events. If you are a person with a disability and request reasonable accommodations to participate in this meeting, please note the request in your registration and you may contact Mrs. Kenya Nicholas in advance of the meeting by or before close of business on June 19, 2015, by phone at (202) 720-6350, fax (202) 720-7704, or email: [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 15th day of June 2015. Christian Obineme, Associate Director, Office of Advocacy and Outreach.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15070 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3412-89-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 15, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by July 20, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Forest Service

    Title: Pesticide-Use Proposal (PUP) Form.

    OMB Control Number: 0596-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Forest Service (FS) is authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 136, and 40 CFR part 171; the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2101) as amended by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 1421), and 36 CFR part 219; and the National Environmental Policy Act 42 CFR part 4321), and 36 CFR part 220 to collect information on proposed use of pesticides on lands administered by FS to safe guard natural resources and human health.

    Need and Use of the Information: FS will use form FS-2100-2 to collect pesticide project information from entities for application of pesticides upon FS administered lands within rights-of-way easements, permitted lands, and under similar circumstances. Categories of information requested are descriptive of type, amount, and location of applications, as well as identification of qualifying credentials of those performing the work. Proposals will be evaluated by FS pesticide use coordinators and other administrative personnel to safeguard human health and ecological protection consistent with FS land use management programs. Without the ability to collect the details of proposed projects from outside parties, the FS would not be able to make appropriately informed decisions concerning land stewardship and necessary ecological and human health safeguards.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals and households, Businesses and Organizations, and State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents: 36.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: One time.

    Total Burden Hours: 600.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15040 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request June 15, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if they are received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: National Universal Product Code (NUPC) Database.

    OMB Control Number: 0584-0552.

    Summary of Collection: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a National Universal Product Code (NUPC) database to be used by all Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) State agencies as they implement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) statewide, which is a requirement of the law. The NUPC database, which serves as an electronic repository of information about foods eligible under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

    Need and Use of the Information: The NUPC database will provide all State agencies with access to a central repository containing product information about authorized WIC foods which is necessary to support State agency EBT for the WIC Program. State agencies are expected to use the NUPC database to create an initial list of authorized foods eligible for redemption by WIC Program participants. State agencies may use the NUPC database to maintain their list of authorized foods and to create an Authorized Product List for distribution to Authorized Vendors operating in the EBT environment.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 360.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 10,320.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15041 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0020] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Hass Avocados From Peru AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of Hass avocados from Peru into the continental United States.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0020.

    • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0020, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0020 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the regulations for the importation of Hass avocados from Peru, contact Mr. Juan (Tony) Román, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, RCC, RPM, PHP, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2242. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Importation of Hass Avocados From Peru.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0355.

    Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to restrict the importation, entry, or interstate movement of plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction of plant pests into the United States or their dissemination within the United States. Regulations authorized by the PPA concerning the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world are contained in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-72).

    Section 319.56-50 of the regulations provides the requirements for the importation of Hass avocados from Peru into the continental United States. The regulations require the use of information collection activities, including phytosanitary certificates, trust funds, workplans, recordkeeping, production site registration, monitoring and oversight of registered production sites, packinghouse registration, survey protocols, box markings, and shipping documents with the official registration number of the place of production and identification of packing shed.

    When comparing the regulations to the information collection activities that were previously approved, we found that production site and packinghouse registration, box markings, and the time it takes for businesses to escort inspectors for the required monitoring were omitted from the previous collection. We also adjusted the burden hours for the trust fund and workplan activities to more accurately capture the time needed for these activities. Lastly, we increased the estimated annual number of respondents from two to eight to reflect an increase in trade and additional companies participating in the export of Hass avocados from Peru into the continental United States.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.0026 hours per response.

    Respondents: National plant protection organization officials of Peru and growers, shippers, and importers of Hass avocados from Peru.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 8.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 50,127.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 401,019.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,048 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of June 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15008 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0043] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid; Quarantine and Interstate Movement Regulations AGENCY:

    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations to prevent the spread of citrus greening and its vector, Asian citrus psyllid, to noninfested areas of United States.

    DATES:

    We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0043.

    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2015-0043, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0043 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For information on the regulations for the interstate movement of regulated articles to prevent the spread of citrus greening and its vector, Asian citrus psyllid, contact Dr. Mary Palm, National Coordinator for Citrus Pest Programs, PHP, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 52, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2069. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid; Quarantine and Interstate Movement Regulations.

    OMB Control Number: 0579-0363.

    Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

    Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), either independently or in cooperation with States, to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests and diseases that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States. Under the Act, the Secretary may also issue regulations requiring plants and plant products moved in interstate commerce to be subject to remedial measures determined necessary to prevent the spread of the pest or disease, or requiring the objects to be accompanied by a permit issued by the Secretary prior to movement. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers the regulations to implement the PPA.

    Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing disease of citrus, is considered to be one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of host plants. This bacterial pathogen can be transmitted by grafting and, under laboratory conditions, by parasitic plants. The pathogen can also be transmitted by two insect vectors in the family Psyllidae, one of which is Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). ACP can also cause economic damage to citrus in groves and nurseries by direct feeding. Both adults and nymphs feed on young foliage, depleting the sap and causing galling or curling of leaves. High populations feeding on a citrus shoot can kill the growing tip.

    Under the regulations in “Subpart—Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid” (7 CFR 301.76 through 301.76-11), APHIS restricts the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to control the artificial spread of citrus greening and ACP to noninfested areas of the United States. The regulations contain requirements that involve information collection activities, including a compliance agreement, limited permit, Federal certificate, recordkeeping, labeling statement, the application of a tag to the consignee's waybill, 72-hour inspection notification, and cancellation of certificates, permits, and compliance agreements.

    We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities for an additional 3 years.

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.12 hours per response.

    Respondents: Commercial nurseries/operations in U.S. States or U.S. Territories quarantined for citrus greening or ACP.

    Estimated annual number of respondents: 621.

    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 23.

    Estimated annual number of responses: 13,882.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,785 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of June 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15005 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Program AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation, Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Record of decision.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice presents a summary of the Record of Decision (ROD) regarding the alternative selected for implementation from the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS) for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CRP is a voluntary program that supports the implementation of long-term conservation measures designed to improve the quality of ground and surface waters, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat on environmentally sensitive agricultural land. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers CRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The ROD was signed on April 17, 2015, but will not be implemented for at least 30 days following publication of this notice.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The CRP SPEIS, including appendices and this ROD, are available on the FSA Environmental Compliance Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=ecrc&topic=ep-cd. More detailed information on CRP is available from FSA's Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp.

    Requests for copies of the Final SPEIS and this ROD may be obtained from Nell Fuller at [email protected], or mail, Nell Fuller, USDA FSA, Mail Stop 0501, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0501.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nell Fuller, National Environmental Compliance Manager; phone: (202) 720-6853.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    FSA prepared a Final SPEIS for CRP and a Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2014. On behalf of the CCC, FSA provides CRP participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance under contracts that extend from 10 to 15 years. CCC funding for CRP is governed by acreage caps set by the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (2014 Farm Bill). Technical support is provided by:

    • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service;

    • USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture;

    • U.S. Forest Service;

    • State forestry agencies;

    • Local soil and water conservation districts; and

    • Other non-federal providers of technical assistance.

    Producers can enroll in CRP using one of two procedures:

    (1) Offer lands for General Sign-up enrollment during specific sign-up periods and compete with other offers nationally, based upon the Environmental Benefits Index; or

    (2) Enroll environmentally desirable land to be devoted to certain conservation practices (CPs) under CRP Continuous Sign-up provisions, if certain eligibility requirements are met, or by enrolling eligible land under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a federal-state partnership under CRP.

    As of September 2014, there were nearly 25.5 million acres enrolled in the CRP: 19.7 million acres under General Sign-up and 5.7 million acres under Continuous Sign-up, including 1.3 million acres in CREP and 0.3 million acres in the Farmable Wetlands Program, a program under CRP.

    Under the Proposed Action, as defined in the SPEIS, FSA would implement changes to the CRP resulting from the 2014 Farm Bill, which extends the enrollment authority for the CRP to 2018, as well as other discretionary measures designed to improve the functionality and conservation benefits of CRP. The CRP SPEIS tiers from the CRP Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and associated ROD completed in 2010. The SPEIS analyzed the impacts associated with implementing the changes to CRP and in developing new regulations. The No Action Alternative (continuation of current CRP to include those non-discretionary changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill) was also analyzed, and provides a management and environmental baseline.

    The Decision

    After reviewing comments from interested individuals and other State and Federal agencies, FSA decided to implement changes to CRP resulting from the 2014 Farm Bill, which extends the enrollment authority for CRP to 2018, and discretionary measures designed to improve the functionality and conservation benefits of CRP, as well as other changes described in the Proposed Action, with one exception and one clarification. The exception is that authorizing emergency haying or grazing on CP 25, “Rare and Declining Habitat,” during severe drought conditions will not be implemented. This decision was made after comparing the overall environmental impacts and other relevant information, including feedback received, with regard to the reasonable alternatives considered in the CRP SPEIS. The clarification was that FSA intends to use Primary Nesting Season (PNS) provisions that are currently in place to clarify the language provided in the 2014 Farm Bill for birds that are economically significant, in significant decline, or conserved in accordance with Federal or State law (see 16 U.S.C. 3833(b)(5)(B)). FSA will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address any need to amend PNS dates. The following briefly describes the purpose and need for the proposed programmatic changes and the alternatives considered.

    Purpose and Need for the Proposed Action

    The purpose of the Proposed Action is to implement programmatic changes to the CRP resulting from the 2014 Farm Bill and other discretionary program provisions. The need for the Proposed Action is to fulfill the FSA's responsibility to administer CRP while improving CRP's functionality and maintaining its conservation benefits.

    Alternatives Considered

    Some elements of the 2014 Farm Bill are non-discretionary, meaning implementation is mandatory and specifically required by the 2014 Farm Bill. As FSA has no decision-making authority over these non-discretionary aspects of the 2014 Farm Bill, they are assessed in the SPEIS as part of the No Action Alternative. Other elements of the 2014 Farm Bill provide overall guidance, but details of implementation are left to FSA's discretion. These discretionary aspects of the 2014 Farm Bill form the Proposed Action Alternative. In addition, as described in the Proposed Action Alternative, FSA proposes to implement additional discretionary measures for targeting enrollment and to expand the flexibility of emergency haying and grazing.

    Overview of Changes to CRP From the 2014 Farm Bill

    The changes in the 2014 Farm Bill that are administrative in nature, would not result in major changes to the administration of CRP, or have been addressed in other environmental assessments and eliminated from detailed analysis, are described in the first table. A summary of the proposed changes to CRP and how the changes are addressed in the SPEIS as part of the No Action Alternative or Proposed Action Alternative are described in the second table.

    List From Detailed Analysis Provision Description Maximum Enrollment Reduces maximum enrollment gradually from 32 to 24 million acres by fiscal year 2017. Farmable Wetlands Program Creates a permanent program from the pilot program established by 2008 Farm Bill and sets enrollment cap at 750,000 acres. Tree Thinning Reduces payment authority to $10 million, allows for incentive payments. Early Termination of Contracts Provides contract termination opportunity in 2015 for contracts that have been in place for at least 5 years, with exceptions. Managed Harvesting, Prescribed and Routine Grazing Payment Reduction Requires rental payment reduction of at least 25 percent. No payment reduction for beginning farmers or ranchers for grazing. Transition Option Provides authority for $33 million to facilitate transfer of land from retiring or retired owners to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, or military veteran farmers or ranchers. Prescribed Grazing Frequency Allows annual grazing for control of invasive plants. Intermittent and Seasonal Use Allows for intermittent and seasonal use of vegetative buffer practices incidental to agricultural production on adjacent lands. Proposed Changes to CRP Provision Description No Action Alternative Grasslands Eligibility and Authorized Activities Allows up to 2 million acres of certain grasslands to be eligible for CRP under Continuous Sign-up. Authorized activities differ from other CRP contracts. Final Year Contract Allows enrollment in Conservation Stewardship Program and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program during final year of the CRP contract. Emergency Haying and Grazing Payment Reduction Removes the requirement to reduce CRP rental payments. Proposed Action Targeted Enrollment Proposes the targeted enrollment of environmentally sensitive lands through reverse auctions or competitive bidding to meet reduced enrollment caps. Managed harvesting Frequency Sets minimum frequency of once in 5 years, and maximum frequency of once in 3 years. Routine Grazing Frequency Sets maximum frequency to no more than once every 2 years. Emergency Haying and Grazing on Additional Conservation Practices Allows emergency haying and grazing on additional CPs during severe drought conditions to include CP8 (grass waterways), CP21 (filter strips), CP22 (riparian buffers), CP23 (wetland restoration), CP23A (wetland restoration, non-floodplain), CP27 (farmable wetlands), CP28 (farmable wetland buffers), CP37 (duck nesting habitat), CP39 (constructed wetland), and CP41 (Flooded prairie farmable wetlands). Public Involvement

    Public involvement began with the notice announcing a “Notice of Intent to Prepare a Programmatic Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Conservation Reserve Program: Request for Comments” published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2013 (78 FR 71561-71562). A Web site developed to compile comments for the project was activated on the day the Notice of Intent was released and the official scoping comment period began. Comments were received through the project Web site, email system, mail, fax, and at www.regulations.gov. The scoping period ended January 13, 2014. Eight comment letters were received during the scoping period from Federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as from private organizations and members of the concerned public. The comments could be broken into 55 individual issues covering a range of topics including proposed 2008 Farm Bill changes, CRP maximum enrollment and acreages, regional differences in haying and grazing impacts, lack of thorough environmental and socioeconomic impact analysis in previous environmental analysis documentation related to the Farm Bill, and CRP funding policy. The comments provided during the scoping period were considered in defining the alternatives and the environmental consequences to ensure feedback was adequately addressed.

    A notice announcing the availability of the Draft SPEIS was published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2014 (79 FR 41247-41249). This notice of availability (NOA) provided a summary of the changes to CRP, the No Action Alternative, and the Proposed Action Alternative. Also included in the NOA was a description of how to provide comments, as well as a list of the dates, times, and locations of the five public meetings that were held as a part of the public involvement process. Locations for holding public meetings were chosen based upon FSA density analyses of participation in CRP or those participants potentially impacted by the proposed changes to CRP. The meeting locations, dates, and times are shown in the table below.

    Date Time Location information July 21, 2014 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Hilton Garden Inn, Spokane Airport, 9015 West SR Highway 2, Spokane, Washington 99224. July 22, 2014 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Holiday Inn, Great Falls, 1100 5th Street, South Falls, Montana 59405. August 4, 2014 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, 3301 East 50th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79404. August 5, 2014 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Stillwater Library, 1107 S. Duck Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074. August 6, 2014 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m Courtyard by Marriott and Moorhead Area Conference Center, 1080 28th Avenue, South, Moorhead, Minnesota 56560.

    Eighteen comments were received during the Draft SPEIS comment period. Those 18 comments included 75 issues to be considered in the Final SPEIS. A Comment Summary Report was prepared and is included as an appendix in the CRP SPEIS. The report provides additional detail on the Draft SPEIS comment process, a copy of the NOA, copies of all public meeting materials, and responses to all 75 substantive issues and how they were addressed in the Final SPEIS.

    The NOA of the Final SPEIS was published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2014 (79 FR 76952). A total of six comment letters or emails were received during the 30 day comment period. The comments could be broken down to 12 individual comments. The comments were primarily repetitive of concerns addressed during the Draft SPEIS and included grassland eligibility requirements, targeted enrollment, and emergency haying and grazing of additional CPs. Those comments were considered in the decision-making process.

    Impacts Summary

    The Final SPEIS evaluates the potential impacts of the Proposed Action. Based upon the analyses and conclusions presented in the Draft and Final SPEISs, FSA has determined that the Proposed Action is environmentally responsible and reasonable to implement, and no significant negative impacts would occur. Anticipated beneficial and adverse impacts are discussed below for each of the elements of the Proposed Action.

    Targeted Enrollment

    CRP establishes or restores vegetation to meet the CRP goals of improving surface water and groundwater quality, controlling soil erosion, and enhancing wildlife habitat. Enrolling land in CRP would be expected to benefit vegetation, wildlife, and protected species as sensitive lands or those with higher environmental benefits could be targeted. Soils, surface and groundwater, wetlands, and floodplains would benefit similarly and would also be positively impacted by reduced fertilizer and pesticide usage and lower demands on groundwater for irrigation. Recreation related to wildlife would be expected to benefit from targeting environmentally sensitive areas that benefit wildlife and habitats and surface water quality on and adjacent to CRP lands. Air quality would benefit from enrollment in CRP through reduced emissions from equipment, greater soil stability, and increased potential for long-term carbon sequestration as compared to typical agricultural production. No effect to socioeconomic conditions is anticipated to result from use of targeted enrollment; however, general social benefits from conservation would be realized. Overall, it is expected that using targeted enrollment could increase the quality of lands enrolled in CRP, resulting in greater environmental benefits. Targeted enrollment could provide long-term benefits to areas of sensitive vegetative communities, wildlife habitat, or water quality. Such benefits could occur throughout the U.S. in any ecoregion where targeting occurred.

    Installation and maintenance of CPs could create temporary, short-term negative impacts while the work was ongoing to resources, including vegetation, wildlife, protected species, soils, surface and groundwater, floodplains, wetlands, and air quality. However, all activities would be specified in Conservation Plans, designed by NRCS, which reflect local conditions and needs for each tract of land enrolled. Once CPs are established, long-term beneficial impacts to resources would be realized.

    Managed Harvesting and Routine Grazing Frequencies

    Managed harvesting would be allowed to occur no more frequently than once every 3 years, but not less frequently than once in 5 years. This would require four states (California, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada) that currently allow managed harvesting once every 10 years to have more frequent managed harvesting on new contracts where managed harvesting would be used to maintain CRP. The 2014 Farm Bill allows for the State Technical Committees (STCs) to establish routine grazing frequencies of not more than once every 2 years. More frequent harvesting and grazing could reduce the growing period between harvests, which may cause short-term negative impacts to some types of vegetation, potentially affecting wildlife habitat, soil stability, and any adjacent wetlands, floodplains, or surface waters. Activities with direct impacts would vary by ecoregion and species composition. Long-term benefits of harvesting and grazing include maintaining early succession stages, and improving species diversity, composition, and function. Wildlife adapted to early successional habitats could benefit from more frequent harvesting and grazing. Grazing could negatively affect wildlife through displacement or competition for food resources. Both grazing and haying could result in direct mortality to some wildlife species. Protected species are not expected to be affected as site specific Environmental Evaluations on Conservation Plans would determine the presence of protected species and ensure no impacts occur. No effects to groundwater, air quality, recreation, or socioeconomic resources are anticipated. When performed in accordance with established guidelines, managed harvesting can be an effective tool for maintaining early successional stages of vegetative communities.

    Emergency Haying and Grazing on Additional CP

    Consecutive years of emergency haying or grazing on the same acreage would reduce the growth period and could result in long-term negative impacts to some types of vegetation, in turn affecting wildlife. Impacts to wildlife could also include direct mortality and competition for food resources. No impacts to protected species are expected due to use of site-specific Environmental Evaluations. As with managed harvesting and routine grazing, short-term impacts to soils could occur from reduced vegetation growth affecting the stability of soils. Short-term impacts to surface waters, floodplains, and wetlands could occur from increased runoff, however, adherence to site-specific NRCS Conservation Plans and oversight by STC would reduce the potential for long-term impacts to these resources. No impacts to groundwater are anticipated. In the short-term, consecutive years of emergency haying and grazing could reduce the carbon sequestration potential of CRP vegetation. Socioeconomic benefits would result from enabling producers to maintain herds during severe droughts.

    Rationale for Decision

    No significant impacts would occur from implementation of the Proposed Action and no significant adverse cumulative impacts are expected. Potential negative impacts will be minimized by employment of best management practices specified in Conservation Plans and through the use of site-specific Environmental Evaluations.

    Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14988 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Land Between The Lakes Advisory Board (Board) will meet in Golden Pond, Kentucky. The Board is authorized under Section 450 of the Land Between The Lakes Protection Act of 1998 (Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the Board is to advise the Secretary of Agriculutre on the means of promoting public participation for the land and resource management plan for the recreation area; and environmental education. Additional Board information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/about/working-together/.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

    All Board 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 Land Between The Lakes Administration Building, 100 Van Morgran Drive, Golden Pond, Kentucky.

    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 Land Between The Lakes Adminstrative Building. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda L. Taylor, Board Coordinator, by phone at 270-924-2002 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) Discuss Environmental Education; and

    (2) Effectively communicate future land management plan activities.

    The meeting is open to the public. Board discussion is limited to Forest Service staff and Board members. Written comments are invited and should be sent to Tina Tilley, Area Supervisor, Land Between The Lakes, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, Kentucky 42211; and must be received by July 8, 2015, in order for copies to be provided to the members for this meeting. Board members will review written comments received, and at their request, oral clarification may be requested for a future meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Tina R. Tilley, Area Supervisor, Land Between The Lakes.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14997 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Sunshine Act Meeting Notice AGENCY:

    United States Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Commission Business Meeting.

    DATES:

    Date and Time: Monday, June 29, 2015; 10:00 a.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Place: 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 1150, Washington, DC.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lenore Ostrowsky, Acting Chief, Public Affairs Unit (202) 376-8591.

    Hearing-impaired persons who will attend the briefing and require the services of a sign language interpreter should contact Pamela Dunston at (202) 376-8105 or at [email protected] at least seven business days before the scheduled date of the meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Meeting Agenda

    This meeting is open to the public.

    I. Approval of Agenda II. Program Planning • Housekeeping: Read into the record—Notional votes undertaken by Commission a. Vote to confirm President's nomination of USCCR Staff Director, Mauro A. Morales b. Vote to extend the police briefing comment period for an additional 30 days • Discussion and vote on updated 2015 Statutory Enforcement Report Timeline • Discussion and vote on Commission Statement commemorating the anniversary of the ADA • Discussion and vote on Commission Statement commemorating the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act • Vote to approve Commission letter to EOIR re: Lack of notice to released detainees on court date therefore expediting deportations • Discussion and vote on Commission letter to Texas Department of Health Services re: Denial of birth certificates to U.S. born children of immigrant parents • Discussion and vote on Letter by Commission responding to Congressional request to update Native American report • Discussion and vote on Letter by Commission responding to Congressional delegation letter re: Workplace Discrimination briefing • Discussion and vote on Commission proclamation to remember Louis Nunez, former USCCR staff director • Discussion on how to recommit the Commission to planning the commemoration of the 13th & 14th amendments • Discussion and vote on Commission involvement in National Civil Rights Conference organized by EPA and USDA • Discussion on the process by which we will proceed on FY 2016 projects. III. Management and Operations • Staff Director Report • Report by SAC Chairs for Missouri and New York • Report on status of pending reports and reports voted to be revised IV. State Advisory Committee (SAC) Appointments • Kentucky • Virginia V. Adjourn Meeting Dated: June 16, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15120 Filed 6-16-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket No.: 150403337-5517-02] Privacy Act New System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice; Commerce/Department-12, OIG Investigative Records.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a Privacy Act System of Records entitled Commerce/Department-12, OIG Investigative Records.

    The notice of proposed amendment to this system of records was published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2015.

    DATES:

    The system of records becomes effective on June 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For a copy of the system of records please mail requests to the OIG Office of Counsel, Room 7896, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; by email to [email protected]; or by facsimile to (202) 501-7335.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The OIG Office of Counsel, Room 7896, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; by email to [email protected]; or by facsimile to (202) 501-7335.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 7, 2015, the Department of Commerce published and requested comments on a proposed Privacy Act System of Records entitled Commerce/Department-12, OIG Investigative Records (80 FR 26217). No comments were received in response to the request for comments. By this notice, the Department is adopting the proposed system as final without changes effective June 18, 2015.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. Brenda Dolan, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15020 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-017] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determination, and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (the PRC) as provided in section 705 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For information on the estimated subsidy rates, see the “Final Determination” section of this notice. The period of investigation is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

    DATES:

    Effective date June 18, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Halle, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; Phone: (202) 482-0176.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The Department published the Preliminary Determination on December 1, 2014,1 and the Amended Preliminary Determination on December 30, 2014.2 A summary of the events that occurred since the Department published the Amended Preliminary Determination, as well as a full discussion of the issues raised by parties for this final determination, may be found in the Final Decision Memorandum.3 The Final Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Final Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Final Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    1See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination, Preliminary Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part, and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 79 FR 71093 (December 1, 2014) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary Determination, 79 FR 78398 (December 30, 2014) (Amended Preliminary Determination).

    3See Memorandum, “Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China,” (Final Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Scope of the Investigation and Scope Comments

    The products covered by this investigation are certain passenger tires from the PRC. The products covered by the investigation are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.45, 8708.70.45.60, 8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    The Department received comments regarding the scope of this investigation from numerous interested parties, which we have summarized and addressed in the accompanying Final Decision Memorandum.4 As explained in the Final Decision Memorandum, to facilitate the scope's administrability and enforcement, we have clarified the scope language such that “N” speed-rated specialty trailer tires that meet certain requirements are excluded from the scope.5 For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix II to this notice.

    4See Final Decision Memorandum at Comments 25 and 26.

    5Id.

    Analysis of Subsidy Programs and Comments Received

    The subsidy programs under investigation and the issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties in this investigation are discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum. A list of the issues that parties raised, and to which we responded in the Final Decision Memorandum, is attached to this notice at Appendix I.

    Use of Adverse Facts Available

    The Department notes that, in making these findings, we relied, in part, on facts available and, because one or more respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, we applied adverse facts available.6 For purposes of this final determination, we applied adverse facts available in several instances, including with regard to the net subsidy rate assigned to Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd. (Yongsheng). For further information, see the section “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences,” in the Final Decision Memorandum.

    6See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Determination

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, and minor corrections presented at verification, we made certain changes to the respondents' subsidy rate calculations since the Preliminary Determination and Amended Preliminary Determination. For a discussion of these changes, see the Final Decision Memorandum and the Final Analysis Memoranda.7

    7See Final Decision Memorandum; see also Memoranda, “Final Determination Analysis for GITI Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd.,” and “Final Determination Analysis for Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd.,” (collectively, Final Analysis Memoranda), dated concurrently with this determination and hereby adopted by this notice.

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part

    In the Preliminary Determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of passenger tires from the PRC for Yongsheng and all other exporters or producers not individually examined.8 Upon further analysis of the data and comments submitted by interested parties following the Preliminary Determination, we are modifying our findings for the Final Determination. 9 Specifically, in accordance with section 705(a)(2) of the Act, we find that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports from GITI Tire (Fujian) Co., Ltd. (GITI Fujian), Yongsheng, and all other producers or exporters, but do not exist for Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd. (Cooper).

    8See Preliminary Determination, 79 FR at 71094.

    9 For a full description of the methodology and results of our analysis, see the Final Decision Memorandum.

    Final Determination

    In accordance with section 705(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Act, we calculated a rate for GITI Fujian and Cooper, the only two individually investigated exporters/producers of the subject merchandise that participated in this investigation.10 We adjusted the cash deposit rates for GITI Fujian, Yongsheng, and all other producers or exporters to reflect our finding that a program-wide change exists with regard to one subsidy program.11 The cash deposit rates listed below reflect this adjustment.

    10 The individually-investigated exporters/producers are (1) GITI Tire (Fujian) Co., Ltd., and its cross-owned affiliated companies GITI Tire (China) Investment Company Ltd., GITI Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., GITI Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd., GITI Steel Cord (Hubei) Company Ltd., Anhui Prime Cord Fabrics Company Ltd., GITI Tire Corporation, GITI Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., GITI Greatwall Tire (Yinchuan) Company Ltd., GITI Steel Cord (Anhui) Company Ltd., Anhui Prime Cord Weaving Company Ltd., and Anhui Prime Cord Twisting Company Ltd.; (2) Cooper Kunshan Tire Co., Ltd., and its cross-owned affiliated company, Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd.; and (3) Yongsheng.

    11See Final Decision Memorandum at Comment 15.

    In accordance with sections 705(c)(1)(B)(i)(I) and 705(c)(5)(A) of the Act, for companies not individually investigated, we apply an “all others” rate, which is normally calculated by weighting the subsidy rates of the individual companies selected as respondents with those companies' export sales of the subject merchandise to the United States. Under section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, the all others rate should exclude zero and de minimis rates calculated for the exporters and producers individually investigated, and any rates determined entirely under section 776 of the Act. We therefore have excluded Yongsheng's rate from the all others rate.

    Notwithstanding the language of section 705(c)(5)(A)(i) of the Act, we have not calculated the all others rate by weight-averaging the rates of GITI Fujian and Cooper because doing so risks disclosure of proprietary information. Therefore, and consistent with the Department's practice where such risk exists, for the all others rate, we calculated a weight average of GITI Fujian's and Cooper's rates using publicly ranged data.12 Since both GITI Fujian and Cooper received countervailable export subsidies and the all others rate is an average based on the individually investigated respondents, the all others rate includes export subsidies. We determine the total estimated net countervailable subsidy rates to be:

    12See, e.g., Countervailing Duty Investigation of Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Determination, 79 FR 10097, 10098 (February 24, 2014), unchanged in Countervailing Duty Investigation of Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 79 FR 56560, 56562 (September 22, 2014); see also Memorandum, “Calculation of the All Others Rate for the Final Determination,” June 11, 2015.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit rate
  • (percent)
  • GITI Tire (Fujian) Co., Ltd. and certain cross-owned companies 37.20 36.79 Cooper Kunshan Tire Co., Ltd and certain cross-owned companies 20.73 20.73 Shandong Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd 100.77 100.37 All Others 30.87 30.61
    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    As a result of our Preliminary Determination, and pursuant to section 703(d) of the Act, we instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of merchandise under consideration from the PRC that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after September 2, 2014 (for those entities for which we found critical circumstances exist) or on or after December 1, 2014, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register (for all entities for which we did not find critical circumstances exist). In accordance with section 703(d) of the Act, we issued instructions to CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation for CVD purposes for subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after March 31, 2015, but to continue the suspension of liquidation of all entries from September 2, 2014, or December 1, 2014, as the case may be, through March 30, 2015.

    If the U.S. International Trade Commission (the ITC) issues a final affirmative injury determination, we will issue a CVD order and will reinstate the suspension of liquidation under section 706(a) of the Act and will require a cash deposit of estimated CVDs for such entries of subject merchandise in the amounts indicated above. If the ITC determines that material injury, or threat of material injury, does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all estimated duties deposited or securities posted as a result of the suspension of liquidation will be refunded or canceled.

    ITC Notification

    In accordance with section 705(d) of the Act, we will notify the ITC of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information related to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order (APO), without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    In the event the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 705(d) and 777(i) of the Act.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Final Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Final Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Application of the Countervailing Duty Law to Imports from the PRC VI. Subsidies Valuation Information VII. Benchmarks and Discount Rates VIII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences IX. Analysis of Programs X. Analysis of Comments Comment 1: Whether GITI Fujian's Input Suppliers are Authorities Comment 2: Appropriate Benchmark for Inputs at LTAR Comment 3: Whether Benchmarks for LTAR Inputs Should Exclude International Freight or Inland Freight Comment 4: Inputs Supplied by Other GITI Companies Should Not be Countervailed Comment 5: Correct Electricity Rate Selections Comment 6: Whether to Countervail Government Policy Lending Program Comment 7: Whether the Export Buyer's Credit Program Was Used by Respondents Comment 8: Whether to Countervail CKT's Land in the Kunshan ETDZ Comment 9: Whether to Countervail Assets from the Chengshan Group to Cooper for LTAR Comment 10: Whether PCT is the Successor-in-Interest to CCT Comment 11: Adjustments to Cooper's Originally Reported Data Comment 12: Whether the Department Should Accept the Minor Corrections Presented by GITI Fujian at Verification Comment 13: Whether Loans to GITI Anhui Radial are Export Subsidies Comment 14: Correct Sales Denominator for the GITI Companies Comment 15: Cash Deposit Rate for Terminated Programs Comment 16: Whether to Countervail the VAT Exemptions and Deductions for Central Regions Program Comment 17: Whether to Countervail the Key Enterprise Staffing Subsidy, 2013 Comment 18: Whether to Apply AFA to Subsidies Received by Hualin Tyre Comment 19: Whether the Department Should Attribute to GITI Fujian Subsidies Received by GITI Anhui Through 2010 and Subsidies Received by GITI Yinchuan Greatwall Through the POI Comment 20: Subsidy Rate for GITI Anhui's Use of the Import Tariff and VAT Exemptions for Imported Equipment Programs Comment 21: AFA Rate for Yongsheng Comment 22: Appropriate Time Periods for Critical Circumstances Analysis Comment 23: Whether Seasonality Exists in the Critical Circumstances Data Comment 24: Whether Company Specific Data Should be Used in the Department's Critical Circumstances Analysis Comment 25: Whether to Modify the Language of the Exclusion on Special Trailer (ST) Tires Comment 26: Whether Slingshot Tires Are Included in the Scope XI. Recommendation Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is passenger vehicle and light truck tires. Passenger vehicle and light truck tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a passenger vehicle or light truck size designation. Tires covered by this investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial, and they may be intended for sale to original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.

    Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have the following prefixes or suffix in their tire size designation, which also appears on the sidewall of the tire:

    Prefix designations:

    P—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger cars.

    LT—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks.

    Suffix letter designations:

    LT—Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal highway service.

    All tires with a “P” or “LT” prefix, and all tires with an “LT” suffix in their sidewall markings are covered by this investigation regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack a “P” or “LT” prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, as well as all tires that include any other prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

    Passenger vehicle and light truck tires, whether or not attached to wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported attached to a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following types of tires:

    (1) Racing car tires; such tires do not bear the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall and may be marked with “ZR” in size designation;

    (2) new pneumatic tires, of rubber, of a size that is not listed in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book;

    (3) pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires;

    (4) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires;

    (5) tires designed and marketed exclusively as temporary use spare tires for passenger vehicles which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

    (a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in Table PCT-1B (“T” Type Spare Tires for Temporary Use on Passenger Vehicles) of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) the designation “T” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation, and,

    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed is 81 MPH or a “M” rating;

    (6) tires designed and marketed exclusively for specialty tire (ST) use which, in addition, exhibit each of the following conditions:

    (a) The size designation molded on the tire's sidewall is listed in the ST sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) the designation “ST” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation,

    (c) the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “For Trailer Service Only” or “For Trailer Use Only”,

    (d) the load index molded on the tire's sidewall meets or exceeds those load indexes listed in the Tire and Rim Association Year Book for the relevant ST tire size, and

    (e) either

    (i) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 81 MPH or an “M” rating; or

    (ii) the tire's speed rating molded on the sidewall is 87 MPH or an “N” rating, and in either case the tire's maximum pressure and maximum load limit are molded on the sidewall and either

    (1) both exceed the maximum pressure and maximum load limit for any tire of the same size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book; or

    (2) if the maximum cold inflation pressure molded on the tire is less than any cold inflation pressure listed for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, the maximum load limit molded on the tire is higher than the maximum load limit listed at that cold inflation pressure for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book;

    (7) tires designed and marketed exclusively for off-road use and which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

    (a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in the off-the-road, agricultural, industrial or ATV section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) in addition to any size designation markings, the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “Not For Highway Service” or “Not for Highway Use”,

    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 55 MPH or a “G” rating, and

    (d) the tire features a recognizable off-road tread design.

    The products covered by the investigation are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.45, 8708.70.45.60, 8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15059 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE [Docket No.: 150421388-5516-02] Privacy Act New System of Records AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration (ITA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice; Commerce/ITA-8, Salesforce Customer Relationship Management System.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (Commerce) publishes this notice to announce the effective date of a Privacy Act System of Records entitled Commerce/ITA-8, Salesforce Customer Relationship Management System.

    The notice of proposed amendment to this system of records was published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2015.

    DATES:

    The system of records becomes effective on June 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    For a copy of the system of records please mail requests to Lois V. Mockabee, International Trade Administration Privacy Act Officer, Room 21023, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lois V. Mockabee, International Trade Administration Privacy Act Officer, Room 21023, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-06111.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 11, 2015, the Department of Commerce published and requested comments on a proposed Privacy Act System of Records entitled Commerce/ITA-8, Salesforce Customer Relationship Management System (80 FR 26893). No comments were received in response to the request for comments. By this notice, the Department is adopting the proposed system as final without changes effective June 18, 2015.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. Brenda Dolan, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15019 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-020] Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective date June 18, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“Department”) preliminarily determines that melamine from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (“LTFV”), as provided in section 733 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The period of investigation (“POI”) is April 1, 2014, through September 30, 2014. The estimated margin of sales at LTFV is shown in the “Preliminary Determination” section of this notice. Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Terpstra, 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) 482-3965.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department published the notice of initiation of this investigation on December 9, 2014.1 Pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, on March 12, 2015, 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 these investigations. 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; l,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.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this investigation in accordance with section 731 of the Act. Because the mandatory respondents 4 in this investigation either withdrew from the proceeding or did not cooperate to the best of their ability with the Department's requests for information, the Department preliminarily determines that the application of adverse facts available (“AFA”) is warranted for this preliminary determination, in accordance with section 776 of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308. As a part of the application of AFA, we are treating the mandatory respondents as part of the PRC-wide entity. Because the PRC-wide entity also failed to cooperate to the best of its ability in complying with our requests for information,5 we preliminarily determined an estimated weighted-average dumping margin based on adverse facts available for the PRC-wide entity, which includes the mandatory respondents.

    4 The mandatory respondents are Allied Chemicals Inc. (“Allied Chemicals”), Xinji Jiuyuan Chemical Co. Ltd. (“Xinji Jiuyuan”), and Sichuan Golden-Elephant Sincerity Chemical Co., Ltd. (“Golden Elephant”).

    5 Specifically, the Department did not receive responses to its quantity and value questionnaire (“Q&V”) from 26 companies to which the Department confirmed receipt of the Q&V. See Memorandum to the File, “Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from the People's Republic of China: FedEx—UPS Delivery Confirmations,” dated January 15, 2015.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum hereby adopted by this notice.6 The list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is provided as an appendix to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://trade.gov/enforcement/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    6See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Determination of the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Melamine from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation.7 Policy Bulletin 05.1 sets forth this practice.8 However, as described in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, all parties subject to this investigation are preliminarily found to be part of the PRC-wide entity, to which we do not assign a separate combination rate.9

    7See Initiation Notice, 79 at 73042.

    8See Enforcement and Compliance Policy Bulletin No. 05.1 “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (“Policy Bulletin 05.1”), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    9Id.

    10 The PRC-wide entity includes Allied, Xinji Jiuyuan, Golden Elephant, and Zhongyuan Dahua Group Inc., which withdrew from the investigation prior to respondent selection. The PRC-wide entity also includes 26 exporters who received a Q&V questionnaire from the Department but did not respond to the questionnaire. Those companies are: Anhui Jinhe Industrial Co., Ltd., Anhui Sunson Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Chengdu Yulong Chemical Co., Ltd., Fujian Sangang (Group), Hebei Jinglong Fengli Chemical Co., Ltd., Hefei Tianfeng Import & Export Co Ltd. China, Henan Zhongyuan Dahua Group Co., Ltd., JianFeng Chemicals, Jiangsu Heyou Group Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Sanmu Group Corporation, Kaiwei Investment Group, M and A Chemicals, Corp China, Nanjing Deju Trading Co Ltd. China, Nantong Zixin Industrial Co., Ltd., OCI Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. China, Panjin Zhongrun Chemical Co., Ltd., Qingdao Shida Chemical Co., Ltd. China, Shandong Jinmei Mingshui Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Shandong Sanhe Chemical Company Ltd., Shandong Xintai Liaherd Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Yixing Melamine Co., Ltd., Sichuan Chemical Works Group Ltd., Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Well Hope Enterprises Limited, and Zhejiang Fuyang Yongxing Chemical Co., Ltd.

    Preliminary Determination

    The preliminary weighted-average antidumping duty margin percentage is as follows:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • PRC-Wide Entity 10 363.31
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Normally, the Department discloses to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with a preliminary determination within five days of the date of publication of the notice of preliminary determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). However, because the Department preliminarily applied AFA to the mandatory respondents in this investigation, in accordance with section 776 of the Act, there are no calculations to disclose. Accordingly, the calculations performed in connection with this preliminary determination are not proprietary in nature, and are described in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Interested parties are invited to comment on this preliminary determination. Interested parties may submit case briefs to the Department no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this preliminary determination.11 A table of contents, list of authorities used, and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department.12

    11See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(i).

    12See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2).

    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, filed electronically in ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety in ACCESS, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.13 Hearing requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues you intend to present at the hearing. 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 location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    13See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 733(d) of the Act, the Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to suspend liquidation of all entries of melamine from the PRC, 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), the Department will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 14 equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value (NV) exceeds U.S. price, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through,15 as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for any exporter/producer combinations listed in the table above will be the rate the Department determines in this preliminary determination; (2) for all combinations of PRC exporters/producers of merchandise under consideration that have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate established for the PRC-wide entity; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of merchandise under consideration which have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter.

    14See 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).

    15See sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin calculation program, but in the cash deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 1.

    Furthermore, consistent with our practice, where the product under investigation is also subject to a concurrent countervailing duty investigation, we instruct CBP to require a cash deposit equal to the amount by which the NV exceeds the export price or constructed export price, less the amount of the countervailing duty determined to constitute an export subsidy. In this LTFV investigation, with regard to PRC-wide entity, export subsidies constitute 3.28 percent 16 of the preliminarily calculated countervailing duty rate in the concurrent countervailing duty investigation, and, thus, we will offset the PRC-wide rate of 363.31 percent by the countervailing duty rate attributable to export subsidies (i.e., 3.28 percent) to calculate the cash deposit rate for this LTFV investigation.17 We are not adjusting the PRC-wide rate for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through because we have no basis upon which to make such an adjustment.18

    16 The following subsidy programs in the preliminary determination of the concurrent countervailing duty investigation are export subsidies: Preferential Export Financing from the Export-Import Bank of Chines (1.06%), Reduced Fee Export Insurance (1.06%), Grants to Cover Legal Fees in Trade Remedy Cases (0.58%), and Cash Grants for Exports (0.58%). See Melamine From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Alignment of Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 80 FR 21706 (April 20, 2015), and accompanying Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 12-13.

    17 The cash deposit rate reflecting the export subsidy offset will be in effect until the countervailing duty provisional measures expire (i.e. 120 days after the publication of the preliminary determination of the companion countervailing duty investigation).

    18See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at the section, “Section 777A(f) of the Act.”

    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. Section 735(b)(2) of the Act requires the ITC to make its final determination as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, or threatened with material injury, by reason of imports of melamine, or sales (or the likelihood of sales) for importation, of the merchandise under consideration within 45 days of 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(b)(2).

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background 1. Initiation 2. Period of Investigation 3. Postponement of Preliminary Determination 4. Scope of the Investigation 5. Scope Comments 6. Selection of Respondents III. Discussion of the Methodology 1. Non-Market Economy Country 2. Separate Rates and the PRC-wide Entity 3. Application of Facts Available and Selection Based Upon Adverse Inferences for the PRC-Wide Entity 4. Corroboration of AFA Rate 5. Verification 6. Section 777A(f) of the Act IV. ITC Notification V. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-14973 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-016] Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective date June 18, 2015.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) determines that imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck tires (passenger tires) from the People's Republic of China (PRC) are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). The final weighted-average dumping margins for the investigation on passenger tires from the PRC are listed below in the “Final Determination” section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Toni Page, Lingjun Wang, or Jun Jack Zhao, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1398, (202) 482-2316, or (202) 482-1396, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On January 27, 2015, the Department published its affirmative preliminary determination that passenger tires from the PRC are being, or are likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value, as provided by section 733 of the Act.1 The following events occurred since the preliminary determination. On March 26, 2015, we published an amended preliminary determination in the Federal Register.2 From February 2, 2015 to February 13, 2015, and March 9, 2015 to March 13, 2015, the Department conducted sales and factors-of-production verifications of the two mandatory respondents: Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., and its affiliates, Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd. (collectively, the GITI companies); and Sailun Group Co. and its affiliates, Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co., Limited, Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., Seatex PTE. Ltd., (collectively, the Sailun Group). The Department issued verification reports for the GITI companies on March 20, and March 27, 2015; and for Sailun Group on March 20, and March 30, 2015, respectively.3 On April 10, 2015, Petitioner,4 the GITI companies, Sailun Group, and a number of separate rate applicants filed case briefs. On April 20, 2015, parties filed rebuttal briefs. On April 28, 2015, the Department held a hearing with respect to this investigation. Interested parties also filed case briefs and rebuttal briefs on the scope related issues on April 6, and April 13, respectively. On May 14, 2015, the Department held a separate hearing on scope related issues to this investigation.

    1See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances; In Part and Postponement of Final Determination, 80 FR 4250 (January 27, 2015) (Preliminary Determination).

    2See Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Amended Affirmative Preliminary Determination, 80 FR 15987 (March 26, 2015) (Amended Preliminary Determination).

    3See Verification Report of the Sales and Factors Responses of Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd. and Its Affiliated Subsidiaries in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China, dated March 20, 2015 (GITI China Verification Report); Verification Report of U.S. Sales of Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China, dated March 27, 2015 (GITI CEP Verification Report); Verification of the Sales and Factors Response of Sailun Group Co., Ltd., Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co., Limited, Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., and Seatex PTE. Ltd. in the Antidumping Investigation of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China, dated March 20, 2015 (Sailun China Verificaiton Report); and Verification of the U.S. Sales Responses of Sailun Group Co., Ltd., in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China, dated March 30, 2015 (Sailun CEP Verificaiton Report).

    4 Petitioner is United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC.

    Period of Investigation

    The period of investigation (POI) is October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014.

    Scope of the Investigation and Scope Comments

    The products covered by this investigation are certain passenger tires from the PRC. The products covered by the investigation are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.45, 8708.70.45.60, 8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    The Department received comments regarding the scope of this investigation from numerous interested parties, which we have summarized and addressed in the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum.5 As explained in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, to facilitate the scope's administrability and enforcement, we have clarified the scope language such that “N” speed-rated specialty trailer tires that meet certain requirements are excluded from the scope.6 For a complete description of the scope of the investigation, see Appendix II to this notice.

    5See Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Final Determination in the Antidumping Duty Investigation of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China” at Comments 1 and 2 (dated concurrently with this notice).

    6Id.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs by parties to this investigation are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum accompanying this notice, which is hereby adopted by this notice. A list of the issues which the parties raised and to which the Department responded in the memorandum appears in Appendix I of 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 Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed and electronic versions of the memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Amended Preliminary Determination

    Based on our review and analysis of the comments received from parties, and minor corrections presented at verification, we made certain changes to the GITI companies' and the Sailun Group's margin calculations since the Amended Preliminary Determination. For a discussion of these changes, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum and the Final Analysis Memoranda, all dated concurrently with this notice.7

    7See Final Analysis Memorandum for the PRC-Wide Entity, Final Analysis Memorandum for Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd. and its affiliates, and Final Analysis Memorandum for Sailun Group Co. and its affiliates, dated concurrently with this notice.

    Combination Rates

    In the Initiation Notice, the Department stated that it would calculate combination rates for the respondents that are eligible for a separate rate in this investigation.8 Policy Bulletin 05.1 sets forth this practice.9

    8See Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Antidumping Duty Investigation, 79 FR 42292 (July 21, 2014) (Initiation Notice).

    9See Enforcement and Compliance Policy Bulletin No. 05.1 “Separate-Rates Practice and Application of Combination Rates in Antidumping Investigations involving Non-Market Economy Countries,” (April 5, 2005) (Policy Bulletin 05.1), available on the Department's Web site at http://enforcement.trade.gov/policy/bull05-1.pdf.

    Final Determination

    The Department determines that the estimated final weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter(s) Producer(s) Weighted-
  • average dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Giti Tire Global Trading Pte. Ltd., Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd., (Collectively, the GITI Companies) Giti Radial Tire (Anhui) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Fujian) Company Ltd., Giti Tire (Hualin) Company Ltd 29.97 Sailun Group Co., Ltd. (aka Sailun Jinyu Group Co., Ltd.), Sailun Tire International Corp., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Jinyu International Holding Co., Limited, Seatex International Inc., Dynamic Tire Corp., Husky Tire Corp., Seatex PTE. Ltd., (Collectively, Sailun Group) Sailun Group Co., Ltd. (aka Sailun Jinyu Group Co., Ltd.), Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd 14.35 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd., Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Best Choice International Trade Co., Limited Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Beijing Capital Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Bridgestone Corporation Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (China) Co., Ltd Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (China) Co., Ltd., Cheng Shin Tire & Rubber (Chongqing) Co., Ltd 25.30 Crown International Corporation Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd., Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd 25.30 Goodyear Dalian Tire Company Limited Goodyear Dalian Tire Company Limited 25.30 Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber Tyre Ltd Guangzhou Pearl River Rubber Tyre Ltd 25.30 Hankook Tire China Co., Ltd Hankook Tire China Co., Ltd 25.30 Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Highpoint Trading, Ltd Federal Tire (Jiangxi) Ltd 25.30 Hong Kong Tiancheng Investment & Trading Co., Limited Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Hong Kong Tri-Ace Tire Co., Limited Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Hwa Fong Rubber (Hong Kong) Ltd Hwa Fong Rubber (Suzhou) Co., Ltd 25.30 Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co., Ltd Jiangsu Hankook Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Kenda Rubber (China) Co., Ltd Kenda Rubber (China) Co., Ltd 25.30 Kumho Tire Co., Inc Kumho Tire (Tianjin) Co., Inc., Nanjing Kumho Tire Co., Ltd., Kumho Tire (Changchun) Co., Inc 25.30 Mayrun Tyre (Hong Kong) Limited South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Nankang (Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone) Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd Nankang (Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone) Rubber Industrial Co., Ltd 25.30 Pirelli Tyre Co., Ltd Pirelli Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Crown Chemical Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Jinyu Industrial Co., Ltd., Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Free Trade Zone Full-World International Trading Co., Ltd Shandong Zhentai Group Co., Ltd., Longkou Xinglong Tyre Co., Ltd., Hebei Tianrui Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Corp. Ltd Fullrun Tyre Tech Corp., Ltd., Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co, Ltd., Deruibao Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong New Continent Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Fengyuan Tyre Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Sichuan Tyre & Rubber Co., Ltd., Qingdao Futaian Tyre Teck. Co., Ltd., Good Friend Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd., Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd., Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd., Beijing Capital Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd., Zhaoqing Junhong Co., Ltd., Shandong Huasheng Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shandong Province Sanli Tire Manufactured Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Tech Corp., Ltd Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Tech Corp., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Honghua Tyre Factory Qingdao Honghua Tyre Factory 25.30 Qingdao Nama Industrial Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd., Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd., Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Yonking Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Hongsheng Rubber Technology Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Nexen Tire Corporation Qingdao Nexen Tire Corporation 25.30 Qingdao Odyking Tyre Co., Ltd Doublestar-Dongfeng Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Fengyuan Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Qianzhen Tyre Co., Ltd Qingdao Qianzhen Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co., Ltd Qingdao Qihang Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd Qingdao Qizhou Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd Qingdao Sentury Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Changfeng Tyres Co., Ltd Shandong Changfeng Tyres Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Duratti Rubber Corporation Co., Ltd Shandong Duratti Rubber Corporation Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd Shandong Guofeng Rubber Plastics Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Haolong Rubber Tire Co., Ltd Shandong Haolong Rubber Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Hawk International Rubber Industry Co., Ltd Shandong Hawk International Rubber Industry Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd Shandong Hengyu Science & Technology Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Huitong Tyre Co., Ltd., Laiwu Sunshine Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong New Continent Tire Co., Ltd Shandong New Continent Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Province Sanli Tire Manufactured Co., Ltd Shandong Province Sanli Tire Manufactured Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Shuangwang Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Shuangwang Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd 25.30 Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd Shandong Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Shengtai Group Co., Ltd Shengtai Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Shengshitailai Rubber Technology Co., Ltd 25.30 Shifeng Juxing Tire Co., Ltd Shifeng Juxing Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd Shouguang Firemax Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Southeast Mariner International Co., Ltd Dongying Zhongyi Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd 25.30 Techking Tires Limited Shandong Longyue Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co., Ltd Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co., Ltd 25.30 Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Tyrechamp Group Co., Limited Shandong Haohua Tire Co., Ltd., Sichuan Tyre & Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd., Beijing Capital Tire Co. Ltd., Shandong Wanda Boto Tyre Co., Ltd., Shandong Wosen Rubber Co., Ltd., Shandong Zhentai Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Yonking Rubber Co., Ltd., Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co., Ltd., South China Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., Anhui Heding Tire Technology Co., Ltd 25.30 Weihai Ping'an Tyre Co., Ltd Weihai Ping'an Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd Weihai Zhongwei Rubber Co., Ltd 25.30 Wendeng Sanfeng Tyre Co., Ltd Wendeng Sanfeng Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Winrun Tyre Co., Ltd Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Rubber Co. Ltd 25.30 Zenith Holdings (HK) Limited Shandong Linglong Tyre Co., Ltd 25.30 Zhaoqing Junhong Co., Ltd Zhaoqing Junhong Co., Ltd 25.30 PRC-Wide Entity * 87.99 * The PRC-wide entity includes, among other companies, Yongsheng Rubber Group Co., Ltd. (Yongsheng), a mandatory respondent in this investigation that did not demonstrate that it is entitled to a separate rate. Accordingly, we consider Yongsheng to be part of the PRC-Wide Entity.
    Disclosure

    We intend to disclose to parties the calculations performed in this proceeding within five days of any public announcement of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, In Part

    We continue to find that critical circumstances do not exist for the GITI companies and the Sailun Group. In addition, we found that critical circumstances do not exist for the separate rate companies, while they do exist for the PRC-wide entity. A discussion of our determination can be found in the Issues and Decision Memorandum at the section, “Critical Circumstances.”

    Continuation of Suspension of Liquidation

    As noted above, for this final determination, the Department found that critical circumstances exist with respect to imports of the subject merchandise from the PRC-wide entity. Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(4)(A) of the Act, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to continue to suspend liquidation of all imports of the merchandise subject to the investigation from the PRC-wide entity, that were entered or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after October 29, 2014, 90 days prior to publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register, and require a cash deposit for such entries as noted below.

    Because we did not find that critical circumstances exist with respect to the GITI companies, the Sailun Group, and the separate rate companies,10 in accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation of all appropriate entries of passenger tires from the PRC, as described in the “Scope of the Investigation and Scope Comments” section of this notice and which were entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after January 27, 2015, the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination in the Federal Register.

    10 With regard to the separate rate companies, we will also instruct CBP to terminate suspension and to release any bond or other security, and refund any cash deposit made, to secure the payment of estimated antidumping duties with respect to entries of the merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after October 29, 2014 (i.e., 90 days prior to the date of publication of the Federal Register), but before January 27, 2015 (the date of publication of the Preliminary Determination).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.205(d), we will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit 11 for all suspended entries at an ad valorem rate equal to the weighted-average amount by which normal value exceeds U.S. price, as follows: (1) The cash deposit rate for the exporter/producer combination listed in the table above will be the rate identified for that combination in the table adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through; 12 (2) for all combinations of PRC exporters/producers of merchandise under consideration that have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate established for the PRC-wide entity, 87.99 percent, adjusted where appropriate for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through; and (3) for all non-PRC exporters of the merchandise under consideration which have not received their own separate rate above, the cash-deposit rate will be the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC exporter/producer combination that supplied that non-PRC exporter. These suspension of liquidation and cash deposit instructions will remain in effect until further notice.

    11See 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).

    12See sections 772(c)(1)(C) and 777A(f) of the Act, respectively. Unlike in administrative reviews, the Department calculates the adjustment for export subsidies in investigations not in the margin-calculation program, but in the cash-deposit instructions issued to CBP. See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, and Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances: Certain Lined Paper Products from India, 71 FR 45012 (August 8, 2006), and accompanying Issues and Decision memorandum at Comment 1.

    As stated previously, we will adjust cash deposit rates by the amount of export subsidies, where appropriate. In the companion CVD investigation, GITI companies received a calculated export subsidy rate of 15.03 percent while the all-others companies received a calculated export subsidy rate of 13.53 percent.13 Therefore, we will offset GITI companies' cash deposit rate of 29.97 percent by 15.03 percent, while the Sailun Group's and the separate rate companies' cash deposit rates of 14.35 percent and 25.30 percent, respectively, will be reduced by 13.53 percent as these companies were considered “all-others” companies in the companion CVD case. For Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Cooper (Kunshan) Tire Co., Ltd., and Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co., Ltd. (collectively, Cooper), another mandatory respondent in the companion CVD investigation, we will offset its cash deposit rate of 25.30 percent by its cacluated export subsidy rate of 11.13 percent. Finally, we are adjusting the cash deposit rate applicable to the PRC-wide entity for export subsidies, by the lowest export subsidy rate determined for any party in the companion CVD proceeding, which is 11.13 percent.14

    13See Cerain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum (CVD Final). The final determination in this companion CVD proceeding is being concurrently released on the same day as this final determination. See also, Memorandum to the File, “Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck from the People's Republic of China: Double Remides Final Calculation Memorandum,” dated concurrently with this notice (Double Remedies Memorandum).

    14Id.

    Pursuant to 777A(f) of the Act, we are also adjusting final cash deposit rates for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through, where appropriate. We will adjust the Sailun Group's,15 Cooper's and the separate rate companies' cash deposit rates by 3.59 percent to account for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through.16 We are also adjusting GITI companies' and the PRC-wide entity's cash deposit rate by 0.40 percent to account for estimated domestic subsidy pass-through.17

    15 Sailun Group's AD cash deposit rate after adjusting for export subsidies and estimated domestic subsidy pass-through will be zero percent. We will instruct CBP to require a cash deposit for all of Sailun Group's suspended entries at an ad valorem rate of zero percent.

    16See CVD Final and Double Remedies Memorandum.

    17Id.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of the final affirmative determination of sales at less than fair value. Because the final determination in this proceeding is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination, in accordance with section 735(b)(2) of the Act, as to whether the domestic industry in the United States is materially injured, threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States is materially retarded by reason of imports of passenger tires from the PRC, no later than 45 days after our final determination. If the ITC determines that material injury, threat of material injury, or material retardation does not exist, this proceeding will be terminated and all securities posted will be refunded or canceled. If the ITC determines that such injury or material retardation does exist, then the Department will issue an antidumping duty order directing CBP to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties on all imports of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the effective date of the suspension of liquidation.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders (APO)

    In the event the ITC issues a final negative injury determination, this notice will serve as the only reminder to parties subject to an APO of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation subject to sanction.

    This determination and notice are issued and published pursuant to sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I Outline of the Issues and Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Investigation IV. Use of Adverse Facts Available V. Critical Circumstances VI. Margin Calculations VII. Discussion of the Issues VIII. Recommendation List of Topics Discussed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum Comment 1: Whether to Modify the Language of the Exclusion on Special Trailer (ST) Tires Comment 2: Whether Slingshot Tires Are Included in the Scope Comment 3: Critical Circumstances Comment 4: Whether Sailun Group Should Receive a Double Remedy Adjustment Comment 5: Whether the Department Applied the Appropriate Double Remedy Adjustment to Cooper Comment 6: Whether GITI Companies Should Receive a Double Remedy Adjustment Comment 7: Analysis of the Pass-through Rate of the Double Remedy Adjustment Comment 8: Whether to Grant Sailun Group an Offset for By-Products Comment 9: Whether to Include Goodyear Thailand's Financial Statements in the Calculation of the Financial Ratios Comment 10: Whether to Include Export Expenses in the SG&A Ratios for SR Tyres and Hihero Comment 11: Whether to Include All Labor Related Costs in the Denominator of the Financial Ratios Calculation Comment 12: Selection of Surrogate Country Comment 13: Valuation of Labor Comment 14: Valuation of Market Economy Purchases Comment 15: Valuation of Truck Freight Comment 16: Calculation of Market Economy Purchases Comment 17: Valuation of Brokerage & Handling Comment 18: Valuation of GITI Companies' Steam Comment 19: Valuation of Sailun Group's Steam Comment 20: Valuation of GITI Companies' Ocean Freight Comment 21: Valuation of Sailun Group's Ocean Freight Comment 22: Valuation of Sailun Group's U.S. Inland Freight Comment 23: Valuation of Sailun Group's Reclaimed Rubber Comment 24: Sailun Group's Name Change Comment 25: Cooper's Name Change Comment 26: Shandong Yongtai Chemical Co., Ltd.'s (Yongtai) Name Change Comment 27: Application of AFA to all Subject Merchandise Produced by Yongsheng Comment 28: Whether the Department Properly Accounted for the Weighted-Average Price of Certain Market Economy Purchases Comment 29: Whether the Department Made All Appropriate Adjustments in the Calculation of Sailun Group's U.S. Price Comment 30: Whether the Department Should Apply AFA to GITI Companies' Unreported Sales Submitted as a Minor Correction at Verification Comment 31: Whether the Department Should Use the GITI Companies' Revised Databases that Include All the Minor Corrections Comment 32: Whether the Department Should Reduce the Sailun Group's U.S. Prices by the Amount of the Irrecoverable VAT Comment 33: Whether the Irrecoverable VAT Percentage Should Be Applied to the FOB China Value Comment 34: Whether the Department Correctly Reduced the U.S. Price by the Amount of the Irrecoverable VAT Comment 35: The Department's Authority to Apply a PRC-Wide Rate Comment 36: PRC Government Control of the Economy Comment 37: Guangzhou Wanli Tire Trading Co. Ltd.'s (Wanli) Separate Rate Status Comment 38: Guizhou Tyre Import and Export Co., Ltd.'s (GTCIE) Separate Rate Status Comment 39: Double Coin Holdings' (Double Coin) Separate Rate Status Comment 40: Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group Rubber Co., Ltd.'s (Shaanxi) Separate Rate Status Comment 41: Sichuan Tyre and Rubber Co. Ltd.'s (Sichuan Tyre) Separate Rate Status Comment 42: Zhongce Rubber Group Company Limited's (Zhongce) Separate Rate Status Comment 43: Shandong Anchi Tyres Co., Ltd.'s (Anchi) Separate Rate Status Comment 44: America Business Co., Ltd.'s (America Business) Separate Rate Status Comment 45: Highpoint Trading, Ltd., (Highpoint) and Federal Tire (Jiangxi), Ltd. (Jiangxi) Separate Rate Status Comment 46: Qingdao Jinhaoyang International Co., Ltd.'s (Jinhaoyang) Separate Rate Status Comment 47: Qingdao Au-Shine Group Co., Limited's (Au-Shine) Separate Rate Status Comment 48: Qingdao Fuyingxiang Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd.'s (Fuyingxiang) Separate Rate Status Comment 49: Shandong Changfeng Tyres Co., Ltd.'s (Changfeng) Separate Rate Status Comment 50: Shandong Fengyuan Tire Manufacturing Co., Ltd.'s (Fengyuan) Separate Rate Status Comment 51: Longkou Xinglong Tyre Co., Ltd.'s (Longkou) Separate Rate Status Comment 52: Liaoning Permanent Tyre Co., Ltd.'s (Permanent) Separate Rate Status Comment 53: Qingdao Fullrun Tyre Corp. Ltd.'s (Fullrun) Separate Rate Status Comment 54: Zhejiang Qingda Rubber Co., Ltd.'s (Qingda) Separate Rate Status Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The scope of this investigation is passenger vehicle and light truck tires. Passenger vehicle and light truck tires are new pneumatic tires, of rubber, with a passenger vehicle or light truck size designation. Tires covered by this investigation may be tube-type, tubeless, radial, or non-radial, and they may be intended for sale to original equipment manufacturers or the replacement market.

    Subject tires have, at the time of importation, the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall, certifying that the tire conforms to applicable motor vehicle safety standards. Subject tires may also have the following prefixes or suffix in their tire size designation, which also appears on the sidewall of the tire:

    Prefix designations:

    P—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on passenger cars

    LT—Identifies a tire intended primarily for service on light trucks

    Suffix letter designations:

    LT—Identifies light truck tires for service on trucks, buses, trailers, and multipurpose passenger vehicles used in nominal highway service.

    All tires with a “P” or “LT” prefix, and all tires with an “LT” suffix in their sidewall markings are covered by this investigation regardless of their intended use.

    In addition, all tires that lack a “P” or “LT” prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, as well as all tires that include any other prefix or suffix in their sidewall markings, are included in the scope, regardless of their intended use, as long as the tire is of a size that is among the numerical size designations listed in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, as updated annually, unless the tire falls within one of the specific exclusions set out below.

    Passenger vehicle and light truck tires, whether or not attached to wheels or rims, are included in the scope. However, if a subject tire is imported attached to a wheel or rim, only the tire is covered by the scope.

    Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation are the following types of tires:

    (1) Racing car tires; such tires do not bear the symbol “DOT” on the sidewall and may be marked with “ZR” in size designation;

    (2) new pneumatic tires, of rubber, of a size that is not listed in the passenger car section or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book;

    (3) pneumatic tires, of rubber, that are not new, including recycled and retreaded tires;

    (4) non-pneumatic tires, such as solid rubber tires;

    (5) tires designed and marketed exclusively as temporary use spare tires for passenger vehicles which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

    (a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in Table PCT-1B (“T” Type Spare Tires for Temporary Use on Passenger Vehicles) of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) the designation “T” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation, and,

    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed is 81 MPH or a “M” rating;

    (6) tires designed and marketed exclusively for specialty tire (ST) use which, in addition, exhibit each of the following conditions:

    (a) The size designation molded on the tire's sidewall is listed in the ST sections of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) the designation “ST” is molded into the tire's sidewall as part of the size designation,

    (c) the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “For Trailer Service Only” or “For Trailer Use Only”,

    (d) the load index molded on the tire's sidewall meets or exceeds those load indexes listed in the Tire and Rim Association Year Book for the relevant ST tire size, and

    (e) either

    (i) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 81 MPH or an “M” rating; or

    (ii) the tire's speed rating molded on the sidewall is 87 MPH or an “N” rating, and in either case the tire's maximum pressure and maximum load limit are molded on the sidewall and either

    (1) both exceed the maximum pressure and maximum load limit for any tire of the same size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book; or

    (2) if the maximum cold inflation pressure molded on the tire is less than any cold inflation pressure listed for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, the maximum load limit molded on the tire is higher than the maximum load limit listed at that cold inflation pressure for that size designation in either the passenger car or light truck section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book;

    (7) tires designed and marketed exclusively for off-road use and which, in addition, exhibit each of the following physical characteristics:

    (a) The size designation and load index combination molded on the tire's sidewall are listed in the off-the-road, agricultural, industrial or ATV section of the Tire and Rim Association Year Book,

    (b) in addition to any size designation markings, the tire incorporates a warning, prominently molded on the sidewall, that the tire is “Not For Highway Service” or “Not for Highway Use”,

    (c) the tire's speed rating is molded on the sidewall, indicating the rated speed in MPH or a letter rating as listed by the Tire and Rim Association Year Book, and the rated speed does not exceed 55 MPH or a “G” rating, and

    (d) the tire features a recognizable off-road tread design.

    The products covered by the investigation are currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 4011.10.10.10, 4011.10.10.20, 4011.10.10.30, 4011.10.10.40, 4011.10.10.50, 4011.10.10.60, 4011.10.10.70, 4011.10.50.00, 4011.20.10.05, and 4011.20.50.10. Tires meeting the scope description may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 4011.99.45.10, 4011.99.45.50, 4011.99.85.10, 4011.99.85.50, 8708.70.45.45, 8708.70.45.60, 8708.70.60.30, 8708.70.60.45, and 8708.70.60.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written description of the subject merchandise is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2015-15058 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-837, A-570-954, C-570-955] Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China and Mexico: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 22, 2015, the United States Court of International Trade (CIT) sustained the Final Redetermination issued by the Department of Commerce (Department), in which it determined that Fedmet Resources Corporation's (Fedmet) Bastion® magnesia alumina carbon bricks (MACBs) are outside the scope of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain magnesia carbon bricks (MCBs) from Mexico and the People's Republic of China (PRC),1 pursuant to the CIT's remand order in Fedmet Resources Corporation v. United States, Court No. 12-00215 (CIT February 23, 2015).2

    1See Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from Mexico and the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Orders, 75 FR 57257 (September 20, 2010) and Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China: Countervailing Duty Order, 75 FR 57442 (September 21, 2010) (Orders).

    2See Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Court Remand Magnesia Carbon Bricks from the People's Republic of China and Mexico, Fedmet Resources Corporation v. United States, Court No. 12-00215 (March 24, 2015) (Final Redetermination).

    Consistent with the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Timken, 3 as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, 4 the Department is notifying the public that the final judgment in this case is not in harmony with the Department's Final Scope Ruling on Bastion® MACBs 5 and is amending its final scope ruling.

    3See Timken Co. v. United States, 893 F.2d 337 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (Timken).

    4See Diamond Sawblades Mfrs. Coalition v. United States, 626 F.3d 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (Diamond Sawblades).

    5See “Memorandum from Barbara E. Tillman, “Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From the People's Republic of China and Mexico: Final Scope Ruling- Fedmet Resources Corporation” dated July 2, 2012 (Final Scope Ruling) at 2.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On May 3, 2011, Fedmet filed a request for a scope ruling claiming that its Bastion® MACBs are outside the scope of the Orders. The Department issued its Final Scope Ruling on July 2, 2012, and found that Fedmet's Bastion® MACBs are included in the scope of the Orders.

    Fedmet challenged the Department's Final Scope Ruling before the CIT. On May 30, 2013, the CIT sustained the Department's analysis pursuant to 19 CFR 351.225(k)(1) and (k)(2).6 Fedmet appealed the CIT's judgment to the CAFC. On June 20, 2014, in a divided decision, the CAFC reversed the CIT.7 The CAFC held that the references to “MACBs” in the (k)(1) sources resolved the inquiry and that the scope of the Orders did not extend to MACBs.8

    6See Fedmet Res. Corp. v. United States, 911 F. Supp. 2d 1348 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2013).

    7See Fedmet Res. Corp. v. United States, 755 F.3d 912, 923 (CAFC 2014).

    8Id. at 917.

    On February 23, 2015, the Department issued its Final Redetermination and found that, pursuant to the CAFC's decision and the CIT's subsequent remand order, Bastion® MACBs imported by Fedmet were not subject to the Orders. The CIT sustained the Final Redetermination on May 22, 2015.9

    9See Fedmet Res. Corp. v. United States, Court No. 12-00215 (CIT May 22, 2015) (judgment sustaining Final Redetermination).

    Timken Notice

    In its decision in Timken, as clarified by Diamond Sawblades, the CAFC has held that, pursuant to section 516A(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department must publish a notice of court decision that is not “in harmony” with a Department determination and must suspend liquidation of entries pending a “conclusive” court decision. The CIT's May 22, 2015, judgment in this case constitutes a final decision of that court that is not in harmony with the Department's Final Scope Ruling. This notice is published in fulfillment of the publication requirements of Timken. Accordingly, the Department will continue suspension of liquidation of Bastion® MACBs imported by Fedmet pending expiration of the period of appeal or, if appealed, pending a final and conclusive court decision.

    Amended Final Scope Ruling

    Because there is now a final court decision with respect to this case, the Department is amending the Final Scope Ruling and finds Fedmet's Bastion® MACBs to be outside the scope of the Orders. The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the cash deposit rate will be zero percent for Fedmet's Bastion® MACBs. In the event that the CIT's ruling is not appealed, or if appealed, upheld by the CAFC, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries of Fedmet's Bastion® MACBs without regard to antidumping and/or countervailing duties, and to lift suspension of liquidation of such entries.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15009 Filed 6-17-15; 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: Certification Requirements for Distributors of NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts.

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0508.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Number of Respondents: 8.

    Average Hours per Response: Distribution report, 1 hour; error reporting, 1.5 hours.

    Burden Hours: 328.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    NOS Office of Coast Survey manages the Certification Requirements for Distributors of NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (NOAA ENCs®). The certification allows entities to download, redistribute, repackage, or in some cases reformat, official NOAA ENCs and retain the NOAA ENC's official status. The regulations for implementing the Certification are at 15 CFR part 995. The recordkeeping and reporting requirements of 15 CFR part 995 form the basis for this collection of information. This information allows the Office of Coast Survey to administer the regulation, and to better understand the marketplace resulting in products to that meet the needs of the customer in a timely and efficient manner.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: Semiannually and on occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

    This information collection request may be viewed at reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14981 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3520-JE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Prize Purchases AGENCY:

    Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of prize purchase.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the intention of the Communication and Education (CommEd) Division of CPO to purchase and distribute prizes (1 t-shirt and 1 mug per month) to the monthly winners of the Climate Challenge—the social media game with a purpose.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Social Media Game with a purpose was developed for several reasons:

    1. To help improve public climate literacy (which is a Climate.gov requirement).

    2. To engage Climate.gov's publics in a fun & challenging way, while also growing our readership (another req).

    3. To test the hypothesis that there is “wisdom in the crowd” by comparing the crowd's averaged best guesses to experts' best guesses as well as real-world observations.

    4. If we find evidence that there is indeed wisdom in the crowd, then that begs consideration of a next step: development of approaches for leveraging and focusing the crowd's wisdom in decision-making contexts for societal benefit.

    Climate Challenge allows players to guess future climate-related conditions, such as the annual Arctic Sea Ice minimum coverage or a monthly average global surface temperature. The game also allows players to compare their answers to the experts' and, when available, see how both predictions compare to real-world measurements. There will be one climate-related question per month, and whoever comes closest to guessing the actual values will be that month's winner. For an added twist, participants can also compete against their friends, colleagues, or family members.

    Climate Challenge also helps to build climate science literacy by encouraging players to explore online links to materials related to the topics addressed by each game question. Players who want to increase their chances of winning are encouraged to visit the links to gather information that may help them improve the accuracy of their guesses. NOAA's Climate.gov team will publish the real-world measurements once they become available, as well as short summaries of the methods that the experts used to make their guesses.

    Matters To Be Considered:

    Prizes will be distributed monthly. The prizes that will be given to each winner (one per month) are a black T-Shirt with the Climate Challenge Logo on the front and a mug consisting of the same logo as the t-shirt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Herring, Division Chief, Communication and Education Division, CPO, NOAA, Rm. 12104, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-734-1207, Fax: 301-713-0517, Email: [email protected]). Please feel free to visit the Climate Challenge Web site using the following link: www.ecoresearch.net/climate-challenge.

    Dated: June 3, 2015. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14730 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO-C-2015-0035] Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for nominations for the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees.

    SUMMARY:

    On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the “Act”), Public Law 106-113, which, among other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified at 35 U.S.C. 5). The America Invents Act Technical Corrections Act made several amendments to the 1999 Act, including the requirement that the terms of the USPTO Public Advisory Committee members be realigned by 2014, so that December 1 be used as the start and end date, with terms staggered so that each year three existing terms expire and three new terms begin on December 1. Through this Notice, the USPTO is requesting nominations for up to three (3) members of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and for up to three (3) members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, for terms of three years that begin on December 1, 2015.

    DATES:

    Nominations must be postmarked or electronically transmitted on or before July 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Persons wishing to submit nominations should send the nominee's resumé by postal mail to Andrew C. Byrnes, Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Post Office Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia, 22313-1450 or by electronic mail to: [email protected] for the Patent Public Advisory Committee, or [email protected] for the Trademark Public Advisory Committee.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew C. Byrnes, Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, at (571) 272-8600.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Advisory Committees' duties include:

    • Review and advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on matters relating to policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the USPTO relating to patents and trademarks, respectively; and

    • Within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year: (1) Prepare an annual report on matters listed above; (2) transmit the report to the Secretary of Commerce, the President, and the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and (3) publish the report in the Official Gazette of the USPTO.

    Advisory Committees

    The Public Advisory Committees are each composed of nine (9) voting members who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce (the “Secretary”) and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary for three-year terms. Members are eligible for reappointment for a second consecutive three-year term. The Public Advisory Committee members must be citizens of the United States and are chosen to represent the interests of diverse users of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee. Members must represent small and large entity applicants located in the United States in proportion to the number of applications filed by such applicants. The Committees must include individuals with “substantial background and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office automation.” 35 U.S.C. 5(b)(3). Each of the Public Advisory Committees also includes three (3) non-voting members representing each labor organization recognized by the USPTO. Administration policy discourages the appointment of federally registered lobbyists to agency advisory boards and commissions (Lobbyists on Agency Boards and Commissions, http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/09/23/lobbyist-agency-boards-and-commissions (Sept. 23, 2009)); cf. Exec. Order No. 13490, 74 FR 4673 (January 21, 2009) (While Executive Order 13490 does not specifically apply to federally registered lobbyists appointed by agency or department heads, it sets forth the Administration's general policy of decreasing the influence of special interests in the Federal Government).

    Procedures and Guidelines of the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees

    Each newly appointed member of the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees will serve for a three-year term that begins on December 1, 2015, and ends on December 1, 2018. As required by the 1999 Act, members of the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees will receive compensation for each day (including travel time) while the member is attending meetings or engaged in the business of that Advisory Committee. The enabling statute states that members are to be compensated at the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of Title 5, United States Code. Committee members are compensated on an hourly basis, calculated at the daily rate. While away from home or regular place of business, each member shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by Section 5703 of Title 5, United States Code.

    Applicability of Certain Ethics Laws

    Public Advisory Committee Members are Special Government Employees within the meaning of Section 202 of Title 18, United States Code. The following additional information includes several, but not all, of the ethics rules that apply to members, and assumes that members are not engaged in Public Advisory Committee business more than 60 days during any period of 365 consecutive days.

    • Each member will be required to file a confidential financial disclosure form within thirty (30) days of appointment. 5 CFR 2634.202(c), 2634.204, 2634.903, and 2634.904(b).

    • Each member will be subject to many of the public integrity laws, including criminal bars against representing a party in a particular matter that came before the member's committee and that involved at least one specific party. 18 U.S.C. 205(c); see also 18 U.S.C. 207 for post-membership bars. A member also must not act on a matter in which the member (or any of certain closely related entities) has a financial interest. 18 U.S.C. 208.

    • Representation of foreign interests may also raise issues. 35 U.S.C. 5(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. 219.

    Meetings of the Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees

    Meetings of each Advisory Committee will take place at the call of the respective Committee Chair to consider an agenda set by that Chair. Meetings may be conducted in person, telephonically, on-line through the Internet, or by other appropriate means. The meetings of each Advisory Committee will be open to the public except each Advisory Committee may, by majority vote, meet in executive session when considering personnel, privileged, or other confidential information. Nominees must have the ability to participate in Committee business through the Internet.

    Dated: June 10, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15071 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Announcement of an Open Public Meeting AGENCY:

    National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE or Council), U.S. Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of an open public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule of an upcoming public meeting conducted by the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE). Notice of the meeting is required by section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and intended to notify the public of its opportunity to attend.

    DATES:

    The NACIE meeting will be held via conference call on July 1, 2015—4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time. Up to 20 dial-in, listen only phone lines will be made available to the public on a first come, first served basis. The conference call number is 1-888-677-5810 and the participant code is 3132285.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tina Hunter, Designated Federal Official, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: 202-205-8527. Fax: 202-205-0310.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NACIE's Statutory Authority and Function: The National Advisory Council on Indian Education is authorized by § 7141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Council is established within the Department of Education to advise the Secretary of Education on the funding and administration (including the development of regulations, and administrative policies and practices) of any program over which the Secretary has jurisdiction and includes Indian children or adults as participants or programs that may benefit Indian children or adults, including any program established under Title VII, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Council submits to the Congress a report on the activities of the Council that includes recommendations the Council considers appropriate for the improvement of Federal education programs that include Indian children or adults as participants or that may benefit Indian children or adults, and recommendations concerning the funding of any such program.

    One of the Council's responsibilities is to develop and provide recommendations to the Secretary of Education on the funding and administration (including the development of regulations, and administrative policies and practices) of any program over which the Secretary has jurisdiction that can benefit Indian children or adults participating in any program which could benefit Indian children.

    Meeting Agenda: The purpose of the meeting is to convene the Council to conduct the following business: (1) Final discussion, review and approval of the annual report to Congress; (2) Discuss schedule to submit recommendations to the Secretary of Education on funding and administration of programs; and, (3) decide on possible dates for the next open public meeting(s) for the NACIE.

    Access to Records of the Meeting: The Department will post the official report of the meeting on the OESE Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/index.html?src=oc 21 days after the meeting. Pursuant to the FACA, the public may also inspect the materials at the Office of Indian Education, United States Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time or by emailing [email protected] or by calling Terrie Nelson on (202) 401-0424 to schedule an appointment.

    Reasonable Accommodations: The hearing site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify Brandon Dent on (202) 453-6450 no later than June 26, 2015. Although we will attempt to meet a request received after request due date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to make arrangements.

    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.

    Authority:

    The National Advisory Council on Indian Education is authorized by Section 7141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

    Heather Rieman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14947 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0005] Solicitation of Nominations for Membership on the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Solicitation of nominations for membership.

    SUMMARY:

    To ensure a wide range of candidates and a balanced committee, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the solicitation of nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee.

    DATES:

    All nomination information should be provided in a single, complete package submitted electronically or postmarked by July 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations packages should be submitted either electronically or by mail, but not by both methods to [email protected]. Complete nomination packages identified by docket number EERE-2013-BT-NOC-0005 may be submitted by any of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]. Include docket number EERE-2013-BT-NOC- 0005 in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD, in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies. No telefacsimilies (faxes) will be accepted.

    It is recommended that nominations be submitted in electronic format via email to [email protected]. Submissions submitted by mail are welcome, but may be delayed in delivery due to the DOE mail vetting procedures in place. For submission by mail, please send to Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office, Mailstop EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a compact disc (CD), in which case it is not necessary to include printed copies.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee will provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on the DOE's Appliance and Equipment Standards Program's test procedures and rulemaking determinations. The Committee's scope is to review and make recommendations on the: (l) Development of minimum efficiency standards for residential appliances and commercial equipment, (2) development of product test procedures, (3) certification and enforcement of standards, (4) labeling for various residential products and commercial equipment, and (5) specific issues of concern to DOE as requested by the Secretary of Energy, the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Buildings Technologies Office's Director.

    To facilitate the functioning of the Committee, working group (i.e., subcommittees) may be formed with the approval of the Department of Energy. The objectives of the working groups are to make recommendations to the parent committee with respect to particular matters related to the responsibilities of the parent committee. Such working groups may not work independently of the chartered committee and must report their recommendations and advice to the full committee for full deliberation and discussion. Subcommittee members are appointed with DOE approval.

    DOE is hereby soliciting nominations for members of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee is expected to be continuing in nature. Members will be selected with a view toward achieving a balanced committee of experts in fields relevant to energy efficiency, appliance and commercial equipment standards to include DOE, as well as representatives of industry (including manufacturers and trade associations representing manufacturers, component manufacturers and related suppliers, and retailers), utilities, energy efficiency/environmental advocacy groups and consumers. Committee members will serve for a term of three years or less and may be reappointed for successive terms, with no more than two successive terms. Appointments may be made in a manner that allows the terms of the members serving at any time to expire at spaced intervals, so as to ensure continuity in the functioning of the Committee. Some Committee members may be appointed as special Government employees, experts in fields relevant to energy efficiency and appliance and commercial equipment standards; or as representatives of industry (including manufacturers and trade associations representing manufacturers, component manufacturers and related suppliers, and retailers), utilities, energy efficiency/environmental advocacy groups and consumers. Special Government employees will be subject to certain ethical restrictions and such members will be required to submit certain information in connection with the appointment process.

    Members of the Committee will serve without compensation; however, each member may be reimbursed in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations for authorized travel and per diem expenses incurred while attending Committee meetings.

    Process and Deadline for Submitting Nominations: Qualified individuals can self-nominate or be nominated by any individual or organization. Nominators should submit:

    1. The nominee's current resume or curriculum vitae and contact information, including mailing address, email address, and telephone number;

    2. A letter of interest, including a summary of how the nominee's experience and expertise would support the Committee's objectives;

    3. An affirmative statement that: (a) The nominee is not currently a federally- registered lobbyist and will not be a federally-registered lobbyist at the time of appointment and during his/her tenure as a Committee member, or (b) if the nominee is currently a federally- registered lobbyist, that the nominee will no longer be a federally-registered lobbyist at the time of appointment to the Committee and during his/her tenure as a member.

    All nomination information should be provided in a single, complete package by the deadline specified in this notice. Nominations packages should be submitted by either mail or electronically, but not by both methods. Should more information be needed, DOE staff will contact the nominee, obtain information from the nominee's past affiliations or obtain information from publicly available sources, such as the internet. A selection team will review the nomination packages. This team will be comprised of representatives from several DOE Offices. The selection team will seek balanced viewpoints and consider many criteria, including: (a) Scientific or technical expertise, knowledge, and experience; (b) stakeholder representation; (c) availability and willingness to serve; and (d) skills working in committees, working groups and advisory panels. The selection team will make recommendations regarding membership to the Secretary of Energy for review and selection of Committee members.

    Nominations are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To ensure that recommendations to the Committee take into account the needs of the diverse groups served by DOE, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent the needs of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups, and persons with disabilities. Please note, however, that Federally-registered lobbyists and individuals already serving on another Federal advisory committee are ineligible for nomination.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cymbalsky by telephone at 202-287-1692 or by email at [email protected].

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15004 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2015-6005] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 92-41 Application for Financial Institution Short-Term, Single-Buyer Insurance.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Banks of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    This collection of information is necessary, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. Sec. 635(a)(1), to determine eligibility of the underlying export transaction for Ex-Im Bank insurance coverage.

    The Export-Import Bank has made a change to the report to have the insured financial institution provide specific information (industry code, number of employees and annual sales volume) needed to make a determination as to whether or not the exporter meets the SBA's definition of a small business. The insured financial institution already provides a short description of the goods and/or services being exported and the name and address of the exporter. These additional pieces of information will allow Ex-Im Bank to better track the extent to which its support assists U.S. small businesses.

    The other change that Ex-Im Bank has made is to require the insured financial institution to indicate whether the exporter is a minority-owned business, women-owned business and/or veteran-owned business. Although answers to the questions are mandatory, the company may choose any one of the three answers: Yes/No/Decline to Answer. The option of “Decline to Answer” allows a company to consciously decline to answer the specific question should they not wish to answer.

    The information collection tool can be reviewed at: http://www.exim.gov/pub/pending/EIB92-41.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Michele Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 92-41 Application for Financial Institution Short-Term, Single-Buyer Insurance.

    OMB Number: 3048-0019.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The “Application for Financial Institution Short-term Single-Buyer Insurance” form will be used by financial institution applicants to provide Ex-Im Bank with the information necessary to determine if the subject transaction is eligible for Ex-Im Bank insurance coverage.

    Affected Public

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 215.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1.6 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 344.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: Annual.

    Government Expenses

    Reviewing time per year: 1,290 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year (time*wages): $54,825.

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $70,176.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14951 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice: 2015-6006] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 92-30 Report of Premiums Payable for Financial Institutions Only.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    This collection of information is necessary, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 635(a)(1), to determine eligibility of the export sales for insurance coverage. The Report of Premiums Payable for Financial Institutions Only is used to determine the eligibility of the shipment(s) and to calculate the premium due to Ex-Im Bank for its support of the shipment(s) under its insurance program. Export-Import Bank customers will be able to submit this form on paper or electronically.

    The Export-Import Bank has made a change to the report to have the insured financial institution provide the industry code (NAICS) associated with each specific export as well as specific information needed to make a determination as to whether or not the exporter meets the SBA's definition of a small business. The insured financial institution already provides a short description of the goods and/or services being exported and the name and address of the exporter. These additional pieces of information will allow Ex-Im Bank to better track what exports it is covering with its insurance policy and the extent to which its support assists U.S. small businesses.

    The other change that Ex-Im Bank has made is to require the insured financial institution to indicate whether the exporter is a minority-owned business, women-owned business and/or veteran-owned business. Although answers to the question are mandatory, the company may choose any one of the three answers: Yes/No/Decline to Answer. The option of “Decline to Answer” allows a company to consciously decline to answer the specific question should they not wish to answer.

    The information collection tool can be reviewed at: http://www.exim.gov/pub/pending/eib92-30.pdf

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Michele Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 92-30 Report of Premiums Payable for Financial Institutions Only.

    OMB Number: 3048-0021.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: This collection of information is necessary, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 635(a)(1), to determine eligibility of the applicant for Ex-Im Bank assistance. The information collected enables Ex-Im Bank to determine the eligibility of the shipment(s) for insurance and to calculate the premium due to Ex-Im Bank for its support of the shipment(s) under its insurance program.

    Affected Public:

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 215.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 30 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 1290 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: Monthly.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per year: 860 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $36,550 (time *wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $43,860.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14954 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice 2015-6010] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 92-64 Application for Exporter Short Term Single Buyer Insurance.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The “Application for Exporter Short Term Single Buyer Insurance” form will be used by entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services, to provide Ex-Im Bank with the information necessary to obtain legislatively required assurance of repayment and fulfills other statutory requirements. Export-Import Bank customers will be able to submit this form on paper or electronically.

    The Export-Import Bank has made a change to the report to have the applicant provide the number of employees or annual sales volume. That information is needed to determine whether or not they meet the SBA's definition of a small business. The applicant already provides their name, address and industry code (NAICS). These additional pieces of information will allow Ex-Im Bank to better track the extent to which its support assists U.S. small businesses.

    The other change that Ex-Im Bank has made is to require the applicant to indicate whether it is a minority-owned business, women-owned business and/or veteran-owned business. Although answers to the questions are mandatory, the company may choose any one of the three answers: Yes/No/Decline to Answer. The option of “Decline to Answer” allows a company to consciously decline to answer the specific question should they not wish to provide that information.

    The application can be reviewed at: www.exim.gov/pub/pending/EIB92-64.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Michele Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 92-64 Application for Exporter Short Term Single Buyer Insurance.

    OMB Number: 3048-0018.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The information requested enables the applicant to provide Ex-Im Bank with the information necessary to obtain legislatively required assurance of repayment and fulfills other statutory requirements.

    Affected Public:

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 310.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1.5 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 465 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: As needed.

    Government Costs:

    Reviewing time per year: 465 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $19,762.5 (time*wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $23,715.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14932 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK [Public Notice 2015-6007] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 92-36 Application for Issuing Bank Credit Limit (IBCL) Under Lender or Exporter-Held Policies.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Banks of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    This collection of information is necessary, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 635(a)(1), to determine eligibility of the applicant for Ex-Im Bank assistance.

    The Export-Import Bank has made a change to the report to have the financial institution provide specific information (industry code, number of employees and annual sales volume) needed to make a determination as to whether or not the exporter meets the SBA's definition of a small business. The financial institution already provides the exporter's name and address. These additional pieces of information will allow Ex-Im Bank to better track the extent to which its support assists U.S. small businesses.

    The other change that Ex-Im Bank has made is to require the financial institution to indicate whether the exporter is a minority-owned business, women-owned business and/or veteran-owned business. Although answers to the questions are mandatory, the company may choose any one of the three answers: Yes/No/Decline to Answer. The option of “Decline to Answer” allows a company to consciously decline to answer the specific question should they not wish to provide that information.

    The application tool can be reviewed at: http://www.exim.gov/pub/pending/eib92-36.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Michele Kuester, Export-Import Bank of the United States, 811 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 92-36 Application for Issuing Bank Credit Limit (IBCL) Under Lender or Exporter-Held Policies.

    OMB Number: 3048-0016.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: This form is used by an insured exporter or lender (or broker acting on its behalf) in order to obtain approval for coverage of the repayment risk of an overseas bank. The information received allows Ex-Im Bank staff to make a determination of the creditworthiness of the foreign bank and the underlying export sale for Ex-Im Bank assistance under its programs.

    This form has been updated to include a new Certification and Notices section as well as a new statement explaining Ex-Im Bank's limitation on support for goods subject to trade measures or sanctions.

    Affected Public: This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 480.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1.2 hours.

    Annual Burden Hours: 576 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: As needed.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per year: 480 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $20,400 (time*wages).

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $24,480.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14952 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [DA 15-630] Notice of Suspension and Commencement of Proposed Debarment Proceedings; Federal Lifeline Universal Service Support Mechanism AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) gives notice of Wes Yui Chew's suspension from the federal Lifeline universal service support mechanism (Lifeline program) and the commencement of debarment proceedings against him. Suspension immediately excludes Mr. Chew from activities associated with or related to the Lifeline program pending completion of the debarment process. Mr. Chew, or any person who has an existing contract with or intends to contract with him to provide or receive services in matters arising out of activities associated with or related to the Lifeline program, may contest this suspension or its scope by filing an opposition and any relevant documentation.

    DATES:

    Any opposition must be received within 30 days from the receipt of the suspension letter or June 18, 2015, whichever comes first. The Bureau will decide any opposition within 90 days of its receipt.

    ADDRESSES:

    Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Investigations and Hearings Division, Room 4-A422, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Celia Lewis, Paralegal Specialist, Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Investigations and Hearings Division, Room 4-A422, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Celia Lewis may be contacted by phone at (202) 418-7456 or email at [email protected]. If Ms. Lewis is unavailable, you may contact Mr. Kalun Lee, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, by telephone at (202) 418-0796 and by email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Bureau has suspension and debarment authority pursuant to 47 CFR 54.8 and 0.111(a)(14). Mr. Chew's conviction for money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1957(a), in connection with fraudulent claims against the Lifeline program, requires the Bureau to suspend him from participating in activities associated with the Lifeline program. Attached is the notice of suspension and initiation of debarment proceeding (Notice of Suspension), DA 15-630, which was mailed to Mr. Chew and released on May 26, 2015. The complete text of the Notice of Suspension is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portal II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. In addition, the complete text is available on the FCC's Web site at http://www.fcc.gov.

    Jeffrey J. Gee, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission.

    May 26, 2015

    DA 15-630 SENT VIA CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED Mr. Wes Yui Chew, c/o Daniel G. Webber, Jr., Ryan Whaley Coldiron Shandy PLLC, 119 N. Robinson Avenue, Suite 900, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Re: Notice of suspension and initiation of debarment proceeding, File No. EB-IHD-15-00019046.

    Dear Mr. Chew:

    The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) has received notice of your conviction for money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1957(a), in connection with fraudulent claims against the federal Lifeline telephone program (Lifeline program).1 Pursuant to its rules, the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) hereby suspends you from participating in activities associated with the Lifeline program.2 The Bureau is also commencing a proceeding to debar you from future participation in the Lifeline program.3

    1 Any further reference in this letter to “your conviction” refers to your guilty plea and subsequent sentencing in United States v. Chew, Criminal Docket No. 5:14-cr-00170-D, Plea Agreement (W.D. Okla. filed June 12, 2014) (Plea Agreement). See also Lifeline & Link Up Reform & Modernization, WC Docket No. 11-42, CC Docket No. 96-45, WC Docket No. 03-109, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 6656 (2012) (Lifeline Reform Order).

    2 47 CFR 54.8.

    3Id.; 47 CFR 0.111 (delegating to the Bureau authority to resolve universal service suspension and debarment proceedings). In 2007, the Commission extended the debarment rules to apply to all federal universal service support mechanisms, including Lifeline. See Comprehensive Review of the Universal Service Fund Management, Administration, & Oversight, Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 16372, 16410-12 (2007) (Program Management Order) (renumbering Section 54.521 of the universal service debarment rules as Section 54.8 and amending subsections (a)(1), (a)(5), (c), (d), (e)(2)(i), (e)(3), (e)(4), and (g)).

    I. Notice of Suspension

    Any person who has “defrauded the government or engaged in similar acts through activities associated with or related to the [Lifeline program]” may be prohibited from receiving the benefits associated with that program.4 The Lifeline program is a government program that provides support to eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that in turn offer discounts on telephone service for eligible low-income consumers.5 An ETC may receive reimbursement in connection with the Lifeline program only if it certifies as part of its reimbursement request that it is in compliance with the Lifeline rules.6

    4Program Management Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16387, para. 32. The Commission's debarment rules define a “person” as “[a]ny individual, group of individuals, corporation, partnership, association, unit of government or legal entity, however organized.” 47 CFR 54.8(a)(6).

    5See Lifeline Reform Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 6662-67, paras. 11-18; see also 47 CFR 54.400-54.422.

    6See 47 CFR 54.407(d).

    Icon Telecom, Inc. (Icon) participated in the Lifeline program from July 2011 until September 2013.7 During that time period, you were the sole owner and president of Icon.8 On June 12, 2014, you pled guilty to one count of money laundering for transferring $20,455,829.10 from an Icon bank account to a personal bank account, despite knowing that Icon had thousands fewer customers than it had reported to the Commission.9

    7United States v. Chew, Criminal Docket No. 5:14-cr-00170-D, Information at 4 (W.D. Okla. filed June 3, 2014).

    8Id. at 1.

    9Id. at 7-8; Plea Agreement at 2; see also United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma, Press Release, Icon Telecom and Its Owner Plead Guilty And Agree To Forfeit More Than $27 Million In Connection With Federal Wireless Telephone Subsidy Program, June 12, 2014, available at http://www.justice.gov/usao-wdok/pr/icon-telecom-and-its-owner-plead-guilty-and-agree-forfeit-more-27-million-connection.

    Pursuant to Section 54.8(b) of the Commission's rules,10 your conviction requires the Bureau to suspend you from participating in any activities associated with or related to the Lifeline program, including receiving funds or discounted services through the Lifeline program, or consulting with, assisting, or advising applicants or service providers regarding the Lifeline program.11 Your suspension becomes effective upon either your receipt of this letter or its publication in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.12

    10 47 CFR 54.8(a)(4); see Program Management Order, 22 FCC Rcd at 16387, para. 32.

    11 47 CFR 54.8(a)(1), (d).

    12Id. § 54.8(e)(1).

    In accordance with the Commission's suspension and debarment rules, you may contest this suspension or its scope by filing arguments, with any relevant documents, within thirty (30) calendar days of your receipt of this letter or its publication in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.13 Such requests, however, will not ordinarily be granted.14 The Bureau may reverse or limit the scope of a suspension only upon a finding of extraordinary circumstances.15 The Bureau will decide any request to reverse or modify a suspension within ninety (90) calendar days of its receipt of such request.16

    13Id. § 54.8(e)(4).

    14Id.

    15Id. § 54.8(f).

    16Id. §§ 54.8(e)(5), (f).

    II. Initiation of Debarment Proceedings

    In addition to your immediate suspension from the Lifeline program, your conviction is cause for debarment as defined in Section 54.8(c) of the Commission's rules.17 Therefore, pursuant to Section 54.8(b) of the Commission's rules, your conviction requires the Bureau to commence debarment proceedings against you.18

    17 “Causes for suspension and debarment are conviction of or civil judgment for attempt or commission of criminal fraud, theft, embezzlement, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, receiving stolen property, making false claims, obstruction of justice and other fraud or criminal offense arising out of activities associated with or related to the schools and libraries support mechanism, the high-cost support mechanism, the rural health care support mechanism, and the low-income support mechanism.” 47 CFR 54.8(c). Associated activities “include the receipt of funds or discounted services through [the federal universal service] support mechanisms, or consulting with, assisting, or advising applicants or service providers regarding [the federal universal service] support mechanisms.” Id. § 54.8(a)(1).

    18Id. § 54.8(b).

    As with the suspension process, you may contest the proposed debarment or its scope by filing arguments and any relevant documentation within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of this letter or its publication in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.19 The Bureau, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, will notify you of its decision to debar within ninety (90) calendar days of receiving any information you may have filed.20 If the Bureau decides to debar you, its decision will become effective upon either your receipt of a debarment notice or publication of the decision in the Federal Register, whichever comes first.21

    19Id. § 54.8(e)(3).

    20Id. § 54.8(e)(5).

    21Id. The Commission may reverse a debarment, or may limit the scope or period of debarment, upon a finding of extraordinary circumstances, following the filing of a petition by you or an interested party or upon motion by the Commission. Id. § 54.8(f).

    If and when your debarment becomes effective, you will be prohibited from participating in activities associated with or related to the Lifeline program for three years from the date of debarment.22 The Bureau may set a longer debarment period or extend an existing debarment period if necessary to protect the public interest.23

    22Id. § 54.8(d), (g).

    23Id. § 54.8(g).

    Please direct any response, if sent by messenger or hand delivery, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554 and to the attention of Celia Lewis, Paralegal Specialist, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Room 4-A422, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554 with a copy to Kalun Lee, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Room 4-C237, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. All messenger or hand delivery filings must be submitted without envelopes.24 If sent by commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Express Mail and Priority Mail), the response must be sent to the Federal Communications Commission, 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743. If sent by USPS First Class, Express Mail, or Priority Mail, the response should be addressed to Celia Lewis, Paralegal Specialist, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room 4-A422, Washington, DC 20554, with a copy to Kalun Lee, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room 4-C237, Washington, DC 20554. You shall also transmit a copy of your response via email to Celia Lewis, [email protected], and Kalun Lee, [email protected].

    24See FCC Public Notice, DA 09-2529 for further filing instructions (rel. Dec. 3, 2009).

    If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Lewis via U.S. postal mail, email, or by telephone at (202) 418-7456. If Ms. Lewis is unavailable, you may contact Kalun Lee, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, by telephone at (202) 418-0796 or at the email address noted above.

    Sincerely yours, Jeffrey J. Gee, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau. cc: Johnnay Schrieber, Universal Service Administrative Company (via email), Rashann Duvall, Universal Service Administrative Company (via email), Chris M. Stevens, United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma (via email), Scott E. Williams, United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma (via email).
    [FR Doc. 2015-15065 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), notice is hereby given that at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation met in closed session to consider matters related to the Corporation's supervision, corporate, and resolution activities.

    In calling the meeting, the Board determined, on motion of Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig, seconded by Director Thomas J. Curry (Comptroller of the Currency), concurred in by Director Richard Cordray (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, that Corporation business required its consideration of the matters which were to be the subject of this meeting on less than seven days' notice to the public; that no earlier notice of the meeting was practicable; that the public interest did not require consideration of the matters in a meeting open to public observation; and that the matters could be considered in a closed meeting by authority of subsections (c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), (c)(9)(B), and (c)(10) of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), (c)(9)(B), and (c)(10).

    Dated: June 16, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15134 Filed 6-16-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011753-004.

    Title: Hoegh Autoliners/EUKOR Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Hoegh Autoliners AS and EUKOR Car Carriers, Inc.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment expands the geographic scope of the agreement to include the trade from the U.S. West Coast to Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, and updates the addresses of the parties.

    Agreement No.: 012206-002.

    Title: Grimaldi/“K” Line Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Grimaldi Deep Sea S.P.A. and Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A (acting as a single party); Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The amendment adds Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. as a party to the agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012212-002.

    Title: NYK/Grimaldi Cooperative Working Agreement.

    Parties: Nippon Yusen Kaisha N.Y.K. Line (North America) Inc.; and Grimaldi Deep Sea S.p.A. and Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. (acting as a single party).

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Conner; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The amendment adds Grimaldi Euromed S.p.A. as a party to the agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012291-002.

    Title: Maersk Line/MSC WCCA Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would provide for the chartering of space on an “as needed, as available” basis.

    Agreement No.: 012293-004.

    Title: Maersk/MSC Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would add Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to the geographic scope of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012346.

    Title: Sealand/APL Central America Vessel Sharing Agreement Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Maersk Line A/S DBA Sealand; APL Co. Pte Ltd.; American President Lines, Ltd..

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O' Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006-4007.

    Synopsis: The agreement is a vessel sharing agreement in the trade between the U.S. East Coast on the one hand, and Panama and Colombia on the other.

    Agreement No.: 012347.

    Title: NYK/“K” Line Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.

    Filing Party: John P. Meade, Esq.; General Counsel; K-Line America, Inc.; 6199 Bethlehem Road; Preston, MD 21655.

    Synopsis: The agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to each other for new vehicles in the trade between the U.S. and Japan, Korea and China.

    Agreement No.: 201228.

    Title: Port of Seattle/Port of Tacoma Alliance Agreement.

    Parties: Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma.

    Filing Party: Thomas H. Tanaka, Senior Port Counsel; Port of Seattle; 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121; and Carolyn Lake, Port General Legal Counsel; Port of Tacoma; 501 South G Street, Tacoma, WA 98405.

    Synopsis: The Agreement would authorize the parties to establish an alliance and create an entity known as a port development authority to operate the alliance.

    Agreement No.: 201229.

    Title: Port of Houston Authority and Maersk Agency USA, Inc. as agent for Maersk Line A/S Marine Terminal Services Agreement.

    Parties: Port of Houston Authority and Maersk Line A/S.

    Filing Party: Linda Henry, Associate General Counsel; Port of Houston Authority; 111 East Loop North, Houston, TX 77029.

    Synopsis: The Agreement sets forth certain discounted rates and charges applicable to Maersk Line A/S container vessels calling at Port of Houston Authority's Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14920 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-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 Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. Southwest Bancorp, Inc., Stillwater, Oklahoma; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of First Commercial Bancshares, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire voting shares of First Commercial Bank, both in Edmond, Oklahoma.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, June 15, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14985 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-1777] Factors To Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions; Draft Guidance for Investigational Device Exemption Sponsors, Sponsor-Investigators, and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of the draft guidance entitled “Factors to Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions (IDEs).” The purpose of this draft guidance is to provide greater clarity for FDA staff and IDE sponsors and sponsor-investigators regarding the principal factors that FDA considers when assessing the benefits and risks of IDE applications for human clinical study. The draft guidance also characterizes benefits in the context of investigational research, which includes direct benefits to the subjects and benefits to others (to the extent they are indirect benefits to subjects or reflect the importance of knowledge to be gained). This draft guidance is not final nor is it in effect at this time.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment of this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by September 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    An electronic copy of the guidance document is available for download from the Internet. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for information on electronic access to the guidance. Submit written requests for a single hard copy of the draft guidance entitled “Factors to Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions (IDEs)” to the Office of the Center Director, Guidance and Policy Development, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5431, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Office of Communication, Outreach, and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your request.

    Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sugato De, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5435, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6270; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    A primary goal of this guidance is to clarify the factors that FDA considers when assessing risks and anticipated benefits for IDE studies, and how uncertainty may be offset by a variety of risk mitigation measures that can assure appropriate patient and participant protections in investigational research settings. At earlier stages of device development, FDA considers appropriate mitigation measures for anticipated possible risks and unanticipated risks, whereas in later stages, risk mitigation focuses increasingly on the most probable risks. Another important goal of this guidance is to characterize benefits in the context of investigational research, which includes direct benefits to the subjects and benefits to others (to the extent they are indirect benefits to subjects or reflect the importance of knowledge to be gained).

    As with the benefit-risk framework for evaluating marketing applications, FDA assessment of benefits and risks for an IDE application takes into account the contextual setting in which the study is being proposed, including but not limited to characterization of the disease or condition being treated or diagnosed, the availability of alternative treatments or diagnostics, and the risks associated with them. When available, information characterizing subject tolerance for risk and perspective on benefit may provide useful context during this assessment.

    FDA believes use of this benefit-risk framework in an IDE application will facilitate the incorporation of evidence and knowledge from different domains—clinical, nonclinical, and patient—to support a comprehensive, balanced decision-making approach. FDA envisions this will facilitate a common understanding between FDA and sponsors/sponsor-investigators by highlighting which factors are critical in the benefit-risk assessment for a specific application, and clearly explaining how these factors influence a regulatory decision. FDA also believes implementation of this guidance document will improve the predictability, consistency, and transparency of the review process for IDE applications.

    II. Significance of Guidance

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on “Factors to Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions (IDEs).” It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statute and regulations.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the draft guidance may do so by downloading an electronic copy from the Internet. A search capability for all Center for Devices and Radiological Health guidance documents is available at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm. Guidance documents are also available at http://www.regulations.gov or from CBER at http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm. Persons unable to download an electronic copy of “Factors to Consider When Making Benefit-Risk Determinations for Medical Device Investigational Device Exemptions” may send an email request to [email protected] to receive an electronic copy of the document. Please use the document number 1783 to identify the guidance you are requesting.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in 21 CFR part 812 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0078; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 50.23 (Exception from general requirements for informed consent) have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0586; the collections of information in 21 CFR part 56.115 (IRB records) have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0130; and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 50, subpart B (Informed Consent of Human Subjects) and 56 (Institutional Review Boards) have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0755.

    V. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14982 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-1968] Non-Microbial Biomarkers of Infection for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Use; Public Workshop; Request for Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public workshop; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the following public workshop entitled “Non-Microbial Biomarkers of Infection for In Vitro Diagnostic Device Use.” The purpose of this workshop is to receive input from stakeholders and discuss approaches to the study of non-microbial biomarkers for differentiating viral from bacterial infections and for diagnosis and assessment of sepsis. Comments and suggestions generated through this workshop will facilitate further development of regulatory science for establishing appropriate comparator methods and clinically relevant performance standards for non-microbial based in vitro diagnostics for infection.

    DATES:

    The public workshop will be held on October 16, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration to attend the meeting must be made by 4 p.m. on October 6, 2015. Registration from those individuals interested in presenting comments should be received by September 16, 2015. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on how to register for the meeting. Submit either electronic or written comments by 4 p.m. on November 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public workshop will be held at the FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Building 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993. Entrance for the public meeting participants (non-FDA employees) is through Building 1 where routine security check procedures will be performed. For parking and security information, please refer to http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/BuildingsandFacilities/WhiteOakCampusInformation/ucm241740.htm.

    Submit electronic comments tohttp://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Natasha Townsend, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5525, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5927, FAX: 301-847-2512, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    There has been increasing interest in the development of non-microbiological biomarkers to aid in determining whether patient signs and symptoms consistent with infection are attributable to an infectious or non-infectious cause, and if infectious, whether of viral or bacterial etiology. Interest has ranged from aiding in the diagnosis of relatively mild outpatient upper respiratory symptoms to the assessment of critically ill patients. Progress in this area has been hindered by a lack of consensus on important issues in clinical trial design for new analytes; these issues include appropriate clinical trial designs (including acceptable comparator methods, e.g., for ascertaining viral or bacterial infections), clinical definitions of different disease states, and acceptable device performance (i.e., benefit/risk in different disease states and target populations). Devices that can differentiate a bacterial etiology from other causes of illness (e.g., viral, fungal, or non-infectious etiologies) can significantly impact antibiotic stewardship and potentially antimicrobial resistance.

    II. Purpose and Scope of the Public Workshop

    The purpose of the public workshop is to discuss the use of non-microbial biomarkers as indicators of infection, potential clinical trial designs that can be used to establish effectiveness, and benefit/risk considerations for use. Specifically, FDA seeks input from health care practitioners, industry, government, academia, and other stakeholders on these topics. This discussion is viewed as essential for establishing the appropriate methods to study the safety and effectiveness of these analytes for different possible uses.

    This public workshop will consist of brief presentations providing information to frame the goals of the workshop and interactive discussions via several panel sessions. The presentations will focus on current and anticipated uses for non-microbial biomarkers of infection and a review of different approaches that have been considered for clinical trials. Following the presentations there will be a moderated discussion where participants and additional panelists will be asked to provide their individual perspectives. Topics to be discussed include: (1) Clinical uses for non-microbial biomarkers of infection, (2) comparator methods for studies differentiating viral from bacterial infection, (3) performance standards, (4) statistical methods appropriate for sepsis biomarker trials, and (5) unique considerations when studying pediatric populations.

    In advance of the meeting, FDA will place a summary of the issues it believes need consideration on file in the public docket (docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document) and will post it at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/default.htm. The deadline for submitting comments on this document for presentation at the public workshop is September 11, 2015, although comments related to this document can be submitted until November 13, 2015.

    III. Attendance and Registration

    Registration is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons interested in attending this public workshop must register online by 4 p.m. on October 6, 2015. Early registration is recommended because facilities are limited and, therefore, FDA may limit the number of participants from each organization. If time and space permits, onsite registration on the day of the public workshop will be provided beginning at 7 a.m.

    If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Susan Monahan, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 4321, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-5661, email: [email protected], no later than 4 p.m. on October 2, 2015.

    To register for the public workshop, please visit FDA's Medical Devices News & Events—Workshops & Conferences calendar at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/default.htm. (Select this public workshop from the posted events list.) Please provide complete contact information for each attendee, including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone number. Those without Internet access should contact Susan Monahan to register. Registrants will receive confirmation after they have been accepted. You will be notified if you are on a waiting list.

    A. Streaming Webcast of the Public Workshop

    This public workshop will also be Webcast. Persons interested in viewing the Webcast must register online by 4 p.m. on October 6, 2015. Early registration is recommended because Webcast connections are limited. Organizations are requested to register all participants, but to view using one connection per location. Webcast participants will be sent technical system requirements after registration and will be sent connection access information after October 8, 2015. If you have never attended a Connect Pro event before, test your connection at https://collaboration.fda.gov/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. To get a quick overview of the Connect Pro program, visit http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview. (FDA has verified the Web site addresses in this document, but FDA is not responsible for any subsequent changes to the Web sites after this document publishes in the Federal Register.)

    B. Requests for Oral Presentations

    This public workshop includes a public comment session. During online registration you may indicate if you wish to present during a public comment session, and which topics you wish to address. FDA has included general topics in this document which are addressed in section II. FDA will do its best to accommodate requests to make public comments. Individuals and organizations with common interests are urged to consolidate or coordinate their presentations and request time for a joint presentation, or submit requests for designated representatives to participate in the focused sessions. All requests to make oral presentations must be received by September 16, 2015. FDA will determine the amount of time allotted to each presenter and the approximate time each oral presentation is to begin, and will select and notify participants by September 22, 2015. If selected for presentation, any presentation materials must be emailed to Yvonne Shea at [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. on October 2, 2015. No commercial or promotional material will be permitted to be presented or distributed at the public workshop.

    IV. Comments

    FDA is holding this public workshop to obtain information on approaches for establishing the performance of non-microbial biomarkers of infection for in vitro diagnostic device use. In order to permit the widest possible opportunity to obtain public comment, FDA is soliciting either electronic or written comments on all aspects of the public workshop topics. The deadline for submitting comments related to this public workshop is 4 p.m. on November 13, 2015.

    Regardless of attendance at the public workshop, interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. In addition, when responding to specific topics as described in section II of this document, please identify the topic you are addressing. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    V. Transcripts

    As soon as a transcript is available, it will be accessible at http://www.regulations.gov. It may also be viewed in person at the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). A transcript will also be available in either hardcopy or on CD-ROM, after submission of a Freedom of Information request. Written requests are to be sent to the Division of Freedom of Information (ELEM-1029), Food and Drug Administration, 12420 Parklawn Dr., Element Bldg., Rockville, MD 20857. A link to the transcripts will also be available approximately 45 days after the public workshop on the Internet at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/NewsEvents/WorkshopsConferences/default.htm. (Select this public workshop from the posted events list.)

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14983 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act Safeguards and Research Criteria for Transplantation of Organs Infected With HIV AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The HOPE Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to develop and publish criteria for research involving transplantation of HIV-infected (HIV+) donor organs in HIV+ recipients. The goals of these criteria are, first, to ensure that research using organs from HIV+ donors is conducted under conditions protecting the safety of research participants and the general public; and second, that the results of this research provide a basis for evaluating the safety of solid organ transplantation (SOT) from HIV+ donors to HIV+ recipients. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, invites the public to submit comments regarding the proposed HOPE Act criteria.

    DATES:

    To ensure that comments will be considered, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 301-451-5671.

    Regular Mail: Dr. Jonah Odim, 5601 Fishers Lane, Room 6B21, MSC 9827, Bethesda, MD 20892-9827.

    Hand Delivery, Overnight Mail, FedEx, and UPS: Dr. Jonah Odim, 5601 Fishers Lane, Room 6B21, MSC 9827, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Jonah Odim, 240-627-3540.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    There is little evidence base for HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation, and it is only in liver and kidney transplantation that there is substantial experience with transplantation of organs from HIV-uninfected (HIV−) donors to HIV+ recipients. The criteria for conducting clinical research in HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation are set forth in six broad categories (Donor Eligibility, Recipient Eligibility, Transplant Hospital Criteria, Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) Responsibilities, Prevention of Inadvertent Transmission of HIV, and Study Design/Required Outcome Measures) and are summarized in the table below. These criteria are in addition to current policies and regulations governing organ transplantation and human subjects research. The goals of these criteria are, first, to ensure that research using organs from HIV+ donors is conducted under conditions protecting the safety of research participants and the general public; and second, that the results of this research provide a basis for evaluating the safety of SOT from HIV+ donors to HIV+ recipients.

    Category Criteria Donor Eligibility: Deceased donor with known history of HIV infection Cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4)+ T-cell count ≥200/microliter (μL) or ≥14%.
  • HIV-1 ribonucleic acid (RNA) <50 copies/milliliter (mL); No history of viral load >1000 copies/mL in the prior 12 months.
  • No active opportunistic infection (OI).
  • Deceased donor with newly diagnosed HIV infection CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/μL or ≥14%.
  • Viral load: no requirement.
  • No active OI.
  • Living HIV+ donor Well-controlled HIV infection.
  • CD4+ T-cell count (lifetime nadir) ≥200/μL.
  • CD4+ T-cell count ≥500/μL for the 6-month period before donation.
  • HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL.
  • No OI.
  • Pre-transplant donor allograft biopsy showing no evidence of disease that would increase the risk of post-transplant organ failure or poor graft function.
  • Recipient (HIV+) Eligibility CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/μL (kidney).
  • CD4+ T-cell count ≥100μL (liver) within 16 weeks prior to transplant; or ≥200μL with history of OI
  • HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL and on a stable antiretroviral regimen.
  • No active OI or neoplasm.
  • No history of chronic cryptosporidiosis, primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
  • Transplant Hospital Criteria Transplant hospital with established program for care of HIV+ subjects.
  • HIV program expertise on the transplant team.
  • Experience with HIV− to HIV+ organ transplantation.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training for the organ procurement, implanting/operative, and postoperative care teams for handling HIV-infected subjects, organs, and tissues.
  • Institutional review board (IRB)-approved research protocol in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation.
  • Institutional biohazard plan outlining measures to prevent and manage inadvertent exposure and/or transmission of HIV.
  • Provide each living HIV+ donor and HIV+ recipient with an “Independent Advocate”.
  • Policies and SOPs governing the necessary knowledge, experience, skills, and training for independent advocates.
  • OPO Responsibilities SOPs and staff training procedures for working with deceased HIV+ donors and their family in pertinent history taking, medical chart abstraction, the consent process, and handling blood, tissues, organs and biospecimens.
  • Biohazard plan to prevent and manage HIV exposure and/or transmission.
  • Prevention of Inadvertent HIV Transmission Each participating Transplant Program and OPO shall develop an institutional biohazard plan for handling of HIV+ organs that is designed to prevent and/or manage inadvertent transmission or exposure to HIV.
  • Procedures must be in place to ensure that human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) are not recovered from HIV+ donors for implantation, transplantation, infusion, or transfer into a human recipient; however, HCT/Ps from a donor determined to be ineligible may be made available for nonclinical purposes.
  • Required Outcome Measures: Wait List Candidates HIV status.
  • CD4+ T-cell counts.
  • Co-infection (hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV)).
  • HIV viral load.
  • ART resistance.
  • Removal from wait list (death or other reason).
  • Time on wait list.
  • Donors (all) Type (Living or deceased).
  • HIV status (HIV+ new diagnosis, HIV+ known diagnosis).
  • CD4+ T-cell count.
  • Co-infection (HCV, HBV).
  • HIV viral load.
  • ART resistance.
  • Living Donors Progression to renal insufficiency in kidney donors (serum creatinine >2 mg/deciliter (dL), serum creatinine level twice the pre-donation creatinine level, or proteinuria).
  • Progression to hepatic insufficiency in living donors (international normalized ratio (INR) >1.5 and/or total bilirubin >2.0).
  • Change in ART regimen as a result of organ dysfunction.
  • Progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Failure to suppress viral replication (persistent HIV viremia).
  • Death.
  • Transplant Recipients Rejection rate (Years 1 and 2).
  • Progression to AIDS.
  • New OI.
  • Failure to suppress viral replication (persistent HIV viremia).
  • HIV-associated organ failure.
  • Malignancy.
  • Graft failure.
  • Mismatched ART resistance versus donor.
  • Death.
  • Instructions for Submitting Comments: Comments are invited on but not limited to: (1) Donor and recipient eligibility criteria; (2) the inclusion of living HIV+ donors; (3) other viral co-infections in the donor and/or recipient (e.g., HBV and/or HCV) (4) transplant hospital criteria; (5) OPO responsibilities; (6) minimal required outcome measures under the HOPE Act; and (7) whether the proposed collection of these minimal outcome measures is sufficient to assess the safety of HIV+ to HIV+ transplant as outlined in the HOPE Act. Do not include personal information that you do not want publicly disclosed.

    Abbreviations AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. APOL1 Apolipoprotein 1. ART Antiretroviral Therapy. CD4 Cluster of Differentiation 4. CMS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CNS Central Nervous System. dL Deciliter. FDA Food and Drug Administration. FIPSE Spanish Foundation for AIDS Research. GESIDA Spanish AIDS Study Group. HAART Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. HBV Hepatitis B Virus. HCT/Ps Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps). HCV Hepatitis C Virus. HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV− HIV-uninfected. HIV+ HIV-infected. HOPE Act HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. INR International normalized ratio. IRB Institutional Review Board. mL Milliliter. NIH National Institutes of Health. NNRTI Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor. NRTI Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor. OI Opportunistic Infection. OPO Organ Procurement Organization. OPTN Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. PCR Polymerase Chain Reaction. PML Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy. RNA Ribonucleic Acid. SOPs Standard Operating Procedures. SOT Solid Organ Transplantation. SRTR Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. UNOS United Network for Organ Sharing. μL Microliter. Background

    Public Law 113-51, The HOPE Act, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to, among other things, “develop and publish criteria for conduct of research relating to transplantation of organs from donors infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into individuals who are infected with HIV before receiving such organ.” (See Public Health Service Act section 377E(a) [codified at 42 U.S.C. 274f-5]). In addition, pursuant to section 377E(c) of the HOPE Act, the Secretary is required, in conjunction with the OPTN, to review the results of that research to determine whether revisions should be made to the standards of quality adopted under section 372(b)(2)(E) of the Public Health Service Act (OPTN standards for the acquisition and transportation of donated organs) and the regulations governing the operation of the OPTN (42 CFR 121.6).

    The authority vested in the Secretary under section 377E(a) to develop and publish research criteria was delegated to the Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and these research criteria are the subject of this document. They are meant to ensure first, that research using organs from HIV+ donors is conducted under conditions protecting the safety of research participants and the general public; and second, that the results of this research provide a basis for evaluating the safety of SOT from HIV+ donors to HIV+ recipients.

    Process

    This document was authored by representatives of the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additional input from representatives of other federal agencies, including the Health Resources and Services Administration, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was solicited. In addition, perspectives and input were solicited from community stakeholders.

    Introduction

    The advent of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the mid-1990s for treatment of individuals infected with HIV transformed a rapidly fatal disease into a well-controlled chronic illness. Currently, the life expectancy of subjects infected with HIV and receiving ART early in the course of their disease approaches that of individuals without HIV infection (Wada, 2013, 2014). In this era of greater longevity, liver failure, end-stage renal disease, and cardiovascular disease have emerged as important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV infection (Neuhaus, 2010).

    Organ transplantation prolongs survival and improves quality of life for individuals with end stage organ disease (Matas, 2014; Kim, 2014). Until recently, however, organ transplantation was unavailable to those infected with HIV due to concerns that pharmacologic immunosuppression to prevent rejection would hasten progression from HIV infection to AIDS, concerns about disease transmission, and reluctance to allocate organs to a population whose outcome was unpredictable (Blumberg, 2009, 2013; Mgbako, 2013; Taege, 2013). Nevertheless, a few transplant programs accepted HIV+ patients on their transplant waiting lists and accumulated data showing kidney or liver transplantation could be done safely in these patients (Roland, 2002, 2003a, 2003b; Blumberg, 2009; Stock, 2010; Yoon, 2011; Terrault, 2012). Subsequently, a prospective, multi-center clinical trial of kidney and liver transplantation in 275 patients demonstrated that among HIV+ kidney and liver transplant recipients, patient and graft survival rates were acceptable and within the range of outcomes currently achieved among non-infected transplant recipients. However, the rate of kidney rejection was unexpectedly high; demonstrating the immune dysregulation resulting from HIV infection, HCV co-infection, and antirejection drugs is complex and incompletely understood. Some of the challenges encountered in that study remain relevant for clinical sites offering organ transplantation to HIV+ individuals today (e.g., management of drug interactions and toxicities when combining complex medical regimens, management of combined morbidities of two or more active diseases, and the need for ongoing collaboration among medical professionals from different specialties) (Frassetto, 2007; Locke, 2014). Despite the complexities, this study and others (Ragni, 1999; Frassetto, 2009; Huprikar, 2009; Stock, 2010; Touzot, 2010; Cooper, 2011; Duclos-Vallee, 2011; Reeves-Daniel, 2011; Fox, 2012; Terrault, 2012; Grossi, 2012; Gomez, 2013; Harbell, 2013) demonstrate that kidney and liver transplantation are appropriate in HIV+ individuals with liver or kidney failure, though gaps in knowledge and many research questions remain. There is much less experience with heart (Calabrese, 2003; Bisleri, 2003; Pelletier, 2004; Uriel, 2009, 2014; Castel, 2011a, 2011b; Durante-Mangoni, 2011 and 2014) and lung (Mehta, 2000; Humbert, 2006; Petrosillo, 2006; Bertani, 2009; Kern, 2014) transplantation in HIV+ recipients, or mechanical circulatory assistance (Brucato, 2004; Fieno, 2009; Mehmood, 2009; Sims, 2011) as a bridge to transplantation, although case reports and small case series suggest acceptable short-term outcomes are possible.

    Prior to the passage of the HOPE Act, U.S. law required that all U.S. transplants for HIV+ recipients utilize organs from HIV−uninfected (HIV−) donors. See 42 U.S.C. 273(b)(3)(C), 274(b); 18 U.S.C. 1122 (all prior to amendment by the HOPE Act). The potential for increasing the pool of available organ donors for all recipients by allowing the use of organs from donors infected with HIV for transplantation into recipients infected with HIV (hereinafter referred to as “HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation”) is recognized (Boyarsky, 2011; Mgbako, 2013; Mascolini, 2014). It is estimated that an additional 500 organ donors per year might be available if HIV+ individuals were accepted as organ donors for HIV+ recipients (Boyarsky, 2011). The only published experience with HIV+ to HIV+ SOT at this time is an early pilot report from South Africa (Muller, 2010) with 100 percent patient and graft survival in 4 patients. In a follow-up report from the same group, an additional 10 HIV+ to HIV+ renal transplants were performed (Muller, 2012). All patients were restarted on ART early postoperatively in the immunosuppressive setting of T-cell-depleting induction therapy, tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone. One to four years post-transplantation, outcomes remained excellent and all patients had undetectable viral loads (Muller, 2012).

    This document presents criteria for conducting research in HIV+ to HIV+ SOT. The criteria are grouped into six broad categories: Donor Eligibility, Recipient Eligibility, Transplant Hospital Criteria, OPO Responsibilities, Prevention of Inadvertent Transmission of HIV, and Study Design/Required Outcome Measures. These research criteria do not describe all of the necessary components of a research protocol for HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation, such as the specific medication regimens, pre-transplant induction (if any), maintenance immunosuppression after transplantation, or control of HIV infection. These considerations, and others, will be determined by an investigator's specific research questions and the expertise of those conducting the research. Rather, the criteria address the minimum safety and data requirements of clinical research in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation. As mandated by the HOPE Act, the Secretary, together with the OPTN, is charged with reviewing the results of scientific research conducted under these criteria to determine whether the OPTN's standards of quality should be further modified and whether some HIV+ to HIV+ transplants should proceed outside the auspices of research conducted under such criteria.

    This document focuses on liver and kidney transplantation, as it is only in liver and kidney transplantation that there is substantial experience with transplantation from HIV− donors to HIV+ recipients. The intent is not to exclude the possibility of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation of other organs such as heart or lung in the future; however, transplant teams should gain experience with HIV− to HIV+ transplantation of a specific organ before taking on the more complex and less well-defined issues of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation of that organ. Centers developing research protocols for HIV+ to HIV+ non-renal, non-liver transplantation must have a study team with demonstrated experience in HIV− to HIV+ transplants, as noted in Section 3.1(ii), for the organ transplant(s) proposed in the research protocol. Specific criteria for the transplantation of organs other than liver and kidney have not been provided in this document because no evidence base exists to support such recommendations. The study team developing a research protocol for HIV+ to HIV+ non-renal, non-liver transplantation will need to develop and justify specific criteria for review and approval by their IRB, based on the relevant experiences of the study team and others.

    These criteria are in addition to, not in place of, current policies and regulations governing organ transplantation and research. Accordingly, to emphasize the specific requirements unique to the transplantation of organs from HIV+ donors into HIV+ recipients in research, the research criteria set forth here do not address related requirements that may exist in federal regulations or OPTN Bylaws or policies including, but not limited to, obligations imposed on OPTN transplant hospitals and transplant programs concerning informed consent of transplant recipients and living donors, the equitable allocation of organs, and organ offers. The regulations governing the operation of OPTN are codified at 42 CFR part 121 and OPTN policies can be found at http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/ContentDocuments/OPTN_Policies.pdf.

    Under these research criteria, all HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation must occur under an IRB-approved research protocol and shall comply with any other existing laws, policies and regulations governing the conduct of human subjects research; see Public Law 113-51 and, e.g., 45 CFR part 46 (as applicable). In addition, a transplant program conducting research in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation under these research criteria must provide each living donor and recipient with an “Independent Advocate” (as defined in CMS regulations at 42 CFR 482.98(d)).

    1 Donor Eligibility

    HIV+ living donors and HIV+ deceased donors of organs for transplantation into an HIV+ recipient must fulfill applicable clinical criteria in place for uninfected organ donors.

    There is substantial concern about the consequences of transplanting an organ from an HIV+ donor to a recipient infected with a strain of HIV that differs from the donor's in terms of its responsiveness to ART. The likelihood and impact of HIV superinfection in this context are unknown. Adverse consequences could range from transient loss of viral suppression necessitating a change in antiretroviral regimen to a worst-case scenario in which the new infecting strain of HIV is unresponsive to available antiretroviral treatment and the recipient progresses to AIDS (Redd, 2013). Information relevant to understanding the known or potential extent of antiretroviral resistance in the strain of HIV infecting the organ donor may be incomplete; there may be inadequate virus in donor specimens for antiretroviral resistance testing; if the specimen is adequate there may be a limited time, or decision-making window, to assess antiretroviral resistance before the organ must be implanted; the donor's history of antiretroviral treatment may be unknown; and results of any prior antiretroviral resistance testing may be unavailable. These issues might be especially challenging when considering organ donation from deceased donors whose HIV infection is first identified during donor evaluation. As of 2011, an estimated 1 in 6 U.S. adults living with HIV infection were undiagnosed (Prevention, 2013) and an estimated 16 percent of newly diagnosed, untreated individuals were infected with virus resistant to at least one class of antiretroviral drug (Kim, 2013; Megens, 2013).

    It is anticipated that matching donors and recipients infected with strains of HIV that have the same antiretroviral resistance pattern and whose infections are effectively controlled with comparable antiretroviral regimens will pose the lowest risk of harm to the recipient. However, such a stringent transplant eligibility criterion would limit the pool of suitable donors and constrain capacity to study transplantation of HIV+ organs under the HOPE Act. Transplant teams evaluating a donor should review all available donor and recipient information and be able to propose an antiretroviral regimen that will be equally or more effective, safe, and tolerable for the recipient after transplantation as the regimen in place before transplantation. If there is substantial doubt about the ability to suppress viral replication after transplantation, a different donor should be sought.

    Donors co-infected with hepatitis are not excluded from HIV+ to HIV+ transplant; however, careful consideration must be given when evaluating a donor co-infected with HBV and/or HCV (Terrault, 2012; Miro, 2012; Moreno, 2012; Sherman, 2014; Chen, 2014). Although HCV therapeutic strategies are rapidly evolving (Fofana, 2014; Liang, 2013), it is possible that mixed genotype HCV infections may influence post-transplant treatment of HCV in the recipient. Prior antiretroviral treatment of the donor and/or recipient with agents active against HBV (i.e., lamivudine, emtricitabine and tenofovir) has the potential for revealing HBV drug resistance in the recipient (Dieterich, 2007; Soriano, 2009; Pais, 2010).

    In the case of a living HIV+ organ donor, the risk of future end-stage liver or kidney failure in the donor must be carefully assessed, as it is in other at-risk populations currently eligible to donate an organ. For example, kidney disease in HIV+ patients has been associated with variants in the apolipoprotein 1 (APOL1) coding variants that confer a very high risk of susceptibility, and are almost exclusively found in patients of African descent (Genovese, 2010). Living donation of a kidney from a donor having such a variant may be associated with an unacceptable risk of subsequent kidney disease to both the donor and the recipient (Reeves-Daniel, 2011).

    These criteria require that the consent process for an HIV+ living organ donor must include and document provision to the donor of information regarding: (1) The possibility that the loss of organ function resulting from donation could preclude the use of certain ART drugs in the future; (2) the risk of kidney or liver failure in the setting of HIV infection in the future; (3) the possibility of transmission of occult OIs to the recipient; and (4) the absence of U.S. experience in HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation, and thus the unpredictable nature of donor and recipient outcomes (Mgbako, 2013).

    HIV+ transplant candidates who are listed for a transplant in the context of a research study of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation must have the same opportunity as other transplant candidates to receive an organ from an HIV-negative donor, should one become available for them.

    1.1 Donor (HIV+) Eligibility Criteria

    The HIV-specific donor eligibility criteria specified below apply when screening HIV+ deceased and HIV+ living donors (also refer to Table 1). Co-infection with HBV and/or HCV is not an exclusion criterion, although researchers that include the co-infected donor must address any additional eligibility criterion within their research protocol.

    1.1.1 Deceased Donors

    When evaluating HIV+ deceased donors, it is understood that limited medical history may be available and/or known at the time of the donor evaluation. The transplant team must make all reasonable efforts possible to obtain prior medical history to determine the suitability of the potential donor. A complete history of antiretroviral regimens and a history of viral load tests and resistance testing are especially valuable for evaluating the likelihood of donor HIV resistance to ART regimens. In addition, a history of OIs or cancers is also of high importance, due to the increased risk for both attributable to HIV, and the additional difficulty of treating some infections and neoplasms in a post-transplant setting.

    Minimum eligibility criteria for all HIV+ deceased donors:

    i. Documented HIV infection using licensed test devices and with established confirmatory criteria.

    ii. No known history of a CD4+ T-cell count <200/µL.

    Minimum eligibility criteria for deceased donors with a known history of HIV infection:

    i. Documented HIV infection using licensed test devices and with established confirmatory criteria.

    ii. Well-controlled HIV infection, as evidenced by:

    a. CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/µL or ≥14 percent.

    b. Fewer than 50 copies/mL of HIV-1 RNA detectable by ultrasensitive or real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay.

    c. No known history of a viral load > 1000 copies/mL in the prior 12 months.

    iii. The study team must be able to predict a tolerable regimen in the recipient based on the current regimen suppressing virus in the donor as well as the donor's history of ART resistance.

    iv. No evidence of active opportunistic complications of HIV infection.

    Minimum eligibility criteria for deceased donors newly diagnosed with HIV infection at the time of evaluation for organ donation:

    i. Documented HIV infection using licensed test devices and with established confirmatory criteria.

    ii. CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/µL or ≥14 percent.

    iii. No evidence of active opportunistic complications of HIV infection.

    1.1.2 Living Donors Infected With HIV

    Minimum eligibility criteria for living donors infected with HIV:

    i. Documented HIV infection using licensed test devices and with established confirmatory criteria.

    ii. Well-controlled HIV infection, as evidenced by:

    a. Lifetime nadir of ≥200 CD4+ T cells/µL.

    b. CD4+ T-cell count ≥500/µL for the 6-month period preceding donation.

    c. Fewer than 50 copies/mL of HIV-1 RNA detectable by ultrasensitive or real-time PCR assay.

    iii. A complete history of ART regimens and ART resistance.

    iv. The study team must be able to predict a tolerable regimen in the recipient based on the current regimen suppressing virus in the donor as well as the donor's history of ART resistance.

    v. No evidence of active opportunistic complications of HIV infection.

    vi. A liver biopsy (in liver donors) or a kidney biopsy (in kidney donors) showing no evidence of a disease process that would put the donor at increased risk of progressing to end-stage organ failure after donation, or that would present a risk of poor graft function to the recipient.

    2 Recipient Eligibility

    A key consideration when evaluating potential HIV+ transplant candidates is the ability to suppress HIV viral load post-transplant. This includes a thorough assessment by the transplant team of the patient's prescribed antiretroviral medications, HIV RNA levels while on medications, adherence to HIV treatment, and any available HIV resistance testing. The transplant team must be able to devise a post-transplant medication regimen that is both tolerable and effective in suppressing HIV. If there is any significant doubt on the part of the transplant team about the ability to suppress viral replication post-transplant, the patient should not be enrolled in a study of HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation.

    2.1 Recipient Eligibility Criteria

    The following HIV-specific criteria must be met when screening for a HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplant (also refer to Table 1):

    i. CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/µL (kidney) and ≥100/µL (liver) within 16 weeks prior to transplant; any patient with history of OI must have a CD4+ T-cell count ≥200/µL.

    ii. HIV RNA less than 50 copies/mL and on a stable antiretroviral regimen.*

    iii. No active OI or neoplasm.

    iv. No history of chronic cryptosporidiosis, primary CNS lymphoma, or progressive PML.

    v. Concurrence by the study team that, based on medical history and ART, viral suppression can be achieved in the recipient post-transplant.

    *Patients who are unable to tolerate ART due to organ failure or who have only recently started ART may have detectable viral load and still be considered eligible if the study team is confident there will be an effective antiretroviral regimen for the patient once organ function is restored after transplantation. Table 1—Summary of Donor (D) and Recipient (R) Eligibility Criteria for HIV+ Sero-Concordant Organ Transplant Pairs (D/R) Under the HOPE Act HIV-related variables Deceased donor New HIV infection
  • diagnosis
  • History of HIV
  • infection
  • Living donor HIV+ recipient
    Current CD4+ T-cell count (T lymphocytes/µL) ≥200 or ≥14% ≥200 or ≥14% ≥500 for six months prior to organ harvest If history of OI,
  • • ≥200.
  • If no history of OI,
  • • ≥200 (kidney).
  • • ≥100 (liver).
  • CD4+ T-cell count measured within 16 weeks of transplantation.
  • Plasma HIV RNA viral load (copies/mL) No requirement <50 AND No measurement >1000 over preceding 12 months <50 <50 * Opportunistic infection No active OI No active OI Currently,
  • • No active OI.
  • Historically, no,
  • • Chronic cryptosporidiosis.
  • • CNS lymphoma.
  • • PML.
  • * Patients who are unable to tolerate ART due to organ failure or who have only recently started ART may have detectable viral load and still be considered eligible if the study team is confident there will be an effective antiretroviral regimen for the patient once organ function is restored after transplantation.
    3 Transplant Hospital Criteria

    Expertise in the management of individuals with HIV infection is essential for this research. A transplant hospital participating in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation must include experts in the field of transplantation as well as experts in the management of HIV infection working collaboratively as a part of a study team.

    3.1 Specific Transplant Hospital Criteria

    i. An established program for the care of individuals infected with HIV.

    ii. In order for a transplant hospital to initiate HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation, there must be a study team consisting of (at a minimum) a transplant surgeon, a transplant physician, and an HIV physician, each of whom have experience with at least 5 HIV− to HIV+ transplants with the designated organ(s) over the last four years. This constitutes the minimal experience necessary, and the IRB should evaluate key personnel (transplant surgeon, transplant physician, and HIV physician) in the context of total expertise and experience with respect to HIV and/or organ transplantation.

    iii. Defined SOPs and training for the procurement team and implanting team regarding the following issues:

    a. Donor evaluation;

    b. Organ recovery;

    c. Handling, processing, packaging, shipping, and transporting of blood, lymph nodes, tissues, and organs to and/or within the transplant hospital;

    d. Transplant procedure.

    iv. Transplant hospitals with an IRB-approved research protocol in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation must report to the OPTN organ-specific acceptance criteria for organs from HIV+ donors.

    v. Transplant hospitals with an IRB-approved research protocol in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation with HIV+ candidates on the wait list willing to accept an HIV+ organ should specify any additional acceptance criteria to the OPO.

    vi. The transplant hospital must verify the accuracy of the donor and recipient HIV status.

    vii. Defined SOPs and training regarding an institutional biohazard plan, which outlines the measures taken to prevent and manage inadvertent exposure and/or transmission of HIV.

    viii. Defined policies and SOPs for governing the necessary knowledge, experience, skills, and training for independent advocates.

    3.2 Independent Advocates

    A transplant program conducting research in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation under these research criteria must provide each living donor and recipient with an “Independent Advocate” (as defined in CMS regulations at 42 CFR 482.98(d).

    In the setting of living donor transplantation, the recipient and the living donor must each have his or her own advocate. Each advocate must be independent of the research team and must have knowledge and experience with both HIV infection and organ transplantation. In addition, in the setting of a living donor transplant, there must be two independent advocates, one for the donor and another for the recipient.

    At a minimum, transplant hospitals conducting research in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation shall develop policies and procedures addressing the role, knowledge, and experience of independent advocates in the setting of HIV infection, transplantation, medical ethics, informed consent, and the potential impact of external pressure on the HIV+ recipient's decision, and HIV+ living donor's decision (if applicable) about whether to enter the HIV+ to HIV+ transplant research study.

    3.2.1 Independent HIV+ Recipient Advocate

    Transplant programs performing HIV+ recipient transplantations must designate and provide each HIV+ recipient and prospective HIV+ recipient with an independent advocate who is responsible for protecting and promoting the rights and interests of the HIV+ recipient (or prospective recipient). The independent advocate for the HIV+ recipient must:

    i. Promote and protect the interests of the HIV+ recipient (including with respect to having access to a suitable HIV− organ if it becomes available); and take steps to ensure that the HIV+ recipient's decision is informed and free from external pressure.

    ii. Review whether the potential HIV+ recipient has received information regarding the results of SOT in general and transplantation in HIV-infected recipients in particular; and the unquantifiable risks of transmission of HIV, OIs, ART resistance, and accelerated kidney, liver, and cardiovascular disease in HIV+ recipients of HIV+ donor organs.

    iii. Demonstrate knowledge of HIV infection and transplantation.

    3.2.2 Independent HIV+ Living Donor Advocate

    Transplant programs performing HIV+ donor transplantations must designate and provide each living HIV+ donor and living prospective HIV+ donor with an independent advocate who is responsible for promoting and protecting the rights and interests of the HIV+ donor (or prospective donor). More specifically, the independent advocate for the HIV+ living donor must:

    i. Promote and protect the interests of the HIV+ donor (including with respect to having ample opportunity to withdraw consent from donation); and take steps to ensure that the HIV+ donor's decision is informed and free from external pressure.

    ii. Review whether the potential HIV+ donor has received information regarding (a) risks of organ donation in general, as well as the additional potential risks that are the specific to the HIV+ donor, including accelerated organ failure, and limitations of future use of specific antiretroviral agents; and (b) the unknown outcome of HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation.

    iii. Demonstrate knowledge of HIV infection and transplantation.

    4 OPO Responsibilities

    Clinical research in HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation requires a partnership between OPOs and transplant programs. OPOs participating in research of HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplantation must adhere to the following criteria:

    i. Develop SOPs and staff training procedures to effectively work with the family and friends of HIV+ subjects in history taking, medical record abstraction, HIV clinic and pharmacy medical record telephone abstraction, obtaining research consent from next of kin to HIV+ subjects, performing physical examination of HIV+ subjects, collecting blood, tissue, and other biospecimens (e.g., urine, bronchoalveolar lavage, spleen, lymph nodes, and biopsy material), handling, processing, storing, and shipping.

    ii. Conduct training in obtaining relevant and pertinent HIV+ history, duration of HIV infection, opportunistic infections and their therapy, risk factors for HIV, CD4+ T-cell counts (lows and highs), HIV resistance, ART medication history use and response, history of ART resistance, present ART, HIV viral loads, and HIV genotype and tropism.

    iii. Develop a biohazard plan to prevent and manage exposure to or transmission of HIV.

    These criteria are in addition to, not in place of, current policies and federal regulations governing organ transplantation and research that pertains to OPOs.

    5 Prevention of Inadvertent Transmission of HIV

    Although the use of HIV-positive organs may help alleviate transplant shortages and reduce patient waiting list times, there also are patient safety concerns to consider. Prevention or management of inadvertent transmission or exposure of an HIV- recipient to organs or tissues from an HIV+ donor due to identification error is paramount (Ison, 2011). The transplant community, with regulatory oversight at multiple levels, has been able to achieve a high level of safety through routine procedures and clinical practice. The precautions taken with ABO compatible donor-recipient pairs and HCV-infected donor organs in HCV-infected recipients (Morales, 2010; Kucirka, 2010; Mandal, 2000; Tector, 2006) are existing models. However, vulnerabilities still exist, and mishaps still occur. For instance, the risks of error during manual transcription of information are well documented.

    Each transplant hospital shall develop an institutional biohazard plan for handling of HIV+ organs (e.g., organ quarantine measures, electronic information capture on infectious disease testing results, communication protocols between OPOs and transplant hospitals) that is designed to prevent and/or manage inadvertent transmission of or exposure to HIV.

    Tissues (e.g., cornea, blood vessels, or cartilage) not associated with the organ to be transplanted and organs are often recovered from organ donors. The FDA regulates human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) that are intended for implantation, transplantation, infusion, or transfer into a human recipient under the authority of section 361 of the Public Health Service Act and the implementing regulations in 21 CFR part 1271. Under 21 CFR part 1271, persons with risk factors for, or clinical evidence of, relevant communicable diseases, or whose test results are positive or reactive for relevant communicable diseases (including HIV) are ineligible to donate HCT/Ps. Procedures must be in place to ensure that HCT/Ps are not recovered from HIV-positive donors for implantation, transplantation, infusion, or transfer into a human recipient; however, HCT/Ps from a donor who has been determined to be ineligible may be made available for nonclinical purposes.

    6 Study Design, Required Outcome Measures

    There is a wide range of clinical and immunologic questions that might be addressed in the context of research in HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation. These include, for example, questions related to HIV superinfection; incidence and severity of OIs (including transmission of occult OIs from donor to recipient); immunologic mechanisms contributing to the increased rate of kidney rejection observed in HIV+ recipients; quality of life for recipients of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation; outcomes of living HIV+ donors; and a host of others. The questions will be determined by the investigators who design research protocols for studying HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation. However, to ensure that all studies of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation can contribute to evaluation of the safety of the procedure, the following key donor and recipient characteristics and outcome measures must be incorporated into the design of all clinical trials of HIV+ to HIV+ transplantation.

    6.1 Wait List Candidates

    • HIV status

    • CD4+ T-cell count

    • Co-infection (HCV, HBV)

    • HIV viral load

    • ART resistance

    • Removal from wait list (death or other reason)

    • Time on wait list

    6.2 Donors (all)

    • Type (living or deceased)

    • HIV status (HIV+ new diagnosis, HIV+ known diagnosis)

    • CD4+ T-cell count

    • Co-infection (HCV, HBV)

    • HIV viral load

    • ART resistance

    6.3 Living Donors (12 months following organ donation)

    • Progression to renal insufficiency in kidney donors (serum creatinine > 2 mg/dL, serum creatinine level twice the pre-donation creatinine level, or proteinuria).

    • Progression to hepatic insufficiency in liver donors (INR > 1.5 and/or total bilirubin > 2.0)

    • Change in ART regimen as a result of decreased organ function

    • Progression to AIDS

    • Failure to suppress viral replication (persistent viremia)

    • Death

    6.4 Transplant Recipients

    • Rejection rate (Years 1 and 2)

    • Progression to AIDS

    • New OIs

    • Failure to suppress viral replication (persistent viremia)

    • HIV-associated organ failure

    • Malignancy

    • Graft failure

    • Mismatched ART resistance versus donor

    • Death

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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 11(6), 362-371. 12. Cooper, C., Kanters, S., Klein, M., Chaudhury, P., Marotta, P., Wong, P., et al. (2011). Liver transplant outcomes in HIV-infected patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis with synthetic cohort. AIDS, 25(6), 777-786. 13. Dieterich D.T. (2007). Special considerations and treatment of patients with HBV-HIV coinfection. Antivir Ther, 12, H43-H51. 14. Duclos-Vallee, J. C., Falissard, B., & Samuel, D. (2011). Liver transplant outcomes in HIV-infected patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis with a synthetic cohort. AIDS, 25(13), 1675-1676. 15. Durante-Mangoni E., Maiello C., & Sbreglia C. (2011). A European first: Successful heart transplant in a human immunodeficiency virus-positive recipient. J Heart Lung Transplant, 30, 845. 16. Durante-Mangoni E., Maiello C., Limongelli G., et al. (2014). Management of immunosuppression and antiretroviral treatment before and after heart transplant for HIV-associated dilated cardiomyopathy. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol, 27(1), 113-120. 17. FDA. Eligibility Determination for Donors of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products. Final Rule; 69 FR 29786. 18. Fieno D. S., Czer L. S., Schwarz E. R., et al. (2009). Left ventricular assist device placement in a patient with end-stage heart failure and human immunodeficiency virus. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg, 9, 919-920. 19. Fofana I., Jilg N., Chung R. T., & Baumert T. F. (2014). Entry inhibitors and future treatment of hepatitis C. Antiviral Research, 104, 136-142. 20. Fox, A. N., Vagefi, P. A., & Stock, P. G. (2012). Liver transplantation in HIV patients. Semin Liver Dis, 32(2), 177-185. 21. Frassetto L. A., Browne M., Cheng A., et al. (2007). Immunosuppressant pharmacokinetics and dosing modifications in HIV-1 Infected liver and kidney transplant recipients. Am J Transplant, 7(12), 2816-2820. 22. Frassetto, L. A., Tan-Tam, C., & Stock, P. G. (2009). Renal transplantation in patients with HIV. Nat Rev Nephrol, 5(10), 582-589. 23. Frassetto, L. A., Tan-Tam, C. C., Barin, B., Browne, M., Wolfe, A. R., Stock, P. G., et al. (2014). Best Single Time Point Correlations With AUC for Cyclosporine and Tacrolimus in HIV-Infected Kidney and Liver Transplant Recipients. Transplantation, 97(6), 701-707. 24. Genovese, G., Friedman, D. J., Ross, M. D., Lecordier, L., Uzureau, P., Freedman, B. I., et al. (2010). Association of trypanolytic APOL1 variants with kidney disease in African Americans. Science, 329(5993), 841-845. 25. Gomez, V., Fernandez, A., Galeano, C., Oliva, J., Diez, V., Bueno, C., et al. (2013). Renal transplantation in HIV-infected patients: Experience at a tertiary hospital in Spain and review of the literature. Transplant Proc, 45(3), 1255-1259. 26. Grossi, P. A. (2012). Update in HIV infection in organ transplantation. Curr Opin Organ Transplant, 17(6), 586-593. 27. Harbell, J., Terrault, N. A., & Stock, P. (2013). Solid organ transplants in HIV-infected patients. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep, 10(3), 217-225. 28. Humbert M., Sitbon O., Chaouat A., et al. (2006). Pulmonary arterial hypertension in France: Results from a national registry. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 173, 1023. 29. Huprikar, S. (2009). Solid organ transplantation in HIV-infected individuals: An update. Rev Med Virol, 19(6), 317-323. 30. Ison, M. G., Hager, J., Blumberg, E., Burdick, J., Carney, K., Cutler, J., et al. (2009). Donor-derived disease transmission events in the United States: Data reviewed by the OPTN/UNOS Disease Transmission Advisory Committee. Am J Transplant, 9(8), 1929-1935. 31. Ison, M. G., Llata, E., Conover, C. S., Friedewald, J. J., Gerber, S. I., Grigoryan, A., et al. (2011). Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus from an organ donor to four transplant recipients. Am J Transplant, 11(6), 1218-1225. 32. Ison, M. G., & Nalesnik, M. A. (2011). An update on donor-derived disease transmission in organ transplantation. Am J Transplant, 11(6), 1123-1130. 33. Kern R. M., Seethamraju H., Blanc P. D., et al. (2014). The feasibility of lung transplantation in HIV seropositive patients. Annals ATS (in press, online). 34. Kern, R., Seethamraju, H., Blanc, P., Sinha, N., Loebe, M., Golden, J., et al. (2014). Lung Transplantation in HIV Seropositive Patients. Chest, 145(3 Suppl), 642A. 35. Kim, D., Ziebell, R., Sadulvala, N., Kline, R., Ocfemia, C., Prejean, J., et al. (2013). Trends in Transmitted Drug Resistance Associated Mutations: 10 HIV Surveillance Areas, US, 2001-2010. Paper presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. 36. Kim W. R., Smith J. M., Skeans M. A., et al. (2014). OPTN/SRTR 2012 Annual Data Report: Liver. Am J Transplant, 1, 69-96. 37. Kucirka L. M., Singer A. L., Ross R. L., et al. (2010). Underutilization of hepatitis C-positive kidneys for hepatitis C-positive recipients. Am J Transplant, 10(5), 1238-1246. 38. Liang, T. J., & Ghany, M. G. (2013). Current and future therapies for hepatitis C virus infection. N Engl J Med, 368(20), 1907-1917. 39. Locke, J. E., James, N. T., Mannon, R. B., Mehta, S. G., Pappas, P. G., Baddley, J. W., et al. (2014b). Immunosuppression Regimen and the Risk of Acute Rejection in HIV-Infected Kidney Transplant Recipients. Transplantation, 97(4), 446-450. 40. Mandal A. K., Kraus E.S., Samaniego M., et al. (2000). Shorter waiting times for hepatitis C virus seropositive recipients of cadaveric renal allografts from hepatitis C virus seropositive donors. Clin Transplant, 14, 391-396. 41. Mascolini, M. (2014). Four to Five HIV+ Dying in Care Yearly in Philadelphia Are Potential Organ Donors. 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: Abstract H-1199a. Presented September 7, 2014. 42. Matas A. J., Smith J. M., Skeans M. A., et al. (2014) OPTN/SRTR 2012 Annual Data Report: kidney. Am J Transplant, 1, 11-44. 43. Megens, S., & Laethem, K. V. (2013). HIV-1 genetic variation and drug resistance development. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 11(11), 1159-1178. 44. Mehmood S., Blais D., Martin S., & Sai-Sudhakar C. (2009). Heartmate XVE destination therapy for end-stage heart failure in a patient with human immunodeficiency virus. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg, 9, 909-910. 45. Mehta N. J., Khan I. A., Mehta R. N., et al. (2000). HIV-related pulmonary hypertension: Analytic review of 131 cases. Chest, 118, 1133. 46. Mgbako, O., Glazier, A., Blumberg, E., & Reese, P. P. (2013). Allowing HIV-positive organ donation: Ethical, legal and operational considerations. Am J Transplant, 13(7), 1636-1642. 47. Miro, J. M., Montejo, M., Castells, L., Rafecas, A., Moreno, S., Aguero, F., et al. (2012). Outcome of HCV/HIV-coinfected liver transplant recipients: A prospective and multicenter cohort study. Am J Transplant, 12(7), 1866-1876. 48. Morales, J. M., Campistol, J. M., Dominguez-Gil, B., Andres, A., Esforzado, N., Oppenheimer, F., et al. (2010). Long-term experience with kidney transplantation from hepatitis C-positive donors into hepatitis C-positive recipients. Am J Transplant, 10(11), 2453-2462. 49. Moreno A., Cervera C., Fortun J., et al. (2012). Epidemiology and outcome of infections in human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus-coinfected liver transplant recipients: A FIPSE/GESIDA prospective cohort study. Liver Transplant, 18, 70-81. 50. Muller, E., Kahn, D., & Mendelson, M. (2010). Renal transplantation between HIV-positive donors and recipients. N Engl J Med, 362(24), 2336-2337. 51. Muller, E., Barday, Z., Mendelson, M., & Kahn, D. (2012). Renal transplantation between HIV-positive donors and recipients justified. S Afr Med J, 102(6), 497-498. 52. Neuhaus J., Angus B., Kowalska J. D., et al. (2010). Risk of all-cause mortality associated with nonfatal AIDS and serious non-AIDS events among adults infected with HIV. AIDS, 24(5), 697-706. 53. OPTN Policies and Bylaws. From http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/policiesandbylaws/policies.asp. 54. Pais R. & Benhamou Y. (2010). Long-term therapy for chronic hepatitis B in HIV co-infected patients. Gastroenterol Clin Biol, 34, 136-41. 55. Pelletier S. J., Norman S. P., Christensen L. L., et al. (2004). Review of transplantation in HIV patients during the HAART era. Clin Transpl, 63-82. 56. Petrosillo N., Chinello P., & Cicalini S. (2006). Pulmonary hypertension in individuals with HIV infection. AIDS, 20, 2128. 57. Prevention, C. f. D. C. a. (2013). HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report. 58. Ragni M. V., Dodson S. F., Hunt S. C., et al. (1999). Liver transplantation in a hemophilia patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Blood, 93, 1113-1114. 59. Redd A. D., Quinn T. C., Tobian A. A. (2013). Frequency and implications of HIV superinfection. Lancet Infect Dis, 13(7), 622-628. 60. Reeves-Daniel A. M., DePalma J. A., Bleyer A. J., Rocco M. V., Murea M., Adams P. L., et al. (2011). The APOL1 Gene and Allograft Survival after Transplantation. Am J Transplant, 11(5), 1025-1030. 61. Roland, M., Carlson, L., & Stock, P. (2002). Solid organ transplantation in HIV-infected individuals. AIDS Clin Care, 14(7), 59-63. 62. Roland, M. E., Adey, D., Carlson, L. L., & Terrault, N. A. (2003). Kidney and liver transplantation in HIV-infected patients: Case presentations and review. AIDS Patient Care STDS, 17(10), 501-507. 63. Roland, M. E., Lo, B., Braff, J., & Stock, P. G. (2003a). Key clinical, ethical, and policy issues in the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of solid organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. Arch Intern Med, 163(15), 1773-1778. 64. Roland, M. E., & Stock, P. G. (2003b). Review of solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. Transplantation, 75(4), 425-429. 65. Sherman K.E., Thomas D., & Chung R.T. (2014). Human immunodeficiency virus and liver disease forum 2012. Hepatology, 59(1), 307-317. 66. Sims D.B., Uriel N., González-Costello J., et al. (2011). Human immunodeficiency virus infection and left ventricular assist devices: A case series. J Heart Lung Transplant, 30, 1060-1064. 67. Soriano V., Tuma P., Labarga P., et al. (2009). Hepatitis B in HIV patients: What is the current treatment and what are the challenges? J HIV Ther, 14(1), 13-18. 68. Stock, P.G., Barin, B., Murphy, B., Hanto, D., Diego, J.M., Light, J., et al. (2010). Outcomes of kidney transplantation in HIV-infected recipients. N Engl J Med, 363(21), 2004-2014. 69. Taege A. (2013). Organ transplantation and HIV progress or success? A review of current status. Curr Infect Dis Rep, 15, 67-76. 70. Tector A.J., Mangu R.S., Chestovich P., et al. (2006). Use of extended criteria livers decreases wait time for liver transplantation without adversity impacting posttransplant survival. Ann Surg, 244, 439-450. 71. Terrault, N.A., Roland, M.E., Schiano, T., Dove, L., Wong, M.T., Poordad, F., et al. (2012). Outcomes of liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus coinfection. Liver Transpl, 18(6), 716-726. 72. Touzot, M., Pillebout, E., Matignon, M., Tricot, L., Viard, J.P., Rondeau, E., et al. (2010). Renal transplantation in HIV-infected patients: The Paris experience. Am J Transplant, 10(10), 2263-2269. 73. Uriel N., Jorde U.P., Cotarlan V., et al. (2009). Heart transplantation in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients. J Heart Lung Transplant, 28, 667-669. 74. Uriel N., Nahumi N., Colombo P.C., et al. (2014). Advance heart failure in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus: Is there equal access to care? J Heart Lung Transplant (in press, online). 75. Wada, N., Jacobson, L.P., Cohen, M., French, A., Phair, J., & Munoz, A. (2013). Cause-specific life expectancies after 35 years of age for human immunodeficiency syndrome-infected and human immunodeficiency syndrome-negative individuals followed simultaneously in long-term cohort studies, 1984-2008. Am J Epidemiol, 177(2), 116-125. 76. Wada, N., Jacobson, L.P., Cohen, M., French, A., Phair, J., & Munoz, A. (2014). Cause-specific mortality among HIV-infected individuals, by CD4 (+) cell count at HAART initiation, compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. AIDS, 28(2), 257-265. 77. Yoon, S.C., Hurst, F.P., Jindal, R.M., George, S.A., Neff, R.T., Agodoa, L.Y., et al. (2011). Trends in renal transplantation in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection: An analysis of the United States renal data system. Transplantation, 91(8), 864-868. Dated: June 12, 2015 Francis S. Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15034 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs; Request for Information Regarding Specific Issues Related to the Use of the Hair Specimen for Drug Testing AGENCY:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

    ACTION:

    Request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    This document is a request for information regarding specific aspects of the regulatory policies and standards that may be applied to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (hair specimen). The original comment close date was June 29, 2015. We are extending the date to July 29, 2015 to allow for additional comments.

    DATES:

    Comment Close Date: To be assured consideration, comments must be received at one of the addresses provided below on or before July 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Because of staff and resource limitations, we cannot accept comments by facsimile (FAX) transmission. You may submit comments in one of four ways (please choose only one of the ways listed):

    Electronically: You may submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow “Submit a comment” instructions.

    By regular mail: You may mail written comments to the following address only: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Attention: Division of Workplace Programs, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1029, Rockville, MD 20857. Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.

    By express or overnight mail: You may send written comments to the following address only: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Attention: Division of Workplace Programs, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1029, Rockville, MD 20850.

    By hand or courier: Alternatively, you may deliver (by hand or courier) your written comments only to the following address prior to the close of the comment period:

    For delivery in Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Attention: Division of Workplace Programs, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1029, Rockville, MD 20850. To deliver your comments to the Rockville address, call telephone number (240) 276-2600 in advance to schedule your delivery with one of our staff members. Because access to the interior of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Building is not readily available to persons without federal government identification, commenters are encouraged to either schedule your drop off or leave your comments with the security guard in the main lobby of the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sean Belouin, Division of Workplace Programs, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), SAMHSA, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 7-1029, Rockville, Maryland 20857, (240) 276-2716 (phone), (240) 276-2610 (Fax), or email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Inspection of Public Comments: All comments received before the close of the comment period are available for viewing by the public, including any personally identifiable or confidential business information that is included in a comment. We post all comments received before the close of the comment period on the following Web site as soon as possible after they have been received: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the search instructions on that Web site to view public comments. Comments received by the deadline will also be available for public inspection at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Division of Workplace Programs, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20850, Monday through Friday of each week from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment to view public comments, phone (240) 276-2716.

    I. Background: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) establishes the standards for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs under the authority of Section 503 of Public Law 100-71, 5 U.S.C. Section 7301, and Executive Order No. 12564. As required, HHS published the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Guidelines) in the Federal Register on April 11, 1988 [53 FR 11979]. SAMHSA subsequently revised the Guidelines on June 9, 1994 [59 FR 29908], September 30, 1997 [62 FR 51118], November 13, 1998 [63 FR 63483], April 13, 2004 [69 FR 19644], and on November 25, 2008 [73 FR 71858]. On May 15, 2015, HHS published a notice of proposed revisions to the mandatory guidelines which would provide federal executive branch agencies with the option of collecting and testing an oral fluid specimen in addition to urine specimen. The comment period concludes on July 14, 2015.

    Section 503 of Public Law 100-71, 5 U.S.C. Section 7301 note, required the Department to establish scientific and technical guidelines and amendments in accordance with Executive Order 12564 and to publish Mandatory Guidelines which establish comprehensive standards for all aspects of laboratory drug testing and procedures, including standards that require the use of the best available technology for ensuring the full reliability and accuracy of drug tests and strict procedures governing the chain of custody of specimens collected for drug testing. These revisions to the Mandatory Guidelines promote and establish standards that use the best available technology for ensuring the full reliability and accuracy of drug tests, while reflecting the ongoing process of review and evaluation of legal, scientific, and societal concerns.

    SAMHSA's chartered CSAP Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) is the vehicle to provide recommendations to the SAMHSA Administrator for proposed changes to the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. The DTAB process involves evaluating the scientific supportability of any considered change. To assist the DTAB, we are soliciting written comments and statements from the general public and industry stakeholders regarding a variety of issues related to hair specimen drug testing, including the hair specimen, its collection, specimen preparation, analytes/cutoffs, specimen validity, and initial and confirmatory testing.

    II. Solicitation of Comments: We are seeking additional information to inform potential use of hair specimens for drug testing, specifically on the following questions:

    Hair Specimen

    • What are the acceptable body locations from which to collect hair for workplace drug testing? What should be done if head hair is not available for collection?

    • What hair treatments (i.e., shampoo, conditioning, perm, relaxers, coloring, bleaching, straightening, hair transplant) influence drug concentration in hair and to what degree?

    • What are the acceptable reasons for hair testing (i.e., pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, other (fitness for duty, return to duty, etc.))?

    Collection

    • What training should a collector receive prior to collecting the hair specimen?

    • What is the best protocol to collect the hair specimen?

    • Should the hair collection protocol be standardized, including specific instructions on how close to cut the hair specimen to the skin, how to determine the authenticity of the hair specimen, what cutting instruments to use, how to ensure the cutting instruments are decontaminated, and whether the use of collection kits should be required?

    • What is the minimum amount of hair that should be collected?

    Specimen Preparation

    • What are acceptable protocols for hair specimen preparation, such as cutting/powdering, initial washing, decontamination, and pre-extraction (i.e., digestion, micro pulverization, etc.)?

    • Should the washing and decontamination procedures be analyte specific?

    • What criteria should be used to determine the acceptability of a specific wash and decontamination procedure? Are there published research studies, with experimental data included, that demonstrate that a particular wash procedure is effective at removing external contaminants while not significantly affecting the amount of incorporated drug related to drug use?

    • If washing steps are used for decontamination, should adjustments be made for drug concentrations detected in the wash fluids? What calculations are recommended for these adjustments?

    Analytes/Cutoffs

    • What analytes should be measured in hair by the initial and confirmatory tests?

    • What initial and confirmation cutoffs should be used for the various hair drug testing analytes?

    • For each analyte/drug, what criteria (cutoff) should be used to distinguish external contamination from drug use?

    • What unique metabolites or other biomarkers exist to confirm use and to distinguish drug use from external contamination for which the drugs are currently tested?

    Specimen Validity

    • Are biomarkers or tests needed to verify that the specimen is authentic human hair?

    • Are there appropriate biomarkers or tests for the hair specimen that would reveal adulteration and/or substitution? What are the acceptability criteria for these biomarkers or tests?

    • Is the “invalid” result category reasonable for hair testing? If so, what criteria are acceptable to classify a specimen result as invalid?

    Testing

    • What technologies are available to perform initial and confirmatory testing on hair specimens?

    • What is the best sample for valid quality control/proficiency testing material? How should this quality control/proficiency testing material be prepared? What is the best method to prepare a contaminated hair sample versus a sample that represents drug use?

    Janine Cook, Chemist, Division of Workplace Programs, Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention, SAMHSA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14964 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2010-1066] Recreational Boating Safety Projects, Programs, and Activities Funded Under Provisions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century; Fiscal Year 2014 ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In 1999, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made $5 million per year available for the payment of Coast Guard expenses for personnel and activities directly related to coordinating and carrying out the national recreational boating safety program. In 2005, the law was amended, and the amount was increased to $5.5 million. The Coast Guard is publishing this notice to satisfy a requirement of the Act that a detailed accounting of the projects, programs, and activities funded under the national recreational boating safety program provision of the Act be published annually in the Federal Register. This notice specifies the funding amounts the Coast Guard has committed, obligated, or expended during fiscal year 2014, as of September 30, 2014.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions on this notice, call Jeff Ludwig, Regulations Development Manager, telephone 202-372-1061.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background and Purpose

    The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century became law on June 9, 1998 (Pub. L. 105-178; 112 Stat. 107). The Act required that of the $5 million made available to carry out the national recreational boating safety program each year, $2 million shall be available only to ensure compliance with Chapter 43 of Title 46, U.S. Code. On September 29, 2005, the Sportfishing and Recreational Boating Safety Amendments Act of 2005 was enacted (Pub. L. 109-74; 119 Stat. 2031). This Act increased the funds available to the national recreational boating safety program from $5 million to $5.5 million annually, and stated that “not less than” $2 million shall be available only to ensure compliance with Chapter 43 of Title 46, U.S. Code.

    These funds are available to the Secretary from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund established under 26 U.S.C. 9504(a) for payment of Coast Guard expenses for personnel and activities directly related to coordinating and carrying out the national recreational boating safety program. Under 46 U.S.C. 13107(c), no funds available to the Secretary under this subsection may be used to replace funding traditionally provided through general appropriations, nor for any purposes except those purposes authorized; namely, for personnel and activities directly related to coordinating and carrying out the national recreational boating safety program. Amounts made available under 46 U.S.C. 13107(c) remain available during the two succeeding fiscal years. Any amount that is unexpended or unobligated at the end of the 3-year period during which it is available, shall be withdrawn by the Secretary and allocated to the States in addition to any other amounts available for allocation in the fiscal year in which they are withdrawn or the following fiscal year.

    Use of these funds requires compliance with standard Federal contracting rules with associated lead and processing times resulting in a lag time between available funds and spending. The total amount of funding transferred to the Coast Guard from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund and committed, obligated, and/or expended during fiscal year 2014 for each activity is shown below.

    Specific Accounting of Funds

    Manufacturer Compliance Inspection Program/Boat Testing Program: Funding was provided to continue the national recreational boat factory visit program, initiated in January 2001. During the Fiscal Year a new contract was awarded that revised the factory visit program into the Manufacturer Compliance Inspection Program. Under this revised program, contracted personnel, acting on behalf of the Coast Guard, visit recreational boat manufacturers, recreational boat dealers, and recreational boat shows to inspect for compliance with the Federal regulations. During the 2014 reporting year, inspectors performed 444 factory visits, 81 dealer visits, and 3 boat show visits resulting in 1,272 boats being inspected. Funding was also provided for testing of certain associated equipment and in-water testing of atypical and used recreational boats for compliance with capacity and flotation standards. ($1,521,108). Additional expenditures regarding this topic include Contract Personnel Support ($109,122) and Reimbursable Salaries ($146,248). Collectively, these expenditures are considered to be applicable to the legal requirement that “not less than” $2 million be available to ensure compliance with Chapter 43 of Title 46, U.S. Code.

    Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) Web System: Funding was allocated to continue providing the BARD Web System, which enables reporting authorities in the 50 States, five U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia to submit their accident reports electronically over a secure Internet connection. The system also enables the user community to generate statistical reports that show the frequency, nature, and severity of boating accidents. Funds supported system maintenance, development, and technical (hotline) support. ($379,946).

    Contract Personnel Support: Funding was provided for contract personnel to support the appropriate cost/benefit analyses for potential new regulations and to conduct general boating safety-related research and analysis and to assist the manufacturer compliance program. ($582,061).

    Reimbursable Salaries: Funding was provided to carry out the work as prescribed in 46 U.S.C. 13107(c) and as described herein. The first position was that of a professional mathematician/statistician to conduct necessary national surveys and studies on recreational boating activities as well as to serve as a liaison to other Federal agencies that are conducting boating surveys so that we can pool our resources and reduce costs. The second position was that of a Recreational Boating Safety Specialist/Marine Investigator with responsibilities that include overseeing and managing RBS projects related to carbon monoxide poisoning, propeller injury mitigation, and manufacturer compliance initiatives. The third position was that of a Legislative and Strategic Planning Manager, with responsibilities that include analyzing proposed and enacted legislation for RBS impacts, and managing the development and implementation of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program's strategic plan. The fourth position was that of a Division Administrative Assistant, with responsibilities that include providing administrative support for the Boating Safety Division. ($476,778).

    Trust Fund Financial Assessment: Funding was made available to provide a professional assessment of the Coast Guard's stewardship of the financial resources provided through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. ($214,998).

    Web site Support: Funding was made available for this initiative to provide a full range of public media and boating safety information at http://www.uscgboating.org for a worldwide audience. It covers a wide spectrum of boating safety related topics and is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries, and property damage that occur on U.S. waterways by improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of recreational boaters. ($75,153).

    Of the $5.5 million made available to the Coast Guard in fiscal year 2014, $2,116,374 has been committed, obligated, or expended and an additional $657,196 of prior fiscal year funds have been committed, obligated, or expended, as of September 30, 2014. The remainder of the FY14 funds made available to the Coast Guard (approximately $3,380,000) may be retained for the allowable period for the National Recreational Boating Survey or transferred into the pool of money available for allocation through the state grant program.

    Authority

    This notice is issued pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 and 46 U.S.C. 13107(c)(4).

    Dated: June 12, 2015. J.C. Burton, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Inspections & Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14924 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Notice of Opportunity and Procedures To Request Assistance on Tariff Classification and Customs Valuation Treatment by Other Customs Administrations Affecting United States Exports AGENCY:

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

    ACTION:

    General notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document describes opportunities available to U.S. exporters to obtain assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to resolve matters concerning the tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by other governments. By publication of this notice, CBP invites U.S. exporters to submit requests for such assistance.

    DATES:

    June 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for assistance may be addressed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Trade, Regulations & Rulings, Attention: Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division, 90 K St. NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For tariff classification matters, please contact Jacinto Juarez, Tariff Classification and Marking Branch, at (202) 325-0027, or Greg Connor, Tariff Classification and Marking Branch, at (202) 325-0025. For matters involving customs valuation, please contact Yuliya Gulis, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, at (202) 325-0042.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has direct responsibility for enhancing U.S. economic competitiveness through the enforcement of the laws of the United States and the fostering of lawful international trade and travel. By reducing costs for industry and enforcing trade laws against counterfeit, unsafe, and fraudulently imported goods, CBP is working to facilitate legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety.

    As part of CBP's mission to secure and facilitate lawful international trade, CBP applies a number of legal requirements to goods imported into the customs territory of the United States. In almost all cases, imported goods must be “entered” (that is, declared to CBP), and are subject to detention and examination by CBP officers to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations enforced and administered by CBP. As part of the entry process, goods must be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and their customs value must be determined. CBP is responsible for fixing the final tariff classification and customs valuation of entered goods through a process called “liquidation.” In making classification and valuation determinations, CBP applies two international instruments: The Harmonized Commodity Description Coding System (also known as the Harmonized System (HS)), and the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 (also known as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Customs Valuation or the “WTO Valuation Agreement”). Both international instruments share a similar goal of ensuring, at the technical level, a standard or uniform approach to the interpretation and application of tariff classification and valuation principles, respectively.

    Tariff Classification

    Pursuant to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (the “HS Convention”), the World Customs Organization (WCO) developed the HS. The HS is an internationally-standardized product nomenclature used to classify traded products by name and number, and is intended to ensure, at the technical level, a uniform approach to the interpretation and application of tariff classifications. The WCO, established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC), is an independent, intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of customs administrations. The United States, along with 149 other countries and the European Union, is a contracting party to the HS Convention and uses the HS as a basis for its customs tariffs and the collection of international trade statistics.

    Subtitle B of title I of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (Sec. 1201, Pub. L. 100-418, 102 Stat. 1147, Aug. 23, 1988 (19 U.S.C. 3001)) (the Act) provides for the approval and implementation in the United States of the tariff classification principles set forth in the HS Convention and its associated Harmonized System nomenclature. More specifically, the Act provides for congressional approval of U.S. accession to the HS Convention (section 1203), enactment of the HTSUS (section 1204), and the publication of foreign trade statistics in conformity with the HS nomenclature (section 1208). In addition, under section 1209, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is made responsible for coordinating trade policy concerning the HS Convention.

    Section 1210 of the Act provides that, subject to the policy direction of USTR, the Departments of Treasury and Commerce and the United States International Trade Commission (the Commission) shall have responsibility for formulating U.S. positions on technical and procedural issues relating to tariff classification under the HS Convention, and for representing the United States government at the WCO with respect thereto.

    To foster international uniformity in tariff classification matters under the HS, contracting parties have vested the WCO with responsibility for securing uniform interpretation of the HS and its periodic updating in light of developments in technology and changes in trade patterns. See Article 7 of the HS Convention. The WCO manages this process through the Harmonized System Committee (HSC), a committee composed of contracting parties to the HS Convention which meets twice a year to examine policy matters, take decisions on classification questions, settle disputes, and prepare amendments to the HS nomenclature and its Explanatory Notes. In accord with procedures established by the WCO governing body (the WCO Council), the HSC also prepares amendments updating the HS every four to six years.

    On November 10, 1988, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in a Federal Register notice procedures to implement sections 1209 and 1210 of the Act. See 53 FR 45646. Therein, USTR designated the Treasury Department, represented at the time by legacy U.S. Customs Service (now CBP, as part of the Department of Homeland Security), to lead the U.S. delegation at meetings of the HSC at the WCO in Brussels, Belgium. Accordingly, Regulations and Rulings, within CBP's Office of International Trade, leads U.S. delegations at semi-annual meetings of the HSC at the WCO. CBP also serves with the Commission on U.S. delegations at meetings of the Harmonized System Review Subcommittee, which occur twice per year at the WCO.

    Article 10 of the HS Convention provides that any dispute between contracting parties concerning the interpretation or application of the HS Convention is to be settled by negotiation between the contracting parties to the extent possible. If this cannot be accomplished, the parties (that is, the governments concerned) are to refer the dispute to the HSC for its consideration and recommendations. The HSC, in turn, is to refer irreconcilable disputes to the WCO Council for its recommendations.

    Customs Valuation

    With respect to customs valuation, the WTO Valuation Agreement established a standard system for the valuation of imported goods. The WTO Valuation Agreement ensures that determinations of the customs value for the application of duty rates to imported goods are applied in a neutral and uniform manner, precluding the use of arbitrary or fictitious customs values. As one of 160 Members of the WTO, the United States uses the Valuation Agreement as the basis for proper customs valuation methodology.

    Merchandise imported into the United States is appraised for customs purposes in accordance with Section 402 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended by the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 1401a) (TAA). Consistent with principles set forth in the WTO Valuation Agreement, the primary method of appraisement is transaction value, which is defined as “the price actually paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States,” plus amounts for certain statutorily enumerated additions to the extent not otherwise included in the price actually paid or payable. See 19 U.S.C. 1401a(b)(1). When transaction value cannot be applied, then the appraised value is determined based on the other valuation methods in the order specified in 19 U.S.C. 1401a(a).

    The WTO Valuation Agreement established the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation (TCCV), which operates under the auspices of the WCO, with a view to ensuring the uniform interpretation and application of internationally agreed upon customs valuation principles. The TCCV is responsible for the examination of technical problems arising in the day-to-day administration of the customs valuation systems of WTO Valuation Agreement signatories. In addition, the TCCV renders advisory opinions on appropriate solutions based upon the facts presented. The TCCV meets twice a year at the WCO to discuss issues concerning the interpretation and application of the WTO Valuation Agreement.

    Pursuant to Annex II to the WTO Valuation Agreement, the United States has the right to be represented at the TCCV to examine specific problems arising from the administration of the customs valuation systems of Members. The United States, which currently serves as Chair to the TCCV, may nominate one delegate and one or more alternates to be its representatives on the TCCV at semi-annual meetings in Brussels. CBP represents the United States at the semi-annual meetings of the TCCV at the WCO.

    Additionally, under Article 19 of the WTO Valuation Agreement, the United States may request consultation with a Member or Members if the U.S. considers any benefit to it under the Agreement is being nullified or impaired, or that the achievement of any objective of the Agreement is being impeded, directly or indirectly, as a result of the actions of another Member. Disputes arising under Article 19 of the WTO Valuation Agreement may be referred to the TCCV for an examination of any questions requiring technical consideration.

    CBP Participation at Meetings of the Harmonized System Committee and the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation

    Accordingly, at meetings of the HSC and TCCV at the WCO, the United States and other customs administrations participate and communicate regularly on issues concerning the interpretation and application of the HS and the WTO Valuation Agreement. Historically, it has been useful for CBP to conduct discussions with other customs administrations at the WCO with a view to reaching a common understanding and interpretation of these instruments. Such discussions can often serve to eliminate or resolve export issues for U.S. traders.

    For example, in 2014 CBP was contacted by a U.S. exporter who believed that its textile article was being misclassified by another customs administration. The company brought to CBP's attention the analysis applicable to the merchandise under published CBP rulings available at http://rulings.cbp.gov. The company requested that CBP contact the foreign customs administration to resolve the tariff classification matter, and if the matter could not be resolved, the U.S. company requested that CBP refer the matter to the HSC at the WCO.

    Within 30 days of receiving the technical assistance request, attorneys from the Tariff Classification and Marking Branch and import specialists from the National Commodity Specialist Division, within the Office of Regulations and Rulings (R&R), Office of International Trade reviewed the underlying classification issue and determined that the foreign customs administration's treatment of the merchandise was inconsistent with the proper interpretation of the HS. Following CBP's determination of the correct classification of the merchandise, R&R attorneys raised the issue bilaterally with the foreign customs administration and asked them to consider the matter.

    Following this bilateral exchange, and within seven months of the initial technical assistance request, CBP secured a favorable decision by the foreign customs administration to classify the merchandise in a manner consistent with the U.S. position and as requested by the exporter. As a result of CBP's engagement with the foreign customs administration, the U.S. company was able to obtain the correct tariff treatment of its imported merchandise in the foreign country.

    Inquiries Concerning Tariff Classification or Customs Valuation by Other Customs Administrations Affecting U.S. Exports

    By publication of this notice, U.S. Customs and Border Protection emphasizes that opportunities exist to strengthen communication and coordination between industry, CBP, other customs administrations, and the WCO to advance the shared goal of facilitating international trade. Greater collaboration with industry promotes improved technical understanding among contracting parties and helps to foster uniformity in the interpretation and application of the HS Convention and WTO Valuation Agreement.

    On matters involving non-uniform tariff classification or customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations, individual parties or firms do not have standing to initiate dispute settlement procedures or consultations under the HS Convention or the WTO Valuation Agreement. Consequently, for a U.S. individual or firm to raise a tariff classification or customs valuation dispute, that party must file an inquiry or complaint with the U.S. government and provide, or assist in the collection of, any information relating to the matter which may be required.

    Accordingly, CBP hereby invites U.S. exporters to file with CBP requests for assistance in resolving any tariff classification or customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations affecting U.S. exports. Of course, as a threshold technical matter, in order to provide the requested assistance, CBP must agree with the position of the exporter with regard to the specific matter brought to CBP's attention.

    CBP will endeavor to provide an initial response to such requests within 60 days of their receipt. Thereafter, in cooperation with the appropriate agencies, CBP will consider the appropriate course of action, including but not limited to the initiation of consultations or dispute settlement at meetings of the HSC or TCCV at the WCO. The inquirer or complainant will be informed of the progress achieved in resolving the matter. Requests for assistance on tariff classification or customs valuation treatment by other customs administrations affecting U.S. exports should be addressed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of International Trade, Regulations & Rulings, Attention: Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division, 90 K St. NE., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.

    Confidentiality

    Information submitted by U.S. exporters concerning requests for assistance may, in some instances, include confidential commercial or financial information, the disclosure of which could result in competitive harm to the business submitter. Such information is, generally, protected under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) (FOIA), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 1905). If confidential treatment is requested, submitters should specifically designate the information it considers confidential. Such requests will be handled in accordance with CBP Regulations (19 CFR 103.35) regarding the protection of such information.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Brenda B. Smith, Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Trade.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14968 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4222-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002 4222] Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Oklahoma (FEMA-4222-DR), dated May 26, 2015, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 4, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the incident period for this disaster is closed effective June 4, 2015.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14978 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4224-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002] Guam; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the Territory of Guam (FEMA-4224-DR), dated June 5, 2015, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective June 5, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated June 5, 2015, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the Territory of Guam resulting from Typhoon Dolphin during the period of May 13-16, 2015, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the Territory of Guam.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation throughout the Territory. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Rosalyn L. Cole, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    The Territory of Guam for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the Territory of Guam are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.
    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14977 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA-2015-0002; Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4222-DR] Oklahoma; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster for the State of Oklahoma (FEMA-4222-DR), dated May 26, 2015, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the incident period for this declared disaster is now May 5, 2015, and continuing.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14979 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA-2004-19147] Extension of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School Employees AGENCY:

    Transportation Security Administration, DHS.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has forwarded the Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652-0021, abstracted below to OMB for review and approval of an extension of the currently approved collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. TSA published a Federal Register notice, with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments, of the following collection of information on March 10, 2015, 80 FR 12647. The collection involves the submission of identifying information for background checks for all aliens and other designated individuals seeking flight instruction (“candidates”) from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certificated flight training providers. Through the information collected, TSA will determine whether a candidate is a threat to aviation or national security, and thus prohibited from receiving flight training. Additionally, flight training providers are required to conduct a security awareness program for their employees and contract employees and to maintain records associated with this training.

    DATES:

    Send your comments by July 20, 2015. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to Desk Officer, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and sent via electronic mail to [email protected] or faxed to (202) 395-6974.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina A. Walsh, TSA PRA Officer, Office of Information Technology (OIT), TSA-11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598-6011; telephone (571) 227-2062; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation is available at http://www.reginfo.gov. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to—

    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden;

    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Information Collection Requirement

    Title: Flight Training for Aliens and Other Designated Individuals; Security Awareness Training for Flight School Employees.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    OMB Control Number: 1652-0021.

    Forms(s): N/A.

    Affected Public: Aliens and other designated individuals seeking flight instruction from FAA-certificated flight training providers; flight training providers required to conduct security awareness training and their employees.

    Abstract: This information collection relates to regulations issued by TSA for flight schools. The collection, under 49 CFR part 1552, subpart A, relates to the security threat assessments (STAs) that TSA requires to determine whether candidates are a threat to aviation or national security, and thus prohibited from receiving flight training. This collection of information requires Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certificated flight training providers to provide TSA with the information necessary to conduct the STAs. The collection, under 49 CFR part 1552, subpart B, relates to security awareness training for flight school employees and contract employees, which includes maintaining records of all such training.

    Number of Responses: 54,900.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: An estimated 547,100 hours annually.

    Estimated Annual Cost Burden: $12,470,000.

    Dated: June 12, 2015. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14976 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R1-ES-2015-N079; FXES11120100000-156-FF01E00000] Receipt of Enhancement of Survival Permit Applications Developed in Accordance With the Template Safe Harbor Agreement for the Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of applications; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announces the receipt of nine Enhancement of Survival Permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template Safe Harbor Agreement (Template SHA) for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) and pursuant to section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The nine permit applicants are: (1) Morris Farms; (2) Overen Living Trust; (3) North Ranches, LLC; (4) Baird Springs Environmental; (5) Buster Boruff, LLC; (6) Ms. Susan Chace; (7) Mr. Garey Clements; (8) Mr. Greg Lehr and Ms. Christine Lehr; and (9) Sandygren Properties Limited Partnership. Issuance of permits to these applicants would exempt incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, which would otherwise be prohibited by section 9 of the Act, that is above the baseline conditions of properties enrolled under the Template SHA and that may result from the permittees' otherwise lawful land-use activities. The Service requests comments from the public regarding the proposed issuance of permits to these nine applicants.

    DATES:

    To be fully considered, written comments from interested parties must be received on or before July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To request further information or submit written comments, please use one of the following methods, and note that your information request or comments are in reference to the “Pygmy Rabbit SHAA.”

    Email: [email protected] Include “Pygmy Rabbit SHAA” in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: 509-891-6748, Attn: Russ MacRae, Assistant Project Leader. Include “Pygmy Rabbit SHAA” in the subject line of the message.

    U.S. Mail: Russ MacRae, Assistant Project Leader, Eastern Washington Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 11103 East Montgomery Drive, Spokane, Washington 99206.

    Document availability: Copies of the current permit applications, the Template SHA, and other relevant decision documents addressing the Service's proposed issuance of permits are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Freedom of Information Act, by any of the following methods.

    Internet: You may access electronic copies on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/wafwo/index.html.

    In-Person: Printed copies are available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the Eastern Washington Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Eames, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (see ADDRESSES); by telephone 509-893-8010. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), please call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On September 7, 2006, the Service announced the availability for public review and comment of a draft Template SHA, which was jointly developed by the Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and a draft Environmental Assessment, which was developed by the Service pursuant to Federal responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Service's September 7, 2006, notice also announced the receipt of three initial permit applications that were developed in accordance with the Template SHA. The final Template SHA, which contained only minor modifications from the draft released for public review, was signed by the Service and WDFW on October 24, 2006. To date, the Service has issued 17 permits under the Template SHA, which cover 137,626 acres that fall within the historic distribution of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. The nine new applicants have requested to enroll an additional 11,446 acres of privately owned lands under the Template SHA.

    The primary objective of the Template SHA is to facilitate collaboration between the Service, WDFW, and prospective participants to voluntarily implement conservation measures to benefit the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. Another objective of the Template SHA is to facilitate a process to provide incidental take coverage to participants through issuance of Enhancement of Survival Permits, which will relieve participants of additional section 9 liability under the Act if implementation of their conservation measures results in increased numbers or distribution of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits on their enrolled properties.

    The Service previously determined that implementation of the Template SHA, to include issuance of permits developed in accordance with the Template SHA, would result in conservation benefits to the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit and would not result in significant effects to the human environment. The Service will evaluate any new information, the current permit applications, related documents, and any comments submitted thereon to determine whether they are consistent with the measures prescribed by the Template SHA and other relevant decision documents and permit issuance criteria. If it is determined that the requirements are met, permits to exempt incidental take of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit will be issued to the applicants. The final permit determinations will not be completed until after the end of the 30-day comment period, following our full consideration of all comments received.

    Public Availability of Comments

    All comments and materials we receive become part of the public record associated with this action. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personally identifiable information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we use in preparing the permits, will be available for public inspection by appointment, during normal business hours, at our Eastern Washington Field Office (see ADDRESSES).

    The Service is furnishing this notice to provide the public, other Federal and State agencies, and interested Tribes an opportunity to review and comment on the Service's proposed issuance of permits to these applicants.

    Authority

    We provide this notice in accordance with the requirements of section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: May 22, 2015. Richard Hannan, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14996 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLIDC00000.13XL1109AF.L102000000.MJ000.4500054065] Notice of Intent To Amend the Cottonwood Resource Management Plan and Prepare an Environmental Assessment and Notice of Realty Action: Proposed Sale of Public Land in Idaho County, Idaho AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent and notice of realty action.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice provides for two related actions, one a proposed land use plan amendment involving approximately 19,054 acres of public land in Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho, and Adams counties of Idaho; and the other proposed land sales involving 22.46 acres of public land in Idaho County being considered in the proposed plan amendment. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cottonwood Field Office, Cottonwood, Idaho, intends to prepare a resource management plan (RMP) amendment and associated environmental assessment (EA) for the Cottonwood RMP including the proposed land sales involving 22.46 acres of public land, and by this notice is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify related issues.

    DATES:

    This notice initiates the public scoping process for the RMP amendment, proposed land sales of 22.46 acres of public land and associated EA. Comments on issues may be submitted in writing until July 20, 2015. The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local news media, newspapers, and the BLM Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/Districts-Idaho/CDA.html. In order to be included in the analysis, all comments must be received on or prior to the close of the 30-day scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later. We will provide additional opportunities for public participation as appropriate.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria related to the RMP amendment and proposed sale by any of the following methods:

    Web site: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/Districts-Idaho/CDA.html.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: 208-962-3275.

    Mail: BLM Cottonwood Field Office, ATTN: Elk City Mill Site, 1 Butte Drive, Cottonwood, ID 83522.

    Documents pertinent to this proposal may be examined at the Cottonwood Field Office, 1 Butte Drive, Cottonwood, ID 83522. Please reference “Cottonwood RMP Amendment/Notice of Realty Action: Proposed Sale of Public Lands” on all correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Will Runnoe, Field Manager, at telephone: 208-962-3256, address: 1 Butte Drive, Cottonwood, ID 83522, email: [email protected] Contact Mr. Runnoe to have your name added to our mailing list. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document provides notice that the BLM Cottonwood Field Office, Cottonwood, Idaho, intends to prepare an RMP amendment and associated EA for the Cottonwood RMP and announces the beginning of the scoping process and seeks public input on issues and planning criteria. The planning area is located in Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho, and Adams counties of Idaho, and encompasses approximately 132,240 acres of public land. The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the planning process.

    The purpose of the amendment is to clarify specifically which lands, currently designated as available for disposal, meet one or more of FLPMA's Section 203 sale criteria. The proposed amendment would clarify management direction in the RMP to identify which lands currently designated as available for disposal may be further designated as either available for disposal through sale or not available.

    Amending the Cottonwood RMP would not increase the number of acres previously identified in the RMP as available for disposal. It would merely clarify which of those parcels meet Section 203 sale criteria. The proposed amendment would not change the BLM's ability to dispose of those lands through exchange, Recreation & Public Purposes Act leases, or other means of conveyance; or to retain them. Any determination of the availability of identified BLM parcels for disposal, however, would not remove the BLM's obligation to carry out appropriate environmental analysis prior to any proposed sale, exchange, issuance of an R&PP Act lease, or conveyance through any other means, nor would it change BLM's authority to retain those lands under Federal management.

    As part of evaluating the availability of the 19,054 acres for potential disposal by sale, the BLM will consider the following described public lands in Idaho County, Idaho, for sale under the authority of Section 203 of FLPMA if they are found to meet Section 203 sale criteria:

    Boise Meridian T. 29 N., R. 8 E., Parcel One: sec. 33, lots 19 and 20. (9.97 acres, IDI-37780) Parcel Two: sec. 33, lots 5, 14, and 18. (12.49 acres, IDI-37781)

    The area described for these proposed sales contains 22.46 acres. As part of the environmental assessment for the proposed sales the BLM will consider the appropriate method of sale (competitive, modified competitive or direct).

    In addition to initiating scoping for this RMP amendment, this notice also segregates the above-mentioned parcels from appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, except the sale provisions of FLPMA. The segregation of the public lands being considered for sale will be for a period of 2 years. Conveyance of the identified public land will be subject to valid existing rights and encumbrances of record, including but not limited to rights-of-way for roads and public utilities. Conveyance of any mineral interest pursuant to Section 209 of FLPMA will be considered as part of processing the proposed sales.

    On June 18, 2015, the two above-described parcels identified for potential sale will be segregated from appropriation under the public land laws, including the United States mining laws, except the sale provisions of FLPMA. Until completion of the sale, the BLM will no longer accept land use applications affecting the two identified public land parcels, except applications for the amendment of previously filed right-of-way applications or existing authorizations to increase the term of the grants in accordance with 43 CFR 2807.15 and 2886.15. The segregative effect will terminate upon issuance of a patent, publication in the Federal Register of a termination of the segregation, or June 19, 2017, whichever occurs first, unless extended by the BLM Idaho State Director in accordance with 43 CFR 2711.1-2(d) prior to the termination date.

    The Cottonwood RMP identifies 19,054 acres of public land as available for disposal. However, the RMP fails to specify whether those lands have been evaluated under FLPMA's Section 203 sale criteria.

    The purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and guide the planning process. A preliminary issue for the plan amendment area has been identified by BLM personnel; Federal, State, and local agencies; and other stakeholders. The issue is to identify lands currently designated as available for disposal, that also meet FLPMA's Section 203 sale criteria (43 U.S.C. 1713(a)).

    Comments may also be submitted regarding the planning criteria. Preliminary planning criteria include:

    1. The proposed amendment will only address lands already designated as available for disposal (approximately 19,054 acres in Latah, Clearwater, Nez Perce, Lewis, Idaho, and Adams Counties of Idaho) that meet FLPMA's Section 203 sale criteria. No other decisions associated with the Cottonwood RMP will be amended.

    2. The plan amendments will comply with FLPMA, NEPA, and all other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.

    3. For program-specific guidance regarding decisions at the land use planning level, the process will follow the BLM's policies in the Land Use Planning Handbook, H-1601-1.

    4. Public participation and collaboration will be an integral part of the planning process.

    5. The BLM will strive to make decisions in the plan amendments compatible with the existing plans and policies of adjacent local, State, and Federal agencies, and affected Native American tribes, as long as the decisions are consistent with the purposes, policies, and programs of Federal law and regulations applicable to public lands.

    6. The BLM will work collaboratively with cooperating agencies and all other interested groups, agencies, and individuals.

    The public is invited to provide scoping comments on issues mentioned above, as well as other issues that should be addressed in the preparation of the plan amendment or the proposed sales.

    You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria in writing to the BLM using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above. To be most helpful, you should submit comments by the close of the 30-day scoping period.

    The BLM will use and coordinate the NEPA scoping process to help fulfill the public involvement requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 306108) as provided in 36 CFR 800.2(d)(3). The information about historic and cultural resources within the area potentially affected by the proposed actions will assist the BLM in identifying and evaluating impacts to such resources.

    The BLM will consult with Indian tribes on a Government-to-Government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources, will be given due consideration. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested in or affected by the proposed actions that the BLM is evaluating, are invited to participate in the scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the BLM to participate in the development of the environmental analysis as a cooperating agency.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The BLM will evaluate identified issues to be addressed in the plan and will place them into one of three categories:

    1. Issues to be resolved in the plan amendment;

    2. Issues to be resolved through policy or administrative action; or

    3. Issues beyond the scope of this plan amendment.

    The BLM will provide an explanation in the EA as to why an issue was placed in category two or three. The public is also encouraged to help identify any management questions and concerns that should be addressed in the plan. The BLM will work collaboratively with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to local, regional, and national needs and concerns.

    The BLM will use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the plan amendment in order to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns identified. Specialists with expertise in the following disciplines will be involved in the planning process: Minerals and geology, forestry, outdoor recreation, archaeology, wildlife and fisheries, lands and realty, hydrology, and soils.

    Authority:

    43 U.S.C. 1713(a); 43 CFR 2711.1-2, 40 CFR 1501.7, and 43 CFR 1610.2.

    Jeffery L. Foss, Acting BLM Idaho State Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15032 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-GG-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau Of Land Management [LLOR936000.L14400000.ET0000.15XL1109AF; HAG 15-0099; OR-67721] Public Land Order No. 7836; Withdrawal of National Forest System Lands for the White King/Lucky Lass Mines Remediation Areas; Oregon AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Public Land Order.

    SUMMARY:

    Subject to valid existing rights, this order withdraws 240.59 acres of National Forest System lands in the Fremont National Forest from location and entry under the United States mining laws, but not from leasing under the mineral leasing laws, for a period of 20 years for the United States Forest Service to protect the integrity and functionality of the mine reclamation work on the White King/Lucky Lass Mines. The withdrawal will protect the $4.9 million Federal investment for reclamation work that has been completed to contour, cap, and restore vegetation at the mine sites located in the Fremont National Forest in Lake County, Oregon.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: June 7, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Ligons, Bureau of Land Management Oregon/Washington State Office, 503-808-6169, or Candice Polisky, U.S. Forest Service, Region 6, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, 503-808-2479. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to reach either of the contacts stated above. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with either of the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This order will withdraw National Forest System lands that were previously withdrawn by two expired withdrawals created by Public Land Order Nos. 6990 (58 FR 42245 as corrected in 58 FR 44536) and 7519 (67 FR 13649).

    Order

    By virtue of the authority vested in the Secretary of the Interior by Section 204 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1714, it is ordered as follows:

    1. Subject to valid existing rights, the following described National Forest System lands are hereby withdrawn from location and entry under the United States mining laws, but not from leasing under the mineral leasing laws, for a period of 20 years to protect the integrity and functionality of the mine reclamation work at the White King/Lucky Lass Mines reclamation project:

    Willamette Meridian Fremont National Forest T. 37 S., R. 18 E., sec. 25, NW1/4NE1/4; T. 37 S., R. 19 E., sec. 30, lot 1, and NW1/4NE1/4, E1/2NW1/4, and NW1/4SE1/4.

    The areas described aggregate 240.59 acres in Lake County.

    2. The withdrawal made by this order does not alter the applicability of those public land laws governing the use of the lands other than under the mining laws.

    3. This withdrawal will expire 20 years from the effective date of this order, unless, as a result of a review conducted before the expiration date pursuant to Section 204(f) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1714(f), the Secretary of the Interior determines that the withdrawal shall be extended.

    Dated: June 7, 2015. Janice M. Schneider, Assistant Secretary—Land and Minerals Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15007 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [15XL1109AF LLUTC04000 L13200000.EL0000, UTU 081895] Notice of Availability for the Alton Coal Tract Coal Lease by Application Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Utah AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Alton Coal Tract Lease by Application (LBA) and by this notice is announcing its availability and the start of a comment period on the Supplemental Draft EIS.

    DATES:

    To ensure comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Alton Coal Tract LBA Supplemental Draft EIS within 60 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings and any other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] Please include “Alton Coal Lease SDEIS” in the subject line.

    Fax: 435-644-1299, Attn: Keith Rigtrup.

    Mail: Bureau of Land Management, Kanab Field Office, Attn: Keith Rigtrup, 669 South Highway 89 A, Kanab, Utah 84741.

    • Written comments may also be hand-delivered to the BLM-Utah Kanab Field Office in Kanab.

    Copies of the Supplemental Draft EIS are available at the following BLM office locations: BLM-Utah State Office Public Room, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101, and the BLM-Utah Kanab Field Office, 669 South Highway 89 A, Kanab, Utah 84741, during business hours (8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays. The Supplemental Draft EIS is available electronically at the following Web site: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/kanab.html

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Keith Rigtrup, BLM-Utah Color Country District Office, 176 East DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City, Utah 84721, or by telephone at 435-865-3000. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The BLM made the initial Alton Coal Tract LBA Draft EIS available for public review from November 4, 2011 through January 27, 2012. The BLM received approximately 177,000 comments during that time expressing concerns with sensitive species (sage-grouse), protection of wetlands and air quality, among others. Based on those comments and work with other Federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service, the BLM determined that a Supplemental Draft EIS was needed to adequately address public concerns. Preparation of the Supplemental Draft EIS began in July 2012. As part of the Supplemental Draft EIS process, the BLM worked with Federal, State, and county partners to address public concerns and also collaborated to identify mitigation measures for impacts associated with the project. The Supplemental Draft EIS analyzes the potential impacts of issuing a lease for the Alton Coal Tract, serial number UTU 081895. The lease tract is located near the town of Alton, Utah, and immediately adjacent to the existing Coal Hollow Mine. The LBA for the Alton tract was filed by Alton Coal Development, LLC, in accordance with 43 CFR 3425. The Alton Coal Tract contains 59.6 million tons of in-place bituminous coal. The coal quality in the Smirl coal zone on an “as received basis” is as follows: 10,019 Btu/lb (British Thermal Units per pound), 13 percent moisture, 10 percent ash, 39 percent volatile matter, 50 percent fixed carbon and 1.13 percent sulfur underlying the following lands in Kane County, Utah:

    Salt Lake Meridian T. 39 S., R. 5 W., sec. 7, SE1/4SW1/4 and S1/2SE1/4; sec. 18, lots 3 and 4 and E1/2, E1/2W1/4; and E1/2SW1/4; sec. 19, lots 1 to 4 inclusive, NE1/4, E1/2NW1/4, E1/2SW1/4, N1/2SE1/4, and SE1/4SE1/4; sec. 20, lots 4 and 5, and N1/2SW1/4; sec. 30, lots 2 to 4 inclusive, SW1/4NE1/4, SE1/4NW1/4, E1/2SW1/4, and W1/2SE1/4; sec. 31, lots 1 to 3 inclusive, NE1/4, E1/2NW1/4, NE1/4SW1/4, and N1/2SE1/4; T. 39 S., R. 6 W., sec. 12, SW1/4 and W1/2SE1/4; sec. 13, NW1/4NE1/4, N1/2NW1/4, SE1/4NW1/4, and SE1/4; sec. 24, NE1/4, N1/2NW1/4, SE1/4NW1/4, E1/2SW1/4, N1/2SE1/4, and SE1/4SE1/4; sec. 25, E1/2NE1/4, SW1/4NE1/4, and SE1/4.

    The area described includes both public and non-public lands and aggregates 3,581.27 acres.

    Consistent with Federal regulations under NEPA and the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, the BLM must prepare an environmental analysis prior to holding a competitive Federal coal lease sale. The Supplemental Draft EIS analyzes and discloses to the public the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of issuing a Federal coal lease on the Alton Coal Tract, including mining and transportation of coal to a railhead near Cedar City, Utah. A copy of the Supplemental Draft EIS has been sent to affected Federal, State, tribal, and local government agencies; persons and entities identified as potentially being affected by a decision to lease the Alton Coal Tract; and, persons who indicated to the BLM that they wished to receive a copy of the Supplemental Draft EIS.

    The Supplemental Draft EIS analyzes three action alternatives (Alternatives B, C, and K1) and a No Action Alternative. Under the action alternatives, a competitive sale would be held and a lease issued for the Federal coal included in the specific tracts considered under those alternatives.

    In addition to its analysis of alternatives and consistent with the Kanab Field Office Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan (2008), the Supplemental Draft EIS reflects the BLM's application of the unsuitability criteria (43 CFR 3461.5) to the Alton Coal Tract. Based on that review, the BLM has determined the Alton Coal Tract is unsuitable under Criterion 15 (43 CFR 3461.5) based on the presence of sage-grouse dancing and strutting grounds on and around the tract. The BLM will continue to consider the tract for leasing because under Criterion 15, “A lease may be issued if, after consultation with the State, the BLM determines that all or certain stipulated methods of coal mining will not have a significant long-term impact on the species being protected.” As part of that determination, the BLM will consider all available data related to the impacts of the project, including comments from cooperators and the public. All action alternatives in the Supplemental Draft EIS require implementation of a detailed Sage-Grouse Mitigation Plan that imposes, among other things, a 4:1 offsite mitigation ratio. The Sage-Grouse Mitigation Plan also includes reclamation of surrounding sagebrush habitats to vegetation standards that would provide for sage-grouse habitat, as well as treating a 186-acre area prior to ground disturbance on the leased tract.

    The alternatives being considered in the Supplemental Draft EIS are in conformance with the Kanab Field Office Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan (2008). Requests to be included on the mailing list for this project may be sent by mail, facsimile, or electronically to the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section above. For those submitting comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS, please make the comments as specific as possible with reference to page numbers and sections of the document. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response; however, they may be considered and included as part of the BLM decision-making process.

    Please note that public comments and information submitted including names, street addresses, and email addresses of persons who submit comments will be available for public review and disclosure at the Kanab Field Office (address listed above) during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Monday through Friday, except holidays.

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Authority:

    43 CFR 3425.3.

    Jenna Whitlock, Acting State Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15006 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-DQ-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Toner Supply Containers and Components Thereof, DN 3070; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS,1 and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    1 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at USITC.2 The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.3 Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    2 United States International Trade Commission (USITC): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Canon Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Virginia, Inc. on June 12, 2015. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain toner supply containers and components thereof. The complaint names as respondents General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd. of Taiwan and Color Imaging, Inc. of Norcross, GA. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a permanent limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or § 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to § 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3070”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures 4 ). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    4 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/rules/handbook_on_electronic_filing.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.5

    5 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of §§ 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 12, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14957 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain Lip Balm Products, Containers for Lip Balm, and Components Thereof, DN 3071; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS,1 and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    1 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at USITC.2 The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at EDIS.3 Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    2 United States International Trade Commission (USITC): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to section 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of eos Products, LLC and The Kind Group LLC, on June 12, 2015. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain lip balm products, containers for lip balm, and components thereof. The complaint name as respondents OraLabs, Inc. of Parker, CO; CVS Health Corporation of Woonsocket, RI; CVS Pharmacy, Inc. of Woonsocket, RI; Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. of Deerfield, IL; Walgreen Co. of Deerfield, IL; Dollar Tree, Inc. of Chesapeake, VA; Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. of Chesapeake, VA; Five Below Inc. of Philadelphia, PA; Wuxi Sunmart Science and Technology Co., Ltd. a/k/a Wuxi Sunmart Group Co., Ltd.and a/k/a Wuxi Shengma Science & Technology Co., Ltd. of China; and Wuxi Sunmart Plastic Co., Ltd. of China. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order, cease and desist orders, and a bond upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or section 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to section 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3071”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures4 ). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    4 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/rules/handbook_on_electronic_filing.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.5

    5 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of sections 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: June 15, 2015. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14987 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P.
    JOINT BOARD FOR THE ENROLLMENT OF ACTUARIES Meeting of the Advisory Committee; Meeting AGENCY:

    Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries gives notice of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations (portion of which will be open to the public) in Arlington, VA on July 13-14, 2015.

    DATES:

    Monday, July 13, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday, July 14, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Internal Revenue Service, 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries, 703-414-2173.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations will meet at the Internal Revenue Service, 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 400, Arlington, VA, on Monday, July 13, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Tuesday, July 14, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    The purpose of the meeting is to discuss topics and questions that may be recommended for inclusion on future Joint Board examinations in actuarial mathematics and methodology referred to in 29 U.S.C. 1242(a)(1)(B) and to review the May 2015 Basic (EA-1) Examination and the May 2015 Pension (EA-2L) Examination in order to make recommendations relative thereto, including the minimum acceptable pass scores. Topics for inclusion on the syllabus for the Joint Board's examination program for the November 2015 Pension (EA-2F) Examination will be discussed.

    A determination has been made as required by section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., that the portions of the meeting dealing with the discussion of questions that may appear on the Joint Board's examinations and the review of the May 2015 Basic (EA-1) Examination and the May 2015 Pension (EA-2L) Examination fall within the exceptions to the open meeting requirement set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(9)(B), and that the public interest requires that such portions be closed to public participation.

    The portion of the meeting dealing with the discussion of the other topics will commence at 1:00 p.m. on July 14, 2015, and will continue for as long as necessary to complete the discussion, but not beyond 3:00 p.m. Time permitting, after the close of this discussion by Committee members, interested persons may make statements germane to this subject. Persons wishing to make oral statements should notify the Executive Director in writing prior to the meeting in order to aid in scheduling the time available and should submit the written text, or at a minimum, an outline of comments they propose to make orally. Such comments will be limited to 10 minutes in length. All persons planning to attend the public session should notify the Executive Director in writing to obtain building entry. Notifications of intent to make an oral statement or to attend must be sent electronically, by no later than July 7, 2015, to [email protected] Any interested person also may file a written statement for consideration by the Joint Board and the Committee by sending it to: Internal Revenue Service; Attn: Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director; Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries SE:RPO; REFM, Park 4, Floor 4; 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. Patrick W. McDonough, Executive Director, Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15014 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of the Secretary Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Asbestos in Construction Standard ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, “Asbestos in Construction Standard,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use, without change, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Public comments on the ICR are invited.

    DATES:

    The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before July 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the RegInfo.gov Web site at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201504-1218-004 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-OSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: [email protected] Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor-OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or by email at [email protected]

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This ICR seeks to extend PRA authority for the Asbestos in Construction Standard information collection requirements codified in regulations 29 CFR 1926.1101. These information collection requirements require an Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) covered employer subject to the Standard to train workers about hazards of asbestos, to monitor worker exposure, to provide medical surveillance, and to maintain accurate records of worker exposure to asbestos. The employer, workers, and Government officials use these records to ensure that workers are not harmed by exposure to asbestos in the workplace. OSH Act sections 2(b)(9), 6, and 8(c) authorize this information collection. See 29 U.S.C. 651(b)(9), 655, and 657(c).

    This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1218-0134.

    OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2015. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. The DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2015 (80 FR 18649).

    Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1218-0134. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

    • 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;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • 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.

    Agency: DOL-OSHA.

    Title of Collection: Asbestos in Construction Standard.

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0134.

    Affected Public: Private Sector—businesses or other for-profits.

    Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 209,379.

    Total Estimated Number of Responses: 39,379,431.

    Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 3,881,183 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $36,238,059.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14974 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2013-0026] Executive Order 13650 Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security Webinar: Implementation Updates AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor

    ACTION:

    Notice of listening session Webinar.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (DOL), in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is announcing a Webinar to update stakeholders on action items since the June 6, 2014 release of “Executive Order [EO] 13650: Actions to Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security—A Shared Commitment.”

    DATES:

    The Webinar will take place on June 19th, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT.

    Registration to Participate: To register, please email your contact information (first name, last name, company, title) to [email protected]. As time permits, questions will be taken on a first-come, first served basis—please let us know if you wish to participate. You will be provided a separate email with webinar connection and call-in instructions. There is no fee to register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general information on the EO, visit the Web site at: https://www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/. For questions regarding the EO, please contact: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On August 1, 2013, President Obama issued EO 13650 to improve chemical facility safety and security. The Working Group charged with implementing the EO is co-chaired by DHS, DOL, and EPA, and includes participation from the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, and Transportation, all of whom play a role in chemical facility safety measures. The Working Group gathered concerns, comments, feedback, suggestions, and best practices from stakeholders over the course of several Webinars and listening sessions which culminated in a Report to the President released in May 2014, as well as an Action Plan contained therein.

    The Working Group has made significant progress on the implementation of the Action Plan since the release of the report by initiating community planning preparedness measures, increasing Federal coordination, improving data management techniques and technology, revising regulations, issuing guidance and advisory documents, and creating a best practices repository, among other initiatives.

    II. Scope of Webinar

    The purpose of this Webinar is to update stakeholders and the public on progress made on action items since the June 6, 2014 release of “Executive Order [EO] 13650: Actions to Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security—A Shared Commitment”, and to raise awareness of the EO 13650 Working Group Web site, located at: www.osha.gov/chemicalexecutiveorder/.

    We encourage participation from the broad range of stakeholders who have an interest in chemical facility safety and security to include, but not limited to, chemical producers, chemical storage companies, agricultural supply companies, State and local regulators, chemical critical infrastructure owners and operators, first responders, labor organizations representing affected workers, environmental and community groups, and consensus standards organizations.

    III. Public Participation

    This Webinar will accommodate over 600 participants. As time permits, participants will be able to ask questions on a first-come first-served basis. We will do our best to accommodate all persons who wish to ask questions during the session. We request that participants refrain from making statements, and use this time to ask questions. Should time run out, participants may submit questions or statements to: [email protected].

    Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, authorized the preparation of this notice.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on June 15, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15010 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION Information Security Oversight Office [NARA-2015-048] State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Policy Advisory Committee (SLTPS-PAC) AGENCY:

    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of advisory committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app 2) and implementing regulation 41 CFR 101-6, NARA announces the following committee meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be on July 22, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    National Archives and Records Administration; 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.; Jefferson Room; Washington, DC 20408.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert J. Skwirot, Senior Program Analyst, by mail at ISOO, National Archives Building; 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20408, by telephone at (202) 357-5398, or by email at [email protected] Contact ISOO at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of this meeting is to discuss matters relating to the Classified National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities. The meeting will be open to the public. However, due to space limitations and access procedures, you must submit the name and telephone number of individuals planning to attend to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) no later than Friday, July 17, 2015. ISOO will provide additional instructions for accessing the meeting's location.

    Dated: June 11, 2015. Patrice Little Murray, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15033 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
    OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT Notice of Submission for Approval: Information Collection 3206-0106; Interview Survey Form, INV 10 AGENCY:

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Federal Investigative Services (FIS), U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is notifying the general public and other Federal agencies that OPM is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of a revised information collection control number 3206-0106, Interview Survey Form, INV 10. OPM is soliciting comments for this collection as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35), as amended by the Clinger-Cohen Act (Pub. L. 104-106). The Office of Management and Budget is particularly interested in comments that:

    1. Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    2. Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    4. Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until August 17, 2015. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8(d).

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Federal Investigative Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Donna McLeod or by electronic mail at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A copy of this information collection, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by contacting Federal Investigative Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415, Attention: Donna McLeod or by electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Interview Survey Form, INV 10 is mailed by OPM, to a random sampling of record and personal sources contacted during background investigations when investigators have performed fieldwork. The INV 10 is used as a quality control instrument designed to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the investigative product. The form queries the recipient about the investigative procedure exhibited by the investigator, the investigator's professionalism, and the information discussed and reported. In addition to the preformatted response options, OPM invites the recipients to respond with any other relevant comments or suggestions.

    OPM proposes the following changes. To prevent confusion as to the meaning of the current question “Were you interviewed in private?” OPM proposes to ask, “Were you interviewed alone (no third party present)?” and “Were you interviewed in a private setting or private, enclosed space?” To provide the respondent the opportunity to explain the circumstances of interviews conducted by phone, OPM is replacing the current series of checkboxes (“My Request,” “Investigator's Request,” “No Reason Given”) with two questions, “Were you offered to be interviewed in person?” and “Please explain why the interview was conducted by telephone.” OPM proposes to amend Question 7 to be more concise by combining the series of two questions into one, so that Question 7 will now read “Please provide any additional comments or concerns you have about the investigator and/or the interview, and indicate if you require additional contact from an OPM representative.”

    OPM is also making non-substantive changes to page one of the form for conciseness.

    Analysis

    Agency: Federal Investigative Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    Title: Interview Survey Form, INV 10.

    OMB Number: 3206-0106.

    Affected Public: A random sampling of record and personal sources contacted during background investigations when investigators have performed fieldwork.

    Number of Respondents: 61,973.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 6 minutes.

    Total Burden Hours: 6,197.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Katherine Archuleta, Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14972 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-53-P
    POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. R2013-11R; Order No. 2540] Rate Adjustment Remand AGENCY:

    Postal Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission is noticing a proceeding to address the methodological approach for accounting for volume losses in calculating the exigent surcharge, as well as other relevant issues. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps.

    DATES:

    Comments are due: June 26, 2015; reply comments are due: July 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202-789-6820.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Commission Action on Remand IV. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction

    On June 5, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers v. Postal Regulatory Commission, 2015 WL 3513394 (D.C. Cir. June 5, 2015). In that opinion, the court granted in part a Postal Service petition for review of the Commission's December 24, 2013 order that had approved in part a Postal Service request for an exigent rate adjustment under 39 U.S.C. 3622(d)(1)(E).1 2015 WL 3513394 at 10. Although the court largely affirmed Order No. 1926, it vacated the count once portion of the Commission's order and remanded the case for proceedings consistent with its opinion. Id.

    1 Docket No. R2013-11, Order Granting Exigent Price Increase, December 24, 2013 (Order No. 1926).

    On June 8, 2015, the Postal Service filed a motion requesting the Commission expeditiously implement remand proceedings and take a number of additional steps pending completion of the remand proceedings.2

    2 Docket No. R2013-11, Motion of the United States Postal Service to Suspend Exigent Surcharge Removal Provisions of Order No. 1926 and to Establish Remand Proceedings, June 8, 2015 (Postal Service Motion).

    On June 11, 2015, the Commission received two responses to the Postal Service Motion. The first response was filed by the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU) in support of the Postal Service Motion.3 The second response was filed by a group of mailers (Mailers) in opposition to the Postal Service Motion.4

    3 Comments of American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO in Support of Postal Service Motion to Suspend Exigent Surcharge Removal Procedures, June 11, 2015 (APWU Comments).

    4 Response of Association for Postal Commerce, MPA—The Association of Magazine Media, Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, Direct Marketing Association, Inc., American Catalog Mailers Association, Envelope Manufacturers Association, Epicomm, Idealliance, Major Mailers Association, National Newspaper Association, and Saturation Mailers Coalition to the Motion of the United States Postal Service to Suspend Exigent Surcharge Removal Provisions of Order No. 1926 and to Establish Remand Proceedings, June 11, 2015 (Mailers Response).

    For the reasons set forth below, the Commission suspends the requirement that the Postal Service file a 45-day notice of intent to remove the exigent rate surcharge pending issuance of a further order.5 This action is appropriate in light of the May 19, 2015, letter from counsel for the Postal Service advising the court that the Postal Service is expected to recoup the entirety of the surcharge by early August.6 If this estimate is correct, the Postal Service stated that it would need to notify its customers of a prospective rescission as early as mid-June. Id. The Commission also establishes expedited comment procedures to afford all interested persons an opportunity to address the question of how to count the volume of lost mail in calculating the exigent surcharge, as well as any other relevant issues.

    5 The 45-day notice requirement was originally imposed by the Commission order granting an exigent price increase. Order No. 1926 at 185. That requirement was subsequently confirmed in an order addressing the Postal Service's surcharge removal plan. Docket No. R2013-11, Order on Exigent Surcharge Removal, January 12, 2015, at 15 (Ordering Paragraph 1) (Order No. 2319).

    6 Letter to Mark Langer, Clerk of Court, from Paul D. Clement, Counsel for Petitioner United States Postal Service, dated May 19, 2015, at 1.

    II. Background

    Underlying proceeding before the Commission. On September 26, 2013, the Postal Service renewed its request for an exigent rate adjustment pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3622(d)(1)(E).7 In Order No. 1926, the Commission found that the Postal Service had justified the recovery of $2.776 billion in additional contribution by showing a causal link between the extraordinary or exceptional circumstances of the Great Recession and mail volume losses. Order No. 1926 at 193 (Ordering Paragraph 1). The Commission therefore permitted an exigent rate surcharge to go into effect on January 26, 2014. Id. (Ordering Paragraph 2). The Commission also required the Postal Service to report periodically on the surcharge revenue it was collecting, to file a report with the Commission by May 1, 2014, that included a proposed plan for removing the exigent rate surcharge, and to file a notice of the surcharge's removal not less than 45 days prior to the effective date of such removal. Id. at 185.

    7 Docket No. R2013-11, Renewed Exigent Request of the United States Postal Service in Response to Order No. 1059, September 26, 2013. The history underlying the Postal Service's renewed request is summarized by the court in its decision. See 2015 WL 3513394 at 2-3.

    The court's opinion. On appeal, the court affirmed the Commission's use of the new normal test to measure the causal effect of the exigent circumstance. 2015 WL 3513394 at 6. However, it found the Commission's count once rule to be inconsistent with the Commission's adoption of the new normal test. Id. at 8. Under the count once rule, lost mail volume was counted only in the first year in which it was lost, regardless of whether the new normal test showed the exigent circumstance was ongoing. The Court vacated and remanded the count once portion of Order No. 1926 for further proceedings. Id. at 10.

    The Postal Service's motion. In its motion, the Postal Service seeks expedited implementation of the remand proceedings. Postal Service Motion at 1. It also presents an analysis which, it asserts, demonstrates that the floor for a revised estimate of the total contribution loss is no less than $3.957 billion. Id. at 2. To arrive at its $3.957 billion floor, the Postal Service offers a methodological approach for counting volume losses due to the Great Recession in a cumulative manner. The Postal Service uses volume losses, by year, from Table VI-5 in Order No. 1926 at 101. The Postal Service then calculates the cumulative volume loss in each year by combining the volume first lost in that year, plus annual volume lost in the previous year(s). Postal Service Motion at 5. It then translates the calculated cumulative volume loss into an increase in lost contribution from $2.766 billion to $3.957 billion. Id. at 6 (emphasis omitted). The Postal Service then applies the methodology of Table VII-2 in Order No. 1926 to calculate a revised Surcharge Revenue Limitation from the increase in lost contribution resulting from the cumulative volume loss. Id. The Postal Service estimates that the Surcharge Revenue Limitation increases from $3.238 billion to $4.633 billion as a result of the cumulative counting of volume losses. Id. at 7.

    The Postal Service asserts that the additional amount to which it claims to be entitled provides a cushion for maintaining the surcharge while further proceedings are conducted. Id. at 2. The Postal Service, therefore, requests the suspension of the $2.766 billion surcharge removal target. Id. at 3. In the Postal Service's view, the additional surcharge revenue made possible by suspension of the surcharge removal target will be sufficient to allow consideration of the full range of issues that need to be addressed in the remand proceeding. Id. at 7. In the meantime, the Postal Service states that it would continue to track exigent surcharge revenue and file quarterly reports with the Commission as required under Order No. 1926. Id.

    Without suspension of the surcharge removal target, the Postal Service asserts that the possibility of alternating rate decreases and increases would needlessly burden the public, the Postal Service, and the mailing industry as the Commission conducts the remand proceedings. Id. at 3. Finally, the Postal Service requests the Commission to establish a schedule and procedures for consideration of the range of remand issues. Id. at 8.

    Responses to the Postal Service's motion. In its comments, APWU supports the relief requested by the Postal Service and argues that the court's order to vacate the count once rule necessitates the Commission suspending the mechanism for removal of the exigent rate surcharge. APWU Comments at 1-2.

    The Mailers argue that the Postal Service has misstated the scope of the court's remand. Mailers Response at 1. In particular, they assert that the Postal Service seeks to relitigate the new normal limitation and argue that the scope of the Commission's remand proceedings should be limited to the count once analysis. See id. at 3-8. The Mailers also question the Commission's authority to grant the relief requested by the Postal Service prior to issuance of the court's mandate. Id. at 8-9. Finally, the Mailers claim that uncertainty over whether the Commission can complete its action on remand before the Postal Service reaches the surcharge cap requires the Commission to take steps to prevent an over collection of the surcharge. Id. at 1, 9-10.

    III. Commission Action on Remand

    The Commission agrees with the Postal Service that a prompt response to the court's opinion is necessary. If the Postal Service were to file the 45-day notice of intent to remove the surcharge by mid-June, this notice could trigger a burdensome series of rate decreases and increases as described in the Postal Service's Motion. The Commission agrees that it is desirable to avoid such a circumstance.

    While the Commission agrees that prompt action is necessary, it does not believe that it is necessary for the $2.766 billion surcharge target to be suspended, as requested by the Postal Service, in order to accommodate the remand proceedings and avoid disruptive and burdensome rate changes. At this juncture, the Commission finds a more measured approach is appropriate and suspends the 45-day notice filing requirement. Such a suspension forestalls a series of rate fluctuations and provides the Commission the opportunity to conclude expedited remand proceedings before the $2.766 billion surcharge target is reached.

    The Commission is not persuaded by APWU's assertions that the Commission must suspend the procedures for removal of the exigent rate surcharge in light of the court's directive. The court has not yet issued its mandate. In the absence of further action by the court, the mandate will not, under the court's generally applicable rules, be issued until July 27, 2015. See Fed. R. App. P. 35(c), 40(a)(1) and 41(b). Pending issuance of the mandate, the Commission is not prevented from considering the impact of the court's opinion on collection of the exigent surcharge. As discussed above, the Commission is establishing procedures that will permit it to act once the court's mandate is issued. In the meantime, the Postal Service continues to be authorized to collect the exigent surcharge.

    The Mailers express different concerns. They strongly oppose the Postal Service's interpretation of the court's opinion as a misstatement of the proper scope of the case on remand. Mailers Response at 1, 3-8. They also argue that a temporary extension of the exigent surcharge pending remand can only be given if the Postal Service agrees to conditions that would make mailers whole if the additional surcharge revenue is ultimately found unwarranted. The Mailers' arguments on these issues and any others they wish to present in the proceedings established by this Order will be considered by the Commission when it acts on remand.

    The Mailers also question whether the Commission has jurisdiction to act in this docket until the court's mandate issues. Mailers Response at 8-9. The action taken by the Commission in this Order is not precluded by the fact that the mandate has not yet issued. Even though the court's mandate has not been issued, its decision calls into question the volume of lost mail that should be used to calculate the exigent rate surcharge. The Commission's suspension of this 45-day notice requirement maintains the status quo in order to enable prompt action on remand without making any premature determination as to whether and when rate changes will be required. The 45-day notice requirement can be reinstated at the conclusion of the remand proceedings. The 45-day notice requirement was initially adopted by Order No. 1926, but it was also reexamined and independently confirmed as part of the Postal Service's surcharge removal plan approved by Order No. 2319. Order No. 1926 at 185; Order No. 2319 at 15 (Ordering Paragraph 1). Order No. 2319 was not the subject of the court's review proceeding.

    In order to afford the Postal Service and other interested persons an opportunity to comment on the Postal Service's methodological approach for accounting for volume losses due to the Great Recession in a cumulative manner and any other relevant issues they wish to address, the Commission is inviting initial and reply comments. Initial comments are due no later than June 26, 2015. Reply comments are due no later than July 6, 2015.

    The Commission establishes Docket No. R2013-11R to consider issues on remand. Since Docket Nos. R2013-11 and R2013-11R are part of the same proceeding, the Commission shall consider all documents filed to date in Docket No. R2013-11 as part of the record in Docket No. R2013-11R. All comments and other documents related to issues on remand must be filed under Docket No. R2013-11R.

    IV. Ordering Paragraphs

    It is ordered:

    1. The Commission establishes Docket No. R2013-11R to consider issues on remand.

    2. James Waclawski will continue to serve as officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding.

    3. Initial comments are due no later than June 26, 2015.

    4. Reply comments addressing matters raised in initial comments are due no later than July 6, 2015.

    5. All comments and other documents related to remand issues must be filed under Docket No. R2013-11R.

    6. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Ruth Ann Abrams, Acting Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14965 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-FW-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 31667; 812-14419] New York Alaska ETF Management LLC, et al.; Notice of Application June 12, 2015. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice of an application for an order under section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”) for an exemption from sections 2(a)(32), 5(a)(1), 22(d) and 22(e) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act, under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act for an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and (a)(2) of the Act, and under section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act for an exemption from sections 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act.

    APPLICANTS:

    Plus Trust (“Trust”), New York Alaska ETF Management LLC (“New York Alaska Management”), and Foreside Fund Services, LLC.

    SUMMARY:

    Summary of Application: Applicants request an order that permits: (a) Actively-managed series of certain open-end management investment companies to issue shares (“Shares”) redeemable in large aggregations only (“Creation Units”); (b) secondary market transactions in Shares to occur at negotiated market prices; (c) certain series to pay redemption proceeds, under certain circumstances, more than seven days from the tender of Shares for redemption; (d) certain affiliated persons of the series to deposit securities into, and receive securities from, the series in connection with the purchase and redemption of Creation Units; and (e) certain registered management investment companies and unit investment trusts outside of the same group of investment companies as the series to acquire Shares.

    DATES:

    Filing Dates: The application was filed on January 23, 2015, and amended on April 29, 2015.

    HEARING OR NOTIFICATION OF HEARING:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on July 7, 2015, and should be accompanied by proof of service on applicants, in the form of an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants: Ofer Abarbanel, New York Alaska ETF Management LLC, 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert H. Shapiro, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-7758 or Mary Kay Frech, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Applicants' Representations

    1. The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust and is registered with the Commission as an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a series fund with multiple series, but will initially be comprised of a single series, the 1-3 Month Enhanced Short Duration ETF, (the “Initial Fund”). The Trust will be overseen by a board of trustees (for any entity, “Board”). Subject to market conditions, applicants expect that the investment objective of the Initial Fund will be to seek current income consistent with preservation of capital and daily liquidity.

    2. New York Alaska Management, a Nevada limited liability company registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”), will be the investment adviser to the Initial Fund. The Adviser (as defined below), subject to the oversight and authority of the Board, will develop the overall investment program for each Fund (as defined below). The Adviser may enter into sub-advisory agreements with one or more investment advisers, each of which will act as sub-adviser to a Fund (each a “Sub-Adviser”). Applicants state that each Sub-Adviser will be registered, or not subject to registration, under the Advisers Act.

    3. The Board will select and approve Foreside Fund Services, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, to act as the distributor and principal underwriter of the Funds (the “Initial Distributor”) pursuant to a distribution agreement between the Initial Distributor and the Trust. The Trust may also enter into additional distribution agreements with one or more other broker or dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act” and such persons registered under the Exchange Act, “Brokers”) (each, a “Future Distributor” and, together with the Initial Distributor, each, a “Distributor”). The Distributors will act as distributor and principal underwriter of one or more of the Funds and will distribute Shares on an agency basis. The Distributor of any Fund may be an affiliated person or an affiliated person of an affiliated person of that Fund's Adviser and/or Sub-Advisers. No Distributor, Adviser, Sub-Adviser, Trust, or Fund is, or will be, affiliated with any national securities exchange, as defined in section 2(a)(26) of the Act (“Stock Exchange”).

    4. Applicants request that the order apply not only to the Initial Fund but also to any future series of the Trust as well as other future open-end management companies offering Shares that may utilize active management investment strategies (collectively, “Future Funds”). Any Future Fund will (a) be advised by New York Alaska Management or an entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with New York Alaska Management (New York Alaska Management and each such other entity and any successor thereto included in the term “Adviser”),1 and (b) comply with the terms and conditions of the application.2 The Initial Fund and Future Funds together are the “Funds.” 3 Each Fund will consist of a portfolio of securities (including fixed income securities and/or equity securities) and/or currencies traded in the U.S. and/or non-U.S. markets, and derivatives, other assets, and other investment positions (“Portfolio Instruments”).4 Funds may invest in “Depositary Receipts.” 5 Each Fund will operate as an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”).

    1 For the purposes of the requested order, a “successor” is limited to an entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of business organization.

    2 Any Adviser to a Future Fund will be registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act. All entities that currently intend to rely on the order are named as applicants. Any entity that relies on the order in the future will comply with the terms and conditions of the application.

    3 Applicants further request that the order apply to any Future Distributor of the Funds, which would be a Broker and would comply with the terms and conditions of the application.

    4 If a Fund invests in derivatives, then (a) the Fund's Board will periodically review and approve the Fund's use of derivatives and how the Adviser assesses and manages risk with respect to the Fund's use of derivatives and (b) the Fund's disclosure of its use of derivatives in its offering documents and periodic reports will be consistent with relevant Commission and staff guidance.

    5 Depositary Receipts are typically issued by a financial institution, a “depository,” and evidence ownership in a security or pool of securities that have been deposited with the depository. A Fund will not invest in any Depositary Receipts that the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems to be illiquid or for which pricing information is not readily available. No affiliated persons of applicants, any Future Fund, any Adviser or any Sub-Adviser will serve as the depositary bank for any Depositary Receipts held by a Fund.

    5. Applicants request that any exemption under section 12(d)(1)(J) apply to: (1) With respect to section 12(d)(1)(B), any Fund that is currently or subsequently part of the same “group of investment companies” as the Initial Fund within the meaning of section 12(d)(1)(G)(ii) of the Act as well as any principal underwriter for the Funds and any Brokers selling Shares of a Fund to an Investing Fund (as defined below); and (2) with respect to section 12(d)(1)(A), each management investment company or unit investment trust registered under the Act that is not part of the same “group of investment companies” as the Funds, and that enters into a FOF Participation Agreement (as defined below) to acquire Shares of a Fund (such management investment companies, “Investing Management Companies,” such unit investment trusts, “Investing Trusts,” and Investing Management Companies and Investing Trusts together, “Investing Funds”). Investing Funds do not include the Funds.6

    6 An Investing Fund may rely on the order only to invest in Funds and not in any other registered investment company.

    6. Applicants anticipate that a Creation Unit will consist of a fixed number of Shares (e.g., at least 25,000). Applicants anticipate that the trading price of a Share will range from $10 to $100. All orders to purchase Creation Units must be placed with a Distributor by or through a party that has entered into a participant agreement with the Distributor and the transfer agent of the Fund (“Authorized Participant”) with respect to the creation and redemption of Creation Units. An Authorized Participant is either: (a) A Broker or other participant, in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”), a clearing agency registered with the Commission and affiliated with the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), or (b) a participant in the DTC (“DTC Participant”). An investor does not have to be an Authorized Participant, but must place an order through, and make appropriate arrangements with, an Authorized Participant.

    7. In order to keep costs low and permit each Fund to be as fully invested as possible, Shares will be purchased and redeemed in Creation Units and generally on an in-kind basis. Except where the purchase or redemption will include cash under the limited circumstances specified below, purchasers will be required to purchase Creation Units by making an in-kind deposit of specified instruments (“Deposit Instruments”), and shareholders redeeming their Shares will receive an in-kind transfer of specified instruments (“Redemption Instruments”).7 On any given Business Day,8 the names and quantities of the instruments that constitute the Deposit Instruments and the names and quantities of the instruments that constitute the Redemption Instruments will be identical, and these instruments may be referred to, in the case of either a purchase or redemption, as the “Creation Basket.” In addition, the Creation Basket will correspond pro rata to the positions in a Fund's portfolio (including cash positions),9 except: (a) In the case of bonds, for minor differences when it is impossible to break up bonds beyond certain minimum sizes needed for transfer and settlement; (b) for minor differences when rounding is necessary to eliminate fractional shares or lots that are not tradeable round lots; 10 or (c) TBA Transactions,11 short positions and other positions that cannot be transferred in kind 12 will be excluded from the Creation Basket.13 If there is a difference between NAV attributable to a Creation Unit and the aggregate market value of the Creation Basket exchanged for the Creation Unit, the party conveying instruments with the lower value will also pay to the other an amount in cash equal to that difference (the “Cash Amount”).

    7 The Funds must comply with the federal securities laws in accepting Deposit Instruments and satisfying redemptions with Redemption Instruments, including that the Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments are sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”). In accepting Deposit Instruments and satisfying redemptions with Redemption Instruments that are restricted securities eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act, the Funds will comply with the conditions of Rule 144A.

    8 Each Fund will sell and redeem Creation Units on any day the Fund is open, including as required by section 22(e) of the Act (each, a “Business Day”).

    9 The portfolio used for this purpose will be the same portfolio used to calculate the Fund's net asset value (“NAV”) for that Business Day.

    10 A tradeable round lot for a security will be the standard unit of trading in that particular type of security in its primary market.

    11 A TBA Transaction is a method of trading mortgage-backed securities. In a TBA Transaction, the buyer and seller agree on general trade parameters such as agency, settlement date, par amount and price.

    12 This includes instruments that can be transferred in kind only with the consent of the original counterparty to the extent the Fund does not intend to seek such consents.

    13 Because these instruments will be excluded from the Creation Basket, their value will be reflected in the determination of the Cash Amount (defined below).

    8. Purchases and redemptions of Creation Units may be made in whole or in part on a cash basis, rather than in kind, solely under the following circumstances: (a) To the extent there is a Cash Amount, as described above; (b) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund announces before the open of trading that all purchases, all redemptions or all purchases and redemptions on that day will be made entirely in cash; (c) if, upon receiving a purchase or redemption order from an Authorized Participant, the Fund determines to require the purchase or redemption, as applicable, to be made entirely in cash; (d) if, on a given Business Day, the Fund requires all Authorized Participants purchasing or redeeming Shares on that day to deposit or receive (as applicable) cash in lieu of some or all of the Deposit Instruments or Redemption Instruments, respectively, solely because: (i) Such instruments are not eligible for transfer through either the NSCC or DTC; or (ii) in the case of Funds holding non-U.S. investments (“Global Funds”), such instruments are not eligible for trading due to local trading restrictions, local restrictions on securities transfers or other similar circumstances; or (e) if the Fund permits an Authorized Participant to deposit or receive (as applicable) cash in lieu of some or all of the Deposit Instruments or Redemption Instruments, respectively, solely because: (i) Such instruments are, in the case of the purchase of a Creation Unit, not available in sufficient quantity; (ii) such instruments are not eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor on whose behalf the Authorized Participant is acting; or (iii) a holder of Shares of a Global Fund would be subject to unfavorable income tax treatment if the holder receives redemption proceeds in kind.14

    14 A “custom order” is any purchase or redemption of Shares made in whole or in part on a cash basis in reliance on clause (e)(i) or (e)(ii).

    9. Each Business Day, before the open of trading on a Stock Exchange on which a Fund's Shares are listed, such Fund will cause to be published through the NSCC the names and quantities of the instruments comprising the Creation Basket, as well as the estimated Cash Amount (if any), for that day. The published Creation Basket will apply until a new Creation Basket is announced on the following Business Day, and there will be no intra-day changes to the Creation Basket except to correct errors in the published Creation Basket. The Stock Exchange will disseminate every 15 seconds throughout the trading day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association an amount representing, on a per Share basis, the sum of the current value of the Portfolio Instruments that were publicly disclosed prior to the commencement of trading in Shares on the Stock Exchange.

    10. A Fund may recoup the settlement costs charged by NSCC and DTC by imposing a transaction fee on investors purchasing or redeeming Creation Units (“Transaction Fee”). The Transaction Fee will be borne only by purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units and will be limited to amounts that have been determined appropriate by the Adviser to defray the transaction expenses that will be incurred by a Fund when an investor purchases or redeems Creation Units.15

    15 In all cases, the Transaction Fee will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the Commission applicable to open-end management investment companies offering redeemable securities.

    11. All orders to purchase Creation Units will be placed with a Distributor by or through an Authorized Participant and the Distributor will transmit all purchase orders to the relevant Fund. The Distributor will be responsible for delivering a prospectus (“Prospectus”) to those persons purchasing Creation Units and for maintaining records of both the orders placed with it and the confirmations of acceptance furnished by it.

    12. Shares will be listed on a Stock Exchange and traded in the secondary market in the same manner as other equity securities and ETFs. Applicants expect that the Stock Exchange where each Fund is listed will select, designate or appoint one or more specialists or market makers (collectively, “Market Makers”) for the Shares of each Fund.16 The price of Shares trading on the Stock Exchange will be based on a current bid/offer in the secondary market. Transactions involving the purchases and sales of Shares on the Stock Exchange will be subject to customary brokerage commissions and charges.

    16 If Shares are listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) or a similar electronic Stock Exchange (including NYSE Arca), one or more member firms of that Stock Exchange will act as Market Makers and maintain a market for Shares trading on that Stock Exchange. On Nasdaq, no particular Market Maker would be contractually obligated to make a market in Shares. However, the listing requirements on Nasdaq, for example, stipulate that at least two Market Makers must be registered in Shares to maintain a listing. In addition, on Nasdaq and NYSE Arca, registered Market Makers are required to make a continuous two-sided market or subject themselves to regulatory sanctions. No Market Maker will be an affiliated person or an affiliated person of an affiliated person, of the Funds, except within the meaning of section 2(a)(3)(A) or (C) of the Act due solely to ownership of Shares, as discussed below.

    13. Applicants expect that purchasers of Creation Units will include institutional investors and arbitrageurs. Market Makers, acting in their unique role to provide a fair and orderly secondary market for Shares, also may purchase Creation Units for use in their own market making activities. Applicants expect that secondary market purchasers of Shares will include both institutional and retail investors.17 Applicants expect that arbitrage opportunities created by the ability to continually purchase or redeem Creation Units at NAV should ensure that the Shares will not trade at a material discount or premium in relation to their NAV.

    17 Shares will be registered in book-entry form only and the Funds will not issue Share certificates. DTC or its nominee will be the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or DTC Participants.

    14. Shares will not be individually redeemable and owners of Shares may acquire those Shares from a Fund, or tender such shares for redemption to the Fund, in Creation Units only. To redeem, an investor must accumulate enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit. Redemption requests must be placed by or through an Authorized Participant.

    15. Neither the Trust nor any Fund will be marketed or otherwise held out as a “mutual fund.” Instead, each Fund will be marketed as an “actively managed exchange-traded fund.” No Fund marketing materials (other than as required in the Prospectus) will reference an “open-end fund” or “mutual fund,” except to compare and contrast a Fund with conventional mutual funds. In all marketing materials where the features or method of obtaining, buying or selling Shares traded on the Stock Exchange are described, there will be an appropriate statement to the effect that Shares are not individually redeemable.

    16. The Funds' Web site, which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a Prospectus for each Fund that may be downloaded and additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, on a per Share basis for each Fund, the prior Business Day's NAV and the market closing price or mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of the calculation of such NAV (“Bid/Ask Price”),18 and a calculation of the premium or discount of the market closing price or Bid/Ask Price against such NAV. On each Business Day, before commencement of trading in Shares on the Stock Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the Portfolio Instruments held by the Fund (including any short positions held in securities) that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the Business Day.19 The Web site and information will be publicly available at no charge.

    18 Applicants state that the Bid/Ask Price of a Fund will be determined using the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Stock Exchange as of the time of calculation of such Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Funds or their service providers.

    19 Applicants note that under accounting procedures followed by the Funds, trades made on the prior Business Day will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current Business Day. Accordingly, each Fund will be able to disclose at the beginning of the Business Day the portfolio that will form the basis for its NAV calculation at the end of such Business Day.

    Applicants' Legal Analysis

    1. Applicants request an order under section 6(c) of the Act for an exemption from sections 2(a)(32), 5(a)(1), 22(d) and 22(e) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act, under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act for an exemption from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act, and under section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act for an exemption from sections 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) of the Act.

    2. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security or transaction, or any class of persons, securities or transactions, from any provisions of the Act, if and to the extent that such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Section 17(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to exempt a proposed transaction from section 17(a) of the Act if evidence establishes that the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid or received, are reasonable and fair and do not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned, and the proposed transaction is consistent with the policies of the registered investment company and the general provisions of the Act. Section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt any person, security, or transaction, or any class or classes of persons, securities or transactions, from any provision of section 12(d)(1) if the exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors.

    Sections 2(a)(32) and 5(a)(1) of the Act

    3. Section 5(a)(1) of the Act defines an “open-end company” as a management investment company that is offering for sale or has outstanding any redeemable security of which it is the issuer. Section 2(a)(32) of the Act defines a redeemable security as any security, other than short-term paper, under the terms of which the holder, upon its presentation to the issuer, is entitled to receive approximately a proportionate share of the issuer's current net assets, or the cash equivalent. Because Shares will not be individually redeemable, applicants request an order that would permit the Trust to register as an open-end management investment company and redeem Shares in Creation Units only. Applicants state that investors may purchase Shares in Creation Units from each Fund and redeem Creation Units from each Fund. Applicants further state that because the market price of Creation Units will be disciplined by arbitrage opportunities, investors should be able to sell Shares in the secondary market at prices that do not vary materially from their NAV.

    Section 22(d) of the Act and Rule 22c-1 Under the Act

    4. Section 22(d) of the Act, among other things, prohibits a dealer from selling a redeemable security that is currently being offered to the public by or through a principal underwriter, except at a current public offering price described in the prospectus. Rule 22c-1 under the Act generally requires that a dealer selling, redeeming, or repurchasing a redeemable security do so only at a price based on the NAV next computed after receipt of a tender of such security for redemption or of an order to purchase or sell such security. Applicants state that secondary market trading in Shares will take place at negotiated prices, not at a current offering price described in the Prospectus, and not at a price based on NAV. Thus, purchases and sales of Shares in the secondary market will not comply with section 22(d) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act. Applicants request an exemption under section 6(c) from these provisions to permit the Shares to trade at negotiated prices.

    5. Applicants assert that the concerns sought to be addressed by section 22(d) of the Act and rule 22c-1 under the Act with respect to pricing are equally satisfied by the proposed method of pricing Shares. Applicants maintain that while there is little legislative history regarding section 22(d), its provisions, as well as those of rule 22c-1, appear to have been designed to (a) prevent dilution caused by certain riskless-trading schemes by principal underwriters and contract dealers, (b) prevent unjust discrimination or preferential treatment among buyers resulting from sales at different prices, and (c) assure an orderly distribution system of investment company shares by eliminating price competition from brokers offering shares at less than the published sales price and repurchasing shares at more than the published redemption price.

    6. Applicants believe that none of these purposes will be thwarted by permitting Shares to trade in the secondary market at negotiated prices. Applicants state that (a) secondary market trading in Shares does not involve the Funds as parties and cannot result in dilution of an investment in Shares, and (b) to the extent different prices exist during a given trading day, or from day to day, such variances occur as a result of third-party market forces, such as supply and demand, not as a result of unjust or discriminatory manipulation. Therefore, applicants assert that secondary market transactions in Shares will not lead to discrimination or preferential treatment among purchasers. Finally, applicants contend that the proposed distribution system will be orderly because arbitrage activity should ensure that the difference between the market price of Shares and their NAV remains narrow.

    Section 22(e) of the Act

    7. Section 22(e) of the Act generally prohibits a registered investment company from suspending the right of redemption or postponing the date of payment of redemption proceeds for more than seven days after the tender of a security for redemption. Applicants observe that settlement of redemptions of Creation Units of Global Funds is contingent not only on the settlement cycle of the U.S. securities markets but also on the delivery cycles present in foreign markets in which those Funds invest. Applicants have been advised that, under certain circumstances, the delivery cycles for transferring Portfolio Instruments to redeeming investors, coupled with local market holiday schedules, will require a delivery process of up to 14 calendar days. Applicants therefore request relief from section 22(e) in order to provide payment or satisfaction of redemptions within the maximum number of calendar days required for such payment or satisfaction in the principal local markets where transactions in the Portfolio Instruments of each Global Fund customarily clear and settle, but in all cases no later than 14 calendar days following the tender of a Creation Unit.20

    20 Applicants acknowledge that no relief obtained from the requirements of section 22(e) will affect any obligations that it may otherwise have under rule 15c6-1 under the Exchange Act. Rule 15c6-1 requires that most securities transactions be settled within three business days of the trade date.

    8. Applicants submit that section 22(e) was designed to prevent unreasonable, undisclosed and unforeseen delays in the actual payment of redemption proceeds. Applicants state that allowing redemption payments for Creation Units of a Fund to be made within a maximum of 14 calendar days would not be inconsistent with the spirit and intent of section 22(e). Applicants state each Global Fund's statement of additional information (“SAI”) will disclose those local holidays (over the period of at least one year following the date of the SAI), if any, that are expected to prevent the delivery of redemption proceeds in seven calendar days and the maximum number of days needed to deliver the proceeds for each affected Global Fund. Applicants are not seeking relief from section 22(e) with respect to Global Funds that do not affect redemptions in-kind.

    Section 12(d)(1) of the Act

    9. Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act prohibits a registered investment company from acquiring shares of an investment company if such securities represent more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company, more than 5% of the total assets of the acquiring company, or, together with the securities of any other investment companies, more than 10% of the total assets of the acquiring company. Section 12(d)(1)(B) of the Act prohibits a registered open-end investment company, its principal underwriter, or any other broker or dealer from selling its shares to another investment company if the sale will cause the acquiring company to own more than 3% of the acquired company's voting stock, or if the sale will cause more than 10% of the acquired company's voting stock to be owned by investment companies generally.

    10. Applicants request relief to permit Investing Funds to acquire Shares in excess of the limits in section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act and to permit the Funds, their principal underwriters and any Brokers to sell Shares to Investing Funds in excess of the limits in section 12(d)(l)(B) of the Act. Applicants submit that the proposed conditions to the requested relief address the concerns underlying the limits in section 12(d)(1), which include concerns about undue influence, excessive layering of fees and overly complex structures.

    11. Applicants submit that their proposed conditions address any concerns regarding the potential for undue influence. To limit the control that an Investing Fund may have over a Fund, applicants propose a condition prohibiting the adviser of an Investing Management Company (“Investing Fund Adviser”), sponsor of an Investing Trust (“Sponsor”), any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Investing Fund Adviser or Sponsor, and any investment company or issuer that would be an investment company but for sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act that is advised or sponsored by the Investing Fund Adviser, the Sponsor, or any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Investing Fund Adviser or Sponsor (“Investing Fund's Advisory Group”) from controlling (individually or in the aggregate) a Fund within the meaning of section 2(a)(9) of the Act. The same prohibition would apply to any sub-adviser to an Investing Management Company (“Investing Fund Sub-Adviser”), any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, and any investment company or issuer that would be an investment company but for sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act (or portion of such investment company or issuer) advised or sponsored by the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser or any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser (“Investing Fund's Sub-Advisory Group”).

    12. Applicants propose a condition to ensure that no Investing Fund or Investing Fund Affiliate 21 (except to the extent it is acting in its capacity as an investment adviser to a Fund) will cause a Fund to purchase a security in an offering of securities during the existence of an underwriting or selling syndicate of which a principal underwriter is an Underwriting Affiliate (“Affiliated Underwriting”). An “Underwriting Affiliate” is a principal underwriter in any underwriting or selling syndicate that is an officer, director, member of an advisory board, Investing Fund Adviser, Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, employee or Sponsor of the Investing Fund, or a person of which any such officer, director, member of an advisory board, Investing Fund Adviser, Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, employee or Sponsor is an affiliated person (except any person whose relationship to the Fund is covered by section 10(f) of the Act is not an Underwriting Affiliate).

    21 An “Investing Fund Affiliate” is any Investing Fund Adviser, Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, Sponsor, promoter and principal underwriter of an Investing Fund, and any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with any of these entities. “Fund Affiliate” is an investment adviser, promoter, or principal underwriter of a Fund or any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with any of these entities.

    13. Applicants propose several conditions to address the potential for layering of fees. Applicants note that the Board of any Investing Management Company, including a majority of the directors or trustees who are not “interested persons” within the meaning of section 2(a)(19) of the Act (“independent directors or trustees”), will be required to find that the advisory fees charged under the contract are based on services provided that will be in addition to, rather than duplicative of, services provided under the advisory contract of any Fund in which the Investing Management Company may invest. Applicants also state that any sales charges and/or service fees charged with respect to shares of an Investing Fund will not exceed the limits applicable to a fund of funds as set forth in NASD Conduct Rule 2830.22

    22 Any reference to NASD Conduct Rule 2830 includes any successor or replacement rule that may be adopted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

    14. Applicants submit that the proposed arrangement will not create an overly complex fund structure. Applicants note that a Fund will be prohibited from acquiring securities of any investment company or company relying on section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act in excess of the limits contained in section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act, except to the extent permitted by exemptive relief from the Commission permitting the Fund to purchase shares of other investment companies for short-term cash management purposes.

    15. To ensure that an Investing Fund is aware of the terms and conditions of the requested order, the Investing Funds must enter into an agreement with the respective Funds (“FOF Participation Agreement”). The FOF Participation Agreement will include an acknowledgement from the Investing Fund that it may rely on the order only to invest in a Fund and not in any other investment company.

    Sections 17(a)(1) and (2) of the Act

    16. Section 17(a) of the Act generally prohibits an affiliated person of a registered investment company, or an affiliated person of such a person (“second tier affiliate”), from selling any security to or purchasing any security from the company. Section 2(a)(3) of the Act defines “affiliated person” to include any person directly or indirectly owning, controlling, or holding with power to vote, 5% or more of the outstanding voting securities of the other person and any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with, the other person. Section 2(a)(9) of the Act defines “control” as the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a company and provides that a control relationship will be presumed where one person owns more than 25% of another person's voting securities. Each Fund may be deemed to be controlled by an Adviser and hence affiliated persons of each other. In addition, the Funds may be deemed to be under common control with any other registered investment company (or series thereof) advised by an Adviser (an “Affiliated Fund”).

    17. Applicants request an exemption under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act from sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(2) of the Act to permit in-kind purchases and redemptions of Creation Units by persons that are affiliated persons or second tier affiliates of the Funds solely by virtue of one or more of the following: (a) Holding 5% or more, or in excess of 25% of the outstanding Shares of one or more Funds; (b) having an affiliation with a person with an ownership interest described in (a); or (c) holding 5% or more, or more than 25% of the Shares of one or more Affiliated Funds.23 Applicants also request an exemption in order to permit a Fund to sell its Shares to and redeem its Shares from, and engage in the in-kind transactions that would accompany such sales and redemptions with, certain Investing Funds of which the Funds are affiliated persons or second-tier affiliates.24

    23 Applicants are not seeking relief from section 17(a) for, and the requested relief will not apply to, transactions where a Fund could be deemed an affiliated person, or an affiliated person of an affiliated person, of an Investing Fund because an investment adviser to the Funds is also an investment adviser to an Investing Fund.

    24 Applicants expect most Investing Funds will purchase Shares in the secondary market and will not purchase Creation Units directly from a Fund. To the extent that purchases and sales of Shares occur in the secondary market and not through principal transactions directly between an Investing Fund and a Fund, relief from section 17(a) would not be necessary. However, the requested relief would apply to direct sales of Shares in Creation Units by a Fund to an Investing Fund and redemptions of those Shares. The requested relief is intended to also cover the in-kind transactions that may accompany such sales and redemptions.

    18. Applicants assert that no useful purpose would be served by prohibiting such affiliated persons from making in-kind purchases or in-kind redemptions of Shares of a Fund in Creation Units. Absent the unusual circumstances discussed in the application, the Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments available for a Fund will be the same for all purchases and redemptions, respectively, and will correspond pro rata to the Fund's Portfolio Instruments. The deposit procedures for in-kind purchases of Creation Units and the redemption procedures for in-kind redemptions will be effected in exactly the same manner for all purchases and redemptions, regardless of size or number. Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments will be valued in the same manner as those Portfolio Instruments currently held by the relevant Funds, and the valuation of the Deposit Instruments and Redemption Instruments will be made in the same manner and on the same terms, regardless of the identity of the purchaser or redeemer. Applicants do not believe that in-kind purchases and redemptions will result in abusive self-dealing or overreaching of the Fund.

    19. Applicants also submit that the sale of Shares to and redemption of Shares from an Investing Fund meets the standards for relief under sections 17(b) and 6(c) of the Act. Applicants note that any consideration paid for the purchase or redemption of Shares directly from a Fund will be based on the NAV of the Fund in accordance with policies and procedures set forth in the Fund's registration statement.25 The FOF Participation Agreement will require any Investing Fund that purchases Creation Units directly from a Fund to represent that the purchase of Creation Units from a Fund by an Investing Fund will be accomplished in compliance with the investment restrictions of the Investing Fund and will be consistent with the investment policies set forth in the Investing Fund's registration statement. Applicants also state that the proposed transactions are consistent with the general purposes of the Act and appropriate in the public interest.

    25 Applicants acknowledge that the receipt of compensation by (a) an affiliated person of an Investing Fund, or an affiliated person of such person, for the purchase by the Investing Fund of Shares of the Fund or (b) an affiliated person of a Fund, or an affiliated person of such person, for the sale by the Fund of its Shares to an Investing Fund, may be prohibited by section 17(e)(1) of the Act. The FOF Participation Agreement also will include this acknowledgment.

    Applicants' Conditions

    Applicants agree that any order of the Commission granting the requested relief will be subject to the following conditions:

    A. ETF Relief

    1. As long as a Fund operates in reliance on the requested order, the Shares of the Fund will be listed on a Stock Exchange.

    2. Neither the Trust nor any Fund will be advertised or marketed as an open-end investment company or a mutual fund. Any advertising material that describes the purchase or sale of Creation Units or refers to redeemability will prominently disclose that the Shares are not individually redeemable and that owners of the Shares may acquire those Shares from the Fund and tender those Shares for redemption to the Fund in Creation Units only.

    3. The Web site for the Funds, which is and will be publicly accessible at no charge, will contain, on a per Share basis, for each Fund the prior Business Day's NAV and the market closing price or Bid/Ask Price, and a calculation of the premium or discount of the market closing price or Bid/Ask Price against such NAV.

    4. On each Business Day, before commencement of trading in Shares on the Stock Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the Portfolio Instruments held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the Business Day.

    5. Neither the Adviser nor any Sub-Adviser, directly or indirectly, will cause any Authorized Participant (or any investor on whose behalf an Authorized Participant may transact with the Fund) to acquire any Deposit Instrument for the Fund through a transaction in which the Fund could not engage directly.

    6. The requested relief to permit ETF operations will expire on the effective date of any Commission rule under the Act that provides relief permitting the operation of actively-managed exchange-traded funds.

    B. Section 12(d)(1) Relief

    1. The members of the Investing Fund's Advisory Group will not control (individually or in the aggregate) a Fund within the meaning of section 2(a)(9) of the Act. The members of the Investing Fund's Sub-Advisory Group will not control (individually or in the aggregate) a Fund within the meaning of section 2(a)(9) of the Act. If, as a result of a decrease in the outstanding voting securities of a Fund, the Investing Fund's Advisory Group or the Investing Fund's Sub-Advisory Group, each in the aggregate, becomes a holder of more than 25 percent of the outstanding voting securities of a Fund, it will vote its Shares of the Fund in the same proportion as the vote of all other holders of the Fund's Shares. This condition does not apply to the Investing Fund's Sub-Advisory Group with respect to a Fund for which the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser or a person controlling, controlled by or under common control with the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser acts as the investment adviser within the meaning of section 2(a)(20)(A) of the Act.

    2. No Investing Fund or Investing Fund Affiliate will cause any existing or potential investment by the Investing Fund in a Fund to influence the terms of any services or transactions between the Investing Fund or an Investing Fund Affiliate and the Fund or a Fund Affiliate.

    3. The board of directors or trustees of an Investing Management Company, including a majority of the independent directors or trustees, will adopt procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the Investing Fund Adviser and any Investing Fund Sub-Adviser are conducting the investment program of the Investing Management Company without taking into account any consideration received by the Investing Management Company or an Investing Fund Affiliate from a Fund or a Fund Affiliate in connection with any services or transactions.

    4. Once an investment by an Investing Fund in the Shares of a Fund exceeds the limit in section 12(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, the Board of a Fund, including a majority of the independent directors or trustees, will determine that any consideration paid by the Fund to the Investing Fund or an Investing Fund Affiliate in connection with any services or transactions: (i) Is fair and reasonable in relation to the nature and quality of the services and benefits received by the Fund; (ii) is within the range of consideration that the Fund would be required to pay to another unaffiliated entity in connection with the same services or transactions; and (iii) does not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned. This condition does not apply with respect to any services or transactions between a Fund and its investment adviser(s), or any person controlling, controlled by or under common control with such investment adviser(s).

    5. The Investing Fund Adviser, or Trustee or Sponsor, as applicable, will waive fees otherwise payable to it by the Investing Fund in an amount at least equal to any compensation (including fees received pursuant to any plan adopted by a Fund under rule 12b-1 under the Act) received from a Fund by the Investing Fund Adviser, or Trustee or Sponsor, or an affiliated person of the Investing Fund Adviser, or Trustee or Sponsor, other than any advisory fees paid to the Investing Fund Adviser, or Trustee or Sponsor, or its affiliated person by the Fund, in connection with the investment by the Investing Fund in the Fund. Any Investing Fund Sub-Adviser will waive fees otherwise payable to the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, directly or indirectly, by the Investing Management Company in an amount at least equal to any compensation received from a Fund by the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, or an affiliated person of the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser, other than any advisory fees paid to the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser or its affiliated person by the Fund, in connection with the investment by the Investing Management Company in the Fund made at the direction of the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser. In the event that the Investing Fund Sub-Adviser waives fees, the benefit of the waiver will be passed through to the Investing Management Company.

    6. No Investing Fund or Investing Fund Affiliate (except to the extent it is acting in its capacity as an investment adviser to a Fund) will cause a Fund to purchase a security in an Affiliated Underwriting.

    7. The Board of a Fund, including a majority of the independent directors or trustees, will adopt procedures reasonably designed to monitor any purchases of securities by the Fund in an Affiliated Underwriting, once an investment by an Investing Fund in the securities of the Fund exceeds the limit of section 12(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, including any purchases made directly from an Underwriting Affiliate. The Board will review these purchases periodically, but no less frequently than annually, to determine whether the purchases were influenced by the investment by the Investing Fund in the Fund. The Board will consider, among other things: (i) Whether the purchases were consistent with the investment objectives and policies of the Fund; (ii) how the performance of securities purchased in an Affiliated Underwriting compares to the performance of comparable securities purchased during a comparable period of time in underwritings other than Affiliated Underwritings or to a benchmark such as a comparable market index; and (iii) whether the amount of securities purchased by the Fund in Affiliated Underwritings and the amount purchased directly from an Underwriting Affiliate have changed significantly from prior years. The Board will take any appropriate actions based on its review, including, if appropriate, the institution of procedures designed to assure that purchases of securities in Affiliated Underwritings are in the best interest of shareholders of the Fund.

    8. Each Fund will maintain and preserve permanently in an easily accessible place a written copy of the procedures described in the preceding condition, and any modifications to such procedures, and will maintain and preserve for a period of not less than six years from the end of the fiscal year in which any purchase in an Affiliated Underwriting occurred, the first two years in an easily accessible place, a written record of each purchase of securities in Affiliated Underwritings once an investment by an Investing Fund in the securities of the Fund exceeds the limit of section 12(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, setting forth from whom the securities were acquired, the identity of the underwriting syndicate's members, the terms of the purchase, and the information or materials upon which the Board's determinations were made.

    9. Before investing in a Fund in excess of the limits in section 12(d)(1)(A)(i), an Investing Fund will execute a FOF Participation Agreement with the Fund stating that their respective boards of directors or trustees and their investment advisers, or Trustee and Sponsor, as applicable, understand the terms and conditions of the order, and agree to fulfill their responsibilities under the order. At the time of its investment in Shares of a Fund in excess of the limit in section 12(d)(1)(A)(i), an Investing Fund will notify the Fund of the investment. At such time, the Investing Fund will also transmit to the Fund a list of the names of each Investing Fund Affiliate and Underwriting Affiliate. The Investing Fund will notify the Fund of any changes to the list as soon as reasonably practicable after a change occurs. The Fund and the Investing Fund will maintain and preserve a copy of the order, the FOF Participation Agreement, and the list with any updated information for the duration of the investment and for a period of not less than six years thereafter, the first two years in an easily accessible place.

    10. Before approving any advisory contract under section 15 of the Act, the board of directors or trustees of each Investing Management Company, including a majority of the independent directors or trustees, will find that the advisory fees charged under such contract are based on services provided that will be in addition to, rather than duplicative of, the services provided under the advisory contract(s) of any Fund in which the Investing Management Company may invest. These findings and their basis will be recorded fully in the minute books of the appropriate Investing Management Company.

    11. Any sales charges and/or service fees charged with respect to shares of an Investing Fund will not exceed the limits applicable to a fund of funds as set forth in NASD Conduct Rule 2830.

    12. No Fund relying on the section 12(d)(1) relief will acquire securities of any investment company or company relying on section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act in excess of the limits contained in section 12(d)(1)(A) of the Act, except to the extent permitted by exemptive relief from the Commission permitting the Fund to purchase shares of other investment companies for short-term cash management purposes.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14969 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75166; File No. SR-BATS-2015-43] Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 19.3(i) June 12, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on June 5, 2015, BATS Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “BATS”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated this proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,4 which renders it effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to allow the listing of options overlying portfolio depositary receipts and index fund shares (collectively, “ETFs”) that are listed pursuant to generic listing standards on equities exchanges for series of ETFs based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement is not required.

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange is proposing to amend Rule 19.3(i) to allow the Exchange's options platform (“BATS Options”) to list options overlying ETFs that are listed pursuant to generic listing standards on equities exchanges for series of ETFs based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement (“CSSA”) is not required.5 This proposal will enable the Exchange to list and trade options on ETFs without a CSSA provided that the ETF is listed on an equities exchange pursuant to the generic listing standards that do not require a CSSA pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) of the Exchange Act.6 Rule 19b-4(e) provides that the listing and trading of a new derivative securities product by a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) shall not be deemed a proposed rule change, pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of Rule 19b-4, if the Commission has approved, pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act, the SRO's trading rules, procedures, and listing standards for the product class that would include the new derivatives securities product and the SRO has a surveillance program for the product class.7 In other words, the proposal will amend the listing standards to allow the Exchange to list and trade options on ETFs based on international or global indexes to a similar degree that they are allowed to be listed on several equities exchanges.8

    5See, e.g., BATS Rule 14.11(b)(3)(A)(ii); NYSE MKT Rule 1000 Commentary .03(a)(B); NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) Commentary .01 (a)(B); and NASDAQ Rule 5705(a)(3)(A)(ii).

    6 17 CFR 240.19b-4(e).

    7 When relying on Rule 19b-4(e), the SRO must submit Form 19b-4(e) to the Commission within five business days after the SRO begins trading the new derivative securities products. See Exchange Act Release No. 40761 (December 8, 1998), 63 FR 70952 (December 22, 1998).

    8See BATS Rules 14.11(b)(3)(A)(ii); NYSE MKT Rule 1000 Commentary .03(a)(B); NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3) Commentary .01 (a)(B); and NASDAQ Rule 5705(a)(3)(A)(ii). See also Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 54739 (November 9, 2006), 71 FR 66993 (SR-Amex-2006-78); 55269 (February 9, 2007), 72 FR 7490 (February 15, 2007) (SR-NASDAQ-2006-050); 55621 (April 12, 2007), 72 FR 19571 (April 18, 2007) (SR-NYSEArca-2006-86)

    Currently, BATS Options allows for the listing and trading of options on Fund Shares. Rule 19.3(i)(1)-(3) provide the listings standards for options on Fund Shares with non-U.S. component stocks, such as Fund Shares based on international or global indexes. Rule 19.3(i)(1) requires that any non-U.S. component stocks of an index or portfolio of stocks on which the Fund Shares are based that are not subject to a CSSA do not in the aggregate represent more than 50% of the weight of the index or portfolio. Rule 19.3(i)(2) requires stocks for which the primary market is in any one country that is not subject to a CSSA do not represent 20% or more of the weight of the index. Rule 19.3(i)(3) requires that stocks for which the primary market is in any two countries that are not subject to a CSSA do not represent 33% or more of the weight of the index.

    The Exchange notes that the Commission has previously approved generic listing standards pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) of the Exchange Act for ETFs based on indexes that consist of stocks listed on U.S. exchanges.9 In general, the criteria for the underlying component stocks in the international and global indexes are similar to those for the domestic indexes, but with modifications as appropriate for the issues and risks associated with non-U.S. stocks. In addition, the Commission has previously approved the listing and trading of ETFs based on international indexes—those based on non-U.S. component stocks—as well as global indexes—those based on non-U.S. and U.S. component stocks.10

    9See Commentary .03 to Amex Rule 1000 and Commentary .02 to Amex Rule 1000A. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42787 (May 15, 2000), 65 FR 33598 (May 24, 2000).

    10See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 50189 (August 12, 2004), 69 FR 51723 (August 20, 2004) (approving the listing and trading of certain Vanguard International Equity Index Funds); 44700 (August 14, 2001), 66 FR 43927 (August 21, 2001) (approving the listing and trading of series of the iShares Trust based on certain S&P global indexes).

    In approving ETFs for equities exchange trading, the Commission thoroughly considered the structure of the ETFs, their usefulness to investors and to the markets, and SRO rules that govern their trading. The Exchange believes that allowing the listing of options overlying ETFs that are listed pursuant to the generic listing standards on equities exchanges for ETFs based on international and global indexes and applying Rule 19b-4(e) should fulfill the intended objective of that Rule by allowing options on those ETFs that have satisfied the generic listing standards to commence trading, without the need for the public comment period and Commission approval. The proposed rule has the potential to reduce the time frame for bringing options on ETFs to market, thereby reducing the burdens on issuers and other market participants. The failure of a particular ETF to comply with the generic listing standards under Rule 19b-4(e) would not, however, preclude the Exchange from submitting a separate filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(2),11 requesting Commission approval to list and trade options on a particular ETF.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    Options on ETFs listed pursuant to these generic standards for international and global indexes would be traded, in all other respects, under the Exchange's existing trading rules and procedures that apply to options on ETFs and would be covered under the Exchange's surveillance program for options on ETFs.

    Pursuant to the proposed rule, the Exchange may list and trade options on an ETF without a CSSA provided that the ETF is listed pursuant to generic listing standards for series of ETFs based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance agreement is not required. The Exchange believes that these generic listing standards are intended to ensure that stocks with substantial market capitalization and trading volume account for a substantial portion of the weight of an index or portfolio.

    The Exchange believes that this proposed listing standard for options on ETFs is reasonable for international and global indexes, and, when applied in conjunction with the other listing requirements,12 will result in options overlying ETFs that are sufficiently broad-based in scope and not readily susceptible to manipulation. The Exchange also believes that allowing the Exchange to list options overlying ETFs that are listed on equities exchanges pursuant to generic standards for series of portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares 13 based on international or global indexes under which a CSSA is not required, will result in options overlying ETFs that are adequately diversified in weighting for any single security or small group of securities to significantly reduce concerns that trading in options overlying ETFs based on international or global indexes could become a surrogate for trading in unregistered securities.

    12 All of the other listing criteria under the Exchange's rules will continue to apply to any options listed pursuant to the proposed rule change.

    13 The Exchange notes that the proposed rule text differs slightly from that of other exchanges in order to make clear that the rule applies to ETFs that have been listed on equities exchanges pursuant to generic listing standards for series of “portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares” rather than “portfolio depositary receipts and index fund shares.” Such difference does not represent a substantive difference from the rules of other Exchanges. See infra note 16.

    The Exchange believes that ETFs based on international and global indexes that have been listed pursuant to the generic standards are sufficiently broad-based enough as to make options overlying such ETFs not susceptible instruments for manipulation. The Exchange believes that the threat of manipulation is sufficiently mitigated for underlying ETFs that have been listed on equities exchanges pursuant to generic listing standards for series of portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance agreement is not required and for the overlying options, that the Exchange does not see the need for CSSA to be in place before listing and trading options on such ETFs. The Exchange notes that its proposal does not replace the need for a CSSA as provided in the current rule. The provisions of the current rule, including the need for a CSSA, remain materially unchanged in the proposed rule and will continue to apply to options on ETFs that are not listed on an equities exchange pursuant to generic listing standards for series of portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance agreement is not required. Instead, the proposed rule adds an additional listing mechanism for certain qualifying options on ETFs to be listed on the Exchange.

    Finally, the Exchange is also proposing to make several non-substantive changes to the rule text in order to make it easier to read and understand. Specifically, the Exchange is proposing to move paragraph (4) to become paragraph (1), to renumber each of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) to (B), (C), (D), (E), and (F), respectively, and to make clear that each of the proposed newly numbered paragraphs (B), (C), (D), (E), and (F) apply to the series of Fund Shares that do not meet the criteria proposed in proposed new paragraph (A).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to a national securities exchange, and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.14 In particular, the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 15 because it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to, and perfect the mechanism of, a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. In particular, the proposed rules have the potential to reduce the time frame for bringing options on ETFs to market, thereby reducing the burdens on issuers and other market participants. The Exchange also believes that enabling the listing and trading of options on ETFs pursuant to this new listing standard will benefit investors by providing them with valuable risk management tools. The Exchange notes that its proposal does not replace the need for a CSSA as provided in the current rule. The provisions of the current rule, including the need for a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement, remain materially unchanged in the proposed rule and will continue to apply to options on ETFs that are not listed on an equities exchange pursuant to generic listing standards for series of portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance agreement is not required. Instead, the proposed rule adds an additional listing mechanism for certain qualifying options on ETFs to be listed on the Exchange in a manner that is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    14 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    15 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The Exchange also believes that the proposed non-substantive organizational changes are reasonable, fair, and equitable because they are designed to make the rule easier to comprehend. As noted above, the proposed non-substantive changes do not change the need for a CSSA as provided in the current rule. The provisions of the current rule, including the need for a CSSA, remain materially unchanged in the proposed rule and will continue to apply to options on ETFs that are not listed on an equities exchange pursuant to generic listing standards for series of portfolio depositary receipts or index fund shares based on international or global indexes under which a comprehensive surveillance agreement is not required. These non-substantive changes to the rules are intended to make the rules clearer and less confusing for participants and investors and to eliminate potential confusion, thereby removing impediments to and perfecting the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, protecting investors and the public interest.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. To the contrary, the proposed rule change is a competitive change that is substantially similar to recent rule changes filed by the MIAX Options Exchange (“MIAX”), NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC (“Phlx”), and International Stock Exchange LLC (“ISE”).16 Furthermore, the Exchange believes this proposed rule change will benefit investors by providing additional methods to trade options on ETFs, and by providing them with valuable risk management tools. Specifically, the Exchange believes that market participants on the Exchange would benefit from the introduction and availability of options on ETFs in a manner that is similar to equities exchanges and will provide investors with a venue on which to trade options on these products. For all the reasons stated above, the Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule changes will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, and believes the proposed change will enhance competition.

    16See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74509 (March 13, 2015), 80 FR 14425 (March 19, 2015) (SR-MIAX-2015-04); 74553 (March 20, 2015), 80 FR 16072 (March 26, 2015) (SR-Phlx-2015-27); and 74832 (April 29, 2015), 80 FR 25738 (May 5, 2015) (SR-ISE-2015-16).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any written comments from members or other interested parties.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the proposed rule change does not (i) significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 17 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.18

    17 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    18 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 19 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 20 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange stated that waiver of the operative delay will permit the Exchange to list and trade certain ETF options on the same basis as other options markets.21 The Commission believes the waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposal operative upon filing.22

    19 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    20 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    21See supra note 16.

    22 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-BATS-2015-43 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2015-43. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2015-43, and should be submitted on or before July 9, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.23

    23 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14971 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-75167; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2015-40] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Sections 401, 402 and 404 of the NYSEMKT Company Guide To (i) Provide That Companies Can Comply With the Exchange's Immediate Release Policy by Disseminating the Information Required To Be Disseminated Pursuant to This Policy by Any Regulation Fair Disclosure Compliant Method or Combination of Methods, (ii) Clarify the Procedures Taken by the Exchange in the Event of Unusual Market Activity and (iii) Update References to Exchange Departments and Personnel and Make Other Non-Substantive Conforming Updates June 12, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that on June 3, 2015, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend Sections 401, 402 and 404 of the Company Guide to provide that companies can comply with the Exchange's immediate release policy by disseminating the information required to be disseminated pursuant to this policy by any Regulation Fair Disclosure (“Regulation FD”) compliant method or combination of methods, (ii) clarify the procedures taken by the Exchange in the event of unusual market activity and (iii) update references to Exchange departments and personnel and make other non-substantive conforming updates. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose Immediate Release Policy Changes

    Section 401(a) of the Company Guide requires a listed company to make immediate public disclosure of all material information concerning its affairs (the “immediate release policy”). Section 401(b) provides that companies should comply with the immediate release policy by releasing material information to the public in a manner designed to obtain the widest possible public dissemination. Section 402(b)(ii) specifies that any public disclosure of material information should be made by an announcement released to the national business and financial news-wire services. Section 404 specifies the Exchange's surveillances procedures when unusual market activity occurs.

    The Exchange proposes to (i) amend Sections 401, 402 and 404 of the Company Guide to provide that companies can comply with the Exchange's immediate release policy by disseminating the material information by any Regulation FD compliant method or combination of methods, (ii) clarify the procedures taken by the Exchange in the event of unusual market activity and (iii) update references to Exchange departments and personnel and make other non-substantive conforming updates.

    Regulation FD was adopted by the Commission in 2000 in order to curb the selective disclosure of material non-public information by issuers to analysts and institutional investors.4 Generally, Regulation FD requires that when an issuer discloses material information, it do so publicly. Public disclosure under Regulation FD can be accomplished by filing a Form 8-K with the Commission or through another method of disclosure that is reasonably designed to provide broad, non-exclusionary distribution of the information to the public (e.g. press releases, conference calls, press conferences and webcasts, so long as the public is provided adequate notice and granted access).5

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43154 (August 15, 2000), 65 FR 51716 (August 24, 2000) (“Regulation FD Adopting Release”).

    5See Regulation FD Adopting Release at pages 51723-51724.

    The Exchange now proposes to amend Sections 401 and 402 of the Company Guide to provide that companies may comply with the immediate release policy by disseminating the information using any method (or combination of methods) that constitutes compliance with Regulation FD, thus companies will no longer be required to announce material news via a simultaneous release to the national business and financial news-wire services. Foreign private issuers are subject to the immediate release policy but they are not required to comply with Regulation FD. Notwithstanding their exemption from Regulation FD, Section 402(b)(ii) will allow foreign private issuers to comply with the Exchange's immediate release policy by any method (or combination of methods) that would constitute compliance with Regulation FD for a domestic U.S. issuer. While the Exchange continues to believe that there are benefits to the market and investors generally if companies issue press releases when disclosing material information, the Exchange nonetheless believes that it is appropriate to harmonize its requirements in this regard with Regulation FD, as well as with Section 202.06 of the Listed Company Manual of New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) and Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq”) Rule 5250(b)(1), thereby eliminating the confusion inherent in having different regimes applied by different listing exchanges and the Commission. The Exchange believes that many companies will continue to issue press releases in relation to material news events, and Section 402(b)(ii) of the proposed amendment includes language that encourages companies to disclose material news via a press release. However, the Exchange also believes that it is appropriate to enable companies to utilize the flexibility and discretion with respect to the method of disclosure provided by Regulation FD.

    Section 401(a) of the Company Guide currently provides that, when the announcement of news of a material event which calls for immediate release is made during trading hours it is essential that the company notify the Stock Watch Department prior to the announcement. This timely notification enables the Exchange to consider whether, in the opinion of the Exchange, trading in the security should be temporarily halted. The Exchange proposes to amend Section 401(a) to codify its long-standing interpretation of the rule that listed companies must notify the Exchange if they intend to release material information shortly before the opening as well as during trading hours which is consistent with the approach that the New York Stock Exchange takes as well. The Exchange also proposes to amend Section 401(a) to specify that notification to the Exchange must be made at least ten minutes prior to the announcement.

    The Exchange also proposes to amend Section 401(b) to permit companies to comply with the Exchange's immediate release policy by any Regulation FD-compliant method. The Exchange proposes to make a corresponding change in Section 402(b) and to require the listed company when contacting the Exchange to (i) inform the Exchange of the substance of the announcement and (ii) identify to the Exchange the Regulation FD-compliant method it intends to use to disseminate the news and provide the Exchange with the information necessary to locate the information upon publication. Further, the Exchange proposes to amend Section 402(b) to state that, when the announcement is in written form, the company must provide the text of the announcement to the Exchange at least ten minutes prior to its release via email or web-based system as specified on the Exchange's Web site.6 Because companies will be required to submit the text of their announcement to the Exchange via email or web-based system,7 the Exchange proposes to delete an obsolete reference in Section 402(b) requiring companies to send the Exchange three copies of their announcement.

    6 The proposed amendment will specify that in emergency situations—for instance, lack of computer or internet access, technical problems at the Exchange or company or incompatibility between Exchange and company systems—Section 402(b) will specify that companies may provide required notifications by telephone and confirmed by facsimile, as specified by the Exchange on its Web site.

    7 The proposed amendment will specify that the Exchange will promptly update and prominently display that posting if the applicable web portal or email address changes at any time.

    Section 401(a) of the Company Guide states that a company must notify the Exchange's Stock Watch Department prior to the announcement of material information. It has been the Exchange's long-standing practice to require that companies call the Exchange when such situations occur. The Exchange, therefore, proposes to codify this practice in Section 402(b)(i), clarifying that a company must call, rather than simply notify, the Exchange prior to the announcement. If a listed company intends to comply with the immediate release policy by issuing a press release, the proposed amendment to Section 402(b)(ii) will specify that in order to ensure adequate coverage the press release should be given to Dow Jones & Company, Inc., Reuters Economic Services and Bloomberg Business News. The proposed amendment to Section 402(b)(ii) will also specify that foreign private issuers can comply with the Exchange's immediate release policy by any Regulation FD method (or combination of methods). The Exchange also proposes to amend Section 402(b)(ii) to specify that listed companies may disseminate information via their Web site, as opposed to the Internet generally, and social media as permitted by Regulation FD. However, the proposed amendment will state that if a company utilizes its Web site or social media to disseminate information it must comply with the Commission's guidelines applicable thereto.8 Because listed companies will be required to comply with the Commission's guidelines in this regard, the Exchange proposes to delete a sentence requiring companies to transmit information to traditional news vendor services prior [sic] making it available on the Internet as this requirement is no longer necessary. The Exchange proposes to amend Section 402(b)(ii) to delete references to private networks such as PR Newswire as they are obsolete and to change a reference from “newspapers” to “media” to encompass the multiple forms of media in which material news can be disseminated.

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58288 (August 7, 2008) and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69279 (April 2, 2013). The Exchange will remind listed companies of the Commission's guidelines with respect to the use of Web sites and social media to disseminate material information.

    The Exchange will continue to evaluate the materiality of these disclosures and implement temporary trading halts, where appropriate, to facilitate the orderly dissemination of certain issuer announcements having a potentially material impact on the price of securities or trading activity to ensure fair and orderly markets.

    Clarification of Procedures Taken by the Exchange in the Event of Unusual Market Activity

    Consistent with Section 202.06 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual and Rule 5250(b)(1) of the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules, the Exchange proposes to include a statement in Section 402(d) of the Company Guide to indicate that, in the event of unusual market activity or rumors, the Exchange may contact the listed company to inquire about any company developments that have not been publicly announced but that could be responsible for the activity. If it is determined that the market appears to reflect undisclosed information, the Exchange will normally request that such information be publicly disclosed immediately.

    Because the procedures for contacting the Exchange will be set forth on the Exchange's Web site, the Exchange proposes to delete a paragraph in Section 402(g) that now includes outdated contact information.

    Lastly, the Exchange proposes to delete a reference to its Market Surveillance Department in Section 404 of the Company Guide. The Exchange notes that certain of its market oversight responsibilities are currently performed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) pursuant to a regulatory services agreement, including responsibility relating to the surveillance, investigation and enforcement of insider trading rules.9 Accordingly, the Exchange does not currently maintain a Market Surveillance Department that checks with brokerage firms as to the reasons behind unusual trading activity, as this function is performed by FINRA. The Exchange remains responsible for FINRA's performance under the regulatory services agreement.

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58536 (September 12, 2008), 73 FR 54646 (September 22, 2008). See also Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 58806 (October 17, 2008), 73 FR 63216 (October 23, 2008); 61919 (April 15, 2010), 75 FR 21051 (April 22, 2010); 63103 (October 14, 2010), 75 FR 64755 (October 20, 2010); 63750 (January 21, 2011), 76 FR 4948 (January 27, 2011); and 65991 (December 16, 2011), 76 FR 79714 (December 22, 2011).

    Changes in References to Exchange Departments and Personnel and Other Conforming Updates

    Since the acquisition of the American Stock Exchange (the “Amex”) by NYSE Euronext and its renaming as NYSE MKT, the references to the Listing Qualifications Department, Listing Qualifications Analysts and the Exchange's Stock Watch Department are no longer accurate. It is proposed that these legacy Amex-related references in Sections 401 and 402, including phone numbers, should be replaced. Companies will be directed to contact the Exchange and a statement that will include the relevant contact information to be used when contacting Exchange staff can be found on the Exchange's Web site at nyse.com. References to “specialists” are changed throughout Section 402 to refer to Designated Market Makers (“DMMs”). Lastly, Sections 402 and 404 of the Company Guide previously referred to market action and market activity inconsistently. The Exchange proposes to change all references to “market action” to “market activity.”

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Exchange Act,10 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,11 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes the proposed amendment is consistent with the investor protection objectives of the Exchange Act in that it harmonizes the Exchange's immediate release policy with the Commission's requirements in Regulation FD. The Exchange further believes that specifying that public disclosures which may significantly affect trading should be submitted to the Exchange via email or web-based system enables the Exchange to promptly determine whether a trading halt is appropriate to allow for dissemination of such material news to the marketplace thereby protecting investors and the public interest. Lastly, the Exchange believes that the remaining proposed amendments are consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, as none of them make substantive changes to the Exchange's listing requirements.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed amendment simply harmonizes the Exchange's immediate release policy with the Commission's requirements in Regulation FD and the immediate release policies of the NYSE and Nasdaq, harmonizes the method of compliance with the Exchange's immediate release policy with the methods of compliance for the NYSE and Nasdaq immediate release policies and makes other non-substantive changes to the Company Guide. Accordingly, there will be no burden on competition as a result of the amendment.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected]. Please include File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-40 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-40.This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2015-40 and should be submitted on or before July 9, 2015.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12

    12 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-14970 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 9171] Notification of the Next CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council Meeting AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Notice of the CAFTA-DR Environmental Affairs Council Meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State and the Office of the United States Trade Representative are providing notice that the parties to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) intend to hold the ninth meeting of the Environmental Affairs Council (Council) established under Chapter 17 (Environment) of that agreement in Guatemala City, Guatemala on July 9-10. The Council will meet on July 9 to review implementation of Chapter 17 of CAFTA-DR and the CAFTA-DR Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA). All interested persons are invited to attend the Council's public session beginning at 9:30 a.m. on July 10 at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. During the Council meeting, Council Members will present the progress made and challenges in implementing Chapter 17 obligations and the impacts of environmental cooperation in their respective countries. The Council will also receive a presentation from the CAFTA-DR Secretariat for Environmental Matters (SEM). More information on the Council is included below under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All interested persons are invited to attend a public session where they will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss implementation of Chapter 17 and the Environmental Cooperation Agreement with Council Members. At the public session, the Council hopes to receive input from the public on current environmental challenges and ideas for future cooperation. The Department of State and Office of the United States Trade Representative also invite written comments or suggestions regarding topics to be discussed at the meeting. In preparing comments, we encourage submitters to refer to Chapter 17 of the CAFTA-DR, the Final Environmental Review of the CAFTA-DR, and the Agreement among the CAFTA-DR countries on Environmental Cooperation (ECA) (all documents available at http://www.state.gov/e/oes/eqt/trade/caftadr/index.htm).

    DATES:

    The public session of the Council will be held on July 10, 2015, from 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. We request comments and suggestions in writing no later than June 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments or suggestions should be submitted to both:

    (1) Eloise Canfield, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues by email to [email protected] with the subject line “CAFTA-DR EAC Meeting” or by fax to (202) 647-5947; and

    (2) Laura Buffo, Director for Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the United States Trade Representative by email to [email protected] with the subject line “CAFTA-DR EAC Meeting” or by fax to (202) 395-9517. If you have access to the Internet you can view and comment on this notice by going to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!home and searching on docket number DOS-XXXX-XXXX.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eloise Canfield, (202) 647-4750 or Laura Buffo, 202-395-9424

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Article 17.5 of the CAFTA-DR establishes an Environmental Affairs Council (the Council) and requires it to meet annually unless the CAFTA-DR parties otherwise agree to oversee the implementation of, and review progress under, Chapter 17. Article 17.5 further requires, unless the parties otherwise agree, that each meeting of the Council include a session in which members of the Council have an opportunity to meet with the public to discuss matters relating to the implementation of Chapter 17. In Article 17.9, the parties recognize the importance of strengthening capacity to protect the environment and to promote sustainable development in concert with strengthening trade and investment relations and state their commitment to expanding their cooperative relationship on environmental matters. Article 17.9 also references the ECA, which sets out certain priority areas of cooperation on environmental activities that are also reflected in Annex 17.9 of the CAFTA-DR. These priority areas include, among other things: Reinforcing institutional and legal frameworks and the capacity to develop, implement, administer, and enforce environmental laws, regulations, standards and policies; conserving and managing shared, migratory and endangered species in international trade and management of protected areas; promoting best practices leading to sustainable management of the environment; and facilitating technology development and transfer and training to promote clean production technologies.

    If you would like to attend the public session, please notify Eloise Canfield at the email addresses listed above under the heading ADDRESSES. Please include your full name and identify any organization or group you represent. In preparing comments, we encourage submitters to refer to:

    • Chapter 17 of the CAFTA-DR,

    • The Final Environmental Review of CAFTA-DR, and

    • The ECA.

    These documents are available at: http://www.state.gov/e/oes/eqt/trade/caftadr/index.htm. Visit http://www.state.gov and the USTR Web site at www.ustr.gov for more information.

    Dated: June 15, 2015. Deborah Klepp, Director, Office of Environmental Quality and Transboundary Issues, U.S. Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2015-15003 Filed 6-17-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-09-P
    TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment, Colbert County, Alabama AGENCY:

    Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

    ACTION:

    Issuance of Record of Decision (ROD).

    SUMMARY:

    This notice is provided in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations (40 CFR 1500 to 1508) and TVA's procedures for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). On November 15, 2012, the TVA Board of Directors declared 1,000 acres of the Muscle Shoals Reservation (MSR) in Colbert County, Alabama, to be surplus to TVA's needs and authorized the sale of such acreage at public auction, thereby adopting the preferred alternative in TVA's final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the redevelopment of a portion of the MSR. The ROD documenting this decision was published on September 16, 2013 (78 FR 56980). The notice of availability (NOA) of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Muscle Shoals Reservation Redevelopment was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2011. A component of the preferred alternative was the publication of a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) to guide development of the surplus MSR property. On March 26, 2015, TVA's Senior Vice President of Economic Development approved the CMP contemplated in TVA's final EIS.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy B. Henry, NEPA Program and Valley Projects Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902-1499; telephone (865) 632-4045 or email [email protected].

    Heather L. Montgomery, Program Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority, Post Office Box 1010, MPB 1C-M, Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662-1010; telephone (256) 386-3803 or email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    TVA manages public lands to protect the integrated operation of TVA reservoir and power systems, to provide for appropriate public use and enjoyment of the reservoir system, and to provide for continuing economic growth in the Tennessee Valley. TVA assumed custody and control of the 3,036-acre Muscle Shoals/Wilson Dam Reservation in Colbert County, Alabama in 1933 when Congress directed its transfer to TVA from the U.S. War Department. TVA has since managed 2,600 acres of this nonreservoir property as the MSR.

    Since acquisition of the land, TVA's need for this amount of MSR property has changed. TVA's programs have changed over time and TVA has greatly reduced its operations and employment at Muscle Shoals. Therefore, TVA has determined that a portion of its MSR is no longer essential to its needs. Local public and private sector developers have been requesting use of this land for many years. In accordance with its economic development mission, TVA concluded that sale and redevelopment of approximately 1,000 acres of the MSR (surplus property) would help stimulate the local and regional economy. The sale of this land would also help TVA reduce its operations and maintenance costs and help TVA reduce its environmental footprint.

    The September 2013 MSR ROD provides information about the decision to sell this 1,000-acre portion of the MSR and should be referenced for more details, including information about need for property disposal, alternatives considered by TVA, environmentally preferred alternative, environmental consequences, and other background information.

    Comprehensive Master Plan

    All of the Action Alternatives in the MSR EIS, including the preferred alternative selected for implementation by the TVA Board, included the publication of a CMP to encourage proper and responsible development of the approximate 1,000 acres of the MSR authorized for sale. To support this effort, TVA and the Northwest Alabama Cooperative District (NACD) conducted studies; evaluated environmental, historical, and architectural impacts and alternatives; participated in public forums; collected public input; and evaluated the market potential for the MSR site. Using the results of these activities, TVA and the NACD developed a CMP to serve as an overarching guiding principles tool to encourage well-managed development of the surplus property.

    The CMP, which can be found at www.tva.gov/environment/reports, identified nine distinct areas and subareas, eight of which comprise the 1,000-acre surplus property, as well as the preferred uses of these areas. Preferred uses include retail, commercial, office, institutional, light industrial, heavy industrial, and preservation. In accordance with the Board's previous decision, seven of the MSR areas would be sold at public auction under Section 31 of the TVA Act and one area (Area 9—Phosphate Slag Area) would be retained by TVA, but would be made available as easement property for a utility corridor as described in the final MSR EIS.

    The CMP provides a description for each area, which includes the recommended design guidelines, preferred use options, and development restrictions for each area. The CMP envisions that all areas where development could occur would have design and aesthetics controlled by zoning, that favor a common thread architectural style and material elements consistent with other MSR redevelopment and which complement the historical context. Building, signage, and landscape designs would be pre-approved per local zoning requirements. Development restrictions vary by area, but most areas include restrictions such as: No residential dwellings of any form, no groundwater withdrawal, at least 100-foot setback from existing roadway boundaries that allows for centralized utilities and future pedestrian trails, signage restricted to that which promotes businesses within the development, restriction on operation emissions, etc. TVA and local units of governments would share the responsibility of enforcing these guiding principles, as further specified in the CMP.

    The nine areas identified in the CMP are briefly described below. Please refer to the CMP for more area details, guideline documents and location maps.

    • Area 1—Retail/Commercial. Area 1 is subdivided into 2 areas (1A and 1B) to accommodate differing scale land uses. The area is located on the western boundary border of the property and is comprised of 95 acres. Market focus would be on the attraction of unique and differentiated businesses and discouragement of redundant retail/commercial uses. Area 1B contains two building complexes, the Greenhouse complex and TVA's Customer Service Center, which would both be promoted for reuse.

    • Area 2A—Mixed-use Commercial/Office and Light Industrial. Area 2A is located near the southwest corner of the MSR and is comprised of 61 acres. No buildings are located within the tract, but transmission lines traverse the extreme northwestern portion. Market focus would be on attracting businesses (tourism, government, financial, data management, etc.) that provide a balance of job creation with land-use conservation, with a preference for green-friendly operations.

    • Area 2B—Light Industrial. Area 2B is located near the southwest corner of the property and is approximately 66 acres. Market focus is to attract small-scale, clean light industries that provide a balance of job creation and land-use conservation, with a preference for green-friendly operations. Minimization of environmental impacts would be integrated into facility design, and public access would be retained and/or promoted in select areas for bird-watching and future walking trails.

    • Area 3—Woodlands Preservation Area. Area 3 is divided into 3A and 3B to accommodate access to Second Street for the Area 7 purchaser and comprises 203 acres. Both areas have similar design guidelines and development restrictions. Significant wetlands and a portion of the existing floodplains are found in these areas, which makes them ideal for preservation. Market focus would be to retain the woodlands and natural habitat and minimize man-made impacts. Value-added opportunities (bird watching, environmental education, wetlands mitigation, recreation, etc.) would be promoted within these areas. The proposed wildlife corridor runs through these areas and fencing, which impedes wildlife, would not be allowed in this area.

    • Area 4—Retail/Commercial. Area 4 is located in the southwestern corner of the property and comprises 98 acres. Wetlands and portions of the floodplain are currently located in Area 4; however, TVA is constructing an elevated embankment that would reduce the total number of acres threatened by potential flooding. Market focus would be on the attraction of unique and differentiated businesses and discouragement of redundant retail/commercial uses.

    • Area 5A—Mixed Use Large-Scale Campus/Venue. Area 5A is located along the northern boundary of the surplus property along Reservation Road and comprises approximately 85 acres. Market focus is campus environment and attraction of single entity or mixed-use development utilizing a campus-style setting. A small portion of the MSR Historic District is located within area 5A, and future owners would be required to abide by specified design guidelines approved for the Historic District within that portion.

    • Area 5B—Mixed Use Medium-Scale Campus/Venue. Area 5B is located along the western boundary of the surplus property along Reservation Road and comprises approximately 50 acres. Eight buildings previously utilized by TVA for research and development are located on this property, all of which would be promoted for reuse. Market focus is campus environment and attraction of single entity or mixed-use development utilizing a campus-style setting. A portion of the MSR Historic District is located within area 5B, and future owners would be required to abide by specified design guidelines for the Historic District within that portion.

    • Area 5C—Mixed Use Small-Scale Campus. Area 5C is located on the north side of Reservation Road and comprises approximately 35 acres. Area 5C is an existing multi-use facility campus and all buildings would be promoted for reuse. A portion of the Reservation Road trail is located within this area. Market focus is campus environment and attraction of single entity or mixed-use development utilizing a campus-style setting.

    • Area 6—Business Village/Mixed Use Commercial. Area 6 is 74 acres and is located in the center of the surplus property. Sixteen buildings are located in this area. A select number of these buildings have been identified as historically significant and are targeted for adaptive reuse. Other buildings may be promoted or demolished by TVA or future owners depending upon their condition. Preferred use is office, commercial, service, retail, light-to-medium industrial, civic, or government. This area is located within the MSR Historic District, and future owners would be required to abide by specified design guidelines for the Historic District.

    • Area 7—Differentiated Industrial Development. Area 7 is a 163-acre area located in the center of the MSR. Three TVA buildings remain in this area and would be promoted for reuse. Area 7 extends to Second Street to accommodate potential employee and shipping traffic or necessary utilities. Preferred use is mid-to-heavy industrial facilities such as manufacturing (or similar) operations with the potential for significant job creation and capital investment. Area of concern (AOC) 998 is located within Area 7. Area 7 contains a portion of the MSR Historic District, and future owners would be required to abide by specified design guidelines for the Historic District within that portion.

    • Area 8—TVA property. Areas 8A and 8B (low-level radioactive waste burial site) comprise approximately 400 acres of the MSR. These areas do not contain enough developable land for meaningful non-TVA development and are therefore not part of the 1,000-acre MSR surplus footprint.

    • Area 9—Easement Area. Area 9 is approximately 66 acres and located south of the Tennessee River and north of Reservation Road. Area 9 contains the phosphate slag storage area and is therefore not suitable for new construction or permanent public occupancy. TVA will retain ownership of this area, but would make the area available as a utility access corridor under specific use agreements (easements or licenses) in order to complement the overall success of the MSR redevelopment.

    The CMP identifies the suggested and preferred areas, but recognizes that TVA could reconsider the area boundaries, preferred uses, market focus, design guidelines, and development restrictions in the event a single buyer expresses an interest in purchasing more than one area, in part or in whole. The cities of Muscle Shoals and Sheffield are expected to annex portions of the surplus property and may also impose additional measures for each area as each city deems appropriate.

    Public Involvement

    Please reference the September 2013 ROD for information about the public involvement in the MSR EIS process. In response to comments from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the final EIS, TVA noted that it planned to release a draft of the CMP and hold a public meeting to obtain stakeholder comments.

    In 2011, TVA and NACD jointly sought input from stakeholders and the general public to discuss the potential economic opportunities in redeveloping the MSR property in preparation of the CMP. Two public meetings were held in November 2011 in Lauderdale and Colbert Counties to obtain public comments on the future use of the MSR property. TVA distributed the draft CMP to interested individuals, groups, and federal, state, and local agencies in September 2014 for a 30-day public comment period. A public meeting was held on September 30, 2014, in Florence, Alabama. TVA received 7 public comments and addressed the comments in the final CMP.

    Updated Information

    Since the publication of the 2013 MSR ROD, TVA has been taking steps to make portions of the MSR property more useful for future development. TVA developed a strategy that allows for the demolition of and/or enhancements to targeted buildings, structures, and land while abiding by TVA's Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Alabama State Historic Preservation Officer and the 2011 EIS. The improvements began in 2013 with the removal of unwanted legacy buildings and structures and non-native species plants (i.e., privet, kudzu, etc.). The potential impacts of the building demolitions were addressed in a 2013 environmental assessment and potential impacts of the plant removal was addressed in a 2013 categorical exclusion checklist. TVA has also been granting easements to local utility companies for placement of fiber optic cables, power lines, and similar installations to improve the marketability of the MSR surplus property.

    TVA is currently constructing a new levee associated with Pond Creek in the southwest corner (Area 4) of the MSR property. The proposed levee is necessary to fulfill TVA's commitments in the 1973 agreement with the City of Muscle Shoals. Potential environmental impacts were addressed in a July 2014 environmental assessment. The proposed levee would result in an overall reduction in inundation levels within Area 4.

    Decision

    On November 15, 2012, the TVA Board declared 1,000 acres of the MSR surplus to TVA's needs and authorized the sale of such acreage at public auction upon a determination by the Senior Vice President, Economic Development, following consultation with the Vice President, Natural Resources and Real Property Services, that market conditions warrant selling the fee simple interest of the 1,000 acres or a portion thereof. The sale of the property would be in accordance with TVA's preferred alternative, Alternative F—Unrestricted Land Use in the final EIS. This decision incorporates mitigation measures that would reduce the potential for adverse impacts to the environment. These measures are listed in the 2013 MSR ROD. The preferred alternative also requires the publication of a CMP. TVA developed the MSR CMP with the NACD and other appropriate local, state, and federal authorities for the holistic redevelopment of the MSR property. On March 26, 2015, TVA's Senior Vice President of Economic Development approved the final CMP.

    Mitigation Measures

    A full list of the measures associated with the sale of the surplus property is identified in the September 2013 MSR ROD. The sale deeds and associated transfer documentation would include restrictions and limitations specific to some or all of the surplus property per the mitigation measures outlined in the final MSR EIS. The CMP specifically identified the restrictions and limitations listed below:

    • The sale deeds for every area would contain a covenant that the Grantee shall not remove groundwater from the property or inject groundwater into the property for any purpose except as mandated by applicable regulatory agencies or for environmental sampling or remediation purposes. The deeds would also contain a covenant that the Grantee shall not construct any unlined retention/detention basins or surface water features on the property.

    • In order to assure compliance with Exe